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The Feline Philosopher

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Update: Yay, They WERE Kidding!

March 2nd 2014 9:22 am
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Well, not kidding exactly, but they've reconsidered, and we're so glad. One of the reasons mom was so upset is that like a real family, Catster is the kind of place where you should be able to come back even if you've been gone a while. And as in a long-term relationship, interest and activity may fluctuate, but that doesn't mean we don't care. Doesn't mean we want out.

Plus, mom has always thought of Catster (besides being an information resource for all kinds of kitty-related problems in the forums) as being my final resting place. Where she can share her grief and pay honour to my memory, especially as she doesn't intend on saving my ashes. When my predecessor Adrian Mole was put to sleep, and as mom was holding his lifeless body, she realized that his soul, spirit or essence wasn't in that physical container anymore. His body felt both heavy and light at the same time, but it was no longer Adrian, and saving those remains didn't make much sense to her. Obviously, that was a personal perception, and mom fully respects the decisions of folk who feel differently.

But we certainly don't want to dwell on death here. And March 3 (tomorrow!) is no longer the end of the Catster community either, so whatever the changes in store will be like, this site has had a reprieve, and for that, we can all be grateful. :)


OMG! Seriously? For Real? Are You Kidding Me? WTH?

January 16th 2014 3:43 pm
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Catster will be shutting down (because without Community there IS no Catster) on March 3?

Did we read that right? Well kitts, I can't remember the last time I saw mom this angry. There are words flying all around me that I can't repeat (and even a few I hadn't heard before) cuz this is supposed to be a family-friendly site, but you can bet we'll be back to have our full say about this.

But some of the non-expletive words I CAN share right now are: tragedy, betrayal, sadness, kick-in-the-teeth, where's the loyalty? :(


As My COTW Reign Comes to a Close (no, say it ain't so!)...

January 12th 2014 4:36 pm
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...I just want to say that it's been a real honour, a ton of fun, and an awesome way to begin 2014. Imagine, little old me, KJ, being COTW!

Now I did try to explain to mom that 1 cat week is about the equivalent of 52 human weeks, meaning that COTW is really COTY in terms of mom needing to spoil, pamper and meet my every desire and demand, but for some odd reason she didn't buy it.

(Plus, she just made a snarky comment about one-sentence paragraphs that I don't quite understand, but I definitely heard snark in her voice.)

Anyway, I want to thank all of the super nice kitties who remembered me from the good old days (eek! we signed up way back in 2005, which in Internet years is about a century ago) AND all of the new (but also super nice) kitties who were kind enough to notice the honour bestowed upon us. Your Rosettes, Stars, Special Gifts, lovely pictures of the special occasion and catmails were ALL appreciated. Thanks so much!

It was cool to catch up with some of the Oldsters (remember how this site used to look and feel?), and a hoot to go back down memory lane. It was on this site, so many years ago, that mom learned how to take better photos, and where I tried to show mom how to write. Um, excuse me, mom is making a strange choking noise at the moment, so I'd better check and see if she's okay. Hmmm, her colour's a bit off, but I think she'll live. Snort.

Where was I? Oh yes, the years gone by. One of the sad parts, unfortunately, is that kitties don't get to live as long as human beings (a particularly unfair failing methinks given that felines tend to live greater moral lives than humans do), which means that tears and heartache are part of the Catster package. But where better than this site to share both the joy AND pain?

Speaking of pain, if I can complain about one thing this week (I know, I shouldn't, but I wouldn't be me if I didn't), it would be the number of times I ended up in Fallsview Niagara Casino while I don't even gamble. Our mouse kept accidentally hovering in the wrong spot, and cue the annoying music! Mom grumbled (no surprise there as in some ways she's quite the crotchety old cat) about the evils of sites selling their souls to advertisers, but I chastised her and told her that No, the soul of Catster still belongs to the cats that come here. THEY are the ones who built this community, and no ad dollars can change that.

So here's to all the kitts who put the Cat in Catster! And thank you again for making this week so special for us. :)


Mom's Celebrating my Birthday by Getting a Root Canal Done

October 23rd 2013 9:43 am
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I mean, seriously? How weird is that? I've heard of humans doing some very strange things, but this really takes the cake. My cake. And birthday cake at that! I can't think of a more bizarre and completely unrelated way of paying homage to MY day than by voluntarily going to the dentist. To say that I'm bewildered, alarmed, and just a little bit peeved is an understatement.

KJ's mom: Obviously, the words "celebrating" and "root canal" should NEVER appear in the same sentence, because that's just wrong. I'm certainly not getting it done because I want to, and it sucks even more to do it on a day that should be (and is) joyful, but scheduling circumstances meant I could only do it today before my mom goes in for surgery again and I have even less time at my disposal. So just to be clear, there will be NO celebrating in the dreaded dental room of doom.

Okay, got it. I'm just glad I'll never have to go, and I guess we'll celebrate when she gets back. I hope mom is brave though. I've heard she's a bit scared (petrified?), and maybe I'll have to remind her that because she's a half-century old, she should not cry, scream, kick, punch or yell like a two-year old.

KJ's mom: It's my party (oops, appointment) and I'll cry, scream or kick if I want to. Well, hopefully not kick or punch, but everything else is fair game. I'll show up, but that's all I can promise. As for KJ not getting her teeth checked, I've always been reluctant up until now, but I think I've finally seen the dental light. But please keep it a secret from her. Sshh!

Just an update on some recurring issues I've been having. First, mom solved the over-the-edge litterbox problem by getting a box with higher walls! Duh, why didn't she think of that before? Second, I'm still scratching and licking a lot. We know it's not fleas, and more likely food allergy, but to what we have no idea. I've been on grain-free wet for the last number of years, and we've tried Natural Balance, Wellness, Merrick, Blue Buffalo, and Nature's Variety among others, but to no avail. At various times we've tried eliminating chicken, duck, turkey, beef, and any kind of fish, but nada. Scratch, scratch, scratch. I've also licked a part of my belly completely clean. No hair left and now I'm starting to bite at it as well! Why?

KJ's mom: I'm scratching as well. My head that is. I don't think there are too many other high-end wet grain-free foods available in Ontario that I can try. Is it stress? An allergy to litter instead of food? Any ideas?

Ha, I get to have the last word. Root canal or no, it's my birthday and I'm gonna celebrate! Wanna join me? :)


Love And All That Jazz

February 14th 2013 12:56 pm
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"The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something [and someone?] to love,
and something to hope for." -- JOSEPH ADDISON


Yay, I'm a Death Defying Princess!

January 18th 2013 9:47 am
[ Leave A Comment | 4 people already have ]

Oh, wait, that's Daily Diary Pick. But that's good too. It's all good! :)
Thanks everyone. And, um, Catster too. ;)


On The Edge

January 11th 2013 2:32 pm
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Can often be a good thing, as in, for example, being on the edge of your seat in excitement or anticipation. Or being on the edge artistically and creatively. Being described as cutting-edge is a compliment, not an insult.

So why does mom not like it when I pee on the edge? That is, even when the litter box is completely clean, I like to deposit my #1 (and often #2 too) in the corners and on the sides. Sure, I sometimes end up peeing on and OVER the edge, but is that really my fault? I suppose the fact that there's only carpeting where my box is, and that mom finds it even more difficult to scoop poop and pee that's stuck like cement on the sides now that she has tennis elbow important considerations to keep in mind, but it's not like I do it on purpose to annoy her...

KJ's mom: does anyone have any idea why she may be doing this, and how I can get her to be more boring and just pee/poop in the middle of the box?


Clever Cat Stages Sit In

November 1st 2012 6:22 pm
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Yep, that's me in the photo above commandeering mom's computer chair. Took her completely by surprise too as I have NEVER in all our years together shown any interest in being up there. But desperate times call for desperate measures, so I finally decided to show her that I was serious about wanting my CatsterPlus subscription renewed. Made it perfectly clear that I wasn't gonna budge until she hit the right button, snort. Also told her though that the ugly eggplant-coloured banner had to go. Mom's not a wizard when it comes to her computer by any means, but those bright daisies are a big improvement, no?

Now I'm not promising that we'll be on here daily (or weekly), but we WILL be visiting Catsterland more often than before. Right, mom?


My Mom Is A Big Fat Liar!

October 22nd 2012 4:47 pm
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Okay, she's not big, and she's not fat (which isn't a nice thing to call any fleshy OR furry being by the way), but she's definitely a liar. Of BIG proportions. And why would I say such a thing? Well, look at the last post -- doesn't it clearly say that my woes and tribulations would be updated before the year is out? The year in question being 2011? And what year is it now? Tsk, tsk!

Now that that is out of the way (although I should mention before I go on that I heard mom grumbling about how Catster obviously can't afford decent webpage designers -- yes, she CAN still be super critical, so SOME things don't change, snort), I'll go on with my tail. Um, TALE.

It all started with a bad bag of Natural Balance. Yep, I was as fit as a fiddle up until then, and then everything seemed to change. Mom didn't know at first though that it was bad. You see, I was given one wet meal and one dry meal every day and that seemed to work well enough for years. Only grain-free for me, and that did the trick. But one day mom noticed that I didn't seem to like those little kibbles anymore, and so she tried to hand-feed them to me as I sometimes like that. Mom's not a tyrant though, and when she saw that I really didn't want those kibbles decided that she might as well donate the huge bag (just opened) to a nice woman who runs a cat rescue. Problem was that none of her cats would eat the dry kibble either! And when her not-finicky-at-all dogs wouldn't touch the stuff, we knew there was a problem. Now according to the company no one else had reported a bad batch of food, but obviously, something was clearly wrong with it. That made mom suspicious of wet Natural Balance as well (a pity, since she thought it was one of the better foods), and so started a long trial-and-error process of trying different brands. Only wet though, as dry was now banned completely.

Well, we tried just about every grain-free brand available here in Canada, and for a long time were eating Wellness. Different flavours though, so that we wouldn't become attached to only one. At about this time mom noticed that I was scratching and licking quite a bit more. I'd always done a bit of scratch and lick (because that's what cats do!), and unfortunately it's now hard to remember when it actually crossed the line from normal to excessive. Mom first blamed fleas as she had found a speck of flea dirt and I was licking/scratching in all the places where fleas like to hang out. Program and Capstar were put to work (November 2010) but by this time I had scratched enough that there were little sores underneath my fur. When mom discovered this (I don't allow handling for the most part), she was horrified and hauled me off to the Awful-And-Will-Not-Be-Named place where a (I must admit) very nice man gave me a shot of Depomedrol. What a relief! My sores healed and all was well we thought.

Nearly a year later (October 2011), mom happened to notice (only because I had my bum up in the air as she was using the slicker brush on my back which I love) that there was a funny little bulge right by my, ahem, poop hole. Well, that didn't seem right! The very next day there was a tiny opening in that bulge and mom knew she had to act. Back to the How-Can-A-Nice-Man-Work-In-That-Awful-Place? and an anal gland crisis was narrowly averted. A few more hours and she would have erupted we were told.

In the meantime, although not as bad as before, I continued to groom more than I should, and was starting to feel itchy-bitchy -- ha ha, just made up a new term. And by this time mom was starting to think that I really couldn't have fleas because I never go outdoors, and no evidence had ever been found except for that one speck of dirt. So mom decides to consult a smart box she calls Computer. Always a good thing, except when Computer spills out so much information mom can't fit it all into her brain. Fleas? Stress? Tainted food? Low quality food? Any number of diseases? Allergies? The last one, allergies, really has mom wishing she had a bigger brain. Never occurred to her (maybe because she's lucky and doesn't have any of her own), but that seems to be a real probability. How, however, can you possible track down what a cat could be allergic to?

Fast forward a month later, and anal sac acts up again. Crisis averted yet again, and the itch/scratch/lick mystery continues. Mom also reads up on cat food and is amazed by how much you have to be aware of: ingredients, composition, preservatives, preferably wet and no dry, no grains, no by-products, meat first (ha ha, I can have all the meat I want and vegan mom can have none), fish only once in a while, careful with carbohydrates, proper balance of fats, proteins and carbohydrates, and on and on until it feels like her head will explode. And she thought she knew a fair bit about food!

Mom restricts my food to poultry-based (chicken and turkey) only, and we're now in the spring/summer of 2012. All is mostly well, except that I'm still lickety-licking AND throwing up once a week. Usually on a full stomach. Gross! And very odd, since in the past I normally only threw up a few times a year. Mom brushes me every day as I'm definitely shedding hair like crazy, but can't understand why I'm throwing up furballs so much. Too much fur and too much licking? Mom again thinks she sees a bulge where it shouldn't be bulging, and off to the Dreaded-Place-Where-It's-Hard-To-Maintain-Any-Dignity I go. Luckily, it's not my anal sac this time, but I'm given another shot of Depomedrol as again I've licked myself TOO clean.

And so the loop continues. Then, the cat rescue woman whose cats also rejected the bad Balance that seemed to begin everything in the first place, informs mom that many cats are actually allergic to chicken. Chicken! Which is practically in all food, and almost the only thing I was eating. Mom promptly takes me off chicken, and because it's hard to find wet, grain-free food without fish or chicken, puts me back on Natural Balance Grain-Free Venison and Green Pea (which I ate for years -- also the Duck -- without any problems), even though one website says it's way too high in carbohydrates. Sigh. Thing is, I haven't thrown up in nine weeks now (although I'm not shedding much fur anymore either), and even though I'm scratching a bit more since my shot, it's still not as much as before, so.....?

And that is the end of my tale for now. We're still not quite sure what happened, what the real culprit actually is, and what to do next, but we're hanging in and tomorrow I'm officially Very Old. Now, aren't you glad we FINALLY filled you in? Snort.


Who Me? Oh My!

November 2nd 2011 8:10 pm
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Apparently I was a Catster Daily Diary Pick today. Which I suppose is a reward for finally crawling out of the woodwork more than a year later. Well, I'll take it! Snort. Thank you Catster.

My mom has a very busy month ahead (her own mom is getting a hip replaced next week and she'll need to take care of her for a while and thus we may be crawling back into the woods for a spell), but I need to update on my possible food allergies and anal glands and will do that before the year is out. Promise! :)

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