Category Archives: cats

When in doubt, post video of your cat.

I have three blog posts in the writing, but as usual I’ve overthought them to death and they remain unfinished.

Plus, I’ve spent the last ten days or so getting my act together to deal with a long-neglected health matter, so I’ve let blogging slip far down the list of Things to Do.

(The health thing isn’t that big a deal, but it’s something that will end up a very big deal if I keep neglecting it.  So I’ve been making a few minor lifestyle tweaks that–once I get in the habit of doing them–should nip the problem in the bud.)

So, in lieu of putting off posting for yet another day until I have a Serious Post, I’m just going to post video of (some of) my cats.

This is Martha, the smallest of the cats and the most high-strung. She’s just a little ball of panic much of the time, and is easily freaked out. But she loves my lap, where she kneads biscuits like mad and would lick my fingers raw if I let her:

Nate was Martha’s adoptive “Daddy”; they were so close I used to worry about how she would handle his dying. She missed him a lot at first, but fortunately she has a friend in Sophie; they have grown much closer over the last two months.

Max and Sophie are brother and sister; I adopted them as 11-week-old kittens. I meant to adopt only one male kitten to keep lonely orphan Nate (who was then 6 weeks old) company.

They were the last two from their litter left unadopted, and they obviously had a very close bond. I mean, how can you resist kittens who are hugging each other in their cage? So yes, I had to take both.

And to this day, they still have that close bond–maybe a little too close, sometimes:

Spay/neuter your pets, folks…

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Filed under cat videos, cats, cats: martha, cats: max, cats: sophie

Nate (June 27, 2000-March 18, 2010)

When I last posted in October, my kittyboy Nate was doing very well, despite stage 4 kidney failure and a host of other ailments. Unfortunately, Dead Cat Walking is no longer walking (at least not here).

While he was boarding at the vet’s in mid-March he had routine bloodwork to see how he was doing, and his kidney values came back alarmingly high. Worse, a subsequent x-ray revealed fluid in his lungs and an enlarged heart.

I’d spent almost a full year expecting the end to come at any time, but the diagnosis still came as a surprise. Nate had been doing very well, and hadn’t shown any outward signs that he was so ill. Even while boarding he ate well, enjoyed attention, and showed no sign that there was anything wrong with him. As my vet said, “He just doesn’t seem to know he’s a sick cat.”

But there was nothing to be done for him. Reducing his dosage of sub-q fluids to ease the strain on his heart and lungs would send his kidney values even higher, and giving him IV fluids in an attempt to bring his kidney values down would only add to the fluid in his lungs and hasten heart failure.  Either way, he was out of luck. We didn’t know how much longer he might live, but it was not going to be long. Continue reading

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Dead Cat Walking

Despite all my best intentions, I haven’t updated this thing since mid-March. And the longer I go between updates, the easier it is to not update at all. So on today’s to-do list? Update the goddamned blog, already.

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In late March, I noticed that Nate, one of my cats, had suddenly lost a lot of weight. I noticed this on a Wednesday, and decided it was time to get him in for a long-overdue vet appointment. But he seemed fine otherwise, so I didn’t consider it urgent. In fact, I procrastinated about it, and the next thing I knew it was Saturday afternoon and the vet was closed and I still hadn’t made an appointment.

By Saturday afternoon, I noticed Nate was drinking an awful lot of water. He seemed to spend much of his time at the water bowl, as if he was obsessed with it.

Okay, I thought, we’re definitely going in on Monday.

But by Saturday evening, it was obvious (even to my thick-headed self) that something was seriously wrong. Nate had no interest in food; he kept vomiting small amounts of a brownish froth; and while he sat hunched over the water bowl, he no longer seemed to have an interest in drinking. He also had a very hard time climbing the stairs. I kept a close eye on him, by then certain that we were going to have to make a trip to the emergency vet.

And then he sat by the back door, as if he wanted to go out, and started howling–long, drawn-out, desperate yowls. When I approached him he was fixated on the door, as if he wanted out, but when I tried to get his attention I realized that he was disoriented. He just was not himself at all.

Less than 15 minutes later, we were at the emergency vets’; it would be a full week before Nate left. He spent that entire week on IV fluids, and it wasn’t until late on Day 4 that anyone started making cautiously optimistic noises about my taking him home. Had I waited much longer to take him in, he probably would not have made it; that he did, given his condition, still amazes me. Continue reading

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Bowled over.

Okay, I admit it–I’m sort of a slob. I live alone, and thus can do things like eat my hastily-thrown-together dinner out of a bowl while sitting in front of the computer.  That’s what I did Saturday evening, in fact. And after finishing my dinner, I occupied myself with other tasks, leaving the bowl on my desk.

I went into the kitchen to put water on to boil for coffee, and let Sophie–who was waiting impatiently outside the back door–in. Her brother Max followed; he raced past her and headed upstairs without so much as a “Hey, ‘sup?” while Sophie hung around, wanting food and attention.

Coffee made and Princess Kitty adored, I decided to go upstairs and check email before doing other things. And here’s the sight I beheld upon entering the office:

YES, THAT’S A RAT. A RAT IN MY BOWL. (And yes, my desk is a mess. Shut up.)

That’s why Max was in such a hurry to get upstairs.

Max is a cat with a mind of his own. He’s like a pushy little dude in a black cat suit, and can be really obnoxious sometimes. But he’s also totally food-motivated. Food is his weak spot. So if I want him to do something (like come inside, or come out from wherever he’s hiding), and he’s being a little shit,  I just offer food; it’s that easy. Sophie and Nate want to be petted and loved, Max wants treats.

He’s also a little beggar, always wanting to know what I’m eating. Every time I sit down to eat, he’s at my side, wondering, “What’s that? Can I have some?” He’ll reach up with his paw and grab my arm, trying to pull it down so he can see what’s in the bowl. (Thought to give him credit, once he knows it’s something he doesn’t want, he leaves me alone.)

So, as you can see, he knows exactly what a bowl is for, and he put my bowl to its proper use. And while my first reaction was something like, “What the hell?” I have to admit I was impressed. And amused. I sat at my desk laughing helplessly for a good five minutes before I went for the camera.

As for Max, when asked about it, he seemed extremely pleased with himself:

He reached out with one paw and swatted at the rat in the bowl (but I was laughing too hard to get a picture). Then he flopped over and wanted his belly rubbed, purring like mad and obviously a very happy cat. So I rubbed his belly and told him what a good boy he was, and thanked him for bringing me a fresh, tasty rodent (and such a big one, too!) before slipping outside to bury the poor thing in the compost pile.

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