Archive for the ‘Veterinary Issues’ Category

Mr. Catpurrnip and Mr. Orange

February 10, 2018

Something very odd has happened between those two boys. I’ve never seen anything like it.

Mr. Catpurrnip is the newest cat in the colony. Mr. Orange has been here for several years.

Mr. Catpurrnip is a transplant from Sugar’s place. Mr. Orange is an old, grumpy-faced cat that just showed up here several years ago. It took a year to trap him.

Mr. Orange has never interacted with any of the other cats. He always stayed the farthest away from me.

One evening I arrived home, and Catpurrnip and Orange began acting out a greeting ritual to each other. It was like they were actors in a play solely for me. They stretch and bow to each other and butt foreheads and rub against each other.

They don’t sleep or nest together. They will eat from the same food bowl. They only do this greeting ritual when I am headed to the car to leave or when I have driven in to the driveway. It’s actually bizarre.

The following video shows the intensity of their greeting for each other. By the time I get the camera out to start recording, I have already missed the initial bowing and stretching routine. Apparently I am the trigger that causes this behavior.

Amazing to see that animals can feel such strong attraction and affection for each other. I am guessing that some of the behavior is self-satisfying, much in the same way that cats purr to make themselves feel better. I have seen cats purr in the exam room after being hit and badly damaged by a car. The vet explained that purring releases endorphins.

So enjoy some more weirdness happening here at the Cat-Catching and Head-Butting Facility.

A Cat Named Georgia 

February 11, 2017

Georgia lives here at the Swamped! Plantation. 

She decided to plonk herself on me because she wanted a nap. 

That’s how it is with Georgia. She only does what she wants, and she doesn’t care who she needs to walk on to get it. 

In this case, she made for some good close-ups. 

Georgia has lived here longer than any of the other cats. She arrived with some neighbors when they moved down the road with their *twelve* cats. It had turned into an unintentional hoarding situation when some strays adopted them, and nobody had the money for spay/neuter. I took in Georgia and her sister, and found homes for 2 kittens, after I had them all vaccinated and spayed. (That was back in the day when I had a much larger disposable income.)

Georgia has a direct personality and she is exceptionally nosy. If you come to visit and leave your car windows open, she will go home with you. 

She has always been brought back. 

Because the photo below? Is also the face of Georgia. 

The Cat on the Picnic Table

June 2, 2016

A new cat was lounging on the picnic table a few weeks ago. I had seen him at a distance before, but on this particular evening, he had made himself at home on the picnic table feeding station. 

When I got a little closer, I saw that where his right eye should have been, there was nothing but a squinted-closed eye. And a little closer, it looked like maybe his eye had been damaged or was missing. There was a dark spot where his eye should have been. No blood, but no eye, either. 

He didn’t bolt away when he saw me, so that was an improvement. Before, he had kept himself protected from my view by keeping barriers between himself and me, like hiding behind trees or staying outside the fence. 


Today, during the evening time when the air is cooling down and the mosquitoes are out, he was lying flat on his side on top of the table. I hoped he wasn’t dead. I approached the table from behind him, and chirruped a welcome. He raised his head, looked at me and meowed. Then he stood up and walked toward me, still on the picnic table, and raised his tail in the air. If you have spent time with cats, or read this blog for more than 15 minutes, you’ll know that a tail in the air is a good thing. 

He let me scritch the top of his head. I opened a large can of food for him, and while he ate, I was able to scritch him on the back. I was able to confirm that he was a boy. His head, face, and shoulders were covered with wounds and scars, old and new. That eye was missing, but I couldn’t be sure if it was because of a wound or a birth defect. 

I supposed that he would become the third one-eyed cat here at the Swamped! Plantation and Cat-Scritching Facility. 

Next stop: catching and testing. Please let him be negative. 

Kittens of Spring

March 23, 2016

It’s too cold for kittens. We had a cold snap a few nights ago. 

A woman called me because she was monitoring a nest of kittens born to a feral mother, and suddenly, the morning after the cold night, the kits weren’t moving. 

They were basically so cold that the thermometer could not get a reading. Today, they are on soft bedding in a crate on a heating pad. They have been fed and rehydrated and dewormed and de-fleaed. Which is not a word except in my world. 

If you would like to donate a dollar or two, there’s a “Hep a Kitten Out” button on the main page. 

Or just send happy thoughts our way!

Feral Cat Day, 2015

October 20, 2015

I missed it. 

It was last week. 

But we celebrated today. 

Trap. Neuter. Return. 

Everybody’s Got One, Part Two

September 11, 2012

If we return back to an earlier post entitled Everybody’s Got One, you can update yourself regarding my former employer.

I say “former”because I resigned on May 24 of this year.  I gave a week’s notice, for I had obtained employment at the spay / neuter clinic, and that employment has already ended before the 90 day probation period ended.  That place has issues which I will not discuss here, yet, although you know I probably will later, given my natural proclivity for procrastination.

But now let’s talk about how everybody’s got one, or dirty little secrets.

When the veterinarian that hired me put the practice up for sale, he didn’t tell myself or my office mate.  I found the practice for sale on the internet.  When the veterinarian received an offer from another veterinarian, he left the sales agreement displayed on his computer monitor.  Imagine the level of distraction to leave that on your computer at work where your employees can find it.

Anyway, I copied the name of the veterinarian who had made the offer to purchase the practice, and I did an internet search.  I thought that surely there must be some mistake, for the man’s name led only to one person, who just happened to be in his sixties.  Why would someone in their sixties want to purchase a practice that was states away from where he lived?  And basically, why would someone in their sixties want to be a full-service veterinarian with the long hours and poor economy in this area?

I searched further.  I found a site called The Toonces Project.  You should just click on the link which will further explain who Toonces was, and why the website came to be.  Heartbreaking.

The site monitors veterinarians who have been reprimanded and, in some cases, fined for disciplinary reasons.  I found the name of the veterinarian who was purchasing the practice that I worked for.

September 14, 1993.

September 27, 1993.

And February 24, 1994.

My best hope was that I could prevent history repeating itself.  I can say that I could not.

I found another job eventually, but that did not work out.

Sue Nami, the Charm School Graduate, Part 2

July 28, 2012

Two years ago, I met this girl.

Occasionally, she visits the vet’s office.  On the last visit, I could not resist taking her photo.  People just love to let you take photos of their pets. 

If you click on the link above, you’ll see when Sue Nami arrived at the vet’s office, all ripped and torn and sad.  Here she is today.

What a beautiful girl!

Phone Call of the Week

April 27, 2012

You probably know that I work for a veterinarian’s office, and many days I spend my time at the front desk.  I now present:  The Phone Call of the Week.


(Phone ringing)

YoursTruly:  Thank you for calling Dr. Doofus’s office.  This is ruthrawls.

Caller:  I’d like to make an appointment for my dog to get a rabies shot.

YoursTruly:  If you are interested, we have a low-cost clinic every Wednesday afternoon by appointment.  A rabies shot will be $7.00.

Caller:  OK, how much will it cost?

YoursTruly:  It. Will. Cost. Seven. Dollars.

Caller:  OK, do I need an appointment?

YoursTruly:  Yes.  Ma’am.  Youneedanappointment.

Caller:  OK, I’d like to bring my dog in next Wednesday.

YoursTruly:  I’m sorry, next Wednesday afternoon is full, but we can go forward to the following Wednesday, or, if you’d like, you can bring your dog sooner but the rabies vaccination will be full price and there will be a charge for an office visit attached to it.

Caller:  But I need to get my dog in before the end of April.

YoursTruly:  (silence)

YoursTruly:  Ma’am, the last Wednesday in April has already passed.  There are no more Wednesdays left in April.

Caller:  But the sign said every Wednesday in April.

YoursTruly:  (silence)

YoursTruly:  I’m not sure what sign you are referring to, but we have been having a low-cost vaccination clinic every Wednesday afternoon from 2-5 since last July.

Caller:  There’s a sign at Harvey’s.

YoursTruly:  OK, well, I’ll check on the sign at Harvey’s, but I can assure you that it’s every Wednesday from 2-5 by appointment, and there are no more Wednesdays left in April.  Would you like to make an appointment for May 9?

Caller:  Yes, I would.

YoursTruly:  Here are the times I have available (and I rattle off a list of available times).

Caller:  (aside to someone else)  Mama, do you want 3:15, 3:30, 3:45, 4:15, 4:30, or 4:45?

Mama:  It don’t matter to me.  It’s your dog.

Caller:  We’ll take 3:15.

YoursTruly:  OK, may I have your last name please?

Caller:  Put it under Wade but it’s my mama’s dog now.

YoursTruly:  May I have your mother’s first name please?

Caller:  Bonnie.

YoursTruly:  What’s the dog’s name, please?

Caller:  Lady Rose.

YoursTruly:  OK, your mother  has an appointment for Wednesday, May 9th, at 3:15, for Bonnie Wade and “Lady Rose”.

Caller:  That’s not my mama’s name.

YoursTruly:  I thought you said put it under Bonnie Wade.

Caller:  *MY* last name is Wade, and it’s my dog, but my mama has it now.

YoursTruly:  (mental deep breath)  We need to record the dog’s name under the person that has the dog, so that if the animal control officer comes around and checks the rabies vaccination and rabies certificate, everything matches.

Caller:  Oh, that won’t happen.  Our dogs is inside.

YoursTruly:   May I have your mother’s name, please?

Caller:  Her name is Bonnie Cook.

YoursTruly:  Ok, I’ve got your appointment down for Wednesday, May 9th, at 3:15.  If anything changes, please call us.

Caller:  OK.  Thank you.

YoursTruly:  Good-bye.

One minute later, the phone rings, and I can tell from the caller ID that she’s calling back…

YoursTruly:  (deep breath)

Precious Paisley the Problem Cat, Final Chapter

April 24, 2012

Paisley went to the vet yesterday for observation.

Sugar and I were concerned that her motor skills and behavior had changed.  She still continued to pee and poop in and out of the litter box, in spite of the high-powered antibiotic, which usually makes a dent in a urinary tract infection.

Her behavior was so erratic that I made two short youtube videos two evenings ago, which can be seen here and here.  She was clearly declining, but why?  The vet had no clear answers.

Paisley had presented with one basic issue:  inappropriate litterbox habits, which usually means not urinating in the box, but with Paisley the issue was bigger than that.  She would not consistently use the litterbox for either urination or defecation.  A secondary issue was a flea infestation, and I thought once the fleas were resolved, the litterbox issue would resolve.  A third issue was severe skin allergies to flea bites.  It seemed clear to me that the underlying cause of her issues were flea-related.

We did these things for Paisley:

  • A flea bath (following the CapStar that was given at the shelter).
  • A test for feline aids and feline leukemia, both negative.
  • A rabies vaccination.
  • An FVRCP vaccination.
  • A leukemia vaccination.
  • An AdvantageMulti flea, heartworm, and intestinal parasite monthly prevention.
  • A Profender treatment to kill tapeworms (fleas are the intermediate host).
  • A professional exam.
  • A CBC (complete blood count).
  • A GHP (general health profile blood test).
  • Urinary health food.
  • A urinalysis (showed an infection of unknown source).
  • A pH test (normal).
  • A round of Baytril, an antibiotic.

Also included was constant monitoring and cleaning-up-after, brushing, petting, and general running and fetching for the Paisley.  Her beds were soaked with urine and sometimes feces, even though she might have also used the litterbox. 

We could have opted for an x-ray, and then possible surgery if she had stones, or a possible ultrasound if stones were not apparent, but.  Her behavior seemed neurological, and she seemed miserable.  The veterinary professionals could offer no clear path, but rather one of trial and error. 

What if she had a brain tumor or neurological disorder?  We opted to let her go. 

Good night, sweet Paisley. 


Precious Pisser the Problem Cat, Part 5

April 22, 2012

So after about a week of the ceremony of getting a dose of Baytril into the Paisley, Sugar’s BabyDaughter presented us with a super-duper, handy-dandy pill-popper.  I wrapped Piss Pais into the kitty burrito again, and the BabyDaughter poppered the entire 22.7mg Baytril into the cat’s mouse and down her gullet.  It was awesome to watch.  No foaming of the mouth or head-slinging involved.  At.  All.

The next day, on Saturday, April 21, 2012, Paisley started a new behavior.  She swished her tail violently from side-to-side and stamped her back feet.  It wasn’t seizure-like, but it did seem uncontrolled on her part.  It continued throughout the day, and she refused her dish of FancyCrack.  This was serious, so much so that I called the emergency number for the vet.  I told her that the cat couldn’t get comfortable and that she was crouched down with her hindquarters tucked under, when she wasn’t stamping her little feet and twitching her tail relentlessly.  Even though we hadn’t finished the full course of the antibiotic, Sugar and I decided to discontinue it, and I told the vet so much.  There were no reported reactions that I could find on the internet regarding this specific antibiotic, but still.  The vet had said that the antibiotic might not be the cure.  The vet wanted to wait until one week had passed and then perform a culture and sensitivity test on the urine sample, which would take another week to get results.  I opted for an x-ray ASAP, since stones had not been ruled out, but the vet wanted to do both the x-ray and the culture /sensitivity test on the same day so that we wouldn’t have to bring the cat in twice.  I thought the cat couldn’t wait that long for some kind of action, and told the vet that, and also told her that the cat seemed so uncomfortable and was getting worse in her behavior, and we discussed behavioral issues.  The vet said that medical issues can cause behavioral issues, and even though the medical issue can be resolved, the behavioral issue has become a pattern which might not change.  I said that I understood that, like if an adult male dog is not neutered until an older age when lifting of the leg during urination to mark territory does not change because the pattern is ingrained.  BUT, this odd twitching of the tail and stamping of the feet and hiding in the corner is NEW behavior, not old behavior, and she appeared to be in such discomfort that Sugar had mentioned euthanasia.  The vet stated that this might be the ultimate resolution to the issue.

Paisley continues to soil both in and out of the litter box.