My philosphy

My philosphy

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Willow's First Christmas, A Picture Story

Yesterday Todd and I went to my Dad's house to spend Christmas Eve with him and his girlfriend, and decided Willow should come along (Hudson came last year). This is her first Christmas after all, and she needed to experience...
The Tree...

She loved it!
The presents...

She tried to eat them!
Except Peanut, she was afraid of him...he talked

And somehow, these guys were okay!
Willow eventually escaped from her shirt, hid behind the couch, and refused to come out until food was offered, or the "torture" ceased....

She had fun with my Dad, even though she growled a lot!

He still loves her though ♥
I tried to counteract the moonshine eggnog with coffee!

Then Willow & I scared the hell out of each other♥
So I had to bribe her love with Kitty Kibbles!
 *Yes, I had Christmas Bows around my ears & around my head yesterday! That was long before the moonshine eggnog, and makes sense if you know me...that's just how I roll ; )

Today will be spent cooking, cleaning, spending time with some of Todd's family, my Mom, and good friends.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Kate & Todd (the people)
Abby & Logan(the dogs)
Emily, Hudson & Willow (the cats)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Box....

Last Summer, I needed a cardboard box to pack up some things. The one I happened to bring home from work had holes in it, so when I walked through the door...Todd thought I brought home a live animal! After some reassurance that the box was for packing books, I showed him it was empty and put it down. Hudson then came tearing across the room, jumped into the box, and well...the rest is history!

Willow in "The Box"

I have not been able to throw that damn box away! Every time I mess with it, Hudson gets upset. I like to just lay down on the floor, place my head inside the box, and watch his anger grow! I am not kidding at all either; he will circle the box, stand on me, stand on it, swat my face...until I get out of his box!

The box is also Hudson's "Sanctuary", whenever he gets yelled at (for beating up Willow, getting on the table, getting on the counter, beating up Emily, harassing the dogs, etc) this is where he runs to! As if we cannot see him, or access him. He also just hangs out in there, almost like a kid playing "pretend" in a refrigerator box.

Willow has also learned to love the box! She spends a lot of time in there, usually when Hudson is locked up. He doesn't like her in it either!

She *was* sleeping, until I came along...oops!
I guess I could always throw the damn thing away, but at the end of the day, it makes them happy! So what if I have a random cardboard box floating around the house, if we had would be colored all over, with stickers & glitter. At least the cats just chew on the flaps, that is all the "decorating" they are capable of!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Willow's portrait & her busy day

Last month, after a particularly stressful day, I found out I won a contest featured on a blog I follow. Peanut Butter Fingers is an amazing blog that I read daily. The contest was for a hand painted portrait of the winners choice, done by a student graduating Art School soon. To enter, you just left a comment about what your portrait would be of, and Julie (of PB fingers) used a random number generator to pick a comment.

So I was put in touch with Meredith who would do the portrait, sent her a bunch of pictures of Willow, along with her special story and a few weeks later....

...this came in the mail!
   *the picture was taken directly after dinner, so Willow was cleaning her leg and could not be bothered with picture taking. We actually tried to take this *before* dinner, but Willow was FURIOUS that she wasn't eating! She is such a character!

This picture cracks me up! You can tell neither of us are happy with the other ;)

Willow also came to work with me yesterday, she was "requested" by an amazing client of ours! Her family brought us all kinds of homemade goodies to snack on at work (cookies, fudge, cake, hot cocoa mix!) and her kids really wanted to play with Willow! They also brought her a toy, because she was spayed last month :)Willow had a blast with them, and apparently smacked the husband because he touched her back leg! She is not afraid to tell you what she doesn't like! She hits me a lot when I have to mess with her, or move her. Willow is one *independent* woman!!

Willow's newest toy!

She REALLY REALLY likes it :)
Willow spent the night playing with her toy, while snuggled up on my lap as Todd  & I watched the season finale of Terra Nova. On a side note, I am super sad the season is over, but it is prob. for the best...I tend to spend more time watching tv than studying, and next semester will need full attention!

So this morning, while I was slowly waking up, I got some cute pictures of Willow. However, I managed to delete them instead of transferring to my computer! I did manage to get another cute one of her, and one of Emily.
Willow LOVES the fuzzy blanket, and my pink robe, just not picture taking!

Emily, my first "crooked leg" cat.
You can kinda see it in this picture, Emily's right front foot is crooked. She was hit by a car at 10 weeks of age, and was brought into the clinic I was working at. Emily is such a sweet cat, and Willow looks very  much like her, but with less white! Emily is about 7 years old now, and I have had to save her life a few times. She has already used up 2 or 3 of her 9 lives!

Of course we needed a picture of Hudson up here! I am surprised I was able to get one of him sitting still! And speaking of Hudson....there will be a Hudson only post coming up soon, with more details of everything he ate & had removed from his stomach! We also have a "game plan" for ruling out some crazy medical problem for his pica...which means lots of $$$

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A little late to posting...

My last post was September 14th....I AM SORRY!

A lot has happened since then! I will try to do a re-cap real quick, and will expand on everything in separate blog posts...I have a final today at 1pm, and my last one Monday at 3:30pm, and then I will have all the free time in the world for blogging since I will only work 4 afternoons a week & every other Saturday! So both my animal blog & cooking blog will be updated regularly.

So, here is a bullet point list of everything that has happened, and I will expand more next week...think of it as a sneak peak into my crazy life!*these are in no particular order...*
  • Cole's necropsy/histology revealed that he had NO Thyroid or Parathyroid tissue!
  • Hudson continued to eat things & stress me out
  • Willow started swimming more at Paddling Paws
  • Willow finally hit 3 pounds!
  • I did awesome on all my midterms
  • I had to do a power-point project on the animal breed of my choice, I chose the Spyhnx :)
  • I had to do a power-point project on the animal disease process of my choice, I chose Hypoparathyroidism....and probably confused the hell out of my classmates!
  • I had to do a power-point project on a disease (emerging or re-emerging), and being the nerd I am, got special permission from the instructor to do mine on The Bubonic Plague (caused by the bacterium Yersenia pestis)
    • noticing a trend in my classes....this was for 3 of the 4 classes I took this semester!
  • The brake lines went out on my car, my exhaust had another leak, Todd needed new tires....
  • Todd proposed!
  • I obviously said YES
  • We went to the Zoo on a field trip & did a behind the scenes hospital tour!
  • Hudson had his 1st gastronomy to remove 2 bra straps, the tab of the bra w/ the fish hooks, several pieces of potato, part of a dog bandana, some elastic string from Willow's toy & a leaf (stem included)!!!
  • Four days later (YES, FOUR FLIPPIN DAYS) Willow was spayed AND had part of the dog bed removed from HER STOMACH!!!
  • Emily is the only well behaved cat at the moment, *AND* she is tearing up the carpet by the master bedroom door!
  • Todd and I managed to get addicted to several different shows on Hulu Plus & Netflix
    • Eureka
    • Arrested Development
    • Fringe
    • Grimm
    • The Office
  • And on youtube, Epic Rap Battles of History
    • warning, there is some foul language...but they are FUNNY
  • And somehow I manged to pull off the AMAZING grades below!
  • I earned a 95 on my A&P final, and have a 92 in the class
  • I am still waiting on my Nutrition final grade, but made a 99 on the midterm (we only have a midterm & a final)
  • Today is my Breeds & Husbandry final, I have a 91 avg in the class...not worried about today
  • Monday is my Microbiology final, so far I have a 94 avg in the class, so I am not worried about my final :)
  • I am excited to have a whole month off of school, but am also looking forward to next semesters classes...yes I am a nerd! I think that just about sums up life! I will expand  about everything more next week. I kinda felt like getting something up here today. I guess I should shower, eat breakfast & study now!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

TNR & other Feral Cat Ethics

TNR stands for Trap, Neuter & Return, which is a program for neutering healthy feral cats and returning them to the colony. First off, the term neuter is not gender specific. It simply means to make neutral. Castration is the surgical removal of the testicles in the male, and ovariohysterectomy is the surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus in the female.

TNR is a touch subject, with many variables. Some people feel that the feral cat colony should be euthanized entirely, that they wreak havoc on the natural ecosystem by killing the birds and lizards for food. Some groups test for FeLV & FIV and euthanize those that test positive, while others test but don't euthanize unless symptomatic.

The standard for neutered/vaccinated cats is for their left ear to be "tipped", so the same cat does not go through the trauma of getting trapped and taken to a facility after already being neutered.

I previously worked for a SPCA Spay & Neuter Clinic, where we handled feral cats routinely. Most of the feral cats were FeLV & FIV negative, and otherwise healthy. I live in an area where feral cats are plenty, and would LOVE to see better TNR programs around us!

 FYI- National Feral Cat Day is October 16th!

Here are some Feral Cat links-
Alley Cat Allies is an amazing organization promoting TNR and awareness of Feral Cats. I would love to become more involved with them someday.

Fully Vetted is a blog written by a Veterinarian from PetMD, her view points are awesome and she touches on some controversial subjects.

Winn Feline Foundation is another amazing organization that promotes feline welfare, and another group I would love to get involved with some day.  

The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) is yet another organization I want to work with. I am actually going to send in my membership application soon! They do so much for cats with research, and setting up vaccine guidelines, client support and education and continuing education for Veterinary Professionals.


Yet again, I have been so caught up with school work I haven't posted.  I also had a rough weekend. Four weeks to the date of euthanize Fluff, I came home from a friends house Saturday night and my "problem child" Cole had passed away. He had a massive seizure and died. I am still in shock because he was doing so well. Cole had a lot of health problems, but since we diagnosed his Hypoparathryoidism and found a correlation between his seizures and his low thyroid level....his medications were adjusted and he was GREAT!

I have always said with Cole, that I knew his time on this Earth won't be as long as the rest of us, but while he was here I would show him love and make sure he was happy and healthy. Which is exactly what I did. I also said when his time was up, I wanted to do a necropsy (autopsy), to find out if he even had a Thyroid gland!

So when I got home at almost 1 am and found him in his crate, I was in shock. Todd wasn't home yet, so I called him...once I heard his voice, I started to cry. I called my parents as Dad and his girlfriend were able to come right over, and helped us get Cole to the clinic. I didn't go to bed until 3am, and woke up at 7am. I spoke with Dr Chavis, the amazing vet who has been helping with Cole, and we scheduled his necropsy for that afternoon. I asked my BFF Sadie from work to be there with me. I gave Todd the option of being there, and understand his decision to not remember Cole like that. This was for me, this was my way of getting closure. Unlike Fluff, where I made the decision to euthanize because I knew she was sick, and didn't want her to suffer...this was so sudden, and I NEEDED and answer.

I won't go into the details of the necropsy, I am sure no one else wants to hear them. I was okay during it though, I did cry...but I knew he was gone, and even in death was teaching me. The body is an amazing machine, and even though I have seen necropsy's and have preformed dissections, it is still amazing to look at. I did learn a bit more about Cole, and we had to send some tissue out for pathology. Dr Chavis thinks Cole had an immune mediated thyroid problem.  Pretty much the body decides to attack itself, not recognizing that it's own structures are under siege; ie: Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA), the immune system attacks the Red Blood Cells (RBC's), destroying them (hemolytic = RBC destruction) and therefore causing anemia. It makes sense that Cole's immune system could be attacking the Thyroid gland, because he more than tripled his thyroid supplement dose and developed Hypoparathyrodism (the parathyroid gland is located beside the thyroid). On necropsy, we could not definitively find the Thyroid we sent off the surrounding tissue to confirm.

In the end, I want an answer. Obviously this answer will not change how we treated Cole, and we did do EVERYTHING we could for him. I know that I found him BECAUSE I would go to great lengths to diagnose and  treat Cole. Eventually though, his Thyroid would have to shut down, you can only supplement something that isn't working for so long.

I miss him terribly, but know that before he died...he was happy. He was a normal dog!

Here are some pictures from a few years back. My friend Becca and I took our dogs out to a local beach for the morning, they had fun. Her dog Harmonie is the Great Dane. Abby is the fuzzy wet dog at the bottom, she is my old lady (15 years old)

Cole wasn't really allowed off his leash...he tried to leave with other people....

Me and my Cole Man

He LOVED the sand dunes

He also loved Harmonie

This is my ALL TIME favorite picture of Cole
Abby, after swimming in a tide pool!

Thursday, September 1, 2011


 This article makes me so upset. People REALLY should do some research before they just start messing with an animals diet. So I feel the need to step up on my soap box for a minute....Cats are OBLIGATE CARNIVORES. They are unable to synthesize Taurine, an essential amino acid, that humans and canines are able to synthesize. Cats MUST get Taurine from their diet, and it is most abundant in MEAT! Taurine deficiency causes retinal degeneration and Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)! This was actually discovered in the 1980's, once the link between Taurine deficiency and retinal  degeneration and DCM was discovered, it wasn't long before these problems reversed themselves. Cats are minute Lions, Tigers, Leopards, etc. They have the same anatomy and physiology, the same nutritional requirements, the only difference is the SIZE and personality (ie NOT wild, exception - feral cats)

Anyways, I am done ranting...time to get back to studying. We had our first A&P test today,and we will get them weekly! I have to study the bones of the cat, dog and horse...and of course, the horse is complicated!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hudson did "it" again!

Guess what "it" is...go ahead, guess.


I got home last night, and there was cloves of Garlic all over the floor! It was chewed on, smashed, clawed up....just all around destroyed! A whole head of Garlic, gone! Our house smelled like an Italian eatery.

I happened to be on the phone with my Mom when I got home, so I had to rush off the phone and call one of the vets from work.

I got a hold of Dr Chavis, her greeting was "oh no..."

"Idiot cat got into something, wanna guess who I am talking about?!"

She knew immediately I was talking about Hudson.  She hopped on VIN (Veterinary Information Network) to research Garlic Toxicity in Cats. We know it can cause Hemolytic Anemia, but needed to know how much and how to treat. Thankfully she found a post almost identical to our situation, and they were able to manage conservatively. The plan was for me to head to the Clinic, and pick up some Endosorb to give every 4 hours (to absorb the toxins), and for me to start him on Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C, we figured for the antioxidant properties) and to run a CBC in the morning and make sure his red blood cell count (RBC) was normal. If Hudson got worse overnight I would have to take him to the emergency clinic.

Thankfully he did fine, because it was bad enough that I had been up since 5:30, had class all morning, worked that afternoon, had to get up at 12 and 4 am to medicate Hudson, and wake up again at 5:30 to repeat.

I dropped him off at work on my way to class, and we got the bloodwork results back from the lab by 4pm! His RBC markers were actually slightly elevated, so no Hemolytic Anemia!

We cannot forget about Willow during all of this excitement. We took some radiographs of her yesterday (Tuesday) after her bandage change. Her legs look better externally, however her x-rays...WOW! We sent them off to the radiology specialist, and the surgeon that saw her originally. The radiologist didn't tell us much more than we already knew, but suggested bloodwork to rule out any metabolic or endocrine disease. We are still waiting to hear back from Dr. Balara (the surgeon). 

Here are her radiographs, click here for the post about her first radiographs and some basic terminology.

A VD view of her pelvis and lower limbs

Same as above

A lateral view of her rear limbs

same as above

a AP view of her front limbs (AP = Anterior/Posterior.Same thing as VD, but different terminology for the limbs)

A left lateral of her front limb

A right lateral of her right limb

The feline skeleton

We kept the bandages off overnight to allow the skin to dry and some of the irritation from the tape to subside. I took Willow to class today since Dr. Graham teaches Nutrition at school, and he has been bandaging her legs for me. After class, we bandaged all four legs. She gets around SO well considering. Maybe one of these days when I am not so busy, I will take some video and upload it here! We MAY have a diagnosis that fits Willow's problems though, we will draw blood Friday (once we know how much can safely be drawn with out causing anemia) and test for this disorder. Once we get the results, I will post an update :)

I really don't know when I won't be so busy. We have our first quiz in A&P tomorrow morning, today I had to go over last weeks lecture with a student who was out due to tonsillitis. Our instructor, who I work with, called me Tuesday after class and asked me to sit down with this student and help her. I think that was such a good compliment, about my knowledge and personality♥ it made my day that he called to ask ME. In addition to basic studying, I am working on my projects for A&P and Animal Breeds & Husbandry. The first project is about a disease process, I chose what Cole has, Hypoparathyroidism. The second is a breed of our choice, I chose the Sphynx. I am doing a powerpoint presentation for both projects. I also have some extra credit assignments due by Friday morning for my Microbiology class. In the meantime, I need to sleep, eat, take care of our animals/house (even though Todd is doing most of it...) and want to research the disorder Willow might have!

So much to do, so little time! Good night♥

Friday, August 19, 2011


Wow, time really has slipped away from me! I have been so busy lately, I haven't thought about updating my blog at all! I have been keeping busy with Heal'd Kittens on Facebook, trying to enjoy the little Summer break I had before classes start again, and taking care of my special needs group of animals.

Here is what has been going on...

Last Saturday (8/13/11) we lost my oldest cat Fluff. She was diagnosed with Renal Insufficiency (Kidney problems) two years ago. We were lucky to get two great years after her diagnosis though. It was extremely difficult to make the decision to euthanize her, because I have had her for 18 years. I remember finding her at the local SPCA in Dover Delaware...I was 8 years old! I miss her terribly, but feel grateful for all the wonderful times we shared, and for having such loving family, friends and co-workers (who are more friends/family than anything) to help me get through this. Two days ago I got her paw prints tattooed on my back. At work, after euthanasia's we take an ink pad and get the pets paw prints for a sympathy card. I decided to take that one step forward and just get her paw prints tattooed! I have been tearing through pictures lately, looking for more of Fluff. I have found some, but not many. I guess when I was 6 years old, taking pictures of my new kitten was not a priority!
My baby girls paw prints!

Last Thursday (8/11/11) I received AMAZING news....I made it into the Vet Tech Program at Trident Technical College! The Vet Tech classes start this Tuesday the 23th!!

I will have classes 5 days a week...and work 4 half days weekly. If I am not at work, I am at school...this should be interesting but worth it! I will graduate May 2013.
This semester I am taking-
  • Microbiology
  • Animal Anatomy and Physiology
  • Animal Breeds and Husbandry
  • Animal Nutrition
I was so happy when I got the call from Benji, who is the Faculty LVT & works with me part time...I wasn't sure how to react, so I cried, cussed and laughed all at the same time! 
This semesters books (to the left of the yellow one is a GIANT black binder, which is full of lecture slides/notes)

We also starting bandaging Willow's legs, and changed the bandages last Tuesday for the first time. They look a little straighter. She is such an awesome kitten for it! We sedated her the first time, but had to re-bandage later in the day because she pulled them off! We have been doing it sans-sedation ever since.  
Her second bandage change, she was NOT pleased ♥

Hudson has been causing his fair share of trouble. Between having Raven in our room, then Fluff while she was sick, and now Willow...he hasn't really been in our room since the beginning of July. Which apparently means he needs to eat our bedding....

Don't worry Hudson, I only got that blanket after my Ur Oma (Great Grandmother) passed away....
I guess eating the ties off were not enough!
So life has been busy, but good for the most part. I will try to update this blog more regularly, however with a full work and school schedule, it will be tough - I won't lie!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Heal'd Kittens

Check out my newest project @ Heal'd Kittens *Helping Educate About Limb Deformities in Kittens*

Friday, July 29, 2011

Huddy being held and Raven update

Hudson was letting me hold him yesterday morning...and he was purring! This is HUGE for me, because recently he has been upset due to Raven being in our room. He hasn't been in the bedroom for 4 weeks now, and he is quite upset!

Speaking of Raven, here is video of her playing! ♥ She has been doing SO well, playing and grooming, that she went back to her home today! Her parents picked her up and I explained everything I have been doing to promote healthy weight loss

Willow now has her own Facebook page, and e-mail account! I want to help spread the word on kittens born with twisted limbs,  how they are normal otherwise and quite deserving of life ♥
you can e-mail at
OR visit her facebook page

Hopefully I will get my pediatric text book in, and we will start bandaging next week!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Summer cleaning/Blog changes

I have exploring all around Blogger, and have been updating/rearranging my blog!

I took advice from another blogger I follow about utilizing "Labels" or "Tags" for each post, and have been going through EVERY post to add these in. So it will be easier to navigate for specific posts (like Willow, or Hudson related...however Hudson's label would be better named "Destruction"). I also added videos from my YouTube page, and need to upload more to my channel!

I also plan to closely follow Willow's bandaging over the next few months, and will update with lots of pictures. I will try to blog regularly during the Fall, which will be harder due to school. It is still up in the air about me starting the Vet Tech program this Fall. Once my Summer final grades post, and my GPA is adequate...I need to wait for someone to drop out! The program is full! However, I do work with one of the faculty teachers in the program, and he told me if anyone drops out, they will try their hardest to get me in.

Either way I will be taking classes this Fall, anywhere from 3 - 5 depending on if I start the Vet Tech program or not.

On another note, I received the absolute sweetest e-mail today about Willow from a 7 year old who saw her video, and I wanted to copy and paste here so I can share it -

"I like the kitten.  It's too bad that Willow has twisted limbs.  And I would like to see Willow's limbs back to normal.  Hudson is the most nicest cat in the world.  Because Willow is so cute I'm  glad that Hudson takes care of Willow.  And I'm glad that you take care of Willow, too!!"

I read this e-mail with the biggest smile♥

Final title change

I have decided to go back to the original title...because I truly am a Crazy Cat Lady, and I am ok with that! And that doesn't mean Hudson cannot take over the blog every so often, it only makes sense, he takes over EVERYTHING else ♥

Guilty of guilting....

I totally guilted Todd last night into letting me buy a kinda expensive text book I have been eying for awhile on The book is Small Animal Pediatrics, and I found it awhile ago. I LOVE the "Look Inside" option, and am guilty of reading the sample text a few times...I figured this book would be helpful considering the numerous neonate kittens I manage to find and foster, especially more so because of Willow. I tried looking in our radiology books at work to compare her films to, and found nothing. I am also concerned with having to sedate her and bandage her legs, and really want more information about neonates and anesthesia specifically.

I didn't mean to guilt Todd, I swear! Last night we were looking online for tickets for a concert in October (we are seeing Weird Al in North Carolina!!) and only the VIP/Special seating tickets are for sale. Since we aren't paying THAT much for tickets, I asked about getting this book instead. Todd jokingly made a remark about how it was just HIS Birthday, and how he should be ordering something (granted he received PLENTY of cash and gift cards for his B-day, and has pre-ordered a few games already...). Somewhat serious, but mostly kidding...I told him that I wanted to book to reference while Willow was under anesthesia, during bandaging and recovering, and if anything happened to her and we couldn't help because we didn't have the text to reference to, it was on him. Well, after saying it I immediately felt bad, but Todd said yes!

About 10 minutes later, I apologized and told Todd I felt like I guilted him; he said not to worry, but I did guilt him a little! So we ordered the book, with 2 day shipping! I have wanted this book for awhile now, and cannot wait to read it. I am SUCH a nerd!

In the mean time, I printed 6 different articles pertaining to kittens with twisted legs (thanks again Christina for the links) including the one Dr. Balara sent us. I LOVE having a "game plan" and want to know more about how to fix Willow. Hopefully next week we can start bandaging! She will be 6 weeks old this week, but I want my book in before we start. Dr. Balara said between 6 - 8 weeks of age is ideal. I already cannot believe how big Willow is now ♥ She now weighs just over half a pound (9oz)!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Willow video

I was able to get some amazing video of Willow being her sweet, cute self! I LOVE our new camera

Cattoo Design

I came across this AWESOME website the other day, dedicated to cat tattoos! I found the e-mail address and sent in a picture and back round story on my black cat tattoo, and they uploaded it today!

Cattoo Design- Slinky Black Kitty

Hudson is CRAZY!

Hudson has been getting into all kinds of trouble these past few is the photo story-
Hudson gutted his bouncy mouse toy...
And left the squeaky part on my shoe!

He has been eating part of Cole's blanket...

lots of parts....
 I did not however take a picture of the piece he vomited up on the carpet by our couch....your welcome

He also spent all night twisting the ribbon on Todd's Birthday balloon and is now trying to eat the ribbon!

He is driving me crazy! He is lucky he is so darn cute!