by Mousie, 'giggling all the way' blogger
Good morning, friends. I'm having a great giggle today even though the topic at hand isn't really funny. But my imagination has run wild with this.
Firstly, you all know that Etude has suffered from PTSD since Grammy's accident last August. As we've mentioned before, he clings to his brother or Grammy like Velcro. AND despite the fact the ol' girl rubs topical Gabapentin to the inside of his ear flap to calm him. Still, he chews the fur off his legs when Grammy isn't watching. He looks pretty goofy from behind with his pink 'udder' swaying side to side. It is whitening as fur regrows but still looks ridiculous. *stops typing to roll on the floor laughing* Add to that his bare spindly legs and it is totally hilarious. *stops to giggle again*
SO, like the helpful kitties we are, we decided maybe a onesie would be the answer. Great idea, don't you think? So, we've passed the task to Grammy to find a onesie for a sixteen pounder with long sleeves and legs. Oops, I mean, a onesie with long sleeves and legs for a sixteen pounder.
Well, she went searching and found the greatest onsies. - pink flowers for a pink tummied boy, or covered in llamas or bunnies, or maybe even bumble bees or dragon flies. Oh, no, those are too much. Go for the flowers, Grammy!
Then, the image *giggles uncontrollably* of Grammy trying to dress him in it was too much. Can you see it? Grammy wrestling with a slippery-furred dude with claws like knives and razor sharp teeth? *suddenly sobers up* but then I thought, what if that makes his PTSD even worse? Can't take a chance. KITTEN WHISKERS
Oh, too bad! Thought we had a solution. I guess Grammy and Rondo will just have to put up with velcro-cat clinging to them.
Well, that's it for now, folks.
by Rondo, chronicler of the ridiculous
Good morning, friends. So nice to be in the zone again.
Well, the latest in a long line of stupidities... first, Grammy and now, my brother Etude. I guess you have heard that Etude and I have been on a diet - special food to help make us feel full but also it helps us lose weight. Well, it has worked. BUT, Etude has started supplementing his diet with a little extra fibre. FUR, to be exact! He's been eating his fur - first off his front legs, then the back ones were nibbled at and now his belly is pink and bare. So Gross! Disgustingly Gross!
What's that Grammy?
He's stressed? Nahhhhh! That's silly. What could there be to stress about?
What? You must be joking. He doesn't like to be picked on by me? AND he doesn't like all the commotion that began when you fell, Grammy? Pshaw! That's Hog wash! We needed a little excitement around here. It's been pretty boring since Spring and COVID hit.
Well, maybe I should distract him. Now, that's a great idea. Distraction'll do it!
Etude, come here! Yes, come here! I want to nibble on your neck. Oh, gross! No, of course not! I'm not going to eat your fur! You've eaten enough of that yourself and Grammy doesn't have time to knit you a sweater.
But, If I nibble your neck it'll distract you from chewing your ankles and belly. Oh, you're no fun! Well, then, your only other option is to wear the CONE OF SHAME! *giggles* So, the cone of shame it is?
So, let me see. How about some nicknames for you. Hmmmm! Think! Think! Think! Speak up if you like one of them.
How about Flashlight? *giggles* Blink you're eyes and you could send Morse code messages to us at night so we don't disturb Grammy's sleep. *Silence from Etude*
Or, Megaphone? Yes, that's a great one. Have you noticed the radio or television are louder than usual. Me thinks the old girl is a little hard of hearing... well, a little more than usual. *giggles* You could be our spokescat... and with the cone on you wouldn't have to shout and damage our ears. *Deeper silence from Etude*
Or, we could pretend you are an ice cream cone and lick your face. Yep, Sweetie would like that. She loves to wash faces. Now what? Oh, I got it wrong? She like's having her face washed. Okay then, you wear the cone, Sweetie.
Not a chance, Rondo. I'm out of here! *Sweetie scampers away while Etude blinks light daggers: -. --- stop ...-- -- .--. .... -. - .- -.-. -. --- stop (Translated: NO! and an EMPHATIC NO!)
Or, Here we go! How about this? Put the cone on upside down and we will decorate it with ornaments and garlands and you can be our Blue Spruce Christmas Tree. Of course, blue spruce, silly. The cone is blue! Ooooh! Hear that, Grammy! GRAMMY? DID YOU HEAR THAT? *aside - the old girl needs a hearing aid* You don't need to put up a tree this year. ETUDE'S 'VOLUNTEERING' TO BE OUR CHRISTMAS TREE THIS YEAR!
Oh, oh, oh - or better yet, we could put Etude on a Lazy Susan, add some cat toys to the 'tree' and spin him like a whirling top? I like that idea. Yep, best idea yet! *Etude's eyes go wide and he faints* Well, at least now he won't chew his legs for a while.
Glad to be of help, Grammy.
Well, that's all for this week, friends. But if you have any suggestions, please comment. We all want to make him feel better, don't we?
by Mousie, chronicler of mischief and mayhem
Good morning, friends.
I'm a little bemused and dismayed. We just the results of my latest bloodwork. Bemused because Dr. Whitecoat just called to tell us nothing showed up in the bloodwork. BUT, because I've been throwing up a small amount of bile in the mornings despite Grammy making sure we eat after midnight. This is upsetting to both the vettie and Grammy.
So, I'm dismayed because for the next three days I have to have oral meds to settle the tummy. This is a two person job and if that doesn't work then Grammy has to stick me with needles for an additional three days. Grammy says it is a two person task because I am a wriggly little 'monkey' when it comes to taking medications. I agree. I am a wriggly little monkey but that's 'cause I don't like medicine. So there, Grammy! BUT forget me. I have lots to tell you about the sibs and mummy.
Grammy ordered Mummy Whiskers a new marshmallow bed. I can attest to you that it is extremely comfortable. Now, we all have tried the bed out and while we know it was purchased with Whiskers in mind, she's been kind enough to let us give it a test run. Since then though, mummy decided it should be ours (hers and mine) exclusively. I'm quite happy about that. *giggles*
When Grammy checked our room she was so pleased to find mummy curled up in her marshmallow doughnut sleeping soundly. It was the first time in weeks that she totally relaxed, so much so that she didn't stir when Grammy got out the camera and took photos. Great choice, Grammy. Good on ya!
The other item Grammy purchased at the same time was a fishy for us. The company was quite generous and sent two since our parcel would be delayed in shipping. We thought that was very sweet of them.
Now here's the thing about these fishies. They are pretty big, in fact bigger than a catnip banana and almost as big as me. Our usually intrepid Sweetie was a little put off by it as you'll see in the video collage posted at the bottom of this blog.
Quite surprisingly, Rondo likes it though he isn't as active as Grammy would like. He reassured Sweetie that it was safe to play with but she is a little skeptical. She doesn't trust those boys completely, and who can blame her. They regularly entice her to snuggle with them and then pounce on her and bite her neck. Nasty little twerps that they are. Oh, don't get me wrong. We still love them BUT they can be sweet and cuddly and absolutely adorable for ages. And just when we let our guard down suddenly they snap and whichever of us is closest, Mummy, Sweetie or little darling me, get the bitey treatment. And it hurts.
So, back to the fishies. They flip and flop around on the floor enticing the boys to play. At least that was the idea. Grammy opened the packages and there inside was a USB cable and inside the velcroed belly of the fish is a device that when charged and turned on will act like a fish newly pulled from the lake. FLIP, FLOP, FLUTTER. It is very funny.
Oh while I remember, if you order one, you need to be able to plug it into a USB port either on the computer or with an adapter for the wall plug. The wall adapter does NOT come with it. The good news is the android adapter for cellphones and apple adapter for the iPad will charge them. A red light comes on while in charging mode and shuts off when fully charged. Both fish charged quickly and have lasted a more than 4 days.
Also, there's an internal on/off switch so you can turn it off if the flipping and flopping is too scary for kitties or while they adjust to the action. Leave it off over night unless you don't mind us playing with it at three in the morning. It isn't loud but can be disturbing to sleepy humans or startling to sleepy kitties if accidentally kicked by a dopey Grammy.
So, the fishies are a hit with Rondo, a curiosity for Etude, ignored by Whiskers and me and to be wary of according to Sweetie. I think after watching the ads of kitties going wild with the fishies that our family is weird.
Well, that's all for today, friends... except THIS VIDEO Grammy put together for you. Enjoy.
Your wee Gentle Mousie signing off.
by Sweetie, chronicler of mischief and mayhem and the good stuff too.
As you may know Whiskers and Mousie were at the vet again last week. Whiskers has lost on average an ounce a week... which doesn't seem a lot but when you clock it out over the long-term she's losing a pound every 3 months. THAT ISN'T GOOD.
Mousie over the past few months gained one ounce. Better than losing but not great. She is still under her pre-bladderstone weight. She eats well, most days, but isn't gaining as we hoped she would. In addition, her heart is beating very quickly. Her issues are a challenge. She needs a high salt diet for the kidney/bladder flushing but that raises her blood pressure which isn't good. Add to this her heart murmur and things are dicey at best. So, more blood work has been ordered and we await the results.
The reason we headed to the vet last week (besides their 6 week checkup) is because these two continue to throw up occasionally. Grammy tries to ensure they get 6 meals a day and no more than 5 hours apart but occasionally she cannot manage it. At those times it is very likely but not definite that one or the other will throw up foamy bile the next morning. This is irritating Whiskers' throat. So...
The new routine is to give Whiskers, the main culprit, a small dose of a tummy settler before her breakfast, give the other meds daily for a few days then switch back to alternate days and increase her pain meds to up to twice daily. It seems to be working. Only had to administer the tummy settler routine once and she was fine all day and the next morning despite Grammy sleeping 8 hours straight. This is good as Grammy herself has been unwell and needs her own meds and rest.
Meantime, both spend most of their time in the bedroom, sleeping and snuggling, cuddling and sleeping some more and join Grammy in the family area in the late afternoon and evening and sleep with her through the night. Of course, overnight the boys join Grammy on the bed too which makes for a crowded bed.
The boys seem to be losing weight slowly, which is how Grammy wants it... and despite regular attempts to snaffle an extra meal by harassing Grammy with mriaows of 60 decibels or higher they are doing well. Neither is starving, I can assure you, though they would beg to differ.
Entering the kitchen seems to activate a stampede to said room and scream response. Grammy is learning to ignore them when she enters the kitchen and she has also learned to avoid that room except at their specific meal times trying to plan her own mealtimes immediately after they've been fed. Too bad we can't get them to race madly around the condo to get fit instead of to get food. Silly boys.
I, Sweetie, am my usual sweet cuddly self. I nuzzle Grammy's robe in the morning and again mid-afternoon if the boys haven't usurped my spot for a grammy cuddle. Nights are spent prowling the perimeter for errant dust bunnies and oak leaves. I must protect the pride.
Well, other than a few photos that's all for this week. We'll update Facebook once we get the results of Mousie's bloodwork. Meantime, life goes on.
by Mousie, wee, but feisty blogger.
Good Monday morning, dear friends.
Last week was quite the eventful week, let me tell you. I think Grammy has a few thousand more grey hairs than previously.... and we think that's okay because salt and pepper hair looks much better than mouse coloured hair.... and now we match, sort of.
So... Grammy is pressed for time. Whiskers has to have an ultrasound today... do I'm cheeting and sharing my Facebook post. We promise to get back to new stuff soon.
Wow! What a week. I went to see Dr Whitecoat and she Kittenapped me from Grammy and took me home for a night. Next day I had a really long sleep and when I woke my tummy was sore ... but I got some medicine and the pain went away.
After Grammy paid a ransome I was allowed to go home with her but I couldn't be with my family. Just Grammy. And she kept putting yucky medicine in my mouth. Gross. But at night it was okay because we could cuddle without the brothers bugging us. I really missed my mommy though.
Then I had to go back to see Dr Whitecoat again 'cause my poopy got stuck. They pushed this stuff in my bum and now the poopy is gone. Wow, it was almost as big as Rondo's paw... and that's BIG.
Now I'm home again and this morning mommy and Sweetie came in to join me for breakfast. Yeah company!
Grammy says I can see the boys tomorrow. I'm not sure I want to. They're terrible teases and they might eat all my food.
Well, I think I'm all better now but Grammy says more meds are needed for a few days. Yucky.
Thank you for all the prayers and for being my friend. Love you, Gentle Mousie
And so, here it is Monday noon hour and a little update.
But mommy wasn't allowed in with me for one more night... I think they wanted to make sure I was pooping. Now I AM... all by myself again. Yeah!
Mommy and Sweetie spent the weekend in with me and it was so nice to have company. Well, that was my adventure. BUT, now Whiskers is getting ready to see the vettie… Dr. Whitecoat AGAIN! Keep her in your thoughts and prayers, please.
Comments are welcomed. We look forward to them.
by Mousie, cutest little blogger in history *giggles*
Good morning, dear friends.
Today we are all discombobulated. Oh, it is a planned upheaval but it is upheaval nevertheless. As you know life has had its ups and downs chez Mischief and Mayhem Central for a while now. Well, today is no different.
Grammy's day now starts an hour earlier to ensure Whiskers has her morning medication an hour before she eats. This could be given an hour before her evening meal but Grammy's evenings are not usually stable. She's in, she's out, she's home early or late. AND she's usually less focused by dinner time... a necessity when trying to control a cantankerous kitty and administer meds by mouth. At least, the mornings are somewhat more routine and Grammy is fresh... or sort of.
On top of that we are still in flux about Whiskers' health issues... but we are staying positive and hopeful that it is nothing serious.
So, that having been said, why are we discombobulated? You may not have heard but our ceiling exhaust for laundry and lave died. Yes, its little heart gave out and it's noisy chatter has gone mute. Sadly!
Well, maybe not so sadly. He was, as I said, noisy... like about a gazillion decibels. BUT the sadly part is, we need a new one and he was very old. It isn't a simple, pop out one, pop in another. Oh no! Unfortunately, the piping is different and other stuff has to be dealt with before our new exhaust fan can be installed. This entails removing part of the ceiling. A dirty, messy job. Contained, but messy.
Due to the mess it'll create, Grammy has had to empty the bathroom and she will be bathroomless for three days. Yeeeeew! She's going to be one stinky Grammy! No shower. And even worse, no loo! We just hope she's not planning to use our litter boxes. NOOOOOOOOO! That would not be acceptable.
What's that, Grammy? Oh Phew! She has a backup plan... and wonderful neighbours. Yes, you know that, don't you! We have the most amazing neighbours. In fact, our gem of a neighbour has opened her home to the old girl AND has offered to and is getting a few groceries for Grammy today too. Talk about a kind, thoughtful lady. We love her.
Now you ask what has that got to do with lemons and lemonade? Well, fan dying is the lemon, of course. BUT...
Grammy took the opportunity to go through everything in the bathroom, discard what had expired, is no longer used, was superfluous to our lives, well, her life actually .... and it was a lot more than you'd think. Amazing how much you accumulate over the years. How could anyone have thought Grammy was a minimalist? Not really... She's just tidy and keeps only essentials out but the stuff is/was there... in the cupboards.
So, when the work is finished we will encourage her to do a second go-through and purge some more before putting everything away. Once back together it'll be like a whole new place. Clean, fully functional and amazingly ordered. Lemonade.
Now where will we be during all of this? We'll be confined to the bedroom, door closed, kitty door latched during the day and allowed to roam free once Mr Contractor Guy departs. In other words, at night. Not the best of scenarios but as Grammy says... it's a must! Otherwise, Sweetie will be out there supervising and Rondo and Etude will be getting underfoot. We cannot have that.
So, I'm off to get some of that delicious lemonade. See you.
Comments are welcomed. Keep them cute, like me. Okay?
by Grammy at Mischief and Mayhem Central
Recently, as in two weeks ago, we received a Drinkwell Avalon Fountain from PetSafe. We were asked to evaluate it and give our honest opinion. We are not being paid to do this.
This family has used Drinkwell Fountains for many years: first a plastic model and when that finally wore out a ceramic model. On setting up the ceramic fountain - the Lotus - all kitties were curious and interacted with it immediately. (To see video copy and paste the following link into your browser) - https://www.facebook.com/WhiskersandMouse/videos/311758148961381/ )
The bubbling and dripping noises drew them to it where each chose how they would drink. Two of them enjoyed drinking from the bubbling top, the others seemed to prefer the overflow spouts. And the boys loved playing and splashing the water onto the floor. It was a definite love at first sight. The bonus for me, their Grammy, is it's compact design which is perfect for small spaces. While it takes a bit of work to maintain it, it is well worth it to see the cats drinking frequently from it.
The Avalon which we were sent was set up immediately and placed in the kitchen. Within moments Mousie, our timid, gentle cat drank from the reservoir bowl. It was an immediate hit with her. Unfortunately, she didn't stay long enough to get a photo.... but she's a little shy.
The boys, Rondo and Etude, and Sweetie, aka the cow kitties, were more wary. What was that new noise-maker in the kitchen? It took a few days of cautious, belly-to-the-floor approaches before they determined it was a fun place to splash and play in the water. Once over that hurdle they have taken to drinking from it too.
So far Whiskers seems to have no preference. If she's near the kitchen she'll use the Avalon. If elsewhere in the home she goes to her bubbly Lotus. Either way, she drinks water which is important.
Grammy is pleased with the Avalon. It is recommended that the fountains be cleaned weekly for optimum performance. The Avalon is very easy to disassemble, clean and reassemble. This makes it a pleasure to maintain.
The water stays fresh longer which can be attributed to the two filters... a foam filter to collect debris and fur and a charcoal filter to remove odours and other contaminants.
Two things that Grammy thinks would improve the design is a bubbling feature into the upper bowl.... and three overflow spouts - both of these similar in idea to the Lotus. In small places where the bowl has to be set against a wall or in a corner it would be beneficial to have two spouts which can be positioned toward the front (at 120degrees apart rather than 180) while the bubbling aerates the water... always a bonus. Not having these modifications in future designs would not deter her from purchasing one.
Two other things Grammy has to say about the Avalon...
Now, having said all that you must know that we are all in favour of this new fountain. For Grammy it is easy to clean, looks classy in the kitchen and comes in two colours (red and white). The fountain attracts the cats because it makes tinkling noises and the water is cool and fresh tasting. We give it a 5 paws/one hand up.
Read on.... about the importance of keeping your pets hydrated.
Having had two cats with kidney ailments and renal disease in later life I (Grammy) have learned how important it is to keep our pets at a healthy weight, well-hydrated, and fed good quality food. Here we'll point out a few important facts about animals' needs for hydration - not just in summer but year round.
In a recent study conducted by PetSafe® Brand, it was revealed that 66 percent of Canadians were unaware that lethargy or unusual lack of energy indicates dehydration in their pets. This is alarming.
These are common signs of dehydration:
Consider this... pets like humans need plenty of water to stay hydrated. This is the same whether they are active or sedentary/calm. A simple calculation for pets is approximately 70 ml of water per kilogram of weight.
Here are some other tips for keeping your pet hydrated:
So please, keep your pets well-hydrated... not only throughout the summer but year round. Canadian winters can be dry, especially in modern, air-tight, centrally heated homes.
We at Mischief and Mayhem Central recommend PetSafe® Brand which offers several products to help Canadians keep their pets well hydrated.
Should you wish to... here are links to their website, Facebook and Instagram.
All photos in this post are copyright of PetSafe and were borrowed with thanks for this blog.
Comments are welcomed. Keep them light and fun.
By Gentle Mouse, aka Mousie
To begin with, dear friends, you have probably noticed that our page has changed. Yes, we had some problems with the old template and since it was no longer supported we were forced to change. We hope you like the new look.
Now! To the crux of our misadventure...
Grammy and I were almost swept into Lake Ontario. Yes we were. I was being dragged to see Dr WhiteCoat for a goopy eye that didn't get better with L-Lysine. First clue that something worse was going on.
As you all know, Grammy has been fighting the flu followed by another virus and a cold then shoulder pain and more. Because of this she didn't notice when mummy Whiskers had more teary discharge from her eyes than usual and I had a lot too. Well, as soon as she did she added the L-Lysine to our wet food and Mummy's eyes cleared right up but mine didn't. SO two days later it was off to vettieland for me. YUCK!
Grammy is getting quite adept at scooping me into the carrier.... She's a sneaky one. She put the carrier on the dresser and left the room for hours and I let my guard down and crawled into my blankie for a wee nap. Mid-afternoon there she was peaking at me like she does and I just blinked and relaxed 'cause she does that now and again. Well, she reached into my blankie and scooped me out and into the lamb fleece lined carrier before I could protest. She is a sneaky poopyhead.
I had to tell her what I thought so I screamed at her. (Grammy here – I would not call ‘meep, meep, meep’ screaming. It was hardly audible more like a squeaky mouse. HAHA! Mouse! Definitely not screaming.)
Hey, who's telling this story, Grammy. Shush! I screamed, friends and continued to scream all the way down the elevator and into the vehicle.
Now the forecast for last Friday was high winds and intermittent short showers and we got caught in it travelling there and back. When we were dropped off to transfer to another vehicle the wind grabbed the cart with me on it and I flew around Grammy like a kite in a zephyr. Woohoo! Such fun! But I don't think Grammy would agree. She was struggling to hang onto me, keep upright against the wind and not hurt her shoulder and hip anymore. And we were being swept closer to the lake! Not a good place to be on a windy day.
Well, we finally made it after a few more windy glitches. Grammy had a senior moment and got off the bus at the wrong address... (Same street, just 299, should have been 199, goofy Grammy!) and then had to cart me three blocks further. The whole time the wind whipped against us and sent me sailing again, two or three times. Boy, it almost reminded me of ballooning with Raina, our pal only ballooning wouldn't be allowed in gale force winds. We finally arrived, and none too soon. Grammy was exhausted and I’d almost lost all my fur – blown away on the blustery wind.
Dr WhiteCoat checked my eye and took bloodwork, gave Grammy instructions on how to care for the eye and then plunked this big blue collar on me. It was so heavy that I couldn't hold up my head and I couldn't see anywhere except in front of me. GET IT OFF ME! Meep OFF! Meep PLEASE! Meep Phew! Dr WhiteCoat removed it. What a lovely lady. NOT!
Know what she did then? She got out garden shears - you know those big ones for trimming hedges... yes, Big, BIg, BIG scissors to cut down the collar and plunked it back on me. Meanie. She said it was so I wouldn't clean off the medicine.
WHAT! What medicine? I don't need medicine. Then she jabbed me with a needle in my hip and poked out my eye with her finger and this nasty goop.
(Grammy here again - she didn't poke out the eye. She put ointment in it.) SHUSH GRAMMY, this is my story. Now, where was I? Oh yes...
The Doctor poked out my eye and scrubbed it with gauze before she put it back and stickied it up with goop. Then she said take the little baby home and I'll call you. I'm NOT A LITTLE BABY! I'm delicate and petite. I scampered back into my carrier annoyed that she’d say I was a baby!
Before we could pay POW! Out went the hydro electric. The power was knocked out by the wild winds. Unkie (our driver) had arrived to take us home. Not much else we could do without power but ... Such excitement. Everyone was discombobulated... so we left.
And as we stepped outside the door it happened again, the cart flew up in the air again, my blankie blew away and Grammy almost landed on her bum *teehee* I said bum. *giggles behind paws*
Well, Unkie ran to get the blanket which was half way down the street to the lake, then helped us into the car while dodging signs and debris as it whipped along the sidewalk. Wow! That was dangerous stuff. Unkie almost got hit a couple of times but he ducked quickly.
Finally settled inside the car we felt safe so, we started out for home.... and on the way the car rocked and swayed and trembled in the wind like a giant was playing zoomies with it. Unkie is a great driver so he got us home safe and then skedaddled off to his home before the winds got worse. Thank you Unkie for driving us home!
When we came in from our adventure the rest of the crew ran away from me. Rondo said I was an alien while Etude said no, not an alien an iguana (cause of my ruffles, I guess). Mummy hissed at me and Sweetie fluffed up her tail and arched her back. What's wrong with you guys? It's me Mousie, I said. Noooooooooo! You can't be Mousie, she doesn't smell yucky and she doesn't have a big blue thing around her neck. You're an alien iguana something.
Well, I showed them. Grammy gave us our dinner and nobody would eat near me so I ate it all - all by myself. Hahaha ! And it was delicious!
Comments are welcomed, friends. Let's keep it light and fun.
By Rondo, Roving reporter
For those that don’t know this... Grammy is a little bit (choke, choke), oh, alright then, quite physically challenged. Yes, she is. To put it mildly, Grammy has never learned to stand on her own two feet. We’re not saying that she isn’t independent. No, to put it mildly, she is independent to a fault and yet those two feet give her more grief than those of most people’s give them. So to fix this we, the M&M crew at Mischief & Mayhem Central have taken it upon ourselves to get to the bottom or base, or might we say, foot of the problem.
Now, we need to go back about a hundred years to when Greatgrammy was on this terrestrial orb... to let you know that our dear Greatgrammy had her work cut out for her. She never went anywhere, and we mean ANYWHERE, without carrying a full medical kit with her.... Gauze, bandages, disinfectant, more gauze and more bandages. - the whole kit and caboodle. Invariably, our dear, accident prone Grammy would do a face plant – most often knees first in the park, on a cinder path, down the stairs. You name it she’s done it and has the scars to prove it. We have heard, and we are not divulging our sources, that this continued into her dating years and might we add from first hand knowledge, into near distant past.
Imagine this... Grammy goes on a date! Now her dates were few and far between and soon you’ll see why... Off she goes on a first date to a movie with a boy...and all is going well, sodas, sharing a bag of popcorn, enjoying the movie, laughing in all the right places, crying when appropriate, movie ends and time to go home. Boy brings her home, helps her out of the bugg.. (well let’s just say car so’s not to give away her age) car, all the while chatting and gallantly walks her to her door. Not hearing a response he turns to see why she isn’t laughing at his witty comment.
Where did she go? Nowhere to be seen, not to the left of him, nor to the right, but then where else to look? Yes, down... and there she is, face first, sprawled like a starfish on a fishtank wall in the middle of a parking lot, on the grass, and once – in the middle of a main street cars coming at her from both directions. AND she’s laughing! Yes, you heard me, she’s laughing her head off. Well, enough said, unceremoniously lifted, scuttled to the door and off the poor young fellow goes...never to be heard from again. AND can you blame him? No, we agree, wholeheartedly! KITTEN’S WHISKERS
Did this end when she reached adulthood? Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo! It didn’t! But those stories must wait for another time..... Jump to the near past – in other words within our lifetime.
Suffice it to say that despite assistive devices to keep the old dear upright and in a short span of time there were three incidents... and hilarious as they were to Grammy, they weren’t to us. Bruises, fractures and a mild concussion called for drastic measures and since wrapping her in cotton wool wasn’t an option we, the M&M crew, had to do something about this.
Whiskers was appointed to trot on over to the Family Practice and get something organized with the GP. Oh, yes, the GP was startled to see Whiskers in her office, but to give her credit she took it in stride and did as bidden. Whiskers is a persuasive puss. Shortly thereafter Grammy was enrolled in a Falls Prevention course... and that has been most beneficial. Now, not to jinx things... the old dear has stayed upright for close on a year, a few close calls but upright nevertheless.
Next step in the plan was to get her fit so this time Whiskers trotted over to the Arthritis society for a list of community resources and enrolled her in a Stay Active workshop. With that under her belt, we decided to do our part. Yes, exercise... that’s the ticket. And that brings us to the absolute present.
This is serious. We, the M&M crew, are not rolling in dough! No we aren’t. Messy business, that! Oh, isn’t the English language just delightful? No, we don’t roll in dough, nor do we have much money... so, there’s no sending the old dear off to a fitness club. No siree bob! We had to come up with a solution, economical and yet effective. And Whiskers did and she thinks it’s brilliant.
Now a good exercise plan includes warm up, stretching, strengthening exercises, aerobics, a good long walk and a gentle cool down. And, we’ve managed to incorporate all of these into our plan. It’s brilliant, totally brilliant because it’ll take care of another few issues.
Three of the five at Mischief and Mayhem Central are a little, might we say, portly and/or matronly.... Yes, Etude and I, Rondo the magnificent, each weigh a meagre 17 pounds while dumpling Whiskers is somewhere at the top of normal for the feminine feline. No, I have no intention of divulging the number. I value my life too much. To explain this a little further, all three of us saunter across the living room, belly pouches swaying side to side, and for Whiskers this isn’t so bad...brown stripes disguise the pouch, but for Cow kitties in Holstein fur... and male kitties to boot, it is embarrassing. Udderly embarrassing, to say the least.
Then, we have the little ones – Sweetie and Mouse who are at or below the bottom of normal and need to bulk up a bit. What to do about them? Good question! We’re still working on that one. So...... back to the exercise plan.
Grammy is to walk each of us in turn on leashes up and down the hallway... simple, to say the least. No need to spend a penny. Harnesses and a lead already in house from Grammy’s days as a Feline Foster Mom! Sturdy shoes. Indoor activity so, no need for jogging suits or outerwear. The perfect plan – start slowly and build up. Don’t overdo it. Three cats... that’s the ticket.... One from each weight range to start and down the road work up to all five of us.
Day 1 -
The Warm up – Bend over, lift the single stepstool, straighten, move it to the appropriate cupboard, bend over, set it down, straighten, step up, stretch, lift down the bin with the harnesses and leash. Stretch to return bin to the shelf. Step down, bend over, lift stepstool, straighten, walk to original location, bend over, replace stepstool, straighten. Retrieve harnesses and leash, walk to living room.
Aerobics 1 – The Harness... Locate Etude, bend over and lift him, carry him to chair, wrestle him into a harness that is somewhat snug, attach lead. Lift Etude and walk to door, open and walk through, close door and bend over to set him on the ground.
Brilliant in theory but from there the plan went awry. Or in other words the brilliant plan went to H E double hockey sticks in a hand-basket.
Firstly, Etude was not thrilled to be in a harness that was lacking that extra finger of space between it and the furry underbelly,
Secondly, Etude was not thrilled to be in the hallway of the condo,
Thirdly, he made it known – at the top of his howling voice. AWWWROOOOOOO!
Doors unlatched up and down the hallway, snap, snap, crrrrick times eight. Heads peered around door frames, agog, phones in hand, 9-1-....prepunched waiting to see if that last single digit was needed. And just as suddenly, heads retreated into those units - startled turtles into their shells. Doors closed and latched.. crrrrick,.snap, snap – again, times 8. They wanted nothing to do with that lunatic and her howling Holstein. KITTEN’S WHISKERS
Well, the old dear, the worst behind her figured she might as well carry on with the walk. Yes, I’ve said it before... she’s delusional! Believe me! She is! Grammy hadn’t taken into consideration the FRF (feline resistance factor). Etude decided he wasn’t going anywhere... no, not one step, plunked that Holstein belly onto the hall floor and dug in those claws. HE WASN’T BUDGING, no siree! Might I say it again? KITTEN’S WHISKERS
Grammy, not to be waylaid from her fitness regimen carried on with her aerobics - Bend over, unpeel the claws, lift the feline howler, walk to the end of the hall, set him down on the warm radiator, chat him up a bit while peering out the window, start walking back as far as the leash would permit. Of course he’ll run to join her. Hah, delusional! Call to Mr Uncooperative, return to said mister, bend over pick him up and walk back along the hallway, open door and wrestle to remove a tight harness while said cat wiggles and writhes to escape to his condo safety zone.
Aerobics 2 – repeat step by step with practically weightless Sweetie and the smaller harness. More major howling and octave higher but fortunately, only one door opened, startled turtle appeared and disappeared, door closed in 3 seconds flat... no phone in hand, thankfully! AND this one was much easier to unharness.
Aerobics 3 – repeat said exercise, step by step with Whiskers. Only differences were: finger space between harness and furry underbelly was generous, 25% lighter cargo than round 1, chirping and squeaks of pleasure replaced all-out howls. But Grammy got in a third walk down the hall and back with no wriggling, lots of cuddles and purrs and a few whisker tickles but no feline walking. I’m thinking that was Whiskers’ plan all along - an adventure in Grammy’s arms. Devious old dear put one over on all of us.
Once Whiskers was unharnessed, the cool down began... gather harnesses and leash, bending and stretching to place them back in their cupboard using stool.
And where were Mouse and I during all this? Well, I was on the laptop, writing this blog as details unfolded and Mouse was preparing an Epsom salts bath for dear old Grammy.
Well, do we see any improvement in Grammy? Absolutely! She didn’t topple over once. Not even a stagger! Well, maybe one or two, but they were little ones. So, hard as it is on the M&M crew at Mischief & Mayhem Central, we must be selfless and continue the regimen for Grammy’s sake.
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Five Cats, Five Personalities, One Goal - Mischief & Mayhem.