Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cat Lovers' Mouse Pad

This is cute, if a little strange. It's a mouse pad in the shape of a cat's head. You put your hand in the cat's mouth to reach the mouse. I did say it was strange.

Just the design of it will keep your hands warm in a cold office or if you suffer from cold-mouse-hand-syndrome, but it also has another feature: a USB-powered heater.

I found one place that lists it for sale, but I didn't shop around so it may not be the best deal. The site is GeekStuff4U. I have never ordered from them, so if you're interested in buying one of these, please research it as you would any other product or company.

The mouse pad/heater is made by Thanko, the Japanese company that also brought us the Cat Face Allergy Mask.

All you need is a pair of cat ears to look like your favorite feline while breathing a little easier (theoretically). The mask also has a USB function - a built in fan. I'm not sure if it's to cool the air you're breathing in or to help blow away any allergens that might make it through the mask.

You can't say the company isn't imaginative!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Loudest Purr

My cat Indy has a loud purr, and he's a pretty happy cat, but I don't know if his decibel level matches that of Smokey, a British cat whose powerful purr can even disturb movie night!

So, what do you think? Are Smokey's raucous rumblings the loudest purr you've ever heard?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

When Kitty Gets Sick

Today, I saw a post from a woman, a fellow sweeper, whose cat developed crystals in his bladder. She asked for suggestions on how to bring in extra money to pay for his medical care. I know where she's coming from. A few years ago, when Quinn had his heart attack, I had the good fortune to win a Playstation game system. I'm not a big gamer, but I would have kept the system, if we weren't trying to pay off the credit cards we'd just run up at the emergency vet, our vet, and at least two other animal hospitals that could run tests our regular vet wasn't equipped for. Not to mention the meds he was on. Buying special foods and baby foods to try to get him to eat. Lucky for me, someone bid near retail for it, and getting that payment was a real blessing when we needed it.

This woman's cat's issue hit close to home, too. Several years ago, my cat Indy (left) developed crystals that blocked him from urinating. He's 11 now, and it's been at least 6 or 7 years since he had to have the crystals surgically removed. We started using an over-the-counter Urinary Tract dry food and Friskies Special Diet can. Over the years, Indy developed diabetes, so we started mixing in Hill's Prescription Diet dry, then his younger brother Remy developed a sensitive stomach (which is probably linked to the liver problems he's having now), so we began using Iams Digestive Care instead of the UTI dry. We still use the Friskies Special Diet canned.


The most important part of keeping your cat healthy is to be observant. It's even easier if you only have one or two cats. We have 9 now and have had as many as 12 at one time. It's hard to tell who's doing what in their litterboxes (or outside of the boxes in some cases) without isolating them.
  • If your cat urinates inappropriately (outside the box), s/he may have a urinary tract infection.
  • If s/he drinks a lot of water, it could be a sign of kidney disease or diabetes (my cat Allie used to get a big drink in their room, then he'd follow me to the kitchen and get another big drink almost immediately; it turned out he was in the beginning stages of kidney failure).
  • If your cat urinates a lot (leaves a really big puddle in the box), that's another sign of diabetes.
  • When you pet them, see it as an opportunity to casually examine their bodies. My husband found Mah-mah's breast cancer because he was running her chest and belly and felt a small lump he'd never noticed before.
Those are just a few examples. Basically, you need to pay enough attention to what your cat does, how s/he acts when normal, so that you quickly recognize the abnormal. Just like in people, the sooner you realize there's a problem and get treatment, the better your chances of a full recovery (and sometimes it will save you money over treating an advanced condition).

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Update on Remy

Remy has now been on antibiotics for nearly a month. First he was on Baytril tabels. Then the doc switched him to Clavamox, the liquid that smells like bubble gum. Who thought that was a good idea for cats?

When last I wrote, Remy was going in for x-rays of his liver. The images showed that his liver is abnormally small, so small that he was either born that way or at some point he had a massive infection that ate it away. X-rays also turned up that his colon is enlarged, which is not unheard of in cats or people, apparently. Basically, his digestive system is bottlenecked.  To clear him out, the vet prescribed lacralose as a stool softener. That's also a liquid. At least it doesn't smell like bubble gum.

Remy doesn't like having his face washed, either.

So the procedure is, we give him 1.25 ml of Clavamox, a portion of which he mixes with drool in his mouth and then slings all over the room. Then we wait 20 minutes and give him 1ml of lacralose, which is thick and sticky, and he just lets that dribble out the sides of his mouth and run down his chin. He started that last Friday.

He finally made a sloppy diarrhea on Monday morning, which I witnessed, so I know it was him. (Multi-cat household and all. Misha won't come out of the bedroom these days, so we can't close Remy in there alone. We left him in their room alone all day Thursday and he seemed extremely unhappy and really looked sick afterwards, so we're trying to avoid that now.)

Today, we came home and I found a soft poop and a couple of big splats of diarrhea, along with some normal poops. I have to assume that at least some of the soft stuff came out of Remy. He acts like he's feeling a little better (except when he knows it's time for the double dose of ick).

We are feeling more hopeful that Remy will live through this and be okay. Hopefully he won't have to take the lacralose every day for the rest of his life. The vet said some cats have to take it regularly, but maybe that just means once or twice a week.

He took the last dose of Clavamox today, which should make the process a little easier going foward. Maybe I'll have even more positive news in a few days.