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Wordless Wednesday: Take That!

K8 & Mini

K8 was taking a ‘selfie’ and got photo bombed by Mini Cooper.  Boy that kitten learns fast.  Have a great Wednesday.

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This is a Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop. Thanks to BlogPaws for the hop. Head over there and see what they are blogging about.

Just another DogDaz morning at the zoo ❤

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2014 in Cats

 

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12.10.12 Incredibly Hard Choices

Warning:  This is a sad and difficult post.  I will understand if you don’t read any further today because this deals with life/death choices.

Sometimes, things in life are just outside your control.  It is impossible, no matter what you do, what medications you try, what behavior modifications you do, to get an animal to respond in a way that is peaceful in a family situation.  That is the problem I had here with Miss Constance Kitty.  We rescued her 6 years ago as a kitten.  We knew that she had scoleosis, which is a curvature of the spine, and that she was always going to be a little different.  She was a playful kitten though.  She loved her scratching post, jumped and ran like any other cat, and loved to play with Squash’s big furry tail.  But, as she grew older, she became more and more cranky and afraid.  Though the vet had checked for all obvious disease that could cause pain and crankiness, she did not have any.  She fought with the other cats – sometimes starting it and sometimes just in response to fear.  She hid, a lot.  And when she did not get her way, she peed in inappropriate places.

Two or more years ago, the peeing was only occasional.  She peed on the dog beds (ok, I figured she did not like them); then on the newspaper (or any paper), if left flat on the table.  In the fruit bowl, if there was nothing in it.  Then in any bowl, if there was nothing in it (I was unwrapping some new soup bowls I bought at Pier 1 and before I could put them away, she had already christened them).  Then came shoes.  Last summer, when my sister was visiting, and sleeping on the living room couch, it was on my sister’s pillow.  We started living with a plastic table-cloth on the couch (so that we at least could clean it easier when she went, which she always did).  Recently, she moved to peeing on the bed, right in front of us or while we were sleeping. We tried anxiety medicine rubbed on her ear, and anxiety collar with pheromones; rescue remedy 2X a day; we carried her to a private litter box (1 of 4) and applauded her as she did her business after every meal.  She had every test and exam the vet could think off. We knew she can go in the pan: she pooped in the pan.  We knew she knew where the pans were.  I even made her a special bed behind my monitor on my desk so she could be with me and protected all day (thinking maybe it was a security thing) with the litter box right outside my office door, but no, she would stay with me for the day and then go on the living room couch or the kitchen table and pee.

When Nine, the bully boy, came last year, it did not help.  He liked to pick fights with her.  She started to hide under a side table between the couches, so we created a safe space there for her, so she can be undisturbed, but then she came out and peed on the side table.  We gave her time alone with a litter pan and her food in a bathroom; she peed on the floor next to the pan and on the scratching post (she loved that post) that was in there to play with.  She peed on the ottoman at the end of the bed.  And finally, my last straw was that she peed in my favorite pocketbook on the kitchen table. 

To what extent do you live terrorized by the anxiety and antisocial behavior of one of your pets?  When you have to worry about where you leave a magazine or the mail, just in case a cat will choose that spot to pee in today.  How much do you change your life to accommodate such behavior?  For most of my life I have arranged my days to take care of children or animals.  I nursed many an animal to the end of its life with its associate ailments and incontinence.  I diapered Nikki dog, and gave Squash insulin 2X a day for years; Alice cat was confined to a kennel in my office in her last year due to kidney disease; etc. etc.  But I have never had any situation like this.  No matter what we have done, no matter how much attention we give her, Kitty did not respond appropriately.  We were exhausted by her.  We were saddened by her. All I can figure is that she was in so much emotional pain, and maybe even physical pain that could not be tested, that she was telling us, by her behavior, how miserable she was.  We thought of rehoming her, but how do you change the life situation of a terrified cat?  She would not survive on a farm since she did not like other animals and was physically fragile.  She peed everywhere, so how do you rehome an animal and pass your problem on to another person – that would just not be fair? The vet said that we had done more than she had ever seen people do to try and treat this behavior.

We love you Constance Kitty, but we just could not do this anymore. Our hearts are broken but Miss Constance Kitty had to leave the zoo.  This is definitely the hardest pet decision that I/we have ever had to make in my life.  But Kitty is safe now and once again pain free and playing with Squash’s tail in the big meadow.

Postscript:  Kitty left us a parting gift.  As we crawled into bed that night, after a long trying day, V noticed that the covers were all wet.  This to me was a testament that we did the right thing for us, and for Kitty. 😦

NOT Just another DogDaz morning at the zoo ❤

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2012 in Cats

 

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10.10.12 SuperSized Noel: Dealing With Cat Fat

All that blogging last week was exhausting

When I came home from this last trip it appeared to me that Noël gained about 5 lbs.  People had said she was a ‘big’ cat, but I guess I just did not see it.

It is a very hard job maintaining order in the zoo.   Everyone is always demanding something: food, attention,  affection (the usual). But what I have noticed of late with the cat pack is that the inmates seem to be running the asylum (*see note below).  What I mean is that everything appears to be topsy-turvy or upside down, where the animals are telling the humans what to do and when. The normal routine of life is being disturbed by the constant pleading and manipulation of the animals, which has escalated to a fever pitch.  This extends to multiple things, but mostly it is around FOOD.

Obesity in animals is a very large problem (no pun intended).  Even a pound (kilo) of weight on their small frames can shorten their lives and add to health issues (I mostly worry about heart, joint, and diabetes). Trying to balance feeding for 5 cats at very different stages of their lives is becoming a full-time job. Muffy needs to eat all the time to keep up his geriatric weight of 4 lbs; the youngsters, Nine and Stella, need a higher amount of calories because they are so active; and the middle-aged cats, Noël and Kitty, each have different consumption needs – Noël cleaning everyone’s plate and Kitty eating just enough.

Solving weight and exercise issues when you are a multi-animal household is hard.  You need to get every member of the family to take part to get control of the situation.  I know that over weight animals, if there is no underlying health problem, get that way from consuming to many calories and/or lack of exercise.   So, the food has to be controlled.

All the science and psychology and medical/vet things around how to feed and even what to feed seem to be based on a one animal at a time basis.  Balancing the health needs of 7 animals (5 cats & 2 dogs), all at different growth levels, is a challenge.  I really don’t want to be buying 3 or 4 different cat foods and then spend every Sunday apportioning who can have what and when for the week.  That thought makes me shutter.  There must be an easier way???? 

“Here Noël, come have some celery and carrots with Mommy.”

Just another DogDaz morning at the zoo ❤

*I do not know the origin of the expression, “the inmates are running the asylum,” but in the old days, people with mental or emotional problems were locked up in a ‘insane or lunatic asylum.‘  It would be politically correct to call them ‘Mental Hospitals’ today, but they were by no means helping the patients to get on with their lives in a healthy way (which is my definition of a hospital).  They were more like dead-end prisons for people in society that the rest of the world could not figure out how to deal with.  You can imagine the chaos when the people in charge lost control of what was supposed to be happening in such a facility. Sadly, that is how I feel at the moment around feeding time at the zoo.

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2012 in Cats

 

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9.18.12 Kitty Update

Miss Constance Kitty has decided that she will take over my office. When I take a break for a minute and then return to my desk, she is now always in my chair.  When I try to move her she gets mad at me.  If she can’t be on my chair than she has decided she will lay on my papers.  She does not want to go into the cat bed under the window which would be a good place for her (but it does probably smell like Noel, since it is her’s, so I kind of understand that).  I never thought Kitty liked me so I am really freaking out that she wants to be with me in my office and even is trying to get under the covers with me at night.  Kitty is one of those one person cats and she was Peanut’s kitten at first, but she turned into V’s cat over the years, but now, she seems to be taking a liking to me.   I don’t want her to like me!  (I know that probably sounds terrible.)  I already have to many other animals that beg for my attention in this zoo.  I like when the animal attention requirements is somewhat spread around to the other humans.  But, alas, it is now only V and me, which violates one of my rules – you should never have more pets than you have hands.  You see when it was us and the 3 kids, we had 10 hands.  At one point we did have 11 furballs (ok the guinea pigs had 3 babies, it was not planned).  But than the oldest moved out and we had 8 hands and 8 animals, and when it moved to 6 hands we had 7 animals, but now it is four hands and we still have 7 animals.  Oh my, I am in trouble here aren’t I, and I digress…..    

I have come to some conclusions about Kitty’s behavior:

(1) Kitty pees on the coach when people are overnight visiting (especially intense energy people).  She does this to tell us she does not like outsiders in her house.  If her routine is changed or people are loud, she gets “pissed.”

(2) Kitty is calmer when I sequester her for dinner in the bathroom with her own litter box, for at least 1/2 hr.  She is happy and calm when I open the door. 

(3)  “GoodNights” Disposable Bed Mats, with adhesive corners, are now an essential item on my shopping list.  They protect the coach cushions, under a cloth cover, very effectively.

(4)  I still do not know why she pees on newpaper or in empty bowls, but we leave no papers down, anywhere and no bowl empty, so this has not happened in a while.

(5) She secretly smiles when we spray Nine with the water bottle, mostly for chasing her or Muffin.  Tonight I actually gave Nine a very long time out because he kept trapping her into corners.

(6)  On days when Nine and/or Stella really terrorize her, she gets very upset and could act out.  Separating the cats, especially at night, makes a lot of difference in her stress level (Nine and Stella still sleep locked in the kitten room.)

(7)  Kitty is following me because I protect her and she knows it.  She is staying close because I have the power of the spray bottle and the ability to lock cats and dogs behind closed doors.

OK, I guess I can get used to her snuggling up to me if it will keep her from peeing on the furniture.  But I am going to keep my office door closed when I am not in there, just in case she changes her mind about the new improved relationship.

Just another DogDaz morning at the zoo ❤

 
12 Comments

Posted by on September 18, 2012 in Cats

 

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