Frankie Visits the Vet


Frankie has been having sneezing attacks for a couple of weeks now and I avoided taking him to the vet because I didn’t think there was much they could do about a cold. After about a week he was sneezing less  but a few days ago he started sneezing again. This time there was a lot of Phlegm that went with it. It wasn’t long before we had cat snot all over the house.

Sometime late Friday or early Saturday we noticed a little blood mixed with the mucus on a closet door near where Frankie just sneezed. We decided then that a vet visit was required but Saturday was the only day we could bring him so I called Puck’s latest vet as soon as they opened to see if they could squeeze him in. Unfortunately, they were already overbooked and they closed at noon so I had to try another vet.

I called Puck’s first vet and they were able to squeeze him in that morning. I liked that vet but I prefer vets that only use drugs as a last resort.

Chris was fighting with Frankie most of the morning and we even had to lock Frankie in our bedroom while we went out to bring Rose’s car to the shop. When we got home and let Frankie out, Chris started picking on him again so we decided to leave with Frankie a bit early. Rose was able to go with me to the vet this time and she picked up Frankie and put him in the carrier. When she picked him up, he let out a noise that made me think she was hurting him.

After the short drive to the vet we waited about five minutes in the waiting room. Someone brought in a cat in a bunny cage and that got Frankie’s attention.

Cat Frankie in carrier

They then moved us to an exam room and I opened up Frankie’s door but he was hesitant to come out.

Cat Frankie in carrier

When the vet tech came in to look at him she decided to take the top off the carrier and leave him in it.

Cat Frankie in carrier

She had to remove him to get his weight.

Cat Frankie at vet

Then it was back into the carrier.

Cat Frankie at vet

They did have to take him out again to take his temperature, (which was 104.4 instead of the normal 102.5) and then back into the carrier again.

cat Frankie in carrier at vet IMG_20160206_125127

I don’t remember her telling us exactly what was wrong with him but I think it is a respiratory infection. She gave him a steroid and an antibiotic and sent us on our way.

I am starting to see a pattern here. Almost every vet I have been to solves almost every condition with steroids and antibiotics. I’m not sure what the point of going to veterinary school is if all problems are caused by a steroid and/or antibiotic deficiency. After they learn that, what do they do with the rest of their time?

I Shoulder a Great Burden


This was originally posted 2 1/2 years ago and Chris still loves to get on my shoulders. Now he has Frankie and Puck doing it too, but they have not mastered the art of stability like Chris has.

Bad Cat Chris

Bad Cat Chris on my shoulders Chris is making it hard for me to brush my teeth.

Lately, it seems like everywhere I go, there is a cat wanting to get on my shoulders. If I go into the kitchen or bathroom, Chris is right there on the counter next to me. Sometimes he just jumps up and sometimes he stands on his hind legs with his paws on my shoulders and cries for me to help him up. I then have to crouch down, put my arm around his legs and stand back up again.

For some reason, he especially likes to be up there while I am brushing my teeth. That is not good for him because as soon as I am done and have to rinse, he is S.O.L.

He also has developed a certain pattern where he will climb on my shoulders from my right and then have to turn around because he likes…

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The Failure of Puck’s Special Diet


Puck has had a problem with his skin since not long after we moved to our new home at the end of May. The first vet said he was having a reaction to flea bites, even though she could see no fleas and gave him a flea treatment as well as steroids and antibiotics.

That didn’t work and I didn’t want to subject him to more drugs so I put off doing anything for a while and finally brought him to another vet who said he thought it was a combination of nervousness and an allergy, possibly a food allergy. The only way to know was to put him on a 90 day limited ingredient diet that did not contain the proteins that he was already eating, such as chicken, beef and salmon.

I bought a Feliway diffuser to help with the stress and changed his food. The vet wanted me to give the diet 90 days to work because it could take that long for the old proteins to leave his system but after about five weeks Puck was making no progress and actually seemed like he might be getting worse.

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I decided to abandon the diet early and try something else. Of course, I didn’t know what to try and thought very hard about what could be different about our new home. The only thing I could think of was the water.

We had bottled water in our other house and I gave the cats spring water in two of their three water bowls. The third was a larger bowl in the back room that was mostly in case something unforeseen kept us from coming home for a night or two. When we moved, I decided to not keep the water delivery service and instead I would buy a Big Berkey Water Filter. They are close to $300 with the Fluoride filter, which we couldn’t afford at the time since the cost of moving was so great.

Since then, something was always more important to spend our money on, so I am still buying water by the gallon at the supermarket. Since that is such a hassle, I have been filling the cat bowls with tap water. I know, that sounds selfish to be drinking spring water while the cats have tap water but most of it gets dumped out every morning and I always thought it was temporary. So a week or so ago I started filing their bowls with spring water.

Another thing I wanted to try was to eliminate cleaning chemicals, at least for a while, after learning that some cats are allergic to them. I tried this before and even have a spray bottle filled with vinegar and water under the sink but Rose is one of those people who thinks the smell of chemicals is a sign that the house is clean.

To my surprise, she was willing to go along with the chemical free cleaning so last week I cleaned the floors with vinegar and water. When she came home she immediately commented on how the floors didn’t feel right. They felt like floors to me. I don’t know what she was talking about but the next day she re-moped the floors with a nice, comforting, harsh chemical. So much for that idea.

It has been over a week that the cats are off the tap water and I sometimes look at Puck and think he is looking better and sometimes I’m not sure. I guess I will know in a few weeks. Wish us luck.

Nature’s Miracle Cat Litter Review


Years ago, to help stop Chris from pooping on the floor, I started using Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Unscented Clumping Cat Litter along with their Litter Attractant. This cut the pooping in half and moving all the litter boxes to the same room eliminated the problem. We continued using the litter and attractant for some time after that just to be sure. Eventually we stopped buying the attractant but continued to use Dr. Elsey’s litter because it was the least dusty litter that I have ever used. A few months ago, when Puck started pooping on the sofa (and we blamed Chris) we bought the cat attractant again.

Recently I needed to change the boxes and Rose was sick of paying a premium price for that litter and wanted me to buy something cheaper. I told her I would look and headed off to PetSmart. Once there I discovered that Dr. Elsey’s was cheaper per pound than most national brands and I always thought I was over paying. Nevertheless, they only had one bag of Dr. Elsey’s and I needed two. I decided to buy Nature’s Miracle Scent Free Cat Litter instead. It was $15 instead of $17 for the 40 pound bag of our normal litter. I also later discovered it has good Amazon reviews.

Nature's Miracle cat litterThe li

 
The new litter seems exactly the same as the old litter. It is relatively dust free, it clumps well, and all the cats seem to be fine with it.

I also like it because it comes in a box with a handle on both sides. The other litter came in a large bag with no handle.

I think I will continue to use this in the future although I believe one of those alternative litters made from wheat, corn, pine, etc. Is a healthier option. Unfortunately, our cats are too picky and I know from experience that I might be picking poop off the floor if I tried it.

What do you think?