Conclusion to the "A Cat Named Mike" series...

Several months later, I'm finally going to tell you what happened with "A Cat Named Mike". My apologies for not doing it got in the way, and for awhile I wasn't blogging. 

Michael in his temporary basement room.

Michael in his temporary basement room.

Anyway.....We got Michael to the vet, and his liver values were high. For a few weeks, we kept Michael isolated from the other kitties. His liver values could indicate a chronic liver condition, bad food from the outdoors, or an infection.

Mike Wazowski!

Mike Wazowski!

Michael also had fleas and ear mites. We took care of those two through the normal means. His limp was likely caused by a misshapen growth plate when he was very little (and being kept in a confined outdoor area with his mother). 

We put him on a stable luck with the liver values. So, we tried antibiotics...


He is now happy and healthy, and officially part of our Clowder some seven months later. He's a wonderful, well-behaved and adorable cat. He's just over a year old.

Sorry to keep you all waiting! :)

A Cat Named Mike: Part 2

Part 1

This adorable orange visitor continued to hang out on my porch during the following days. He'd be waiting for me, looking impatient, on the stairs when I arrived home from work. He spent his evenings on the door mat in front of my front door waiting for a visit from me. And every morning when I awoke, he was there on my porch for breakfast.

The nights were getting cold, so I put out a box with some old t-shirts in it, as well as a t-shirt in the corner of the porch where he liked to sleep. He used both areas, and piled up leaves on the corner t-shirt to make a bit of a nest.

He constantly tried to get into our house anytime we opened the door. He remained skittish to noises, or quick movements. However, everyday he became increasingly more trusting and affectionate towards me....he was downright cuddly. He let me hold him for brief periods of time, and sat on my lap once.

I took some photos as best I could. It was challenging because he wanted me to snuggle with him, not photograph him. And I posted these photos on our local NextDoor to see if he was lost.

We took great care to wash our hands after every encounter with him, and he used the human dishes, not the kitty dishes, so that we prevented accidental contamination. We also made sure our cats were up to do date on flea prevention.

We continued on like this for a week, until it was time for us to leave for a long weekend trip. We thought this would be a good test...if he didn't need us during the four days we were gone, he'd move on to another home. If he was there when we returned, we'd consider adoption.

The Love of a Cat

Warning: A little sad

“What greater gift than the love of a cat?”
—Charles Dickens

As every cat owner knows, each cat has a distinct personality. I love each of my cats with all my heart. My relationship with each of them is different...some are better at snuggling, some are better at playing, some are better at showing affection and some I can have conversations with.They each have their preferred places to be pet and favorite spots to sleep. Dixee sleeps with me every night. Miles helps me in the kitchen. Melody watches tv with me. Whisket reads with me. Fred lays at my computer while I play games. And Meredith likes to eat potato chips with me.



Harree's place was by my side. Harree followed me from room to room. He was always there nudging the other cats away so he could be closer to me. It always seemed like he wanted to be near me all the time as much as possible. I feel like some of my other cats "need" me...particularly Fred...sometimes he just has to be picked up by me right now. But Harree always wanted me. He was one of my dearest friends. He comforted me when I was sad and laid with me when I was sick.



I adored Lefty. Lefty was a very good cat. He led an interesting life and had quite the number of fans. However, Lefty spent his days sleeping. Even before he got old, our interactions were not constant. He enjoyed hanging out in the room with everyone, liked the occasional pets, and was always around to lick the popcorn bowl when I was finished. I miss Lefty, but now that time has passed, I only think of Lefty when I eat popcorn or cheez-its, or stack dice, or put the groceries on the floor in the kitchen. The moments are very discreet and fleeting. 



For this reason, Harree's absence I feel more acutely. Particularly because I've experienced a lot of negative emotions recently and Harree was very good at comforting me. Everything reminds me of Harree. I still cry at least once or twice a week, but this is an improvement from several weeks ago. He will always be my special baby, and I'll always miss him.

Cat Product Recommendation: Feline Fiber Response Food

For over a year, Whisket struggled with chronic minor constipation. She would be able to go, but her stool was extra large, dry, and it would sometimes require a bit of straining. The vet recommended we add a capsule of Metamucil to her wet food, which definitely helped, but it didn't get rid of the problem.

Whisket is a very challenging cat to take to the vet. I'm a huge proponent of annual vet checkups and taking kitties to the vet the moment anything seems amiss. The rest of our cats go to the vet's office very often (at least twice a year for checkups, plus anytime there's a sign of illness), and my vet knows me very well. This should tell you what I mean by "challenging"...this isn't because she might bite, or does a bit of is because she goes BAT-SH*T-INSANE. Seriously. My vet recommends NOT bringing her back except when necessary because it clearly stresses her out way too much. It's not just the vet...Whisket can't travel or be around other animals. She's one of the happiest, most affectionate, sweetest cats I have ever had the pleasure of knowing...until she is removed from her "safe" environment. She needs an area to call her own, that she is very familiar with. Once removed from that area, she makes indescribable noises that are mix of growling, yowling and hissing, and very loud; and attempts to lunge at anything nearby for a full-on attack with claws swinging.

In fairness to her, she has never actually hurt me...even during our most recent vet visit when I had to hold her while the vet checked her out. However, she scares me when she is like this...and angry cats usually don't scare me. I've administered plenty of medicine, subq fluids, tended wounds for outdoor cats...I'm never without a cat scratch somewhere on my body (though the cause was usually accidental). 

Anyway, several weeks ago she had an actual bout of constipation. She started eating very little. I was very worried, and took her to the vet. The experience was pretty awful, and I felt bad for my vet (though she was a total champ, and completely awesome about it). She got a clean bill of health, some laxative, and a prescription for a new diet.


I HIGHLY recommend this diet. If you have a cat with chronic constipation, I cannot recommend this diet enough. I'm sad we didn't put her on this sooner. I hardly had to use any laxative. A couple days on this diet and it was like magic...normal-sized, normal-shaped, very regular stool! She had also been having some litterbox issues...the issues completely stopped. 

Whisket is a very picky eater. For example, she loves the classic Salmon Fancy Feast, but dislikes the Salmon with Gravy (texture issues), the Flaked Tuna (also texture) and the classic Roasted Chicken (taste). If she doesn't like, she just won't eat it. She LOVES this food. Sadly, they do not have a wet food. We tried the gastrointestinal high energy wet food (vet recommendation), and she did not like it. She now eats the Fiber Response dry food with one can of regular wet food a day.

Several weeks later and her issues are still completely resolved. No new issues or complications. She is more consistently happy these days, which makes me happy too.

Inspector Lefty Approves of your Groceries

When we come home from grocery shopping, we place the groceries on the floor next to the fridge.

Until this moment, Lefty (the 22 yr. old) can be found in one of three places...his bed (most of the time), at the water or food dishes, or the litterbox. He cares little for the other happenings of the house, he only cares about eating, sleeping and pooping...except for the return from the grocery store.

Less than a minute after we put the groceries down, Lefty is up. He joins me at the bags and supervises the entire process of putting the groceries away. 

I have no idea why...we don't buy anything for the cats at the grocery store, he gets no treats at this time, and I'm too busy to pet him. Still...every week...he watches the groceries get put away.