Sunday, December 30, 2012

Busy Bee - I Mean, Busy Me

Hallo, Effurrybody!

I've had such a busy week! It's an impawtant part of a kitty's job to keep its Human on their Toesies (the Human's Toesies, I mean) and I have not been neglecting that. Oh no, indeed ;-)

I got up to all sorts of mischief, not letting Mummy get lax or relax her guard even for a minute (MOL).

I tried to climb into the bath-tub, where she had put her houseplants, to water them:

I found a new hidey-hole, in one of her shoeboxes, thus ensuring she sharpen her Wits and exercise her Imagination, in attempting to guess where I was:

And I helped her re-decorate the living-room. Yes, truly, I did. At first, I didn't know what I could do for her, but then - it hit me! I must have been inspired by the Mewses! I knew she would like a new living-room suite so I thought I would save her the expense by re-furr-bishing the old one. It was really quite simple - although it took a lot of work on my part. All I had to do was to give an elegant, textured effect to the furniture, by means of my claws, which have now developed beautifully into tiny daggers, as you can see:

I wanted to surprise her, but she came in unexpectedly while I was still busy at my labours and SCREAMED at Me not to work so hard (she takes such good care of Me, you see), but I went back and finished the job later. Well, almost - I still have a few finishing touches to put to my work...

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Fun-Filled Week

Hallo, Effurryone!

I've had such a lot of fun this week. I was getting a little bored with all my toys but then I discovered how one can have a really great time with the simplest things - such as tissue paper...

or Mummy's slippers...

...and guess what? I found some great new places to hide - Mummy's wardrobe, for instance, right on the bottom shelf where she keeps all the stuff she calls "junk"...

The bathroom is one of my favourite rooms, especially when there's water running...

...or when I can jump into the bath. Do you think a mousie might come out of this hole?

Mummy tells me I shouldn't keep jumping into the sink and the bath and getting my beautiful pawsies all wet, but I don't care. It's FUN.

I have to keep myself a-mewsed because I don't yet have any kitty company and Mummy can't play with me all the time. Mummy decided not to adopt the kitty with ringworm. She says that when the time is right, Possum and Pixie will send us the right kitty. So I'm just having to wait...

And meanwhile, I think I'll get up to some more mischief. MOL.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

An Urgent Question from Mummy

Hallo, Effurryone! 

Mummy asked to borrow My Blog again to ask for your Advice and since she has been such a Good Mummy (besides helping with My Blog, which I still couldn't do without her because of something called Passwords), I said okay. Over to you, Mummy!

Thank you, Trixie.
Right, the Problem is this. As you know, I was planning on bringing home a little brother for Trixie. He is currently in foster care, but has had a series of ailments which, since I didn't want Trixie to catch anything, delayed his transfer to my house. He now has ringworm. The (new, nice) vet tells me that once he starts treatment (which he did, about a week ago), the fungus is no longer contagious. But every web site I consult (including the one to which she herself directed me) say that he can continue shedding spores all through the treatment (which lasts 6-8 weeks) and to be particularly careful towards the end of the treatment, when there are no longer visible signs of the fungus but it's still shedding spores. I also understand it can affect, not only other cats, but also humans and furthermore, all the web sites say that once a clear culture is obtained, showing he's completely free of the fungus, the house (furniture, carpets, etc) should also be scrupulously steam-cleaned and vacuumed several times. I wanted to take a little kitten as a companion for Trixie almost from the start, not wait another 2 months. But I also don't want to run the risk of Trixie, myself and the entire house being infected. As a result, I am having second thoughts about adopting this particular kitten (whose foster Mum, in any case, was having second thoughts about giving him up but now, with all the expense of treatment for the ringworm, says she's at her wits' end, as it's one thing after another, and can't wait to get rid of him). I should also add that I have never actually seen this cat, or even a picture of him and the vet says she has several other kitties waiting for a home.She also says, if he's meant to be my cat, I'll take him and if he isn't, I won't! 
So - what should I do?


Friday, December 14, 2012

It's Me Again

Hallo, Effurryone!

Yes, it's Me again - Trixie the Black Panther. Mummy hijacked borrowed My Blog the other day, but I'm back again. Mummy let out the Secret of Spellcheck, so I don't need to have Her looking over my shoulder effurrytime I want to write something!

This blogging is cool, isn't it? Mummy says that with My Own Blog, I'll be able to visit friends All Over the World. Of course, I haven't had time to get to know many kitties yet (Mummy says there are some nice Woofies out there, too and that I shouldn't forget their Mummies and Daddies either).

I've been very busy all week, playing with my Toys, but Mummy is always telling me "No!". She doesn't like me to climb up the curtains and she doesn't like me to hang on the net screens over the windows and she tells me to get down when I climb into the kitchen sink and try to drink water from the tap! And you should just see her face when I dig up an itsy bitsy lump of earth from her houseplants! She even begged me not to sharpen my tiny little claws on the furniture. So I decided to sharpen them on her instead - but she shook me off and when I tried to put the bitey on her, she yelped! 

I'm just a little kitty trying to have Fun ...

Me Plus Football

Me Playing with Mummy's Cleaning Lady

Me and Snowy

Shabbat Shalom, Effurryone! Have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Remembering Pixie

Today is the third day of Hanukkah - exactly one year, according to the Hebrew calendar, since my precious Pixie flew away to the Bridge. I wrote then that her darling face smiled at Possum and me that night from the flickering flame of the fourth candle. Now Possum, too, is gone but I want Trixie to know about Those Who Went Before and that, just as we remember the Maccabees at Hanukkah, so too will we always remember Pixie. Every candle that I light, we will be thinking of that little tabby tigress, who wasn't a tigress at all, but the most gentle, loving heart beating in a furry breast.

Here's to you, Sweetest Pixie.

From your loving Mummy


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Hallo, World!

Hallo, World!

Mummy says she is now handing this blog over to Me, Trixie.

But as I am not yet very good at spelling, it will be mostly pictures till I learn a bit more.

I am still waiting for the new, little brofur she promised Me. She says the lady who has been looking after him till now loves him so much that she might change her mind and want to keep him. If she does that, Mummy will have to start looking again...

Here are some pictures of Me, taken over the last week. First, a picture of Me playing with one of my many toys:

And here I am on TV:

And finally, another one of Me looking Impossibly Cute, as Mummy says:

'Bye 'bye fur now!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A (Relatively) Quiet Weekend

Trixie goes from strength to strength. She still has to take her antibiotic pills - just one more day to go - but she seems to be fully recovered and as bent on mischief as ever ;-)

If all goes well, I hope to bring home a little brother for her some time this coming week.

Meanwhile, here she is, continuing to make herself at home...

This evening, she even asked for a tummy-rub, just like Possum used to do.

Every modern home requires running water...

Crocs hold no fear for a fierce panther

There are lots of new toys here...

And a snug basket...

But Mummy's bed is best...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Panther's Progress

I am relieved and thankful to report that Trixie seems to be feeling much better this morning. She slept on my bed last night (without making any attempt to pounce on my feet) and this morning, awoke refreshed (but not yet feisty enough to resist when I popped an antibiotic pill in her mouth). She ate, if not a hearty breakfast, at least half a bowlful of her new, dry food (IAMS, which Einat the vet recommended). In any case, as I mentioned in a previous post, she prefers to eat in the evening and at night. She then resumed her investigation of her new home, eventually taking up a position much loved by Possum, on the tummy-warmer Digital Converter. 

I remain cautious, but she does seem to be on the mend.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

More Worries

Trixie was listless and off her food yesterday evening and this morning, she also seemed to have a temperature. I had intended to take her in to the vet today, anyway, to have her shots, and it's lucky I did because it turned out she did, indeed, have a temperature. The vet (the nice, new one) thinks she might have pneumonia, but she doesn't seem to have any other symptoms, such as difficulty breathing. Anyway, she (the vet) gave Trixie a shot of antibiotics to be on the safe side, and I have to give her pills twice a day. As I said, she doesn't seem to be displaying any other symptoms but I'm SUPER SENSITIVE and SUPER NERVOUS about anything that could possibly be wrong with her. I couldn't bear it if I were to lose another furbaby now, so soon after the loss of my beloved Possum...And after my previous experience with vets, I find myself always doubting them, whoever they may be. The other vet, despite his poor bedside manner, would probably have run half a dozen tests already, including x-rays. I called the (nice) vet a few minutes ago to ask how soon I could expect the antibiotics she administered to take effect. She said, by morning and not to get into a panic yet. But I can't help it. I've become so attached to my little panther that I'm almost freaking out already. Maybe she has eaten something poisonous - like the flowers I had for Shabbat.

Shimona - the Panicky Mum

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Trixie's Brave New World

Trixie seems to be settling in nicely and to have made herself at home. I had forgotten how much mischief kittens and young cats can get up to! I had also forgotten how good they can be at hiding just when you most need to find them. How in the world does she manage to get up to the very top bookshelf and hide behind the books?! Now that I come to think of it,  when they were younger, Possum (and I think Pixie also) used to jump from the draining board in the kitchen to the top of the refrigerator and thence, to the top of the overhead storage cupboards! One could search for a long time before one found them - and now Trixie is up to the same old tricks.

Today, when the air-raid sirens went off again in Jerusalem, I found myself wondering what on earth do the inhabitants of Sderot and the other towns on the border with the Gaza Strip do about their pets when they have a Code Red (incoming missiles) alert. They have only 15 seconds to reach a shelter or a Secure Space. How do you even find a cat who could be on a cupboard, in a cupboard, under a bed, chair, sofa - much less persuade said feline to enter the nearest shelter - in such a short space of time?

Ah well, to get back to the subject in hand, I thought I'd  show you my little black panther exploring her new home :-) Enjoy - I do. And I'm sure she does too...

A nice, comfortable bed...

It's always good to have a panoramic view. That way, we can keep an eye on all the neighbours.

The sooner we get this computer thing figured out, the sooner we can start writing our own blog.

Time to play...

Not for nothing am I known as the Black Panther!

What's this? Ah, salad!

Two cats are better than one...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Enter the Black Panther

Just as I did when my beloved Minxie - my very first furbaby - crossed the Bridge, I took myself and my broken heart off for a brief vacation. When I came back the last time, way back in 1995, Possum was waiting for me. This time, I came back to an empty house (I can hardly call it a home) and realised that I couldn't bear it any longer. Maybe three weeks is too short a time, and insufficiently respectful of Possum's memory. I still have sudden attacks of tears when I think of him and Pixie. Nevertheless, on Sunday, I took the plunge and picked up the phone to the vet, Dr. Einat, to ask if she knew of any kitties who were looking for a forever home. And that is how, on Monday evening, a little black panther entered my life.

Her foster Mum, Barbara, found her under a dumpster about three months ago (she's a bit hazy about dates). We think she's about three and a half to four months old. Barbara had named her Schmendrick. Well, I'm sorry, but I think that's very insulting and no cat of mine is going to be burdened with a name like that! It didn't take me all that long to choose a name for her. Since she's full of tricks, I thought Trixie would suit her much better. Of course, it's not her real name. As everyone who knows cats is aware, each cat has no less than THREE names, only one of which is known to his or her Human. But Trixie will do nicely for this little black panther.

It soon transpired that, if I want to get any sleep at night, Trixie is going to have to be shut out of the bedroom - at least until she outgrows the desire to pounce on my feet every few minutes. Pixie used to do that too. Another trait she and Pixie share is the habit of hiding under the bed, in the very farthest corner - although even Pixie never hid under the sofa, and I can't imagine how she manages to crawl in there, it's so low. All in all, I think it must have been Pixie, rather than Possum, who chose her and sent her to me.

The first day she spent with me, I was worried because she didn't seem to be eating. But I discovered she prefers to eat in the evening and at night - and that, when she does, she has a voracious appetite. I don't understand why, however, with all the food I give her, she is apparently eating earth from the flowerpots of my houseplants!!! If anyone has any ideas about that, I'd really like some answers.

She's now trying to climb onto the keyboard, so I will leave you with the first photo I took of her and then go and play with her.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Five Days

Greetings to all Possum's friends - Feline, Canine and Human!

It's now five days since my beautiful boy left me, and not a day goes by without me dissolving into tears several times. Anything can set me off - the black cat in Steimatzky's bookshop that sits on a stool facing a wall of books, making her toilette and looking up, every now and then, to peruse the books, for all the world as if she's trying to decide which one to buy; the tabby cat in the car park outside my office that sits on the air-conditioning unit outside the window, having crossed a narrow pipe that does double-duty as a bridge; another tabby, with a fluffy tail like Possum's, who has somehow managed to get up onto the roof of the security guards' hut at the building's entrance and sits inside the casing of part of the air-conditioning unit there, nonchalantly making his toilette and turning away - just like Possum - when I try to take his photo; and most of all, coming home to an empty apartment, and knowing that when I start my pre-retirement leave in five days time, there'll be no little furbaby  running to greet me when I return home from work, exhausted, for the last time.

I was overwhelmed, and touched, by the number of comments left by so many people and kitties - woofies, too - after Possum's passing. I don't know how to thank you all individually for your support and sympathy. Some of you, I already know. Many of you, I have never "met" - but I hope to rectify that over the next few weeks and that you will continue to visit this blog, so that when the time is right and Possum and Pixie and Minxie send me a new furbaby, or furbabies, the new kitty (or kitties) will have a ready-made "family".

I would like also to thank Ann of Zoolatry, for the beautiful memorial graphic she made. 

When I've recovered a bit more, and can figure out how to do it, I shall make a separate Memorial page for all my furbabies and put this picture, and pictures of Pixie and Minxie, in a sidebar, as I've seen on other blogs. 

In the meanwhile, all I can do is wait - and learn to live with the pain of loss.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Possum's Last Will and Testament

Greetings, Fellow Felines - and Woofies and Humans as well!

This is the Last Will and Testament of Me, Felinemarshall Sir Possum MagnifiCatus, KCB (Knight of the Cat Blogosphere).

By the time you read this, I shall be at the Rainbow Bridge with my sisfur, Pixie, who flew away almost ten months ago.

As you will know, from reading my Mummy's reports, I have been feeling ever so tired and old for quite a while now, and very much in need of the kind of rest one can only get at the Bridge. I have been trying to tell Mummy this, at least from Rosh Hashana, but it took her a long time to accept what I was saying. When she did, she tried everything in her power to make me change my mind, including manhandling Me and feeding me by force - but I'm not angry with her. I understand. She loves Me so very much and it was very, very hard for her to let Me go. It was the same with Pixie, of course. 

It was hard for me, too, to make the decision to leave for the Bridge. I love Mummy very much and I knew her heart would break. Pixie has been whispering in my ear for several weeks, telling Me it was Time and that she was waiting for Me, but I told Pixie that I couldn't leave Mummy all alone, she's only a Human and she can't possibly manage without a kitty to take care of her. But I was so very, very tired. I just couldn't keep going anymore. I think Mummy finally understood that last night, and this morning, she decided the Time had come to respect my Wishes and let Me go.

So now, I want to ask all my friends - and Mummy's - to continue to visit Mummy once in a while, here on this Blog, even after I'm gone, to comfort her and not let her feel all alone. She is going to be grieving for a long while. I know she's been thinking that maybe she won't get another kitty, because We don't live as long as Humans and the thought of having to go through all this heartache again some day is very terrible. But I know too that, deep in her heart, she knows that Love and Loss are bound up together, that you can't have the one without the other, and that it's better to have a kitty to love and to share her life with - even if, some day in the future, she has to face the Pain of Parting once more - than never again to know the devoted love of a furbaby.

So now, I want to ask you, Mummy, when the Time is right and Pixie and I whisper in your ear that we've found the right kitty (or kitties) for you, that you listen to Us and open your heart once more. There are so many kitties in need of a Fur-Ever Home, and there is no-one better capable of giving them one, full of Love. Both Pixie and I had a Wonderful Life with you and we want to know that you are honouring our Memory by giving a wonderful life to the kitty (or kitties) we shall send you.

I love you, Mummy. I shall be watching over you from the Rainbow Bridge, together with Pixie, and Minxie Who Went Before, until it's Time for you to come and collect Us.

Yours Fur-ever,

Possum the MagnifiCat

My beloved Possum departed for the Rainbow Bridge at 11:50 this morning, October 21st, 2012. My heart is broken.
Fly free, my precious little one. We shall meet again, someday, beyond the Rainbow.



Saturday, October 20, 2012

From the Depths I Cried Out...

I am in such despair! Possum is still refusing to eat and I am having to feed him by force. It's breaking my heart, every time I have to force open his mouth and stuff food in, either with my fingers or with a syringe - and I'm sure half of it doesn't actually go into his mouth but all over him and me and the towel I have wrapped round him like a baby's bib to keep him clean. I feel like such a sadist. Cats are so very conscious of their dignity and I feel I am stripping him of his. 

My stepmother says, if he's made it so clear he wants to die, why do I not let him? Why not, indeed?

But how can I? He's old, yes! But, as so many of you have pointed out, cats can live into their twenties. Possum is only seventeen. He isn't ill. Now that we've discovered the problem with the arthritis, and it's being treated, he shouldn't be in pain any more. And, indeed, yesterday, I caught him jumping down from the dressing-table. If he jumped down, that means he was able to jump up - even if it was in two stages, first to the chair and then to the dressing-table. So, arthritis or no, he is getting his mobility back. I don't know whether he has just got himself into a mindset of wanting to die, and has dug himself in so deep that he can't back out of it, or whether he's pining for Pixie, or just feels alone all day. If it's the latter - in just eleven days, I'm starting my pre-retirement leave and will be able to spend all day with him. But how to keep him going till then? You remember we were afraid, when I postponed my retirement by four months, that he might not last that long? 

Einat tells me she had a couple of patients with a similar problem and put me in touch with a lady whose cat refused to eat and she force-fed the cat for three weeks before he changed his mind and agreed to eat of his own accord. But that cat was only thirteen years old and sick. Possum is seventeen and a quarter and, as far as we can tell, quite healthy except for his age. Her cat refused to eat because he was sick. Old Age isn't a sickness! So I can only think he has decided his time has come! How can I justify putting him to sleep just because he's old?!

Yet now, he looks at me - when he looks at me at all - with such sad, accusing eyes. He looks for new places to hide - or turns his back when he sees me coming. How would I feel if I were old and in a nursing home, and someone grabbed me and held my mouth open by force and shoved food in it, and half of it spattered all over me and I wasn't even allowed to die with dignity? 

But if I give up now - without even trying - how will I ever forgive myself? Martha (the lady Einat put me in touch with) said it took her three weeks, during which time, she built her whole day around feeding her cat every couple of hours. Don't I owe Possum at least that much time - especially when in just a week and a half, I'll have all the time in the world for him?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

More Ups and Downs

Greetings to all of Possum's friends (and mine too)!

Shimona here, reporting on Possum's progress - if it can be described as such. 

Yesterday evening, as I reported in my last post, Possum still wouldn't eat anything of his own volition. On the other hand, I refilled his water bowl and this morning, I measured how much he had drunk since last night. He had imbibed about 75-100 ml.

Another hopeful sign, or so it seemed to his worried Mum, was that when I was watching the TV last night, he got up on the couch beside me, rolled over on his back with his legs in the air and asked for a tummy-rub. He hasn't done that for days. I was so happy, it seemed he was slowly emerging from his apathy. 

I left food out for him overnight, but was terribly disappointed this morning to see he had eaten none of it. I replaced it with fresh food before going out to work, but he seemed to have sunk back into apathy this morning so I wasn't too surprised (though I was terribly disappointed) to find, on returning home this evening, that, once again, he hadn't touched his food. I was glad, however, to find him on his feet, rather than hiding under the bed or sleeping on the armchair, which has been the case for quite a few days now. 

I had to force-feed him again this evening, and he resisted all the way. On the one hand, this is a sign that he's still got plenty of fight left in him. On the other hand, I don't understand, if the anti-inflammatory drug is working and his jaw and joints hurt less, why he is still not eating. Worse, why did he not drink all day, especially in this unseasonably hot weather (32 degrees Celsius)?

I'm afraid that every good sign is countered by a bad sign. Furthermore, whenever something good happens (like him asking for a tummy-rub), it's not long before I'm already thinking of how it could actually be a bad sign. Like - he's really saying: "Mummy, I want you to know I still love you, but it's time to let me go." Yet Einat convinced me that this is not a cat that wants to starve himself to death.

Maybe I need to find a Cat Whisperer.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tuesday Update

Greetings to all Possum's friends and followers, both four-legged and two-legged.

It's still the anxious Mum here.

I took Possum to the vet again this evening (after another more-or-less unsuccessful attempt at forced feeding again this morning). He was very angry with me. He hissed at me in the taxi and tried to attack me through the grid of his carrier, but I was actually quite relieved that for a few moments, he had emerged from his apathy.

When we got to the vet's, Dr. Einat and her assistant managed to get almost half a can of A/D Critical Care dietary food into him (the rest went all over the examining table, the floor, and the towel I had wrapped him in). The odd thing is that he put up much less resistance to Einat and Yardena than he did to me! I'm beginning to feel he's turned this into a battle of wills between us.
He also received subQ fluids and Dr. Einat decided to try and collect a urine sample. She got rather more (or less) than she bargained for, because Possum decided to turn himself into a water-cannon. However, she managed to collect enough to carry out the necessary tests and to our great relief, his urine seems to be normal now!

Dr. Einat thinks  it possible that he has pain opening and closing his jaw because of inflammation of the joints there. He certainly seems to have difficulty walking - his hind legs seem stiff, possibly due to arthritis. She gave him a low dosage shot of a new anti-inflammatory drug (which is actually not recommended for cats, but desperate situations call for desperate measures). She says that if it's arthritis, he will be suffering a great deal of pain and if it's in his jaw as well, of course he would stop eating. So now we're back home, waiting to see if this will have any effect. She wants to see him again on Thursday, but she says we'll wait and see and if there's any improvement, maybe we'll wait longer, because she doesn't want him to suffer the trauma of being transported back and forth every couple of days. 

Once again, I left her clinic with high hopes - but I dare not let them get too high. Unlike the day before yesterday, he didn't go to eat of his own accord when we got home, though that might be because he ate much more at the clinic than he did on Sunday.

I'm praying very hard that we've stumbled upon the cause of Possum's distress. This morning, I was already trying to come to terms with the likelihood that the parting of the ways was before us. This evening, I have, once again, a glimmer of that "thing with feathers".

Monday, October 15, 2012

Update from Possum's Desperately Anxious Mummy

Greetings to all Possum's friends.

Well, I took everyone's advice and went to a different vet. This one has a much better bedside manner and, what's more, her clinic is only a five minute drive away instead of on the other side of town.

When I took Possum to see her yesterday afternoon and started telling her how he's stopped eating, practically the first thing she said was: "Does he want to die?" and then she turned to him and said: "Do you want to die? We're going to  have to change your mind about that, sweetie."
Oh, and she also said she likes senior kitties - they're more of a challenge!

I told her all Possum's history and she asked a lot of questions about how he had reacted to the loss of Pixie. Then she took blood samples but it wasn't possible to take urine samples, she didn't think Possum (who was severely dehydrated) had any urine to give. 

I told her about the appetite pills  Dr. Adrian had prescribed. She agreed about the pills, but not the dosage. Dr. Adrian prescribed Mirtazapine 15mg, a quarter pill 3 times a day. Dr. Einat said that's too high and recommends a quarter pill once every three days. Then she administered fluids by infusion and "force-fed" Possum some A/D Critical Diet with a fraction of the pill inside. Possum resisted at first but afterwards, actually licked some of the food from her hands.  She sent us home with instructions to administer saline subcutaneously, about 40 ml a day and to force-feed Possum if necessary for the next few days. She promised to send the blood tests to a very reliable lab in Tel Aviv and get the results to me today. Somehow, I went home with a feeling of hope - further buoyed up when we got home and Possum actually ate almost half a can of Fancy Feast without me having to resort to force. I was sufficiently encouraged to leave out more food for him overnight, in the hope of waking up in the morning to find he'd eaten most of it.

I was bitterly disappointed this morning to find the food untouched. I decided that, since Dr. Adrian had specified a dose of one quarter pill three times a day and Dr. Einat specified one quarter every three days, I would take a chance and give him another quarter this morning. It was a battle, I can tell you! Pill Pockets, or whatever they're called, don't seem to be available in Israel, so I made a Do-It-Yourself version with a morsel of chicken from the soup left over from Shabbat. I was afraid he was going to choke on it when I forced him to swallow it. It still hadn't had any effect an hour later when I went to work.

In the late afternoon, Dr. Einat called me with the results of Possum's blood tests. "I've got a surprise for you," she said. 
"Good surprise or bad surprise?" I thought, but did not say, though I was pretty sure from her tone of voice that it was good news.
"All of Possum's results are okay," she said. I asked what about urine tests. She said we could do them later although, in view of the blood tests, she, too, is wondering whether this is necessary at this time.
As you can imagine, I went home in much higher spirits than I had been in all day - only to have my hopes dashed once more when I opened the door, and Possum didn't come to greet me (as he used to before this crisis began). I also saw that the food I had left out for him hadn't been touched.

I administered his subQ fluids (I managed to prick my own thumb on the needle - I'm out of practice in the art of administering infusions, it seems) and then offered him a treat I had bought especially for him - sardines. People food. To my bitter disappointment, he wouldn't touch it. I decided there was no option but to force feed him, which I attempted, not very successfully.

But the worst was yet to come. I mentioned before that, even if he is trying to starve himself, at least he is still drinking. But this evening, I measured the water left in his bowl (which I had filled this morning with a litre of water - it's a big bowl, and it was 30 degrees Celsius in Jerusalem today).
The bowl still held a litre. I could have sworn I saw him drinking but it seems he just leans over the bowl and goes through the motions of drinking. Before that, he had been drinking about 250 ml of water a day, but I'd stopped measuring his water intake.

Now I am beginning to think he really does want to die and I can't understand why. Apart from his age, he's not been having any health problems. He's slowed down a bit but he was still playful and enjoyed being petted and having his tummy rubbed. For the last few days, though, he's shown no interest in that either, though he still came and snuggled up next to me last night for a while. True, he's alone for long periods throughout the day, now that he no longer has Pixie to keep him company. But it's 9 and a half months since she's been gone. Is it possible that it's only now that it has really begun to sink in that she's not coming back? Did I make a terrible mistake in not getting another furbaby to keep him company? Is it too late now? 
How can I make my sweet baby want to live?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Desperately Seeking Answers

Greetings everyone - Possum's Mummy here (by Possum's kind purr-mission, of course). 

That title should read - "Questions I'm Afraid to Ask".
For a while now, Possum has been going off his food. First he refused to eat his dry foods, then he started going off his moist dietary food, then even Fancy Feast could scarcely tempt him and for the past couple of days, he has, to all intents and purposes, stopped eating. 

I took him to the vet today. I didn't get any real answers. Apart from taking his temperature (normal, apparently), the vet didn't do any more tests. He said that if I wanted, he could do blood tests every week, but his tone implied that there was no point. In fact, he prefaced his remarks with "How old is he? Seventeen?", then looked me in the eye and said: "You know it has to come to an end some day."

But what does that mean? He doesn't know (and consequently, neither do I) why Possum's urine is like clear water. It's not a good sign, he says, but it could be caused by several things. He hasn't done tests except for the blood test three weeks ago. He seems to imply that at Possum's age (seventeen and a quarter) there isn't much point in putting him through the trauma of all sorts of tests, and asks: "And if there is something - then what?"
He also seems to think/imply that Possum's advanced age is explanation enough.

I asked him, when a cat is suffering from no malady other than old age, what can I expect, but he has no answer because he doesn't see otherwise healthy cats of such advanced years. He reminds me again and again that Possum is above the average lifespan even of "stay-at-home" cats. I point out that I have friends on the internet with cats of 18, 19, and even 20, that I have heard of cats living even to the age of 21. He replies that this is very rare - that even 17 is rare.

So I want to ask my fellow cat lovers - is what is happening to Possum merely the natural progression of age? Is he, in fact, trying to tell me - "Mummy, I'm so very, very tired. It's time to let go."
Is he asking me to help him to the Bridge? It goes against the grain to put a furbaby to sleep simply because he is old. But could this be what he wants? Yet he hasn't stopped drinking his water - and quite a lot of it too.
I don't want this responsibility, of having to decide whether to end his earthly life for him. What I've always wished for him is what I would wish for myself and for all my loved ones - that when the time is right, the end comes with a kiss, in one's sleep.

Has anyone any answers?


Friday, October 5, 2012

Changing Seasons

Greetings, Fellow Felines (and CA-N-I-N-E-S and Humans too)!

Autumn is here - well, almost. You remember that a few days ago, I told you the sky was a funny colour and there was a smell of rain in the air? Well, that very evening, there was a thunderstorm and it rained and rained. And Mummy wasn't here, because she went for supper to her Daddy - and she told me afterwards that the rain started just as they were bringing out the dessert, so they had to leave the sukkah and go indoors. Meanwhile, I was all alone here, watching these great big flashes of light and listening to the loud, boomy noises and wishing Mummy was with Me. But I wasn't afraid, kitties. No, indeed! I was just worried about Mummy, not having Me there to protect her from the scary noises and bright, flashy lights. She must have been terribly frightened. Poor Mummy. But it was her fault, going off like that and leaving Me. She made up for it, though - sort of - by bringing Me a kitty bag. Not the Moroccan-style fish that her step-sister made (Mummy said it was very spicy, this time, not good for kitties), but beef, which she cut up into small pieces and mixed with my dietary food. She wasn't sure if beef is good for kitties, so she only gave me a little (at least, that was her excuse), but when it was mixed in with the C/D moist food, it flavoured the whole bowlful, so I was satisfied and graciously let her know I was pleased with her offering.

I said autumn was almost here. For the rest of the week, the weather was nice and sunny - at least in Jerusalem, where we live, although I saw, on the computer, pictures from the rest of the country and the weather in the north wasn't nearly so good. Mummy thinks we've got a good few days of summer left. The main thing, of course, is that she'll be on holiday till the middle of next week, so I'll be enjoying plenty of Loving.

Shabbat Shalom, everyone!

Possum the MagnifiCat

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Only a Month to Go...

Greetings, Fellow Felines (and C-a-n-i-n-e-s and Humans too)!

Yes, there's only a month to go now before my Human begins her pre-retirement leave and can spend all her time with Moi! But I don't even have to wait that long, because now She's off work for the whole of Sukkot. That means, if you take into account that She was home Friday and Shabbat as well, that I get to enjoy her services She gets to enjoy my company all day, for eleven whole days. This evening, the whole Family (including my human uncle, who has come over from England for the holiday) will be eating at her Daddy's home, in the sukkah in the garden. At least - that's the plan, only the sky has gone a funny colour and there's a smell of rain in the air. 
Whatever happens, there is sure to be a substantial Kitty Bag. I hope her stepsister has made the Moroccan-style fish she does so well...

Now, I must show all you Kitties (and Woofies and Humans also) what a lovely sun-puddle I found the other day. 

In case you were wondering, my charming porcelain companion in this picture is called Dorothea. She has fourteen sisters. But it's not the same as having feline company. Mummy still hasn't made up her mind about getting a new little kitty to come and share our home. She says she'll think about it once she starts her pre-retirement leave. We haven't had a sign from Pixie - Mummy thought she would whisper in her ear  - so now she wants Me to help her decide.
I really don't know what to do, Kitties. I change my mind by the minute. What do you think?

Friday, September 21, 2012

I'm a Pro-Choice, Right to Life Kitty!

Greetings, Fellow Felines (and C-A-N-I-N-E-S and Humans too)!

It's hard to believe how Wicked some people can be! My Human tells me that in the parking lot and the small grove of trees near her office, there is a whole tribe of Pussycats, and that there are some very nice people who work in the building, who feed them twice a day and give them fresh water. In fact, those kitties are very well fed - except, of course, when there is a long weekend, like this last weekend, which lasted five whole days because of Rosh Hashana. So, of course, the Good People put out extra food and water for the Pussycats, to tide them over the festival. But a Very Wicked Human has been poisoning the Poor Pussycats by putting GLUE in their food and over the long weekend, another little ginger kitty was MURDERED in this way.
This makes me Very Very Sad - and also Very Very Angry. I hope the Evil People who did this will be caught and severely punished - just as I hope the Good People who make it their daily business to feed those homeless kitties and provide them with fresh water are rewarded by the Great Cat in the Sky! Every Kitty has a Right to Life!

Now, as to myself - I find the new, moist, dietary food, C/D, purr-fectly acceptable. In fact, some days, I even enjoy it more than Fancy Feast. Mummy has just taken delivery of two dozen more cans (and they're quite pricey, not to mention she had to pay for special delivery- that's how much she loves Me, there's nothing she won't do for Me). At first, she tried mixing it in with the cardboard that passes for dry dietary food that she's been feeding Me till now. But I just picked out the moist food and left the rest. Then she tried giving Me mostly C/D, with some of the dry dietary food mixed in. That worked at first - until I realised how easy it was to ignore the cardboard. I don't say I will purr-manently boycott the dry food, but I can take it or leave it. Some days I take it - but mostly, I leave it! (MOL)  Also, she understands, at last, that if I get the same thing every day, I get bored - even with C/D. So now she sets out a tray for me, with two food bowls. One has C/D with a little dry dietary food mixed in and one has the dry food flavoured with a little Fancy Feast. And because today is Erev Shabbat and tomorrow is Shabbat, she also gave me some pure Fancy Feast, with the promise of more later on. That way, I can choose what I feel like eating at any given moment.

I approve of that - I am a Pro-Choice Pussycat. 

Shabbat Shalom to you all!

Possum the MagnifiCat

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Shana Tova

Greetings, Fellow Felines (and C-A-N-I-N-E-S and Humans as well)!

In just a few short hours, our Human families will be celebrating Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year. I am very lucky to able to celebrate yet another New Year with Mummy - it's not every kitty that gets to be seventeen years young. I don't know how many more years we shall have together; when one gets to be such a very senior kitty, one just has to take whatever time the Great Cat in the Sky grants us, and be grateful for the time we have had. If I sound a little anxious, Fellow Felines (etc.), it's because of late, my Human has been looking at me with a very worried expression , and often, when I am trying to nap, I can feel her watching me as if she's afraid I won't wake up again.
I must admit that I've had very little appetite of late, and at the same time, I've been very thirsty and drinking more than usual - and I don't seem to have the energy to do much more than sleep. Mummy got so worried that last week, she kit-napped Me and took me to That Place. My regular doctor, Dr. Adrian wasn't there; instead, there was a new one called Dr. Oran, whom I've never seen before. He tried to take blood and urine samples from me, but I wouldn't let him. So he said he would have to sedate Me. Mummy was afraid to let him try because that's always more risky for Senior Felines such as Myself, so instead, she made another appointment for Me today, when Dr. Adrian was there. I didn't want to get into the cage so She threw a towel over Me and bundled me into it. I hated that - but when we got there, Dr. Adrian managed to do the tests without sedating Me. He said my urine was like water, and that's a sign my kidneys aren't working. But the blood tests showed just the opposite, that they are working okay - and the doctor said that's what counts. But he was a little concerned that I'm eating so little; he said I should be eating twice as much as I do - and he gave Mummy a new kind of Food called C-D (which I liked, but possibly that was just the novelty). He also said I could eat what I like - even Fancy Feast. Anyway, Dr. Adrian said that I wasn't going to die of Kidney Disease. Mummy and I were very relieved - but we can both read between the lines and We know he meant that it would be Old Age that gets Me in the end. But I hope that won't happen just yet, kitties.  :-)

Now, Fellow Felines - and all you other Four Legged and Two Legged Friends - I want to talk to you about something Very, Very Impawtant!
We have just learned of a Terrible Crime being carried out against innocent kitties and woofies, by Shark Fisherman! These Wicked People use live kitties and woofies as Bait!!! Can you imagine that?????
Mummy said they should take these people and use them as bait instead. Oh, she was Very Angry! And she wants you all to sign this PET-ition to make sure that anyone who commits such a Crime is severely punished. I also urge you all to sign and to get your Humans to sign too. Together, we can make a difference.

That's all for now, everyone. Shana Tova - a Happy New Year.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Possum's Entertainment Guide

Greetings, Fellow Felines (and C-A-N-I-N-E-S and Humans too)!

As you know, one of a Human's most impawtant jobs is to entertain his or her Feline. My Human certainly fulfills this part of her contract. Either that, or she has let her successful foray into Roach Assassination go to her head. The other day, she saw Something in the dark corner by the side of the refrigerator, something shaped rather like - well, one of those Creepy Crawly Things. I couldn't reach it, the space was too narrow even for one with my acrobatic skills - and she didn't want to move the fridge because, she said, the Thing would scuttle off somewhere and then we'd never find it. So off she went and got out the yellow spray can with the horrible poison gas and she sprayed and sprayed. Then, we waited. When She  was sure it was quite, quite dedded, she got a ruler and scooped out the corpse. And guess what, Fellow Felines (etc.) - it was nothing but an almond that had rolled under the refrigerator!
Yes, Kitties! Mummy dedded a nut (MOL)!

Still on the subject of Human Folly - Mummy is so enamoured of my beautiful pink toeses that she decided to e-mew-late Me. Here are two pictures, Fellow Felines (etc.) - one of my own, purr-fectly natural pink and white paws, and the other of Mummy's feeble attempt to copy them. (They do say Imitation is the sincerest form of Flattery, don't they?)

Now, tell me honestly - which do you think are prettier?

Have a good week!

Possum the MagnifiCat

Saturday, September 1, 2012

It's Been a Hard Week's Work

Greetings, Fellow Felines (and C-A-N-I-N-E-S and Humans too)!

My Human took a day off work on Sunday, but instead of spending it with Moi, she went and pampered Herself at a Spa, leaving Me all on my own. Now, I'm a Very Considerate Employer, but that was really rather selfish of her, considering that she had promised Me that she would be retiring at the end of July, but then she changed her plans and I'm still spending my days all alone. And to make matters worse, she worked late almost every day last week and came home too exhausted to play with Me. Sometimes, when she comes home from work, she tells Me about the strange things that Humans do. Sometimes she writes about it in her own bloggie.
Can you imagine Cats behaving so oddly? No, I can't, either  ;-)

Now, Fellow Felines (etc.) I want to share with you the pick of this week's crop of pictures taken by the sneaky paparazzi.

This is me being rudely awoken one morning, so that Mummy can kiss me goodbye before going to work.


And this is me Friday morning, waiting for Mummy's cleaning lady to arrive. Her name is Galina and she gives me cottage cheese to eat when she sits down for a break mid-morning. Note how my forepaws are elegantly disposed, one on either side of the arm-rest. Okay, you can only see one of them, but I assure you, the other one is symmetrically aligned on the other side.

This is Me, looking after Mummy, while she finishes off a chapter in one of the two books she is reading, before going to sleep.

This is me trying to get some sleep myself and being awakened by the unmistakeable click of the flashy box.  

And this is me about to be finally rewarded for my Co-operation  ;-) 

Well, I think that's all I have to tell you for now. Have a lovely week, everyone!

Possum the MagnifiCat

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Sad Weekend

Greetings, Fellow Felines (and C-A-N-I-N-E-S and Humans too)!

It's been a very sad weekend for My Human and Me. Her cousin Avi, whom we wrote about the week before last, crossed the Rainbow Bridge. I, purr-sonally, didn't really know Avi very well, but when Mummy is sad, it makes Me sad also. Besides which, it's up to Me to comfort Mummy. That's part of the job description for us Furbabies. I do know that when Avi crossed the Bridge, he found a little, four-legged friend waiting for him, his woofie-pal, Sheba, who left for the Bridge a few months earlier. She must have been very happy to see him again so soon - but it made Mummy so very, very unhappy. I hate it when Mummy's eyes start leaking. I don't always know what to do to make that stop. I shall go and snuggle up with her. She likes that. I can always get a smile that way - even if, as now, it's a very small, sad smile...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Purrs and Prayers

Greetings, Fellow Felines, C-a-n-i-n-e-s and Humans!

Mummy would like to ask all of you - and your Human Mummies and Daddies - to please purr-ay very hard tonight for her (human) cousin Avi who is very, very sick. He has something badly wrong with his blood and the chemotherapy has now damaged his kidneys also, and if a miracle doesn't happen, he may have to leave for the Rainbow Bridge. She has written about this on her own blog.
So please, everybody, remember Avraham ben Dvorah in your purrs and prayers tonight.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Shabbat Treats

Greetings, Fellow Felines (and C-A-N-I-N-E-S and Humans too)!

It's still ever so hot, I have no energy for anything, but I make an effort now and then because I know my Human gets Really, Really Worried when I just flop down and don't move for hours. To tell the truth, Kitties, it is often an effort just to get up or, if I'm already up, to sit down. I'm waiting for her now, to come and take her Shabbat afternoon nap and then I can feel comfortable, knowing she is safely snuggled up beside me. 

She gave me some extra culinary treats today. She let me lick out the last of the goats' milk cream cheese in the tub and just now, she let me lick out her dessert bowl. She said it was something called "ice cream"  and to hear her, you would have thought it was something really special. But I didn't care for it much, so I left it after only about three licks and demanded some proper food. That means Fancy Feasties, Fellow Felines (et al.) and this time, it was Tender Liver and Chicken - one of my favourites.

The Paparazzi have been very busy this past week, so Mummy and I had quite a hard time deciding which was the best picture of Moi to show you, but we eventually chose this one, because, as Mummy was quick to point out, it displays my beautiful pink and white toesies to best advantage.

I see Mummy is ready, at last, to take her nap, so I shall go and lie down next to her, so as to guard her and keep her safe from any possible Intruders. Have a lovely weekend, Fellow Felines (etc)!
But before I go, Mummy would like to invite your Human Mummies and Daddies to take a look at her own blog. She worked very hard on it and she thinks they would like it.

Felinemarshall Sir Possum MagnifiCatus, Captain of the Guard, KCB (Knight of the Cat Blogosphere)