Back to the Vet for a Teeth Cleaning and more…



At Sneakers Annual Exam, a couple of weeks ago, it was discovered that he had about stage two out of five levels in the condition of his teeth.  His lymph nodes were swollen meaning gingivitis. So it is time to get his teeth cleaned and done before he has more problems for it can affect the heart, kidneys and liver. There will be no extractions of teeth which is good.  Keeping his gums healthy is also good.  He has renal failure issues (kidney disease) so we don’t need further complications.

Here they are sunning themselves about a day after Sneakers surgery

Here they are sunning themselves about a day after Sneakers surgery

The blood panel at the last examine will tell us how he is doing and we can use that for this procedure. They like to do blood draw before using anesthesia on especially an older cat.

We also found some masses, small, but there on his lower back head and side of his head. It was suggested that they be removed and tested.

My hubby had surgery so I was slow in scheduling Sneakers surgery and teeth cleaning and I was also waiting to take care of some bills before committing to this. It was not going to be cheap.

The day was scheduled for Monday, June 20, 2016.  Sneakers would not be able to eat anything after 10 pm the night before.  This meant that I had to remove all food from the kitchen and it even impacted Ebony.  I did leave lots of water.  Delivery time to the Vet would be 8 to 8:30 am.

I stayed up till 10 pm on June 19th and removed the food leaving the water.  I forgot the wheat grass.  However, the next morning I found a little pool of it on the floor of the dining room and I believe he did not ingest too much.

Sneaker climbed into our bed and cuddled with me in the morning of the 20th but both were being so good about the lack of food.  Now I knew it would not hurt either of them because they are a bit fat.  I added some more water but they were not impressed. I petted them without catnip.  Hubby came out and petted them as well several sessions. Our goal was to distract them.  They were confused and mewed some but mostly very good.

Before I put him into the pet carrier, I went out and got the car ready which means removing the cover we have on the front window to prevent debree accumulation from the trees and unlocking all the doors.

At 7:35 am I put Sneakers into the pet carrier, which I had brought in the night before to warm it up. It can be really cold in the winter.  It was sitting on the washing machine till I moved it to the floor of the kitchen and made sure it was set up and secure.  I like to put him into it from the top.

Sneakers was not happy about being in the carrier, but he was quiet this time.  I moved him to the car and got myself ready to go to the vet. I was a bit early for the vet, so I went and got gas which was close by and Sneakers was being very good. He was crying a little bit of the time which is to be expected.

At the vet I reviewed the process, asked for dissolving sutures which they were willing to do.  I had taken Sneakers to the vet twice in a month and I like to limit the trauma for both of us.  I also requested a shot for the antibiotic medicine that they would be giving him to prevent infection from the teeth cleaning and the sutures. I am not good and stuffing pills down a cats throat this is so much easier. I apologized for my picky behavior but they seem to be willing to assist me.  I signed a lot of papers.

I said goodbye to Sneakers and proceeded to head home leaving my papers and the special renal food bags I was going to purchase.  Augh I forgot them.  So who was stressed?

They called about 11 am to tell me Sneakers was doing great and had me talk to the doctor about the masses and which one to test because each mass test would be about $189 which means times two.  It was decided to send one and see what would happen with the test and then either send the other later or if needed.  This is basically a biopsy, yes we are testing for cancer.

I was to pick Sneakers up at 4:30 pm so he would spend the day at the vet recovering from the surgery and anesthetic. We were a bit early but they went over the release process with me giving me a handout. The handout looked like it was generic but also geared toward Sneaker’s needs.  It explained what they had done. We headed home. He was grunting a little in the carrier.

They had a catheter for IV fluids in one of his front legs so there was an area that was shaved.  I think that is bothering him a little now for he keeps his leg out in front of him.

They had an endotracheal tube to keep his airway open during surgery and if it is anything like what they do on humans it can be very uncomfortable after you wake up. They give you ice cubes. So I am assuming they were giving him something as well.  So they warned me he would be a little squeaky in voice and maybe cough a little. He did meow funny at first but seemed to be better later on.

He was groggy and a little wobbly when he came home. He was moving around well and he did climb onto the Futon using the little step stool we have for him. This morning he climbed to his table and onto the desktop where I work so he is doing well.

He ate good about an hour after he came home and I was putting soft food down throughout the night a little at a time.  He used the kitty box. He was drinking water regularly.

He is uncomfortable because the sutures are in the back of his head.  Hopefully today he will relax some and get good sleep.

Me, I spent the night on our camping cushion on the floor of the living room to keep and eye on them both and replenish the food throughout the night.  He did come over one time in the night but pretty much stayed on the Futon to rest with his brother Ebony.

This was a major surgery although the masses were tiny, but the teeth cleaning is a big deal and it costs a lot. I paid $727.75 for all this process.

Sneakers did real well 6 years ago when they removed the mass from his back but I can see that he is not as good 6 years later and this is a major deal for him.  Sigh…I am so glad it is over.

A day or so later the doctor called about the test results for the Histopath Report on one of the masses. His test came back negative for cancer so we decided not to send the other mass sample.  I am relieved.

It is now almost a week later and Sneakers is doing well and sleeping good, eating well and getting back to being his sweet bossy self.  His sutures are still there and we have to pet him carefully but when I touch them he doesn’t react so they are good.


Sneakers to the Vet, again…!

On Friday, May 27th, I took Sneakers to the vet. I use Cascade Pet Hospital here in north Seattle on Aurora Ave. I have been going there for years. They have changed hands many times during that time frame. Several different vets to learn to get to know.

Can you see them in this photos.  Ebony is front and Sneakers is under the coffee table in back.  SneakersEbony16

He needed his claws trimmed. They snag and he can fall when that happens. He had a very bad mat on his left side that he would not let us remove. He was also in need of an Annual Exam and blood draw. We had found some small bumps on his head near his shoulder and those needed to be checked out. I wanted to assess his need for teeth cleaning which requires him being anesthetized and he is 16 years old or in my opinion older.

Getting him into the pet carrier is not too hard. He mewed the whole way. We arrived bit early but I usually do. I never know if I will have trouble getting one of my two cats into the cat carrier.  I would rather take my time. It is not only disrupting to them but as I get older it gets harder for me to do this.  I have been through many pets over the years, so you would think I was used to it but no I have a hard time with it.

They vet examined him and he is good with everything, eyes, ears, heart and other things like glands. He does need his teeth cleaned. They took him into the back and removed the mats.  They clipped his claws which he doesn’t like because they are thick. Drew blood and urine for his senior panel.

He is weighing 15.5 lbs and they would prefer he be 13 lbs. He is eating well, drinking water and no vomiting or diarrhea. For both cats, I told her that there is stool but sometimes a lot of urine. The water drinking is sometimes a lot and sometimes not.

I asked the vet to check his neck area to make sure he didn’t have any other problems before I had his teeth cleaned in a week. He was okay. White Kitty had cancer and they kept cleaning his teeth and didn’t discover it till too late. So I wanted to make sure Sneakers was good.

She examined the small lumps and didn’t find anymore than two. She told me they could remove them the same time Sneakers was getting his teeth cleaned.  Sneakers had a mass on his back that was surgically removed about a six months after we brought him home.  So we want to be careful about any growths.

The assistant gave me a sample package of Renal food (kidney disease) which I tried and she said it was reformulated. It is the Royal Canine brand. She told me that if they didn’t eat it to return it and get my money back.  I was surprised by that.

This prescription food for renal disease (Kidney failure) is very expensive at $2.00 to $2.50 or more per can. I have tried it in the past and failed miserably in getting him and Ebony to eat it.  Ebony also has the beginnings of the renal disease.

We were on our way home in about an hour and he was quiet.  He did not want to come out the cat carrier in the room.  Usually he is not that shy.  He wandered around the house a little hyper and finally settled down.

The cost of all of the above was $295.00. Ouch. It included: Annual Wellness Exam, Nail Trim, Senior Profile (blood), Blood draw interpretation and shaving of mats. They did give me a discount because I am a senior.

They gave me a quote for medical on his teeth cleaning and removal of the lumps on his skin which I am not sure I understand so I will have to review that before I make the appointment.  It is not going to be cheap.  Sigh!

They called Saturday about the blood work and Sneakers is doing well everything is looking good and his kidney levels are stable even with the beginning of kidney disease. So that is good news.

They are eating the prescription Royal Canine crunchy food but they don’t like the moist in the big can.  They do eat the other small can variety.  So that is good news to be able to get the renal food into the diet and back off on the other food.  Some it better then nothing.

I just picked up Ebony and his claws are too long, oh dear!  Here he is sitting on the stool which is a different behavior for him.

A little fuzzy but cute

A little fuzzy but cute

Sneakers is helping me to compute!

Here is a fun photo of Sneakers who likes to lay next to me at my desk.  This desk is metal with a thin drawer on both sides above to large filing cabinet like drawers.  I pull it out and he can climb up his stool to the table and then over to my desk and lay down and spread out.  He likes to put his paw on my hand.  It is a nice time together.  I take turns computing and petting him.

Sneakers helping

Sneakers helping

Litter Box Issues….


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Lately, I have seen articles online about 5 commons errors people make with litter boxes for their cats.

So I was thinking it might be interesting to see what they have to say.

This is from The Happy Litter Box website:

Basically it is too small a box, smell, the box is covered, and not enough kitty litter in the box.

This is from PETMD website:

In this article it is about using the correct litter, keeping the litter clean, the location of the litter box, not using the right size of litter box, and not enough boxes for multiple cats.

I just Googled “mistakes with the litter box.”  I got lots of hits.

There are a couple of thoughts about this.  First, I have tried various litters and have finally found some that don’t cause the cat the drag it all over the house.  That is very annoying to find a trail of litter.  I do sweep regularly but it is so much better.

I find that Worlds Best the Red bag is best for my cats. When I went to purchase the kitty litter they were out of the Red bag one day so I tried the green and I didn’t like it at all.  I usually buy the big bag using my PetSmart card to get a discount.

SWheatScoop and the Original small bag in blue for the added smell killing and absorption.

Blue’s Naturally Fresh Walnut Based Litter which is really nice. Smells great and is not perfumy.  It is black in color and I add it for smell issues and absorption.

I mix them all up together and make sure I have enough litter in each. You are probably saying why 3 types. Well, I just like mixing them up.  The cats seem fine with it.

I also use a Litter Locker II. I scoop the dirty litter and put it into the top of the Littler Locker and then it is closed off keeping the smell down.  I have a small house.  I could just use a bucket with a plastic bag in it but this Litter Locker II has a filter that has a bag in it and the litter just gets dumped into it.  The website has a video so you can see how it works. I bought this at Entirely Pets online and get the refills at a discount as well.  With the bucket and bag thing some garbage companies require that you double bag the litter.

The other issue was enough litter boxes. I was using two and that was not enough for two big cats so now I have three.  It works so much better.  I think they like to poop in this one large litter box and do the other in the other two.  So I have a regular litter box, one with tall sides, and another that is somewhat in between the other two in size. They are all open and not self cleaning.

I have them in our utility room where it is away from the rest of the house and they have privacy so it works.  Both don’t like to be disturbed when they go in to do their business. Ebony will just leave if you crowd him.  The washer hides two of the boxes.

I don’t remove all litter weekly and bag it replacing with fresh. I just really clean the boxes.  I air the litter by using the scooper to mix it up after I clean it. I add the various types of litter and keep replenishing the litter as it is used up.  I use a kitty litter scooper that is provided by the Litter Locker but I also have one that has a wire mesh to get the little pieces and I use that several times a week to really get the litter cleaned.  About once or twice a month I pull everything and sweep and clean the floor area, shake out the mats I have down to keep the litter that gets kicked out under control.

Well the wire mesh scoop I have has been discontinued.  Too bad.  What you are looking for is a very tight pattern that most scoops don’t have to get the really little pieces of bad litter. Here is a picture of it to help you get the idea of the scoop you need.  Go ahead and use the regular type for the big stuff.

So this might seem a little over the top and more expensive well, I used to have cats that went outside, through the dog door in the kitchen, to do their business but with the two indoor cats that I know have, I have to really work at keeping the litter under control and smelling good and disposing of it easily. It has been a big adjustment for me.

Good luck on your choices.

Celebrating Six Years with Ebony and Sneakers….


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Snakers Adoption Photo

Sneakers Adoption Photo

Wow, I cannot believe it has been 6 years since we adopted Sneakers and Ebony from the Seattle Humane Society.  I was told they were 10 years old then, so this means they are now both sixteen.

I suspect that Sneakers is a little older but I can’t really know for sure.  I think Ebony was added by the past family as a companion for Sneakers.  It is a speculation of mine.

They are very happy now. It was tough going the first year with Ebony having Giardia and being depressed. He was so unhappy in the cage.  We had to adopt them together because they were bonded.  They had been at the Humane Society four months.  I don’t think Ebony would have survived much longer.

Seeking the sun, Sneakers and Ebony

Seeking the sun, Sneakers and Ebony

Sneakers was bolder but still very wary of us.  It has taken awhile for us to get them to trust us and not shy away expecting us to hit them.  Hitting is not our way.

We have had some challenges with Sneakers surgery for the mass on his back and Ebony for the cyst on his neck. They have done so much better with this then I expected. We still have the beginning of kidney disease to work with and I am trying to choose foods there are lower in the phosphorus.  Sneakers is determined to eat the food he likes.  They were very good when I was going through my thyroid cancer treatments and I had to keep them away from me because of the radioactive drug that is used. I made little cubicles for Ebony to hide in at the bottom of bookcases.

Ebony is good now. He is so much improved. He let’s us know when he needs something. Actually Ebony doesn’t meow he squeaks.  He asks for food, catnip and demands to be brushed by my hubby. He will go into his office and squeak “come and play with me.”

Ebony in 2014

Ebony in 2014

Ebony likes to sleep on the bed, on the futon, or the green chair.  He and I have snuggle and catnip sessions on the living room floor.  I can reach down from standing and pet him and he doesn’t run away.  He will never be over his fears totally but he is so much better. I do have to be careful not to crowd him in the kitchen or bedroom or move to quick. I do feed him in the living room because he just doesn’t like to be cornered.  Talking seems to worry him and he runs away, so we have to be careful about that.

Most of all they like to cuddle with each other. If they weren’t so different in color you would not be able to tell which is which when they sleep next to each other. Sneakers is a take care type of kitty and he will go to Ebony if he hears him cry.

Sneakers holds Ebony

O Sneakers holds Ebony

Sneakers likes to cuddle with me on the futon and sit next to me.

Occasionally he goes outside for a few minutes but not as much as he used to.

He likes to ask for his morning treats and is very regular about it.  He sits on the table next to my desk and is very patient. He has taken to nudging me with his paw, tap, tap. He is very gentle, not like Minx who would whack me good. Sneakers likes to lay under the dining room table or on the bed. We have step stools positioned around the house to help him climb up. It is a characteristic of Rag doll cats not to jump. Ebony is the opposite and can jump very well.

Several people have come to our house and they admire Sneakers.  They comment that he is a “beautiful cat.” I have to admit he is very handsome. His beautiful face captured my heart and his perfectly positioned paws are amazing. Sneakers has blue eyes and I have tried to take a photo and get the color but it is difficult. Here is my latest attempt.

Sneakers in 2015

Sneakers in 2015

My hubby brushes them when he comes home from work and in the morning and it is funny to see him simultaneously stroke each cat – stereo brushing. He lies on the living room floor while each cat tries to push out the other vying for attention. This has really helped with Sneakers coat keeping out the mats and with hairballs and even though Ebony is short-haired it has helped him too.  It is also very good for them and they are now more trusting of hubby.

Sneakers outside

Sneakers outside enjoying the sun…

My two little gentlemen cats are doing very well and we are so happy to have them in our lives.