Saturday, December 13, 2008

boy its amazing how empty a full house can be

We live in a pretty full house between the "home crew" and foster critters yet one little quiet cat missing is so very very obvious

I look for him in all his favourite places - just automatically my eye slides over where he should be then stops when he isn't there
Tom keeps his eye open for all the cats and has noticed Dumont missing more than he's told me I'm sure

I'm not used to hearing a cat meow for even a minute - Dumont was a great comfort - if somebody was distressed he'd wander over and sit with them a minute - often the sad cat would end up licking his head and feeling better with very little attention from me .. Now cats ask to be cuddled quite often and I hear them calling us, and each other, more often and for a few seconds longer.

I opened a can of tuna on Thursday - and there was no handsome black and white and tuxedo cat weaving his way amongst the dogs to insist on his share of tuna water

as so often happens after a death I keep tripping across his "stuff" little needles, lines and fluid bags, special diets all that stuff.. right now I just toss it in a drawer and know I'll miss him all over again when I pack the drawer up

Thursday, December 4, 2008

new edition of the magazine is out

and it is BEAUTIFUL

check it out:

the photography is just incredible ...and it feels like such a quality magazine

Tom's history piece is neat but YY I Left by Kitty is just the greatest thing ever ..

my naming piece is in there is the adding cats to the home piece

I have no idea at all what to write next though...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

For Love of Cats

went down to animal house calls last night to talk about our new writing project and show off two very very cute kittens

new set distracted me a bit but all in all I think it went well

I will say nothing could ever have made me comfortable in the spotlight except for advocating for animals. It helped that I had a nice steady start - first working behind the wings on shows like the Pet Project and Zooboomafoo then little panel gigs like the cat vs dog debate on Studio Two, then bits of news shows then finally Breakfast TV and I really don't feel nervous at all - even when the show isn't as smooth as I want..

the kittens were pretty much perfect!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The King is Dead: Long Live the King

Dumont was a people cat, he was a dog cat, a cat cat and just an all round patriarchial kind of soul; heck everybody who met him loved him. He was ever the gentlemen - greeting all who came to our house with an inquisitive sniff and quite often a lick and a cuddle. He was glossy and beautiful - black with a lovely even, perfect tuxedo of white marking his legs and face. He was playful and compassionate - chasing toys and entertaining the animal baby fosters in the house for hours or simply lying with an older or sick soul, no matter the species. Patient to a fault he taught many a small child how to interact politely with a pet and why it's important to pat in the direction of the hair. He loved going to our friends houses for visits and would make himself quite at home anywhere. He taught dogs, cats and even large parrots our house rules and he will be sadly missed. He liked to be held, enjoy sitting on laps but was content to sit beside you or along the back of the couch too. He was part of an epic - a piece of 36 years of loving individual cats for me.

We adopted him the day after my first cat Rum died - I was in university and had gone to the clinic to pay the bill. The vet asked if we were looking for another pet and I said no. I was told the sad tale of this adorable four month old who had been abandoned when the owners couldn't pay for the needed surgery to remove a foreign object from his throat (time has faded the memory or the object - it was either a coin or a bone). The humane society arrived to pick him up and they were sent away. I left the clinic empty handed and when I got home my new hubby asked how it had gone. (He had never lived with any animal apart from his brothers before meeting me!) I told him the story of the abandoned soul and he looked behind me for a new addition. When I realized he was serious we raced back to the clinic to pick up Dumont.

(The original Dumont was Gabriel Dumont- Louis Riel's right hand in the Rebellions - we figured our Dumont had to have a bit of rebel in him to have ended up on our doorstep)

Dumont lived with us for 18 years - more or less a few days - he was the picture of health - right up to a little crisis last fall. He had surgery to remove a tumour on his midline at that time - our vet was sure it would be a mammary tumour but it turned out to be another tumour - a tumour common to dogs but rather unusual in domestic short haired cats. The surgery went well and he blossomed quickly - gaining weight and going back to sleek and active until about a month ago.

He had a bad episode of digestive upset and when I took him to the vet the blood results showed he had critical renal failure. We did aggressive fluid and antibiotic therapy which he responded well too then I took him home with fluids - he happily accepted occasional sub q fluids til last week then he started resisting. This was a cat who didn't resist anything so I felt very strongly he wanted the fluids to stop. It nearly killed me but I honoured his request and he continued to eat, purr and sleep on my head until Thursday.

I contemplated calling for a mobile vet for euthanasia - or taking him to our much loved vet for the procedure but he seemed quite determined to lie on the bed I set up for him in the kitchen and hold court. He wasn't in pain and he derived great comfort from having his family around him. I have some Valium and pain meds on hand but didn't need to give him any of either. I sat (and lay) with him non stop from 10 pm on ... he would fall asleep and wake up to find one of the cats gently touching him - licking his head, laying a paw over him or his sniffing his face gently. If his head slipped off me as soon as he awoke he'd carefully lift his head and wait til my hand was cradling his head again. It was quite a beautiful thing. The patriarch of the house - who had greeted each and every one of the animals present there now said goodbye to all but the bunny and the birds. He took his last breaths around 1:30 or so and his heart stopped beating a short time later. The change in energy in the room when he left was eerie.

He was an amazing friend and a very special part of our family. We will miss him enormously. He has left a hole that no one will be able to fill. (Why oh why do we keep loving them when losing them is inevitable?)
I told him to take care of all our friends (yours and mine) who await us at the bridge - and I can assure you that no matter the species he'll do his thing - in his gentle loving way - the rainbow bridge is a better place tonight.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

cats cats and then more cats

black cats, baby cats, old cats, happy cats, scared cats
EVERYBODY seems to have a cat they think they NEED to "get rid of" (how I hate that expression) RIGHT NOW


2 very cute tiny black kittens will be coming my way Monday - let's hope this is a GOOD THING

Saturday, October 25, 2008

catching up

Kali looks good - she's gained weight and muscle and is in great spirits ... go figure!

Dumont has good minutes and bad minutes - he usually resists the sub q fluids but tolerates them every 3-4 days so I give them to him... he's old and lovely - if he doesn't want to be fussed with I'm trying to honour that as well as I did my grandmother's do not resuscitate order

Siam One and Two have working names - the evolution of names has been interesting with them to say the least the flame point male is BB (or Big Boy, Big Bro) or just sweetie , the tortie point is now known as Little Sis (aka Lil, Lily and sucky face)

Ocean is in a new home and LOVING it - she sleeps on the bed at night - and while I miss her very much I am so very very happy for her
it's with a staff person at the Danforth Vet Clinic so I'll hear about her lots and I trust that if there are problems she'll come back to us

I have been socializing 4 scared kittens at one of the shelters .. they are adorable - on day one three of them purred for me!

and life goes on ...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

kali is still on my lap

and Dumont is back asleep under my chair ...
and Siam One and Two remain unnamed

Dumont's blood values actually improved with his daily visits to the spa (aka Danforth Vet Clinic) they are half way to normal now and I'm most impressed - he's still one sick kitty but there is a little more hope in my heart tonight

so, no shock, Kali is feeling PUNK ...

the balance, ebb and flow, call it what you will continues... up, down and around and around ...


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

and the beat goes on...

Kali is on my lap

Dumont is sound asleep under my chair

and both are hanging in there - purring and eating and being as entertaining as usual

the worry in my heart sits heavy at times but they are content so I'll have to be as well

Siam One and Two are getting a little braver too - Tom is working on naming them and he's chatting to them lots

the himi's crack me up ... Ocean had a lead on a home but that's fallen through .. and Coco is Coco - they make me laugh everyday

and the beat goes on and on ...

Monday, September 29, 2008

Dumont is critically ill

The hardest, the very hardest, part of loving animals is losing them. Facing losing them isn't exactly a barrel of laughs either and today - for the second time in less than a year we are faced with the possibility of losing Dumont before we are ready.

In Novemeber of last year he had a mass removed from his tummy - we thought it might be a mammary tumour but it turned out to be a tumour dogs get and cats don't (usually!). He was thin and elderly looking but post surgery rallied dramatically - gaining weight and feeling great.. he looked like a cat half his age (he's 18).

He came down to Prince Edward county for the summer and throughly enjoyed the views of birds and a new place to explore with his buddies.. he thrived...

fast forward to yesterday when I had a good look at him and realized that he was suddenly back to looking elderly ..and he was dehydrated..first available appointment you can bet we were at Dr Au's clinic ...

blood results just came in - kidney failure - HUGE dramatic kidney failure in less than six months..

our choices? do nothing, put him on agressive antibiotics and iv fluids, put him on sub q fluids and oral antibiotics

he'll hate any of them .. and so we will...

betting my dreams aren't happy tonight

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Kali cat and her transfusion

Kali had a blood transfusion on Monday - her red blood cell count had dropped to truly alarming levels (6 instead of 24 or more). The miracle worker Dr Au wasn't sure how Kali was walking let alone eating, playing and behaving much as she has for the last year and a half. We had discussed the possibility of a transfusion nearly a year ago (when the blood value was 11) but she was so bright it didn't seem essential.

The transfusion was tough - finding a donor was harder then it should have been - and the amount of blood that had to come out of Kali before anything went back in was scary too. Luckily dear Sherbert ended up being a match and snoozed through having nearly 50 ml of blood drawn. Kali only got about 25 mls of blood as there were some clotting issues but even just that amount of blood seemed to make her feel better. We'll see what tomorrow holds but tonight was a good night!

Siam One and Siam Two

Two terrifed siamese cats are in foster care - they had been abandoned in an apartment - and were so scared in the shelter staff didn't even sex them - let alone age them!
Turns out they are only about 7 months old and very very sweet - so pretty and so so scared...
They are at the vets tonight waiting for their spay, nueter (and hernia repair) surgeries tomorrow - poor guys are terrified - I HATE leaving animals at the vets but have an early morning meeting tomorrow so thought it would be best to get them there in time

I'll make sure I get them tomorrow night - hopefully they'll forgive me fast ..

gotta think of "real" names soon too

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Cats just CRACK me up

I didn't find Ocean in time for her to leave ... and of course as soon as I got home it was very apparent where she was - funny girl

Coco has taken up residence in a corner cupboard - she leaves for water and her litter box but just meows at me when she thinks she wants food

Nando is being a complete lap boy - he can't get enough lap time - for an old man he still thinks he's a ladies man

Kali isn't feeling great this weekend - glad she's due for a recheck this week.. hopefully we can work a little more magic ...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Animal House Calls

and Ocean (aka Novemeber) is hiding - apparently she doesn't want to make a tv debut or leave here ... if I can find her Shelly is going to take her to free up a little room for a pair of freaked out Siamese and a little dog in trouble...

I have about an hour to look still but have run out of spots to check - I simply can't believe the way this large fluffy girl can VANSIH when she puts her mind to it ..

Coco's face is healing well - the lab results came back and it is a mass cell tumour - likely to reoccur in the same location but not too likely to spread.. poor sweetie - she doesn't have much skin left if another lump has to come off

Thursday, August 21, 2008

just a day in the life of a concerned cat lover

so ... a pretty sadly typical day today (and I don't give out my phone number to anybody anymore)

could I take a 7 year old declawed spayed black and white female whose dad was in a nursing home and the family can't possibly keep the cat but dad keeps crying so they want to be able to tell him cat is safe

could I take a 1 year old flame point siamese who isn't dealing well with shelter life

could I take a 12 year old diabetic cat who has been untreated for months

could I do something about dogs (not mine! phew) barking at odd times of day

could I tell a family member not to worry about a weird lump on their family pet (um no - go to the vet)

could I find out if anything happened to the local dog that recently killed the neighbour cat (on my lawn)

consulted about a cat with litter box problems, a nasty mom with kittens, a URI that doesn't want to clear up...

can I find the friendlier himi who has found yet another new hiding place

can could would

it just doesn't end somedays ...

Monday, August 18, 2008

surgery for coco channel

That funny foster cat Coco had the lump on her nose removed today. We started with x-raying her head and lungs to try to make sure there was nothing cancerous lurking in shadows - all looked good so Dr Au went ahead with the removal ... she did her usual extraordinary job and while Coco has a slightly tilted nostril now and a dramatic star shaped scar it's already looking pretty darn good (much better then the big ugly hairless lump that was there)

she recovered slowly and actually seemed glad to see me as she came in and out of her fog .. I was able to comb her right out and was inspired enough to hunt down her sister when I got home and comb her too ... She seemed to like it and is now happily hanging out on a wing chair in the living room.. YAY for tortie point himis

(not looking forward to Coco's recovery much I must say though)

Monday, August 11, 2008

vanishing cats

having lived with cats for many years now you'd think I'd be over being shocked when a foster cat finds a hiding place I can't find...

well not so much

the more friendly of the two himis has found a hidey hole that defies me - she is around - she was yowling at Julia at 5 am this morning (nice to know she's here but honestly it could have waited an hour or two)

she's eating it seems - cause the food is going down a LOT faster then just grumpy girl eats but yikes - for a BIG PUFFY cat she sure is stealthy!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

newest fosterlings ...

boy do I hate people sometimes

2 lovely and scared himilayans have arrived one is seal point and the other is a torti seal point (not that I'd know that - I can barely tell they are himi calling them the right colour is really impossible for me but one of the wonderful vets we work with knows her cat colours inside out!)

we were told they were 7 - they are 10

we were told they were well loved- they arrived without food, a blanket - NOTHING

we were told they were healthy - UGLY lump on the seal points face that will require work up

if ever there were cats in need of new names for a new life these girls are it - the names aren't coming easily tho ... but I'm sure as they get happier we'll figure something out

Thursday, July 31, 2008

happy birthday little man!

I am pretty sure- as sure as I can be anyhow that today is Brody's eighth birthday

the stupid people who dumped him turned over paperwork from the puppy broker that he came with and that labelled his birthday as today - the vets think he might have been born a week or two earlier but it's as close as I can get so


what a time we've had - stage show, tv shows, media, humane education, CGN, entertaining me and keeping me honest and now agility! Brody works hard for his kibble that's for sure. Tom called him a devil dog for years and really didn't like him at all for a FULL YEAR - Brody can be a bit aloof at times.. and still is a devil about some things- being brushed is a good example!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

what do cats bring to me?

what an interesting question from Liisa

cats give a great deal to relationships and have taught me so much ...

specific cats have taught or brought me unique things

from Dumont I learned that cats can give you a little piece of their heart when there is a hole that needs to be filled..

Jinx and her kittens brought us laughter - gales of laughter

Elsa taught us that it is possible to give and give and then give a little more

Monday, July 7, 2008

On Naming Cats

Naming cats is tough - really tough sometimes - the dude pictured was Bruce - a dear sweet wise cat who reminded me a boss I had once

like when you don't know the cat very well at all and you have a 40 minute drive to the vets and the cat needs a name by the time it gets there... days like that tend to result in names like Ginger for the orange cat, Lady for the dignified middle aged cat, Lucky, Fluffy, Princess and so on

I used to have fun if I had noisy cats on the drive - they'd get named after the songs or singers on the radio (or from my memory): BTO, Boston, Dylan, and so on

I wish I had kept a list of names we have used ...
some that stick out in my mind

Irvine - had been dunked in oil
Jinx - tiny little female who arrived so pregnant she actuallly gave birth on the way to the foster home (then all her kittens got J names too - Joy, Jack, Jingo, and Jolly if memory serves me right)
Holey Moley Mary and Flopsy Moe - the two cerebelar hyperplastic kitties that we have lived with
Lindy - the feral beauty who couldn't be sexed for months (named for a beautiful Linda I knew but I was worried she'd be a he)
Mrs Bates - who lived in the rafters between our basement and first floor for a cou-ple of months til she got acclimated to the house - she had kittens up there! her kittens Hogan and Dundee as they were adventerous boys from day one
Midi - Mrs Bates daughter or sister - she was the middle cat, not friendly but not nasty either
Kendra - also a daughter or sister of Mrs B and Midi - she was actually quiet social and was adopted into a flower store
Major - a cat of great dignity who had to have a toe amputated
Lexi - named when she gave birth to kittens when I was away in Lexington on a very rare weekend away- all her kittens ended up named after places too

thematic names work well for me and rescue - that way my failing memory is triggered to think - oh he was the cat covered in oil, she came in with this cat and so on

I have worked my through the alphabet too but I find I can recall the cats better with my odd naming system :)

Gemma and Jerry

went and did a walk through at a shelter I work with quite a bit today

they were swamped with kittens and needing to make some tough calls..two little feral grey siblings were looking like unlikely candidates to get adoptable so they were "printed up" (that is to say being considered for euthanasia)

ummm they are now in a guinea pig cage on the dining room table

Tom named them and already they are coming around - Jerry actually solicits attention already - Gem is a little slower but thats ok - she'll come round too

the dogs are fascinated - the adult cats are pretending they don't exsist

Sunday, July 6, 2008

welcome to all things catty

I like the play on words - catty - as in cat lover -catty as in a little bit gossipy?

which will it be? probably he first mostly but I'm sure a little bit of commentary will work it's way in here.

I've mainly started this blog as a way to write about cats. A dear editor, writer, publisher I know is in the process of starting a cat magazine and wants me to write for her. I need to write lots to write anything interesting or meangingful and find the agility blog very helpful to my thinking - as well as the coop blog I hardly ever use. Hoping the same becomes true here - the helpful part not the not using it part ;)