Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Sedated Cat and the Leaking Roof

Fluffy in bed upstairs

The two, the cat and the roof, are not connected, except that they took place in the same room, and the shenanigans with the one led to the discovery of the other...

So, Tiger Fluffy Sheba, the name Tiger was appended after the vet techs described how it took three techs, and a vet, all bitten,to hang onto a fully sedated Fluffy Sheba in order to shave her, a biannual event, since her Persian fur isn't actually fur. It really grows straight out of her skin into felted chunks, impossible to brush, comb, anything, and rapidly build up to where they trip her up and tie her legs together.

Her skin is delicate as tissue paper, too, so you can't just grasp a chunk and clip, for fear of tearing the skin. She is very old, we think about 17, and I removed her long ago from an abusive first home, hence the biting and general hatred of humans. She will let me stroke her after years of trying, but even I am not allowed to shave her felted mats off.

Sooooo, I decided that rather than pay the vet northwards of four hundred dollars to do the required bloodwork, sedation, shaving, overnight hospital stay till she was in some shape to come home, etc., why not try it myself.

For the first time in my life I have tranquillizers in the house, my doctor having said have them just in case things get too much, okay? knowing perfectly well I would hang sooner than take them, Rescue Remedy being my go to, along with knitting and the labyrinth. Anyway, there they were, and I thought, hm, the tiniest dose might do this.

So I inserted one tiny pill in her mouth, taking her by surprise to do it, whereupon she bit me and I thought spat the pill out. So I gave her another. And realized after a while that in fact she now had taken two....hm.

Frantic internet search gave me results all over the place from It Will Kill Her StoneDead, you are a Criminal Owner, or words to that effect, all the way to, it can't poison a cat, but will result in prolonged sedation. So I voted for the second.

And did manage to get a ton of chunks off her. Now she's still pretty knotty, feels like a bag of marbles, but for her this is comparatively soignee. And she slept and briefly woke and slept and peed on the rug, and pooped wherever she fell down, and drank water and ate voraciously, half asleep, for two days. Yesterday she got up on her legs and staggered about a bit, so I was able to breath easier.

Then today, after a whole slew of visitors had come and gone, she suddenly appeared downstairs, had navigated the stairs alone and showed up, to HP's great delight, since he hadn't seen her since her last visit about a year ago. He can't do stairs, obviously, she lives upstairs, and she can not be carried unless you want to lose a finger or two. So getting them together is logistically like getting out of Iraq.

So this was thrilling, and I wondered if she was showing off her new haircut, or marching in protest at the indignities she'd been forced to endure while under the pills. I was so amazed, and so grateful I hadn't trodden right on her not seeing she was there, that I failed to get a picture. I hereby give you an older one, just to remind you who this demonic feline is.

This is the last time she ventured downstairs, and had a chat with Duncan

Notice Marigold lurking in the background. Duncan's MY friend, you can't have him..

During all the excitement, I happened to glance up at the ceiling in the bedroom where she lives, her choice, all the doors are open, but she disdains to mingle with the hoi polloi downstairs, and noticed DAMP STAINS, gah, scream, horror. The roof is leaking. This was after that night of the huge storm that stopped me from visiting my friend the other day.

And the HOA is hopeless at anything that requires action on their part, so I will have to see about getting our chimney people out again to replace the chase thing. I know what's causing it, since they pointed it out on their inspection in June, a chase around a pipe in the roof, cheap, rusting, nails popped. They mentioned that this is now common across the development, after the terrible winter we had. Sigh. But HS helped me by exploring inside the false roof, via my studio, to discover the pipe with raindrops running down it, right above where the stains were. We felt quite impressed with our detective abilities. And until it rains again, I think it won't spread.

So as I said, never a dull moment. One very bright moment this morning came when the shelf installing friend came over to present his bill, very reasonable bill, too,and agreed to take out part of it in art!!!!! so I gave him a guided tour of everything in the house, which is basically all available, it's just being stored on the walls, and he picked two little watercolors. Very cool. I love to use art as currency. And it saved us a third of the cost of the whole job. Not bad. And we had a great chat about art.

I have noticed that people who work in the building trades are very often good at art, knowledgeable about it, and very appreciative of houses that have a lot of original work around. It's a nice bonus.

So that's the quiet, uneventful day around here.


  1. It's nice to hear that you have had a comparatively quiet day.

  2. Quiet? Uneventful? I'd sure had to know what you would call being the opposite! Never mind, I can answer my own question - the din the D's create when they're rehearsing must mean things are never quiet in your neck of the woods.

  3. oops - proofreading is obviously a lost art - "I'd sure *had*" should be "hate".

  4. Oh, my...I laughed and laughed at the cat story. Long ago, mom was looking at some sedatives I was given for vertigo and dropped one on the floor, and a cat promptly ate it - and much hilarity ensued. I'll leave her to tell the story: she tells it better than me.

  5. Heather was out of town. Had taken some meds with her just in case, and as it was early on in using these, and my being overly concerned about her well-being, I decided to count them out. Dropped a few on the floor, as I was putting them one-at-a-time into the lid (proof she wasn't using too many as the lid could not hold even a quarter of them) our fraidy rescue cat, who had been living under the bed in hiding the last 6 months rushed past me to get out of being in the same room as I, but paused to sniff a pill, it stuck to his nose and just like that - a lick and it was gone. So was he. Back end walking around in front of his front end, endless meowing, uncharacteristic rubbing and purring. Slept 15 mins., then awake, then slept. This kept up for a day and a half. I monitored his heart rate and lung sounds and keeping my fingers crossed, hoped I wouldn't kill him. At the end of this adventure, it had cured him of his dread of humans and having overcome his inhibitions thanks to the magic of pharma, he became what he is now - expressive, loving, trusting - you name it. But I'm sure it shaved a decade off my life! - Jean in Calgary

  6. And one little follow-up to Herbie's excellent medicated mind trip - I confessed to the vet techs at our animal hospital my negligence and the unexpected outcome. They thought it was great (that it turned him into a love muffin) but together, whispered "But don't tell Kevin!!!", our vet.- Jean in Calgary

  7. Sorry about the roof thing.
    I once had a cat who lived in the glass-fronted compartment (sized for albums?) under the stereo. He matched the stain color, so you didn't even know he was there. He used the litter box and ate/drank at night when everyone else was asleep. After 5 years of this, one day I had a guest over. To my astonishment, the cat came out of the stereo and rubbed up against the guest. Just the guest. When the guest left, the cat went back into the stereo. Repeat visit, same result. Repeat. A few weeks later, I gave the cat to the guest. And they lived happily ever after.


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