Chris Still Does the Undoable


I have mentioned before that Floki is the most difficult cat to control in the universe. My wife and I working together can’t contain him long enough to cut just one of his nails. Forget about all ten. Chris, on the other hand, can hold him down indefinitely all by himself.

He used to hold down Puck by grabbing the scruff of his neck but now it’s Floki’s turn. What I don’t understand is why Floki doesn’t struggle like he does with us. I’ve held Floki by the scruff to no avail. He does cry loudly when Chris does that, which alerts me that I need to go break it up.

I have written a few posts on this subject in case you are bored and want to read on.

The Dominant Cat

Chris Demonstrates Dominance

The Uncontainable Floki

The Struggle for Dominance

Shelter Cats Loafing in Litter


Since starting as a volunteer at the SPCA a few months ago, I have noticed a surprisingly high number of cats who spend there time lying in litter boxes. I don’t know why. The pods at the SPCA are about 100 square feet with plenty of vertical sleeping areas. Perhaps it is a reaction to stress. Considering there are between four and eight cats in each pod and the pods are constantly changing as cats come and go, I can understand why it would be stressful, especially for the more timid cats.

Sometimes they are joined by friends.

What do you think?

Floki Versus the Turbo Scratcher


I think the one cat toy in our house that has really stood the test of time is the Turbo Scratcher. The one we have now is one of two that we bought well over fifteen years ago (I don’t know what happened to the other one). It has not only lasted for years, it has also remained one of the most played with toys in the house.

Not all of our cats have been interested in it. Some have ignored it completely while others played with it occasionally, but there has always been one cat that goes back to it again and again. When Chris was young, he was the one. Then it was Puck and now Floki loves the Turbo Scratcher.

I often hear the sound of Floki playing with it but I never have a camera around. When I do go and get my camera or phone, as soon as I come back he is done playing. I was lucky to get the above video before Christmas and then promply forgot I had it until now.

Do you have any pet toys that have stood the test of time? I would love to hear about them.

More Tests for Chris


Chris was back at the vet on Monday to get the blood test that he did not let them get when we were there last. This time my wife went with me to make sure I didn’t let them charge me $700 like the last vet did.

It was not easy getting him into the cat carrier and I felt bad doing it to him again.

There is a scale near the reception desk so I put Chris on it. After deducting the weight of the carrier I came up with 17.2 pounds, about three pounds less than a couple of months ago. I was both glad and concerned that he lost weight.

After they took him in the back, we waited for a very long time and then we heard the blood curdling screams. It was very distressing knowing that Chris was going through such a terrible trauma while we sat and listened. I know having a little blood taken is not that bad, but Chris was a confused cat being held down by strangers while someone poked him with something sharp. I can only imagine what was going through his mind. I wish they would have let me go back and help hold him. That might have been a little less stressful for both of us.

The vet offered anti-diarrhea medication which my wife, who was there to prevent me from overspending, gladly accepted. I was reluctant because I had just ordered probiotics from Amazon and preferred to try to correct the problem naturally and without drugs. We were able to get one of those pills down Chris’s throat once and then we gave up.

They also gave a a poop-kit. I have been instructed to collect Chris’s poop and bring it in. Since we have three cats, I need to see him poop and by now, Thursday morning, that has not happened yet.

I got a call from the vet on Tuesday. She said Chris’s bloodwork was mostly normal. She mentioned two or three of tests that were a little high but she also said the vomiting and stress might have caused the tests to be high and not the other way around. In a nutshell, it is unknown what caused the vomiting but it seems, at least from the bloodwork, that Chris is okay.

We were happy to hear that Chris is okay and hope we won’t have to bring him back anytime soon.

Chris's Unresolved Medical Problems


Chris has always been our healthiest cat. Sure, he did have minor issues, but we never had to bring him to the vet for an illness until he was about seven and a half years old and he got an eye infection that really wasn’t his fault. Both he and Frankie caught it from Floki when we adopted Floki. Then, a couple of years later, the flood gates opened.

First it was an infection in his mouth about a year ago that resulted in the loss of eight teeth. Then in June his ear polyps, which he had since he was a kitten, worsened and became infected. You can read that story here. The vet gave us a price of almost $600 to remove the polyps but when we were ready to proceed he changed his mind and said it was too complicated to do in their office and recommeded a specialist.

We went to the specialist twice (here and here). The first visit I talked to a surgeon who wanted to remove his ear canals and make him deaf. I didn’t want to do that and asked for other options. She consulted the dermatologist who had them test the infection and then they compounded a medication for it with instructions to see the dermatologist when the medicine was gone.

A few weeks later we saw the dermatologist who said they needed to take a biopsy to make sure it wasn’t cancer. He said it would be about two weeks to get the results. They also gave me more medicine. That visit cost me $701. The first visit was about $250. This is all before a treatment plan.

While I was waiting for the results, Chris started puking so I had to bring him back to his regular vet (read about it here). By now he is very weary and does not want to cooperate. The vet gave him a shot for nausea but Chris struggled too much and they were not able to get a blood test to determine what was wrong.

He seemed to get better and we went to St. Augustine for a few days for my wife’s birthday at the end of December. When we returned he still seemed okay so I assumed he was better.

Last week the dermatologist called and said Chris’s results came back, finally, but they were inconclusive. He wanted to do the test again, at no charge, and try to dig out a deeper sample but I did not want to put Chris through any more trauma. I tried to talk to him about it but the connection was very bad and lost him. He didn’t call back so I called the office and was diverted to an answering machine. I left a message saying I was cut off but never got a return call. I put it out of my mind but then called them back last week and talked to someone in the office.

I asked the person on the phone, “What’s the worst that could happen if we assume it is not cancer?” I told her he had polyps his whole life and if they were cancerous we would have known by now.

She agreed that it was unlikely but possible so I asked what would happen if it was cancer? “They would probably remove his ear canals but that would not guarantee that it would not spread,” she said.

I said, “If we assume that it is not cancer what would you do?”

“Well, with the polyps as extensive as they are in Chris’s ears, they would need to be cut out with a laser,” she said, “and that is an expensive procedure and only a few places around here, like universities, have lasers.

“So why am I wasting my time and money with you if you can’t do anything?” I didn’t say that but I thought it.

At about the same time I talked to that vet, Chris started puking again. It also became very obvious that he has diarrhea too. I called his regular vet on Friday and asked if I could bring him in for the blood test that they couldn’t take last time but they couldn’t get me in until late this coming Monday.

In the meantime, I am watching him closely. He is puking two to three times a day and as I was writing about his diarrhea, I was also witnessing it first hand.

Frankie pukes almost every day but I don’t worry too much about him because that is what he does. Chris, on the other hand, is not a puker so I do worry about him.

I have noticed some interesting differences between Chris and Frankie. Frankie seems to seek out carpets or other hard to clean places before he pukes but Chris tries to puke in the litter box. I would say at least half of all his pukes are contained in the litter box. This morning he missed the boxed but puked just outside of it. He then reached in the box and pulled out enough litter to bury it.

Another thing Chris does lately is lie in the litter box. I don’t know if he feels like he has to puke and wants to be ready, or if he is just getting weird in his old age.

I let Chris out on Friday to eat some grass. Cats eat grass when they are sick so we thought that might help him.

Normally, Frankie goes out on a leash first and then Chris goes out, but this time Chris went out first and Frankie was not happy about it.

When I brought Chris inside, I planned on getting Frankie’s harness but Frankie had other ideas and bolted out the door. He then hid under a car where I couldn’t catch him.

So now all we can do is wait for Monday and hope the blood test is okay. As far as his ears go, I think we will just try to keep the infection under control for now and we will see what happens.

Photo Friday: Curl Up With a Good Cat


I think I will just let this photo speak for itself.

On another note, Chris is puking again and now he has dierea. Another vet visit may be in order if he isn’t better soon. It was very traumatic for him last time and I hate to subject it to him again. I also have news about his ears but it is to long of a story for this post.

Why Do Cats Love Boxes?


We bought a new Keurig and our boys have been enjoying the box so when I happened upon this blog post from 2014 I thought it would be good to share for Throwback Thursday.

Bad Cat Chris

Everyone who is owned by a cat knows what happens when you bring a new box into the house. It is like Kitty Christmas. The first thing they have to do is get inside like a child with a new playhouse. But why are cats so fascinated by a simple empty box? I suppose there are a number of things at “play” here.

I think the main reason is that cats love to play. The reason that they have an instinct for play is probably because it helps them practice for survival. Attacking their housemates, assuming it is not for reasons of dominance or territory, is practice for the hunt. Playing in a box is just an extension of that.

A box offers something a wild cat is looking for: stealth. Nevermind that they are not wild cats, they don’t know that. From inside a box a cat can see…

View original post 141 more words