The first time I laid eyes on Maybelle she was behind bars, in a kennel between the two dogs I’d come to see at the Humane Society. They were big German Shepherd-mixes. One was mostly black and impressive, and the other was about as striking a dog as I’ve ever seen — yellow like a lab, but with the profile of a Shepherd. And between them was a little 45-pound cattle dog mix with oversized ears that stuck out at a strange angle from her head. While the other dogs jumped and barked, she leaned up against the bars of her kennel and waited for someone to give her a scratch.Continue reading
Twelve years ago a sassy little orange cat forced her way into my friend’s apartment and refused to leave. After a brief flirtation with trying to be a cat person, she gave up and I adopted the feline. I named her Ruby (technically Rubia–because she was blonde). I was 23, and living with two roommates. The Red Sox won the World Series that year, and America re-elected George W. Bush (which is pertinent because I stole a bunch of “Bush Country” balloons from the Republican headquarters I had to cover on election night, then blew them up and left them all over the house to freak out my roommate–Ruby promptly popped a bunch and ate one, which she threw up on the way to the vet).
Today, I had to say goodbye. Continue reading
This project wasn’t technically on my To Do List, but I thought it deserved a William Morris shout out. A couple of months ago I embarked on a mission to keep my dog from eating cat food. It hasn’t been easy. Those of you with both canine and feline housemates know that there is nothing tastier to a dog than a bowl of ash-filled cat food. But it isn’t good for them, and it often results in your dog waking you in the wee hours of the morning to take her outside for an emergency potty break. And because one of my cats needs to gain weight (I know…who has that problem?) I can’t have the dog sneaking in and eating her food out from under her. For everyone’s sake, I had to get creative.
and I wrote about it for Dogster. Check it out.
It recently occurred to me that I am going to need an author photo. This presented a bit of an issue for a few reasons:
- Most of the pictures of me that I actually like involve me making a weird face
- The pictures I’ve used for professional purposes are pretty darn old (and I harshly judge those who are still using their head shots from before they lost their hair, went gray, or developed wrinkles)
- A lot of my pictures have my dog in them
So I turned to my friend Leah and asked if we could have a photo shoot. She always makes me look good. We got some good author photo options, but as per usual, I ended up acting like a goon and taking a bunch of goofy pictures — and some with the dog.
It’s over. Just get me a ratty cardigan and take away my comb, because despite living with the world’s cutest dog I think I’ve finally gone and crossed over into Cat Lady territory.
It all started with Ruby’s gallstones. I didn’t want to have to hunt her down just to force a pill down her throat, so I started keeping both cats inside. And for about a thousand different reasons, I decided to keep them inside even after I stopped having to torture her with medications multiple times a day. Those reasons are boring, so I’ll skip over them, but suffice it to say that having two cats who really want to go outside but can’t can be pretty annoying. So I decided to resurrect an old dream of mine and make an outdoor enclosure thanks, in part, to Pinterest — and with lots of help from my boyfriend.
dsMy cat is sick. It’s a long story that starts with an emergency trip to the vet the day before I left for vacation, and ends…well…it hasn’t ended yet. As it turns out she has stones in her pancreatic and bile ducts. This is very unusual, and could be caused by a range of things from infection (not a big deal) to liver cancer (very big deal). The only way to know for sure what is causing these stones is an expensive and invasive surgery.
I am conflicted, to say the least.
There are meds that can break up the stones, but she reacted badly to them. She had gotten much better on antibiotics, and when the Ursodiol was introduced, she stopped eating again and had loose stools. We quickly discontinued the meds. She’s back to feeling good on her meds, but the stones will continue to present a problem as long as they are in there. They could move and cause other problems and pain. They could also continue to get infected, wreaking havoc every few weeks or months. And of course, we still don’t know what caused them in the first place so there may be underlying issues. Continue reading
My dog is one of those dogs that always makes people say, “Why wouldn’t someone want her?” This basically translates to, “How did this calm, well-behaved, healthy dog end up in a shelter?” I have my theories, most of which involve elderly owners — or Maybelle chasing a deer across the rural Georgia county she came from. Once you see her lock onto some kind of prey animal, you can see how she might end up separated from her loving family. Continue reading
A few years ago one of my cats came down with a urinary tract infection. The first sign of this unpleasant feline problem is an excessive amount of litter tracked around the house from the constant in and out of the litter box. Then you start to notice the poor cat actually going in and out of the box. And then, and this is the weird part, you’ll find them trying to pee in sinks and tubs (or at least my cat did) and wonder, “How does a cat know what a drain is?” And eventually you get to the vet and they tell you that, in the case of male cats, UTI’s can be extremely dangerous if they develop crystals in their urine–the crystals can lead to a blockage.
It’s been a long time but I recently went through the experience again, and over the years I’ve learned a lot about the problems so I thought I’d share my extensive knowledge. This is one of the more frustrating (and annoying) health issues to deal with and I know I wish I’d had all this information 4 years ago.
Originally my cat was put on a prescription food, which was super expensive and had pretty crappy ingredients. So after a few years I decided to do some homework and found out that giving your cat the crappiest wet food is better than giving them the most expensive dry food, at least when it comes to UTI’s. It’s all about the moisture content. Continue reading
When I began reading Farhad Manjoo’s “No, I Don’t Want to Pet Your Dog” I was expecting to hate it…but something surprising happened. Despite being an all-around animal-lover and owner of the world’s cutest dog, I realized that I don’t really want to pet your dog either (in the most general of terms). Here’s what Manjoo had to say:
“Sometime in the last decade, dogs achieved dominion over urban America. They are everywhere now, allowed in places that used to belong exclusively to humans, and sometimes only to human adults: the office, restaurants, museums, buses, trains, malls, supermarkets, barber shops, banks, post offices. Even at the park and other places where dogs belong, they’ve been given free rein. Dogs are frequently allowed to wander off leash, to run toward you and around you, to run across the baseball field or basketball court, to get up in your grill. Even worse than the dogs are the owners, who seem never to consider whether there may be people in the gym/office/restaurant/museum who do not care to be in close proximity to their dogs.” Continue reading
I read this article on XOJane the other day: “Cats Are Evil and I Hate Them.” It’s obviously meant to draw in all the people watching LOLCatz all day and drive traffic… but it’s still annoying. And I find it even more annoying because it was written by someone from The Good Men Project (which I’m starting to find is a really misleading name). The best men I’ve known in my life have loved cats — and animals in general.
It is completely deranged to me that any person would say, “I hate [insert type of animal]” and still be considered a good person. I don’t really like rats but I don’t go around declaring my hatred of them. They serve a purpose just like every other living thing on the planet. Hell, I even named the toad that lives in my basement. (His name is Badger, in case you were wondering.) And if someone were to declare how much he hates dogs we’d write him off as some sort of uni-bomber weirdo/possible serial killer. So why is it OK to go around declaring how much you hate cats? Continue reading