Sam's Story continued
Sam and Scamper's - Spring 2011
Scamper thoroughly enjoyed the Westminster Dog Show on TV. While trying to pat the dogs she managed to change the channel and increase the volume a few times. Her favorite dog was the Fox Terrier. She likes all the animals on TV, including animated ones if they have swishy tails. She also seems to be fond of the local weather, especially the five- and seven-day charts. Wouldn't I like to know what's going on in her little kitty brain with that!
We were supposed to go away for an overnight in early February and Sam and Scamper were to be boarded so his eye drops could be done and she could be with her Sam. Scamper refused to go - I missed by a hair on her tail when I tried to catch her to put her in the carrier - but I knew she would be okay overnight at home, if frightened to be alone. So we packed Sam up and left Scamper with three treat balls filled with dry food, and a neighbor with a key to give her more the next day. However, the day happened to be one of the larger snowstorms we had this winter, beginning early in the morning instead of late in the afternoon as had been predicted, and soon after we dropped Sam off at the Scratching Post Inn, Bill and I had a change of heart and decided to stay home. Back we went to fetch Sam, and when we got home Scamper had already demolished one of the balls of food, despite having had breakfast only a couple hours before! She says we can "go away" anytime. We're away longer than that when we go to have Sam's eye pressures done, so she hardly missed him.
Speaking of which, Sam's visit with the ophthalmologist went very well. His eye pressures are well controlled, and there's no sign of inflammation. That was great news, since he's doing so much better off the anti-inflammatory drops. His right eye, with the cataract, is officially blind, but it does react to light. He still has vision in the left. We're to get his pressures checked every four months and go back to the ophthalmologist once a year unless his pressures spike or he develops other eye issues. Sam will need the Azopt and Timolol drops for the rest of his life, and he has settled into the routine now that nothing stings. He'd rather not deal with the drops, but he doesn't make any real effort to hide any more, although there are times when he seems to want me to chase him! Sometimes he will duck under a table, but as soon as I reach in to touch him he backs right out into me. Sometimes he even comes looking for the treat at the right time, knowing that there's a price he has to pay for the treat.
In mid-May I thought Sam was looking a bit bug-eyed, so even though he had been quite energetic (for him) and happy - except for that long string of rainy days WITH NO SUNSHINE! - I scheduled him for a pressure check. His pressures were up a tiny bit but still within reason. It may be that the pressures vary some from day to day. Also, I've noticed that when we get to the bottom of the bottle of one of the eye drops that it seems to irritate him. Fortunately, it's the less expensive one and I don't mind opening a new bottle a little sooner. But PLEASE bring back the SUNBEAM!
Both cats are happy to have their screened porch open all the time. Sam is the King of Everything up there. He can watch the squirrels run across the fence, watch the dogs play in the yard on the other side, and have conversations with the neighbor's three cats in their downstairs window. Scamper likes the kitchen window where she can watch the neighbors and their dogs, and where the squirrel couple lives in the tree right outside. I started some flower seeds in the house and Scamper picked one variety to munch on just a little, so at first I wasn't sure it was her and not some sort of insect. This particular one is supposed to grow a great vine, and so far only one of the chewed ones is doing that, so we'll see how Scamper's gardening technique works out. Of course, the plants got put outside just in' time for many days of rain and no SUNBEAM.
One night Scamper had a major battle with a paper bag. The bag happened to have catnip and cat toys in it, but had been sitting ignored in the kitchen since we moved last summer. Then I moved it a couple of feet. Suddenly it was an item of great interest. I found an unopened plastic baggie of catnip with a few teeth marks in it, and just put it back in the paper bag thinking it would be a harmless way to give her something exciting to do. The next night Bill and I were watching the late news when into the room bursts this writhing ball of cat and paper bag. In about a second Scamper tore off up the stairs with a piece of the bag attached to her by the paper rope handle. She raced up one set of stairs and down the other twice, probably thinking she was being attacked by a horrible demon. Fortunately after two laps she decided to squish herself under a chair that only has a couple of inches of clearance underneath. The chair very kindly restrained her for me and I was able to reach in and cut the paper rope with the nail clippers I had the presence of mind to grab. At that point I knew she could get away from the demon, so I sprayed the area with Rescue Remedy and we left her alone to calm down. I figured we wouldn't see her for the rest of the night. However, it was very close to time for Sam's last of the night eye drops and the delectable Ten O'clock Treat. It seems it takes more than a paper bag demon to keep Scamper from her treat!
Sam had his annual exam and blood work in April and everything looked good. He's getting some tartar on his teeth since I cut out the chicken necks because of his vomiting issue. He's doing better with that, so we're going back to the chicken necks to see if we can avoid having to anesthetize him for a dental cleaning. There's no particular reason not to do that, but it does create some stress on the immune system so I'd rather avoid it if possible. He'll come in again when Scamper has her annual exam as moral support for her, and he'll get his teeth looked at again then.
I pushed Scamper's annual exam to mid-summer because we're working on picking her up and having some small successes. She's beginning to trust that nothing too terrible will happen and she will get a yummy treat, and I don't want to break that trust just yet. This is the last hurdle with our little girl. Occasionally in the morning she will almost offer herself to be picked up because she's really hungry and wants that treat! It's truly rewarding to gain that trust from one like her. It sure does help to have food-oriented animals!
Sam wishes everyone a peaceful summer with lots of naps and lots of SUNSHINE, and Scamper hopes everyone just has lots of fun. Watch out for demons, but a good fright once in a while makes the rest of life seem a lot easier!