20 August 2007

What Part of "Sacred" Do Humans Not Understand?!

I am having a difficult time understanding the failure of the humans in my dominion to comprehend and follow the doctrine that Kitty Paws are Sacred. If you look closely at my paws you will see they have BOTH been shaved! Not only were they shaved, but they had needles stuck in them.

I must admit my teeth were in dire need of cleaning and are now glossy and sharp as ever. I even express gratitude to my humans for providing excellent health care for me, which apparently requires access to the blood vessels in my paws. But to have both of my Sacred Paws desecrated in this manner is almost too much to bear.

Please don't attribute my displeasure to any sense of vanity. Even without fur, my rule over this house remains unquestioned. It is the simple fact that Kitty Paws are Sacred. They are not to be altered or "messed with" in any way, shape, or form, without my blessing.

I am generally a quiet house master, but I have meowed my displeasure almost constantly since this event occurred (August 9 at 8 am), and I feel I am within my rights to continue to do so until the fur on my Sacred Kitty Paws grows back!

25 July 2007

Felix's opinion about blood pressure measurements

My "evil side" got to come out today while I was at the vet's office getting my heart and blood pressure checked. says, "A cat’s blood pressure is measured much the way it is in people, most commonly using an inflatable cuff and a listening device called a Doppler. ... The procedure takes just a few minutes and is completely painless for your cat."

Painless is not the point. What they don't tell you is that they mess with the Sacred Kitty Paw!

First, they use a clipper to shave off the fur around the pads on your front paw.

Then they tape the "doppler" microphone to your paw so they can listen to your pulse. Tape something to the Sacred Kitty Paw! There are two things wrong with that. First, they're messing with the Sacred Kitty Paw. Second, they're using tape on your leg fur.

Next, they put the "inflatable cuff" around your paw. Again with the Sacred Kitty Paw. What do they not understand about the sacredness of the kitty paw?!

Finally, they sqeeze your paw with the inflatable cuff until your blood stops flowing. Not once. Not twice. Not even three times. FOUR TIMES they do this!

Obviously I put up a good struggle as any self-respecting cat would do. The "experienced" vet tech had to come take over the procedure because I was too much for the junior tech to handle! Then it took another vet tech, and my owner to try to stop me from squirming away. They managed to get the blood pressure readings, but it was not due to any help on my part.

Luckily, even with all that indignity, my blood pressure was healthy and I don't need medication.

Hopefully most of you will not have to endure this indignity. If you do, put up enough fuss to protest, make them work for their precious blood pressure numbers! But do let them help you stay healthy so you have many more years of Kitty Rule!

"Big Heart"

I always knew my kitty had a big heart, but now it's official. Felix returned from the veterinary cardiologist with a diagnosis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy - an enlarged heart muscle. Although it's not causing him any problems right now, the vet suggests a low-stress life. I told her how my brilliant idea of getting Felix a little kitten sister didn't work out as I had hoped. Felix is too old for a companion with kitten exhuberance and he was stressed by the situation. It's been 4 months since the kitten was returned, and Felix still has not regained all the weight he lost during her visit.

The vet suggested he is probably just fine as an only kitty - sleeping much of the day while we're at work, then enjoying our undivided attention at night. He has to share us wth the dog, but that's different from another cat in the family. Another senior kitty (12+ years old) might work out ok, but it's best to let Felix enjoy his well-earned status as "Only Kitty" for the rest of his life....which should be many more years.

01 May 2007

Felix says "no" to a kitten

We adopted a kitten recently, only to be brought to the realization that Felix is no longer the young, energetic, healthy kitty I've always envisioned him to be, and not in need of a 4-month old kitten companion! Felix and the new kitten Molly got along well and he even groomed her. But her kitten exhuberance was just too much for him and he started rapidly losing weight - from 9 to 8 pounds in just 3 weeks. He's very thin at 9 pounds, and this was a dramatic weight loss considering he has weighed just over 9 pounds for the past 12 years. He was getting pounced on while sleeping, having his snuggle time with mom & dad interrupted, and having his food stolen by the kitten. The stress of a kitten combined with his recently detected heart murmur and his food being included in the recent pet food recall was just too much for him. So, the kitten went back to the adoption organization and we're hoping Felix's health returns to what it was before the kitten visited our lives.

I can no longer picture him as the young, energetic, healthy kitty of years gone by. And if I ever forget reality, his too-thin body reminds me that he's a 13-year old "senior" who has earned a little extra T.L.C and affection.

23 March 2007

Menu Foods Pet Food Recall

The AVMA is maintaining a page of current information about the Menu Foods recall at

25 February 2007

Expanding the family?

We're contemplating adding a new furball to the family and took at look at the cats available for adoption from a local shelter. Felix has been an only kitty for a few months now, and I know he's enjoying all the time he gets to spend snuggling with us, but I can't help think he would also enjoy a kitty sibling to do kitty things with. We humans just can't run, play, snuggle, and communicate with Felix the way another cat would. Felix adored his little sister Smokey, got along well with Barney, and enjoyed a good boys' romp with Ed. So I think he'd enjoy the company of another cat. I'm leaning towards a female kitten so he's not threatened by anyone trying to take over "top cat" position.

Neighborhood wildife

The rainy weather hasn't bothered the local bird life. A few weeks ago the neighbor's front yard was occupied by four egrets. They are common in the creeks and agricultural fields around the area, but this is the first time I've seen them in the neighborhood. It's not uncommon to see Mallard ducks waddling along the lawns, but the egrets were a nice surprise. They are such elegant birds.

Today while sitting at the back window I watched a white-tailed kite hovering and flying around. The light mist of rain quickly turned into a cloud-burst of strong rain, but it sat atop a tall tree with it's wings spread wide and enjoyed a rain bath. A quartet of crows eventually annoyed it enough that it flew off. Hopefully it will return. They are amazing flyers and it's always fun to watch a bird that is able to do a true hover.

Speaking of hovering, the hummingbirds are frequenting the yard and feeder. I never tire of watching their amazing speed, agility, and hovering. And their vibrant colors help brighten a dreary winter day.

I took this photo at the end of the season last year, and the poor butterfly looks a bit tattered, but it was fun to see our Butterfly Bush actually attracting a butterfly! Hopefully this year we'll get a few more colorful visitors.

06 February 2007

California Living

My sympathies to all friends and family who are trying to get through the freezing or sub-zero temperatures. We usually have unpleasant rainy, windy, chilly storms here this time of year but we've had the driest January in 100-something years, with the past week's daytime temperatures in the mid 60s. Everyone is hoping for rain to finally arrive so we can turn off the sprinklers and get some much-needed snow in the Sierras.

We may have lost a few 1st year plants to the strong freeze of a few weeks ago, but we're waiting until spring to see if they sprout some new growth.

The purple hyacinth bulbs have broken ground and should be blooming soon. The blooms remind me of Smokey, who loved to hang out in the yard and looked gorgeous against a purple background.