Ill cat update

So it’s been a while since I wrote about the cats’ various illnesses, and much has changed.

CHF Kitteh

PC021086Smudge, the timid one with congenital heart trouble, is now on two tablets daily – ferusemide and fortekor crushed in food – interesting fun, given that we can’t always make sure the right cat gets the right bowl. He’s generally doing ok, but has had two recent scary turns where for three days, he doesn’t eat. By the second day, we’ve usually twigged the problem and started hand feeding him catfood jelly and his ferusemide tablets, and by the third day he drags himself to his bowl and starts eating again. The ferusemide is a diuretic, supposed to help get surplus fluids away from his heart, but the result is he drinks almost non-stop and pees very regularly too.

UTI Kitteh

fudgeFudge, the big hairy strong one with a tendency to urinary tract infections, has had an interesting time of things lately. Before Christmas, he had a major problem with a urinary tract blockage, which manifested itself as the cat getting grumpier and grumpier until he could no longer be handled without hisses and scratches – a sure fire sign that the usually affectionate cat was in trouble. So, into the vet he went on an emergency Saturday appointment, and P came back empty handed. He was sedated and the vet had a good rootle around, removed the blockage, drained his bladder and woke him up again. He had a very strange afternoon with wobbly back legs, and then returned to full health. His routines have had to be changed a bit though – he’s gone from “dry food only occasionally” to “NO DRY FOOD EVAR!” and we have to trick him into drinking water by adulterating his food.

FudgeAll well and good until a week ago when he suddenly started hiding and refusing to eat at all, another clear sign of trouble. A closer look showed that his back legs weren’t working properly again – almost like when he was recovering from anaesthetic. This was discovered out of vet hours and necessitated a very expensive trip to the emergency vet. Obviously we suspected a UTI problem again, but were able to rule this out following an accident in the kitteh-box on the way.

The clear indication from the first vet visit was trauma of some kind – his claws were shredded, he had no temperature, but was clearly uncomfortable. Car, fight or fall were possible suspects. He got an injection of long lasting painkiller and slow acting antibiotics and was told to present himself to his own vet in the morning for X-ray. The following day, he was completely symptomless, so he went to the vet, but came home right as rain. The further exam brought to light a bit more evidence – another cat’s fur under his claws suggested it was a fight that led to the trouble.

Over the following week, it seems as the long lasting painkiller wore off, he’s been getting worse, until today it was clear he was in trouble again, so I phoned the vet for further advice and ended up taking him in. Fudge and that particular vet have a bit of history since the last injection he had there that led to the cat suddenly – and without warning – going mad mid injection, and causing the needle to fly out of the syringe and embed itself in the consulting table and twang like an arrow in a Robin Hood film.

So today, the vet had to be quite firm, holding cat by scruff of neck and trying to check his foot, but the cat was having none of it – squirming, hissing and yowling, and clearly displeased. It’s clear there’s real pain and the vet couldn’t get close to finding out what was wrong. So we’ve had to leave him for an overnight stay, to make sure he doesn’t eat anything, and then they’ll have another go in the morning – sedating him, examining him thoroughly and x-raying if necessary. No idea whether it’s a broken bone, a soft-tissue injury or maybe an infected cat bite.

Tweets on 2009-01-21

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Tweets on 2009-01-20

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Obama and gay rights

Joe.My.God, my own personal window on all things American, with a particular slant towards gay rights in the US, was thrilled to note that within minutes of Obama’s inauguration, the Whitehouse website was amended to give Obama’s priorities for LGBT Americans.

The words are not new – they are taken from the change.gov site that filled the gap between election and inauguration.

But it is a good sign to all those worried see them so prominently displayed on the new Whitehouse.  Particularly since so many commentators had been reading worrying signs ahead from the invitation of a notorious anti-gay pastor to preach at the ceremony.

And a still stranger sign to see LGBT priorities upfront and centre at the top of the list under the “Civil Rights” whilst faith issues are relegated to “Additional Issues” – along with, worryingly, science.

There were good indications from the inaugural address, highlighted by some of those I follow:

kayray¬†“…hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism.” Curiosity! Tolerance!

joswinson¬†“we extend our hand if you will unclench your fist”: inspiring stuff on foreign policy, feel the world is ok again, tho’ with big challenges

stephenfry¬†“Curiosity” – that’s an inspired point. So damned right. A human quality so often overlooked, but so crucial

stephenfry¬†“and non-believers” yay!

stephenfry¬†“We will raise science to its rightful place”. Yes. Yes. Yes!!!

For my records – here are the things he pledges to do for gay people in the states. ¬†This is the list we’ll be judging him against.

Support for the LGBT Community

“While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do. Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It’s about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect.”— Barack Obama, June 1, 2007

  • Expand Hate Crimes Statutes:¬†In 2004, crimes against LGBT Americans constituted the third-highest category of hate crime reported and made up more than 15 percent of such crimes. President Obama cosponsored legislation that would expand federal jurisdiction to include violent hate crimes perpetrated because of race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or physical disability. As a state senator, President Obama passed tough legislation that made hate crimes and conspiracy to commit them against the law.
  • Fight Workplace Discrimination:¬†President Obama supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and believes that our anti-discrimination employment laws should be expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity. While an increasing number of employers have extended benefits to their employees’ domestic partners, discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace occurs with no federal legal remedy. The President also sponsored legislation in the Illinois State Senate that would ban employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
  • Support Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBT Couples:¬†President Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions. These rights and benefits include the right to assist a loved one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and property rights.
  • Oppose a Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage:¬†President Obama voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2006 which would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman and prevented judicial extension of marriage-like rights to same-sex or other unmarried couples.
  • Repeal Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell:¬†President Obama agrees with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashvili and other military experts that we need to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. The key test for military service should be patriotism, a sense of duty, and a willingness to serve. Discrimination should be prohibited. The U.S. government has spent millions of dollars replacing troops kicked out of the military because of their sexual orientation. Additionally, more than 300 language experts have been fired under this policy, including more than 50 who are fluent in Arabic. The President will work with military leaders to repeal the current policy and ensure it helps accomplish our national defense goals.
  • Expand Adoption Rights:¬†President Obama believes that we must ensure adoption rights for all couples and individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation. He thinks that a child will benefit from a healthy and loving home, whether the parents are gay or not.
  • Promote AIDS Prevention:¬†In the first year of his presidency, President Obama will develop and begin to implement a comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategy that includes all federal agencies. The strategy will be designed to reduce HIV infections, increase access to care and reduce HIV-related health disparities. The President will support common sense approaches including age-appropriate sex education that includes information about contraception, combating infection within our prison population through education and contraception, and distributing contraceptives through our public health system. The President also supports lifting the federal ban on needle exchange, which could dramatically reduce rates of infection among drug users. President Obama has also been willing to confront the stigma — too often tied to homophobia — that continues to surround HIV/AIDS.
  • Empower Women to Prevent HIV/AIDS:¬†In the United States, the percentage of women diagnosed with AIDS has quadrupled over the last 20 years. Today, women account for more than one quarter of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses. President Obama introduced the Microbicide Development Act, which will accelerate the development of products that empower women in the battle against AIDS. Microbicides are a class of products currently under development that women apply topically to prevent transmission of HIV and other infections.

Hmmmm…. cake…

In the best Homerian tradition, hmm, cake, [drool]

Lovely sweet little claymation video, which must have taken someone weeks. ¬†Lovely moment in the music when it switches from extradiegetic to diagetic when one of the characters starts singing. ¬†Big finale. ¬†What’s not to like?

Source: Cake Wrecks