Monday, February 15, 2010

How did I let this happen?

Scale photo by Ben Earwicker Garrison Photography

That number is staring at me. Mocking me. See the 9? It's sticking its tongue out at me.

I now weigh a whopping 33.9 pounds. In just over a year I managed to gain 8 pounds. You know how it is: You get a little older, you move a little less. Your meals don't get any bigger, you think. But you're grabbing a snack here, sneaking a bite there. Before you know it, you're bigger than most toddlers. No cat should be bigger than a toddler (although it would help with the tail pulling).

Dr. Katz says I've been inadvertently eating more than 500 kcal per day. I had no idea! Neither Marlene nor Jess did either. Just just kept giving me little handfuls of kibble thinking "it's just 10 crunchies!" Well, at 600 kcal per cup, those 10 little crunchies maybe ain't so little.

So we have a new plan: I'm limited to 400 kcal per day. That's it. No more. Dr. Katz figured out that's 2/3 cup of the Evo turkey and chicken blend. Jess already measured it out and it's not unimpressive as servings go. Let's see how it goes throughout the day.

But what about moist food? Jess found this great gourmet food that we all love. No word on caloric content yet. I do like me some chunked up tuna, but not at the expense of my beloved kibble. You hear me, girls?

Here's hoping I can drop a couple of pounds by May. Spring will be in full swing, the air will be sweet. This white, cold stuff will be gone and we can try the Jess-carries-me-down-the-alley and I-run-like-hell-for-the-house thing again.

::paws crossed::

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Good-bye, old friend

You may not have met Doonesbury, the most senior resident of our house. When Stoney and I joined as "fosters" he greeted us warmly (trans: He didn't hiss and swat like Gretchen did.). Even in my shell-shocked state, I recognized what a great companion he would be.

Marlene met Doonsey when he was a wee little thing, a puff-ball with blue eyes. He roamed the wilds of New Hampshire, chasing frogs and bringing home birds. He trekked across country with Marlene, to woody Northern California, sunny Santa Barbara, and back east to NH. He even got lost for a few months! By the time she found him, he was matted, dirty, and living on scraps. But one look and she knew it was him: those eyes, that perfect mask.

Then they made the move to DC. He went from roaming the Wide World to exploring a 2nd floor apartment. Yawn. OK, so he put on a few pounds. OK, 18 pounds. Big and beautiful, until he wants to sit on your chest at night while you're trying to read (his nightly ritual with Jess) or you happen to have a full bladder (it's a talent to pick just the right moment to pounce). As big as he was, he still found a way to scurry under the futon, a mere 4" off the floor, when a thunderstorm hit!

But a weight management diet, and access to the back yard, helped him drop to a Maine-Coon-healthy 12 pounds. Playing with Sam helped, too. He was 8 when she joined the house and insisted on chasing him up and down the hall! In frustration at her kitten antics, he sat on her once: Big, furry cat; little kitten legs squirming underneath!

The Doons-man was just about the most amiable, agreeable cat you've ever met. He always greeted new guests, feline or human. He even put up with Beyonce! Whenever the girls fostered a new litter of kittens, they'd introduce them to Doonesbury first. He never hissed, never swatted, just said "Hi, howyadoin?" and went on exploring.

Dr. Katz described Doonsey as a real gentleman. He never acted out when she was poking and prodding him. Even through dental surgery, he was a trooper. As he started to lose weight and energy a few years ago, she started him on thyroid medication. "He was always game, whatever we were trying," she said. As we added a new pill or liquid, he would rally. He'd put on weight, be more active, and get back to his old Doonsey self.

These last two weeks, though, he wouldn't rally. He'd sleep, drink water, pee water, then go back to sleep. He showed less and less interest in food and no interest in grooming. Jess even gave him a bath (not nearly as funny as my "spa day") so he'd smell a little better. Finally, on Tuesday, he wouldn't eat. Wednesday he ate a little. Thursday, not even real tuna. So on Friday afternoon, the girls brought him back to Dr. Katz. He was a gentleman then, too. As the first shot went in, he bowed his head and went to sleep. The girls stroked him and kissed him as the second shot went in. Quietly and quickly, he left. No fuss.

May 1991-June 2009

If you would like to honor Doonesbury's memory, consider making a donation to AdvoCATs, Inc. or the Julie Fund at Union Vet Clinic. I would, but Jess won't give me the credit card anymore.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Even the smallest among us

Jess with the late, great Beyonce on her shoulderThe world is a little less adorable now that our dear Beyonce the Rat has left us. She was a survivor, to be sure: She was rescued from the very jaws of death (a cobra's cage) at National Geographic* and came to live in our house in the Summer of 07. We all learned very quickly that she was not to be stalked, pounced on, or chewed (friend-not-food was the mantra). She loved me and Stoney, sneaking her way under my chin when I was lounging on the couch.

The girls gave her the best of everything! Smoked oysters, organic veggies, blankets to shred. Jess would save the frisee from her salad. I have to admit that it's downright cute to watch a rat munch on salad greens. Her little hands would turn the leaf this way and that, then start nibbling. Yogurt drops were her all-time fave. She'd throw out everything else in her bowl to get to them!

Beyonce hung out on the couch most of the time. You can still find the spots she chewed in the fabric and pulled out the stuffing. Her favorite spot was sitting with Jess while she watched TV. Beyonce would sit quietly and let Jess stroke her fur. She watched all of Ratatouille that way!

Beyonce lived to be about 2 years old (probably). She survived 3 days in a cage with a cobra, a bout with an upper respiratory infection, breast cancer, and life with 6 cats. It was either pneumonia or cancer that took her in the end. Whatever it was, she couldn't breathe. She let Jess feed her medicine in baby food right up until the morning she died.

Now the cage is empty, all cleaned out and ready for storage. Jess kept looking at it, expecting that little nose to poke through the wires. I'm sure the girls will bring another rat or two into their lives soon, but not just yet.

Beyonce the Rat

*The NatGeo story is true, but may not be as dramatic as Jess and Marlene tell it. They don't care. They're sticking to it.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Missed me?

It's been a crazy couple of months, hasn't it? The girls hosted Thanksgiving with the whole family coming in. They roasted a locally raised turkey and we highly approved! Christmas was full of lovely cat toys. Marlene and Jess went a little crazy on us and there are feathered and furred mice all over the house!

In December, they had to take me to the vet because I keep licking my legs and arms. It's really pathetic, I know, but I just can't stop! They put this ridiculous blow-up collar on me. Hey, if it ever floods in here, I'm all set.

But the good news is that I'm down to 26.5 lbs! And I don't have diabetes! High fives, thank you. I've got something going on "down there" which will need some expensive sonogram (there goes Jess' bonus), but there is definitely no sugar in my pee! I've never been so happy about pee!

So now the Capitol has calmed down from its weekend of "CHANGE". Everyone's settled back into their routines. I await a sonogram to find out if I have kidney stones (with Jess' luck, I won't which means $300 down the drain. I'll be hearing about that for a while). And I continue to get lean and trim. Somewhere I have pics of them shaving my belly. It's embarrassing as hell. I'm sure you can't wait!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

All hail the Queen

Jess and Marlene came home tonight all sad and weird. They kept petting us and hugging us. Jess gave Gretchen a pile of chicken from Sunday night's dinner ($28 organic, local chicken) and a bowl of organic broth. Then a new doctor came over. Dr. Flo is her name. She comes to your house, which is pretty cool because it means we don't have to get in the plastic carrier, into the car, and into a scary room. So I wondered why Dr. Flo was there. I mean, I'm fine. Stoney's fine. Beyonce's going to the vet on the 24th. Why was she here?

Then I thought about Gretchen. She has gotten so skinny! She was always a little thing, but in the last three months she probably lost at least a pound. All she cared about was food. Her food, my food, everyone's food was her food. Dr. Katz put her on more steroids and that just made her want more food. She didn't want to play, she didn't care about laps or toys. She just ate, drank, peed, and pooped. She was definitely not well. That's why Dr. Flo was there. She was there to make sure that Gretchen was finally OK.

While I curled up under the table, Dr. Flo gave Gretchen a shot. Man, she was not happy with it! She growled and bit Jess! Then she dove into that bowl of broth and lapped, and lapped, and lapped. Then she got woozy. She wobbled and fell over. Marlene and Jess laid her on her favorite bed. The stroked her and pet her. Her breathing slowed down. Her eyes got huge. The girls started crying. When Dr. Flo was sure Gretchen was fast asleep, she gave her the second shot. Before I knew it, Gretchen was gone. We all said good bye, even though she was no longer there. Dr. Flo left with Gretchen's body.

So tonight, I'm remembering the Gretchen who growled her heart out at me when Stoney and I moved in. She was always the Queen of the House. She was feisty, fierce, and loud! She was first to the bowl, first in the box, and first out the door to the back yard. She was petite, cute, and pretty. Everyone noticed her, even before Doonesbury, the Maine Coon with the big belly. They saw her big eyes and lithe body and proclaimed her most beautiful!

Her passing was quiet. She will be missed. Even if it looks like I'm just napping, I'll be missing her every moment.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Don't ask

She had to do it. She had to get me on the scale.

I'm back up over 28 pounds.

Maybe it's muscle? Muscle weighs more than fat, right?

See, nothing good comes from going to the vet.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ignorance is bliss, right

Marlene wants to take me to the vet and weigh me. I don't think it will do either of us any good. She'll be disappointed in me. I'll be freaked out about getting in the plastic box and being hauled around. She'll sigh and wonder where she went wrong. I'll squawk and hide under the bed.

I really have no idea if I've gained or lost any weight. I can't get up and down the stairs as quickly as I used to. I'm getting better at jumping up onto the couch. I still love my sweet, salty crunchies!

Seriously, do I have to? Couldn't we just stay home on the couch and watch Family Guy?