kybearfuzz: (Dreaming)
A big thanks and bigger hugs to everyone for your condolences regarding Maggie. It means a lot to me.

Today was my first day back in the office after being out for a week due to travel and yesterday's events. Several folks stopped by my office to express their sympathies for the situation. A lot of my coworkers are pet owners and they know how hard it is. One of the new employees in my branch volunteers at a cat organization. She has fostered cats for adoption in the past. She told me that when I was ready that she would help me pick out a new pet (or a pair), if I wanted. I may take her up on it sometime this summer.

I spent most of the day catching up on my work from the previous week. It was a warm and sunny day, mid-70's. It was a perfect day to run outdoors, but by the time I got home I was exhausted. I was in my bedroom, changing out of my work clothes, and planning on going for that run. I laid down on my bed for a second and was out for two hours.

I'll sleep well tonight, I bet, though I really need to work out. I may try to squeeze one in before work tomorrow.
kybearfuzz: (Opus Flying)
"I really don't want another cat," I said to my co-worker back in 2003.

The cat was a small stray she and her husband had found at their rural house. She was guestimated to be around two years old and they had named her Zinnia. She insisted that I needed another cat, that my one cat Murphy needed a companion for those days I was out of town. I stated that I couldn't take her because she had claws and wasn't fixed. It was a grand excuse really. However, she showed up soon with the same cat, front claws gone and spayed. Now I had no reason to say no, so reluctantly, I accepted her.

So, the cat gave up her plans for world domination and her ovaries, albeit involuntarily, and moved in with Murphy and me. I renamed her Maggie the Cat (TM).

Maggie by Mikie
Maggie the Cat (photo by [livejournal.com profile] mikiedoggie)
2002(?) - March 7, 2016

Unlike Murphy who was very affectionate and playful, Maggie was neither. She was aloof and skittish. Where Murphy was more of a pet, Maggie was almost like a roommate. She would fool with me only when it suited her. She often fought with Murphy anytime he wanted to play. Luckily, her lack of front claws saved him from serious harm, but it never deterred him from trying to snuggle up to her.

When Murphy got sick and left us in 2013, Maggie took up the mantle of head housecat, resulting in a big reversal of behavior. She was still aloof, but seemed to want to be in my lap more often. She was more affectionate. She seemed to enjoy being around me. The line between being playful with her and annoying her was still very fuzzy, and I have the scars to prove it.

Maggie Attack
Maggie the Cat Attacks!

As I'd mentioned in a previous post, Maggie had a seizure over the weekend. The vet initially called me on Sunday evening to let me know that she hadn't had another seizure and I could pick up her the following morning. When I went to the vet ER this morning to get her, they informed me that she had two seizure episodes around 4 AM. The vet told me that the blood I'd seen was the result of Maggie biting her tongue during the seizure, which she had done again there, meaning that she had likely had one or more while I was out of town. They recommended I take her to my usual vet and discuss the possibility of seizure meds.

I left the Vet ER to my usual veterinarian immediately. He and I had a frank discussion. He said that in cats Maggie's age such seizures are often the result of brain tumors or lesions. To determine if this was the case, it would be a costly MRI. He said that the end result would be knowing a physical defect was there, but there was nothing they could do about it. Maggie would get worse over time. I weighed the options, including the amount of care I could give her with the quality of life she would have.

It is one of those decisions that we have to make that truly places us in the grown-up category. I've done it before, but the idea of choosing euthanasia for a pet you care for is horrific, no matter how much sense it makes logically.

Maggie put up a fuss one last time on me, drawing blood on both hands and nearly getting the veterinarian too. She always hated going to the vet, and almost always bit me when there. So this was normal. She definitely had felt better. He gave her a couple of shots and it was over. I kissed her forehead one last time and stroked her chin. We wrapped her in a thin, white towel and placed her in her carrier. I cried all the way home.

I took her inside our house one last time. I grabbed a couple of things and then took her into the woods behind the house. I found a nice tree for a marker, dug her a grave, and gently placed her inside. I put Murphy's ashes next to her, said a little prayer, and finished up. I placed a small log to block it off.

Be nice to Murphy when you see him on the Rainbow Bridge, Maggie. He'll show you the ropes.

And remember that I love you.
kybearfuzz: (Maggie Ominous)
Before I left for my trip, I had noticed that Maggie had been drooling a bit. I wasn't necessarily worried about this, as Maggie has a bad habit of licking the soap in the shower. I had stopped leaving bar soap in the shower for that reason, but I thought she had gotten a hold of a sliver of it.

When I got home from the airport on Friday, I found three incidents of cat barf with hairballs in the family room. I didn't panic as this happens with cats and Maggie was up and happy to see me. I put my bags down and went upstairs to find speckles of blood on the carpet in the living room, along with some dried drool and blood on the Maggie's blanket on the back of my sofa where she sleeps.

Okay, with this, I panicked.

I put her in her carrier with no fight from her and drove to the veterinary ER nearby. They did some blood tests and some x-rays. They found her stomach had a lot of food and gas in her tummy, but no blockages. The veterinarian concluded that she probably had been overeating, resulting in the cat barf. The cat barf likely irritated her esophagus, which resulted in the blood in the spit-up and on the carpet. The vet gave her an anti-nausua shot, an antacid shot, an antibiotic, and fluids. She wanted me to give her bland food for the next day to ease her digestion. Maggie seemed better and I drove her home before Mike showed up for the weekend.

Maggie seemed better on Saturday with no incidents of cat barf or drooling.

At 3 AM this morning, Maggie began violently convulsing on my bed, waking me up. By the time I got the light on, she had fallen from the bed and was seizing on the floor. Mike woke up and stayed with her while I got dressed and got her carrier. By the time I got the carrier, Maggie was awake but disoriented. She didn't fight me getting in the carrier. We drove her to the Vet ER again and luckily the same veterinarian was on duty.

We were there about an hour and Maggie seemed to be back to normal, even a bit more affectionate (which is usually isn't). The vet recommended leaving her for a day so they could observe her. They're not sure what is causing it, but they'll conduct some more tests. The vet said she'll call me tonight with an update. So we left Maggie at the vet hospital and headed back to my house to get a bit more sleep.

I'll be going back to the vet tomorrow morning to see her. Hopefully, they'll have good news.
kybearfuzz: (Click)
I have hundreds of pics on my iPhone. Some of them are photos I have planned on posting for a while, but time gets away from me. I was cleaning them out tonight and here are a few:

Rainbow Vodka
Light Fixture at My Favorite Bar

Maggie The Cat in Sunlight
Maggie the Cat in Sunlight
Cats are solar-powered, you know...


Hemorr-Ice
From my office's odd device collection
Guess where you stick this!


Virol
Virol Sign at the Irish Pub

Me and Beymax
I loved "Big Hero 6"
kybearfuzz: (Movie Buff)
I spent the majority of the day either in a taxi, hanging out at the airport, or in the plane. Doing all these things dragging a backpack and a large computer bag can wear on a body. I was thrilled to get home. Maggie the Cat (TM) was thrilled to see me. After being gone for several days, I get greeted by a slurry of meows and cat sounds. She becomes a very vocal kitty. Tired as I was, I dropped my bags, petted Maggie, and promptly took a nap.

When I got up, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do this evening. I cleaned up and went out to grab dinner and decided to hit the movies solo. Usually I'd ask around to see if anyone wanted to go, but having been so social this past week, some "me time" was good and I wasn't sure how many people wanted to see the new "Veronica Mars" movie. It's only playing in one local theater and the 7 PM show was sold out. So, I decided to watch "Non-Stop" instead.

Non-Stop stars Liam Neeson as a US Air Marshal who finds himself getting threatening and terroristic text messages during a Transatlantic flight. As he tries to handle the problem, he finds that the people sending the messages have made it appear that he's the one terrorizing the plane. There are some very tense moments on the plane and I thought the story was pretty interesting. I enjoyed the flick.

So, as I was leaving, I realized the 10:15 PM showing of Veronica Mars was going to start in an hour. I've not done a movie double-header in a while, but I felt energized. So I grabbed some coffee and a snack, then headed to the movies again. The movie starts with Veronica Mars ten years after high school, now a recent law school graduate and interviewing for a position in a high-powered law firm. When her old boyfriend is suspected of murdering his pop star wife, she returns to Neptune, CA to help. I'd forgotten how really funny this show was, with the witty banter and amazing dialogue now being on the big screen. Being in a theater full of Veronica Mars fans was good too. I think everyone had a great time and I REALLY loved this movie. I'm now going to be re-watching the show.

So now it's late and I'm tired again. It's good to be home.
kybearfuzz: (Biker Surprise)
Just the odds and the ends so far:

  • I caught up on my DVR last night, watching an episode of the 1960's show "Thriller" hosted by Boris Karloff and last Sunday's mid-season premiere of "The Walking Dead." Both shows were good. No spoilers in case people haven't seen the latter yet.

  • Now that Maggie the Cat is the sole kitteh in the house, I've noticed her changes in attitude. She seems to crave more affection, but she also is getting strangely playful. She's still no where near the playful that Murphy the Cat was (oh such a good kitteh), but little bursts of kitten-like behavior appears to be creeping in. The blanket on my bed is fraying in spots and those loose strands drive her crazy. She will paw at them repeatedly when they aren't moving. It makes me wonder if there was indeed some odd hierarchy in the house, with Murphy being the dominant cat, Maggie next, and, of course, the human (me) dead last. Maggie is now in charge and she appears to be enjoying it.

  • The other day I thought of Margie Ison, a meterologist (formerly "weather girl" I'm sure) I used to watch on WBIR out of Knoxville, TN. She seemed to be the favorite in my household when it came to the weather and I remember her voice clearly. There was an incident where she appeared to go on TV completely drunk, slurring her words and flailing her movements. Now why someone did not stop her that night, I have no idea. She retired soon after that. On a lark, I looked her up and found she's still around and looks good for someone in her 70's.
kybearfuzz: (Lion Paw Ouch)
Tuesday I felt my left foot get a bit sore, but it's an odd soreness. It's like a joint that you wish you could pop, and I kept stretching my foot up and hoping it would happen. The pain is in the arch, but it wasn't consistent. Yesterday, it got a bit worse during the day, but I could still lift weights after work. Last night, it seemed to make me hobble. I figured, at last, it was another gout incident.

Maggie and the iPadSince the last incident, where I essentially overdosed on my meds, I've been cautious. I took recommended dose and waited for it to subside, but it really didn't. So, I parked myself on the couch to watch TV and wait it out.

Maggie the Cat has become very loving of late. I've had to treat her for ear mites, which she hates. She cleans her face and ears over and over, and the result gives her a very ragged appearance. Yet, when I've gotten home, she's very vocal and seems to crave attention from me. I'm more than happy to give it, but she's getting in the middle of things, like my drawing and walking. When I'm hobbling around, having her walking in front of me isn't very helpful.

I stayed up late enough to catch the latest "South Park," which was a bit lame. I'll catch up on "American Horror Story: Coven" tonight on DVR.

This morning, I woke up and the gout hadn't subsided, but it didn't keep me awake last night like it usually does. I'm still hobbling a bit, but hopefully it'll be gone by the end of the day.

Sadly, it's going to wreck my run after work and it's a beautiful sunny day here. :(

Mad Maggie

Nov. 4th, 2013 08:57 am
kybearfuzz: (Angry Cat)
Saturday night, I noticed that Maggie had scratched her ear to the point of bleeding. I suspected she had ear mites, but she never had those grainy particles or anything in her ear and she never seemed to scratch both. She never seemed to scratch all the time either. Concerned, I got some peroxide and Q-tips and cleaned out her ears, something I should have done a long time ago. I didn't notice any of the tell-tale signs of ear mites, but she did have a bit of wax in there.

Sunday morning, after my workout, I went to PetCo to get some ear mite treatment. It's not terribly expensive, but the warnings on it read like it's made from plutonium.

"IF IT COMES IN CONTACT WITH SKIN, RINSE WITH WATER FOR 25 MINUTES..."

And they want me to put this in my cat's ear?? I am guessing that the firm's attorneys have overly panicked. The ingredients are the same in multiple brands, so I'm not concerned.

So I dosed Maggie's ears with a few drops, to which she meowed loudly at me for the inconvenience, but never hissed at me. She shook her head and proceeded to try to clean her ears, but I doubt she could hope to dig that far in.

After two treatments, she seemed good this morning. I scratched around her ears and didn't get any unusual reactions from her, though she's weary of me. I'll dose her again tonight.

The joys of having a furry kitteh.
kybearfuzz: (Pride Purple 2013)
It's been over three weeks since Murphy the Cat took off for the Rainbow Bridge and it's been something of an adjustment in the house for both me and for Maggie the Cat.

Maggie has always been the aloof, skittish kitty that would scramble the moment someone new came into the house. She would get in my lap on occasion, but usually was quite content to park herself on the back of the couch. She wasn't very vocal. She usually wasn't much for being petted. I always referred to Murphy as my buddy and Maggie as my roommate.

Maggie the CatSince Murphy passed away, Maggie's behavior has done an almost full 180 degree change. It's almost as though she knows that she's now the top cat in the house with all the duties and obligations that come with the title.

Now she wants in my lap all the time. She meows at me when I come home, happy chirp sounds sometimes. She sleeps next to me in bed and doesn't mind being petted (usually). She follows me from room to room sometimes. Even when [livejournal.com profile] aceofspace was here last weekend, she rubbed up against his leg when she normally would scamper away at the sight of him.

I'm happy with the change in her behavior, but it's making me wonder if getting another cat, or even a kitten, to keep her company during the day is a good idea. I suspect she'd likely accept a kitten over an adult, but I also worry that the kitten's high energy would not be compatible with her low-key (and often low-patience) nature.

It's something to think about. Meanwhile, I'll try to take cute photos of her now that she's acting cute.
kybearfuzz: (Angry Cat)
On Saturday night I felt a strange bump on Murphy the Cat's left shoulder and it worried me. Murph is getting up in years and I was concerned. So yesterday on my day off, I packed up both Murphy and Maggie and dragged them meowing and hissing to the vet.

Once I got them in the exam room, the technician weighed Murphy who had lost a pound and was down to 13 lbs. Murphy was already freaking out, his tail ballooning to three times the normal volume and there was a lot of growling. So I held him down while the tech took his temperature the "old fashioned way." I just whispered for him to take it like man.

Maggie's turn was more comical as she wouldn't come out of the carrier. I had turned it vertically in the hopes of dumping her out, but that little kitteh has some strong legs. After literally pulling her from it, she weighed in at 7 lbs (1 lb heavier) and hissed incessantly before the thermometer was poked in.

The vet later checked them both and gave them shots. Maggie hissed even more and the vet commented that she had "potential biter" in her file. I thought, "Great, she has a reputation at the vet..."

The vet believes that the bump on Murphy is a cyst under the skin as it moves and doesn't appear to be attached to any organ. He told me to check it for any size changes (it's about the size of a "BB"), but he wasn't overly concerned.

So we're now up-to-date on shots and everything, so no more vet visits unless something comes up. After dragging them home, they became quite the affectionate kitties. I wonder if they think the vet is something akin to the principal's office.
kybearfuzz: (Otter Surprise)
It's been a great weekend, but very hectic and busy. This is long, with photos (include one shirtless pic of me), so I put it behind the cut.

Long post - Cut for Brevity and Shirtless Pic )
kybearfuzz: (Mornings Suck)
Around 4:30 AM this morning, I was in bed sleeping with Maggie (the gray cat) snuggled up next to me. Murphy (the orange cat) popped onto the bed and apparently wanted the presumably coveted spot Maggie had. I was waking up at this point.

Morning ScufflesInstead of finding a new spot, he did something I find humorous and surprising. He crawled under the covers right next to my chest, burrowed in, turned around and literally nudged her out of the way. Maggie let loose a resounding hiss, then accepted her new spot on the bed cover.

I found this funny that Murphy would be so competitive in a sense. I chuckled a bit and sleepily said "Murphy, that isn't nice..."

Eventually I got out of bed to get ready for work. Maggie stayed right where she was until Murphy climbed onto the bed again while I was shaving and decided to sniff around on Maggie. Maggie woke up, hissed at him, and took a couple of well-aimed swats (sans claws). I couldn't pass up the photo-op, so I grabbed my iPhone and caught her in full defensive mode. Murphy is a bit blurry because she had just tagged him not a split second before.
kybearfuzz: (Bill the Cat)
Animals have a wonderful sensitivity to the weather. All the pets I had as a kid and as an adult would display some bizarre behavior when the weather was about to "change." They become more animated, they do things they normally don't do, etc.

Snoozing MaggieA front was moving through here yesterday. While doing my after-work workout in my downstairs area, Murphy the cat decided to start playing wildly with a catnip toy. Catnip strangely has never had any effect on him, until yesterday. He was licking it like crazy, then ran all over the house, up and down the stairs. Maggie joined in, meowing for no reason, then doing laps herself throughout the house. When she finally calmed down, she wanted to snuggle in my arms. It's another thing she doesn't do often.

And pets aren't the only thing that react strangely when the weather is about to change. According to my grandmother who worked as a cook in my elementary school, kids do it as well. The elementary students at the school would get rowdy, restless, and rambunctious (or at least more than usual) when storms or snow fronts were coming.
kybearfuzz: (Santa Mark)
Overall, the trip to see family for Christmas was fun. I overindulged too much as usual at dinner, but it's hard to pass up the goodies. Still, it was good to get back home and sleep in my bed last night. I left the photos to other family members. I'm sure they'll show up soon.

The cats were happy to have me home. I went to the bathroom earlier tonight and saw Maggie the Cat all snuggled up to the battery recharger. I figured she did it because it was warm. She got a little surly at me taking her photo, maybe because of the bed hair.

Maggie Sleeping Upset Maggie
Maggie the Cat -- Sleeping.. and Not...


If she doesn't get her 16 hours of beauty sleep, she's a grouch!
kybearfuzz: (Click)
For the Office IDI have to have my ID updated at work today, which generally requires a head and shoulders shot. So this is how I came to work today.

What's so funny about it is that when I went to the commons to get my morning jolt of caffeine, it was appearent to everyone why I was dressed that way. One guy even remarked that we should have a business attire cut out and just have folks stand in front of it for photos.

We're business casual at my office for the most part and I'm in jeans today because I have to pack up some stuff for the new carpet installation that's coming up next week. So I'm business on the top, casual on the bottom. Until the photo was taken, then back to a polo shirt. A green one.

I cleaned out my iPhone and here are some odds and ends from the past week.

Work Safe Photos )
kybearfuzz: (Phantom Zone)
Cat Sulking
Murphy gives me the cold shoulder at the vet

I've been teaching class all week so I haven't been online too much. Class is going well, but being on my feet most of the day has been wearing me out.

When I got home I decided I needed to take the cats to the vet to get their shots. I wanted to do this before I get the pet sitter for my next trip, in case that was a requirement before they'd agree to do it. So I piled up the two kitties and headed to the vet.

The rest of the saga -- cut for the uninterested )

Thank heavens it's Friday....
kybearfuzz: (Laughing)

Maggie the Cat

I've made multiple posts about Murphy in my journal, but friends of mine know that there is a second cat in my house, but she isn't much for the spotlight. Maggie has been in my house for about three years. She was a stray that a co-worker found and gave to me because Murphy needed company when I was away, at least that's what my co-worker said. I named her after the baby on The Simpsons. While Murphy is very outgoing and loves company, Maggie is very skittish and cautious around people. She's only in my lap when SHE wants. She's also about 1/3 of the size of Murphy, but she can hold her own against him.


Maggie and Murphy go at each other at my drafting table.

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