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July 6, 2006

Irving, Tumbleweeds and the Midnight Pooper

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I am suffering from a case of brain mush this week, most likely attributed to the long weekend, heat, my parents' cooking, the World Cup and beer. There is also a zit on my forehead in a size I have not seen since the era of braces and red framed glasses.

Some updates and proof that yes, I do read all of your comments, even if I do not get a chance to respond.

The Irving Situation. Though I did not respond in type to people's urgings, we of course took Irving to the vet prior to and in addition to trying out new litter box configurations. We all know that Irvalicious has issues. The Oybean carries a long list of allergies and enough psychoses to scare me off from human procreation for many, many years. Now we have another ailment to add to the roster-- crystals in his urine, or the beginning glimmers of bladder stones. The vet noted that this could be less of an issue than it sounds (urine that sits outside the body for a matter of hours can form crystals on its own) but as a precaution, we have to feed him special food to try to clear it up.

There is definitely environmental stress playing out in our household as well, which is contributing to his sickness, and most probably some of his weight loss and licking. And if anyone in this house is afraid of living things getting smaller, it is me. Mr. Bean has always been roly-poly and to see him normal sized with a visible neck is a little distressing.

All that said, we are now struggling to get all four cats on a twice-daily feeding routine instead of leaving bowls out all the time. Irving has to be fed in the bathroom away from the other cats. His new food costs more than a months worth of my own feeding and I´┐Żll be damned if all four will be joining in on that action.

The Midnight Pooper. While Irving was sequestered in the bathroom for urine sampling, another small poop pile appeared, leading us to believe that Olive is the culprit (the small poop to slender cat size ratio seemed to fit). Again, environmental stress, this one emanating from that small furry continent that we call Olga. I bought Olive her own little rug and cat bed this weekend and it seems to have helped a bit. Irving even joined her on the rug and licked her vigorously for a while, which is his way of saying that he loves his sister AND appreciates multi-colored hairballs.

Tumbleweed Furballs.
The cats hate the heat almost as much as Alexis does. We got a little nervous this weekend that Olga might keel because of her double coat, so we started encouraging her to sleep in our cabana during the day. What is our cabana, you ask? Well it is the system of curtains I devised for our sleeping area to keep the a/c coolness in. It kind of looks like an ER privacy curtain but it does the trick. To help counter the large tumbleweeds of fur that started accumulating on our bed I purchased a king sized fitted sheet. It acts like a gigantic shower cap for our comforter, thus deflecting the layers of Olga and making everyone happy.

Evacuations Not Having to Do with Poop or Pee.
Everyone's comments were really helpful on the flooding issue. We might just be visiting a few of you that live on higher Brooklyn soil. Just pray that your address isn't listed in the phone book.

The end.

Posted by callalillie at July 6, 2006 7:34 AM | Feline Musings , Random


we have those furball problems as well, and we're combating it partially with shaving maddie for the summer next week, and trying to keep the cats out of our bedroom when we're not in the bed, which is easier said than done. that and an old tapestry from my college days covers our bed in cooler weather.

Posted by: dahl at July 6, 2006 10:36 AM

can you shave a normal-haired cat? we'd joked about it for olga but i would so do it if it was acceptable.

Posted by: corie at July 6, 2006 10:38 AM

Please tell me the trick to shaving a cat!
We bought a clipper and trying to get even close to our fury cats with this thing is a challenge.

Posted by: Tiya at July 6, 2006 11:15 AM

Forgive me if someone has already suggested this to you, but I've recently become aware of a great-sounding product to help alleviate kitty stress. It's a synthesized "happy pheremone" that's available in spray or plug-in diffuser form. I purchased one the other day to try and reunite our 2 girls that are currently living on separate floors in the house after a bad fight (both their choice, BTW). Anyway, I can't attest myself to it's effectiveness, but I did read alot of independent reviews, and it seems to have worked wonders for people. It's marketed to help correct stress behaviours like scratching and clandestine bathroom indcidents, but supposedly also helps with aggression and other things as well. It's called Feliway (and here's hoping it works!!!)
Anyway, that's my 2 cents worth!

Posted by: Jennifer at July 6, 2006 3:25 PM

We had the crystals in the urine thing with Tahsha. After giving her antibiotics from the vet I did some natural remedies research. According to a variety of sources, hardfood and food with fish in it exacerbates or causes this problem in cats. We switched to all natural petfood with no fish in the ingredients list (be warned that it could say "chicken" but fish winds up as a surpise ingredient), and a mix of wet and dry (instead of all dry). We'd go with the wet all the way, but the dry is better for their teeth and gums. But she's great--never had a relapse, and let me tell you, just like people, cats are what they eat. Natural food equals a much less smelly litter box.

Posted by: kar at July 6, 2006 3:42 PM

what kind of natural food do you use? we tried that briefly but were unsure of which kind would be best for irving and all of his allergies.

Posted by: corie at July 6, 2006 4:22 PM

randolph is getting better with his poop. we've yet to uncover the couch downstairs though.

and you should get a roomba. it's the best thing ever.

Posted by: tien at July 6, 2006 6:19 PM

Poor kitties. Let's hope their combined miseries [heat, pooping, allergies] will unite them. We don't hear much about Ms. Frieda. Is she okay?

Posted by: Divaah46 at July 6, 2006 7:08 PM

Oddly, Frieda is the most adjusted of the bunch.

Posted by: corie at July 6, 2006 7:10 PM

I am very sorry to hear that Irving is sick with bladder problems.

I spent over $800 to find out those few years ago that Jasper did not have a bladder infection but would have a chronic illness for life and it was worth every penny. My Jasper has had a chronic bladder inflammation since he was less than a year old and I have been informed that he will have the problem for life (he's four now, so he may look forward to bladder pain and issues for the next 12-18 years more).

Bladder stones and crystals are quite dangerous in male cats from what my vets have told me and can be deadly in fact. I really do hope the new food helps or that they can surgically help the bladder out.

Jasper deals with flare ups about twice a year. One flare up last year had me wondering if he was dying. I was hearing sounds come out of him I had never heard come out of a human or an animal and the vet hospital and I were scared to death. Thank heavens he is fine now. I do worry about my baby though, often.

Good luck! You and Irving are very much in my thoughts. Positive vibes headed your way!

Posted by: Gina at July 7, 2006 12:37 PM

Dante (my little boy devil cat - boy kitties, are apparently subject to crystals in their urine b/c of magnesium content) had crystals in his urine, too - I think I may have posted about that in the litterbox commentry. Know this - that while treating him will be expensive, he will get better... and then you can go back to feeding him normal ( less expensive, but still not the grocery store kind of cat food).... it may take a few months..... but hang in there, good luck & hug Irving for me!!

Posted by: tatiana at July 8, 2006 10:55 AM

Also Princesa has crystals in her urine and stones in her bladder. My little girl was urinating with some blood. Unfortunately it's chronic.
Now she's eating Feline c/d - Dry (Hill's Prescription Diet) and it's working ok.
What kind of food does Irving eat now?
Goog luck and please let us know how he's feeling.

Posted by: Mariana at July 12, 2006 1:10 AM

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