Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Holidays are Just One Very Long Weekend

…And what happens almost every long weekend? Cammie becomes sick.

Very early this morning, the princess threw up her breakfast. I didn’t attribute it – I didn’t want to attribute it – to her usual illness, some form of severe food allergy. Her behaviour suggested that it was a momentary aversion to the particular meal she had consumed. But after she regurgitated twice more later in the morning, I realised that she would need another trip to the veterinary hospital, and an injection of Cerenia.

This she received at 2.30 this afternoon. She has been quite morose since, and refuses to eat anything. This was expected. After vomiting food, Cammie becomes distrustful of food in general. She has not eaten anything – that stayed down – since last night, so if this condition prevails by tomorrow evening, I will force-feed her something, an action to which I am not looking forward.

I am very much puzzled as to why she is having this episode. I am certain she did not get into anyone else’s food; I am vigilant in this proscription. Though she has managed it even under my eye in the past, I can’t believe she did it this time. Her blindness makes the possibility even more difficult.

The only thing I can think caused it was the Z/D soft-food that Cammie eats. It is horrible hydrolised rubber, barely edible; she has liked it for some time now, however. The likelihood, given its composition, that the Z/D created this disturbance in her is very small. But the tin I opened for her this morning seemed to be of a slightly different consistency. I had noticed one or two other tins like that on previous occasions. The fact that she ate from them and suffered no ill effects suggested that this one too would cause no problems. Perhaps it was contaminated.

For now, we wait. Cammie has not thrown up since this morning. Neither has she eaten, nor even drunk. I think she wants to, but is afraid of the consequences. I hope to see that change tonight.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

The Temperature of Hell Dipped a Little Today

Cammie is as sensitive to the presence of other cats as always. That is to say, she dislikes their presence and she dislikes them. But I am beginning to discern some elements characteristic of her behaviour now that she is blind. She is quick to fall back on the defensive (with hissing and a threatening posture) if she stumbles into one of her roommates while she is walking through a room or corridor. She even did so when she bumped into one of those carpetted oblongs that hang from cat-trees and with which cats are supposed to play.

But there are certain situations in which the princess does not exhibit her usual behaviour. I haven’t found a pattern yet, but there are instances which arouse intrigue, and I am beginning to wonder if her sightlessness may initiate a change in her attitude. Witness this.

Cammie was awake. She must have been aware of Josie’s presence, whether by feeling my Chubs’s proximity or by smell. Yet she tolerated this contact. Furthermore, when Josie noticed that I was seated near by, her tail started moving. Cammie shifted position to be out of its way (repeated tapping must be reckoned as different than constant touch), but she showed no anger or fear.

There is the possibility that I am reading too much into this. But the loss of vision must create a great rift between what had been and what is, so it is not impossible that Cammie may mellow in her attitude toward the other cats. The odds, after all, can’t be longer than winning the lottery, discovering a cure for cancer, or getting a raise at work…

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Disappointment for the Peach

Raleigh’s visit to the doctor produced disappointing results. I was able to capture him with surprising ease, but after that, the news was not as encouraging.

The reduction in his dosage of Prednisolone was not working, and he must go back to the previous amount. Furthermore, his remaining teeth appear to be the focus of a heavy stomatitis occurrence. His gums are quite red elsewhere, so the teeth may not be a cause; if they are, however, they will have to come out, which means yet more surgery for Raleigh. He returns to the veterinary hospital in a fortnight’s time for another examination.

On top of this, there is a superficial ulcer developing in his left eye. This can be treated with drops, but capturing him twice a day to do this has damaged his trust in me. He runs from me if I come anywhere near him, even if I am just passing by. He has regressed yet again to where he was months ago.

I hope that he will regain his confidence as he learns that all I am giving him is drops in his eye, though this in turn will undoubtedly suffer a set-back when he must go once more to the doctor. I’m afraid Peachy will be unhappy for some time.


Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Raleigh Goes for a Check-up

Raleigh goes to the doctor this afternoon. There is nothing new to worry about in his case, but it’s been a while since he’s had a veterinary look at him; specifically, his mouth. I reduced the amount of Prednisolone he is receiving from a full tablet once a day to three quarters. The goal is to wean him off it completely, but when I have attempted it in the past, it has affected him adversely, even a small reduction. This time, however, he seems to be coping adequately. It’s one of the things I will talk to the doctor about.

I am actually nervous about catching the Peach to put him in his carrier. He is very skittish, and doesn’t always come up to me for petting. There is no sense in me trying to approach him when he doesn’t want it: he runs and there is no catching him. I have to wait until he comes to me and then grab him. I don’t like that, either, as it seems like I am breaking the little trust he is developing in me. But it must be done. I hope he approaches me some time close to his appointment…

I will report the results of his appointment tomorrow.

Monday, July 8, 2019

On the Shores of Our Inland Sea

This may be considered part two of the previous entry about wildlife. This one deals with seagulls. We have them here in southern Alberta. We are 463 miles (745 kilometres) from Vancouver, and the nearest sea or ocean. They are definitely seagulls: they sound like them and look like them, down to the webbed feet.

I noticed them decades ago, and wondered how they arrived here. I was told many years past that the gulls followed the settlers’ wagons here. That explanation is of course silly, for a number of reasons.

Assuming that all settlers started from harbour towns – which is improbable - why would sea-birds leave the coast? I was informed that they liked what settlers threw, as garbage, out the back of their wagons. Well, I think settlers – frugal people - aren’t going to discard so much that they would entice gulls away from a sure and easily obtained buffet on the seashore.

If the birds pursued colonists’ wagons, why did they not follow others’? Pedlars, soldiers, navvies building roads… And why would they follow settlers all the way to the prairies? Why are there not flocks of seagulls all along the route from the St Lawrence to Alberta?

No, clearly there is another explanation for the presence of these birds-out-of-water. They have been in this town for as long as I can remember, but flying about this apartment building is new. Not having fish to catch, the gulls have turned to scavenging, and are rivals of the crows. I have seen fewer magpies this year, and more crows, and many more gulls. As may be observed, they visit the outsider-cats’ dish from time to time, to see what leftovers may be had. I don’t begrudge them a meal. Nature’s restaurant is not always well-stocked with every species’ favourite fare.

Other than Hugo (who is now known to be Finn, a cat with a home, though perhaps not as much soft-food as he would like), I have had no outsider-cats visiting CafĂ© Cosy. Sable and Sablette have not been seen for a couple of months. So, if a skunk (perhaps Horace, from last year) wishes to eat the hard-food during the night, and seagulls the soft-food remnants during the day, I won’t turn them away. Wildlife needs all the help it can get these days, even – or especially – those expatriates, the seagulls, on the dry shores of our inland sea.