Thursday, August 30, 2012

Foraging for food

Today I finally worked out how to get into XP on the COTA computers.  I can't think why it had to be so hard but hopefully I will be able to show my new client how to send emails because Win Live mail is quite different and he has XP at home.  I haven't tried Live Mail out on the COTA computer yet ... that is a joy to come but I need to try to work out gMail because himself was unable to work out how to send an email today and I was not able to find a way either.

Himself is off to Europe on Saturday and while he is away herself and I will be shopping for Persian (or at least Oriental) rugs for the floor as the babies don't like walking on the cold tiles and I can't say that I blame them.  I also need to get blinds fitted because the sun is now far enough to the south to come into the apartment in the early morning and put my water colour paintings is some jeopardy, albeit minimally but the blinds might help to keep the warmth in during winter.  I have been meaning to get some installed ever since I moved in.

Parsifal the Bald, with his shaved tummy looks quite disgusting when he sits down as he now has a naked apron which rests on the floor so, in the absence of frozen rats and mice I have instigated another of the strategies for the prevention of pica.  The babies now have to work for their food and I am spreading it around, some in accessible containers and some in rolling thingies which Poppy can't work out.  She might need some extra feeding although she is not particularly skinny either and it might do her good to work for her keep for a while.  At the moment she is being very vocal about the whole thing so I gave her some pellets in the proper dish and she ignored them.  I don't think that she is going to starve any time soon.

Friday, August 24, 2012

No Buttons: no bows ...

The ultrasound shown an empty stomach so all the stuff he ate has passed through .  The radiologist said that they couldn't see the colon properly on account of some gas but she said that any cord there will pass out naturally and will not cause any damage.

I think that, at this stage, I need a cup of coffee.  It has not been a good day ... until now.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Buttons and Bows #2 parental guidance recommended

Parsifal and I are about to head off to Osborne Park for an ultrasound scan to find out exactly what he has inside him.

I realised yesterday that he had eaten the cord from my hoodie which was hanging on the clothes line  -  quite a length of it and the metal knobs on the ends have disappeared, although I think that he has probably hidden them somewhere; I can't imagine him eating those as they are quite big and hard.

So I hauled the wrapped up vomit out of the rubbish bin, went through it and removed the bits of cord which had come up, laundered them and had a good look.  There was about two cm of the first cord he ate and about 5cm (in two pieces) of the hoodie cord which he would have eaten on Tuesday night.

So there is rather a lot of stuff unaccounted for  -  not to mention my shoelaces and spinning wheel drive band.

The odd thing is that he seems to be thriving on this odd diet; last night he was full of beans, eating well, eliminating normally and generally looking good.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Making ends meet

Now that the latest crisis is over I can finally write about it here.

Last Friday morning (today is Wednesday) I woke up to the awful discovery that Parsifal (of course, Parsifal) had eaten the soft nylon handle off one of those cardboard carry bags that the posh shops put their goods into when you buy something.

Thinking that I needed some advice as to how to cope with his pica I took him to the vet.  Dr S. thought that an emetic might be a good first aid measure but decided that it might be too late and the cord could already have passed out of the stomach.  A scan?  their scanner was currently being serviced; an emergency ultrasound at the Specialist Clinic?

By this time I was thoroughly spooked, took the faecal softener she gave me and took him home to await events.  He continued eating well, beating up his sister and his 'internal hygiene" seemed to be working OK.  D2 gave me the name of an animal behaviorist but he will be away until December so that was no help.

And lo and behold, this morning he vomited up three pieces of cord which, put together, appear to be all that he ate ... and this time I did put them together.  Such a relief.  Next time I will opt for the emetic but hopefully it will not happen again; I will try to keep the things he likes to chew and swallow well out of his reach.

Anyway, he is very pleased with himself and Dr S. has kindly sent me some journal articles on pica which are interesting but I don't think that frozen rats and turkey chicks are available here and I don't think that I would feed them to him even if I could get them.

I had lunch with D3 and SIL and we discussed our flight to Sydney at the end of October.  I have booked for the both of us and emailed to D2 to ask her to book ASAP because the planes are filling fast and we are having to catch an earlier flight than we originally selected; I am going to have to order a taxi for about 7.00am or a bit later to get to the airport through the peak-hour traffic.

I only have one client for tomorrow and have a free hour before the lesson so I will use it to try to come to some sort of agreement with the new computer at COTA which is sadly lacking in things we need such as Solitaire and Windows Live Mail.  I had hoped to be able to stop taking my own laptop every week but it looks as though it will be a while yet before I can leave it at home.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Cats and Dogs

After our run-in with a BIG dog on Saturday when we went to the park, Parsifal, who when he found that he was unable to run (thank goodness the harness stayed in place) was prepared to protect his sister and mummy with his life, has been a bit reluctant to leave the safety of the kitty carriage but today he braved the world again.  I thought that Poppy would be the first to emerge again but she was content to lie in the warmth and look out at the world.  I think that the dog only wanted to play  -  reading his body language that is how it looked but he was very big; he looked to me like a pig dog but I've known charming pig dogs.  The owner wasn't very helpful, though.  Now we go over to the playground area where dogs are supposed to be on leashes, but ...

We keep a careful lookout but this dog came very fast out of nowhere.  I won't take them out again on weekends; the park is usually empty around lunchtime on week days.

We are off to Sydney at the end of October and D3 has booked us all into the Holiday Inn at Potts point.  I was plugging the the Wentworth in the CBD but D3 has a discount card for accommodation so she did the booking.  It is only for  two nights and we have harbour views so I am not complaining.  And it is right by the train station from the airport so that is a huge plus.  And it is close to D1's apartment.

Parsifal, after his brave defense at the weekend has finally discovered his voice, much to my dismay.  He used to communicate in rather charming little chirps but now he is almost as loud as Poppy.

The nice new computers at COTA are not behaving themselves.  Every week we find the settings changed  and we have now discovered that there is no 'Windows Live Mail' ... a search takes us straight to Hotmail.  I thought that I would no longer have to take my own computer but I can see that I am still going to need it for the foreseeable future. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Buttons and Bows

I looked into my wardrobe today and saw a tail.  When I removed its owner I found that he had been chewing my shoelaces yet again.  Luckily he hadn't managed to chew right through it so he hadn't swallowed any but I looked at my sad array of lace-up shoes with their rag-tag of macerated ties and realised that I either needed to keep them in a high cupboard or abandon laced shoes altogether.

I am a contributor on a board on which concerns itself with all things "cat" and at the moment there is a section on the odd places which cats choose to sit and as one of Parsifal's favourite places to sit is in the dishwasher I took a photo and posted it.  Here it is ...

Click on the picture to enlarge

It took the kittens a couple of days to settle down after their stint at boarding school.  Wherever I went I was confronted by two cats lying belly-up asking for tummy rubs.  They are back to normal now and I dared to cut their claws again this morning.  Parsifal is very good but Poppy is not so keen, poor baby; I do it anyway because I have leather couches and they pelt along the backs of them.  I have a repair kit but haven't used it yet.  My last girl-cat, Bast did more damage than these two, actually, and I need to patch up her damage.

I will be going to Sydney at the end of October for D1's birthday and hopefully back to Adelaide in early December but I would have to fly out on D2's birthday so I need to negotiate with her.  She might come too, of course; it is for a family reunion and it is high time that all the cousins started to get to know each other.

Monday, August 6, 2012

An alarming situation

I arrived back from Adelaide the night before last and directed the taxi to the temporary parking spot at the end of "The Lane".  I climbed out and all the building alarms went off so instead of going upstairs to my apartment I trudged across to security to tell them that it was a false alarm.  No chance of explanations  -  all I got was "I'll be with you in a minute" and disconnect. I tried twice and then set out to search for the guy.  When I caught up with him he said that the big door which comes down in the middle of the shopping centre was going up and down and he couldn't leave it to attend to me.  Fair enough and next time I will know where to look ... but I can now understand why we have had so many false alarms.

The trip to Adelaide was fun and I got to see people whom I hadn't seen for years.  The purpose of the trip was to attend a Betrothal Ceremony for my niece and it all went off very well with a bevy of small children running riot in the church and keeping us all amused during the signing of the documents.  I doubt if any of them was older than four and they were very well behaved but tended to wander a bit.

For the two nights we were there we wined and dined very well but the noise was almost unbearable; on the Friday night at the restaurant we went to there was a very rowdy party at the next table and the acoustics were not designed for that level of sound  - and Saturday we ate at the hotel restaurant where there was amplified live music which drowned out all conversation.  I received a questionnaire asking for my comments on the hotel facilities and I mentioned that the amplified music was a real downer.

The babies arrived back yesterday afternoon and spent the rest of the day throwing themselves down on their backs to have their tummies rubbed and Poppy kept me awake by yowling until I told her that if she didn't stop it I would shut her out of the bedroom.  She settled after that and I can only assume that she was checking to make sure that I was still there with them.

Poor babies  -  they are going to have to get used to boarding school because I have to go to Sydney for D1's birthday at the end of October and there is a family reunion on 8th December in Adelaide which, since I have missed he last two, I would really like to attend.  The collection of family photos which I put together for my niece looked very good and I have been asked for several more copies; perhaps the family is finally starting to look to its roots.  Yeah!