September 25, 2003

I took Ribbon to the vet on Monday. Just for a check up nothing big. Basically, his teeth are bad. They need to be cleaned, they're probably hurting him. The vet wanted to take a blood test first to make sure that we can knock him out to do it. They did that Tuesday. They called me today to tell me that he's fine. Really healthy for a 15 year old cat, just a little high on the white cell count but that's probably because of the bad teeth, so I made an appointment today to have his teeth cleaned. And then not an half hour after all that information was imparted to me the cat threw up. No big deal, he's quite a fur ball and throws up hairballs every now and again.

Then he wouldn't sit with me. Then after sleeping all day and since I got home, he didn't want to eat. My cat not wanting to eat is not a good sign. Then he tried to go to the bathroom and couldn't and then immediately threw up again. And so three days after I took him to the vet I took him to emergency care where they took an xray and said nothing seems to be wrong. And now he's still there, having MORE bloodwork done just to double check and costing me a fortune.

And then there's mom, meaning well telling me I should think about the fact that he's 15 years old and near his time. But how can I possibly think of putting him to sleep when nothing is apparently wrong?!

So I'm a bit of a basket case right now. I mean maybe I should have just left him in Benicia, maybe all this upheaval, with the move, living with a dog, and a new kitten is just to much for my old, pretty solitary cat.....

All I know is that he's been to the vet three times in the past week and I feel like he isn't himself. He's lathargic, not eating as much, and not very aware of what's going on around him.

I hate it when I can't do anything. I hate not knowing what's wrong and I hate not having my cat back to normal. And I also hate having the vets look at me like I'm a bad owner.

I'm going to go and watch Pride and Prejudice and try and feel better. The cat is going to be ok, the cat is going to be ok. I'll just keep telling myself that.

Posted by nuala at September 25, 2003 11:20 PM

it's a bad week for cats. we just had bella in at the vet's last night because our roommate's cat took a swipe at her (or so we strongly suspect) and gave her a giant gouge in her cheek which got infected and made her face and eye all swollen. on the one hand, seeing her like that makes me all worried and unhappy. on the other hand, the fact that it looks like those two cats aren't going to stop fighting anytime soon makes me even more worried and unhappy, especially since the roommate and cat are both otherwise great and i'd like them to stick around. it's like guilt from all angles.

so in these dark days for feline health and happiness, i'll keep my fingers crossed for ribbon.

Posted by: dianna on September 26, 2003 12:15 AM

Thanks Diana. I hope that Bella gets better too, and that the two cats work out their difference.

Ribbon is now a conehead. While I was there they realized he had an infection in his eye and so a conehead he has become. He's tired and looking a little cranky. They think he ate something outside that made his tummy sick, so....back to the vet he goes on Monday to make sure he is okay and to get his teeth cleaned and hopefully take off the cone.....I tired now. Sleep

Posted by: nuala on September 26, 2003 01:11 AM

please... it's not a cone, it's an elizabethan collar. very glamorous. all the rage this year. the other cats will be looking at him with envy everywhere he goes!

Posted by: dianna on September 26, 2003 08:19 AM


I'm glad to hear they figured out the problem. It's the most difficult thing in the world when someone or a pet you love is sick and you can't help them. The expenses only make the matter worse.

A friend of mine had a cat "flakie" which had kidney failure. It cost him over $2k in operations at UC Davis. It was the first cat ever to survive dialysis. Anyway, it's a tough call sometimes. Flakie is now living well in San Diego.

I leave Chumley and Shasta on their own all day. Each night when I come home I'm sort of mentally prepared for the worst. I generally place myself in the mindset that they’ve had really awesome lives so far. Great days of butterfly hunting in a large sunny garden. Chasing each other around, tussling, etc. These are the kinds of thoughts you need to keep at the forefront in such situations. At least that’s what I try to focus on.

This may or may not work for others. A friend of mine lost a feral cat “Hazel” he had been feeding for many years. Two terriers got loose from a neighbors yard and instinctively turned into pack hunters. They killed, or rather, mortally wounded it. Another friend had to put it out of its misery, thankfully before Kurt came home. Kurt was upset. I tried consoling him with my mindset thing, but I don’t think it helped him too much. It’s tough being responsible and caring for other living things, but if we don’t didn’t do it their lives would be much less enjoyable, and possibly our own lives as well.

Anyway, I’m glad everything turned out OK. It’s nevertheless remarkable that in spite of the trauma, you managed to pull yourself together enough to email me last night gloating about kicking my ass in the survivor game. Perhaps my ass was simply a distraction to you, as it always has been, and likely ever shall be.

Aaron (and his ass)

By the way, next time you come up Lorie and I (and maybe others) want to have lunch with you. Can you pencil us in???

Posted by: shoefly on September 26, 2003 09:00 AM

All this stuff with the cat happened AFTER suvivor and my email. Before that he had been awful quiet all day, probably feeling sick without my knowledge.

Today he's acting like he's fine and dandy, complaining that he can't go outside and that he can't groom himself with his "elizabethan" collar. He also kept me up all night demanding to be petted, or to take the collar off, I couldn't tell. And I get to put medicine in his eye, four times a day. Like that isn't the most ridiculous thing to expect me to be able to do....

But he seems fine. I suppose we'll see how he is on monday

Posted by: nuala on September 26, 2003 09:32 AM

And yes I will definately have luch with you next time I'm up. I'll try and come up sometime soon.

Posted by: nuala on September 26, 2003 09:33 AM

trying to medicate cats is hilarious.... twice a day, we have to a) clean bella's cut with peroxide and b) get her to swallow a tiny bit of liquid medicine. she'll sit relatively still for the peroxide, which obviously stings like crazy, and then yowl and writhe and try to disembowel us rather than let the medicine get anywhere near her mouth.

Posted by: dianna on September 26, 2003 11:06 AM

we had a cat who lived till she was 17 and was very healthy. i think it's funny that both you and your cats make doctors want to do things to your teeth.

conehead conehead!

we haven't had a conehead in a while in my house. though we do have fuck-face whose underbelly has been all shaved because he had to have an ultrasound. ha ha ha. pissing problems. but he's fine now. theoretically.

aaron, did you get the name chumley from the robert asprin books?

Posted by: michele on September 26, 2003 12:34 PM

oooh poor ribbon. i hope he feels better soon and everything turns out ok.
i just got tito neutered last week. poor thing seemed so sad when we got home. he just slowly wandered around aimlessly. but that might have been due to the drugs he was on....

Posted by: jade on September 26, 2003 04:08 PM

and not his deep distraught over the lack of manhood.


Posted by: michele on September 27, 2003 02:56 AM


Whoa! Look at you! All well-read and shit! No, Chumley wasn't named after Robert Asprin's books. In fact, I bet he stole the name from the same place I did.

Here's my very brief answer:

I got Chumley my cat as a companion (sidekick) for Shasta. Shasta was very finicky about who I brought home for her. She had three trial dates. The first two werecomplete flops. Both potential courters were not to her liking. Chumley, however wasalluring to her. He's pretty damn smart for a cat, we're talking kitty MENSA. He also had a few interesting play moves, like jumping straight up into the air while remaining completely perpendicular to the floor. Shasta was impressed. She didn't growl. So we kept date #3. (by the way, shasta was a ferrel kitten, and chumley was from the humane society. I had both fixed, so there was never a larger scheme. Both cats have the "tuxedo" markings (black and white in traditional locations). Chumley was the name of a cartoon character from an early 60's cartoon called "Tennessee tuxedo". More info(found online):

"Like Bugs Bunny, Magilla Gorilla and the animals of Boner's Ark, Tennessee Tuxedo and his pals lived on the edge between divergent classes of funny animals. They were neither fully anthropomorphic, like Mickey Mouse and Augie Doggie (i.e., living in houses and otherwise functioning exactly like oddly-shaped humans), nor completely animal-like, such as Humphrey Bear or Tom & Jerry. They walked on their hind legs and conversed with animal and human alike, but otherwise functioned as animals. This particular set lived in the Megopolis Zoo.

Besides Tennessee (a penguin), the zoo dwellers included Chumley (a walrus, and Tennessee's best pal), Baldy (an eagle) and Yakkety (a yak). Chumley's voice was provided by Bradley Bolke (several incidental characters in Casper the Friendly Ghost's 1963 TV series), Baldy's and Yak's by Kenny Delmar (whose character, Senator Claghorn, Mel Blanc based Foghorn Leghorn on) and Tennessee's by Don Adams (who later became famous as Maxwell Smart and still later used his "Smart" voice as Inspector Gadget). Larry Storch (who also did voices at Warner Bros. during the last few years of its animation studio) voiced Stanley Livingston (the zoo keeper) and Phineas J. Whoopee (whose reason for always being handy wasn't entirely clear).

Stories usually involved some ambitious scheme of Tennessee's, aided by Chumley, tho the latter, like Davey's Goliath or Yogi Bear's Boo-Boo, would be skeptical; while keeper Livingston tried vainly to maintain order. Things would eventually be set right with information provided by Mr. Whoopee, who had an animated chalkboard for visual aid. Mr. Whoopee's lectures also imparted useful or interesting knowledge to the viewers, in a reasonably painless way.

Image of chumley and tennessee tuxedo:

Posted by: shoefly on September 27, 2003 11:10 AM