I’ve invested more in my cats than in my 401K.
Part 2 of vet visit. The bill. The one that made me faint.
My vet is not a bargain vet. I could find a cheaper one. But I’ve been to a few, and I’ve learned that the peace of mind that comes with having a vet you have complete confidence in and really like is worth its weight in gold. And I don’t just like my regular vet, either. I like the other vet in the office, and the staff as well. No one talks down to me, everyone patiently listens to my bazillion questions and my overanalyzing. I find that I like women docs more, too. I can probably chalk this up to the fact that I’ve only had interactions with 2 male vets and I didn’t feel like either of them were particularly affable. I’m sure there’s plenty of really awesome male docs. I just haven’t met them. In conclusion, when your cats are your children, nothing is more important. So I’ll happily pay a lil more for their care.
I’d expected a decent-sized bill. I just didn’t expect HOW much.
1. Exam. Expected.
2. Bloodwork. Expected. Not expected? Adding the charge to recheck Taco for FeLV and FIV. Suggested because one of his pupils was noticeably bigger than the other. Apparently, even kitties have been screened for this as babies, it’s recommended that they’re screened again 2 months after moving into forever home. Taco wasn’t, and either of these could be a cause for different sized pupils. This is where paying extra for a good vet comes in…Upon your kitty’s first visit, they take his or her picture for their records, as well as make a little laminated tag to put on the carrier. My vet compared the picture to the live Taco and noted that his pupils were fine in the pic. DETAILS. I LOVE THEM. I haven’t gotten the results back yet. Also another reason I love my vet? They’re super up on technology. They email.
3. Rabies vaccine. Expected. Don’t necessarily agree with this one, but it’s required for his kitty license and if we need to board them on vacay.
4. License. Forgotten about, but expected. Stupid, because they’ll never get out. Of course it’s possible, but my cats are terrified of the outside world. Twice the door has opened accidentally and not noticed for a few hours and no one went near it.
5. Kitty probiotics.
Don’t laugh. Taco has the MOST rank-smelling poo in the world. It’s impossible for me to understand how he and Moosh eat the same thing but comes out SO much more foul from his ass. Adding the probiotics helps a bit. Worth the money. I promise.
Not expected. Was reminded it’s coming up on flea season again. Wish to avoid an invasion. And yes, I know there’s natural options for fleas but I’ve tried all of them, and trust me, they don’t work in Florida. It’s all dirt here, which is flea heaven.
7. Kitty food.
Taco’s stupid prescription food. I suppose it’s not horribly expensive but in my eyes, it is for crap food that’s not natural or organic or byproduct-free. But it helps him, so who am I to complain?
And that, my dears, is why Mommy is eating PB&Js for awhile. I never thought I’d spend so much on a vaguely healthy cat. Sigh.
Still waiting for my brats to start working. The slugs are sleeping at the moment.
I’m about to send them out with resumes.
Lick it. Lick it good.
Taco is a lot of things. King Brat. Adorable snuggler. Unwanted alarm clock. Needy pain in the ass. Loud.
What he is not: graceful.
This is unheard of for a cat, right?
This occurred to me tonight as I watched my cats eat. If you think this is weird, you’ve never done it. It’s really quite fascinating. Why did I ever do this? Well, Taco is also Jabba the Effin’ Hut, and if I don’t stand over them watching, he’ll take over Moosh’s food. Somehow (I’m not entirely sure how this works) my hovering presence keeps Moosh comfortably eating and Taco in his own dish.
Anyway, I water down their food, because Moosh barely eats any wet food and because Taco needs to get more water to ensure he stays crystal blockage-free. So the first couple of minutes of them eating is really drinking meat water.
Have you ever watched ANY cat drink water? It’s practically an art. This comes from an article in the Washington Post:
“While a dog curls its tongue like a ladle to collect the water and then pull up what it can, a cat curves its tongue under and slightly back, leaving the top surface of the tip of the tongue to lightly touch the liquid. The cat then raises its tongue rapidly, creating an upward mini-stream of water. The cat snaps its mouth shut and the water is captured before the countervailing force of gravity pulls it down.
An average house cat, the team found, can make four of these mini-streams per second.
‘What we found is that the cat uses fluid dynamics and physics in a way to absolutely optimize tongue lapping and water collection,’ said Jeffrey Aristoff, now at Princeton University but who was one of the four researchers who began the study out of curiosity at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.”
This is actually a fairly recent study, from 2010. Kinda crazy it took that long to get around to cats drinking water, considering Darwin studied MOTHS and shit. Forever ago. God, I love science. The mechanics of EVERYTHING is so interesting. And of course, cats are interesting anyway. And of course, I do find it amusing that cats beat dogs in the lapping game. One more reason for them to be arrogant assholes, I suppose.
Back to Taco. He is, quite literally, retarded at drinking. Watching Moosh smoothly lap up his meat juice with a rhythm you could practically set a watch to…and then compare with Taco, who laps more like an irregular heart beat. It’s almost painful to watch. In my dreams, I can NEVER run at full speed or throw a punch with all my power. It’s always like I’m running through quicksand. I don’t know what this means, nor do I particularly care, but this is what Taco’s lapping reminds me of.
This was just the catalyst that opened my eyes to how ungraceful Taco really is overall.
1. Moosh perches on my shoulders with ease.
So long as I give him the foothold, he’ll stand up there with very little wobbling and no claws. Taco, on the other hand, is like a Weeble Wobble, but he’ll sure as hell fall down, and he’ll take my skin down with him.
2. Taco still plays like a kitten.
You know how cute kittens are when they grab at stuff? Just kinda uncoordinated and grabby, no real skill at hunting. Taco’s 3. He’s not even remotely a kitten. But his paws are.
3. He falls off shit all the time. No spatial reasoning. He’ll roll over…and right off the bed.
4. When he’s jumping for a toy, he sprawls in the air and can’t hand for shit. It’s like watching Cirque De Soleil if the performers were hammer drunk. Nor does he have any consideration for what he lands on, like my foot. Or the side table.
I will give him this: There is one arena in which Taco has no equal in fluidity. And that is grabbing treats out of your hand with both paws while standing on his hind legs, checking to make sure the treat is within his greedy little paws before calmly lowering his upper half to the floor and his paws to his fat face to eat. I don’t even understand how he’s the same cat, sometimes.
Then again…like mother, like son, I suppose. I am quite possibly the most ungraceful human to walk this planet (except when I dance, and that is probably debatable, although not with me, because I think I’m bout it bout it). I’m injured every other minute. I currently have inflamed rib cartilage (not something you ever want to do, by the way, but I hear better than actually breaking one, so you REALLY never want to do that), a giant, painful bruise on my wrist I have no recollection of achieving, and I’m vaguely sure I re-sprained my thumb the other night pulling my pants down to pee. I know. Sad. But I’ve learned to laugh about it, except not right now because laughing is no bueno with the ol’ ribs.
TOO CUTE IS TOO CUTE
I know I’m not really on the cutting edge here. Too Cute is a show that’s been on Animal Planet for awhile.
But I feel it’s time that I express my utter love and devotion to it.
If you’re unfamiliar with the format of this wonderful show, it follows 3 litters of different breeds of kittens (or puppies, and they branch out with other animals on occasion) from right about the time they’re going to open their eyes to a few months old, usually when they’re old enough to wean.
Now I’m not really a proponent of breeding cats. Not that I can’t appreciate the beauty of different breeds, but a) there are a lot of not-so-reputable breeders out there who can do a lot of damage with inbreeding and such, b) it’s really going against nature and natural selection which is such an amazing process in itself that I think humans have some friggin’ nerve to try and mess around with it and c) THERE ARE A BAZILLION STRAY CATS OUT THERE THAT NEED HOMES.
They never show the people in this show except for a hand here and there and occasionally children, but I do often wonder about the back story. Are these people breeders? Do they just love their purebred so much they want to pass on the bloodline? And most importantly, how the hell do these people (who usually seems to have rather nice homes) deal with cats that aren’t spayed or neutered? Both male and female cats that aren’t fixed are prone to a host of what we conceive (double entendre! Boom.) as behavorial issues because those kitties are horny little MFers. Like spraying and howling. Cat-in-heat spray is worse than cat pee.
Despite these unanswered questions, I adore this show. And I spend the entire hour (only the cat ones, sorry dog people, I love all animals but I just don’t love them as much as cats) squealing (and I mean that quite literally). I squeal, I “aww,” I talk to the kittens as if they’re actually in front of me (and as if they give a shit). I watched last week’s episode last night (god, I love my DVR). One of the breeds was Munchkins. I know from watching Cats 101 that this is actually a controversial breed, and in fact not really a breed at all, it’s just a genenic mutation. They have tiny legs. Which is why some people feel they shouldn’t be bred for that specifically. Putting all controversy aside, watching a munchkin kitten try to get around on tiny legs is AMAZINGLY ADORABLE. Only 2 of the 6 kittens in the litter got the tiny leg trait, and they were named PORKCHOP AND NUGGET.
I could just die. There was also a gratuitously delightful scene of a kitten getting lost under a hat. I don’t think I need to tell you how cute a hat/cat turtle is.
Sometimes I can get Taco interested in the TV. He’ll sit there and stare intently. Sometimes I can’t get him into it. Maybe he’s feeling his age. Moosh watched it once. The boyfriend refuses to watch this show. In fact, he thinks I’m crazy. I think it’s the squealing and the baby talk. I can’t help it. It’s just TOO CUTE. And honestly, we need more of that in the world.
Kittehs turn frowns upside downs! (poetic license used there)
I had kind of a crappy day. Not the kind of crappy day where something goes horribly wrong, leaving one devastated and forlorn — just the kind that leave you feeling like your brain just put on little brain running shoes and participated in a triathlon. The kind where you start out like “Oh, it’s Friday, whatever happens today, it’s still Friday!” and ends with zombie-walking out an hour late, hoping no one who has another question sees you before you can make your escape. The kind where you’re not even finished putting out a fire when another fire jumps in. So by “bad,” I suppose I should say “challenging.” In the long run, I don’t mind these days. I work best under high stress, oddly enough, so although I may look frantic, I’m actually operating in my element. But at the time, all I can think is “WTF WTF WTF” and “No, I don’t have time to look at the YouTube video of my proofreader doing the Harlem Shake, are you crazy?” (It was made by my work, in case you’re wondering. We have a very strict policy encouraging FUN at work. Crazy, right? I still haven’t watched this. Memo: watch that.)
After I zombie-walked out, successfully avoiding any further work, all I wanted was a quiet drive home (I’d already decided to skip the gym…I already felt like I ran a marathon). However, this is FLORIDA, and every old hag who shouldn’t be driving at her advanced age is driving here. As I was stopped at a light, a lil ol’ lady HIT MY EFFING CAR. I mean, she just bumped it. She was shoving herself in my lane from the other lane, for reasons I still do not know. As I looked back screaming, I saw that she was totally clueless. But then, the light changed, and everyone started going. As I pondered what to do, I saw that the lady next to me had seen the whole thing and understood what was going on, so I made a motion asking if there was any damage to my car (I honestly have no idea what motion I made to convey this, but whatever I did was spot-on) and she looked back and shook her head. Then I had to stop again because the car in front of me did (this is what normal people do) and I swear to jeebus she must have been millimeters away from my bumper yet again. I decided that it was unlikely that it would be worth it to stop, as she seemed to not understand what the hell was going on and I figured that being arrested for elderly abuse would really put a cap on the ol’ day. So I turned left. She did not. Which was funny, because she SO needed to get in the left lane a mile back that she HIT MY CAR.
Then I got home. And Taco started meowing. And meowing. And meowing. And meowing. This is hard to admit, and I would never ever ever ever actually do it, I kind of wanted to boot him across the room. I know. I’m a horrible person. But I didn’t, and that counts, right?
I flung myself on the bed with a dramatic flair. Two seconds later, a meowing Taco-rocket came barreling in, almost overshooting. And…he sat on my lap.
I dare you to feel sorry for yourself when a kitten puddle melts on your lap, purring. Warm, cuddly love. The best part? He shut up.
Yeah. My day really wasn’t so bad.
So here’s what I learned about cats and candles.
Thanks to those of you that responded to my candle/plug-in harmful to cats question, I feel a little less clueless in my lack of knowledge. No one has really heard of anything.
I had to take Taco for his laser pew pew pew vet visit today, so I figured I’d ask while I was there (after gushing over the 3 black kittens waiting for homes in the waiting area! Holy crap, they were SO cute. GAWD I love black cats).
The receptionist had NEVER heard of it before, so she went back and asked the vet and vet techs…also nothing. And this is an all-cat vet, so I would assume that the field of knowledge relating directly to cats would be more vast than that of an all-around vet. There is apparently something about cats not agreeing with pine and cedar oil, but nothing about the livers and their lack of metabolizing aromas.
So I’m going to keep my Bath and Body Works plug-ins. Even though I’m not overly fond of the one in the living room currently, and my kitchen smells like a pancake. And I only burn candles every once in awhile anyway.
Oh, she did tell me to check the website for Cornell University. I didn’t see anything about this topic, but there is a TON of kitty info there. Who can’t use that?
A question for the cat people.
So last night the boyfriend and I were out with some friends, which is always nice, because the boys have bonding time and us girls talk about kitties (yeah, most of my friends are cat people. I do have some dog people friends, but I don’t think I have ANY non-animal friends. So elitist of me). She has a Persian (I think, I mix them up with Himalayas…long hair is all the same to me) and therefore she has a groomer.
Here’s my question: the last time her groomer was over, she smelled a scented candle burning and told my friend that scented candles and plug-in scents are toxic for kitties. Something about how their livers can’t process them.
Now, I am not saying that this groomer doesn’t know what she’s talking about, anyone who would risk losing a paying customer by possibly offending them by questioning their scented candle use obviously feels strongly that it’s true. But I’ve NEVER heard this before. I know that burning candles isn’t particularly good in the carcinogen sense, but I’ve never heard that the scent could be harmful to a cat. I don’t burn candles all that much, but I do have the Bath & Body Works oil plug-ins around the house. I mean, how else am I gonna cover up the cat pee smell?
So I googled a bit, and I did find a few pages that backed it up, but not an overwhelming amount. And it’s weird that I’ve never heard this before. You’d think there would be more stuff on the interwebs if it was a serious concern. I remember a while ago there were all those email forwards going around saying that using Swiffer Wet Jets were bad for your animals, which turned out to be grossly untrue.
So I’m asking you cat people out there: have you EVER heard of this? I’m really interested to know, and if you HAVE heard this, what’s my aromatic alternative? I already have lemon cats, I don’t need faulty livers on top of that. Help!
TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED bad kitty mommy.
As you all may know, today was the first day you could pre-order the new iPhone 5. I currently have the 4 (not 4S, pre-Siri) and it’s about time for an upgrade. Why? It just is. Because I’m an adult and I can. So despite the fact that I ordered it before most people are awake, I missed the first boat and will have to wait 2 weeks instead of just one to receive it. Apparently they sold out in an hour. I would have had to be up at 3. Too early for me. I COULD wait in line at the store, but I’m not THAT crazy. I don’t like people and I don’t like waiting. Sounds horrible.
So as I sit here in between jobs (I would normally be at the gym but my leg is incredibly sore, I think I pulled something as usual), I have Taco on my lap purring, and it occurs to me that I could have bought my boys a very nice cat tree with the money I just spent on a cell phone. I barely even use it as a phone. Everything else, yes.
Moosh Moosh needs his shots, too, which is about the price of the phone, that I will be putting off, since I just bought a phone that is better but not incredibly different than the one I currently have (except it’s bigger, thinner, the front facing camera is 720p now, that’s a big deal, if you’ve ever used the front facing camera on the iPhone you will know that there is NO flattering angle even remotely possible).
Beyond the cats, I could have used the money to buy a laptop, which I actually NEED, or rather, I NEED in order to do work while watching football instead of being chained to the desk away from TVs. Which in itself makes me a bad kitty mom to WANT to do that because Taco only sits on my lap when I’m sitting at the computer (like right now – he’s so purry and cute!). He’ll probably feel so alone if I have a computer on my lap instead. He’ll be heartbroken and run away. Moosh will be fine, I suppose, he likes my shoulders better anyway.
But yeah. I’m an iWhore. We all have our vices. Don’t judge.
So we’d had the same duvet cover for like 4 years, and I was getting bored with it. It’s nice enough, brown and tan in a damask pattern, but I was bored and ready to change things up a bit.
I wanted some sort of gray comforter, but it would seem that those are rather hard to find, and as the story of my life goes, every one that I found and liked was astronomically priced. I swear, it really is a curse to be blessed with such amazing taste and no riches to back it up. Thanks a lot, parents. Geez. If you were relying on ME to make the millions, you would have been better off trading off some of the smarts for a little more drive. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I’m just talented enough at things that I feel I don’t really need to work on them as well as not driven enough to exploit said talents.
I digress. This is about our comforter. So anyway, I ended up settling on a nice black duvet cover. I was KIND of disappointed with it because the fabric was so thin, but that’s besides the point. It’s also rather disgusting what they charge for duvet covers. It’s basically buying a oversized pillowcase, yet they rape your wallet. Honestly, I could have made one with two sheets, but I gave up that idea based on the margin for error involved. And the aforementioned laziness.
The black comforter. It seemed like a good idea. Moosh is black and Taco is mostly dark.
NOT DARK ENOUGH. It wasn’t really that noticeable with the brown duvet, but HOLY CRAP my bed is a freaking fur coat. I don’t know if the fabric catches the fur better or I can just see it more, but there is more cat hair residing on my bed than 2 weeks of vacuuming the entire house yields. Again, HOW ARE THEY NOT BALD?
I guess it’s just one of those things where you live and you learn. Or, it’s the perfect time to start shaving the brats. I could even spin that idea by saying it will cut down on hairballs and therefore improve their quality of life! I really should have been in PR. My gift for justification knows no bounds.
But first, I’ll probably have to either figure out how to put mittens on them or encase myself in full body armor.
As most of the world is, I’m currently fascinated with the olympics. At the tender age of 30, I realize my athletic prime has passed and it’s unlikely that I’ll find my niche to win gold. But I think about the sports and activities that passed me by…like gymnastics. I’m 5’8″ now, and I’m broad. If I stopped eating, I’d still be a large skeleton. So that wasn’t a sport made for me. Rhythmic gymnastics? I remember having some cassette tape when I was a kid…it came with the stick with the ribbon and you were supposed to do twirlies with it but that’s about all I remember of it. Obviously rhythmic gymnastics didn’t make that much of an impression on me either. I did swimming for awhile, I wasn’t bad but I wasn’t Natalie Coughlin or anything. I took diving classes, I was terrified. Not of the height, but the flippy flips. I think I saw the Greg Louganis faceplant too early in life. Never been much of a runner, so that’s out. It’s just flat out amusing to watch me play tennis. I manage to hit the ball over the fence repeatedly. Fencing sounds fun but I never had the opportunity. Weightlifting, in theory, sounds like something I would be good at. I build muscle easily. But I’m also prone to injury and “clean and jerk” sounds like waaaaay too much opportunity to pop something out of place.
Now SHOTPUT. That is something I could have excelled at. Except I don’t recall them offering that in high school. Where does one go to start shotputting? I’m excellent at throwing things. Aiming, that is a different story. The safest place to be is where I am trying to throw something.
Which brings me, in a VERY roundabout way, to the subject of my post. Throwing mousies. I am SUPER KICK ASS at throwing mousies.
Unfortunately for the boyfriend, as per the above-mentioned aiming abilities, I usually hit him with the mousies. Face, crotch, the exact place on the floor where he will immediately step on it and curse me…this is not on purpose. The cats, bless their hearts, will come to a screeching halt when mousie lands on Daddy. They know better. It would probably be worse if he got hit with cat, too. I’m also one of those people who laugh at inappropriate times…which makes him even madder. My own ineptness at aiming and the hilarity that ensues brings on a giggle that can’t be controlled. The inappropriateness of it makes me giggle more, and well, you can see where that goes.
I’ve always thought that the cats lose the mousies under things and in closets and such…but after writing this I’m questioning that conclusion.
Seriously, though, if being a crazy cat lady was an olympic sport I would win gold every four years. I realize I have stiff competition, but I’m pretty crazy. I exercise my crazy cat ladyness EVERY FREAKIN’ DAY.
UPDATE: I just found the thing that I did with the cassette tape (and by that I mean I searched the interwebz) — GET IN SHAPE, GIRL! OMG I totally remember this! I wish I still had this. I sense a youtube 80s fest.
Too busy for cats???
It seems like I never have time to write anymore. And when I do, I’m too tired. Both jobs have been busting my ass lately. Usually I would get out of the part time job early at least a few times a week, but this hasn’t been the case lately. Adding to that, I’ve been renewing my vows with the gym lately. No more “Eh, I’ll just go sit on my ass and mess around with my blog” between jobs. Only sweat. And pain. So sore. And I keep injuring myself. That’s normal, though, I am the super klutz. I will, however, take this opportunity to show off my new shoes, which I LOVE!
So I think the cats have been feeling a tad left out.
After all, there’s no treadmill for kitties at the gym, and they’re miserable when they leave the house, anyway. The upside to all of this is that they’ve been extra needy when I AM home, which makes me feel super loved. They have been so snuggly while I sleep. I woke up in the middle of the night to Taco giving himself a bath while curled up on my stomach. I thought it was an odd place to take a bath, but in a weird way I liked that he was comfortable enough there.
Moosh hasn’t slept on my head in months, but has the past few days. Taco’s been sleeping on my feet when I sit on the recliner, even. So cute.
It’s also very buggy outside. Like, a lot. They keep flying in. Fortunately, Taco is a master of the hunt. Last night, one flew in and within 30 seconds he had it down and eaten. Lower food bills, to boot!
So I have no exciting cat insights today because I have been too busy to pester or enjoy them. What a sad life. Sigh.