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Update on the Cats

by Pamela

The cats have adjusted well to the move. After the furniture arrived, they truly settled back into the routine. Eat, sleep, poop, sleep, puke, sleep, eat, sleep and occasionally play. And of course they do pick awkward times for playing, like the wee hours of the night/morning. They got right back into the schedule, where Nightshade expects John to make sandwiches in the morning and give her bits of ham. After dinner, they start circling anticipating their evening canned food treat. And Diabolo starts trying to herd us off to bed soon afterwards, so he can get brushed.

But there is new behaviour too. Echo has practically become a snugly lap cat. He regularly hops up on my lap - often at meals, but also when I'm on the computer, and he would stay there for hours if I would let him. He sleeps cuddled up next to me. Nightshade is still friendly as ever, and regular pins John down for hours occupying his lap. But she's been to one too many new age seminars, and has begun to think outside the box - and she pees while she's thinking! We took her to our local vet to try and figure out if it was something medical, but no such luck. It's behavioural and potentially a sign of stress. We've tried pheromone treatment. This is a very expensive spray that's supposed to comfort the cat, and where this stuff is present, she shouldn't pee or scratch, or do any other marking. It seems to work, but there have been a few lapses. We are supposed to keep spraying it for a month to fully break her of the new habit.

But while we had her at the vet, they did find some other issues. She also has developed the kidney disease that the other two have, which actually simplifies our life, since they now are all officially on the same food! But she also has high blood pressure. Yes, a cat who sleeps 90% of the time, and has no worries about mortgages or world politics or office politics, is stressed out and needs medication to control her blood pressure! Imagine John's blood pressure as he tries to get her to take the little pills! At first I was able to hide one in some soft cheese which she would eat off my finger, but at some point, she decided this was no good. The pills are actually human pills chopped into smaller pieces. As human pills, they are designed to taste bad - apparently to prevent overdoses! Well she loves ham so much, that she will put up with having a bit of pill hidden in the ham occasionally! Poor John gets to go through this little ritual every morning now.

She has also taken to exploring outside and raising John's blood pressure that way too. We have been working on the floors, and prop open the kitchen door, with a lattice gate blocking the outside. Well twice she has managed to nudge through, and explore the back garden and under the house. John got to crawl all around under the house during her last adventure! But she is safely inside now, and we are going to try and get some real screen doors.

We took Echo into see the vet with Nightshade, and he is doing well. He has lost more weight, but that was expected with the move. Hopefully he has stabilised now. We are planning to take Diabolo in to get his baseline measurements here. Our vet has a points system where as you spend money on visits or food or other merchandise, you earn free vet services. Well we are almost up to a free mature cat visit, complete with tests. So Diabolo will get a free vet visit! I'm sure he is thrilled.

The House