30 November, 2015

Chuck's Check-up

It wasn't so bad, was it Chuck?
Saturday, The Hubby scooped up Chuck and deposited him in the PTU (Personnel Transport Unit) and off we went for a 3-month check-up with the echo-cardiogram veterinarian.  She said his blood pressure was 'good' and his heart sounds were the same as last visit.  Loaded with script refills, we were back home in no time.  Chuck sang the song of his people the entire trip there, but was more subdued and quiet on the way home.  Angel only hissed at Chuck for 24 hours after, before realizing that he, in fact, was her brother, and not some replicant cat that smelled of the nice vet's perfume. Note: The Hubby and I have tried many different ways to prevent the 'after vet visit aggression' but nothing has worked.  Leave a comment if you've had luck with wiping the cats down with towels or socks before the visit, then doing some sort of scent exchange afterward, or any other thing that works for you...please!

Cold as ice
Although November has been relatively mild here in Michigan, some night temps are below freezing. In the warmer weather, I use a water bowl for Patty and Sweetie; in the cold, I fill a 6-pack cooler with a gallon of water (the belief is that deeper water takes longer to freeze).  Here is a photo of the water bowl, and the ice cube that formed a couple of days ago.  Both cats have grown thick winter fur.

24 November, 2015

I won "Simon's Cat: Off to the Vet..."!

I won a copy of "Simon's Cat: Off to the Vet And Other Cat-astrophes" from Caren and Cody at Cat Chat with Caren and Cody, and was delighted when the book appeared in my mailbox. I've watched Simon Tofield's cartoons for ages now, and am tickled to own this book.  

Simon's cat manages to escape confinement, and wanders around the veterinarian's office, where he meets up with many new friends, including rabbits, frogs, hedgehogs, birds and of course other kitties.  Hilarity ensues! And the fun continues when Simon's cat is back home, sporting the dreaded cone-of-shame.  Pick up a copy for yourself, and you'll laugh too!  

Thank you, Caren and Cody!

For more Simon's Cat stuff, go here:

P.S. Sweetie showed up in mid-afternoon yesterday.  She appears in good health, so I'm thinking she was avoiding the slushy ice bombs that keep falling from the trees.  I got one down my neck last night, and I said some nasty words to the gods above!  Think of what it's like out there for a wee kitty!  Warmer temps in the coming days will hopefully end the barrage.

23 November, 2015

Eeks! Winter arrived...

On Saturday, the snow started to fall.  Guess we ended up with about six inches of the stuff, which was heavy and slushy.  Sunday, the temps never got above freezing, so anything not shoveled away simply froze in place.
On the street
My lone rose bush
Patty still wants lovin', even with chunks of ice falling from the sky!
The Sunday sun warmed the snow on the tree branches, which caused it to rain down as chunks of snowy ice! Patty didn't seem to mind, but Sweetie did not show up for breakfast today.  I'm thinking she decided to stay inside The Cat Hotel until the 'all clear' sounded!  The Hubby promised to watch for her today while I'm at work, and will give her some food (because Patty already ate everything...)

Follow up news: The Craggy Hole book was located, thank you very much...see my last post for details.  The library voicemail left on our home answering machine puzzled The Hubby enough that he made me listen to it the moment I came in on Friday evening.  Glad The Craggy Hole is safe and sound...and no overdue fees either!

19 November, 2015

The Craggy Hole is Missing!

Author: Roth, Geneen.
Title: The craggy hole in my heart and the cat who fixed it: over the edge and back with my cat, my dad, and me
1st ed.
New York : Harmony Books, c2004.
238 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
LCCN: 2003023599
ISBN: 1400050839 (hardcover)

I am very fortunate to live in an area where the public libraries have a collective, meaning I can check out a book from any library in the group, and they bring it to my home library for me to pick up.  This is fabulous, because no one library has all the titles that it's surrounding community needs.  Trust me, I scour the card catalogs for cat books!  Weeks ago, I checked out Geneen Roth's "The Craggy Hole In My Heart And The Cat Who Fixed It" from the library near my office, read it and returned it to my home library. Unfortunately...somehow... the book is now missing!  Neither my home library nor the one it belongs to can find it, and kind librarians are now searching for it.

The book was only so-so, therefore I chose not to do a book review on it for this blog.  The cat is only a bit of the story, not a lot of the story, like "Dewey, The Library Cat" or "Homer's Odyssey".  Both of these are great books, and I highly recommend them!  But now, I'm calling libraries, asking if they've seen 'The Craggy Hole'! It's embarrassing, for one because I AM NEVER EVER LATE WITH MY BOOKS, and two...that weird title!    

Oh well, things could be worse.  I am fortunate to have a librarian friend at my home library, a nice woman who recognizes my voice when I call.  And many of the desk attendants are curious to see what new cat book I've found to check out.  Cats and books go together, doncha know!  This is NOT a slam at the collective part of the library system in my area; please do not even consider that.  It's just one of those things, and "The Craggy Hole" now has a BOLO (be on look out) in Metro Detroit!

18 November, 2015

Fatter than Patty!

Today's calendar page
This cat from my calendar is much bigger than Patty O'Malley!  Looks like a relative of his, though...

I should send this photo to the kind people at All About Animals, who worked on Patty and Sweetie last week!  They thought he was a whale, but the photo cat is HUGE!

16 November, 2015

Chalk on my walk

While out last night, I found this delightful chalk drawing on the sidewalk! It's pretty dark by 8:00 pm, so excuse my feet at the bottom.  Guess I'm not the only cat-lovin' person in town!  I am a better speller though...

14 November, 2015

The Skinny, The Not-So Skinny, and The Missing

Here's what happened:
Back in March, when I trapped Patty (who had an abscess) and Sweetie (because I went for a two-for-one approach), the vet said that Sweetie's teeth were 'bad'.  The vet was unable to examine her further, because she fought like the feral cat she is!  That word 'bad' has been rattling 'round my head all of these months, plus the fact that Sammy had a such a infected mouth that we helped him over the Rainbow Bridge to end his suffering.

So, I put a plan in place.  We set up the drop trap over the feeding station, and fed Sweetie and Patty there until Wednesday night.  That's when I dropped the trap around them both, and we put them in humane traps.
Patty and Sweetie getting used to the drop trap
Keeping warm in the tent!
Overnight, I put the two trapped cats inside a tent, then covered them with sheets and blankets, to conserve their body heat.

Thursday morning, I drove to All About Animals in Warren, Michigan, so they each could receive a dental cleaning, and Sweetie got a microchip too; Patty was microchipped when he was neutered in 2011.

I waited by the phone all day Thursday, as I had asked the staff to call me if they found anything in either cat that they felt would deserve a trip to a full veterinarian's office.  About 2:30 pm, the phone rang.  The news: Patty came through the procedure just fine, but she wanted me to know that they consider him TOO FAT!  Sweetie, however, was a different story, and my heart jumped in my chest.  Sweetie came through everything just fine with no tooth extractions, because she's missing 19 teeth.  Let me say that again...NINETEEN teeth are missing!  They pretty much did root canal work on her, in six areas where the teeth were gone but the root still there.  My poor Sweetie!

Cats have 30 teeth; I looked it up on the internet.  She is missing most of her teeth!

Cat teeth are fragile, the veterinarian said.  They cannot chew on thick or dense material, like dogs chew on a rawhide, because their teeth will crack. Sweetie was living pretty rough until she joined our family, I guess!  Patty is missing seven teeth, which isn't a good record either.  
Sweetie's dental notes
Patty's dental notes
Thursday night was one of the loneliest of my life.  I had to restrain myself from looking out the windows, because although my brain knew Patty and Sweetie were being held overnight at All About Animals, my habit of searching for them outside is deeply engrained!

Friday morning, I drove in the dark to pick up my feral friends.  While waiting for the staff to assist, I met Mush, the office cat:
Mush knew a cat-lover, and he was all over me to the delight of the other patient parents who waited with me.  Mush kept staring at a puppy, which made the dog paralyzed with fright!  After a very short time, Patty and Sweetie were brought out for me to take away.

Now, you'd think I was a nervous wreck from all of this, and you'd be correct!  But not as nervous as I was when I let them out of their cages on the deck.  A fierce wind was blowing...a bit rainy...and the two of them had been trapped, manhandled, poked, prodded, and taken from familiar ground for days!  Unsurprising though, Patty stepped out of his trap and came over to head butt me.  My Patty!  I almost cried with joy.  Sweetie was very skittish, and would not accept any pets.  I put the traps away in the barn, and put out a half-a-can of food for each.  Patty ate like nothing had happened, but Sweetie seemed a bit uncomfortable and she shied away after a few mouthfuls.  Understandable!

Later on, I put out some home-cooked turkey, made with love by The Hubby, and nutritional yeast sprinkled over the top, and voila!

The moral of the story:
Much less kibble for Patty and Sweetie!  Only wet food from now on, at least until it gets too cold when wet food freezes.  Patty needs to lose weight, and both of them should chew on soft foods.  In the back of my mind, I am thinking that Sweetie's coughing/sneezing fits could have been caused by her bad mouth, and the veterinarian agreed with me, although she really didn't know if the fits could be caused by other issues (lungworm, heartworm, etc.)  Will wait and see.  

It's amazing that I've now trapped each of them multiple times using my 'drop trap as feeding station' bit, and yet they still love me!  Guess they can feel my love for them...?

P.S. All About Animals is a fantastic resource for the TNR (trap-neuter-return) community in Metro Detroit, plus they offer low-cost health exams, tests and vaccines for pet dogs and cats.  Without their resources, I would not be able to help my outside cat friends.  Please consider a donation to aid their cause.  Go here for more information: http://www.allaboutanimalsrescue.org/.  In gratitude, I've volunteered multiple times at TNR classes, feral cat building classes, donated items for auction, and even washed walls and floors when they moved to their current location!  I carry their cards in my purse and car, to hand out to anyone who has a pet.

P.S.S. My heart goes out to the people of France.  If we can learn to love our animal friends, we can surely learn to love our fellow humans.  Let us all work toward love and peace, for every single living thing on our planet.  

12 November, 2015

OMG Kittens!

This photo was sent to me by someone who knows that I love cats!  It's a Las Vegas gaming machine.

Will wonders never cease!

11 November, 2015

Lost Cat

Doesn't this sign just break your heart?  This cat person has posted signs up and down the street next to mine, and I see them every time I go out in the evening for a walk.  If you know me at all, you know that I've called this person, more than once.  Left voicemail messages.  I call for the cat while I'm out there, and I've knocked on this person's door, to offer assistance. The TV was on, but no one answered the door, nor have my phone calls been returned.  The posters are still up, so I'm guessing the cat is still missing.  Here I am, ready to help...and nothing.  Kinda gives me a double sad.  Guess the help needed is to just pray that the cat wanders home soon.  But my mind thinks...

...If animal control hasn't picked her up
If she isn't in heat, looking for mates
Is she microchipped?
Is she an inside-only cat, or inside/outside?
Leave a piece of clothing near some food, to entice her closer
The cat is most likely hiding within a couple of houses; have those yards been scoured?
I know an animal communicator who can help!
Could someone have taken the cat...a friend or relative?

08 November, 2015


Once again, Sweetie shows off her outstanding skills at staying hidden! Here she is sitting in the neighbor's garden, with Patty O'Malley.  Of course, Patty ran toward me, but Sweetie made like a statue and remained still.  When her eyes are closed, she pretty much disappears into the background.
Watch this video of Sweetie; now you see her, now you don't...
(Sorry if you cannot see the video, I don't know how to put one on Blogger in any other way...) :-(

06 November, 2015

The Stink Eye

Watch this video that I shot last night, when I attempted to catch Chuck's attention.  He was plenty busy with his ablutions, until I gently prodded him...he did NOT like the interruption!

05 November, 2015

Sweetie and Me

Sweetie and I are really building ourselves a relationship!  She meows when I show up with meals, and she'll rub against my ankles or the nearby steps before taking a bite.  I pet her with both hands, and she purrs and purrs.  Patty O'Malley ALWAYS finds a way to get between us, as he would rather be the center of my attention, but he cannot break us up every time! Sweetie is a real sweetheart, and I'm madly in love!

But uh-OH!  What is this?  Stay tuned...

03 November, 2015

Leaf Raking Snoopervisors

Patty O'Malley, snoopervising
Sweetie was watching too
Patty took a break from all the hard work
A collection of leaves from the backyard
Wasn't surprising for The Hubby and I to see Patty O'Malley watching the leaf-raking festivities, but then Sweetie came out too!  They both inspected our leaf bag placement, but Sweetie wanted them set further apart, so she could hide in the middle of them.  Patty preferred that I spend less time with the leaves, and more time scratching his chin and petting his belly.  Patty will do ANYTHING for a belly rub!

02 November, 2015

Aw, Baxter!

Sunday, at the Paws For The Cause adoption event at Petco Lakeside Mall (Sterling Heights, Michigan), lil Baxter just wasn't having any of it!  He meowed...and meowed...and meowed!  Jinx and Bethany, Baxter's bro and sis, just stayed quiet and pleasant the whole time!  Baxter's racket brought many looky-loos to our table, but alas, no adoptions yesterday.  But some day, these kittens will be in their forever homes.
Bethany giving Baxter the stink eye