RIP, Fuzzy

Also known as FuzzButt, StinkerButt, Pooka, and Fangs That Hang So Low (his indian name).

Today was a normal day when I got home from work, until I went to sit on the couch around 6:15 to watch some TV. I heard a strange noise, which I attributed to Fuzzy, who has been known to breathe heavily and sort of half snore while he sleeps. But it sounded different, so I went looking for him. And when I found him laying in front of the litter box and actually heard the noises he was making, I knew it wasn’t good. It was even worse when I picked him up and he was limp.

I immediately called my vet’s office, since I thought they had late office hours—and I was wrong. I then googled emergency vets in our area and there was one, so I called and said I would be there in 15 minutes. She forwarned me it would be a minimum $85 fee, which I honestly didn’t think was too bad. I was out the door within five minutes.

In the back of my mind, I knew something was wrong with him. He has always been a big cat—our “fat cat”—except lately, over the past 6 months to a year, he has lost quite a bit of weight…like maybe 5-8#. I just attributed it to the fact that he was getting older and not eating as much…but in the back of my mind, I KNEW something was wrong. Earlier this week, I actually told mysef I should take him to the vet for a round of tests, just to know what we might be dealing with. But he was still eating fine and drinking a lot, so I didn’t think about it TOO much.

So tonight, while somewhat of a surprise (he seemed fine when I saw him last night), also wasn’t a surprise.

So I get to the vet’s and the tech took his temperature, and then took it again because she couldn’t believe how low it was. It was 86, and apparently a normal temp should be 102-106 (or something along those lines). She got him a warm towel until the vet came in. One quick listen and she asked me if he had any history of liver or kidney problems (no) and then told me that his heart sounded bad, his lungs sounded bad, he was dehydrated, and he probably needed a blood transfusion. His gums were very pale (almost white), which she said was not a good sign, either. She said they could do bloodwork ($150), but even then, they might not have any good news, and even if they could determine what it was, he would still need a blood transfusion. And even then, he may only have a month or two.

It was at that point I decided it was time to let him go… He’s led a good life with me the past 13 years (the longest I’ve ever had any animal—we adopted him from my aunt and uncle when he was just 1.5 years old) and for all the joy he has brought to my life, he certainly deserved to die peacefully and without any more pain…with me at his side kissing his sweet little face. They gave me some time alone with him, then it was over in a matter of a minute.

Rest in Peace, Fuzzy. You will be missed terribly.


A new one this morning!

So as I’m sure you can imagine with four cats, we tend to get little surprises around the house—we think Bella has gastrointestinal problems that make her vomit for no reason and Fuzzy is renowned for hairballs. (I’m sure the other two have contributed at times, but Bella and Fuzzy are the most well-known culprits—i.e. we physically see them do it.) And of course it’s always a nice surprise when we find one of their deposits…hopefully not by stepping in it first! Sometimes Maggie gets to them before we do, which is gross—but we’ve grown to accept because 1) it’s just food and 2) it’s less for us to clean up. :>>

So after many years of this, I wouldn’t think much would surprise me. I mean, we’ve found piles on the kitchen table, under furniture, on the bed, under the bed, in their beds, on the desk, on the printer, on windowsills—in other words, pretty much everywhere.

But this morning was something entirely new and surprising.

The cats were all whining like crazy, which usually means their food bowl is empty. Except it wasn’t. So what was it? Oh my. Someone (my guess is Fuzzy since it was a hairball) had actually thrown up a hairball in the water dish! 88| Talk about gross—all the food pieces were bloated and had turned to mush, turning the water a disgusting, cloudy shade of tan. Blech!

As soon as I refilled it, everyone was happy!

Fuzzy on the loose!

So, the cats are always at the sliding doors in the kitchen, meowing like they think they want to go outside. And this morning, Fuzzy was meowing and whining louder than usual, so I told Tom to open the door and see what happened. (We have done this in the past, and no one ever makes a move.) But as soon as he opened the door, Fuzzy darted out—and Bella started to as well!

Well, we didn’t want to have to corral two cats, so he grabbed Bella and handed her to me while he went outside to watch Fuzzy.

Now, it’s chilly out—48° to be exact, so I was guessing Fuzzy wouldn’t stay out too long or stray too far. I did tell Tom, however, to stand at the deck steps because Fuzzy can be quick when he wants to be, and I didn’t want him escaping into the yard (although, even if he did, I can’t imagine him squeezing in between the fence boards OR jumping over the fence).

Well, Fuzzy wandered around just a bit on the deck when the neighbor’s dog saw him and started barking…and Fuzzy pretty much made a beeline back into the house! So, in all, he was outside for less than three minutes!!

Did we create a monster?

So for almost as long as I’ve had Fuzzy, he has slept with me at night. Most of the time, right next to my head, in fact. Until probably six months ago, when he stopped coming in to sleep with us and Bella took his place. Then Charlie took her place. Then, Bella started coming in again. It was like there was some rotation they were on that only they were privy to!

Well, I had started to miss Fuzzy—he rarely even came upstairs anymore! We thought it was because he was getting old and maybe he had arthritis and didn’t like climbing the stairs….but he would come up every so often when his food bowl was empty! And over the past month or so, he has started coming upstairs more and more often. So last night, I grabbed him and took him to bed with me…and he stayed! (I had tried this in months past, but he left as soon as I sent him down.)

To my surprise, he stayed until the middle of the night and then he hopped down. But then hours later, he was back! (Of course, it was at this point that I remembered why I didn’t like him sleeping next to me—the loud purring and meowing and pawing at my face in the middle of the night keeps me awake and makes it really hard to fall back asleep). But he was LOVING IT! Purring to beat the band. And it was a weekend so I didn’t mind too much!

Amazingly, he stayed until morning. But I may have created a monster….

I think hell just froze over.

So I was downstairs and all the cats were congregating around the food bowl, whining (not entirely sure why, as they had plenty of food). Surprisingly, Boots was right in the middle of them all…and there was NO hissing, NO swatting, NO stalking—NOTHING. An amazing feat in itself, as they typically hate each other. Or so I thought…

Because then I saw something that made me rub my eyes and shake my head in disbelief.

Charlie was…are you ready?

Charlie was LICKING Boots on the head. And Boots was letting her. And this went on for a good 20 seconds. Then Boots rubbed up against Fuzzy and wandered off.

Oh my.

I think they’re finally friends. And it only took seven months.

Fuzzy Update

Well, he seems to be just fine. He slept with me all night (a big treat, since we usually lock them all up at night) and it doesn’t seem like anything at all is wrong! So, we’re hoping that yesterday was just a fluke.

We did, however, have a fun challenge getting him his meds—he is the biggest frickin’ baby when it comes to anything like that (pills, flea stuff, etc.). It shouldn’t have been hard—a pill dissolved in water given through a syringe (squirted into his mouth). The first dose (last night) went all over me and him but we were successful this morning (although I was sure he was going to spit it out)!

So, we’re keeping our fingers crossed!!

A Fuzzy Scare

So Tom had today off and called me about 4pm to say that Fuzzy was vomiting up blood! He was scrambling to get The Fuzz into our vet (who didn’t have any openings) or another vet they recommended (they weren’t available!). After about the longest five minutes of my life, he called to say that our vet did make room for him. Tom assured me that Fuzzy looked fine and didn’t appear to be any worse for the wear…but still, I was freaking out, wondering if I should go home to be with him. (After one cat we had that got sick and died within like four hours…I am paranoid about the timeline of emergencies and treatment.) But on Tom’s assurance that Fuzzy really did seem to be fine, I managed to make it through the rest of the day.

They had already been to the vet and back by the time I got home. Tom said that the vet said Fuzzy appeared to be fine—he just felt his innards and didn’t do any bloodwork or tests or x-rays or anything. He said something to the effect of Fuzzy possibly vomiting due to stress of some sort—and if you vomit enough times, eventually blood will come up. So, he gave him a shot of something to calm his stomach, some special moist food with extra vitamins in it, and medicine for the next few days. (I have no earthly idea what could be stressing him out. Nothing in his schedule or life has changed at all in the past month. I thought maybe he ate something that didn’t agree with him and he was just trying to get it out—but he’s never been one to eat strange crap off the floor or anything.)

We’re just keeping our fingers crossed that it was some odd thing that is not going to turn into a serious problem (or isn’t already a serious problem that we’re just not noticing). We love him to death, but there’s just no budget for hundreds or thousands of dollars in vet bills…….

Oh, and the topper of it all?? Guess how much he weighed? You will NEVER ever guess. Ready? 13.8#. THIRTEEN POINT EIGHT POUNDS! From the beefy guy who at one time weighed 24#!! The odd thing is that he doesn’t feel ANY lighter than he ever did! So now he only weighs like 1-2# more than the twins! And about the same as Maggie!

My Friday Morning

5:45am—I wake up because Boots is throwing up somewhere in the room. I can see it’s not on the bed so I’m not immediately worried.

5:46am—Debate getting up to find it and clean it up…or sleep until my alarm goes off in half an hour.

6:15am—Alarm goes off. (I normally sleep in until about 7:30 but I’m going to work early so I can get out early!)

6:30am—Drag myself out of bed. The dog is stirring and I need to take her out (normally Tom does this, but he had duty last night).

6:31am—Hope it’s not cold out, as I am in my robe and slippers. (Normally I’m showered and fully dressed when it’s my turn to take her out.)

6:35am—Feed Maggie and take her out. Not cold—yea! And she pees and poops—good girl!! (It’s so pathetic to be excited about this.)

6:37am—Make sure there’s food in the cats’ bowl for when I let them out (see 6:43am).

6:40am—Barricade Maggie upstairs (so she can’t sneak down and eat the cat food) while I take my shower and get ready. I feel safe doing this because she did pee and poop (otherwise, she’d be back in her crate).

6:41am—Step in Boots’ liquid frothy upchuck. Five large piles of dirty clothes on the floor (laundry tonight!) and she manages to vomit on the sliver of carpet between them.

6:43am—Let Fuzzy, Charlie, and Bella out of the living room (they get locked up at night). They barrel me over to get downstairs to their food.

6:55am—Exit shower and Maggie goes in to lick the water.

7:00am—Give Maggie some lovin’. I feel guilty because she was in the crate so long last night since Tom and I were both gone.

7:10am—Find something else to wear, as the pants I planned to wear were dirty.

7:12am—Dig out a pair of sandals, as it’s 62 degrees already—with a supposed high of 74.

7:15am—Fuzzy is whining at me—loudly—while sitting at the food bowl. There’s food there, so I’m not sure what his problem is. I think maybe he doesn’t like their new food (Boots needs special urinary tract health food so they’re all eating it because it can’t hurt) but he’s been eating it for a few days. So I put a second scoop of food in and…now he’s happy. Stupid cat.

7:17am—Make scrambled eggs for breakfast. Six of them. Ugh—I went to put a touch of milk in the first batch and it was, um, clumpy. EWWWWWWWWWWW!!! So those went down the sink and I made sure to use the fresh (unopened) heavy cream for the next batch (which ended up being REALLY yummy).

7:20am—Take Maggie out again while eggs are cooling. Just pee this time, but it’s okay since Tom will be home from duty around noon.

7:22am—Eat breakfast while keeping an eye on Maggie. It makes me nervous when she hasn’t pooped.

7:30am—Crate Maggie.

7:35am—Pack my lunch. While filling a jug with kool-aid, it overfills and spills into the sink. I thank my lucky stars it A) was in the sink and B) didn’t get on my white shirt. (Ironically, see 8:45am.)

7:50am—Arrive at work. Hmmm, boss isn’t here as she said she would be. That means I get to play instead of getting straight to work!

8:45am—While I am typing the 7:35 comment about the kool-aid, I take a moment to grab the kool-aid jug (with the cap on, mind you), and give it a quick tip upside down and back out of habit (to make sure it’s mixed—I hate it when stuff settles on the bottom), take the top off and…kool-aid splashes ALL over the desk. Obviously the cap held quite a bit of kool-aid after my quick tip. But, again, I thank my lucky stars because A) none got on the carpet and B) none got on my white shirt!

8:51am—The boss rolls in. Time to go to work!


I can’t believe I’m not exhausted—I only had five hours of sleep last night! I went to bed the first time at 10, tossed and turned wide awake—so got up around 11 and was on the computer until 1:30 (the time just flew!), then went to bed for the second time at 1:30. Then the cats were making noise (Bella found a twistie to play with, Fuzzy was purring crazy-loud next to me, and Boots was meowing downstairs) and Tom was snoring as well. Argh! The last time I looked at the clock it was just after 2… So I suppose the sleepiness will hit me later in the day.

Pictures are online!

You would think with ALL the work we’ve done and ALL the painting we’ve been doing (two rooms just this weekend!) I would have more pictures…but of course I’m only showing you the best ones!

The cats exploring and getting comfy in their new house:








The office, which is just off the fourth bedroom–or our living (tv) room. It’s much more cluttered now!


The living room / sitting room / fireplace room! We have curtains to match the furniture and blinds for the center section.


Don’t mind the mess in the kitchen…


The blue paint, depending on the light, can look anything from gray to blue to periwinkle.


I LOVE THE BEDROOM! I’ve wanted that quilt for over a year, so it was the inspiration for the color scheme (the bath is purple). We saw the idea for the color block wall on HGTV (for someone who didn’t have a headboard, as we don’t) and thought it would be perfect. I didn’t realize until AFTER we decided that it would be perfect with the quilt design, as well!


The master bath. We took down the big wall mirror and put up the medicine cabinets. We still have some tweaking to do (i.e. a shelf for some of the clutter). I LOVE HAVING TWO SINKS!


The jacuzzi tub on the left…and my lilac shower curtain!!


The dining room. The chair rail and crown molding look great…but are a PITA to tape/paint!


Notice the peeled paint on the tray ceiling…thanks to the bad paint job (dust not cleaned off before the builder painted), our paint peeled right off. So much for the hour or so of work it took both of us…and the hour or so it will take Tom to fix it. We plan on putting a large mirror (that used to be over our fireplace) on that back wall.


Stupid kittens…or are they?

So I said to Tom last night, “When we move into the new house, we should lock the cats out of our room so we can sleep better.” I mean, I love nothing better than seeing a cat curled up on our bed, but at night…well, they walk on you and wake you up (those little kitty feet, although small, can really hurt), they start crying and nudging you at 6:30am (weekday or not), and they often fight and/or play with each other at the most inopportune times. And the previous night, I had been rudely awakened by a kitten actually jumping on the bed and landing square on my back—not how you really want to be woken up. So I wanted to try locking them out at the new house—figuring a new place, a new routine. Well, Tom suggested we just try it right then. So we did. (Well, we left Fuzzy in because he was under the bed and he’s usually good for the whole night.) I didn’t have high hopes, because we’d tried it before a few times and they always (ALWAYS) end up crying in the middle of the night. It wakes me up but Tom generally sleeps through it, so he thinks it was successful… But I was game to give it another try.

As always, the first few hours went fine…and then in the middle of the night, you start to hear the whining. And the crying. And then you hear the door handle jiggling (seriously) so you know someone is up on their hind feet trying to get in. AND THEN (and this is the most hilarious of all), you hear them actually running headlong into (INTO!) the door. By this time, Tom and I are both (yes, BOTH!) awake and laughing at our stupid cats trying to get into our room by butting their heads into the door. It’s 2am. So we try to ignore it (very hard for me) and then we hear the ultimate in can’t-sleep-through-it noise: Fuzzy getting ready to puke. If you’ve heard it, it’s UNMISTAKABLE. And then we hear him actually hack something up. Well, now we’ve GOT to get up to find it and clean it so we don’t step in it (having forgotten about it by morning). Well, this means we have to open our door and now, yep, the kittens rush in and Fuzzy rushes out. The kittens curled up on the bed, totally content, and fell right asleep. Tom and I laid awake for probably an hour. After finally falling asleep, Charlie—right on schedule at 6:30am—starts crying and nudging me. ARGH! About that time, Tom got up and chased the cats out so I could sleep in peace awhile longer.

Like I said…new house, new routine. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.

Understanding Cats, Part 2

So this morning, I was awakened about 7am by Fuzzy’s god-awful crying. Crap, I thought, I must have forgotten to feed them before I went to bed…because he only makes that much noise when he’s starving and just can’t wait any more. I tried to ignore him, but then he came to my side of the bed and cried in my face. There’s no ignoring THAT nonsense, so I got up. And did he run to his food bowl (which was actually empty)? No! He ran right past his food bowl to the door! Damn cat woke me up because he wanted to go outside! UGH! This has never happened before, and I surely hope it doesn’t become a normal occurence. It’s just not acceptable to be forced up at 7am on a Sunday morning…BY A CAT.

Understanding Cats

Sometimes I understand them just fine. When they hear me get up in the morning, they start crying because they’re hungry and want to eat. When I go into the kitchen and they start crying at the door, that’s obvious—I know they want to go outside. Fuzzy has always been especially good at telling me what he wants—he’ll come up to me and start crying. When I stand up, he will lead me to whatever he wants me to see. So just now he did this. I figure he either 1) was out of food or 2) wanted to go outside. From the extreme loudness and anguish in his voice, I was sure it was lack of food. So I got up from the computer and followed him. He ran to the food bowl—aha, I was right! But wait. There was food in the bowl! And he was eating it! So apparently, he wanted me to…watch him eat? Strange kid.