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The Cat SitterSM Tribune

Making "Cat Sense"

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Issue Number 8*P.O. Box 232, Roswell, GA 30077*Phone: (770) 594-1010*Fax: (770) 967-4962*January, 1998

We hope you will enjoy our 1997/1998 Winter Issue
of The Cat Sitter Newsletter

Read this newsletter from front to back, or go directly to the article of your choice:


  1. Thyroid Problems Common in Older Cats
  2. Rachel needs a home
  3. A Cat Tale from the North Woods
  4. A Special Thanks to Cats at Delk Spectrum
  5. No Bells A ringin'
  6. Heinz Homeless Pet Program
  7. When carpets and hardwood floors are  being  stained by problem cats
  8. Ice cubes can entice cats to drink water

Thyroid Problems Common in Older Cats
by Peter Hoffman, DVM - Rochester, MN

I thought old age was going to be a sprig of catnip. Boy, was I in for a surprise...

Retirement started as expected, snoozing, snacking and light cruising. But then a darkness entered my life. At first; it was like having a bad day - irritable, restless, couldn't sit still. Gradually, things got worse. I couldn't sleep, was eating all the time and yet I was losing weight. I wandered around the house howling all hours of the night. My folks figured it to be old age until I began soiling everywhere, then it was time for professional help.

As it turns out, I had hyperthyroidism, a fairly common affliction of older cats. A tumor had developed in the thyroid gland in my neck. The hormone that this gland produces can be toxic at high levels. It can lead to heart disease, kidney failure, and a starvation syndrome. However, the tumor is not a cancer and can be treated with medicine, surgery or radiation.

My folks were so relieved. I started a medicine to block hormone production so my body could get back to normal again. Gradually, I got my life back and started doing nothing again. Just a day in the hospital, a few blood tests, a scar on my neck and that was it. I am back to myself and enjoying my golden years.

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Rachel needs a home...

Rachel is an 11 month old calico tabby who was left in a vet's parking lot about one month ago (smelling of a woman's perfume). She had obviously been owned.

She is now spayed and current on all vaccines. Extremely lovable/playful and would be great with kids. If interested, call the Cat Clinic at 770-552PURR

A Cat Tale from the North Woods
By Patrick Davitt

It all began quite innocently one spring morning a few years ago. I was doing the morning wash-up at the kitchen sink after feeding our small troop of cats, Zachary, Tessie and Diamond Lady. Glancing out the window, I saw that I was being observed by a young gentleman standing on the garden path. He quietly left when he became aware that I was watching. I gave the encounter no further thought, assuming he was out for the morning air after his breakfast.

A few days later, my young gentleman was back. This time he remained through the entire morning routine. When he appeared on the garden path that evening, I made a fateful decision and our lives were forever changed. I prepared his evening meal and delivered it to him where he waited on the garden path. Too polite to mingle, he withdrew a discrete distance when I made my delivery. He ate his dinner while I finished the evening chores. He left immediately after the food was gone. One meal was all it took, a routine was established.

As the days passed, he became more comfortable with me, moving only a few steps away when I made my deliveries. Then, deja vu. Again, during the morning wash-up. This time, my friend had a companion, a young lady who was encouraged by him to share his morning meal. The bond was formed immediately. I became their chef. We continued throughout the summer and into the early fall. I knew that I needed to begin planning for the winter but I kept putting off taking any action.

I was shaken from my lethargy and our comfortable routine changed dramatically when I realized that my daily visitors would soon become a family. I began an aggressive program of familiarization, spending increasing amounts of time outside near their food, after I had made my deliveries. Over the next few weeks, my new friends and I progressed to the point where I was permitted to scratch behind their ears as they dined.

While I maintained my position as both chef and masseur, I prepared the nursery. Trips to the library and consultations with our veterinarian provided the necessary guidance for constructing the nest and preparing my wife and me to share the role of midwife. We were ready, the day had come. "Today we bring them indoors." Bringing her inside was uneventful, though I was terrified that something would go wrong and they would be lost to us forever. I simply picked her up and carried her inside to her room.

My success with her created a new problem. He would no longer permit me to approach while he was eating. He was quite distressed that his companion had been 'kidnapped' although he remained quite close to the house and certainly did not lose his appetite and that was the key. I laid a trail of food from the garden path into the house. As I sat at the end of the trail, holding his lady, he ate his way into our house.

Once we had both comfortably installed we sat back to wait for nature to take its course. During the wait, we decided upon names. His name is short and dignified, Mao, which means cat and hers is, fittingly, lbu ku'ching which means mother cat. The names are appropriate for a pair of truly unique Siamese cats. They are delightful companions who share a place in our homes and hearts.

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A Special Thanks to Cats at Delk Spectrum

Linda Bagne Bartleson, owner of The Cat SitterSM would like to personally thank Dr. Zendel of Cats @ Delk Spectrum for saving her cat's life. "Dr. Zendel was very understanding and patient as she explained how I would have to feed Patches (one of my feline children) through a tube because she couldn't eat on her own. She was battling severe pancreatitis and subsequent liver damage. It was a long process and I'm happy to say that Patches is doing great!"

Remember, The Cat Taxi Service is available to transport your loved ones to the vet, airport or any other location. Call us for rates.

No Bells A Ringin'
by Tom Fortino, Roswell, GA

(a long-time customer of the Cat Sitter, and father of 4 cats)

I had lost my friend of 17 years, Thales, only three weeks earlier. Two weeks after that sad event, my sister, who lives in Florida, sent me an E-Mail telling me she found a stray kitten just 5 weeks old. Naturally, I agreed to adopt him. Ten days later, I received yet another E-Mail from my sister entitled "Another One". This was about Clarence, a 6 week old kitten that was barely alive. He weighed less than a 3 week old kitten, was sun bleached, covered with fleas, and had every parasite imaginable. All signs indicated that he had been very badly abused. My sister rushed him to the vet and was later told that his blood count was extremely low and his breathing was labored. The vet was cautious but hopeful.

Three days later when his breathing was still labored they decided to take some x-rays. The kitten had a torn diaphragm, a condition known as a diaphragmatic hernia, and the only way to repair it was to perform surgery. They couldn't say what his chances were, but if there was any chance at all, I thought we should take it.

The surgery lasted 3 hours and required two vets, one to perform the operation and one to breathe for the kitten. When they looked inside, not only was the diaphragm torn, but they found that all the abdominal organs had been pushed up into the chest cavity. The yet had to place those organs back into their appropriate position and repair the diaphragm! It is still difficult to understand the level of skill required to work on vital organs so small. Even with his heart stopping once, the vets never gave up, and the operation was completed. It seemed miraculous. Now all we could do was wait.

With each passing day, the news from my sister was guarded but more hopeful. At first the kitten was lethargic. Then he began eating and showed signs of wanting to play. In our letters we kept referring to him as the little Angel Boy so I decided to name him Clarence, after the lovable angel in the movie "It's a Wonderful Life".

Although it would be months before we could be sure that the diaphragm repairs would hold, within days I was getting reports that the little guy was running like a wild man all around the animal hospital and that he was a happy and very affectionate kitten. Soon he could come home.

That was just over a year ago. Now Clarence is a healthy, happy, and often quite mischievous member of my family. This is one angel I'm glad didn't get his wings.

Heinz Homeless Pet program
by Melissa Paven, (Manager of The Cat Sitter)

In my catsitting travels, I began to notice symbols on some cat food products. I decided to start collecting them.

By collecting the symbols and sending them to Good Mews (the participating shelter in our area), Heinz makes a cash donation to the shelter.

The symbols are found on Pounce treats and 9 Lives dry and canned foods. (They are also on Heinz dog food products.)

The program has been in effect since 1981 and has donated over $3 million to animal welfare organizations and the American Humane Association.

I will continue to collect the "Help Homeless Pets" symbols from the Pounce Tarter Control Treats that my cats love. I will also gladly clip, paste and count symbols that anyone would like to hold for me until my next visit with your cat (s). Or you can mail the symbols to me at: The Cat Sifter, P.O. Box 232, Roswell, GA 30077.

It's one way to help pets with little time or effort expended!

The Cat Chat Corner

You will find
Country Catnip Toys
TM by The Cat Sitter
at these fine Atlanta area stores:

We market nationwide. Please call us at (770) 594- 1010 for locations outside the Atlanta area.

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