Archive for the 'Kitties' Category

Learning Something I’ve Never Even Imagined

As you may remember, we said goodbye to Jasper a year ago. 15 years was a long time to share his life with us, and we were very sad to see him go. Well, his brother Merlin has started losing weight (this has been an ongoing battled, but has recently taken a concerning turn), so we took him in for some blood work to see if we could figure out what was going on. As it turns out, he’s in the early stages of kidney disease, which is really common in a kitty who is almost 16 years old!

Still, this is distressing to us, and the vet talked to us about a course of action. There is nothing we can do to stop kidney disease or “cure him,” but our vet had an idea for helping to ease the progression. It may or may not work, but we were able to find a solution that wouldn’t strain the budget. We’ll try this for a month and then do another blood test to see what the numbers tell us.

What are we trying? Well, I got to learn something I never thought I’d ever do: give subcutaneous fluids to a cat via an IV.
Yes, really!
I guess people even abbreviate it “subq.”
This is like a whole new world!

The funny thing about this, is when I talk to people, I get one of two reactions: a shocked gasp or a knowing nod. I know so many people who have done this for their kitties! I had no idea.

Our vet said to give Merlin this treatment once a week for a month. Last week, Claire and I went in, and they trained us how to do it! Yesterday, we got to do it ourselves, and BOY, was it an adventure!

He tolerated it really well…but even then, he’d had enough right before he’d had enough. *sigh*

I ended up sticking him a total of four times. The good news is that I know what I’m doing now…

The person who trained me said the most important thing to remember is to be confident in your poking of the needle. It also took me a while to figure out how to insert all the tubing and whatnot into the bag, but I figured that out. (They showed me, and it was SO SIMPLE to see them do it with all the “pull this and insert that” stuff…but I wasn’t sure if I was doing it right when it was all in front of me! …but I was.) As for being confident, I was just going to have to pretend. 😉

During the first session (yes, there was only supposed to be one session…more on that in a minute), the first “confident” poke went through both “tented” layers of Merlin’s skin and ALMOST into my fingernail on the other side! Eeeeks! Luckily, I have a tough nail polish, or I’m not sure how THAT would have ended. (I know WHERE it would have ended, and that would NOT have been good!)

The second confident poke went well! …until the liquid squirted out of Merlin and onto the kitchen floor! Oooops. (That meant I went through both “tented” layers again! Ack! They’d warned me this could happen, but it’s one thing to hear about it, and another to see it! Then I had to scramble to figure out how to stop the fluids, which I know how to do when things aren’t so URGENT.)

(This was the part of the procedure that almost made me cry! What if I can’t do this!? I took a moment to gather my wits about me, and tried again.)

The third confident poke ACTUALLY went well, and we got what we thought was 150ml into him. He was DONE before we got to 150ml, but we kept him restrained and then let him go…only to realize that when you hold the bag in a different way, (don’t ask. Ha!) we weren’t quite to 150 ml yet! (WHAT!? Aaaargh!)

We let him roam for a bit and then cornered him in my office for a second session (rather than the kitchen this time…the cabinet pulls make a GREAT IV bag holder**, but there was no way to convince him to stay in THERE…). This time, I got everything inserted properly the first time.

**No, “being a great IV bag holder” was not even on our radar when we picked those new cabinet pulls years ago! Who knew!?**

So, the good news: Claire was a fantastic helper. She and I know what we’re doing now and what to expect. Of course, so does he. I held him after the procedure, and he purred and purred and his tongue was sticking out like it does when he’s happy, so I don’t think he’s holding a grudge.

I guess we’ll see how much he remembers next week!

Here’s a pic of him napping while we watched a movie last night. (Yes, our remote is marked for easier use. Our guests thank us. Ha!)

Hide & Seek With Merlin


For once, the ol’ trick of “If I close my eyes, they can’t see me!” really works!

Jasper’s Paw Print

Today, we picked up Jasper's Paw Print from the vet and put it on the wall with the other photos.

Today, we picked up Jasper’s Paw Print from the vet and put it on the wall with the other photos.


Jasper 2001-2016


We had to put Jasper down this afternoon. He was almost 15yrs old and led a big, long kitty life. He was feisty and awesome and our very, very first baby (along with his brother, Merlin). We were convinced he’d live forever until things took a drastic turn on Thursday. 🙁 We made the decision to end his pain.

And, because if I don’t laugh, I’ll sob (some more), when they asked us if we wanted his ashes, we declined. Claire and I had already talked about it… I mean, “Where would we sprinkle them?” we asked each other, grinning through our tears… “The furnace vent? The bed? The kitchen counter?” Our vet does a paw print, and we think that’s going to be just perfect.

Needless to say, we’re a blubbering mess right now. We’re not sure how Merlin will do without his brother, as they’ve never been truly apart. And one thing’s for sure…it will be a lot quieter around here.

I’ll give you three guesses as to where we keep the Hedgehog Food.

…and the first two guesses don’t count.

I wasn’t sure how this would go. Introducing a baby hedgehog into the family could go really well, or very poorly. I didn’t see much middle-ground.

Merlin & Jasper are brothers from the same litter. We adopted them as brand-new kittens, and they’ll be 12-years old this year.

Although they’re siblings, their personalities are very different.

Merlin (the black kitty) is easy-going and really loving to family members and guests, alike. He will let a little kid carry him around by whatever body part they prefer. (We try to stop that before it happens, but he’s never acted out toward anyone, even if they’ve deserved it.) Also, he’s just not the sharpest crayon in the box.

Jasper (gray, black, and white tabby), on the other hand, is an intelligent master-mind who is always plotting something. He’s our protector and lets me know when things are just not right. Although he despises guests, he will not run and hide. He tricks them by pretending that he wants to be petted and will then turn on them without warning for trying to do so. He’s the one in charge.

So, how did they take to Henry?

They have adjusted wonderfully! They have yet to puff up or act aggressively at ALL. (Knock on wood!!) They’re mildly curious and slightly intrigued, but frankly, more interested in the fact that HE gets kitten food, and they don’t.

…and as you can see in the above photo, they’ve figured out where I keep it.

Happy 11th Birthday, guys!

Jasper & Merlin - 11 Years Old

Not to be overshadowed by The First Day of School… It’s Merlin & Jasper’s Birthday! I can’t believe our first babies are ELEVEN.

Happy Birthday, guys!

Yes, I am the crazy lady who wishes her kitties a Happy Birthday on her blog.

Jasper & Merlin are NINE YEARS OLD today!

I can’t believe my first babies are almost a decade old!

It seems like yesterday we were bringing them home. (We had to wait until they were big enough to bring them home. You can read all about that here!) Look how TINY they are!!

Eight Years ago!

October 2001 - Merlin & Jasper

Happy Birthday, guys!

I’m too young to have a 48-year old.


Merlin & Jasper wait (im)patiently for their birthday treats.

Merlin and Jasper turn 8-years old today!  It seems like yesterday we were bringing them home.  (We had to wait until they were big enough to bring them home.  You can read all about that here!) They were so tiny!

Eight Years ago!

October 2001

According to a chart online, they are the equivalent of 48-years old.  Does this mean, they’ll start looking for younger kitties to date and want to ride motorcycles?  I guess it’s a good thing we never let them outside.  🙂

Not the flavor he had in mind

One night, Claire was pretending to give the kitties treats.  She was handing them invisible morsels.  They were a bit confused but didn’t seem to mind playing along with the charade.  Claire informed us that she’d created her very own concoctions:  Merlin was being treated to mashed potato treats, and Jasper got to have pepperoni ones.

Daddy was focused on the laptop on the kitchen table, not really giving his full attention to what was unfolding in the kitchen.

“Here, Daddy!” she says, as she hands him what he thinks is an invisible treat.  He pops it into his mouth.

“Mmmmm,” he says.  “Is this one mashed potatoes or pepperoni?” proving he had been paying attention to some of the details, but what he’d failed to realize was that we’d switched gears, and she’d handed him Baby Piggy.

“Aaaaaaaaaaah!  Daddy!  That’s Baby Piggy!” Claire screamed, obviously distraught.  “We don’t eat Baby Piggy!”

Without missing a beat, Daddy opened his mouth and Baby Piggy plopped out onto the palm of his hand.

“It’s okay, Claire,” he said, pretending to wipe the slobbers off of the poor unsuspecting imaginary little creature.  “Baby Piggy is fine.  She just went for a ride in my mouth!”

“That’s not a good idea, Daddy!  That’s not a good idea!” she screams, grabbing Baby Piggy and holding her close to her chest.

“Claire,” I said, trying not to lose my composure.  “It’s probably best if you don’t hand Daddy anything around dinner-time…especially if he’s hungry and not really paying attention.”

I’ve always wondered why it’s called FURniture…

One of our friends forwarded us a funny email. This makes me laugh, so I decided to share!

Honestly, I haven’t fielded many complaints about our pets, but if we ever have to, here is a handy list. 😉

To All Non-Pet Owners Who Visit & Like to Complain About Our Pets:

1. They live here. You don’t.

2. If you don’t want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture. (That’s why they call it ‘fur’niture..)

3. I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.

4. To you, they are animals. To me, they are adopted sons who are
short, hairy, walk on all fours and don’t speak clearly.

Today is Day 25 of 30 in the NaBloPoMo Challenge! A funny post to make you smile AND a completed post for Day 25? Done!