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      Saturday, September 01, 2007

11:27 AM - 09/01/2007

The topic: Back from the vet

Well, Red wasn’t getting any better and wasn’t keeping anything at all down; he gakked it back up within seconds of swallowing it.  Even little flakes of tuna and you know how small those can be.

Yesterday on our walk,  I came up with a fairly good idea for catching Red.  We’ve got traps, Brian has special trapper’s gloves, made with Kevlar, we’ve even got a net to catch animals (which is still in the original shipping packaging, never opened).   And it didn’t involve a lot of effort on either of our parts.  If it worked, that is.

One of the traps we have has two doors.  The trap door, of course and on the other end a door that slides up and can be removed.  I thought maybe it would work if we placed it in front of the cat door between the house and the garage.  Brian brought it in yesterday afternoon, and I took it over and put it in front of the cat door opening, to see about the size.  I don’t think he realized exactly what I’d been talking about until he saw this.  It would need a couple of inches of board under it to lift it to the proper height, but it would work.

He took the door off, put the boards under it, I put a towel on the bottom and got one of those plastic covered wire thingies that come wrapped around stuff with cords and set the trap door up and attached it to the top of the trap. Then Brian put it up against the door.  Perfect.

Now, would the cats use it or avoid it like a flea treatment?  The answer….they actually liked it.  A little while after we’d set it up, a couple of cats had taken residence in the trap.

click for a larger pic

We shooed them out and eventually, Red came in and went back out, using the trap.  We left to do some shopping, then came home.

Not long after we got home, we got hit by a pretty strong thunderstorm, not something we get too often.  The cats were freaking out and most of them were inside.  There was a lot of rain, a lot of wind and a lot of thunder noise.  Pete was terrified, just sitting in the hallway, crying.  Shortly after 6:30, I got all of the remaining cats in.

The plan was for me to be in the garage and let Red think I was going to try to get him, he’d go through the door and the trap door would be closed so he couldn’t go all the way through.  Brian would be waiting to shut the sliding door on the trap and we’d have us a feral cat who was in dire need of vet care in the trap.  It didn’t work last night, Red didn’t go into the house, he went into the rafters.  We figured we’d try again this morning, when we were all fresh.

Imagine my surprise to see Red sleeping in the trap this morning. And his breathing was worse. He’d started breathing through his mouth, not much, but he was breathing through his mouth. Not a good sign.  Both of the doors were wide open, so we hadn’t caught him, but he was comfortable in it. We were up kind of late last night (for us, anyway) and Brian slept in.  When he got up, he took a shower and ate breakfast.  I said “you want to try now?”  He said “if you do”.

I got Red to go back in the garage.  I walked around the outside of the house and into the garage, shutting the door behind me.  Red was in there.  When I saw him making a move to go into the rafters, I turned on the fan we’ve got up there.  He didn’t go up.  He went under a table, then behind it.  It took a couple of minutes and he went into the house.  Into the trap.  And Brian was ready, shut the trap door.

Brian threw a towel over it, because Red started panicking, but soon settled down.  We checked in at the vet’s at 9:40 this morning. 

We explained to three different people, the last the vet, the situation.  About his life here, about the recent history.  That Red wouldn’t attack, but he would do anything it took to not be held.  Which is why he was there in a trap.  I told her he was probably dehydrated at this point.

We discussed options.  Obviously, Red would have to be sedated before they could do anything (I hope he survives it).  They will take a blood panel and test for organ function and also test for FIV/FeLV.  (While the vet was out getting the estimate ready, Brian said why bother testing for FIV since we know the exposure is there; well, if Red has mouth ulcers and he’s FIV+, chances are he’s near the end, so there would be a valid reason for this test.) Red will get subQ fluids (because of the likelihood of dehydration).

For Brian and me, the best case scenario is dehydration with a viral infection that has hit his throat, which can be cured with antibiotics.  We decided that if this was the case, we’d bring him home and he’d be put in a crate and I’d add the meds to his food.  Worst case is something growing that doesn’t belong there, like polyps or a cancerous tumor.  If he has either of those, or he’s FeLV+, we’ll help him to the bridge.  Like Brian told the vet, if it’s something that will need repeated trips to the vet, we can’t do it.  Not because of us, but because of Red.

We were amazed at how laid back he was.  I don’t know if it’s because he wasn’t frightened to death or because he just doesn’t have the energy to do anything other than lay there.  He actually started purring, but we both kept in our minds that cats also purr when their in pain.

It was sad to see him taken out of the room, but it has to be done.  No matter what happens, we do know he’ll be out of his discomfort one way or the other.

Keep your fingers crossed that he comes home in a carrier and not a box.


Red, Thursday night (click for a larger pic)



The vet hospital just called, Red’s ready to be picked up.  The vet wants to speak with us, but Red can come home. 

Since we were pretty clear on the fact that we didn’t want to be making multiple trips with him, I’m hoping she’s got good news for us.

I’m shaking.


We’re home, have been for a couple of hours.  Red’s fine, with the exception of his teeth.  That’s why he can’t eat and is gakking whatever back up.  We would have left him there for a dental, but their dental person only works Monday through Friday, Monday is a holiday and she schedules her own appointments.  *sigh*  So, I have to wait until Tuesday to call and make an appointment for the dental.

His teeth will be cleaned, they’ll check out his ear and he might have some teeth pulled. 

Right now, he’s in the big dog crate.  We left him in the trap until Brian got the crate and he had to clean it, since he didn’t wash it before putting it up the last time we used it.  When it was dry enough, I folded a big towel and put that in the back, put a disposable pee pad in the front, which is where the litter pan is.  I use disposable pans for litter (they’re pretty cheap at CostCo).  

This is the same crate we used for Lonee, so it’s got the shelf that a cat can hang out on in the back.  Brian also strung a cord across the very top on the inside, so I can hang a towel down, which gives the cat some privacy in the back of the crate.

I just put a bowl of Fancy Feast tuna feast flavor inside, hoping that he’ll eat some of it, without interference from the other cats. The vet remarked that from what she saw on the x-rays, that he hadn’t eaten in a while.  I know they’re probably pretty unhappy, but so what.  They’ve been getting a ton of junk food this past week.  Later on, I’ll take out what’s left of the Fancy Feast and try some of the Hill’s A/D I keep on hand.  I sure hope we can get his appetite back up.  By being in the crate, besides being nuisance free when he eats, I can see exactly how much he eats.  And being in the crate, the food won’t be gone in sixty seconds if he needs a little longer to eat as much as he likes.

He did get subQs, so I know that should help him to feel a little better.  Poor guy.

So, keep your fingers crossed we can get him in early next week.  I’d hate to have him have to spend one minute more than necessary in the crate.

      Sunday, September 02, 2007

04:27 AM - 09/02/2007

The topic: We lost him

We just got back from emergency.  The vet thinks he threw a blood clot. 

I’d let him out of the crate earlier after he had a strong bout of coughing.  He ran under the entertainment center, then under the sofa. 

He was taking longer than I expected to come out of the earlier sedation.  I stayed with him, well, on the sofa and I could hear him breathing under me.  Around three, I thought I’d toddle off to bed and I went to say goodnight to him.  He didn’t respond to my touch, so I opened up the sofa (recliner sofa).

The entire area under him was covered in urine.  Alarmed, I pulled him out.  He let out a couple of horrible cries, waking Brian up.  Red was paralyzed.  I told Brian we had to get him in.  I was thinking maybe it was from the shot/sedative and called the ER to let them know we were on our way in.

Brian told them when they took him back, that we wanted him euthanized.  Like Brian said “this is just too hard on him”.  We were asked if we wanted to be with him when he went and I said “yes”.  Brian seemed reluctant and when I asked him why, he said “it’s so hard”.  Oh, but, honey, this is part of our job, saying goodbye to a cat who’s been with us for so long. It’s the least we can do for him.

They called us into an examining room and Red was on the table, wrapped in a blanket.  He had the IV started in his leg.  The doctor said that he was already dying, that he had most likely thrown a clot.  She gave him a sedative, then when he was asleep, gave him the final solution that ended his life.  She said that he was in a lot of pain from this and it was something that just happens. She told us she sees it a lot in red cats.

This is just so hard.  Brian said on the way home that he wishes there’d been some way for the vet to foresee this happening and he wouldn’t have had to had his last hours the way they were and we could have released him this morning before this hit. 

And then there were thirty-four.

God speed, Red, you had a great life with us and we loved you very, very much.


We’ll see you again someday.  Meantime, we’ll keep your memory close in our hearts and place your ashes with those who have gone before you.

Goodbye, baby.


      Tuesday, September 04, 2007

07:18 AM - 09/04/2007

The topic: It’s TUMMY TUESDAY #59!

Well, I didn’t do too well getting a tummy picture, there were plenty of bellies this past weekend, but I never had the camera ready, and honestly, just didn’t have the energy.  My mind was elsewhere.

But I did find this cute picture in the recent archives of Wally in front of one of his Tummy Tuesday modeling jobs. 

“Does this color make me look fat?”

click for a larger pic


If you’ve got a Tummy Tuesday blog entry, feel free to post the link in the comment section or trackback to this entry. And if you put a link back to this page, then more kitties will get to show off their tummies!

      Wednesday, September 05, 2007

08:11 PM - 09/05/2007

The topic: Stock added

I added thirteen necklaces and five pairs of earrings to the store today.

Yesterday, I added Benny Da Kat’s Finest Kind Catnip. 

If you buy any piece of jewelry, catnip is half price.

And I also found there’s a problem with the store.  Some people can’t make it to the checkout page.  And when people make payment with a credit card, there’s an error with the final page. Which tells my store that the charge failed (it didn’t) and it cancels the order and sends an email to the customer.


Why can’t anything go smoothly?

Ah, yes, the link.

. http://www.lvdesigns.com

      Friday, September 07, 2007

02:09 AM - 09/07/2007

The topic: More bad news

Brian thinks a coyote got KittyMeeze.  He saw a coyote in the front yard with a cat, he yelled, the coyote dropped the cat.

Brian ran outside, waking me up, I got clothes on and he ran out in his underwear. 

No sign of a cat.  Brian thinks the coyote came back and got it when Brian was running out the door.

I asked if he was sure it was Meeze, he said “what other cat is around?”  I said “Gilligan”.

If Kitty doesn’t show up, at least we’ll know what happened and that it was most likely quick. 


02:44 PM - 09/07/2007

The topic: He’s alive

and I hope he’s well. 

Mid morning, I thought I saw him down at the corner house.  This house has a plethora of juniper bushes, a great place for a cat to hide out.  And cats have lived there off and on through the years.  I didn’t say anything to Brian, because I thought maybe my eyes were deceiving me.  After all, no cat ate any of the food I put out this morning.  I ended up bringing it in instead of leaving it out for fly food and let the inside cats empty the bowl.

I keep checking the house down there and I see a cat get up and stretch and start to walk off.  I yelled to Brian that I saw him. Brian came over and stood by me, but the cat was gone.  I knew I’d seen a cat, but was it KittyMeeze?  Brian just looked at me. I think he thought I was losing my mind.

Anyway, I’ve been keeping the binoculars at the ready.  And I saw him.  I saw KittyMeeze stretched out in the shade. 

He’s alive.

I told Brian that we’ve got to get him behind the fence, in the yard.  I figure a good way would be to get all the cats in at night, open the gate and put a trail of tuna to inside the fence.  Once inside, we’ll have him like we had Red so many years ago.

Brian was concerned that he might have some physical problems because of the attack.  I said something to the effect that KittyMeezer spends the nights down at that house, I don’t think he stays here beyond getting food.  Brian said that he couldn’t see the coyote catching Meeze down there and bringing him up here.

I pointed out the obvious.  Maybe the coyote didn’t actually have Meeze.  Maybe he had some other cat.  Or, maybe he had a possum.  A light went off in Brian’s head.  Really, I said, think about it.  The food bowl was pushed over to the side of the cement in the entry way.  The cats don’t do that, the possum does.  When the cats eat, the bowl pretty much stays where it’s been put down.

Then Brian told me “the coloring would be right.  I didn’t see a head.  I didn’t see the legs.  I just saw the back.”

So, we’re hoping that it was, indeed, a possum and that KittyMeezer is not harmed.  And we will be doing what we can to get him in the yard.  Even if that’s where he lives, it’s a lot better and safer than out front.  We’ve got cathouses, we’ve got a bank with pine needles, he’ll have company during the day (until he decides to come inside)....

Here’s hoping it works.

There’s been no sign of Gilligan. But he’s scarce during the day, we’ll need to wait until later.  And if and when we try to get him, he’ll need to go into a trap first, so that he can be neutered.

      Tuesday, September 11, 2007

01:04 PM - 09/11/2007

The topic: It’s TUMMY TUESDAY #60!

I almost forgot!  And I even took a couple of tummy pics yesterday.

Anyway, once again the tummy model is Little Rory Gilmore!

click for a larger pic


If you’ve got a Tummy Tuesday blog entry, feel free to post the link in the comment section or trackback to this entry. And if you put a link back to this page, then more kitties will get to show off their tummies!

      Tuesday, September 18, 2007

07:15 AM - 09/18/2007

The topic: It’s TUMMY TUESDAY #61!

click for a larger pic

Today’s Tummy belongs to the stunning Chandler, the kitty cat who some how got himself into our yard during one of our yearly October trips to Disneyland.  When it had been raining very hard.  He was a very hungry kitty who tried to eat a mousie toy when we first brought him in.

He’s filled out nicely since then and even goes on the offensive on the rare occasion. 


If you’ve got a Tummy Tuesday blog entry, feel free to post the link in the comment section or trackback to this entry. And if you put a link back to this page, then more kitties will get to show off their tummies!

12:54 PM - 09/18/2007

The topic: KittyMeeze and Gilly

are still around, thank God.  We were out of town Sunday night, so I wasn’t real excited about trying to catch them last week.

Since we’ve got three weeks until the big Disney trip and then we’ll have a catsitter staying here overnight, I feel more comfortable trying to get them in now.

Gilly still isn’t coming around as often as he had before the coyote sighting.  (Have I ever mentioned how incredibly deep is my loathing of coyotes?  I think I may have, once or twice.)

Anyway, KittyMeeze liked the tuna that one night, the next night he walked away from it, so I think this is going to take some doing.  But if it’s meant to be, it will be.

01:00 PM - 09/18/2007

The topic: Red

We picked up his remains Saturday morning.  The box now comes with the pet’s name burned into the top.  His box had “RED” on it.

I’m okay with his passing until someone is sympathetic.  Then I start to cry.

Anyway, he’s home for good now.

01:03 PM - 09/18/2007

The topic: To the vet

Knowing we’d be gone yesterday and getting a nasty wake-up call last week that Georgie is having problems, I called Friday and made an appointment for today.

He wasn’t showing much interest in food at all, no matter what kind I put in front of him. He was lethargic and just looked bad.  I thought maybe it was his teeth, so that’s what I mentioned when I made the appointment Thursday afternoon. 

One of the cats has been leaving some pretty strong colored urine around. Brian said it was Captain, but I was thinking it was Oliver.  Captain doesn’t spray, Ollie does. 

Saturday morning it became clear this urine was coming from Georgie. I watched him pee against one of the bottom cupboard doors in the kitchen.  He had no obvious discomfort while he went, but when I cleaned it up, I knew who had the problem.  For any other cat, I’m prepared, but Georgie does not respond to amoxicillan.  In the past, the vet had him on orbax and I had none.  Well, at least he’s not blocking, so the danger isn’t immediate.  Around noon, I gave him 120cc of fluids, thinking he seemed a little dehydrated and the fluids shouldn’t hurt at this point and they might help dilute his urine and help flush his bladder.  He took them very nicely, not a fuss at all.

Within hours he was showing improvement, his attitude picked up and he was even willing to start eating.  He’s gotten progressively better since then.

When weighed this morning, he’d lost two pounds since his last vet visit.  This concerns the doctor and he advised x-rays and blood tests.  The x-rays showed all clear and I’m waiting on the blood test results. The doc’s concern is beginning kidney failure or thyroid problems. We talked a little about the obvious bladder problem (he couldn’t get any urine for testing) and when I told him that he’d given George orbax in the past since amoxi didn’t work he remembered.  “Ah, yes, I remember that”.  Since he no longer carries orbax, he prescribed some baytril.

So, I’m hoping this is all because of a nasty bladder infection and nothing that will require lots of attention on my part.  He’s a great patient, but it’s really not lots of fun for either of us.

Cross your fingers for my little black and white guy.


Well, the bloodwork came back pretty good except for some liver values.  The vet wants me to bring George back for an ultrasound.  Drop him off, pick him up later.  We’ve got it scheduled for Thursday.  He wants to make sure there’s nothing really bad going on.  And if there is something other than some sort of glitch in the bloodwork, catching whatever it is early will help towards getting him over it.

Unless it’s something really, really bad.

      Monday, September 24, 2007

07:19 PM - 09/24/2007
We found a penny on our walk this morning

The topic: When one door closes….

A window opens. 

Or the phone rings.

But wait! I'm not done yet!
I've got more to say!

      Tuesday, September 25, 2007

07:12 AM - 09/25/2007

The topic: It’s TUMMY TUESDAY #62!

click for a larger pic

Today’s Tuesday Tummy belongs to Georgie.  Remember the kitty I took in last week for testing and he had a scheduled ultrasound (which he’d probably have to be shaved for) on Thursday because the bloodwork and x-rays from Tuesday showed no definitive reason for his weight loss?

Well, here’s his update.  I took him in around noon and waited for the phone to ring for the next three hours.  It never did.  When I went over to pick him up around 3:15, I was shaking like a leaf.  Scared of what the doctor found.  Reason told me that if there had been something, he’d have called. Emotions don’t always listen to reason. 

Anyway, the vet wanted to talk to me (little head voice screaming “here it comes! here comes the bad news!”).  Turns out Georgie most likely has pancreatitis (little head voice starts screaming again “that’s what killed Junior!  Buddy ended up in emergency for a week after a bout of acute pancreatitis! Oh, my GOD, Georgie’s gonna DIE!”).  And he told me that pancreatitis has a different cause in cats than in dogs.  With cats, it’s usually bacterial and antibiotics will take care of it (the little head voice has wonderfully calmed down at this point).  So, giving Georgie the Baytril was the right start.  And supplementing with milk thistle is also okay with the vet.  To help cushion the harshness of the antibiotics on Georgie’s liver.

And there you have the story of today’s tummy.  He’s slowly getting back to normal, but he’s still not eating quite as much as I’d like.  He did go nuts for the roast I took out of the crockpot (which is going to be sliced here shortly for meat for Brian’s lunches).  Georgie might even get a little as a treat this morning as I slice.


If you’ve got a Tummy Tuesday blog entry, feel free to post the link in the comment section or trackback to this entry. And if you put a link back to this page, then more kitties will get to show off their tummies!


      Saturday, September 29, 2007

11:53 AM - 09/29/2007

The topic: Ow! Ow! Ow!

Boy howdy, it hurts to type. My right wrist is swollen and my left index finger is bandaged and I cut a piece out of an old towel and have that wrapped over three band-aid type things. It’s hard to type with this thing on my finger. I put it there because my finger is so freaking COLD. And to help cushion against knocking it on something, which startd it bleeding again.

Why am I like this? Well, this morning I let the cats out shortly after four. I get up a little before six and go outside to check on them and to see Charlie. (He’s fitting in do well.) Charlie loves being out there and loves to run. This morning, he ran up a tall bush, looks like a small tree. The stalks are maybe an inch in diameter, fairly close together. Rory goes running after him and he starts to cry bloody murder. I yell at Rory, it doesn’t stop. I went over to break up a fight, but Rory was nowhere to be seen.

Charlie’s back leg was caught between the branches on the ground. Example. Put one of your hands up and hold your second and fourth finger forward and your middle finger back. You’ve got the points of a small triangle. You’ve also got a little area that you can hold something. Second and fourth fingers on one side, middle finger on the other. Now, imagine it’s a small bush with stalks and imagine a cat’s back leg caught up in the triangle. Imagine the cat can’t get loose.

I tried. He bit. He bit hard and he bit plenty. I was able to scruff him and I started yelling out for Brian (who was still in bed). I must have screamed his name at least four times before he made it out, still in his underwear. He climbed up next to me and took a look at the situation and pulled one of the branches back and Charlie took off.

Meanwhile, my index finger is bleeding profusely (a good thing, flushes out bacteria). Now so much my right wrist. We get in the house, my first concern is the cat, Brian’s is my hands. I wrapped a wet paper towel around my finger and found Charlie in the rafters. He seemed to be okay, his leg wasn’t dangling and he was walking on it. Good. 

Brian got the bleach and I soaked in bleach water for about five minutes (should have been longer, but I was still worried about Charlie). 

It hurts like a sonuvabitch right now.  I’m soaking my arm in epson salts to keep the wound open for drainage.  It’s swollen right now, but I kind of expected that.  If if doesn’t look any better tomorrow, guess I’ll have to get to the doctor.   Bleh.  But I’ve always had a strong immune system so I’m not terribly worried about it.  The only sucky thing is we’re taking our yearly mini-vacation a week from Tuesday and I really needed to be cleaning house this weekend. 


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lisaviolet is seventy 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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