Monday, April 24, 2017

Unexpected Agility

I do not associate Tucker with agility. I perhaps do him an injustice. In my defence, I may point out that he looks like an immense, hair-covered jujube. One does not expect a gummy candy to have much climbing ability. As well, he has diabetes, which can reduce strength in the nether regions. Though Tucker has suffered from this characteristic in the past, the regulation of his insulin has ameliorated it. It should have been less of a surprise when I saw the roly poly one appear in the cylinder cat-tree.

This is not an easy tree to penetrate. Jumping directly into the opening of the cylinder, or pulling oneself in are the only means of entrance. Escaping requires a drop down to the platform straight below or, even farther, to the floor. Nonetheless, Tucker managed both directions without complaint. 

Why he decided to explore the cylinder cat-tree, I don’t know. He did not stay long. He may have been merely curious, in an olfactory way. Renn has re-claimed the location recently, and Tucker may have been wondering about its attraction. In any case, he made it there and back again, without injury.

I am rather proud of my roly poly, not just for his achievement, but for attempting it in the first place. Perhaps an extra helping of food is in order; something non-fattening, so as to facilitate his unexpected agility.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Leaning With Parker

After the worry and stress of Cammie’s situation - she is still recovering, but is eating and, furthermore, expressing a desire to eat - I thought something lighter would be a pleasant way on which to end the week. Take a look at Parker, my foster-cat.

This orange boy, who is doing well, is what I call a ‘semi-lap-cat’. Before you ask what a ‘semi-lap’ is, let me explain that Parker is a leaning cat. He doesn’t settle fully on a lap. It’s not that he is too large or heavy for it. After all, both Tucker and Renn have found comfort on my lap. (Whether I can find it when they are there is another matter.) Parker simply likes to lean.

Here he is leaning on the base of the tall cat-tree. He will lean on me in the same way. He also likes to lie on my bed, his upper body and his forelegs on the folded comforter at the bottom of the bed. That inch or two of padding makes the difference to him.

Whatever his means of finding a cosy position, he is welcome to it, though it reminds me of a fellow lounging about a street-corner in a small town, waiting for friends to walk by and pass the time of day. And I can assure you that Parker would be a good cat with whom to pass the time.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Beautiful Sight

This is what Cammie was doing last evening.

When I came home from work, I found no signs that she had thrown up. If she had, it would have involved some of what she had eaten that morning. And as she had shown an interest in hard-food before I had gone to work, I doubted that she would not have ingested some of that. Evidently, it all stayed down.

When I prepared the beasts’ dinners, the princess was ready to eat. I served her some Fancy Feast and she eventually consumed not much less than she normally does at that time. I didn’t press her, though. At snack-time, several hours later, she ate some more soft-food, and then, near bed-time, I took this photograph.

This morning, Cammie ate more Fancy Feast. I was a little worried when, afterward, she hid under an armchair, where she had hidden while sick. But she may have eaten a little too much for her stomach to handle right now, or she may have been afraid that I was about to carry her off to the bathroom and force-feed her again. But when I left for work, she was snoozing in a cat-bed, with no sign that she was about to be ill. So far, everything that has gone into her since Monday night has stayed down.

I have not yet observed her using the litter-boxes, though she may have, as I found some Cammie-sized poop there, but it was a different shape than usual. That is to be expected, I suppose, under the circumstances.

I am not a naturally optimistic man, so I remain guarded. However, while I don’t think we are quite out of the woods yet, we are on the right path, and we can now see green meadows through the trees.

Strangely, the other cats reflected Cammie’s illness. Everycat’s eating - except Parker’s - was off during the holiday weekend, but has recovered with a vengeance now. It’s true that I am serving for the time being Fancy Feast - everycat’s favourite - to get appetites moving again, but even so, it’s gratifying to see.

I want once more to thank once all those who have written and thought about, prayed and purred about Cammie during her trials. It has all helped.

Oh, and Tucker was doing his part. To encourage Cammie, he apparently wanted to show her that dying is not pleasant, and gave her his imitation of that awful state. I’m glad to write that the roly poly, too, has recovered.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Cammie Fights Back

Cammie and I have mounted a counter-offensive against her illness, and so far we have been successful.

I came home yesterday to find that the princess had eaten nothing during the day, but had thrown up nonetheless. I resorted to the Cerenia pill that I had been given by the veterinary but, perhaps predictably, Cammie regurgitated it almost immediately upon receiving it. The same fate would have befallen a pepcid pill. I consulted with a friend from the rescue-group to which I belong and she urged me to try some more slippery elm.

The elm I had used initially in this episode was old. There was a possibility that it was no longer effective. I had purchased a new supply and prepared some for Cammie. This elm thickened quickly and more densely than the other; this encouraged me. Armed with this and some Recovery-and-water, I brought my unhappy cat into the bathroom.

While our ammunition remains the same, I have changed our weaponry. I had previously used large-calibre syringes to deliver the elm and food to Cammie. I reduced the sizes. If I were force-feeding a cat like Tucker, placid and co-operative, a large amount of food injected swiftly would be the proper tactic. With Cammie, I needed more control and better aim. This I think I have achieved with a syringe as small as ten millilitres. Certainly, I have put more food into her and given her less opportunity to shake away, spit out and otherwise eject the precious nutrients.

With this new plan, I gave Cammie a feeding at about seven o’clock last night. I have no idea how long one must wait until the body is no longer capable of vomiting food it has ingested, so I anxiously waited. By ten o’clock, I knew that an amount of food, though small, had gone to where it could not come back up. If she threw up anything thereafter, that serving at least would help keep her organs going. She received another meal before bed-time. She did throw up the slippery elm, convincing me that I was giving her too much. I did not see the elm spilled on the floor until after I had fed her a second meal, but it stayed down anyway.

I heard no sounds of wretching during the night, and found no evidence of it this morning, so another meal was on its way to strengthening the princess. I fed her again just before going to work. A good sign I observed before leaving was that Cammie was waiting her turn at the hard-food bowl. She wanted to eat. Hopefully, she does not over-indulge, though the slippery elm I gave her earlier may provide a buffer against too much food.

This is how the battle stands so far. I feel confident. Though I may be greeted with an unpleasant mess on the floor when I return home later today, Cammie will have been given sustenance, at least for a while yet. Her stomach has provided her other organs with material to keep from degrading.

As for the cause, I believe the culprit is some new food I gave to Cammie in the hopes of giving her increased fluids, since she refused all kinds of kidney-assisting nutrition. She stopped eating it three days before the onset of her vomiting, but the latter has been accompanied by a severe flare-up of the lesions or bumps on the sides of her head. These have subsided now, and she is beginning to feel better. I will, as Kari, one of my readers, suggested, talk to the doctor about the possibility of pancreatitis.

Again, I must thank all those who have wished Cammie well in her fight, and who have provided suggestions to help her. I read and am grateful for every comment.

Monday, April 17, 2017

A Grey Holiday

This weekend was not a good holiday at the cosy apartment. Cammie is sick again. It started Thursday. She was well in the morning, but as soon as I returned from work I knew something was wrong with the princess. Through that evening and Good Friday, she regurgitated everything that she ate, usually within a few minutes. She also vomited without having eaten anything.

I gave her slippery elm to calm her stomach; this remedy usually solves the problem, but did not in this case. I called our veterinary hospital’s emergency number - as the hospital was closed for the holiday - and was put in touch with the doctor on call. I asked about Cerenia, the medicine that settles the stomach. The doctor agreed that Cammie could benefit from an injection, so I arranged to bring her in the next morning, as the hospital is open until noon on Saturdays. (We were lucky, as there were no appointments made until about 9.30 that morning; when I arrived, however, I overheard a telephone conversation which stated that the hospital had had a flurry of calls and was now booked solid that day.)

The Cerenia helped Cammie. She ceased throwing up but, though she had tried to eat through most of Friday, the resultant vomiting robbed her of any desire to attempt further. Consequently, she returned to eating very slowly, and I was forced to feed her Recovery by syringe, which is stressful for her, and wasteful, as I suspect only half - if that - of the food gets into her. She tosses the rest away with violent protests.

Easter Sunday, she began eating, small amounts, on her own. The Cerenia, good for 24 hours, would have worn off about 8.30 that morning. Cammie continued to take in little bits of food. She was not eating or drinking enough and her appetite for hard-food came back only in the evening. I was relieved at this, since what she was eating in Fancy Feast wasn’t going to restore the weight she’d lost in the past couple of days (she’d diminished from 4.8 kilograms to 4.52), and I wasn’t forcing enough into her to do any more.

Unfortunately, Cammie threw up during the night. She had just eaten a large amount of hard-food, and I heard her wretching at 2.09 a.m., and all of the hard-earned meal had come back up.

The doctor provided me with a Cerenia pill, of which I can give Cammie half to duplicate the effects of the injection. But I need to be able to give it by syringe with water or it will never get down her throat. And once it goes down, there is no guarantee that it will stay down. I will be consulting with the doctor as soon as the hospital opens.

My princess was drinking water - a long draught of it - just before I left. With her kidney issues, she needs that as much as food, if not more. A great drink of water and a sick cat’s empty stomach do not sound like a successful combination, so any good thoughts for Cammie would be appreciated.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Happy Easter!

This weekend is Easter, and I want to wish everyone a happy holiday. I hope you will be able to celebrate the event with the ones you love. I will be keeping a quiet Easter, as always, and staying home with the beasts. I may take advantage of the extra day off I have and follow Tucker’s example.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

On Bended Paw

When it comes to posture, Renn appears to be my most imaginative cat. Tucker comes second, but not a close second. Renn is always finding different ways in which to sit and lie. Look at this instance. My big boy is resting on bended paw.

His extremity wasn’t sore. I made sure of that. It wasn’t weak. He continued to jump and run and trot as normal. And though he placed his foot like this several times over a few days, he hasn’t since.

Renn is frequently leaning, hanging, drooping, lying or squatting in some strange position; strange but, apparently, not uncomfortable. My big boy has always had a unique way of doing things.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Sunny Whiskers

I saw Parker playing with a milk-jug top-ring on Saturday (he likes other toys but seems to find those which cost me money less appealing than the free ones). He stopped in a sunbeam, and the light illumined his whiskers.

He has a fine set of whiskers. They are not as long or as luxurious as Renn’s but they are a good collection, nonetheless. In the sunshine, they make him look a bit like a walrus. But in any case, I think his sunny whiskers suit him very well.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Flying Colours

Cammie’s dental procedure went very well. She required no teeth extracted. Early on, the veterinarian called me because she was concerned that some inflammation of the gums may have been indicating bad roots in a couple of molars, and wanted to know if I would authorise the expense of a couple of x-rays. I thought it would be foolish to deny it, so the pictures were taken, and showed that the roots were in fine condition. So my princess’s mouth required nothing but a good cleaning.

When she returned home, Cammie appeared unaffected by the anaesthetic. Though I was told that she may be a little groggy, she trotted about the apartment and climbed cat-trees as if she had never been sedated. I was also warned not to feed her too much at first. Cammie doesn’t eat a great deal even when she is hungry, but last evening, she ate quite well - the result of nineteen hours without sustenance. I spread her dinner over several portions, but I thought this a good chance to put some soft-food into her, and she was willing. The only noticeable effect of her ordeal was that she was a little troubled eating hard-food. While I was advised that there was no reason Cammie could not, my princess was undoubtedly suffering a bit of soreness in the mouth, so the hard kernels were initially less desirable than the soft-food. But at bed-time, she was eating as usual.

Yesterday was good for Cammie. It not only gave her teeth a cleaning that was needed, it demonstrated that they are in very good condition, and won’t likely need a great deal of work as she ages, and is less able to handle anaesthetic and surgery. I will of course have her looked at in the future, but for now, she has passed her examination with flying colours - one of which was tied about her neck as a bandana by a veterinary technician.

(And thank you to all those who expressed wishes for Cammie's health. Such thoughts were appreciated.)

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Awful Tooth

Cammie is at the veterinary hospital today. She required a dental procedure, as determined during her physical examination a month ago, and, considering her middle-age (eleven years) and budding kidney issues, I decided to schedule the dental work for sooner, rather than later.

Denying a cat food when it is used to having it at certain times is difficult. There is no explaining the situation; there is only a lack of food that she doesn’t understand. The princess could have nothing to eat after ten o’clock last night. Prior to that hour, I plied her with tempting dishes but, having had an unusually successful meal-time (everyone ate well and Cammie in particular) and it not being the time for any food, according to a well-established household schedule, she was having none of it. Naturally, about ten o’clock, she wanted food.

Cammie was abnormally friendly during the night. She almost never comes onto the bed during the dark hours; her time is right at bed-time or when I wake. But I think she was trying to coax some edibles from me. I was on my stomach and she lie on my back and purred, most unusual. And this morning, she of course wanted breakfast, and could have none. The others received theirs; however, the routine was thrown off and they being aware of something strange occurring, and so were off their appetites.

Now my little Siamese cat is at the hospital. She will receive fluids during the surgery, of course, but also afterward for as long as she is there. I have requested that I be notified of any teeth that may look like they need removal. I think that considering Cammie’s physical condition, it is the best policy; bad teeth in a cat won’t get better and, as she ages and fights kidney failure, neither will conditions for a smooth operation.

I await word of the results. I don’t expect any bad news. There really isn’t much to go wrong, but one always worries until one’s pet is home. A doctor may know more, but home is safe. Cammie will be home after four o’clock today.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Worth the Wait

There was good news for the household over the weekend. Tucker’s insulin dosage - which had been at three units in both the morning and the evening - was not giving satisfaction. After consultation with his doctor, the dosage was raised a unit in the mornings only. This change has resulted in quite an improvement.

I performed a curve on the roly poly one Saturday. His nadir - the lowest number induced by the insulin, which should come about half-way between the two injections - actually comes about ten-thirty or eleven. I take readings every two hours, but, as his nadir approaches, I take a single reading at the hour, rather than the two. When his number dipped to about 14 at nine-thirty, I was pleased, as I suspected that it would fall to twelve at its lowest. Taking a sample sixty minutes later, it had fallen to 10.9, which was a pleasant surprise. Then, after taking a sample at the next hour, I found that his glucose reading had slipped more than half a point, to 10.3 - an even more pleasant surprise. Thereafter, the numbers started to rise, as anticipated.

The number Tucker’s blood-glucose reached at its nadir is a very good number for him. I don’t think it needs to go lower, and I think the doctor will concur. I want to ask her if Tucker’s evening dosage should be raised as well. Before his morning injection, his number was 22, which is high but only to be expected. With a dosage of three, rather than four, in the evening, his numbers may not fall as low as during the day. On the other hand, since he is sleeping during the night and eating nothing, a higher dosage may not be necessary. We will see about this.

In any case, I am quite happy about Tucker’s new numbers. He was switched to four-and-three some weeks ago, but the body takes time to absorb the alteration, so his curve had to wait. It was worth it.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Follow the Feeder

It’s funny the relations cats have with one another. Since Tungsten died, there has been no top-cat in the household. Each does what he wants, and as long as he doesn’t interfere with another, there is harmony, more or less. Josie is a bit of a top-cat with regard to food; when she wants to eat, she approaches the bowl and anyone already there must move on. Usually this is done automatically, but sometimes there is whapping.

The boys are another matter. There is no competition, but when Renn goes for a nibble, Tucker almost always comes along, and lies near by, waiting. He often isn’t interested in the food-bowl until he sees his brother go for a bite. For his part, my big boy isn’t intimidated by Tucker, and takes his time. The roly poly one waits patiently, then has his turn.

Following Renn in such a manner may be why Tucker fills up so much space.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

This past weekend was the first in which spring made itself felt. The sun shone and, though the temperatures were still cool, the air was warm enough outside for the windows to be opened. The cats were enjoying the scents that they could smell through the screens, and someone took the opportunity to attempt a little closeness with his new roommates.

Parker still hopes to become friends with the others, especially Renn. The perm-cats remain reticent, however, and there is a limit to proximity. But with each day, familiarity grows.

We are patient, Parker and I.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Even in Arcadia

Nicolas Poussin painted a famous picture in the 1630s entitled “Et in Arcadia Ego”, which may be translated as, “Even in Arcadia I am.” Arcadia, though a real place, has long been synonymous with the ideal of a pastoral paradise, a land with no industry, where people live in harmony with nature; in other words, a kind of utopia. The painting features several shepherds examining a tombstone, with the title words engraved upon it. The meaning most scholars have ascribed to the image is that of death being present even in the best of worlds.

Two years ago today, my friend Tungsten died. She had been with me for less than eight years, but we were together every day of that time and, except for one or two over-night stays in the veterinary hospital, every night, as well. I’ve described the orange one previously, and told of her character, and how it has affected me. I won’t repeat myself here; I’ll save that repetition for another time.

I may inveigh about how Tungsten was taken away with so many years yet to live, but in fact, in this world of uncertainty – which seems to be growing more uncertain every day – I prefer to be grateful for the relatively short period during which she was with me. The tiny terror – a nickname that her means of disciplining bigger cats earned her – could have been killed earlier by one of the many illnesses, conditions or tragedies that afflict our pets. Or, by any number of chances, she could have gone to someone else. But as it was, she came to me, and she and I shared half of her life.

I miss Tungsten every day. Even so, while people have for millennia realised the truth that even in Arcadia there is death, I like to remember that there is also life. And I am lucky to have been able to spend some of that with my friend.

Friday, March 24, 2017

A Return to the Round

Until some months ago, the cylinder-house cat-tree was Renn’s favourite spot in the apartments. He spent much of his time there, even preferring to eat his meals there, because some human didn’t insist that he get down and eat them on the floor like a civilised animal. Then, Cammie started snoozing in the cylinder-house. This was fine with Renn, as he took possession when it was vacant, which was most of the time. Then Cammie threw up in the cylinder.

After that, neither cat cared to use the cat-tree. For months, it was vacant. This week, however, Renn moved in once more. Why he decided to climb back in after all this time, I don’t know. Perhaps the smell of Cammie’s accidental discharge faded enough for olfactory comfort. But I am glad the cylinder-house is being occupied again. It needed a cat.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

I Should Have Adopted a Giraffe

The sounds cats make are sometimes puzzling, sometimes amusing, sometimes startling. I may have mentioned Tucker’s weird, warbling noises; he puts me in mind of what the Disney character Goofy would have sounded like as a toddler. The roly poly often makes these noises in the evening, but rarely later in the night. When he does, the effect can be unusual.

The other night, I woke from a dream, still befuddled and not fully conscious, to hear what could very well have been a caricature of a human baby roaming the apartment, calling out.

“Helleurrr? Helleurrr? Helleurrr?”

Before I thought I had been cast as an expendable extra in an out-take of the film The Brood, I realised that it was merely Tucker, ambling about the residence, talking to himself in the dark. My interrupted sleep was afterward untroubled, but there are times I wonder that I get any sleep at all.

Just one more reason why I should have adopted a giraffe. They hum serenely at night, like a lullaby. That’d be nice.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

An Unsatisfactory Menu

Perhaps it is no surprise that Cammie has disdained all the varieties of food provided to her for the benefit of her kidneys, which are beginning to fail. The princess lives up to her nickname, and wants only what she wants - and not always even in that case. She will change her mind about what food she likes while she is eating it. She will be contentedly consuming a portion of Fancy Feast - because the Merrick offered her initially was refused - stop, sit up and not want another bite. Wise to her ways, I will then suggest the Merrick earlier condemned as inedible. That will then be eaten without hesitation.

My battle of wills with Cammie - doomed as my attempts to win it may be - is not over. There are other brands of kidney food that I have yet to try. These will be brought from the veterinary hospital soon. In the meantime, I am researching the methods I can work with my cat to increase her health.

Cammie is the worst of the beasts for medicating in even the most innocuous way. The slightest deviation from what she desires - at the moment - will be met with unbending resistance. I look at her with frustration and wonder why I ever adopted her. The reason is that no one else would have. That isn’t so much a reason as a warning. No, the real reason is that I wanted her to be a part of my home and family. I’d tell her that she could show her gratitude by eating well, but she’d probably respond that allowing me into her presence is gratitude enough.

That’s my princess.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The New Excitement!

Yesterday’s article about playing did not include news about the cats’ latest toy. Over the weekend, I bought a track-ball (or whatever brand name this particular version is called). I had one in the house before, but only the foster-cats played with it, so when one of them - I believe it was Kola - was adopted, it went with him.

But recently, seeing that the beasts often looked bored (they probably just want to be left alone to sleep), I thought I would introduce something that would bring hours of action-packed enjoyment. Instead, I bought a track-ball.

Many cats like the track-ball. Many spend a long time trying to catch that elusive sphere as it spins about the circular groove. Many cats love pushing the ball about as fast as it will go. Many cats don’t live with me.

This is not to write that the track-ball doesn’t get used. I may be in the washroom brushing my teeth, or sitting on the couch reading, and hear the ball make an orbit in its course. The ball moves leisurely, deliberately, as if it were on holiday, thinking of where to go, what destination is best value for its hard-earned vacation. My cats will lie beside the toy and gently prod the ball (which comes with a blinking light for greater fast-paced excitement). The ball may complete the circuit, or it may putter to a halt half-way around. It is all the same to the cats.

Yes, they play with it, in the same way a person may sit down, turn on the television set, flip through the channels hoping for something to pique their interest, then turn off the machine and go and eat a meal because there was nothing good on the one hundred and fifty eight channels now available.

The beasts will use the scratch pad in the centre, but normally simply lie on it; well, partially on it, and partially off. Cammie, like Tungsten before her, is small enough to crouch on the whole pad. Frankly, I think $19.99 is a bit steep for a circle of corrugated cardboard. But if that’s what it takes to give my pets another spot on which to sit and wait while I prepare their soft-food meals, I am happy to pay that kind of money. Really.

With a sigh, therefore, I will leave you with these pictures of two of my cats being thrilled by the slam-bang non-stop action of their latest diversion. I hope the blur of their speed doesn’t give you a headache.

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Playing Kind

My cats are not the playing kind. They do play, but are not frequently enthusiastic about it. Parker attacks a fuzzy mouse and chases a ball more than all the perma-cats combined. But now and then, one of them gets in the mood.

Josie was exuberant for several days in a row recently. She wrestled with the tackle-fish initially, and then seemed to want the string-toy. Her idea of fighting the string-toy is to lie on the floor and to grab the toy as it swings past. My Chubs may actually think this is how life is in the wild; a cat lies down and attacks the various prey and predators that move next to her. Josie’s notion of life outside the apartment is limited.

But she will periodically slip into the nylon tunnel during play-time and then we can have real fun. Sometimes, the string-toy invades her space; sometimes, I do. As with Tucker, I will push at the fabric from the outside, and the cat inside will ferociously assault the resultant bulge with teeth and claws. It’s rather more dangerous than it sounds, depending on when I last cut their claws.

The action never lasts long. Josie tires of it and, as much as I try to interest her in some other toy or frolic, she decides that that is enough exercise for today. Perhaps it’s time for a snack, or a chin-rub. My cats are not the playing kind. But then, it may a little too undignified for cats of a certain age.

Friday, March 17, 2017

A Dream of Friendship

This is how Parker sometimes lies on the sitting room couch. Renn likes lying there, too, but has learned that when Parker is loose, the new boy wants to lie beside him. So Renn has taken to lying on the armchair near by. Parker will rest on the couch, looking at Renn.

Parker is, very slowly, making the other beasts more comfortable with his presence. I try to encourage them to let the orange fellow near whenever possible, but I don’t force him on anyone. When there is proximity, I tell everybody involved how good they are for permitting the situation. It will be a long process, but we are patient in my household.

Until then, Parker will watch Renn, and dream of the day when they are friends.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Cosy Apartment Feline Sanitarium

Welcome to the Cosy Apartment Feline Sanitarium! I am John Bellen, the director, and I would like to thank you for wanting to learn about our facility.

We are located in the green and pleasant valley of the Imagination, just near the edge of a Claude Lorrain landscape, and specialise in the emotional and physical care of cats. Our clientele here at Cosy Apartment is small but select. Before I take you on the tour, allow me to present my assistant, Renfrew Foster. Renn, as we call him, is an orderly here, fit and healthy, as you can see.

Our current residents are varied in both background and health. Miss Josefina von Chubs, for instance, required some weight-loss. Now that she is diminishing in poundage, she has stayed on, having recently had a dental cleaning which has left her in a very good physical condition, for a lady-cat of that certain age.

Mr Tucker R Poly has had the most issues with which to deal, and I must say that he has maintained his purring nature throughout his ordeals. From urinary infections and blockages to gingivitis and now, diabetes, he has remained cheerful and young at heart.

Princess Camarouska Albigensia, who has permitted us to call her Cammie, often has nutritional challenges, and is currently a concern because of the onset of kidney failure. However, our dietician, in conjunction with our expert medical advisers, has designed a menu which should control the problem admirably - if Her Serene Highness will condescend to eat it.

Our latest client is a rather mysterious feline known only as Parker. He is here to be treated for his diabetes. He is responding positively to our plans. Due to his newness, he has a private room, though he enjoys mixing with the other residents. His weight is slowly being reduced and the dosage of insulin is also being adjusted, under the supervision of our doctors, of course. 

Here at Cosy Apartment Sanitarium, we try to accommodate the many needs of our clients, because good health isn’t just physical. Naturally, the latter aspect is always a concern, and for it, we have the exercise room, with climbing apparatus, nylon tunnel and toys, including Kick-a-roos, Tackle-fish and the ever popular fuzzy mice. Due to their complex nature, string-toys and laser-pointers are operated by staff only. We will be installing a track-ball course soon; it was used to a great extent by past clients, and we feel that it may be welcomed again.

After activity necessarily comes rest, for which we have numerous beds and chairs. A favoured feature is the heated bed, of which we have two, for the convenience of our residents.

We even present a weekly movie in the on-site cinema, a new feature shown every Saturday night, though this seems to be enjoyed more by the staff. This week’s film will be the 1953 thriller, Inferno, starring Robert Ryan.

Meals are provided, of course. Due to the ever-changing tastes of our residents, our menu is nearly exhaustive. We cater to specific needs and whims, and our clerk of the kitchen is noted for his contacts abroad, able to bring in the most obscure of ingredients for the delectation of the diners. (Please note that Mr Poly does not have a wooden leg; it’s just where he is standing.)

Yes, we try to provide for every need at Cosy Apartment Sanitarium. But we are not alone in our efforts to help cats. There are many thousands, even millions of similar sanitaria across the country, safeguarding the well-being of millions of cats. As well, canine, equine, lapine and even aviarian facilities abound. Some are small institutions, such as our own, catering to one or two, or a handful of cats; others are large, with a sizeable clientele. Many are under-funded; in many, the staff is over-worked. But each strives to give its best for the sake of its residents.

I hope you have enjoyed your tour of Cosy Apartment Feline Sanitarium, and I look forward to your future visits. And remember, as we like to think here, a Cosy cat is a happy cat.