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

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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:

http://www.thehappylitterbox.com/2014/06/5-common-litter-box-mistakes/

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:

http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/lhuston/2013/may/five-common-litter-box-mistakes-30297

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.  

http://www.healthypets.com/scoopwell.html

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.

Be Kind to Black Cats – it’s Halloween…

Ebony checking out the crows on the front lawn

Ebony checking out the crows on the front lawn

Ebony wishes to encourage you to adopt a black cat and be kind to them.  It is not their fault they are black, it is just the way it goes.

Halloween has many scary things that are celebrated and one is the Black Cat.  It says that if one walks in front of you it is bad luck.  Well I have a black cat and he walks in front of me all the time and nothing bad happens to me says the human….

Ebony says to be safe and have a fun Halloween!!!

P.S. My surgery wound has healed real nice and my fur has grown back, it is now a distant memory….