Category Archives: Dogs and Cats

One Penis Short of a Male Cat

My poor buddy. Poor, poor buddy Tarzan.

cat with e-collar

He was such a good sport about the e-collar.

For as long as we can remember, Tarzan’s been kind of an asshole about his litter box. He’d go in and pay a visit, and Trevor would scoop it, and – like clockwork – Tarzan would go dirty it up right over again.

And then there was the constant flinging of litter. All the damn time. Because we’re crunchy granola cat owners, we’ve always used “natural” cat litters, first one made from corn husks or something, then wheat hulls. That shit gets everywhere.

Tarzan had us swimming in cat litter, all over the house. We finally broke down and switched litters to a pellet type. He’d had a couple of what seemed to be UTIs, and pellet types are supposed to be more hygienic. Plus, the pellets are heavier, so no tracking.

That’s what we thought. A) Tarzan has monster paws that are capable of taking these pellets with him into another room; B) either because switching litters  totally messed him up (if so, I’m SORRY buddy!), or because the timing was coincidental, not long after we switched litters, Tarzan started going in and out of the litter box, taking pellets with him around the house on his way out. Over and over and over again.

After first we were just annoyed. But then we started seeing little pink puddles outside the litter box. A sure sign of trouble.

The first vet treated him for a UTI and had me pick up a $40 bottle of compounded, fish-flavored Prozac.

A little bit of internet research had me worried we weren’t seeing enough progress, so I took him back.

He was almost blocked, which can lead to sudden death.

After attempting the least invasive procedures, they operated on his bladder and cleared out some weird squishy black crystal things. The vet was optimistic that was all we would need to do. But, after more time and waiting, she made the final call.

Tarzan’s penis would have to go.

I’d read about the procedure, and hoped upon hopes we wouldn’t have to resort to it. It’s an absolutely last-ditch effort, but it was his best shot at surviving, and it turned out he was so severely blocked, nothing else would have worked.

visiting cat after surgery

The girls were so sweet when we visited Tarzan at the vet between his surgeries. They also got an unusual, behind-the-scenes look at the vet’s office. I’m so grateful our vet let me bring the girls for visits.

In all, he spent more than a week at the vet. After a couple of days, I started taking the girls up to visit him. At 15 years old, his risk of dying while under anesthesia was enough to make me worry each visit would be our last. And, if he did die there, I didn’t want the girls to get the impression that we’d just dropped him off to die.

His surgery went smoothly, and he came home the next day, albeit with an e-collar, which he had to wear for two weeks. We’ll have to keep him shaved baboon-bottom style from now on, which means we get to see his fancy new way of eliminating every day.

(I honestly don’t know what to call it… Pee hole?).

I told him he’s got to give me at least five more years of snuggles to pay off his medical bills, because Holy Cannoli, that was expensive.

We’re just glad to have him home and happy. And only tracking a few litter pellets a day.

orange cats

Junebug (right) had to get used to sharing the house with Tarzan again. But all is back to normal.

One of those weeks.

Wowza. I’m glad it’s Friday. This has definitely been one of those weeks where, if it’s not one thing, it’s something else. I don’t like being a Master Complainer, but I need to get this off my chest.

This week we’ve:

  • Had glass bottle of very sticky soda smash on the kitchen floor. Cleaned it up, but not well enough.
  • Woken up to ants all over the sticky mess. Got rid of the ants and the stick mess with the steam mop.
  • Cracked two horribly rotten eggs from our darling chickens (first time I’ve experienced that).
  • Come home to Willow in her crate, surrounded by a pool of diarrhea and vomit (the crate that’s in the bedroom, our one carpeted room). This led to a multitude of complications, including the house reaching 85 degrees while we attempted to air it out.
  • Experienced the at-least-weekly cat vomit in the morning.
  • Woken up to another kitchen ant attack.
  • Probably had other absurd things happen that have blissfully escaped my mind.

BUT! We’ve had some good, too:

  • Sadie and I joined our friends for a end-of-the-summer swim and takeout dinner.
  • I went to my second ICAN meeting and felt really good about it. Went more in-depth about Sadie’s birth story.
  • Coincidentally bumped into a woman from the ICAN meeting as I was fleeing my poopy house and was invited to my first La Leche League meeting. This provided the perfect escape from the house–Sadie and I were able to eat dinner, play with other babies and talk about breastfeeding while the house aired out.
  • As I write this, running late for work, Trevor is kindly fixing me breakfast so I can take a breather. Thanks, love.

Oh, how I hope this Friday and weekend go better than the rest of this week.

Camping or bust.

In a moment of spontaneity, we decided to take Sadie on her first camping trip this past Saturday. Trevor had a bike race on the Womble Trail, just outside Mt. Ida, Sunday morning. Trevor’s first race season, I went with him a handful of times, and we would camp out Saturday nights and hang out at the race Sunday all day. I had a baby shower to go to Sunday afternoon, so we had planned that Trevor would go up by himself Saturday night. But once Friday came, I was itching to do some fresh-air sleeping!

I had this grand plan that I would get Sadie ready for bed before putting her in the car–nighttime diaper, pjs, lovey. It would be perfect…she’s fall asleep in the car on the way, we’d get the tent set up, and lie her slumbering body in the tent, where she would sleep blissfully all night.

Don't let her smile fool you. Although she LOVES camping, Willow does not do well in the car. At one point we moved her to the front seat, and she still managed to throw up. Twice.

But, of course, we live in reality. A place where the summer sun doesn’t set before 8:30 and where car windows don’t have blinds or blackout curtains. Sadie cried the WHOLE WAY. Except for when I nursed her–oh, yes, I nursed Sadie while she was strapped in her car seat and while I was in my seatbelt. Or when I gave her my phone to play with. And even then, none of those “fixes” lasted all that long. But, we made it. Trevor pitched the tent, the dogs ran like maniacs, and we were all asleep by around 10:00.

Sadie actually did pretty well sleeping in the tent. I made a pallet for her next to me, and she mostly slept there. She woke up and wanted to nurse a few times, and she was kind of jazzed about waking up with the dogs sleeping around her (dou! wofwof!).

It had been a long time since I’d been camping last. We went twice while I was pregnant with Sadie, but that was long enough ago for me to forget, apparently, some key camping tidbits.

Like, frost. When it’s 89F when you’re packing up the car, it’s easy to forget that it just might be chilly and dewy when you wake up in the morning. At least, it was for me. Which would explain why I forgot to pack anything remotely warm for Sadie or myself. Sadie didn’t seem to mind, but it was kind of a bummer when she dumped the dogs’ water bowl on the leg of her pajama pants (her warmest article). It’s a good thing I don’t mind Sadie getting dirty, either, because the wet, freshly cut grass was sticking to her everywhere–not to mention her food. She loved it, though. At least I think she did.

We only hung around for about an hour and a half or so, because we had to shuttle Trevor and his teammate to the start of the race, and I needed to get on back to town for the baby shower.

Come. On. Nari.

Well, if you can't beat em, join em. Watching for Dad/The Boy to return.

Breakfast a la camp.