Author Archives: Charles Huss

Petmate Jackson Galaxy Air Prey and Ground Prey Wand Cat Toys


Last month we won a couple of Jackson Galaxy cat toys from Petmate and the Sweet Purrfections blog. They arrived recently to the delight of our boys.


cat Floki with Jackson Galaxy toys

One of the toys is called a Ground Prey Wand and is designed to be dragged along the ground to simulate a small animal, like a mouse. The other is an Air Prey Wand which, you guessed it, simulates a bird. (I added product links to Amazon instead of Petmate partially because I am an affiliate but mostly because the prices are less there.)

They seemed to like both toys, although the ground prey toy seemed to take a little longer to figure out.

The air prey toy, on the other hand, seemed to pull at their instincts right away.

Both toys did get their attention and I think it is good to have have a variety of toys so they don’t get bored with any one toy in particular.

What do you think?

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Photo Friday: Memories of Loss


February 15 marks a day of loss in my family. In 1999, we lost my dad to cancer. He was just 59. And just last year we lost Puck to a bladder blockage. He was just five and a half.

Puck with Chris, February 4, 2018
Charles Huss Sr. Circa 1968

Don’t You Dare Take My Laundry!


It is nearly impossible to bring laundry inside and fold it before one or more cats choose to lie on top of it.

The other day I had to pull clothing out from under Chris one at a time. Each piece resulted in a corresponding growl from Chris until he finally grabbed my arm with both paws and bit my hand while kicking my arm with his back feet. I guess that laundry was important to him.

Photo Friday: This Day in Christory


I decided to do something different and post a photo from this day in history, or more appropriate, this day in Christory. I picked one photo from each year that I had photos taken on February 1st. The first one is from 2011.

I’m sure my wife had just finished ironing or was about to start when Chris took over the ironing board.

The next one I took in 2014.

Here Chris is doing what he always does when he goes outside, which is eating grass.

This one is from 2016.

It is Chris washing Puck. It is the only photo I took that day and it is a bit blurry because of movement but I wanted to include it because Puck is in it.

This is from 2018.

Here is Puck, Chris, and Frankie. I have seen three cats together on our bed quite often lately but, unfortunately, Puck is not one of them (Puck died 13 days later).

Locked Out Again


Regular readers know that no cat is allowed to sleep with us because of Chris’s bad behavior. Since we have no litter box in the bedroom, we can’t close Chris out while allowing Frankie and Floki to stay in the room with us. It also wouldn’t be nice to make Chris stay by himself all night.

That changed when Chris got sick. Chris had a cold for about a week and just when the sneezing died down the puking started. That was around the Friday before last. Because he wasn’t feeling well, we thought it would be nice to leave the door open for him. Plus we could keep an eye on him somewhat. Even though we would be sleeping, we would probably wake up if he started puking, which we hoped would not be on our bed. I also didn’t think he would be very annoying while he was sick, which he wasn’t (much).

He went to the vet that Monday and ended up getting eight teeth pulled two days later. He didn’t eat for a day or two and all the while he continued to sleep on our bed. As he improved, so did his annoyance level until I finally had to kick them all out at 4:00 a.m. a few mornings ago.

Tuesday evening I saw Chris puking again. It was the reason I brought Chris to the vet in the first place but the reason for his puking was never discovered. Because of that I became worried about his health and when we were getting ready for bed Tuesday night all three cats were on our bed looking too comfortable to kick out.

I decided to let them stay, which worked out fine until around midnight. That is when Chris decided to lie over my head and dig his nails into my neck and scalp. I put my hand up to hold his paws back and he responded by biting my shoulder. I then moved him to the foot of the bed where he took an interest in Frankie until I fell asleep. Then he started his annoying behavior all over again. I again moved him to the foot of the bed and went back to sleep but the bad behavior continued until 4:00 a.m. when he woke up my wife. She could not go back to sleep after that and got up and took the cats with her so I could sleep.

Needless to say they will not be sleeping with us tonight.

Health Update For Chris


I brought Chris back to the vet on Wednesday morning. The plan was for them to clean his teeth and remove the ones that needed to be removed. They gave me an estimate of around $640 (which is on top of all the money already spent). That estimate was a worse case scenario and it was possible it could be lower if they removed less teeth.

They said it could be as early as noon and as late as four when he would be ready to be picked up. I stayed home from work that day because I didn’t want him waiting any longer than necessary to get out of there. They called after two and said he was awake and would be ready for pick-up at four. I was there at 3:55.

They told me they had to remove eight teeth but I just noticed the bill says 4 major, 2 simple, and 1 minor, which I add up to be seven. I assume molars are major, incisors are minor, and canines are simple. The bill came to $668, which was worse than worse case. I went home with a bag full of medications including several syringes pre-filled with a pain medication called Buprenorphine, another pain and inflammation medication in tablet form called Onsior, and an antibiotic in capsule form called Clindamycin.

When Chris got home he found his way to our bed and hung out there. He was still wearing a bandage that I needed to keep on him for the next hour.

I am not a fan of medications and try to avoid them whenever possible but sometimes I can except them. With that in mind I gave Chris his pain medication because I wanted to ease the pain he must have been feeling after the anesthesia wore off. I did not give him the anti-inflammatory because I didn’t want to shove a pill down his throat and I didn’t think two pain killers were necessary. I also don’t like antibiotics because they screw up digestion which leads to all kinds of problems, but I understand that an infection could be potentially worse so I accept it and hope to fix digestive issues in the future.

The antibiotics are in capsules. I didn’t want to force the capsules down his throat any more than the tablets so I bought several cans of tuna with the hope that I could mix it in with the food. I didn’t give it to him Wednesday because he would not even eat, or drink, his favorite heavy cream. I even tried whipped cream with no luck. By Thursday Chris did eat a small amount of Tuna with his antibiotics but by small I mean miniscule. He did seem slightly more active Thursday and I did see him drinking water a couple of times.

Friday he ate half the tuna I gave him, which wasn’t much but it was more than yesterday which was more than Wednesday. I watched him eat and he didn’t seem to be in pain from it so I decided after two and a half days I can probably stop with the pain meds. I will continue with the antibiotics. Several websites I have read suggest antibiotics are unnecessary after extractions but I will continue with it for awhile since he has only received a half dose these last couple of days.

I have heard from other cat parents who say their cats were back to eating normally a day after teeth extractions but as I write this on Friday afternoon, Chris has only eaten a small amount of tuna today and none of the cat food I tried to give him. My concern is that whatever was making him puke over the weekend has never been addressed. The vet never found a cause and said sometimes pain can make a cat sick. I hope that is all it was.

We have been letting Chris sleep with us since the puking started to be noticeably bad, which was probably around last Friday evening. Normally we can’t let him stay with us because he can be a huge pain in the but. You may remember this example which is similar to what happens in the middle of the night.

Chris has been relatively good but he still starts his annoying behavior around three or four in the morning. Thursday and Friday morning he was especially annoying but instead of biting he spent a lot of time rubbing his face on my face, which he didn’t really do before. Normally, he will put his nose against my nose and then bite it. This time, instead of a bite I got a face rub. He only bit me once or twice so lightly that I could barely feel it. Perhaps that is where his teeth are missing or maybe it hurts to bite. I don’t know.

The other thing that has been happing is that while Chris has been spending a lot of time on our bed, Frankie has spent a lot of time hanging out with Chris. He must sense that Chris is not feeling well and feels bad for him. Of course, that is just a wild guess but whatever the reason, I like it.

Lastly, I would like to that all for your concern this last week or so. You are all appreciated.

Photo Friday: Basket Case


Frankie is attracted to our laundry basket like flies to shoot I lost my train of thought. Anyway, when I bring it in empty he has to get inside of it. Usually he tips it over but this time I had the cover open so he just jumped inside. Of course, Floki had to investigate what he was doing.

In other news, Chris had several teeth pulled on Wednesday and is doing okay. My main concern is that as of Thursday evening, he has not eaten anything for about three days. They did say that he would lose his appetite after anesthesia for 12 to 24 hours but it has been more than 24 hours as I write this. I will write more about it on my next post.

More Health Issues for Chris


Chris will be ten in a few months and up until recently, he never went to the vet for a health issue. I think the first time was from an eye infection that Floki passed on to Frankie and Chris when we adopted Floki a couple of years ago. The next visit was a couple of weeks ago after The Catfight of the Century. Last week I reported that Chris had a cold. By the end of the week the sneezing and sniffling had mostly ended but then the vomiting started. All weekend Chris ate very little but threw up a lot. I called the vet first thing Monday morning and made an appointment for him that afternoon.

When we arrived there was a women there with a small dog that looked somewhat like a Pomeranian but not exactly. This dog was a major barker. She barked at me when we came in and then she discovered Chris in his carrier and started barking at him. I was annoyed so I can imagine how Chris felt. She did bring the dog outside for a couple of minutes but then brought her back in and the barking continued. Thankfully, we got ushered into an exam room before too long.

I immediately opened the door and let Chris out.

The vet tech then came in and asked several questions about Chris and then weighed him. He weighed 17.3 pounds. Down from 18 pounds two weeks ago.

The vet came in and asked several of the same questions and examined Chris. He couldn’t immediately tell what was causing the vomiting but he did point out that Chris’s teeth were inflamed and he would need to have his teeth cleaned and probably some would need to be extracted. He also said he had an ear infection. This was a different vet than the last one who also saw the problem with Chris’s ears. That vet cleaned his ears but she didn’t offer a plan to get rid of the problem.

I vaguely remember shortly after we adopted Chris a vet told us some cats are prone to these ear polyps and indicated there wasn’t much that could be done about them but gave us a cleaner for them. Since then we have been cleaning Chris’s ears periodically. I told the vet that the other vet said that it couldn’t be cured but this vet said that wasn’t true. I did just look it up and the first thing I read said it could only be cured with surgery so perhaps Chris has something different.

The vet wanted to do the same blood test over again and a couple of other tests along with a test on his ear bugs. I didn’t understand everything he was saying but I do remember one test was related to his pancreas. He left the room to work up a plan, so we waited.

After a while someone came in with a plan and I decided against paying for more blood tests that we just took. I did agree to the other tests and I said it was okay to give him a shot for nausea but I did not want to bring home pills for that. I have personally experienced cats going downhill after starting medication so I like to keep that to what is absolutely necessary. I did get a medication for Chris’s ears. If the vet is right and this could cure him then I think it is worth a try.

I asked if they could clean his ears and give him the first round of ear drops while they were doing their tests and they agreed. They took Chris away and it wasn’t long before I heard loud sounds of a cat in distress coming from the other room. The tech came back in with Chris a minute or two later and said they were only able to clean one ear and didn’t put in the medication because Chris was resisting too much. They sad they would clean his ears when he came in for the teeth cleaning.

We waited around for a little longer, for what, I don’t know.

We were then cleared to send the vet’s kids to college pay our bill. I did that and brought Chris home. I forgot to make an appointment for his teeth so I called and made it for next Wednesday.

When I got home I let Chris out of his carrier outside. I figured I would do something good for him after what he went through.

Rose was upset that I didn’t make an appointment for his teeth this week but the vet wanted to give him time to feel better. Plus all the test results are not back yet. Despite that, Chris has eaten almost nothing since returning yesterday so Rose called the vet to try to get him in as soon as possible. We are waiting for a call back from the vet who is probably in surgery this morning.

Rose’s sister, Felice, works for a vet and the two of them talked about Chris last night. Felice said that at ten years old Chris would be considered a geriatric cat and these teeth issues are quite common in older cats. I thought it was not uncommon for cats to live fifteen years or more so geriatric seems a bit premature to me. At least I hope it is. I do understand why these teeth issues are common though.

Some people believe that dry food is good for a cat’s teeth. Even the vet said so when I said I would need to try harder to get Chris off the dry food after his teeth are gone. He said dry food is good for their teeth. I don’t believe that. I think what is good for a cat’s teeth is what nature intended, chewing on bone. Unfortunately, since our cats don’t eat live mice, their opportunity to chew on bones is virtually non-existent. I suppose I could give them raw chicken wings (cooked bones are dangerous) but they have become such dainty eaters that I don’t think they could handle it.

I won’t lie, I am worried about Chris. I know anytime you give someone anesthesia there is a risk. I also know he will be given antibiotics which will kill off his good bacteria and cause problems down the road. I did order probiotics for cats so hopefully that will help when the time comes. In the meantime, I will try to look on the bright side and hope this is the beginning of Chris getting better, not worse.