Diary of a Devilcat

Diary of a DevilCat: This is Chenna, signing out

I got a bit of a shock today. Turns out I’m not so indestructible as I liked to believe.

Bone marrow cancer. That’s what I’ve got. The prognosis is “guarded” (which means “not good” is a helluva understatement).

No options for treatment. Barely any options for management.

I’m so anemic I could keel over at any second.

I haven’t been feeling great for the past six weeks or so, truth be told. It’s just been so hard to rouse myself to get out of bed. (Ellen’s bed, under the doona, where it’s nice and warm.) Even eating has been too much effort. (Yes, I know. Who’d’ve thought?)

The upside? I’ve lost a kilogram in weight. (I’ve been trying to lose weight for a while, now… Maybe that much in six weeks is not such a great idea.)

The downside? This will be my final post on this blog. I wish I could make it more devilish in nature, go out with a last hurrah; but I’m just not feeling it. It’s been a while since I’ve had the energy to attack anyone’s ankles — although I did get in a couple of awesome swipes at the vet last week.

Hey, at least I’ll go out with a manicure! The vets did a fine job on my claws yesterday, when I went in for the full workover.

I’m almost 14 years old, and I’ve had a great life. Even if I haven’t had all that many friends… I know Ellen loves me.

Thanks for reading my Diary of a Devilcat posts on this blog. And my Feline in Therapy blog was pretty good too, while it lasted.

This is Chenna, signing out. I’m off to hang out with the cat gods.

 

Diary of a Devilcat: Worst Christmas ever

Instead of dreamy days in the sunshine, my Christmas involved pain and blood and terror.

There is this Bullycat, you see, who is trying to take over my garden. He’s mostly white, with bits of grey and black, and shaggy ears. Every day he can be found in my garden, mostly just passing through, his horrid bell jingling; but he has been known to curl up in the weeds and sleep (in my garden).

That Bullycat has got to go.

Every time I see him, I growl and hiss and try to drive him off. But he’s bigger and younger and fearless and I’ve been coming out second best.

He bit me a couple of days before Christmas. BIT me! OOWW.

I’ve never been bitten by another cat before. It’s really not fun. Aside from the fact it cursed well HURT, it got infected and swelled into an abscess. There was this great pussy lump on my rump, near my tail. Not that I could see it; but I could feel it aching and swelling. Then it burst.

Ellen noticed it on the day after Christmas and packed me off to the vet. We couldn’t go to our usual vet, it being a public holiday, so we went to 24/7 emergency instead. Bad enough to be in pain. Bad enough to be dragged to the vet, without going somewhere unfamiliar.

I did not behave well and they had to sedate me.

When I came to myself, I was home again. I dragged myself out of my carrier, but my legs wouldn’t work. I felt like an idiot lolling all over the floor with a shaved spot near my tail. And, blessed catgods, that thing still HURT. It throbbed and ached and I felt entirely miserable.

Then, after all the drama, Ellen wouldn’t let me outside for almost TWO WEEKS unless she supervised me. Out came the litter tray — disgusting — and she locked my cat-door. Can you imagine how boring and suffocating it is to be locked inside for that amount of time? No fresh air? No sunshine? No moths to chase or skinks to play with?

Every five minutes she was looking at the horrid wound, kept telling me how red and raw and gross it looked. (Like I needed to know that!)

Four days after we went to emergency, she took me to our local vet to get the revolting thing checked, make sure it was healing properly. Fortunately Dr Caroline said it was looking ‘good’ and she gave me a painkiller injection.

I pride myself in thinking I behaved pretty well at the vet this time. I might have growled a little, but I didn’t swipe Dr Caroline once.

It took ages, but finally yesterday Ellen decided the thing was healed enough and I was ready to venture outside again. It’s such a relief to have my freedom back, although I can’t help but be very wary about the Bullycat, who still keeps trespassing in my garden.

I’m ashamed to say I keep running away when I see the Bullycat. It’s pathetic, but I really don’t want to get bitten again.

So that was my crap Christmas period. How was yours?

Diary of a devilcat: Eat. Sleep. Scratch. Growl.

chennaIt’s been ages since I got to write a blog post. By the cat gods, Ellen can be so mean. You’ve all missed me, right?

But I suppose life has been same old same old… Eat. Sleep. Scratch. Growl.

Actually, I’ve been doing a lot of growling. Ellen’s developed this incredibly annoying habit of inviting people over on Tuesday evenings to sing with her.

Late. Like, 10pm. At that time I AM ASLEEP. The LAST thing I want is a few women howling singing as though they actually thought they sounded good.

And they wonder why I growl and hiss at them.

Anyway, today I’m bringing you some highlights of my most excellent blog, Feline in Therapy, which is now (alas) lying dormant. Such a shame.

Let me take you back to January 2007, when I was youthful cat of five, all full of energy and devilry…


1 January – Morning sickness

Chucked up my breakfast again this morning. I wish Ellen would remember not to give me a whole scoop of food in one go! I forget to eat it slowly and I make myself sick.

It’s much better if she feeds me less food, but more often. After all, she eats at least five times a day. Why can’t I?

14 January – Butterfly effect

Last night I captured a butterfly and left it on the rug for Ellen to see. She thinks I meant it for a present, but that’s a common misconception. Cats don’t give presents. In truth, I left it there for a laugh to see what she’d do. It was quite disappointing really. She just picked it up by the wing and dropped it in the rubbish.

It certainly wasn’t as good as when I left a dead rodent there last year. I will never forget her reaction that time!

But perhaps she’s becoming immune to butterflies? The thing is, they’re so much fun to catch. And this time of year, they’re everywhere. Ah well, maybe I’d better see whether I can find another rodent . . .

15 January – Bloodquest

This evening I attacked Ellen and drew blood. Mainly on her hands, but some on her ankles as well.

She cried.

She’s such a sook.

18 January – Jeckle and Hyde

I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Just gave Ellen a big cuddle, then sunk my teeth into her wrist. I couldn’t help it!

Maybe I really do need therapy.

21 January – An apology

I was very ungracious yesterday. Ellen’s little niece Hannah came to visit, bringing me toys she’d made herself out of coloured pipecleaners. They were beautiful, and I couldn’t help watching as she rolled them across the floor. But I was sleeping and sulking, fed up with the rain that was keeping me indoors and out of my garden. So I didn’t get up to play with them.

Hannah is really rather adorable, and she always comes to say hello to me. But I just don’t know how to act with other people! They always want to stroke me and touch me and talk to me. Usually, I just want them to leave me alone.

I lashed out at Hannah when she came to say goodbye. I wish I hadn’t done that. Now she’ll really be scared of me. I’m glad I didn’t actually get her. She looked very sombre. Do you think she’ll still be my friend?

24 January – Chenna before keyboard

I long ago worked out that if I sit on top of Ellen’s keyboard, she can’t do anything about it. It makes her do one of two things:

  • she either shoves the keyboard away under her computer (there’s a drawer) and allows me to smooch her;
  • or she sits back and allows me to sit on her lap while she tries to type.

Either way, I can chew on her wrist. This evening, I sit on her lap as she types this, chewing her wrist. It’s a sign of love and endearment, don’t you know?

28 January – Five star kitty

I’ve been very good recently. Only the occasional wrist-gnawing and breakfast-chucking (can cats be bullemic?) episode.

This morning, I was very kind to Ellen. She was reading in bed and I crawled in under the quilt and snuggled into her side. Like a little hot water bottle.

I have attacked her feet a few times though. I can’t be good all the time.

And I think I chased Oscar out of the garden as well.

But I have spent a lot of time on Ellen’s lap. Surely that makes up for everything?


Holy cat gods, just reading through this makes me realise how mellow I’ve become in my middle years.

Must. Put. In. More. Of. An. Effort.

If you’d like more Diary of a Devilcat, please lobby Ellen to let me have the floor more often!

Diary of a Devilcat: One Buddy I do NOT want in my bed

Worst. Week. Ever.

Last week, that is. Or, rather, the last three weeks.

dog and cat2

We were invaded again by a dog. (Buddy — Smelly, yappy, panting thing.) And this time he was not content with stealing my food… this time he STOLE MY BED!

Unbelievable.

Just because I get to sleep in Ellen’s bed whenever I want… all warm and snug and cozy where he is not… It’s my privilege, you know? I’ve been here much longer than him.

So Buddy realises I’m not in my usual day bed, my cushion in front of the window. And he decides that if I get to sleep in the human bed, then he’ll have MY bed!

He slept there all night. Yeah, okay, he didn’t actually sleep on my cushion, which would have made it stink, but that was only because Ellen took it away. (You’d think she’d have more control over a mere puppy, wouldn’t you? Sheesh.)

Buddy in devilcat's bed

Buddy stole my bed!

It’s been the longest three weeks of my life. Way worse than when Ellen goes away and leaves me here all alone.

Three weeks of beady eyes watching every move I make, his big fat head popping up over the edge of my cushion to stare at me — even though he’s not supposed to. Getting yelled at doesn’t seem to make any difference.

Three weeks of getting chased around the house. Three weeks of having to creep out after midnight to eat, so I don’t have to suffer the little monster watching me.

Three weeks of Ellen paying more attention to him than me. (She takes him for walks twice a day, and picks up his poo, and cuddles him all evening on the couch…) That dog completely takes over.

He made a total mess of the garden, ripped sheets off the line, broke Ellen’s spectacles into pieces… and still she seems to like him.

She ought to be thankful I’m so much better behaved AND I completely look after myself. I’m so much less work. And she calls ME the devilcat. Hurrumph.

chenna

Well, now — thanks to all the catgods — he’s finally gone. And everything is back to normal.

I did get a few good swipes in, though.

Diary of a Devilcat: Canine invasion

Chenna

Bah! Dog. At least I think it’s a dog. Smelly, yappy, panting thing.

Buddy

Here. In my house. On my couch. Polluting my garden. Drinking my water. EATING MY FOOD.

It came on Tuesday. Its name is Buddy. It — oh, all right, he — has completely taken over the house. His stuff is everywhere, all over the floor. A silly green sock. A silly soft football. A silly squeaking pig.

I can’t do anything, go anywhere, without being reminded of his presence. He’s put me completely off my food.

Speaking of food: He actually stole some of mine! It’s not like he needs any extra food. I’ve seen him get bones and breakfast and dinner and treats. Nope. Definitely not lacking in sustenance. And still he must need steal mine. Off the table.

I’m starving.

I cannot be expected to eat when he’s watching me. My food bowl has been moved onto the counter in the bathroom now, and I nibbled at it this afternoon. But after a few mouthfuls I looked up and there he was, standing at the bathroom door, staring, staring, with his beady brown velvet eyes. My stomach flipped with revulsion and I couldn’t eat any more.

But he is scared of me a little, I think. I haven’t yet needed to swipe his nose, although I am itching to do it. At the moment he’ll back down if I growl and hiss.

But I have been sharpening my claws, just in case.

And now I put to you a question: If you were cat (devilish or otherwise), how would YOU like it if your house got invaded by a dog?

Diary of a Devilcat: I’ll sleep where I damn well want

Says Chenna the devilcat:

Capricious. That’s what she called me! Recalcitrant too. Like there are rules I’m supposed to be following.

Where, may I ask, does it say I have to sleep in the same place all the time? Is there some lodging contract I signed? (No!) Is there a notice on the wall? (No!)

Devilcat-chair2

All right, so after more than a decade of sleeping on my stripy cushion by the window, I’ve decided to sleep somewhere else for a change. It’s comfortable. It’s still comfortable after nearly two weeks and I like it.

Get over it.

Do you think I care about leaving my fur all over the velvet upholstery? Do you think I care about the dirt and cobwebs I’m leaving? (Those were rhetorical questions, by the way…)

By all the cat gods, stop trying to clean it off with that stupid Enjo lint glove. Honestly — you’re deluded if you think that’s going to work. You can’t even wash the stupid glove. Do you know how pathetic you look rubbing my fur off the glove in your fingers? Gross.

More fool you if that’s why you bought such a frivolous item. Just GET OUT THE VACUUM for the cat gods’ sake!

And, just so you know, I am going to continue sleeping wherever I damn well want for as long as I want. And that includes this chair and your bed and even all the other chairs if I feel like it. So there.

Ho there, catfriends… Do you think I’m being unreasonable?

 

Diary of a Devilcat: Beware my Evil Eye

Says Chenna the devilcat:

Ellen is letting me write the WANAFriday post today, because the estimable Liv Rancourt has acknowledged that “cats run the internet” and challenged humans to post about their favourite pets, real or imaginary. She might just be my new favourite person…

Well, I can assure you I am very much real and I am going to do a post about ME! Specifically I am going to tell you about my evil eye.

Chenna evileye Devilcat

Chenna Evileye Devilcat

You may well stare… But the fact is one of my eyes changed colour 5-6 years ago, bestowing upon me a rakish air and providing feline eye specialists around the world with much food for thought. Read on to find out why!

(The following has been extracted from my dormant blog, Feline in Therapy — which should totally not be dormant, because it’s awesome, but Ellen will never give me any time at the computer… She’s a computer hog.)

***

16 July 2008

We visited the opthamologist this evening. Ellen has been going on and on about my left eye, which has changed colour over the past year or so. Maybe longer. I haven’t thought much of it, but we asked Dr Caroline to look at it when we visited last month and she recommended we visit a specialist.

So today we saw Dr Chloe. And now it seems as though it might be something serious after all. Or at least it might lead to something serious. Melanoma of the iris – skin cancer of the eye! Dr Chloe says if it changes colour, goes darker, I might even need to have my eye removed!

What can you say to something like that? How would I go with only one eye? I’ve heard that cats can’t judge distance when they only have eye. This makes leaping onto things hard. (It’s hard when you’re carrying a bit of extra weight as well!) And probably Ellen would make me stay inside all day, or maybe build me a cat run, instead of being able to go in and out as I choose. But maybe it would be OK . . .

There is a worse scenario of course, but let’s not think about that.

I will add, however, that despite these devastating tidings, I behaved beautifully at the eye doctor today. Only one half-hearted swipe and a faint growl. Other than that, I was placid and very very very good. Dr Chloe might actually even like me.

7 December 2008

The week before last, we went back to the eye specialist. You know, the one who wants to yank my eye out? Well, I did NOT want to go there, and I made sure Ellen knew it. She was so certain I would be good so long as she fed me before we went, but I wasn’t falling for that again. To make it even more worthwhile, the vet had students witness my examination, and I’m not sure they’d ever encountered such a devilcat as I. Ha Ha! I showed them! Hiss, spit, scratch. In the end they had to wrap me up in a towel. (I didn’t like that so much.)

I have to go back AGAIN in another four months. But at least I get to keep my eye for the time being. The specialist vets are fascinated by my eye, and have evidently been asking other opinions in on-line vet chatrooms. Cool huh?

But do you know how off-putting it is hearing people talk about ripping your eye out? As though it was a splinter or something! I mean REALLY! This is my EYE we’re talking about!

8 May 2009

The good news is that I get to keep my eye for another three months at least! Went to the specialist this evening (and I behaved extremely well, I might add), and once again suffered Dr Rachel and her accomplice to shine bright lights into my eye, and poke it and prod it, and take photos of it. Not pleasant! And I didn’t scratch once! (Although I did hiss quite a few times.)

Anyway, Dr Rachel thinks it might have changed a little bit, but not too much, and she didn’t think there were any raised lesions, so I don’t know what Ellen was on about. All in all, they dithered and muttered and postulated and prevaricated, until they finally decided that the odds were slightly in my favour and I should come back in another 3 months.

So that’s what we’ll do I guess.

19 August 2009

Got dragged off to the eye specialist today. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. I’m either suffering home alone in silence, while Ellen goes out socialising, or being shoved into the carrier and subjected to trauma.

And so today they turn all the lights down, luring me into a false sense of security, then they shine bright lights straight in my eye!! Sheesh. AND they take a gazillion photos of it, with the flash spearing me time and again. Hateful.

The only good to come out of it was the knowledge that it’ll probably be six months before I get subjected to that again.

I heard Dr Chloe say that if the eye had been cancerous when she first saw it over a year ago, I would now be dead. So in view of that, she reckons it’s not cancerous. Hmph. Cold comfort!

27 August 2009

Well, it looks like I’m not out of the woods yet. My specialist, Dr Chloe, is in discussions with her colleague about whether or not they should rip my eye out. I’m trying not to think about it.

16 December 2009

We heard from Dr Chloe today and the FANTASTIC news is that after much debate among the various eye specialists at Animal Eye Care in Malvern, they have decided I get to keep my eye for the time being. Woo hoo!

It’s not the end of the road yet, though. We will still be monitoring it carefully for any change, but they reckon it can’t be cancerous yet, because if it were I’d probably be dead already. (Sobering thought.)

So, we go back in February for another check up and see what happens after that . . .

***

So what happened after that? NOTHING! We visited the eye specialist every six months for a while and now I’m on annual checkups. There’s very little change — other than the colour getting “more diffuse”, which basically means the striations first exhibited are disappearing. Dr Chole checks no ducts are getting clogged and that the pigment isn’t getting dark and black, which could indicate melanoma.

Imagine if they had ripped out my eye on the pretext it might be cancerous after our first visit five years ago? I was contemplating being ‘Ol Chenna One Eye’ there for a while, but am most thankful it hasn’t happened.

And you wonder why I’m a DEVILCAT?

Heh ~ This is now a very long post. Bet Ellen is regretting letting me loose at the keyboard!

And now, as though you haven’t already heard enough about me, here are some pictures. Maybe if you look close you can see my evil eye…

***

To join the WANAfriday fun, tweet your post to #wanafriday and add your link in the comments. I’ll try to update the list of participants here too.

  • Janice Heck introduces us to Snaggletooth
  • Liv Rancourt introduces us to Burnsie
  • Cora Ramos draws parallels between dog packs and writers and introduces us to Buddy and Milton

Has your pet got any weird health issues?

Diary of a Devilcat: How to get more food

Says the devilcat:

Here’s the thing. Normally I get just two meals a day. Meager meals. One in the morning and one in the evening.

And always the same food — some expensive dry concoction to stop me from getting urinary tract infections. It’s really all rather dull.

In the morning, I have to sit on Ellen’s pillow and jab her scalp or cheek with my claws until she wakes up. (Have you seen the famous Simon’s Cat clip?) She can never withstand this treatment for very long, and will invariably stagger out of bed and scoop out my food using a measuring spoon.

Did you register that? A measuring spoon. She measures out my food. Every day.

It’s the same deal when she gets home from work. Straight for the measuring scoop… My daily allocation is a pathetic 1/2 cup of dry food every day. (Yeah, OK, I know it’s a nutritionally balanced and calory rich vet food — whatever.)

Now, I know I’m not as svelte as I could be. In fact, the vet suggested Ellen cut down my food even further in an attempt to slim down. But if you think I’m going to stand for having my already tiny meals scaled down even further…

Well, I’m not.

I’m sooo not doing that, I’ve figured out (while Ellen is not working) how to con her into feeding me extra!

It’s actually ridiculously easy. All I need to do is ask.

Yep. All I need to do is jump up onto her desk and get in her face while she’s trying to work, and I get food. Every day she’s home I get an extra scoop. Some days, if I’m persistent and start early enough, I even get two extra scoops.

She grumbles and tells me I’m going to get fat, but she keeps on feeding me because at least it gets me out of her face. (Cold nose on her cheeks… furry rump on her mouse cord… teeth marks on her wrist… )

It’s too too simple. Now I’ve fooled her into thinking three scoops every afternoon/evening is normal, whereas before it used to be two. She’s even adjusted the settings on my automatic feeder, used when she goes away.

I’d call that a victory. Devilcat 1… Ellen 0…

Now, what rule shall I overturn next?

Diary of a Devilcat: Telling the vet what’s what

Picture this: me, face down in my carry case… a fluffy rug on top of me… Ellen holding me down by the shoulders… the vet nurse holding down my hind legs under a second towel… the vet peels back a corner of the rug and jabs not one, but TWO separate needles into my back. No, I was not happy.

Wind the clock back half an hour or so. Ellen comes home, feeds me as usual, but then drags down the carry case. Instantly I’m on alert, even when it’s just sitting there in the middle of the floor and she’s ignoring it, but I must have had a brain fade, because next thing I know she’s shoving me into it and I start mewling pitiously. (Normally I hide under the bed.)

Fortunately, the vet’s really close, so the car journey was a mere blip in the entire ordeal, but then we arrived in the vet waiting room and that’s where the critters were. There were two of them. Not very big, but the moment they saw me they wouldn’t leave me alone. They stared at me. And talked to me. One even attempted to stick a finger inside my carrier case.

Hunched at the back of my carrier I growled and hissed at them, but this seemed only to draw them in closer.

I was relieved to be called in to see the vet. But it turned out to be some man I didn’t know, instead of my usual vets, Dr Caroline or Dr Jenny. I guess my reputation must have preceded me, because he seemed a bit tentative, which made me grrr.

But then he proceeded to clean my ears! I never heard of such a thing… He stuck a swab into my ear and swirled it about and and I heard him ask Ellen if she’d be happy to repeat the process every two weeks. (I don’t think she was too impressed with the prospect.)

Needless to say I wasn’t too impressed either. I hate going to the vet at the best of times, but after being traumatised by midgets and havings things stuck in my ears, I’d had enough. And I let rip. Teeth. Claws. Lots of both. And growling.

And that is how I ended up crammed under two blankets, held down by two bystanders, while the vet gave me my jabs.

Diary of a Devilcat: How to be helpful

Ha! Chenna here. I’m back! It’s taken a great deal of coaxing and smooching, but Ellen has finally let me back near the keyboard . . . er, that is, she’s letting me type something rather than merely batting me away (rather ineffectually, I might add).

Today it’s time for a little lesson in how to be helpful — specifically with whatever computer-based project your human might be engaged with. Those humans — especially mine — spend an inordinate amount of time sitting at computers. The least we felines can do is become engaged with their work.

This brings me to Devilcat Tip #2:

Always take a keen interest, get as close as possible, and don’t take ‘no’ for an answer.

What you’ve got to remember is that the humans think they don’t need our help. They’re deluded of course, stark raving. So it’s our duty to show unconditional support and make them see how helpful we can be.

The first step is a no-brainer — get thee up on top of the desk. You can’t do much from the floor. You’ve got to be up around eye-level. Get in your human’s line of sight. Block her view of the computer screen. Shove your wet nose in her face. That’s how you show you care.

What? You already do this? Okay, I told you it was a no-brainer. I suppose next you’ll be telling me you already force your way onto your human’s lap as well. That’s so obvious.

Now I’m going to reveal how a Devilcat does it.

Sure, there’s the time-old tradition of lapwarming. This is particularly helpful to humans during Winter — but make sure you knead well the lap first, and take up so much space your human ends up squinting at the screen. And, if you have the chance, rest your head on her wrist while she’s trying to type.

But that’s not the best advice I have to offer. This is it. Find the optimum position on the desk from which you can reach your human’s mouse hand. And whenever you get the opportunity, STRIKE! Teeth or claws, it doesn’t matter. STRIKE STRIKE STIRIKE. Time and again until the blood is running.

You might be surprised to know that it takes a lot to get your human to move. I tell you, they are glued to those computers! You’d think they’d take the hint and abandon their task when suffering a Devilcat to torture their hand. But no. Sometimes Ellen swears at me. Occasionally she wrestles me to the floor. (This is of course pointless. It only results in me drawing more blood, and leaping back onto the table channelling the demon madness.) But all the while she keeps going with whatever it is she’s doing that has her tap tap tapping. Until suddenly she can’t bear it any more.

And this is how I’m being helpful. Humans have back problems, neck problems, eye problems, obesity problems, fitness problems — all from spending too much time on computers! It is my mandate as a Devilcat to make her get up from that computer and do something other than tap tap tap.

So what do you all reckon? Do you have similar experiences to mine? Any Devilcats at your house?

PS – (Simon’s Cat has the right idea in the video ‘Cat and Mouse’ but he’s still a bit of a pussy.)