They just know

The way animals sense things is extraordinary. Most of the time I see it in action when the cats know there’s a bug on the ceiling, but I haven’t seen it yet. They’ll claw at the wall and meow, I’ll get annoyed, and then finally I’ll see the spider and realize why they were going nuts. As I squish it (or, more plausibly, yell for Ian to come squish it), they’ll look at me like I’m a simpleton for taking so long to acknowledge the impending danger they were warning me about.

Last night, I was having some really bad ladyparts cramps. All ladyparts cramps are bad for me since I rarely have them, but last night was horrible. I spent most of the night with a heating pad on me, but when I fell asleep and turned on my side at some point, it slipped off me and onto the bed and was lost to the covers.

I woke up this morning on my back with BK laying on my abdomen, positioned so that the warmest part of her body was on top of where the worst cramp had been. She was purring and staring at me through slightly closed eyes.

Not surprisingly, I felt much better.

I’ve heard that a cat’s purr has healing properties, and last year when I had kidney stones BK spent a lot of time laying on my abdomen, too. Maybe there is really something to it. Either way, I know someone who’s getting a can of tuna tonight.

Stuff and things

BK seems to be healed, although she refuses to get up in her treehouse for some reason. I think it’s probably because she fell trying to jump up in it while she was sick, and now she must be scared of it. But unfortunately this means that instead of sleeping in the treehouse most of the day like she used to, she now sleeps in her little hidden corner of the closet and we don’t see her too often. Hopefully when we move she’ll start using it again.

Oh yeah, we’re moving. We bought a house. I haven’t told the story of how that came about on this blog yet because, well, I’m superstitious. So that will come after we move, as long as everything goes well.

Related to that, I have been stressed out as fuck for the past month or so. I feel like one of those circus people who have a million plates spinning on sticks, and if one falls I’ll lose all of them and my life will come crashing down around me. So I’m holding everything just so, trying not to breathe too quickly, trying to smile and pretend like everything is OK when in fact I’m on the brink of the whole charade crumbling. I’m sure that sounds dramatic. It is. But I just need to get through these next two weeks and I think I’ll be OK.

Sick kitty on the mend (hopefully)

By Saturday morning it was clear BK was getting worse, not better, so we took her back to the vet. While she wasn’t entirely sure, all signs pointed to her having had an allergic reaction to the two vaccinations she got on Thursday. Her belly was bright red and she cried when the vet touched her abdomen, so her best guess was that she had developed vasculitis in reaction to the shots.

Poor baby kittySo she got a shot of cortisone and antibiotics (in case she had developed a UTI; we hadn’t seen her pee in almost a day and she had laid down in the litter box, which is extremely out of character for her), and then some fluids for support. We brought her home and she immediately ate some wet food I put out for her, so we felt comfortable enough to leave her for the weekend since we were going back to Murfreesboro and Mt. Juliet to celebrate Christmas with Ian’s family (we had missed it originally because he was sick with the flu over Christmas).

The whole weekend I was worried sick. I barely slept Saturday night, afraid we would come home and find her dead. Fortunately, she greeted us at the door Sunday evening when we got home. She ate some more wet food and was more affectionate than usual. She wasn’t able to jump up onto her condo, though, and later that night when we went to bed she couldn’t jump up onto the bed so I had to put her in it.

BK is still sick, but getting betterBut yesterday morning I woke up and she was in the closet, sleeping in the corner where she sometimes likes to sleep, but usually not overnight. She did get in the shower after Ian got out, which is part of her normal routine, but I found her in it a bit later looking like she couldn’t get comfortable. I had to put her up in her condo later in the morning because she fell when she tried to jump into it, which was a really sad thing to watch.

So I called the vet’s office and they told me to make sure she is getting enough food. She ate two cans of wet food and a bit of dry food, and seemed to have perked up by the time Ian got home from work. She hung out with me while I packed up some of our kitchen stuff, and then she slept in the bed almost all night. She still wasn’t able to jump into the bed, but once I put her up there she seemed comfortable. When we woke up this morning she was sleeping in the cat condo in the bedroom, which is usually where we find her in the mornings.

On the mend, hopefullyI canceled the appointment to bring her back to the vet today because she seemed improved enough to not need to go in. Packing her up in the carrier and carting her over there in 10 degree weather would probably just make her feel worse, so I’m going to continue to keep an eye on her today and see if she continues to improve. She’s sleeping in the closet instead of in her cat tree right now, which makes me a little nervous, but when I’ve gone to check on her she’s been more alert than in previous days. The vet’s office told me that if she seems to be regressing again to just call and they’ll get her in to be seen.

You know, there are many times I’m glad to be able to work from home, but this situation is one that makes me especially grateful. Being able to watch her all day and night without missing work is a huge relief, as is knowing I could run her to the vet immediately if I needed to. Hopefully she will continue to get better and will be back to her old self very soon… and then I’ve got to have a conversation with the vet about not having to vaccinate her again. I am not going to put her through this every year, that’s for sure.

We’re not off to a great start

BK spent the day at the vet yesterday getting her shots updated and her belly fur shaved off because of all of the mats, and now she’s laying around crying and feeling uncomfortable.

King Boo freaked out when I brought her back home and has been camped out by the couch for about 14 hours. I finally brought some food and water over to him and as soon as he started eating it, Gordo came over and shooed him away so he could eat it. Ass.

Oh, and I had to take my car into the shop this morning because it started making this horrible metal-on-metal scraping sound yesterday when I was taking BK to the vet. Based on the noises I described they told me it was probably the brakes, but I had those replaced a year ago and they shouldn’t need replacing again so soon. Here’s hoping they call and tell me the real issue is something else, but not something else that’s going to be really expensive.

2014, you are not impressing me so far.

Poor Baby Kitty

Saturday morning I got up at the crack of dawn (8 a.m.) and hauled BK to the groomer to get her fur shaved off, King Boo-style. BK is a purebred Maine Coon, so she blows her coat about once a year. Not just her top fur, either. She loses the thick undercoat ALL over the house. And unfortunately, middle Tennessee decided to bring summer to town in late February this year, so she’s been blowing her coat for more than a month now.

BK is a beautiful cat. I mean, she’s basically the most gorgeous cat you will ever see. Look at this and tell me that you’ve seen a better-looking cat:

BK is the best-looking cat in the world

That’s what I thought. You haven’t. And you never will.

Unfortunately, she looks dumb as shit with no fur. The groomer did a great job, but she is a cat meant for long hair. I had them do a modified lion cut—her body is shaved but she still has fur on her head and a full tail, as well as her “boots” (the fluffy part of her feed up to about her knees).

We knew that she was skinny, but with no fur she just looks gaunt. And despite never having been anywhere near overweight, she has belly skin that just hangs off her. Near her back legs she has this paunch that hangs down to about her knees and resembles—as best as I can describe it—scrotum. I got so freaked out about it that I messaged a friend on Facebook who’s a vet to ask if this was normal. I hate being “that guy” who tries to get free advice from friends, but it was late Saturday night and I was afraid it was an indication of a medical condition. My friend assured me that it’s normal and is called an “apron.”

Poor shaved kitty

But worse than how she looks is how she feels. She’s obviously uncomfortable. She spent Saturday and last night stomping around on our pillows in the bed, finally laying down only to immediately get up, frustrated, and try to find a better position. Last year King Boo did the same thing for a few days, and this year it only took him a day to get used to his new fur.

She’s eating, drinking and behaving normally otherwise, though, so I guess it will just take her a few days to acclimate to the change of her coat. She alternates between looking sad and looking like she is going to murder me as soon as I fall asleep, so I hope she finds some relief soon. Poor kitty.

On the bright side, she’s being incredibly nice to King Boo. I guess she figures they’re in this stupid haircut club together.

Bonus picture of BK as a kitten:
Sweetest kitten ever

Happy birthday, BK!

Kitteh blow-out

This is BK. She is a purebred Maine Coon, and yesterday she turned seven years old.

A little less than seven years ago, Ian and I drove to a town outside of Greenville, S.C., to meet her. Her breeder said that she was a “social butterfly,” and was the smartest and most adventuresome kitten in her litter. We immediately fell in love with her, as kitty kissshe did with us. We returned a month later to pick her up and take her home.

The first night we had her, I set her up with some toys and food in the bathroom of my tiny one-bedroom apartment so she wouldn’t get into anything during the night. But when Ian and I went to bed she started to cry, so he suggested that we bring her into the room with us. I went and got her, put her in the bed with us, and she started purring. When we woke up the next morning, she was still purring. She’s slept in the bed with us almost every night since then, although now she generally prefers to take over Ian’s pillow.

She missed himShe is the sweetest, sassiest, smartest, prettiest, most demanding cat I have ever known. She knows how to turn on my closet light, how the faucets work, and can distinguish Ian’s or my car before we pull up to the house. She knows when one of us is feeling down or sick and comforts us. She is rarely in a different room than us, and she loves laying on Ian more than anything. She taught Gordo how to drink water from the sink, King Boo how to meow and Evil Twin how to play. They all want to be like her.

Those of you reading this who don’t have pets probably think I’m crazy. I mean, I am. I’m totally a crazy cat lady. But our cats are our kids, whether or not anyone thinks that’s OK.

So happy birthday, BK! Hope you enjoyed your birthday tuna.

Jan. 21 | Baby kitty

I know, I know. Too many cat photos, too many iPhone photos, and two of BK in a row? What kind of Project 365 is this, anyway?

It’s the Project 365 of someone who works long hours and gets home late, and then is either tired or lazy or uninspired. It’s the Project 365 of someone who loves photography and wants to challenge herself or at least use the fancy new lens she got for Christmas a lot, but just can’t find—or make?—the time.

One thing that would make it easier would be having an EyeFi card so I don’t have to go through the process of prying open the side of the camera and waiting for the pictures to upload every single night. With the EyeFi they’ll be waiting for me on the computer basically right after I take them. I’m just trying to decide if saving about 20 minutes a night is worth $60. Actually, wait. I just realized that with the EyeFi Share, I can upload the pictures to Flickr and my computer at the same time. THAT is worth $60. I think I’ll be ordering one of these cards shortly.

But I’m going to start trying harder. I think coming up with a theme for the week might help. So because this is my project and I’ll take cat pictures if I want to (and I always want to), I’m claiming this week as BK week.

Next week, I don’t know yet. But I promise I’ll try to at least take more pictures with my DSLR and cut back on the iPhone pictures.