Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Circus life

I have 5 cats. Four of them have some kind of issue with their health. The fifth one is slightly neurotic. Okay, several of them might be neurotic, but Runt is the only one without physical issues. Because of these issues, I have to feed my 5 cats separately, which ends up being quite the production. Thankfully this chaos has grown on us a little at a time or we would be truly overwhelmed.

Allow me to explain.

Thirty minutes before each meal (aka twice a day) these two get some Pepcid AC.

Not the same dosage, of course. Emma gets 1/4 of a 10mg tablet, Blue gets 1/2. Note: it is not easy to cut those tiny little pills evenly, so the actual dose they get varies. Emma has been getting this pill for a couple of years now and has gotten used to the idea. Blue, not so much. It's always a battle of wills with him when pills are involved. His papa and I always win, though. Eventually.

Half an hour later, the fun really begins. Starting from the eldest on down....


For breakfast, Ripley gets a heaping 1/8 cup of dry food, which is a 50/50 mix of Blue Buffalo Weight Control (for the fiber content) and Blue Buffalo Mature (she'll be 17 next month). Mixed with this, I occasionally add 1/4 to 1/2 tablet of Standard Process Feline Renal Support. She doesn't really like it though and will eat everything in her dish except that if I don't crush it up.

For dinner, she gets 1/3 of a can of any smelly food she'll eat, with one Marin tablet (for liver support) crushed up in it, and a capsule of Cosequin (for her joints) mixed in, along with a bit of water. She's not a big fan of this, either. She's lost almost 3 pounds in the last year, so we don't like it when she doesn't eat. We pretty much toss dry food in her dish any time it's empty and she's yelling at us. We've been keeping the other cats separated from her at night and when we're not home so she has access to food all the time. She went to the vet on Saturday for some tests, and I was expecting the results today. Unfortunately, the lab didn't think there was enough blood to run the tests, so she and I get to make a return trip Thursday morning. I haven't told her yet.


Max gets a between 1/8 and 1/4 cup of prescription Royal Canin Modified Diet dry food for breakfast and dinner. Once a day he gets 1/2 a tablet of the Standard Process Feline Renal Support.


Emma gets a rounded 1/8 cup of prescription Royal Canin Modified Diet dry food with a dash (according to my measuring spoon) of Epakitin and some water added for breakfast and again for dinner. Once a day she also gets 1/2 a tablet of the Standard Process Feline Renal Support. Adding water to her dry food serves 2 purposes. First, it dissolves the Epakitin so it doesn't all lay at the bottom of the bowl, uneaten. Second, it helps keep her hydrated, since she has to drink the water before she eats her food. For now, this is working as an acceptable substitute for the sub-q fluid injections, which we all hate. Her kidney numbers were all in the normal range on her last blood test!


Right now, Blue gets 1/2 a 5mg metoclopromide tablet (to prevent vomiting) and 1/3 cup of prescription Royal Canin Green Peas and Duck food for breakfast and dinner. When I remember (which hasn't been often lately), he also gets 1/2 a Standard Process Feline Whole Body Support tablet with each meal. Since he is still throwing up once or twice a week despite the restricted diet, we're looking at switching him over Royal Canin's Siamese 38 food, which isn't much cheaper than the prescription food, but I can buy it at the pet store instead of trekking to the vet's office for it. Speaking of the vet, Blue's picture made it on their web page. Check him out here.


Runt gets just shy of a 1/4 c. of Blue Buffalo Weight Control dry food for breakfast and dinner. That's all.

Did I mention they get their meals in four different rooms? Ripley is in the kitchen. Blue is in the dining room. Max is in the living room. Emma and Runt are in the computer room, but they have to be supervised to prevent meal sharing/stealing. An alternative is to feed Max on top of the entertainment center, Emma on the living room floor and Runt alone in the computer room. John doesn't like that option because it encourages Max to use the coffee table as stepping stone to the entertainment center.

Life is fun at John's house, too. Check out Doc the cockatiel's new look and digs:

Somehow she managed break her femur. We don't know how or when she did it, but she'll be in a splint for a few weeks and living in the reptile cage till the vet says she's allowed to go vertical again.

Since I have pictures of everyone else, here is Solomon, the Congo African Grey parrot.

He's a pretty cool bird. He can whistle part of the Andy Griffith theme. He talks, though we're not sure where he picked up some of that language. :) He says his name two ways. One way is in a fairly deep voice (John's), and the other is higher, which we assume is my voice. Pretty funny.

In non-pet related news, the hard drive on my home pc crashed last week. After trying the things I found online to recover the disk (chkdisk /r and fixboot), I gave up and bought new laptop. I'd been thinking about doing it for a while, so it wasn't too traumatic. Getting used to Vista is another matter. I have backups of most of my stuff, but I haven't installed the software to get them back, thus the cell phone pictures today. I'm not sure all my software will work here, or even if I can restore my XP backup to a Vista system. Should be interesting. I ordered a replacement hard drive in hopes that I can re-install the OS and maybe get something off the old disk. Worst case, I'll restore my backup to the old XP system and transfer the stuff manually. Ick.

My car goes to the shop tomorrow morning for what will probably be some pricey maintenance. I'm pretty sure I need new brakes.

Last night John and I replaced the springs on my garage door, since one of them broke over the weekend.The garage really needs a new roof, too. It needed that back in the fall, but I put it off. Sigh....

And to make things even more interesting, the first case of the new and improved swine flu in Ohio is a kid who goes to school less than a mile from my house. Fortunately, I don't have kids and don't socialize with my neighbors who do. Of course, I do have to shop in the area and I use my local public library regularly. And I've seen reports that there might be 2 or 3 more cases in the area. Pass the Purell, people!

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