These are from April 2011.
Archive for May, 2012
In our main living area, we have a sliding glass door that leads out to our little deck. When we moved here, we bought a cheap-o screen door that just kind of pops onto the track next to the glass door so that we can have the doorway open and get those nice cross breezes. On our deck right now we have a hummingbird feeder and a bird feeder. The hummingbird feeder has not been very popular yet this year, but the bird feeder gets heavy traffic. Sometimes a chipmunk comes up onto the deck to pick through the dropped seed below the feeder.
This combination of cool breezes, outside smells, and defenseless small wildlife is utterly irresistible to our cats. I call it “Cat TV” and they will watch it for hours.
Unfortunately, it is clearly time for us to pony up and get a real screen door installed, because George just knocked the cheap-o one off its tracks. Seems he got a little too into his “TV show” and lunged hard for a bird. What a doofus.
Good: The girls are both back to 95% health!
Bad: They both still have ugly nagging coughs…
Good: We’re so glad to have the sicky weeks behind us!
Good: The meds I got for the kitty worms were pills — a single dose for each of them, and then another single dose 3 weeks later — and they went down very easily.
Bad: Four days after that first dose, the diarrhea is still unchanged, which means we are most likely heading for Albon — a 10-day course of a liquid med, which may turn out extremely stressful for Georgie Boy.
Good: I’m not worrying about that yet, and even if we do have to do the Albon, the people who were taking care of the cats before we adopted them assure me that I have a good chance of getting it into him if I mix it with canned food.
Good: Only 10 days until the end of school, and 13 days until Sammi turns TEN!
Bad: It’s all going too fast! I’m not ready!!!
Good: Whee! Vacation!! Birthday!!! FUN!!!!
Good: Sammi’s getting her palate expander off on July 16!!
Bad: Four weeks after that (on 8/13 heh), she has to get another impression made so they can make her a retainer. She’s really worried about it. (Last time they did an impression, it was very traumatic, with a lot of crying and gagging and struggling.)
Good: *sigh* Well, um, that one really is kind of a bad thing. But I’m going to ask them if there’s anything that they can do or suggest or try to make the impression any easier than the last one was. I’m even going to ask about the possibility of pre-sedation.
Good: A dozen new pictures up!
Bad: I’m still over a year behind — there are from the beginning of 2011.
Good: Hey, at least 2010 is done!
So here I sit, and it’s the last (one of the last?) times I’ll have Quiet House until September, and I’m waiting impatiently for the vet to call me back, already, and I’m just so generally tippy-top full of assorted small stresses that I’ve lost the ability to stop twitching or think coherently. So I’m watching videos on YouTube because that’s what one does in these situations, yes? So here’s this damn video, and I hate myself for loving it, because it’s one big freaking commercial for Absolut. Yes, it’s that commercial for Absolut, but the long form, and I just love the set design and costumes so desperately that I’m willing to overlook the buzz marketing and disappointing soundtrack.
Alice went back to school today, yay!! Tomorrow’s her last dose of the antibiotic, which she is mostly tolerating now. She’s still coughing a lot, especially when she exerts herself, but I got some OTC stuff that is helping a lot with that. Other than that, she’s very close to her normal abnormal sweet self.
So, yeah, the cats have had diarrhea since we got them. And here I am talking about it again. Aren’t you glad you’re reading this blog post right now and not doing something else — something more pleasant, like smelling pretty flowers or hugging a loved one?
Anyway… The week-long course of Flagyl which was so stressful for George made absolutely no difference, and both cats had been dewormed with Strongid before we got them. But apparently they need some more medication, because I just discovered a truly massive pile of cat vomit (the first time either of them has puked since we got them), which included three 6-inch long segments of tapeworm. Oh my freaking lawd. I have lived with cats almost my entire life and I have never seen anything like that. Wow.
Sooooo, um, I have a call in to the vet and tomorrow I’ll pick up more meds. Man, I hope it’s pills and not liquid.
So Alice came home from the doctor yesterday and immediately fell asleep on the couch. She woke up long enough to take the first dose of her antibiotics, which was a double dose (by design — the Z-Pak is two pills on the first day, then one per day for four days), and eat half a sandwich and some crackers, then she fell asleep for another 90 minutes. She woke up at that point, all sweaty and clammy and feeling awful, and proceeded to throw up. (Stomach upset and nausea are common side effects of this drug.) But I think she’d pretty much digested the pill before that happened, because after she puked, she was obviously feeling better, and she stayed awake for the rest of the evening!
Today her temperature’s down, she can talk a little (although she still coughs if she talks too much), she’s been awake all morning, and she’s clearly on the mend. She doesn’t get the next dose of antibiotic until this afternoon; hopefully the rest of the doses won’t give her as much trouble because they’re half the potency of yesterday’s hit. No matter how good she looks, she’s not going back to school tomorrow, but I’m hoping that she’ll be ready to go back on Thursday.
The doctor checked Alice out and listened to her lungs for a long time. He thinks maybe it’s a virus, maybe not. He was willing to prescribe an antibiotic for us, just in case it will help, given how long she’s been sick and the fact that her temp has been 102° all day. So I just picked up a Z-Pak for her and gave her the first dose. He said she’s looking at at least another couple of days home from school. Going out to the doctor wore her out so much, she slept for an hour while I ran out to get the antibiotics.
I’m taking Alice to the doctor this afternoon. She’s been sick since last Monday — started out with “headache, low fever, sore throat and fatigue,” which morphed into “higher fever, LOTS of fatigue, wet-sounding but non-productive cough, and no voice.” The doctor’s office is SWAMPED today but they want to see her based on my report of symptoms and duration, so we’re going in at 2:30 and waiting until they can squeeze us in. She’s asleep on the couch now because she took a 3-minute shower (she hadn’t gotten to wash her hair in two days). Driving to the doctor and sitting in the waiting room for however long it takes (we normally wait 20-30 minutes there even with an appointment) is going to completely wear her out.
This new batch of pictures finishes out 2010. And I’ve got ¾ of 2011 processed and ready to post in the coming days. Imagine: someday I could be caught up with pictures!! Oh fond hope…
For those following the story… George took the pills with substantially less fuss; I guess he really hated the taste of the liquid. He’s done with his course of meds (Fred has one more dose of the liquid tonight), but the litter box situation is unchanged. I’m going to give it a week or so without me doing anything stressful to them at all, and then work on transitioning their food to one made for upset kitty tummies, and leave them on that for a week or so. If there’s no change at that point, then I think we’ll need to try a different medication (Albon). Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that, since I’d really rather not have to do anything else mean to George for a loooong time.
Other than the fact that their litter box is a freaking toxic disaster site, they seem happy and unbothered by their symptoms. Fred seems to be sneezing and coughing less. George’s eyes are still irritated, but he doesn’t seem to mind.
Here are two very cute pictures of them snuggling with each other.
And Happy Birthday to Anth!!
Tonight’s dose of liquid medicine went poorly. Fred took his easily, but George refused it mixed with yogurt, hid, struggled, required all four of us to chase him around and around the house, drooled, scratched, spat, flailed, and is currently cowering under a table or something. Tomorrow morning I’m calling the vet’s office first thing and asking if I can get pills for him instead of liquid, and then I’m going to try pill pockets. If that doesn’t work, I’m going to have to board him at the vet’s office over the weekend so they can give him the rest of his meds. I hate this.
In the interest of not doing any of the things I’m actually supposed to be doing, I’ve posted more pictures. These are from our trip to the Adventure Aquarium in New Jersey in late 2010, and a few other holiday-related things.
I’m feeling really low and exhausted and demoralized today. The last week or so has been crazy busy. Sammi was sick with a lingering cough & fever combo all last week and Alice has been sick with a sore throat & malaise duo this week. Nothing is working right and everything is irritating me. Anth is super-stressed about work and stuff and everybody’s just grumpy and like this – D:
The worst thing right now for me is the cats. We took them to the vet on Monday — as predicted, it was somewhat traumatic, but everyone survived. Unfortunately, I did get meds for them… The fecal sample was negative for parasites, so we’re not sure what it is causing the (severe) diarrhea; she prescribed a course of Flagyl, twice a day for a full week. This is a liquid (I could have gotten it in pill form but chose liquid because I foolishly thought it would be harder for them to spit out the liquid) that I have to squirt in their mouth (0.5 ml for Fred, 0.7 ml for George) every morning and evening. Fred is surprisingly mellow with it — doesn’t really struggle much, swallows it down and kinda shrugs when I let him go. George, however, is a nightmare; I have an 8 inch long scratch on my leg that he gave me during this morning’s dose. He now runs away and hides whenever he sees me (so much for building a relationship), and when I squirt the medicine in his mouth he doesn’t swallow, just drools. Worst of all, after 5 doses (out of 14 total), I’ve seen absolutely no improvement in the diarrhea. So I’m stressing an already-stressed cat, making sure he hates me before he even gets to know me, restraining him and shoving crap down his throat twice a day, and it’s not even working. I bought some unflavored yogurt today for them. Hopefully the probiotics will help their guts. I might even try mixing George’s meds into the yogurt, if he likes it. If he’ll even take it from me. *sigh*
Besides the diarrhea, George has some sort of virusy thing causing a weepy and inflamed eye, and Fred is sneezing and coughing a lot. It seems like Fred’s trying to work out a hairball, but as far as I can tell he never actually coughs anything out. I was Googling around for different strategies for the hairball thing and saw that really severe hairballs that are too big for the cat to cough up can cause diarrhea and may require surgery to remove, but the vet palpated their abdomens really thoroughly on Monday and didn’t notice or report anything like that. I’m just so bummed about how unhealthy they are, and how traumatic the medication is for George.
I haven’t posted pictures in a while. *sigh* So I’m grievously behind again, posting pix from Halloween 2010, and it all feels deeply anticlimactic. I need to change my attitude about this, make pictures less of a momentous occasion, so that I can put them up more often without building it up into a big chore that I keep putting off. So in that spirit, there are pictures up from, like, 18 months ago if you want to go see ‘em. No biggy.
What’s been up…
- We had a disastrous visit to our dentist last week. We’ve been going to her for many years but we’ll never go back there again. *sigh* Without getting into too much detail, suffice it to say that we’re in the market for a new dentist, preferably someone who’s not prone to taking his/her bad days out on the patients.
- I seem to be unable to fully learn this lesson: Crock pots and slow cookers are only a convenient means of meal preparation if you get the food in there in the morning. I’ve got a batch of ribs cooking right now that isn’t going to be done until almost 10:00 tonight. Grrr.
- Alice had her ballet recital — her last ballet recital — yesterday. She’s pretty firm that she’s decided to stop ballet at this point, for various reasons. Here she is, backstage with one of her classmates. Here is the last ballet bun I ever have to achieve. And here she is, in costume as the evil fairy from Sleeping Beauty, posing after the show.
- The cats continue to adapt. Fred’s pretty much a-ok with living here; George is still rather skittish, but has long stretches when he just hangs out and sleeps in a box in the living room. He’s mellowed a lot. Moving the food upstairs has helped considerably with drawing him up into the living space. They both really love the girls, and they’re pretty chill with Anth, but they don’t really seem to like me a whole lot, possibly because I’m the mean one who put them in a cat carrier and drove them in a scary car far away from their homey pet shop, or maybe because I’m the mean one who cleans the diarrhea off their butts and their paws (both of them have had terrible sick poops since we got them, even though (???) I’m feeding them the same stuff they were eating at the store), or maybe because I’m the mean one who runs the dishwasher and the washing machine and the vacuum cleaner. (I dunno, they don’t hate me or anything, I guess I just want a lap kitty and neither of them is up for that at this point; they mostly want to play with the girls, or eat, or have horrible poops in the litter box….) Unfortunately, I have to get them back in the carriers and drive them to the vet tomorrow, which I predict will be unpleasantly traumatic for both of them and which will undoubtedly reinforce their opinion of me as the big scary monster. Fingers crossed that the diarrhea, etc. is fixable with a change of food or something, and doesn’t require a course of medication, because I don’t want to also be the mean one who shoves pills down their throats twice a day. *sigh*