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      Saturday, October 02, 2010

07:39 AM - 10/02/2010

The topic: It’s been a couple of weeks

since my last entry and I’m happy to announce all the stuff I was doing for the meet later this month was officially finished Thursday afternoon.  Now, it’s just on to cleaning the house for the petsitter, getting the instructions printed out.

We had some nasty thunder and lightning here Thursday, our storms usually last an hour or so, if that long. This one started mid-morning and lasted into the night.  I’m sure if it happened more often, I’d be more used to it, but it scared the bejeebers out of me.  There was a slight chance of a repeat yesterday, but there were just a few big drops of rain and we might get a repeat today, but I don’t think so, it’s looking a lot nicer this morning.  Yesterday morning we had some bad fog, news was saying as little as an eighth of a mile visibility in some places.

This has sure been a weird weather year.  Record heat the week before, it was over 105° in the shade last week, then the bad thunderstorms this week. 

I started cleaning yesterday, the garage is horrible, and it’s not going to be easy to clean it since there’s so much stuff in there that wasn’t here at the beginning of the year.  Brian having to bring his shop home and moving stuff out of the shop in the backyard and into the garage took up lots of room.  When we first put it in there, I thought “Craigslist” now I’m thinking “curb with a free sign". wink

I want to have all of the cleaning done by the end of next week so I can just relax a couple of days before the trip.

When we get back, I’m going to start selling my jewelry again and most likely have some new fun custom shirts available.  (I tried a new media for the shirts this time and I’m very happy with how they turned out…and my new Geo Knight DK20S worked like a champ, I just have to set the programming for each individual type of transfer/media; I bought some glow-in-the-dark paper last night that looks like a lot of fun.)

07:53 AM - 10/02/2010

The topic: Cat updates

I figured I’d just make one entry about the cats.  They all seem to be doing well, Kirby is a concern because he’s so darned skinny, I feed him seperately, sometimes he eats it all, most times he doesn’t.  Then when I feed the next cat, he’s there wanting some of that food.  I keep trying to figure out the magic steps to get him to eat, but am not having much luck.  He’s happy, his coat is absolutely beautiful, his eyes are bright and he doesn’t act ill at all.  He just doesn’t eat much at a sitting.

KittyMeeze is not doing well. Brian had mentioned how much slower he’s getting, he seems to like having all the vehicles here, you can usually find him under one or another of them, the bigger trucks being his favorites. Earlier this week he was eating about two cans of Friskies a day, along with some kibble, but the past couple of days he’s cut that in half. His bad eye has something going on with it and it scares me, but that’s the life of a feral.  We know that as soon as we can touch him, it will most likely be time to say goodbye.

Miss Elizabeth still gets her bi-weekly fluids and she’s getting fat.  I’m sure the vet will be pleased, he told me he’d never complain about a cat in kidney failure putting on weight.  She spends the majority of the day in the garage, then comes out in the evening to lay on Brian.  I went to bed at 9:30 last night, he slept on the sofa until 12:15 at which time she finally got off of him and climbed up onto the back to snooze there.

Mickey and Benny are showing their ages, when we get back from our trip this month, I’m going to start bringing some of the older cats in for geriatric visits.  I wouldn’t doubt we’ve got some more kidney problems happening. Benny and Mickey get soft food during the day now. Benny also gets Nutrical because he likes it.

The other morning around three, I woke up and had to pee.  Oliver wasn’t on my counter, where he’s been hanging out the past couple of weeks (probably nice and cool).  He was on Brian’s pillow.  I started to pet him and got no response.  I petting him harder, giving him a little shake with no reaction.  I woke Brian up “Ollie’s dead!”, then Ollie woke up.  I haven’t had a cat who did that since Rusty. It’s okay if I can see them breathing, but it was dark.  Brian gave me grief about it the next day, but I really thought he was gone. He’s in the bathroom eating his morning meal right now.  Funny how he does that.  Halfway through he’ll start yowling for about thirty seconds, then start eating again.

All the other cats are doing fine.  Angel has started to spend more time with us in the house, Gracie sleeps in a basket on the counter in the garage, not so much under the loveseat any longer.  Sebastian has acclimated completely, he stays in the garage during the day, but no longer hiding, but on one of the cat blanket covered tables or on a cat condo.  In the evening when we’re watching television, he’ll come lay by us.  If he gets behind the head, he likes to start biting the hair. Brian was very surprised the first time Sebby started biting his head, since his hair is so fine, the teeth were grazing his scalp.  He didn’t find it as amusing as I did. 

Georgie was most scared of the thunder the other day, he went into hiding (many cats did, Daniece was the last to show her face).  Pete couldn’t move, he just stood there crying out. I ended up with him in my arms sitting on the floor in the hallway, calming him down.  Holding Pete is something that just isn’t done, so I know he was pretty upset.  We sat together for over a half hour, me talking to him gently and his pupils just huge.  When he finally wanted down, he went and sat by the door, looking out.  But he quit crying so I think he was more calm about the entire thing.

And that’s about it. Right now the doors are all open and there are few clouds in the sky, lots of blue.  And the cats are outside and happy to be outside.  No rain, no booming skies, it’s nice.

KittyMeeze already came back for a second helping of breakfast, so maybe he’ll pull through this like he’s pulled through so many other times.


10:45 AM - 10/02/2010

The topic: Holy crap!

So, I’m sitting here, checking out the financials, want to have my desk as clean as possible before the trip.

I sent a big chuck of tunas to AMEX last month (we only use it for CostCo), then I’m looking at the online balance, how on earth can it be that high?  I check the recent activity.  Huh?  What’s this?  Almost $70.00 for the two books they sent.  An address book and a date book.  The address book, which is very, very thin, was twenty three bucks and change. The balance was for the date book.  Have we been paying this every time we get these?  I have no idea how long we’ve been getting them, I know the first year was just shipping and handling.  I thought it was the same every year.  I guess not.

I called them up and was all “Holey moley! That’s three bags of cat food!”. The CSR was really nice, she said the letter that came with the books explained the charges.  I told her “hey, I never read the letter, I just thought you sent them every year because you loved us!”  She laughed.  Asked if I had the original boxes.  Uh, no, I sure don’t.  So, she very sweetly said “I’ll go ahead and credit your account for this amount and you shouldn’t automatically get them any longer”. 

I thought that was very nice of her because I really didn’t expect a credit, after all, it was my bad.  I just didn’t want to get more books that we don’t use next year.

10:52 AM - 10/02/2010

The topic: Stuff about me

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I think I’m addicted to ZipFizz.  It has over 41500% of your daily need for vitamin B12.


12:28 PM - 10/02/2010

The topic: Remember a couple of months ago

When our petstore had that “party”?  And we got freebies for buying so much food?  Well, in the freebie bags, there were a couple of cans of Felidae.  And when our California Naturals stock got low here at home, I used the Felidae. The cats liked it.  The next morning, the bowls were empty. 

So, when the last time we needed more soft food, we got a case each of two Felidae flavors and two cases of California Naturals. And guess which of the two gets eaten more?

Yep, the Felidae.  Well, I used the last can of soft food on Wednesday and Thursday, we had to go shopping for more. And this time, all we got was Felidae.  They only had one full case and five loose cans each of two flavors.  We bought the loose cans and the case, I put an order in for three more cases (so we’d have two full cases of each).  They’ll be in Monday. 

Now, I’m sure I’ve mentioned Jackie’s splatty poops.  Many times.  And how I go check after he’s finished.  Well, this morning his poop looked almost normal.  Not all splatted out in a stream on the grass, but much better formed and in one spot.  I’m wondering if all this time it was the food he was getting.  I’m hopeful he will soon be back to normal.  I’m sure it will be better for him and maybe he’ll start putting on some of the weight he’s lost.

I’m glad that we’ve found a new soft food.  After all, California Naturals is made by Natura who, earlier this year, was bought by Proctor and Gamble.  Pet food owned by huge corporations who have their fingers in many pies, doesn’t bode well for the ongoing quality of said food.

      Sunday, October 03, 2010

10:29 AM - 10/03/2010

The topic: No sign of KittyMeeze this morning

And we’re preparing ourselves for the inevitable.

Food was gone this morning, soft food from yesterday and the dry food was untouched.  This would point to a kitty cat, not a possum. The possums like the dry food.  And I would think if it was another neighborhood cat (I’ve seen one or two around, but not feral, just cats owned by idiots who let them out) I’d think all of the food would be gone.

So, hopefully, it was KittyMeeze and he’s someplace sleeping right now.

There was a dead bunny up the street this morning, not run over that I could tell.  There’s a huge open field not that far from here that has an abundance of cottontail rabbits, so that’s probably where that came from, but why would the coyote drop it?  I dunno.

Anyway, if we don’t see Meeze today, Brian will go up on the bank and look under the juniper, the area where Meeze does hide when he’s not feeling well.

If he’s gone, we’d like closure and not just wonder, you know?  We were hoping he would just fall asleep under one of the vehicles and we’d find him there.  We’d like to have him cremated and his cremains returned to us,  since he has been a part of our family for so long, even if one we couldn’t hold or pet. 


04:09 PM - 10/03/2010

The topic: KittyMeeze is here

He showed up late this morning.  He was under the neighbor’s motorhome in their backyard.  A safe place when they close their gate.  Which they don’t always do.

04:10 PM - 10/03/2010

The topic: I’m hot and I’m sweaty

And the windows and doors are almost all done.  It’s nice when we work together, him on the outside, me on the inside. Got the office window, the extra room window (which I need to move stuff to get to from the inside) and the bedroom window, which is going to suck.

      Monday, October 04, 2010

07:06 AM - 10/04/2010

The topic: My back is really sore right now

but there is still much to be done. 

I’m thinking of starting high and working my way down.  Like vacuum the ceilings (popcorn stuff which is great for catching cobwebs and such; when the light is right, you can see them fluttering in the breeze), clean the fans, and vacuum the upper walls.

Then wash the lower walls (sweet kitty cats).  Then dust the tall furniture and medium furniture.  I have today, tomorrow and Wednesday to get this done.  Then on Thursday, we’re due for a warm up and I want to shampoo the cat furniture (sweet kitty cats) and work on the floors.  Friday I’ll wax the laundry room and kitchen floors and I’ll be ready to kick back and relax.


      Saturday, October 09, 2010

09:07 AM - 10/09/2010

The topic: Behind schedule.

But I hope to be finished today.  This morning, I’ll wash the kitchen and laundry room floors, then start on washing the cat furniture.  Then when it warms up some, wax the kitchen and laundry room floors. 

Then wash the living room floor.  And that’s the bulk of the heavy stuff!  There are a few other things I need to do, like straighten out the entry closet so the games and Wii accessories are accessible. Wipe down the slate in front of the fireplace with mineral oil. Maybe clean out the crystal cabinet, where all of my crystal and glass cats are.  But nothing really major.

And a week from today?  I’ll be 57.  And I’ll be wearing these:


03:05 PM - 10/09/2010

The topic: I’m almost done cleaning!

Woohoo!  Cat trees in the living room are done, half the living room floor is done.  All I need to do now is vacuum the half not done and wash the floor over there.  I’ll need to pull out the litterboxes (won’t be fun, they’re heavy), move the sewing machine, the end tables and futon (won’t be fun, it’s heavy), vacuum in those areas, then wash, push everything back and that will do it!

Of course, before I get that far I need to wax the kitchen and laundry room floors, they need to be done while the sun is still out and the air is still dry. 

Brian came home, I asked him to get me something to eat (haven’t eaten since breakfast, too busy) and he brought me home two Arby’s beef and cheddars and a large shake.  I ate both of the beef and cheddars bigsurprise  and am now going to place the straw in the shake and finish that.  After the first coat of wax. 

Off to find my mop….

      Sunday, October 10, 2010

02:11 PM - 10/10/2010

The topic: No longer being the trusting soul I once was….

A couple of weeks ago, Brian was conversating (l love that word) with a neighbor who he used to talk to all the time, but now rarely does so, when this guy mentioned doing a job for the next door neighbors’ tree trimmer. Well, I don’t think he was actually their tree trimmer, just someone they’d been talking to about trimming trees.

The neighbors who hate our trees.

So, Brian got all alarmed, came inside and started checking out our rights as the rightful owners of our trees and what our options would be if someone was to come out and do a major hack job on them, doing damage and just having them look all lopsided and like crap.

This is an excerpt from one of the articles we found.  The bold and underlining are mine. 

“A property owner who finds a neighbor’s tree encroaching must first warn or give notice to the tree owner prior to commencing work and give the tree owner the chance to correct the problem. If the tree owner does nothing, the tree can still be trimmed. As a general rule, a property owner who trims an encroaching tree belonging to a neighbor can trim only up to the boundary line and must obtain permission to enter the tree owner’s property, unless the limbs threaten to cause imminent and grave harm. Additionally, the property owner cannot cut the entire tree down and cannot destroy the structural integrity or the cosmetic symmetry and appeal of a tree by improper trimming."

Other than the gossiping neighbor, no one's said a word to either of us about having work done. That said, we're always gone for a couple of days the same time each year. And just in case any of the neighbors has the bright idea to have some trimming done while we're gone, I've put the petsitter on notice that if she sees anyone messing with the trees to call the police and then to call us.


I'm sure Brian will make it home in record time.

06:13 PM - 10/10/2010

The topic: I’m sure I’ve mentioned once or twice

That I love our cats.

Here’s a couple of reasons why.

Cleaning the bedroom was a royal pain.  There’s not really a lot of wiggle room as far as the bed is concerned.  But there’s a lot of pushing involved to get under all of it.  Push this way, clean under this part, push that way, clean under that part, and keep doing it until the whole floor has gotten the treatment.

When I was finished, the only thing under the bed was Brian’s walking shoes.

Friday evening, I smelled poop.  Fresh, strong poop.  In the bedroom.  Never smelled it like that before.  Brian noticed it, too.  I looked under the bed, just saw the shoes.  Looked behind his dresser, nothing.  Looked in the bathroom, nothing.  Looked in the silk plant on top of the armoire.  Nothing.  Brian came in and looked in the same places with the same result.  Nothing.

Then he went outside and checked under the bedroom window. 


Still, that smell.

We just shrugged our shoulders, figured it must be coming in from one of the litterboxes on the breeze.

Later, a couple of the cats got into a little spat and ran into the bedroom.  I went after them, grabbing the flashlight so I could see who it was.  I got on the floor and looked under the bed in hopes that I’d see which black cat was the object of some red bully.  No cat, but what did I see in front of Brian’s shoes?


I yelled out to Brian that I’d found the source of the smell and I cleaned it up.  I didn’t see it before because it was right next to the shoes.  Luckily, there was none on the shoes and it cleaned up easily.

And after washing the rest of the floors yesterday, this morning I cleaned up at least three puddles of urine.  In places they don’t normally pee.

Ah, I love our cats.

      Friday, October 22, 2010

11:21 AM - 10/22/2010

The topic: It’s been gloomy and rainy

Ever since a week ago.  I miss the sun.

Had a great time at Disneyland last week!  I have to say I think this was one of the best trips ever!

Cats took a while to come out of hiding, DaNiece was the last.

Had stinky computer problems when we got back, ended up taking QuickBooks off of the computer I use to surf the net and put it on the one I got last year on Woot.  Now I have to do some upgrading to that one (like replacing the modem card, the one you use with a phone cord; I’m replacing it with a FAX modem card so I can send out invoices, amazing how convenient that is). I’ve got one in my current computer, but I don’t know it it will work with Windows 7 and the cards are cheap. 

Anyway, still catching up with stuff I need to do. 

This was the first time in a long time I didn’t get sick.  Either there or when we got home. Yay!

      Sunday, October 24, 2010

12:46 PM - 10/24/2010

The topic: Nice autumn day…

68° outside right now, 75° here in the office, where the temperature gauge is anyway.  It’s a little higher than our desks, hanging on the wall, gets residual heat from the computers.

I’m incredibly tired, don’t know if I’m fighting off some bug or if the past two and a half months have caught up with me. Or maybe it’s the gloomy weather we’ve been having.  Right now there’s blue sky and it’s very refreshing.  As soon as I hear Kirby and Ollie squawking about being done eating, I’m going to take a shower.  I took a zipfizz about twenty minutes ago, it’s kicking in.  Over 41000% of your daily recommended vitamin B, ya know.  Doesn’t upset my tummy like the Red Bull or Monster drinks do.  I don’t get a buzz with Zipfizz, but I do get a boost in energy.


(geek alert)

I got the new cards for my computers, whatever was going on with my surfing computer has resolved. So, I have an extra four port USB card in case I need it.  I do intend on installing the FAX card to the Win7 machine today. It shouldn’t take all that much time.  I bookmarked the instructions for opening and installing on the machine yesterday.

I also ordered new cables for internet hookup.  That new printer I got will connect to the internet (I loved the old one, had it over ten years, but it kept jamming and I’d get very frustrated when printing out checks; I’d have to keep reloading it), but it’s not connecting via the USB server I got, apparently they’re not compatible.  And I’ve got no more room on my internet slots, my router has four, I bought a switch earlier this year that gave me four more access points (for all of you non-geeks, the access points allow me to hook up to the internet directly; one of the main reasons so was that I could access the printers from any computer in the house, not needing to have my main computer running). 

Earlier this week, Brian wanted to send a copy of some schematics he’d drawn up for a sidelink and that’s when my problems started.  That’s when I realized we could send email via our FAX machine, which would have been so very convenient to do at that point. Instead I had to re-install the software for my scanner (which had been deleted when I had the severe computer problems back in August).  But I have no more access points to the internet, so I cannot set it up.  I ordered another internet switch, this time with seven ports (access points).  Actually there only six as one of the ports connects to the modem.  But I’ll have two more and that should be sufficient.  I sat here and listed all of my connections and it’s not adding up.  From my calculations, I should have at least one available port, but I’m not seeing an open one.  When I set this stuff back up (I ordered some new shorter CAT6 cables so the space behind the computers isn’t so bulked up with wires and stuff), I’ll start labeling which cable goes to what machine instead of wondering “Is this the extra that goes nowhere?”.  Brian said he’ll hang my router on the wall, that will help with the wire mess.  And I read during the search for cables that the shorter the cable and not having it bunched up will give you faster access.  I’m all about faster access.  *lol*

(/geek alert)

I snagged a BOC on Woot last week.  I’m happy, I hope it’s not real crappy crap, though.  I checked out the spreadsheet for what people got in the last BOC and it was pretty crappy, not much that was very cool.  A bunch of the day of the week calendar pads that they had back in January.  I got them then, they sent three each of two of them.  They had six different varieties.  To make up for the shipping mess up, they sent another two of each of all six.  Just two weeks ago, I think I threw ten in the trash.  In the last BOC, they sent those very same calendars (hey, you’re buying a bag of crap, what would you expect?).  But I hope I do better than that.  The last one I won had some funky stuff in it, but had a pretty nice pink and black bag, it’s meant for golfers, has lots of compartments and I used it for my camera equipment on the Disney trip last week. It held all of my batteries, cameras, memory cards, cables, chargers with room to spare. 

Ooo…Brian’s home, made lunch.  More later.


04:05 PM - 10/24/2010

The topic: It’s still a nice day, but

the clouds are starting to roll in.

I got the card installed, it took all of fifteen minutes.  Then I downloaded and installed a trial version of a FAX program. During the search, I found that Windows 7 has FAX software pre-installed.  I checked it out, uninstalled the trial software.  Yay, saved thirty bucks.

But the ink is low on the FAX machine and I spent a hundred dollars on new cartridges for it.  What galls me is I know the last time I bought a cartridge for it, I bought two.  But can I find the other one? 


      Monday, October 25, 2010

07:10 AM - 10/25/2010
I'm watching San Diego 6 Morning News
The current weather is rainy and foggy

The topic: How refreshing

laying in bed this morning, right after that wake up time when you’re getting ready to roll out and start the day, but it’s so nice and cozy in the bed, that you don’t want to open your eyes, and Brian says “sounds like it’s raining”....

Then Pancho jumps up onto the bed, onto Brian and Brian says “you’re all wet!”

I finally do roll out of bed and look outside.  Rain and fog.

Like I haven’t seen that in the last 48 hours.


click for a larger pic

click for a larger pic

click for a larger pic

02:00 PM - 10/25/2010

The topic: My most disliked chore

Is cleaning out the litterboxes.  Does anybody know of a way to make it fun?

      Tuesday, October 26, 2010

10:16 AM - 10/26/2010

The topic: Mickey’s sick

If you’re a cat owner, if you’re lucky, you’ll have a cat or cats who never get sick.  Then there are cats who seem to always be coming down with one thing or another (Ciara was one of those).

Well, Mickey is one of the kitties that never gets sick.  He had a pretty bad start in life, but since then, he hasn’t really had anything wrong.

He was fine yesterday.  Well, since we got back, he’s been a little lethargic, but I blamed that on the weather.  Rainy, gloomy, cool weather sure doesn’t make me want to stand up and shout.  But he’s been eating normally and yesterday I even watched him chase Oliver out of the bathroom. 

But this morning, around two, I noticed he didn’t seem to be right. He was off.  He had been at the foot of the bed and sort of staggered up to my pillow.  I snuggled with him, but he never purred for me, he didn’t lick my hand or arm, nor did he put his paws on my arm when he settled in.  I watched him for the next hour and at three, got up and took him into the bathroom.  I gave him some A/D, he ate at least a quarter of a can.  Then I gave him 60cc of lactated ringers. 

When we got up, I brought in some of KittyMeezer’s breakfast, heated up, he lapped a little, then didn’t want anymore. He did go outside and peed a bunch, then went over to the fountain and looked at the water, but didn’t drink any.

He’s very resistent to sleeping right now, won’t lay his head down.  I gave him another 60cc of fluids about a half hour ago.  I’m hoping this will help him feel better,  as he’s failing the tent test miserably.

His fur is nice and shiny, but I can’t get a decent temperature reading with the ear thermometer. I keep getting a message that the temperature is too low.  But his paws are warm, so I’m not really concerned with that right now.  He’s on the bed, I have a towel under him and a fleece blanket rolled up next to him, that he can lay against.

I went through something similar earlier this year with Captain.  I did the same things with him as I’m doing with Mickey.  Captain got sick on the weekend, though and I didn’t want to take him to an emergency clinic right away, unless they’re in obvious discomfort, like they’ve thrown a blood clot or are having problems breathing, I’ve found that they usually can get through this.  I will make an appointment for Mickey for later this week, he’s close to seventeen and is overdue for a geriatric blood panel.  I wouldn’t doubt if he’s starting to have kidney problems.  So many of our older cats have had problems with kidneys, it no longer surprises me.

Anyway, cross a finger, say a prayer, send healing thoughts his way.  If any of my cats could be considered a heart cat (I have a few right now), Mickey would be at the top of the list.

02:40 PM - 10/26/2010

The topic: Little update

He wanted to sleep, I saw him with his head down a couple of times. Then there was noise outside and he got off the bed.  He just sat on the little runner next to the bed.  Then I watched him walk outside, still pretty wobbly, I went out with the camera and took a couple of pictures of him. He came over to me, I put the camera down and held him.  It got really warm, he wanted down. He just sat there, dazed.  I picked him up and took in inside and put him on the sofa. 

I felt his ears, they were much warmer than earlier and I was able to get his temperature, he has a fever, 102.8°. 

Poor baby.

07:01 PM - 10/26/2010

The topic: Latest Mickey update

He’s feeling lots better!

We were eating dinner and I noticed he had jumped down to the floor and as drinking water from the small water bowl I had closeby for him.  Then, when I got the kitties in, he went over to the little rug in front of the fireplace.  I gave him some kibble, but he didn’t eat it.

He did go into the living room and jump into one of the litterboxes, where he peed a bunch, covered it up, then did a teeny tiny little poop that kind of just hung from his bottom.  I know you’re not supposed to do this, but I pulled on it when I noticed it was hanging from something white.  It split right off, no injury to him.

He’s walking much better, is no longer wobbly and doesn’t walk like a drunken sailor.

I think we’re past the bad part.  It sure was nice seeing him walk down the hall without stumbling, that’s for darned sure.

Yay, Mickey!  We knew you could do it!

Thanks for all the prayers!

      Wednesday, October 27, 2010

07:39 AM - 10/27/2010

The topic: Mickey is quite a bit better

He came to bed around three and once again, I just laid there, eyes wide open, watching him.  His paws were really cold and I didn’t like that, makes me think of poor circulation.  I ended up getting up and heating up the A/D, and giving him some. 

We went back to bed, I dozed off and on. Finally, around five, he laid next to me, stretched his front paws out and laid his head down on his paws, closed his eyes and fell asleep.  And his paws were warm.  I knew we were out of the woods. 

Depending on how he does this morning, I may give him more fluids around mid-day.  And I’ll call the vet to make an appointment for Friday or Monday.

07:42 AM - 10/27/2010

The topic: So while I’m in the bathroom with Mickey

I heard noises outside of the bathroom window.  Not loud noises, but curious noises. Of course, I had to go check it out.  I put on my robe and left Mickey to eat in the bathroom, grabbed a flashlight and went outside. 

Walked around the side of the house and pointed the flashlight at the fence.  OMG!

Four young raccoons!  All climbing the same place, the corner of the fence next to the tree hating neighbors. They were walking on the barrier at the top.  I heard some growling, I heard and saw in the glow of the light, a stream of urine (which the cats are really interested in this morning).  I stood there, mouth open thinking “they’re so CUTE!!!!”

I ran back inside the house (have to watch doors, the cats seem to believe I’ll go back in the door I used to go out) and told Brian (poor Brian, these past couple of nights he hasn’t gotten much sleep either) “Brian! There are four raccoons on the fence!”  Then I went back outside. 

Wait, there’s one climbing the tree, that’s the one that’s growling.  But…but…there are still four on the fence!  FIVE!  Five raccoons! I bet they did a number on the food dishes in the entry way. 

So, I go back inside, let Mickey out of the bathroom, hang my robe up, put the flashlight back in it’s spot and went back to bed.

“There are FIVE raccoons!” I tell Brian.  We lay there.  He says “you can hear them”.  He gets up, looks out his bathroom window.  “I wonder if I should hose them.”   NO!  Leave them be.  He comes back to bed.  We lay there.  I wonder where Mickey is.  Brian tells me that the barrel outside that he had filled with pinecones is half empty. Mark told him the raccoons eat them. Brian wondered why they didn’t eat the ones on the ground.  Then he said “listen, you can hear them eating”.  And I could.  Crunching down on pinecones.

I told him that I wasn’t going to let the cats out this morning until I was sure there weren’t any raccoons in the yard.  One wouldn’t have me as worried, but five?  Nope, not taking any chances.

I finally dozed off, but never really got back into the deep sleep that’s so important.  Cause I was watching Mickey, ya know?

And Brian’s going to start pulling the food back up in the entry at night.  He’s been lax since we got back from Disneyland.  When I checked this morning, the paper bowls were decimated, KittyMeezer’s water bowl was filthy brown.  I brought that in and washed it, put clean water in it and now everybody is happy.

I wonder where the raccoons went.

11:30 AM - 10/27/2010

The topic: I gave Mickey more fluids

about an hour ago.  I also started him on amoxicillan this morning. Just in case he’s got some sort of infection going on, that’s causing this.  While he was better than yesterday morning, he didn’t seem as good as he was last night. Yeah, sure, he’s got more interest in food and he’s more alert, but his eyes were getting that fuzzy look again.

So, I gave him 120cc of fluids this time.  He did put up a little resistence on the last syringe, which is a good thing. Like “enough, no more!”  I gave him some human tuna (he liked, but didn’t chow down like you’d expect a cat to chow down on his very own can of human tuna) and then a little later, I gave him some Greenies treats.  He liked those Greenies. 

Today is supposed to be an autumn day like we usually have, not the gloomy overcast crap we have been having, but sunny with a warm breeze.  All the doors and windows are open and Mickey is in his favorite spot in the family room, up in the bay window. 

I’m praying that he’s not bouncing back so quickly because of his age, not that his kidneys are shot.  And the additional fluids will give him a boost to help him get through whatever is going on with him. 

He’s still not sleeping like a cat should sleep.  I know he dozed off this morning before we got out of bed, but I haven’t seen him snoozing since.


02:15 PM - 10/27/2010

The topic: He’s asleep!

Yay!  And not just a little! 

I was in the family room watching Lie To Me and playing with my Kindle.  I looked over at Mickey on the sofa, his head was down.  For at least a half hour, every time I looked over, it was down.  Then I got up and came back to the office, and I hear Brian come in, yelling for me.  *sigh*

He found me and told me they were going to Coronado.  I said “you woke Mickey up”.  He asked where he was, I said on the sofa.

He left, I followed, he looked at Mickey and put his finger to his lips and saw that Mickey’s eyes were open. 

But after Brian left, Mickey put his head back down and is once again asleep!  Yay!

06:18 PM - 10/27/2010

The topic: Vet tomorrow at 4:30

I could have brought him in and left him there first thing in the morning, but he’s upset enough right now, I don’t want to do that to him.  He would be awfully confused.

He’s not exhibiting symptoms that our other cats who were in kidney failure did. His fur is shiny, not at all dull.  The fluids are keeping him from becoming dehydrated, but they’re not giving him the boost that I’ve come to expect from experience.  He’s not sleeping much. His breath isn’t abnormally funky. 

Doing some research for cats who had a hard time balancing, though…I came up with vestibular disease. And it sure fits.  He’s had ongoing ear problems for years now, so I wouldn’t doubt this as a diagnosis one little bit.  And unlike the kidney cats (Rusty, DeeJay, Bart), what Mickey seems to like most right now is for me to just hold him. To walk around in my arms and be close to me. I think because it might feel more secure.  He’ll follow me down the hallway, looking up at me and staggering.  His eyes are bright, not dull at all. He’s talking to me, he’s not really acting sick. He’s just having a hard time walking straight or putting his head down. And the vestibular problem would cover that. He’s dizzy.

By this time tomorrow night, I should have a better idea of what we’re dealing with.

Still, I won’t really be surprised at kidney problems.  I actually expect some degree of loss of kidney function at this point in his life.  After all, he’ll be seventeen next month.

He’s a good kitty cat.  I told him I’d get off the interwebs early tonight and spend time with him on my lap. He likes that.

      Thursday, October 28, 2010

07:36 AM - 10/28/2010

The topic: Yay! Mickey!

So, last night he came and slept with me.  At one point, I woke up and didn’t see him, so I’m up and looking around for him. He was in the bedroom, getting a drink of water. Never even thought to look there first.  This morning, when I got out of bed, he sat up and watched me.  I fed KittyMeeze (Brian has started pulling the food up again), then got the morning kibble for the cats.  Their morning snack.

Mickey wasn’t on the bed and I just can’t help it, but I get all panicky when I can’t see him.  So, I looked around and he was out in the garage, waiting for kibble!  He came inside and sat on the throw rug in front of the fireplace, where he usually gets his morning dry (it’s funny, each cat has his or her own spot where he or she gets their treats).  I gave him a little pile, gave Potter his little pile and so on through the house. 

Brian didn’t feel like making breakfast so we had cereal.  Mickey came into the office and up on the desk, waiting to lick the bowl! Yay!  He’s feeling better!

So, now to figure out why this happened. 

As I said yesterday, I’m pretty sure he’s got kidney problems. On the recommendation of a good friend, I went over to Amazon last night and ordered some Azodyl which I understand is helpful for cats in renal failure.  Since we’ve got a couple of cats in that condition, it won’t go to waste.

Anyway, that’s this morning’s update.

07:04 PM - 10/28/2010

The topic: The vet visit went fairly well

I relayed all the information I could about what has been going on with Mickey. From the not sleeping for over thirty-six hours and not dropping his head to the large poop he pushed out last night and the fact that he puked the minute he got out of the litter box.

The fact that the fluids didn’t seem to help as much as usual after the first twenty-four hours and it took a second round for him to feel better.

Mickey has lost about two and a half pounds since his last visit two years ago.

He has a bad molar (which I pointed out when the vet was looking in Mickey’s mouth, I was at a different angle and could see right behind the tooth) which will be taken care of “when we get Mickey feeling better”.  The vet said the fact that the first day of fluids didn’t fully help may be due to some sort of potassium problem.  He felt Mickey’s abdomen and said he felt no masses or signs of megacolon, the feces that was inside felt normal.

So, blood was drawn, they couldn’t find a vein, the vet ended up taking it from his neck after shaving a spot. While the techs were attempting to get blood, I showed the vet the print out for the renal stuff I ordered yesterday, asked him what he thought about it.  He was pleased, he really likes this company and had only good things to say about them.  He said his only concern was the size of the pill and he brought in a brand new container of them and showed me the size.  That ain’t nothing. The thing about these capsules is they cannot be cut or crushed because they won’t be effective, the coating on the capsule doesn’t dissolve in the stomach acid and works in the lower intestine to better help the kidneys not work so hard.  Or something like that. But I’ve given the cats bigger pills that this, so I’m not really concerned. The vet did advise using a pill gun so the pill is at the right angle (a straight shot down).

Because of the difficulty drawing blood (Mickey got weak after they tried finding a vein; but I can understand that when I think of how little he’s eaten or slept the past seventy-two hours) the vet did a more thorough exam of him when he was back in the examining room.  Listened to his heart a little more, did a little deeper palpatation of his tummy, making sure he hadn’t missed anything.

Since it was so late in the day, I won’t know the test results until tomorrow. 

But Mickey was sure glad to be home.  I’ve taken some pictures over the past couple of days, I’ll put them up tomorrow.

I’m pretty tired, hoping we all get to sleep well tonight. 

      Friday, October 29, 2010

10:21 AM - 10/29/2010

The topic: Back from picking up vet supplies

Mickey’s test results came back and they aren’t good.

Stage three renal failure, heading into stage four. With proper care, we can hope to keep him going for another six to twelve months.

So, for the next two weeks, I’ll be throwing everything I can at this disease.  After that two weeks, he’ll get another blood test and hopefully, the results will be better.

Yesterday’s results (I looked online and boy, howdy, these puppies look bad)

BUN—88 (normal is around 25)

Creat—5.7 (normal is less than 2)

Phosphorus—7.1 (normal is less than 7.5…vet said Mickey’s is high normal)

He’ll be on fluids three times a week. The vet is having me add potassium to the fluids.  Mickey will be on Calcitriol, Lotensin and the Azodyl.

He also sent home some samples of kidney diet.  Mickey won’t like that too much, but if he doesn’t eat it, I’m not going to get too worried about that at this point. It will be nice if he likes it, but unless they’ve come up with a great new way of flavoring, I’m not holding my breath.

Well, off to figure out how to schedule his meds now.

      Saturday, October 30, 2010

11:24 AM - 10/30/2010

The topic: As I’ve gotten older

One of the things I’ve been pleased with (besided the disappearance of the much loathed visits from Aunt Flo) is that I don’t have to pluck my eyebrows much.

But, I’ve found a downside.  The hair that’s growing in is white.  And long.  And I also realized that if I pluck those long hairs, there will be hardly any left.  I now understand why so many older women draw on their eyebrows.  I’ve found my own way of dealing with this. I trim my eyebrows, then use a product that is for eyebrows, it’s like mascara, just has different shades. I found mine on the Lancome website.

The other day, while in the bathroom, I was tweezing the weird hairs on my chin. Something I never had to do before menopause.  And it dawned on me.

My eyebrows have moved down to my chin.

11:38 AM - 10/30/2010

The topic: Today’s Mickey update

Well, he’s recovering from his crash earlier this week, that’s obvious.

Early this morning (that magic 3:30 am time, when my eyes open and my mind starts running) I woke up, Mickey wasn’t on the bed, I went in search of him. Found him on the arm of the sofa, gave him a little scritch on his back, he stood up, I heard him clawing at the towel that covers the arm.  What a great sound that was.  Then he eventually came to bed, came up to my arm, gave it a couple of licks (YAY! Mickey’s back!) and laid down.  I’ve missed those morning Mickey kisses.  It was one of the things that set off my internal sick kitty alarm.

When I put down the morning Kirkland kibble, he was right there in the garage, getting the first handful. 

He got his first fluids with potassium this morning and he wasn’t pleased.  The ones I gave him on Tuesday and Wednesday went smoothly, today’s did not. He kept trying to walk away from me.  *lol* But he eventually got them all, I rubbed him down with a towel and he liked that.

Now he’s out sleeping in the bay window in the family room.  It’s nice.

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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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