Tuesday, August 12, 2008

"What's New, Pussycat?"

I’m still playing catch-up here on the blog, so for some of you readers this may be old news. Elvis, one of a pair of 15-year-old cats I have that were born in a groundhog hole on my parent’s farm, hasn’t looked well lately. I couldn’t smell the telltale signs of kidney failure on him, and given that he’s had what appear to be what I would call sinus infections in a human, and seemed to be drinking excessive amounts of water, I made an appointment with the vet. I suspected that his teeth were at the root of his problems, but figured at his age a complete blood panel would be advisable anyway.

Of course the first thing the vet does is a physical exam. As she’s listening to his heart, I quipped, “You better not find a heart murmur!” Well, wouldn’t you know that she heard something akin to a murmur. Given his heart rate, age, and thinness she thought it very well could be a racing heart due to hyperthyroidism, which the bloodwork would show us. She also agreed that his teeth could use a cleaning.

So we took blood from him and sent it off and I got the results the early last week. He’s actually amazingly healthy for a fellow his age, with everything within normal limits. His glucose was on the high end of normal, which could have just been the result of the stress of the vet visit, and his T4 was also high normal, but not indicative of hyperthyroidism, though he’ll need to be rechecked in a few months.

So that left his teeth, and I scheduled a dentistry for last Wednesday. The question of the day was how does a strictly indoor cat end up with a broken tooth? Yep, Elvis had a broken molar, part of which was in really bad shape and so was removed, while the “good” part was left behind. He had another tooth that required pulling too.

So Elvis now has some pearly whites and I’m a good bit poorer. He’s on antibiotics, too, which you can bet he just adores taking. I’m hoping he’ll put a bit of weight back on now that his teeth must feel better, but then again he might just be a bit thin due to old age. I had to keep him crated for quite some time after we got home Wednesday afternoon as I didn’t think trying to jump up on stuff when you’re staggering drunk was a good idea….

When I take Willow and Twist in for their prolo therapy (gah! no wonder I'm broke!) tomorrow, I'll make an appointment for Chili Pepper (Elvis' littermate sister) to get her teeth cleaned in September (hey, it's dental health month, which means 20 percent of all dental work--I'll take whatever help I can get!).

Both Elvis and Chili are very difficult to get pictures of, so here's the best I could do.

Meet Elvis:

Chili Pepper has found a new place to hide and I had to go looking for her to get this picture. She's in the linen closet in the master bathroom. Just so you know how often I go in there, see that blanket with the circus animals on it that she's on? I was wondering where I had put that because it's very special to me (ha! so special I forgot what I did with it) as it was given to me by one of my aunts when I was a child. That blanket is probably close to 40 years old!

And on the cat tree in the office.

JellyBean likes to get involved whenever I work sheep. Jean took these photos, more like silouhettes really, when I was working dogs for her while she visited (see how far behind I am? She's been home for two weeks I think). The sheep are funny about JellyBean. If he comes into the pasture, they all have to go right up to him and stick their noses on him (the "Holsteins" anyway). The lambs think he's very scary.

JellyBean still has occasions when he likes to stalk the Rhode Island Red chicks from the porch, although they are far bigger than any of the other chickens. I sometimes wonder if he figures since they don't have a protective hen with them they are fair game (not that he ever actually goes beyond harmless stalking to my knowledge). Here he is out in the yard with the OEG bantams.

Why is this hen on alert? Because JellyBean is rubbing up against my legs while I try to get a photo of her and her pretty little singleton chick who's just a few weeks old (you can just see the chick in front of the hen--it blends into the straw and dirt thanks to its coloring).

The Bean thinks he's the bees knees (and to think he was a throwaway who as a kitten used to try to follow me down the street when I jogged by his house, till I finally took pity and told his "owner" to bring him to me)....

It's odd, but after years of resigning myself to the fact that fate seemed intent on me having six cats at all times, I'm now down to three. And for the first time since Dandelion had to be put down because of cancer sleep last spring, I am without a tortoiseshell cat. Given my ever-mounting vet bills, though, I am content to keep the number of cats at three, for now anyway.


Anonymous said...

Not actually a tortie, but I'll bet Laura knows where you could find a cute little calico kitten, (if you can pry it out of her grasp) LOL. Great pics of the kitties. Gotta love "The Bean" he's such a character. I love the way he just strolls in when working dogs, totally unabashed by anything. Glad Elvis is feeling better. When ya ask him how he broke that tooth, Id be interested to know what he says.

carson-crazies said...

I know where you can get not just one, but TWO tortie kittens. They even come with a bag of food. I'll let you have a litterbox, too. lol Glad Elvis is all fixed up!

Anonymous said...

The vet said the usual way a tooth gets broken is cats hunting. Since Elvis is basically an indoor cat, that's not likely. We figure the tooth somehow went bad and just broke....

Methinks I'll pass on the tortie kittens, much as I'd love a kitten. JellyBean is going on 7 or so, and it would be a good time to add a little one, but given my vet bills lately, I'd have to be crazy to consider it!

Last week when I was at the vet they had the cutest little yellow and white (mainly white with yellow patches) kitten that is up for adoption. Cute, cute, cute, but after paying the bill for Elvis' dental work, is became much easier to leave that little one behind!


Rachel said...

Well, when it rains it pours for vet bills. Keegan was at the vet 2 Mondays ago for a fatty tumor (sigh of relief). Then Maizy over the weekend had problems urinating again. So off to the vet and $200 poorer...and she still isn't right. I'm getting her teeth cleaned in October though when I get an extra paycheck!

As for kittens, we have 2 in our backyard, well...did. I haven't seen them since that one night early this week.

So am I missing something...what happened to Moses?