Friday, October 5, 2012

I may have a chronic cat saving problem. Like just a couple days ago when I sat in my friend's front lawn with my helmet on and my bike sprawled across the sidewalk for 15 minutes because I was talking to a little black and white kitty with an owie on it's side, trying to get it to come close enough to me to see if it needed help or not. (I only gave up because the neighbor decided that was the perfect time to start mowing their lawn. Running lawn mowers don't help much in cat-catching circumstances.)

There are times I just can't find the off button to stop talking about cats. For example, a couple of friends of ours moved in around the corner from us. I went to their impromptu housewarming party for about 20 minutes and spent nearly the entire time talking to Doug about cats and cat food. (Worth it - I converted two people to grain free feeding that night!) Or at our grill out/get together last Saturday, where two girls who had never met me were forced to endure my cat talk for way longer than they could have ever imagined when the conversation started. Sometimes I come on too strong. I can tell I'm losing them by the look in their eyes, but I just. can't. stop. talking.

I'm not crazy, just passionate. (And possibly a bit overbearing.)

With cats as cute as this, how could I not be?

So here's the deal - I need you to help me be more fun at parties. Learn about grain free feeding, so when I start on some cat diatribe, you can look at me and say "Dude, chill, I already know about all this. Grain free cat food changed my life too." Look at the ingredients listed on your bag of cat food. Are they appropriate for carnivores? Is the food being marketed to you as being great and healthy for your cats actually good for them? The very best, most amazing thing I ever did for my cat family was change the way I feed them. I implore you to do the same. Seriously. It's the best.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bike Rides and Exploding Cysts

Ever since a bike with a rack became available to me, I've been looking forward to strapping a cat down (in a carrier, mind you) and using the bike to transport a cat to the vet. 

On July 19th, I got my chance and Harry got to take his first bike ride.

Granted, I was hoping my first bike ride vet visit would be one of those "check up" vet visits to update shots. Instead, I was bestowed with one of those "injury" visits.
Between Harry's shoulder blades he had a cyst that first showed up about seven years ago. My Omaha vet told me to watch it, and not to worry unless there was a change in size or appearance. Even though her advice to me was not to touch it everyday (she felt it was easier to notice a difference in size if you only checked it a couple of times a month), I fiddled with it all the time.

There were a couple of times that he scratched at it and made it bleed, but other than that, it hadn't changed at all in those seven or so years. Then, in early July, it started growing. I had a cyst of my own once, on my wrist, so I wasn't horribly alarmed. I added "get Harry's cyst cut out" to my to-do list, but it was pretty far down on the list. A "B" priority, if you will.

The evening before Harry's first bike ride, I was feeding everyone, just like normal. While I was gathering the feeding supplies, Harry jumped up on the counter to help me and provide encouragement (aka: to get in my way and meow pathetically at me). I reached out to pet him without averting my eyes from the task at hand and my fingers automatically went to fondle his cyst.

Where the little bump should have been, my fingers found a wet and open wound.

I went running for Georgia, my most amazing vet tech neighbor, who came up and checked it out. Her sound advice to me was that, since it wasn't an emergency, I shouldn't take him to the emergency vet, I should just clean it up and wait until the morning and take him to my normal vet.

The next morning, I put him in his carrier, used bungee cords and dead bike tire tubes to strap it down to the bike rack, and we rode to the vet (which is a very short ride, only two miles). It was great! Harry meowed, but no more than he would have in a car, and, much like when I'm out buying loads of cat food, I felt like a real cat lady, riding down the street with my cat on the back.

Taking care of the remains of the ruptured cyst required Harry to go under the knife, so he had to stay at the vet. He ended up with a handful of stitches and a tube to drain the wound. After three days, we went back and got the tube taken out, and after two weeks they removed his stitches. Surprisingly, he left it alone, outside of presenting it to the dogs, other cats, and people, like he was saying "Hey, look, I have an owie."

Three vet visits, approximately three weeks, and a handful of bike rides later and he's all healed up. I feel like we came out on top in the whole ordeal - the stupid cyst is gone, they cleaned his teeth for cheap since he was already knocked out, and I now know for sure that I can take the cats on a bike ride, although probably not all of them at once!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Birthday Boy!

Harry turns 11 today! It's hard for me to believe how old my little eyelash chewer is. Together he and I have lived in five different apartments and two different houses in three different cities and two different states. We've cuddled and cared for each other through numerous aliments and we've even gone on a bike ride together! He recently had some health issues (his cyst between his shoulder blades exploded, someday soon I'll tell you all about it), so send some birthday love and some healing thoughts his way!

 Happy birthday, Harry James!