Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Short Term DC Cat Fosters, please?

I usually try not to post from work because I respect my employer.

However...my shelter, Washington Humane Society, just took in 20 cats from an eviction. It's kitten season and we just got 20 more cats. We're open access, not no kill. Do you start to guess why I'm breaking my "don't post during work hours" rule?

WHS is looking for short-term fosters asap. You would not be fostering one of the new 20, we're holding those in the shelter for 7 days before even considering putting them in foster care. You'd have one of the 20 we need to move from the shelter to make room for those new cats. I love my shelter for being open access and for trying to desperately hard to find fosters when situations get tight like this.

Here is their blog entry about it: http://washhumane.typepad.com/blog/2010/06/feline-fosters-needed-asap.html

The coordinator has said that she's willing to "deputize" fosters because the need is so great right now. Please, if you're in the area and aren't already fostering, think about it. If you're unable to take any in (fostering, out of area, allergic, I respect your reasons), talk to your friends in the DC area, please. I can't take any with Toby still healing (vet said one reason for his thing might have been stress, like one commenter said) and Keen the way he is and it being a studio apartment but I have to at least go and ask people for help.

I'm certain that enough foster homes can be found if people just keep passing the word.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Something so cute can't be that dastardly

It's been one of those special weeks where my boyfriend and I keep repeating "it's a good thing they're so cute."

Monday, I stepped in one of Keen's hairballs while trying to get ready for work and Toby was acting oddly that night. He was peeing every 15 min or so, racing between the litter box and a pile of typing paper.
Tuesday morning when I was getting ready for my own doctor visit, I saw that the spots on the paper were red. I called and got a vet visit for that afternoon. Keen had another hairball on the carpet--just missing papertowels.
At the vet Toby whined pitifully but was otherwise sweet to the vet tech (one we've had before and who has always been awesome) and the vet. His heartbeat was fine, his organs felt ok, and he was very modest and refused to, er, "extend" when the vet attempted to check his external organ. They were unable to palpate the urine out so they had to do a mini ultrasound to guide the needle.

Well, Jarrod had dropped me and Toby off while picking up prescriptions for me (he's awesome and deserves tons of good boyfriend karma this week, seriously) and was reading in the lobby/waiting room of the vet's office when the vet came into the exam room with the test tube full of bright red urine.

Apparently I eeped for 2 minutes straight. I know I scared the poor vet and Jarrod came back shortly after to make sure I was okay because he had heard me in the waiting room. I refuse to be ashamed of my reaction to seeing that my cat's bladder was full of bloody urine. Seriously. I think that's a sight to freak out anyone who cares about her pets.

We got the test results back Wednesday morning--sterile cystitis. If I understand correctly, this is vet speak for "we have no idea why your cat is sick but there's obviously something wrong." There was no bacteria, white blood cells, crystals, or anything other than red blood cells and urine. So he's on anti-inflammatory meds and seems mostly ok.

I came home from work Wednesday night eager to clean because I was supposed to meet with a shelter friend on Thursday to discuss how the shelter could benefit from social media techniques (that's what I do in my job that pays for these emergency vet visits) and found that Toby, the dear sweet love of my life, had managed to knock down 4 of the 6 shelves of my splendidly organized, dearerest-of-my-possessions bookcase. And broken 2 glasses. Ad cleared a table. And hid my boyfriend's keys.

It's a darn good thing he's so cute.

He's currently curled up on my robe that he pulled down from the back of a char, looking sweet and innocent. He's returned to only using litter, not paper (though we did put out an extra litter box which has helped) and his spots are getting larger and less frequent which I'm taking as a good sign. There wasn't any fresh destruction when I came home today so I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. And he's accepting his meds. He dislikes it but doesn't claw or anything which I'll take as a win.

I'm choosing to see the wanton destruction as "see, I'm still healthy!" not "hahaha, you just lost your entire shopping budget for july at the vet's office."

Right? It's the first. It's gotta be the first. No way something so cute could be that dastardly.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Dogs and Cat Pee

First, a cool article that talks about a study showing wolves and dingos were better at problem solving than domesticated dogs. I'd be curious to see this study done with different breeds of domesticated dogs, including those who are a little more "wild."

Second, I think (in my sleeping med induced haze) that Toby is trying to get me to clean. He just started doing mini pees outside his litter box--on the overflow from my laundry basket (I really hate doing laundry, seriously, least favorite chore) and my mail pile (which I also take forever to go through--I grab anything urgent and then wait to throw the rest away). He kept trying to go back. The areas are sprayed with a ton of Nature's Miracle and he's now happily cleaning himself in the front hallway. Hopefully he won't do anymore while I'm at work. He used the litterbox before going to the other places this morning so its not like he's forgotten it. Boo :( Massive cleaning and Cat vs Cat reading. He's normally awesome about the litterbox so I have a suspicion it's either because Jarrod left yesterday and it's anxiety related (Jarrod is around a lot and is currently out of town for a wedding) or something Keen related. It's not a full pee that he's doing in the two spots, more like just a tiny little dab--like when a dog has emptied his bladder but still wants to mark more spots on his walk.

Or maybe once my antihistimine sleeping pill gets out of my system I'll be able to think better.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bark Ball

This past Saturday was Washington Humane Society's 23rd annual Bark Ball to raise money and celebrate the work that WHS does in and around the nation's capital. It's a glitzy event with animal lovers spending money for the purpose of helping the shelter.

Sadly, despite the above video, Bo couldn't come, but it was still a great event with lots of glitz and glam for a good cause.

I was working with the adoptable dogs which I love because you're directly with some of the event's beneficiaries. Most of the 6 dogs got applications which was awesome. We had a pittie puppy, Almond, who was then featured on Fox 5 yesterday morning. The anchor had walked with one of the adoptables on Saturday and was one of the nicest people I've met. She was super sweet, asked questions about the dog before walking, and understood that the energy and exuberance in three-legged Bentley was a good thing.

Another highlight of the night was seeing Tulip again. Tulip was one of the my favorite dogs from WHS. We loved having her at adoption events because she was just a cuddly, licking, happy pittie. She seemed to love being held, picked up, cuddled, and petted. Her adoptive parents brought her to the Ball clad in a yellow tutu and fake tulip necklace. She was adorable. When I saw her I asked if she remembered me and suddenly I had a doggie hug with her paws on my shoulders and her tongue lapping my face! There is nothing so wonderful as seeing a cat or dog's happiness post-shelter. Tulip is picture #5 in the Washington Post's slideshow.

The Georgetown Dish has a cute write up of the event, too. I wasn't able to take any photos with my full hands, but I'll keep my eye out for any! One photographer caught me rolling on the floor with Bentley during setup which should show off his adorableness appropriately!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Just because Toby can't read doesn't mean I don't

The other day, I picked up a contemporary romance collection of short stories about couples brought together because of cats. I thought it looked cute and it was under $2. Unfortunately, the stories weren't my favorites, partially because of the cats and the people's behaviors toward their cats. One heroine had a pure-bred, fully-intact female bought on a whim from a mall store. I would have a hard time holding my tongue if I met a real person like that, let alone a character in a story with whom I ought to be sympathizing. She didn't even make plans to spay her cat after she was impregnated by the hero's tom. I did like the hero (kind of, I thought he was wimpy toward the heroine) who A--had saved his cat from a dumpster and B--immediately fixed his cat the day after the accident and apologized for the incident.

The one story I did like involved a cat to whom a house had been willed who then saved the heroine from certain murder. I can respect that.

It got me thinking about animals in books and how they affect my enjoyment of a book and my sympathies for characters. I adore Jennifer Crusie's books and many of her works involve characters who rescue animals, have rescue pets, and who judge others based on their animals. You recognize the hero because of how he interacts with those animals. "Dogs and Goddesses," written with the amazing Lani Diane Rich and Anne Stuart, has the following line describing one of the heroes:
"Slayer of Demons, Greatest of Kings, Savior of Puppies"

How do you not like a hero with that description? That's what makes our heroine start to fall for him.

Lani Diane Rich also has a book where you know the hero is a good guy because he saves all the animals from a burning pet shop at the start of the book, even though he's trying to get out of town before anyone sees him. He knows that you have to save the animals.

Elizabeth Peters has her heroines and heroes form relationships with animals although it's not always quite as cut and dry as "the guy the animal likes is the hero." One of her heroes is hated by the heroine's cat, but he's the one who found the cat for her when she thought the cat was lost forever. He braved tooth and claw to help his beloved keep the cat she loved. That same heroine has a vicious looking but incredibly sweet dog she saved from a gang of criminals who kept him half starved.

I started Kristan Higgins "The Next Best Thing" feeling friendly toward the heroine half because the cat pictured on the front, back, and side covers looked identical to Toby and the heroine loved that cat.

A heroine/hero doesn't need to have animals in her/his life for me to sympathize and identify, but it certainly helps and I cannot like a character who isn't responsible or kind toward her animals.

Does a character's relationship with animals affect your enjoyment and judgment of stories? Does a character treating animals well automatically signal to you that he or she is good and important to the story? Or is this trait contained to my personal brand of crazy?

All the books in those photos are from my collection and involve, in some fashion, animals telling you about the characters. They're some of my favorites.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Senior Kitty in MD needs a home

I have a weakness for the senior cats. As some might know, one of my favorite fosters, LeCat, was a 14 year old who was brought to the shelter when his person went to a nursing home and no one in the family would take him. I still say prayers of gratitude for the awesome woman who adopted him.

Now there's a sweet kitty over at SpacePaws who needs a home for a similar reason. His woman is dying and her nurse is allergic to him so he needs to live elsewhere. His mom is understandably upset. Murph is the kitty's name and he's adorable to me. SpacePaws has a full description and is handling his adoption. If you want a nice, laid-back kitty and aren't sure if Keen's medium hair is for you, Murph might be perfect and you'd soothe an old woman's heart. I hope that if I pass before my pets that they have lovely people to take them in and love them.

Go over to SpacePaws and give him a look, please.