Chablis’ ice cream cone adventure

Chablis at the ice cream storeThis weekend mom took care of our doggy neighbor Chablis. They went on lots of walks and Chablis came to my back yard to play fetch. She also “helped” mom mow the lawn….mostly she rolled around in the fresh cut grass and got lots of green color on her fur!

Chablis needs practice being out and about, so Mom thought a trip to the ice cream store would be a fun training opportunity. Chablis hasn’t ridden in a car very often so she was nervous and squirmed around in the back seat of the truck. It was less than a 10 minute drive so Chablis didn’t have to wait long to get out and walk around the parking lot while Dad went in and got ice cream.

They sat at the outdoor tables and Mom made Chablis sit in the corner and watch all the other people who were coming and going.  That doesn’t sound like much, but Chablis tries to greet (and jump on) every person she sees, so it’s a lot of work for her to stay sitting while people walk by. Luckily, Chablis loves food and mom was able to reward her good doggy manners by giving her little pieces of ice cream cone. Even though Chablis was nervous during the car ride, we think she enjoyed the adventure and it was good for her to practice her doggy manners. The only down-side to the trip is that mom had to vacuum all the doggy hair out of the truck!

Posted in Chablis the Retriever | 21 Comments

Squatty is in Spirit World

Squatty the Stray

First of all, we want to thank all of you for your encouraging words, well-wishes, and purrs on yesterday’s post.

Today is a sad day for us because Squatty had to be euthanized. Mom & Dad came home from work and Squatty was on the porch like he usually is, waiting for dinner. That always makes mom happy but today he didn’t look very good and was getting closer to Mom & Dad and making unusual little meows. Mom doesn’t like to get too mushy about things like this, but it was kind-of like he was asking for help.

Mom’s been trying to get Squatty to go into a carrier by putting his food inside, so she thought she’d try again so that maybe by Monday he’d be comfortable enough to go in and she could take him to my vet. Mom put Squatty’s dinner inside the carrier and he went in to eat it! Mom was able to quietly walk up and close the door on him.  He wasn’t happy, but he settled down right away.

My vet is about 1 hour away in Friday traffic, so we wouldn’t make it there before they closed. Mom found a vet about 25 minutes away who is open late and they could see him tonight.

Mom was excited to be able to catch Squatty and get him to a vet, but the results of the exam weren’t good. He had a serious case of stomatitis and all his gums and even his throat were full of inflammatory lesions. That condition is very painful and it explains why his breath was awful (even from several feet away) and why he had been drooling off & on for several months. It’s probably also why he has been getting thinner and thinner – because it hurt so much to eat. The abscess on his face was serious and the vet wasn’t sure it would heal very well without a lot of care. After a long discussion about his current health issues, his months-long decline in health, and his quality of life, we all agreed that it was best for Squatty to be euthanized.

Squatty was already sedated, so he wasn’t awake, but mom petted his head while the vet administered the euthanasia drugs. It was very sad and bittersweet because that’s the first and only time mom was able to pet Squatty.  We know the last few hours of his life were stressful being trapped and taken to the vet, but once he was sedated we hope he felt calm and safe. There wasn’t much hope that we could get him healthy and keep him healthy for very long and we didn’t want him to suffer.

We had Squatty cremated and we’ll bury his ashes in the front yard where he liked to sleep in the hidden safety of our shrubs and bask in the sun.

We’ll miss you Squatty. You’ll always be our big, brave Squattacus who learned that our yard was a safe place to rest, a place to get yummy canned food, and a place where you were allowed to be the independent kitty that you were.


Posted in Squatty the stray | 23 Comments

We’re quiet, but busy

Sorry we’ve been so quiet lately both on our blog and visiting all our anipal friends.

The good news is that I’m doing well. Despite my recent haircut I produced a hairball this morning, but it’s been 7 days since my last one, so that’s an improvement.  My mouth is healing nicely from having my teeth pulled three weeks ago and mom might try to start brushing my teeth….yeah, we’ll see how that goes!

Unfortunately there’s some not-so-good things going on here. Mom is doing “hamster hospice” with Nutmeg. He’s an old hammy and he’s begun his journey to Spirit World. Mom was looking through her records to figure out how old he is, but she seems to have mixed up Portland and Nutmeg, so she’s not sure. Nutmeg has lived with us for quite a while so this is not an unexpected decline in his health. But it’s still a bit hard to watch one of the furries at the end of their life. We just keep him comfortable and know that he’s calm and safe and loved.

Squatty the Stray is also sick. He has a large swelling on his face and mom suspects an abscess in his upper jaw. The vet said they’ll try to do what they can if mom can bring him in, but mom hasn’t had any luck trapping him. Unfortunately, she’s afraid Squatty just isn’t healthy enough for the vet to have many options and since he’s semi-feral, there’s no way to do any post-treatment care even if they can fix whatever is wrong with his mouth. But she keeps trying to lure him into the carrier with roast chicken (his favorite) or get close enough that she might be able to grab him….and that will be an adventure I’m sure! Even though mom & dad have never petted Squatty, they love him and just want to do what’s best for him.

We just wanted to let you know what’s going on here and that we’re trying to visit everyone and keep up well-wishes, Gotcha days, and all the other events in your lives.

Posted in Hamsters, Health, Squatty the stray | 19 Comments

Mom stole my floof!

After puking up 10 big hairballs in the past 6 weeks, mom decided to take action. She got out the buzzy clippers and stole most of my floof! Mom thinks my long furs are beautiful, so she didn’t want anything as drastic as a full-body short-hair cut. Instead, she used the 1/2 inch guard on the clippers and trimmed off all the floof from my tummy, sides, thighs, and rear end. She didn’t trim the furs on my back, tail, or the ruff around my neck.

Raven after clipper cutEven though this haircut makes me look a bit raggedy, I can’t blame her for wanting to try to end the hairball madness. On three mornings I woke them before 5 am while retching up hairballs on the foot of their bed. And I’m not thrilled with all this barfing either. I produced 3 hairballs in the last 4 days, and one of those was  in my food bowl. Yuck!

Raven after clipper cutMom also knows it’s not healthy for me to have all that fur wadded up in my tummy and then barf them up. But I guess I’m lucky that I can barf them up because some kitties get the hairballs stuck in their tummy or intestines and need surgery to get them out.

I surprised mom by not being upset by the buzzy clipper. It wasn’t too noisy, if felt a lot like being combed, and mom gave me a break when I started getting a little impatient. And the box was fun to investigate. I got half-way in, but mom didn’t get a photo.

Raven investigating the clipper boxI don’t look as pretty as I used to, but if getting rid of most of my long floof helps reduce the number of hairballs I’m getting, I think it may be worth it. The 1/2 inch clipper guard actually left my hair about an inch long so I still have a lot of fur to groom. But paws crossed this helps!

Posted in Health | 22 Comments

Busy in the garden, a little human, and recuperating

Mom and Dad have been busy in my backyard this week. They got all the garden beds prepared so they’ll lots of fruits & veggies in a few months. This year mom added cantaloupe to the garden. I’ve read that some cats really like cantaloupe, so I might try some. Most of the time I supervised from inside while they worked, but I did get to go outside twice so that I could do a closer inspection.

I see this part of the yard from some of my windows. Those white arches are pvc pipes that hold up netting to keep the birds & squirrels out of the strawberry bed.

Part of my garden

And I get to see the broccoli with the cat art when I’m at the patio door.

Part of my garden

I don’t get to see the big tomato bed because it’s around the corner of the house. There will be four more tomato plants and hopefully we’ll have plenty to share with the neighbors. You might remember my doggy neighbor Chablis who comes to play in my yard. She has a little 3-year old human girl who likes to dig in the dirt so mom lets her come over to “help” plant the tomatoes. She plays in the dirt while mom plants, but mom says it’s a good start to learning about how food grows. When the tomatoes are ready to be picked, the little human can come pick some to take home.  I let the little human come in and pet me, and she was very gentle.

Part of my garden

Other than watching mom and dad work in the garden, I’ve been continuing to recuperate from my dental work.  It’s still difficult to eat my dry food even though mom cuts it into smaller pieces, so I’m eating mostly canned food. I’ve lost over 1/2 pound, but that’s ok because I’m just a little pudgy and would be healthier if I lost an entire pound.

My jaw is looking better and the holes from where my teeth were pulled are getting smaller. On Sunday mom noticed I have a sore on my upper lip next to where the vet pulled my upper canine tooth. It wasn’t there on Friday but as long as it doesn’t get worse and it starts to heal in the next couple days, she’ll just keep an eye on it and wait to call the vet. Mom took a picture so she has a record of what it looks like so she can compare in a few days.

Raven's lip

I know that’s not a very attractive picture of me, but you can see the little sore and you can see my nice, white teeth. And my nose. Mom thinks I have a cute black nose.

That’s been my week.  Oh, and since it’s unseasonably warm here, I’ve started hairball season early. I’ve produced a hairball every week since the beginning of February! Mom is about ready to give me a haircut.

Posted in Garden, Health | 14 Comments