Posts Tagged ‘Maggie’

Burying Maggie + Racoons!

Yesterday, Rob and I picked Maggie’s body up from the vet, where they’d been holding her in the freezer. Yep, Maggie the Catsicle.  You can tell we are feeling better because the gallow’s humor has emerged.

We got on the motorcycle and went to upstate NY where some friends of ours had generously offered a corner of their backyard. We were both braced for this to be a really hard trip, but it wasn’t. I think the whole burial ritual, or funeral ritual in whatever context, evolved because you really need that sort of closure to get on with things. Even if the creature you are mourning is a small fuzzy gray cat.

While we were back there, Mrs. L– beckoned us and said “Look! Racoons!”

RacoonsRob kept digging, but I went over to look, and sure enough there was a family of mama and two baby racoons coming out of their garage. Mama and one of the babies hightailed it across the lawn.

The other one wandered over to check out what Rob was doing.  It stood up on its hind legs, about two feet in front of him as if to say, “Hi there! What are you doing?”

This amused all of us, while at the same time, being glad that Rob had a shovel just in case Mama decided to feel protective. Rob waved at the little guy, who dropped back down to his haunches.

wee racoonThen stood up again. “Whatcha working on? Huh?”

Sadly, attempts to establish a true cross-species dialog didn’t proceed past that and the little fellow trundled off to his mother, who probably said, “How many times have I told you not to talk to strangers?”

Sorry that the photo is as fuzzy as the racoon.  It was awfully cute and a nice place to leave Maggie.

We spent the night and then had a leisurely morning up there.   Rode back today, taking the scenic route.

Videos of Maggie

Thank you all for your thoughts today. They were greatly, greatly appreciated. Rob was able to come in and we spent some time with Maggie before we had her put to sleep. We were sitting on a couch with her in Rob’s lap, so she definitely knew she was loved. Laptime was her favorite thing. Next week, we’re taking her to upstate NY our friends’ home.

The hardest thing right now is expecting to see her around the apartment. Such a small creature and such a big impression.

Meanwhile, I thought you’d like to see these two videos of her. She’s only seventeen in them but was this feisty up until a few weeks ago.

Maggie, last day

I am at the vet, with Maggie dozing in my lap. Rob is on the way. We are having her put to sleep today. She is inobvious discomfort, but not crisis. As much as we love her and want to keep her around for us, she is not going to get better and the pain will get worse. Waiting would only buy her another week, maybe two. Still, this is very hard.

Short bits for today

  • 09:37 While sitting in the kitchen seems to be a good strategy to get Maggie to eat, I’m getting a wee bit bored of being in here all day. #
  • 10:18 On the other hand, every time she eats something it is exciting, so at least there’s drama and suspense in here. #
  • 13:01 I am deeply aggravated that Firefox now crashes every time I try to insert a photo in WP. #
  • 18:41 I have finally realized that the opera singer in the building next door must be a teacher. This is why the sound changes in skill level. #

Cats and outlines

I feel guilty because I haven’t been posting much lately, but at the same time, life has sort of narrowed down into things that aren’t very interesting.  Or, rather, that aren’t very bloggable especially not after the flurry of props and puppetry posts.

Yesterday was fairly low-key, largely because I spent the day hanging out in the kitchen. Maggie would eat a few bites at a time if I was in there, so I hauled a chair in and hooked the computer up.  She eventually ate some White Chunk Tuna in oil with a fair bit of enthusiasm and even had some kibble.

Today, mysteriously, she likes the kibble and not the tuna.  The ways of ailing kitties are mysterious.  The kitchen floor has seven bowls of different food set out to tempt her. It’s a kitty buffet.

My big accomplishment yesterday was finishing the outline for Glamour in Glass, the sequel to Shades of Milk and Honey.  With the help of Michael Livingston, I pounded out some details to make them clearer for people who aren’t in my head.  You know how it goes. “Interesting scene with local characters” makes total sense to me it’s just, um, not particularly clear to the rest of humanity.

I actually like outlines and at some point will post the two versions of the outline for folks to look at. There’s the one that’s meant for me, and there’s the one that’s “unpacked” to make sense for other people.

I sent the outline off to my wonder-agent, Jennifer Jackson
to see what she thinks and spent the rest of the evening hanging out with Maggie and Rob in the kitchen.  Today, Maggie seems to be feeling better, so we are alternating between the kitchen and the sofa.

Maggie ailing again.

To catch you up, Maggie stopped eating again which is troubling since she hadn’t really gained back the weight she’d lost when she was so ill.  Knowing how bad it can be if cats stop eating, I tried force-feeding her this morning and that went exactly as well as you might imagine.  Taking the wiser course, I took her to the vet today.  They can’t find anything wrong with her.

But she wasn’t eating. So they gave her an appetite stimulant and subcutaneous fluids.  Back at home, Maggie kept looking at the food as if she wanted to eat it but was too nauseated to consider doing so. And then, finally, she nibbled.

The problem was that she wanted to be near me and followed me from room to room.  I wanted her to hang out with the food. So I hauled my computer and a chair into the kitchen and camped out there for most of the day.  She ate a little.

The situation is that if she goes the weekend without eating her kidneys will likely begin to shut down.  There are also likely larger issues going on, but at this point the vet says that everything, except irritable bowel syndrome, is untreatable. So we’re treating it as if it’s IBS and hoping for the best.

Maggie is alert and walking without pain, if a little unsteadily.  Really, aside from the loss of appetite there is nothing apparent wrong with her.  I wish I could speak cat so she and I could talk about what was going on.

Edited to add on Friday: She has begun nibbling and had some tuna and kibble today.  Many thanks for the healing vibes.

Update on Maggie

Those of you following me on Twitter already know some of this but I’m about to go into a whole heck of a lot more detail about Maggie. She’s been terribly unwell and while I was away, Rob sent me a warning that he thought all we could do at this point was make her comfortable.

I got home and she was basically a skeleton with fur and just hiding in the closet.  I called the vet, explaining that she wasn’t eating or drinking.  We discussed humane euthanasia, but decided that as long as she was still happy sitting in someone’s lap that we’d let nature take its course.

I was struck by the fact that she kept trying to go to the litter box with no success.

Now, this serves as a warning to everyone that I’m going to be talking about the tail end of a cat’s digestive system.

Seriously, read no further if you don’t want to know about a kitty enema.  I’ll let you know right now that she’s much better, but it does involve an enema and a cat.

I mean it.

You’ve been warned.

Don’t say I didn’t tell you.

Continue reading ›

Short bits for today

  • 01:10 Just going to dip the entrails in blood and then go to bed. #
  • 01:20 I’ve hung the entrails in the shower to drip dry. Must remember to leave a note for Rob. #
  • 08:36 I gave Maggie her two pills this morning and one of them makes her foam. She is sitting on my lap looking rabid. Cat zombie. #
  • 23:56 Amazingly, I’ve arrived home before midnight. #

Maggie the cat isn’t well.

I’m sorry you’re getting  a lot of twitter summaries this week. I’m slammed trying to get two shows up before I leave town for the Nebulas on Thursday.  And yet, I dropped everything to take Maggie to the vet today.

  • 12:49 Worried about Maggie. Rob and I realized that neither of us saw her eat yesterday. She has no interest in food today. Not even the treats. #
  • 13:22 Just loaded an unprotesting Maggie into the cat carrier. The vet has an opening today. She’s drinking water at least, so that’s good. #
  • 13:33 We’re in the cab and there’s NOTHING wrong with her vocal cords. Man, that’s a lot of volume from such a small cat #
  • 14:35 Maggie and I are on the way home. She weighs 5 lbs 10 oz, which is way too light. They are doing bloodwork. #

The vet gave Maggie an appetite stimulant and pumped her full of fluids.  The suspicion is that it’s kidney trouble which isn’t uncommon in older cats.

About an hour after I got home, she nibbled on some tuna which was an enormous relief.

An enormous and short-lived relief.  When I got home tonight, Rob told me that Maggie has developed diarrhea in addition to vomiting.  The poor thing is curled up on a heating pad and looks just miserable.

Kitty treat suggestions?

Maggie Our twenty-year old cat, Maggie, is a fiesty active kitty, but she’s losing weight the way a lot of elderly critters do. The vet says that she’s otherwise healthy and suggest that we tempt her with some high calorie treats.

Our challenge is that our 10 year-old cat does not need anything high calorie, but totally knows every time we pull out the wet food. I’ve been looking for something bitesize and kittylicious but she’s pulling the whole finicky thing on me. Any suggestions for something soft, yummy and high calorie?

I’m furminating.

Cherie Priest recommended the furminator on her blog a while back. We’ve been dealing with our two very sheddy cats and keep considering shaving them.

So today, I went out and bought a furminator. My heavens. The thing works exactly as promised. Plus you get the added bonus of getting to say, “Careful, or I’ll furminate you,” or “I furminated Marlowe earlier,” or “Not just now, I’m furminating.”

I mean… really. How can you not love that.

South Koreans clone cats that glow in the dark

Glow in the Dark CatYou might remember my cat, Maggie? A couple of years ago, she had a hyperactive thyroid. The treatment involved Iodine131 and we got this handout which said, “Upon release from the hospital, your pet will be mildly radioactive.”

Despite my fond hopes, Maggie never glowed in the dark. But, thanks to modern science, there are glow in the dark cats in the world. That would be the end to tripping over the infernal beast at night.

I really want one.



Am I in the wrong city?

I spotted this on Maggie’s journal, but clearly the test doesn’t notice that I’ve moved.

Your Score: PORTLAND!

You scored 28% Style, 24% Climate, and 64% Culture!

You are Portland, Oregon! Portland, the largest city in Oregon and seat of Multnomah County, is located in the northwest part of the state on the Willamette River. Portland has a diverse economy with a broad base of manufacturing, distribution, wholesale and retail trade, regional government, and business services. Major manufacturing industries include machinery, electronics, metals, transportation equipment, and lumber and wood products. Technology is a thriving part of Portland’s economy, with over 1,700 high-tech companies located in the metropolitan area. Tourism is also important to Portland’s economy, drawing more than 7 million visitors annually.

You are a nicely cultured individual, appreciating a good play, book, movie, or fine dining. You also appreciate some diversity, lest things get too boring. Not one for sitting and relaxing for long periods at a time nor dressing up the nines, you take interest in getting outside and being out in nature, enjoying the cool, crisp air…maybe even playing a sport or taking a hike. Portland is a good place to be, my friend.

Link: The Which Major U.S. City Are You? Test written by weeredII

Testing the cats

Last evening Jenny and her fiance, Chris, came for dinner. Well, really, they came to drop off Zoe, their cat, as a trial run for when we take her during their honeymoon. Dinner was just taking advantage of them being here.

I was, to be honest, anticipating some fireworks. When I got Marlowe as a kitten, Maggie hated him so much that if I petted Marlowe and then tried to touch her without washing my hands, she would hiss at me. I’m not making that up. She tolerates him now, more so after the cross-country drive than before.

And Marlowe has never seen another cat, except ones outside the window. His only other experience with other animals have been with dogs that we’ve dogsat. (Boy, that word looks wrong.) Oh, and the mice. Anyway, I had no idea how he would react.

Zoe came right out of her carrier and went up to Marlowe to sniff his nose. He was totally freaked. He had no idea what to do. He only knows this one other cat who beat him up as a kitten–in fact, it’s only in the last year or two that he’s realized that he’s bigger than she is and that she’s old. So, despite the fact that he looks like a giant hulk next to Zoe (also a black cat) he was afraid of her.

Maggie stretched, walked up to Zoe. They sniffed. Then Maggie went to take a nap on the futon. She was so not interested. I think she was just pleased that I hadn’t brought home another dog.

We spent most of dinner watching the cats watch each other. The best moment came after dinner. I wanted to show Jenny and Chris the thing that Marlowe does with the basket. I didn’t think he’d do it, because there was so much strangeness. Man, he saw the basket and beelined across the room to sink his face into it. He immediately sank into his “I’m invisible” posture and seemed so much more at ease.

Zoe. Zoe clearly thought he was insane.

She crept out from under the bookcase where she had been hiding and stretched out to sniff the basket. Marlowe made one “meep” and she levitated backwards, kindof like, “My god! There really is a cat in that thing!”

After that everyone settled into a good routine of ignoring each other. I saw her this morning when I put her food down, but she’s hiding now. I think she’s in my closet, but I’m not going to fish her out. Jenny and Chris come back to pick her up tonight.

Earning their keep

Marlowe caught a mouse today. Suffice to say that the rest of this post will not be for the squeamish.

I think Maggie heard it first, but Marlowe was very persistent and caught it. We let him play with it for a little, hoping for a quick kill. Silly us. He was the gentleman and let Maggie play with the mouse first. It astonished me how gentle she was with it, reaching out with velveted paws to tap it. This phase did not last long, of course.

In all, I don’t think the mouse was in the cats’ possession for much more than a minute. I kept trying to tell myself that this was nature and that I should stop being squeamish. Yeah… that would have been fine if they hadn’t just been toying with the thing. I mean, watching it try to get away with a broken leg was horrible.

So, Rob scooped it up in a tupperware and we discussed the most humane way to kill it. The cats, meanwhile are looking for another mouse.

My suggestion was to wrap it in newspaper and smack it on the head with a hammer. Rob concurred. In her youth, Maggie just presented me with a dead mouse so I’ve never had to make this decision before.

On the whole though, it’s nice that the cats are earning their keep. Right?