Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Take Your Cat To The Vet Week

Aug. 18-25, 2012, is Take Your Cat to the Vet Week. Jane at Petfinder ran a a blog post about it awhile ago, and it's our work signature message for the month, so it was kind of hard for me to ignore!

Curious, I went leafing through Ivan's medical records and was shocked to see it has been over five full years since his 2007 urinary tract disaster. Actually--horrified. My two veterinarians had performed that surgery on a Sunday when they were closed, for a huge discount (less than $600 for surgery and at least 6 visits) because I could not afford the university hospital. I hadn't even gone back for a "it's been a year, let's check everything out" visit? I felt like a very ungrateful client and a bad cat mom.

I discovered why when I packed Ivan up for his vet visit today at Cornerstone Veterinary Hospital. I forgot he gets desperately car sick. I think he found the veterinarian's poking and palpating and blood-drawing easier to bear than the drive up and back.

He's safely home and happily sleeping in the sun in the catio. His long-expired rabies vaccination has been updated (1-year Purevax, because after all of this I'd hate to lose him to a vaccinate-site sarcoma), and a vial of his blood is being shipped off for testing, just because he's getting to be an old boy. He had a small nodule on his thyroid, and the blood panel will help see if that could be a problem down the road. Heart: great! Teeth: gorgeous! Weight: very good! His urethrostomy looks great as well, and he seems to have good control over urine flow. My veterinarian was pretty much beaming about how well he was doing. She certainly saved his life, and it can also be a touchy surgery.

So there is one less thing for me to worry about. I've been watching my grand old man become a senior cat, feeling guilty that he was not getting the care he deserved. Now I can look at him and him.

Cat rescuers, blogging

Elsa on her first day in her new home outside of Cortland. She has since made friends with the house bunnies, and the resident cat has decided to tolerate her, so she will be staying!

I recently attended the No Kill Conference in Washington D.C. and had the privilege of hearing bloggers Peter Wolf from Vox Felina and John Sibley from In Dog We Trust speak. I've already been reading "Platform: Get noticed in a noisy world". As a speaker in social networking myself, I already know that pretty much everything I do as a blogger is wrong. Hilarious!

I began blogging twelve years ago with my Cat Out Loud blog (which I forever regret deleting, thinking somehow my "new job" would have concerns about my maverick ways). My flame burned out long ago, and I'd like to revive it. I blog in my head all day long. Clearly that's not a productive way to communicate.

My current job involves long hours on the computer. I cannot emphasize "long," enough. I often roll out of bed, start the coffee, take care of the cats, pour the coffee and crawl onto my chaise lounge with my phone beside me, around 5-7 am (depending on when I made it to bed the night before), and may not get back to my own life until 8pm. Eating dinner, caring for the cats, and then returning to the computer to blog...well, it makes blogging a chore, rather than the a joy.

I'm sure any number of readers have that same experience. Technological access is both a blessing and a curse.

However, I'm very happy when I am blogging regularly. It's like yard work, or exercise. You swear you can't fit it in, and it can't be leisurely or enjoyable because you have to fit in so much work in way too short a time. But when you look around, you are happy with what you see.

I plan on posting at least three times a week from here on out. If you have been clicking forlornly each day, only to find the same old post, you can follow me by email by submitting your address via the "follow by email" box I've added at the top of the right-side column.

If you use G-mail, Twitter, Yahoo mail, AIM, Netlog, or Open ID, you can click the "Google Friends" button at the right, and you'll be notified when there is a new post.

No more apologies! You all have been great friends and supporters. Thanks for hanging in there.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Quick sprint to Jekyll Island

Last week I made a quick sprint to the Southeastern Animal Control Conference on Jekyll Island, which at the moment counts as my favorite place to decompress. I've visited there three times: once when I was wandering up the coast from Florida, wasting time (who gets to do that, anymore?) between my grandmother's funeral (and transport of her belongings back to my family in NY) and the No More Homeless Pets Conference in Virginia Beach. It didn't make sense to drive all the way up to NY and then back down to VA, so my truck full of antiques and my camping gear puttered from one place to another. My Uncle Ron suggested Jekyll Island, as we talked at the gathering of my grandmother's friends and family.

Horse back riding on the beach is now priced out of my range, but I managed to fit it in that first year (when it was $35). I camped and wandered. The last two trips have been for work--just happy chance that SACA likes to hold their conference on that island in high hot summer when no one else cares to go.

I don't mind baking in the sun one week a year. I always find two hours to rent a bike to ride on the hard beach. This year I ended up pushing the bike, because I misjudged the tide. It had just let out and the sand was too soft to ride on. But it was beautiful nonetheless.

I met this cat two years ago and lamented that I hadn't saved him a treat from the restaurant. This time I wrapped up a few shrimp and fed him bits. He's getting old. I hope he's here again next year.

When you see a cat, you feel compelled to rescue it.

I've been feeding my fuel tank with kerosene to keep the hot water heater running this summer, rather than paying continued high fuel oil bills. On a trip to Van Etten to buy kerosene, I found this skinny, nearly furless cat sitting by the dumpsters of the gas station. I bought her a can of food.

I noted there is a shed nearby, with a white cat sitting by the gaps that go beneath it.

I don't want to get involved in Van Etten when I can't even afford to get involved with my own village (Spencer), but it's hard to look at this poor furless thing when I might easily be able to get her fixed and treated for whatever ails her, if someone nearby is feeding them.

No one at the gas station knew of a local feeder. Checking with the liquor store was a mistake. They told me of two other cats who hang out at their own dumpsters across the road. The church nearby didn't have a name on the notice board. I guess I'll have to go back on one of my days off to see what's up.

On a more positive note, this gentleman was out walking his dog AND his cat. I did stop and ask him if that was his cat taking a stroll with them. The cat looked far too well fed to be another stray, but I felt compelled to ask. He confirmed his cat takes an evening stroll with them when he walks his dog, and called the cat their bodyguard.

Returning Gray Kitty

Grey Kitty showed up at the Hagadorn Hill colony awhile ago, and with the appearance of the abandoned Fern and her two kittens, I dropped off a trap so that they could catch Grey Kitty and we could get him neutered.

They felt that he had gotten skinny, but it appears in fact he's a medium furred cat who gets fluffy in winter, and strips down to guard hairs in the summer. I treated him with Revolution for his fleas, and during his stay, his tom cat scabs were all combed off. He likes to be scritched but doesn't think much of being picked up, and growls and hisses when I come in. However, the way to his heart is through his stomach. How many cats would bury their face in a plate of wet food when the door to freedom is about to be opened?

Grey Kitty is back home again, and now that he's a neutered boy, perhaps he'll show up with fewer scars and a nicer coat this fall.