Cat Check-Up

It is that time of year again, time for their annual check-up. Big Cat again had some additional tests to see how his kidneys and other old organs fare. He has had some issues recently: kidney, stomach, and joint.

Big Cat

Big Cat has been doing much better since he started the medicine for his arthritis. He had been struggling to eat and keep food down, losing a lot of weight. I was worried for a while that he would not recover. The medicine helped, though, and he has regained a good portion of the lost weight.

Big Cat posing during cuddles. This is his happy face.

He has more energy and runs around like a crazy cat again. He may not have as much energy as in his prime, but he looks pretty spry and active for a cat pushing eighteen. If only arthritis did not make it difficult for him to squat when peeing, things would be perfect.

Alas, the potty problems persist. I even switched to the biggest litter box available; one in which his whole lanky body fits. Even if he fails to squat, he usually hits the inside wall. It is not as easy as the automated box, but I can handle the extra work.

As far as the tests went, one of his kidney numbers spiked. While it does not appear to be affecting the rest of the things kidney problems can cause, the vet has recommended I bring him in for a BP test. She also suggested I look into Solensia. The medicine is a monthly shot to treat joint pain, and his back legs are definitely tender constantly. None of this is a surprise for a cat his age.

Little Cat

Not much change for Little Cat, which is good since she is only two. She is still a cute ball of fluff with adorable ear tufts. Her favorite pastime is staring out the back door at the squirrels foraging outside. I have started their diet with nuts from our pantry so they come around more often.
She stares out back and chitters at them and the birds. I have been leaving the windows open so she can sniff the fresh air through the screens (during the day). When the weather finally turns—over 70 in October?—she will be so disappointed that I have to keep the windows closed.

Sleepy paws and bedhead. Little Cat is out for her afternoon nap.

Medically, she is all caught up on her vaccinations and free of any concerns. The vet says we should watch her food intake so she does not gain more weight, but she is good. We will keep Little Cat healthy so she can keep pestering and running around with Big Cat. Someone needs to keep him young.

Big Cat Problems

Big Cat is unofficially seventeen years old. I say “unofficially” because I celebrate his adoption day in early March rather than his birthday. Every year, he gathers more old-cat problems.

His kidneys have been slowly worsening for a few years now, but the vet thinks it is still relatively stable based on his numbers. He has difficulty “concentrating his urine,” which, in our case, means he drinks more and uses the box more often.

Not too bad. We have an automated litter box, so I only need to change the bag out more often. At least, until I periodically start finding puddles in front of the box.

The mystery begins…

He is not spraying or peeing all over the house. It is just in front of the box. Also, while we think it is Big Cat, there is a chance Little Cat developed some inappropriate bathroom habits, so we decide we must identify the problem to find the correct solution.

Brilliantly, we move the indoor Ring camera I received for a work anniversary to dangle over the boxes, trying to catch the piddler in the process. Days pass and puddles happen, but the camera picks up only a few jumps in and out of the box, no damning evidence. Its sensor is not sensitive enough to trigger with their sneaky little bodies.

Time for the next level: we borrow my father-in-law’s nature camera, stringing it up with rubber bands and twist ties. We catch the piddler in the act not even a day later! Big Cat sticks his head in, sniffs around, and proceeds in no further. With his front half inside, Big Cat lifts a leg to make a horrendous mess on the floor.

I have a theory…

Little Cat had just gone, and the machine had not turned yet. I’m thinking he does not like to use it dirty. I shorten the time between going and turning. Then, today, we spent an hour dismantling and scrubbing that machine down to get it nice and clean again.

I bring this thing in, calling out in a sing-song voice, “kitties!” Big Cat comes running. He eagerly jumps in the clean litter box, all four feet in, his butt still sticking out… and pees all over the floor.

*Pained sigh* It looks like he also has arthritis. It can cause them to no longer squat when they pee.

The vet talked about some gummies many people are raving about working well for dogs and cats, so I will reach out about getting some of those. Mr. Picky Pants (Big Cat) will probably turn his nose up at them, meaning I’ll need to get creative.

I love him still, and I continue to hope I have him for many more years, but cleaning up cat urine is getting exhausting. Fingers crossed we have this resolved soon with meds and intensive remedial litter box training.

Hope you all enjoy the weather this weekend!

The Cats are Alright

Bookbub

My research into Bookbub has led me to this: it is the largest book-related newsletter audience you can find as an author. Becoming one of their hand-picked books recommended to their readers is extremely difficult, costs you a chunk of money, but is usually worth the effort and money simply due to the reach it provides. 

I was not selected for their “New Release” picks coming up. I will probably submit for their “Featured Deals” promo, but not until I have another book or two. Based on feedback from other authors, it might be worth it, but the best use of your advertising money, if you get a featured deal spot, is if you can leverage it across more than one book. I’m scheduling Hidden Sanctuary for release in August 2022, so I will probably look at offering a deal on Hidden Memory around that time. 

No website updates yet. I’m waiting on those until a) work slows down and b) the preorder for Hidden Sanctuary is also live. 

Annual Vet Visit

This week I squeezed in a vet visit for both cats at the same time. It was a little late for Big Cat and a little early for Little Cat, but close enough for everyone involved. 

I’m happy to report that Big Cat put back on two-tenths of a pound! This is exciting news after he had lost so much weight in recent years because of his stomach issues. It looks like his kidney problem has degraded a little more, but no meds for him yet. We are hoping to keep him eating right and regularly for now. He remains a super picky eater, but maybe I can sneak in some kidney-care-related food somewhere. 

As for Little Cat, the message was basically “make sure she does not gain more weight.” She is good where she is, and the vet wants her to stay there. Now I have to keep her from eating Big Cat’s food and away from the plastic. She loves gnawing on plastic like a little bunny. I’m sure it is going to give her indigestion someday, or worse. 

With the weather turning, they are both becoming lap-cats again. That is perfectly fine with me, as I welcome the heat on my legs as much as they enjoy the warmth of a lap. It is a bit more problematic when they try to sit on my husband’s lap while he is playing computer games. Everything works fine until one of them wants to move, and then everyone is just in the way. I find it all adorably hilarious. 

Photo by stein egil liland on Pexels.com

Stay dry out there if you are on the west coast of the USA with me. It looks like we are in for more wind and rain!