Friday, December 4, 2015

Holiday Hiatus

So, once again, I've been lax in my posting... Life continues to get away from me a bit. I got a new job, a transfer to Seattle with my same company, but there isn't anyone to take over my old job yet, so I'm doing both. The commute to Seattle is long, and with two jobs, I feel like I barely have time to breathe. Of course, it's also the holiday season, which means extra craziness around family visits, gifting, etc. 

In short, I'm going to take a(nother) break from the blog for a little while. Scarlett and Melly are displeased that their fabulousness is not being shared with the world (divas), so don't worry: I'll be back. In the meantime, I'll try to post to Melly's facebook page periodically, and on Instagram. 

"The world deserves to see this beautiful face, Mom."

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

And we're back!

Sorry I dropped off the map for a bit there... sometimes life gets a bit overwhelming and something has to give, you know?

Anyway, Scarlett is now happily chugging along on her tiny daily dose of Buprenex, and she is happy as a clam. It's great. Melly is her usual goofy self, albeit a bit grumpy about the bath she had on Saturday to get rid of a poo/fur/adhesion situation.

Speaking of goofy Melly, she did something pretty silly the other day that I have to share: she made a fort!  I was getting ready for work, and I heard a crash from the linen cupboard. I went to check it out and found this:

Scarlett was concerned too:

I figured that Melly had tried to get up onto the blanket shelf to nap, but instead ended up pulling a blanket down on top of herself.

I peeked around the curtain and found Melly, nonchalantly curled up on her favorite blanket, enjoying her curtain tent and pretending like this was what she had intended all along.

The little nut.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Monday, November 9, 2015

Towel Attack

I often walk into the bathroom and find the towels in utter disarray, and sometimes in a pile on the floor. I couldn't figure out what was going on until a couple days ago, when I walked in on Melly vigorously attacking a towel she'd pulled off the bar.

"Didn't you used to be up there?"

"Die, towel! Die!"

[Frantic pawing]

"I crush you with my floof!"

[frantic pawing]

"You are MINE, towel!"

Friday, November 6, 2015

Neighbor Kitties

I like my neighborhood, but one thing that bugs me is that people let their pets roam freely. Indoor vs. outdoor cats is a hot topic so I won't get into it, but I think we can all agree that dogs should be kept on a leash or in a fenced yard!  Anyway, our yard is a high-traffic area for about 10-12 neighborhood cats, most of whom are somewhat friendly.

In the picture below, the large window on the right is the living room. It has a very wide sill and is only about 18" off the floor, so it is a favorite perch for Scarlett and Melly. Because it's so low to the ground, the neighborhood cats like to sit on the porch and stare in at my kitties. This results in Melly singing the song of her people and Scarlett screaming like a banshee. Fun times. Fortunately, times like that jolt me back to reality if I've been dreaming of getting a kitten. Ha!

This has become a fairly common sight when I arrive home. This gray cat doesn't like when I get too close, but he sure seems to like the front mat!

I came home one day recently and found that Gray Kitty had gotten a bit more audacious, claiming an Amazon box for his own:

"What? You weren't using it."

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Husky Fans

I took these pictures on Saturday when Scarlett was in her Huskitty costume and Josh was heading out to go to the University of Washington football game. Of course, I couldn't miss an opportunity to take pictures of them in their matching outfits!  

This is Josh's "I'm humoring you" smile, and that is Scarlett's "I'm so embarrassed" face. Heh.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Captain Americat and Huskitty

Look who dressed up for Halloween!

Meet Huskitty!
"I know where you sleep."

"Me too."

"Think she'll ever let us out of these ridiculous outfits?"
"Nope. We're destined to be humiliated and clothed forever."

"I look ridiculous."

Monday, November 2, 2015

Scarlett Update

Despite taking all your various suggestions, I was never able to get a urine sample from Scarlett at home. And so, she went to the vet on Friday. Despite an inauspicious beginning (she peed all over the kitchen floor when I was trying to get her in the carrier), the vet visit was a resounding success. They were able to get a urine sample (on purpose, as opposed to gathered from the cage floor), and Scarlett is now up to date with her rabies vaccine.

Before going to the vet. Someone is not pleased about being shoved in a carrier.

As I mentioned very briefly in my last update, Scarlett was on pain meds to aid in the urine collection process, since she had been straining a bit to urinate. The pain meds made Scarlett so happy--she moved more easily, liked being pet more, and was, in general, a much more relaxed cat. Basically, she behaved just like she did when I first got her nine years ago.

Part of this was almost certainly due to med-related drunkenness, but given Scarlett's age and her various chronic conditions, the vet said there's a good chance she has some ongoing pain. Of course, she's a cat, so she was probably hiding it as best she could, and expressing it as stress and grumpiness. At any rate, Scarlett is now on a low dose of painkillers to try and manage any chronic pain she may be having, and she is a much, much happier cat as a result.

After the vet visit. Glad it's over.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Sweet Scarlett

Scarlett is a very affectionate and cuddly kitty, but she doesn't usually like to be picked up. She lets me pick her up for a brief snuggle sometimes, but her patience runs out quickly. Josh attempted to pick her up the other day, and Scarlett actually allowed it! It was very sweet. My photos turned out blurry since Scarlett was squirming happily.

Scarlett is a very vocal cat, and is always chattering about something or other. I'm not sure what she was trying to say here, but note that her paws are mid-knead.


Hmm, might be time to go down.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Josh and Melly

Melly is Josh's little shadow. If he holds still for more than a few seconds, she is on him immediately, purring her fuzzy head off. It's very cute, and Josh is remarkably patient, given how demanding Melly can be: she head-butts, bats, and nibbles in her constant quest for attention.

"Mine. Mineminemine."

"Yeees, that's right. Phone down; attention on ME."


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Big Cats

Before I get to today's post, just a couple thoughts on yesterday's.  First, thank you all for your kind thoughts and suggestions!  Second, a number of you suggested having the vet collect a urine sample, and I wanted to explain why we're not going that route.  You may recall that Scarlett has a lot of vet-related fear and anxiety; part of how she expresses her fear is by emptying her bladder and bowels, usually while she's being handled. When she last went to the vet, they collected a urine sample from what she'd eliminated inside her cage, but the results were ambiguous and they think the sample may have been contaminated, probably by Scarlett herself. So, the idea behind collecting at home is that I should be able to get an uncontaminated sample, and Scarlett will not be traumatized by the process. Josh had the idea of sneakily putting the temporary litter box inside the usual one when Scarlett went to use it, but I was really worried she'd just go off and pee in the closet or something. A number of you have had luck sticking a container under the cat while it's peeing, which I honestly hadn't even considered, but it sounds worth a try! 

And, on to today's post...

I went to the zoo recently and was excited to see the tiger cubs. I last went to the zoo in February, when the cubs were very small and roly-poly, so it was fun to see how big they've gotten. You can't tell from the photos, but they're about the size of a Labrador.

Look at that fuzzy little face! Well, not little; his head was about as big as mine.

Remind you of anyone? Perhaps a certain fuzzy tuxie?

And here's the cubs' mum, who caught me taking her photo. Isn't she a beauty?

Monday, October 26, 2015

Scarlett Update

Scarlett was on a course of antibiotics for a possible urinary tract infection, but unfortunately, she had one of the classic side effects: major diarrhea. Because dehydration can be dangerous, particularly for a cat with kidney issues, the vet advised stopping the meds. I increased the amount of probiotic and pumpkin in the cats' food, and Scarlett's stool seemed to be normalizing.

That was early last week. On Thursday, I noticed that Scarlett was straining to urinate, and she kept going in and out of the litter box, trying to pee. The vet had mentioned this as a classic UTI symptom, so I was a bit alarmed. Since I was supposed to collect a urine sample anyway to see if the 2 weeks of antibiotics had actually worked, I figured this would be a good time to try. So, I shut Scarlett in the office with an old litter box with non-absorbent litter provided by the vet.

And... Scarlett refused to use it.

"I don't know what this thing is for, but I shall sit next to it and lick my paw. Ho hum."

My friend Sarah, who is the cats' sitter and a vet tech, advised keeping Scarlett well hydrated in hopes that she'd eventually have to go. So, I gave her some extra food with a lot of water mixed in.

The hydration station.

I ended up leaving Scarlett in over night, much to the angst of Melly, who voiced her objections loudly and attempted to burrow under the office door. And still, Scarlett refused to use the litter box.

"I shan't go. You can't make me."

I finally let Scarlett out in the morning before I left for work, and she made a bee line for the usual litter box, which she used without incident. 


Sarah said that maybe Scarlett's bladder was so full that this appearance of normalcy could be misleading. She got us a prescription for a painkiller, in addition to the phosphorus blocking supplement, in case pain was keeping Scarlett from using the litter box.

I added some cut up packing peanuts to the litter box in the office and shut Scarlett in there again on Saturday evening. Once again, she remained stubborn. I made the cats' breakfast yesterday, which now takes longer to prepare than anything I ever make myself to eat (kidding [kind of]), gave Scarlett her first dose of painkiller, and then put her back in the office. I checked on her periodically, and was relieved when I walked in and smelled the unmistakable aroma of cat urine. 

My relief was very short lived. It turned out that Madam Stubborn had peed in the box where the cats' toys are kept! So frustrating. Not only was there no sample, but most of the cats' toys were ruined. 

My next plan is to try crumpled shredded waxed paper in the litter box, and this time I may put Scarlett in the bathroom, where there are fewer things she could ruin. The bathroom is also where the litter box is normally kept, so hopefully the familiar location will help things along. (This means I'll have to put the usual litter box somewhere else, which hopefully won't confuse Melly too much.)

The upsides: Scarlett seems to be using the litter box just fine and the diarrhea is gone. Also, she is so happy on the painkillers. She seems a tad loopy, but is very energetic and affectionate. I am not sure how much of it is the painkiller making her drunk, and how much of it is her just being relieved at the lack of pain. The thought of the latter makes me sad to think about, since it would mean that she's in quite a lot of pain normally, poor thing. Well, hopefully the kidney and joint supplements will help her feel better in the long run.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Silly Scarlett


"You didn't see anything. I am dignified and fabulous."