Thursday, March 31, 2016

Scoresby 3/29/15 - 3/30/16

I received a very sad message from Allie yesterday morning.

It is with a very heavy heart that I am writing to you. Sadly this morning, while I was getting ready for work, Scoresby (née The Kraken) passed away suddenly. We rushed him to the vet, but it seems to have been a stroke or heart defect that they can tell to the best of their ability. It may have been something he was born with or an undiagnosed disease. I can tell you that he was his playful and loving self up until the very end and will be missed greatly.

Goodness I love this photo of him

I didn't hear from Allie often, but when I did it was very evident that she loved him. She has such a kind heart.
I hope I do not bring down your morning too much, but I know you loved him as a kitten and would want to know. Thank you for helpin bring him into our lives.
As sad as I was to hear it, I am glad she told me. I follow her on social media and would be wondering what happened to him.  My heart absolutely breaks for her.. not that it didn't crack a bit on its own at the thought. He was an amazing kitten.. my little bonus boy..

‘Goodnight you prince of Maine, you king of New England.’

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

National I Am in Control Day with Jack

When I saw on the calendar that today was "National I am in control day" I could not resist sharing this with you.  Jack seems to have an affinity for remote controls and whenever we can't find one when we are watching tv, inevitably we just need to reach under Jack - like a chicken - and pull out the remotes.  The other day I couldn't find either one, and both of them were under the pillow he was laying on. He must have been in heaven (well before I stole them to turn the tv off)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Declaw Awareness Day

For some reason talking about declawing is controversial.

It is a serious shame when you can't call inhumane treatment of a cat inhumane because... um.. because..

Wait, why do people defend this practice?  I know that there are people out there who have declawed cats who had no real idea what the procedure was before they had it done. I don't blame them at all. Vets who declaw cats do not tell you what the procedure actually entails. If you currently have a declawed cat, I do not think less of you, but I would like to warn you of possible complications of the declaw surgery and to be aware that even if your cat is 'just fine' now in time it can lead to some pretty severe complications. Being aware and being proactive are two very important steps to keeping your kitty happy and healthy for life.

If you don't know what declawing entails, there are a lot of very graphic explanations out there. I have a fairly high tolerance for this kind of discussion, and I've run across a few things that turn my stomach so I am not going to share them here. A simple google or youtube search will show you more than you might want to know.

Vets who declaw defend their practice saying that cats are just fine after they heal. They discount the long-term complications and the behavioral changes that occur, simply because they don't happen in every single cat.  When I worked at a vet office, I spent some time marking files of the cats that were declawed so we didn't offer them a nail trim. I also marked the charts when a cat or dog was a 'caution' and needed a bit more care from the vet. Not every declawed cat was a caution cat, but every caution cat was a declawed cat.  The prevailing belief as to why is that cats know that their first line of defense is missing, so they are quicker to bite to warn you when you upset them. Bites are far more dangerous for us humans than a scratch.

The argument that we need to declaw cats for people who are immunocompromised does not hold water. Adult cats in a safe and loving home do not randomly scratch their owners. If you know your cat, you know how to treat them so they are comfortable and do not scratch. General nail trims from time to time will keep accidental scratches in check. Nail caps, such as soft paws, can keep claws from doing any damage at all.

The argument that you need to declaw additional cats to a home with a declawed cat also does not hold water. If you have two cats who would claw one another, you have far bigger problem than the fact that one has claws and one doesn't and you need a feline behaviorist to help you restore peace..

What can you do to help prevent declawing? If you live in New York, please visit the Paw Project and learn how you can support anti-declaw legislation.  There are several municipalities in the US that already ban declawing, but getting New York to do it would be a huge win for Team Cat.

If you can, change vets to one who has pledged to not declaw. If you can't, have a conversation with your vet and let them know you are against declawing. It might not make them stop, but if enough people tell them it might make them consider it. You can visit the Paw Project website for additional steps you can take, and most of them don't take much time at all.

Finally, watch the movie The Paw Project. It is available in many different formats from Amazon to Netflix. It is also on YouTube. Or you can get it on YouTube directly from the Paw Project for $1.99 and support them financially. It will really help you understand the argument that the time for declawing cats has got to come to an end.

Toesday Tuesday - The Trifecta

Can you guess which kitties these toes belong to? Yes, the first two photos belong to the same kitty, I couldn't resist sharing both photos.

The shelter I volunteer for asked me to supply them with some kitten photos for their upcoming foster care book. Anyone have any favorite photos of mine?

Monday, March 28, 2016

Catching up with the kiittens

The kittens are still doing well. We have a plan for them to go home on next Saturday, which should be fun.

I tried setting up an Easter photo shoot for them, and it went surprisingly well

and as a result I found out that they both like feathers, but Wryn REALLY likes feathers.

Unfortunately, this isn't a real cat toy, just something I use to catch the kitten's attention when I do photo shoots, or I would so send this along with her.

Wryn is also dealing with a reaction to her rabies vaccine. She had a rather large swelling on her right rear leg - where the vet that neutered her gives vaccines, but it has dissipated to no more than a pea. I've told her mother about it and she will mention it to her vet and they will have a discussion about what is appropriate for her going forward.

Friday, March 25, 2016

The kittens have visitors

Stephanie and her daughter stopped by to visit her kittens.  Stephanie is moving into a new home and felt uncomfortable bringing them into the home with so much going on, which is why I am kitten sitting them. They spent some time with them when they adopted them and then they came to my house, so I imagined they were aching to see them.  I offered to have her - or them - over earlier but it didn't work out.

We had a very nice visit. I was also very impressed with the kittens. Sprite went right up to them and Wryn was willing to go right up to them, but preferred to start from the back (you can see her in the photo above behind Stephanie (on the left)

We sat there and talked while the kittens got used to them, and it didn't take long at all.  I was so very proud of them.

It has been probably twenty years or more since she had kittens in her house, so she had a lot of questions. Yes, I was in my glory.. but it was hard on me because I don't want to come off as obnoxious.  I know I am far left of the standard of cat care - being a raw feeding, minimal vaccinating kind of cat owner. When you ask me about nutrition, I am going to tell you what I think, but on a one on one situation like this, I feel the need to be careful. I was so thrilled that I didn't turn her off, and Stephanie showed interest in learning about raw food.  I did my very best not to squee when she took out a pad of paper and started taking notes.

Wryn and Sprite are two very lucky kitties!

The girls are going to be a very welcome addition to Stephanie's home, and they kept joking how her daughters would be over far more often once the kittens move in. (If I'm without kittens for too long, I might just show up at her house)

The kittens will be leaving me a week from Saturday. I am so happy for them. Stephanie's joy is absolutely infectious, and it has done me a world of good to watch them interact with the kittens and see how much they love them already.

and I have this feeling that I'll be getting regular updates on them once they do leave.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The plant that is actively trying to kill your cat.

There are a lot of plants that are toxic to cats, but none is more so than the lily.

You hear warnings about mistletoe and poinsettias around Christmas, you hear warnings about daffodils and even peonies in the spring.  When you see an image on the internet of a cat with any sort of plant that is on the toxic list, you inevitably get someone piping up warning you that plant is toxic.

Generally, that toxicity means they have to eat a majority of the plant, and then they'll get some mild to moderate GI distress. It is by no means something you want to happen, but generally, the fears are quite overblown.

This is not true with the Lily.

The lily is the one plant where the fear mongering is actually quite warranted.  Every little thing about this plant is deadly to a cat (and a dog) and can kill your cat fairly quickly. Even with quick medical intervention a cat can still be at serious risk of death, and most cat owners have absolutely no idea.

This is one plant that you really should fear. This is one plant where you should speak up if you see it in the home of a cat lover as it can kill within hours.

Why do I make the pronouncement that the lily is actively trying to kill your cat? 

Because every single thing about it is deadly.  If your cat chews on the leaves. If your cat knocks over a vase of flowers and licks the water (or walks through it and then cleans the water off its paws). And then there is the pollen.

Most florists will pull the pollen stamens off a lily plant when they put it in a floral arrangement, but they can't pull them off the closed buds. The reason they do this is because this pollen is very sticky and it stains, and there is a lot of it.  As the plant goes through its cycle, the pollen naturally wants to fall off the stamen and spread itself in hopes of pollinating something.  So even if your cat doesn't eat your flowers, and even if it doesn't knock your plants over, your cat is still at serious risk if you bring lilies into your home. Cats just walking by lilies can die.

Sadly, most people do not know this and the giving and sending of flowers is a very popular way to celebrate, or sympathize, with a loved one. Florists appear not to be aware of this danger and since lilies are a wonderful statement flower that adds a lot of scent and pop to a bouquet they are quite favored in bouquets. I actually received a bouquet with lilies in it after specifically asking that there not be any added.

Because lilies are so toxic to cats and dogs, it would be so nice if the lily came with a warning label. Stores that sell them should put up a sign that says keep away from pets. Florists and websites that sell flowers should ask if these are being sent to a household with pets. Something. Anything.

Please, never be afraid of overreacting to seeing lilies in a pet lover's home. This is something that we need to take quite seriously.

Now, it should be said there are three very common forms of 'lily' that aren't toxic to cats or dogs, and those are the Peace, the Peruvian and the Cala lily, but if you are ever in doubt, err on the side of caution. Take the plant and the pet directly to the vet. The longer you wait, the lower your chances of survival.

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