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Survivor

Susu, one of our cats, has been very ill the last few weeks. It started with sneezing and runny eyes, and progressed to her curled in a corner and refusing to eat and drink. This is an emergency situation for cats, and so the vet was called in. A bit over two weeks […]

Cat chases black bear up a tree

Cats are creatures that usually have egos that extend significantly beyond their usually diminutive size. But they are also generally equipped with a strong sense of self-preservation that comes from being a predator that often ends up on the wrong side of the food chain (I.E.: on someone else’s dinner plate). We have one […]

Woman charged with assault with a deadly…er, dead chihuahua

I was reading one of my news feeds the other day and came across this gem about a woman who beat a dog breeder with a dead chihuahua. Apparently, the dog breeder sold the puppy when it was too young. The purchaser took the puppy to a vet who told her it needed to […]

Bilbo safe and reasonably sound…

My wife Irene called me on the phone at about 7:00 am on Friday morning. This confused me: I was working from home and thus sleeping in until around 7:30, and Irene doesn’t normally leave for work until about 8:00 am. The morning brain-fog cleared a bit, though, when Irene explained that she was […]

Sasha gone…

Our cat Sasha died Wednesday just after 11:00 pm. It was pretty sudden- she was fine Wednesday morning, a little off around dinner time, and in shock by bedtime. We rushed her to the emergency vet, but they couldn’t save her. It looks like she was sick and respirated some vomit, and this was […]

Do the math…

My wife and I have a lot of animal companions. Seven cats and a dog share our house, and a horse is stabled a few minutes away. Most of the critters are healthy and easy to get along with. But there are exceptions.

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Sadie

Earlier this year we had to have our dog, Sheena, euthanized. It was a tough decision. But I was pretty clear that Sheena was our first and last dog: I loved her, but dogs are a lot of work.

Irene has been working on me ever since. She wanted another dog. But we have a household of seven cats, and that’s busy enough. Up until this weekend, logic prevailed: despite several near misses, we remained dog free.

I finally broke down this weekend. Meet Sadie…

Sadie is another SPCA puppy. We figured Sheena gave us 11 years of love, so this seemed like the best choice. Irene had been a volunteer dogwalker for the past couple of weeks. I knew this was risky, but I hoped it might get the “dog bug” out of her. She brought home a few “bugs”, but never actually shook her interest in having another dog.

Sadie is five years old, a Rottweiler something cross. She’s fairly quiet, seems mellow, and is a lot less timid than Sheena. So far, she is acting more scared of the cats than the other way around. We’ll have to see how that works… […]

Hard choices…

Irene and I love our animals. Seven cats, a horse…

…and until yesterday, a dog. We made the decision On July 3rd to have Sheena euthanized.

Goodbye, old girl…

It was a tough choice. Sheena was still alert and wasn’t screaming out in pain. Up until year ago, Sheena was still pretty active: she was at least 13 years old, which is pretty old for a dog her size.

Last year, though, she had a setback. She had what seemed to me to be a stroke: the vet thought it might have been a tumour or nerve damage of some kind. For over a week she couldn’t walk at all, and afterwards she was very weak. She recovered some of her mobility, though she stopped going on walks of more than a hundred yards or so. She never recovered her balance, really: a light bump would tip her over. And her hearing was mostly gone afterwards…cataracts took away most of her vision a few years ago.

The last few months we watched Sheena getting more and more feeble. Recently, she reached the point where she often couldn’t stand up without help, and she was barely eating.

I don’t know how Sheena felt about it, but I kept thinking that her quality of life had gotten pretty meager. Irene and I had talked several times about what it would take for us to decide it was “time” for Sheena. Ultimately, Irene called me up in tears and told me she felt that time had arrived.

I am an agnostic. I don’t really believe in an afterlife, but then again I don’t disbelieve. I’d like to think that we made the right choice, and somewhere Sheena’s spirit is alive and healthy, enjoying a run through a grassy field with Irene’s horse Brandy like she did years ago. Maybe one day I’ll be there too, and Sheena will run over and let me scratch her ears the way she liked. I’d like that… […]

Dog trying to commit suicide?

Irene was brushing our dog Sheena today and discovered that Sheena had a cut on her neck. I took a look, thinking it was a little nick or something…but instead it was a huge, 3″ long slash going quite deep into the flesh.

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Have you ever tried…

…to medicate seven sick cats? Two of which, in addition to needing antibiotics, also need forced fluids and feeding? Well, it kind of works like this…

  • get medicine ready
  • get towels ready
  • get firstaid kit ready
  • search for cat #1
  • find cat hiding under bed
  • try to grab cat from under bed
  • watch cat suddenly develop jet assist and VTOL capabilities
  • apply first aid kit to various wounds from cat’s escape
  • find cat hiding under sofa
  • grab cat and drag to appropriate medicating location
  • apply medication
  • find applied medication in left nostril, ear, or under nearby furniture
  • apply medication again
  • remove teeth and claws from sensitive body parts while not releasing cat
  • reposition cat from its location on head to appropriate medicating location
  • force fluids into cat’s mouth
  • clean fluids from arm, chair, floor: note that cat’s mouth is still dry
  • successfully force fluid into cat’s mouth
  • use first aid kit on various claw marks on head, arms, and face while holding on to cat
  • reposition cat from its location on back to appropriate medicating location
  • force “palatable nutrient paste” into cat’s mouth
  • remove “palatable nutrient paste” from eye, elbow, and wall: note that cat has not eaten any food
  • successfully force paste into cat’s mouth
  • attempt to clean cat
  • conclude that cleaning cat is not worth any further scars
  • release cat and apply first aid kit to various wounds
  • search for cat #2…

Yes, being a pet owner is rewarding…. […]