Category Archives: Cats

Feline Friday, Part 2: Sally & Sylvester

Sylvester This is a special “Part 2” edition of today’s Feline Friday, featuring Sally & Sylvester, cats who live with our former Kaaawa neighbors and good friends, now living in Colorado Springs.

This is Mr. Sylvester. He was hiding out when we arrived here to visit earlier in the week. He left the initial greetings to his sister, Sally, who strolled right past the two big dogs in order to greet us properly. Sylvester showed up later in the day when activity started in the kitchen.

These are two very satisfactory cats. When we met the cats, they were the only animals in the household. They now share the space with two big dogs, Zeus and Rey. That was a bit of an adjustment, but they and the dogs seem to have come to an understanding.

So here’s a brief glimpse of Sally and Sylvester, our Colorado cats. Feline Friday, Part 2.

–> See more of Sally & Sylvester

Feline Friday: Way back with Mr. Duke

Well, I got up early this morning and launched myself into Feline Friday, but then got sidetracked by other things and never got back to finish the job. So here I am, hours late, with this week’s dose of cat energy. Only after getting it all ready did I remember that this is only Thursday!

But since it’s all ready, here it goes anyway!

This week it’s a step into the feline past. 2002, to be specific, When Duke was a precious kitten just a few months old.

This is Duke with his mother, Miss Cybelle. Duke’s sister had just been adopted by friends, and now it was the two of them (and something like seven, or maybe nine other cats already in the household).

Cybelle died not long afterwards of previously undiagnosed diabetes.

Duke, now 14 years old, is fat and happy.

–> Click here to see today’s stash do Duke’s baby pictures!

Feline Friday: The Front Line

The front lineYes, it’s Feline Friday, featuring this fine Front Line of our Kahala Felines. Left to right, that’s Duke, Romeo, and Ms. Kili.*

They are the three cats that eat on the floor in the kitchen. They are the first to gather and beg, and the first served at almost every meal.

Toby usually waits on our dining table, where he gets at least his first serving. That’s an attempt to offer a little protection, since Romeo usually tries to go over and take over Toby’s food dish. At least we try to give Toby a head start before Romeo’s bullying starts.

And Ms. Annie typically waits on the kitchen counter for her food, although she’s been known to hold out for a dish in our guest bedroom.

This week has been mostly quiet on the cat front. Duke started his first refill of Azithromycin, a strong antibiotic that he was prescribed in an attempt to finally treat his long-standing upper respiratory infection. He now gets a dose every three days, and this will go on for at least six weeks. It comes as a powder, and then gets mixed with water. Luckily, he doesn’t mind the flavor, so he doesn’t really resist (just a little token back-puddling).

–> Without further delay, click here to see all of today’s Friday Felines.

[*Note: Over the weekend, I received an email: “Hi Ian!! Are you testing us to see if we noticed that you have Duke’s and Romeo’s names/positions reversed in the photo? Heh!!”

Ah, that’s correct. Trying to retrace my brain synapses, I remember that I thinking how the photo made Duke look much larger than Romeo, right as I wrote out that left-to-right description.

Can I plead that it’s the result of decaf-only coffee in the morning as I was preparing the post?]

Feline Friday: Excellent pet care when we’re out of town

Duke & Romeo Yes, it’s April Fools Day, but no foolishness here today. Just cats.

But before getting to today’s feline foto gallery, I want to address a problem all animal people face–what to do when you travel. That leads me to a serious plug for our new cat sitter, who happens to be looking for additional clients. She comes with our highest recommendation.

Here’s the tale. In Kaaawa, we relied on a friend in the neighborhood to take care of our cats. But when we moved into town last year, that was no longer viable, and we were frantic to find a solution. Obviously, you really don’t want to let just anyone into your house while you’re gone. And we have the special problem of two diabetic cats who need twice daily insulin shots.

So as we moved, we asked our vet for advice. She shared a secret, letting us know that one of her vet techs also does pet care on the side. And she lives in Kapahulu, I believe, not too far from our new house over in Kahala. So we contacted her and arranged to meet.

What a delight. She’s an experienced vet tech, and recently retired from her job at VCA. It turns out that Duke remembered her from his days as a boarder at VCA. And she has a manner that puts the cats at ease. And that’s important.

At one time, we had to board the diabetics at the vet, and then have someone care for the other cats at home. A double expense, which definitely cut down on our ability to travel. Then we were fortunate to find friends in the neighborhood who would come in and take care of the cats, including the insulin shots. The only problem is that Duke would hide when they came into the house. The solution was to set up a portable crate in the living room, where poor Duke was confined while we were gone. Not great for him, but it made sure he was around to get his shots.

Fast forward to our new house and new cat sitter. She comes twice a day, morning and evening. She feeds the cats, does the insulin shots, cleans the cat boxes, and checks the house to make sure all is in order. And as a bonus, she brings toys and spends a little tine playing with all the cats. She’s covered the home front while we’ve been on several trips, and has done an excellent job.

She is wonderful, and reliable. If you want regular updates, she’ll send photos and notes while you’re gone.

And she’ll care for your dogs, or other small pets, just as carefully.

So if you’re looking for a reliable pet sitter to give quality care to your animals so that you’re free to travel, email me and I’ll put you in touch. I know she does jobs in east Honolulu, but if you live elsewhere in town, you can always check to see if she’s available.

–> And before you leave today, click here to see all of our Friday Felines!

Feline Friday: Adventures at the Vet

Mr. DukeDuke welcomes you to Feline Friday, the end of a long week of vet visits. Both Duke and Annie made the drive to the Hawaii Kai Veterinary Clinic to see Dr. Ann Sakamoto for more than the usual checkup.

Duke was the first. He was going in for a test of how well we’re managing to control his diabetes. It’s a blood test for fructosamine levels. Here’s a description of the test.

Fructosamine testing involves checking the fructosamine level in the blood, and this testing is another way to monitor diabetic pets. Fructosamine is a protein thatbinds very strongly to glucose in the blood. Because fructosamine occurs in proportion to blood glucose, it can provide an accurate estimate of the amount of glucose in the blood. When the fructosamine level is measured, it helps determine the average glucose level for the previous 2to 3 weeks. Fructosamine monitoring is often the preferred method for monitoring the glucose level in cats because it is not affected by stress, which can cause asharp increase in the blood glucose levelin cats.

And then there’s his nagging issue. Duke has had a chronic upper respiratory infection of some kind. We’ve tried several times to combat it, without much success. The lucky thing is that it doesn’t seem to spread the other cats, but for Duke, an ongoing issue.

We were lucky this time. Soon after Dr. Sakamoto came into the room and started to examine Duke, he let loose with a big sneeze and blew cat snot across the exam table. It showed exactly what we’re dealing with, which isn’t always the case.

So she prescribed one of the big guns of the antibiotic world, Azithromycin. It’s apparently a human antibiotic approved for cats and dogs. So Duke gets a daily dose for five days, then one every three days for at least several weeks.

He just started with the first dose yesterday afternoon, and he seems to be doing better already (although this could be wishful thinking). It comes in a liquid form. Luckily, it apparently doesn’t taste bad, because I was able to get the full dose into him. So that’s very fortunate as I look ahead to the longer term.

Duke also came home with a bag of Lysine cat treats, which are supposed to boost his immune system. He likes them, so that’s another plus.

So I’m hopeful that this is going to finally be successful at combating this long-term infection.

And then there’s Annie. In her recent checkup, Dr. Sakamoto noted that Annie has a heart murmur.

According to PetMD.com:

Extra heart vibrations that are produced as a result of a disturbance in the blood flow — enough, in fact, to produce audible noise — are referred to as murmurs. Often, the murmurs are classified according to a variety of characteristics, including their timing. Systolic murmurs, for example, occur when the heart muscle contracts; diastolic murmurs occur when the heart muscle relaxes between beats; and continuous and to-and-fro murmurs occur throughout all or most of the cardiac cycle.

Dr. Sakamoto rated Annie’s murmur as a Grade 2 on a scale of 1 to 6: “Grade II—soft, but easily heard with a stethoscope”

Since Annie is our youngest cat, Dr. Sakamoto recommended an ultrasound of her heart to determine the cause of the murmur.

So yesterday morning, Annie and I left the house early to meet another vet and his portable ultrasound system in Hawaii Kai. The procedure didn’t take too long, and although it required a vet tech to hold Annie partially on her back, Annie was very good about it all.

So apparently the good news is that her murmer isn’t caused by an overall thickening of the heart wall, but by one section that restricts blood flow somewhat when she’s stressed. I couldn’t process all the details as the test was being done, so I’ll have to wait until the results are reported. But Annie bounced back quickly after we got back home, and within a few hours had mostly forgotten the whole experience and was running around the house like normal.

So the cats are recovering. The bank account, not so much. I’m glad the week is over.

–> See all of today’s Friday Felines!

By the way, there are some great portraits of Romeo and Toby in this batch!