Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Battle of the Bulge, rejoined.

I’ve decided to use my newly found time to seriously dedicate myself to exercise and weight loss. Right before my dad passed away, I weighed about 190 pounds and was in great physical shape. Since then, I’ve put on about 35 pounds and lost just about all my muscle tone. I’m at a point that my clothes don’t fit very well. Frankly, I’m too cheap to buy new clothes…so the weight has to come off.

I’ve started a pretty strict diet and cardio exercise four times a week. My hope is to get myself jump started, before I start to toy with resistance training again. My initial goal is to drop 25 pounds. I’ve done it before. Given that I don’t have the school and family stress that I’ve had before, I really think that I can get back to a more idea weight before summer and before all this extra weight makes me sweat like crazy!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Charlie Continued

Charlie (Continued)

Charlie is a very sweet cat. Clearly, he used to live with people and just got lost or was dumped. When we picked him up from the vet after our vacation, everyone said very nice things about him, commenting how gentle he was. Our only concern, albeit a great concern, was the warning given to us by the vet about the possibility of FIP. When the vet opened him up in a vain attempt to spay an already neutered male cat, he found some fluid in the abdomen, which is a symptom of FIP.

Charlie also had a small bladder infection, so the doctor gave us some pills to give to Charlie. Our other cats require significant effort to “pill” including prying open the jaws, holding them open, and throwing the pill down. Then, holding the mouth closed for an extended period until the cat finally swallows the pill or it dissolves away. One morning, Leigh Anne started to “pill” Charlie like we were used to with our other cats. Charlie clamped down on Leigh Anne’s two index fingers with his fangs. Leigh Anne’s right index finger was penetrated very deeply. It even appeared that the tooth may have went all the way through the tip of her finger.

Over the next several hours, the finger started to swell greatly. Leigh Anne went to her doctor. The next day, since the swelling and pain was continuing, we went to the hospital. They probed the wound and found no infection, but did drain the finger and released the pressure.

Leigh Anne’s finger is much better now. She still cannot bend it all the way, but feeling is slowly coming back. My initial feeling was that this action would seal Charlie’s fate. FIP or not, I could not believe that Leigh Anne would want to keep the cat. Much to my surprise, Leigh Anne took the attack in stride. Her greatest concern is still the FIP related to our other cats.

So, how do we pill Charlie? We discovered that this cat is so calm and tame that all you have to do is put his pills in his food and he eats them. People have always told us that cats will do this, but that had never been our experience. The whole issue could have been avoided had we treated Charlie like a “normal” cat instead of treating him like our weird cats.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Its Charlie

It’s Charlie!

First, please excuse the lack of postings. As I completed my MPA, my hours became very precious. I have much more time for posting again.

Over the past few weeks, other than completing my Masters in Public Administration, Leigh Anne and I went on an Eastern Caribbean cruise and we have tentatively adopted a third cat.

Leigh Anne has several bird and squirrel feeders in our backyard. All these animals tend to be a “draw” for neighborhood cats. One day, a black and white cat started to frequent our backyard. After several days, we noticed that the cat was living in our backyard. We decided to invite it inside. After a couple of days, and one very cold night, the cat came in our basement. We were sure the cat was female. We took inquired around, but found no owners. Being on our way out of town, we boarded the cat, and instructed our vet to do all the typical workup on her.

When we got home, we discovered that, no only had we mis-sexed the cat, but the vet did, too. It was not until they had opened the cat to spay her, that they discovered the error. So, on our return home, “Chelsea” became “Charlie.”

We brought him home and he has been living in our basement for about a week now. We are going to slowly introduce him to our other cats. Of course, a slow introduction, it wise. In addition, the vet thinks there is a very small chance that Charlie may have FIP. Until we can get a better handle on his health, he will be the basement cat.