Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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Kitty Dentistry

When Watson & Crick went to the vet a few months ago (because Watson had an irritated eye), the vet noted that they both had a fair bit of tartar and some gingivitis, so she recommended a cleaning1, but noted that because February is pet dental health month, I’d get a discount if I brought them in this month. So yesterday we went off to the vet’s office for their first dental cleaning2. In order to do a dental cleaning, cats are put under general anesthetic3. Prior to this visit, I’d had to take Watson in for an ultrasound of his heart, as he has a heart murmur4, but the vet said he was OK to get the general anesthetic.

Happily, both kitties did just fine under the anesthetic, but while Watson just needed the cleaning, poor Crick needed some more extensive work. Apparently one of her front canine teeth5 was fractured! The vet said that it can happen from a cat running around and crashing into stuff or sometimes just from jumping and landing too hard. And Watson does like to chase Crick around, so I could totally see her knocking into something as she was running away from him6 She also had a resorptive lesion in one of her premolars – basically, there was a hole in the enamel that is just asking for bacteria to get in and cause an infection. The lesion was just below the gumline, so you wouldn’t be able to actually see it. Both of the bad teeth were on the same side and the vet said that you could see there was more tartar build up on the opposite side, meaning that she’s been eating her food on that side of her mouth because her bad teeth were probably hurting. So poor Cricky required an extraction of the canine and a crown amputation of the pre-molar.

Since the kitties had been under general anesthetic, they spent a few hours in the vet’s office to recover. Watson had his cleaning first and apparently once he woke up he was distraught and inconsolable until he saw Crick. I’m not sure if he was just scared to be alone in an unfamiliar place while he was feeling all weird from the anesthetic or if he was worried about his sister. He is a scaredy cat, so it was probably the former.

Watson says, The cats each had a different reaction to the anesthetic. Once Watson had calmed down because he could finally see his sister, he had the typical reaction of just wanting to sleep. Crick, on the other hand, was bouncing off the walls. Even when I picked them up, Watson was just chill in his cat carrier on the way home (he usually spends the whole time in his cat carrier crying about the injustice of being in a cat carrier), but Crick was super fidgety. When we got back to the condo, both cats were happy to home, but were very upset with me for not feeding them immediately. They hadn’t eaten since dinner the previous night (since you have to fast before you go under anesthetic because anesthetic can make you barfy) and they weren’t allowed to have food until 8 pm so that all the anesthetic would be out of their system, and we got home around 4 pm. The cats spent a lot of time standing around looking at their empty food dish and then going to the kitchen to stare at the cupboard where I keep their food.

CrickCrick also has drugs she has to take for the next few days. Buprenorphine (an opioid for pain) and metacam (an anti-inflammatory). Her first dose of metacam isn’t until tonight, but she has to take her opioid every 12 hours and she absolutely hates it! I have these little pre-filled syringes that I have to squirt in her mouth, but she tries to keep her mouth shut and hide her head in my lap. I try to tell her it will make her feel better, but she just wants to say no to drugs. Fortunately, I can just squirt the metacam onto her food and apparently it just has a little bit of a sweet taste, so it shouldn’t turn her off the food. The trick will be to watch her eat and make sure that Watson doesn’t try to steal her drugged food!

The good news we got at the vet was that both kitties have lost some weight! Both of them need to lose a few pounds – when we were at the vet a few months ago, Watson weighed 12 lbs and Crick was 14 lbs, so I’ve been making an effort to weigh their food so they aren’t getting too much, to take away leftovers (as Crick would feast on Watson’s leftovers – hence why she weighed 2 more pounds than him), and bring out the laser pointer at least once a day to get them running around. When Scott’s over, he plays with them several times a day with the laser pointer, so that’s helped for sure! Watson has lost more weight as he occasionally chooses to eat a bit less and he chases the laser pointer more. He’s down to 10.8 lbs and Crick is now 13.5 lbs.

Anyway, the kitties both seem to be doing well, so while I’m down $1300 (eep!), at least I know that everyone has a healthy mouth!

  1. And we know that dental health in humans is important to overall physical health, so why wouldn’t it be the same in cats? []
  2. At least their first one since I’ve had them. []
  3. There is one company in Vancouver called Meow Maids that will come to your house and clean your cats’ teeth without putting them under, but when I emailed them they very curtly told me that they don’t travel to New Westminster (because I suppose a 30 minute drive is just insurmountable). And then ignored my follow up email asking if they knew of any other companies that would provide such a service in my area. I know a lot of people love Meow Maids, but I have to say, I was not impressed with their rudeness! []
  4. I was told that Watson had a heart murmur when he had his two week-post adoption check up at a different vet, but at that time there was no need to further investigate it, as we weren’t doing anything else. This time they wanted to check it out before they put him under, but said it was just a few little abnormalities and he should be fine under anesthetic. I honestly have no idea if this kind of thing is just a cash grab, but I couldn’t put him under and not have done the ultrasound, because what if something happened while he was under and I hadn’t done the test first?? []
  5. Does it strike anyone else as funny to think that cats have canine teeth? []
  6. It also made me think of something Cath said about her cat having a messed up tooth: “She was probably trying to eat a brick or something.” []

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Happy adoptiversary to my kitties!

Three years ago today I adopted my little fuzzballs, Watson & Crick. When I first got them, they were very much people cats, but they’ve gotten even more cuddly and affectionate. Crick started out as a kitty who would like to be curled up next to me on the couch or in the bed, but now she’s a full on lap cat, who will sit on my lap when I watch TV and who more often than not curls up on my chest to go to sleep at night. Watson still likes to sit just out of arm’s reach and meow at you because you are not petting him when you sit on the couch, but now he’s willing to curl up next to me on the couch or the bed and on the weekend he even sat in my lap while I watched two full episode of The High Man in the Crooked Tower! I was in heaven!

In honour of their third adoptiversary, I bought the kitties a cat house that looks like a shark because that’s hilarious. Here’s a video of them checking it out when I first gave it to them:

I like that they politely took turns getting into it. Much unlike their cat tree situation, where Watson inevitably attacks Crick if she sits on any level of the tree, even though he only ever wants to sit on the very top.

So far, Crick seems to like the shark more than Watson, as she spent a fair bit of time hanging out in there:

Cat in a shark

Watson went back in again after that, but quickly got out once I started taking pictures:

Cat in a shark

Happy adoptiversary, my sweeties! You make my life better every day!

Watson on the small cat tree

Crick

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Cats

Crick

Watson

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Happy Birthday, Watson & Crick

It’s my kitty cats’ 5th birthday today! Because I’m the worst cat mom in the world, I’m on the other side of the planet. Fortunately, they are cats and don’t know how to read a calendar, so I can spoil them when I get home and they won’t know the difference. Special thanks to their Aunty Heather, who is looking after them when I’m away, with help from Uncle Dwayne and from Aunty Ellen!

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Happy birthday, my sweet baby kitties!

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Crazy Cat Lady Achievement Unlocked!

So I won a free photo collage mug. And I’m sure you can figure out what kind of photos I put on it!

Cats on a mug

Cats on a mug

Cats on a mug

Sorry the photos of the mug suck – the mug is really shiny, so you can see the reflection of me taking the photo in the mug. I’m a crazy cat lady, not a photographer.

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Happy 4th birthday, Watson & Crick!

UntitledThis blog posting in a couple of days late, as the kitties’ actual birthday was on Thursday. But I had an after work meeting on Thursday and by the time I got home I was too exhausted to do anything other than curl up with the kitties and watch some TV. I figured this was a good way to celebrate their birthday, since I don’t watch a tonne of TV, but they seem to quite enjoy it when I do, as it means I’m sitting on the coach for an extended period of time and so Crick can alternate between walking over me, kneading on me, and curling up on my lap and Watson can sit just out of arm’s length and meow at me that he wants me to pet him, which he alternates with sitting on the purple chair and watching the TV screen.

Also, I gave them their birthday presents:

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I figured the tiger would be good for Watson, because he has stripes (and I sometimes call him “my little tiger”) and the lion would be good for Crick because she’s a solid colour (and I sometimes call her “my little lion”).

These seemed to go over better than last year’s catnip bubbles, which didn’t make bubbles.

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Happy birthday, my sweet kitties!

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Happy Birthday, Watson & Crick!

Today my kitties turned 3! Since this is the first birthday on which the cats have been with me, I wasn’t totally sure what the appropriate way to celebrate was. I mean, they don’t eat cake and cat nip shooters seemed like that might be overkill. But then when I went to the pet store to buy some food and litter the other day, I discovered this:

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And that seemed like a super awesome birthday present for them. Sadly, however, when I tried them this evening they were an epic fail! The solution doesn’t make bubbles at all – I dipped the wand in the solution, but it wouldn’t make a film and so all that happened was catnip-filled drops fell on the floor. Which the cats did lick, so I guess the manufacturers were only lying about the bubble part of “catnip bubbles”. To make it up to the cats for the epic fail, I gave them some real catnip and then blew some regular bubbles1. They liked the catnip, but were terrified of the bubbles! Poor kitties.

Their birthday was, however, brightened up by a video call with my nephew, Thomas, who sang “Happy Birthday” to the cats while they ate their birthday treat of dried herring. Thomas, like the cats, is 3 and singing “Happy Birthday” is an awesome thing to do when you are 3. Also awesome is seeing kitties on video. And, apparently, watching your aunt put her hair in braids for her hockey game. Many things are awesome when you are 3. As well, my mom called to wish her grandkitties a “happy birthday” – these kitties are so loved!

And so cute! Look at these faces:

Watson, close up
Crick, close up

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Watson is so cosy on the couch

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Happy birthday, my little fuzzballs!

  1. Which I just so happened to have from my own birthday, thanks to my friends Monica and Chris who gave me a container of bubbles that looks like a ninja. Because ninja bubbles = amazing. []

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Walk for the Kitties!

Nearly 8 months ago, I adopted my kitties, Watson and Crick, from VOKRA – the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association. VOKRA is a volunteer-run organization that has been rescuing kitties who are abandoned or surrendered – more than 1800 per year! – and finding them safe and loving “forever” homes for 14 years. It takes a lot of money to do this work – they provide vet care for sick kitties, food and litter for kitties living in foster homes while they await adoption, and they had to create a new intake centre because they have so many kitties coming in that they couldn’t keep operating out of the president/co-founder’s basement. Hence, their fundraiser – the 5th Annual Walk for the Kitties – coming up on Sunday. Unfortunately, I can’t do the walk myself, as I’m already double booked that day, but I encourage all kitty lovers to check it out. And even if, like me, you can’t participate, you can always donate!

WatsonCrick in the tub

Watson and Crick thank you for helping kitties just like them to find their own forever homes!

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Meet Watson & Crick

Yesterday, I brought home my two little fuzzballs. Formerly known as Simon & Blue, I have renamed them Watson & Crick.

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Props to my friend Steven who came up with these names1! For the uninitiated2, James Watson & Francis Crick are the scientists who figured out the double helix structure of DNA3.

When I went to pick up the kitties at their foster home, I was a bit worried that there would be a bit of a fight to get the them into their cat carriers because, to the best of my knowledge, cats generally don’t like being in those things. But when I got there, I put the carriers down on the ground, opened the doors and then cats walked right in, turned around and sat down. It was like they were saying, “OK, we are ready to go home with you!” The foster mom said it made her feel a lot better that they did that, as she too thought it would be a fight to put them in the carriers and that would be so sad! I thanked her for taking good care of the kitties for the past 5 months – and thanked her for opening her home to foster kitties  in general – they said their good-byes and then I headed home. The cats didn’t like the car ride – there was much mewling – but once we got home they seemed to settle in quite quickly.

Kitties!First, they checked out every inch of the apartment to make sure it was to their liking. It seemed to meet their approval, so then they set about deciding what their favourite spots are. A big hit early on was looking out the window:

Watson & Crick

Another favourite is any closet door that gets opened. They run right over to check out what’s inside. Even if they just checked it out 2 seconds before. They especially like this mirrored, sliding door because they can bang on it and get it slightly opened so that they can fit their paw in there and squish their way in. Then they can walk amongst my million and one pairs of shoes that I have in there.

Watson

After all their exploring, they decided that lounging on the couch and purple chair is pretty awesome.

This is Watson:

Watson

He likes to be pet and *loves* cat nip. One of my hockey teammates gave me a couple of cat nips balls that she knitted and when I brought them home, he lost his little kitty mind of them.

This is Crick:

Crick

She is very much a people cat and loves to follow me around the apartment to see what I’m doing. Because I might do something terribly exciting. She also *loves* the scratching post and being up in high places: my dresser, the headboard of my bed, for example. She’s also a fan of cat nip, as well as a toy that I got them that has a little yellow bird on the end of the string and the bird lights up when you bounce it on the string or when the cat bats it. She likes going to town on that bird.

Watson & Crick

I actually took more photos of them4 on my regular camera, but I can’t for the life of me find where I put it, so those photos are going to have to wait for another day. For now, I’m off to wind down the day with some kitty cuddles.

Update: I forgot to mention this before I hit “Publish”, but Watson & Crick have a Twitter account. Because Copernicus has one and I don’t want to be accused of playing favourites!

  1. Steven has a penchant for naming his pets after scientists – his cat is named Marie Curie, though he refers to her as Chub Chub []
  2. I was quite surprised when I started telling people their names, that many people haven’t heard of Watson & Crick. They are super famous in biology and I thought they were famous in general. I mean, maybe not Einstein or Newton level of famous, but I thought maybe Schrödinger or Heisenberg level. Apparently not however, as my non-biology friends (even people who are well versed in, say, physics) are not getting the reference. Usually they think Watson has something to do with Sherlock Holmes but can’t figure out where Crick comes from. []
  3. For the very interesting tale of how they did that, may I recommend James Watson’s book, The Double Helix? []
  4. I know, you are shocked, right? []