Monday, June 28, 2010

Mancat Monday Poll: Where do you hang out when it's hot?

Skylar has recently started to hang out in the bathtub when it's hot!  The tub stays cool, because it's formica, and there's often some water left over from showers.  It's a great place to be when temps are above 80!

So, where do you like to hang out when it's hot?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Weird question....

Skylar writes:

Mom talked with my regular doctor today, and we have a strange question!  Including the vet, who doesn't know the answer to this either!

Has anyone ever had their thyroid levels continue to go low?  I had mine checked back in November, after 4 years with hyper-T my meds were decreased from four to three, then two pills a day.  Redid tests, and it was normal again.  Now, after my vet appointment last week, my thyroid levels are low again, so we're trying half a pill per day.

The vet has no clue why I'm suddenly "getting better", or at least my thyroid levels are!  My creatinine & BUN are slightly elevated, just out of the normal range, not as bad as we'd originally thought (we got the exact numbers this time).  That part's to be expected, and I'm still going to have my yummy canned food and my sub-Q fluids to try to keep my kidneys semi-under control.  But we're (and the vet is) absolutely clueless as to why my thyroid levels are normalizing!!!

Any advice/help/experience would be appreciated!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Skylar's not feeling well

Skylar writes:

Mom and Dad took me in to the vet on Friday.  It was time for my routine doctor appointment and bloodwork, but they were worried as well because I've not been grooming myself.  I keep my face, paws, and chest clean and smooth, but the rest of my fur is matted.  Mom plucks my "feathers" (fur that has come out but is still stuck in the rest of my coat) every day, and picks apart my mats.  Sometimes I let her; sometimes I yowl until she stops.  They were also worried because I've lost a little over a pound since Thanksgiving!

So, off we went.  I complained when it took longer than usual to get there, but then my purrents reminded me that we live farther away than we used to.  That made sense, so I settled down again.  I like to sit on Dad's lap while he's driving, and watch the cars go by out the window.

There was a new doctor at the clinic on Friday, a relief doctor, because the others were gone for the day.  As usual, when I got there I wanted down and pulled at my leash to go back into the back (treatment) room to say hi to everyone!  Nope, Dad wouldn't loosen the leash and let me run back.  Bummers!  My sis used to do the same thing.  Mom and Dad are glad that I like my doctors and staff so much that I immediately want to greet them!  Believe me, I wouldn't run away, I would just run TO someone to be greeted!

The vet tech took me into the back to weigh me, then brought me back out and talked with Mom and Dad after she stuck that thermometer in me.  :P  After she went into the back, I stood on the exam table and looked at the door for a few minutes, then YOWLED!  Ok, so where's the doctor?  I'm ready, so come in!  Everyone laughed at that, then Mom put me on the floor and I went to sniff both doors and then yowled again at the back.

FINALLY, the doctor came!  Should it really take her 10 minutes to get done with the doggie patient and come look at me?  She talked with my purrents, consulted my chart, then took me into the back to have the vampires take some of my blood.  They also took my urine.  Hey, you could have just given me a box instead of poking me!  Mom and Dad could tell exactly when they were poking me, because I think they could hear me down the street.  There's something to be said about being half-Siamese!  ;)

We got the results back on Friday evening:  possible kidney disease.  It's what my purrents were afraid of, especially considering that my kidney levels were elevated back in November.  I'm anemic, both my BUN and creatinine levels are elevated, I'm dehydrated, and I've lost that pound.  My thyroid levels are also low, but that's kind of a separate issue.

So, on to the next steps.  First off, I'm only going to get one pill a day, to even out my thyroid levels.  I've been looking at Mom funny when she doesn't give me my evening meds but takes hers, although I give up after a few minutes so she knows it's more from habit than anything else.  I still get my morning meds.

Then, I will be getting my own special food!  The doctor recommended giving me yummy canned food!  I don't even have to share with anyone else, so I'll get fed in a separate room.  Yay!

My blood and urine will have to be rechecked again sometime, but I don't mind that.  I may have to go back to getting sub-Q fluids, but that's not a big deal either.

Properly managed, which is a see-saw because it can change from day to day, I may have another year or three.  But it's different for every cat, so we'll just take each day as it comes and be grateful for every minute.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Thankful that the protest on Catster is mostly done!

Wow!  It was a lot of work protesting the Nutro ads that were on the Vet Blog and are on Dogster, but we are setting down our picket signs for good now!  Go here if you hadn't known about the protest before this.

Here are some of the questions we asked, and Ted R.'s answers:

1.  Why was there silence for a while on this issue?
     We didn't know what exactly you (Dogster & Catster members) wanted of us, so it took us a while to figure that out.  Also, not many people wrote to me personally, originally.
2.  When are the ads coming down?
     The Nutro ads are coming off the Vet Blog at the end of June, and the contract for the rest of Dogster is up for them at the end of the year.
3.  Will there be healthier pet food ads coming soon?
     We are currently in talks with an excellent pet food company that uses human-grade ingredients.
4.  Some of us have written a list of nationally recognized pet food & product companies.  Would you please take them into consideration for future ads?
     I will personally make sure our sales staff reviews them and cross-references them with companies that advertise online.

All in all, we're pleased with how things went!  :)  Some pets are going to continue protesting through the end of the year, until the Nutro ads are off the whole Dogster/Catster site.  We're not, though.  We're going to get back to the fun part of being Catster members!  >^..^<

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

It's my 5th birthday!!! :)

Thank you, Princess Lilly-Rose, Chandler Ray, and family for the pretty picture and my birthday cake!

Therapy Cat Tales from Last Friday

Tabby writes:

I have been pretty quiet at home, with the occasional chase up and down the hallway with my foster sister Little Bit.  So when I got to H., I wanted to WALK!!!  I hopped out of the stroller as Mommy was signing us in and getting her nametag, and took off towards the door to the office!  One of the residents was coming back from lunch and saw me, so she went right up to the desk and said, "There's a cat by itself over there!  It's not supposed to be there!"  Mommy told her that I was with her and that it was alright.

I waited until Mommy had signed in, but she was taking a little too long getting her nametag so I meowed at her to hurry up!  C'mon, Mommy, we've got work to do!  >^..^<

She FINALLY got done at the desk and let me in to the office.  I went right up to see all my friends there while she put her stuff down and got our visiting list.  Then, off we went, with me walking.  I even walked up to the elevator!  I wouldn't cross that space that goes down forever, though.  That was way to scary for me!  Mommy lifted me over it, and I was just fine standing in the elevator while it moved.  Then, there was that scary space again, so I got lifted over it again.  I gave it the evil eye just in case, though!

As usual, as soon as we stepped out of the elevator we were "on".  Chairs turned, walkers moved, and people were calling for me.  I love it!  I walked right up to the first person and rubbed up against her, then Mommy lifted me up onto her lap for some petting.  We went to the tv/sitting room and I sat with three more people there.  One lady clicks her tongue when she's petting me, which confuses me a little because that sound is what Mommy and Daddy use when I've been bad or when they want me to change what I'm doing.  But this lady just makes the sound all the time.  I'm getting used to it, though.  Mommy keeps reassuring me that I'm being good after the lady holds and pets me.

C. was in bed when we got to her room.  She's usually up and about in her chair, so that was unusual for me, and her bed was lower than it used to be.  I was able to walk right up to her bed and sniff the top of it from my height!  I got up with her and she was so happy to pet me!  I settled down for a bit, then walked around being petted.  After a while, I decided I wanted to sniff her face and touch noses with her.  She wasn't so sure about that, and looked at Mommy to ask what was going on.  Mommy told her that I was just wanting to say hi, so C. looked at me again and I leaned closer to sniff and touched noses with her!  She laughed and smiled at that!  I love her laugh!  I always try to make her laugh when I visit her.  :)

One of the ladies was getting a massage when we visited, so she was too relaxed to visit with me.  She was almost asleep, she was so relaxed!  Mommy talked with the massage therapist for a while, but then I was getting too restless so we walked to the next room.  That was more of a human visit than a kitty visit.

When we went to see if M. was in her room, she wasn't.  We visited some more people, then saw M. being wheeled back to her room by the massage therapist.  She said that was fine if we came too, so we followed along behind.  By this time, I'd walked around the whole floor and I was ready to stroll again.  I lay down on M.'s bed, taking a break from everything for a while.  I wasn't quite napping, but almost, just relaxing.  M., the massage therapist, and Mommy talked about cats, visiting, and memories.  When Mommy gets a car, she's going to ask the massage therapist for recommendations for additional places to visit!  That would be so much fun to go to more places, too!  We already are going to go visit an individual at another place on Thursday.

Our last visit of the day was to a lady who was really missing her own kitty.  She has been at H. for a little less than two weeks, and hasn't been able to see her own cat.  She's got a neighbor looking in on her cat and playing with her every day, but that's not the same as being there.  I visited with her roommate first, who's a dog person but loved me.  Well, everyone loves me, so why not?  Then, Mommy picked me up and set me on the cat lady's bed.  I immediately purred my best purr and went up to be petted.  I investigated toes and the table, then settled down with my chin resting on the lady's ankle and one of my paws wrapped around her foot, with my body against her leg.  I knew she needed some kitty loving!  While she and Mommy talked, I purred and kneaded.  At one point, Mommy wanted to pet me but I meowed softly to tell her that I was working and not to bother me!  She and the lady laughed a little at that, and agreed with me.  They both said I was doing an excellent job, and to keep it up.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Meezer Colors Day 2010

Hello, we are Skylar (on the left) and Lydia (on the right), littermates and tuxedo kitties.  Skylar is 10 years old, and Lydia lived to be almost 9.  Even though we are black and white, we are actually half-Siamese!  Our mama cat was a tuxedo cat like us, and our daddy cat was a handsome Siamese dude.  We inherited his fine triangular face, petite feet, and rounded-end tail, as well as his voice.  Skylar is and Lydia was a snuggle kitty, and we follow (or followed) our humans around the house constantly.  Lydia was lady of the house, and when she left for the Bridge she passed that duty on to Rori, with one exception:  Skylar gets the utmost respect and honor as man of the house and oldest kitty.
Lydia in 2007, showing off her petite paws and triangular Siamese face
Skylar in 2009, showing off his snuggling skills and meezer "stare-down", pictured with Starla (who may be part meezer herself).

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Happy birthday to Carbon!

Carbon writes:

Do you see me in the stroller, taking a birthday snooze?  I'm now 5 years old!  :)  I'm going to enjoy my birthday with naps, playtime with Tabby, laying by the sliding glass door, playing with my favorite catnip toy, running at top speed through the house, and maybe a snuggle or two from Daddy and sitting in Mommy's lap.

It's a happy day, but also a sad one.  Daddy brought little Spooky's body home from the vet's yesterday.  He put it on a blanket on the living room floor so we could all say our goodbyes.  I had been having fun with my catnip toy, so I wasn't keen on going to see what was on the blanket.  I was more interested in the box that Daddy had brought home.  But Daddy said I couldn't jump in the box, and wanted me to look at the blanket.  I didn't quite know why.  Mommy picked me up and placed me nose-to-nose with Spooky's body.  I was kind of afraid of him while he was alive, because I don't consider kittens to be cats until they are at least a year old, for some reason.  But I sniffed because I was that close, then realized what I was sniffing!  I looked at Tabby, who was right beside me, touched noses with her, then looked at Mommy and Daddy and walked away to the other end of the house.

After everyone had sniffed and said their goodbyes, conferring with the others about it, and even Starla had come to say her goodbyes (Mommy brought her out to see and sniff), Daddy carried the body out to the backyard.  He and Mommy buried Spooky in a corner of the yard, at a spot where you can see and hear the geese in the marsh next door.  We all love to hear the geese!

When Daddy and Mommy came back in, I claimed Mommy's boots (not raining at the moment, but the yard is muddy) and slept with/on one for a couple hours.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Goodbye, Spooky! We loved you!

Spooky writes:

Yesterday afternoon, I was curled up in the dining room in my favorite spot, when all of a sudden I felt weird.  Something was happening, and not a good something!  Mommy was sleeping, and Daddy was taking a shower, so I ran to Daddy since he was closest.  I skidded to a halt in the hallway just as he came out of the shower, meowed my concern long and loud, then flopped over and started drooling, dripping a small puddle onto my paws and the floor.  Daddy cleaned me and it up, then set me on the couch so I could snuggle with him and Skylar.

Then, it happened again!  My eyes went wide and unseeing, my body went rigid, and I started drooling heavily again!  After it was done, I meowed a complaint and my confusion.

Daddy called for Mommy, who woke up and came out.  They both petted me while they tried to decide what to do.  Daddy called our friend Kellee, who's a vet tech, but she couldn't come until the next day.

About an hour later, I had another seizure.  This time, I was sitting on Mommy's lap when it started.  I looked helplessly at her, then lifted my tail and peed.  I couldn't help it!  Then the wide-eyed seizure, then drooling again, and my confused meowing.  Mommy and Daddy tried to get me to relax afterwards, petting me to calm me down again.  That helped a little, and I took a bit of a nap for a couple hours.

While I was asleep, Mommy searched online for vets that were open on a Saturday evening.  Of course, many were not.  She found one that was, and called them.  It was a 24-hour place, so when I woke up (and had another seizure) she and Daddy packed me into a carrier and drove to the hospital.

The people were so kind!  I had a seizure again as my purrents were filling out the paperwork, and the people immediately took me back and put me on a big table in the open room.  I looked at them and meowed, and one of them went to ask my purrents if they could give me something to help calm me down.  Of course, Daddy said yes, so they gave me Valium.

The vet came out to discuss options with my purrents.  She said that I probably had sustained brain damage from the seizures, and there was a poor prognosis if I survived.  The vet wanted to keep me in for 24 hours at least, give me i.v.'s and do bloodwork. Even then, it would be the same prognosis: not likely to survive, or very brain-damaged if I did survive. Mommy and Daddy said their goodbyes, and Mommy stayed with me and petted my head and cheek as the shot was given. :'( The hospital needs to hold my body until Monday so that the state can release it (standard procedure for anyone who comes in with seizures), so my purrents will bury my body then. The above picture is my picture superimposed on the bag that the vet did for my purrents to take home, containing a bit of my fur and the heart from my catheter wrap.


Mommy and Daddy loved you, Mr. Spooky kitten! R.I.P. July 2009 -- June 6, 2010

Friday, June 4, 2010

Say No to Nutro Ads on Catster!

Cats all over Catster, dogs on Dogster and purrents on Facebook are protesting and's decision to serve advertisements for Nutro pet food on the Vet Blog.  Why?  Because Nutro has been involved in many major recalls, both involuntary and voluntary, during the last few years.  Some pets who have pages on the site have died from eating tainted Nutro food which was later recalled!  Still, the head of, Ted Rheingold, made the decision to take Nutro's money!

Ted R. and co. have issued a few statements, but no apologies and no promises.  The only explanation they have given was that users were in favor of the ads and that the company didn't think users would read the Vet Blog.  We say that's a load of poop!  Nutro food killed both cats AND dogs!  Most Dogsters are against the Nutro ads, so why is Ted R. saying the exact opposite?

If you have a page on Catster or Dogster and would like to participate in the strike, tag a photo "no to nutro".  There are also threads in both the Plus forums and the regular forums on both and  We don't know how long the threads will continue to be open, as the Catster police are out in force deleting posts and diary entries which expose the ad campaign.  Protesters are determined to be heard, and are reposting two or three for every one that gets erased.  There is also a protest group on Catster/Dogster and one on Facebook.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Therapy Cat Tales from Last Friday

Tabby writes:

Sorry I'm late again writing up my notes.  Here they are, finally!

Mommy is done with teaching her classes for the summer, so we didn't have to worry about what time we got done with visiting when we went on Friday.  That turned out really well, since there was a volunteer appreciation celebration at H., scheduled for about 10 minutes after we got done with our visit!  But first, the visit itself.

It was raining hard, so Mommy used her flowered umbrella to cover the mesh part of the stroller.  That bugged me, because I LOVE being able to see out the front!  I kept on trying to look out when she moved the umbrella slightly, then looked up at her in complaint.  But what could I do...I didn't want to get wet?!

A man in a wheelchair saw us get off the bus, but thought maybe Mommy was using the stroller as a walker.  Instead, he saw me inside!  He started laughing!  Mommy told him that would have been a great idea, though, much less expensive for someone than a walker.

Once we got to H., Mommy got her nametag and I hopped out of the stroller and headed to the office door to check in, trailing my leash.  The people I was going to see laughed at that, because they were coming down the hallway at the same time and saw me!  I heard them behind me and turned around, waited for them to catch up and open the door, then walked in to their office.  Hey, I know where I'm going, so what's the problem?!  ;)

We went off to do our rounds, visiting with all our friends.  In M. & E.'s room, there was a human visitor already but they all motioned for us to come in.  The lady who was visiting told M., who is partially sighted, that there was a therapy cat.  M. immediately said, "Is it in a buggy?"  When told that I was, she replied, "Oh, yes, that's our cat friend.  She comes often."  The lady thought that was wonderful!  The lady was phobic of cats, but is trying to get over her phobia, so she watched M. and E. pet and hold me, then asked if she could pet me.  I immediately came over and asked her to, so she did.  She gave me some good ear scritches and tail pets!  She has a dog, so she knew how to pet another furry.  I rolled over for tummy rubs, but she didn't know what I wanted, so I flopped over onto my paws again.  Mommy told her what I wanted, and so she petted my side until I rolled over again, then petted my tummy.  *PURRRRRR*  I gave her lots of head bonks!  Then, after about 5 minutes of all this, she asked if she could HOLD me!  Remember, this is someone who has NEVER held a cat before!  Mommy picked me up, showed how to hold me and support me, then handed me to her.  She grabbed me and held me close, and I looked at Mommy to say that I wanted down, but didn't wiggle away.  Mommy petted my head, then the lady sat me on her lap in a more comfortable position and I started kneading gently.  I settled down and purred for her, and she was soooo happy!  M. and E. were thrilled for her, too!

We left after a few more minutes and went on down the hall.  One of the nurses who is new to the floor is allergic to cats, and didn't know there was going to be a cat visitor.  Imagine, someone working there who didn't know I would come!  The other nurses told her to take a long break until our visits were done, and Mommy made sure to tell the people in the office about her as well.  Hopefully something can be worked out for her.  :(

When we were done on that floor, Mommy told the nurses so they could let the allergic lady know.  Then we went to visit I. on another floor.  I love I.'s rug and bed!  Both are great for rolling on, and she smiles when she feels that I'm happy.  We showed her how to feel my purrs, and she loved that.  She doesn't get many visitors, and no other animal visitors, so we were quite welcome there.  Mommy was telling her how I travel in a stroller, and she couldn't quite picture it, so Mommy wheeled it over to her so she could feel it and "see".  Once she got how it worked, she started giggling and said that would be great for me!

After that, we went back to the office.  I wasn't allowed to attend the volunteer appreciation, even though I'm a volunteer, because food was served.  Oregon state health regulations say that animals (except for service animals) can't be in any place where food is served to the public.  I was fine with that anyway, because I took a nice long nap curled up by the computer tower under R.'s desk for the whole time.  Mommy attended the event, and met more of the residents on the other floors that we don't get to visit.  That was fun for her!  Most of the volunteers are residents, but there were four outside volunteers including Mommy who attended as well.  Each year, they pick a resident who volunteers, either inside H. or at schools/organizations/clubs outside, to give an award to, and this year it was the librarian.  Things like that are why we love volunteering at this place!  :)  >^..^<