0706/13th February 2023

More explosive sneezing caused me to leap from my bed this morning. Perhaps leap is a slight exaggeration. My own sneezing had stopped after two notable episodes, but now a cat was sneezing and in my experience this often signals a cat cold.

When you have multiple cats, colds can be a problem because they tend to all get it. Often we have managed to nip it in the bud with swift action.

It hasn’t happened for quite a while, but it seems to me we used to whisk the afflicted pet off to the vet for administration of an anti-biotic in injection form. No forcing of pills down throats and it always did the trick.

So, when one hears sneezing it is important to pin down the cat in question, just in case intervention is needed. When they have a cold, you can see it in their eyes and general demeanour.

Today, the cat in question was Willow who is now slumbering contentedly in the sun and she’s just fine.

Nothing ever changes in the house from day to day, so the cause of such sneezing is a mystery.


Patches has chronic nasal problems but without lengthy investigations, it is impossible to pinpoint.

X-rays and scans would be prohibitively expensive not to mention traumatic for Patches.

As a very young cat she had subluxating patellas which required surgery on both back legs. She could not have survived otherwise, but understandably, she hates to be handled.

In frustration, Grant did online research and came across a woman whose pet had similar problems. Her cat got relief from amoxicillin which is easily obtainable, so for the past few days, Patches has been getting a low dose of the drug.

The sneezing/snuffling has been less…maybe?

In a couple more days I think the plan is to hold off and see how things progress.

It would be nice to have unlimited funds to spend on one’s companion animals but even if you did, how can you take away the trauma they experience?

And sometimes, things go wrong. Especially with cats and bunnies that do not tolerate anesthesia well.

One of our foster cats went for tooth cleaning which is important but that poor sweet boy ended up having a stroke and had to be euthanized.

It still pains us to remember.


Muffin had been abandoned and we knew nothing of her history. She suffers with awful motion sickness, which we discovered on take-off from Seattle at the beginning of that long journey. 11 other cats did the journey overland which took them two days.

What made me choose Muffin to fly with us, as opposed to Lily who is my senior cat or Dee Dee who is Grant’s?

Maybe I tend naturally to be protective of Himalayans, but then why did I not choose Lucy?

Sometimes I think you just have to go with your heart.

Two days in a car would have been awful for Muffin.


Muffin also has nystagmus. Her eyes are in constant motion. Perhaps it’s why she gets motion sick? Back then we had not even had time to notice, as she and her “co-abandonee” Penny, had not been with us long.

Once we settled in our new home, Grant announced that Muffin seemed sad. Was she missing someone? I was reluctant to accept that she was unhappy, but maybe she was a little subdued.

We lavished attention on our melancholy girl and soon discovered she had a tender tummy. She was diagnosed with bladder stones. Having them removed will have been a great relief, but it left her with a sore tummy to add to her woes.


A year or so on from that, Muffin was in trouble again and we spent a ghastly weekend anticipating exploratory surgery. We had agreed with the vet that if the findings were dire, she would administer a lethal injection to stop Muffin’s heart.

Previously our girl had had problems with hairballs, but this had appeared different on the x-ray, more dense. We kept hoping.

Monday morning arrived and at the crack of dawn a most welcome sound. Cat retching. Again I leapt up. That morning I really did.


Most mornings begin with retching. Usually it’s Lucy.

But that morning it was more dramatic! I came upon our sad little girl in time to see the thing projected.

Neither of us can sing a note, but we did that day.

We still had the appointment for Muffin’s surgery, but we went, “bezoar” in hand and presented it for examination.

Our lovely vet was delighted to cancel the surgery.

If the hairball had not been ejected in such a timely way, the surgery would have gone ahead to locate and remove it. Muffin would have come home to us but in such pain and discomfort.

“Grateful” took on new meaning that morning.

Since that day, Muffin has changed. She appeared to throw off whatever it was that had been keeping her down. But how could that be?

Was it because we had lavished a lot of extra attention on her?

Consciously we didn’t. It is hard with multiple cats, sharing out attention, but Muffin is one of those cats that is always there.

Some cats vanish for hours. Muffin is always either in her basket (reading the world map), on her tree, or on Grant’s chair. So we had constantly fussed over her in an attempt to cheer her.


When we thought we might lose her, we simply carried on as before.

But animals are so much smarter than us. However we thought we may have been behaving, our anxiety was no doubt palpable to the cats.

Muffin became vocal. Assertive.

Possessive, if she thinks she can get away with it…


“Yo! Paws off my man!”

“Just keeping his chair warm!”

“It’s a full time job, staying on top of things!”

“And now Smelly Boy thinks he can creep in here every day!”

“He messes up my inventory every time he stops by!”

“How many kibbles did he get today? Eh? Nobody thinks about that!”

“Just come and raid my larder. And get cozy with my people!

“You have to learn to relax, Dee Dee.”

“Just lie back and chill!”


“Yes, well. It’s all on my iPad you know.”

“Don’t think I won’t use it!”

“Not very friendly, is she?”

“Wah, ha, ha. They’re at it again. Silly cats!”

“Oh, hey. Don’t you be looking at us, fat boy!”

“Lily, will I ever be able to teach this lot manners?”

“Oh I doubt it. I wouldn’t bother trying if I was you.”

5 thoughts on “Manners

  1. I really enjoy reading your “kitty cat tales”!
    So precious and entertaining….
    Thank you for sharing.❤️

  2. Pets and Vets. The ongoing struggle for pet lovers. Putting them through tests or surgery, hoping they will forgive us when they get home. Facing the ever-spiralling costs too. But we wouldn’t be without them.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  3. Going to the vet is always a very difficult task. I wish we could explain it better to our cats…
    Loved the beautiful photographs of the beautiful cats!

  4. Haha, on the iPad – love it! But I have to agree with Willow … sometimes just lying back and relax is all I want to do as well 🙃. Lily probably knows all too well – don’t bother, rather just accept them as they are!

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