Meet my babycat, Kavi.

Kavi was a rescue kitty. She has been in my life now for 6 years. She is an Egyptian Mau mix – she has spots, even on her skin. She will mew about anything and everything, and has a million different voices. Her favorite thing to do is squeeze onto the couch next to me where there really isn’t room and purr like a freight train.

About a month ago, she started eating less and slowly dropping weight. She was still acting healthy and active until a few days ago. Now she can barely walk straight. She is quiet – only making one pained noise when something unwanted is occurring. She is not eating or drinking on her own. She does not run around to chase anything. She picks a strange spot and curls up there and stays.

I took her to the vet today. Blood tests came back positive for advanced renal failure. This condition is not reversible, but it can be managed if she responds to initial treatment. She is currently receiving this treatment, which includes IV fluids and potassium injections. I will find out the results on Saturday morning.

This treatment is costly. If she does respond, I may still need to provide her with subcutaneous fluids for a period afterward. I am not currently employed as I am beginning nursing school. I am asking for your help. She is still young and could have a full life ahead of her if this works, and I am not ready to give up on her yet.

If you are in a position to help, please click on the link below and donate. Thank you for your time.

Donate to fund Kavi’s kidney failure treatment.

The secret's in the sauce.

There’s a commercial out, or at least it was fairly recently, for a nifty little item called Iams Savory Sauce. This is a ketchup-style bottle of something that looks a bit like gravy, comes in bacon, chicken, and beef (though they call it Country Chicken and Homestyle Beef… as if the dog is going to know), and it’s meant to be poured over dry dog food at something like a tablespoon per half cup.

Said commercial goes something like this.

*****
Enter wife and husband, talking in kitchen.
“I just don’t know what to think. Joey just wants to spend all his time at Billy’s house. He keeps wanting to eat dinner over there…”

Switch to Billy’s house.
Wife: “Come on, Joey, time to go home!”

Billy’s mom: “Joey, do you want a doggie bag?”

Here you realise that Joey and Billy are dogs. And Billy’s mom feeds them dinner with Iams Savory Sauce. She hands him a Ziploc with a bottle of the sauce in it, and he runs to his parents with this bag in his mouth.
*****

How cute. Woopidy doo.

However.

Just for the sake of being nice, I bought a couple bottles of the stuff. Dry food is the best for any animal like that, because it keeps their teeth clean. But, I like to spoil them sometimes, and things like this are a good way to do it. I started with chicken, and one bottle lasted through maybe 6 or 7 feedings. Either way, we went to Andrew’s apartment for an evening, and I brought his dinner with us, but I didn’t bother to bring a bottle of the sauce. When I fed him, he wasn’t at all interested in eating, but I attributed it to being in a new place and being excited etc etc. Last night, I fed him at home.

He sniffed at his food and walked away. Came back 5 minutes later or something, sniffed at it again, ate about half of it and left it.

Dot. Dot. Dot.

I want to write Iams a letter:

Dear Sir or Madam:

Did your scientists actually do a test before passing on the creative control for your commercial to your advertising team?

Because my dog has stopped eating his dinner because I haven’t put any more of that damn sauce on it.

You suck.

Sincerely,
Kattni

I mean… Seriously. wtf. Maybe there’s heroin in it. Maybe sauce is street for ‘crack’. Next thing you know it’ll be SA, Sauceaholics Anonymous. “Hi my name is Spot, and I’m a sauceaholic.” “Hi, Spot.” Does Iams plan to fund the health side effects of being a addict? Maybe it’s a conspiracy. Maybe it’s nanomachines and they start by causing the addiction, and eventually, when the time is right, they kick into gear and the dogs will take over the world.

And the MacGyver award goes to…

So I decided to give Rhys the benefit of the doubt, closed up the bedrooms, gated off the kitchen and left him out while we went shopping. He’s more than proven himself.

We got home, and Rhys was in the window by the stairs. Brian unlocked the door. I tried to open it, but it wouldn’t open. My first thought was that he was so excited that he was leaning on the door. I was talking through the door, “Rhys, honey, I know you’re excited, but you have to move…” and I realises that it wasn’t Rhys that’s in the way of the door, it was my bike.

When you enter my apartment, there’s a space inside the door before you walk up the stairs. Behind the door, there’s a space, large enough to prop up a bike. Prop being the keyword here.

Rhys had evidently knocked it over.

Assessing the situation through the window was no easy task; there’s a screen, for one, and light reflecting on a window isn’t exactly conducive to seeing into a fairly dark space. So, using my coat to block the light and squishing the screen against the window, I determined the following: we were screwed. The back tire was wedged against the first step, and the handlebars were wedged against the door. The last resort option would involve, at minimum, destroying my back rim. It could involve bending or breaking something else.

Nearly new, 500$ bike.

The door opened to about 1/3″. So I called Andrew to come over with a wire hanger, on the off chance that I could get it around the door and hook something enough to move it. Brian offered up a tie-down strap from his bike rack, but promptly returned it to the garage when I pointed out that not only would the little hook thing on it would not fit around the door, how exactly did he plan to swing it anywhere? When he arrived, I obtained the hanger, bent it around the door and moved it around. Nothing. It wasn’t even long enough to touch the bike, much less pull on it.

So, a new level of scheming began. Brian said he wasn’t sure whether or not he locked the balcony door. We knew for certain Brian’s bedroom window wasn’t locked. So, two new options now. Somehow get onto the balcony and hope for the best, or tear the screen on Brian’s window and try to get in through there. So, how to get onto the balcony. Andrew and I had attempted to break into the apartment before through there before, and between our strengths (or the lack there of, heh), the height of the balcony and the complete lack of anything to stand on, it was a lost cause (and we even managed to bust a sprinkler head). However, we now had two people to stand on the ground and lift. But this is the type of things that cheerleaders do. Not two big oafish guys. Then I remembered… the shelf.

I bought a shelf at Bed, Bath and Beyond a few years ago. It was rated at 500lbs per shelf, and I put a fish tank on it (they’re damn heavy) and it worked like a charm. Since then, it’s become the ever-touted shelf. We have one in the kitchen too, and… One that Brian bought to put in the garage.

“Grab the shelf, I’ll climb on it, you two will lift me the rest of the way and I’ll climb over.” So we emptied the shelf and Brian and Andrew disappeared around the back. I went to put my glasses in the car (400$ or something when I bought them, good insurance, mind you, I didn’t pay that much, but I sure didn’t feel much like breaking them), and when I got around back, Andrew was holding the shelf while Brian, on top of it, was making a vain and somewhat laughable attempt to swing his leg up onto the balcony. “Get down, what are you doing.” “Well, we figured that we’re taller than you are so we’d have a better time.” Right. So, they held the shelf, while I climbed onto it. “Ok, make cheerleader hands and lift me up.” And so they did, and like a monkey, I was up and over the railing. (Andrew: “Damn, that was fast…”) And………….

The balcony door was unlocked.

So, in I went, moved the bike and went on with the afternoon.

We moved the bike into the garage.

My new puppy!

This is Rhys, my new puppy! He’s absolutely fantastic. He loves to play but he calms down quickly when it’s time to chill. He listens to ‘no’, he knows how to sit, lay down, stay (for the most part), and wait (as in, wait until I set your food bowl down before eating). He’s potty trained (yay!). He loves his treats and his chew toys (thankfully; he managed to get the little loopy-leash at the Humane Society into his mouth and nearly chewed it through before I took it out of his mouth. He hasn’t chewed on anything but his toys!). He was an exceptional car passenger on the way home from the adoption center. He tugs some on the leash but he listens when you actively work on him walking nicely. He’s polite, he’ll ‘get down’ from the couch when asked, and ‘get out’ of a room as well.

I went to the Oakland County Animal Control adoption center a number of times, as well as the Michigan Humane Society in Detroit and Rochester. In the middle of all of it, I made the trek up to Flint to the Humane Society of Genesee County. I had looked at so many dogs, OCAC had quite a number coming in and going out every day (FYI: if you find a dog you like, get it that day, because it will not be there the next day. Regardless of how much someone insists it will be. *coughandrewcough*), and MHS Rochester, Detroit and Westland all have pictures up online. As well, Petfinder.com has an extensive list of local shelters and foster networks, and I went through most within a reasonable distance. So, when I finally decided to go up to Flint, I wasn’t hoping for much. I looked at all the dogs, and (dramatically enough) the very last one I saw was him. The way their shelter is setup, there are two rows of kennels and three walkways. The fronts of the two rows point in opposite directions, so the middle of the three walkways goes along the back of both rows of kennels. Picture this? There’s access to all three walk ways, but the information sheets for the dogs are hanging on the front of each kennel, so if you want to know anything about them, you walk around the outer walkways. When I got to his kennel, there were people looking at him from behind, who seemed interested. But, since I was standing in front of his kennel, I was able to grab his info sheet before them.

I had devised a sneaky plan for the adoption process. When you adopt, you have to disclose where you live and, if you rent, whether or not pets are allowed. If you have a different address than your home on your driver’s license, they just ask that you bring in a bill or something with your address on it as proof. My parent’s address is still on my driver’s license. If you rent and pets are allowed, they call to verify. This isn’t the first time I’ve adopted. I adopted a cat for my roommate last christmas and the center called my apartment complex. When Andrew adopted his cat, they called his complex as well. I don’t know what they actually ask over the phone. I would assume that they give the address, asking if so-and-so lives there and that they are planning to adopt a pet. They always come back and inform you that there’s an extra fee for owning a pet. So you’re always waiting for the complex to call you or leave a note on your door: “When are you going to tell us about your pet?” So… I had this ingenious idea. I would just use the address on my driver’s license and tell them that I still lived with my parents. As I was filling out the application, I noticed a question in the middle, something to the effect of: “The Humane Society of Genesee County does not verify whether or not you are allowed to have pets. It is your responsibility, please initial here.” So, already on a roll with my ingenious plan, I initialed there and circled “Live with parents” under the “Living arrangements” question. Two things about this. One, I could have used my home address and brought in a bill or whatnot and they wouldn’t have called anyway. Two, I could have said I owned the house. The only problem with that could arise when they put the address in the system and it comes up with my mom’s name from when we adopted the house cat at my parent’s house. So, given that I had my whole plan figured out anyway, I didn’t give much thought to either of these options.

So, they put the address in their system. And up comes my mom’s name, with two cats adopted in 1999. (Damn good thing I didn’t say I owned the house…) Why had I only listed the cat living at my apartment on the application? Where were the two cats that were adopted 6 years ago? Uhm… One died of old age, the other died of cardiomyopathy. (The youngest cat is still fat and happy at my parent’s house. The older one did die of cardiomyopathy. Sad story really… For another day.) So I had to muddle through mumbling about that story and how it was sad and whatnot, since why else had I not listed any of them on the application, and so on and so forth… Then came the kicker. “Before we can continue with the application, we need to speak with one of your parents.”

So, I called my dad, hoping he’d be around. My mom wouldn’t have been quite as responsive to lying on the spot. “Hey dad… I’ve got a favour to ask you. I’m getting a dog..” (mind you I hadn’t really mentioned this to my parents, I think I’d said it to my mom as a sidenote at some point…) ..”And since the address on my driver’s license is your house, I told them I was still living with you. And evidently they need to talk to you.” “Ok, so…” “So tell them I still live with you.” “Oh. Ok…” So they have to call him back themselves, and she starts in: “Hello, I believe I have your daughter here… Before we can continue with the application, I have to get parent permission. She is looking at a lab mix, he’s blonde, he’s…” And she proceeds to read his entire information sheet. At this point I’m picturing my dad with a slightly amused look on his face, waiting for her to uselessly run through the info on the dog he’d only see when I came to visit, and finally she asked whether this was ok (or something like that) and thanked him and hung up.

And, so it was, that I , at 23 years old, was allowed to have my dog. I mean, they don’t call your roommates to ask if it’s ok with them if you get a dog, how, at 23 years of age, is it any different with your parents? Oh well.

Anyway, he was a stray with a collar, so they had to hold him for 12 business days. That meant one week from the day I filled out the application. That worked out great anyway, since it gave me time to take Andrew up there to see him, and more time to look. (Especially since I definitely wasn’t going to assume that he’d be there later and wait to fill out the application…) So, look I did. Online, at the shelters, etc. The day before I would have been able to pick him up, I went down to MHS Detroit, and then back up to Flint. I had intended on going over to MHS Rochester as well, but I spent some time looking at a dog in Detroit, and it was longer than I had planned to stay. The dog down there was a bit like the other dog I had. She was a black lab mix, sleek body and face, with some white on her. But she was just eh. I asked if they could hold her, and they said yes, but only until the following morning. I said that was fine, since I just wanted to have the possibility in case I decided she was what I wanted. But, when I got back to Flint and took him out to play, I knew for sure he was what I wanted.

When I got there, I had to ask if I could take him out to one of the fenced-in runs, because they all said “Unavailable for use,” but she said it was likely someone just forgot to flip the sign to “Available.” “Are you the one who has a hold on Buddy?” she asked (his name was Buddy there.) “Ya.” “Oh, let me go unlock him.” “He’s locked?” I had gone back to see him and hadn’t noticed that they’d padlocked his kennel. “Yes, we had an… incident. Nothing wrong with the dog…” I didn’t ask about it, and they unlocked him and I took him outside. Since I could come get him early the next morning and it was already 6pm (they close at 6:30pm), I asked if I could take him home that night. “I already asked for you,” the girl said, “But they can’t let you.” Turns out, they probably would have, if it weren’t for the incident.

I had asked when I filled out the app, what the likelihood of someone coming to claim him was. The lady said it was 50/50, that it happens sometimes and doesn’t others. She said there wasn’t much she could tell me, but that they would call if someone came. They have to fill out a loss report and some such thing. Evidently, some guy had come in and claimed Rhys was his dog. They asked him for a description and such, for some kind of proof. He started getting angry. They asked for pictures; “I don’t take pictures of my pets.” Vet records; “I never took it to the vet.” When asked about “his dog”, he evidently said it was female at first, and kept changing his story. All in all, he had a fit. So, since the whole thing seemed quite shady, they sent the guy packing and locked up the kennel. And, since it was quite a show, and since they had, I guess anyway, explained to the guy that the dog would be held until the 20th, they couldn’t let me take the dog early, even right as they closed, because it could have turned into another fiasco. They told me I could come as early as 9am, which is when they open for people surrendering animals, and that I didn’t have to wait until 11am, which is when they open for adoption.

I made an attempt to get up that early, but it wasn’t exactly successful. Then I managed to forget some things that I wanted to take, and so we had to turn around (not far from home). It was about 10:15am, or so, when we got there. The lady at the counter spend 10 minutes on the phone for every 2 she talked to me, so we didn’t get out of there until after 11:30am. We went to Petsmart to get the last couple of things that I wanted for him, and headed home.

And so ends the adventure of getting the best puppy ever, and so begins the adventure of HAVING the best puppy ever!!


Dumb cat.

My roommate’s cat is a wuss. If you walk in his general vicinity he cowers. The other morning I woke up and walked into the living room and he was behind the couch. I walked past him and he didn’t move. I shook my foot at him and he still didn’t move. So I pushed him out from behind the couch and he ran a couple of feet. And with him he took the plastic grocery bag that he had around his neck.

Just so everyone understands… It’s just resting around his neck. The hole that makes the handle on this plastic bag is big enough for the cat to walk through. He’s really just that dense.

The bag was kind of torn and it was dragging behind him. He would run about two feet and stop, thinking the bag was chasing him. So I stomped at him to make him move away and then he would get all scared and stop.

Cruel right? No, hysterical.

He got to the point where he just wouldn’t move because the bag never stopped following him.

I left him like that when I went to work. Heh. Dumb cat.