Having put jury duty behind me, my next task was to take my cats – Jefferson and Newton – into the vet for a check-up. They’re now over 13 years old, which is pretty old in kitty years. Lots of kitties – even indoor ones – don’t make it that long! They’re both in pretty good health, but it doesn’t hurt to make sure. I decided after some dithering to switch to the vet Debbi uses, the Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospital, since I’ve liked them slightly better than my vet the times I’ve taken her cats in there. (Unfortunately I live a little too far to make it to the Cat Hospital in Campbell, or I’d still be going there.)
Jeff has recently been having some problems with, well, his stool being watery. But no other symptoms of anything that I’ve observed. The vet said this could be due to a very long list of things, from parasites (improbable in an older, indoor cat) to inflamed bowels to more serious things. So he gave a blood sample to be tested, and he’s on antibiotics and then some other drugs for a few weeks to eliminate some possibilities. Jefferson hates taking liquid drugs – he drools all over the place – so this will be plenty of fun, believe me.
Newton, meanwhile, has lost over a pound since his last checkup, and is definitely the smallest of our four cats now (Roulette is around 10 pounds, Newton is 8). He hasn’t shown any symptoms of anything else, although he was so active and squirmy in the vet’s office that they said it’s possible he could have a hyperactive thyroid. So he’s also getting some blood tests done. I’ll probably try to feed him a little more in the future, too; it’s very hard to regulate food when you have four cats!
So the news was I guess about what I expected, pending the results of the tests. They’re both still active and friendly so I’m optimistic that they’re still in pretty good shape. But they are getting up there, and I need to keep that in mind.
When we got home, Blackjack started following Jeff around and sniffing at him, which didn’t endear him to Jeff. I eventually separated them since Jefferson didn’t need the extra stress. I’m sure they all just went to sleep when I left for work, anyway!
Roulette’s been having a little trouble recently.
It started Sunday night, when I was up in the study and heard someone horking behind me. I turned around to see Roulette throwing up as Blackjack watched her. She only brought up some fluid, and then did it again a minute later.
Monday she horked again in the evening, and I noticed she also wasn’t eating very much. In particular she was chewing a kibble and only swallowing a little bit of it. Then overnight I woke up and heard her horking again. Each time she only brought up fluid.
Tuesday morning she ate just a little, but she did drink some water. So Tuesday afternoon Debbi called the vet and I brought her in and left her there to be checked out. Our theories were that she either had a hairball she was trying (and failing) to bring up, or that the food was bad (although the other cats weren’t affected). The vet checked her out and said they didn’t see anything, but they gave her some medicine and fluids, and gave us some stuff to give her if she kept throwing up. They also said to watch in case she has any trouble breathing. Apparently her teeth are fine and she’s not showing any signs of anything really serious.
She hasn’t thrown up since, and she’s eating a little more. The other cats aren’t eating as much, either, although it’s been quite hot this week so I suspect they’re just sleeping all the time and thus not terribly hungry. I did open another bag of food in case the one we were using had gone stale or something.
Hopefully it’s just a hairball or something that she can work through. It did have us pretty worried for a little while, though.
Boy did she go apeshit yesterday when she realized I was about to put her in the carrier, though! And she’s been taking meowing lessons from Jefferson, since she yowled the whole way to the vet. Sheesh!
John Scalzi has Athena pictures, and all I have are cat photos. That said, not only are the cats darned cute, but they can solve a Rubik’s Cube in 47 seconds flat.
At least, that’s what they tell me.
Photo of sleeping kitties.
Newton doesn’t often sleep with both Jefferson and Roulette:
Contrast with a different three-cat combination.
Very foggy out this morning – quite a surprise considering it was over 80 on Saturday. My recollection is that we don’t usually get foggy days until much later in the season, but I could be wrong.
Saturday we went into the city. On the way we stopped on the peninsula to eat at Brothers Deli, one of our favorite lunch joints. It recently moved from Burlingame to downtown Millbrae, into what looks like a newly-furnished venue. It’s the same yummy food, though (I like the meat blintzes).
Our main goal was to go to Borderlands Books so I could pick up the copy of Alastair Reynolds‘ new collection Zima Blue and Other Stories. We took BART from the Millbrae station just because I’d never done it, but it’s definitely slower than going to Daly City, where there are a lot more trains to catch, so that’s probably the last time for me unless they start running more trains. I can report success on getting the book, and I enjoy walking along Valencia Street in the Mission district because of all the quirky shops to glance in. But Borderlands alone makes it worth the trip, even when their hairless cat isn’t in residence.
Sunday we vegged out and watched football and baseball. Neither of us was feeling all that motivated to do much. I made some small tweaks to the FP template and did a bunch of reading.
The cats are doing well. They spent most of the weekend sleeping. I wonder if their kitty-drugs wear them out, even beyond being sick. Blackjack is getting his energy back and is behaving a little more normally. Roulette I think is just mad at us for giving her medicine every day – she hates it and struggles to get away. Blackjack fortunately is an easy mark for the medicine; for all I know he might even like it!
Hopefully they’ll be back to 100% by Wednesday. And that we’ll have dodged the bullet without Newton and Jefferson catching it.
Last night I pulled out the carrying case for Blackjack and Roulette, and look where Newton was 2 minutes later:
The kittens (who, I should note, are 3-1/2 years old now, but since the cats are 9 years older, there’s little ambiguity) went to the vet yesterday. Blackjack was running a serious fever, and had an eye infection. How cats whose outdoor experience is limited to supervised outings to the upstairs porch get this ill is beyond my understanding, but we got two kinds of kitty-drugs for him. He slept hard all night and although he’s still congested this morning, I think he seems better. The vet thinks he started out with a cold (virus), and then somehow ended up with a bacterial infection.
Roulette has started sneezing too, so she gets to share the drugs.
I’ve become fanatical about washing the cats’ food dishes after feeding them, and changing their water frequently, so hopefully Newton and Jefferson will not catch the cold.
Fortunately, everyone’s been eating and drinking, so I don’t think any of this is deadly serious. But I’ll be happy when things are back to normal.
Meanwhile, I’m glad we’re not dealing with cats licking all the hair off their body, as both an old friend and a local one are handling recently.
I got a new toy this weekend, a Canon PowerShot SD800 IS camera, replacing my venerable Nikon, which was nice enough but pretty low-tech by comparison. So far, I like it a lot, although I think the cost of memory cards is quite a racket!
Here’s one of the first pictures I’ve taken with it:
Aren’t they adorable?
The new camera takes surprisingly good pictures of Blackjack, who usually just looks like a black blob with yellow eyes.
A friend of mine tells me from time to time that my journal is seriously deficient in cat pictures. To help fix that problem (for the time being), here’s a shot of three of the cats from yesterday:
(L-R): Blackjack, Jefferson, and Roulette
Jefferson and Blackjack both like to lie in the same places – the basket, the papasan, under the dining table, at our feet in bed, etc. Although Roulette was the one with a big crush on Jeff when they were kittens, I think Blackjack is the one who ended up adopting many of Jefferson’s mannerisms.