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The Feline Philosopher

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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! :)


Now That I'm Ten...

October 26th 2011 5:45 pm
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... I thought I'd start my second decade with a riddle. Here goes.

Q: How old is my mom if, even though I'm ONLY ten, I'm ALREADY almost ten years older than she?

And no, the answer isn't zero, snort.


The Cat's Meow

June 10th 2010 10:12 am
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It's me this time (as you can probably tell from the entry below mom's the hot-headed one in this family, snort, and while I don't actually disagree with anything she said, it may have been more effective had she been a little less snarky and a tad more diplomatic), and I just wondered if anyone else is having problems with The Cat's Meow blog. For us most of the photos aren't loading and we just see text indicating what the boxes are supposed to show. Also, I know other kitties have had problems finding this blog in the new (but not improved) Catster and we wanted to suggest either bookmarking the page once you get there, or putting the badge on your page and going directly to the blog from there. And, um, that food-which-shall-not-be-named still needs to go. Plus everything else my mom said. ;)


Not Impressed

June 6th 2010 6:18 pm
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To the Catster crew,

Well! Thank you for the five candles on my cake as of May 26th, but was changing Catster for the worst the best 5th anniversary present you could leave me? Yikes. I mean I know I haven't been as active in the last few years as I was in the beginning, but you're certainly not giving me any incentive in wanting to stick around. I have fond memories of Catster, including becoming friends with some awfully great kitties and their moms, but this Catster isn't that place anymore.

First, what's with the white, the awful green, and the new logo? Because you ARE familiar with the concept of branding, right? And that's exactly what colours, symbols and logos are a part of—they're not just cosmetic touches. So when you tamper with that, well, that's not smart. Did I like the old colour green by the way? No, but I affectionately thought of it as "Catster green" after a while, which means that that part of your branding was successful. But what I find more amazing is that with all the feedback you've been given on how folk miss the cute little kitty in the logo, and are not happy with the colours (never mind all the technical problems and glitches), you've done zip to at least change those aspects that would have an immediate impact, and that would tell Catsters you care.

Second, what's up with addressing me instead of my cat? That was a nice touch (some might even say part of your branding), and another element you should have left alone. As for the orange community button? I don't even see it on my page unless I scroll, and I'm sure I'm not the only person who doesn't scroll unless I have to. This means that for new users who have a monitor like mine, it's not going to be immediately in sight. And I know you've heard the commotion about being regulated to the corner, so why haven't you fixed that? Your answer in the forums to that issue by the way is hogwash as you could have chosen to place that button in the left-hand corner. Appearances are NOT always deceptive, and you are visibly indicating the level of importance you attach to the community that has supported you thus far.

Third, Nutro? Are you kidding me? That tells all of us that Catster is more interested in cash than cats these days. Well, you're not getting mine anymore. I never liked having ads on my page (whose absence was originally supposed to be a benefit of being a CatsterPlus member), but when you get into bed with Nutro, forget it. I will not be renewing my membership July 3rd (and not being able to easily shut off auto-renew but having to cancel subscriptions in PayPal instead is sneaky on your part, as is removing FAQ), and I wouldn't be surprised if a number of other people do the same. Money speaks, and withholding it is the best response. Actually, as a vegan it's one of my preferred forms of protest, so I will certainly be protesting here as well. What I really don't understand though is why you're not listening to your once-loyal customers, and are telling them to respect you while you clearly don't respect them. And how does any of this align with your motto of "Spirit of Catster; fun, friendly and helpful," at all times.?



Andy Warhol Loved Cats Too!

April 24th 2010 10:19 am
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Now this did surprise me, but then I didn't know too much about this art icon other than that he painted soup cans and coined the phrase "15 minutes of fame." In 1954, he published a book of cat portraits in different coloured inks, and you can see some of the colourful cats from his 25 Cats Name Sam And One Blue Pussy on the Modern Cat website.


John Lennon Loved Cats

April 19th 2010 3:46 pm
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Not surprising really, given that he promoted peace and all, but still an interesting tidbit to know. Found this out by playing Meow Trivia at the Freekibble site. Click on the blue and orange button in the sidebar if you want to play as well!

p.s. found this page on John Lennon's cats -- I had no idea he could draw so well!


Feelin' Green

March 16th 2010 5:41 pm
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So I'm feeling green these days.

Green as in environmentally conscious? Well, I suppose. When mom scoops my litter box all my waste gets recycled in our local community green bin program. Recycled into what I have no idea, but I think it's pretty good and pretty green when cats try to help save the planet!

Green as in envious? Maybe a little. After all, look at all the nifty green pages on Catster these days! Meanwhile, mom doesn't have any suitable decorations for my page and doesn't even own a single stitch of green clothing herself! And I won't go into how SO many kitties have eyes way greener and nicer than mine, snort.

Green as in spring then? Yep, that's it! Mom was sitting outside in the warm sun in the middle of March of all months. Plus the time change has meant that my beloved sun is puddling our carpet even more and if that isn't something to sing about, well then what is?

So I guess feeling green isn't a bad thing at all, eh? Lots to celebrate, including St. Patrick's Day, so have a good one everyone! :)


I’m No Expert On Love

February 14th 2010 12:58 pm
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And neither is my mom, so we thought we’d turn to folk who probably had a much better idea of what all this love stuff is about, snort. Hope you enjoy. And Happy Valentine’s Day to all!

Here goes:

Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction.

Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other. --CARL JUNG

Love must be as much a light as it is a flame. --HENRY DAVID THOREAU

Tell me whom you love and I will tell you who you are. --HOUSSAYE

We can only learn to love by loving. --IRIS MURDOCH

Friendship is the finest balm for the pangs of despised love. --JANE AUSTEN

Indifference is the strongest force in the universe. It makes everything it touches meaningless. Love and hate don't stand a chance against it. --JOAN D. VINGE

We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.

In real love you want the other person's good. In romantic love you want the other person.

We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies. --MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

Where there is love there is life. --MOHANDAS K. GANDHI

The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread. --MOTHER TERESA

Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and richness to life that nothing else can bring. --OSCAR WILDE

The first duty of love is to listen. --PAUL TILLICH

For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of our tasks; the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation. --RAINER MARIA RILKE

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. --RUMI

Love doesn't just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.

A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the "why" for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any "how." --VICTOR FRANKL

Love all, trust a few. --WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.


Purrs, rubs, and head bonks will always get you pets and belly kisses in return. --KITTY KAZOO ;)

And finally:

That Love is all there is,
Is all we know of Love.



Doing A Double-Take

January 27th 2010 1:25 pm
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So not having been on Catster for a little while we decided to see what our friends were up to by clicking on the main page. You can imagine mom’s surprise then when she saw ME up in the corner! Specifically, I am modeling the virtues of catnip, snort. Oh, we tried putting up a link to the pic here to save you the trouble of going to the main page, but it seems that catnip may have invaded mom's system as well since she can't for the life of her get any of the image codes to work, double snort.

On a sad note though, we saw that our friend Louis is in trouble again and will be having surgery tomorrow. Please keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers!

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