I'm not ashamed to admit it…

my cat is smarter than me.

Oksana, to be specific.   Since November of 2009 my poor girl has been suffering with cystitis on and off.  It comes about every 2 months or so.  I’ve taken her to the vet several times, and they have never found anything wrong other than her bladder is inflamed.  The vet and I believe now it’s Idiopathic Cystitis, which means it’s cause is unknown and possibly stress or anxiety related.

I believe this to be what she has because Vlad and Maks drive her nuts.  Oksana is a cat that likes to keep to herself.  If she’s not in the mood for company or being touched or even looked at she’ll let you know it, and not nicely.  Vlad and Maks see this as a challenge and they bother her to no end.  So it’s no surprise she’s stressed out.

I spoke to the vet and she’s looking into medication that will A. help with the bladder issue and B. help with the stress/anxiety.  I told her it needs to be if at all possible in cream form, because trying to give Oksana a pill is like trying to stop that Gulf oil spill with a wine cork.  In a word…Impossible!

The first time she got it, I had to give her these huge pills.  I opted for just taking her to the vet every day for 10 days and having them do it.  Yeah, she was wailing like a banshee.  It was after this first episode that she acquired the huge red dot on her records folder.

The second time, they gave her a liquid antibiotic to help with the swelling and the vet told me to give her Cosequin.  During the visit I asked if they could give her the first pill and I’d take over the next day, since it was a capsule.  They went through 3 pills, she pooped on the exam table, she scratched the vet and her red dot got even bigger.

This last time, I gave her antibiotics for a few days.  She knows when I’m giving it to her.  Even if I hide the dropper.  She hides under the bed, then runs out the opposite side I’m on.  Then runs to the kitchen, and jumps up onto the top of the cabinets.  Which means I have to get the step ladder, get on the counter, grab her while she’s screaming and growling, step down the counter to the step ladder, wrap her in a towel then give her the medication, half of which goes on me.

I also decided to give the Cosequin another try as well as giving her the Xanax that didn’t work to calm Vlad down for his vet visits.  The Xanax wasn’t too difficult.  They are small, and when you split them even smaller.  She loves cheese, so for at least a few days I was able to hide the pills in cheese, until she got wise to me.  I tried sticking the pill in her food, but she’d just eat around the pill.  Crushing it isn’t really an option, because as I’ve learned with the Cosequin, it’s a crap shoot.  She may or may not eat her food.

So, I’ve settled for a happy medium, sort of.  For treats I buy them kitty crack, a.k.a. freeze dried chicken treats.  Halo makes these and are packaged as Liv-a-littles.  There is also another brand called Real Food Toppers.  I buy these and grind about half of them in my coffee grinder.  This allows me to sprinkle it over their food, and Voilà, they eat it.

Of course this doesn’t mean I’ve put one over Oksana. No, far from it.  When I feed them, she and Vlad usually sit on the counter, on opposite ends.   She watches me, I swear she does this to see if I’m doing anything to her food!  I literally have to wait until she looks the other way to put the Cosequin in her food, and then at the speed of light mix the food and make it “look” like the other little food mounds on the other plates.  Then I sprinkle a little extra of the chicken crack on her food.

Some days I win, some days she eats around the area the pill is mixed in.  This morning I had a small victory and and she ate most of the food mixed with the Cosequin.   Tonight, we’ll see.  I’ll tell you, I felt like an ass standing there at the counter, pretending to do something else as I looked at her out of the corner of my eyes, waiting for her to turn her head and not see me add the stuff to her food.

So yes, my cat is smarter than me.  Anybody got a problem with that?  Huh?  Pfft, I didn’t think so.

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The gangs vet is leaving!

I’m so upset.  I go to a clinic that has various vets.  It’s a wonderful 24 hour facility.  I usually take the gang to one particular vet, she’s amazing!  I love this woman.  She’s so nice, and is so caring and gentle with my cats, and her other patients.  She’s also always been so open to different treatment options and is so patient with me when I ask her questions.  She’s been seeing all of my gang since they were wee things.

She’s leaving to take care of her mother in California, who was just diagnosed with breast cancer.  She told me this past Thursday, when I took Maks and Kiska in for their yearly wellness exams.  She told me that she hopes to come back, once she knows her mom is doing well and will be okay with her treatment.

I can’t tell you how sad I am.  I feel bad that her mom has cancer and really hope she gets better.  But I hate the thought of her not being my gangs vet.  I hope it’s just temporary.  I can’t tell you how hard it is finding a really good, caring vet.

There is another vet that works there I like.  She’s seen a couple of my cats when I haven’t been able to wait for their vet to be on the work schedule.  This lady is very nice and I had always thought she would be the second choice for my gang, and of course now that Dr. Wenzl is leaving I guess the gang will start seeing her.

I’ve also got Oksana not feeling well.  She’s got cystitis again, and seeing as this is like the 3rd time in as many as 6-8 months, I am coming to the conclusion that it may be “idiopathic cystitis.”  Which means that she gets the usual signs, and swelling in her bladder, but there is no infection/bacteria to speak of so the cause is not totally known.  This is triggered by a few things, two of which are stress and anxiety.  I totally believe this is the issue.

Oksana is forever dealing with Vlad’s bullying.  To be clear, Vlad bullies, or tries to bully the others as well.  But, Maks submits to him, Czari swats at him and Kiska fights back.  Oksana doesn’t do any of that.  She will cower on her back, paws up, nails out and hisses and screams.  This of course eggs Vlad on.  If she fought back like the other girls, he’d pretty much walk away.  I’ve decided to try medication for anxiety.   I think if she is less stressed out, she will be more relaxed and even possibly stand up for herself.  I’m really hoping so because I hate knowing she’s in pain.

Some new photos of the gang.

I haven’t posted any photos of my gang for a long time and I thought it was certainly time!

Um...'scuze me, I believe I had this spot.

Halp!

Hey...I was here first, Vlad.

It's true, Karma really is a bitch!

I'm ready, now all I need is for mom to drop that french fry and I'm off!

You woke me for this? You better sleep with one eye open tonight!

I think I'll be more comfy out here.

Strollerderby!

I’ve had my pet stroller for about 2 weeks now and I’m enjoying being able to take some of my gang out walking with me.  However, I don’t think they feel the same way.

I took Vlad out first.  That first time he seemed very interested in the outside world.  He sat quietly in the stroller and looked around the entire time.  He even saw a squirrel which made him sit up.

The second day, I took Vlad and Kiska.  I managed to fit them both in there quite comfortably.  As we started getting past the busy street, I noticed Kiska just was not having it.  She kept meowing at me the way she does when she’s not pleased about something.  Vlad on the other hand seemed to be moping.  I thought maybe he didn’t like having to share the ride.   I wound up turning around after about 15 minutes. I wasn’t going to force Kiska to be in there if she wasn’t happy.

The next day I took Vlad out again.  This time he just sat in the back corner of the stroller and could have cared less about seeing anything.  Also, when I tried to get him in the stroller and in the harness the next day he just ran from me, so I decided he probably doesn’t enjoy it much.

So that makes 1 kitty not happy riding and 1 meh about riding.

Oksana was next.  It took about 20 minutes for her to really get into it, but she sat quietly and looked out the front of the stroller the entire time.  Did she enjoy it?  I think she did while she was in there, but when I tried to get the harness on her yesterday she ran.  So I’m thinking that’s a no.

So, since Oksana wasn’t in the mood, I decided it was time for Czari to take a turn.  I got the harness on her closed the cover of the stroller and we were off. Now she actually seemed a lot more curious than the others.  She was standing, bobbing her head, taking in the smell of the air and just looking around all over.  I wonder if her being a stray for so long might make her a little more open to the outside world than the others, who really have been indoor cats since they were kittens.  I’ll taking her out again to see if she enjoys it the second time around.

Last but not least, my little guy, Maks.  I’m on the fence about him.  Maks is a very skittish cat.  When anyone knocks on my door he immediately runs upstairs and hides.  I tried taking him out for a walk in the hallway once on a leash and he was just miserable and constantly trying to get back inside.  I think putting him in a stroller may be too traumatic for him, which makes me sad because I think he’d really enjoy riding and seeing some of the outside world.  But, I don’t want to put him through something I know is going to make him so uncomfortable if there is no need to.

As it now stands:

Vlad – On the fence

Oksana – On the fence

Maks – No

Kiska – No

Czarina – Possible yes

This makes me glad I didn’t spend a lot of money on the stroller.  I originally wanted to get a really nice decked out one.  But that would have cost me close to $200.  If they all wind up not wanting to ride the stroller, then I’ll only be out about $50.  Still a lot of money to throw away, but not as bad as $200.  If anything, I can always sell it and get at least $30 from it.

Some scrapbook stuff and my big finish.

I hadn’t realized it’s been a while since I updated anything here. I’ve been mostly on Facebook.

Basically, nothing new in my life. Same old same old. I’m still working on my Scrapbook. Here are some photos of what I’ve done so far.

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It’s coming along rather nicely I think.

Oh, and here’s a picture of me at the finish of the corporate run I walked with my friend L.

No, she is not holding me up! When we were getting close, I said “Let’s just sprint!” LOL, I about died but I made it! And, I wasn’t the last one!

I started the credit counseling program so I’m happy about that. I have a little extra money at the end of the month because my payments went down a bit, so that’s always nice!

I haven’t met Mr. Right, or even Mr. Rightnow!

All in all, life is just here and I’m hanging in there.