Saturday, July 26, 2008

In Remembrance

The only thing in my mailbox today was a slim (though biggish) envelope from the Phoenix Zoo. Having not gotten a chance to go to the zoo since moving here (although I had gone once before), this surprised me. How did I get on their mailing list, I wondered.

Upon opening the envelope, a single card slipped out which simply says:

Remembrance of

A donation to the Pet Memorial program
at the Phoenix Zoo was made by

University Animal Hospital

Donations from the Pet Memorial program
will be used to enhance veterinary care of
the Phoenix Zoo's animal collection

So now I'm all sniffly. But I'm sure that Bozo would appreciate it. And I really can't speak highly enough of UAH. If you're in the Phoenix area I highly recommend this hospital as everyone is caring and wonderful there, even when you have to go there for the worst. They sent me a card right after we had to put Bozo down-- I think that's pretty normal for a vet, but still appreciated and I certainly didn't think there'd be anything else.

I think I'm going to put (Bozo) beneath "Waffles" and have this little 5x7 card framed. Bozo really was the cat who started Project-Cat-- the first one I let myself see as an individual.

I miss him. :( But he is well remembered and cherished and even though he didn't have a human family (not really anyway), I'm sure he's playing with the other animals up at the Rainbow Bridge.

I have to stop now before I start all-out crying...

Another Vet Visit Over-- sigh of relief!

Just a quick update, as I have to go do non-Project-Cat related things for a bit, but I knew that some people would worry about how the vet appointment went.

Malcolm: Didn't sneeze at the vet at all, of course, just like anyone going to the doctor. Has gained more than a pound since coming to live with me (!!). Seems very healthy-- good strong heart, the vet said. Everyone thinks he's beautiful. He's now on antibiotics for the upper respiratory infection we assume that he has.

Zoe: Poor baby was insulted and then poked and prodded. The vet asked if her "distended abdomen" might just be that she's getting fat (I pointed out that you can still feel her ribs, so it is a bit weird) and upon picking Zoe up said, "You do have some junk in the trunk, don't you?" heh. Poor thing. Then she got poked a whole lot to get a fecal sample (I tried to get one from the litter box today, but nothing doing) but they succeeded and we should know those results on Monday. The vet said that fecal tests aren't 100% since the parasites shed intermittently, so it's not too unusual if the first one came back negative but this one comes back positive. The vet tech looked at her mouth, too, because it seemed to me that Zoe wasn't quite comfortable eating, even though she's often eating when I'm in the room (I wonder if she eats mostly when I'm there-- If I'm equated with food-time), but the tech saw nothing at all unusual with her mouth.

She's also to go on the antibiotics 'cause the two kittens are always together.

Both kittens also get their ears cleaned. They were treated for ear mites last time we were at the vet, but they have such ... gook in their ears (which both vet and vet tech commented on) so I now have cleaning stuff. 'Cause, y'know, it's not hard enough to make the kittens trust me, let's add squirting medicine into them twice a day, and squishing out their ears with goo and cotton balls once a day...

Pictures later or tomorrow 'cause I took a bunch before we went to the vet. :)

Kitty, kitty, kitty

The vet visit isn't for another 3+ hours, and I'll post when we get back.

Note to self: do not look up kitty symptoms on the internets as you'll only end up scaring yourself. Eek. I don't know if I want the vet visit to hurry up and get here so that I'll be reassured, or if I want to avoid it because of what the diagnosis might be. Oh please, please let it be something simple and curable and easy.

I don't know if it's because he's not feeling well or what, but Malcolm has taken to dry-nursing. Apparently that's what he wants when he meows at me-- to suck on my finger. He lay in my lap, purring contentedly, and sucked on my finger for a good long while. (There's no clock in my bathroom, but I'd have to guess it was about a half hour.) Zoe would occasionally come by to see what the fuss was, but she seemed to be clearer about anatomy. She was still happy to be petted, though.

Two weeks ago they stayed away from me, hiding and hissing. Now they curl up in my lap and purr. :)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Eh, who am I kidding?

Of course I made appointments for both. 4:30 tomorrow afternoon. (I could have brought them in tonight, but this way I can make time to sit with them and hopefully get, y'know, poo samples, and know from which kitty it came from. I'm still thinking worms with Zoe.)

Like there was ever any doubt, really, that I'd be taking them both in? I can't stand worrying about my babies. :)

I sense another vet visit.

So, Mal is sneezing a lot, which I assume means Upper Respiratory Infection time. It's not a real surprise, other than how long it's taken to manifest.

The only question becomes, do I make an appointment for Zoe, too? She's not sneezing, mind you. But she's not playing like you'd expect a kitten her age to do, nor does she seem to be gaining weight. Her belly is pretty big (worms? despite a clean fecal test?) but you can still feel every rib. Mal, on the other hand, has put on lots of weight (like he's supposed to.)

So, when I make an appointment for Mal, should I make one for Zoe, too?

Bite-Sized Updates

It's 6:30 in the morning, and I don't do mornings, so please bear with me here...

Firstly, while doing laundry last night, I spotted Daisy! And a cow-kitty (who was not Bessie, because I could also see Bessie at that moment) who I could not identify from where I was. So while I can't say for sure who the moo-cow was, we can definitely add Daisy to the post-flood safe list.

I'm a bit worried about Zoe. She eats-- I've seen her-- but she's not gaining weight the way I'd expect her to (or the way her brother is.) And she's not very playful. She's become very loving, though. Today was the first time she actually came over and seemed to ask to be picked up. Even when she doesn't ask to be picked up, she starts purring almost as soon as yo do. She'll sit in my lap, and rutch around, getting all the best spots petted, purring up a storm.

Mal is also getting more comfortable. As long as I'm sitting down, he'll come out of hiding, and hang out near me. He, too, starts purring as soon as you pick him up. Today I held him for ages, waiting for him to get bored and get up, but he didn't! Hurrah! He also makes very strange meows... I don't know what he wants, and his meows are almost creepy... I wonder if, along with his multi-colored coat and longish fur, he's exhibiting some kind of exotic-ish cat genes... His meows remind me a bit of my friend's evil Himalayan, you see. (Also, his eyes have remained the most beautiful blue-green color!)

Little Miss Beatrice, also known as the kitten who is all TEETH, is also doing well. She kept me company as I sorted a myriad of clothes and such yesterday, pouncing on anything that moved, or looked like it might move soon. Sadly, this also includes me. Nothing like a kitten who will attack you and purr while doing it.

No pictures just now-- see above re: 6:30am. :)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Good News! (Colony Update)

I had not meant to leave my flat today, to be quite honest. I haven't felt well. But I convinced myself that a walk as far as the mailroom wouldn't kill me, and I'm really glad that I did.

One of the things that has been weighing on my mind has been the lack of Walsingham (previously known as Little Orange) and of Agatha (once known as Little Crooked.) I hadn't mentioned it here because I didn't want to worry anyone, but I hadn't seen them in weeks. I thought perhaps the fact that they were both missing was a good thing, as I so rarely had seen one without the other. Perhaps, I'd hoped, they'd just both moved somewhere with better food.

Well, tonight I saw them! Upon leaving my flat I spotted Barnaby (nee Splotch) lying out in the grass, so I retreated to get my camera. The light was terrible so the photos really suck, but, well, long time readers are used to that here... Regardless, you'll have to just believe me about most of this because the photos are that bad. I've adjusted the brightness/contrast in a few just to prove that I saw cats at all, and not like, aliens or racoons or will'o'the'wisps.

Upon getting down to the first floor, I turned back towards the stairs and saw two cats-- one was clearly Amaranth and the other, I thought, was Creamsicle. He was lying in front of DNL's front door, so I snapped a picture. As the image zipped from my camera screen, I noticed that there was too much white for it to be Creamsicle. I took a second look and a second picture and sure enough, it's Walsingham! He later got up and walked away, giving me enough of a look to know that he hasn't filled out entirely (and walking I'd never mistake him for Creamsicle) but that his face is a bit broader now, which, coupled with dusk, made for my confusion.

This meant that when I saw another small grayish cat in the half-light, I took a second look to be sure that it was Little Grey Girl, and indeed, it wasn't! Lying with Gandolf and Barnaby was, in fact, Agatha! (LGG did make an appearance, though, peeking out from her usual tunnel.) I'm really pleased. Oh! And while I didn't any pictures, before going back for my camera I also spotted Aloysius. So it appears that the majority of my colony has weathered the flood without too much difficulty, although a few moo-cows are still MIA. So, in fact, is Daisy. ::frowns:: But then again, I haven't been out much. I think, though, that I'll go back to keeping my camera by the front door so that I grab it before going anywhere, reminding me to look carefully for the kitties.

In kitten news, I can now, with regularity, get Mal to purr when he's in my lap. :D

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Sometimes I forget that the little things can build up to make a decent-sized update. Or maybe it's just that I wait for enough little things to come around before updating... Or maybe I'm just lazy. :)

First up, there are 12 new pictures in Beatrice's set new in that they've just been uploaded, but they're old in that they're from Baby's First Sleepover.. They're They were taken by Beatrice's forever-mommy. She's got a better and faster camera and got some awesome pictures.

There are also 12 new pictures in the Wild Kittens' set. Those really are new, in that they were taken yesterday. :)

As for those Wild Kitties, Mal and Zoe, they're doing pretty well. They're eating and drinking. Poo is still... problematic. If they're lying against the far wall when I come into the bathroom (or if Zoe is perched on the bathtub's edge), they won't run-- if they were walking about, though, they'll still run to hide behind the toilet. However, if I pick up Zoe and hold her and pet her, she starts to purr and doesn't try to run away for a few minutes. Mal... he purred once while I was holding him, but I think he's claiming it as an accident. :) When I'm not in the bathroom, but near it, I can hear bumps and thumps coming from in there, so obviously the kittens are playing (or at the very least, moving about a lot) but they don't so much play when I'm there, although I have gotten Mal to chase the laser pointer and they both still like the fish-on-a-string. They're also comfortable enough to eat while I'm there, which they weren't when I first brought them in.
In contrast, Beatrice is bigger (probably from 4 extra weeks of good food), and feistier. One can often see her wee paws poking out from under the bedroom door. She has improved her launching skills, and can now get as high as my thigh when running to me to get my attention. She prefers feather toys over all others, but isn't particularly picky and will attack anything, including and especially noses.

Outdoors has returned to 'normal'-- the waters subsided, though it took 2 days for the water in the cats' normal area to disappear, and the ground is still muddy, and much of the grass seems to have died. Keep in mind that I'm not outside very much, given the weather and such, but the cats I've seen since the flooding include: Mistoffolees, Creamsicle, Little Grey Girl, Gandolf, Amaranth, Daphne, Bessie, and Athos. There may have been more Moo-Cow Kitties that I couldn't tell apart from a distance. (If I can see their faces, or if I can't see Bessie from directly above, I tend to assume that it's Bessie, as he's the one around most often.) I'll keep updating as I notice more of them.

Oh, and someone removed yet another box that I put out for their food. The cats once had a nice(ish) plastic feeder, but it got thrown out, so I've been using cardboard boxes ever since. I put out another one tonight-- the fourth. I know cats will just as easily eat food off the ground, but I figure that a dish a) might keep a few insects out, and b) looks a *little* nicer and will make management less unhappy. Grrr. Oh well. This dish is the top to a box I had. I have the bottom, too, which will be the next dish, when this one gets destroyed. At least the water dish is still there.