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Archive for the ‘pets’ Category

Not Quite Dead Yet

A subtext to the ongoing life saga around here, the last couple of weeks, has been the illness of our elderly cat, Pushkin.  We know he has kidney issues, and has been picky about food for quite a while, but all of a sudden he pretty much stopped eating and drinking.  I took him in to Dr. Gina Pastore at Winthrop Veterinary Services.  Now that we have moved, it is only about 2 miles away.  I can’t say enough good things about Dr. Pastore.  She got her 5-year degree at the Royal Veterinary College at the University of London, practiced small animal medicine in Vermont for 3 years, then moved here with her husband for job and family reasons.

She initially thought he might have a kidney infection, and started him on amoxycillin.  His blood work came back with readings off the chart for kidney function.  He did not really improve for a week and we had some really bad days.  Then this week we had a followup appointment and she was able to get a urine sample, which turns out is loaded with bacteria.  So he has a really bad urinary tract infection which was not susceptible to amoxycillin.  They have to culture the bacteria in the lab and try different antibiotics against it before we will know what the final treatment will be, but meanwhile we have him on her best guess, and he does seem to be responding.

Eating and drinking water and showing a bit of interest in life around here again.  So maybe we can pull him out of this and get a few more miles out of the old fella, after all.  It reminded us both of the line from Monty Python & The Holy Grail:  “I’m not quite dead yet!”

Rick and I have had cats for the last 40 years, and Pushkin is right up there with the best of them!  So laid back, confident, and friendly.  A true friend.

Pushkin in 2005

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Alfred, Lord Venison

Just a quick post with a picture of Rick’s “pet” deer, Alfred.  He gets a name only because we can easily tell him apart from the other guys – he has 2 prongs on one antler, and 3 prongs on the other.  He was hanging out in the shade by our house the other day, so I took his picture.

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Escapee

It’s been an upsetting couple of days around here, but all is well now.  We went over to the coast for the weekend and as it turned out, our little Bengal cat, Teasel, got outside while we were packing the car etc.  We didn’t find out until Saturday night when we checked our voice mail messages.  Our neighbor had seen her in their yard and called to see if it was ours.  Yes, and she is an inside cat.  She doesn’t know the outside of this place and her new neighborhood.

But we couldn’t come home early due to business and personal obligations on Monday, so we didn’t get back here until 8:30 pm.  Called and walked around until it got dark.  Nothing.  She hadn’t been seen since around noon on Saturday.  There was a HUGE thunderstorm and downpour on Sunday evening, we were told.

Got up yesterday and walked around even farther away, calling and looking in empty sheds, etc.  Nothing.  Made up flyers and started handing them out to houses even farther away.  It was my birthday and not a happy one.  Pushkin also very upset with all the “kitty kitty” calling outside…

But this morning Rick had a new idea.  One of the houses out behind us had lights on at night, but he began to think no-one was actually there.  So we went on over and there she was.  It turned out they were here last weekend, and they put a plastic mesh up all around their porches when they leave – to keep the neighbor’s cats out!  She was inside the mesh and couldn’t get out.  When we found her, she had crawled alongside some construction lumber on their porch with the mesh fastened down next to it, and looked like a salami in a net bag.

But she is home, a few pounds lighter and hungry, but no harm done.

Teasel, as pictured on "LOST CAT" flyer

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Not fooling!

It is snowing here today.  A fine thing for April Fool’s Day!  The birds, many of whom have been returning the last couple of weeks, seem a little glum out at the feeder:

Brrrrds at the brrrd feeder

Brrrrds at the brrrd feeder

It is continuing to snow, building up on the roof and covering the ground, but not sticking to the road.  The temperature is hovering right around freezing.  A good day to stay inside!

I finished up 6 more shawls this week.  I have now taken this warp setup off the loom and am moving on to another project.  Our guild challenge this year is “Overshot” and I have been reading my books and thinking about it and am prepared to, well, take a shot at it.  More on this later.

Forest colorway, matching handpaint wool for weft

Forest colorway, matching handpaint wool for weft

Sagebrush colorway, matching wool handpaint for weft

Sagebrush colorway, matching wool handpaint for weft

My own handpaint wool boucle, brown alpaca weft

My own handpaint wool boucle, brown alpaca weft

Mauve colorway, matching handpaint wool for weft

Mauve colorway, matching handpaint wool for weft

Citrus with cream alpaca weft

Citrus with cream alpaca weft

Paua & Arctic mixed, black alpaca weft

Paua & Arctic mixed, black alpaca weft

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Resting comfortably

I don’t have much to report, except that Pushkin (the grey cat) finally seems to be feeling better.  We have been giving him amoxicillin with a dropper – a pink liquid, one and a half droppers twice a day – you can imagine how popular that has been.  He remained on hunger strike until we finally caved on the kidney diet food (for now) and let him have regular canned food.  Last night he and Teasel were even chasing each other around and ambushing each other a bit.  That’s a good sign!

resting-comfortably

Also, we found out that his kidney readings are basically unchanged from 2 years ago, which is great.  If we can get him past this bacterial hepatitis thing, he should be around for a while yet.

I’m off to the coast tomorrow for various social activities – Rick’s staying here to hold down the fort.

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We had a dusting of snow the night before last, perhaps an inch or two, but it was enough to make the Alfalfa Loop track skiable (it had gotten pretty icy over the last couple of weeks, with no new snow).  We went out for 3 laps yesterday morning and it was good.

I finished a pair of simple grey socks for Rick that were started sometime last fall.  Knit in Koigu Premium Merino (KPM) that I had in stash:

Grey merino socks for Rick

Grey merino socks for Rick

Our favorite restaurant in Twisp, Tappi, has re-opened after months of being on hiatus.   They don’t have a website or I would provide a link.  The food is Sicilian Italian and focused around an authentic wood-fired pizza oven that the owner, John Bonica, had sent over from Italy and assembled in place in the restaurant.  They are only open Friday-Sunday nights with a more limited menu than before, but still, they are open!  Yay!  John says they will start having music soon… we used to love to go there and hear great jazz on the weekends.  We went up for dinner last night and each of us had 2 fabulous lambchops cooked in the woodfired oven in small cast iron frypans, served with a green salad with chevre and balsamic vinaigrette.  John also has a nice selection of Italian wines.

dscf0881

Our older cat, Pushkin, has not been doing well and we had blood work done last week, thinking his kidneys might be getting worse.  It turns out he has bacterial hepatitis, which must have come from something he ate, although that part remains a mystery.  We are giving him antibiotics and subcutaneous fluids, but he still seems pretty “down” although not as distressed as he was last week.  He’s also not eating much at all.  Definitely a worry for us right now.

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