Mom & Dad went away for a few days and hired a professional pet sitter to take care of us. Our pet sitter, Paula, is very friendly. She comes over twice a day to take care of all our necessities like food, water and litter. She also gives us our canned food and gives Sammi her medicine. Then she gives us lots of attention with brushing, petting, and play time. Every day she leaves mom & dad notes about what happened that day. Here are some of her comments about what good kitties we were.
Raven met me at the door to say hello.
I scooped the litter boxes with plenty of supervision.
Sammi took her medicine with no problem.
Raven enjoyed head and neck scratches.
Sammi enjoyed rump pets, played with toys and got lots of love.
Sammi meowed hello from the living room.
Found Raven in the bedroom closet.
I wasn't upset that Paula found me in the closet. Mom showed Paula my favorite hiding spots so she would be able to find me if I decided to sleep in a hidden location.
Mom & dad were very happy that we were good kitties and enjoyed Paula's visits. Mom never likes being away from us, but at least she knows that we like our pet sitter and we are purrfectly fine for a few days without her.
Dad surprised mom with a special gift for her birthday. For several years she's been looking for a Saint Francis of Assisi statue but hasn't found one she likes. Dad usually gets mom a fun book or music for her birthday but he saw this statue and thought it would be purrfect for our yard. He hid it somewhere (we don't know where) and when mom woke up on her birthday and opened the bedroom curtain she saw the statue in the back yard. She was completely surprised and thought it was the most perfect gift dad could have given her. We have lots of statues in our yard, but this one is special because Saint Francis loved all animals and the environment and we do too. Mom can see it every morning through the bedroom window and it gives her a peaceful feeling.
Several weeks ago Sammi lost a big patch of fur on her shoulder. Her vet suspects she's allergic to something and put her on medication to calm her system. Very little has changed in her world and we haven't figured out what she could be having an allergic reaction to. The fur on her shoulder is growing back and the shedding has slowed, but she's still getting little red, itchy bumps on her legs.
While chatting with a friend about Sammi's problem, my friend mentioned that one of her cats had an allergic reaction to the Wellness CORE dry food that I'm feeding Sammi. Her cat started losing clumps of fur! A quick online search showed a few other owners have had the same problem with that food.
My friend switched her cat to Before Grain cat food and the hair loss problem stopped. Since Sammi needs a grain free diet, Before Grain is one we can try. I started with just a teaspoon of canned food the first day and slowly let her have more each day. Over the last 4 days she's eaten one small can (3.2 ounces) of the Before Grain chicken canned food and has not had any bad reaction to it. Sammi likes the food and has eaten all I've offered her. It might be a coincidence, but this morning Sammi seems more frisky than usual. Maybe eating more of the Before Grain food and less of the CORE dry food is making her feel a little better.
I've started introducing her to the Before Grain dry food and I hope she tolerates it. If I can get her switched over to the new food, maybe her shedding will decrease and the itchy bumps will go away. Paws crossed!
Mom said I was a purrfect patient yesterday when I had to go to the vet to get my rabies vaccination. I thought it was rude of her to wake me from my afternoon nap and try to put me in the carrier, so I made it a little bit of a challenge for her by refusing to walk in through the door and instead made her load me in through the top. But then I was perfectly quiet for our 30 minute drive to the vet. Mom had to encourage me to come out and not sneak back into the carrier, but I was a very good girl and didn't make a peep as the vet gave me my shot. After my shot I hurried back into my carrier - through the front door - and sat quietly while mom & the vet chatted a bit about Sammi. Mom paid the bill then buckled me in the car for our 30 minute drive home. Again, I didn't make a sound and just rested in my carrier. Once we got home mom set the carrier on the kitchen floor, unzipped the front door, and I walked out and said "meeow". That was it, a single meow. Then I was off to the bedroom to continue my nap.
I got the Merial PureVax rabies vaccine. It is supposed to be one of the safest rabies vaccines available because it does not have "stuff" (adjuvants) added to it. The adjuvants are what some researchers believe contribute to the development of vaccine-associated sarcoma, which is a very serious skin cancer that cats sometimes get. Our vet usually doesn't use this vaccine but he thinks it is a good vaccine and was happy to get it for us. I have to go back every year for a booster. But some vets are suggesting that it's safer to get this vaccine every year than it is to get the adjuvanted vaccines once every 3 years. By choosing this vaccine, mom believes she's done the best she can to prevent me from getting a vaccine-associated sarcoma.
This is "Gamera" a tortoise who needed his front leg amputated because of an injury. Vets at Washington State University's College of Veterinary Medicine amputated his leg and attached a hardware store caster to his lower shell so he would be more mobile after surgery. It's worked great, and Gamera can get around on many surfaces. Here's a story and short video showing him walking on grass. He looks a bit awkward but I'm sure it's much better than being three-legged and he probably does better on dirt. Gamera is only 23 pounds now, but these tortoises can grow very large so he may need a heavy-duty wheel later in life. It's always heart-warming to know that people will use their skills and creativity to give an animal a better life. A $10 wheel from the hardware store gave this tortoise better mobility!
I wanted to share another example about why I like my vet so much. I've been going to this vet for In 2008, we returned to our long-time vet (30 miles away) and told the receptionist we'd wait outside on the sidewalk to minimize any problems with Bentley slipping on the vet's floor. To our delight, his vet came outside and did most of the exam on the sidewalk where Bentley had good footing. We ended up going inside for weight & blood/urine samples, but it was much easier on Bentley to do most of the exam outside.
Today was the day. Bath Day. We don't like getting a bath, but mom makes it as easy as possible on us so we don't get too upset. She gets everything ready before we have any clue that it's bath day. She gets the shower water warm and fills a pitcher with warm water and a generous squirt of kitty shampoo. She also has several big bath towels ready for us.
We know what's going to happen when she takes us into the shower and closes the sliding doors behind us. We know the humans go in here to get wet and we know the same thing is going to happen to us. She takes the hand-held shower and puts it really close to our skin so there's no noise or splashing. After we're really wet she pours the soapy water on us and starts rubbing. After a couple minutes it's rinse time with the shower again. We may have given a few concerned meows, but before we know it, mom is trying to get the water off us us with a gentle squeeze of our body, legs, and tail. Then we're wrapped up in a big fluffy towel. After the first towel is wet, we get wrapped up in a second towel and all the drippy water is rubbed off. Then we're set free to run & shake & lick until she comes to comb us. That helps us dry faster and keeps our fur from tangling up.
The bath really isn't that bad, it's the 5 hours of air drying that annoys us. Mom helps the drying process by combing and brushing us to remove loose fur and keep our fur fluffed up. Today we got an early dinner as our reward for being such good kitties in the shower. We were so good that we didn't give her even one tiny scratch.
Baths aren't the most fun thing, but we do look extra pretty afterwards. I have glossy black hair with no dander or dust, and Sammi has a snowy white tummy.
Mom decided it might be better for us to get a bath in winter. That may sound strange, but we stay indoors, so it doesn't matter how warm it is outside. In winter, the house heater is blowing and we can get a blow dry while sitting over the heater vents. We like to do that anyway and it would help us dry faster. Come January or February, we may be getting another bath.
p.s. Mom didn't take picture of us while we were soaking wet because she thought it would be very nice to make us stay wet while she took photos. But we look extra skinny when wet!
Homer's Odyssey by Gwen Cooper is about Homer, a blind kitten she adopted and raised along with her two other cats. My husband gave me this book for Christmas and I realized in June it was still on my nightstand waiting to be finished. Having a special-needs kitty myself, I'm always interested in reading about how other special-needs animals adapt, how their owners address their needs, and hopefully how the animal thrives. It was heart-warming and encouraging to read how quickly Homer adapted to whatever situation he was in and how his lack of vision didn't deter him from living an adventurous kitty life. Unfortunately, Homer's enthusiasm for life was established early on in the book and so much of the book was about the personal events in the author's life that it wasn't very interesting to read. This book gets a 1-paw up rating from Sammi (who has only one front paw) because it was a heartwarming story about a kitty's ability to overcome blindness and live life to the fullest.
I was enjoying an after-dinner rest in my front window perch when I spotted my neighbor kitty from two doors down on our walkway. It's the same kitty who was sleeping in our yard a while back. Tonight, the kitty was bothering me and I wanted it to go away. It was scratching itself, and even though I don't use my front yard, I don't want kitty cooties left behind by other cats. Luckily kitty didn't stay long and decided something across the street looked more interesting. I was glad to see its furry little behind wander away.
It's been 3 weeks since I lost a big patch of fur on my shoulder. The vet suspects I'm allergic to something and gave me some medicine to calm my system. I actually like the medicine because I get it in a Pill Pocket every morning as a tasty treat. The good news is the fur on that patch of skin is growing back so they can't call me "Patches" anymore. The bad news is I'm still shedding a lot and getting a few itchy little red bumps on my legs. Mom has no idea what could be causing my itchiness but she covered my newest carpet perches with towels just in case there's something in the carpeting that my skin doesn't like. I'm not getting many human food treats, despite using my best begging skills. And just when I was starting to enjoy going out in the back yard, I'm not allowed out any more because maybe I'm allergic to the grass or something else in the yard.
Mom's talked to the vet today and he said it's okay for me to stay on the medicine a little longer. They'll talk again next week when Raven has to go in for a vaccination. Hopefully I don't have to make the trip with them.
How to Wash a Cat by Rebecca M. hale was an okay book to kill a few hours while trapped inside on a hot summer weekend. The book was sometimes annoying to read because nearly every object and action had a descriptive word connected to it. She also likes to use uncommon words, and sometimes uses them in strange ways. The main character is a girl we never get to know much about other than she's an accountant. The other human characters are either annoying or their characters are not well developed. The two cats have typical cat behaviors and don't add much to the story or play a role in the mystery. The mystery isn't very interesting and suddenly gets resolved - but not by the main character. We can't raise our paws for this one and won't read any more books by this author.
With the exception of the vacuum cleaner and lawn mower, it's been a quiet weekend here in the Indulged Furries home. Our cat garden was a lovely thought, but we didn't want to eat the grass and only two teensy catnip plants sprouted. Mom pulled out the withered cat grass but she might keep watering the catnip sprouts just to see if they'll continue to grow. She planted corn a couple weeks ago and it amuses her to watch it grow. It's about 1 foot tall and looks really silly in our yard!
The hummingbirds have been delightful. Strangely, they spend more time chasing each other away from the feeder than they do eating. This is a rare photo of two birds sharing the feeder. There's enough so they could all share, but hummingbirds are territorial and the top bird defends his feeder against all the other birds except for his female mate.
We've escaped being bathed for another week. Mom & Dad were busy with yard work and by the time they were done, it was too late in the day to bathe us. Mom likes to bathe us late in the morning on a hot summer day so we can console ourselves in sunpuddles as we dry.
Part of their yardwork included cleaning all our windows, inside and out, and the screens. Now we have crystal clear windows through which we can watch our world. And clean screens always look better and don't leave dust on our fur when we brush against them.
Sammi and I spent Sunday afternoon sleeping next to each other in one of our favorite windows. It was very relaxing and we were nice to each other. We slept here for hours before moving to new windows - Sammi to the living room and me to my bedroom.
All in all, it was a relaxing weekend. We hope you enjoyed your weekend as much as we enjoyed ours.
Curiosity Thrilled the Cat by Sofie Kelly is an easy to read, fun book for cat lovers. Kathleen moves to the small town of Mayville Heights, Minnesota to oversee the renovation of the town's library. She takes in two feral cats - Owen and Hercules - and learns they have more interesting quirks than enjoying catnip and listening to Barry Manilow. It doesn't take long before Kathleen is considered a suspect in a murder. After all, the person who finds the body is always a suspect! She's determined to clear her name and find out who did it. But it's not easy finding the truth when you're a suspect and an outsider in a small town. With the help of a few friends, and Owen and Hercules, she solves the mystery.
Three paws up. I'm looking forward to reading Sleight of Paw by Sofie Kelly which is coming out in September. In the meantime, I'm reading another mystery with cats: How to Wash a Cat by Rebecca M. Hale.
Mom tried to get us in the spirit for the 4th of July, but the hat is too big for us to wear. We decided it looked better on Spike, the concrete cat who lives in our front yard. Happy 4th of July everyone!