April 2006 Update
It was a long Winter for me.
After Christmas, I developed Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease. It was a very painful problem, but I am all better now. I was treated by my veterinarian, Dr. Schmeiser, with medicine and a special diet. Diane and Bob have had to handfeed me twice a day since January. The food doesn't taste bad, and them feeding me means that I get held by them that much more. I am still on the special diet now, but if my most recent test results show that there are no longer any crystals in my urine, I can go back to a more regular diet.
Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease is a serious problem, and can kill a kitty if not treated quickly. In this disease, crystals form in the body and block the kitty's ability to urinate. This means that poisons build up in the body (and it is very painful). My symptoms were a loss of appetite, vomiting, frequent trips to the litter pan to try to urinate, growling, and crying out in pain. I am very lucky that my friends and family watch for signs of illness, and that they take me to the doctor right away when there is a problem.
I am feeling all better now, and am ready to hit the road again! The warm weather is here, and we are planning adventures for me. Watch for a new one before the end of April.
Last Fall, we gained a new friend in the house. His name is Rusty, and he's now about seven months old (I'll put some photos of him on the web site soon). Rusty, a fluffy orange kitten, showed up at our back door last Fall. He was was hungry, thirsty, very thin, and weak. He had lots of fleas and parasites inside of him, too. He was also blind in his left eye. Bob and Diane took him in the house, set up a special cage for him in the basement (new cats should be kept separate from the cats in the house in case they have any diseases). The next day, they took Rusty to the veterinarian to have him checked out. In addition to all of the other problems, he had ringworm. Ringworm is not a worm, but a fungus. I made bare spots on Rusty's fur, mostly on his ears and face.
It took several months to get Rusty healthy enough to meet the rest of the kitties, but when he did he really shook things up in the house. Rusty is crazy. Bob and Diane say he is the most playful kitten they have ever seen (They call him The Orange Flash because he runs around the house at top speed). He chases everyone in the house (even me, which is why I hiss at him a lot), and likes to pick on my big brother Pod, even though Pod is twice Rusty's size.
Except for the blindness in his left eye (no one knows how it happened), Rusty is all better now, and was even neutered in early April. Maybe when he gets older and calms down, I'll learn to like him. But for now, I like to keep away from him.
I have to go pack and rest now. If the weather is nice tomorrow I am going on my first adventure of 2006!