Caring for Cats Newsletter
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Vol. 2, No. 10
THIS IS A TEST
by Garry White
YIKES! A test? Relax; the only test I ever passed in college was one I bought with a 5-Pak of beer, so you can assume this will be pretty easy, and hopefully fun. Besides, I expect you to cheat and look up the answers anyway.
Rules: There are none. Answer to the best of your ability, and if you aren't sure of an answer, then research it; don't guess.
Okay, that's it. Give it your best shot, and have fun researching answers you aren't certain of. I'll post my own answers next week.
How is Bert?
by Kathy Fatheree
Last Week the adjustment to loosen Bert's tube flange and the dilution of his CliniCare food with 50% water helped to alleviate Bert's nausea. Let's check in and see how Bert's week was...
So how is my baby Bert? Well he's doing just okay. The last week was wonderful. He had been converted to the RF CliniCare (no more dilution of regular CliniCare with water) and he seemed to be taking it okay. We're still doing the 80cc's every six hours instead of the 106cc's every 8.
Step Forward - One Step Back
Yesterday morning he got up to use the litter box and got to the doorway of our bedroom and stopped. Mitch was in the kitchen making some noise and I think it startled him. I told Mitch to come get him and take him into the litter box because he seemed a little frightened to go out into the hall on his own. No sooner had Mitch set him in front of the box did he throw up. :( After he threw up he stood there kind of shaky for a few minutes, used the litter box and came back to bed. This morning (Monday) he came in to use the litter box and vomited as soon as he got in here again. He also vomited this evening after walking into the bedroom.
I talked to the Vets office this afternoon and LaLania (the tech that I LOVE) said that he sounds like he's getting motion sick when he walks or is carried. Firstly she said not to carry him anymore, something we figured out this morning. Secondly she said she would talk to Dr. Smith about a stronger anti-nausea medicine for him. I just feel so bad for him. When we feed him he lays completely still and if he even moves his head from one side to the other he starts with the drooling. I'm convinced that the drooling is an indicator or side effect of the nausea.
I just wish that we could get to a point where he is comfortable. I know that it's going to take a while for him to start eating on his own but it is killing me that he's just so miserable. He never fights us when we feed him but I just get the feeling that it makes his tummy upset. I guess we've discovered that he is just a very delicate, fragile little guy. I didn't hear back from LaLania this afternoon so I'm going to call in the morning. I either want another type of medicine or I want an appointment. I will not have him feeling like this. Not to mention he can not afford to be vomiting up all his food, he desperately needs the calories! I just want something to help him feel less dizzy all the time.
His tube site is looking good. It's healing but it still has a fair amount of discharge. It's a very sticky discharge and sticks to the flange and tube like glue. We have a hard time cleaning it because any movement of the tube makes him nauseous but I don't want to leave any yuckies on there. We use a 1/2 water 1/2 peroxide solution which helps with the yuckies on his skin but I have to peel the stuff off the flange. He HATES to have it messed with and will usually try and stand up while we're cleaning it. :(
Overall I would say he's okay. He seems to be gaining weight (like I said he went a whole week without vomiting) but he could be doing better. If this nausea would just pass I think he would be great. He even came out into the living room this weekend for the first time in weeks! Of course he was only out there for about ten minutes but it's a start!
I'll update you tomorrow after we hear from Dr. Smith. I'm really hoping they can figure something out (anything!) to get rid of this sick feeling for him. It's killing me. :(
...Be sure to check in next week to follow Bert's journey!
Felix the Cat, Virtually Yours - Part I
by Dan Malenski
We are now going to explore several versions of the virtual Felix the Cat and in the course of doing so, will show you how they evolved and how they could entertain you on your PC. We will discuss the first two versions this week, and devote next week to the present version. I will refrain from going too deeply into the technical details of how Felix actually works on your PC, lest I provoke the girls in taking a prolonged catnap, which they are so fond of doing. After next week, you will be able to choose the version that is best for you!
The virtual Felix has a murky history, primarily because of multiple creators and even a "copycat" Felix in between. In computer jargon, the virtual Felix is called a screen mate. A screen mate is an animated inhabitant of your desktop that wanders around it at random, and is in the form of a "standalone" program. My technical advisor, Melissa, states that standalone programs are ones that execute on their own and need no supporting files; thus, they are typically small, safe, and utilize negligible resources.
I first encountered the first version of Felix, which I shall call "Felix I" in the mid 1990s, when Windows 95 was introduced. I obtained it from the site of an advertising agency licensed to use the name of Felix. "Felix I" was a cute tuxedo cat who pranced around the desktop at random in a manner that did not distract you from any work that you were doing. He was very well behaved and well mannered by always insuring that he never intruded onto the working area of the window you had open, and always used the perimeter. He would appear in several ways that is, dropping down from the top, walking on from either side, and thru a cat door that magically appeared on your desktop. If no windows were open, he would use the taskbar as his stage to entertain you. If one or more windows were open, however, he would eventually use one of them as a platform, which makes sense, because we all know that cats like high places so that they are able to properly supervise us. If we closed the window he was using as a platform, he would gracefully fall to the taskbar and continue his act.
"Felix I" had many capabilities and it would normally require days to take note of all of them. He likes to rub himself on the side or your screen, wash himself as all cats do, watch television, and peer at a goldfish swimming in a bowl. I even saw him touch the screen with his front paws and leave paw prints! I did not get upset, as he did clean them up! Beneath this paragraph are several images of Felix I that I captured from my computer screen.
In the late 1990s, "Felix I" was no longer available from the site I obtained him from, and it appeared that a literal copycat had replaced him! I had nothing against his replacement, a cute orange tabby, but was sorry to see Felix vanish from the scene. This virtual cat, name "Friskie", was introduced to the computer desktop by the Purina Corporation to advertise the Friskie line of cat food. Like "Felix I", Friskie always behaved himself by never invading the work area of an open window, and acted much like "Felix I". On command, he performed many acts, including playing with a butterfly, going outside, and playing with a computer. What I found cute was a method of giving him a treat by dragging a bag of treats to him with the mouse and releasing it on top of him. He would then tip it, allowing a treat to fall out, and then enjoy the morsel. Beneath this paragraph is a sequence of screen captures of Friskie getting a treat!
Friskie did not remain on the scene very long, and it was not the fault of this good-looking striped orange tabby. I suspect that many folks chose not to use it because a desktop icon with the Friskie logo could only be moved around the desktop, but not extinguished. I found it a distraction and even the girls agreed with me when I asked their opinion, and they don't agree with me much at all!
Do visit us next week when we complete this series by talking about Felix II and learn how you will be able to have these charming desktop inhabitants on your PC!
Each week we are having our own cat food reviews to determine what we, or should I say, our kitties think is the best cat food.
Brand Name: PetGuard©
Pssst...For those of you with a finicky eater, or maybe a sick cat, I'll be discussing another (organic, no less) PetGuard© product in the near future that will probably help to jumpstart that stubborn appetite!
Try this one, folks.I give it very high marks all the way around.
PetGuard's® Chicken Stew Lite Dinner provides a nutrient dense, lower fat entrée, especially helpful for cats who need a protein rich but lower fat dinner, ideal for overweight cats or cats with special dietary needs. Like all PetGuard® products, it is just as important to know what is NOT in Chicken Stew Lite as it is to know the product ingredients. Chicken Stew Lite is wheat, soy and corn free, free of chicken by-products, free of artificial flavors, chemicals, preservatives and colorings. Just a flavorful dinner with fresh, hormone-free chicken and flavorful vegetables simmered in a tasty chicken broth mixed with all natural vitamins and chelated minerals. Now that's good eating.and that's PetGuard® Chicken Stew Lite Dinner for cats! No added salt.no added sugar. Your pet deserves the best!®"
Caring for Cats
Proactive Plan: Step-6
by Garry White
The importance of early detection
This will be a short article, because unless you just arrived here via spaceship the importance of early detection doesn't require too much elaboration. But there are a few issues we should expand on.
First would be a cat's nasty (but natural) predilection to hide illness and pain. Oh, if they would only show us in some way that something is wrong, eh. But they don't, and won't, because to show pain shows weakness, and showing weakness exposes them to attack by predators, thanks to Ma Nature. So they hide or mask their pain until it's beyond their control. Not a good thing, because it means a cat illness or condition is well into progression before we even know something is amiss. So we need to be always on-watch for signs and symptoms.
Which leads us directly to Point #2: While we have to be the ones to decide when signs/symptoms warrant further investigation by a veterinarian, we don't want to be overly cautious and too reactive. Unfortunately, most veterinarians will take your money for any and all testing you want performed, but it's generally invasive (and always stressful) to the cat, so we walk a fine line as to "should we or shouldn't we?" My own guidelines on that are pretty basic, and I handle it in phases: Phase-1 is when I observe something that I feel needs closer attention. Phase-2 is when I've watched this situation for a few days to see where (I think) it's going. Phase-3 has me, Kitty, and the Lamborghini zooming to the vet. I don't panic when I see abnormal behavior, but neither do I screw around with something that's clearly headed in the wrong direction.
Final point: We can only make a sound judgment as to whether or not a problem is really a problem and we have a sick cat (or just Fluffy showing her independence) by knowing our kitty inside and out; actions, behavior, changes they go through normally, eating habits, litter box routine. These things tell us that something is probably wrong, or that the odd behavior is just this week's routine.
Typos? Please email me at Kathy (at) AssistFeed.com
Copyright © 2003-2013 by Kathy Fatheree. All rights reserved.
Disclaimer: Kathy Fatheree is not at all a medical expert. Contents of this web site are a collection of Kathy's assist feeding experiences as well as the experiences of other cat owners who have assist fed their cats. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, Kathy Fatheree or anyone associated with this web site cannot be held responsible for anything that may happen as a result of using the information on this site.