February 19, 2014 | Comments Off
I’m not sure when this all started because now it’s just all a blur, but I think it was last Friday. Eva got sick first. She had diarrhea and threw up. I thought she was all better once she took the Pepcid the vet recommended. Then Pacey wouldn’t eat breakfast one morning. He got Pepcid and seemed to be fine. But that whole cycle repeated itself with those two, and then Sam was also thrown into the mix. Then both boys were puking. There’s a lot of diarrhea in their boxes, but I’m not sure who has been doing that now, but it’s definitely more than just one kitty. I can’t think of what has changed. They have been reluctant to eat their special diet foods which does happen from time to time, so I’ve been giving them the food the girls eat, which isn’t really a shock to their system because they all swap food stations anyway. See, it was a brand new box that we opened. I called the company, and they said there wasn’t a recall – but it just seems very coincidental. I don’t believe they’ve all been sick like this at once. I feel like I’m losing my mind. Thankfully Lulu and Basia seem fine. I was going to have Mark disinfect all their bowls and boxes, but the vet said that cats don’t transfer things like that to one another. I wondered if Spenser could bring something in from the outside, and she’s going to test their poo for parasites but doubts that’s the issue. We’re also giving bland diets like boiled ground beef and chicken with rice as the vet recommended. Pacey and Sam eat it, but Eva only eats dry kibble. So I cancelled Pacey’s acupuncture since he’s not in the right frame of mind for it and scheduled a mobile vet visit for the three of them when there wasn’t any improvement. That visit took place today. The rest of the advice and suggestions came via email and phone while this was all in its early stages. The vet said they all checked out fine and seemed hydrated. She recommended we throw out the new case of food they had been eating from which we had already done. We are keeping the box to make sure we don’t get similar ones from the same lot number again. They all got injections and medicines to last for the next week, and we are to keep feeding them a bland diet while mixing their old stuff back into it slowly but surely over the span of a week. Fingers crossed this all proceeds smoothly! And at one point the vet said the last time she was here was when she put our black cat to sleep which was something I didn’t need to be reminded of. That’s like me saying to her that the last time she was here she ripped my heart out. When she was outside we got the bill from the assistant, and it was again astronomical. I need to watch my mouth because right in front of her I said to Mark that we will never be able to move unless I start blowing guys off craigslist. He mentioned something recently about us moving in Summer 2015, but who knows. Speaking of him, he hasn’t been handling this very well, of course. Spenser has been barking all night long for about a week now no matter what we do which means less sleep for all of us, and Mark is over the snow shoveling. We’ve had two more snowfalls since the last time I said we had two more snowfalls. In fact, the local news said that we are in the midst of having the third or fourth highest snow totaled winter ever on record! Anyway, due to all this, I recalled some of the advice that the therapist I saw gave me when I was really first struggling with my chronic pain and Mark’s attitude, as I think it applies again here as well. I need to envision myself wearing a suit of armor so that every time he screams about things that it just falls off and away from me. I’m going to tune it out. They are his issues, not mine. I’ve tried to help and problem-solve, but he doesn’t want my help. He wants to yell. I don’t want to be yelled at. But with my chronic pain, I’m trapped. What’s my recourse? Just not to listen. I don’t want to develop PTSD again, so I’ve got to try this before it’s too late.
February 17, 2014 | Comments Off
I recently did a product review for Access Pet Wellness, urine strips that are patented test devices specifically designed for home-use for both dogs and cats. These strip devices are for the detection of urinary tract infection, diabetes, and kidney failure. The method is non-invasive, pain-free, easy, and reliable. It allows you to test your pet at the first sign of a suspicious symptom or as preventive care right in the comfort of your own home. All you need to do is collect a small amount of urine (about 2ml or a teaspoon) to run the test. I was really grateful at the timing of our review for them because it alerted us to the diabetes issues that our cat Sam was having. If you’re new to the site, you can start with that post and read forward as to what has been going on with him.
Now Access Pet Wellness has recently partnered with Ugodog, an indoor potty training system for dogs, which also offers an easy way to collect urine. I received a sample Ugodog system because I wanted to see how it functioned firsthand before I promoted it here (even though I’m not doing a full product review of it), and it does do exactly as it says, and I think their partnership with Access Pet Wellness makes a lot of sense!
Here are two photos of it, and a quick video of how it works. Now, if you were attempting to collect urine for a test kit, you just wouldn’t use one of the provided sheets of absorbent paper.
Essentially, it is the dog version of a cat litter box. The upper tray has holes and lets the urine fall underneath into a lower tray, where an absorbent paper can be placed (or not). If the urine is clean, it is testable. I think the system would be great for urban pet owners but obviously would require a training period.
Also, Ugodog wants to share with you some Identifying Symptoms of Canine Urinary Tract Infection:
As all dog owners know, any change in your dog’s behavior is a sign that something is not right, so be aware of the slightest behavioral changes and, when in doubt, take your dog to your veterinarian right away.
Here are some symptoms you can look for:
1 – Whimpering or yelping while urinating
2 – Weight loss
3 – Vomiting
4 – Change in frequency of urination
5 – Change in amount of urination
6 – Change in smell of urine
7 – Incontinence
8 – Excessive thirst
9 – Dehydration
10 – Blood in the urine
11 – Spraying in the house
If your dog has any of these symptoms, please do not wait. Take him/her to your veterinarian or get an Access Pet Wellness home test kit right away. Treating a mild case of UTI is much easier than treating one that has grown to an advanced stage. If your dog’s UTI is left untreated, it may cause kidney disease or even renal failure.
There are steps that you can take to keep your dog from developing a UTI. You can offer both wet and dry foods, make sure there’s plenty of water available at all times, and take your dog out for regular walks. If you are not able to walk your dog for more than 6-8 hours, it is suggested that you implement an indoor or alternative potty system such as Ugodog, as forcing your dog to hold their urine in for too long can cause a build-up of bacteria and contribute to urinary tract infections.
Again, I cannot speak highly enough of the test kits from Access Pet Wellness. Even after doing my product review, I now have a stash of their Diabetes Urine Test Kits for Sam in case he starts acting off. I need to purchase the other kinds too in case any of my furbabies start acting oddly. It’s far better to be safe than sorry.
(Full disclosure – Ugodog provided a sample item to us free of charge, but it being free in no way influenced my thoughts. Thanks!)
February 15, 2014 | Comments Off
SuperCat Products, part of Quaker Pet Group, sent us over some of their cool items for my kitty furbabies to check out! These products use something called a Nano-Burst Technology™ that constantly releases scent when the bubbles of catnip that are on them are broken or burst when they are rubbed, scratched, buffed, crumpled, folded, and so on! And it’s all safe and non-toxic! The first item we looked at were SuperCat’s Catnip Caves! Catnip Caves surround cats in micro-encapsulated catnip scent. To reiterate, these caves are sprayed with catnip scented bubbles that will burst when rubbed, buffed, crumpled, or scratched! Perfect for pouncing and hiding, these caves are great for wild playtime fun. The second item we checked out were SuperCat’s Catnip Crumples! Catnip Crumples are great for tossing one at a time or several at once. The crumples continuously release scent whenever the paper is folded or scratched. Again, this Nano-Burst Technology™ means small bubbles of catnip scent burst during play for a long-lasting catnip experience. Cool, right? And how could cats not be attracted to that? Additionally, SuperCat Products also sells Catnip Markers, Catnip Stickers, and Catnip Spray!
Here are some photos of what SuperCat Products sent to us:
And here’s a video where I take a closer look at what we received:
Here is some information about these SuperCat Products from its website:
Using the same technology as Scratch N Sniff stickers, SuperCat products are “printed” with small bubbles of catnip that burst when cats rub, scratch, or buff the material. This Nano-Burst Technology™ constantly releases scent when the bubbles are broken and will last approximately six weeks, making for a long-lasting catnip experience.
Here are some cute photos and videos of my kitties playing with their new Catnip Caves & Catnip Crumples:
The verdict? Right off the bat I’ll say that having bags and paper all around my floors challenges the neat freak in me, but I’ve lived with empty cardboard boxes around longer than I ever thought I would simply because it amuses my little furbabies. The things you do for kitty love! But there are enough of these SuperCat Catnip Caves & SuperCat Catnip Crumples in a package where I can toss and replace later when things get to be too much for me. Ha! The general concept behind these products is great, easy, and simple – you just scratch the surface, throw it your cat’s way, and watch them play. And that is exactly what happens for the most part! The Catnip Caves, unfortunately, didn’t do what they were supposed to do. They didn’t smell like catnip at all. It says to scratch a purple strip to get the scent flowing, but there isn’t a purple strip. Someone in the Amazon reviews said they called customer service and were told to scratch anywhere on the bag to release the catnip scent. But that didn’t work for them or for us either. Mark & I both scratched all four bags in every spot possible, and nothing happened. Thus, they are in essence just tiny bags with cute sayings like “purr,” “wow,” “ssscratch” and such on them. On the other hand, the Catnip Crumples have those same sayings, but they also have that amazing catnip scent too! They work exactly how they are advertised to, and they are a lot of fun! My furbabies really enjoyed batting those around, and they also really liked getting the Crumples out of the Caves! If you purchase any of their products, please let me know what you think!
(Full disclosure – SuperCat Products provided these items to us free of charge in exchange for a product review. Thanks!)
February 14, 2014 | Comments Off
I dressed up Spenser, Eva, Sam, and Lulu in some fun Valentine’s Day bandanas that I found on Etsy and then gave the cats some cute cupcake-filled packages from Créme de la Cat (one of my favorite online stores) that were stocked with catnip toys & goodies! Happy Valentine’s Day!
February 12, 2014 | Comments Off
My Valentine’s Day gift for Mark came really early, like two weeks ago early. I guess I should have looked into the whole shipping aspect of it before I hit order, but whatever. I’ve always been intrigued by these M&M ads where they talk about you getting the M&Ms in whatever colors and with whatever sayings you want on them. And Mark was really happy to see a whole bunch of them with Pittsburgh colors! I put some cute sayings on them too as well as a photo of their baseball team logo. We also closed our eyes and taste tested them against a bag he had brought home from Christmas that we just opened because I thought the new ones would obviously taste fresher. He disagreed with me and ended up being right. Ugh. As for me, I asked for another slice of that chocolate chip pound cake that comes from this yummy bakery that’s right near his work. A slice is so huge and lasts me two days. Well, he got an entire cake with Happy Valentine’s Day written on it in pink but cut it up (half for the freezer, half for the fridge) before I could even take a photo! It’s quite literally going to take months to eat because I really like it but then I get really sick of it too.
February 11, 2014 | Comments Off
Pacey had his first acupuncture session last night, and his second one is scheduled for next week. He gripped the table a lot and tried to run off every chance he got, but that’s just the way he is. He’s independent and basically wanted no parts of it. But he did just fine. He made lots and lots of deep eye contact with me. His big eyes mostly never left my eyes, and I was pretty sure that I wasn’t going to be getting the usual nighttime cuddles out of him that I get right at bedtime. Thankfully I was wrong and he was ready to snuggle with me. He was also very ready for the treats I promised to give to him as soon as they left. I hope this works as well for him as it does for Basia. Fingers crossed! And this morning they both started their new herb that they get every twelve hours that we are giving them in place of their supplement. It’s a tiny pellet. Basia seems to eat hers in food easily, and it took Pacey three tries with his mixed in food. I’m just hoping we don’t have to pill him and turn it into an ordeal. And last night the mobile vet mentioned Kip and how she thought he was a sweet boy, and thankfully I was very focused on Pacey or I would have cried my eyes out. Also, Spenser got another laser treatment last night which went well too.
February 10, 2014 | Comments Off
Last week wasn’t the greatest week for me, and it sent me into a depression, the likes of which I haven’t seen in quite awhile. It’s kinda funny because I just complained about how Mark’s screaming funk was getting old, tiresome, and ridiculous – and then wham. I’m not screaming, though. I’m just sitting here, sleeping, crying, staring off into space, worrying, and hating everything, especially this house.
So the mobile vet called last week with good and bad news regarding my cats who have kidney issues. To start with the good, Basia was doing acupuncture and eating new food, and she improved startlingly well! Her numbers went into the positive range like crazy, and we are so thrilled and happy for her! Pacey, on the other hand, was doing the supplement and eating new food, and his numbers went down a lot. Thus, that’s a huge part of why I’ve been an emotional mess. I’m worried to death over my little guy. He starts acupuncture with their first available appointment, and I hope his body accepts the procedure(s) and responds as well as Basia has. I can’t help but be scared for him, and I’m guilty of crying into his fur quite a few times. We will do whatever it takes to help him, of course.
Then there was this top pet trade show, not a pet show, that was being held locally that we were going to attend until it was cancelled. This was HH Backer/Total Pet Expo’s first year in Atlantic City in which they were allowing bloggers to attend as media. Two years ago, the last time they were here, I was turned away even though I was told I could come, due to miscommunication. Thus, I had been looking forward to this for quite a long time. I figured even with my back pain that I could more or less handle it, what with it being forty-five minutes away and all. So, yeah, I’m beyond bummed and frustrated over getting that news as well. And I was hoping to meet some of those who just couldn’t be bothered to return my emails (not in a confrontational manner, of course). But apparently not enough exhibitors signed up to attend this year, and that’s a sad thing all around.
Mark has been really quiet and on his best behavior. I guess I should be depressed all the time, eh? He even said we could babysit! At first an expected nor’easter that never came made that a no until my depression did me in. Let’s see. What else? We got two more inches of snow two more times since I last wrote! It’s been wonderful, white, and fluffy! Mark did start his umpiring class and will be going to that weekly. He showed me cat paw prints that passed by our house overnight that were in the fresh snow, and all I could do was worry about how cold that little baby must be. I can’t ever stand to think about animals that are stuck outdoors; my heart hurts for them. Lastly, we were mailed our flood check from the insurance company but obviously are not doing anything with it until we hear from the construction guy, which I feel we should have by now! I called this morning and ended up leaving a message. I’ll have Mark call tomorrow in case this is a guy who doesn’t respond well to women or something. Insurance made it sound as if she and construction were all on the same page. If that were so, construction would have brought out a contract to sign so we can get put on their calendar. I’m tired of waiting and of having various nails sticking out of our walls.
I’m hoping my mood lifts. My back pain has been horrible as well. It hurts so much, and it makes me feel frustrated and makes me cry too. Perhaps I should invest in some freaking Kleenex.
February 8, 2014 | Comments Off
Eva doesn’t seem like she is feeling like her normal trouble-making self today, so I’ve been watching her like a hawk. Actually, she’s made that rather easy for me as she hasn’t left my side much. Now that is highly unusual, so it confirms for me that she’s feeling a bit under the weather. I mean, she’s still eating, drinking, playing, napping, and using the litter box all the same, but her meows and purrs seem “off” to me. She was in her Hootie Footie for extra warmth for awhile, like in the above photos. How adorbs, right? She went downstairs for a bit but is back to being in the bed with me. The mobile vet comes back in two days, so I’ll just throw Eva onto the schedule if I still feel as if she isn’t quite herself.
February 7, 2014 | Comments Off
I ran across frau bOLZa online, and I am so, so glad I did! Cutting to the chase, the sweater that is the subject of this product review has gotten more compliments than anything else any of the furbabies have ever worn! Alexandra Bolzer, who designed it and who runs frau bOLZa out of Vienna, uses only natural materials like wool, alpaca, cotton, or leather, when the functionality allows for it. Alexandra provides high quality, hand-knitted fashion for our pets and accessories for us that match them! They get dog sweaters, traditional dog coats, dog hoods, and dog bandanas, and we get smart phone wallets, iPad cases, hoods, and caps. frau bOLZa makes everything handmade, and their collections are made for people who like both vintage and traditional fashion. Spenser’s gorgeous new sweater comes from Alexandra’s Sonntag collection, but she has other collections you can view as well!
Here are two photos – front and back – of this frau bOLZa dog sweater:
And here’s a video where I take a closer look at it:
Included in the package:
- 1 frau bOLZa dog sweater, from the sonntag collection
Here is some information about this frau bOLZa dog sweater from its website:
This high quality, hand-knitted designer sweater was inspired from vintage fashion design. We develop these wool sweaters for your pet to be very comfortable and warm. The sweater is made from 65% sheep wool and 35% Alpaca. This lovely striped sweater is made in a structured binding, for an accurate vintage look. FYI – wash by hand and lay flat to dry!
Here are some photos & a video of Spenser hanging out in his gorgeous new sweater:
The verdict? I guess I didn’t get any photos with the collar up! How did that not happen? I know we had it up because we were saying how cute he looked with it that way as well! That aside, this sweater by frau bOLZa is simply beyond gorgeous. It is so well-done and so well-designed, and it arrived here in the United States with hardly any wait time whatsoever. And working with Alexandra was just great! I sent over Spenser’s measurements and simply asked her to pick a sweater from whichever collection she wanted to that she felt would go best with his beagle colors. And neither Mark nor I were disappointed. In fact, we both shrieked with happiness! We think he looks so cute, gorgeous, preppy, and dapper in it! And there have been a few others who have seen him in it who have made cute comments too. One said that he looks like he belongs on a university campus, like Oxford. Another asked where his cigars and slippers were. And there have been more. Haha! He does actually look that ridiculously handsome in it! It’s as if it transforms him into a super preppy pup! We just love it! And he seems quite comfortable in it as well. If you purchase any of their products, please let me know what you think!
(Full disclosure – frau bOLZa provided this item to us free of charge in exchange for a product review. Thanks!)
February 5, 2014 | Comments Off
Our first stop yesterday was to pick up a new cable box because ours stopped reaching all three floors, pages needed constant refreshing, and apps were cutting out. We had a battle for a long time over who would call and get a new one brought out to the house. In the end, he was told to go pick one up and install it himself. So that’s what we did! And I hope this resolves it for good.
Then I finally saw my new endocrinologist. One thing I learned which is something I can’t believe I haven’t been told or haven’t figured out on my own during the past zillion years is that I have been taking my thyroid pill incorrectly. I am supposed to take it by itself, not with any other medications, nor with milk or breakfast, for 40 minutes after taking it, and especially not with vitamin d for 4-5 hours afterwards after taking that. Basically forever I have been taking all my meds together at one time, including my vitamin d, and running right downstairs to grab something to eat. She indicated that this could be a cause for my weight gain, and she increased my dosage from 112 mcg to 125 mcg for three months. Undoubtedly it’s more likely my daily cupcake for breakfast and grilled cheese for dinner diet that’s undone me, but chronic pain doesn’t make me want to eat health foods. And that’s where we are with that. I also asked to be tested for diabetes though she doesn’t think I have the symptoms for it since one is weight loss. I believe I’d be a lot heavier though and that it’s keeping me somewhat steady where I’ve been at for the past year. Also, I love how Mark argued with me a few months ago about how they didn’t test for diabetes there, and I knew they did. He made a big fuss about it, so I just sat back, waited, and was proven right. All he did yesterday was say he didn’t remember having that conversation with me. Conversation? It was an argument, as is most everything involved with him.
Afterwards we went to the junky salon so I could get my toes done and face waxed. I suggested to Mark that he get a pedicure because he loves them, and I hoped it would help out his mood. He took me up on the offer. It irritates me how every time I’m there I have to say a billion times that I want them to cut my toes short, no shorter, no shorter than that! And when it was waxing time, I casually said that she could wax my chin if she felt there were a need. Well, she started slopping on pounds of wax and smearing it all over my chin, to which I was forced to ask wtf. She said the hair was quite long in multiple spots, and I was quite mortified. Haha.
And just from being a passenger in running those few errands, I came home in such pain that it was ridiculous, and today I’m no better off. Wtf, life.
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