Monday, March 19, 2018

Cutest Cat Contest - A poll

I bought a "World's Cutest Cat" cat toy from CatLady Box and while I had every intention of doing this post while the Olympics was on, I just didn't get to it. Since I can't pick a favorite, you get to (see the poll at the end).  The winner will get an extra treat and their own blog post next week.

Who do you think should win?


Friday, March 16, 2018

Checking in with Maxwell and Ducky

One thing that is really nice about social media is that I get to stalk a few of my former fosters. A few weeks ago I put a call out to people who have adopted from me asking for updates on my fosters to blog about. February is notoriously slow on this blog and I usually do a Former Foster February, but this year I was just so overwhelmed with moving and making sure my cats were not overly stressed (they were highly stressed) that I just couldn't get into blogging.

But the most infamous kitten pusher who has adopted some of my foster kittens outside of me, Kathleen, sent me an update on her two kitties Maxwell and Ducky.

You may remember them as Maxwell and Faraday. Or you might have seen them on the Hallmark video

Here is what Kathleen has to say:

We’ve had these 2 glamour pusses almost 4 years. They joined our 2 other cats and our Boxer Millie. Ducky, formerly Faraday, is a big, silky love bug, who doesn’t understand the concept of personal space. He monitors the comings and goings of the rest of the gang, feeling it necessary to give everybody a thorough sniffing when they come in. He’s also in love with the dog and pretty much throws himself at her, doing a shoulder roll under her nose so they can spoon.

Maxwell (the Bold) is more outdoorsy, preferring to spend most of his time outside during the milder months. It takes him a while to settle in once winter comes, but right now he’s quite content to demand play time whenever the Catman is around. It keeps his skills honed for when he takes up his wildlife management job come Spring. Like a well-oiled machine, Max takes down the catnip toy on a string. Once he kills it, he sits down and readies himself to do it all over again. And again...

Thank you, yet again, Kathleen!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Cat Owner Questions: What is this black gunk on my cat's nails?

In the forty some odd years I have been a cat owner, I rarely see this addressed. It pops up from time to time and people make wild assumptions as to what this build up on their cat's claws can be. Often it is thought to be the accumulation of fecal matter from the litter box when they poop or cover it up. People often are highly turned off and disgusted by this type of build up.

So what is this black gunk on my cat's claws? What if that gunk is brown? Does the color of the gunk make a difference?

Not really. That brown gunk on my cat's claws is a build up of oil and skin cells from the cat. I wouldn't doubt that there is some litter box dust in there, but it is not poop or fecal matter. The color seems to depend on the color of the cat.

Should you clean it off? You can. If your cat is older and has mobility issues it might be hard for them to groom it properly and scraping it off will help. I have read that you can also use a baby wipe if you have one handy (unscented, organic if you can, cat-friendly would be better) and that helps remove it but don't be surprised if your cat reacts like you are doing something painful. It is a weird feeling for them and the quick and the claw base are both sensitive areas.

Please note: no cats were harmed in the taking of this photo but Skippy was not amused with me in the least.

Do you have any random questions about cats? Throw them in the comments and I'll see if I can find you the answers.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Pay attention to me!!

Because of my lipedema, I need to spend time on a vibration plate. The other day when I was 'just standing there" Jack decided he needed some attention.

Muffin was all "whatever, I have nip." Jack wasn't getting the attention he wanted so he went off and got a toy. He usually carries it to me, crying out pitifully, until I see him doing it at which point he drops it - which makes it very hard to get a photo of it. As soon as we make eye contact he leaves it where he is and comes to me for praise. This time it was halfway up the stairs.

Yes, Jack, you are a good boy.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Cat vs. Dog at the Pet Store

I went into a pet store the other day and I was moved almost to tears at the floor space devoted to dogs vs cats. I was intending to take photos of only the treats at this store. I didn't take photos of the food which was pretty evenly split. I also didn't take photos of the dog toys which took up several isles on their own.

As you can see the cat treats don't even take up one full section of an aisle. The rest of the aisle has medications and nail trimmers etc. Yes, the store had some cat trees, some toys, some litter boxes, but it was overwhelmingly "dog".

Now, I accept that there is and should be different products for toy breeds vs medium breeds vs large breeds, but that does not account for the nearly 14 to 1 ratio of treats.

I see this over and over in pet store after pet store. I am presuming that they aren't there because they don't sell. But are they not buying them because they aren't available or are they not available because no one is buying them? I couldn't buy anything there because my cat has dietary requirements that eliminated all of the treats on display so in my case I didn't buy anything because they weren't available.

Let's work on the 'they aren't available because no one is buying them". Go out and buy something for your cat. Go out and buy something for someone else's cat. Go out and buy a whole bunch of stuff for the shelter cats in your area. Let's communicate to pet manufactures that cats deserve just as many goodies as dogs already have!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Fleurp - a before and after

Because of Fleurp's annual springtime anemia, and my attempts to figure out what on earth is going on and - or at the very least - prevent it, I decided to groom the living daylights out of Fleurp the minute she started molting.  It can take weeks from the first sign of her losing her winter coat until her anemia shows up, so I wanted to prevent her from ingesting as much fur as I can - since this is really the only difference in her life.

First, the Before:

February 5th

Feb 9 - morning pre-furminator

February 9th post furminator

February 16th

So I had been doing my best to get as much excess fur off her as I could, but she is NOT a fan of the furminator nor any other grooming device I have. Each session would end her being upset at me at best and nipping at me was not a rare occasion. She won't 'bite' but she will leave a dent in the skin with her teeth. Fair enough. I'd hate it if someone grabbed me and forced me to put up with what she had to go through.

This year I wasn't going to be deterred. I was amazed how much fur I was able to take off her and yet she still had a ton that needed to come off, so I made an appointment with a local groomer to help. I would have shaved her myself but she hates the clippers even more than the furminator. She has had so much blood drawn every year to check her RBC that I can't blame her on that one either. I asked to watch and the groomer had me help. We used her muzzle on and off. He tried to direct me to hold her a certain way and I explained if we let her have a paw free that she would make us pay for it.

The groomer was going for beauty which takes longer. After a while, I told him to be more concerned with getting as much fur off as we could and don't worry about pretty.

As an end result, we have this as the After:

I am probably going to try to clean up her armpits and furminator her a couple more times to pull out anything else that is loose. Paws crossed this works.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Twee's dental

So last week we took Twee back to Maine to have a dental at my previous vet. I like my previous vet and trust him - no small feat for someone with my history - and with her history, I wanted to feel comfortable.

I was sure that they had done a dental on her before, but according to their records, they didn't. We did pre-anesthetic blood work and everything looked good so we went ahead with the procedure.

Twee had quite a bit of tartar buildup and her breath smelled and her eyes were watering really bad so it seemed like a dental was really important. I discussed Twee with the vet on duty - which unfortunately was not the vet I like. I totally understand why vet clinics do this, but I so wish that they would understand that if I am driving two hours to see the vet, that I'd like to see the vet. *sigh*

Anyway. she seemed nice and competent and she kept me in the loop at every step. I received a call when the blood work came back okay, and another call when she was about to go into surgery.

Unfortunately, I received another call when she was done. She said she did the procedure instead of a tech to try to get it done faster because of her history and everything went well and no extractions were necessary, but after they extubated her, she stopped breathing. They reacted quickly and as soon as they opened her mouth to put a tube back down her throat to help her breathe she started breathing again. She was without oxygen for a very short period of time. I thanked her for letting me know and told her she was free to do what was necessary. The vet said she would like to watch her for a while and that was okay with us because we had appointments to get to.

The vet called back a little while later. She said that she was worried because Twee didn't care about things that were being done to her (which is totally Twee, as long as you don't smell like a dog she will love you no matter what) until she started 'messing around' on her back end. I am not sure what that entailed because I didn't ask because the vet said that she was still purring and head-butting the staff. Yup, that's my clueless girl.

When we went to pick her up, she was still worn out from everything going on. We packed her up and headed home. I just wanted to hold her, but I knew that she would NOT sit still on the ride so I did the next best thing which was put her carrier on my lap and I would occasionally reach in and rub her ear.  She was fairly silent for about an hour and I could tell almost immediately when she 'woke up' because she became annoyed at being in the carrier and wanted out. I had the feeling she needed to go pee, but she didn't run right to the box when we got home, so I don't know if that was the case.

She got home, ate a full and healthy dinner, we had a little play time, and she is doing just fine. She gave the CatMan a bit of a scare the next morning when she went to sleep in the closet and he couldn't find her, but she was happy and active when I found her.

The vet recommends she never go under anesthesia again. I've known this. I really want to find her old records from her first issues and see what medications might match up to see what we should stay away from, but I haven't done it yet. I usually think of it late at night and I'm tired and heading to bed. One of these days I'll do it. It will be interesting to see if there is a medication that matches up.

I am not looking forward to the idea of owning a fourteen-year-old cat who has had three dentals already never being able to have another one. I'm trying to be good about brushing her teeth, but we all know how that goes. Chances are she is going to start avoiding me (so far, *knock wood* she isn't) and if that is the case I am just going to have to let this go and deal with the consequences.

She is dealing with an allergic reaction of some sort as she has lost all the fur in front of one ear from rubbing it. It is starting to improve, so I am not sure why what happened happened. I'm hoping it just clears up and I don't have to deal with it.
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