All posts in the Pets category

Published February 1, 2012 by Hemlock

I’ve been down with the Flu for about two weeks now.  Yeah, somewhere around two weeks.  It’s caused a horrid ear infection that’s required 2 rounds of antibiotics, and it looks like I’ll be headed back to the doctor, unfortunately.  I still have pressure in my ear, but no pain (small blessing), and this cough just won’t go away.  For as long as I can remember I’ve gotten ear infections.  As a child, they were an incredibly regular occurrence, but my Grandmother refused to get tubes put in (and I thank her for that) figuring that I’d grow out of them.

I didn’t, though.

I generally get one a year, but this is the worst one I’ve had for as long as I can remember.  The really unfortunate part is that I’m incredibly allergic to most antibiotics so treating me is a bit difficult, and for whatever reason, the Azithromycin (Z-Pack)  isn’t kicking it this time.  It’s my ‘go to’ antibiotic, but I think I’ve ‘gone to it’ one too many times.  I’m curious to see what my Doc has in mind.

All in all, being sick has been a bit of a blessing.  I’ve focused more on my sewing, and I’m actually getting somewhere in designing some purses for Hippy-Nerd-Chicks.  The very first purse I made was out of some vintage red corduroy, and I can’t believe how many people asked me where I bought it.  I’ll admit that it was pretty cool telling them that I made it!   This second one turned out pretty cool, too.  It has a large pocket in it to hold various cables for laptops, e-readers, phone chargers and whatnot.  There’s also a pocket dedicated to my Kindle, and a couple more to hold my Epi-Pen, Pepper spray, and phone.  I’ll have to get some pictures… it really did turn out well.

The other hidden blessing of being sick is having the time to do math.  Yup!  You heard me!  Math has always been my weak-link when it comes to school.  My problem is that I want to know why things are done they way they’re done and I just can’t accept the “That’s the way it is!” response.  A while back, Xannatos read an article about a website called Khan’s Academy and I registered at that time, but I was completely unmotivated.  Well, I mind myself motivated now.  As horrible as it sounds, I started at the very beginning and started working my way up.  After a few days I’m now doing math equivalent to 6th grade through Middle School Algebra.  I know it doesn’t seem like much, but for me, it’s a big deal.  I need the math for the pre-vet program, and what’s incredibly frustrating, is that I can do the math associated with the science classes, and it makes sense in that context, but get me outside of science/biology and I can’t do anything.  Hopefully, Khan’s Academy will get me placed at a reasonable level in college and I can get going on the myriad of biology classes I’ll need.

Corbin is doing great.  He has so much personality, and he’s finally trying to play with the dog.  Terra gets so excited and she ends up scaring him on occasion, but they seem to truly enjoy each other’s company.  I’m a little concerned that he may have Feline Herpes, but there’s not much we can do.  He’s still sneezing a bit, but not much, and it could be related to us kicking up all the dander and dust in my sewing room when we moved Littlefoot and Link into the back bedroom (especially since there’s absolutely no corneal ulceration).  If it turns out he does have it, it’s not too big of a deal as one of our cats already has it, and the other was diagnosed as a kitten but hasn’t had any outbreaks since she was very little.  It’s just unfortunate for him if he does.

I hope everyone’s having a good week.  So far, so good over here!



Published January 27, 2012 by Hemlock

Things are going pretty good over here.  I’ve had some short, but meaningful, discussions with Xannatos about how I’m doing now that I’m completely off of the medication.  I admit that sometimes I wish I were back on the Zoloft, but after talking with Hubby I’ve decided that I don’t need it anymore, and I’m using it more as a crutch.

I did have a horrible-almostwentbackonmymeds-day last Friday.  It was scary.  Really scary, and I began to question a lot of things.  Mocha, our oldest remaining cat has been going through some serious health related issues due to the medication for her Hyperthyroidism, and we came close to losing her.  It was rough, and it was too much.  She’s ok now, and everything’s back to normal – mostly.  She’s completely off of her meds, and when our tax return comes in I’ll be taking her to Oregon for I-131 treatment to get rid of the Hyperthyroidism since she can’t take any medication to manage the disease.

Also, with Xannatos’ support, I’m looking into going back to school for Pre-Vet.  It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but I admit that I’m a little hesitant because I don’t know how it’s going to affect the whole baby thing.  The responsible thing for me to do would be to hold off until I’m completely out of school, but that’s going to take me at least 8-10 years and, frankly, I don’t really see that as an option.  I’m already having enough issues, and I don’t need to add to it me being close to, or in, my 40’s.

Such a handsome boy!

Lastly, on my completely horrible day last Friday, I went to the local Humane Society and met a sweet little kitten named Diego.  I didn’t go looking for a new cat, I just wanted some kitten-antics to help cheer me up, but I should have known better.  He had been returned the day before because the woman who adopted him earlier that week brought him back because he just wasn’t ‘flashy’ enough!  Can you believe that?  Seriously, what a fucktard.

He’s been renamed Corbin Dallas, and is currently quarantined in my sewing room with the birds and rats.  He had a bit of a lesson with Turtle (one of my rats) who it turns out is going a bit senile, and he’s leaving the birds alone for the most part.  His first trial has been Terra, our dog.

She's a little gun shy post "Thwap"!One thing you need to know about Terra is that she’s a huge Love, and her best friend is our cat, Kira.  When I first introduced the new kitten to her two days ago, she went up to him nose-first and scared the crap out of the kitten and his response was to thwap her across the nose.  It really caught the dog off guard!

... Almost... There...However, she wasn’t about to let that get in the way of making friends. Across roughly 6-7 hours, she inched ever closer to the new addition. I kid you not! This dog started at the doorway by the rat cages, and every little bit would move an inch or so closer to the kitten who was laying in the dog’s bed underneath my ironing board. By the end of the day, she had gotten so far as actually touching the bed without him hissing. As of last night, as long as she doesn’t move too quickly, Corbin is alright with her, and he’s even taken to attacking the tip of her tail. She doesn’t quite know what to make of that, as she knows it’ll just be another scratch if she looks at him, but you can tell she’s quite pleased at the contact!

He'd just discovered the birds...Lastly, Corbin went to the vet for some sniffles. The vet thinks it’s most likely a reaction to all the dander in the room, but considering Mocha, she wanted to hit him with an oral antibiotic and some eye goop. He’s not too thrilled about that, to say the least. I also asked her if he was actually 8 weeks old or not. She agreed that he was quite large at almost 4 pounds, but his teeth are very much those of an 8 week old kitten. So, she said that normally, a kitten gains one pound a month, but that in his case he’s just going to be a big cat. He’s a solid little boy, without an ounce of fat on him!

Carnivorous Carnivores

Published May 30, 2010 by Hemlock

I was at Whole Foods today getting some ear oil to soothe my yearly ear infection and had an interesting encounter. In the pet products aisle I was perusing the wet cat food for Kovu since we need to be careful with what he eats (no grains, no chicken) as he has either food allergies, a sensitive stomach or both.

While reading the ingredients list an interesting woman interrupted me and asked what I was looking for in a food, and I offhandedly told her what I just stated. Her reply was that I should feed raw. Okay, I really have no issue with that as I fed the dogs raw for a while and both did wonderfully on it. However, feeding cats raw is a bit more complicated and I advised her of such. Her reply was that I should buy frozen prefab food. Politely, I responded that if I were to feed raw I preferred to feed completely raw with no preservatives and something akin to the Prey Model Diet for dogs. Not to mention that the prefab food is excruciatingly and prohibitively expensive.

I began to get one of those zealot-like vibes off of this woman and tried desperately to extricate myself from what would most likely turn out to be an awkward conversation.

I didn’t succeed.

She latched onto the fact that I had fed raw to my dogs, and made a comment that she had heard that dogs could be converted to a strictly vegetarian diet. I glanced quickly down at her cart to see it full of tofu in all of it’s glorious fake-meat forms. Everything said Vegan this and Vegan that. I sighed inwardly. She was one of THOSE..You know what I’m talking about. There are people that exist in the vegetarian/vegan movement who think that instead of killing animals we should be killing plants. I’m all for not being forced to eat meat if I don’t want to. I mean, I am an omnivore after all. However, the fact is that dogs are carnivores and I believe very strongly that they should be eating a diet that closely matches what they would eat in the wild. If my husband would allow it, Sen would be on a raw diet.

Anyways, she made her comment about vegetarian dogs and I literally bit my tongue and then said, “Is that so?” Which, in hindsight, was probably the most stupid thing I could have said. She got this freaky, beatific smile on her face and grabbed the bag of frozen prefab cat food from her cart and asked me if I knew anything about feeding cats raw. I cringed, and trying not be rude simply stated that I knew nothing other than it was a bit more tricky to convert them over and that they required meat.

Blissfully unaware of my response to her, she read the list of ingredients to me and paused at Beef, and stated, “I really can’t stand feeding this to them. I can’t stand having meat in any form in my home. I want to switch the cats over to an all vegetarian diet.” You could have heard a pin drop in that aisle, but she continued, “I’m a foster home for the Nevada Humane Society, and I have a nursing mama kitty who I think would be healthier if she were a vegetarian.”

I couldn’t keep my mouth shut… I just couldn’t do it. “You do realize,” I stated. “That cats are obligate carnivores. This means that they lack the appropriate amino acids and enzymes to digest carbohydrates and such. Also, Taurine is only found in meat. They need meat.”

“Oh, they’ll be fine as long as you give them supplements,” was her response.

I ended the conversation very promptly after that, purchased my items, and left the store. The entire drive home I thought about how this woman wanted to torture her animals by converting them to a diet that went completely against what those animals were designed to handle. Seriously, offer a cat the ability to choose between meat and vegetables and he’ll take the meat each time.

What is it with the human race and the desire to force their ideas and ways of life on everyone and everything else? Humans are opportunistic omnivores, and as such, have a high rate of survivability, but that doesn’t mean that it’s right for everyone.

I just don’t understand people… does it make this woman feel powerful to force her ideals on an animal that has no choice in the matter. Eventually, the cat will get so hungry that it’ll eat whatever is put in front of it, but it won’t live a healthy life. Not to mention what would happen if she put a nursing mother on a diet like that! She would waste away in a nanosecond.

I don’t really know where I was going with this, but it just really irked me. How can people be that ignorant?


Published January 24, 2010 by Hemlock

I don’t care what anyone says. Puppies are harder than human kids. End of story.

Gaius has found a new home with a quiet and patient couple. It’s best for him, and it’s best for us. I believe he will finally have the opportunity to really bloom and be the amazing dog that I know he is. Due to this, Sen is now on her own for the first time and so far seems to be doing well. We don’t have her crated in the bedroom like I’d like, but compromises must be made. The kitchen has become a play pen, sans bed, and her crate is now in the back room with the bird and the cat tree.

Training has begun in earnest. She’s a smart puppy, but has quite a bit of energy and it’s hard to get to her to calm down enough to focus even a little. She’s not like one of those puppies you see in the YouTube training videos. You know the ones I’m talking about; the ones that seem to have an attention span equal to the Dalai Lama’s. No… no, that’s not Sen. Not in the least. What’s funny, is that I know she can be freakishly calm, but it seems that when it comes to training she gets excited (gotta love crispy hot dog chunks) and just can’t focus!

She knows how to sit on command and she’s reliable as long as it’s me giving the command. We’re learning how to lie down, and to come more reliable when called. The only problem we’re really having, aside from the excitement, is that she doesn’t want to go into her crate. As soon as I head to the back room, she runs the other direction. I know she doesn’t want to be alone, but Hubby doesn’t want another crate in the bedroom. I don’t blame him, but at the same time, I really don’t want the crate to be a negative thing. I guess I’ll just have to work on that with her as well!