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Tag Archives: cat tales

An Ongoing War: Cat vs Human

24 Mar

Ok so yes, this is yet another post about the cat, I swear I’ll stop writing about him so much soon…actually, no, that’s not true. In fact, it is a bold faced lie. So consider yourself warned, cat post ahead!

The cat and I are having a battle and seemed to have reached an impasse. I say that to be generous to myself, he is winning, oh how he is winning. sigh.

When he had his vet appointment and they took blood they shaved of a patch of fur on one of his front legs. No biggy right? Well, no, not for this guy. His thinking went something along the lines of “hey look, a section with less fur on me, this must mean I should lick and bite and fuss with this area as much as possible until I have created an open bloody wound!” and then he commences with said behaviour until he reaches the aforementioned result.

In other words, the little brat licked his leg so much he created an open wound.

Words. There are so many words in my head right now describing him, none of them are polite…

I did what any person would do, I wrapped his leg up after cleaning and disinfecting the wound and prayed to all the gods he wouldn’t get the bandage off. We went to bed. I woke up the next morning only to find the bandage off and he had the nerve to be laying at the end of the bed, licking the freakin wound!

Oh the audacity!

So I create a better, thicker, hopefully harder to remove, wrapping. The first layer is a non-stick square bandage, which is then wrapped with gauze to keep it in place, which is then covered with tape so he can’t get at the gauze. Easy peasy. It was barely on him before he managed to move it enough to expose part of the wound. I then create a second wrap and place it just above the first one, so more of his leg is covered, thinking it will keep the wound covered.

It seemed to work, he fussed with the bandage, licked at it an such, but no break in the tape, no damage to the gauze, no removing the bandage from the leg.

Clearly a victory for me.

Then yesterday about a half hour before I have to leave for work I take a look at the bandage, I was planning on redoing it that night when I got home but had to immediately take if off because when I thought he was fussing with the bandage but not causing any harm he was actually twisting it around his leg and parts of the gauze had gotten scary tight on his poor little ankle. He wasn’t acting like he was in pain but no way could I leave a bandage that tight on for the length of time I would be at work, or any length of time really.

So while he cries the cry of his people, surely making the humans upstairs think I am torturing him, I cut the bandage off him. Just so you know, despite his loud protesting meows he actually lay in my arm, not resisting, completely compliant with whatever way I moved him so I could get a better angle on the bandage. So the meowing to inform others of the abuse I was tossing his way was purely a psychological tactic to get other humans to turn on me.

Sneaky little guy.

After I get the bulk of the bandage removed I discovered that when he was fussing with the bandage and twisting it around that caused the non-stick pad to move and now covering was wound was gauze. Plain ordinary gauze. Crap. Combine gauze being on the wound with the saliva he kept licking on to the bandage making its way down to the gauze layer and the gauze and wound have now become one. Seriously, the gauze couldn’t have been more attached to the wound if someone had super glued it on. Double crap. So I lock us in the bathroom, dampen a bandage, and soak the area in order to loosen the gauze. All the while I have visions of having to explain to work I will be late because I need to make an emergency run to the vet and already wincing at how much that is gonna cost me. Luckily my trick worked and I was able to get the gauze removed with no visible pain to the cat. Phew!

But now what. I can’t re-bandage him the exact same way, since it obviously has massive flaws, but I also can’t leave him without a bandage since he has zero self-control and will just fuss at the wound the entire time I am at work. What I need is a cat babysitter! Since I don’t have one of those I do the next best thing and try to create a better bandage system.

I take two of the non-stick squares, tape them together to make one larger one, then I tape that around his leg (it is now large enough to go completely around his leg, no exposed fur), then I wrap it in the dreaded gauze, then I cover in tape, then, and brace yourself because this was truly a masterpiece idea, I take one of his scarves that he is currently not wearing and wrap it around and around and around his leg.

Yup, that’s right, I had that sucker wrapped around his leg so many times his leg was easy double his regular size.

To say he was not impressed is a tad bit of an understatement.

He wouldn’t even say goodbye when I left for work, just kept his back to me and refused to acknowledge I was there.

I spent my work shift wondering how long it took him to get out of the scarf and curious as to how long he will hold this particular grudge.

When I got home he had the nerve to meet me at the door with no scarf, no bandage, as if they never existed!

The best part of all this? I still can’t find the discarded scarf or bandages! It’s been over 24 hours and they are still hidden somewhere in this apartment, un-findable by yours truly. I would have sworn I knew all his hiding spots but apparently not…

So I spent last night barely sleeping because when he’d start licking I’d shoot awake and put my hand in the way, or gently move his mouth aside, or just grab him and force him to cuddle in my arms. Neither of us were impressed when the alarm went off this morning.

I decided I had no better idea for how to wrap his leg so I was going to have to chance it and leave him at home while I went to work sans bandage. I almost dreaded coming home and seeing how much damage he did during the day.

He didn’t make the wound much worse, its not any better, but definitely not worse, which makes me wonder if the lecture I gave him about personal responsibility and how the big scarf leg wrap was the consequence for his own poor life choices got through to him.

Then I remembered that he was sleep deprived because of how we spent the night and more likely he didn’t fuss with the wound too much during the day because he was catching up on sleep.

I however came home with what I hope is my ace in the hole.

Bitter Apple.

bitter apple

Please please please work!

Heard of it? It was suggested to me by someone at work, it is marketed for dogs but according to my good friend Google is also safe for cats. Though a small percentage of cats actually like the taste of Bitter Apple, making it ineffective on them (what do you just bet he is one of those cats?!).

My research says you wrap the wound, then spray the bandage with the Bitter Apple, it makes the bandage taste so gross they won’t lick or bite it, which in theory, means the bandage will stay on. You shouldn’t spray it directly on to the wound because it could sting.

Since I’ve been home I haven’t bandaged his leg. It is good for the wound to be exposed to air, help it scab up quicker, which means he is getting no privacy, if he goes to a different room I go with him, and I stay within reach of him so if he starts to fuss with the wound I can stop him. He’s no dummy, he figured out early on what I was about and caved, instead of going in to a different room he sprawled on my lap, making my feet go numb as a form of silent protest to my continued harassment, and every now and then when he subtly tries to lick the leg I reach down and stop him.

It’s a system, not a great one, but a system none the less.

Before we go to bed I will once again attempt to wrap the leg, and spray the bandage with Bitter Apple, and hope this time the bandage manages to stay on and not fussed with too much, giving his wound time to heal overnight and tomorrow while I am at work.

If this doesn’t work I am out of ideas so cross fingers for me this works!

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$1456.82

17 Mar

What, you may be wondering, cost $1456.82?

Was it a ridiculously over priced purse?

Was it a plane ticket to somewhere far away?

Was it a deposit on a new apartment?

Before you get excited for me and my shopping take a deep breath and calm down, because it was none of those things. Nope. That was the cost of the vet bill for my cat Striker. 

Yup, that’s right, my little bundle of floof just cost me $1456.82 and while he is worth spending any amount of money on, omg that is such an expensive bill! His appointment, while stressful, did have some funny moments so feel free to grab a drink, settle in, and enjoy our little vet adventure.

Striker has been feeling off for a couple weeks, not eating normally, not sleeping normally, not pooping normally (sorry for the tmi, he’ll kill me if he finds out I’m sharing his personal business online, but lucky for me he doesn’t know about my blog! lol 😉 ) just in general something wasn’t right. I started trying him with any and every type of food out there, hoping to entice him to eat but he barely touched anything. I didn’t know what was wrong but knew something was so I booked an appointment for him. About three days prior to his appointment I noticed a wound of some sort on his lower lip and over the course of the next three days it got noticeably worse. Me being me I started freaking out that he has cancer, severe infection of the gums, he’s gonna need his jaw removed, all sorts of things. 

We get to the vet and Dr. H takes a look, weighs him, tries to see the wound on his lip, manages to squeeze a bit of puss out and notices that the wound (whatever it is) is swollen and his upper canine has pierced it so every time he closes his mouth his fang is going in to the wound, effectively stopping it from healing and keeping it open to infection. 

The recommendation from Dr. H is that Striker stay there for a couple hours, be sedated, blood and urine will be drawn, the wound will be looked at and thoroughly cleaned, and we’ll go from there.

Dr. H brings me a contract to sign saying I authorize them to care for Strike and blah blah blah. Then he asks me if I authorize life saving techniques if they are needed or do I want a DNR in place. What?? Seriously? You’re asking me if I want to sign off on a Do Not Resuscitate while Striker is staring right at me?

striker sink vet

Striker watching me from the sink in the vet’s exam room

So I grill him on just what this all means. If life saving techniques are used does this mean that after he’s been gone for 20 minutes they’ll manage to bring him back but he’ll be half brain dead and have a shit quality of life? Does this mean he’ll be on the other side for 10 seconds and they’ll get him back and he’ll be fine just down one life? Is this basically CPR because CPR on people rarely works so does it work on cats? Just what is he envisioning here because this is not a yes or no question. Dr. H looks at me and asks “do you work in healthcare?” lol I said no, I just work with a lot of seniors and have to deal with DNRs often. 

In case you’re wondering, in the end I said yes to life saving techniques. Mostly because he said if something goes wrong they will start implementing life saving techniques and immediately call me to let me know what is happening and we can decide in the moment what to do. Which would be a horrifying convo but lucky for us we didn’t have to go there. 

I get a phone call after a couple hours that went something like this:

Dr H – Sooo, here’s what happened. Striker is a very determined cat, and he really doesn’t want to be here. He shook off the effects of the sedation much faster than normal and we were only able to get the blood drawn. We couldn’t get a urine sample because his bladder is empty and we never got a chance to look at the wound on his lip. 

Me – smiling and kinda proud at how strong willed Striker is

Dr H – We decided to take the catheter out and go from there. When the tech went to remove it Striker turned around and bit them. So we put him back in his kennel to give him some quiet time, help him calm down and regroup, but we can’t send him home because he still has a catheter in. 

Me – absolutely beaming at the vision of Striker defending himself. 

Dr. H – we instructed the tech to go to the doctor to have the wound looked at

Me – wait! Striker isn’t in trouble is he? This isn’t his fault. You’re not going to put him down because he bit someone the way its suggested with dogs right? It’s the tech’s fault!

Dr. H – No, Striker is fine, we expect this from cats. 

So there I am grinning like an idiot, so proud of Striker for defending himself when in a scary situation. He is much more prone to flight than fight when shit goes down so I’m impressed with his reaction. 

Dr. H then says they need to sedate him again to get the catheter out and hopefully look at the lip wound and do I authorize that. Obviously I said yes since I don’t want him sent home with a catheter in. 

I get a call a couple hours later, they got the catheter out but Striker shook off the effects of the second dose of sedation quickly and they still can’t get a good look at the wound. Dr. H feels that Striker would do better at home and even though they normally would want a cat to stay a bit longer for observation after so much sedation he thinks I should come get him. Teehee. They were kicking him out lol

The test results showed negative to cancer, hiv, all sorts of things. He did show as being at the end of a pancreatic flare up, which could be why he gets sick and throws up, and why he goes off his food. He also showed as having some sort of marker in his blood that indicates he’ll potentially have kidney issues at some point but right now he is fine. So they don’t know the underlying cause for the lip wound, and weren’t able to clean it out. The doc gave Striker an antibiotic shot and an anti-inflammatory shot in the hopes the lip would will go down in size and his tooth will stop piercing it and if there is an infection it’ll die and give the wound a chance to heal. He said he wasn’t going to send Striker home with medication for me to give him since he didn’t think Striker would be too keen on taking it. As if Striker treats me the same way he treats the vet and the tech? Pfft! I do appreciate not having to deal with medicating him though. 

I am to watch his appetite and the wound, if he doesn’t start eating I have to take him back, and I need to keep an eye on the wound to make sure it doesn’t get worse. 

So far his appetite has come back with a vengeance. He is eating way more than he used to, but I figure he has two weeks of barely eating to make up for so that’s ok. Would be nice if the only food he decided he will now eat wasn’t a $3 per can wet cat food but really, if that’s what he’ll eat, what am I gonna do, not buy it? 

Oh, and side note, he has let me open his mouth and look at the lip wound daily without issue. He’s such an awesome little guy. 🙂

 

His New Scarf

7 Mar

Just a handsome cat showing off his new scarf.

striker in a scarf

So dashing.

My Cute Jerk

20 Feb

cute jerk

Don’t let the cuteness of the cat fool you, he is actually being a jerk right there. I know it can be hard to believe, someone so cute, and furry, and adorable looking, but lemme tell ya, when he is comfy and wants the chair he will stop at nothing to get what he wants!

He had originally been sleeping on my lap, when he got up for a nibble and a drink that was my chance to get up and make a cup of tea. When I came back to the chair he was laying on it, diagonally, looking comfie and defiant and before I even got within reach of him he was making eye contact and meowing at me.

The battle for the chair had once again started!

Normally once I get close enough I can pick him up he moves, or I pick him up and put him on my lap once I’m seated, either way we both end up in the same position we were in before we got up, me with my legs stretched out and a blanket over them, he laying along the length of my legs slowly cutting off circulation to my feet.

What can I say, it’s our system.

But every now and then he decides he wants the chair. And not just a section of the chair, but the entire thing, or at least half. A 7lb cat thinks he deserves half the chair. Boggles the mind. *rolls eyes*

In the picture above I had already moved him from laying diagonally on the chair to straight, with the intention of picking him up, but the meowing and sad eyes started and I’m a sucker, sigh. So then I started to slide him over to be closer to the arm of the chair. We do, quite frequently, share the chair so we both know we can fit, but not if he is so far over my butt can’t sit down without squishing him. He does not appreciate being squished.

Well! Each time I tried sliding him towards the arm of the chair his back legs stretched out so his back paws were against the arm of the chair and he used his surprisingly strong leg muscles to prevent me from moving him. Seriously, freakishly strong. Or maybe I’m just not willing to push too hard for fear of hurting him, whichever it is, he was not budging. I tried two or three times and nope, no moving him.

Do you see how much space there is between him and the arm of the chair in that picture?!

I ended up sitting down so I was on my side, resting on my hip, with my legs curled up and my shoulder leaning in to the back of the chair, all so he was not moved from the position and spot he wanted.

Don’t get me wrong, I love him, and would do anything for him, but he can occasionally be a bit of a jerk…which actually makes me love him even more lol There’s obviously no hope for me! 😉

 

The Traveling Cat

19 Dec

This cat of mine is a decently well traveled cat. Sure he hasn’t left Canada but most cats stay in one city their whole lives and this little guy keeps going back and forth between BC and Alberta. Not only does he travel he does it in style, and with such attitude!

Our drive to the airport was uneventful, as was the rainy walk from the parking spot to the shuttle that took us to the airport. During check in the person working kept trying to make him meow, she’d lean down to look him in the eyes and meow at him. Striker was having none of that and just stared her down each time. But when I leaned down to check on him he’d give me a little meow, I swear he only did that to annoy the person working lol

The airport was surprisingly quiet so check in was quick, the line up for security screening was short and fast moving, all was going great…until!

See, Striker is what you call a nervous traveler. But it isn’t that he is nervous so much as he will go bat shit crazy and try to run away if he hears a dog bark when he is out of his carrier. For those of you who haven’t traveled with a small pet, when you get to security you take your pet out of their carrier and carry them through the metal detector while their carrier goes through the x-ray machine. I find it highly annoying, as does Striker. There was an incident one year where a bin dropped which caused a dog to bark which caused Striker (who was in my arms) to leap out of my arms and desperately try to run away. Only because he was wearing a harness that was attached to a leash that I was holding on to did he not disappear in to the airport. Since then I tell security he is a nervous traveler and we get a private room for his security check.

Someone holds his carrier while I go through security. Once I am cleared I get Striker back and we go in to a private room so he can be brought out of his carrier. I hold Striker while someone takes the carrier back to x-ray for it to be scanned. Striker and I aren’t left alone, and depending on who is watching us Striker may or may not be patted down. I’m not even kidding about that!

Now that I’ve bored you with that explanation let me get back to the story!

We get to security, I tell the guy I have a nervous cat and we need a private room and he looks at me blankly, so I repeat myself and still nothing. He calls over a supervisor and I make the same request to him. Supervisor doesn’t know what I’m talking about either. Sigh. So I point towards where the room is and I explain, slowly, my cat can’t be taken out of the carrier here, we always go in to that room so he is less stressed while you guys x-ray the carrier.

I don’t know that he believed me but he seemed ok to go along with it. He takes the carrier, I go through security, he calls over a second person and gives her the carrier, we all go to the private room (which is a glorified closet), I take Striker out of the carrier and feel the need to explain that Striker is wearing a scarf because he likes it, not because I’m forcing him…something else I don’t think they believed lol One of the ladies watching over us just kept staring at him, like a cat is an exotic animal or something lol while a different lady swabbed me for contact with drugs then patted down Striker, something he didn’t approve of.

After security Striker and I had a smooth time. We were early enough I had time to get some soup and a drink. I tried to take a picture of Striker in his carrier but each time I tried he turned away from me, he is a master at the silent protest.

Once on the plane a miracle happened, I had an entire row of seats to myself!

airline seats

So much room!

It is hard to tell in the picture because it is so dark but that is the empty row beside me. It was lovely. 🙂

There was a classic Vancouver send off…rain…

airline window view

My window view…

I got Striker settled under the seat in front of me, by this point he is basically resigned to his fate.

airline striker

Striker, ready to go!

A short nap, some boring tv, a snack and a drink later, and boom! We are in Edmonton!

My Edmonton view from the plane…

airline edmonton

Where’s the snow??

It was surprisingly warm when we landed and there was a distinct lack of snow and ice, this can’t possibly be Edmonton in December!

Because I didn’t have to wait for other people in the row to get sorted I was able to grab my backpack from the overhead bin and get Striker out from under the seat in front of me and be all ready to go once the doors opened. So I was one of those people that is standing there awkwardly, waiting for the doors to open, and now forced in to close proximity to other people who are also standing. A lady from a row back noticed Striker and commented she saw him when we came on to the plane but he was so quiet she completely forgot there had been a cat on the plane. Which started a conversation about traveling with pets, specifically with cats, and just talk about cats in general. By the time we were able to move there were about 6 of us, all crammed awkwardly together, chatting away. Travel sure does make for interesting situations lol

All in all, Striker did great, the people on the plane who saw his scarf thought he was adorable, he was quiet and seemingly pretty chill the whole time…I think he keeps himself occupied by imagining all the ways he is going to kill me once we are at our destination. 😉

And now he is here, at my parent’s place, stealing chairs and keeping us all entertained just by being his cute self.

edmonton dec 2018

He keeps stealing my dad’s favourite chair lol

 

edmonton december 2018

My…I mean Striker’s bed.

Cat Tales: The Scarf

17 Dec

Last month I wrote about my cat Striker hurting his neck and the bandaging we had to do so he could heal.

(Click Pet Parent Guilt to read all about that cat drama!)

When he got to the stage of no longer needing a bandage on his neck but needing something wrapped around his neck so he couldn’t scratch at the area while it finished healing a friend at work came up with a brilliant idea and knit him a scarf.

Can you believe that? I was going to go buy dog bandannas and she knit him a scarf! An amazing scarf that he absolutely loved.

It’s confusing because he doesn’t like wearing things, ever, but he took to this scarf and was really enjoying it. He could take it off easily, he just chose not to.

He is still a cat though and cats scratch their necks, which means Striker was scratching at his scarf. Not in an attempt to get it off, and he didn’t seem in distress or unhappy, it was like a habit or something. He learned if he scratched at it he could twirl it around his neck which quickly became a fun little game to him. But hey, whatever keeps that scarf on his neck I’m down with!

Because he was scratching at it he started fraying the scarf, plus it was a little big for him, so my friend made him a second one, a bit less wide and a bit longer with a snap closure at the ends.

The day I brought it home I was petting Striker, he was purring, then I took his old scarf off and he immediately stopped purring and looked so upset. I tried comforting him but he was having none of it, I took the new scarf and started wrapping it around his neck and boom! Purring!

He’s such a little weirdo lol

This second scarf is a much better fit, he loves it more than the first one, and even though he can take it off he almost never does. The rare times he has removed it he has used it as a pillow so it doesn’t seem like he is trying to get away from it, just cuddle with it. He has frayed this one quite a bit also but lucky for me my friend is making him a third scarf which he will hopefully have in time for our flight tomorrow.

This second scarf, oh man, the other day he was on my lap and not settling so I thought I’d take the scarf off and give him a good neck scratch. Well, bad move me. As soon as the scarf was off all he cared about was the scarf, he was nosing it, pawing at it, trying to get it back. *rolls eyes* I put it back on him and what does he do? Immediately settles down and has a nap on my lap.

Something about these scarves!

striker scarf

That is his grumpy “you woke me at 5:30am human!” face, not a grumpy about the scarf face, I swear!

The next three pictures are of Striker with his second scarf, isn’t he dashing?

I wonder if he likes it because it keeps him warm and our place is a bit chilly? Or maybe it is comforting, the way a child hugs their teddy bear for comfort? Or maybe he is just a tad bit special and I should stop trying to figure it out because it is just so darn cute!

 

Cat Tales: Flight Instinct

16 Oct

The poor cat.

Yesterday I was in the bathroom and I heard a noise from the kitchen. It sounded like a glass or cup fell, but didn’t break. Thing is, I only had two mugs out, both were sitting on top of the stove and from what I remembered, neither was near the edge.

So what fell…and how?

When I step in to the kitchen I see the cat’s water bowl on the opposite side of the kitchen from where it normally is, the water that is usually in the bowl is all over the floor, and the cat is nowhere to be found.

What. The. Heck.

I’m more worried about the cat than the water so I step over the little pond that is now on my kitchen floor and call out for Striker. I noticed him hiding in the living room, behind the ottoman, looking so worried. I step towards him, softly ask what happened, and the poor little guy comes running over, jumps in to my arms and clings to me.

I don’t know what happened, but whatever it was scared the bejeezus out of the poor guy.

The only thing to be done at that point was hold him, reassure him, for a couple minutes I basically stood there, with his head tucked under my chin, his claws gripping my sweater, while I rocked back and forth…imagine how you instinctively move when trying to soothe a baby, that was me, with the cat.

He kept looking over at where his water bowl usually is, like he was making sure things were ok. I kept looking over wondering if whatever scared him was going to reappear. I’m imagining a massive spider scaring him while he was drinking, and I’m just waiting for it to pop back out from wherever it is hiding so I can scream like a ninny and then kill it.

Both the cat and I are afraid of spiders but only one of us kills them, the other one hides behind the one killing the spiders…sigh…

You know how there is that whole “fight or flight” thing we all have? He only has flight.

At least he knows he can jump in to my arms and I’ll make things better. Soooo, a smart scaredey cat?

striker 1

Must be exhausting being so cute.

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