Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Euro Dance Music......

Dang.....I don't know how it happened...but I love some of this stuff.


Sunday, September 01, 2013

Fancy Pants' Big Texas Adventure

 My husband had her in his arms and down the stairs before she knew something was up.  I was  stationed in the driveway with the car door open, the dog kennel facing out and my hand ready to slap the door closed and lock it.

Fancy Pants was going on a big adventure to Texas, specifically to Texas A & M Feline clinic.  

We've had Fancy Pants for three years.  She is one sweet kitty....to us.  We saw her cruising around our neighborhood as a stray, an odd stray, because she is long-haired Manx, a rather expensive pedigree cat. As the summer progressed, she got thinner and thinner and despite her fears she started coming up to us for water and food.  

When my youngest son came home one night and said he saw a fox with a cat in his mouth, we were nervous that Fancy Pants would be next. Once there's a fox or coyote loose in the neighborhood (we live near a golf course and the woods), outside kitties disappear as tasty treats.  So it was decision time.  We decided to try and catch her in a crate with some cat food as bait.  It worked, but I was concerned she was wild....she often hissed and tried to nip at us when she was outside...would she be a hellcat  inside the house?  

I decided to isolate her in my bathroom to see what would happen. My son and I removed the breakables from the counter....cleared the floor off and set the crate down.  I opened the door and we stepped back.  Fancy Pants immediately laid down on the cool bathroom floor tile, started purring and looked up as if to say, "What took you so long?"

Because of her lack of food while a stray,  her platelets and some of her vitals were off but with care and love she fluffed up and out.  She also took over the entire second floor of our house....no other cat or dog was allowed to stray into her territory.  She adopted us and this section of the house and the Diva of the second floor was established.

A year ago, she had an infection or two and for the last 6 months was running into some urinary problems....her bladder was full and she couldn't expel her urine adequately.  Our local vet, who is a great doctor, did all he could but her abdomen and bladder needed to be scanned and because she was a Manx, a breed prone to congenital neural and urinary problems, she needed to be seen by a feline specialist.  Our state doesn't have a certified feline specialist nor a specialty clinic so our options included heading up north to Ohio, Indiana or south to New Orleans or Florida  or west to Texas.  We choose Texas because of the reputation of the clinic and specialists there.  Some folks we know were shaking their heads and asking,  "You're going to take a cat all the way to Texas for care?"  But to me it was cost and time efficient decision. I could wander around my state going to vets who may be known for having more experience with cats and try to get a diagnosis or help or I could make one trip to a teaching hospital and clinic and get a diagnosis and plan.  It made sense to me to get this over in one shot.

So off we went to Texas.  I knew she hated being in the crate and in the car when I took her to the local vet--she would howl/meow at an audio decibel equivalent to a fire truck.  But I assumed on our road trip, she would eventually settle down...after all how long can a cat meow/howl?  

Well, after 2.5 hours of howling without any stop in the car....either she or we needed to be sedated and since she can't drive, the sedative went down her little throat not ours.  After a few minutes, she was rather dazed but stubbornly kept softly meowing about every two minutes.  She did this all the way to College Station, Texas--a little town taken over by 45,000 students in the middle of cattle and sheep grazing land. 

The long drive took much longer than we expected because the interstates don't run directly from our city to College Station, hence we traveled a lot of 4 lane and sometimes 2 lane highways to get there.  The hotel website said small pets were acceptable but I still created a cover for her smaller kennel which we could put over her when traversing the lobby.  I didn't want to find out the internet info was wrong.  Fortunately, we put her and our luggage on a cart and she didn't make a sound as we went through the busy lobby.

Once out of the cage she was like, "Where the hell am I?"  She stopped meowing and spent the next hour scrutinizing every inch of the room.

After she settled down, we put her in the cool bathroom with food and a litter box and went out for dinner and a break away from her. Even though she had calmed down, I was left-over nervous from the car ride and now I was getting anxious about the clinic.  My vet had warned me there was a possibility there wasn't anything that could be done for her....which would mean we might have to put her down...not immediately but if things progressed.

The next day we arrived at the clinic with out little patient. There was a whole lobby of dogs and cats.  The secretary had told me that it was common to bring pets from out-of-state and sometimes they even had international clients. Because it was a teaching hospital, we were warned the process would move efficiently but slowly. 

 We  had to give her history to three vet students who finally returned with the attending vet who would eventually consult with the feline neurologist and other feline specialists.  We were sent on our way and told we could expect a call when they were finished. 

 Although we found some interesting shops and a nice restaurant for lunch...I was nervous. I feared there would be no hope.

They didn't call us till 6pm.  By then I was a wreck, although I tried not to show it. We went back to the clinic and I could tell right away it wasn't good good news.  The attending and the students looked a bit grim.  They outlined their findings and the result of the scan.  In essence, she has congenital problems...which have caught up to her.  Usually, these problems are seen right away in kittens and sometimes, depending upon the severity of the symptoms, the kittens are euthanized.  Fancy Pants apparently has a milder case of Manx syndrome and has been healthy for the first three years of her life which is very unusual.   They did offer us some hope, there's a medication she can take three times a day that could help her.  

Three times a day though...yikes...that's a lot of diligence...but the amount of medication to give orally is fortunately very small.  I couldn't help it....I started getting teary-eyed and I could see the faculty and students felt bad too. It's always a nice scenario to bring a pet from far away and have the experts discover and cure the animal. To give out iffy news....is disappointing for them and us as receivers of the news.  They promised a full report and follow up to be sent to our Vet in a few days and wished us luck.

We took Fancy Pants back to the hotel.  Everyone was tired....Fancy Pants was still getting over the sedation they gave to her for her CT scan and walking funny because her entire abdominal wall had been shaved and she was missing at least 5 inches of hair. 

We left early in the morning for home....stopping at a famous kolache and sausage shack out side of College Station before getting on to the freeway and 4 lanes for the long trip home.  We stopped at a few antique stores but since it was a thousand degrees outside...one of us had to stay in the car with the air con running while the other person looked inside....so it wasn't a causal look at stores but more of a hurried look into some interesting places.

Fancy Pants is now back home and on her new medicine regimen.  We probably won't know for a least three weeks whether or not the med is working well and what the next step might be.  

For now, she is cute as hell....and back to her old routine.  The Diva has returned.  She stretches out and watches the world from our screened porch off our bedroom and then lounges in a laundry basket which she has taken over for naps.

When we arrive to sleep...she watches over us and waits for my husband to stir. As soon as his alarm goes off she springs on the bed and dives in under his hand for a scratchy....then she stakes a spot next to my pillow and positions herself somewhere next to my head so she can be there when I wake up.  She doesn't seem to care whether she is right side up or upside down....just as long as she gets to be there.