Fall photo favorite

Mom got a pretty photo of me today. She likes how the late afternoon sun is bouncing off the wall behind me. I had a relaxing Sunday with some wonderful sunpuddles and lots of open window time. In the last week the temperature dropped from the high 90s to the low 70s, and it rained today for the first time since spring.  We hope you’re all enjoying some nice Fall weather (or Spring if you’re on the upside-down half of the planet).

Filled food cabinet

Posted in Random musings | 19 Comments

My New Neighbor – Jackie

JackieThis is my new kitty neighbor, Jackie. She moved in across the street about one month ago. Mom was surprised to see her out a couple weeks ago, but her owners said they tried to keep her in but Jackie wasn’t having any of it. She prefers to be outside and doesn’t really like the pair of year-old kitties who are indoor kitties of that family.

Of course Mom introduced herself to Jackie, and the new family, and even took them fresh catnip from my yard as a welcome gift. Jackie didn’t like the nip but her mom said the younger cats would love it.

Jackie is very adventurous and friendly. She’s visited some of the neighbors’ yards, including ours, and is happy to get attention and petting. This is a photo of her strutting her stuff as mom called her across the street back to her own yard.  Mom said Jackie can visit my yard as long as she doesn’t stress me out. Kitties love our front yard because it’s full of trees and shrubs….and birds.

Jackie close-upHere’s a close-up of Jackie.  As you can see, she’s a very pretty girl.

Hopefully, when I actually see her (Mom doesn’t think Jackie has come so close to the house that we’ve “met”) she’ll be polite and not get all hissy or assertive at me through the windows.

Posted in Neighborhood animals | 16 Comments

Waiting for my regular vet

I don’t think my vet will be able to find me, do you?

Raven waiting for the vet

I had to get my rabies vaccination today and thought I’d hide under my blanket so the vet couldn’t find me. He must be really smart because I ended up getting my shot! Actually, getting my temperature taken was more unpleasant than the injection.

The vet and my Mom talked about my hair loss and the dermatologist’s opinion that I’m having a reaction to flea bites. He doesn’t agree and he’s going to contact the dermatologist and discuss the situation with her. Both he and mom think it’s very unlikely that I am reacting to fleas because neither of them have seen any signs of fleas on me and I get flea combed almost every day (because I enjoy it). After nearly two years of this problem, you’d think someone would find a flea or flea dirt on me and I haven’t had one since March 2015.  That’s an awfully long time to be reacting to a flea bite.

He also doesn’t use Comfortis for flea control because it often makes animals vomit like I did.  I’ve taken it once and it made me vomit and I haven’t had my usual appetite. He wasn’t keen on my taking it again and he didn’t want to Mom to give Comfortis along with anti-vomit medication because I may have a worse reaction to the Comfortis if I don’t puke it up.  Sheesh, this is a puzzle of a problem and hard to find a solution.

He gave me a couple sample packages of food that’s good for kitties with food sensitivities. I tried some, and I like it so I may be eating more of that. It wouldn’t be Mom’s first choice of food for me but if my high-quality chicken food is part of what’s making me sick, then I may have to eat a different food for a while, or even forever.  I hope that’s not the case because I will miss my tasty chicken foods.

Hopefully the two vets can come to some agreement on what’s most likely causing my hair loss. We should hear back from our regular vet in a couple days. In the meantime, I’ll keep taking a low dose of prednisolone, I’ll try eating more of my new food, and I’ll keep trying to not bite my furs. I want to be floofy again!

Posted in Health | 21 Comments

I impressed my new vet

Most of you probably remember that I’ve been having problems with some itchiness and hair loss for almost 2 years. I’ve had a few steroid injections and currently take a low dose steroid pill every morning. I’ve been doing better, but the problem isn’t completely gone, so a few weeks ago I went to a vet who specializes in dermatology.

I was very nervous, but the lady vet was nice and gentle with me. She used a scalpel blade to scrape the skin on my belly and she used a piece of clear tape to pick up the dust from my skin & fur to look for any signs of problems. The scraping part didn’t bother me, and it didn’t even leave a red mark, which surprised mom. The good news is that I don’t have any unwanted critters like mites living in my skin and no signs of fungus or other skin disease.

The vet said she was impressed with two things. First, she said I have very furry paws! Second, she was impressed with how I’ve nibbled off the fur from the full length of the underside of my tail but I’ve left the topside with long furs. I’ve also removed the fur from my lower belly and thighs.

When talking about possible causes of my itchiness and hair loss, the vet said the pattern of my hair loss suggest a flea bite hypersensitivity. She said that kitties like me who rarely have fleas can get very severe flea bite allergies.

The last time Mom saw a flea on me was March 2015, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t the occasional flea that gets in the house as a “hitchhiker”.  There are neighborhood cats and wild thing like raccoons, rats, & skunks that frequently come through our yard, and the humans might bring a flea in the house after being in the yard.

The vet recommended we do 3 months of topical flea control using a product called Activyl. It’s a newer product that kills fleas before they bite, which is critical for allergic kitties. Mom put in on me and she’s washing all of my bedding and vacuuming my perches. Even though the vet was not concerned about me taking the steroid because it is a very low dose, she did give mom a plan to taper me off the steroid over the next 3 weeks.

Oh, Monkey Wrench! About 12 hours after applying the Activyl, Mom saw that I had an adverse reaction and a quarter-sized patch of fur fell out where Mom applied the Activyl. Mom gave me a bath to try to get the residue off of me. She called the vet the following Monday and told them what happened. The vet said Mom did the right thing in giving me a bath, and not to use the Activyl again. (They were also very nice and arranged for Mom to be refunded the $50 for the flea medication.)

Now we’re trying a different anti-flea medication called Comfortis. This is a flavored tablet you’re supposed to eat. Not! Mom had to break it into little pieces and give it to me like a pill. It made me vomit, but that is common and I kept it down long enough that it was supposed to work and I didn’t have to take another dose.

It’s been three weeks since I saw the dermatologist and I have improved quite a bit. Fur is growing back where the Activyl was applied. Fur is also growing back on my legs, but it’s light gray underfurs and not my long, black furs. I still like to nibble on my tail and Mom thinks it might be a bit sensitive, but it might also be a habit I’ve gotten into.  I’m almost tapered off the steroid pill so we’ll see if I get more itchy next week when I don’t get that pill anymore.

Tomorrow I see my regular vet for a rabies shot. Mom will ask him if he recommends Comfortis anti-flea pills and if it might help for me to take some anti-vomit medicine before Mom gives me the next pill. I was supposed to get it today, but she’s waiting ask the vet if there’s a way to help me not vomit.

I know this is long and I’ve been away from all my blogging friends for too long. I hope you all are well and we’ll get back to visiting this week.

I still look very odd, so Mom decided to share an old photo of me with my Dad enjoying a sunflower.

Raven and Sunflower

Posted in Health | 15 Comments

Lazy Squirrel

I’ve been working on a post about my skin issues and trip to the dermatologist, but there’s been a kink in the new treatment plan so I’ll wait until I get an update from the vet before posting that.

In the meantime, I looked out my window and saw a squirrel lounging in my tree.

Tree with squirrel

He’s difficult to see, so here’s a close-up.

Squirrel lounging in tree

He looks very comfy and he stayed for about 30 minutes before scampering off.

Posted in Garden, Random musings | 18 Comments