An opinionated feline in Edmonton, Canada who lived with a retired cat behaviourist, Greyce provided behavioral advice to cats in need until her death in July 2014. Because her entries are useful even today, the blog remains posted.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Now I Wear A Dress: A New Elizabethan Cat Collar

Dear Friends,

As luck would have it, I had to have a lumpectomy to remove a suspicious-looking growth above my left flank. Now I have a shaved patch and a long incision closed up by staples. I do hope to regain my fur before the summer is over.

Now I Wear A Dress
Until I have my staples removed (in about 10 days) I have to wear a dress. It is a soft, fabric version of an Elizabethan collar.

Some of you might remember those horrid, hard plastic things that limited out vision so we bumped into furniture and make are whiskers unusable. They were miserable! My friend, Ben, calls them cones of shame.

Now, thank goodness, most times we can get away with this new kind. I call it a 'dress'. I have freer movement but cannot get at my incision. Themselves have to groom me because I cannot look after my furs.

I have mastered a new kind of walking by hopping up on each stair and then walking along its complete width before taking the next step. It takes time but it works.

Alas I am not allowed out to explore the front or back yard for fear I will get dirt in my wound. But I am camping out by the screen door in hopes that my sheer will can cause it to open.

I will keep you posted,

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Quelling Anxiety in Cat Feeding Frenzy

Hello Sheffy, Mimoza and Cherry,

Just following up on my promise (made in the previous entry, Feeding Frenzy, to give you some suggestions for dealing with pre-meal anxiety:

Suggestion #1: chamomile. This is probably your easiest, most inexpensive remedy to try.

 There are two ways to receive it:
a) Get your Herself to purchase some good-quality chamomile tea and brew up a strong cup. When it has cooled she can offer it to each of  you in a bowl or saucer. Some of us love it that way. And this might keep you occupied while she is preparing your food.


b) Alternatively, she could just use 1/4 teaspoon (no more) of the dried herb (taken from a teabag, for example) and gently rub it between her fingers until it is a fine powder. Then have her mix it into your meal. Obviously it won't settle you before the meal but its calming effects could carry you past your dinner.

Suggestion #2:  Rescue Remedy (a general stress remedy) OR Agrimony (a remedy for anxiety) one of the Bach Flower Remedies .

Either  is available in drops (often sold at health food stores and some pharmacies) and you can receive it as follows:
a) have a few drops added to your water (not as effective as I might like);

b) have a few drops added to your food (fine as long as you are okay with it). Start with 1 drop once a day, then go to twice a day, then go to 2 drops twice a day, etc. until you work up to 4 drops twice a day. This helps Herself to monitor your reaction because it may be quite effective at a lower dose (or you might find it a bit overwhelming and need to cut back).

c) have Herself rub a drop or two into the top part of the inside of your ear (no, NOT inside your ear, just on the inner ear flap so it is easily absorbed. Again, start with 1 drop once a day; then go to 1 drop twice a day; then increase to 2 drops, twice a day. Because it will be so readily absorbed into your body this way, I'm not convinced you need to increase the dose any further. You might like to receive this prior to meal preparation, but make sure Herself gives it to you when it best fits her schedule (because we don't want her stressed!).

If you like this, then she can extend the remedy by diluting it as follows:
- get a small dropper bottle (a one-ounce or 30 ml size) from the pharmacy and clean it well;
- adds good quality water (spring water, never distilled and never sparkling); even good quality tap water will be fine.
- fill it with water to the neck.
-  add 4 drops of the original remedy and gently shake the bottle.
It will last for a week in the refrigerator this way; after that, any unused portion can be thrown out.
This is a great way to extend the life of the original remedy (and thus reduce the expense) and does not affect its ability to do the job.

So think about these and let me know what happens.