Monday, November 24, 2008

My big accomplishment today was replacing the wiring in a stained glass floor lamp that the puppy (now 3 years old) chewed up in his first six months. I had always known it was easy to do but kept forgetting to buy the kit. The hardest part was feeding the wire through the base and stem. I have a love/hate relationship with wire hangers. I try my best to keep them out of our closets but I'm always thrilled that I can find one when I need it. In addition to threading wire through the lamp, I have used them in the past year to thread cable through the wall, pick a lock, free a sock from the vacuum hose, attach a handle to a broken bucket and fish something important (for the life of me I can't remember what) out of a drain. [Actually, my big accomplishment wasn't really fixing the lamp but finding my favorite ratcheting screw driver complete with all of its bits which had been missing for over a year and was in the side pocket of an old bag.]

Gambit is apparently recovered (although still gassy) but will be on the EN food for a few more days. Veterinary bills totaled about $545.00.

Kittens are bounding through the room like a pack of velociraptors with furry feet and are getting into everything. They sound much larger than they really are. They only weigh about four pounds between the two of them but then again they do have eight feet. Lodi, the smaller and shyer of the two, and the one who was so sick I was afraid she wasn't going to make it, has really come into her own and will even stand up to the dog now. Right now she is snuggled up behind me on the back of the couch purring. 'Noni is perched on an enormous pile of freshly laundered blankets stacked on a chair and is fiercely attacking them. She's been gnawing on everything the past couple of days. We must be getting into teething time.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Very long weekend this week. Our dog, Gambit, stopped eating and drinking sometime during the day Friday and then starting vomiting late that night. When blood started appearing in the vomit, I decided it was time to visit our local emergency clinic. He's had a bad stomach and not eaten with a little vomiting a couple times before which he got over on his own but it was never this extreme. An x-ray ruled out a blockage and blood-work ruled out other serious things. So, he probably got into something he shouldn't have and not knowing what it was won't allow us to prevent it in the future. He got an anti-nausea injection and some fluids and they sent us home with a syringe and stomach medication after a couple hours of no vomiting. Of course, he vomited soon after leaving the clinic. I sat up with him the rest of the night/morning for clean up and to keep on eye on him. In the morning, he still wasn't eating or drinking but the vomiting had ended and become diarrhea, so I called my vet and he had me come in for some more anti-nausea pills and canned EN food. We monitored his hydration by looking at the elasticity of the loose skin on his back and his gums. I was planning on bringing him back to the emergency clinic for fluids this evening because his gums were starting to get a little tacky--gums are a much faster sign of dehydration, I think--but then he drank some water and finally ate something at 4 p.m. today. Since then, he's eating and drinking and is back to chasing cats. We are left with some of the worst dog breath I've ever experienced and a little over $500 in vet bills. Why do these things always happen at night and on weekends? Anyways, the good news is the roofers were finally out and finished the roof this past week and our little emergency didn't eat up all the roof funds like it did when he had kidney failure a couple years ago. Another question, why is it so much harder to open the mouth of a sick dog than a healthy one--shouldn't they be weaker?

On the foster front, both kittens are still occasionally sneezing and we have a very full surgery list Tuesday and none scheduled for the rest of the week, so Noni and Lodi are with us for another week at least.

Also, after a long bout of writer's block, I've had a very productive week and I received my contributor's copy of Exquisite Corpuscle with a very old story by me based on one of Alan's poems. The book also includes the work of many talented artists and authors.

Speak Up For Wildlife

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Yay! Evey was just adopted! Our first successful foster complete!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Kittens make politics better. I will no longer face the final day(s) of election coverage without a cuddly kitten on my lap. (A dog curled up on the couch next to you doesn't hurt either.)

Monday, November 03, 2008

I dropped Evey the foster kitten off at the shelter today to get her exam and be ready for the surgery truck tomorrow. She'll have spay surgery tomorrow and go to the adoption floor right after. She'll be available to go home on Wednesday. We ended up having her with us for a whole month because she developed the sniffles and it took a while to get over them without resorting to drugs. We'd gotten quite attached to her but are also relieved that we managed to have our first successful foster. One of the pets broke her out of her confinement early on in the foster and so she freely mixed with our other cats and dog, a big no-no. Two of the cats are paying for it with the sniffles themselves but so far it hasn't gotten any worse and they should be fine. Our oldest cat is missing her playmate and was sitting at the front door looking forlorn for a while tonight. Did I say that we named her Evey after Natalie Portman's character in V for Vendetta because she was so fierce when she first faced the dog? Update: Alan informs me he named her Evey not for her fierceness but because she didn't realize her cage (small dog kennel) door was open the first few times we tried to let her out.

We still have 2 little girl fosters left (one of the vet techs named them Benoni and Lodi--apples?) from another litter which Alan has nicknamed the Fluff 'n stuffs. They came in feral, hissing and swatting. All the litter were variations on black or brown tabbies but one little orange tabby male. The orange tabby was friendly from the very beginning and won all of our hearts. They waited for a foster home for socialization and gaining weight for a long time but never went out, so I decided to take the 3 who remained after 2 hit the right surgery weight. The little orange one was losing weight in the shelter, a bad sign, and they all were showing symptoms of upper respiratory infections. We lost the little one the first weekend which was heart breaking, but I managed to nurse the other two through not eating and being so stuffy that their bodies shook with every breath. A combination of force feeding watered down canned food mixed with ground up lysine tablet, a nightly dose of doxycycline, saline nose drops, a humidifier and a lot of love seems to have gotten them through the worst. Sunday, they started eating on their own again. They are beautiful cats and will be probably be long-haired. Benoni is a tabby/calico mix with a cute little orange tip on her tail and Lodi is about a third size smaller and a black tabby. They will continue residing in our bathroom until they are symptom free and ready to go back to the shelter.