Thursday, January 03, 2002 Well, Happy New Year to ya. I'm still fighting this cold. It never hit me as hard as Brian's hit him, but I still feel a little off. An occasional sneeze or cough, the odd sore throat.
Saturday, January 05, 2002 I'm back. I started making an entry Thursday and had to run errands. So, I figured I'd post yesterday. I didn't. Yesterday wasn't a good day. Not a good day at all. And I think I'm going to have a long haul because of it.
See, yesterday, when I went out to get the mail between 1:30 and 2:00, I saw a dead cat in our yard. A red cat. I was afraid it was OC. It wasn't a whole cat, though. It was only a partial cat. The back half of a cat. I was almost hysterical. I paged Brian and he called me back right away and couldn't understand what I was saying. I finally calmed down enough to tell him what I'd found. He said he was too far away right then and he'd be home as soon as he could, but that it would probably be awhile. I called my mom, who came over with a towel, gloves and a plastic bag. She buried the kitty in the catnip garden.
One of the things we noticed was there were no insects on the remains. No ants, no flies, no kind of bug at all. And there was no smell, either. Nor was there any blood. I had looked at the cat before my mom came over and the middle of the cat had been sliced. It was black, though. I would have suspected some sort of gush, but there was none. It certainly didn't look as if it had been ripped apart by a coyote. And why would a coyote leave any of it? I would think a coyote would have taken it back to the den.
Anyway, after my mom left, I started making calls. I called the sheriff's office and they said there'd been no reports of animal mutilations in our area. I called Animal Control and they said "we don't do dead animal pickup". Duh, I wasn't calling for pick up. I was calling to find out what to do if I suspected the animal had been mutilated. She said to take it to the County Veterinarian, and have the perform a necropsy. It would cost $75.00. Well, we're pretty broke right now, so I called my vet's office to find out if he could look at the cat first. Before I spent $75.00 to find out it was a coyote. In the few hours the cat had been buried, it had started to smell. When I took it to the vet's office, he wouldn't look at it. But he did agree to put it in his freezer, to hold until I could get it to the County Vet.
When I got home, I called the County Vet and was told that freezing would not be a good idea, because it could cause freezer burn which would interfere with the tests. The remains would need to be refrigerated. The county has a walk in frig and she gave me the gate combination in case we got there after hours. I called Brian and told him that we would need to go down there, could he please be home by six, so we could pick up the cat at the vet's office (they close at six) and take it down to San Diego.
While I was waiting for Brian to come home, I spoke with one of the neighbors. Last month, they had found internal organs from a cat on their front lawn, close to the house. Clean internal organs. No blood. Intestines and heart. Now, I can't imagine a coyote leaving this behind. And the officer told him that it looked too clean to him, more like a person had done it and put the organs on their lawn. And remember, last year, when one of the neighbors pointed out the same thing in his yard. The bottom half of a cat. With intestines. But no blood anywhere. And earlier that year, Brian had gone to clean up a cat in the street, but said when he came home "that cat wasn't hit by a car. The entire top part of the body was gone, but there was no blood". Somebody is killing cats.
I cleaned the house today, something I had planned on doing yesterday. But I got sidetracked. I called the sheriff's office earlier and told them that I wanted to make a statement, but so far, no one has come out.
I'm really tired right now and I just want to shut the computer down and take a nap. I still have the bed to make (washed the mattress pad and everything else) and then I'll take a shower and go to sleep. I'll try really hard to make an entry here tomorrow morning. I promise that I'll get caught up next week.
Wednesday, January 09, 2002 I'm sick. I'm really sick. A couple of weeks ago, we had made reservations to stay at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel, because the rates were so low. Brian's brother had wanted the seventh off because it was his anniversary. So, we figured we'd stay at the Grand on Sunday the 6th. Of course, I was really nervous because of what I'd found Friday, but it was too late to cancel and not have to pay the full amount. So, we went. And of course this cold I've been fighting for a couple of weeks, decided that it was going to go full blown. I had a sore throat Sunday and the past couple of nights, I've been coughing my head off. The cough medicine isn't working for me this time and it usually does. The stuff I took last night is supposed to work for 12 hours and six hours after taking it, I was in the kitchen looking for something so that I could sleep. I ended up taking Contact for severe flu and colds. It worked.
Monday, when we got home, I started calling around, because I hadn't heard from anyone about the remains and making a report. Both Animal Control and the sheriff came out and took information. I explained what the carcass looked like and the AC officer said it didn't sound good. I also told him about the other findings in the neighborhood. After he left, I went around warning people that there might be a sicko around here. That guy across the street, the one who was so mean about Cleo, started in on me about feeding the cats again. I ended up yelling at him. He's now dead to me, that heartless bastard. I did find out that Cleo is dead, he found her remains in his yard. But all he wanted to bitch about was the fact that we feed the ferals. And he also told me that we're not the only ones, the people who live in the house were we got Ciara also feed them. This guy is an asshole, a bully and a blowhard. What I feel whenever I'm around him isn't healthy, not healthy at all. I feel rage and hatred and loathing and I wish he would just have a heart attack and die. But that won't happen, because to have a heart attack, you first have to have a heart. He even told me that he's seen the coyote lying in wait. And he doesn't do anything? Gah! I wouldn't piss on this man if he were dying of thirst. It was kind of neat when the Animal Control officer said that our house smelled pretty good for having 26 cats. He said that he's been in some homes with lots of cats with feces six inches deep. Ish. He said his wife doesn't like hearing about those days. I wouldn't either.
Anyway, the report came in yesterday and this is what it said:
The mutilated carcass of a male, tan domestic shorthair cat is submitted.
Only the rear of the body is present, extending trom the mid thorax, caudally. The carcass is putrefied and is infested with maggots. Left ribs 5-13 and right ribs 9-13 compose the most craniad portion of the submitted specimen. The ventral rib margins are crushed and have irregular margins. At the most crainal aspect of the carcass, the thoracic vertebra is also fractured at the vertebral arches. The vertebral body lacks the invertebral disk, exposing a moderately smooth subchondral bone. There is a 3 cm diameter hole in the ventral aspect of the diaphragm. The stomach and intestines are gone, except for a 5 cm length of colon attached to the rectum. The liver and kidneys are present.
The lesions are most consistent with a coyote kill. Since the food supply for coyotes tends to be somewhat sporadic and irregular, they kill their prey when the opportunity presents itself. How much of an animal is eaten depends on how long it has been since the coyote's last meal and whether it was interrupted during this process. Coyotes tend to eat the center (liver, and abdominal organs) out of dogs, cats and rabbits first, leaving other parts behind. Often only the hind end, or front end will remain. Coyotes also tend to move the animals while feeding upon them and all remaining parts may not be found.
So, it would seem it was indeed a coyote. Although this is bad news, it's better news than if it had been a human. If the kill isn't quick with the coyote, the cat will go into a state of shock and not be aware of what is happening. The same thing wouldn't happen if it had been done by a human.
And I had probably the worst night's sleep ever Sunday night. I didn't know what the results would be, I still thought it was human. There was no one at the house (my mom fed the animals Sunday evening and Monday morning). And I laid in bed, thinking about Noah's Ark in Iowa. What if some sicko knew that we had cats, I mean, you can see them in the front window. The car was gone (usually when it's just Brian, he takes a truck), indicating there was no one here. It was a horrible night. We started home a little after seven Monday morning, getting home about two hours later. Everybody was fine. They missed us. We missed them. And Monday night, I slept on the couch (because my nose was stopped up, my snoring was really bad) and I had many cats sleeping with me. I had a much better night's sleep than on Sunday. I told Brian that I doubted I'll be able to leave for even just one night away and not have someone staying here.
We had an okay time at Disneyland. One thing we did change our minds about was food at the resort. We'll likely start to leave the premises to eat. I can't believe they don't have anything on the menus that I like. I'm not big on fish (clam chower, shrimp, that type of thing) and they don't have pot roast, or spaghetti or chicken breasts anywhere anymore. We ate at the Storyteller's Cafe at the Grand California, had to pay extra for a salad and Brian's salad had a worm in it. No kidding. They didn't charge him for his salad, but we had to pay for mine and I quit eating mine after seeing the worm in his. Yish. I can't believe how low moral has gotten at Disneyland. The cast members who have been there for years are very unhappy. Everything is "bottom line" and when a corporation does that, problems insue.
Junior looks like he's loosing weight again. Brian is going to weigh him. His water intake seems okay. I'm concerned, though, because we changed the cats' diet back to Sensible Choice and as I've mentioned before, Junior likes eating the processed food. *bleh* I just hope it's not interering with his system.
Other than that, everybody seems to be doing alright. We've had a little diarrhea which could be from the change of food. I did find a flea on Autumn the other morning, I know that she had Advantage, so the flea came from someone else. I figure maybe Junior, so I dosed Junior with Advantage yesterday. Hopefully, that will do it.
And "our" ferals were all here last night for dinner. OC sleeps under the juniper bushes on the bank during the day. I sure wish we could bring them all in.
Tuesday, January 15, 2002 I'm still recuperating from my cold. I spent the past week sleeping on the sofa because my coughing would have kept Brian awake. My first night back in bed, Sunday night, somebody had done a major pee job on my side of the bed. When I stripped the bed yesterday to wash all of the bedclothes, the mattress pad had at least three spots where my shoulders would have been. I have to say that is an excellent mattress pad, because there was no trace of urine on the back side of it. If we ever see those again at CostCo, I want to get another one. This one has saved our mattress, for sure. I'm feeling much better, but I'm still tire easily.
I took Lola to the vet yesterday for her test. Her blood values are "excellent" and she weighs exactly the same as she did two months ago. Go, Lola! I have been a little concerned about Junior. We changed the cats' diet to Sensible Choice and we know that Junior eats the processed food. Brian also bought Nutro Adult dog food, not the Senior like we'd been getting. I'm thinking that Junior is adjusting to the food. This past weekend, he was drinking quite a bit more water than he had been, one of the signs my vet said to watch for. Now, it had been warm and very, very dry recently, the kind of dry that makes your nose hurt. But I went ahead and made an appointment for him to get a recheck. It's tomorrow afternoon. Amazingly, his water intake is back to normal today. And last night and today are much cooler than it was this weekend. Oh, well, he was due for a recheck next week anyway.
Petting little Autumn this afternoon, I thought about how tiny she is. She is very petite. Then I starting thinking about the cats that aren't around anymore. Blue, Bluetoo, Little Guy, Little White Guy, Cleo, Chloe, Possom Face (I hope she had owners), man, there's so many gone since October. I'm feeling really weepy right now. How I hate coyotes.
I've been spending part of my online time trying to get my email straightened out. My provider is changing and I'm supposed to change my email information. The problem is, I don't know where all of my email is. *sigh* I certainly don't want to start getting tons of spam again.
I woke up at around four this morning and got up to use the bathroom. I didn't flush, because I didn't want the cats to wake up. Well, I guess some of the kittens were in the window and they came into the bed. And they started purring. Boy. I had Ciara at my feet, Georgie by my knees, Rusty sharing my pillow, Annie on her pillow in the middle of the bed, Opie, Richie, Sammy, Angel, Daniece and Mystie all cuddled up and piled on one another against me. The purring woke Boney up, who was sharing Brian's pillow. He came over to get petted. It lasted for about a half hour, then everyone left.
Well, that's about it for right now. I don't feel much like writing. Oh, well, one thing. I did a poll over at Cat Fights about "if you could put a curse on someone, what would you do?" This was in reaction to the heartless bastard across the street. I had a couple of things I'd like to wish on him. Diarrhea. Lots and lots of diarrhea. So bad that he couldn't wipe and it would burn to wash. And itchy skin all over. Like I had after we got Mickey. I was miserable, I couldn't sleep and nothing relieved the itch. It wasn't life threatening, but it was horrible. I would have cursed him with those things. Well, there were a couple of other great "curses". One was for him to fall down everytime he was walking. About every ten feet or so. Not so that he'd get hurt, just that he appeared like a royal klutz. And one was for him to pass wind in company. Loud, stinky farts and not be able to help himself. And it would only happen when he was with someone else. I have to admit, some of them had me rolling.
Friday, January 25, 2002 I'm still alive. Haven't been feeling well and neither has Brian. I've been sleeping a lot, reading a lot and watching television.
DeeJay is in the hospital. Tuesday morning, he threw up. I hoped that it was just a one time thing, but I watched him closely. His appetite has taken a nosedive. Yesterday morning, I called the vet and made an appointment for 4:45. Or I could just drop him off. After I called, I did the hydration test (pinch the fur on the back of the neck and if it stays up, doesn't spring right back into place, the cat may be dehydrated). DeeJay was dehydrated. I took him in at eleven yesterday morning and told Liz that she had my verbal okay to run any tests and x-rays that DeeJay needed, that they didn't need to call for permission. Not having heard from the vet, I called at five. He said that DeeJay was severely dehydrated. He ran blood tests and all the values were in the normal range except for globulin. That was high at a 6. There was no indication of kidney problems, so we weren't looking at kidney failure. DeeJay did have a large amount of blood in his urine, so that will have to be checked out. He wanted to keep DeeJay overnight so that he could keep getting fluids and take x-rays this morning. With his weakened condition, he didn't feel that taking x-rays would be good yesterday. I gave my okay. He told me to call today around lunchtime. Is it too early to eat lunch at nine in the morning? I posted about DeeJay over at AcmePet and one of the regulars posted a link to a website that talks about what tested values, high or low, can be caused by. For globulin, dehydration can cause it to test high. I hope that's all it is.
The outfront cats visits have been sporadic. I think I know why. Monday night, there were two good sized raccoons eating the food. I mean, they were BIG. I don't know how the larger of the two gets through the gate, but boy, they're noisy when they leave. We don't hear them coming in at all. I tried to take a picture of them through the window, using the flash, but darn, all I got was screen. *sigh* My mom said that as long as the cats don't challenge for food, there won't be a problem. And she said "just wait until they bring their babies". Wednesday night, I saw all of the ferals. Meezer, Angus, OC, Chipper, SpotT, Diamond, Repete (the kitten who looks like Pete; we tried to trap this one last year), and Mr. Fluff. But then last night, I only saw Angus, OC and Repete. But all of the food was gone this morning. We think that maybe the big trucks (they did roadwork on the street behind us and parked on our street) frightened some of the guys and they didn't come out until really late. I don't like not seeing Meez.
Junior scared me last week. The weekend of the 12th and 13th was really dry and he was drinking a lot of water. He also started fighting his shot. Well, not fighting, actually, but he'd roll over when I pinched the skin. Seeing as it was almost time for his test (every two months) I took him in on the 17th. It was just Junior and me and the vet took blood for testing and then he asked me to show him what I do when Junior gets his shot. We all got down on the floor, the doctor taking Brian's position in front with a biscuit, I had the insulin syringe (with saline solution) and I did the pinch and Junior did the rollover. The doc told me that what's most likely happening is a Pavlovian response. Junior has come to equate the pinch with the shot. He showed me how to give Junior a shot without pinching. But Junior still rolled over. I mentioned it at Acme and was told to try pinching Junior during the day and giving him a treat, something small that wouldn't interfere with his blood sugar. So that he would equate the pinch with a treat. I started two days ago with chicken. He seems to like it, but he sure rolled over this morning. *sigh*
Well, it's almost 3 and I still haven't heard from the vet. I called at 12:30 and he was busy, he's going to call back. My mom said if it was really bad, that he would have called by now. I hope he's just keeping DeeJay for observation. I hope DeeJay can come home tonight.
I made the appointment for Autumn's spay. She's going in next Tuesday.
Boney and Rusty seem to be extra spunky. I think maybe it's the Sensible Choice. Last week, Boney was actually playing with a cloth mouse, tossing it in the air and chasing it around. Then he'd run around the furniture. Rusty isn't as ambitious, but he's been going outside and cruising the yard. It's nice to see them acting like that.
Well, I guess that's it. Back to waiting. Hopefully, it won't be so long before my next entry.
later Well, DeeJay is home. He's doing fine. It was a bladder infection, a deep one. And it was bacterial. So, DeeJay is on antibiotics for ten days. He also came home with fleas. Not good. I'm going to have to start giving the cats Advantage before they go to the vet's for an overnight stay. I know he has them because one jumped on me. A little tiny one. It was on my forehead crawling into my hair. A baby. Now, it's a dead one. I hope I caught them in time, before we have another problem. He's got his appetite back and he's being very affectionate.
Tuesday, January 29, 2002 DeeJay is doing much better. Saturday morning, he didn't look good at all. He ate quite a bit Friday night, probably because he hadn't eaten much the past week. Which he threw up all night long. *sigh* Saturday, before Brian went up to Ranchita, he told me that it was his opinion, based on how bad DeeJay looked, that we'd be going back to the vet Saturday. I figured that maybe the antibiotics needed a chance to kick in and I'd keep Deej as comfy as I could. I gave him warm bottled water to drink and tempted him with many tasty soft foods. He drank a little of the water, but didn't eat much of the food. He also had very bad diarrhea, which was just dripping out of him. I figured that could be from the lack of food and the great amount of fluids he'd been given at the vet's office. Saturday afternoon, he perked up, started drinking water without my reminding him and Saturday night, he had a little more of an appetite. He was looking much better by the time Brian got home. Sunday morning, he was almost back to normal. He's an expert at spitting out his pill, after I think he's swallowed it. Luckily, I find them within hours of having given them to him, so he still gets them.
I took Autumn in for her spay this morning. Boy, did I have some hongry cats, seeing as I pulled the food up last night at midnight. I fed them a little on my desk before I took Autumn in, so I could have control of who was eating. I called the vet a little after they opened to see if it would be alright if I put Advantage on her. Elena told me that it would be okay. I don't want to have the same problems I had last December treating everyone. So, I found Autumn and administered the Advantage. I waited about fifteen minutes before I got her and put her in the carrier. She really didn't handle the carrier well. She tried really hard to get out and we found over the vet's office, when she was being weighed, that she'd bloodied her nose. Not badly, Becky thought maybe she'd been scratched, but the other cats are very gentle with her. It must have happened when she tried to go out through the metal on the door. Poor little thing. She was terrified. Becky took her and held her close. I know she'll get special treatment. Keep a good thought for her today, okay? She's just a kitten.
Brian decided this year to try the no work on Monday again. If not for himself, for his employee. So, yesterday we both went to the bank and decided to have lunch at a little restaurant next door. We went to the bank drive through and then parked the truck. We got out and Brian swore. He left the keys in the ignition and the truck was locked. I called my mom and she came and picked me up, took me home and I grabbed my keys then back to the restaurant. It was a little adventure, that's for sure. Brian was pretty unhappy with himself.
I've been keeping an eye on the out front cats. I do a headcount every night. Meezer, OC and Angus have been very good about coming around when I can see them. Chipper and Mr. Fluff come around. I haven't seen Repete (so named because s/he looks like Pete) in a couple of nights. The black cats don't come around on a regular basis any more. One of them comes by in the daylight and runs when I look out. I don't know if it's Diamond or SpotT or some other cat altogether. I'd like to know if they're doing okay. We've taken to feeding them earlier, hoping that maybe they'll be back in their spots across the street if and when the coyotes come.
And the weather has turned cold. Right now, at 10:30, it's not even fifty outside. Junior is staying in the doghouse, where it's nice and cozy. There's snow in the mountains and I wish Brian could take the day off.
For some reason, I'm really tired right now. I'm going to go take a cat nap, then start work on the end of the year payroll reports. Oh, boy, what fun.
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