Posted in IRL, Kitty Korner

Kitty Korner: Vet Visit

Update: After one day of taking the meds the vet gave Sebastian, he was back to eating like normal. Hopefully that means we’ve found the issue and that he’ll continue to get better.

So I know I haven’t been updating the new kitten situation in a while, as things have been more or less alright between Sebastian and Spriggan so far. But some things have come up today that made me decide that blogging a bit about my cats is probably going to be a thing going forward. So I’ve created a Kitty Korner tag for this.

Spriggan Update

The kitten is doing fine as far as kittens do. He’s still a mess and a ball of energy, constantly challenging me to find cat-proofing things, such as my desk, to protect it from prying paws.

He’s a teenaged kitty, and he’s acting like one.

You can’t tell him what to do. You can’t train him. He complains loudly until he gets what he wants. He gets into everything not nailed down.

I keep buying him toys (I should blog about some of those, eventually), but his attention span is so short, it’s hard to keep him entertained. But trust me, you don’t want him entertaining himself.

Aside from that, he gets along with Sebastian well. I’m still trying to bond with him, though, as he’s so flighty, it’s hard for him to sit still long enough to make a more affectionate connection.

Sebastian’s Loss of Appetite

So, on to the reason for this article. My older cat, Sebastian, hasn’t been feeling well.

He is a cat of habit. He also has a duty to ensure all food is properly disposed of (in his mouth) as catly possible. So when I see things out of the ordinary, I know something is wrong.

Last week, he wasn’t eating his wet food, which he gets every morning. At first, I wondered if he was just being picky about the flavor or the texture. He’s not usually a picky eater, but with cats, you can never tell.

Spriggan tested some of the wet food for himself and ate it without problem. Sebastian was eating dry food, so I just kept re-introducing the wet food each morning until it finally got eaten.

Everything was okay Saturday.

Sunday was the first morning I saw trouble. He didn’t meet me at the bedroom door first thing in the morning (to let me know he’s hungry) like he always does.

Second, he was doing something odd — tilting his head sideways, licking out the corner of his mouth. From time to time, he’d hunch over as if he was trying to cough something up, but he never did. I was concerned, but thought maybe he was chewing on a toy and got something in his throat. So I fed him, he ate, and he acted fine the rest the day.

Yesterday, I woke up and he was acting the same way – head tilting, licking, gagging. I started getting worried. Two days of him acting that way was more serious. I fed him and he wasn’t interested in wet food again. I left it out for him, though, to see if he’d eat it while I was at work.

He did eat it by the time I came home, so he was eating and drinking. He acted okay the rest the night.

Today, I didn’t see signs of head tilting or licking, but he wasn’t interested in wet food. Nor had he eaten the food I’d left out for him.

Vet Visit

I decided that was enough of that, and I called the new vet, who had taken care of my kitten’s shots and surgery. This is not Sebastian’s normal vet, but his vet is often so overbooked, there’s no hope to get an appointment with them on the fly.

Last year, he was having trouble throwing up food, and they weren’t very helpful – just telling me to let him eat the dry food if he was only throwing up the wet, or to change the food brand. Eventually, they said it was probably hairballs, and gave me something for that, but they didn’t have time to take my concerns seriously. But that’s a grouch for a different time.

The new vet got him in immediately this morning. I’m very glad I took him in.

They did a thorough check-up for my cat. Instantly, the vet noticed that Sebastian had an inflamed gum and maybe infected tooth. That would explain a lot, if that’s the cause of his head tilting, licking and lack of appetite.

But then, he dropped a bomb I didn’t expect. He told me Sebastian has a heart murmur. I was floored. I’d just taken him in for shots and a check-up at the other vet in December… how did they not catch that then?

Anyhow. This is not good news. But it’s also not the end of the world because…

  • Sebastian is still fairly young (only 6-7 years old).
  • We caught it early. The vet rated it a 3 on a scale of 1 to 6.
  • X-rays showed that his heart has not enlarged, so there’s not much damage done yet.
  • It’s going to be costly, but it can be treated. I will have to take Sebastian to a cardiologist.

It’s likely he’ll be put on medicine when he gets older to prevent heart damage. But the vet seems to feel Sebastian can still live a long life.

For now, though, Sebastian is on antibiotics and steroids to treat the tooth. He’ll be going back in two weeks for a tooth cleaning and deeper inspection. If that problem tooth needs to be pulled, that will be determined then.

If that doesn’t help his appetite, we may have to run blood tests on him to investigate other issues.

Somewhere down the line this year, I will have to get him pre-tested at my vet, and then take him to the cardiologist, which is in a larger city about an hour away. I’m more worried about taking him on a long drive like that… he has a fit about a short 15 minuet drive across town!

And yeah, this is all going to cost money. But Sebastian is my cat-buddy and my literal spirit animal. I’ve not had a cat, or any pet like him, that I’ve connected to so closely. I’m willing to pay what it takes to keep him healthy and feeling well.

At least I finally have a vet that’s listening and taking my concerns seriously!

Posted in IRL, Kitty Korner

Kitten Chronicles – Almost a Month

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve written about my adventure with the new kitten, Spriggan. Two days ago, he went in for his neutering surgery and final kitten booster shots. Everything went well, and he’s recovering like a champ. In fact, he had no down time as far as I saw at all.

Due to the surgery, I’m keeping him separated for a few days from Sebastian. When they’re together, they tend to rush around the house like mad cats, and I want Spriggan to take it easy and heal up first. I’ll probably re-introduce them again this weekend. I’ve heard that neutering sometimes makes the kitten smell like a new cat, so I want to make sure I have plenty of time at home during this process.

Before that, I was still keeping Spriggan in his own room at night and while I was at work. I allow the two of them to romp when I’m home and all day on weekends.

Sebastian’s attitude has significantly improved over time. While he still does dominate over Spriggan when he gets in the mood, most of their interactions are chasing and playing. In fact, there’s almost too much cat energy going on around my house! When I have to focus on stuff, like art or raids, I separate them. Usually, Spriggan is pretty patient if I put him in his room for short times… just as long as he gets to romp again later.

Right now, he’s fussy because he wants out, and I’m not letting that happen.

The cats are still working through ownership of things. The cat tree by the window, for example, tends to be Sebastian’s spot all day long. Spriggan instantly took to it, so sometimes Sebastian gets whiney that his spot was taken. I’m going to have to invest in another cat tree, it seems.

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They’re sharing the cat tree for the first time!

I’m also working on catifying the guest bedroom. I’ve made it so that this little cat condo I bought is set up in that window for the kitten to use. This has gone over well.

I have an old, rickety desk that I need to get out of that back room to make more space. I’d also like to change out the curtains in there since the drapery is super old now, and quite enticing for a kitten to climb. Some of this is going to have to wait until tax returns, though! But it’s a project for sure.

Posted in IRL, Kitty Korner

Kitten Chronicles – Week 1 Edition

I still can’t get a good picture of the new kitten because every time I try to approach with a phone, he gets up to rub on me. Anyhow, I decided it was time for another kitty update!

I’m still rolling ideas for a name in my head. I’m thinking about “Puck” as in the character from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The kitten is certainly enough of a troublemaker!

Nope. Ended up going with Spriggan. As in FFXIV Spriggan:

ff14-spriggan

I’m slowly introducing Sebastian and Spriggan for a few hours each night when I get home from work. Spriggan has been enjoying the use of the many toys around the house, and I got him a new collar (seen in above picture) along with a new scratching post and such.

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Both kitties love this toy!

I wish I could say that the introductions have gone completely without incident, but that’s not true. There’s not been a full-out cat fight of any sort, but Sebastian is serious about letting the kitten know who’s the alpha.

Sebastian’s a rather jealous and sensitive cat to begin with. Any little change can send him into a fit of crying. Last night was the worst I saw him. He spent a good half an hour to 45 minutes just complaining loudly about the unfairness of kitten’s existence in his house.

Through these fits, Sebastian psychically asserts his domination over Spriggan by scruffing the kitten’s neck and holding him down on the floor. This doesn’t hurt the kitten, but it does dominate over him.

This is a behavior I’m familiar with through caring for ferrets. Back when I owned several, I had a very alpha male that would go through this same domination ritual whenever I introduced a new ferret to the household. It took a few days for the pecking order to work out, but eventually it did. Afterwards, the ferrets were best friends.

I’d probably be freaking out if I hadn’t seen this happen before. But I know that as long as the kitten isn’t getting hurt, it does more harm than good to interfere too much.

However, last night, Sebastian was just being a whiny-butt in general and not letting up on things. So, eventually I scolded him and told him to stop his behavior. He vocally complained at me in response, as if I should see what all the wrongs of his world were, but eventually chilled out over time.

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A kitten asking for trouble…

I did some reading about this domination behavior, and apparently while it can happen with cats, it’s pretty unlikely. Figures that I just have a weird cat.

Thankfully, Spriggan takes it in stride and usually just sits there in submission. If Sebastian does get too rough, I’ve seen the kitten take a swipe at him to let him know. Sebastian is a big scaredy cat in the end, and runs away.

With the weekend coming up, I can bring the two together for larger tracks of time as I still don’t want to leave them alone when I’m asleep or at work. I hope a few full days of dealing with one another will calm things down more.

Also, in a few weeks, Spriggan will be getting fixed. I don’t know if that’ll make a change in things, but it can’t hurt.

Posted in IRL, Kitty Korner

Kitten Chronicles – Day 4

It’s official that I can keep the kitten!

He had his first vet checkup today, and got a clear bill of health. Thankfully, he tested negative for Feline HIV, parasites and other nasties. He also got his first shots, and will be heading back to the vet in 3 weeks for follow-up boosters and the neutering.

This means that tonight I can finally give Sebastian and Kitten time to meet. This also means I need to be working on a real name for him since (as long as the cats get along) he will be coming to stay with me for sure.

I know he’ll be so much happier when I can let him out of the back room so he can explore and have company. Updates are forthcoming!

Posted in IRL, Kitty Korner

Kitten Chronicles – Day 2

It’s hard to take a good picture of a kitten who is always on the go. But there’s the best I could do.

So, after having the rescue kitten in the guest room overnight, I was pleased to see that he just seems to “get it.” Meaning, he knew to use the litterbox straight up. I was worried about that, because you just never know. But no messes – he kept it right where it should be.

I brought him a variety of toys that my older cat, Sebastian, only has passing interests in from time to time. Kitten knew exactly what to do with those, as well.

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My what sharp claws he has….

Yeah, those sharp claws were something I noticed right away. They could use a good clipping. But until then, I brought in Sebastian’s old scratch lounger, and was happy to see the kitten knew exactly what that was for, too!

It’s nice to see old toys getting some re-use. And it’s probably good because Sebastian’s scent is all over them, and the kitten is hopefully getting used to the smell.

The kitten’s a bit flighty on attention span, but enjoys company. However, seeing he’s in the back bedroom, I can’t spend all my waking time in there. I’ve done my best to make it comfy — cracked the window open because it’s nice outside, gave him a light over night, that sort of thing. I do spend time playing and cuddling him.

But the moment he’s left alone, he’s a yowling mess for a good 30-40 mins, until he wears himself out. There’s not much I can do about that seeing I can’t let him out to have contact with my other cat until after his vet visit on Monday. I want to make sure the vet gives it a thumbs up, no matter how healthy the kitten seems.

In the meantime, I’m starting to take steps to catproof my house. Sebastian is a very good cat when it comes to not scratching or messing things up, so I generally don’t need to worry about breakable items and cats jumping on things they shouldn’t… like my TV.

Since my TV is a concern – I could just see a kitten jumping on it, at it, or rubbing it straight off the stand — I did some research on what to do to protect it. I put in an order for Quakehold straps and museum wax  based on what I’ve read. These should arrive tomorrow, I hope, which gives me just enough time to get them in place before I can (hopefully) let the kitten on the loose.

Just the sound of that makes me shudder. 😀

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Looking for kitten trouble, probably.
Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, IRL, MMORPGs

Crazy Hurricane Weekend (And Lots of Gaming)

hurricane-matthew-largeCreepy picture of Hurricane Matthew’s “Grinning Skull” as shown by several weather stations.  *shudder*

I’m just a little disoriented today because I spent about 32 hours without power this weekend, sometimes without water, due to the passage of Hurricane Mathew on Saturday. We had over 12 hours of rain and wind, and my power held out through most of that until near the end. But it seems half the state lost its power, so I’m in good company.

I’m out of work today because work has no power. There are few stores open, unless they are running on generators, and they’re either packed, or only allowing a few people in at a time. Roads are flooded out and tangles of trees and powerlines lay everywhere. Thankfully, the weather is cool and windy, so even without air conditioning, it is comfortable. I was just settling in for another night without power last night when it popped back on. So far, it’s held. But there’s still a lot of folks out there who don’t have power (including our malls, shopping areas and my work).

During those many hours of no net, TV and PC, I found ways to occupy myself. I actually broke out my GameBoy Advanced and original copy of Pokemon Blue from 1998 to play during the daytime when there was enough light to keep the screen lit (no backlight). This was because it ran on AA batteries, and I had plenty of those charged up.

At night, I played my 3DS, and actually beat the Pokemon League on Pokemon X! So now I’m the Champion or something. I’ll talk about that in another post, though.

So I feel a bit guilty that while much of my city is without power, I’m here blogging and raiding… and charging up everything I own right now.

FFXIV Achievements

Surprisingly, even being down in Internet and power for several days this week, I was able to cap Scripture Tomes in FFXIV. This means I bought my very first large piece of Shire armor for Zuri’s Dragoon.

On top of that, my FC cleared A9 and A10 (I’m still stuck on A11), and I got another pedal drop. So I was able to pick up the Alex feet. It’s slow going in gearing up the Dragoon, but the job is almost to an ilvl where I can start using it in the new content. That’s with some really crappy accessories, too. Hoping to get those replaced…

ffxiv_10102016_001936Zuri Dragoon! Kinda really mis-matched right now… but, ah well.

Friday before the storm rolled in, I was also able to get my Scholar to level 57 as well. Bit by bit, I’m also getting better healer gear for level 60. Though, it’s still mostly just the Void Ark set, so not very impressive. I’m just torn on using the Lore Tomes for gearing up my healer vs. for making progress on my Anima Relic. That Relic sucks all my Lore Tomes dry, and it’s a bummer as I’m starting to enjoy Scholar quite a bit and want to have a healer who is viable for content if needed.

For now, my little Scholar is just toting around Poetics gear mostly. It’s fine because I only use her for leveling, PotD and sometimes Crystal Tower.

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In other news, I will be flying out to Vegas on Wednesday for the FFXIV Fan Fest! I’m not sure how much I will be able to blog from there, since I’m not taking a laptop. But I’ll take a lot of pictures and have plenty to talk about when I get back, I’m sure!

Posted in Geek Stuff, Internet

IRL Rant: Time Warner/Spectrum Internet Foul Up

I don’t usually rant about IRL stuff, but this really burnt my biscuits.

This is the story of two lazy cable techs and one tech who went out of his way to clean up the mess they left behind them.

This is a story that wouldn’t have happened if people had just done their job right. But it happened. So I’m writing about it.

Earlier today, Eri posted this in jest. Eri didn’t know how accurate this was…

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A Little Background

cableboxNow, the way my Internet works – I have one underground line that runs straight from my modem, out of my house and to a green covered box in my front yard. For many years, I’ve been the only one to use this box, though there are two ports on there for two households.

Six months ago, I had an issue with my internet. It was slow to the point that I couldn’t pull up a website, much less do any gaming. So after the standard run-around on the phone, they sent a tech to my house.

He determined that the port I was plugged into had gone bad. He switched me to the second port and all was well.

However, he said that he would get a second tech out to my box to replace both of the ports. Because (in his own words) “When one goes out, the other is likely to follow.”

Now, I never got the absolute word whether this port replacement happened. But months later, when I had another Internet issue, I asked the phone support if that was done. She told me yes, it had been. They ended up replacing my modem that time, and all has been well.

Until yesterday.

Yesterday’s Foul

My net was fine before I left for work. Upon walking outside, I noted a white truck and a man working on the Internet box outside my house.

“Strange,” I thought to myself. “I didn’t call service. And I’m the only one that uses that box.”

I sensed trouble. I was right.

So, there are people who have been fixing up the place next to me for months now. It turns out they must be moving in soon, and decided to get high speed Internet.

It also turns out that the port that was dead six months ago had not been replaced. I know that now because the tech who came to install my neighbor’s Internet yesterday switched me to the dead port, gave them the working port, and called it a day.

Now, what makes me really angry is… this tech knew that the second port was dead. Why else would he have switched things around instead of just leaving mine alone? There was no reason to touch mine unless he realized the other port wasn’t working, and saw this as something that was going to take up more of his time than he wanted.

Even the tech who came out today and confirmed this saying, and I quote, “You are a victim of stupidity.”

Yes. Yes I am.

Yesterday’s cable installer purposely took my service, gave it to the neighbors who haven’t even moved in yet, and left me without Internet. He never called anyone to fix it. I guess he figured someone else would clean up his mess.

cantHe was right.

The tech who came out today was sharp. I wasn’t rude or angry towards him, but he saw what had happened and knew he needed to make it right.

He immediately called their line guy, who was very quickly at my house to exchange the dead port for a working one. It took him less than ten minutes. This wasn’t something back-breaking to do!

I got good service from the tech today. But the point is, that this tech wouldn’t have even had to do this if other techs had done their job right in the first place.

And the kicker? I had to use my work sick time to be there today for the appointment.

Yeah. Not a happy camper.

Thanks for listening to my rant.