Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Getting closer to normal

We are slowly but surely getting closer to normal around here. This is a photo of all three cats hanging out together one evening late last week. It was so good to have them all in the same room.





Connor is still crated when we are not able to watch him closely. But sometimes while he’s out of the crate, he decides to take a nap. Here he is in one of his favorite spots, my reading chair.




And we got a package in the mail yesterday. Ellen of 15 and Meowing sent Connor some of her crocheted toys. They are so cute! I know that he—and the girls, too—will enjoy playing with these. Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness, Ellen.



Friday, April 21, 2017

Happy Birthday and Gotcha Day, Abbey!




Yesterday was Abbey’s 3rd Birthday and her 2nd Gotcha Day. She is such a blessing to our family, and we are so glad she is part of it.

I haven’t written about Abbey’s health issues lately. She is still having throwing up/regurgitating episodes. Her vet wants to try her on prednisolone for a month and see if that helps. Even though there was only slight inflammation in her small intestine, there was a bit. The medicine has to be compounded, so the vet ordered it through an online pharmacy she uses. We should receive it in the mail early next week. 

It doesn’t seem to make a difference if Abbey eats the D/D food or not. I am worried and frustrated, but I am hoping the medicine will help. If it doesn’t, then the vet will look into other things. 

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Progress

All 3 kitties hung out together on Saturday. The girls watched the outside bird
action from the bench. Connor wished he could join them.


Connor is getting better each day, but he still has a ways to go in the healing process. 

We have celebrated the milestones after surgery: the first time he drank water, the first time he ate, the first time he used the litter box, the first time he pooped. Pet parents will understand our delight in these small signs of healing.

Connor still has to be confined most of the time. We bought a second crate so we could expand his confinement area. He is allowed walks around the house, but Larry or I follow him and try to keep him from jumping or running. It’s not easy keeping a young cat quiet.

I am still sleeping in the den near his crate each night. I want to make sure I hear him if he needs me. Unfortunately, the longest piece of furniture to sleep on is a love seat, shorter than my five feet eight inches. I have sore knees and back. But the little boy in the crate is going through a lot more, and he is worth the soreness.

Thank you all for your kind words and your thoughts and prayers. They mean a lot.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Connor has surgery

It has been a tough week for Connor. He broke his hip and had to have surgery. He’s home now and is doing well, but he still has to go through the healing process.

Connor enjoying late afternoon sunshine at home on Thursday.
You can't see the incision in this picture, but it's about 2 inches long.
 


Tuesday evening at around 6:15, Connor came into the bedroom where I was. It looked like he was dragging his back end, but quickly lay down on the floor. Larry called him so that he got up again, and we could see he was holding up his back left leg. When we tried to pick him up or when we touched his leg, he cried out.

We left for the emergency hospital. It only took us about 40 minutes to get there, but it seemed forever because he was obviously in pain and upset, and there was little I could do to comfort him.

At the hospital, the vet gave him two pain medications right away so he could be examined. Even then, Connor cried out in pain when the vet moved his leg. So they gave him more pain medication.

Once x-rays could be done, the vet told us he had broken his hip. We were horrified, and we couldn’t understand how we could have missed the major traumatic event that must have caused it.

Turns out it was the kind of break that needs no trauma to happen. It was a femoral neck/capital physis fracture. It can happen in cats and dogs. With cats, it mostly occurs in large neutered males.

The surgeon told us the theory is that when neutering occurs in young cats, the drop in testosterone can delay the closure of growth plates, and in some cats, this can result in this type of fracture. If it happens on one side, there is a 25 percent chance of it happening on the other side. (Note: Please don’t take this as a caution against having your cats neutered.)

Connor had a femoral head ostectomy (FHO), where the head and neck of the femur are removed. The bone is held in place by scar tissue and other tissues and muscle. It sounds impossible, but most cats and small dogs can run and jump afterwards, though they may have a limp and may be limited in jumping ability as compared to before the surgery.

Connor came home yesterday and is doing well. We have to try to keep him as quiet as possible for at least two weeks for the incision to heal. But the vet said it’s important that he build up the muscles in that hip. So he is allowed short walks already. 

He doesn’t like being in a crate most of the time, but we are looking for ways to make it more manageable for him. He threw out all of the litter in the small litter box we put in the crate, and sat in the box. So we let him out periodically, and he uses the regular litter boxes. 

Since Connor was diagnosed with a broken hip, it seems like people have come out of the woodwork on Facebook to tell me that they have had pets who had the FHO surgery and did fine. Abbey’s vet, the internal specialist, works in the same clinic as the surgeon and talked with us about it. One of her cats had to have the surgery on both hips. And our regular vet says that it’s a common procedure. 

We are glad that Connor did well with the surgery and is at home. The next couple of weeks especially will be challenging for him, but he is a brave and spunky boy. We believe he will be just fine.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Rainbow Memorial Bracelet and Toys

These are not the greatest pictures, but I wanted to share some things that my friend Carolyn is making.

This is a Rainbow Memorial Bracelet that she made. As you can see, it honors our Chase Bird, who went to the Rainbow Bridge in 2015.





Carolyn makes a variety of these bracelets using different kinds of beads and charms. And she makes a variety of other jewelry.

She also makes catnip toys, including nip knots. Here’s our resident nip head Abbey saying hello to one of them.




Carolyn is selling her creations on her Facebook page Buhbee’s Baubles and Catnip Toyz, and soon she will have an Etsy store. 

She often donates items to auctions raising money for pets in need.

To see more of what she makes (with better pictures), visit her page.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Good job, Dad!

Larry brought home a new bird feeder this week and placed it in good view of one of the cats’ favorite windows.

Natasha, who is Chief Supervisor of All Work Done Around the House, watched from the window to make sure her Dad set up the feeder correctly.

She gave her approval. 



Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Respecting your cats


Natasha, one of the "feline masterpieces" in our home.


We missed the official National Respect Your Cat Day—it was March 28. But we’ve been thinking about how we can respect our cats and any other pets we have and thought we would go ahead and post about it even though we’re late.

Here are some ways that we came up with to show respect to our cats:


  • Admire them. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day care of our pets, so much so that we forget to take time and just look at our cats. Notice the way they walk, the movement of their ears, the way their eyes change with mood, the way they look when they jump from one surface to another. We agree with Leonardo da Vinci: “The smallest feline is a masterpiece.”

  • Accept that they are not little humans. Sure, we write stories about our cats and imagine them doing things like humans. But even then, we recognize that these creatures in our care are not human. They are a different part of our animal kingdom, but no less special. 

  • Accept each individual cat for who he or she is. Not every cat is a lap cat, no matter how much you want him to be. Your cat will not enjoy every new toy you bring into the house. Your cat may prefer to watch you from afar rather than hang out close by. And all of this is fine. We need to let our cats be who they are. My Thunder Cat, Waddles, and Sam were never lap cats. They did like to sit close by though. Chase Bird was a lap cat. We had loving relationships with all of them—just in different ways.

  • Treat your cat like family. To us, cats are not like family. They ARE family. We do our best to provide a calm, safe, and happy environment for them. When they walk into a room, we greet them. We tell them goodbye when we leave the house and hello when we return. We play with them, give them good food, and talk to them. We hope they feel our love!



What have we missed? What are some other ways we can show respect to our cats or any of our pets?

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Natasha is fuming




Oh, the indignity! Natasha here, still fuming about Saturday.

It started out like the usual Saturday. We got fed at the usual time, Mama went back to bed, then took her time with breakfast. She and Dad stood under that water thing and took baths (cats do it so much more efficiently) and dressed in their Saturday casual clothes. I did notice that Mama seemed nervous, but nothing too unusual.

Then suddenly, Mama snatched me from the top of my comfortable sleeping spot on top of the cat tree and put me in that box. You know, that plastic thing with bars on the door. Bars!

Then she put me in the backseat of Dad’s truck. And who else was in the backseat? Connor! Yes, my annoying little brother was right there in another plastic box. 

Then I had to listen to Connor sing the song of his people. He sang so badly, I joined in to try to help. And the whole time, Mama was saying things like, “It will be all right. We’re not going to leave you.” Well, it things were going to all right, why was I in the backseat of the truck with Connor?

We ended up at the vettie. There were DOGS there. They looked at me like they wanted to be friends, but I said, no way. I’m not making friends with anyone unless I’m at home.

Then Mama and Dad took me and Connor to a tiny little room. They took me out of the plastic box. The vettie and two other ladies came in. I hadn’t even had time to do my morning grooming, so I must have looked a mess. But all three ladies talked about how pretty I was. 

The vettie shined a light in my eyes, dared to look at my teeth, put a cold thing on my chest, and then squeezed me all over like she was trying to find hidden treasure deep inside me. Then she pronounced me healthy.

I thought things were over. But no, needles came out, and I got two shots! In my booty! 

Then I had to wait while Connor went through the same ordeal. Then we got put back into the truck. Mama kept saying, “We’re almost home!” Dad seemed to drive really slowly. I bet I could have gone a lot faster if he had let me drive.

I got home and tried to relax by playing. And then Mama had to pull the camera out and take a picture of me. Like all was well. I don’t think so. Yes, I am still fuming.

*Mama’s note: Natasha and Connor had their annual exam and shots, and they are both healthy. This time around, Abbey got to stay home. She was glad she wasn’t the one who had to go to the vet.*

Friday, March 24, 2017

Friendly Fill-Ins Blog Hop: with Abbey

Happy Friday! We’re participating in the Friendly Fill-Ins Blog Hop, presented by 15 and Meowing and McGuffy’s Reader. This week Abbey is helping me.


1. In the Spring, I look forward to ______________________________.

2. I would love to have a ___________________________ party.

3. Few know this about me, but ________________.

4. No one ______________________.



Larry sent this photo to me while I was at work last week: Abbey sleeping on his lap.



1. In the Spring, I look forward to hearing the birds singing to start the day. (Abbey: In the Spring, I look forward to seeing more birds out the windows.)

2. I would love to have a retirement party. But that won’t be for years. (Abbey: I would love to have a Catnip Party and invite all the town’s cats.)

3. Few know this about me, but the inside of my car is usually messy. I drive my husband crazy because I often have water bottles and Diet Pepsi cans in the floor board. *hides face in shame* (Abbey: Few know this about me, but *whispers* I don’t really like treats.)

4. No one can be just like me, and no one can be just like you. So be you! (Abbey: No one could ever love me as much as Mama and Dad do.)




Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Who’s in my seat?

We have many comfortable places in the house for the cats to sit or nap.

On top of the sofa, with a good view out of the window into the backyard.

On the bench their dad built them.


Abbey


On a window seat.


Natasha


On a cat tree.

We have cat beds galore, soft throws in just the right places. What more could a cat want in seating choices?

Apparently, Mama’s seat.

When I read, I normally sit in a comfortable chair in the living room beside a good lamp. Sometimes Connor sits at my feet. Isn’t that sweet? 

Sometimes, even when I’m in the middle of a good book, I get up to get some water or a snack or go to the bathroom.

Lately, when I return to read, I find this. 


Connor


Hmmm. Was he just waiting for me to get up all along?

I pat him on the head, pick up my book, and move to another place. After all, whose chair is it really? 

So if you hear, “Who’s in my seat?” in my house, it might be Connor asking the question.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! And good news!





The vet emailed me last night with Abbey’s endoscopy biopsy results. Her stomach is normal and though there was slight inflammation in her small intestine, the lab said it could be called insignificant. So good news!

We still don’t know what is causing Abbey’s vomiting, but the vet thinks it’s a food allergy or sensitivity. She is going to come up with a strategy and be back in touch on Monday.

Meanwhile, Abbey has not had any vomiting episodes this week. But since the endoscopy on Monday, she has not been eating very much. We took her back to the vet yesterday to make sure she was all right. An ultrasound showed no problems, she didn’t appear to have abdominal pain, and her vitals were normal. Sometimes the endoscopy can irritate the throat. So they gave her an injection of pain medicine. The vet also said sometimes anesthesia can affect cats for longer than expected. She is eating more normally now and getting back to her normal self. 

Thank you for your prayers and good thoughts for Abbey!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Abbey has the endoscopy


Abbey back on bird watch duty Tuesday morning.


Abbey had an endoscopy yesterday to try to determine the cause of her chronic vomiting. It was a long day for her. The procedure got started late, so we were at the vet’s office for most of the day. 

Dr. Rios said she did well during the procedure. Her stomach looked “beautiful,” she said. Her small intestine looked a little different, but she can’t say for sure anything is wrong there. She took plenty of biopsies, which we should hear back on at the end of the week.

Dr. Rios thinks it is probably inflammatory bowel disease, but the biopsies could show something else, including cancer. She doesn’t really think it’s cancer, but it is a possibility, she said. 

Abbey was feeling the effects of the anesthesia last night, but today she seems like herself. Apparently we were both exhausted last night. I slept like a log, and Larry said Abbey barely moved all night.

Thank you for all the warm thoughts and prayers sent for Abbey. 

Friday, March 10, 2017

Boomer

We were sad to learn of the passing of Boomer of Trout Talkin Tabbies. He is at Rainbow Bridge with friends and family and St. Francis. 

Butter Lover Boomer O Cat
May 1, 1998 - March 7, 2017

From Trout Talkin Tabbies' website.


We want the Food Service Girl and Tuna and Daisy and all of Boomer’s family to know that we are praying for your comfort and peace. We know the pain of losing a loved one is hard to bear. May it help you to know that Boomer’s many friends are thinking of you and sending love.

The kitties have a message for Boomer:

Dear Boomer,

We are going to miss you, dood. We are glad you had a long and good life. We asked our brothers and sisters, Thunder Cat, Chase Bird, Waddles, and Sam, to come find you and get to know you. We love you forever and will see you some day.

Your friends,
Natasha, Abbey, and Connor

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

How do you give a struggling, anxious cat a pill?




I wish this were a post where I could give you the answer to that question: how do you give a struggling, anxious cat a pill? 

But I am turning to you for suggestions and help.

Larry and I have given medicine to cats for years. But now we have three young cats, and it’s a different experience giving medicine. Or we have lost any skills we had.

The Cerenia that the vet ordered for Abbey seems to help her. For about a month, we were told to give it to her every day. Leading up to her endoscopy, which is scheduled for Monday, March 13, we have been trying to give it to her at least every other day.

Larry holds her and I give her the pill with a pill popper. 

But Abbey has become very upset during the process. We’ve tried it with Larry holding her to his side. We’ve tried it with her wrapped in a towel. I try to move as quickly as I can to get the pill in. But she struggles against us so hard, we’re afraid we’re going to hurt her. So we let her go and she doesn’t get the medicine.

I bought some pill pockets and gave her one with no pill in it to see if she would eat it. She wouldn’t. She rarely eats any kind of treat.

I mashed it and put it in some gravy from soft food she likes. Evidently, she smelled the pill because she wouldn’t touch the food.

Do you have any suggestions or advice? We appreciate it!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Friendly Fill-Ins Blog Hop: with Natasha

Happy Friday! We’re participating in the Friendly Fill-Ins Blog Hop, presented by 15 and Meowing and McGuffy’s Reader. This week Natasha is helping me.



1. My favorite herb or spice is ________________.

2. An herb/spice I dislike is ________________.

3. Lately, I have been working on _______________.

4. This Winter was _______________.



Natasha teaching Larry to play tower toy.






1. My favorite herb or spice is cinnamon. (Natasha: My favorite herb or spice is chicken.)

2. An herb/spice I dislike is sage, though I don’t really dislike it. It’s just one of my least favorite. (Natasha: An herb/spice I dislike is shrimp.)

3. Lately, I have been working on picture book manuscripts. (Natasha: Lately, I have been working on my paw moves with the tower toy.)

4. This Winter was too warm! (Natasha: This Winter was without very much snow. And I like watching snow.)




Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Mysterious Neighborhood Cat



Have you ever met the Mysterious Neighborhood Cat? We haven’t either. But we’ve been getting visits from him for years.

Window blinds bent and askew? Must have been the Mysterious Neighborhood Cat, because surely none of the resident cats would do that, right?

Carpet pulled up at the bedroom door? Scratches on the table leg? Abbey, Natasha, and Connor shake their heads. They, too, believe the Mysterious Neighborhood Cat has paid another visit.

And you caught Abbey allegedly scratching on that table leg? She was just trying to repair the damage wrought by the Mysterious Neighborhood Cat.

The Mysterious Neighborhood Cat can slip in and out of the house without being seen. And while he’s in the house, he creates a lot of mischief, apparently thinking that we will blame our cats. 

We don’t know what the Mysterious Neighborhood Cat looks like. Some of our cats over the years have caught glimpses. Fluffy tail. Maybe gray. Maybe black. Could be orange. Maybe more of a yellow. We call the Mysterious Neighborhood Cat a boy, but he could be a girl. 

Maybe one day we will catch him in the house. Then we’ll find out why he does what he does.

Has the Mysterious Neighborhood Cat visited you?

Monday, February 27, 2017

Mancat Monday

Hi, eberypawdy! Connor here for Mancat Monday. It has been a long time since I talked with you guys, and I’ve missed you.

So, Mama says she is falling apart. Not sure what she means by that. She looks the same to me. But she’s been sick, and then a lot of work came up, and then a tooth broke off, and then she started to get something called a crown, and then her knees started to hurt, and then another tooth broke off, and she cried. 



I snuggled up beside her, and she said, thank you, Connor. She said it is stressful going to the dentist and paying lots of money to have her teeth fixed. I offered to give her the money in my piggy bank (why are they called piggy banks?), but she said, no, that’s OK, she would take care of it. And she called me a very sweet little boy. 

But she said to make it easier to talk with you all and share stories, and not feel overwhelmed, we are going to start blogging two times a week instead of three times. Our regular days will be Tuesdays and Fridays.

Hmmmm. So no Mancat Mondays? Mama told me not to worry. I would still get to tell you stories, along with my sisters.

So see you tomorrow!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Friendly Fill-ins with Connor

Happy Friday! We are joining Friday Fill-ins today. It’s hosted by 15 and Meowing and McGuffy’s Reader. Connor is helping me with the questions today.


1. Snow ___________________.

2. My favorite kind of soup is _________________.

3. When no one is around, I _______________. 

4. _______________ is my _____________.







1. Snow is one of my favorite things. (Connor: Snow is very interesting. It falls out of the sky and just seems to get bigger and bigger when it hits the grass.)

2. My favorite kind of soup is lentil. (Connor: My favorite soup is the juice in those Delectables packages.)

3. When no one is around, I take a nap. (Connor: When no one is around, I, uh, -- am a good boy.)

4. Larry is my best friend. (Connor: My Dad is my hero.)





Friday, February 10, 2017

Happy 1st Gotcha Day, Connor!


This is the picture that Friends of Campbell County Animal Control,
the volunteer group that partners with Campbell County Animal Control,
posted on Facebook. I shared it and tagged Larry, and the rest is history.


Happy 1st Gotcha Day, Connor Romeo! It has been a year since we adopted you from the Campbell County Animal Shelter, and life has not been the same since. You have been a joy to us, and we love you forever!

You were just 9 months old then. You are a big boy now. But still our baby.


Here are some favorite pictures of you, Connor:

One of the first pictures I took of Connor on the day we adopted him.


Connor was sick when we adopted him. The vet gave him an antibiotic,
but he was so quiet and wouldn't eat. We were very worried. I stayed up with him all night.
When he kicked off the blanket and turned over on his back,
looking more comfortable, I was so happy.


Stretching out for a nap.

And a close up of the napping boy.


Connor loves to play.


Visiting with Billy the Squirrel.


Connor loves to learn.


Sometimes he has a lot to say.


He loves to conduct experiments.


He's our sweet boy.



Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Sticks, boxes, and a bag


We call this picture "Sad Box."
The fuzzy toys are attached to the sticks that make the game fun.


So what have Abbey, Natasha, and Connor been doing lately? 

The cat toys for the most part have been ignored. Who needs cat toys when you have sticks, boxes, and a bag?

Right after Christmas, the kitties enjoyed sitting in the used gift boxes that we didn’t fold up to use another year. One evening, during our interactive play time (I know. I sound like a helicopter mom), I started waving the stick part of a wand toy underneath a box. The kitties decided it was fun to chase and pounce on the stick and go after it before it disappeared under the box. And a new game was discovered.

Since then, as the gift boxes have worn out, we’ve gotten out others. We’re at the point where we need to get more out of storage because they wear out after numerous games. And Connor likes to pretend he’s a lion and rip off pieces of the cardboard.

For a few days, we added a catnip bag, until Connor channeled the lion with that, too. 

Still, every night, we play a little stick and box. Who said the simple things weren’t fun?

The pictures are not great. As you know, it's hard to take pictures and wave sticks around at the same time.

Abbey resting in a box after playing.


Abbey: "I'm going to get you, stick!" Natasha waits nearby.


Abbey and Connor: box or bag?


Natasha: "My paws are faster than you, stick!"


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Abbey Speaks



Abbey, September 2016


Hi, eberypawdy! It’s me, Abbey. Thank you for thinking of me and praying for me. 

I am doing well overall. I have thrown up 4 times within the last 4 weeks (Mama calls them episodes). One of those may have been the work of Natasha or Connor, but none of us are talking about it. Even if it’s 4 for me, that’s a lot better than what was going on before.

I don’t make it easy for Mama and Dad to give me the Cerenia, but Mama is (finally) getting faster at pushing the pill in with that stick thing (pet piller), so at least I don’t have to be upset too long.

I like the venison food pretty well. I like the I/D food too. Mama put away the Blue Buffalo to see if we would be OK with that. Dad weighed me a couple weeks ago, and I weighed 12.7 pounds. Mama weighed me Saturday, and I still weighed 12.7 pounds. At the vet on Jan. 9, I weighed 12.11 pounds. 

Mama sure is keeping her eye on me. She looks worried. I try to show her I’m OK by running around and playing. And wrestling with Connor. But Mama is a worrier. She is going to talk with the vet to see if she wants to do more tests and to see if she wants me to stay on the Cerenia.

We sure have missed you. I told Mama I wanted to talk with you all and make sure you didn’t forget us. We’ve got things to talk about and stories to tell you! We hope you all have been well.

See you on Wednesday!