Monthly Archives: January 2013

The Nitty-Gritty About Declawing Cats (Original post 1/10/2012)


Sassy, declawed

Sassy, declawed

Sassy, 17 years old. Toothless

Sassy, 17 years old. Toothless

Sassy is considered the old type of Siamese cat. She arrived at our house when she was about one year old. Sassy actually had a home at an apartment that was not far from our back fence. I discovered her one morning sleeping in the driver’s seat of my husband’s bass boat that was parked in the boat port/shed. I called the apartment manager and asked if anyone was missing a cat and I was told that Mrs x’s cat had been missing for about 2 days. I called the number that I was given and soon a young woman appeared and said, “oh there your are.” She related that the cat was always rushing outside whenever she opened the apartment door.

The cat appeared on average once a week for about 5 weeks and each time I would call Mrs. X and she would grumpily retrieve her cat  and take her back home. The cat would alway be lying in the driver’s seat of the bass boat when she ran away. The last time the cat appeared I did not call the woman and she did not call me. I just did not bother for I believed that Sassy liked our place and did not really care for Mrs. X. So I brought Sassy (her new name) into the house and she became part of my cat clan. Previously I had noticed that Sassy had been declawed. Maybe that is one reason she did not care to live with the young woman.

Sassy is now about 17 years old. Two summers ago all her teeth were pulled and she has adjusted very well.  She much prefers dry food. I tried feeding her canned food. Most cats love canned food but not Sassy.

I have never had any of my cats declawed but presently I have 3 cats with no claws. The other 2 cats also came with no claws.

About Declawing

Can you imagine what it would feel like to have the last joint of each finger amputated? I can only imagine the pain involved if you needed to scratch around in the dirt or to try to pick up an object.  Pain medications would enable you to function to some degree but it would probably be difficult.

So what does this have to do with declawing your cat?  So allow me to explain what is involved when a cat is declawed. But first a little info about the feet. Cats walk on their toes which is not like other mammals. A cat’s weight is distributed by the toes- for any kind of movement. The claws on the toes allow the cat to stretch as it digs in on where ever it happens to be. Without claws the cat has no way of grabbing onto any surface so that it can stretch. Stretching is an essential component of a cats well being.

Declawing in medical terminology is called onycgectomy. This means that the last digit of each toe is removed. These digits are the equivalent of the last joint of a humans fingers. The claw is not a nail of itself- meaning just the removal of the nail will not get the job done. The entire digit must be removed or the nail will grow back. The digit is a bone called the distal phalanx. If the surgery is not done carefully the result will involve complications such as infection, hemorrhage, abscess, not to even speak of the pain it causes.

The surgery is an amputation of the joint- removal of  bone, ligaments, tendons, and nerve endings. If the veterinarian is not a good surgeon and some or not just like human doctors, then the cat is really going to experience problems. Behavioral  issues may result such as not using the litter box or no longer being a playful pet.

Cat owners have and still are misled by veterinarians who minimize  the seriousness of the surgery. The amputation of the last joint of ten toes often involves a great deal of pain which could last a very long time. Do you want to put your cat through this kind of torture?

Without the last joint of the toes, a cat will have a little problem such as being able to balance without effort. The last toes on a cat’s foot provide secure footing.

This information was obtained from AVAR (Association of  Veterinarians for Animal Rights.)

The only valid reason for declawing a cat is if that is your only alternative to keep your cat from scratching the furniture or family member is immuno compromised and should not risk being scratched by a cat.

Cat owners can research the Internet and get all kinds of info about providing scratching posts, etc. There is information galore on the Internet.

Post by Yvonne

Tagged , , , , ,

A Tribute to One Man’s Dog: A Poem by Gene Hill

Barren tree against a vivid sky.

Barren tree against a vivid sky.

Poem by Gene Hill

He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds;

my other ears that hear above the winds.

He is the part of me that can reach out into the sea.

He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being;

by the way he rests against my leg; by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile; by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him.

(I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along to care for me.)

 When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive. When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile.

When I am happy, he is joy unbounded. When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I succeed, he brags.

Without him, I am only another man. With him, I am all-powerful.

He is loyalty itself. He has taught me the meaning of devotion.

With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace.

He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant.

His head on my knee can heal my human hurts.

His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things.

He has promised to wait for me… whenever… wherever – in case I need him. And I expect I will – as I always have.

He is just my dog.  By Gene Hill


Post  and photograph of a central Texas sunset November, 2011    by Yvonne

Tagged , ,

The Irony of the Accquisition of KitKat: Part II (Click photo to enlarge (Repost for a new subscriber)

This was posted in Dcember, 2012. I am very fortunate to have a new subscriber and one who has a sincere interest in pets. She read Part I of Kitkat’s story but could not find part II. I am embarrassed to admit that I had forgotten that I had added a category that says The Vet’s Pets. So this is for: (Lunar Euphoria). She has a really keen blog. Be sure to check it out.

KitKat, the wonder kitty

KitKat, the wonder kitty



This is the ending of The Aquisition of KitKat, Part II   

This story is written by me  (Yvonne)  from my daughter’s perspective who told me the story and asked that I write about KitKat’s rescue. My daughter is a veterinarian in Austin,Texas and all of her pets are dogs and cats that she saved from certain death or euthanasia. I have written all of her pet’s stories from her telling me about the details, mood of the day, other vets and techs, meds, treatments, etc. Initially I wrote these in Word process in second person but I think the mood of the story seems better as first person. Some readers think these are my pets but I have made a notation at the beginning that these are not my stories they are “The Vet’s Pet’s.”

With Dr. “M” helping, we inserted an IV catheter into her itty bitty leg and bolused some IV fluids (calculated on her weight) to help alleviate dehydration. There was no response, so we then gave an IV slow push of dextrose for hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) and to my astonishment, the kitten sat up and began meowing non stop. With that development, I surmised that she was extremely hungry. I quickly prepared a small bottle of kitten formula, thinking she might take one or two ml but she latched onto the bottle with her front paws and sucked down the entire 60mls (2 ounces) with as much gusto of any animal I’ve ever seen eating.  We were astounded and I said, “wow, this kitten has a voracious appetite.”  The kitten then attempted to stand up and walk a few steps but rolled over on her back and could not get up. Her tiny head tilted severely to the left and I noted that her left eye was swollen shut. I then gently pried the eyelid open  and the pupil was tiny, fixed, (meaning there was no movement of the eye), and unresponsive to light. The kitten had clearly suffered severe head trauma. With each new development, I began adding more treatments. I continued the IV fluids and gave a slow IV push of Manitol to reduce swelling of the brain.  Toward the end of the day, the once almost dead kitten had shown significant and unbelievable improvement

At 6PM, tired and ready to go home, I went to my desk to remove my lab coat and to get my purse. WAIT -A -MINUTE! There was a box  on my desk. I peered inside and there lay the kitten on a small portable heating pad with food, bottles, and medications ready to go home. “Dr. “M” what is this kitten doing on my desk?” She answered and said,”I thought you knew that my husband is deathly allergic to cats. I can’t possibly take her to my house.”  I immediately realized that Dr “M” had tricked me. I was angry at her for more than a few days.

The kitten required bottle feeding and ate more that any kitten I have ever seen. Gradually she grew stronger and stronger. However, she had severe neuro deficits and could only take a few steps before tumbling over and then unable to get back up. There she lay, on her back, looking like a little fat doodle bug.

Months earlier, I had planned with some friends, a vacation to the coast. My dear friend, Dr. “A” took care of  her while I was away. Her two daughters love cats and helped feed and care for the kitten. They named her Kit Kat in honor of the candy bar. 

Kit Kat grew by leaps and bounds and eventually over came  most of her balance issues. At three months of age she had become a pretty kitten with a very sweet and lovable personality. So, with a heavy heart I put up a poster at the clinic describing the kitten who was now ready for adoption to an indoor “catdom” only. Initially she went to a home with one other cat, but the lady of the house said the kitten just did not seem to adapt and she was returned in two weeks . After that she went to another home where she stayed for about a week and the man of the house said the kitten was just not what he and his wife had expected. So for the third time she went to a wealthy young couple who returned her within about two weeks. I could not imagine why people did not find the kitten appealing. She was so lovable with a quirky personality. After the third failed adoption I decided that she was meant to be my cat. I pondered the thought that the kitten had come into my life as a serendipity moment. When I first saw her I had deemed her hopeless and then she made what I considered a miraculous recovery. So what had seemed utterly hopeless, ultimately turned into an unexpected good ending.

Needless to say, I believe all of this as ironic for she is my favorite cat. She has an insatiable appetite and is ravenously hungry always! And yes she grew into a rather obese cat. Cats get virtually the same diseases that humans do and her chances of becoming diabetic are a real possibility. No food is off limits to Kit Kat and she will dive into any plate of food and scour the floor for a mere morsel. She even brazenly attempted to eat with my two dogs but I quickly put a stop to that. No matter how much you might trust your dogs it is not wise to allow cats and dogs to eat in the same room together. One never knows when a dog might suddenly turn on the cat and with one bite can kill a cat. But back to the problem of obesity I put her on a reduction diet and last Christmas my mother said,” Kit Kat looks slimmer so you must be keeping her on the diet.”  I am keeping her on a diet but she must be fed separately from the other cats, to keep her from scarfing down more food. 

Kit Kit continues to make me laugh every day, no matter how fatigued I am. She has provided unexpected entertainment and still has a quirky personality. She gives kisses to any one that visits by greeting the visitor nose to nose. Kit Kat also loves to go for car rides. I simply put the carrier on the floor and she crawls right in and waits patiently to go for a ride around the neighborhood. At night she crawls on my head and “kneads” my hair until it looks like a rat’s nest. 

So if it had not been for Dr. “M” I would not have Kit Kat in my life. And by sheer luck or fate, no one wanted her when I tried to give her away. I sometimes wonder why I thought I had to give her away.  One more pet to feed would not have “broken the bank.”

My experience treating Kit Kat that first day she entered my life, taught me  a few things. I learned that the brain of a kitten has the ability fo heal, given sufficient time. Sometimes the brain does not heal completely and some of the balance issues remain.  It took several years for KitKat to overcome her neuro deficits. Her head tilted to one side and then after a few years,  I noticed that she was walking in a normal manner.  KitKat’s  has taught me both medically and spiritually. I learned never to give up, even when things seem hopeless. I have since applied that to my own life. As things have gone from bad to worse I look at KitKat and remember how sick she was years ago.

I feel fortunate that she is my cat and I shudder to think that I almost euthanized her. I can not put into words how much I love KitKat. And for certain, I think that she loves me.

Post and photographs: Yvonne

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Pet Loss: A Poem by Rudyard Kipling “The Power of a Dog”

Time spent with our pet's seems as fleeting as the life of a butterfly.

“Time spent with our pets seems as fleeting as the life of a butterfly” Quote by Yvonne Daniel

I read about Neil Gaiman and his dog in The Scoop in The Dogster. Gaiman wrote about his dog in his personal blog on Tumblr. A touching story of how he rescued his beautiful pet from the side of the highway. Niel Gaiman included Rudyard Kipling’s poem titled “The Power of a Dog. I feel this is one one of the best poems related to pet loss that I’ve read thus far.

“The Power of a Dog”

There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
But when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and sisters I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie–
Perfect passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years that nature permits
Are closing in asthma or tumors or fits
And the vet’s unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers, or loaded guns.
Then you will find–its your own affair
But–you’ve given your heart to a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will
When the whimper of welcome is stilled (how still!)
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone–wherever it goes–for good,
You still discover how much you care
And will give your heart to a dog to tear.

We’ve sorrow enough in the natural way
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we’ve kept ’em the more do we grieve;
For when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short time loan is as bad as a long–
So why in Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

Poem by Rudyard Kipling

Note: Some search engine terms/questions were in reference to the year that Kipling wrote this poem. I have not been able to find, via Internet, what year the poem was written.

Post and photograph Yvonne

Tagged ,

Dog Quotes by The Known and Unknown No. 2

Lady now 14 yrs old. Found her way to my son's house when she was about 1 yr old. Now lives with me. Needs med and Rx diet. Listens for my son's truck throughout the day.

Lady now 14 yrs old. Found her way to my son’s house when she was about 1 yr old. Now lives wtih me. Needs med and Rx diet. Listens for my son’s truck throughout the day.

Muddy was a found dog. Excellent watch dog. A lab that does not like water.   :-)

Muddy was a found dog. Excellent watch dog. A lab that does not like water. 🙂

Puppy. A very smart dog.. Can bark to = the # of fingers that I hold up. after 10 fingers he barks to = voice command up to 20.

Puppy, smart. Can bark to = the # of fingers that I hold up. after 10 fingers he barks to = voice command up to 20.

Rocket loved to ride the electric cart.

Rocket loved to ride the electric cart.

My beloved BC now in doggie heaven

My beloved BC now in doggie heaven

He possessed beauty without vanity, strength without insolence; courage without ferocity; and all the virtues of man without his vices.
Lord Byron
His epitaph for his dog.

The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs.
Charles De Gaulle

One reason a dog can be such a comfort when you’re feeling blue is that he doesn’t try to find out why.
Author unknown

America is a large friendly dog in a small room. Every time it wags its tail it knocks over a chair.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee

Dogs love their friends and bite their enemies, quite unlike people, who are incapable of pure love and always have to mix love and hate in their object-relations.
Sigmund Freud

He has every attribute of a dog except loyalty.
Thomas P. Gore

My goal in life is to become as wonderful as my dog thinks I am.
Toby and Eileen Green

To his dog, every man is Napoleon; hence the constant popularity of dogs.
Aldous Huxley

When a man’s best friend is his dog, that dog has a problem.
Edward Abbey

If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.
James Thurber

Some days you’re the dog; some days you’re the hydrant.
Author unknown

Sooner or later we’re all someone’s dog.
Terry Pratchett

The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.
Andy Rooney

My husband and I are either going to buy a dog or have a child. We can’t decide whether to ruin our carpet or ruin our lives.
Rita Rudner

I once decided not to date a guy because he wasn’t excited to meet my dog. I mean, this was like not wanting to meet my mother.
Bonnie Schacter

If you think dogs can’t count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then giving Fido only two of them.
Phil Pastoret

On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.
Cartoon by Peter Steiner

You want a friend in Washington? Get a dog.
– Harry S Truman

“A person who has never owned a dog has missed a wonderful part of life.” ~ Bob Barker

Post: yvonne

Tagged , ,

A Pet is a Good Thing

long-haired chihuahua

long-haired chihuahua

Any one who has ever truly loved a pet knows how much the cat or dog enhanced their life or perhaps impacted the family as a whole. Many studies and surveys formal and informal have been conducted about how owning a pet is beneficial mentally and physically. 

Many of these studies and surveys determined that a pet is good for children and older individuals.  Some of the amazing discoveries of owning or interacting with a cat or a dog have proven a pet can exert positive effects on children with autism and older people with Alzheimer’s or dementia.  Sometimes a cat or dog is the one thing that motivates these individuals to smile or speak a few words. A pet enables people to come out of their shell so to speak. An animal accepts a person as they are, not who they are. And that is the greatest gift that a person can receive from a pet.

Petting or stroking a warm furry animal has proven to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. A furry pet provides a sense of calm and an overall good feeling. Researchers determined that approximately 30,000 lives are saved each year because owning or interacting with a pet increases the survival rate of heart attack victims.

The survey findings concluded that taking care of a pet gives a person something to nurture and in turn provides one with the feeling of being needed and wanted which in turn decreases feelings of loneliness and isolation. A dog or cat also provides the owner with an increased sense of security. In addition a pet provides companionship, affection, as well as entertainment.

Researchers noted that a pet lowers pulse rate and blood pressure, decreases depression, increases activity, provides opportunities for socialization, helps an individual cope with the loss of a loved one, and increases the desire to take an interest in personal hygiene. In addition a dog as noted previously is a good alert or alarm system when someone or a stranger is at the door.

Many care facilities now have a cat that is allowed to move freely among the residents. Some care homes have visiting therapy cats or dogs which have proven to be a hit with most residents although there are some people who simply have no desire to interact with a furry creature and of course no one will ever force that person to interact with a pet.  And some care facilities enable residents the privilege of bringing their pet from home or maybe obtain a cat or dog to aid in reducing loneliness and a sense of loss that every resident must feel when they had to leave their home. It enables a person to feel a sense of continuity when their pet is able to accompany them to their new home. 

Therapy animals must be certified by an orginazation that insures the animal/s meet strict criteria. The cat or dog is tested in different areas to assure the animal will be comfortable in the setting of a school, hospital, or care facility. These pets and their owners display a great deal of warmth and happiness. Some pet therapy owners have said that their pet is really happy that  “they have a job to do” when visiting a facility.

Overall pet therapy is viewed as a good thing for just about anyone that is fortunate enough to interact with or own a pet. Residents that have a pet in their care are the lucky ones. Many studies have concluded that love for another being is the most important health tonic and having a pet in your life can be the best source of love. A pet doesn’t care what a person looks like or what their station in life might be. A pet merely accepts an individual for who they are and quite often is the one constant being in a person’s life.

Post and photo: Yvonne

Tagged , , , , , , ,

This Blog is Still a Mess and Other Bad Karma Happenings

The inner working of my blog is giving me lots of grief.  The ABOUT  decided that it wanted to gad about and now I  have no idea where ABOUT might have settled or if ABOUT has left me completely to my own devices to mess this blog up a bit more.

Therefore I am depressed in more ways than one.  My house has decided to also give me some grief so the roof began leaking where I had a porch enclosed to make a sun room for my cats or me or both. But alas the water even trickled inside and ran down a wall that is next to what used to be an outside wall. I saw a wet hardwood floor behind my former computer cabinet which I had custom built about 11 years ago. It is filled with books from top to bottom. I hope water did not get inside the cabinet. I am afraid to look- maybe ABOUT is hiding in there.

Anyway, the computer cabinet, now a book stash (one of several) was too heavy for my son to push away from the wall. (I still have not looked inside). After that my son called the man from Mexico who was my carpenter for the enclosed porch/sunroom. Mr H. says he will be by tomorrow to “see what the problem might be.”

Speaking of Mr. H. he is a good carpenter. But he did not put the metal roof on. He contracted that out and two more gentlemen from Mexico  did the roofing. That was done back in June, 2012 when I was in Austin looking after/tending/ etc. a very sick adult child who is still in the mending process after seeing no less than (8) MDs of which 5  did not give a rip and did know “beans about squat.” (bet you haven’t heard that one before) Her diagnosis entailed 3 trips to a specialist in Big D. and multiple tests to determine that she has a farily rare kind of arthritis. I will spare you the name- can’t spell it)  Now she must take a cancer med and two other meds that take about 4 months to kick in- if they kick in at all. In the meantime I am worried and depressed about my child.etc.

No, that is not the end of bad karma but I shall/will stop here because the sentence structure and word usage is the pits and I am tired of complaining.

And this may/ might be the last blog for a while.  I shall/ will see.





My blog is a mess but Costco tech fixed it

I am so sorry that I left the testing thing posted. I forgot that I had left it there when I called Costco. My blog is now fixed except for all of the categories stuck to the front of this blog. Guess I had a hand in that too.

Will try to fix when I can find the time.

I can’t reply to the 1-2-3 testing because I deleted the stupid thing.


2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,700 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 5 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Same Silly Dog, Different Day

Annie in full winter coat

Annie in full winter coat

Annie the rescued Australian Shepherd is a smart dog. But she has her moments and she is outrageously silly at times. She is super sensitive to her owner’s (my daughter) moods. And with the approach of summer  she is clipped or shaved, or what ever other name you care to give to a dog’s coat of hair that is removed. Annie hates to be groomed. She is so rambunctious that she requires light sedation just so the groomer or who ever undertakes the clipping process can keep the clippers on that rusty red hair to get the job done.

Annie waiting for the ball

Annie waiting for me to throw the ball.

Annie with her favorite toy

Annie with her favorite toy

Annie looking watching her mama through the clinic door

Annie looking watching her mama through the clinic door. Summer of 2011 after getting a “summer clip. The short hair makes Annie look like a different dog.

Tagged , ,