29 June 2011

Please help Henry

Henry catHenry is a kitty in a shelter in Southern California. He probably needs his paw amputated and needs your help to raise the money to provide for his care. If lots of people donate just a little bit, it will all add up and Henry can get great care.

You can read about him here.

When you click that link, the picture on the right isn't a red ball toy, that's an injury on Henry's paw! You all know from my blog that I Thrive on Three Legs, and I'm sure Henry will too. If you can, please help Henry by donating to his care. The rescue group is also looking for someone in Southern California who could foster Henry, so if you know someone who might be interested, please forward the link to them.

Come on anipals, we can help Henry. He can Thrive on Three legs just like I do.

Update: Henry was pulled from the shelter and is waiting for an upper respiratory infection to clear up before he can have his paw amputated. The update is here with a video of Henry.

27 June 2011

Raven the brave kitty

Raven watching vacuum

This is something I don't understand. Raven, who is very sensitive to noises and scares easily, will sit and watch the vacuum cleaner. Neither the bulkiness nor the noise seem to bother her and I can vacuum within about 4 feet of her before she gets up and moves away. This is a kitty who can be startled the the sound of the refrigerator door opening!

That's one of the wonderful things about living with pets. There's always something they do that will amaze, amuse, or confound you.

26 June 2011

Beautiful Kitty Raven

RavenSammi is the photogenic kitty of the family but mom thinks I'm just as gorgeous and she's determined to get photos that show how beautiful I am. This one shows my golden eyes and shiny black fur.  I think she did a pretty good job on this one. Click the photo to see a bigger version.


25 June 2011

They call me "Patches"

sammi hair lossLook what happened to me! I have a big bald patch on my shoulder! A few days ago mom was giving me a good brushing. I usually shed a fair amount, but this time a lot of fur was coming out. Mom was a little bit concerned but didn't worry too much about it until I rolled over on my side and she saw this big bald spot on my shoulder. It's 2 to 3 inches around where my dark and white fur come together. It shocked mom because 1) she didn't see it happen as she was brushing, and 2) that's not normal!

So, off to the vet we went. The good news is that I don't have mites or a skin infection and I don't have signs of other diseases. The vet thinks I'm having an allergic reaction to something and mom & dad have to try to figure out what that is.

They can't think of anything new in the house except for one of my newer carpeted perches that I love to roll around in. The vet suggested covering the perch with sheets so I don't come in contact with the carpet. Mom & dad covered it with bath towels for now and mom will try to make some fitted slip-covers for the cradle-shaped platforms.

I also have to take medicine for a little while to try to calm my system down. I don't mind the medicine because it's a tiny pill that mom puts inside a yummy Pill Pocket and it's like getting a treat.

One bad thing is that I don't get to go outside. I was starting to enjoy going in the back yard, but maybe I'm allergic to grass or something else in the yard. That's one of the few "new" things I've been exposed to recently and maybe it's causing my hair loss.

Another bad thing is that the vet said it's ok to give me a bath. I'm due for my once-a-year bath and this little bald patch isn't going to get me out of it.  Mom is really good at giving baths and I don't mind it too much. It's the getting dry part that takes forever and is annoying.

One of the interesting things the vet said that mom didn't think of was that they had to look not just for new items in the house, but new behaviors of mine that may be exposing me to something that's been in the house for a while but I haven't been using before. Mom can't think of anything (we're very routine around here) but she's going to keep her eyes open.

Hopefully it's just a temporary reaction to something like the grass or a seasonal pollen that has been high lately. Then I'll be able to grow my silky hair back and not need a fur shoulder wrap to stay warm in winter.

21 June 2011

Cat garden - day 7

Cat grassOur cat grass has grown nicely and is about 3 inches long. Mom is surprised at how quickly it grew because it's only been a week since she planted the seeds. She picked a few pieces and brought them inside for us to try.

sammi sniffing cat grass

Really, you think I'm going to eat grass when I know there's chicken in the fridge?

Raven sniffing cat grass

You woke me from my nap for this? I'll sniff it to amuse you, but I'm not eating green stuff. Try me again when the catnip is ready to harvest.

18 June 2011

Sammi enjoying walking in the back yard

Sammi is enjoying the back yard this summer. Last year she was very hesitant to be in the yard, but this year she's enjoying the sights and smells of nature. Here's a short video showing that she gets around just fine with only three legs.

We use a small cat harness on her and the only issue we have with it is that the top slides around towards the side where she's missing her leg so the top of the harness ends up under her belly. But it still keeps her safely within reach on an 8-foot long leash.

Here are a few more photos from this morning's outside adventure.

Sammi in yard

sammi in yard

Sammi lounging in the lawn

We just realized that last photo could look odd if you don't know what's happening. Dad isn't taking my temperature, he's pulling weeds with one hand and rubbing my rump with the other. I love rump rubs and when he rubs my rump I like to flop over and dig my back paws in so he can scratch harder!

And this is what happens after a long excursion in the back yard - Nap time!

Sammi napping

Raven didn't want to be outside today. One of the neighbors was making a bit of noise hammering on something and she was too afraid to stay out with us. She's the one who usually enjoys being outside, but she's also very sensitive to noise and scares easily. But I'm sure there will be many more days this summer when Raven can enjoy some time in the back yard.

17 June 2011

Our Cat Garden - day 4

Cat grass sproutsThey're teeny-tiny, but the seeds are germinating and we have cat grass sprouts! The catnip hasn't sprouted yet.

The indoor kitties went outside

Sammi in yardAfter planting our cat garden and doing a lot of other yard clean-up, Mom decided it was time for us to try going outside. I've been out a few times in the last two years, and only once have I been comfortable. But mom wanted to try again because she thinks it's important for indoor kitties to have some safe outdoor time to enjoy nature. She thinks it's healthy for us to feel grass under our paws, sniff bushes, and let us safely experience the outdoors instead of always being in the house. First, she sat with me in her lap on the patio. I was very calm and enjoyed being outside, so she decided to put my harness on and see if I'd be brave enough to walk around. I surprised her by being very inquisitive and walking all around the yard. I was out for at least 20 minutes before mom & dad decided it was time for me to go inside.

Raven in yard

Mom took Raven outside too. Raven usually likes being outside much more than I do, but this time she walked around a little bit and kept laying down. It was getting late so mom decided Raven would get a longer trip outside another day.

14 June 2011

Our Cat Garden

Cat nip container

Mom is trying to grow a little garden for us. She planted cat grass and catnip seeds and hopes they'll grow for us to eat and enjoy. We prefer home-grown because then we're sure there are no chemicals on them.

This is Day 1

Hopefully we'll have a big pot of of cat grass.

Cat Grass

And then we hope to have some container-grown and a ground-grown patch of catnip. We don't know how potent this nip will be, but hopefully it will be strong enough to give us a little kitty buzz.

cat nip in ground

As the plants grow we'll show their progress. Hopefully they'll grow!

13 June 2011

Everyone else enjoys our yard

Scrub Jay Sunbath

It doesn't seem fair that so many critters besides us get to enjoy our yard. Yesterday it was the neighbor's cat snoozing in our front yard. Today it's a Scrub Jay sunning itself in our back yard. We are safe as indoor kitties and we get to enjoy looking and sniffing our yard from an open window, but we think it's about time we get to go out and enjoy our yard. Sammi may not want to go out because she's very nervous outside, even with mom and dad right beside her. But maybe next weekend I'll get to put on a harness and go outside.

11 June 2011

Sleeping Intruder

sleeping neighbor kittyLate this morning I looked out and saw a kitty sleeping in our front yard, directly in front of our window with the cat bed. We see this kitty almost every day and we're pretty sure it's the sibling of the one who chased our birds away a few weeks ago. We think they live 2 houses away and enjoy coming to our yard because we have lots of shrubs, trees and small boulders that provide wonderful places to investigate or hide. Raven and Sammi don't get agitated by either of these cats, so we don't mind letting them enjoy our yard.

05 June 2011

Kitties' Jungle Gym

Sammi and Raven on cat perches

Sammi and Raven have a kitty jungle gym behind our couch. The tallest spot is Raven's favorite, but Sammi has claimed all the other levels. At first we only had the two short perches on the left behind the couch so Sammi could safely get off the back of the couch without needing to make one big jump down. Then we decided to add the tallest perch on the right - the one Raven is on - so they'd have a high kitty look-out. When we realized Sammi couldn't go up and down that perch safely, we had to add the perch in the middle - the one Sammi is on. It's still a bit of a challenge for Sammi to get to the very top perch, so she doesn't go up there very often. But she loves this configuration because she has lots of options for going up & down and back & forth between all the perches. She especially likes the cradle-shaped level that she's on in the photo. She rolls around in the cradle and is in perfect position to try to intimidate Raven and prevent her from getting to the top perch.

This is Sammi's favorite room. She runs through the dining room (where I'm standing to take the photo), up the perches, over the back of the couch, down to the couch cushions, then down to the living room floor where her pile of tissue paper and toys are. Because she has such a fun climbing structure to play on, she rarely walks around the couch to get to the living room.

04 June 2011

Safer perches for 3-legged Sammi

A few weeks ago we noticed Sammi was starting to have difficulty getting down from her favorite window perches. She's about 12 years old and has been without her front leg for 2-1/2 years. Each window perch had just one step to help her get up and down and we decided it was time to make it a little easier and safer for her by adding a second step.

Sammi window perchIn the front window, the single step to her window bed was an upside-down brown wicker basket that has a sturdy wooden bottom. We added a piece of non-slip shelf liner so she has good footing. To make getting down from her window bed a little easier, we added the suede ottoman as a second step.

Sammi at window perch

The window looking into the back yard is another favorite napping spot. It had one ottoman that was about mid-way to the top of the cabinet. Actually, we were using the suede ottoman in the first photo. But the jump down was getting too difficult for Sammi so we looked for something that would work better. We found ottomans that were a little shorter. They were stable enough to stack two on top of each other, so using three ottomans we were able to create steps up to her bed.

We've purchased all the ottomans at Target. The're reasonably priced and they can be moved around to different locations as we need to adjust things for Sammi. To help keep them clean, I usually keep them covered with a thin towel that can be tossed in the wash.

By adding a second step we've made is safer and easier for Sammi to continue enjoying her favorite window perches.