Saturday, July 15, 2006
Pet Files: Michael
That's Michael


6 years ago Eric and I were sitting in his dorm room apartment in Florida and this kitty was tossed inside.



He was just a kitten at the time. He wobbled on his feet and fell over in front of us. He was simply this tiny ball of fur with big eyes. It was like a crawling and trembling little gray dust mop

"I heard you wanted a cat", The girl said (I couldn't tell you her name, because I never found out) "This was a part of our litter, I call him Mika. He's a little...slow. *one second pause* I have to head to class now. Bye"

And that was it. We never saw her again and we had a new pet kitten.

He became our baby and we named him Michael. Growing up I always wanted a pet cat, but I wasn't allowed to have one. This was a dream come true. Eric never had a cat before either so we were beginner parents. We watched as he ran into glass doors, fell off shelves and drank out of our cups. He was different from other cats.

He slept in bed with us, rolled on his back and purred as we pet his belly. He never scratches or bites. When he wants attention, he just taps you gently with his paw.

But like every pet in this house, He has some issues. I know that a lot of my friends reading this also have cats. So maybe you can offer some advice.

1. He knocks over any and every glass of liquid in the house. If there is a vase filled with flowers, He will tip it over with his paw. He knocked over my sister's fishtank and we found him watching the flopping fish gasping on the counter. If you leave a cup on the table and walk away...he will knock it over. We've yelled and screamed at him. He just runs off and then stares at us from the corner in confusion. I don't know what to do about this.

2. He overeats and then throws up. He just eats and eats. We have two cats and sometimes he will devour both servings. Then 20 minutes later, he's hacking it up. It appears that he's bulimic. (?) I'm really worried about him. This is a new development. It's been going on for about 5 or 6 months. Maybe it's because he is getting older and needs a different kind of food. I just wish I knew a remedy for this. I tried feeding him less and that didn't work.

3. He has long long hair. Despite brushing him every day, sometimes twice a day... he sheds. Everywhere. It's a lot of vacuuming on a constant basis.

Any advice? He gets so much love...well, at least from Eric and I. (the rest of my family never really warmed up to him) He seems so content all of the time.

Another one of Michael's distinct characteristics is his penetrating stare. He will just stare at you and never break the gaze. You have to look away first.


When I get out of the shower, he intensely observes me from the windowsill. When I'm eating I glance up and there is Michael watching. At night, I open my eyes and see him staring from the other side of the room. Unblinking. Our guests always say "Um..you pet cat followed me into the bathroom and watched me the whole time I was on the crapper. Kind of freaked me out." I wish I could read the mind of our cat.


Even though Michael has his share of strange quirks. Eric and I couldn't imagine our life without him
 
posted by Clarity25 at 8:31 PM |


18 Comments:


At July 15, 2006, Anonymous Tenshi 


1. He knocks over any and every glass of liquid in the house. If there is a vase filled with flowers, He will tip it over with his paw. He knocked over my sister's fishtank and we found him watching the flopping fish gasping on the counter. If you leave a cup on the table and walk away...he will knock it over. We've yelled and screamed at him. He just runs off and then stares at us from the corner in confusion. I don't know what to do about this.


He's probably just uber-curious and maybe a little thirsty. Try putting a small running "cat fountain" in the dining room or wherever his dish of food is.

2. He overeats and then throws up. He just eats and eats. We have two cats and sometimes he will devour both servings. Then 20 minutes later, he's hacking it up. It appears that he's bulimic. (?) I'm really worried about him. This is a new development. It's been going on for about 5 or 6 months. Maybe it's because he is getting older and needs a different kind of food. I just wish I knew a remedy for this. I tried feeding him less and that didn't work.

Seems odd to me that a cat would be bullemic. I think maybe it's more a factor that he was quite possibly the runt of his litter and always pushed around for food... it's just that concept hasn't left him.
The only thing you can do is feed him maybe a half a cup of food at a time, twice a sitting, three times a day. One of my cats does the same thing - Sphynx - he's a little slow too.

Does Michael watch TV? They say a cat that watches TV is indeed "a little slow". Sphynx does. Sphynx also gulps his food down in the same way, is a total clutz and makes it a morning routine of running his head into the bay window. *starts cracking up* It doesn't matter though, I love him still. Oh, god, now you got me laughing.

3. He has long long hair. Despite brushing him every day, sometimes twice a day... he sheds. Everywhere. It's a lot of vacuuming on a constant basis.

Can't avoid it unless you shave him. Then you'll just have smaller hairs to vaccuum up.

I have a new playlist you'd like, I think. I'll see if I can get an Excel format list of it. <3

At July 15, 2006, Anonymous Emily 

Your cat is so pretty! Do you know what breed? It looks so expensive. We adopted a stray black and white short haired cat. She also knocked over glasses of water in the beginning. I just re-filled her water bowl with spring water more frequently (about 3 times a day) and she stopped. It's funny how cats STARE though!

At July 15, 2006, Blogger Tara 

It could be hair balls. My Mom's long-haired cat is ALWAYS yakking. No matter how much he eats. There is special food for that. Try it

At July 15, 2006, Anonymous all-on-paper 

Hmm, it sounds to me like you're describing a cat. :P Every one of mine have behaved that way, the bulimia, the shedding, the spilling glasses. I guess there's no remedy for that. Just be glad he doesn't spray everything like mine still does, despite being neutered. Yeesh.

At July 15, 2006, Blogger Crystal 

I have emailed you.

Chardonnay used to knock everything off tables, and she would do it deliberately. Ronnie and I refused to swat at her and yelling didn't do anything but make her look at us like we were stupid. So, we called a vet and asked for help. The vet recommended a squirt bottle, filled with water. And yes, it worked. After a couple of times, all she had to do was see it and she would stop.

As for the shedding, Chardonnay has long hair, and like Michael, brushing her doesn't stop the shedding. But bathing her once a week along with brushing her everyday has taken care of that... Completely. I do not have any problems with her shedding hair all over the place anymore. Yeah, she hates the bath and she gets mad at me for an hour or so. But she gets over it and I'm happy because everything isn't covered with a layer of Chardonnay.

As for over eatting, I'd recommend calling a vet and just asking for advice. They'll give it to you free. Also, it does sound like you need to change his food. But again, I'd call a vet or if you can get up to PetSmart, they'll advise you also.

At July 16, 2006, Anonymous moonfaeryy 

Alani eats to much and too fast, and the 10 minutes later she's throwing it up. It also doesn't help that after she eats, she starts running through the house!

At July 16, 2006, Anonymous portia12 

I would bring him to the vet and ask for a bloodtest to see if he has a thyroid problem. Our kitty was doing the same thing for some time, eating ravenously and throwing up all the time. My mom had a hard time dealing with it. We thought it was furballs. An unkempt coat and ravenous or picky eating can be a sign of a thyroid condition. The throwing up could also be a food alergy. We brought our kitty to the vet and noone directed up towards the possibility of a thyroid condition and it turns out to be very serious if not caught early. It's more prevalent in the older cat, though Michael is not quite an older cat, but just in case I'd bring him to the vet.

At July 16, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous 

Clarity,

You paint...yes? Is there anyway I can get some paintings done? Do you have a website? maybe put up a link so I can buy some. I am sure a lot of people would love to buy your work too! Your blog is very good btw.

At July 16, 2006, Anonymous milomilo2 

I'm a dog person, though, hence I'm biased. The mind of a cat: "If I were bigger, I would eat you."

At July 16, 2006, Blogger khya 

Hmmm, I'm no cat expert, I've always had dogs, 5 to be exact, at the same time, dobermans, so very very little experience in the cat world. But friends of mine say their cats have acted like that, though not for 6 months. I do now have a little kitty (since 2 weeks) I saved from a life in the streets, Nelson, he looks like a smaller version of yours, but with shorter hair. I LOVE him! I never thought I'd like having a cat, but he's sooo much fun! I hope you find out what's wrong with yours. My cousin is a vet and he says some animals get behavioural problems linked to tension in the household, if that's the case, mine's gonna be a nutcase ;-)
Take care!

At July 16, 2006, Anonymous Acorn 

Run a lint brush over him. Apparently cats like this and it helps contain hair. That's weird how he tips things over all the time! I've never heard of that. Maybe you could get a water spray-bottle and watch him, and whenever he approaches a glass or container, spritz him one or two - I know that sounds kinda cruel, but it may work, if you feel like aggressively breaking him from this habit. I don't know. I grew up around cats, but acquired an allergy to them, so I only get to be around them in small doses. I miss having a pet of my own.

At July 16, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous 

I have always had 2-cats and it is common for them to hoard food under a couple of different conditions. One, if they fight with each other for territory which can become more frequent when they age and get set in their ways. The cat who doesn't doesn't fight back as much will hoard the food for control. They will also mimmick hiding/covering their food. Being that there has been more people in the house now and the atmosphere is different, it could be a control issue. Reason Two: cats will hoard if they are ill. Cats being feral will not display any sign of illness until it is in advance stages. Commonly the stronger of the 2 will hoard the food from the weaker one. This is my direct experience and also advice that my vets have given me. For training our cats not too do something they shouldn't, we use a water bottle and give them a good squirt (even better if it is stored in the fridge). For hairballs, it is definitely the diet & grooming. You can buy hairball tx in a tube and they lick it off your finger - that's just a short-term fix. Once we changed the diet of our cats food (a combo of wet & dry of EVO/Natural Balance Holistic, you can't buy it from the vet or big-box pet stores. It is a high-quality food, so a little more expensive.) - no more hairballs. I hated the idea of wet food, the smell. But the holistic food is real actual meat/fish & vegetables/fruit. Wet food contains a ton of water too and help them lubricate their system for digestion and passing fur. Spending the money on the food means less illness and vet bills for us.

At July 16, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous 

Ode to Clarity.
With your beauty, grace and forgiveness you lift the spirits and the hopes of hundreds, perhaps thousands, perhaps more. Your art and your written word touch the very souls of those who happen to have the good fortune to come into contact with them and you. If only you would write volumes so that the thirst of the masses for love could could be quenched. Perhaps this is your destiny, your future, your role in this sometimes messy, convoluted life. So many wait on the edge for just a glimpse of life as you see it, live it, experience it. And the masses cheer you and want for more.

At July 16, 2006, Anonymous Xanti 

He's a beautiful cat! I don't know what you'd do about the first problem, since none of the cats we've had have had that problem. Maybe it's just part of his clumsy nature, since you said he does run into stuff? As for the second problem, if it continues and the suggestions others have given about hairball formula food and serving him smaller portions does not work, you may need to take him to a vet. He may have an intestinal blockage or intestinal parasite...Terrible thought, but a possibility. Finally, there is no cure for shedding. We have a long-haired cat right now, too, and he sheds like crazy, but if it's really bad, he really could need a change in food. I think Iams has a formula for shedding that should also take care of hairballs, so you may want to check that out. I hope this helped.

At July 17, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous 

I agree with the person who suggested the pet fountain. We purchased one for our cats and they love it! http://www.petfountain.com/

Cat care sites:

http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/pointe/9352/alphalinks.html
http://www.catcaremadeeasy.com/
http://www.aspca.org/site/PageServer?pagename=pets_catcare

At July 17, 2006, Blogger MelissaInAz 

I've had several cats and lots of advice:

First, i find that anything my current cat does that he is not supposed to do (like knocking over glasses) a good squirt bottle will be the best remedy. Squirting them with water usually gets the point across, but you have to be disciplined in keeping up with the punishment. Second, the overeating problem is one i had as well. It could be that he cannot digest the food you give him (i'm assuming its dry food) very well. Try a wet food. If its wet food, then try a different brand and give him 1 to 2 teaspoons at a time. Third, my suggestion is getting a pair of clippers (the shaver men use for their hair cuts) and buzzing him. I take my cat to the vet once each summer (although i know you can't afford the vet right now, you can do this yourself) and get him shaved because its so hot in the summer. He is like a new kitten each time i do it. He gets a little freaked by the process, but he enjoys not having all that hair. Good luck!

At July 17, 2006, Anonymous Kirsten 

I would definitely recommend using a water bottle to stop Michael from knocking over glasses. A good squirt will have a cat running and he'll think twice about it next time!

At July 18, 2006, Blogger Kathleen 

I've heard that if you put a golf ball in with the food, he'll have to eat more slowly (working around the ball, I guess) and that should help him puking his guts out.

Yelling at a cat doesn't do any good (although I've done it many times myself), because they simply have no clue what the problem is.

Good luck with the bathing, if you go that route to deal with Michael's hair. I used to bathe Tikal and it was so not a good time. Of course, with the two of you, it should be easier.



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