Friday, March 13, 2009

On the Road Again

JP and I ventured down to Kendall again today to see Dr. Colker. They were every bit as nice today as they were on Tuesday. It wasn't a fluke! JP didn't cry too much in the car this time (though he was hiding behind the bed when he heard the carrier in the other room initially). They promptly escorted us in to what I now realized is a more dog-a-ly-decorated exam room and took a tiny bit of blood from his back leg. He was being such a good boy! His glucose level had dropped from 209 to 107!! Yay! So, Dr. Colker decided not to give him an insulin shot today. I will keep an eye on him over the weekend to see if he is still peeing out of the box and/or drinking a lot of water, etc. Then I will bring him back Tuesday for another blood test. JP was quiet on the way home and settled in pretty quickly. He did not pee on himself, even though I did a classic Cathi move and spaced out on the Turnpike, missing my exit causing me to drive all the way up to Broward County before turning and fighting a bunch of traffic home on Red Road and on 441. There was no problem assimilating back into the clowder. I did a little allogrooming then took a nap with INKY. Dr. Colker doesn't want to call JP's diagnosis DIABETES because really he is not a sick cat. He has healthy skin, eyes, ears, BLADDER!(I won't get into that now) etc. I'm gonna leave it brief today so I can go research WALKING PNEUMONIA...just cuz my lungs are hurting lately.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dr. Colker Rocks!

JP finally made it to Dr. Colkers today all the way down in Kendall (UGGGGHHHHH!). I got him in the carrier no problem but he did cry most of the way down there (40 min drive or so). I tried to keep my hand in the carrier with him to pet him and calm him down. Thank God he did not pee in there (he has been known to do this in the past. INKY, by the way, got so upset he SPRAYED in my Jeep a couple years ago). When we arrived at Kendall Animal Clinic, Dr. Colker herself greeted us in the waiting room. Helen (working the desk) was very kind and welcoming also. I talked briefly with Dr. Colker, filled out paperwork and only waited a few minutes before being escorted in to an exam room that was fairly comforting considering what they were gonna do in there!! There were lots of pictures and diagrams and chachkies of dogs and cats. Well, Dr. Colker was accompanied by 2 technicians (one of which had been a doctor in Cuba - we've heard this scenario a million times in Miami!). These 2 men were very gentle with my precious kitty and quite efficient too. JP weighs 15 lbs. now but Dr. Colker kept saying, "I can't believe that! It's all muscle". I'm glad she was gentle with my boys self-esteem 'cuz he ain't a little thing. Actually, none of my cats (OK, maybe 1) are fat...they are just really big and heavy. A touch overweight perhaps. Dr. Colker even mentioned this. JP is only slightly more overweight than I am. And I'm pretty much, undermuscle, if you must know.
So.....shall I summarize or keep rambling? I never know.
Dr. Colker spent about an hour and a half with us!! Whaaaaat? She explained EVERYTHING and asked a lot of questions - even about the other 4 cats at home. She did some blood tests (right THERE) and finally got some urine out of JP. We talked about behavior and I suggested she read Pam Johnson-Bennett's books. She was very thorough and personable and patient.
What's the diagnosis? Well, it's not great. JP has a very high glucose count, a urinary tract infection and some noisy breathing. This, combined with his frequent crying and occasional puking could all be related. He had to get a couple shots and some subcutaneous fluids. Also, he got some take home pills which should be no problem with HIM (INKY on the other hand...). I will say, it was the most expensive vet bill I've ever had, but the best vet experience too. The vet tech (I think his name was Jordan) stayed with us the whole time - even when Dr. Colker and the Cuban doctor were running the lab tests. Poor guy got covered in JP fur!
The bottom line is, I love love love this new vet. I'm not happy that she is so far away (and I have to bring JP once a week for the glucose issue) and it wasn't cheap...but, overall I would, so far, highly recommend her. She treats dogs too, but cats are her specialty.
Of course, on the way home, JP managed to pee on himself, so, when we arrived home I ran straight to the bathroom to give him a quick partial bath in the tub with his aromatherapy pet shampoo. He HATED that! He howled like I never heard him howl. In his defense, I didn't do the bath properly. It was kind of on the fly and I let the water run at one point when he was in the tub which I'm sure was terrifying. I tossed all my vet-smelling clothing in the washer and tried some allogrooming with JP, INKY and Spike and gave Spike and INKY treats (JP wont eat them). All in all, it's working out. JP is now resting on the classy Tupperware furniture (mentioned in earlier posts) and Scooter is sleeping on the other office chair nearby. CC is on the top of the spiral staircase (see my facebook page today), INKY is sleeping on his pee-peed zero-gravity chair near us too and the Spikey is sleeping somewhere!
P.S. There seems to be trouble with the link for I'm sorry if you tried to click it and it didn't work for you either.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Nippy Party!

I am LIVID this AM (Livid Kittens, anyone?). I had an appointment for Spike and JP with a new vet in Kendall (30-45 min drive!!!). I chose her because she is a cat specialist and I had a great chat with her on the phone last summer about feline behavior. I've been having a bad feeling about the appointment all week because, having lived in South Florida for almost 20 years, I know how things work around here. I just knew I'd get the old switch-a-roo! It has happened at my current vet (who is nearby and a very nice person) and at the hairdresser and at the doctors office! You make an appointment with one person and after driving all the way there, they pawn you off on someone else (in my experience, it has usually been someone less qualified). you may know, getting 2 indoor-only kitties into crates on a Saturday AM is a delicate procedure. I got Spike in with minimal difficulty, but, JP figured it out and dissappeared. Really dissappeared! He probably used to work with Sigfried and Roy before I got him. There's poor little Spikey trapped in a cage meowing with Scooter, INKY and CC running about like the people in Cloverfield and JP is NOWHERE to be found. I even checked outside in case he sneaked out the door (which he has never done in his life). So, after my husband and I searched the estate (we sound rich now, dont we?) from east to west...we could not find this cat. It was getting really late and the vet is very far away, so, I said, "forget it, lets just bring Spike! We'll never make it in time". Leadfoot dissagreed. I went to the car, put Spike(cat) in the back seat and shut the door with me in the back seat. I waited for a while and Spike (husband) wasn't coming out, so I called him (thank God for cell phones) to tell him we were leaving. He said he was coming right out. OK...this story is getting LONG. Spike (husband) would tell me it is already too long!! But wait! There's more!! He (spikehusband) came out the front door and seemed to be motioning for me to come inside. I figured he found JP. Unfortunately that is when I discovered I was locked in the car. I recently bought this car from an Ex-Marine who had a small child, and evidently had the childproof lock feature activated on the back doors. I tried to motion to spike that I couldn't get out of the car. You see where this is going. He, more adamantly, motioned for me to come in and I, more adamntly, tried to motion that I was trapped inside. This wasn't working so I called him on his cell phone (again, tgfcp). He just walked up to the car. I was soooooooo angry now that I slammed my palm against the window to prove (in my mind) that I was trapped! He stood outside the door looking at me like I was totally loony. I started screaming and swearing about how I was trapped in the car but I think the only person that could hear me was Spike (cat) who was now COMPLETELY traumatized in the crate in the hot car (Miami) with a loud crazywoman! Finally spikehusband opened the car door and was like, "What? You're trapped in the car? Huh? well, I found JP". It's OK that I'm a musician and I have now hurt my hand. Don't worry about that. So, I run in the house and get JP. (Sparing you details of the hunt here). Now, finally the not-so-happy family is in the car on the way to the vet. I decide to call the vet to let them know we will be late and hope to God they dont make me reschedule (like my hairdresser once did). This is when the vet-worker-woman informs me that Doctor Colker is not in today and I will be seeing some other vet. Ye olde switch-a-roo!! I KNEW IT! (insert cuss words). I did, in fact, cuss and tell Spike (you can figure out which one now) to turn the car around. Now I'm rescheduled for Tues. In case you don't understand how traumatic this is...I'll just tell you that both cats had been howling in the car the whole time. Now I'm wondering if I even want to get involved with these people! Upon arrival home, I tried to do some allogrooming (I'm not explaining that now) and treats. I finally settled on a NIPPY PARTY! Cat nip for everyone! To calm them down.
Epilogue: I tried to get on the computer to vent (blog) and the computer was busted. Then, after fixing it...I hear a strange, but familiar sound...INKY sprayed the zero-gravity chair AGAIN!!!
By the case you didn't know...I had a cat named Spike for years before I met my husband who's name also happens to be Spike. Total coincidence. I did not name a cat after my husband, thank you very much.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Scooter and the other raccoon

It was probably the cold weather (in the 40's in Miami!!!!) that got to Scooter. Yesterday she was being superfriendly (for Scooter). She napped with me on the bed watching TV and even allowed other cats to sleep nearby! Then, my husband sneaked into bed and Scooter actually crawled up on HIS legs and fell asleep (see photo)! Scooter is normally scared of everyone (except me) including Spike (husband)!!!!! It was the cutest thing ever. She even slept in bed with us and NIKY last night!! Like I said, it may have been the cold. We have a heated waterbed and when the temp drops, we all huddle together in bed to stay warm. That's OHANA.
The problem arose around 3:30 AM. I was awakened from a sound sleep by the sounds of hissing, spitting and wooden blinds slamming around the bedroom windows. I knew right away what was happening. I got out of bed, donned a robe and slippers, grabbed my water squirter bottle and sneaked outside hissing and squirting at the poor little raccoon that had wandered in the yard. I know it wasn't Rocky because THIS raccoon actually ran over the fence and out of sight. Of course, she came back and I had to repeat the process. I'm sure the neighbors think I'm insane running around my back yard hissing, but when in doubt I always ask, "what would a cat do"? Then I had to get out the feliway spray and hit the perimiter of the house to reassure INKY that his territory is not under threat!
Today I noticed the zero gravity chair had been sprayed yet again!
Also, I made an appointment with a new vet: Deborah Colker for JP and his peeing (caught him peeing in the kitchen today) - he has stones in his bladder still I think, and Spike's missing whiskers. I hope she is real good because it's gonna be a LONG drive with 2 frightened kitties!! Does anyone out there have experience with Colker or another feline specialist in South Florida?