Cat Needs Brain Surgery

FK needs brain surgery, and your help.

If you read my last post, you know that my elderly mother’s beloved rescued cat, Fluffy Kitty (yes, that is his name), had a terrible infection behind his eye back in December. After seeing a veterinary ophthalmologist, he was put on heavy duty antibiotics, in which case the infection shrunk back. As the doctor could see no more inflammation against the eye, he was sent home with no further instructions. This expense tapped my mother, but this cat is her baby (and the sweetheart of everyone who meets him, for no lap goes cold with Fluffy Kitty around).

This week, however, Fluffy Kitty started to act strangely. He was confused and disoriented. My mother was in the hospital that day, and her other cat had a dental appointment, so I rushed Fluffy Kitty to the vet in the morning. They, in turn, informed us he needed to go to a neurologist.

Yesterday, after an MRI, my brother, myself and my mom drove the 35 minutes to the neurologist. Upon examining the results, the neurologist told us it looked as if the infection had spread to the frontal area of the brain, but with surgery, there was a good chance he could recover quite well, barring anything unusual. Well, unfortunately, something unusual cropped up. The veterinary neurologist is not positive what it is, but within the infection, he found something he needs to send for testing. He is concerned about lymphoma. By this time, and even with help, the expenses have become out of control, but I ask you… would YOU deny a wonderful old lady the cat she loves and sleeps with her and is just the sweetest cat in the world to everyone? She kept saying “My Fluffy Kitty can’t die, he just can’t die.”

I will not know until next week what the results are of the tests… it ‘could’ be a harsh infection that he removed and will need antibiotics and be ok, it could be toxoplasmosis, or corona virus, or another viral infection.

In the meantime, I have set up a GoFunMe page to help my mom afford all this. Even small amounts add up and matter if enough folks help. Please offer something, if you can. Share the page, get the word out. It will be appreciated more than you can imagine.

GO FUND ME

 


Cat Digs Out of His Own Grave!

Like something out of Stephen King’s novel, Pet Sematary, Bart the cat returned five days after he was “killed” by a car and buried.

 

 

Humane Society of Tampa Bay

 

Around January 20th, 2015 in Tampa, FL, Bart sustained extensive injuries when hit by a car. Thinking him dead, his owner, Ellis Hutson, and a neighbor buried him in his yard. But Bart was not dead. Seriously injured, he clawed his way out of the dirt and reemerged in the yard of neighbor Dusty Albritton.

Albritton says the cat was “dead in a pool of blood and stiff.” But the Humane Society, who are experienced in seeing cats “come back” from severe trauma, explain that most likely Bart was unconscious and then awoke and climbed his way to the surface of the shallow grave, hid for a few days until hunger drove him to seek food at a familiar location; the neighbor’s home. The myth of cats having nine lives ruminated from the cat’s incredible resiliency and ability to recover from serious injury. Bart suffered head trauma, a broken jaw and will lose his left eye. But he is very much alive and was never dead. Inexperienced in detecting vital signs in an animal, Bart’s owner and neighbor erroneous made an assumption that could have caused the cat’s demise even where the car did not.

Finish reading: http://www.examiner.com/article/cat-climbs-from-his-own-grave, for more info and photos, plus video.


House Cat has a new Publisher

I received a letter in the mail recently stating that Howell Book House, the publishing company that bought and published my book, House Cat How to Keep Your Indoor Cat Sane & Sound, sold off over a thousand of their titles. They sold them to Turner Publishing Company, and House Cat was one of those books. I am not sure yet what this means for the future of the book. Amazon no longer carries the Kindle edition, so I’m not sure if it will be re-released or not. I will keep updates here.


My Indoor Cat is Missing; Diary of Binx

Binx is missing

Binx is missing.

Day One, Friday, May 17th 2013: I woke up late because I had to drive a long distance and spend three days doing a horse show photo shoot. When I awoke, my mother came in my room and told me she “saw a cat who looks just like Binx” on the porch and then up by the fireplace in the back yard. It was then she informed me she couldn’t find Binx in the house. I got up and we searched. The back door would, if not closed properly, not latch all the way. The cat she saw was Binx, not a cat who looked like him.

Now we had a major problem. Not only was Binx an indoor-only cat his entire adult life (three and a half years), he was born a feral kitten who had had no contact with humans in the first 8 weeks of his life. A cat who has not had that contact never fully accepts humans. Binx accepted us, as he lived in our house and let us pet him, slept on my bed and would even rub against my leg. However, if even I–the person he most trusted–made a move he found suspicious, he would always run. “Can I really trust you?” lived forever in his eyes, as it does with all cats born feral.

I searched the woods behind our house, the neighbor’s yards, up trees, everywhere I could. No sign of him. As a volunteer for a cat shelter, I was able to borrow a cat trap, which I baited and set on the porch in case Binx came home during the night looking for food. I also brushed Binx’s best cat friend, Jake, and placed his fur around the parameter of the yard.

I slept on the sofa on the porch, hoping my scent would help, or at least I would spot him.

Day Two, Saturday, May 18th: Had to do the photo shoot, so I spent most of the day away. Caught nothing in the trap. I borrowed a second trap to put up in the back near the woods. I needed to expand my search. I also made up a bunch of flyers and went door to door in the areas that surrounded the woods, talking to people and asking if they would contact me if they saw Binx. Everyone was very nice. But no one had seen him.

Binx’s un-trusting nature towards humans, I knew, would make this much more difficult than a trusting house pet. I slept on the porch again. At the very least it helped keep the raccoons away from my trap.

Day Three, Sunday, May 19th: Expanded my search area and tried to spread my scent to lead Binx back home. He had to be getting hungry. Still nothing in the traps. I made more flyers, including a large one for telephone poles, and brought the files to be professionally printed at Staples. I had the large ones laminated so they would be waterproof. It rained, which made me wonder how Binx was handling this, as he had not seen rain in his entire adult life. The rain did not frighten me, however, the thunder did. It would scare Binx. Would he run farther away?

Day Four, Monday, May 20th: Caught a raccoon in the trap nearest the house, but no cat. I reset the trap. The rain just didn’t want to stop! Thunderstorms, heat and humidity every day. Ninety one degrees!

I am still having trouble eating, my stomach is in so many knots. I walked all around the woods within a mile of my house. But the woods are dense and vast. He could be anywhere. I passed out more flyers. I tacked a bunch of the big laminated flyers on telephone poles at every intersection within a two mile radius.

Day Five, Tuesday, May 21st: More of the same today. Cooler temperatures, but still rainy and thunderstorms. As I had done daily, I walked the woods when it wasn’t raining, talked to people, passed out flyers and put lost cat ads on the internet and in papers.

Day Six, Wednesday, May 22nd: Continued looking through the woods and adding flyers to my search area. It was rainy today so I didn’t get as much searching done through the woods, but I did walk up back and look under a few porches and sheds of neighboring properties. By now, people are pretty used to seeing me searching through their yards.

Both traps were tripped, food was gone from one, yet nothing was inside. The neighbor’s cat (Tigger) is a tiny little girl, so I am assuming it was her. Later in the day, I was proven correct when I came home and a neighbor drove by with his ATV to tell me there was a grey cat in the trap behind his house. I asked him “Dark grey or light grey?” When he said light grey, I knew it was Tigger. She was scared, I let her go.

Got a call from a lady who lives about 5 miles away, swearing she saw Binx. She said she would try to feed and lure the cat in. I have big doubts Binx would be that far in the opposite direction that he had gone, plus he would have had to cross a highway and several roads to get there. Not that I am dismissing any lead. I told her to call me if she sees the cat again.

I started a Facebook page to raise awareness of Binx in hopes more people will keep their eyes open for him, regardless where they live. I just want my Binx home!

Day Seven, Thursday, May 23rd: 7am, my mother wakes me to tell me there’s a raccoon in the trap closest to the woods. She can’t climb the fence to get out there, so I went out, in the rain, in my PJs, climbed the fence, and had to pick up the trap and dump the frightened raccoon out. He scrambled up a tree.

Seriously thinking about hiring a pet detective to help me find Binx. The problem is that I am poor and not sure I can afford one. I looked up quite a few online today. I just want my baby home. I don’t know how long I can handle this stress, fear and anguish.


Cyber Cat Monday

Join your cat online for a great online auction every Monday and Friday nights featuring animal gifts and products at low prices

It’s Black Friday Weekend (and Cyber Monday) and I still don’t know why it’s called Black Friday! Perhaps because the stores “wake up” in the middle of the night so people can shop in the dark?

In any event, Black Friday is the start of the holiday shopping season… ie, hectic! So, save your gas and save time. Shop online. For your cat!

Cyber Monday is also Cyber Cat Day! This is the day you can go to an online auction (yep, a LIVE online auction), bid on extremely nice products at super low prices and get all your shopping done for your animal loving friends and pets at the Animal Lovers 6 Auction, Monday night at 9PM EST.

Some of the great items you will find there? Hand made cat toys, as well as great interactive toys like the original Cat Dancer (activity helps keep cats from becoming obese). You will find fantastic gift items for your animal loving people too. Items so unique you will not find them in a store. Fantastic for that hard-to-buy-for person! Such items include dancing cat picture frames, kids animal winter accessories, beautiful jewelry depicting animals of every kind, pet t-shirts and so much more!

You will also find the one-of-a-kind art of extremely talented wildlife artist Lucie Theroux from Quebec, who will be offering a gift of a custom painting! Imagine the glee on an animal lover’s face when they see a painting custom made by hand in water color from one of the most talented artists on this planet!

So, mark your calendars for EVERY Monday and Friday nights at 9PM for the Animal Lovers auctions!


Cat Agility: The New American Sport

Back in the 1980’s, I used to train and show my Doberman pinscher in obedience. Agility was on the high end of the obedience scale, and we never got that far due to my dog’s back issues, but it was always fun to watch.

Though I love all animals, I have always been more of a cat person than a dog person, and now I can enjoy watching cats in agility, which, in my opinion, they are much more suited for than most dogs. Cats are lithe and flexible in ways that dogs are not. This makes them absolutely amazing in running obstacles and flying about in agility competitions.

Cat agility is becoming more and more popular at cat shows around the country. One such cat agility trainer is Anthony Hutcherson, who trains the Bagel cats he breeds in Maryland.

Modeled after canine agility competitions, the tournaments feature a ring in which cat owners — some of whom have trained their pets from kittenhood — brandish a feather or sparkly wand to try to coax a cat to climb stairs, weave around poles and leap through hoops in as little time as possible.

“You have to get the cat to focus on the toy,” said Hutcherson, who raises his cats in Port Tobacco, Md., and whose oldest cat, Justin, has run the course in nine seconds. “Cats will pretty much chase a feather on a string anywhere.” [source]

Cats are reputed to be un-trainable, but this is untrue. Cats are simply not trained in the same manner as dogs. Cats do not respond to a simple pat on the head as a reward. Usually, food is used as an enticement and fun interactive toys such a feathers.

Cats love to jump high, play hard and run fast. I have a feeling cat agility is the sport of the future. Please click here for Photos and slideshows of  cats in action!


Doctor’s Hero Cat Rescued from Fire

Satin was one cat rescued from a large Missouri apartment building fire

An apartment fire in St. Louis took the lives of many pets, but for Dr. Elizabeth Schmidt, relief came four days later when her rescued, one-eyed cat named Satin was reunited with her thanks to the Humane Society of Missouri.

The fire broke out Tuesday night at the four-story, 197-unit apartment complex on Lindell Boulevard in the city’s Central West End. No residents were injured but two firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion. The cause of the fire has not been determined. The building has been deemed a total loss. [source]
Schmidt was coming home from dinner with friend last Tuesday night when she saw the fire. Many animals, particularly cats, were trapped inside the building and unfortunately many did not make it, some are still missing. A memorial outside the building told the sad tale of the unlucky ones.

Keep Free Roaming Cats off the Streets

When I wrote my book, House Cat, How to Keep Your Indoor Cat Sane & Sound, it was the mid-1990’s and the movement to keep cats indoors was not completely new (believe it or not, people have been keeping indoor cats since the beginning of the domestication of cats), but was spreading throughout the world.

My book at the time was innovative. The whole point was to create an environment perfect to the cat’s needs based on the cat’s nature, thinking and desires.

Since the publication of the first book (the Revised Edition came out in 2005), keeping cats indoors has become extremely popular, and those who believed cats needed free roam have become the minority. This is good for cats, as there are less disasters from outdoor dangers.

But what many “outdoor cat” advocates do not realize is that this is good for humans as well. Back in 2009, I wrote an article about cats being “mini ecological disasters.” This was simply one observation based on a few words quoted by a TV chanracter, however the truth behind it is astonishing.

Read the Rest: http://www.examiner.com/article/keep-free-roaming-cats-off-the-street


Yes, They Really Did Race Cats

In my Hartford Horses Examiner column, I often discuss horse racing and the problems associated with racing horses, a sport that has grown in a multi-billion dollar industry. But, what about cat racing? Never heard of it? Well, at one time it was a reality.

Cat race

At one time, cats were raced.

In the latter half of the 1800’s, cat racing took place both in England and Belgium. In June 16, 1860, author Harrison Weir wrote in his book “The Pictorial Times”: “Cat-racing is a sport which stands high in popular favour. In one of the suburbs of Liège it is an affair of annual observance during carnival time… The cats are tied up in sacks, and as soon as the clock strikes the solemn hour of midnight the sacks are unfastened, the cats let loose, and the race begins. The winner is the cat which first reaches home, and the prize awarded to its owner is sometimes a ham, sometimes a silver spoon. On the occasion of the last competition the prize was won by a blind cat.”

As a cat lover and cat care specialist, I cannot claim to like the idea of cats tied up in sacks. Today, such a cruel and torturous act would be shut down before it even began.

But cat racing did not end there with the coming of the 20th century. In 1936 at Portisham in Dorset, England,  a cat race track was built. It resembled a greyhound race track and ran about 220 yards long. An electric mouse was provided for the cats to chase.

After that failed attempt, cat racing seems to have died out.  The last recorded attempt to race cats was in Kent, England in 1949.

Apparently cat racers were not aware of the cat’s aloof nature and their drive for food or else they would have put cat food at the finish line rather than an electronic mouse.  It is no wonder cat racing has never caught on as a competitive sport.

Perhaps in the future a cat will RUN for President.