Age Is in the Mind

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I bit the vet. He had it coming.

February 19th 2011 12:40 pm
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Went to the vet Friday for no good reason. The peeps say that periodic visits for checkups are important for a cat of my generous age, but as far as I'm concerned that's no good reason. Anyway, everything was fine until the white-coat started poking around in my ears, which Mom says tend to get dirty unusually often. I was forced to put him in his place with a well-timed claw attack.

At that point he offered to trim the claws. I don't love having that done, and the last time Mom undertook the task, I bit her. Why on earth did he think he'd fare any better? I like Mom a LOT better than the vet.

Well, I bit him. And got in another good swipe with the claws as well. He decided he'd just take some blood instead. Trying to get back at me for liberating some of HIS blood, I think.

The upshot of all that is that I'm in remarkably good shape for a cat of my age. I gained a pound; the kidney numbers are stable though still slightly high. Thyroid good, heart good. The reflexes, obviously, are superior. I seem to have a tooth broken off at the gum line, but since it doesn't bother me and doesn't appear infected, the vet said it wasn't worth the risk of anesthesia to extract it.

I still have those swollen lymph nodes in the hind legs, and slightly elevated eosinophils, whatever those are. He's thinking maybe inflammation of the bowel. I got drops for the ear gunk and am back on the prednisone for a couple of weeks. Then he wants to re-do the blood test.

Hope I don't have to bite him again.

 

Old? Me?

December 5th 2010 2:21 pm
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For a few years now I've scoffed at the female peep as she whines about the downsides of advancing age. She can't skip down the stairs anymore. We used to race. I'd give her a half-flight head start and win. Then I gave her all but the last two steps and still won. After a while, we stopped racing because it was just too easy for me to win. She said, "Jasper, I just can't do it anymore. My knees hurt."

But you know what? Now my knees hurt, too.

I've been sleeping next to the bathroom radiator for the last month or so. It's nice and warm. The peeps put a fleece pad there for me so I don't have to rest my old bones on the tile. I asked Santa for a heated bed, and I think there's a good chance of getting one.

I get Dasuquin in my lactulose every day for my arthritis. I think it helps, but I can't even leap to the top of the kitchen stools anymore, let alone to the top of the kitchen cupboard.

Ah, well. Such is life. So many have it worse. I will stop whining now and purr for my furriends with REAL problems.

 

My curmudgeonly self

November 28th 2010 1:20 pm
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I'm afraid my level of the hormone curmudgerone must be elevated. I have been yowling around the house for no good reason, and today, when the female peep was clipping my claws, I bit her.

I've never done that before, so she was surprised. She admitted that I had given fair warning, with a soft nip first, then a harder one. She ignored both and kept clipping, so I figured I needed to be more assertive.

Despite all that and a bleeding hand, she clipped all the front claws, because I seem to be having trouble retracting them. It's true. I get stuck to the male peep's sweatshirt, and my favorite bed, and anything else soft that I sleep on.

Wonder if Wolverine has that problem? Bet nobody tries to clip HIS claws!

 

Home alone again

September 18th 2010 7:30 pm
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The suitcases came out today, and were filled up and zipped closed. I overheard Mom on the phone with Amy. The peeps are leaving us again. Where and for how long, I do not know. But the cat pantry is bursting with food, so I'm thinking they're going to be gone for a week or so.

I do not appreciate these absences. I cannot imagine that there is anything better out there than there is here. They'd better bring us back something really great.

 

Getting back to my fighting weight

August 29th 2010 9:08 am
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Once a month, the peeps haul out the baby scale to check weights. They have been concerned about me, because my adult healthy weight was 12 pounds, and I had dropped to 9 pounds 8 ounces despite a voracious appetite. Sometimes I threw up my food right after eating it, and I developed a red rash on my belly.

It was decided that I needed a change of diet -- the vet thinks I developed an allergy to my food.

So now we're all mostly eating grain-free wet food, Wellness and Wilderness. The other cats don't like it much, but I'll eat just about anything (except that awful renal diet food). I'm up to 10 pounds, 12 ounces, and my belly rash is gone. No more prednisone, though I do get a quarter of a Claritin tablet every day.

And I have quite a lot of energy for an olde furt. Today I swatted the newspaper out of Mom's hands a half-dozen times, chased Sev up the stairs and played with a mylar ball for a while, all before my midmorning nap.

 

Very sad tonight

August 20th 2010 9:54 pm
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My good and inestimable friend, Smoke, has gone to the bridge. Of all the wonderful and worthy cats I have met on this site, I will miss his presence most of all. He had a certain gentle gravitas. He was a sensible and practical cat, but also generous of his time and spirit. And he was a loving mate to Tansey. In his autumn -- no, actually, his winter -- years, he and Tansey started a lovely new group, Forget Me Not, and imbued it with their personality. It was and is a delightful place. I wish I had had more time to spend there.

Smoke, I'm still looking forward to that poker game.

 

Something's Up

August 18th 2010 9:20 pm
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Yesterday, to my great delight, we had a visit from Amy. She's a lovely human. Very appreciative of superior specimens of Felis domesticus, several of which reside at this domicile.

Mom introduced her to Bear and Vicki, and showed her the new litter box set-up as well as the catfood cache, and they spent some time poring over a written list of cat-specific medication stuff. I noticed Mom mixing my lactulose/Dasequin cocktail while Amy watched, and then Mom picked me up and dosed me. Yum. Well, at least not all that bad.

I was mostly dozing in a sunbeam after that, so I can't report the exact conversation, but after Amy left, it suddenly struck me.

The peeps are going somewhere. Soon.

Should I warn the fuzzy new kids?

 

Lazy Saturday

July 24th 2010 1:42 pm
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The peeps announced this morning at breakfast that this would be a lazy day. No yard work, no housework, just the essential errands and chores. It's going to be a record-breaking hot day, and our house is minimally air-conditioned.

This is actually kinda nice. No vacuum noises. Peeps home all day, sitting on the porch under the fan, reading or working crossword puzzles. We stretch out in front of them, and they scratch our bellies with their toes. Aaaaah.

 

Steroids seem to be my friend

July 14th 2010 9:19 pm
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Well, diary friends, I have been partaking of the prednisone for a week now, and my swollen lymph glands seem to be shrinking. Still "palpable" as the medics say, but less pronounced. What that means we (meaning me, my peeps and the attending vet) really don't know. But we shall not argue with progress.

Meanwhile, the young'ns, Bear and Vicki, are preparing for a major cat show outing this weekend. Or maybe I should say the humans are preparing. Vicki got her "show bath" yesterday. I must say she looks lovely and smells like flowers. Bear gets his on Thursday. I do hope the humans pick a more masculine perfume.

The rest of us will be happy to stay at home, enjoying the quiet and solitude.

 

Ultrasounded. Happy now?

July 6th 2010 8:25 pm
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I am a cat of some considerable forbearance. Three times in the last month I have made the trip to the vet's office with minimal complaint (and was nicely harmonic when I did sing). Twice I suffered the blood draws and urine samples without reading the riot act to the vet or a tech. This time it was the gooey stuff and the probe. Probe isn't a very good name for the ultrasound wand. It's more like a metal detector that the ultrasound technician glides around all that gooey stuff.

And I got a belly shave. Sheesh. They were concerned about me losing hair on my abdomen, so the answer is to shave it all off? Humans. Who can figure them out?

And the results? Nada. Zip, zilch, zero. Just like before, all my innards are where they should be. No sign of aliens growing anywhere in my abdomen. A little bit of kidney atrophy, the tech said, but after looking at my previous ultrasound (yes, I've been subjected to this before), she said it was stable.

The vet said the next step would be to take a biopsy of my skin and swollen lymph glands. Mom doesn't understand the skin biopsy. My lymph glands were swollen way before I started getting itchy red skin on my underbelly. And the Claritin she's giving me has pretty much made that go away.

She's pondering, pondering. Worried that I may have something really exotic, but treatable. Even more worried that I may have nothing serious at all, but will surely catch or develop something if she subjects me to a lot of invasive procedures like biopsies.

I know where my vote goes on that one, but as I said, you can't reason with humans.

 
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