Friday, August 24, 2012

Valentine's Visit to the Vet's

It has been a year, two months, and eight days since I last wrote about my babies, and not a lot has happened in the course of that time in kitty news until recently.  Zanzibar and Valentine seemingly get along.  They fight occasionally, and it is usually instigated by Zanzibar, but Valentine can definitely hold her own.  We theorize that the fighting occurs at night since they nap for the majority of their day, and we see new battle scars on their faces, but nothing that is of concern.  Aside from that, they are well-loved, happy, healthy cats.  However, earlier this week Valentine urinated on the couch.  We removed the cushion covers to be sent to the dry cleaners and it is costly, but we were hoping that this was a one-time occurrence.  Then, last night, after she used her litter, she proceeded to urinate on the couch again.  Chris' initial and natural reaction was frustration, but doing our research on the reason behind why she was doing this, we read that she probably has a urinary tract infection.  This is something that can be caused by multiple factors including stress and dental issues.  We also read that to remove the stain and odor of urination, we must completely disinfect the area and use a citrus scent to deter her from relieving herself.  Apparently, cats don't like the smell of oranges, lemon, and lime.  So, I went to the store and found Nature's Miracle, an enzyme formula that supposedly removes stains and odors (e.g., urine, feces, drool, vomit and other pet messes).  I also bought an orange-scented Lysol to disinfect and Febreze to eliminate the odor and replace it with something clean and fresh.  The directions on Nature's Miracle says to "allow treated area to air dry completely before expecting complete odor elimination."  It seemed to work with the cushion but not for the pillows, which is so weird because one would think it would work on a smaller surface.  Again, it is costly, but I think our best bet of removing the odor is to have the pillows sent to the dry cleaners.

Our biggest concern, of course, is Valentine, so we took her to the veterinarian as soon as they opened this morning.  The staff there is exceptional.  They are kind and caring for both our pet and us and provide us with great information and services.  After an exam, some blood work, and an ultrasound, the veterinarian did find crystals in Valentine's system.  The good news is that we noticed the behavior and took her in and with the treatment of the antibiotics coupled with her new diet and drinking water additive, the crystals are at an early enough stage that they hopefully won't grow to become urinary stones.  And though we still don't know the exact causes of her bladder health problems, we can guess that one of the reasons can be the tartar buildup in her mouth, so we went ahead and scheduled a dental cleaning for her first thing tomorrow morning. 

It has been a very emotional morning and early afternoon for all of us, but we are glad that she is getting better and we are continuing to care for her and love her so that she can live a happy, long, and healthy life.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Coupon for Feline Pine Litter

Recently, I watched Extreme Couponing on TLC and was amazed at how shoppers could spend $2000 worth of groceries, but pay less than $100; one customer, in particular, spent $2300 and left with a gift card of $53!  This morning I have been searching online for coupons to save money on kitty items and found a coupon to save $1.50 on Feline Pine or Feline Pine Scoop Litter.  For those who would like to save money on cat litter, please click the link, print the coupon, and enjoy the savings!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Robin visits, Zanzibar hisses

For his mother's birthday/ Mother's Day gift, Chris bought tickets for his mom, him, and I to go watch the Mariners.  I worried that when Chris' mother Robin arrived that Zanzibar would hiss at her.  I have only seen him hiss at Valentine and that was during the first couple days of her moving in.  Other than that, I've only heard stories of him hissing at company.  Sure enough, when Chris' mom arrived Zanzibar sniffed at her, meowed, and hissed.  No matter what she did to reassure him that everything was okay, he was curious about her.  He would sniff her and then follow-up with a vicious hiss.  He is very territorial, especially when it comes to his cat litter, which unfortunately for guests is located in our only bathroom.  I hoped that after a whole day of us being gone that it would be enough time for him to cool off.  After all, how dare we bring someone into his house? he probably thought to himself.  

The day was a good one.  After gyros at Cafe Neo's, we killed time and shopped at a vintage store before waiting in line for a giveaway of an Ichiro bobblehead.  We drank beer as we watched Felix Hernandez warm up in the bullpen.  
I ate a delicious hot dog.  We toured the highest seat in the stadium.  Although our seats were in the 19th row, we wanted to see if the saying was true: there are no bad seats at Safeco Field.  It's true.  Even at what most people would consider nose-bleed, it wasn't a bad view at all.  We arrived at our seats after the anthem and the ceremonial first pitch.  We watched Rob Dyrdek throw the first pitch.  He was visiting Seattle for a skateboarding event and I was really excited to see him. And, we rallied as Seattle won the game against the Chicago White Sox.

My wish came true when we arrived home and Zanzibar seemed to be getting used to the fact that our company was not going anywhere for the night.  Although he sat on the couch and kept his distance from Robin, I was just glad he wasn't hissing anymore. 
When it came time to sleep, he left her alone and slept in the bedroom with Chris and me.  Meanwhile, Valentine kept Robin company.

The next day Robin left to go back home to Oak Harbor and things were restored at the Galang/Johnson home.  It was Chris, Zanzibar, Valentine, and me, just the way Zanz likes it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Kitty Crack

                                                                                                     March 16, 2011
Dear Feline Greenies,

We are writing to let you know that our cat Zanzibar loves your treats.  We very much care about the health and nutrition of our cat and pay close attention to the ingredients that he consumes.  We were happy to find a treat that “contains no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives” and also helps him reduce tartar and plaque buildup, cleans his teeth, and freshens his breath. 
However, we have noticed some behaviors that make us question what other ingredients may be included in Feline Greenies but is not listed.  The main one is KITTY CRACK.  See, Zanzibar loves the treats so much so that a slight shake of the bag will grab his attention.  As he runs to his bowl, he meows impatiently and sometimes demandingly with a head-butt.  Before we can even put all eight pieces into the bowl, he has already scarfed most of the treats down and hardly without chewing.  When he finishes, he looks up.  His eyes reveal sadness, sadness that there are no more treats and a look of pity for more.  Like an addict with their drugs, my cat is addicted to your treats and he is showing the same signs of addiction.  First is denial.  He doesn’t believe he has eaten all of the treats.  Second is greediness.  He craves for more.  And last, he will do almost anything to feed his addiction.
Here is what happens on a daily basis.  We give him treats in the morning before we head out for work and/or school.  Because of our schedules, we do not always arrive home at the same time.  One of us will give him his second serving of treats.  But, when the second person arrives home, he waits near his bowl and meows.  He is trying to trick that person into believing that he hasn’t already received his serving and go for a third helping of your KITTY CRACK.
As parents we love our children and want them to be happy, but what are we to do should their happiness be harmful to themselves?  By giving him his daily “dosages” of treats, are we enablers to his addiction?  The first step is acknowledging and that is what we have accomplished through writing this letter.  We hope that one day we may be able to have the strength to intervene to break his addiction and rehabilitate him to happiness before KITTY CRACK.
            So, thank you Feline Greenies.  Thanks a freakin’ lot.

                                                                                            Chris and Crystalyn

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Baby Changes Everything

            The popular saying is true.  I can’t say I understand what it is like to be a parent of a child, but I do know what it is like to be a parent of a pet and in some respect, it is quite the same.
            Similar to bringing a new baby home, bringing Valentine home is an adjustment and a learning experience for all of us.  For Zanzibar, there is a feeling of his territory being invaded by a newcomer, hostility toward Valentine, but also a sense of curiosity about her.  He has to learn what it means to share the space that he has known to be his.  For Valentine, it is learning about her environment and its creature comforts, learning about Zanzibar and which of his creature comforts he is willing to share (and not share), and learning about us.  For Chris and me, we are learning about Valentine and the relationship between her and Zanzibar, how to treat our babies with equal amounts of attention and love, and worrying about their health and safety.
            For the most part they seem to get along with only a few moments where we have to break them up and we have lost some sleep over it.  Last night, for example, Zanz and I slept in the living room while Val and Chris slept in the bedroom.  Even though we are restless, we are lucky.  According to PAWS, the “blanket” (or sock) method of introducing cats should be gradual and for most cats, friendships take eight to 12 months to develop.  For some, friendships never occur.  The cats simply live together, attempting to avoid each other at all times.  Because the introduction did not occur as planned, we cannot expect Zanzibar and Valentine to be immediate best friends, but I think that one day they will be.  What I’ve seen is that they can be in the same room and neither one is avoiding each other. 
            In fact, currently both are sleeping on the tower.  Zanz is in the lower cubby while Val is chilling on the top.  It’s peaceful in the apartment, where the only sounds that are heard are the humming of the heater and the computer keys being hit.  It’s quite nice.  My babies are safe, healthy, and happy.  That’s all that matters.  Isn’t that all that parents want for their children?