Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Category: Illness

How to Help a Sick Human Recover

Ah, your human is waylaid with influenza? That’s bad luck on your part as that means she’ll be focused on her own survival and not on your whims and desires.  The trick is to help your human recover so quickly that she once again returns to her role of faithful servant.  Here are some pointers.

  1. Do settle your 18 lb bulk on the human’s ribs and chest — all the better if you’re pressing down on one lung. The human will thank you later for helping strengthen her breathing.
  2. Push your face up really close to the human’s. Make sure your whiskers tickle her face.  Breathe on her (even if it means she breathes on you too). Reach out and lick her chin.  If she still doesn’t respond, step on her chin with one of your paws and press down. Guaranteed that will make her sit up.
  3. If she’s whimpering in a fetal curl, walk up and down her achy hips and legs. That may help ease some of her joint pain. Or not.
  4. If you can get her to lift the covers so you can slide under, fall asleep in her arms. When you wake up, make sure to reach up and poke her in the face. You want to make sure she’s still breathing.
  5. Human not doling out snacks and pets? Jump up on her and push your fluffy fur into her face.  That will help her breathe better.  Try clawing the pillows around her face to see if she responds.
  6. Yowl every 3 hours for food even if there are 3 kinds of food already laid out on the floor. (You can’t seriously be expected to have to eat old food from dirty bowls.) This way she doesn’t fall into a coma (or get much sleep).  If she cusses and snarls from her deathbed about all the food that’s out on the floor, jump up on her in bed and sing a song.  She’ll relax and stop the bad behavior. Just as she’s about to fall asleep, jump on her bladder or walk on her head. The latter is always helpful with influenza, since her head feel like it’s caught in a giant pair of vice grips anyway. Yelling will make her headache worse and will intensify the pain in every corner of her skull, including her teeth.  You’ve done your job. She’s still alive!
  7. Tag team her with your best pals.  Make sure she is surrounded and that everyone is singing songs to help her feel better.  Lull her back to sleep…for the moment.  Then repeat the above.

(c) Copyright 2018, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

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From Cranky to Sweet

Corky has been mighty cranky for the past many weeks. He had a flare up of painful crystals in his bladder in late October that led to a vet visit.  (A 45 minute session cost $500 USD. Then vets wonder why we don’t make those 2-3x/year wellness visits for each cat like they recommend.) After a round of antibiotics (which he didn’t need, since he had no infection) and a few days of oral pain killer (which was as painful for the human to give him as it was for Corky to receive, since he fights meds like no cat the human remembers), his symptoms abated. Still, he was a mighty cranky little kitty and was especially mean to poor Fireball. He even harassed Miss Mac. (Apparently he hasn’t been keeping up on all the celebrities and politicians who are in serious trouble due to sexual harassment issues.) He had another flare up just before Thanksgiving. Fortunately, the human had some pain meds left from the last vet vsit, which got the household through the holiday lest a visit to the emergency vet be needed. (That would have been $1300 at least.) Doubly fortunately, Corky’s vet wrote another prescription for pain meds, which the human picked up the day after Thanksgiving. And the human went back to ensuring all the kitties’ food — canned, raw freeze dried, and crunchies — were well soaked in water before the felines were given it.  Now that Cranky Corky is properly hydrated and his bladder crystals have passed, he’s back to being a sweet little kitty again. The human has even spied him sleeping next to Fireball on the bed at night. Talk about Jekyll and Hyde!

 

(c) Copyright 2017, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

 

Medicating the Merkitty

IMG_3204It’s been a very long 2 weeks in this house, as both Pepe and Mac have required twice-daily doses of antibiotic to deal with a persistent cough they both had.  Pepe had already completed a 10-day stint with the meds about 2 weeks earlier, but then the cold weather (and snow!) returned and the coughs also came back.  Apparently, the liquid antibiotic, which has to be squirted into their mouths, tastes horrid.  Since the dirty deed has to be done morning and night, there’s little time for the human to be forgiven between one bout and another. Although Pepe hates the stuff too and does interesting little dances in the human’s arms while she’s trying to hold him and open his mouth, he at least doesn’t seem to harbor too much resentment 15 minutes after being medicated. Not so with the Merkitty who, as would be expected, carries grudges a mighty long time.  Twice during the period she was getting medicated, she hid so successfully during the evening that the human finally gave up at almost midnight and went to bed. That’s not a good thing with an antibiotic, as any bacteria that are still hanging on are likely gaining immunity to the meds and will breed prolifically between doses. It’s gotten so all that all she has to do is see the human moving toward her and a look that is both panic and exasperation flits across her face, resolving into one of those famous Macaroni scowls. The human has learned to moved both fast and decisively when medicating the Merkitty, or she’ll lose several hours as Miss Macaroni hides.  The human even has received a few hisses when trying to apprehend the Watery One.  Toward the end of the period, the only way to apprehend Mac was to regain senses as quickly as possible when the kitty returned to the human’s pillow at 4:00 am for snuggles and head rollies. (As soon as the hapless human was awake enough to grab the kitty and sit up, they headed for the refrigerator and the dreaded syringe.) Fortunately, the ordeal is finally over for both kitties and the 2-legged.  Now, of course, the question is how long it will be before the Girly Girl forgives and stops running away when the human comes into sight. (heavy sigh…)

 

(c) Copyright 2016, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

 

Corky the Quark

IMG_3583Since Corky’s urinary tract infection cleared up, he’s not Cranky Corky anymore. He’s more like Corky the Quark. His unique and sweet personality is back and he’s become quite playful. He now canters through the house many times a day playing butt tag with his brother and his adopted brothers, chases the red laser dot energetically, and tries to hump his adopted sister every chance he gets. (She wants nothing to do with this, and that does make him mad.) He’s also a lot more cuddly with the human and has rediscovered the pure joy of toys. He wakes the human up at all hours of the night chasing little fabric mice through the bedroom while squeaking excitedly. Of course, the human gets her revenge by waking him up and kissing him when he’s trying to get a wee bit of shut eye.IMG_3584

(c) Copyright 2016, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

S-t-u-b-b-o-r-n

IMG_3410The online dictionary defines stubborn  as “having or showing dogged determination not to change one’s attitude or position on something, especially in spite of good arguments or reasons to do so.” That’s Corky!

We had another visit to the vets about 2 weeks after the first one for yet another urinary tract issue. While he fortunately didn’t have an infection this time either, the vet and the kitties’ human finally figured out a probable cause of his unhappiness.  He is so anxious to get down into the cellar every morning and hunt, that he can’t be bothered to eat his breakfast. Then he spends a large part of the day down there, and only comes up for dinner, at which point the cellar door is closed again.  He’s simply not getting enough fluid in his body.  Since cats don’t have a strong sense of thirst like dogs and 2-leggeds, he doesn’t drink enough when he’s upstairs at night to keep his urinary tract happy and healthy. To keep him healthy and avoid having to spend $350 every couple of weeks, it’s imperative to keep Corky properly hydrated.

Given this, it’s become a daily struggle for almost 2 weeks to get Corky to eat his breakfast before he gets cellar privileges. As his pics will attest, it’s certainly not that Corky doesn’t like to eat.  The emergency vet categorized him as obese. (Ouch!)  So the deal is every morning the cellar door stays closed while everyone scarfs down their breakfast. In all but one instance, Corky has refused to eat, but has body-slammed the cellar door while whining and yowling up a storm to let the human know he wants downstairs NOW! The human has to pick him and his breakfast up, walk upstairs to the guest bedroom, shut him and his food in for an hour or two, and wait for him to eat. Once she comes up to visit and give him some hugs and pets, he eats his food, and then is freed. Given how habitual cats are, you’d think he would figure out that if he’d just eat his breakfast instead of sassing the human, he could go play an hour or two sooner each morning, but oh, noooo!

 

(c) Copyright 2016, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Cranky Corky Goes to the Vet

IMG_3318The lower-lifeform, aka the human, was in the doghouse b-i-g   t-i-m-e   at the start of this week.

Cranky Corky came down with a urinary tract infection, and since those can be life-threatening to male cats if they get blocked, the human had no choice but capture the little guy and take him to the emergency vet service on Sunday afternoon. Good news is that while he did have a UTI, he wasn’t blocked.  (Bad news is it cost 2 hours and almost $400 to find that out.) Since returning Corky has been a whole lot less cranky…that is until he realized that he’d be incarcerated in the guest bedroom for a day or so while he recovered (Cranky Corky is lonely without friends to pal around with) and, when let out, that the cellar was off limits to all the cats (which led to some serious acting out by the whole crew).  Some days it’s just not fun being a human.

The other cats were all upset that Cranky Corky was in prison…so much so that his brother Pepe woofed his crunchies on the bookshelf in the hall. Caesar Tiger Bear made an incursion Sunday evening and barreled into the bedroom while the human was visiting Corky.  The 2-legged had a heck of a time getting him out, even after he saw that Corky wasn’t being tortured. Only plugging in the evil vacuum — which is far more evil than the evil camera — and starting to clean the rugs convinced him that it was time to get out from under the bed.

Next morning, Fireball, who stayed in the basement 4 hours longer than he was supposed to Sunday night (making the human have to get up and go try to coax him upstairs 4 times during an evening that was already stressful and unpleasant, spent 2 days in flat out rebellion when he learned that the basement was off-limits to everyone.

It’s very endearing that the cats care about each other so much. However, they clearly are far less enamored with the big clunky human.  Wonder what it will take to get herself out of doghouse this week?

 

 

(c) Copyright 2016, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.