While eight years seems very young to me, apparently that equates to 48 in human years (according to the Internets). I recently took the kitties to the vet for a check up and they told me that they needed to do the “geriatric” blood screen rather than the regular one due to their age. I wouldn’t consider 48 human years to be “geriatric” (and Google tells me that cats aren’t usually considered “seniors” until they are 10 or 11 years old), but that was the recommendation. I was a little bit worried that Crick’s results might come back with bad news because she’s a chonk. But she’s as fit as a fiddle, whereas Watson has some health issues.
As you may recall, Watson has a heart murmur and apparently it’s gotten a bit worse. By however they score cat heart murmurs from listening to their heartbeat, his murmur “doubled”. So then I had to get a cardiac ultrasound done to see how bad it really is. They have his cardiac ultrasound results from 2 years ago to compare them to and his heart is mostly the same, except for his transmitral flow rate. Basically, his left ventricle is not functioning at full capacity due to a thickening of the wall of the left ventricle (which they can also see on that ultrasound). It’s possible that it could progress to something more serious and require medication, but maybe not, so right now, we just need to monitor it.
He also has signs of early renal insufficiency: some elevated kidney markers showed up on his geriatric blood screen and some protein showed up in his urine. A further urinalysis showed that the amount of protein wasn’t so high that it requires any meds and, not unlike the heart thing, it’s possible it could progress to a state that he needs meds, but it’s also possible that it will just stay like this, with his kidneys functioning a little less than optimally, but not get any worse. So we just need to keep an eye on this too.
Next up for the little kitties is a dental cleaning. In people, poor oral health can have affect other parts of your health (like inflammation in the gums being linked to heart disease) and I imagine it’s got to be the same for cats. Hopefully it goes better than last time for poor Crick, when she required one tooth extraction and one crown amputation. So keep your fingers crossed that all goes well for my kitties!
He deb0rked it on Wednesday, but my week was absurdly busy, so I’m only finding time to do this now. [↩]
And last but certainly not least in my twelve days of donating is the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue (VOKRA). VOKRA is a volunteer-run, no-kill rescue organization that helps about 1200 surrendered, abandoned, and feral kittens and cats per year by finding them permanent homes (or, for feral cats that aren’t adoptable, through their trap/neuter/return program). While cats are waiting to be adopted, they live in foster homes rather than a traditional shelter. And, of course, VOKRA is where I found my kitties!
Plus I got my condo painted this summer and when I’d pulled the old cat tree away from the wall for the painters, I noticed that there were black marks on the wall where the cat tree was leaning against it (the old cat tree was black) and since I didn’t want that happening on my freshly painted walls, I figured that a lighter colour cat tree – and one that was more sturdily built than the old one – was in order. [↩]
Can you believe I’ve had my kitties for FOUR YEARS? I totally thought it was just three, but when I went to get the link to the blog posting from when I got them, I saw that it was FOUR YEARS AGO! So I’ve had these little fuzzballs for more than half their lives. Well, if you count in conventional years. If you count in cat years, I’ve not had them that long, because according to the Internets, cat years work like this: their first two years of their life = 25 years, and every year after that = 4 years. When I got them, they were 2.25 people years, which is the equivalent of 26 years old in cat years. And in the 4 people years since then, they’ve only aged 16 cat years. Cat math is weird.
At any rate, every day I’ve had these cats has been the best. They are so loving and so funny, and even though Watson can be an asshole sometimes and Crick will claw the shit out of you if you piss her off, I wouldn’t change a thing about them. Best. Cats. Ever. I mean, look at these guys:
Went to the gym after work today for the first time in more than two weeks – I’d put my membership on hold for two weeks as I was away for a week in Squamish doing data collection and then away for a week in Washington for a conference – and then I’ve spent most of my evening uploading photos to Flickr because I hadn’t uploaded photos for ages and I have ever so many. Anyway, now it’s nearly 11 pm and I’m still not done uploading photos and my brain is too tired from a hectic week of work to think of anything good to blog about, so instead I give you these pictures of my adorable cats!
In honour of the sixth birthday of my little fuzzballs, I give you this video of them chasing a laser pointer. I accidentally filmed it in slow motion, which means that the times when they sit and stare at the red dot seem even more absurdly long than in real life, but the parts where they chase and jump are hilarious – I especially love the sound!
The kitties were spoiled today with new toys and some special treats – though I’m not sure any toy can be more appreciated than a box!
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:
Watson went back in again after that, but quickly got out once I started taking pictures:
Happy adoptiversary, my sweeties! You make my life better every day!
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!
So now that spring has sprung in Vancouver and all of the various pathogens with which I’ve been infected appear to have left the building, I’ve gotten back into the swing of things running-wise. I’m really, really slow from having taken so much time off from running1, but I’m confident that if I keep getting out there, the speed will eventually return.
I met up with my BMO Marathon Relay teammates for brunch on Saturday to discuss logistics, and I’m really looking forward to that event, which a mere 20 days from now! Fortunately, I’m training for the Scotiabank Half Marathon and the 13 km I will need to run for my leg of the relay is in line with my training plan2.
And speaking of the Scotiabank Half Marathon, I’ve signed up to run as part of Team VOKRA, which is raising money for the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Organization (VOKRA), which I’m sure you will remember is where I got my kitties from. They do good work in rescuing kitties and finding them safe and loving homes, so I’m happy to help support their work. While VOKRA is run by volunteers, there are lots of costs that need to be covered when it comes to rescuing, caring for, and eventually placing homeless cats in their forever homes such as:
prenatal, natal, and bottle feeding program
trap/spay or neuter/return program
supplying all foster homes with food and supplies
The team has a goal of raising $10,000 through our Scotiabank Half Marathon fundraising, so please consider donating on my fundraising page:
Watson & Crick say “Please Sir or Madam, won’t you donate to help the kitties?”
Not to mention the [redacted number] lbs that I gained over the winter thanks to taking so much time off from running and also Drink-cember. [↩]
I’m scheduled to run 13 km the week before BMO, as it so happens. The weekend of BMO is supposed to be a “rest” week where I go back to 8 km, but I figure two 13 km long runs in a row will be fine. [↩]