Monday, March 17, 2014

...And Not a Drop to Drink

During the winter, southern Alberta sometimes experiences chinook winds, the local name for a foehn wind that blows down off the Rocky Mountains. Though it sometimes feels very cold to the skin, it raises temperatures greatly and swiftly. This occurred last week, when the temperature climbed from -14° to five or six above zero in a couple of hours. The foot and a half of snow that covered my town disappeared in two days.

One living in regions where winter is wintery all season long may think this a good thing, but it does have its disadvantages. The amount of run-off overwhelmed the water-purification plant that serves the district and so, as a precaution, the town authorities issued an order to boil water before drinking it. Most people bought bottled water, which I dislike using. I have a four-gallon barrel of tap-water stored which I renew from time to time, and drew on that, so I and the most of the cats were able to drink rather stale but clean water.

Not so with Tungsten. My orange one does not drink from a bowl, at least not while I am at home. I’m sure she does when I am absent, as she has no choice - I’m sure she does it! - but when I am present, she demands water dripping from a tap. In this case, however, the water may have been dirty. It is true that the water was likely fine to consume, and the warning no more than a precaution by the town government against being sued. With myself, I was ambivalent. After all, I ate bacon and fried potatoes with a piece of pie afterward for dinner on Friday. The concern I have for my health cannot be too great. But Tungsten’s health is more precious.

Consequently, I tried running the tap on the big four-gallon keg for her. Having a giant blue jug balanced on the bathroom basin’s counter unnerved her a bit, I suspect, and she did not want to lap up the water dribbling from it. Then, I remembered the big, fat syringe I used to feed Tucker his medicine some months ago. I filled that with water and used it a tap. To my surprise, it worked.

The water emergency is over and we can drink from taps again. It smells heavily of chlorine but, strangely, the cats do not object to that. The event made me think, though, that the tiny terror probably is not taking in as much water as she should. I will start pumping water into her (it sounds more fun (for me) if I phrase it that way) a couple of times a day. She will dislike it, but with her border-line kidney problems, I believe it may be necessary. It wouldn’t hurt in any case. At least it’s not medicine, and I don’t have to space the waterings twelve hours apart.

Little does she realise the fun for which she is in store…


  1. We all have some water issues, too. Most of prefer puddle water to anything else. When the puddles are frozen though, we have to settle for taps, bowls and fountains. It is with great pleasure that we drive the peeps crazy, makin' them wonder how we will demand our water from day to day. We like to mix it up a bit. You know... keep 'em on their toes and whatnot.

    Sure am glad your tap water supply is back up and running. Must be a relief.


  2. we can hear it now "off to water the cat" bwahahaha

    glad things are warming up (sorta) and cleaning up

  3. I hardly ever see the boys drinking water. I keep a bowl of distilled water on the go for them, which sometimes Derry drinks from. I also keep two pails of tap water on the go in the basement, in case of a water emergency (thinking of flushing the toilet--lol). Nicki prefers to drink stale water from that. But the best water, apparently, is the water from my dehumidifier in the summer. That goes over really well, not sure why.

    I'm glad you found a workable solution for Tungsten during your boil water advisory; good luck syringing water into her. Does she like canned food? You've probably written about food preferences, but I don't remember. I barely remember my day yesterday. But if she likes canned, you can add a bit of water to that too. Sometimes I give Nicki a gravy flavour as a treat (ProPlan's chicken and rice or salmon and rice) and I add quite a bit of water to that, as he laps up the "broth" and pretty much leaves the "meat." Oh, and of course if you have seasoning-free chicken broth, you could try that for her too, if she'd lap it up on her own. Or make your own (shudder). It can't hard, though, to boil up leftover chicken bits just to make a bit flavoured water. Anyway, just a suggestion, if the syringing doesn't go well!

  4. Our Buddy was found drinking from a dirty pot in the sink the other week. If he could go up there without cat mischief all would be well but he cannot. Down from there to only have the tub trickle that Dad sets for all of us. We are really sucking down the water of late.

  5. Saku is the tap drinker here...I'll have to remember the syringe idea (and buy one) in case we ever have water issues.

    I have a water fountain (Walmart $20 - does need replacement filters as well), that Sami and Saku will drink from. Sasha prefers a bowl of water in the sink...which means I would need bottled water for him.

    Silly Sami, likes the fresh cold water in the toilet after a flush...not sure it's really sanitary but she's quick to get in there!

    Sigh...what we don't do to make our cats happy!

  6. All of us like to drink water in different places. One place is out of the Person's glass of water. Two or three do that. And there are different bowls of water around the house. And lots of rain water outside which they all enjoy. But what a great Dad to give the cat water in a syringe but a great idea to get the cat used to having something out of a syringe.
    Hope you have a great day.

  7. Have you tried one of those cat fountains? Saves water but not having to keep the tap on...