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."

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Scarlett and Melly Share the Space

Well, you know, sort of. As per usual, they're on opposite corners of the bed. 

"Mom, I don't want her on the bed too. Can I have my own bed?"

Melly: [streeeeetch]

Both cats: [zzzzzzzz]

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Melly the Burrower

I've posted pictures before of Melly all burrowed into Scarlett's precious blue blanket, but this time, I was able to get a bit more thorough. 

Behold, the innocuous blue blanket:

And here we have two cats. Can you spot Melly? 

Ah ha!

"Shhhh. I'm hiding."

Monday, October 19, 2015


I went to bed the other night and found this scene:

Josh was sound asleep, and yes, that is Scarlett's tail on his face. He started to wake up when I took more pictures, but seriously, how cute is this?

Man + cats = pure adorableness

Friday, October 16, 2015

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Mom's Gardening Assistant

My mom took on a gardening project while she was here, and she reported that Scarlett followed her from open window to open window, chattering all the while. 

Here's one of the pictures my mom took of her fuzzy companion. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Quick Scarlett Update

"He's mine, Mom. Back off."

Scarlett's kidney test results indicated diminished function, but there's still a possibility that it's an infection. She is currently part way through three weeks of antibiotics. I have her on glucosamine for the arthritis, which I'm told takes a few weeks to show results. There is also going to be a kidney supplement, but the vet doesn't have it in yet.

As for Melly, I've been adding pumpkin and probiotic supplements to the cats' food, and it seems to be helping with her tummy trouble.

All in all, things are looking up!

Friday, October 2, 2015


Josh and I have been working on painting the outside of the house, and a certain tuxie has been keeping a close eye on the proceedings.

"I'm not sure you're doing it right. Maybe try a different brush."

As a side note: my mom is in town for a bit to help with the landscape/garden, and I may be a bit sporadic with the blogging. I have been taking lots of pictures of the furballs, though, so I'll update when I can!