madbaker: (Galen)
Not a good night last night.
First there was yowling. Then a hairball. Then the mandatory grooming ("Monkey, I am upset and want comfort and this taste out of my mouth, so I will lick your face"). Then a few hours later, more yowling. Followed by throwing up.

I love the little bugger, but I wish his Siamese half had not gone as neurotic.

Second coffee today.
madbaker: (Galen)
Galen has been more snuggly at night lately. I want to encourage this, because I grew up with a cat that slept on my bed every night. I'm happy to have a cat to curl around while I sleep.

Unfortunately, about half the time he is laying on my chest. Which makes it much harder for me to sleep - both from the weight, and from not being able to move. I'd be much happier if he simply stretched out from my crotch to my knees.

madbaker: (Galen)
Why is it that the smaller the hairball, the more piteous and extended the pre-puke yowling is?

madbaker: (Galen)
Galen had a whole week without throwing up. He was eating, and we thought he might have turned a corner.
Then he had a whole week of throwing up. No cause that we can see - we didn't leave for extended times (he has separation anxiety among his other Siamesey neuroses), we didn't change his food, his water dish was clean, etc. Most worrisome, there were two straight days where he didn't leave anything solid in the litterbox because he was throwing up everything in his stomach.

We've been feeding him low-impact wet food and small amounts of similar dry for years now. The wet food is unicorn meat from the vet (at the price we pay, I assume it's unicorn) and it's the cat equivalent of Melba toast. Last time we went through this, we supplemented the Melba toast with jam: nursing mother cat food and kitten food. Both are high-calorie food and since he's a grazer who will only eat certain amounts, we just have to get calories into him. That's been working more-or-less until this last puking week.

After the last couple days we resorted to Defcon Cat One: adding in human baby food. Specifically, chicken and turkey. Which, continuing the Melba toast/jam analogy, I guess is Almond Roca? It's only meat with no supplements, so it shouldn't be too bad for him (although it's higher in salt than he should probably have). Yesterday, he yummed that right up. And promptly used the litterbox.

Joyful quote: "We have poo!"
We might try grinding up some boiled chicken thighs to get around the salt issue. But until he gains back a couple pounds, baby food + unicorn meat it is.

madbaker: (Galen)
We took the cat in for his annual vet visit yesterday. We blindsided him with the carrier, so it was not too difficult to get him in. (The carrier had been out for a couple days and ignored. Galen was sleeping under the bedcovers until we ruthlessly excavated him and shoved him into the carrier; he didn't have enough time to wake up and react.)

Unfortunately, he's lost weight again. Last year he was 8.75 pounds, which is still way too low - Galen should be around 10 to 11 pounds comfortably. This time he weighed 8.25. So, more emphasis on kitten food. The problem is that he is a grazer and will only eat a certain amount. If he throws up, there go the calories for that day. The massive puke-fest that was our five-day absence for Twelfth Night did him no favors.

It's too bad that he doesn't react that much to catnip, and that it doesn't give him the munchies.

Also unfortunately, Galen expressed his displeasure with the vet visit by pooping in his carrier on the way home. This is the second time in a row he's done that. Last time we had to throw the whole thing out because it was so soiled. This time we just had to clean the liner. Cat, we don't like you having to go to the vet either. This reaction just makes all of us unhappier.

madbaker: (Galen)
Galen may have stabilized in weight for the immediate future. He's been playing more - at least as much as he ever plays, given that he's 13. The other night he actually batted a wadded-up paper ball for 10 seconds before getting bored.

madbaker: (scary clown)
I did not sleep well. I also had an exchequer dream where I was working on a never-ending spreadsheet.
Shortly before I got up (which was well after the alarm went off) the cat jumped up onto the bed and settled around my ankles. I pet him a few times, he groomed my face a few times, then he bit the wife. What the hell?

madbaker: (Galen)
I had a list of things planned for this weekend: smoke a 6-lb slab of bacon, clear up the fridge, do some number-crunching, start a batch of daikon and carrot pickle...

But the wife is away this weekend, and the neurotic cat is clingy. (He actually made sure I was still here around 4:30 this morning. Which I know because I was - sigh - awake in bed.) So instead I've spent much of the time sitting on the futon reading with a cat on my lap.
It's been wonderfully relaxing, if not particularly productive. But that was one of the reasons why I didn't head north for the weekend with the wife - I really wanted to not have to go anywhere.

madbaker: (Galen)
Galen is around 8.5 pounds. Still lighter than he needs to be, but he didn't gain any weight while we were gone. So we're continuing to feed him the unicorn meat as well as mama-cat food.

madbaker: (Galen)
Sunday was Galen's 13th birthday. Approximately, anyway - I have long suspected that the birthday the shelter put down on the form is a guess. We didn't notice until after the fact. I suspect our returning from a weekend away was the best present we could have given (aside from never leaving in the first place). Sadly, we were cheered that Galen only threw up two or three times in our absence. Our increasingly-neurotic-Siamese gets separation anxiety, and the throwing up is what has led to his massive weight loss.

Since we returned, he threw up all the times he was apparently saving up. Twice last night (the last at 3 AM) and multiple times yesterday. I discovered one with my foot shortly before leaving for work. There's really nothing we can do short of trying to get him to eat more calories - he's a grazer and will only eat a certain amount of food per day. Right now he gets half unicorn meat (aka vet intestinal-friendly wet food) and half lactating mother cat food, which is obviously high in calories. He did gain a pound back in the first month, but we haven't weighed him since to check.

madbaker: (Galen)
The weekend was fairly relaxing. I had planned to get more done, but Galen decided that my job Sunday was to be his lap. So I sat on the futon and watched house renovation shows. Not my cup of tea particularly, but the wife likes them. And it was nice turning my brain off with a snoozing cat on my legs.

This week marks the start of the tourney season, and the acceleration of SCA work over the next two-plus (and ideally only two-plus) years.

madbaker: (Galen)
For the last five weeks Galen's been eating a mix of his unicorn meat (aka vet food) and stuff to get more calories in him. We're using a mix of kitten food and lactating mother food. He's also been throwing up less, which as far as we know is the main culprit in his sudden weight loss.
We weighed him yesterday, and he's up from 8.6 pounds to 9 pounds. Still a ways (weighs) to go, but it's in the right direction.

madbaker: (Galen)
The office manager is sitting outside my door, crying and whining. He may well work himself into a throwing up fit.

madbaker: (Galen)
We bought some high-protein kitten food to sneak into Galen's unicorn meat (aka the low-stress-to-the-digestive-system food we buy from the vet). Since he's a snacker rather than a gulper, we can't really change how much he eats. We can only try to increase the number of calories he gets per meal, and hope that some of that sticks so he can gain weight back to his more normal 10 lbs.

He's mildly picky. More on routine than on content, but there are times when he'll just refuse to change. (Like when we tried to change his brand of litter, and he just didn't use the box for a day. Until we bought some of the old stuff, and then he used it three times in an hour in relief.) As suggested numerous places, we mixed in some of the kitten food with his regular stuff to make it less changey.

...I'm not sure we need have bothered. I liken the unicorn meat to melba toast: it's somewhat bland to make digestion easier. (By cat standards. It still has to be stinky, and of course it's meat, not bread.) By contrast the kitten food is butter and jam. He yummed it right up and has been eating (and using the litter box) more. Also throwing up a lot less, which we think is the main problem with his weight loss.

Which brings me to this morning. As I got ready for work my slipper slid a bit on the floor. That usually means cat puke, and it did here. I grumbled a bit, taking off my slipper to make sure I didn't track it anywhere else in the house, and got paper towels to clean it up. As I finished that... splut. I stepped in a secondary pool with my bare foot.

So how's your day starting?

madbaker: (Galen)
We took Galen in for his annual vet checkup yesterday. He seems fine. However, I did a double-take when the vet-tech weighed him; he was 8.6 lbs. She re-weighed him. Yup, that's correct. A year ago he weighed just over 10 lbs. Galen's a lean Siamese by nature, but he's been as high as 11 lbs without any issues.

We had them do some in-depth blood work to check for thyroid and kidney problems. He will be 13 this year so it seemed prudent. Today we got the results - all clear. Apparently this is a repeat of what happened in early 2009, where he lost similar numbers. He's a grazer rather than a gulper, and generally eats a set amount of food per day (although we give him all the food he wants). If he gets into a cycle of throwing up he doesn't eat more to compensate. That was the theory, anyway.

So. Back to mixing in some kitten food into his unicorn meat to give him more calories per serving.

madbaker: (Galen)
I got a new pair of shoes for the '20s party last night - some modern wingtips. I needed a new pair of dress shoes anyway, and while these are more formal than I normally wear, it was good to complete the outfit. The party was fabulous and I had a great time dressing up and seeing friends dressed up in ways I normally don't see them. I got several compliments on my vintage '20s vest and jacket. I've never owned a vest before, so I wasn't entirely comfortable in it. It fits fine; I'm just not used to being confined like that. The only down note was accidentally popping a jacket button because I forgot to unbutton before sitting on a couch. Oops. (The jacket was that comfortable, not that I am pushing the size.) The wife spent the last week sewing a new outfit for herself and looked really good - especially with her vintage fur drape.

The inevitable fate of shoeboxes when you have a cat, of course, is that the cat decides that I got it just for him.
Read more... )

madbaker: (scary clown)
I'm going to blame my sleepiness/fogginess on the cat settling on my chest five minutes before the alarm went off this morning. Yeah, that's the ticket.

madbaker: (Galen)
It's been colder the last couple days. Even a bit of low fog that feels like sprinkles (but no rain, alas). It was below 50 when I exited the BART station this morning!
Another way I can tell it's been cold: the cat has been sleeping in between us. He's generally not allowed under the covers when we're in bed, for tolerably and fangy reasons.

madbaker: (Galen)
This morning as I pushed back the shower curtain, I peeled off a band-aid from my finger (where it is hopefully helping a deep, but relatively small, burn heal). I set the soggy band-aid on the tub edge. Galen, who had helpfully been perching on the toilet seat immediately perked up. There was this thing! A few feet away!

Ignoring me and my boring towel-drying he padded over to a safe distance about a foot away. And got into a staring contest. With an unmoving soggy band-aid.

He lost.

madbaker: (Krosp)
We both woke up around 4 AM to the not-so-glorious sound of the cat barfing in the bedroom doorway. The wife cleaned it up (I got the last one). The cat groomed my face, as he always does for reassurance after he throws up, and then bit the wife for no apparent reason. We squirted him. He ran away. We both went back to sleep.

I had some long-form dreams that are not worth going into. I forced myself awake to check the time, and holy crap - I slept through the alarm! By 90 minutes! How the hell did I do that? I went to bed at the usual time, didn't have any alcohol or sleep drugs. So, quick shower, forgo breakfast and coffee (I can get coffee at the office, at least) and get the wife up so I can drive in. I was only 20 minutes late. Not that anyone has called or e-mailed me yet to notice.

But I'm still a bit bleary and discombobulated from having to jump-start the morning. This is why I give myself more time than I truly need in the morning: to somewhat gradually ease into the day.

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