Tuesday April 22, 2014
Fergie, this week's Cat Picture of the Week, does not really look or act the part of a special needs cat.
photo © About.com Member Nan Lechner
Fergie had apparently been lost or abandoned, then met with a terrible accident while seeking warmth under the hood of a truck, which resulted in the loss of one of her back legs. Nan wasn't really looking to adopt a cat when she wandered into a pet store's adoption day events and first met Fergie. But something made her keep going back, until during one visit the two of them decided they wanted to be a family. And a family they are. Although Nan has installed special stairs to help her climb up to the bed, Fergie handles them like a "normal" cat, and loves to dash up and jump down from the bed. Nan's advice of LOVE, LOVE, and more LOVE is fitting for every relationship of humans and cats. I recommend it highly.
Monday April 21, 2014
Since two or three of my cats have had loose stools in the past few months, I've been concerned about Giardia.
photo © Franny Syufy
I've had Gaither's stools tested for Giardia, but the tests have come back negative. Last week, however, he was having particularly runny stools so I took another sample in for testing. Sure enough, it came back positive. Meanwhile, my big boy Jaspurr, who has lately been pooping outside the litter box (although he is good about using it for urinating), left a small amount of loose poop on the mat outside the box, and it had dried during the night and had a pale grayish-white surface. I looked that up and found it is a symptom of Giardia, so I'll send one of his samples in tomorrow. From everything I've read about Giardia, it can be in the system for quite sometime before it is evidenced. It is also highly contagious, and humans can get it too. You may recognize it by its common name of "travelers' diarrhea." Giardia is a single-cell parasite; it is not a worm, germ, or virus, according to the VCA Animal Hospitals' excellent article. Learn more about Giardia and how it can affect your cats.
Thursday April 17, 2014
Max Thompson is one of the most popular cats on the Internet. I have even had his blog on my blogroll for several years. Therefore, it is surprising that I found his latest book, Bite Me - a Memoir (of Sorts) strictly by accident. But who could ignore a book called "Bite Me" for long? Especially a book written by a cat.
photo courtesy of PriceGrabber
It is difficult to write an objective review about a book such as Bite Me. The reader is thrust into the lives of real people and animals, and despite Max's often flippant observations, you can feel the real emotions behind them. I felt a particular affinity toward Max's human Mom, K.A. Thompson. As an "Army brat," I had been moved all over the U.S., and often felt the angst of leaving behind newfound friends, even pets. I guarantee one thing: when you read Bite Me, you'll experience some intensely emotional moments, along with loads of chuckles and LOL memories.
Thursday April 17, 2014
While heartworm disease in dogs has been around for over 100 years, it was first recognized in cats in 1921. In the United states, its prevalence is concentrated mostly in the southeastern
coastal states, although it can be found in every state. Heartworm is transmitted by mosquitoes and can be found in many species of mammals, including humans, and is a potentially fatal disease.
Like some other people, I was not particularly worried about heartworm disease in my cats, thinking that it was much more prevalent in dogs. However, cats can indeed get heartworm from mosquito bites. Although the percentages are not available, the American Heartworm Society states that the incidences of heartworms in cats have increased over the years. Heartworm disease in both dogs and cats can be prevented. Coincidentally, yesterday, I picked up a one-month supply of Revolution (selamectin) for our six cats. Although our cats don't have fleas, several of them have ear mites, which are also targeted by Revolution. One of the most disturbing facts that I learned from the American Heartworm Society, is that heartworm is often diagnosed as asthma in cats. My Joey was diagnosed with asthma over three years ago, when we lived in an area with mosquito problems. Even more disturbing is the fact that although there are treatments for heartworm in dogs, there are no such treatments yet for cats. Learn much more about this serious disease from the American Heartworm Society.