Three Reasons Why I Can’t Quit My Day Job #cats #don’tquityourdayjob

Well, I can’t quit just yet. For those who read my post last week (click here if you need a refresher), let me assure you that all is now well in the Bailey & Brown household. Still, it was a rough week. Now, here are the reasons why I have to keep my day job (for now).

Reason #1: Wendy

What? Who? Me? Whadda I do?

Reason #2: Maxine

“Why should I lie in a fancy fleece bed when there’s a purrfectly good box here?”

Reason #3: Junior

“In solidarity with the girls, I went on a hunger strike too. Plus I wanted a new safe place to eat.”

La Historia de los Tres Gatos

A week ago Thursday, Wendy got the ball rolling with a diagnosis of bladder stones. She hadn’t been showing any symptoms of blockage or pain. No, she was just in for her annual physical when the results her urinalysis suggested something was amiss. We left with a case of prescription cat food and a long waiting period for the stones to (hopefully) dissolve on their own.

The following Friday, Wendy decided she didn’t like the new food and went on strike. She refused to eat anything. Given that she was overweight, we figured she could fast for awhile and eventually get hungry enough to start eating again. By Sunday, not only did she continue to refuse any food, but it was obvious that the smell of cat food nauseated her.

That refusal resulted in a trip to to the vet on Monday afternoon. Our mistake was in giving her the prescription food right away and not transitioning her by mixing a bit with her regular food over time. Over the weekend she had lost two pounds.

A crash diet is not good for people or animals, so my husband brought home an assortment of prescription foods (dry and wet) for tummy troubles along with a few doses of Cerenia, anti-nausea medication. Wendy took to the dry food right away, but still turned away from wet food, even her old favorites. In desperation, I bought an assortment of “gourmet” cat foods that came in pouches: shredded chicken in broth; chicken and tuna bisque.

While all this was going on with Wendy, by that same Sunday, Maxine and Junior also decided to go on a hunger strike.

Imagine: Three cats all refusing to eat!

Thank goodness my husband is retired and could keep an eye on the kids. Even though Wendy had gone off her food two days before the other two, we suspected there was some common reason all three were now off it.

Heat

That week the heat index in Tallahassee was well into the three digits with high humidity. Up until Monday evening, the kids had free access to the back porch during the day. We had been marveling at how all three couldn’t wait to go out onto the porch only to drape themselves on the chairs and table like Dali’s kitties. When my husband ushered them in for a break late Monday afternoon, he noticed that Maxine was wobbly, like she was drunk.

He promptly locked the cat door to the porch. No salir!

Our cats love heat. They’re southern kitties and when temps dip below 90 degrees, they act like the ice age is settling in, burrowing into blankets and seeking out our body heat.

But, in hindsight, the heat this weekend was way past the boundaries of what they should be exposed to. So my husband kept them in, and they didn’t complain. Maxine found a nice box to curl up in, Wendy decided to settle in on my bed, and Junior played sentry on a desk in our living room.

Still, they didn’t eat anything but the dry food and only nibbles at that. Wendy, though, was getting better. After a couple of days on Cerenia, she started to eat her dry food with gusto. A call to the vet, and by Thursday evening, all three were taking Cerenia.

At this point in my writing (Sunday afternoon), they are finally back to eating wet food. We’re being cautious though, trying small portions of different over-the-counter varieties. Today, for the first time, I mixed a little of prescription food in with some Fancy Feast Gourmet Naturals beef pate and crossed my fingers.

They licked their bowls clean. Can you say “Hallelujah”? (And I don’t mean “Hello Julia“!)

So what’s all this got to do with my day job?

Well, just this week:

  • Two vet visits.
  • Prescription food for Wendy to (hopefully) dissolve the bladder stones.
    • Possible surgery if Wendy’s bladder stones don’t dissolve.
  • Teeth-cleaning for Wendy once the bladder stones dissolve or she has surgery.
  • Three weeks of antibiotics for Maxine because she has E. Coli in her urine again (oh, did I ever tell you that I now have to wipe her butt after she does #2 because the vet suspects poor hygiene?)
  • Prescription food for Maxine because she also is in early stages of kidney disease.

Not on this list is the teeth cleaning (and removal) that Maxine had last month, and the removal of Junior’s last few remaining teeth earlier this year.

Am I complaining? Nope.

Times like this we are reminded not to take our furred babies for granted. I never felt so much joy as when they gobbled down their wet food today.

This week my husband and I will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. We had plans to go out of town for a couple of days, to enjoy a getaway in a favorite place, to bike a favorite trail, and to eat out at a favorite restaurant.

We canceled.

At the time we decided to cancel, the kids were getting better but we were still on edge about them. We also decided, that after going through such a rough time, we just wanted to be with them.

Pray, tell me, what “sacrifices” have you made for your furred babies?

I know some people think we’re crazy, but then, we are crazy about our kids.

26 thoughts on “Three Reasons Why I Can’t Quit My Day Job #cats #don’tquityourdayjob

  1. Wow. Stressful, Marie. Glad your kids are feeling better again. Keeping my family healthy is also a major reason I’m still working the day job. Someday, we’ll get there. 🙂

  2. You’ve all had a hard week. I’m so glad your cats are back to eating.

    Feral, the stray orange tabby fed by my neighbor and me, was very picky about what he would eat. He was not a fan of cheap, canned tuna. No thank you! Only expensive tuna suited his palate.

    He passed away last year. I still miss him.

    • Oh, I love orange tabbies. My Mikey (RIP) was one and the sweetest cat I’ve ever known. Funny, though, how they prefer the gourmet stuff. That, too, keeps me working 😉

  3. Three cats who won’t eat? Surely this belongs in Guinness World Records. I’m laughing here because when we had two cats as I walked out the door in the morning I would tell them that I was going to work to pay for their premium cat chow. They never looked overly grateful when I said this. But you know… cats.

    • Yeah, it was very strange to have all three off their food. And we had to throw out what they refused to eat (cha-king as stale food was rinsed down the garbage disposal). But they’re back on their food and with gusto! We put some of their Cerenia aside just in case 😉

  4. I’m so sorry you all had a rough week. When the kitties ain’t happy ain’t nobody happy, at least that’s how it works in this cat kingdom. We go above and beyond for our babies. I feel like they are my responsibility and I’m going to do whatever—WHATEVER—it takes to keep them healthy or help them get better when sick. They get better health care than me. And I wish I could say that’s a joke, but it’s not! 😂 I also consider it a privilege and honor to be part of their lives. They make me happy!! So I absolutely understand where you’re coming from. The return I get on my “payment” is worth it. Lots of love and snuggles. Happy Anniversary and I hope you’ll reschedule when everyone is on the mend. Sending lots of furry healing vibes your way!

    • Thanks again, Cheryl! I love this: “When the kitties ain’t happy ain’t nobody happy.” Oh, so true! We were both near tears trying to help them get better. Now we’re near tears with relief that they are eating normally 😀

  5. We have two dogs. Neither of which I wanted. When we met, we had a dachsund and cocker spaniel that both lived a long time. When they were passing on, the wife and I discussed taking a break from having dogs. I was all for it. She was too, until the second dog passed away. She immediately started looking for another dog. We got a papillon via rescue. And I said only if that was it. One dog. Not two.

    Well, the rescue dog was pretty scarred by her first few months of life and wasn’t “normal” for years. And the missus wanted a “normal” dog for our younger son. They kept visiting the pound and telling me about dogs and I kept saying “No. We had a deal.” And along came our second dog. Showed up at the wife’s work one day and it has lived with us ever since. It’s the dog that never stops barking. Arrrgh. Talk about what we sacrifice for our pets — I haven’t had a moment of peace and quiet at home for somewhere around 10 years now.

    But then there’s the first dog — the rescue dog. Slinky. About 18-20 months ago, she was having some issues and my wife took her to the vet. She has an autoimmune disorder. She was in the doggie hospital for more than a week. That cost almost $5,000. She has gone back to the vet every month since for blood work, drug adjustments (which wonderfully require more blood work). Every month is another $200-300 vet bill. Meaning we’ve spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $10,000 on the one dog in the last year and a half.

    Am I happy about this? Nope.

    The other dog seems remarkably healthy. Can’t wait though until the barking menace develops her own health problems and we have to do this all over again. 😉

  6. Oh gosh. I hope all is well with them now! AND Happy Anniversary–enjoy a nice dinner in. 🙂
    When we had our old lady cat with our boys when they were kittens, we had lots of vets bills–and we were paying college tuition then, too.
    One of our cats (the white one if you remember my photos) will only eat one flavor of one kind of food. And when he’s been sick he won’t eat. They last time he was in for some mystery malady, they finally sent him home because he wouldn’t eat there–and then he was fine. Both of our guys have checkups coming up, and I’m dreading it.
    The puppy that our daughter adopted a year ago–has had several visits to the animal ER because of things she ate–like socks, plus stomach surgery, plus 2 knee surgeries. Fortunately they did get pet insurance after the first animal ER visit.

    Anyway–Good luck. Hugs to you and your beautiful furry friends!

    • Oh my goodness! Your stories give me perspective (which is probably why I wanted to hear them 😉). All is well and good with them right now. Max still has her course of antibiotics and we still have to wait and see about Wendy’s bladder stones, but at least they’re eating! I’m grateful for that 🙂

  7. We lost Christmases, twice, when a dog ate something she shouldn’t (an entire chewtoy and knotted sock toy) and needed surgery to clear her digestion. Both times near enough to the holiday that we could afford no presents. Travel of any kind, was suspended for years because the cats took it badly when we were gone.

    We celebrate our 45th anniversary this coming weekend. There were many anniversaries spent at the ER when my mother was ill. Five or six, as best I can recall. We went to the ER and a medic took our photo one anniversary . . . we went that time just as a joke to ourselves.

    What we do for love. Happy anniversary to you both and best wishes to your cats. We miss our terribly.

    • Thanks, Jan. Wow, you have made some sacrifices. We’ve definitely have had long periods of no travel because of ailing cats. The last five years (since Luisa died) we’ve tried to make up for lost time. Now with Max developing chronic problems, travel is on the back burner. Such is life, and such is love. Happy anniversary to you too!

  8. I’m so sorry your babies have had such a difficult time, Marie. Thank God for our day job, right? Having a hobby that pays some money is nice, but it doesn’t cover the big stuff. Happy Anniversary to you and your husband! Once things settle down, you’ll get that trip away to celebrate. Great photos!

  9. These guys are so beautiful! I see why you recommended Cerenia for Felix. When they released him from the hospital (this place is like a real hospital with “rounds” and “nurses” and everything), he was released with Cerenia pills. How are you giving them, by the way? I am crushing them and feed in a bit of food or water in a syringe. I am having to give Fefe water in a syringe just to hydrate him b/c he never drinks water! He was in the hospital for 3 days, 24 hour care, and came home with 3 meds. You tell me if I got a huge bill. So I feel your pain. In fact, I need to get at least 4 dentals done in February when they offer the discount. I am considering doing a special on poetry consulting this fall to stockpile a little dental fund. Right now my sacrifice for him is my time as I have to check on every couple hours even during the night and the money that I paid the hospital. Now to Junior’s eyes. I am reading a lot into those. He has a very sweet look, but his eyes go deep. Way deep. There’s a lot inside of his head.

    • Ah, you are so receptive! Junior probably has harrowing stories to tell. We suspect he was abused before we took him in. He is very sensitive. The Cerenia has worked so well that tonight is the last night we’re dosing them. Always good to have a few stockpiled just in case 😉 Now that they are eating wet food again, we’ve been crushing the Cerenia and mixing with their wet food. Except for Max. We really can’t crush the antibiotic so we cut it up and put it in a vegetable-based capsule along with her other meds. We have to use the pill-pusher on her which is no fun. She may be old but she can whip her head with the best of them. I just hold her. Poor Greg is the one to push the pill down her throat and follow up with a squirt of water. We do it before the evening meal so she’ll associate something positive with it … not that it really matters to her 😏

  10. There have been no expenses spared with our animals. Each required an immense amount of care before going over the rainbow bridge. The idea is to make their last days as comfortable and normal as possible and that takes cash. I feel your pain.

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