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The Duke Diaries – Week Two Fluids

A little ditty I discovered at the vet’s office. I MUST get one for home!

I’m going to open with our major coup! Woke up this morning and got out of bed. Duke followed. It’s cold here right now (maybe 60 this morning), so I got dressed and turned on the Keurig. Brought the fluid set up into my bathroom. Duke followed. I busted out some treats and Ted appeared (he can hear the opening of a treat bag, or the crack of a tuna can from pretty much anywhere). Both received some treats while I set up the needle. I was dreading the Week Two, Day Two administration.

Week Two, Day One was no bueno. Duke knows what’s happening and he didn’t want to participate that day. Needles popped out right and left. Finally I parked myself next to him while he slept in a sunny spot. I gave him pets and messed around on my phone until we were both calm. I tried to slide the needle in while he was sleeping, but he knows… so he sat up and let me do it. Then he walked off, under my dresser, and sat there. Thankfully he stayed still for a bit. We got 100ccs in before he decided to get up an shimmy his way out of the needle. The dose was fine, but it took three tries and I was convinced this would be come an increasingly difficult battle.

Then Week Two, Day Two arrived. With Ted booted out of the bathroom, Duke looked at me with eyes that said, “Ugh, we’re doing it, aren’t we.” “Yes,” I said, “Today is fluid day, but we will make it quick, and you can have treats, and then we will be done.” He reluctantly ate another treat while I fussed with the fur on his scapula. He walked away once, then settled down. He just sat there, still, while I found the spot and inserted the needle. Just still. I flipped up that roller to let the fluid flow; the needle was in a good, secure spot. I put down a handful of treats and the Dukester crunched away for 125ccs. Right at that 125 mark he was over it. He got up, leaving treats behind and walked a few steps. I turned off the IV (first time I got to turn it off without receiving a saline shower!), removed the needle gently, and opened the door for him. This time they were happy tears that trickled out unwillingly. He’s just such a good boy.

Happily, the rest of week two and now into week three (where are the WEEKS going?) have gone well. Even the “bad” sessions aren’t bad. I like to think myyyyyy fur baby is a GENIUS, but the receptionist at the vet’s office said, “Yeah, they’re all pretty good about it; it’s not really a big deal.” I beg to differ. It’s totally a big deal. I’m much more confident (like I pretended to be Week One, Day One), and Duke feels that.  We’ve got a little routine going and that’s good for both of us.

A happy side effect is that Ted is thrilled because my house has become Treat Central and since he’s such a Skinny Snausage (yes, Snausage) he gets treats too. Since Cecilia pretty much keeps to herself, she hasn’t caught on to the Treat Typhoon which is good because the little fat girl shouldn’t be indulging. All in all, things are pretty good. Duke gets labs done in another two weeks, so fingers crossed there’s an improvement.

Thank you everyone for all of your warm thoughts. Duke and I really appreciate it.

The Aftermath of Irma – Part One – STUFF

My mantra for the storm was, “It will be scary, but it will be fine.” Unless you are living it, you can’t really imagine what it’s like (as is such with all life events). We weighed our options and made our decision to stay. We were not in an evacuation zone. We were not in a surge area (or at least a high surge zone). We have a very sturdy little house. All of our neighbors were staying (fine, maybe I WOULD jump off a bridge if they did too – HA!). In all seriousness, if people who have lived here for decades run, it kinda tells you something. In any event, it was probably the best first hurricane experience a person could have. The lead up to the storm was the worst (What IF is a terrible thing). The storm itself was not as frightening as I know it could have been. I’ve heard stories of wind that sounds like a train pummeling into your home, making the walls shake. That didn’t happen to usWe didn’t lose power. We weren’t on a boil alert. We lost one large tree branch. A branch. I know how lucky we are and I’m thankful.

Something happens when you are going room to room saving things. Assessing what you need. What you love. I realized I don’t care about a LOT of things in my house. This spurred a Post-Irma clean out of my house. I broke into some boxes. I emptied them. Things that bring me joy, I put out where I can see them. There were some keepsakes I wasn’t quite ready to part with – but those items fit into a hat box. The rest? Basura. Some items were Salvation Army worthy, but honestly, most was garbage. I unpacked a box with pictures. I hung them up. I shredded paper. A lot of paper. My sister was on shredder duty during her Irma stay. I just kept cleaning out files and she turned them into confetti. By the way, I have a four day rule. If you’re visiting me for more than four days, on day five (or possibly 4.5) you take care of yourself and might have to do chores. Just FYI.

What are the quirky things you keep that you LOVE?? I have things like yearbooks… and letters. I love reading old letters. They bring me such JOY!

Cat Food

Can I just tell you that I’ve spent hours (HOURS) researching cat food. It’s so painful. I try not to be persuaded by commercials, but I want to give my babies food that will keep them healthy and allow them to live a long life. My little angel Cecilia is 12 years old, her brother, the Trouble Bubble (Ted) is 11, and that leaves Baby Duke at about 8. So they are all up there in age, in the “geriatric” category for cats. Two are fat. One is skinny and slinky.

My vet told me to specifically NOT feed them a specific brand of cat food. In his opinion, he’s seen more cats come in with crystals when on this diet than any other. So, I tossed that food. Another brand was recommended and I use that for their dry food. I’ve added daily wet food to their diet A) because they LOVE their wet food; B) both of my vets have recommended it (yes, I have more than one vet); C) wet food adds hydration for cats who are notorious for not drinking enough water (like their mama).

But what is good and what is bad? The whole bi-product thing has me in a tizzy. If it was just bones and organs, then I’m okay with that. HOWEVER, many times it’s not just other parts of the animal. Sometimes it’s human food that’s gone bad, or other things that no animal would eat. Then there’s grains. Ugh. Grains. You read, “don’t feed your cats grains – just meat.” But then the pet foods developed for weight management by VETS have lots of grains (to make them feel fuller so they don’t eat as much and lose weight). So do I give them grains or not? What about Vegetables? Have you ever known a dog or cat to raid the neighbor’s vegetable garden for those tasty carrots? No. Peter does that. Peter Rabbit. Mr. McGregor hated that rabbit. Rabbits raid gardens.  Cats eat birds. Mice. Lizards (ugh, Ted has caught three lizards and a frog in the past month – all INSIDE my house).

Then there’s cost. I feel guilty when saying this because I love my cats. But some of these cat foods are just too darn expensive. I mean, I have a budget for my human food, so they have to have a budget too. I found a brand of cat food that seemed to fit the budget, has meat as it’s primary ingredient, AND is a pate. My cats don’t care for slices or chunks. They adore the GRAVY that comes with slices and chunks, but they lick all the gravy off and throw the meat around the room, then cry because they are hungry. Oh, the crying is usually at 4:00am. So I stick with pate.

OK, so I got a food. Price was fine. Ingredients were fine. Guess what? The cat’s don’t like it. You know what they like? Cat Chow (affectionately referred to in my house as Crack Chow) and Fancy Feast. The cheapest, grossest, McDonald’s equivalent of cat food you can find. They snarf that crap up. ARGH.

So I’m still on the hunt for the perfect cat food. I’m open to suggestions…

Cheers and Purrs,

Erin