Thursday, May 30, 2013

May 2013

     (AKA Cats on the Couch)

Dear Readers,
Take a look at this email I received from a guardian: 

"Pumpkin is by far the most expressive and sensitive cat I've ever had. He's the type that if he gives one of us attention and we are all in the same room, he makes sure he gives us all equal time, so as not to hurt anyone's feelings. So when his face looks worried or unhappy, my family gathers around him for a round robin of affection.  I’ve attached a photo of Pumpkin after he groomed and listened to your relaxation recording."

This email certainly made my day. What about you?

(Indiscriminate defecation)
“There’s natural rivalry between Charlotte and Sally,” I said. “They’re both vying for your attention. So whenever you or your husband compliment or interact with Sally, it affects Charlotte. Sally is more resilient.”

Kali nodded in agreement. She had engaged me to make a home visit to Charlotte, a four year old, spayed cat, who periodically defecated beside the litter box or other choice spots on the floor. Sally was the athlete whereas Charlotte was not as nimble and more introspective. As I took Charlotte’s case history, she hung out on the window sill, while Sally darted about.  

When Charlotte defecated out of the box, Kali noticed that Sally’s stool was somewhat hard. Her incidents were usually discreet. I told Kali that Charlotte’s “deposits” were probably a sign of discomfort and her signal for help. Otherwise, she wouldn’t purposely avoid her box -- or boxes as there were three boxes that were kept very clean. Charlotte did have a check up with the vet and her stool specimen was negative.

I gave Kali the following treatment plan:
·  Add an omega 3 and 6 fatty acid supplement to Charlotte’s food which will provide a lubricant for the passage of her stool and aid her digestive system, skin and hair coat.
·  Brush her daily with a rubber brush, mitt or soft bristle brush. She may even prefer a comb. When finished, use a moistened paper towel to collect any loose fur.
·  A cat-friendly heating pad will help to relax her body.
·  Remember to mention Charlotte’s name when you interact with Sally and vice versa.

Kali mentioned that she and her husband were both musicians. She played the cello, and Sally usually sat front and center when she practiced. Charlotte kept a low profile. Kali realized that Charlotte probably felt left out, even though she chose to stay apart. “ So that would be a time when I should mention Charlotte’s name,” Kali said.
“Yes, you could say something like It’s so good of you Charlotte to enjoy the music from a different location.” Kali laughed and added that she could have fun making up things to say that would keep them all on the same page.

Near the end of the session, Kali played a few notes on her cello with Sally close by and Charlotte in the next room. She made a point to talk to Charlotte a few times and also included Sally. When she finished, she thanked them both for being such an attentive audience. I know I certainly enjoyed her performance.
Sally & Charlotte

Kali followed up with a progress report within the next week. Charlotte didn’t have any incidents and the two cats hung out together more since their session. I told Kali I had sent a case report to her vet and thanked her for the photos of her two girls. 

I recently did a session with Oxford, an animated senior cat who was wary of people other than her guardian. When there were visitors, she was either nowhere to be seen or came out fighting. Her guardian went on a business trip a couple of weeks after Oxford’s session. The cat sitter was totally surprised and flattered when Oxford made an appearance. Oxford’s last appearance was a year ago and very fleeting. But this time she actually hung around with the cat sitter nearby. So she got a chance to see how tiny and cute Oxford was. 

She was thrilled but no more than Oxford’s guardian, and I’m always happy when a cat and guardian are happier.

 My Orion doesn’t normally hang out on the toilet seat, but he’s patiently waiting while I fill his litter box with fresh litter. You might say he’s making sure I do it the way he likes it. Why not!   

(Orion, a former rescue, will represent cats and offer nuggets of wisdom regarding Bo, the rescued First Dog -- a Portuguese Water Dog.) 

 Orion was sorry to hear that Bo wasn’t able to host Oregon Humane Society’s Doggie Dash. The agency hopes to raise $450,000 at the event, enough to feed all the pets housed at the shelter in Northeast Portland for a year as well as bring in 1,000 dogs from other shelters and pay for two investigative officers for a year. Orion knows Bo will be there in spirit, and he will too.