Monday, April 27, 2020

A Little Off the Top

Neville’s visit to the veterinary hospital today had unexpected results, which were both good and bad.

It was determined that he did not need dental surgery. His teeth and gums are in good shape. One tooth is a bit questionable, but its removal was not considered sufficient reason to knock him out; the tooth is not causing him discomfort and may be pulled at a much later date. This was encouraging news, certainly, but, in a way, also disappointing news. I was hoping that Nevsky’s teeth were a contributing factor to the sudden return of his high blood-glucose numbers. That they are not means continued treatment with insulin, in the hopes that it will beat his condition back into remission.

He also received a shave, ridding his fur of its mats; ridding him of his fur, in fact, over much of his body. This is good but, again, there is an accompanying dissatisfaction. I wish the veterinary hospital had shaved Neville more completely. There are few, if any, serious mats in the fur remaining, but they could develop there, and it would have been better to have all his hair start from zero again. However, he behaved well during the shave, which suggests that he need not be taken to a veterinary for any further clippings. The rescue group sponsoring him has someone willing to shave Neville, or any other of our cats, once the covid-19 situation diminishes.

It was a day of mixed results, therefore; mostly good, but with qualifications. The former Thin Man’s weight is not a worry, at least; it is quite adequate – but need not grow any more adequate, if you know what I mean. His food consumption certainly is not a concern.

Here he is, then, and thus he will be, for a while: a feline version of a convertible in summer. Neville is, I suspect, unimpressed.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Let's Be Friends

Raleigh’s campaign for friendship with the other beasts is not limited to one target. This evening, he tried his peachy charm on Cammie. He sometimes will lie close to her bed, but this is the first time I have observed him between the princess and her water-bowl. Cammie knew he was there, and hissed several times. Raleigh didn’t move, and I spoke to them, trying to keep Raleigh there while calming Cammie. To my surprise, the latter didn’t move away in a huff, but contented herself with growling deep in her throat like Nick Nolte, and revolving on her cushion so she need not be so close to the intruder. But she didn’t leave.

I don’t believe that Raleigh thinks he will win every feline heart. I think it is simply that he cannot imagine anyone taking offence at his presence. He will walk in front of other cats, step over them if they are lying down, and put his nose into a food-bowl, to see if they’d like to share. There is no challenge in these actions, no daring; just an obliviousness to any annoyance he might be causing. It’s difficult not to sympathise with such innocence.

Friday, April 24, 2020

When the Problem is the Solution

Raleigh does have his troubles. This morning, I could tell he wasn’t feeling good again. He didn’t want any breakfast, which, while in keeping with some days over the past couple of weeks, has not been the case the last few days. But I also noticed that he visited the litter-boxes five times while I was feeding the others. I looked in the boxes, and there were two tiny poops. Raleigh was constipated.

No wonder he hadn’t felt like eating. I had visions of, first, forcing his Prednisolone into him, then forcing hair-ball remedy into him, as a lubricant, until I could buy something more fitting. Then, about half an hour later, I noticed him cleaning himself. I thought he was feeling a bit sore back there and was trying to ease the discomfort. But as I approached, I smelled something. Sure enough, Raleigh had deposited the biggest crap I’d ever seen him deposit, right in a cosy corner of my sitting room.

Normally, this would, of course, be a problem. But I couldn’t be angry at him. If he went, he went; that was the important thing. Where it came out was unimportant, really. Secondly, he probably felt the urge and wasn’t about to deny it, after not being able to do anything about for who knows how long. So I cleaned it up, washed the carpet and fed Raleigh. He ate; not a big amount, but enough to stop his tummy from growling, and enough to consume his medicine, too. I was greatly relieved. I imagine he was, too.

I’m sure that wasn’t what has been troubling Peachy lately, as he has pooped more or less regularly over the last week. Nonetheless, I am pleased that he didn’t have this adding to his troubles for long. While I would have preferred him to have made it back to the litter-boxes in time and not do what needed doing on my sitting room carpet, in this case, the problem was a solution.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

He Lives in Hope

Raleigh is still battling whatever malady assailed him a week and a half ago. He doesn’t feel like playing and his appetite is diminished. I was able to get him some Mirtazapin, to stimulate his appetite, in transdermal cream, to be rubbed in his ears. He has no problem with that, and he ate decently this morning.

What I find endearing about him is that even when feeling unwell, he is friendly and sweet-tempered. He continues to try to find a friend among the other beasts. He sometimes lies near Neville, but also moves close to Renn. My big boy doesn’t mind, though he is more apathetic than welcoming. Even so, Raleigh makes the best of it. The little Peach lives in hope.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

What I See at Work

This is what my computer-screen at work looks like. Larger than life, but not as soft as the real thing.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

A Little Bit of Neville Now and Then

Yesterday, I was speaking with the founder of a rescue-group in close affiliation with the one of which I am a member. It was they who rescued Neville; he was transferred to our group - and my home - afterward. I had not seen until then a photograph of how he looked just after he was rescued; Nevsky was found in a ditch, and barely able to stand. He’s come along rather well since then, I think.

Monday, April 20, 2020

The Return of Yellow

Spring is slowly - very slowly - returning to our part of the world. I see a few green blades of grass, but no leaves on the trees, not even buds. There are higher temperatures - tomorrow is expected to rise to 20° C (68° F), which is just right for me.

The best sign of spring is the sunshine. The sun has made its way north again - or, rather, the Earth is tilting toward the sun in a way that gives the northern hemisphere more direct access to our star. Whatever one’s perspective, the sun is starting to throw its beams back into the cosy apartment once more, and the cats are finding them.

One of the few things more brilliant to the eyes than the warm, yellow light of the sun is a cat lying in it.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Neville's Appointment with Dental Destiny

Well, it’s not as dramatic as an appointment with destiny, period, but it is an appointment with the veterinary. Neville will be having dental surgery a week from tomorrow.

Nevsky has always needed his teeth looked at; we, in the rescue-group responsible for him, haven’t considered them a major problem, and we were hoping to stabilise his diabetes before he went. In truth, we should have had him under anaesthetic before his diabetic symptoms returned but, in cat-rescue, it is unfortunately the case that there are funds only for the treatments that are necessary at the moment.

What brought the former Thin Man’s time with the doctor forward is not that he is experiencing discomfort, so far as is known, but that in diabetic humans, bad teeth and related difficulties can cause increased insulin resistance. It makes sense that it can create similar problems for cats. It may be that Neville’s teeth or gums have no relation to his diabetes, but ruling out that connection seems sensible – and any trouble in his mouth needs solving regardless of its indirect results.

As his foster-guardian, I will speak with the hospital beforehand to arrange matters, and will be contacted by the doctor when my boy goes. The event is still days away, but, when one has an appointment with destiny, it is well to be prepared.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Good Vibrations

Neville is very slowly becoming accustomed to me. He associates me too much with being poked with an insulin needle, or having blood drawn from his ears. I am trying to change that by often petting and stroking him.

He likes to have me pet him all the way down his back, and I can start him purring that way. Something I noticed about him is that when he purrs, the fur on either side of his lower jaw vibrates. It’s due to its length, I think, and how it grows. Whatever the cause, it is rather amusing to watch - though I won’t tell Neville that.