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      Thursday, January 06, 2005


11:18 AM - 01/06/2005

The topic: It seems like it’s been longer than a week

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Thursday, January 6, 2005 My first entry of the new year.  It really seems like my last entry was longer than a week ago.  It hasn’t been the funnest week of my life, I know that for sure.

In my last entry, I mentioned I was concerned about Annie.  And rightly so.  She wasn’t any better Friday morning and I called my vet’s office to see if I could get her in.  “Well, why do you want to bring her in?”  I reply “she’s sick”. 

“Sorry, we’re not seeing any sick animals today.”

I thought she was kidding.  She wasn’t.  It was a half day for them (New Year’s Eve) and the vet didn’t want any animals that might cut into their off time.  So, no sick animals.  Okay, what could I do?  Since it had only been about twenty four hours that I was seriously concerned about her, I figured I’d give her another day.  And if she wasn’t better by Saturday morning, I’d take her to the same place we took Marco.  I watched her closely all day Friday and although she drank a lot of water, she didn’t eat. And nothing I put under her nose interested her.  Nothing.  Not junk cat food.  Not people tuna.  Not baby food, turkey or veal.  Nothing.  And her stool was really, really bad.  Looked like water (not colored) and had chunks of pinky stuff that looked like bloody tissue.  Really, really scary. 

At 7:30 on New Year’s Day, I took her to the emergency hospital (but they also have regular vet service during the day, it’s only considered emergency after hours and on holidays, but there is always a vet on premises; they started this last November). When the vet came in (a very young looking woman, looked to be about fifteen, seriously) she checked Annie over.  She couldn’t find anything immediately wrong and Annie had a normal temperature.  Annie was dehydrated, even though I’d been giving her subQ fluids for a couple of days.  The vet advised that it would probably be best to let them keep Annie for a couple of days and get her rehydrated (using IV) and run at least one blood panel and do a urine test.  The possible problems were liver (although there was no yellowing of Annie’s tissues), kidneys and cancer (because of Annie’s age, she’s seventeen now) or some sort of bowel problem.  Since it was a holiday, the blood wouldn’t get sent out Saturday, but would be picked up on Sunday and the results should be back Monday.  I watched her being carried out of the room, my heart breaking and the worry starting to grow, in the vet’s arms.  I made the deposit payment and left, on my way home to start the waiting. 

I called each day, a couple of times to see if there was any improvement. While she hadn’t vomited or had diarrhea since she was there, she still wasn’t eating. There was a possibility that they might have to introduce nutrients into her IV line.

During this wait, Saturday afternoon, I watched Mystie in the litter box and her stool was almost identical to Annie’s, except not so runny.  Great.  And Georgie started getting worse, having explosive bouts of diarrhea, nasty, brown and extremely messy. He had them in front of litter boxes.  The laundry room, the hallway, the office, even Brian’s bathroom.  There had to be something going on here. Was it something that they got from things that washed into the yard from the recent rains?  Mold spores?  Just a plain old insididious cat flu virus?  Was I going to have the same problem with the other cats?  Would they all be hit as hard as Annie? And what about the kittens?  Or DeeJay?  I was hating it.

Well, Mystie was considerably better on Sunday.  Not Georgie, but he did still show some appetite, so I figured I’d just see how it progressed with him.  And on Monday, the vet called. Annie had started to eat. And the test results were in. Annie didn’t have any sort of organ damage, she was in great shape.  Especially for a cat her age.  But there still could be cancer in her intestines, something the bloodwork didn’t show.  The vet suggested that Annie have an ultrasound, which most likely could be done that day.  She put me on hold, checked the schedule and let me know it was doable that day.  I said “okay”.  What could I say?  If it was cancer, I wanted to know.  The sooner we knew, the sooner we could take action.  The vet would call me later in the day with results.

More waiting.  I’m not good at waiting.  I’m even worse at anticipating bad news.  It sucks me dry.  It wears me out.  It emotionally drains me.  I can’t function. I try to keep busy, but I’m not always successful at drowning out my little head voice.  The day drags on.  Finally, in the early evening, I get the call.  Annie is fine, no signs of anything bad.  And the vet felt that Annie would probably be able to come home on Tuesday, if she kept eating and didn’t vomit or have diarrhea.  The vet got to the office at ten (there are multiple vets who work there) and she would call me after she’d evaluated Annie. 

Finally, a little before noon, unable to wait any longer, I called. Annie was ready to come home.  I was out the door.  It took about forty-five minutes to get the bill settled up (seven hundred and seventy six dollars and change) and I was able to see Annie again.  She was so small in the carrier. She cried all the way home.  I think she was a little disoriented when I let her out.  I had to do some running around with Brian and I hated leaving her so soon.  I got home a couple of hours later and couldn’t find her.  She responded to my calling her, though, and she was behind the monitor.  Her safe place from the other cats. They were all over her, curious about her ordeal, I guess. 

Yesterday, I finally got smart and put a heating pad under her towel and bed.  She’s happy there, now, doing a lot more sleeping than she had Tuesday.  She’s warm and comfy and with any luck, this thing will be out of her system before too long.

Another thing that happened while I was gone Tuesday was not pleasant.  When I walked into the door after running the errands with Brian, my olfactory senses were assaulted, and badly.  It smelled like the litter boxes hadn’t been cleaned in about two months.  It was horrible.  I tracked down the problem area and it was the kitchen. There was diarrhea all over the floor and more in the laundry room.  I cleaned it up and washed both floors. And I looked to Georgie, thinking that it had to have been him.  This wasn’t good.  This wasn’t good at all.  But whatever was going on with him, must have been expelled during that time, because he hasn’t had stool like that since.

So, I’m hoping we’re over the worst of it.

And then, to make my life just a little more interesting, I found the yarn that I had holding the cat door to the garage open, was on the floor. And about a foot of it is missing.  I checked all of the cats, no one seemed any worse for the wear.  Then I called my vet and asked what I should look for.  If there was going to be a problem, I’d most likely have known it by then. There would be much vomiting.  So, I guess I’m safe there, now all I have to do is hope everything passes like it should.  And maybe the yarn is somewhere else and not in a cat.

I’ll be so glad when Brian goes back to work on a regular basis.  His routine is all messed up right now.  Last month, his brother got sick, so didn’t come to work for a couple of days.  Then it was the holidays.  Then, the transmission in his work truck broke (same one that broke last year, less than four thousand miles on the “new” one Ford installed) and that’s out of commission.  So, that’s in the shop.

Then the weather.  I don’t remember the last time we had so much rain in such a short amount of time. We had all of that rain in October, now we’re getting hit again.  Don’t get me wrong, I like the rain.  But it’s hard for Brian to work in it, since he works with glass. 

He wanted to take advantage of the damp earth up at the property and do some disking last weekend. When I took Annie to the vet last Saturday, Brian left to go to the property.  He was home early afternoon.  He had a very bad day.  He couldn’t get the tractor started at all. And the wind had blown the trailer over about two feet, bending the jacks that kept it level.  He brought it home.  Sunday, he took it to his work shop so he could work on it out of the rain.  He needs to fix more than the jacks.  Since the Pines fire a couple of years ago, he’s had a major mice problem.  Before the fire, he’d brought it home and did some major insulating on the bottom, plugging up all of the entries that the mice were using.  And he didn’t have a mice problem until the fire went through and burned under the trailer, burning out all of the insulation. So, he had to get that fixed.  And the door never was repaired (the fire burned out all of the insulation in that.  And the furnace quit working last year.  His clubhouse needs lots of work before he brings it back.  He’s hoping to get that done this coming weekend. 

Right now, it’s sunny outside with some high clouds. And the rains are supposed to be back tomorrow.  And they’re supposed to be around until sometime next week.  There is much I want to get done today, and since I’m not worried about the cats, I should be able to get most of it done.

Yay!

Then, when the rains come, I can sit in my rocking chair, read and watch the rain. Doesn’t that sound restful?

      Saturday, January 08, 2005


06:01 PM - 01/08/2005

The topic: Rain…

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Saturday, January 8, 2005  Rain is what it’s supposed to be doing right now. And raining is not what it’s doing.  It’s wet outside, it’s cloudy, but I haven’t seen it rain yet.  I don’t know why it’s so wet. 

Most of the cats are in the house, keeping warm.  DeeJay has taken over the heating pad portion of Annie’s bed.  Georgie got his very own heating pad (which I found out has an auto shut off function, which isn’t adequate).  At least it has him off of the stove for the time being.  That’s scary, especially when he moves the whistling kettle off of its resting place, over the pilot light (old stove).  And he lays really, really close to that pilot light.  Oh, joy, I just found another heating pad, one I got and had never opened.  I’d forgotten all about it.  As soon as Georgie gets up to eat or drink, I’ll replace the one with the auto shut off.

I took some pictures of the cats today and I put them up over at the family album.  As for the album itself, I’ll no longer be dating the pictures as their description as the script author made improvements to the script, and now the image information will be available. 

Brian called a little bit ago, wanted me to go ahead and order the pizza we’ll be having for dinner.  I called.  Two hours!  Two hours to get our pizza.  The pizza joint is right next door to my vet’s office, not even a mile away.  They’re that busy!  But figure, there are probably an awful lot of football parties in the area, seeing as the San Diego Chargers are in the playoffs and the game starts right….NOW?

Ack!  Gotta go!

      Friday, January 14, 2005


01:16 PM - 01/14/2005

The topic: I hate it when…

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Friday, January 14, 2005  I hate it when pop stars pop up with the same names as one of the cats.  Case in point: Ciara.

Now, I have no idea who this pop idol who is loved by girls who’ve yet to grow a pubic hair, nor do I care who this pop idol is.  I have absolutely no interest whatsoever.  But I am extremely irritated by the little girls who send their loving messages to their Ciara via my email or guestbook.  And I think why it irritates me so very much is the only way to get to my email form or a guestbook to leave a message for Ciara, is via Ciara’s page.  And if you read Ciara’s page, it’s obvious that Ciara is a cat.  I’ve even had some child’s mother leave messages about how much her child loved my singing.  For spit’s sake, my Ciara is a cat!  What a bunch of f*cking morons.  I swear.  I’m tempted to make up an autoresponse along the lines of “I spoke to Ciara and she said she thinks you and your friends are really stupid and to leave her alone.  She hates little girls, she thinks they’re nothing more than pests.  Now go play with your baby dolls.” 

 

 

Does this look like a pop star? Not to me.  She looks like an adorable, feisty little cat.

 


I found my first kitten tooth of the youngest cats yesterday.  It’s a canine.  Of course, I’m always looking now.  I’m sure they’ve lost a few that I’ll never find.  Most kitten teeth are swallowed and there’s no way in hell I’ll dig through multiple piles of poop.  No way.  I did look in Phoebe’s mouth and noticed the loss of a molar.  Phoebe has this little habit that I sincerely hope she grows out of.  She sticks her butt in my face.  Now, I’ve seen her do this with the other cats, sticking her butt in their faces. They do the sniffing thing, the little licky tasty cat thing and she purrs and kneads her front paws and thoroughly enjoys the attention her butt is getting.  But I refuse to do the cat licky tasty thing.  And she doesn’t seem to understand this.  No matter how many times I push her away, she always comes back and puts her butt in my face.  I’ve never had a cat do this.  I could have lived the rest of my life happily never having had this happen.  Silly little girl. 

 



Phoebe on the heating pad

 


Earlier this week, when I was feeding the cats, I thought it would be nice if I took a picture.  It’s been a while since I had and I counted well over twenty cats.  But by the time I got back with the camera (next time, I’ll be ready), many cats had already left the garage.  I guess they weren’t thrilled with the menu.
 

 




By the way, if you’re counting, leave a comment and I’ll let you know if you’re right.

 


Last night, there was something obviously wrong with Opie’s right eye.  He kept it closed and when he tried to open it, it was uncomfortable.  He kept running from me and I wasn’t able to get the eye ointment in it.  I waited a few hours until he was resting and then I snuck up on him and got the stuff in his eye.  He got some this morning and tonight, it’s looking just a little bit better.  He’s really an aggressive guy, so I wouldn’t doubt he got a warning smack from someone, then got a for real smack.  He’s not really good at reading people or cats.

 

 


I’ve been having a really hard time with DeeJay’s fluids. There’s something wrong with the needles.  I think the manufacturer went to a cheaper grade of metal.  They get dulled just drawing the fluids from the bag.  I noticed a difference this last box that I got.  At first, I didn’t think it was the needles, just that DeeJay was fighting me.  But after trying to stick him repeatedly without any luck, I tried using three needles.  One for each syringe and one to draw the fluids into the syringes.  I have to admit, administering the fluids to DeeJay was a lot smoother with the fresh needles.  I use new needles every time, I always have, but I don’t think I’ll be using the needle that I draw the fluids to administer the fluids.

Kirby has really pink urine again.  I wonder if he has stones. He’s got a good volume of urine, so it’s probably just something irritating his bladder.  Like stones. 
 

 



Kirby this afternoon

 


I got a notice last year that I was to go in for jury duty.  The last time I went in, Pepper was put to sleep that afternoon.  Bad memories.  I called today to postpone it from next Wednesday to a future date.  I had to choose a day between six weeks from now up to six months from now.  I chose a day in May. 

I’ve been taking the occasional picture of the cats, took a bunch today.  I took some of the kittens and I caught two of them climbing into the doghouse on the bank.  I thought this was really cute of them.
 

 

 


I don’t know what’s been going on with the cats this week, maybe it’s the cold or maybe they’re just feeling a little insecure, but damn, they all want to be held.  That wouldn’t be so bad, but they want to be held at the same time and that can make life pretty interesting when human skin is involved.  Not all the cats want to share.  I’ve been at the computer a couple of times, kicking back in my chair, when Ciara jumps up and settles down in my lap.  The Mystie will climb up on my shoulder and it’s almost impossible for me to move.  By the time I have to get up, I’m stiff as a board.  Then there’s the vying for the best spots in bed. Mickey doesn’t like to move over, he thinks he’s king of the bed and he won’t hesitate to slap out at any cat who invades his personal space.  It can get pretty hairy.

If you’re interested in reading more cat blogs and seeing more cat pictures, be sure to check out the the carnival of the cats, starting Sunday afternoon.

      Friday, January 28, 2005


12:56 PM - 01/28/2005

The topic: Oh, my aging back….

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Friday, January 28, 2005  My back is killing me right now.  I have no idea what I did.  It was find Wednesday night, then yesterday morning, it hurt.  We went for our walk and I was okay, it hurt a little, not much.  Then, as the day wore on, it got worse.  I hope it starts getting better soon.

The kittens have learned the cat door. With a little help from me.  This is good.  So far, they’re better at coming in than going out.  They’ll stand there and stare at it.  Look up at me.  Look back at the door.  I’ll leave. Then I’ll see a kitten or two outside.  And it’s also nice in the morning.  I get up early and open the sliding door in the living room so the cats can go outside for a little while (Little Bit goes out, too).  Well, the heat comes on at a quarter to six in the morning and I like to shut the door when that happens (I lay in bed, imagining all of the ping pong balls going out-remember that energy conservation commercial with the refrigerator?)  So, now, I get Little Bit in if she’s still out and shut the door.  The kittens can come in when they’re good and ready.  And they’re usually all back in the house by the time we get out of bed.

It looks like it’s going to be a white day.  I don’t like white days.  A white day can happen at any time of the year.  You can’t see any blue sky at all.  There is no definition to the clouds.  Just an off white blanket of sky. 

I don’t like white days.  White days are rarely good days.

DeeJay is losing weight again.  But from the food left in the morning, it looks like the cats aren’t eating as much as they had been.  I wonder what the deal is.  DeeJay is still pooping fine and it looks like he’s eating a lot. But we ran out of Trader Joe’s cat food a month or so ago, so he hasn’t had that as a supplement. Maybe that’s the problem. Right now, he’s snoozing on my sewing machine cabinet.  It’s got a heating pad on it and he likes it there.  I’ve noticed that sometimes there’s a cat nearby waiting for their turn.  Doesn’t matter to DeeJay, he’ll lay with another cat if he has to.  He likes that pad.

I spent last weekend trying to get another option of my family album working and after some major help from the script author (really bonehead mistake on my part), I was able to put up a couple of QuickTime movies.  My favorite is the one of Angel.  It always makes me smile. We also had some nice sunsets, which I was able to get photographs of.  Those are up in the “Naturescapes” section.

(I’ve got some company paperwork I absolutely have to get done today and time is a wastin’...I’ll be back with more catstuff later….)

Welp, dinner’s et, cats is fed.  It’s raining outside, all of the cats are in (a couple of hours early, but that’s the breaks when it rains).  I only needed to get in Benny and Daniece and they were pretty easy.  Daniece went running into the cat door, Benny came running to me.  He really loves me. He’s a mama’s boy, that’s for sure.  Of course, they’re not at all happy to be inside and we’ve got a couple of whiners at the door.

“Let me owwwwwwt….I want to go owwwwwt….owwwwwt in the darktiiiiiime…..”  So far, Benny and Potter are being the most vocal, but with any luck, they’ll soon settle down.

Brian and I are both online and Marco is being a big pest.  He’s walking in front of us, stepping on keyboards, blocking monitors.  Brian’s much more tolerant of it than I am.  He lets them annoy him, I put them on the floor. (Now Pete’s crying to get out, tough beans, I say.)
 

 



It’s a cozy place

 


I’m usually pretty good about making the bed.  I have it down that I can move this cat this much and make that part of the bed.  Then I move that cat off of the pillow and straighten out that part of the bed.  Sometimes I get lucky and there are no cats on the bed. When I see this, I immediately make the bed, I don’t give it a chance to get covered in cats again.  But today, I figured what the hell, I’d let the cats have it.

I also did a little re-organization of the extra room (used to be the exercise (ha!) room) and tried out the airbed.  It’s nice.  Fits just right.  There have been a couple of times the past few weeks I ended up on the sofa.  One morning I woke up and Brian was gone.  He was out in the recliner.  The cats just sometimes get to be too much for us.  It’s funny, but they aren’t as bothersome when I’m on the sofa.  Maybe because there’s not as much room.  Whatever.
 

 

 



Little Bit

 


Little Bit is settling in more and more.  I feel so bad for her, keeping to herself all day.  But little by little, she’s not running when she sees us. She still hisses at the other cats, though. She hates her kittens.  It was a year ago that we had Notwally in our yard.  I wonder how those calicos turned out. If any of them had long hair. Long hair calicos are beautiful.

Annie hasn’t put on much weight since her extended hospital stay and her fur isn’t growing back very quickly, either. She sleeps a lot, but she’s still pretty affectionate. Now that Brian comes back here every night (that internet is pretty addictive, ya know?) she’s got more company.  Even though there’s not much talking, we’re here.

The cats are eating us out of house and home.  Brian bought 40 pounds of food last Saturday and we’re getting low.  Well, all of the feeders are filled, that’s close to ten pounds there, I’d say.  But still….

I was watching the kittens play this morning.  It was funny to see the older cats joining in.  Even Lisa was running down the hallway.  She wasn’t hissy or anything, so I know she was playing.  This evening, I got some video of Walter on the bed with his paw around Ross and one of the kittens was suckling on him. When I figure out how to transfer it to the computer, I’ll put it up over on the family album.

Well, that’s it for tonight.  Stay warm and dry. 



To see more exciting and fun journal entries about cats, be sure to check out this week’s “carnival of the cats” being held at Watermark (a poet’s notebook).

      Sunday, January 30, 2005


09:55 PM - 01/30/2005

The topic: Innova cat food as a treat

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Sunday, January 30, 2005  (Oh, an even day!  I’ve started giving Ciara her prednisone on even days, it’s easier than trying to remember every other day.  She still needs her today pill.)

It was a pretty nice day, after it was so freaking cold this morning.  Even KittyMeeze wasn’t here when I put out his breakfast about 5:30 this morning.  It was gone at 7:30, so he did come around, but I think maybe he was curled up somewhere, keeping warm with Carla.  (I took a picture of him yesterday, it’s up over on the Petscape portion of the album.) 

Anyway, we really needed to do a little shopping.  For one thing, the forty pounds of Felidae Brian bought last Saturday was about gone.  Out of the three feeders we have in the house, the big one was about half full (it holds maybe ten pounds), the other two were empty.  The cats are going through a lot of food.  I know that’s normal in winter, but, gee whiz, they’re inhaling this stuff.  Anyway, first we went to Trader Joe’s, looking for the holistic food we’ve gotten in the past and used as treats.  There was none to be found. So, when we hit the pet store in Santee, to get more Felidae, I picked up a three pound bag of Innova.  This store has something I’ve not seen before and that’s little bags with samples in them, so you can see what you’re getting.  I liked the way the Innova looked, dark and rich and nice sized kibble.  Treat sized.  So, I got a three pound bag of that and it’s a hit!  I like to have something special for DeeJay after I shove those 18 gauge needles and push 120CC of fluids into him.  He’s such a trooper about it, I think he deserves a reward.  Of course, there’s usually about fifty-nine thousand other cats clamoring for treats, too.  Tonight, Mickey jumped down from the sewing machine cabinet/heated bed and it was perfect timing, because I put DeeJay up there with some Innova kibble.  Yummy.

My back isn’t hurting any longer.  I wonder what I did to it.  Maybe twisting weirdly in bed to get away from a cat or two (or four or five).  I know that getting out of bed can be awkward sometimes.  Don’t want to bother the cats, you know. Especially when it’s DeeJay.  He can be so cranky.

It’s late and I have to get the rest of the cats in.  I like it when they come to me, but last night, Benny decided he was going to be difficult.  There’s no way I’m gonna put on socks and shoes and the later it gets, the wetter and colder the grass gets.  My feet are like ice blocks by the time I get all of the cats in. Gracie can open the cat door when it’s set to in only and she’ll go out at night and sleep in the big doghouse.  So, I have to drag her out when I’m getting ready to lock them all in.  I hate crawling in that thing.

Well, guess I’ll go do it now.  Get the rest of them in.  I sure wish they’d all come running when I called them.

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lisaviolet is sixty something, married with no kids, takes care of lots of cats, likes taking photographs, loves Southern California weather and spends altogether too much time avoiding her responsibilities.

In her spare time, she makes pretty things to sell in her store.

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