Posts Tagged ‘Marlowe’

My cat is not a typewriter

Dear Marlowe,

You are not fooling anyone into thinking you are a typewriter. Yes, you are the right size and the right color, but you are covered in fur.

Fondly yours,

Our cats have a water fountain. So spoiled.

Harriet has taken to drinking out of the bathroom sink.  She’s so excited about it that she will sit in the sink waiting for us to come in and turn the water on.

The problem is that she’s not very good at it.  Frequently, she’ll just shove her head under the running water and let it dribble through her fur and drink from the water running off her nose. She will also try to bite the stream of water. Mostly she’s been licking up the water that’s splashed everywhere.

No amount of cleaning her actual water bowl convinced her to use it and we’re concerned that she wasn’t drinking enough. Yesterday I picked up a pet fountain from PetCo for her and Marlowe.

Initially suspicious, they are both noticeably drinking more water. Hurrah. It has a deeply annoying buzz, which is deeply, deeply annoying. I’ve ordered a different one that’s supposed to be super-quiet. The deeply, deeply, deeply annoying buzzing doesn’t seem to bother the cats as much as it does me.

Meanwhile, Harriet is still sitting in the sink.

Home at last, on time, with all my belongings

I have arrived safely home, with my luggage and the contents of my luggage intact. And only twenty-four hours after I’d planned to get here.

The cats are frantic with loneliness and Marlowe is doing a great deal of chasing invisible demons to prove his affection for me.  Rob is still away at IPNC so I’m just going to go to bed and let the cats hog his side.

Harriet and Marlowe visit the vet

While I was away at World Fantasy, I got the following email from Rob:

I took Marlowe in first thing this morning to Fremont Vet. The tissue surrounding his eye is very swollen but they eye itself does not appear damaged. He is running a slight fever. The vet asked if our cats have been fighting. It is possible but I didn’t witness any altercations. She found no evidence of injury so the likely cause is a severe herpes infection induced by stress and exposure to Hariet, or perhaps an infection contracted from his night in the hospital. They gave him an antibiotic shot and a prescription for topical salve. If the inflammation is not reduced in two days I am to take him back in.

He is active, has good appetite, and appears to be annoyed but not distressed. Luckily I’ll be home to keep an eye on him until you return.

That’s it from the Sandycrest feline ward.

Apparently, he downplayed that. When I got home, Rob said that Marlowe’s eye was so swollen it looked like he’d been in a boxing bout. So, while I was having fun in San Jose, Rob dutifully put ointment on Marlowe’s eye twice a day for a week. The swelling went down, we were relieved.

And then Marlowe started sneezing and both eyes were oozing white goo. We gave him a couple of days, hoping it would clear up. Alas. No.

So, back to the vet with the poor guy. This time we took Harriet along to get her shots. Marlowe is a perfect gentleman and very stoic at the vets. Harriet? Not so much. She literally climbed me.

The vet examined his eyes and said that it’s likely chlamydia picked up from Harriet. So Marlowe is on a new course of eye salve and oral medications for another week. Poor guy. If he were human having herpes or chlamydia would have meant he’d at least have had some fun first. In cats its just an unpleasant cold.

Harriet meanwhile, aside from a mild digestive issue, is perfectly healthy. Rob and I are considering renaming Harriet to “Vector.”

Grants make my eyes cross

I spent today looking at support materials for a grants panel I’m sitting on tomorrow.  In many ways, it’s like reading slush but generally better written.  Or at least shorter. Tomorrow, I’ll spend locked in a room with other panelists talking through each submission which should be interesting. I’m sure there are going to be things that all of us likes and things that only one of us likes and the other folks think is insane.

Makes me miss being on the Shimmer editorial board, it does.

In cat news, Marlowe seems fine although we are still on the lookout for “poop on a rope.”  He does, however, hide under the bed every time I put my shoes on. Poor guy.

Marlowe’s continuing adventures with string

Here’s where we stand with Marlowe. I took him back in for another x-ray at 4:00 and Dr. Sutton said that she thought there was still foreign matter in there. He also had some gas in intestines that he didn’t have before which could just be gas or could be trouble. Faced with a choice of admitting him right away or bringing him home until we heard from the radiologist, I opted to bring him home.

When Dr. Sutton called later it was to say that the radiologist definitely thought there was a linear obstruction and swelling in the small intestine. Surgery is now back on the list of possibilities.

Meanwhile, Marlowe seems totally fine. He’s eating well, drinking water, wearing his helmet of invisibility, and otherwise behaving as if he doesn’t have two feet of string inside him.

The plan now is for him to stay home with us until nine or ten tonight and then go to the vets for overnight observation. If it’s warranted they’ll do another x-ray to see where things stand. And then, if we need to, surgery.

He’d be in for couple of days and on pain meds when we brought him him. Probably with a cone. I am devoutly hoping he’ll just pass the darn thing.

Marlowe’s adventure eating string

String has long been one of Marlowe’s favorite things to chase. When Harriet came into our lives, we introduced her to string as well, which she thought was the best thing ever.  Now, Harriet has this funny habit of picking her toys up and walking around the apartment with them.  With the string, she’d trail this long end of it, which Marlowe would chase.

Hillarious and adorable.  Sometimes they would play tug-of-war.

But because I know the dangers of cats eating string, I always put it away when they weren’t supervised.  Until last night.

The cats were happily playing. I was helping Rob in the kitchen with dishes and Harriet walked in to complain, without her string.  So far, this has mean, “The string is inanimate again! Make it move!”

So I went into the living room. No string.  Marlowe was curled up on the couch looking innocent.  I wandered through the rest of the apartment. No string. I said, “You’d better not have eaten that.”

But I wasn’t really worried because neither cat had shown any interest in gnoshing on it and they lose toys all the time. I mean I was worried enough that I repeated to Rob, “I hope one of the cats didn’t eat it.”

So this morning, we got up, fed the kitties and about fifteen minutes later Marlowe vomited explosively. Oh look. There’s the string. Or… about half of it.  So I called the vet and we trotted off to the SE Portland Animal Hospital, which saw us right way.  The whole time, I was thinking of Cherie Priest’s cat, Spain, who had an episode with a hair tie and wound up needing surgery.  Much, much cursing was going on inside my head, because I know better than to let a cat have string. I know what it can do to their insides.

They’ve done x-rays of him, which I get to show you, and everything looks fine.

They’ve hydrated him and we’ve got him on a stool softener, hoping that he’ll pass the rest of the string with no problems. Apparently inducing vomiting in cats is not as safe as it is for dogs. We had the choice of hospitalizing him or bringing him home and since he seems fine at the moment, we’ve brought him home.

The really amazing thing? When we got Harriet, she came with pet health insurance. After her first vet visit, in which she had a couple of minor issues, I decided to extend the insurance and to add Marlowe. So this whole vet trip? Covered under “ingested foreign object.”

Ironic, eh? The cats have insurance, but the people don’t. Of course, we don’t eat string.

Edited to add: The vet just called and after the radiologist reviewed the x-rays they think there might be an obstruction in the small intestine. We are taking Marlowe back in for a review at 4:00.

Cold and cats

Yesterday was the first coldish day since we moved in and I’m impressed by how quickly the apartment loses all its heat through the large, gorgeous and single-glazed windows. The desk which I am so happy to have next to a window is, in fact, quite chilly.

There are storm window frames outside and some storm windows in the basement. I’m hoping that they’ll actually put them up.

Meanwhile the cats are starting to settle in to each other’s presence. Harriet is very interesting in how she plays. When I pull out a string or stick, she’s quite slow in batting at it. I finally realized that if she lived with 21 other cats in a single room that she probably didn’t ever play with a human. On the other hand, give her a toy mouse and she can amuse herself for big chunks of time.

The other thing, and this is actually a problem, is that if I give Marlowe any attention, Harriet comes over and pushes her way in between us. It’s clear that she is used to having to compete for attention and Marlowe is such a wimp that he runs away. Retraining her to share the human will take awhile.

We also had a vet trip today. She’s got some digestive issue going on (which is very stinky) and an ear infection.  Thank heavens she comes with insurance.  Let’s just hope it’s better than Rob’s…

Harriet and Marlowe

We settled on Harriet, because it does worHarriet and Marlowek well with her elegance and curiosity.  As she settles in, she’s become less stridently chatty and clingy and is proving herself to be quite bright. Re-educating her that the litterbox was not a playground involved saying “No” and offering her another toy.   Since then, she’s been quite ladylike.

I am, however, amused to realize that we’ve got two cats with detective names. Harriet Vane and Phillip Marlowe.  Granted, our Marlowe is named after the playwright, but still the unintentional pairing cracks me up.  As a friend commented, it’s like a cat detective noir story.

If this were fiction, I’d have to change one of them or make it totally deliberate.  Thank god I can have joke names in real life.

Naming and kitty litter

We have introduced the two cats to each other. Aside from an initial concern on Marlowe’s part that the new kitty would EAT HIM ALIVE, the introduction was remarkable trauma free.

We also read more on her paperwork.  The cats had a room of their own, so I suspect that one of the reasons she’s so chatty and affectionate was that it was the only way to get attention when their owner came in.

So far the only strike against her is that she likes to play in the kitty litter. The springy, playful action would be adorable if it weren’t in the litter box. The process of teaching her that this is not okay, without making her afraid of the litter box, will be slow.

We are toying with the names Harriet or Hattie for her.  We like the name Harriet, because of Harriet Vane, but our lady is very chatty and extremely affectionate, not at all aloof as Miss Vane could be.  Hattie is a nickname for Harriet and reminds Rob of Hilo Hattie.  Neither name seems quite right, though Hattie is close.

Basically we’re trying names until one of them sticks.  Yes, you may play the name the kitty game too if you want, just know that we lean toward literary names.

Marlowe is named after Christopher Marlowe, who went by Kit. Get it? Kit-ten Marlowe? Sigh…

Maggie was named after The Cat on the Hot Tin Roof.

Before that I had Pixel, from Heinlein’s The Cat Who Walked Through Walls.

Rob also feels that it should be two syllables because that’s easier to yell when the cat gets on the counter.

We have a new kitty

Since Maggie passed away we’ve noticed that Marlowe is needy and bored. Yes, even with the move. So we’d been talking about getting another cat. Today we went up to the human society and looked at two very sweet kitties.  We probably would have looked at more but the decision was already hard.

New Kitty lying downWe’ve brought home a very sweet six-year old lady with a brown tabby coat and pale, pale yellow eyes.  My god, is she affectionate.  The biggest problem right now is the strength of her headbutts of love.

Initially we’ll keep Marlowe and New Kitty separated until she’s acclimated a little.  She comes from a house with 35 other cats.  Yes. You read that right.  Thirty-five cats.  One litter box.  We hope this means she’ll adapt well to Marlowe.  He, meanwhile is wildly curious about what is happening in the bedroom.

She’s curled up on my lap right now purring away.  We might have to have a discussion about where my lap ends and where the laptop begins but at the moment we’re both content in the sun.

For those of you who love kitty photos, there are a half dozen or so at Picasa.

New Kitty