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continued So, I get into the vet's office, shaking like a leaf. Nervously laughing. Fortunately, they were ready for the cats. The doc checked Rusty out, listened to his heart, palpated his tummy, looked in his ears and mouth, and asked me about what he had been doing. He said could be a couple of things, need to take blood and that will show anything. He took Rusty into the backroom to take all of the necessary samples. Then he came back with Rusty, I put Rusty back into the carrier and it was Georgie's turn. Georgie wouldn't pee for him, no way. So, he had to take Georgie in the back to get him to pee. He looked at the urine and Georgie no longer has struvite crystals, he now has calcium oxalate crystals. The pH of his urine had gone the other way, opening the door for a different type of problem. He gave me a bag of food and threw in two cans of moist food for free. And he said to stop the ammonil, which is a dietary acidifier. I balk at having to feed George special food. He won't eat it. And the other 17 are free fed. Is this gonna be fun? He said can you keep George separate for two weeks? Huh??!! Are you for real?? This is not good news, believe me. So, while I'm waiting on the bill, the bloodwork for Rusty was completed. He brought it up to me and we went over it. Rusty is fine, but his proteins were high. This means that he is fighting off an infection. No diabetes, no kidney failure. Now, Rusty is on amoxicillan for a week. And I got to thinking about Georgie's urine acidity. Heck, he's been on ammonil for over a month. Maybe just stopping that will be a big help. I'll call and ask tomorrow.

I made two trips to the truck. One with the food and the second one with the cats. The ride home (all three minutes of it) was uneventful.

I brought the carriers in, opened them and off go Georgie and Rusty. I came back to the computer to see if anything new and exciting had happened, which of course it hadn't. But, I started talking to an online friend, forgot about the carriers sitting open in the entryway. I figured I had better move them before Brian gets home and I went out and shut one. I started to pick it up and it had a cat in it. It was RED!! Boy, did he fly when I opened the door. LOL!!! Bet it will be a while before he tries that again. And Georgie hates the new food. I knew he would. A mother knows her child. *smile* But, I have to see what I can do to get him to eat it. He's been sitting in here with me, giving me the most pitiful cry you have ever heard. So, into the garage we went. I took a couple of pieces of junk kibble and a handful of the new stuff. Put it down in front of him. He took a bite of the junk and along with it a morsel of the good food. Wow, he likes it!! Just like kids and broccoli. LOL!!

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february 21, 1998 What a nice day we had. Brian had to measure a job in Yuma and I went with him. I got up at my usual time, let the cats out, came back here, did a little on the computer, took a shower, got dressed, we got the cats in and off we went. A little way into the trip, I smelled something strange, but ignored it, thinking it was coming from outside. Well, forty minutes later I was still smelling it. I looked at the bottom of each of my shoes. Brian asked me what was wrong and I told him that I kept smelling dogpoop. And I looked at the soles of my shoes once again. Sure enough, there was some packed into a depression in one of the soles. Great. He said that he would pull over and I could clean it off. One stop went by. Another. Then another. Finally I asked when would I get to clean my shoe off? He pulled over to the shoulder of the road and got out of the car. I opened my door and he got a stick and scraped off my shoe. Then I got out and scrubbed the bottom of the shoe in the dirt, which was damp, but it looked like it had perlite or something like that in it (not being a geologist, I'm not really sure), but it did the trick and off we went. Again.

The mountains surrounding us looked like monster piles of rocks. There was not much growing on them, they weren't smooth and full of trees. They looked like a pile of rocks left in the same spot for many years and the brush had grown up between them. Except that these piles were thousands of feet high and the rocks were thousands of pounds each. It was a very impressive sight. And in the not too distant mountains, we could see a dusting of snow.

We drove through the mountains, through some high desert, rich with Ocotillo cacti and into Imperial Valley, where there are many farms and a good deal of produce is grown there. I asked what that smell was and hubby said it was farming. I didn't think it smelled like farming. Farther along the road, a tractor was mowing down a field and I said "now, that smells like farming, that smells green to me". And Brian agreed, he said that the other smell was a chemical smell. From Imperial Valley, we came to desert, desert with sand dunes for miles and miles. Then into Yuma, to the place where he had to measure.

Oh, look, I said, there's a Staples store, give me money. He said why do you want money? (Duh, to spend.) He gave me $40 and in I went. I looked at computer switch boxes and computer paper and computer programs. I ended up buying a package of Epson specially coated paper for the inkjet printer (which was touted as being new-about $14 for 100 sheets, the old paper was $11 for 100 sheets and upon closer inspection of the packaging once in the car, I realized it was the same darn paper for $3 more) and some other paper with cats at the bottom. My timing was right on, because when I went to see how it was going, Brian said he was done measuring.

We ate at Shoney's, a first for me. I wasn't overwhelmed, it was a passable meal. But if you are going to serve a sandwich with bread that is toasted, please make sure that the bread is thick enough for the sandwich. I was holding the thing together with my fingers. And home we came.

On the way home, we watched some cropdusters. What a dangerous job that is. I understand it's very hard to get life insurance and that their lifespan is only ten months. No, thank you. And we also saw the Blue Angels practicing. What a vision that was, a yellow cropdusting plane in the foreground and the five Blue Angel jets in the back. It was quite warm and Brian ended up turning on the air conditioner. He mentioned that we were below sea level at one point. In less than an hour, we were almost 4200 feet above sea level, in our mountains. We saw a hang glider in front of us and a parachute glider to the right. And there were so many birds. But they weren't birds, they were hang gliders, it was a wonderful day for gliding I guess. I counted over eight at one point, all different colors and higher than any of the ground around them. I would love to try it, but I would hate to look down. *shudder* I guess this is one sport I'll just admire from the earth.

We got home and we hadn't been gone longer than five and a half hours. It was a wonderful trip.

Once inside, I noticed that Mickey's eyes are messed up, he must have the URI as well as Kirby and Red. Red is just starting it and I hope I have hit upon a good way to pill him.

Georgie will eat his special food as long as he is in front of me. If I'm not watching, he quits eating it. It was suggested that we buy some pH strips to check the pH for ourselves. Hopefully, just cutting off the ammonil will be a big help.

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february 24, 1998 It's raining again. Brian had that job in Yuma and it didn't start til he got home after ten o'clock. Then the wind started howling and it rained so hard that rain came down to where the furnace vent goes through the roof. It's never done that the whole time we have lived here, almost twelve years now. The cats sure didn't like it. And the dogs stayed in the doghouse, all cuddled up together. There was no thunder last night. That's good because it really frightens Buddy.

I added twenty five pictures to the family photo album yesterday. Also added a page to the Educate!! Don't Amputate!! page from the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights. The Animal Rights name was kind of scary, but reading their website, they want what's best and least painful for our animals. They only want surgery where it's beneficial to the animal's health, not for the *guardian's* convenience. They aren't out there driving big spikes into trees or releasing minks into the wild.

One of the funny things about the rain last night...when we went to bed, we had seven cats with us. Lisa, Gracie, Georgie, Boney, Rusty, DeeJay, and Mickey.

I think the URI might be winding down. Kirby actually looks a little better, Mickey's eyes looked really, really bad last night, but looking much better this morning. And Georgie sprayed against a wall yesterday and it had no red in it. Just because it has no red, doesn't mean there is no blood in the urine, but at least it's getting better. I am going to get some of the strips at the drug store that measure pH, protein and blood in the urine. And he has been eating more of the special food. He is sitting next to me eating right now as a matter of fact. He's such a cutie. Red's eyes looked better this morning, too. He's still afraid of me because I tried to put medicine in his eyes. He did not like it. He's only giving me little headbutts and he backs off when I try to pet him. *sigh*

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february 26, 1998 Yesterday, I had to take Sandy dog in for the removal of the thing on her eye and to have the lump on her cheek/jaw removed. She was to get no food and water from midnight Tuesday on. The food wouldn't have been a problem, but the water would have. Because of the pool. So, we put her in the shop. Watching tv later, we heard this heart-wrenching howling. Brian said it was Sandy. I said, well, I guess we should let her out. He went to the backdoor and it was Junior standing outside of the shop door, howling for his Sandy. Sandy was just fine.

I checked on her yesterday morning, she was content laying on a blanket, so I left her in the shop until it was time to take her in.

I fed the out back cats, and this morning I wore sandals. It was easier to walk on the soaked sponge of a backyard with them on. When I dumped the bowl of dryfood over the fence, my foot slipped. I smacked my arm really hard on the fence. I now have a good sized bruise, at least 2 inches by 2 inches. And last night it hurt all the way to my elbow. Brian said "you have to be more careful, it's slippery on the deck." No duh. Or just go barefoot.

Anyway, I got Sandy into the truck and over to the vet without much problem. The rain had swollen the gate and that was a pain to get closed. Especially with Buddy and Junior trying to nose their ways out. But I was able to sufficiently close it, so that it wouldn't unexpectedly open, releasing our beasts upon the world.

At the vet, Sandy was weighed (88 lbs) and taken into the back. Since I was the only person there besides the techs, I started playing with Mewmew. He bit my face and fingers. I just love that little guy.

Junior stood outside of the shop door at different times yesterday and howled. "Sandy, where are yooooooouuuuuu. I miss yooouuuuuuuuuu." He was happy when I brought her home. She had a growth on the top and bottom of her eyelid. And the thing on her jaw/cheek was a sebaceous cyst. She has big pink stitches there. She was pretty wobbly last night and her eye is shut this morning, but I know that once it's healed up, she'll feel much better.

The vet also checked her for stiffness and said he couldn't find anything wrong with her. He said she might have a touch of arthritis. Well, that's kind of what I thought. It doesn't bother her all of the time, I just noticed that occasionally she walks like it hurts her a little.

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lisaviolet is fifty something, married with no kids, takes care of lots of cats, likes taking photographs, loves Southern California weather and spends altogether too much time avoiding her responsibilities.








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