Aby-a-Day – 26 February: “It is the life of a crystal” (Medical Monday)

Jacoby has had one attack of his UTI crystals since we moved to Sweden. It was back in October 2016.


Okay, he doesn’t seem that sick in this photo, but trust me…he was having issues back at home.


This was actually the first time we visited our veterinarian. We came here because the vet Björn used to take Pyret to couldn’t make room in their busy schedule for a UTI emergency.


I have to say, I was impressed.

I mean…they got my phone number wrong in their system…

…so they sent me a post card because they couldn’t ring or text me!


When we went back, Jake got an ultrasound of his bladder. My vet back home in Boston was jealous of their in-house ultrasound equipment.

I thought I had gotten a photo of Jake getting his ultrasound, but I can’t seem to find them. I did get this illustration of what was going on with him, however. It wasn’t actually a crystal problem at all this time…he had a polyp in his bladder. The vet illustrated it for me.


On the way out, we passed a cat food company’s ad and Jake wanted to check it out.


He took a good, close look.


Perhaps too close. Okay, Jake, we get it…you are one with your virtual, plastic model of your UTI.

Aby-a-Day – 9 February: Logan’s forced fashion statement (Fashion Friday)

Logan is one of only 55 Singapuras registered in Sweden (and less than 60 in all of Scandinavia). Being such a new and unusual breed, the gene pool is understandably small. So, he won’t be getting neutered for a while.


As you know, living with an unneutered male cat can be…problematic. Fortunately, Logan’s father, Hollywood de la Symphoriane, doesn’t spray, and neither does Logan, at least, not yet. But he does sometimes pee in places around the house. He seems to pee mainly in odd corners of the house, and our bed (so we have to keep that door closed)…and one time on Björn’s desk. So, when we can’t watch him, he wears one of his stylish stud pants.


The easiest ones to find are Perfect Solution dog diapers. They come in only one colour, but it’s a nice turquoise, and Logan’s colour is blue, so they aren’t bad. Not terribly expensive, either. However, they are made for dogs, but they seem to work well.


A brand I want to try, but haven’t been able to find yet, are Hurtta Fellow pants. These are made in Finland, and rather expensive. But they seem to be very well made. But again…designed for dogs. And they only come in black.

The best diapers I have found so far, however, are Barkertime cat diapers.


They are wonderfully made, and designed for cats for a change!


And they come in lots of colours and patterns.


But they are a bit expensive. And I have to get them shipped from the States.


However, you can save a bit of money if you let them pick and send you random leftover colours and patterns.


And we got pretty lucky with the random colours, I must say. A festive, Christmassy red and white flannel pair, a very attractive dark blue flower print, and this snazzy, colour-coordinated cream, olive and chocolate plaid number.


Of course, Logan doesn’t care how fabulously stylish he is in his stud pants.


Logan doesn’t like them, but he actually really walks well in them once he gets used to them.


His biggest problem with his diapers is that he can’t groom himself. He is a spectacularly fastidious young cat and grooming himself is his favourite pasttime.


There is also the solution my friend Stephanie uses on her breeding Selkirk Rex, Teddy: Baby diapers with a tail hole cut in them. I haven’t tried this yet.

Aby-a-Day – January 27: Sympathy Pains (Cartoon Tuesday)

Kind of a quickie this week, I’m afraid…On Friday, I woke up at 2am with fever and chills. Then I had some blood in my urine, and ended up in the ER on Saturday morning.


I was somewhat amused that I had the same thing that Jacoby gets. It’s like now, I really know how he feels when he gets a UTI flare-up. And for his part, he stuck by me the entire time I was home sick. It really seemed like he could tell what was wrong with me…and he empathised completely. And if he was the type to share his food, I’m sure he’d make this generous offer.


I actually got the idea for this week’s cartoon while I was waiting for my test results at the emergency room, and sketched it out on my iPad.

(Click cartoon to embiggen, or you can view all cartoons in Slideshow mode on Flickr.)

Aby-a-Day – January 26: I’ll be by your side (Hipstamatic Monday)

The last few days, I’ve been sick with a urinary tract infection.


Jacoby has been stuck to my side like glue since Thursday night, when I first started feeling ill.


Since I’ve been sick, it’s been him, my iPad, and CSI.


I don’t know if Jake knows why I’m sick…


…But I really do think that he knows I have the same thing he gets.


He really does seem to feel my pain.


He’s been my little buddy, stuck to my side…I think he can tell what’s causing my illness. And he knows it’s the same thing he gets.

Aby-a-Day – November 2: Urine luck (Serious Sunday)

This week, Jacoby has had another urinary tract infection flare-up.


It started with him trying to pee in first one litter box, then the other…and then the first one again. Lather, rinse, repeat. So on Thursday morning, while he was trying to pee again, I slipped a little dish under his bum to collect a urine sample. And…it wasn’t yellow, like it’s supposed to be. It was pink. And I’m sure you know what pink urine means: blood. (When you have a cat with UTI issues, it helps to have a very bonded relationship; obviously, I couldn’t collect a urine sample myself from most cats, but Jake doesn’t mind if I do something like put a small takeout container under him while he’s trying to pee!)


So I called my boss to tell him I’d be late, called the vet to tell them we were on our way (they don’t open until 9am on Thursdays), and we were off to see the vet.


They took a better urine sample from him (it was still bloody), and gave him his first dose of a new medication.


Of course, he took it perfectly – Jake’s great at taking pills.


The prescription that we were given was for Cerenia, which is mainly used to prevent nausea in dogs and cats, but also has an off-label use as an anti-inflammatory. We’ve never been prescribed this medication before…and I’m not entirely sure it worked. His usual UTI cocktail is Phenoxybenzamine (an antispasmodic which also increases urine flow) and Bruprenex, a pain reliever. After 24 hours on just the Cerenia, it was obvious that he was still in pain…and he was still feeling like he needed to pee when he didn’t. I went back to the vet to get his usual medications…and by the next morning he was back to his old perky self. The Phenoxybenzamine and the Buprenex work that quickly, at least with Jake!


He also got an antibiotic, but that was in the form of an injection rather than pills. He’s had Convenia twice before, the first time to treat his chin acne, and then again the last time he had a UTI in April.


He took that well, too. And by today, Sunday, he’s back to normal – he not finished with his medicine yet, but he’s chasing Angel, knocking stuff over, and climbing up to the top wall shelf. If he was a kid, he’d be going back to school tomorrow.

UTIs, crystals and blockages are serious business. Jake’s never had a blockage, but he does have crystals, and he eats only prescription UT canned and dry food – and mostly the former. He is also the reason we have a drinking fountain for the cats. If you notice the warning signs (trying to pee over and over again and/or peeing in the wrong place when the cat NEVER pees outside the box), do not hesitate. Drop what you’re doing and go to your vet. Not to scare you, but an Aby breeder friend of mine lost a healthy young stud male to a blockage. She had been away, and the pet sitter didn’t know the signs. He looked like he was just asleep when she found him…but he was dead. She had an autopsy done, and he had a urinary blockage. He was only about two years old.

One thing that I am considering getting is Perfect Litter. It changes colour when your cat has a UTI, so you have another warning sign to look for. And as luck would have it, right now, the company is giving away a month’s supply of litter just for the cost of shipping ($4.99) – and they give you a $5 coupon good on your next purchase. Hauspanther posted about this on Thursday, the same day Jake went to the vet – talk about perfect timing!

Aby-a-Day – May 24: “Yellow” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

This week’s Photo Hunt subject is “Yellow.”


Jacoby still has his urinary tract issues.


Despite eating only UT prescription food, he still gets the occasional flare-up. His most recent attack was last month.


He’s never had a blockage, thank goodness. He only gets an infection which causes spasms. He feels like he has to go but when he does, nothing comes out because his bladder is already empty. But he keeps trying, hopping in and out of both boxes every few minutes. When he does that, it’s time to see the vet again.


He gets prescribed an antibiotic and a painkiller and in a few days he’s back to normal.


There doesn’t seem to be any obvious trigger to these episodes with him. I’ve read that they can be caused by stress or the environment…but as far as I can tell with Jake, it just happens sometimes. It does seem that he’s more likely to have an attack in the spring, though; I’ll keep an eye out to see if that holds true in the future.

Aby-a-Day – August 29: Protecting valuable resources

Jacoby has a urinary crystal issue, and needs to eat special prescription UT food, which we get from Pet Food Direct.


When an order is delivered, it’s a big day in our house.


Jake always knows that it’s his food in that box. I’m not sure how he knows, but there’s something about the box that always alerts him.


And apparently he feels that it’s necessary to protect his food from any scavengers who might want to steal it.


You never know who could be lurking nearby waiting for their chance to snatch it away.


Oh oh! Here comes Kylie!


Sure, she seems completely uninterested in the contents of Jake’s box, but that could be part of her clever scheme.


Is she coming back?


Guarding one’s food is hard work.


Did someone say “Dinnertime”???