Results tagged “pets”
I was at a bellydancing party with a bunch of R's friends over the weekend. There was this corn snake in a terrarium, and after a few drinks, someone extracted the little guy (actually, it was a female snake), and started putting it on various people (oh, those wacky bellydancing folks). At some point, the snake (Lily) ended up on my shoulders, and began poking at my neck (a creepy sensation indeed), as if it were trying to burrow into my head. Suddenly, a big flap of its skin began folding back and it began shedding.
People were congratulating me on being a safe warm place for the snake, and everyone closed in to get a good look at the moulting process, most having never seen it happen live before. Thankfully, the owners finally extricated the beast from the inside of my sweatshirt, and put it back in its house. There we all got to marvel at the beauty of nature -- insofar as it was a snake shedding its skin.
Yes, this was me in the picture. And yes, it was actually kind of cool. I was glad I could get a view of it.
I was digging through my camera, cleaning out some unwanted pictures and trying to clear a little space on the compact flash card, and I came across this pair of monster eyes. My latest cat, Minerva, has this tendency to stare at things, which makes for great pictures, because she can really hold a pose. It's always the same pose, mind you, but good enough for a few pictures.
And what big eyes she has. Monstrous. The rest of the image was pretty dark, so I think I was fiddling with night shots again.
We picked up the new cat from the vet's place last week, still recovering from a spaying operation. We kept her isolated for only a day, and Athena appeared to be getting used to having another cat around (apparently, Athena has a thing for cats that look like her). And boy, do they ever look similar. With the exception of the tufts of white fur, Minerva looks a lot like a younger Athena.
We didn't need to be too concerned by letting her out early. Athena didn't attack her once, but did show a lot of jealousy when in our presence. She did this stare-off whenever the new cat got too close.
However, later, we found them in bed together, twice. Apparently, as long as there's a little distance between them, everything's cool.
Had a couple of tense moments on the weekend. China, my white cat, was acting strangely: well-behaved, quiet, no struggling when you pick her up, no begging at the table, etc. I figured something serious was wrong when she didn't jump up and down on me while I was trying to sleep.
After a trip to the emergency vet (always on the weekend, this happens), we discussed the usual options for an old, failing pet: "How much money will we spend before it's too much?"; "How much longer will we try to keep her alive?"; "What do we do after she's gone?"; "Will the other cat be OK on her own?" These questions plagued us for the rest of the evening, and soured the mood of the weekend.
The answers, incidentally are this: "$2000 for any single hospitalization"; "long enough to make her comfortable"; "do without another pet for a while"; "the other cat hasn't noticed her missing yet, so she should be OK."
Luckily, the seriously competent vet was able to figure out what it was, and what it wasn't. The blood work didn't indicate a failing kidney or anything too bad. We got her to the regular vet this morning, and it turns out it was pancreatitis, something which strikes 1 in 4 cats. It's not often known what causes it, and it may or may not reoccur. A little I.V., and some low fat food, and already she's acting normal again.
Here's a little picture of her stomping around the vet's place. Click for a larger image.
I got a web feedback email from a fan. Apparently, I linked to something showing animal cruelty:
Do you check the stuff you link to? Just saw what I would I describe as cruelty to animals displayed as a link through your site. Hope you actually review and censor the stuff you link to. Would really hate to think, after seeing your photo, that you approve of such stuff.Wow. I would hate to be considered cruel to animals. I'm what I think is a nice person (or if not nice, then likeable), and I don't remember linking to anything glorifying animal cruelty, except perhaps Cat Prin and the 8 Reasons to Hate Cats cartoon. I mean, abusing animals is an early warning sign of potential axe murderers.
Oh, he was talking about this:
BTW, the link I refer to was the cat/packing tape vid.
Aha, another weird Japanese video, which, like Cat Prin, at most inconveniences cats, or gives them minor discomfort. I have two big problems with this argument:
1. Talk about hyperbole ... when simple harmless tricks with your own pets amount to animal cruelty, I've got to wonder what happens if this guy accidentally steps on a bug. Is training your pet animal cruelty? Is feeding them weight-loss food animal cruelty? Stop over-exaggerating. If I were yanking its tail or shaving it, then maybe. Besides, packing tape is an excellent grooming material, much much more comfortable than the wire grooming brush. Trust me, I've used both on myself.
2. Hey, just because I link to something does not mean I necessarily endorse it. I've also posted a link to the PETA pamphlet "Your Mommy Kills Animals". Go look at it. Kind of funny on the one hand, and kind of horrific on the other. Detailed photos of skinned animals. PETA suggests this be shown to children. Seriously, pick something a little bigger than "cats with packing tape on them" if you want to criticize this site's content. Like the weird fundie that commented:
shit fucking athiest [sic] bitch! You'll burn in Hell
... because I linked to a Scientific American article.
To keep the cats out of the way of the contractors, we erected a barrier made up of twist-ties and that green plastic snow fencing stuff used to line your gardens to keep little tykes out. We figured it was secure, and we ran some tests, such as putting catnip on the outside, and eating cereal with milk.
When we got back from Florida, we couldn't find either of the cats. Turns out one had escaped protective custody and had been bantering about the house, bothering the tradespeople all week long. The other one was hiding so well, we had actually passed by her a couple of times, thinking she was just a sheet or a white blanket stuffed into the back of the closet. We even poked her a couple of times without any response. She is definitely a master of disguise, sort of like Zartan from G.I. Joe, except she likes sunlight.
Long story short, for about three hours after we returned, we thought at least one of the cats had gotten outside and was lost. We were just about ready to canvas the neighbourhood with "missing cat" posters, complete with little pictures of her. I figured there are plenty of pictures of the cats floating around this site, but a few recent pics wouldn't hurt, just in case one really gets lost. Also, it gives me the chance to use my stylish new camera out.
Here's China, the master of disguise:
Here's Athena, the escape artist:
Day one of the chaos started today, as R accepted a temporary assignment as a puppy-sitter. Yes, for the next week or so, my cats will be terrorized, but my house will be less attractive to burglars. The dog has an insanely loud bark, especially considering it's a 1-year-old dachshund female, named Penelope. Yes, she was in the house no more than 5 minutes when she started chasing the cats around. Both stood their ground for a little while -- until they realized they didn't have any claws. Now one's hiding behind the furnace, and the other's under the chesterfield.
The dog's pretty cute, I have to admit. She's all excited about this new venue, and has an unlimited well of energy to expend. Which is more than I had last night. I mistakenly thought I could tire her out with a marathon game of "fetch", but it only backfired, making me tired of playing with the dog, and making the dog think I'm her best friend. Now she mostly ignores R and tries to hang around with me. This is doubly distressing, since R's the dog lover, and I'm a little wary of the whole dog-sitting concept.
My allergies have been going crazy too. I just got used to having two cats (yes, it takes my allergies years to get used to something), and now there's this other creature running around. I had to dope up on antihistamines last night, and this morning I'm feeling like a triple zombie, served in a hurricane glass.
And it's not doing the cats any good. Geez, they're neurotic enough without this happening. It's a lot like those Clyde Cat and Mr Frisky cartoons; I was pretty sure I saw China upside down, and sticking to the roof when the dog blew past. Hopefully the dog will calm down a little bit, and the cats will come out of hiding. I don't particularly like the idea of putting both their food and the litterbox in the furnace room, but it may yet come to that.
Hey, the cat's OK! Pretty routine surgery, or so they say. She came out of it a little groggy, but otherwise unharmed, and with a big red tangle of stitches under her eye. She looks great. R can't look at her for long without getting all woozy, but I think everything's great.
One thing though. I had a weird dream about sitting on an idling bus forever, and woke up to see China sitting on my chest, with the megaphone of a collar pointed right at my face.
Originally uploaded by Zuckervati.
I was up a little early this morning. Had to take China (the white cat who lives with me) to the vet for some cat plastic surgery. Her nose was a little too big, and if she wants to get anywhere in the modeling business, she's got to have a cute little nose, like those cats on the toilet paper ads. Actually, it was her left eye we were concerned about; she got into a fight with the other cat (Athena, the black one), and got a cut on her eyelid, which caused the eyelashes to bend inward to her cornea. It was getting regularly infected, and we were worried about the cornea getting scratched, so eventually I called the vet to arrange a little operation where they take a small chunk of skin out from below the eye. It makes the eye a little wider, so it should address the eyelash problem,and it should help even out her overall appearance -- the left eye has always been a little smaller since she was a kitten. She'd had a few eye infections in years previous, so this may actually help in the future. Also, it's kind of neat to say your cat's getting plastic surgery. If all goes well, we'll pick her up this afternoon, and she gets to wear a lampshade on her head for a couple of days.
HUZZAH! Apparently not all the goldfish are dead! I could have sworn I saw one moving the other night, but didn't want to seem patronizing, so I was quietly optimistic about the state of the fish. Turns out two are still alive and kicking. The other two... well, lets just say the neighbourhood cats have full bellies tonight. Actually, I think R just scooped them up and threw them out.
We did a little more cleanup last night and filled a bunch of those enormous Canadian Tire paper leaf bags. We also took turns pulling them over our heads and making giant paper bag puppets. My neighbours are pretty convinced that we're both insane.
There's still a lot more to do in the back yard, but we're going to finish it up before anything can start growing on us. There's some idle discussion about replacing the trellises with something in wrought iron, or repainting deck, but nothing serious yet.
Discovered these large icicles hanging off my garage. I like to think they're a symptom of the end of winter. I actually tried to knock them down, but they're fastened to the vines that hang off the roof.
China's eye is responding well to the cat antibiotics. We've got to put topical cream on her eye, so she's none too happy about that.
The white cat had some crusties on her eye for the past couple of weeks. We cleaned her up and had a look at it. There was a small scratch on her lower eyelid, so we figured it was a battle scar from the black cat. Well the cut healed, but she got another one, and the crusties never really went away.
So R took her to the vet today (I thank her for taking the time on this one), and it looks like the white cat has a little conjunctivitis. Got some antibiotics to give her. I may also want to trim her claws in case she's been scratching at her own eye. I remember wanting to tear my eyes from their sockets the last time they got itchy -- although that was a result of my cat allergy. Sort of a weird karma there.