Monday, 7 January 2019

Monday But Not A Poem In Sight

Poetry Monday is on hiatus for a month while our fearless leader Diane is taking a break. I am too lazy to think up a topic for myself so I'm taking a poetry break, too. The magic will resume in February :)

For today I'm just going to do a bit of a catch up post.

We've just had our eighth, or ninth, or tenth (I'm losing track) snowstorm here. The trees are beautiful, all coated in white.




There's not much snow built up on the ground, though, because in between the snowstorms we've either had rain or mild weather that has melted most of the snow.

At other times it has been very cold. I feel sorry for the birds and animals, especially when the weather is wet and then turns bitterly cold.

The deer are still coming to our back yard. A couple of weeks ago, this young buck spent a few hours browsing, then chewing his cud, then resting.


Can you see the knobby little horns just sprouting on his forehead?


Resting

 It was a rainy day, and when he finally got up to leave, he shook like a dog to get the water out of his coat.

A few weeks before that (I'm working backward in my picture file), this smaller deer was nibbling at the shrubs right outside the basement window.




He or she hardly looks real, more like a stuffed version, but I can assure you -- as can one of our cats who happened to be on the other side of the window -- that he/she was very real. And also very comfortable with me and my camera.

Speaking of cats, our fierce cat (the one who has bitten me hard, twice; once requiring antibiotics) now requires two kinds of medication in pill form. Everything was fine when she was able to get her meds in shot form, but pills provide a steadier dosage as her asthma and nasal congestion get worse.

Now, I bet you can guess that a cat who will bite the hand that feeds it will not take kindly to being given a pill by mouth. I didn't even try, to be honest. I've pilled our other cats, three of them on a long-term basis, and am reasonably proficient doing it. I didn't like my odds with this cat, though.

So I resorted to hiding the pills in tuna (worked for awhile), then in Pill Pockets (a product sold in pet stores; it worked for awhile), then in Pill Pockets rolled in crushed cat treats (it worked for a lesser while); and once in a piece of turkey left over from Christmas dinner. I am running out of ideas. She doesn't like cheese or sardines, and I can't think of any other food that is sturdy enough that she has to eat it whole (i.e., not lick at it), yet soft enough to insert the pill, and not require much, if any, chewing. This is what happens when you try to be responsible and only feed your pet the recommended food and no table scraps -- they don't develop much of a taste for human food! If anyone has any suggestions, I'll gladly take them.


The guilty party . . .


Notice that all of her pointy bits are strategically placed in between the rest of her body and horrible me.


And it's been awhile since you've seen our other furry girl.


It may look like she's hiding from the camera, but she was just washing her face while sunbathing. The rest of the dozen shots I took were blurry because she kept moving. How rude not to pose for my blog!!


That's it for today. I see I have a lot of other photos to choose from for another post, so that will happen soon.

Wishing you a good week, all!




48 comments:

  1. I feel for you. I have a scar or two from pilling recalcitrant cats. I have had some success with hiding pills in butter. And wrapping them in sliced cold meats. Or a little raw chicken mince. And have found that varying the disguise helps. Good luck.
    Both of the cats are beautiful.
    As are the deer, nubby baby horns and all.

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    1. Thank you for giving me a few more tricks to try, EC. I think especially "varying the disguise" is going to be key. Cats are smart!

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  2. When Charlie Murphy was in declining health and required several pills daily, Chris took to sticking the pill to his finger with some butter, and Charlie figured it out pretty much right away and didn't even always lick all of the butter off of Chris' finger.
    Charlie was a compliant cat, though.
    When Kitters got worms, we paid a friend of ours who did that for a living to give her the pill, just so she didn't hate us for it.
    I remember having to give our enormous tomcat pills when I was a kid (probably because I was the youngest) and it was a little scary, but I don't remember it ever not working.
    I am curious about Pill Pockets, though, as I had never heard of them previously.
    Anyway, good luck with the snow and the cats and the cameras and the deer, and I hope your new year is going well.

    -Doug in Oakland

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    1. The Pill Pockets are little moldable, edible soft cup-shaped morsels - you can stick the pill inside and pinch shut the open end. They don't really have a strong smell that would attract most cats so I think she's just not interested in them anymore. But when I crushed the regular treats and rolled the Pill Pocket in the crumbs, she still seemed to be able to tell it wasn't a regular treat. If I line up a treat, a doctored Pill Pocket, and a treat on the floor, she'll eat the treats on either end and leave the "treat" in the middle. Aargh!

      I LOVE the name Charlie Murphy for a cat :)

      Have you found a new place to live yet? I hope the search is going well.

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  3. I don't miss pilling cats! My old guys were all so laid-back that it wasn't all that difficult, but I got roped into helping with other people's cats and that didn't go well AT ALL. And the way your cat is looking in that photo, I wouldn't want to put my fingers anywhere near her pointy bits.

    I wish I could offer some brilliant idea to help, but you've already tried everything I could suggest. Maybe your vet might have some ideas?

    Love your deer photos - now THAT'S a closeup! :-)

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    1. Cats have such effective pointy bits - I don't know that I'd ever try to help anyone else because I have enough trouble with my own! lol

      I'm not sure if my vet would have any ideas - it was the receptionist who suggested tuna or sardines . . . and when I actually saw the vet, she asked me how on earth I had gotten ANY pills into the cat, given her bitey-ness :)

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  4. Your bitey cat looks just like my Lola (who is now doing much better)
    Crush the pill as finely as you can, then mix the dust into a small amount of her favourite wet food and let it sit a while so the pill absorbs the moisture and flavours of the food, five or ten minutes, then give it to her, but make sure she is hungry first or it will just get left uneaten.

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    1. I may be able to make this work with one of her pills. The other is very bitter and can't be crushed. I'll check with the vet on the remaining one. If I have to use different methods with each pill, that's okay! Thanks for the suggestion, River.

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  5. Adorable cats! I have never heard of a cat who doesn't like sardines. That blows my mind. With dogs we can just put the pills in peanut butter, but it's much harder with cats! I used to give my cat her pill in Fancy Feast, as I recall, but I don't remember the specifics.

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    1. I forgot that I had tried peanut butter also - it did not even make it past the licking stage :) Maybe something like Fancy Feast would appeal to Lulu; thanks for that idea.

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  6. Caring for a recalcitrant cat is plain awful. We had a diabetic cat once. My sister took care of her meds. I cannot get a pill down my cat. My sister can pill a cat in a flash; I'm no good. I tell the vet it's worth the fifty bucks to me for him to administer a long lasting antibiotic shot rather than me get a pill down him daily for a week. We tried pill pockets and every other trick mentioned. Only one brand of pockets worked--once. Now he turns his back on any treat off offered, in the event it's a trick pill.

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    1. That seems to be the mindset of this cat now - don't eat anything new, just in case . . .

      I think I would be able to give a cat a needle - I gave myself insulin when I was pregnant. But I don't relish the thought.

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  7. Her eyes say it all. We use a pill pusher for our girls. It is like a syringe with the pill on top. We put it in the side of her mouth and aim it towards her throat. You have to do it very quickly and the person holding the cat should wear thick gloves. It works more than half the time for us. The other half has us crawling around on the floor looking for the spit out tiny pill. That is not good for people with bad knees, hips and poor eyesight. Cats make us work for their love. .

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    1. LOL - I know it isn't funny when you're the one down on the floor, though - been there, too. At least if Lulu rejects the treat-covered pill I can still see it! I will keep the pill pusher in mind for when my success rate falls below 50%. That will be any day now, the way things are going.

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  8. I published my comment too quickly.

    Those pictures you took of the deer, Jenny, are wonderful and are worth framing.

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    1. Thank you, Arleen. They were both taken through the window, so the quality isn't great, but I was happy to get them even so!

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  9. Cats are a mystery to me. Good luck with her meds.

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    1. Thanks, Marie. I've heard that dogs are easier to give a pill to because they tend to gulp their food; we don't have a gulper here, we have a licker, and it makes it difficult to hide anything from her :)

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  10. The deer that come to our yard like to eat my wife's bushes and plants. I call it the deers' salad bar.

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    1. Haha! Yes, they enjoy a lot of what people work hard to grow :) I have one rhododendron that hasn't bloomed in years because the deer strip the buds and leaves off it every fall.

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  11. I feel for you. Cats and pills are not a good combo. I used to put our cat on top of the dryer (slippery surface) grab her in a one arm squeeze and using the same hand pry the jaws open and toss in the pill. (then let go and stand waaaaaay back)

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    1. You sound like a pro, Delores - want to come east for awhile and show me how? haha

      Really, I wouldn't even try the regular way to pill a cat on this particular kitty. The VET won't even try it, just gives her a shot because it's done behind the pointy bits :)

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  12. My vets also suggested turkey, liverwurst if you can find some without onion or onion powder since onion is toxic to cats, chicken or turkey baby food and even pumpkin. The pill pockets were eaten but the pills were left on the floor...sigh...Beautiful company in your garden. Happy New Year.

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    1. All good suggestions, e - thank you. I guess the only thing I can do is keep trying different things. Thanks for the heads up on the onion ingredient; I wouldn't have thought of that.

      Happy New Year to you, too :)

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  13. Your first winter scene photograph is especially beautiful!

    You may want to check with your veterinarian first, but for our cats, the method we employ is to crush the pill into a fluid (tuna juices or something similar the cat likes), and then use a syringe to squirt the fluid far back into the mouth. We have good success this way and while the cat is a bit disgruntled for a few moments, he does obtain his medicine. It has worked well for the variety of medicines we have had to use. Much easier than trying to disguise in food (which works beautifully for our dog since she gobbles up anything we give her).

    PipeTobacco

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    1. Cats don't seem to be gobblers, which works against us in this situation!

      The problem I'd have with syringing the meds is that we can't get anywhere near this cat's mouth. She strikes like a cobra, and really causes damage. But last night I did get one pill into her by putting it in some tuna juice, and eventually as it softened she lapped it all up. Maybe I need to crush it to begin with, before putting it in the juice, as you mentioned.

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  14. Happy new year Jenny. Stay warm!

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    1. You too, 37p - it seems to get harder every year, doesn't it? :)

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  15. Franklin will take his pills if I mix them in with his kibble and cover it all with chicken noodle soup.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Good boy, Franklin! Janie, you've found his weak spot - lol

      *wonders if Lulu would like chicken noodle soup* . . .

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  16. Your cats are adorable! Even the one that bites that hand that feeds her :) I honestly cannot think of a single thing to help you with the pills. I've never had to deal with that type of resistance. I like River's suggestion about crushing the pills. I'll have to store that info in case I ever need it!

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    1. Some pills can't be crushed (if they have a coating which is meant to keep the pill intact until it passes out of the stomach) but your vet would know which ones. You're lucky you've never had a problem - and we've been lucky until now :D

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  17. We used to wrap all four paws in a large towel, like a suasage, with just the head sticking out, one person would then stick the cat parcel under their arm again with only the head sticking out while the other person would take hold of the jaws and stuff the pill down her throat. When my husband was on his own he devised a system of putting the cat in one leg of old pantyhose, wrapping the other leg round the neck, gripping it with one hand and shoving the pill with the other, I never saw this method but he said it worked although the cat bounced up and down as if she was in a baby bouncer. Are you laughing, I am just from remembering it. I think the cat couldn't take our shenanigans any longer and gave in. Good luck. I should add she was never harmed in anyway.

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    1. Yes, I AM laughing! It's just the "taking hold of the jaws" part that scares me - she is super fast and strikes very hard. The twice that she bit me, it felt like someone had hit my hand hard with a combination hammer/knife. And the infection developed so fast - in under 24 hours! I'm trying to avoid a repeat :)

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  18. I don't thinkI could cope if I had to pill a cat or a reluctant dog. We once had a rabbit who didnt start eating after an anaesthetic and had to be hand fed. It was torture and I was very pleased that we had a trip booked so the vet nurses at the rabbit boarding got the job :)

    Your deer are gorgeous. I suppose they eat the garden, though?

    xo

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    1. You're right, kylie - they browse on the shrubs in fall and winter, neatly clip the heads off tulips in the spring, and if a person is foolish enough to plant peas in an unprotected garden plot, that person will be sadly lacking in pea plants in no time at all :)

      I had to syringe feed a cat once after he developed a liver condition. It was a four times a day ordeal for several weeks, but he recovered and started eating on his own again, and went on to live quite a few more years. But I wouldn't have minded if someone else had done it :)

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  19. Gosh, I wish I had a suggestion other than, gently force feeding the cat but that sounds like it could end badly. With dogs, it's not as big as a problem because they eat more things and, I find that we can get them to swallow stuff easier. I hope you find a solution. Have you tried pet forums online? Maybe someone has succeed and shared their tips.

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    1. That's a great idea, Ivy. I checked vet sites but not pet forums. Duh :)

      I do believe you are right that force feeding - or really anything involving the front end of this cat - would end badly :D

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    2. Yes, cats are different. Dogs though, our ours are goof balls. The bigger dog, Wiggy, used to get these raw hides (that we no longer give her), stuck in her throat and I'd reach down and get it. Then we of course, took the raw hides away. She did fine on them until the very end when she'd swallow that last bit. Anyway, after a few times I'm like, duh, maybe not give these to her.

      Anyway, Happy Weekend, Jenny!

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    3. That would be scary to have something stuck in her throat! I'm glad you could get them out, but I think you're right that in the long run it's better to avoid them altogether. It's hard to do when they're making those eyes at you, though :D

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  20. Oh I do wish it would snow here.. but not next week when I have to catch the early train to work. Cats terrify me so can't offer any advice. x

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    1. Oh no, I'm sorry that cats bother you so badly. Did you have a frightening experience at one time? I used to know a woman who was terrified of even a six week old kitten and threatened to scratch her husband's eyes out if he came one step closer to her with one in his hand! She had never had a bad experience; somehow just had a phobia about them.

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  21. Love the photos. Thanks for sharing. Hang in there as we are getting closer to spring every day. And sorry as a non-cat owner I have no advice to offer. Hope someone helps out.

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    1. There were a lot of good tips offered in the comments and they have really helped!

      "getting closer to spring every day" - I like the way you think :)

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  22. You've had so much snow! So far in the UK we haven't had any, and long may that last. As beautiful as it is, it's a right pain in the arse when you need to get out and do anything, and I'm not a fan of driving on icy roads.

    I remember the days of chucking pills down the throat of both our cats. Never a fun experience.

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    1. You're right about the snow and getting around. There's also the "shovelling the lane" bit :)

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  23. i absolutely LOVED this tree wearing white stunning dress dearest Jenny!

    i am excited about your more images that you will be sharing hopefully from your file

    thank you for sharing this cute cub's such a lovely pics!

    how amazing to have them around :)))

    i bet you enjoy their company


    i am so sorry that your cat bit at your hand my friend!

    hope that your hand is not seriously hurt?

    this is nice that you got many ideas from your friends to pill her ,hope she gets better soon

    i so loved the adorable pose of your another cat :)

    sunbath in such freezing winter is really a blessing!
    please take great care Jenny !

    Hugs!

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    1. It really does amaze me every single time I see a deer. They are such graceful and (in my opinion) such beautiful animals. It's also interesting to see their eating and resting behavior up close!

      I think I'm going to join the cat in sunbathing one of these days. I never used to be bothered by the cold but the last two years I find I am wearing more layers and feeling more chilled!

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