Sunday, October 14, 2007
Sunday, September 30, 2007
We got to the vet at 7:45 AM, an ungodly hour for a Sunday, and he was seen almost immediately. Then we had to wait for two hours to see the doctor, who was worth the wait. She had spent time with Andrew and took a lot of time to explain things and make sure we really understood what she was telling us. Then she went to give him subcutaneous fluids and we waited for another hour. While we were waiting, Helen heard a tech saying she had just had a cat arrest on her. Logically you know it can't be your cat - your cat is young and healthy and only has one tiny thing wrong with him. Emotionally, you are sure it's yours and that they're torturing him. However, after what seemed like an eternity, a tech came out carrying him and he was fine. Very happy to see us and very anxious to go home. He has to go back on his medicine and he now gets special food, but he is with us at home where he belongs, even now asleep in a sunbeam.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
This is George. Even without the sun highlighting his fur, he is a gorgeous orange. Poor George started life as Jasmine. I had convinced a fellow teacher to adopt one of our Principal's kittens for her daughter, who was in my class at the time, with the promise that if things got too bad (she wasn't used to cats) that I would take the kitten. So Kayla (the daughter) named the kitten Jasmine after her favorite Disney princess, and they took [her] home, where the kitten immediately got itself tangled in sheets, climbed up into the coils of the refrigerator, and jumped on the walls leaving large scratches through the wallpaper. Being used to cats, this doesn't faze me. To someone who is not so familiar, this is terrifying and my friend immediately started panicking that she had gotten a defective cat. To her credit, she kept the kitten for a few months, but she finally decided her sanity was more important than a few tears from her daughter, and the kitten came to me.
During those months, I had to put my cat Cecil to sleep because, one day he suddenly developed mouth cancer, and I was told he wouldn't last long, and the time he had left would be very painful. That was one of the worst things I ever had to do. Anyway, I was down a cat, so Joanne felt no remorse at bringing the cat to school one day for me to take home. The first thing I noticed was that Jasmine was not female, so we changed his name to George. I think he was so relieved to finally have a proper "male" name, he calmed down considerably. Also, coming into a household with a resident cat who quickly put him in his place, helped.
George has grown to be a stately gentleman (most of the time). He has his likes (food) and dislikes (Andrew) and he really likes his routine. He watches the dry food bowl diligently and if he feels the level is getting to within the panic zone, he lets us know by pacing back and forth and rationing what is left. If he feels one of the other cats has been at the bowl too long, he nudges them along. He is also one of the first to let us know it is time to distribute the nightly treats. One of the things he loves best is watching TV with us, especially when it starts getting chilly and the blankets come out. He gets himself situated, usually draped over and along the legs, and then goes blissfully to sleep.
George was born to a stray cat family. It happens very infrequently, but every now and then that wild side comes out when he is completely stressed. And then watch out. There is a male stray that is coming around our house these days. It's raggy and unkempt and he drives George crazy. They throw themselves at each other even though there is a glass door between them and the noises coming from George are unreal. You read about cats howling and this is the real thing. I'd love to know a way to keep the cat away without hurting it. He only comes at night, and then not every night, so I don't think animal control will work. I'll keep working on it.
My mother says he is the only cat she knows with a theme-song. We sing "George of the Jungle" to him occasionally. He wasn't actually named after that George. I got the name from Looney Tunes when (I'm probably remembering this wrong and if so, I apologize) Marvin the Martian kidnaps Bugs and says 'I will love him and keep him and call him George'. But that's how I remember it and that's why he's called what he is.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
He is the baby of the family at 3 1/2 and, as with most babies, he is adored. Two weeks ago, he got sick and had to go to the vet. Being a cat, he chose to let us know he wasn't well at 11:30 PM on Sunday night, sparking a visit to the emergency vet. Since we weren't the only ones there, we didn't get out til 2 AM. The vet gave us pills to give Andrew twice a day. My helpful mother had this to contribute -
How to Pill a Cat
1. Pick cat up and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat's mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.
2. Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process.
3. Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away. Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.
4. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call spouse from garden. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub cat's throat vigorously.
5. Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered Doulton figurines from hearth and set to one side for gluing later. Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.
6. Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink glass of water to take taste away. Apply Band-Aid to spouse's forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap. Retrieve cat from neighbor's shed. Get another pill. Place cat in cupboard and close door onto neck to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with elastic band.
7. Fetch screwdriver from garage and put door back on hinges. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus shot. Throw tee-shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom. Call fire department to retrieve cat from tree across the road. Apologize to neighbor who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take last pill from foil-wrap. Tie cat's front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table, find heavy duty pruning gloves from shed, force cat's mouth open with small wrench. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of filet mignon. Hold head vertically and pour ½ pint of water down throat to wash pill down.
8. Get spouse to drive you to the emergency room, sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye. Call furniture store on way home to order new table.
After laughing hysterically, we thought we'd give it a try. After retrieving the pill from Helen's hair, we thought we'd put it in liverwurst to make it go down easier. After cleaning that pill and the liverwurst from Helen's hair, we finally got it down. Helen figured all her ailments would be healed since she was wearing most of the pills we lost.
Over the past couple of weeks, Andrew has become the consumate pro at taking his pills. When he wants something, he swallows it quickly. When he's feeling unloved, he spits it back up and spends as much time in our arms as possible. The good thing is he gets to come to LBI with us each weekend as we have to keep an eye on him. The other cats have to stay home, which I'm sure he rubs in their faces whenever he can. The life this poor cat has to lead -- living in a house on the river during the week and going to the beach on the weekend. Call Kitty DYFUS someone!