Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Socks is cute

I haven't posted in a while - Socks has been healthy and happy, going through his usual routines of patrolling the perimeter, sleeping, eating, playing, and sleeping.

I was testing out a FlipCam for work and did a short video of Socks, so here 'tis.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Yukky medicine

It's been awhile since my last update on Socks. Life's continued pretty much in a regular pattern of sleep, play and general cuteness. I've got a video I shot that I hope to get up on YouTube eventually of Socks fascinated with a hockey game on tv, trying to catch the puck and the tiny hockey players on the screen.

We've had some excitement the past couple of weeks. Socks seemed to be really tired and "down in the dumps" for a few days, sleeping alot. It came to a climax when he hid behind the end table in my living room one evening and slept there the whole night and into the next morning. He was due for booster shots in a few weeks and I had set up something with the vet, but this seemed serious; I called and set up an appointment that day.

My friend Sean went with me and helped me get him into the carrier. Socks felt so bad that he didn't put up much of a struggle, but I was nervous about what might be going on.

Socks didn't like the vet. In the waiting room filled with kitties in carriers and dogs on leashes, he watched, wide eyed and attentive. He was also shedding, which I found out isn't unusual for cats that are frightened. They took him in eventually and examined him and he did well with all the temperature taking and probing. (Though he _really_ didn't like the fecal sample test.)

Turns out he was running a fever of about 103 and had some kind of infection, possibly from gingivitis. They gave him some fluids and antibiotics and he was noticeably improved just a few hours later and back to his old self in a day or two.

I had to give him antibiotics twice a day. He didn't care for it much and sulked a bit, but it had to be done. Of course, he got a little treat afterwards.

When I took him back, he had gained a bit of weight and seemed to be in good health. I have an appointment set to take him in tomorrow morning to get his teeth cleaned and take care of the gingivitis.

The teeth cleaning means another round of oral antibiotics, but this was a bit different. The vet described them as "yukky" and suggested chilling them in the fridge. Indeed, it must have been "yukky" - the first time I gave him a dose, he jumped out of my lap and went around the apartment wharfing like he was going to throw up and kept it up for a couple of hours. And he didn't want anything to do with me.

The past couple of days haven't been as bad. I've been able to give him the medicine and he'll sulk around for a few minutes and give me dirty looks before a treat and playing with the water in the sink makes everything better.

However, this morning, Socks intentionally or accidentally learned a little trick. When I squirted the "yukky" antibiotics in his mouth, he immediately spit them in my face and quickly jumped out of my lap.

I just sat there a moment with a face full of goo, amazed at what he'd done. The vet was right - this stuff is "yukky". I washed my face, got another dose and tried again. And, yes, he spit it in my face again.

Now, Socks is pissed and hiding in a corner. No more "yukky" meds for him today, I suppose.

Friday, April 4, 2008

On patrol

I was sitting on my couch this morning, checking my email and trying to wake up enough to trudge to the shower so I could eventually trudge into work. Socks was doing his normal morning "thing", exploring around the furniture and electronics in the living room on his "morning patrol".

As usual, he stuck his head between my vertical blinds, looking out on the patio. I didn't really think anything of it until .... BANG! CRUNCH! BANG! CRUNCH!

Socks had become excited about something and bunched up the blinds, trying to climb up the glass patio door. His fur on his tail has expanded to about three times its normal size.

"Hmm," I thought, "I wonder what he's into."

I walked over the door and didn't see anything at first. It was still dark and dreary, the rain coming down. I wondered if he was seeing some kind of dripping water on the patio - he gets so excited when he sees water.

But, no, it was a stray cat on the patio, just walking by.

The cat walked around the corner and Socks immediately went on patrol to the bedroom to keep tabs on this suspicious character roaming around our neighborhood.

He seemed quite satisfied with himself all morning, this little keeper of law and order in my apartment.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Talking cat bowl?

Buzzfeed has links to a new product for pets making the rounds on the Web - a pet food bowl that allows you to record your voice and plays it back when your pet goes for a snack.

Considering that Socks only seems to recognize two words - "Treat" and "No" - I'm not sure if this is something I'll be getting anytime soon...

Chatterbowl at Buzzfeed

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Reasons Cats Are Like Boyfriends

The other day I started thinking about how the similarities owning a cat has to relationships. Cats aren't exactly like some piece of furniture or glass bowl you get as a home decorating accessory - they have a life and personality of their own that has to mesh with your own. So, in celebration of Valentine's Day, I present my reasons that cats are like boyfriends.

-Very possessive of "his" toys.
-Takes your possessions and uses them in unexpected ways.
-Very good at hiding your stuff so you can't find it.
-Can be very territorial.
-Fascinated with mechanical things that move.
-Can run around and play in the house too much.
-Hard to get him to sit still for a good photo.
-Always tracking dirt in on the carpet.
-Cuteness hides his primitive interior.
-Can often act like a two-year-old.
-Innocent and childlike, but can be destructive if angered.
-Good at hiding when he's done something bad.
-Always has his feet up on the tables and furniture.
-Can somehow scratch up a nice table or ruin a good chair.
-Never helps out with the housework.
-Never fixes dinner, but always wants what you're eating.
-Prefers meat over vegetables.
-Prefers fast-moving objects on television.
-Usually goes to sleep during a romantic movie.
-Always leaves a mess and covers it up, knowing that you'll find it and clean it up later.
-Frequently wants to kiss at times when he has bad breath.
-Can sometimes produce unpleasant body odors.
-Can be very sensitive about hair loss.
-Often hyperactive and wants to play just when you want to go to sleep.
-Takes up most of the covers and pushes you out of bed as he sleeps.
-Somehow, he'll start out with his head in your lap, but wind up with his butt in your face.
-Can wind up living with you after needing to be rescued.
-Can have a mysterious past you know nothing about when he ends up in your home.
-Acts up when friends visit.
-If allowed to roam, can stay out all night, but usually winds up at your front door in the morning.
-Personal grooming only a priority when he wants it to be.
-Frequently sprawled out, adjusting his privates.
-Communicates in one or two word phrases.
-Shows frequent confusion about or disinterest in what you're saying.
-You never fully understand what he really wants.
-You really don't know what he does all day when you're at work.
-Spends most of the time sleeping on the couch or in a comfy chair.
-Easily distracted by shiny objects.
-Safest in a controlled, indoor environment.
-Periods of cuteness and cuddling make up for his faults.

Socks, Drug Fiend

When I first welcomed Socks into my home, I bought a cardboard "scratchpad" for him to use. It came with a little Ziplock baggie containing leafy green stuff. At first, I thought a rather hip clerk at the store had slipped a little extra bonus inside the box, but it just turned out to be catnip.

I don't think anyone quite understands the appeal of catnip to our feline friends. It seems so simple - a leafy, slightly minty-smelling substance - but it causes cats to behave in strange ways. Or sometimes not.

That's the odd thing about catnip. Some cats seem to be hypersensitive to the stuff all the time - rolling around in kitty bliss, chewing and covering their furry bodies in the stuff while others sniff and rub on it a bit with no hint of being slightly interested. Some only show interest once in a while.

Socks seems to fall into the latter category. The first few times I put some catnip on his scratch pad, I swear he acted like he was tripping - rolling around on the floor, his eyes wide, just the slightest stimulation would provoke strange behavior.

One time, after he sniffed and rolled around in the stuff, he jumped up on my bed where I was sitting. He saw part of the flannel sheets exposed at the head of my bed and just stared at them, very slowly moving his paw over a folded part of the sheet, over and over again. I touched him on the side of the neck to rub him a bit and he jumped with a start, his eyes wide. Then, he went back to pawing very slowly, over and over again at the flannel sheets.

He must have done this for a good ten minutes, leaving me to wonder if he was seeing some pretty colors and patterns coming off the fold in the sheet. A few minutes later he was back to normal, exploring around the apartment and staking out his usual place at the window.

If only mind altering substances for humans were so simple ...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Socks watches "Entertainment Tonight"

Here's a short video clip I just uploaded featuring Socks and his reactions to a report on "Entertainment Tonight" about Tom Cruise and Scientology.