Monday, January 22, 2018

An Update on Katie and Her Pearly Whites

Dear Friends & Readers,

Last Friday I posted about Katie's dental appointment that she was heading into that same day. There was no way to really know for sure how minimal or extensive her procedure would be until the vet was actually in there. You've all been such wonderful friends and readers, sharing your prayers and well wishes both here and on social media. I want to thank you for keeping our Katie Girl in your thoughts. 


Let me first say that everything went very well, and Katie is safe at home recovering.

Taking a Funny Break, Just for Today
It's awfully hard to be funny or clever when your kitties are hurting, so I'm not even going to try. Instead, I'd like to share an update on how the procedure went and how everyone is doing. 

I don't have any new photos to share. Today's pictures are just a few favorites that make me smile. I don't like to take photos at the vet during serious procedures like this or even at home when Katie or Waffles aren't feeling well. 

Katie's Procedure
Katie's dental surgery was pretty extensive. Her vet and I were fairly certain she had some diseased teeth that were contributing to some of her health complications. As it turns out, there were four teeth in very bad shape that had to come out. Part of the reason it was so important to remove them is because of the bad bacteria those teeth were continually releasing into her bloodstream. This can adversely affect her immune system, put her at risk for other diseases, and even exacerbate the side effects of her IBD, inflammatory bowel disease. 

They were likely causing her quite a bit of discomfort too. Katie had three canines, those are her large front fangs (*triple sad face*), and one incisor extracted, as well as a thorough cleaning, tarter and plaque removal. She was under general anesthetic for the procedure which lasted about 1.5 hours. 

Katie's Recovery So Far
Despite the fact that the teeth were extremely difficult to get out and required a tremendous amount of torque on the part of the vet, Katie is doing extremely well. She came home late Friday afternoon and wasn't a bit shy about asking for food. After just one jar of her favorite baby food, she was back to her regular diet of raw turkey.

Giving Katie any kind of oral medication is a challenge. And given how sore her sweet, little mouth must be, I couldn't even imagine trying to get her to take a pill or liquid. So I opted for at-home injections. It's much easier than you might think.  I'm giving her one injection of Buprenorphine for pain about every 12 hours. She's such a sweetie and doesn't mind the shot at all. I just gently hold the loose skin behind her neck and insert the needle just below that. She doesn't even flinch.

I can tell her mouth feels different to her. Just by the way she licks after she's eaten. Her cute pink and black lips show a little more than usual, probably because there's some swelling and because she's getting used to how it feels. She has some dissolving stitches that should already be gone. She's not ready to start grooming herself yet, so I've been petting her with a warm and damp washcloth. I'm sure she'll be back to usual grooming routine and her silky soft self soon.  

She's been sleeping quite a bit, probably from the pain medication. But she doesn't appear to be in any sort of distress. She's letting me pet her and is purring like a steam engine. 

Waffles Recovery
Waffles is having a rough go of it. He experiences non-recognition aggression whenever either of them visit the vet. Even when they go together. He's not aggressive in a way that indicates he'd ever harm Katie, he's more scared. Non-recognition aggression is all about smell. It would be like if I came home one day and still looked like me, but smelled like a total stranger. It's scary and confusing to him. He'll hiss, growl and yowl. He needs a lot of reassurance from me that everything is ok, so I'm making sure to spend some time with him too. 

Because Katie hasn't been able to groom herself yet, Waffles is still smelling the vet and medications as opposed to smelling his favorite companion.

On the first night I separated them so everyone could hopefully get some rest. I spent time with Katie, laying on the floor next to her in our walk-in closet and then also spent some time with Waffles in the office where I had his accommodations set up.

With the exception of mealtime, I've let Waffles out of the office. Although he's still hissing and growling some, it's definitely tapering off. It will just take some time. This is another reason it's a good idea to pet Katie with a damp and warm washcloth. The more I can help her to smell like "home," the quicker Waffles will come to realize everything is ok.

The Hardest Part
One of the most difficult parts of being a cat parent and guardian is not being able to explain to them what's going on and why something is hurting. I wish more than anything I could hold Katie close and reassure her that she'll feel so much better soon. That she did nothing wrong. That I love her. That we'll play with fuzzy balls again soon. I wish I could take her pain so she didn't have to feel it.

I wish I could tell Waffles that his buddy is still here, she's just smelling a little funny. 

Thank you so much for keeping all of us, especially Katie, in your thoughts. We are all so blessed to have such wonderful friends.


Friday, January 19, 2018

Pearly Whites

WAFFLES:  Wake up, Boss! 

KATIE:  Isn't having your head under the covers the international sign for "I'm sleeping - Do Not Disturb"?

WAFFLES:  So does that mean you're sleeping, Boss?

KATIE:  *Sigh* Not anymore, Waffles.

WAFFLES:  Good, because it's time to go to the vet. You know, to get your teeth sparkles.

KATIE:  Teeth sparkles? I don't like the sounds of that. How about you go get YOUR teeth sparkles instead. 

WAFFLES:  But I don't want to get my teeth sparkles until you get your teeth sparkles. 

KATIE:  What, are you chicken? 

WAFFLES:  Even chicken isn't going to get me out from under these covers today.

Katie's Pearly Whites
Glogirly is a little anxious today. Katie is having some pretty major dental work done. We have an awesome vet, who is very experienced and knows her stuff inside and out. She also knows Katie inside and out. Not only has she seen her in purr-son a few times, she's spent hours reading every single word, every single test result, every single everything from all of her previous vets and visits since she was a kitten. 

She was instrumental in helping identify Katie's IBD and what we can do to help her. On Monday, in our The Cat Food That Saved Christmas post, we wrote a little about the food Katie has transitioned to and how we're already seeing some great results. Something Glogirly wasn't aware of though, is how untreated dental issues can adversely affect a host of health problems, including IBD. It's out vet's belief and hope that if we tackle some of the mouth issues Katie has, it will help some of her IBD symptoms like gastrointestinal distress. It's something that should improve her quality of life and help her to feel much better.

So Katie will be spending the day at the vet. She'll go in early in the morning for the procedure. Our vet doesn't know how much or how little will need to be done until she's in there. We're hoping it's more on the little side. It will require general anesthetic so Katie will be at the vet all day in order for her to be closely monitored afterward and make extra, extra sure she's ok to come home. She'll likely need to take some pain medication for a little bit. 

We don't often ask for prayers and purrs, but we sure would be grateful if you would keep us all, especially Katie, in your thoughts today. ❤️

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Do You Smell What I Smell? Plus Some Very Special Guest Stars

KATIE:  Waffles, have you smelled Glogirly yet?

WAFFLES:  What do you mean? Did she get new perfume or something? Chinese takeout.? That General So guy makes really good Chinese chicken. 

KATIE:  No, Waffles. She smells like CATS

WAFFLES:  Duh, Boss. WE'RE cats.

KATIE:  Not us, Waffles. Other cats. 

WAFFLES:  Whoa...OTHER cats??? You don't think–

KATIE:  No way.

About Today's Photos & Guest Stars
It's no secret that Glogirly loves taking photos. Photos of the mountains, photos of our visiting wildlife, and obviously, photos of cats. Though the majority of her memory cards are filled with Katie and Waffles, she also likes to find room for other kitties and friends. 

Over the weekend, she paid a visit to a fellow Colorado Cat blogger Sierra, and her two cats, Lita and Carmine from the Fur Everywhere blog. Which explains why she and her camera bag both smelled of other cats.

Lita hasn't been feeling well and it was really important to Sierra to have a nice photo of her precious girl. Her orange boy, Carmine, was under the bed for the first half of the visit, but when the food cans started opening up, so did he. 

Both Lita and Carmine did such a great job modeling for the camera. Especially considering they've only briefly met Glogirly once before.

Pretty-in-pink Milita (Lita) and Sierra.

As sweet as an orange creamsicle, Carmine in his favorite spot.

Lita loves love. Could her sweet collar tag be any more perfect?

Brother and sister.


Monday, January 15, 2018

The Cat Food that Saved Christmas

Once upon a time... 
...there was a cat named Katie. Katie loved her food. She loved it as much as a catnip mouse, feather toy and a cuddle with her favorite girl combined. But Katie didn't always love her food. You see, Katie has a nasty disease called IBD, inflammatory bowel disease. It took many years to even figure out that's what she had.

And it took even longer to figure out how to help her. 

One of the side effects of IBD is extreme gastrointestinal distress. And for Katie, that meant whatever she ate, she'd throw up. For a kitty who loves her food, that's pretty devastating. Mealtime for her was not pleasant. She'd eat very tentatively, slow and rarely finishing her food. Probably because she wasn't feeling well. 

So her girl read and read. She googled and googled. And she sought advice from some of the best and smartest experts in the fields feline nutrition and veterinary medicine. 

It became quite clear that Katie's silver bullet was a food transition to something her vet calls 'biologically appropriate.' The quick explanation of what that means is to understand that cats are obligate carnivores. And the quick answer to "what does that mean?" is that cats need meat as their primary, and in many cases, only food source, in order to survive and thrive. Their bodies can't process fruits, vegetables, and Cheetos like humans can. Their digestive systems are just aren't designed that way. If you take a peek at any of the cat food on the store shelves, you'll see all sorts of vegetable sounding ingredients. 

For some cats, a little bit of those vegetables might be ok. Not ideal, but they manage to digest everything without incident. But not Katie. Even the tiniest, trace amount of plant matter causes her extreme gastrointestinal distress. 

On the recommendation of our vet, we began a transition to Balanced Blends six months ago. 

Balanced Raw
Balanced Blends has cracked the code on biologically appropriate nutrition for cats - balancing the appropriate amount of vitamins and minerals to a cat's nutritional needs with their "ancestral" (a.k.a biologically appropriate) diet. They avoid processed food in favor of fresh and natural raw. Raw, uncooked diets retain more nutrients and more closely mimic what mother nature intended cats to eat. 

Your cat doesn't have to suffer from the same ailments as Katie to benefit from Balanced Blends. In addition to improved digestion, a balanced raw diet can contribute to a healthier skin and coat, reduced allergies, increased energy, weight management, and a virtually odor-free stool (YES!!!).

Of course, any food transition comes with its challenges. At 12 years old, Katie is just a teensy bit set in her ways. So we took it very, VERY slow. And just a couple of weeks before Christmas, Katie had made the leap 100%. She was officially a Balanced Blends kitty, eating a raw, pure protein, biologically appropriate diet. And she was already showing dramatic signs of improvement as it pertains to the effects of her IBD.

So you're probably wondering how it is that a cat food saved Christmas, right?
Ok, we promise we're almost there! Just a couple more details that are pertinent to the story.

Balanced Blends is not sold in brick and mortar stores. Their food is available for purchase online and ships anywhere, nationwide. It arrives frozen, packed in dry ice, and ready to store in the freezer. Each 5-pound box contains 10 small 1/2 pound chubs that you simply take out of the freezer to thaw as needed.

We were running low on food in early December, so Glogirly put in her order to make sure we'd be fully stocked in time for the holiday. When our delivery date arrived, we waited and waited. Not a FedEx truck in sight. We checked tracking and the delivery date had been delayed. But only for a day. So the next day, Glogirly waited and waited some more. Still no FedEx.

It was getting late and up here in the mountains at 8,000 feet it was pitch dark. She called the local FedEx distribution center to alert them of the importance of the delivery. All they could tell her was that it was on the truck and out for delivery. But she had a bad feeling. No one, including the delivery drivers, like driving the mountains in the dark. Plus, we'd just had a few inches of fresh snow. Glogirly drove up to the main highway in hopes of spotting the FedEx truck to flag them down. She parked, waited, but still nothing.

Katie had been without food all day. She wouldn't touch Waffles' chicken. It was turkey or nothing. Soon she'd be forced to revert to her old food which we still had on hand, thus erasing so much of her food transition progress. Not to mention, putting her at risk of more intestinal upset.

It was the Friday night before Christmas...
Glogirly's last resort was to call the phone number on Balanced Blend's website. She didn't expect anyone to answer, but wanted to at least leave a message. She explained what was going on, that FedEx was MIA, and she told of her desperation over Katie and her health condition.

What happened next was the beginning of our Christmas miracle.

The phone rang. It was Christina, one of the founders of Balanced Blends. She had picked up the message and began looking into the order. She'd already checked into the delivery and hit the same road blocks as Glogirly. Having five cats of her own, some with similar health issues, she completely understood what Glogirly and Katie were going through.

Remember when we explained that Balanced Blends is only available online? Well what we didn't mention is that Christina and her husband live in Boulder, Colorado. That's where Balanced Blends was founded, about an hour from where we live. And she had 10 pounds of the same food that Katie had transitioned to in her freezer.

Less than two hours later, Christina and her husband were at our front door with 10 pounds of raw turkey for Katie. They drove over an hour in the dark of night, up our steep and winding mountain road, down our treacherous snow-covered dirt road driveway, with only the light of the stars to guide their way, that Friday night before Christmas. All to get Katie her food. They'd even thawed out a little bit so she'd be able to eat right away.

So do you think we're customers for life? Glogirly was practically in tears as she hugged Christina, thanking her for saving our Christmas.

Yes, Katie. There really IS a Santa Claus. And her name is Christina.  

 Want to sample Balanced Blends? 

If you'd like to try out the food with your kitties (they have diets for dogs too!) you can save $2 on a 2-pound sample pack and shipping is free with our referral link below. It's an awesome way to get introduced to what we believe is the best food for cats out there. From the best company ever. 

Yeah, we're gushing. But wouldn't you be too?

Shop for your sample pack HERE

This is not a paid product review. We purchased our food from Balanced Blends and they have not even asked us to post a review. This is our gift of thanks to them and our way of sharing a product and company we believe is relevant and of interest to our readers. Our opinions and the content of this article are our own.

Friday, January 12, 2018

She's Got the Look

KATIE:  Perhaps if I look extra beautiful, my breakfast will be extra big.

WAFFLES:  Yeah, good luck with that, Boss. Glogirly's got those measuring cup things. And she says she knows how to use them.

KATIE:  Perhaps if I look extra desperate, my breakfast will be extra big.

WAFFLES:  Seriously, Boss. I've totally tried that–

KATIE:  Watch and learn, Waffles.

KATIE:  Watch and learn.

Katie's Still Got Game
Waffles has a personality larger, and often louder, than life. He's not afraid to meow or even yowl for whatever he wants. Subtley is simply not in his vocabulary.

Katie, on the other hand, might be quiet and demure on the outside, but inside she knows JUST how to get what she wants. Whenever she wants. Just one more reason we call her, The Boss.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Flip-n-Roll, Kitty Style

WAFFLES:  Hello Ladies. I'm just hanging out here on the big round rug, being all handsome and stuff.

WAFFLES:  It's a lot of work keeping up this much handsome. And grooming. Lots of grooming. 

WAFFLES:  Woops, missed a spot.

Waffles' Flip-N-Roll
For most cats, reaching all the right spots during bath time requires mastering a few simple yoga poses. Waffles is definitely not most cats. He has his own unique bathing technique we call the Flip-N-Roll. He flips and flops on his back, almost like a fish, while licking everything from his arms to his tummy to...well, you know. He'll often throw in a chortle or two for good measure. He may be a little goofy, but he's got the cleanest armpits of any cat we know.

Katie, on the other paw, prefers lounging on the rugs. When she flips and rolls, it's all about inviting love. Whenever Glogirly or Gloman walk near Katie and one of the rugs is within sight, she beelines to the rug, flips over and opens her arms, just waiting for them to join her on the rug for some love and tummy scratches.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Pre-Breakfast Patty Cake

WAFFLES:  Hey Boss, hold still. You've got something on your head.

KATIE:  There's nothing on my head, Waffles. Mitts OFF.

WAFFLES:  Nope, there's definitely something there. 

KATIE:  Yeah, it's called my fur. 

WAFFLES:  Well, can I touch it? 

KATIE:  What do you think?

Patty Cake, Patty Cake
As sure as the sun rises every morning, Waffles and Katie engage in their daily game of pre-breakfast Patty Cake. As soon as the refrigerator opens and Glogirly starts dishing up the morning meals, Waffles gets his game on with Katie. She's often a willing participant. But Waffles just doesn't know when to stop pushing her buttons...or pushing his paw onto her forehead or chest. The game is always silent, not a hiss to be heard. 

But the end is always the same. Katie locks eyes with him in a stare down. Then Waffles mews a quick trill and scampers off. 
Katie: 1
Waffles: 0

Friday, January 5, 2018

The Unlikely Cat Portrait

KATIE:  Ok, take the picture already. Sometime today would be nice.

WAFFLES:  How come you're in focus, Boss? And I'm not?

KATIE:  Maybe it's because you lack focus, Waffles.

WAFFLES:  Huh? Where's my chicken drumstick toy? I haven't seen it since– Is it dinnertime? OMG, BUG! There's a bug! Do you see the bug?

KATIE:  Exactly.

WAFFLES:  So you DO see the bug.

KATIE:  I was going to say it's a photography technique called depth of field. When the primary subject is sharp and in focus and the background is soft and out of focus. But I'm going to stick with my first answer.

About Today's Photos
Some of our most favorite photos are those that capture the rare moments when Katie and Waffles find themselves within mere inches of each other. For two cats with such a complicated relationship, it doesn't happen very often. And even less so when there's a camera at the ready.

Enter treats.

Over our Christmas vacation, Gabe wanted to get a photo with Katie and Waffles. Easier said than done, so out came the treats. After the treats were gone, they must have forgotten how close they were to each other. It was just for a few seconds, but Gloman was ready with his camera!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

4-Wheeling Cats

WAFFLES:  We're going 4-wheeling, Boss. And I'm driving!

KATIE:  No way, Waffles. Colorado isn't ready for you behind the wheel.

WAFFLES:  But Gloman said...

KATIE:  –...that he and Glogirly are going 4-wheeling.  He's way too smart to let you behind any wheel. 

4-Wheeling Cats
Glogirly got creative over the holidays and designed a special mug for Gloman. It turned out so fun, she decided to include it in our Zazzle Store.
Of course, Katie is driving, but Waffles looks totally happy riding shotgun.

It was the purr-fect Christmas gift since Glogirly and Gloman have been exploring some of Colorado's best 4-wheeling trails during their Christmas vacation.

Top Left: Gloman behind the wheel
Top Right: Jeeping with friends and neighbors on Switzerland Trail. 
Bottom Left: Katie watching the clock at mealtime while waiting for everyone to get home.
Bottom Right:  Rollins Pass

FTC Disclosure: This post contains a link to our Zazzle store. We receive a small commission from purchases made from our Zazzle store designs. 

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