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January 2, 1997 ~ First entry Well, today is Maggies third birthday. Benny is on Elavil, which has him sleeping pretty much of the day. At least, he isn't straining to urinate. We don't want him to need more surgery. Brian painted the hallway this weekend. This past week, he pulled out 2 1/2 feet of ruined drywall. The cats sprayed on it so much, that it was bubbled and there was no way to remove the smell. As in my bathroom, the paint is one that is cleanable. The wallpaper that we got as a runner is also washable. Our new floor in the hallway is also vinyl. It is going to be much easier to clean now. It is an ugly drizzly day outside. Benny loves this weather. He loves to sit in the rain. Red is making progress in the leaving the rafters project. last night, he played with his old toy, the one we played with out front. He almost forgot what he was doing, and came very close to the next level. I can hardly wait.

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January 4, 1997 Annie doesn't want to take her pills. And it is really hard to deal with her because she runs behind the bed and won't come out. I tried putting it in some soft food for her, but she wouldn't go for it. The day before I put a pill in her mouth, but I didn't get it in far enough. She hightailed it out of the bedroom, foaming at the mouth. I also realized that giving Ben the Elavil only once every 24 hours isn't going to work. I am going to try to dose him about every 18 hours and see if that will do it. Twice a day just puts him out. But, if I have to I will. I hate to see him straining.

This morning, Gracie Anne went behind daddy's chair and did a major spray job. Boy, was daddy upset. He was sitting in the chair at the time. Then he got up and sat on the couch with his cup of coffee. Lola decided his lap was where she wanted to be, spilling his coffee in the process. He got up and went into the kitchen to read his magazine and drink his coffee without any help. Then Lola started tearing around the house like a mad cat. Up and down the walls and up the kitty entertainment center. I said she must have gotten some coffee on her and was now in the middle of a caffeine high. He wasn't amused.

The installation of the new wallpaper was completed last night and nobody peed on it yet. Maybe this is a good sign. I sure hope so.

I held Red in my arms last night, still standing on the ladder, of course. I only had him a little above the surface, but did have him completely. He wasn't too pleased when he realized exactly where he was. He struggled (not too much) out of my arms, ran a little a way from me and looked at me to as if to see if I still had all of my mental faculties. I reached out to pet him, but he slapped at my hand and attempted to bite me. Purring loudly all the while. sigh

I heard a funny joke the other night. Two cannibals were eating a clown. One looks at the other and asks "does this taste funny to you?". Well, I think it is funny.

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January 6, 1997 It is very cold out this morning. Under 40 degrees. Boney was being obnoxious, so I let the cats out early, about a quarter to six. They don't mind the cold so much.

Found some Annie poop in front of the dresser this morning. Blood again. I have to figure out a way to get her to take her pills. I think I will try people tuna today. I know it doesn't help her stress level when Georgie chases her, like he was doing yesterday.

When I let the kitties out yesterday morning, Bobby went outside to potty. I held the door open for him, because I don't know how well he can negotiate the cat door. His back leg doesn't look as strong as it once was. But I was glad he went out. Then, once in, he went back to his heating pad and back to sleep.

Lonee is warming up to me. She actually stopped and let me pet her on her way to the garage. Usually she will either power walk or run by me. She is also getting more secure with me petting her when she is laying down anywhere. Progress. YAY!!

Red was still kind of upset with me yesterday for putting the Otomax in his ears. He definately doesn't have mites, there is no black wax there. A while back, Lonee had the same problem as Red and I told the vet the symptoms. He prescribed the Otomax. Of course, I come home and put it in Lonee's ears and then sit down and read the box. It was for dogs. Well, I'm thinking, oh, no, I just made Lonee deaf!! I worry about it for an hour or so and decide to call the Emergency Clinic for advice. She said not to worry about it. That Lonee won't go deaf or anything and that there isn't as yet an Otomax for cats. Lonee's ears are fine now. It was time for Red. Boy was he annoyed with me. But, he was doing better last night. He was very playful and kept calling for me to come see him. When I would go out into the garage and turn on the lights, he ran to his spot over the ladder and waited for me. I have been playing with his toy, a wand with an elastic string and a red yarn lion at the end. My neck is stiff from looking up at him during play. I wish he would come down.

George has been really wound up lately. Its driving us crazy. He is chasing the other cats (Annie in particular) and running in circle throughout the house. I will be glad for some nice days. That way he can go outside and chase the dogs.

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January 7, 1997 I sure got a lot accomplished yesterday. I was tired of getting knocked over by the smell in the bedroom so I vacuumed, shampooed the carpet and then went back over it with a mixture of 50% water and 50% enzymes in the rug shampooer. I was very pleased with myself. This morning I notice a spot on the carpet that was a bit darker than the rest of the carpet. It was PEE!! and it was still warm. Right in the middle of the floor. I was on the phone with my mom when I found it. Pretending that I was one of the cats I said, "oh, gee, look, mom cleaned the litter carpet. I like a clean litter carpet, guess I can go right here!!" I poured the enzyme stuff on the spot after I had sopped up most of it. ARRGGHH!! So frustrating.

I was noticing that Bobby seems to want more affection lately. I hope he is feeling alright. The major sign are fine, you know, he is eating and drinking, no lessening there, his potty looks fine and he still likes to be petted. Its just 'cause he is getting on that I worry about him. I guess. He will be sixteen this year and he has been through so much.

Maggie is very, very gradually becoming more affectionate. She has always been a little standoffish. Now, occasionally in the evening, she will come lay on my chest, close to my face. And when she is ready to be petted (she loves to have her face rubbed) she will start talking. She will only be quiet when my hands are actively moving over her head and around her ears. She can be very insistant.

Oh, great news!! I finally was able to get Annie's pills down her throat. No Cujo reaction. YAY!! I remembered one of the first rules of pilling. Get behind the cat. So, she has gotten her pills two days in a row. I am on a streak.

Bart was chasing Junior (the dog) around the yard yesterday. It was so cute. Junior probably didn't think so, but he always came back for more. It is amazing that almost all of the cats have finally caught on to the fact that this is one dog that will run when chased. Bart used to be terrified of him. Well, all it needed was time.

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January 8, 1997 Not alot happening today. Maggie was very wound up this morning. I love it when she is is a good mood. She will chase anything, even things I can't see. And she makes the funniest noises, she reminds me of a child pretending to be an airplane. Maybe she is. She sure sounds like one. Another thing I have noticed about her is that her appetite is increasing. This is good. She has always been such a picky eater.

Bart has been very needy. Maybe its the cold weather. He slept in the bed last night for the first time in months and is sticking pretty close to me. He will lay by the keyboard or on the floor. I hope he is alright. I have a sneaky suspicion that all of the work we have been doing, plus the change in weather, might be affecting them somehow.

I copied a post from the board between Monica and Cat Doc about treatment for a problem similar to Ben's. I am going to take it to the vet. I thought the straining was getting better, but he was at it again this morning. At least there is more volume to it than there was before. Its nice to know that I am not alone with this problem.

I have noticed alot of "gunk" in the cats' eyes lately. Since they are so low to the ground, it is probably from all of the sanding on the drywall done last weekend. Hopefully it will clear up once I am able to vacuum and shampoo the furniture and carpets. If not, away to the vet's we go.

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January 10, 1997 Well, daddy's gone on his trip. I think Georgie knew something was up. He wouldn't leave Brian alone. He followed him wherever he went. When daddy went out front, Georgie would even jump into the window to see where he was going. He finally settled down, but it was kind of sad. I know he will miss the cats more than me. He said I understand, they don't. I asked him if he wanted me to find a spot with kitty pee and wipe it up with a papertowel and put it into a plastic bag. That way, when he started to miss home alot, he could open the bag and smell. He declined the offer. Hey, I try!!

I talked to the neighbor that has been feeding the cats outside. She said that only one is coming around. The one I called Angus, because he had ears like a Scottish Fold and was red, hasn't been coming to eat. Something must have happened to him. He was always with O.C., the other kitty. I just hope that maybe somebody was able to catch him and took him into their home. Like we did with Red and Lonee.

Speaking of Red, I think he will be coming down another level to eat. I am pretty sure he is starting to get hungry since I moved the food again. It isn't even eight inches lower, but it is still another step for him. We'll see later on if any of the food is gone.

Bobby sure surprised me yesterday. He went out back through the sliding glass door, which I had opened so the kitties could come in and out. I saw him go all the way to the back fence. Way to go, Bobby. Sometimes he seems so strong, other times its like he is just too tired to do anything. Just like an old man.

Gracie was doing sprints in the hallway today. That is so amusing to watch. Back and forth, back and forth. She does sleep well after a bout of this. She is so cute.

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January 11, 1997 evening What a day this has been. I finally got all of the masking done in the hallway. I had a lot of help with the floor. I put taped newspaper down and got the tape right at the baseboard. The tape is just masking tape and pretty easy to pull up. See where I'm going here? The cats helped me put it down along the wall and helped hold the papers in position. (You do believe me, don't you?) Yeah, the cats helped. Since the paper was only fastened at the wall, they were able to play chase in it. Oh, and slide under it and omigosh, just all sorts of fun kitty stuff. Then I got out the paint and the brush and it was time for them to stop. So, I am happy in my work, very proud of all that I am accomplishing. I have realized that I need the spray bottle for the cats as well as a damp rag to wipe up my mistakes as they happen. Well, one mistake was SO big that the one little rag didn't fix it. Hubby suggested that I put the gallon paint bucket into this plastic bucket so I wouldn't have any drips onto the floor. Bad idea. The plastic bucket's handles were not very strong. I did not know this, although common sense should have told me, but I found out. As I moved along the hallway, I moved the bucket with me. The last time I moved it (I still have alot of painting to do) the thin metal handle came loose from the plastic bucket in which I had the almost full custom color (dark grey) can of paint. Over it went. All over the floor. When I was finally able to shut my mouth, I pulled out of shock long enough to call my neighbor, Amanda. Help!!! I have a big mess and I have all of the cats in and I don't need them trying to help and I spilled a whole gallon and its a really big mess and help. She came right over and we were able to save almost 3/4 of the paint. And I am sure glad I took the time to get that newspaper down as well as I did. Sure helped with cleanup. Man, what a mess. Thankfully, the cats stayed out of the way until we were done. I didn't need cats with painted paws.

The other day I placed a towel down on the spot where I love Red. He didn't know what the heck it was and wouldn't even come near where it was placed. I would climb the ladder and he was no way going to get near whatever that thing was. It didn't matter that he wanted to be petted and loved. We have our limits. No weird things. Anyway, I went up there with some treats yesterday afternoon. He came over and ate the ones that were off of the towel. There were some more treats in about four inches. He didn't eat them then. But, he ate them later. This morning when I opened the cat door to the backyard, he was sleeping on the towel. He was there everytime I went out today. What a silly boy. I wish he would come down.

I am going to have to get Lonee to the vet. The bump on her nose is getting bigger. I am going to ask again about the possibility of giving her a traquilizer to get her into the carrier. The last time I tried that was the Monday before Thanksgiving and she bit my right hand bird finger knuckle down to the bone. I don't want that happening again. I only have a small scar. I tried to lift her up again today, but she ran away. Oh, well. Must be patient.

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January 14,1997 Still nasty weather. There was over 2 1/2 inches of water from the rain in our rain gauge. That was in a less than 24 hour time period. Supposed to be another bunch of heavy rain starting this afternoon or tonight. Shoots all of my plans for the week right down the tube. Can't wash and wax the floors, because I can't keep the cats off of them. Can't clean the fish tanks because the backyard is like a full sponge and that's where I clean the gravel. Cats are getting tired of the weather, too. One thing, it hasn't been raining when I open the gates for them in the morning. So, they can run around and chase each other and blow off some steam then.

Another strange thing, when I feed the stray cats in the yard behind us, the rain stops long enough for them to eat. I must have a kitty angel helping me with Mother Nature. Thanks, lil angel.

DeeJay is so funny. We have a cement patio in the back of the house. It is under cover. Our house is U shaped around it. There are three doors that open onto it, sliding glass doors from the office and living room and a regular door from the laundry room. In bad weather, DeeJay will want out each door. Maybe he thinks the doors open into different weather. And then he complains to me when the weather is the same. Sorry, Deej. Welcome to the real world.

Last night, I was laying on the couch reading a book. Lucky was at my feet and Kirby was behind my knees. I got up to get a glass of water. When I came back, DeeJay was laying on my pillow. Pepper was between Kirby and Lucky and Georgie was kneading the blanket between DeeJay and Kirby. THEY TOOK MY SPOT, THE LITTLE THIEVES. So, I moved 'em.

I saw Red come down to the food last night. Then the bully Maggie decided she wanted up there. I yelled at her and he got to finish eating. Soon, the next step.

Hubby called last night. Its cold in Montana. He said that he was starting to miss me more than the cats. (I think its my cooking he misses most.)

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January 16, 1997 Good news!! Tuesday night I went into the living room and little Lonee was sleeping on the back of the sofa. I went over and put my arms around her a looked at her little face. I had to turn on a brighter light. The bump on her nose had fallen off!!! There was no sign of it at all and the only thing on her nose was fur. Wow. I was so afraid she had skin cancer. I guess it wasn't.

It didn't rain so much yesterday. I finished the Kitty Comforts web site. Now I have to start advertising it. Work, work, work.

Red really wants to come down. In the evening, he will sit up in the rafters, crying and looking into the house. I don't know what else to do for him. He does come down farther to eat now, with little coaxing. Poor guy. But living in the rafters of the garage beats the alternative lifestyle of a street cat. No cars or coyotes.

I noticed this morning that the birds are back at the birdfeeders. The cats are sitting in the windows watching. Maggie actually went outside and is watching from there. She is laying in a big planter and the dirt is very wet. Doesn't bother her as quickly as the other cats. She's a Maine Coon and that's why their fur is the way it is, short and long in the same area. To keep the snow from bothering them. I finished a roll of film yesterday. Now all I have to do is get it developed. Will take it in today. Maggie came running to me when she saw the camera. She is such a little poser. Her tail was straight up into the air, but I couldn't get a good shot because she was running. I told her to stop, stand still, but do cats ever listen, except to the sound of the can opener? Not mine.

When I fed the strays behind us this morning, I didn't see the youngest. I hope s/he is okay. The longhaired black cat has gunk in his eyes. I hope its just from all of the wet grass. The neighbor's behind us are pigs and never do anything in their yard. The weeds are very high. I think that might bother the kitties. I hope the young'n is back tomorrow.

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January 18, 1997 Thursday and Friday were perfect San Diego days. The air was clean after the rains earlier in the week and everything was so crystal clear. Thursday there were few white clouds in the sky. And the temperature was just right. A little cool and brisk. Perfect. The cats like it, too. They love to be outside chasing bugs and flies.

The young black cat was back eating yesterday. I think he was someplace cozy and didn't want to come out for breakfast. He was there again this morning. I just remember last year when there were three kittens and I loved to watch them play with each other. And then two were gone. I hope somebody caught them and tamed them.

More good news about Lonee Gail. I was looking at her in the window and I noticed that her fur looked strange and spiky where the bump on her back was. So, I reached over and petted her. The bump was gone!! The fur was gunked up. I think she had an abcess that popped. But, in all of my years as a cat owner, I have never seen one that acted like this. It started out hard. Like a pea sized marble. This was back in October. The past week, it had gotten larger, the size of a small grape and it was soft. (Gee, odd how I always reference things to food--hmmm) Then sometime yesterday, it broke. It doesn't seem to bother her and last night she was extremely loving. I lay on the floor in the living room and she came over and rubbed her body against my face, back and forth, over and over. Then she plopped down by my arms, gradually rolling her way into the arm cradle. She rolled over on her back and let me give her belly nuzzles. Her eyes were in that half closed happy cat position. And she was purring. It was a very relaxing situation for both of us. Other cats' noises slowly didn't make her look. She totally ignored them. And Kirby took position on the back of me knees and settled in. Oh, what a feeling. Cat love. Its great.

This morning, while in the shower, I opened the shower door to see who was in the bathroom with me. Benny was laying on my dirty undies. He likes them for some strange reason. But then Benny can be very odd. Anyway, a couple of minutes later, while lathering up my hair, I peek out again. Ben is gone and so are my undies. So, I jump out of the shower, grab my robe and go looking for Ben. I followed the other cats lines of sight. It seems he had gone outside. Out the door I go and I see him come around the corner. My underwear is wrapped around his middle and he is walking nonchalantly through the yard. Oh, Ben.

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January 21, 1997 Sunday, I actually picked Lonee Gail up and held her in my arms. Not very high up from where she had been standing, but I was in control (haha) of her total support. She didn't even try to get down and I put her down before she wanted down. Didn't want to frighten her.

Brian saw Chipper Sunday. Chipper is George and Gracie's mom. We thought she was gone. Coyotes. Its very nice to see a cat still around that you thought was missing. My neighbor that feeds the kitties said that the one that has been coming over is red and fat. She thinks it might be another red female, pregnant. I told her I didn't want to hear it.

I moved Red's food down another step. This spot is easily accessable by the other cats. Well, if he gets hungry, he will come. down. He so affectionate.

Benny is still straining to pee. I wish he would get better. But I didn't see any blood in it. I will call the vet today and make another appointment to have him checked out.

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January 22, 1997 evening What an exciting day. Red actually is anticipating his dinner being lower. Jumped down to eat it with no apprehension at all. Good sign. Lonee was the last kitty in tonight. I don't know where she was hiding, but once she knew it was time to come in, boy, was she a little red flash.

I put the paper back down on the hallway floor again. Brian is painting the hallway right now. We got paper made just for this instead of newspaper. I put it down in one long strip then taped it to the floor. The cats had so much fun on it, sliding back and forth and chasing each other. I hope they don't do that tonight when we are in bed.

Brian cleaned up his side of the office today. I washed the towels and stuff we cover things with. (You know those cats. Everything is marked.) Anyway, I went into the kitchen for another cup of coffee. The laundry room is right off of the kitchen. Maggie was in the kitchen and she was walking really strangely. I would too if I was ankle deep in water. The laundry drain clogged up and the machine went through a wash and rinse cycle, maximum load, with all of the water draining onto the laundry room and kitchen floors. What an adventure. Luckily, Brian was home and pulled the washer out. He used the shop vac and I used the steam cleaner to get up the water. The water also soaked into the carpet in the dining room, but not too badly. Plumber came out, the clog was probably fifteen feet under the house. Now its gone. What a mess. What next and why was Maggie walking in it? Every other kitty stayed clear.

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January 25, 1997 Well this week hasn't been very exciting, other that the flood. We have noticed that the cats seem to want a lot more attention. Maybe its the weather.

I lowered Red's food another level last night. He was anticipating the top of the garage door level so it was time to move the food on down. He wasn't very keen on jumping down, but he knew where the food was and kept looking at it, then me, and meowing. I told him he would have to jump down to get it. And surprisingly, none of the other cats bothered him.

Ben did something the other morning, totally out of character. He jumped on the newspaper as I was reading it. He did that again yesterday. I guess he just wants to be loved. He must have realized how nice it is.

Kirby is starting to put on weight. It is getting difficult to tell him apart from Mickey. I think eventually, Kirby will be bigger that Mickey, but right now they are about the same size. Kirby was always so slim. Now his face is filling out and he is getting more husky.

Maggie has finally found her appetite. I thought it was just a phase, but she always wants more food. She is begging alot more that she used to.

Because of Lisa's weight problem, we have quit giving the cats treats. Lisa would eat hers, then everybody else's. Its been almost a week and she is getting more energetic. I don't think that she has lost any weight, but who knows what kind of chemicals are in those treats? We gave them Whisker Lickin's Tartar Control and the package said that they had enough nutrition to be considered a complete meal. No wonder she was getting so big.

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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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