Tag Archives: cat

Chris Goes Back to the Vet Again


Early this week, perhaps Sunday, my wife and I came home and saw puke all over the kitchen table. There was a mixed bouquet of flowers on the table and I saw some green specs in the puke so I assumed someone was chewing on the flowers and got sick. I immediatly threw away the flowers but I probably should have photographed them first to determine if any were toxic to cats.

It wasn’t long before we realized it was Chris who was puking because he continued to puke bile the rest of the day. He seemed otherwise okay and he was eating and drinking so I decided to just keep an eye on him.

Throughout the week he would give me cause for concern but then he would be extremely annoying which made me happy because that was normal behavior for him. By Friday he was still puking occasionally and I was concerned because we are leaving for St. Augustine this morning for a few days for my wife’s birthday and I didn’t want to have to worry about him while I was away, so I called the vet and scheduled an appointment for Friday afternoon.

When we got to the vet, the vet tech took him into the other room to weigh him. He was still a student and had a lot to learn about handling cats. When he brought him back he told me he weighed 19.5 pounds which is one pound less then his last vet visit.

When the vet came it to check on Chris, he resisted and had a death grip on the edge of the table. The vet tech could not move his paws away so I had to step in to help. The tech then tried to hold him down after the vet was done checking his stomach, which I didn’t understand. I stepped in and said, “Hold on!” I then looked at the vet and said, “Can I take him?” With a nod from the vet I picked him up and put him on my lap.

The story of the flowers came up and the vet said toxic plants could have affected his kidney and liver. I asked if it would still affect him so many days later and he said it could. He wanted to get a blood test to be sure and so they took Chris back in the other room for a very long time.

When they returned, the vet said they were able to give him a shot for nausea but were not able to get a blood sample because Chris was being extremely uncooperative. So we left without knowing anything for sure.

I was told to keep an eye on him for loss of appetite and lethargy. So far he seems okay. We talked about him with our neighbor who will be watching the cats while we are away. We also gave her a credit card and emergency vet information just in case. Hopefully nothing will happen while we are gone, or even after we return. I don’t like worrying about Chris and it is especially hard knowing we will be away during a troubling time.

Patches Has a New Name


On my last post I talked about Patches who was abandoned at one of my wife’s apartment complexes and then taken in by a resident who helps out there. I visited them yesterday and learned that he is doing very well and they both seem happy with each other.

I tried to get a good photo of Patches but he was too busy playing. I should also remember to call him by his new name “Patch” because “Patches” does not sound manly enough.

Whatever name he goes by I am just glad he is doing well. His new gaurdian calls him “respectful.” I’m not entirely clear what that means but I think it is a way of calling him a good boy.

Cat Left Behind with no Food or Water


My wife is vice president for a company that owns several apartment communities in Florida, Virginia and West Virginia. A small, 20-unit apartment in Tampa used to be part of a group of three apartment complexes but two of them sold last month leaving it with no full-time staff to watch over it. Instead, a resident helps out by keeping it clean and by doing light maintenance when needed and the manager comes by once a week to check on it.

While the manager was there on Thursday morning, she checked on an apartment that someone had recently moved out of and found a cat left behind with no food or water. It is scary to think what would have happened if she didn’t show up until Monday.

The resident that helps out said he recognized the cat and knew his name was Patches. He agreed to keep him in his apartment until they could figure out what to do with him.

His finances were tight and couldn’t really afford to keep a pet but agreed to do that after Rose told him she would keep him supplied with food and litter. This would come from her, not the company.

So as we were out for breakfast Thursday morning, Rose got online and ordered wet and dry food, treats, litter, a litter box, a scoop and some catnip toys, which all arrived the next day except for the toys.

It seems like Patches’ new guardian has become exited about having Patches as a companion and I think Patches has found a better home then the one he left. Anyone who is coldhearted enough to leave a cat behind like that must be horrible to live with.

That brings me to a question I have been wondering for a long time. Why do people who care so little about animals get pets? Why would someone just abandon a pet that has been part of the family? Why do people get dogs and then leave them tied up in the back yard? Or beat them for behaving like a dog?

Shortly after Rose placed that order for Patches, we left the restaurant and drove through the parking lot until we reached Petsmart where Rose stopped to let people walk by. I turned away for a second but my attention was brought back to the front when Rose beeped the horn. “Did you see that!?” she yelled. “What the hell is wrong with people?”

All I saw was a young man walking a small dog and two other people. As we drove by Rose opened my window and yelled some words at the man that I won’t repeat here. He then yelled unrepeatable words back. When I asked what happened, Rose told me the guy was pulling the dog’s leash so hard that the dog was flying through the air. Again, why get a pet if you care so little about animals?

Sometimes I am embarrassed to be human. My hope is that scientists will find out that these people belong to some subspecies of humans so I don’t have to be related to them.

Another Vet Visit for Chris


Tuesday was not a great day for medical visits. I went to the dentist that morning and found out I need a root canal. I then found out my crappy dental insurance does not cover specialists.

Later I brought Chris to the vet to have his ears reexamined. You may recall his regular vet recommended surgery for his ear polyps but when we tried to make an appointment for the procedure we were told the surgery was too complex for that office and were referred to another vet. That vet wanted to remove Chris’s ear canals and make him deaf but after I resisted they gave him medication and an appointment to their dermatologist, who we saw Tuesday.

Chris was fascinated by the cat carrier his first nine years with us but now he sees it and runs the other way. When I do get him inside he doesn’t want to get out when we get to the vet. That is also something new because he used to love to explore the vet’s office.

The vet seemed very nice. He took ear swabs and then talked to me about ear polyps. He said there are two types, cancerous and benign. He said he needed to take a biopsy to find out which type Chris has. He said if they are cancerous then he would have to refer me back to the surgeons but if they are benign then there are treatment option. One he mentioned, if my memory is correct, involved freezing them off. He said they show up all the way through the ear canal so he couldn’t get them all but he could get most and then treat with antibiotics when needed.

They took Chris in the back room for the biopsy and returned him 12 days later. Well, maybe not that long but that’s what it seemed like. We then went back to the waiting room to wait for more of the same medication that we got for him last time. A medication that actually seemed to do some good for Chris.

When they called me up to check out I was expecting it to be fairly expensive. My wife was originally going to go with me but backed out so I knew if it was expensive she would blame me. As I waited for the bill I kept thinking “Please be less than $300. Please be less that $300 . . .”

“Your total today is seven hundred and one dollars and ninety cents.”

“What!? Holy crap! Is this a joke?”

It wasn’t a joke and I had to call my wife so she could transfer money to our checking account. I wasn’t looking forward to that call.

She took the news about the same as I did except louder. She also had the luxury of someone to blame. I didn’t have that privledge.

So now I have to wait two weeks for the test result but it seems now that they bled us dry there will be nothing left for Chris’s ears. The frustrating thing is, the original surgery estimate was around $500. Now we have spent almost $1000 and nothing has been done yet.

Frankie the Red-Nosed Bad Cat


The day after my post about Frankie’s notoriety for being an escape artist was published, he escaped again. Monday morning, as my wife was about to leave for work, she realized it was cool outside and popped her head in the door and asked me to get her jacket. I did not see Frankie anywhere near the door so I handed the jacket out to her but at the same time Frankie ran out the door.

He disappeared for quite awhile. I started by setting a timer for ten minutes. When it went off I would go outside to see if I could see him. I would then come back into the house and set the timer for another ten minutes. Fortunately I was working from home on Monday because it was about an hour or so before Frankie showed up with a dirty, red nose.

I don’t know what happened but I tried to clean the blood off his nose but he would not let me. It must have hurt him. I had to settle for dabbing a little bit of antibacterial cream on it.

I thought getting hurt outside would dampen his desire to get out for awhile but that was not the case. We were going out for dinner with my mother that same day and Frankie got out again. Since we had reservations we couldn’t wait for Frankie to come home on his schedule so I asked my wife to help round him up.

He led us on quite a chase and I hurt my finger trying to grab him. I missed him but caught a brick wall. We finally caught up to him when he hid under a pickup truck. I have been hesitant in the past to pull him out from under vehicals because he cut me pretty bad the first time I tried that but this time I was done playing his game and reached under the truck, grabbed him by the scruff and pulled him out.

I think he knew he was in trouble because he did not resist when I pulled him out and he did not try to jump out of my arms the entire walk home. Normally, if I pick him up during our walks he gives me a very hard time.

Hopefully he will think twice about hiding under cars next time he gets out.

Our Notorious Cat


Frankie has developed quite the reputation in our neighborhood for being the escape artist cat. He has escaped many times lately and people are beginning to notice.

The other day, my wife was outside when the mailman came and he asked her, “Are you looking for Frankie again?” She told me the mailman helped her catch Frankie one day. She also said the UPS driver knocks on the door when delivering a package and says “Watch out for Frankie!” when she opens the door.

Frankie escaped last week and disappeared for an hour and a half. I searched the area for him three times without success. On one of those searches, my next door neighbor saw me and asked, “Did Frankie get out again?”

He escaped on Thanksgiving when company arrived. He waited across the street until I got close enough and then bolted across the field like a cheetah until he reached the neighborhood sales office. There he hopped up onto a tree just low enough for me to grab him and carry him home.

My mother is in town so we decided to go out to breakfast with her yesterday, among other things, but Frankie slipped out and disappeared. We waited for him for a while and then ended up eating breakfast at home. He did come back once and I let Chris out hoping that would distract him enough for me to catch him. It didn’t. He again disappeared for about 45 minutes. When he finally returned he walked in the house when I opened the door like nothing had happened.

Frankie reminds me a lot of Chris in his heyday. The main difference is Chris almost always stayed close to home while Frankie goes off to who knows where. My biggest concerns are people that drive like idiots and coyotes. I keep hoping he will slow down like Chris did but there are no signs of that.

Photo Friday: Television or Sleeping Cat?


All of our cats have two or three favorite spots to nap. One of Frankie’s favorite spots is in front of the television. He only blocks a small part of the picture but his presence is a distraction because he tends to draw the eyes toward him and away from the television.

Did you notice the scratches? I wonder who did that.

Chris’s Not-So-Good Gotcha Day


Last Thursday was Chris’s tenth gotcha day but instead of a big celebration we spent three hours at the vet where the doctor suggested a surgery that would make Chris deaf.

The day started out normal enough. I had made an appointment for 9:45 at a vet that Chris’s vet recommended to do surgery to remove ear polyps. Those ear polyps had been an issue since we adopted Chris but they were benign and not really a problem until recently. That is when they got bad enough to cause infections in both ears, especially the left.

His vet gave him medication for it but after a while the problem didn’t go away so he recommended surgery to remove the polyps. At the time he said there was a good chance that they would come back after the surgery. We were close to our trip to Germany so we put it off until we came back but then the vet said that there were too many polyps or they were too deep. I can’t remember the exact reason but he said it was too complex for his office so he recommended a couple of other vets that could do it. So I made an appointment at a place near me called Tampa Bay Veterinary Specialists.

I brought Chris’s carrier into the house and he avoided it like the plague. Normally Chris would be the first one to get inside a carrier after I bring it in the house but times have changed. Chris rarely went to the vet during his first eight years with us so a carrier was an interesting distraction but now it is not so interesting for him. Once inside the carrier he was pretty quiet, like he accepted his fate.

When we arrived at the vet’s office we sat in the waiting room with many dogs and no other cats. They then put us in an exam room where Chris would not come out of his carrier. That is different behavior for Chris that started the last time or two that he went to the vet’s office. Before that, his vet visits were usually just for a vaccination or something like that and Chris was like Dora the explorer when I opened his carrier.

When the vet tech finally got him out she put him on the scale with my help. He was 9.27 kilograms, which I had to convert to 20.5 pounds. That was troubling because his last vet visit he was around 19 pounds, maybe slightly over that. The visit before that he was around 18 pounds. I hoped the extra weight was because of the free feeding while we were on vacation and not a trend.

When the vet saw Chris she asked a few questions about his health, one was about his breathing. I told her that he breaths very fast and very loud sometimes but he always had. He usually does that when he is on someone’s lap and is happy but his breathing will slow down when he is relaxed. She said she asked because the polyps could develop all the way down the ear canal and into the nasal cavity. She then recommended a surgery that would remove the ear canal.

“Wouldn’t that make him deaf? I said.

“Yes,” she said, “but he is probably mostly deaf already.” She said he would still feel vibrations and acted like it wasn’t a big deal but I felt that it was a very big deal. You don’t take someone’s hearing away like you are removing a wisdom tooth.

I said, “He’s not almost deaf. He could be sleeping on the other side of the house and show up at the food bowl as soon as I put food in it.” I told her I would consider that surgery for his left ear, the worst one, but I would not make him completely deaf.

At that point she said she would discuss it with the dermatologist but he was busy so we waited. Chris waited under my chair and did not go exploring like he used to.

Eventually they took Chris in the back and collected samples and then we waited for those samples to be analized. At first we waited in the exam room but they needed the room so we went back out into the waiting room to be with the dogs. By this time a couple of cats had joined the party.

I was pleasantly surprised that Chris was quiet and relaxed and taking his captivity pretty well.

After being there for three hours they finally found out exactly what bacteria was infecting his ears and gave me a two week supply of medication that they compounded to put in his ears. After that they will reexamine him and we will go from there.

I do foresee one little problem already. I accidently tipped over his medication and I don’t know how much spilled out. Oops.

Chris’s Tenth Gotcha Day


It is hard to believe that Chris has been with us now for ten years. He is not as much of a “bad” cat now as he was in his youth but he is still a huge PITA sometimes. Now, for example, he is on my lap as I write this and is clawing at my face and chest trying to get me to pay more attention to him.

I decided to keep this post simple today since I have already made a big deal about many of his other gotcha days. This time I thought I would just find an early photo of Chris that I have not already posted on this blog. The photo below was of Chris and Tigger taken on December 3, 2009, less than three weeks after we adopted him.

If you haven’t read it yet, the following two posts talk about Chris’s adoption.

Decisions, decisions

Chris Comes Home