Tag Archives: picture

We provide our own siren.

Just like parents, it is hard for a cat’s people to hear him/her in pain or discomfort. Poco had asthma for over 20 years, but every attack made me stop and listen. I hoped it would be short. I hoped it would pass without too much pain. I hoped it would be only one attack.

Oliver has inverted sneeze, which sounds even worse than asthma when an attack comes. And since he can go months between them you can tell that Oliver is unsure what is happening. They are horrible. But they pass quickly.

Usually, they pass quickly.

"This is the face of discomfort."

On Sunday, Oliver had an inverted sneeze. It didn’t last long. A while later he was in the condo and I went to take his picture. I noticed he was a little wheezy. Then, later that night, he started to cough.

The coughing came in spurts – one cough every 40 seconds or so for several minutes. Then he’s put his head back down and nap. By bedtime he was still coughing but between he was having trouble swallowing. Neither of us slept well.

I did the math and realized it’s been several months since we’ve been to the vet.

So we were due.

Oliver wanted to eat on Monday morning. This is a good sign. When he doesn’t want to eat we throw him in the carrier and call the vet on the way there. The grey kitten loves his food. Unfortunately, his throat hurt so bad that when I went back to the kitchen to check on him he was just licking the gravy off the food.

I dialed the phone. The vet had an appointment at 2:30 p.m., which I took and I thought in relief about how much cheaper that was going to be that squeezing him in on a “same day” visit.

I hung up.

I saw Oli gag.

I called back and told them we were on our way in. Oliver wasn’t so sick that he couldn’t scream his fool head off the entire way there.

They have another new doctor – he’s tall and seems to “get” cats. Oliver would have liked him had the new doctor not been trying to pry open his mouth to examine his throat. Next time, maybe.

And the verdict? Allergies.

Good grief, kid.

He’s on his way back to fine. Prednisone, our drug of choice, for the allergies. An antibiotic just in case because he had a mild fever.

"Beware the dragon, for you are tasty and about to disturb the kitten's nap."

Why this picture? Because no blog is complete without Obi, right?

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Leave your shoes by the welcome cat.

"World's cutest brown kitten award? It's in the bag."

Part of Obi’s job duties is to greet the people at the door. His methods are quite different from how Oliver welcomed people when it was his job. And he has customized his greeting so The Boy and I get different experiences.

There are the go-to techniques that are included with both greetings. It begins with a roll on the dining room rug while we take off our coats. If we are fast enough, there is a preliminary belly rub in this area. The welcome then goes to the living room.

After being led to the living room, Obi will stretch on the rug and expose his belly. A well-trained human, I will scritch the belly. It is a trap. Obi will lock his arms around my hand and chew on my knuckles while bunny kicking my wrist. Not hard – this is a game. Then, looking in my eyes, he gives my knuckles several kisses and kicks a couple more times. He’ll get up, rub a hug against my leg, and if we want to we’ll do it again. But more often he’ll show me his new favorite toy while I get comfy on the couch.

After the dining room greeting, The Boy will follow Obi to the same spot on the rug. There, things are different. Obi will stretch to his full length and expose his belly for petting. The Boy will pet him in long strokes. Obi will roll over. The Boy repeats the pet. At least once a day The Boy takes this opportunity to brush Obi’s hair – it is so thick it HAS to be brushed or he gets matted. Obi is very helpful in this process, rolling and stretching and offering all sides for brushing. I confirmed tonight that he even purrs.

If you don’t have a cat you might assume that this is normal. It is not. Oliver hates to be brushed. Luckily – since he’s 14 pounds and pretty impossible to get to do anything in which he’s not a willing participant – he has linty soft fur that doesn’t mat yet. With Poco there was almost always bloodshed. Mine. And boy did she ever mat. They were once so bad I had her shaved. They didn’t shave her legs or head…she looked like a lion in wooly chaps. A very, very crabby lion.

The Boy’s welcome procedure takes four to ten minutes. Mine takes about three minutes.

Oliver’s welcome, as I said, was much different. Of course, he became Chief Executive Kitten before we lived with The Boy so there was only one routine. It consisted of him standing in the entry way, usually getting bonked in the nose with the door, and starting with questions. “Where have you been? How was your day? Did you buy cat food? How about tuna?” And the daily report “I saw a bird. I took a nap. Thirteen cars drove down our street today. I like tuna.”

Oliver’s go-to trick is the shoe scritch. He attacks shoes like a scratching post. This is fun if you are wearing shoelaces because it makes some noise and obviously feels good on his fingers. Also, he’ll untie your shoes for you. To make sure you know he wants you to stay. It feels less good when you are wearing sandals and he pinches your skin between his toes and the shoe.

Oli will still do the shoe scritch but, since he is no longer in charge of greeting at the door, sometimes we go days without one.

I have Kitten Slumber on the bed behind me. Time for one last nap to get ready for bedtime.

"I checked this whole bag and couldn't find the kitten manicure set I asked for."

Bonus! The falcon cam is back! If you like birds, this is a great time suck. Watch a couple of peregrine falcons as they prepare this scratch box, lay their eggs and raise their hatchlings. http://www.peregrinefund.org/falconcam/

Sylvan for Squirrels

First, a random funny: this is what Obi would look like if you cut off all his hair and he was really, really, REALLY happy about it.

"Well hi!"

This is from http://goodmorningkitten.com which is how I like to start every day.

The other day I accused the squirrels of Cheyenne of being stupid. But that wasn’t really fair. Everyone learns differently and I shouldn’t have assumed that my squirrels would learn the same way the seller of the feeder’s squirrels learned. So on Tuesday I put a nail in the feeder to hold the lid up a little bit. Just enough that if they saw the nuts and tried to get their face in, it would lift the lid. But…would it work?

For two days I didn’t see a single squirrel. But, today as I drove up to the house at lunch, there were two squirrels working their way across the street. I knew just where they were headed. I sat in the car with bated breath.

The female squirrel was in the lead and I’m thinking she’s expecting kittens because she is OVER the male. She chased him off the porch every time he followed her up there. When he got the hint and went to get birdseed off the window sill, she set her mind to peanuts.

She approached the feeder. She tilted her head left. She tilted her head right. Then…ZOOM! She ran off the porch and up a tree to avoid the Corgi who was walking his owner down the sidewalk. I’d have been more mad, but that dog dragged his owner across my yard and into the tree before he knew what hit him. Or what he hit, rather.

And it gave me a chance to get into the house.

As I was getting out sandwich fixings, the squirrel returned. Again, she contemplated. She jumped up on top of the feeder. Grr, I thought. But then she shimmied down the side and *bloop* into the feeder went her head and out she came with a peanut. Success! Yay!

She repeated the process three times before she had to zoom off again because of two blue jays arrived to check out the porch. Obi had been watching the squirrel with half interest – my pastrami with the other half – and I suspect that the squirrel programming has been going on for two days. Blue jays, however, get him interested. Sink down low the sill, push your ears down flat, holy cow those are big birds interested.

I’m thrilled to see the jays. In the nine years I lived at my other house I only had blue jays in my yard once. My other house is one mile away. The difference in wildlife in that one mile drives me crazy.

Just for giggles, I’m going to feature a fuzzy (or scaley, Zen reminds me) from you guys each Thunder Thursday. We’ll start with my aunt’s cats, Benjy and Fred, because they’re the ones who inspired me to get Oliver a brother. Without them, there may be no thunder.

"Does this brother make me look fat?"