Thursday, January 31, 2008

Hothouse Cats

Good news, Tyler is fine.

I may have forgotten to mention there was a day or so I wasn't sure if he was. Tyler is my "delicate" cat. He is prone to developing crystals in his urine, which can lead to blockages and that is not good. Because of him, a couple of years ago, the vet recommended the entire herd be upgraded to Science Diet C/D, aka Very Expensive Crunchies (VEC). I'll do anything for my animals.

Until things started getting a little, shall we say, tight around here? "Very temporary cash flow issue" (VTCFI) is the term I've heard the LoAer's use as a way to be truthful about the situation at the present moment without attracting more of it to them. Well, with the estate closing delay and my procrastination regarding preparing my house to sell, I've found myself in a VTCFI and opted to downgrade them slightly.


Sorry, Tyler, my bad.

Unfortunately, there are no medications I can give him. It's not a disease, it's a syndrome. No one is sure of the exact cause, but the treatment is purely dietary. This is something I understand completely, having a horse that is much the same (sugar in sweet feed and grass leads to lameness). After a day or so of observing a very frustrated cat visit all the litter boxes, I knew I could avoid the vet no longer.

Thankfully, he isn't blocked yet (but was trying to be), his bladder was empty and probably just irritated from the crystals. But he is spending the next week isolated from the other cats only to prevent him from eating the "Junk Food" Crunchies (they're not that bad!) and so I can monitor the box. I'm happy to report that he peed all over the utility room floor as a protest against being isolated. He is a very social cat. (He did finally rediscover his love affair with the catbox. And he has his own private bag of VEC.)

He's temporarily housed in the utility room (between the family room where he usually lives and the kitchen). The bathroom wasn't working out for him. That's where every cat in recovery has stayed since the dawn of time. But the door no longer latches. This is something I found out at 5:00 AM when I was awakened by what sounded like loose cat exploring the house.

It was indeed loose cat exploring the house. After trying unsuccessfully to rig it so the door would stay shut (while he stayed in the utility room), I realized he had made himself a nest among the comforters to be laundered—and that he was finally quiet and content. So I relocated him out there. (Why fight it?)

You may be asking, why are the cats sequestered from the rest of the house? Two words: woodwork and claws (OK, three words: fur. Wait: four—antiques. No, five: irreplaceable breakable things). This is not MY house yet. It's my Mother's. It was built in 1960. The woodwork is original. The couch in the living room is leather. At my house, I was less conscientious about it—not much woodwork, the doorjambs were "fake" woodgrain, and they had lots of carpet to claw (along with the side of my non-leather couch). My bad again. I didn't train them well. But I may need to sell this house someday, and the less repair the better. They've already taken one of the doorjambs in the family room down to the paneling. Even with a 6-foot cat tree to demolish.

Don't worry, he's not imprisoned all alone all day. When I go out for TV and cat time, I let him join us. I have to take up all the crunchies, though, and monitor the litter boxes. Tonight he was funny. He must've been completely exhausted from the vet visit and the stress of the new digs because he passed out on the sofa, sleeping like he'd hiked ten miles uphill both ways. Poor guy.

The vet says once he's straightened out (in about a week meaning he's using the box and producing normally), I can tinker with his diet and try a couple of the better brand pet store foods that others have found to work pretty well. Some cats can deal, others can't. The vet said Tyler might be one of the ones who needs the best of the foods. *sigh*

Oh, and that'll be Somewhat More Affordable Brand LITE. He got weighed.

18.03 lbs.

The vet said he needs to lose four pounds.

No wonder I'm having a VTCFI. I'm trying to feed 80 pounds of cat (that's all five).

Off to bed now...



At 11:37 AM, January 31, 2008, Anonymous Erin said...

Let me recommend to you Soft Paws. No more clawing up wood, and you don't have to chop off the tips of their fingers. Our cats don't even fuss with them, which is totally surprising. They revolutionized our world. We get ours at PetSmart.

At 2:37 PM, January 31, 2008, Anonymous Carrie K said...

1960? Like that's old?

Good luck to Tyler! It seems to be Bad Things Happening to Pets week. It sounds like you've got it under control.

At 6:06 PM, January 31, 2008, Blogger Sheepish Annie said...

Oh, I'm so glad kitty is OK! Hate to hear about the sick felines these days...

At 8:48 PM, January 31, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm behind on my blog reading!

The soft paws are cool, but IMHO a pain in the ass to put on.

There's a "treat" I use with George because she had urinary issues when she was a baby. I have no idea if she's still producing crystals because I haven't had her tested, but she likes the supplement and my giving it to her in the morning has become our little personal time. It's called F.U.S. by Natural Care - you can find it on Petsmart's web page go to Cat, then Urninary Care. It's a white bottle, yellow label and not terribly expensive. We have one daily! Try it, I got off the expensive food with this.

Good luck!


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