Rest in Peace Sweet Puck

We lost our beloved Puck yesterday. It was a complete shock and totally unexpected.

It started Wednesday evening shortly before bedtime. We can’t sleep with our door open, mostly because of Chris, so we have to make sure everyone is out of the room before going to bed. I accounted for everyone but Puck so I looked under our bed and there he was. I got out the Stella and Chewey’s and announced loudly ” KITTY TREATS!” That got Chris, Frankie, and Floki to immediately run into the kitchen but Puck stayed under the bed.

I assumed he wasn’t feeling well and I felt bad but I pulled him out from under the bed and set him on top of the utility cart in the kitchen. It was one of Puck’s favorite places to hang out, which is why we always kept a rug on top of it. But he didn’t want to be there. Instead, he jumped on my shoulders so I could carry him to the top of the china cabinet. He liked it there because nobody could bother him.

I then went into the Florida room to shut the computer down. When I did I put my hand on the chair and into a pile of cat puke. I turned a light on and it looked like undigested food from dinner. In particular, Puck’s special food. It is usually Frankie who pukes, not Puck, so I figured he had the stomach flu or whatever it is that cats get. I thought if he was still sick in the morning I would try to get him in to see the vet.

The next morning he was still on top of the china cabinet. He hadn’t moved from that spot all night.

cat Puck on china cabinet

That definitely wasn’t good so I called the vet when they opened at 7:30. They said to bring him in at 8:20. I had to get a step stool to reach him and at 8:00 I pulled him down and put him in his carrier.

We were at the vet by 8:10 and they put us in a room right away. I opened Puck’s carrier but he just lied there.

cat Puck at vet.

The vet tech came in and took Puck to the back room where they do their secret experiments. She then brought him back and the vet came in and examined Puck. The vet said his bladder felt full and he could be blocked. She tried to get some urine out of him but couldn’t. As we waited for lab tests the vet drew up a treatment plan which was going to require Puck to be there overnight and possibly for a few days. I don’t remember the details but she did say something about a catheter.

As we waited for the vet, Puck was lying on the table and he looked so weak. I stood there and petted him for a long time until the vet came back with a list of treatment options and cost, which was not cheap. We then left Puck at the vet.

cat Puck at vet

I was in the car with Rose an hour later when her phone rang. It was the vet. We assumed they were calling to give us an update on their treatment plan because some of the options were dependent on unknown factors at the time. Instead, we heard that Puck’s heart had stopped and they were performing CPR.

That hit us both like a brick. We were not expecting that. If we were home we could have been there in three minutes but we were twenty miles away in Tampa. We could only hope that they could revive him but we weren’t hopeful from the tone of the call. About a half hour later we got the call that he was gone.

It is always sad to lose a pet but to lose one so suddenly at only five and a half years old makes it even harder. It also didn’t help that it happened on the anniversary of my father’s death.

Whenever something bad happens I figure out ways to blame myself. Maybe I should have brought him to the emergency vet the night before. Maybe I should have thought not cleaning pee off the floor for more than a day was a bad thing.

The vet said he was there six times for the same problem. Perhaps I should have brought him to a different vet sooner. I wanted to on visit number five. Puck had seen another vet for his excessive licking problem and that vet was more holistic, which is what I want in a vet, but he was also quite conventional too and not afraid to dole out antibiotics. The problem was that vet was much harder to get an appointment with and didn’t open until 9 a.m. while Puck’s current vet opened at 7:30. I should have risked it.

I also became more diligent about getting Puck to eat his special food. I stopped mixing it with the homemade raw. The food was supposed to eliminate the crystals, not make them worse. I did have a thought about a while back that if the vet was wrong about the type of crystals Puck had then the food could make them worse. I thought about asking the vet what type of crystals they found in his urine but then thought that would be insulting and chose to trust they knew what they were doing.

I don’t want to place blame on anyone here. Sometimes bad things just happen and I do know the people at the vet’s office are very caring people and I also know I am not perfect but not because of lack of effort. What I want is to say I appreciate everyone who has been so supportive and caring since learning about Pucks passing. It is good to have people who understand and care.

I will post more about Puck’s life sometime next week. I hope you will take the time to remember him with me.




Remembering My Dad

This post is not about cats today. I wrote a post on my personal blog about my father who passed away 19 years ago today. If you are interested in reading about him, and me, you can find the link below.

Photo Friday: Don’t Tell the Mom

My wife would be very jealous if she knew who was spending time with me while she was on her business trips.

Our cats have always been drawn to me more than anyone else in the house, for some reason. So when Floki chose her over me for his number one she became very proud of herself. She likes showing off how sometimes Floki will let her hold him. It’s a real stick out your tongue moment. She would not be happy if she knew what he was doing during he absence.

Siamese cat sleeping on lap

Video Evidence of Why Chris Can’t Sleep With Us

My wife is away on business so I decided to leave the bedroom door open Tuesday night and let the cats sleep with me. I do that sometimes when she is away and I always regret it. Chris usually bothers me for a little while and then settles in until around three or four in the morning and then he starts back up with his annoying behavior. Wednesday morning it was three o’clock.

I resisted him for a while. I kept pushing him away or I would pick him up and move him to where another cat was sleeping. (I couldn’t tell who in the dark). My hope was that he would forget about me and bother that other cat. It didn’t work and eventually, he forced me out of bed way too early.

Last night I was tired and closed everyone out so I could get some sleep. That lasted until around four this morning when I heard Chris crying and scratching at the door. This went on until 5:30 when I was again forced out of bed early.

I fed them and went back to bed, not to sleep but just to rest for a few minutes. Chris showed up soon after and immediately started bothering me by biting my nose and scratching me. His breathing was accelerated and he was purring loudly or at least making loud breathing noises. After several minutes of this, I decided to get it on film so at least others could enjoy it.

Don’t get me wrong, I love that Chris is as loving and affectionate as he is. I just wish he could do it less painfully.

Photo Friday: Bedtime

Unfortunately, Chris is way too annoying at night so we have to close our door to all the cats when we go to bed. In Chris’s defense, he is only part of the problem. Frankie will jump on the dresser in the middle of the night and make noise by scratching at the blinds or knocking something over. Floki and Puck are mostly good but now I worry about Puck peeing on the bed since he has done it twice already and pooped on it once.

This means that somebody has to be the bad guy and kick out all the non-humans. That bad guy usually ends up being me.

cats on bed funny

The Game of Escape Has a New Leader

Chris has always been incredibly good at escaping. At first, it was a real problem, but it eventually became clear that he wasn’t interested in going very far so I stopped worrying when he got out. Frankie escaping, on the other hand, was more of a concern because he is a traveler and I worried that he would get lost or hit by a car or something not so good. Luckily, his escape skills were not as good as Chris’s although he still got out from time to time.

Things have changed recently and Frankie is now better than Chris at busting through the door when I try to come in with groceries or other bags. There are a few reasons for that. One is that Chris has slowed down with age, he is almost 9. Also, his weight has climbed to almost 18 pounds. Frankie has aged too but he is a couple of years younger than Chris and he is still skinny. What has changed the most though is that Frankie has become smarter. He now doesn’t hesitate and sprints out the door as I swing it open and before I can put a bag down to block him.

Sometimes Chris and Frankie work together so while I block one, the other gets out. If that’s not bad enough, the distraction caused by one getting out is enough to let the other one escape. Then I have two cats to retrieve.

cats outside

Chris stays close and eats grass or rolls around on the driveway so I don’t worry about him. Frankie will also stay close for a short time until he senses me coming and then he is off.

cat outside

He will find a place to hide like under a car or a bush where he knows I can’t catch him.

cat outside

Sometimes he goes under our house or a neighbor’s house.

cat outside under home

I hate when he does that because it is impossible to coax him out and I believe it is where he sometimes picks up fleas. Also, our neighborhood has many rabbits that hide out under homes and Frankie has already shown himself to be a rabbit hunter.

The good news is that Frankie knows he has a good home and he will come back if left alone. Yesterday I was at Lowes buying something for the catio we will soon have built. I called my wife to ask if she would take a picture of the outside of the home and send it to me. When she did she also texted that Frankie got out.

It took me about a half hour to get home and when I did Frankie was on top of my wife’s car. When he saw my car he got very excited and was talking up a storm. I opened the door and he went right in with Chris at the door waiting for him.

Rose said she forgot about him being outside. That is the dangerous thing about waiting for him to come back. We could forget he is out there. Indeed, he got out earlier that morning and I forgot he was out there. It was relatively cold so when Rose reminded me I opened the door and he was right there waiting.

He escaped Tuesday morning as I was leaving for work and I didn’t even know he got out until I saw him running away after I closed the door. I could have just as easily looked the other direction and left for work with him outside. The funny thing was, he let me catch him relatively quickly but I forgot I had locked the door and my key was in the wrong pocket. As I struggled to get the key out of my pocket, Frankie jumped down and I was stuck waiting for him for fifteen minutes.

At least when the screened catio is built this won’t be as much of an issue. Does ay one else struggle with pets who like to escape?


Another Vet Visit for Puck

Last Thursday evening I noticed a couple of little puddles of pee in the kitchen. That was unusual because when Puck pees on the floor (which is just about every day) it is one large puddle. I then noticed more little puddles and soon realized that everywhere Puck went he left behind a puddle of pee.

Even though peeing on the floor has become the new normal, this was not normal so I called the vet as soon as they opened and made an appointment for that morning.

I brought the carrier in the house early so as to not scare Puck when it was time to go. Chris and Frankie not only don’t fear the carrier, they were taking turns going inside of it. Chris, of course, was first.

Puck sensed something was up and I had a hard time catching him but eventually we made it to the vet. I opened his cage after the put us in the exam room but he was not interested in leaving.

The vet tech took him in the back room where they do their secret experiments and brought back a cat that looked like Puck but I couldn’t be sure until later when he peed on the floor. While he was in the back they took a urine sample.

After a short wait, the vet came in to examine Puck. The vet tech struggled to pull him out and I suggested we just unsnap the top, which we did. The vet then suggested that she bring Puck over along with the bottom of the carrier. She thought that would stress him less.

We then had to wait for the test results so I picked up Puck and put him in my lap. Apparently, that was not the time or place for doing anything out in the open so he jumped down and hid behind my back.

After a long wait, the vet came back and said that there was no infection but he did have inflammation and he had urinary crystals. She ended up giving Puck steroids.

Every time I write about a vet visit I mention how all pet issues are solved with steroids or antibiotics and each time after that the same thing happens, In addition, I had to buy another case of Hills prescription cat food.

Science Diet Urinary cat food ca

He didn’t pee anywhere the first day after the vet visit but the day after that he peed everywhere, Today he was good but we will see what tomorrow brings.

Neater Scooper and Feeder

My wife likes to shop. I’m sure those are five words that have never been said in that order before. But she does like to shop, both in-store and online, and it is often other people that she likes to shop for. Not only that, she likes to spread the joy of shopping to other people in much the same way a pot dealer promotes the joy of cannabis.

I resist shopping. Rose is always trying to get me to buy clothes or shoes or whatever but I resist being drawn to the dark side. With no other recourse, she sometimes buys me stuff . . . for my own good.

Recently a box arrived in the mail. It was from a company called Neater Pet Brands.
In the box was a Neater Scooper and a Neater Feeder for cats. Since I do almost all of the poop scooping and I feed the cats as well as maintain their water bowls, Rose thought these products would make my life easier.

I linked to the company’s website but I am fairly certain she bought them from a third party because she said that the feeder was free with the purchase of the scooper and bags. I don’t know what she paid (probably separate shipping and handling) but I doubt anything was free.

The scooper has a bag that attaches to it and a one-way opening to allow the waste to drop into the bag.

Neater Scooper

neater scooper

neater scooper

I found it to be too bulky for my taste and I kept dumping too much litter into the bag. I’m sure with practice I would get used to how it works but even if I was comfortable with it I still felt like the effort to put the bag on and then take it off again was more trouble than it was worth. I have no problem with holding a scoop in one hand and a bag in the other so I think this is a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.

We ended up throwing the scooper and the bags in the trash but then I pulled them out and I plan on asking my neighbor if she wants them when I see her.

The other thing that came, the feeder, is more useful.

Neater FeederWe already have an elevated feeder so I decided to use this one for water since it catches and contains any water that spills over the edge. Some of our cats, like Floki, lick the edge of the water bowl causing water to spill over the edge and get on the floor, which means we have to put a paper towel under the bowl.

water bowl I think it is designed to have food on one side and water on the other but I like to keep the water away from the food, at least somewhat. I do this because I used to have one or two cats that would put food in the water bowl but I also read that cats don’t like drinking water that is close to food. I have not found that to be an issue but maybe it matters even a little bit to them.

All in all, I think the feeder is good but the scooper is not so good. What do you think? Would you like to try the scooper?