Not much quilting, just kitty nursing

Patches, in happier daysToday was one of those days where I despair of getting anything done at all. Poor Patches had to spend part of the morning at the veterinarian’s office for an exploratory teeth cleaning. The vet decided to remove two of this teeth, and when I picked him up he wasn’t doing too well. I spent the day either driving back and forth to the vet (three hours total, in two chunks), or keeping cats separated.

Shadow is still young enough that when I brought Patches home all groggy from the vet, I thought it would be best to keep them apart, since the last thing Patches needed was to have Shadow jumping all over him. Patches seems to be feeling better now, though he’s starving and I can’t feed him yet because of his teeth. And other than that, he hates me because I’m the bad mommy who stuck him in the cage and took him to the bad place that made him hurt. I hate it when I have to be the bad mommy.

Now the vet is recommending a special prescription diet for him because it’s official: he’s obese. Yeah, so he weighs 18+ pounds, but he’s just a big cat. Or so I keep telling myself, and anyone else who inquires as to his fitness level. When he came to live here, we think he was 8-9 months old, and he weighed 12 pounds, which was already pretty big. Neutering and an indoor life have taken it’s toll on his girlish figure, leaving him a bit, shall we say, portly? Good thing he’s not much of a lap cat.

It’s not like I haven’t tried to make him skinny. I’ve been buying Science Diet Adult Light for years, to little or no effect. He never gets table scraps, and he always seems hungry. I try to play with him, but he’s lazy (maybe because he’s so fat?!?), and he doesn’t climb the cat tree anymore since it fell out from under him twice a couple of years ago when ITMan didn’t get it solidly installed between the floor and ceiling. I’m sure you’ve seen those pics of kitties hanging from tree branches that say “Hang in there baby” right? That was poor Patches, hanging from the cat tree as it swayed.

I wonder how much this wonderful prescription cat food is going to cost? German veterinary care is remarkably reasonable compared to what it costs in the US for some unknown reason (or it was, before the value of the US dollar tubed). I finally quit taking the cats to the vet on the Army post, because it was so expensive just for vaccinations compared to the German vet, not to mention painful in the extreme just to get an appointment. The Army vets aren’t really here to deal with the soldiers’ animals, they’re here to deal with food inspections and military police dogs, so getting an appointment at all can be difficult and frustrating, and they don’t handle sickness or emergencies. Why they even say they’re going to see pets if they really aren’t available to do it most of the time is beyond me.

But while the veterinary care in Germany is reasonable and the convenience factor can’t be ignored, the special diet products aren’t inexpensive so I imagine this diet food is going to run quite a few pretty Euros, and the boys will probably hate how it tastes in the bargain. I have to really think about this though, since I’m more concerned about his teeth than his weight. His quality of life will go down quicker if he loses his teeth than it will if he’s fat. My mom’s cats have never had teeth this bad, not even when they were very old. Patches is only about seven years old, and Shadow is only two, and even Shadow’s teeth are looking so bad already (now that I’ve been alerted to the problem) that he’s going to visit Mr. Vet next week to see how bad they really are.

My mom thinks maybe it has something to do with the quality of the water here. While we drink either filtered or bottled water, the cats have water straight from the tap, mostly because they drink from the bathtub 3-4 times daily, or whenever they can convince me to turn on the tap for them. They have water bowls too, but they like bathtub drinks better I guess, high maintenance little guys that they are. I think I’m off to the hardware store this weekend to buy a filter for the tap in the bathtub, so that we can see if filtered water will make their teeth better or at least keep them from getting worse. If it isn’t one thing, it’s another sometimes…

6 thoughts on “Not much quilting, just kitty nursing

  1. Hi Nadine, Sorry to hear about kitteh losing sum teef. My schnauzer went through that last year, same deal, he went for a cleaning and came home a couple teeth shy. Patches will feel better tomorrow for sure, and the teeth (Riley lost a front one, looked rather humorous) move around and the gap closes.

    Both my dogs have had to be on prescription diet food, for different reasons, but they adapt to it and live a long, healthy life on it. I hope it’s not too expensive on your side of the pond.

    Our vet “gave” me some antibacterial stuff to put in his water, to keep the bacteria down. Looked like mouthwash, but not flavored. You might look into that.

    The “cosmic” forces” were at work last night and I was dreaming up my next project and couldn’t sleep. I read your article Quilt shows and the fall of traditional quilting . It is a very interesting and thought-provoking article. I am making a “traditional” quilt with two other quilters–each of us lending our area of exprtise–the thought of doing a whole big intricate work on my own simply is overwhelming. Okay, let’s be honest, it’s not as interesting. Life is too busy as it is, and those big quilts can take the better part of a year to complete. Have we gotten too modern for the long slow process?

    I’d love to be in that elite arena, but I’m doing it for the sake of doing it (the muse) rather than to compete on the national level. I say that, but I also keep saying maybe next year

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  2. Hi Rian, Thanks for sharing Riley’s experiences! Patches was nearly his normal self last night already which surprised me. He even ate dry food! I think about how long it takes a human to recover from a tooth extraction, and I’m just amazed really. I did a bit of research yesterday into the teeth/filtered water/food connection, and I think I’ve decided on a way forward that will help keep the boys’ teeth in better shape in the future anyway.

    I’m going to answer the rest of your comment on the Quilt shows and the fall of traditional quilting article page!

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  3. My female is down to 4 fangs and 1 tooth in the front. Her quality of life is still great. – She never was a chewer – hence the tooth extractions… She is also on a Rx Diet – one that just happens to be different that the boys Rx diet – feeding time = FUN! (Luckily the boy is trained to go into the kitty carrier to get fed.)

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  4. Hi Amy, I can’t imagine having cats who are on different diets. In fact the very last thing I said to my mom about the whole multi-cat household thing was that I think we’re not doing this again, because things like that are just too painful. Patches is fat, and Shadow isn’t thin, but he’s not as fat as Patches, so keeping them both at ideal weight (if we can ever get them there to begin with) is probably going to be impossible. Neither of them would dream of getting into the carrier willingly, either. How did you do train him to do THAT?

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  5. I guess I got lucky… To begin with, he is a retired show cat so he was already carrier trained. Also he is Tonkinese & they are big “pleasers.” He acts more like a puppy that a cat. He follows me all over & when he wants to eat, I tell him “in” and “in” he goes.

    I hear ya on the 2 cat household though, 6+ years later and my girl (also Tonkinese, but retired breeder so she is not a big pleaser – mom attitude, but she is still a people cat/puppy when compared to other cats) still only tolerates him. i.e. he is good to have around when she wants to cuddle. Only if she forgets that she wanted to cuddle & they fall asleep together, she is liable to wake up and smack him.

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  6. Oh my, I think I should have gotten a retired boy, instead of the Ocicat kitten we all thought we wanted so badly. He’s a terror and is not trained to do anything except misbehave. His bad habits were either inbred, or instilled at the breeder, and he’s definitely not a “pleaser,” to anyone but himself in any case.

    The girl sounds like a typical woman to me! 😉 When I brought Patches home, our old girl CB hated him, and never would get friendly either, and she was around for 4+ years after he came to live here. Sometimes, they just don’t mesh!

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