Cat Project Archives for May 25-29, 2015.
May 25, 2015: "The
cat has too much spirit to have no heart" - Ernest
Dish O' Kute
An excellent feline example of 'resting bitch face'.
When you REALLY love your cat.
New Stray Cat
By Tim Dowling
I am in a Birmingham Travelodge with the band I’m in, between two gigs.
With the remains of our non-complementary breakfast spread out before us, we
turn our backs on one another and crouch over our phones, taking the opportunity
to deal with any family or work problems that have accumulated overnight.
I study a text from my wife that says, “stray cat alert”, accompanied
by a picture of a cat. The cat, I cannot help but notice, is asleep on our sofa.
There is a second picture in which the stray cat is being cuddled by the youngest
one. I call my wife.
“Don’t worry, I think I’m about to get rid of it,” she
says. The cat, she tells me, was found by a friend in the middle of Uxbridge
Road. It’s unclear why it’s presently at our house.
“We don’t need any more animals,” I say.
“I’ve mounted an Instagram campaign,” she says. “There’s
a lot of interest.”
“That’s good,” I say.
“It is very sweet, though,” she says.
“I can see,” I say.
“It’s called Ottilie,” she says.
“Uh-oh,” I say.
As our van heads north to the next gig, I recall some of the other abandoned
animals that have crossed our threshold over the years: the unwanted, the traumatised,
the insane. There was the panicked pair of low-slung dogs that spent an afternoon
trashing our kitchen before the RSPCA turned up. There was the tailless grey
cat that, for better or worse, is still our cat. There was the scarred, smelly
and frankly hideous staffy cross that I found tied to some railings one night
and was wrong-footed into taking home. It was just after Christmas, a time of
year when even death row has a waiting list. My wife stared into its scabby face
as it sat wheezing in the middle of the sitting room.
“I’m going to call you Pearl,” she said.
Pearl lived with us for 72 hours, most of it spent at my side, gazing up at me
with boundless longing and drooling on my shoes. Eventually my wife found Pearl
a place in a shelter. That afternoon she came up to my office and slipped a lead
over the dog’s enormous head.
“Say goodbye to your little friend,” she said.
“It’s not my friend,” I said.
“I wasn’t talking to you,” she said.
When I arrive home on Saturday afternoon the stray cat has already gone to new
and allegedly delighted owners.
“Really?” I say. “I didn’t even meet it.”
“It was terribly sweet,” my wife says.
“We should have kept it,” the middle one says.
“You can only have so many animals,” my wife says. “There’s
a tipping point, and we’ve crossed it.” I turn to look at the little
dog, which is perched on the back of the sofa behind my head.
“You were the tipping point,” I say.
“I would trade that dog for the stray cat,” the middle one says.
“I would trade this dog for a handful of magic beans,” I say.
“Would they even have to be magic, though?” the middle one asks.
“No,” I say. “I would accept most tinned varieties.”
“Stop it,” my wife says, clapping her hands twice. The little dog
leaps from one sofa to another and curls up in her lap. I tell myself I’m
pleased not to have met the stray cat, because it means I will never have to
think about it in the way I sometimes still think about Pearl.
“I said I’d get rid of the cat, and I did,” my wife says.
“You can get rid of anything,” I say.
“Yes,” she says. “I can.”
May 26, 2015: "No
amount of time can erase the memory of a good cat, and
no amount of masking tape can ever totally remove his
fur from your couch." - Leo Dworken
Dish O' Kute
Organized cats for the modern cat-owner.
Loki goes for a walk.
May 27, 2015: "A
cat can be trusted to purr when she is pleased, which
is more than can be said for human beings." - William
Dish O' Kute
"Good morning to you,
tip: Don't mess with the cat.
Things You Should Know About Feline Lower Urinary
By Jane A Kelley
So, your cat just peed all over the carpet. You may think she’s being naughty
or trying to tell you that she’s “pissed off” about something,
but you’d be wrong. The odds are good that the reason she did it is because
she’s suffering from feline lower urinary tract disorder, or FLUTD. But
what is FLUTD, and what can you do about it?
1. FLUTD is a term that describes several problems
Urinary tract symptoms could result from crystals or stones, a urinary tract
infection, trauma, a tumor, a congenital abnormality, an obstruction, or idiopathic
cystitis. There’s no way to know why a cat is having urinary symptoms without
a visit to the vet.
2. The most frustrating of these problems is feline idiopathic cystitis
“Idiopathic” means the cause of the problem is unknown. Urinalysis
may not reveal any infection or stones, but the cat is clearly suffering. Some
vets believe stress is a trigger for FIC episodes, so it’s important to
minimize the stress experienced by a FLUTD-prone cat.
A urinalysis is a critical first step in diagnosing and treating urinary tract
3. Some of the symptoms can be hard to associate with FLUTD
Most of us know to look for symptoms like running back and forth to the litter
box, genital licking, blood in the urine, and straining to urinate. However,
cats with urinary issues can engage in inappropriate urination -- peeing over
drains is fairly common, presumably because the cool air coming from the drain
may be comforting -- “barbering” of the fur on the lower abdomen,
and even incontinence.
4. If you do no other diagnostic tests, at least have the
vet do a urinalysis
The only way you and your vet can know for sure if your cat has a urinary tract
infection or a different problem is by examining a urine sample. Just by looking
at your cat’s urine to see if it’s cloudy or has blood and mucus
in it, your vet will be able to tell a lot. If your vet does find bacteria in
your cat’s urine, she may recommend a culture and sensitivity test to find
out which antibiotics will kill the bacteria, something important to know because
many bacteria are becoming antibiotic-resistant.
This cat has crystals and stones blocking his bladder, so he's being catheterized
to get the urine out and flush the bladder to get rid of any other stones and
5. Most young cats don’t actually have infections
Vets may prescribe antibiotics for a cat with FLUTD, but research has revealed
that the vast majority of young-adult to middle-age cats do not actually have
bacteria in their urine.
6. On the other hand, most old cats do have infections
Senior and geriatric cats are much more prone to infections. Illnesses like diabetes
and kidney disease cause the urine to be more watery than usual, which means
its natural germ-fighting qualities don’t work as well. Bacteria that travel
from the outside of the body up the urethra and into the bladder have a nice,
warm place to reproduce like crazy.
The cone of shame is a small price to pay for not being in pain anymore.
7. FLUTD episodes warrant a same-day vet visit
Urinary tract problems can become very serious, very quickly, especially in male
cats. Males have longer, narrower urethras than females and as a result could
experience a potentially fatal complete blockage. If a male cat is having urinary
symptoms, take him to the vet right away, even if that means a midnight trip
to the emergency clinic.
8. Prevention is the best cure
Keep the risk of urinary tract problems low by providing plenty of fresh, clean
filtered water. Since cats have a very low thirst drive, add some canned food
to your cat’s diet. Litter boxes should be cleaned regularly in order to
stop bacteria from building up and to prevent the cat from avoiding the box because
it’s dirty. I also recommend having multiple litter boxes in different
rooms so that cat territory conflicts don’t cause stress.
May 28, 2015: "Cats
do not have to be shown how to have a good time, for
they are unfailing ingenious in that respect." -
Dish O' Kute
"Whaddaya MEAN you
don't want to play catch?"
May 29, 2015: "A
little drowsing cat is an image of perfect beatitude." -
Dish O' Kute
Art by Banksy
cats, twenty boxes
Cat Peed In My Suitcase
By Jolie Kerr
Q: Here’s the situation: My wife and I thought it was really cute to let
our cat play in our roll-on suitcase: She pokes her head out and loves hiding
in there. Fast-forward to two weeks later, and we smell a rank odor coming from
the direction of the suitcase. I nervously smell it, and voilà, cat urine.
How do we clean this suitcase? It’s so odd-shaped, and we can’t stick
it in the wash. What do we do? Help!!
A: I have ideas, I do, that I believe will work to remove the cat pee from your
suitcase. But I also have some concerns, and I guess I’ll just go ahead
and tell you what they are now, because otherwise I’ll spend the entire
writing of this answer feeling nervous and upset. My concern is this: If the
suitcase has a cardboard liner that helps to give it structure, the thing may
be a goner, as cat-pee-soaked cardboard is pretty much unsalvageable. Now, you
may not know what materials, precisely, the suitcase is made of, but I feel that
the cardboard-lining thing is something I should mention at the onset before
moving on to cleaning instructions, in the event that you do know precisely what
the suitcase is made of, and want to save yourself time and effort.
If you’re still with me, the good news is that cleaning the suitcase out
should be fairly easy work. A bit of elbow grease is required, but really only
a bit—set aside maybe 30 minutes for this operation. Not bad, right? I’m
going to break the instructions down into three separate parts: The first one
is what you’ll want to remember if you have a soiled suitcase that doesn’t
involve a cat pee situation (such as, say, an exploding tube of suntan lotion,
or bottle of illegally smuggled Italian olive oil).
It’s also the step that requires the elbow grease, though I promise you
won’t even need too much of that: You’re going to scrub the suitcase,
inside and out. You’ll need a cleaning product, a small bowl or bucket,
and a scrub brush. This style of scrub brush is one good option; a set like this
is another, especially for suitcases that are oddly shaped or have tricky corners.
An old toothbrush will also work.
The idea, as you’ve probably gathered, is that you’ll dip the scrub
brush in cleaning solution diluted with water in that small bowl or bucket, and
chh-chh-chh the suitcase. Once you’ve given the luggage a really thorough
scrubbing, dump out the cleaning solution, refill your bowl or bucket with water,
and, using a clean rag or sponge, wipe the residue away, wringing the rag or
sponge frequently, and replacing the water if necessary.
But what cleaning product to use!?! Well, in the case of the cat pee, use something
like Nature’s Miracle, which is an enzymatic pet-odor-removing product.
There are others like it on the market, so if you can’t get Nature’s
Miracle in your neck of the woods, look for any pet- or human-odor-neutralizing
spray that’s enzymatic-based.
If your suitcase mess is greasy or oily in nature, use a good grease-cutting
dish soap like Dawn, or a product like Pine Sol or Lestoil (which are great on
grease), or even a small amount of ammonia diluted in water. That should do you
If the mess is of a powdery nature because your bronzer or Gold Bond or kilo
of cocaine spilled, try to vacuum up or knock out as much as you can before wiping
the interior out with a damp rag or sponge, and then scrub with dish soap or
diluted laundry detergent to remove any residual staining. If you go the vacuum
route, a hand vac or the use of a crevice tool is suggested.
Dry the suitcase as well as you can using a clean towel, and then allow to air
dry completely before packing or storing it.
If it’s an option for you to do so, drying the suitcase in the sun is strongly
recommended for two reasons. The first is that it will dry faster that way, and
exposure to fresh air will further help in your deodorizing efforts. The second
is that sunlight itself will act as an odor neutralizer, which is helpful to
know for all sorts of reasons.
Kitty litter will also absorb odors, which makes a lot of sense when you think
about it, but probably isn’t the kind of thing you sit around thinking
about. That’s fine! If you did sit around and think about stuff like that,
you wouldn’t need me, and I very much enjoy being needed.
In the case of the cat-peed-upon suitcase, I still want its owners to give it
a scrub, but if any odors linger after the fact, tossing a few cups of clean
kitty litter inside the luggage, zipping it up, and allowing it to sit for 12-48
hours will go a long way in removing smells. The same is true of using straight
up activated charcoal, or even baking soda. The litter method is also a really
good one to remember in the event that anything overly perfumed leaks in your
luggage, as even a really thorough scrubbing may leave behind a noticeable scent.
Once the litter has done its work, dump it into the garbage or, I suppose, into
your cat’s litter box (waste not, want not!) and wipe the interior free
of any dust using a damp rag or sponge.