Sorry, this is kinda graphic/gross. I found this splotch on Spike a couple weeks ago. Put some Resicort on it, but he kept fussing with it and it got bigger and bigger! After the weekend I brought him in to the Vet. Dr. Yao was out of town so, his supertall colleague examined my kitty who by then had even more splotches and was obsessively licking himself! That Doc decided right away that Spike is allergic to fleas. Even though we have not seen fleas in ages he explained to me that flea pupae can live for over a year and can, theoretically, hatch, bite my allergic kitty and get immediately eaten by said cat so that I never see the flea. I guess it's possible! He gave Spike a shot of DEXAMETHASONE to stop the itching and sent us home with Clavamox. Well, it has been almost a week and Spike is still itchy and raw. His demeanor seems better (he's not as mopey) but he has more and bigger sores and still licks them a lot. So, we went to Dr. Yao today. Long story short: Yao doesn't think it's a flea allergy. He tested for mites and didn't find any, but didn't rule that out 100%. I'm worried that it's mites because I have been itchy too! They gave him a shot of DEPO-MEDROL and switched his anti-biotic to Orbax. He's home sleeping now. Poor little guy. he's so sweet too. I'm now looking into "alternative" options like, coconut oil (which I tried a few times and he immediately licked off) and REIKI! Anyone have advice? Anyone attuned in REIKI?
This picture is of my Scooter: AKA Princess PrettyPaws - and you can see why! Now, I'm not necessarily blaming her...but SOMEONE has peed on my pillow! I have been traveling a lot lately and upon my return from my last trip, I discovered that I was laying on a pee soaked pillow. This is a new one. I jumped up, pulled back all the mattress toppers and bedding, praying that it was just another waterbed leak. I figured the H2O could make an old feather pillow smell like urine...maybe. Well, to my horror there were no puncture wounds...just pee soaked through layers and layers. My insane side started trying to salvage pillows and cases and sheets etc., then I smartened up and threw away both pillows and all their allergy cases. I sprayed Anti-Icky Poo on the mattress cover and the memory foam topper and bottom sheet. I put the mattress cover in the washing machine with bleach and then realized there was no saving the thick foam. I cut out the wet section and threw it in the garbage with the pillows. Then I headed to Target to get a new pillow, a new foam topper (that was too small - DUH!) and some coloursafe bleach with which to wash my sheets. No, I'm not that upset about losing my bedding....I'm more upset that one of my cats might be upset or ill. Could be JP's urinary tract infection flaring up again. I'm keeping an eye on him to see if he pee's anywhere else or if he's having litterbox issues. Maybe one of the kitties peed on the pillow because they miss me - I have been traveling a lot. Or, JP was mad that the pillow was in the way of his special spot on the corner of the bed. Another possibility is that INKY or Scooter was getting territorial over the prime waterbowl sitting spot (there's a waterbowl on my nightstand that they all love). Hopefully INKY didn't attack Scooter and literally scare the piss out of her! I seriously doubt Spike would have done it. He's a very good boy and a well-adjusted kitty. But...maybe he did. I may never discover who did the peeing but I'm really hoping they got it all out of their system!
I just wanted to jot down a couple of tips I have in case you just got new kittens or are thinking of getting kittens. First of all, I suggest you let yer new kitty keep it's claws. For one, you never know when they might get outside (Accidental door/window open, screen blown out, house burned down...) or trouble gets in (neighbors cat found its way inside, seemingly sweet boyfriend turns out to be an ass, ignorant guests, invading opossums?) so, they'll need them for defense. I highly suggest you acclimate your new pal to having it's paws touched (start slowly at first, limiting contact to only a few seconds at a time. Be sure to stop before kitty gets upset and bites). Perhaps reward your kittens tolerance with a little treat. This will be important because my next suggestion is that you clip kitties claws on a regular basis. I'm not going to give specifics on how to do that. I suggest you ask your veterinarian, but be very very careful that you do not cut too short and end up with kitty bleeding! As for BITING: even though your new kitten might be tiny and weak and you think it's cute that it's little needle teeth don't hurt you, DO NOT ALLOW YOUR KITTEN TO GET INTO A HABIT OF BITING! When they get older they will still bite and it will hurt. Kitty needs to learn that human hands are not for biting. If your kitten is biting you, gently push your hand into it's mouth. Do not pull your hand away or kitty will think its a game. Remember that a cats natural prey (ie a mouse) would pull away and this act can incite kitties prey drive and encourage him/her to pursue your hand. If you gently push your hand into the mouth (very gentle! This is a tiny creature!!) the fluffball will release your hand. Then stop the play session and kitty will eventually get the message (if you are CONSISTENT) that a hand is not a chew toy or prey. I feel strongly about these 2 things and wanted to share my ideas. I got these ideas from reading several feline behavior books and through personal experience. Along with your new kitten you should really read at least one of Pam Johnson-Bennett's books. Maybe Think Like a Cat is a good place to start. As for my kitties...no big update today. INKY is back to his schedule of waking me up at 6 or 7 AM by harassing the others. I'm guessing he needs more one on one playtime with me during the day to satisfy his natural hunting instincts.
My husband Spike recently re-designed, re-built and otherwise re-structured the kitties structure in the bedroom. It was getting a little rickety, so, he spent 2 or 3 of his vacation days re-tooling it into this monster! As you can see in this crummy picture, Scooter is sitting in the middle and JP is checking out the bottom. It has a sturdy cardboard scratcher propped from the floor and several hangout places for kitties. INKY goes all the way to the tip-top for naps sometimes and everyone likes pawing at the twine and carpeting on the sides. It is not yet complete, but I wanted to mention it right away since it is totally amazing!!! What do you think? PS, he also built those stairs so my 15 year old could get up on the bed, but I made him take them down because the cat is in perfect health and has no trouble jumping up on the bed. HELLO!!
I have been very busy lately fluting and photographing (this crackberry pic isn't a shining example of the photography that I have been working on...) and neglected to report the latest updates on the kitties. Here's a catch-up: Late in Feb I found JP urinating outside the litterbox (living room carpet, then just outside box (then IN litterbox!!! yay!) then back on carpet - all within about a 3 minute span). I knew that was medical and not necessarily behavioral, so I rushed him to the vet. Turned out he had a "raging urinary tract infection". She gave him subcutaneous fluids, vitamin c, and an antibiotic shot and sent us home with Baytril pills. She claims he was dehydrated and holding in urine. When we went back for a check up he was still dehydrated and retaining urine. So...we were thinking that he might be nervous about using the litterboxes. Perhaps INKY or another cat had bullied him around the box. Dr. Colker put him on 5 mg (?) of Elavil (for anxiety) a day and gave us more Baytril since his infection hadn't improved all that much. OH YEAH....you'll love this part: I brought JP's urine sample with me! Yes, that's right....I'm on my way to professional vet-techdom! JP tends to not give urine samples to vets....so, I got one at home just before we visited Dr. Colker. I won't even get into the logistics of that right now...
Well...today my husband and I brought JP back to the vet for his checkup (see picture). JP was really nervous and was hiding in the house before I even broke out the carrier! I guess he was really listening to me last night when I told him we were going to the vet. I usually don't tell him. So...he was very upset about it all and about using the smaller prettier carrier...so, he peed and pooped in it! Guess what that means. Guess! No, it means I have to gather another urine sample from him soon and drive it back down there again! I wish Dr. Colker was closer to us! We'd probably be in there all the time. $$$. Well, today she sent a scab off his side in to pathology to be sure he doesn't have leprosy or bubonic plague (believe it or not, this could happen!!!). She wants him to continue on a lower dosage of Elavil and she gave us some magic liquid that will improve his poop (yes, he gave her 2 tiny hard dry presents on the table). Enough medical info?
Behavior info: Everyone seems to have received him back home from the doctor with no problems. YAY!!! I always spray felliway and do some allo-grooming (no link today, sorry) with INKY just to ease the transition home so we don't have a repeat of the INKY-CC war. In other behavior news: With the colder weather, Scooter has been sleeping on the bed every night for months. INKY wakes me up every morning between 5 and 7 by chasing around other cats (usually Scooter) who are often hissing and growling at him. And once I'm awake...my adrenaline is pumping and I cannot go back to sleep. A few weeks ago INKY saw a critter in the yard and had a very minor (on the INKY freak out scale) freak out. Since then I have noticed spraying on the dressers and by the back door (though I caught JP trying to spray the back door - historically it is a very popular spraying spot since CC's old cat door is located there). I have switched to a gallon of Anti-Icky poo which seems to be the best cleaner out there. Well, sorry this was a long (overdue) and boring update...but I felt the need to get it all out. Thanks.
Things have been fairly quiet around here with the exception of early morning insanities. Usually, INKY is chasing Scooter around. Sometimes she runs and hides real good and INKY is forced to pick on Spike or JP. Often, JP gives it back to him, but rarely does it stop quickly and definitely, I lose sleep! I bought Bach Flower Essence Rescue Remedy for pets, and combined that with Holly in the water. I would like to think that is the reason he hasn't been waking me up for 2 days, but maybe I'm just so tired that I sleep through the action for a change (like my husband always does!).
At any rate...this morning after about 6 hours of sleep, I was kept awake by sounds of INKY'S tail swishing up on the high windows (where he can actually see out). Then I heard the hyperventilation sounds. I had to get out of my warm bed, climb on top of the dresser and peer out the window to see if it was Rocky the Raccoon or another cat or what. This time: a squirrel on the high tree branches right at eye level for Stinky INKY! Sigh. I knew there was no going back to sleep. All I could do was keep trying to distract INKY by talking. Luckily, it didn't get worse than his strange breathing sounds. I don't think he sprayed up there, though our living room does reek of urine since we went away to Boston last weekend and had friends (relative strangers to the cats - INTRUDER INTRUDER!! ALERT ALERT!! Let's spray everywhere!!) come feed them. I can't seem to locate all the areas to treat them! I am almost all out of Anti-Icky-Poo! I hate that urine smell! I wish someone could make it go away!