Friday, April 30, 2010
kitty tent first run
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Today, Theo had his first solid-formed poop in three months!! Could it be that the chronic diarrhea is over and done with?!
When I picked Theo up from the specialist last Friday, he seemed different. He was acting much more subdued than usual. He still was interested in food but not crazy interested like before. He was energetic but not bouncing off the walls. And then this morning I witnessed the moment of glory.
What was the magic cure? We have no idea. The specialist didn't give him anything, they only performed diagnostic work. And we didn't change his meds until Sunday, but maybe the nasty deworming medicine (Panacur) has made an immediate difference. Whatever brought about this change, I am thankful.
I left Theo's regular vet, Annabelle Zastrow, a note this morning, informing her of the good news. I ended the note with "it is fun being a crazy cat person!" Denial no more, the actions prove it: texting my wife with the breaking news about Theo's accomplishment, sharing the exciting news with the vet, dancing a celebratory jig after Theo did the deed - they all point to one thing. Today is more than the day Theo's poop solidified, it is the day I realized I have crossed over the line into being "the crazy cat guy". Time to start shopping for the cat emblazoned apparel and accessories.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Today was the official start of moth hunting season and Willow was rearing to go. I had spotted a moth on the front porch earlier that evening so we started there.
The routine goes as follows: the first one to spot the moth calls out to alert the other so both are focused on the same prey. Usually the moth is high off the ground so my job is to give it a gentle tap to get it flying lower. Willow tracks it and when it gets too low, she pins it with her paw and carefully brings it to her mouth. Then comes the quick snarf followed by a look of delight. We're then ready for the next one.
This night the first moth was a wussy moth (technical speak for a small, easy to capture moth). I assisted in the hunt several times by knocking the moth lower. Willow made a few attempts but then Nahum stole her joy and made the kill. Willow was devastated.
Before she could linger too long in self-pity the second moth appeared - this one was a prized giant moth, practically a small bird! Willow's eyes became big saucers as she tracked the moth's every move. The tension on the porch rose with the sound of her hunting cackle, the moth's fear evident. Willow boldly pushed the other cats aside to get first crack at the prey. This moth's preservation instinct was strong as it remained near the ceiling fluttering with wild abandon as it tried to cheat death's call. One more gentle assist with the moth stick and wham! - the death blow was swift. Theo appeared out of no where and ended it.
Willow was crushed. Twice now she missed her prize. No amount of consoling helped to clear the disappointment from her normally cheerful little face. I could think of only one thing to do - check out the hunting conditions on the back porch. Sadly no more bugs were to be found. Willow leaves the first day of moth season with the thrill of the chase but is unable to bag the big moth.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Here are my two favorites:
Saturday, April 24, 2010
This morning I enjoyed a great moment of joy with Laura as we watched Nahum play with his chair. Nahum's playful freedom gave me a gift. Holding back my joy may act to protect me but it also prevents me from experiencing greater depth in relationship that comes with being truly known and loved.
Friday, April 23, 2010
The specialist-vet performed an ultrasound to check out his innards and we got the news that everything on the inside looks like it should. She read through his chart notes and wondered if he has ever been properly de-wormed. Wouldn't that be something, to spend all this time and money only to have it be worms! Ugh! They were going to give him the de-worming medicine just in case and meanwhile we are to return to the first medication we tried and hope for the best.
The vet also noted after looking over Theo's innards, that he is a young cat. We had been thinking he was young, but then the wear on his tooth made us think older, but now we are back to younger again! If only it was that easy to be young again!
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
So, to Craigslist I went, searching for portable carports and animal enclosures. Soon enough, I found a portable picnic table screened tent. It is meant to go around a picnic table to provide dry and bug free camping. I instantly realized it was the perfect portable kitty tent. And it was well below budget, only $35!
After a phone call, some planning and a trip after work to Renton - we now have a portable kitty tent! it is quite large, which I hope will help the cats feel like they are not in a cage. I will need to engineer a fix so the cats can't escape under the sides, but a design is already being worked through.
This summer's project is to paint the exterior of our house. Whenever I am working on the house, the cats are in the windows longing to come out too. Now, the cats can lounge in the grass, enjoy the sun and hear and smell all the cool outside noises and smells as I make progress on the house. The next warm, sunny weekend, we get to try it out! Yahooo!!
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
How the judging works is still a mystery to me. It seems various breeds and types of cats compete against each other. From what I hear there is a system to the process, however, I will need to attend more shows before I get a handle on how things work.
The basic operation is very different from a dog show. The handlers place their feline-entrants into the proper cage behind the judge and then sit in the viewing gallery to watch how their cat does. The judge takes each cat from it's cage, places it on the judging table and runs it through a number of various tests to check it out and then returns it to it's cage. The same process unfolds for each cat. The awarding of ribbons process is very confusing as there are multiple ribbons given out, it is not nearly as straight forward as a dog show. Ultimately how the winner is selected is still way beyond my understanding.
It is clear from the energy in the room, that the people showing cats and spectating are having a good time. Compared to a dog show, there is a lot more interaction between the handlers, audience and judges. The judge often talks about what he or she is noticing in the cat as they look it over.
After another successful and fun show, I will be looking out for an upcoming larger cat show, one that hopefully has agility! That will be fun!
Saturday, April 17, 2010
week in pictures
As the outside temperatures begin to rise with the coming of summer, the bugs are starting to appear. An occasional bug finds it's way into the enclosed porch and becomes a tasty snack.
Last summer, Willow and I had a nightly ritual of hunting bugs together. I would knock them down lower or get them to fly and she would take them down. Then as winter approached I searched for a humane moth trap so I could live trap moths and release them for her. I never found a catch-and-release moth trap, it seems most people are more interested in killing the moths directly.
Seeing Willow's enthusiasm recently as she hunted down a huge fly, I believe it's going to be an exciting bug season!
Thursday, April 15, 2010
His excitement of having me home is clearly communicated each time I return after being away for the day. I may get several requests for tummy rubs quickly followed up by requests to play. Meanwhile he talks up a storm with all of his odd but cute vocalizations.
If I don't make it into the living room where most of his toys are quick enough, he drags a toy out to me and asks that I make it move for him.
He is not much of a snuggler, unless you catch him right when he wakes up. Every morning I used to get great Nahum cuddles at around 6am when he would climb on my chest and snuggle in. Sadly, he recently stopped this ritual.
Nahum most always makes me laugh and smile. For this I am very grateful.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Nahum and Theo took it upon themselves to break into the container and get the treats. I walked in on the scene of the crime after I heard a bunch of crunching and it wasn't meal time! I investigated and found them both snarfing down the loot. I think it's time for a new container!
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Poor guy, he looks rather uncomfortable, with his eye partially closed and discharge oozing out. After the vet trip his eye is quite swollen. He seems a little less energetic and more skittish than usual.
I just want to scoop him up and hold him telling him everything is going to be all-right, but he would hate that! He only likes to be cuddled on his terms.
Max used to get eye infections somewhat regularly and it was always difficult to see him suffer. It is hard watching a cat you love suffer, even if in a minor way. Hopefully, the ointment does the trick for Nahum and he is back to 100% before too long.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
We have increased her asthma medication and hopefully it will help her breathe easier.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
update on Theo
I was hoping the diarrhea was due from his slight-hyperthyroidism. But after giving him thyroid medication for a month now there has been no change in the consistency of his poop, even though the lab work is showing progress in treating the hyperthyroidism.
So, the next option is for him to visit a specialist who will preform an endoscopy in hopes of diagnosing his condition. But before we can get this procedure done, he has to be off the steroids for 6 weeks. Thus, we have begun the tapering process, which will take several weeks.
It appears my hope that his problem would all be cleared up before the AAT evaluation in June is not going to happen. I suppose I might go forward with the evaluation and if he passes will wait for him to get well before bringing him into work. That means I need to resume practicing with him meeting unfamiliar people and doing all the things he needs to do to pass the evaluation.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
It seems Willow can do no wrong, at least in my world! I find myself making excuses for Willow's behavior, painting her in a more positive light. "Surely, she didn't jump on the counter, all the cats know better, especially Willow!"
Theo is not allowed on the table, especially when we are eating. Nahum is not allowed on the table near the food when we are eating. Willow, she is not allowed to eat off the plates on the table. She seems to get special permissions the other cats don't get.
Willow is allowed under the sheets on the bed. Theo has to fight his way under and Nahum is not at all interested in such craziness.
Willow gets first crack at hunting bugs even though the others are very interested.
Willow gets first dibs on newly created kitty spots.
Theo gets squirted with water when hunting Willow. Theo gets a verbal reprimand when hunting Nahum. Willow gets no reprimand when hunting anyone.
Movies get paused when Willow is being exceptionally cute. Actually, that's true for all of them!
Indeed, Willow gets special treatment. But is that such a bad thing?!
Monday, April 5, 2010
Everytime I turn around it seems he is flopping on the ground, rolling over and blocking my path. Got to pay the tummy rub toll before passing. Of course I don't mind paying, he's so adorable!
Friday, April 2, 2010
The idea came to me after our recent appointment with Theo, where his thyroid level was rechecked. It became clear in that visit, that Annabelle thinks we are over-the-top nutty cat owners. Thus, the plan involves playing into that characterization. I won't say more right now, but will provide further details after it goes down - stay tuned!
Thursday, April 1, 2010
When Max was still with me, he was always demanding to be held and loved. When I returned from a days work, he would meet me at the door meowing away and asking insistently to be picked up. His purr motor, operating at full speed as he snuggled into my arms. He loved to be loved on. Only after his love needs were fulfilled would he express interest in food.
Nahum, Willow and Theo approach life very differently. After a quick greeting at the door they demand food. After dinners Nahum demands play. He sometimes drags a toy over to me or he will park in front of the secret toy spot and ask for toys. (The secret toy spot is where I put toys out of kitty reach, usually on a high book shelf.) He has learned to be very vocal when making requests. He makes all sorts of odd sounds. I need to capture some of his sounds on video and post them here, they are quite fun and always make me laugh.
Willow rarely asks for much. When her toy is out of reach under an appliance or behind a bookshelf, she will wait patiently nearby, her nose pointing to the location of the toy. When she is about to expire from starvation, she makes it a point to be underfoot, so I don't forget about her languish!
Theo it seems is always demanding! Usually it pertains to food, he has a very loud, non-stop grating meow. He goes and goes, wearing me down until I give in just to shut him up. I know I am reinforcing undesirable behavior. Occasionally, he will ask to be picked up. Lately, it seems like whenever I sit at the computer to work, he insists on getting attention. His demanding ways have a way of being less cute and more annoying. I hope that changes (both his behavior and my behavior).
I can't imagine what parents experience regarding the demanding nature of children! Yikes!