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Marilee J. Layman

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06:44 pm: Cat-Shaped Terror
I was beading in the recliner last night when Spirit, who has started running into things, jumped up on the recliner. Not the end, as usual, but on my stomach, and in the process, put her back left foot into a loop of Fireline (gel microspun fishing line that works well for some types of beading) that had a needle two inches away. I tried to lift her leg so I could get the loop off and she panicked and stepped right onto the recliner arm and then to the steps up to the castle and inside. (There's a reason I move everything back after the cleaning lady has been here.) She's yelling through all this.

I still want to get the line off her foot, so I get out of the recliner and approach the castle slowly, telling her what a good girl she is, how pretty, etc., but as soon as I was in arm's length, she was out the castle window, behind the furniture, around the desk in the dining room, and down the hall into the bedroom. Screaming. She has something attached to her and it keeps following her!

So I follow, much slower, down the hallway and see that she must be right inside the bedroom because the two ends of the beading are on the threshold. I kicked them in, went in, and closed the door behind me. She startled and ran into the door. Then she dashed to the far side of the bed (I have drawers under my bed, so no getting underneath). In the process of dashing, she'd stepped out of the beading, so I put it on a shelf of the closest bookcase.

I wanted to make sure her foot wasn't hurt, and I knew she was still scared of me, so I sat on the bed for a bit, talking to her. Then I moved to the bottom of the bed and talked to her. Then to the side she was on, and she ran into the closet, where I caught her. I sat back on the bed and examined her foot. She didn't have any scratches or piercing, but in the process, I acquired a few larger piercings.

So I left her back there and brought the beading back out. It took me 15 minutes to get the thread untangled and by then, she had come partway down the hallway and darted into the utility room (probably into the corner behind the water heater). Then she came out to the heating pad in the kitchen, and after about 30 more minutes, came to the arm of the recliner (stepping on the toolbox I keep next to it with beading tools and such, and then to the arm). She was shaking. She wanted to sit with me, but was still terrified. She let me pet her gently and she looked around for Shiva and I told her he was on top of the recliner and she could see him, he loved her. She turned around and stretched up to find the top and jumped up there where he was a good boy and bathed her head thoroughly. She came back eventually to sit nervously and then sleep comfortably between my legs.

After all the walking and catching, I didn't set the alarm and I slept only nine hours, which is good. I've run the dishwasher today and am washing sheets. Strange how a few minutes of terror take up a lot more time to tell.

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[User Picture]
From:kaffyr
Date:August 25th, 2008 12:08 am (UTC)
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"Strange how a few minutes of terror take up a lot more time to tell." It is, isn't it?

I'm glad Spirit finally calmed down, and I'm amazed at your patience. You and Bob share that.
[User Picture]
From:mjlayman
Date:August 25th, 2008 12:14 am (UTC)
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Well, I couldn't hold on to the thread, it might cut into her leg, so I had to wait until I could get it off or she got it off. She's been fine today.
From:etumukutenyak
Date:August 25th, 2008 01:06 am (UTC)
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Some cats are so easily terrified, and there's nothing you can do once they start. I've had my own experiences with more than one of my cats. Smokey was the kind of cat to freak out if he thought you were thinking of chasing him.
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From:mjlayman
Date:August 25th, 2008 01:16 am (UTC)
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It's gotten worse as her sight gets worse. People keep saying they know cats that don't have problems when they go blind, but Spirit is clearly not one of those. And she has compulsive and anxiety disorders, so she's a little edgy to start with. (The compulsive disorder is much better since she had three months of Buspar when she was one.)
[User Picture]
From:dragonet2
Date:August 25th, 2008 03:03 am (UTC)

I'm glad she's okay

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you can never tell what will set a skittish kitty off.

We were unable to get a cat/house checker this weekend so the kittehs were left from Friday until today. They did okay, the weather stayed way cooler here than it did in St.. Louie.

But except for Yum, who's kind of skittish, we've got little furry attention demanders.
[User Picture]
From:mjlayman
Date:August 25th, 2008 10:48 pm (UTC)

Re: I'm glad she's okay

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Oh, attention demanders is pretty good. When I beaded last night, Spirit left the top of the recliner and went to sit on the heating pad in the kitchen. She came back when I started reading the paper. I think it may take a few more days for her to trust being with the beading again.
[User Picture]
From:ritaxis
Date:August 25th, 2008 04:10 am (UTC)
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That's quite an adventure, Marilee. How is Spirit now? Still ansty?
[User Picture]
From:mjlayman
Date:August 25th, 2008 10:54 pm (UTC)
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She wouldn't sit with me while I was beading last night, just while I read the paper, so we'll see about tonight. But otherwise, she's her usual self. Currently agitating for dry food. ;)
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 25th, 2008 04:46 am (UTC)

Cat Blindness

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Why is Spirit losing her vision? I have a kitten who is about 80% blind as a result of Feline Herpes. She is hell on wheels. Runs full speed through the house, pushes the change off of my desk, etc.

I've been taking her to a veterinary ophthalmologist. If we can succeed at beating down the herpes virus it will be possible to recover a substantial amount of her vision. Unfortunately, human systemic antiviral drugs do not work well in cats.

Dr. Millichamp says that cats adapt to blindness better than dogs and the young ones cope better than the old.

Stuart

It's obvious you love your kitties. I wish you well.
[User Picture]
From:mjlayman
Date:August 25th, 2008 10:57 pm (UTC)

Re: Cat Blindness

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Her mother was a Siamese and it's a hereditary Siamese disease. Nothing to do about it, but she won't lost her eyes. Spirit is still moving around better in the day, but even with a good amount of light (CFs, of course), she doesn't see as well at night. She's 10.5 years old, but she's been losing her sight slowly since she was six.

Yep, I love my kitties. I bet you love yours, too!
(no subject) - (Anonymous)
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From:mjlayman
Date:August 25th, 2008 10:59 pm (UTC)
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Well, the odd part is that I had just trimmed her claws earlier in the day. But I only trim their front claws and she was pushing with her back feet. I keep plastic bags in the reusable grocery bags because I can recycle them on the way in to the grocery.
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From:firecat
Date:August 25th, 2008 07:02 am (UTC)
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I hate it when that happens :?

(glad you're both ok, sorry about your extra piercings)
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From:mjlayman
Date:August 25th, 2008 11:00 pm (UTC)
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Thanks! The rheumatologist noticed the one in my neck today. ;)
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From:heleninwales
Date:August 25th, 2008 02:30 pm (UTC)
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Poor Spirit! Cats can get in such a panic when they accidentally get attached to something that keeps following them. I'm glad Shiva managed to comfort her a little.
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From:mjlayman
Date:August 25th, 2008 11:01 pm (UTC)
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Yes, they just don't understand that if they stop, you can get it detached! He went on and bathed her head two more times, so he was being very good. He clearly used to be an only cat and it took him a long time to show affection.
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From:skylarker
Date:August 25th, 2008 06:34 pm (UTC)
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That sounds like an real ordeal for both of you.
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From:mjlayman
Date:August 25th, 2008 11:01 pm (UTC)
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More for her than me!
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 28th, 2008 01:50 am (UTC)
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Poor little Spirit. She must have been terrified.
Doris
[User Picture]
From:mjlayman
Date:August 28th, 2008 04:39 am (UTC)
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Yes, and last night she wouldn't sit with me while I was beading, either! She's back to normal otherwise.
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