Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cats and birds and catbirds

It is seven-thirty o'clock on a Sunday evening and there is still light outside.
There is a drizzling, steady rain that sounds lovely on the roof over the deck.
I! have! lilacs!

Did you know Super Target doesn't have mackerel? I'm trying to get nasty antibiotic into a cat and I have tried yogurt, sour cream, pumpkin and tuna fish. Nothing has worked. The vet said, and is obviously correct, that this pill won't go down without a fight. The message was don't bother to pill the cat. Find food to mask it.

I thought of what else could be nastier than tuna if I can't find mackerel and I decided to buy some canned cat food. These days, there can be no mistake that canned cat food is marketed to humans.

Yellow Fin Tuna, Chicken Florentine, Seared Ahi, some sort of Salmon dish all of which is made to sound as if it came right off a menu. I suppose there's no point in being really honest: Ground up Whatever We Had Left Over Mixed Grill or Swept Off The Floor Delight or Whole Mice Select.

Honestly, I just sort of thought maybe they threw left over mackerel into all of it.

So I grabbed what was on sale thinking OBVIOUSLY the cheaper the smellier and ground up 1/4 of a pill, smearing it into some chicken and liver grossness. She ate it!

She ate the liver-ish brown stuff and the liver-colored liquid, but she left the chunks of "chicken" behind. Stubborn beast.

So what did I do? I got overenthusiastic and tried to get her to take the rest of the pill. There it sits, uneaten.
Speaking of cats, let me tell you about my recent attempts to feed birds. I'm such a novice. But how was I know there is a trick to this stuff? I put seed into bird feeders and everyone is happy.

Then I branched out.

I got a plate thingy to put seed in for the mourning doves. Someone discovered it and ate all the seed. I put out more seed and then the rains came. Looking out the dining room window, I see the seeds submerged in water.

What happened? Maybe some of you know. Oh, I know what happened! I'm asking what do I do about it? I know Michelle from Rambling Woods will know, because she is my friend and an expert on these things, but she is feeling out of sorts and mousing and typing isn't easy. Send good vibes her way because you all know her since she's the person from the internets that I refer to all the time now. I toss her name into chit chat like this, "My friend Michelle told me that the hummingbirds are almost two weeks early this year."

Also, my attempt at softened raisins? Not so much, I think. I can't be sure. Someone is eating them. I've never seen robins eating them, though.

Any bird feeding or cat pilling advice?


MyMaracas said...

I've never gotten a pill down Gatsby, so I'm no help there. I always go with a liquid form of whatever it is, if I can get one, because I can hold him down long enough to squirt it down his throat with a syringe.

As for the bird feeding, you might want to try a tray feeder with a roof and drainage holes. Although, with a tray feeder anything can get to the food - birds, squirrels, raccoons, and mice.

I've just started with a feeder too. Once the birds found it they came in droves. I have to fill it every day now, which is a bit more than I had bargained for.

Hope your cat is better soon!

Anonymous said...

Pilling the cat. MUCH more difficult than BELLING the cat, but I digress. As usual.

I wonder - how big is the pill? I know that with ours, it doesn't matter how big it is and what you try to wrap it in (cheese, anyone?), all they do is lick it off and there the pill sits. Is there anyway you can grind it up (I know you can't do that with some pills) and put it in something like gravy they would eat?

Cats. I tell you. Have you tried the Pill Pockets for cats with the pill? Those are somewhat sticky and tend to stick to the pill better than most stuff. Of course, they're wise to that too and tend to eat around it (isn't Mommy right, Harrison???), BUT it's worth a shot. We use them with the dogs all the time and Emma and Lucy just gobble them down. Of course, they're dogs and will eat just about anything that doesn't come after them first, but...

I wonder, too, if you could grind up the pill, put it in a little water, put it in a liquid syringe and shoot it down their gullet. Like I said, there are some pills you can't do that with, but...

Luckily, Matilda can get her medis for hypothryoidism in a gel I squirt in her ear. Naturally, she is being a real poop about even that and I'm only able to squirt her once a day, but we're going to get her tested and see if that's enough. I certainly hope so.

And mackrel MIGHT be the best you can do for this. You can find it in the canned fish aisle by the tuna and crab.

Another nutcase cat lady...

Anonymous said...

BTW, Mom just passed through and said that wrens like raisins. Grandpa used to sit and break them up for them (yes, he was SUCH a friend to the wrens, even to the one who used to sit out there and natter and fuss at him). If you want to soften them, do what you do for when you're going to cook with them and don't want them to look (or taste) like dried up cockroaches (can you tell I don't like raisins???). Pour boiling water over them. That plumps them back up and (maybe) makes them easier for the birds to mess with. At least, you should have a wren or two thanking you - although it won't sound like it.

Not necessarily a bird lady, although I do like them, down south of you (and, BTW, you may NOT want to donate to the Audubon Society, since they advocate the killing of feral cats. Reason? They think that all these cats do is plot to kill songbirds. Um, no)

Rose said...

I get pills down the cats but it isn't a pretty sight...sometimes takes more than one attempt. In fact, if it is Bubbie or Mama Cat it might take 3 or 4...not a pretty sight. The last time I had to wrap the cats in a towel to keep their claws away. I end up mad...wondering why in the world do I have 4 cats...
With Puss Puss and Cougar, I just try to get them where they somewhere where they cannot back away from me...I take my left arm and wrap around them, bring that hand up and hold their chin up, take the hand that has the pill in it and and use an extra finger to pry their mouth open and stick it down their throat as far as I can...snap their mouth shut and hold till I feel/see them swallow.

Rambling Woods said...

I use a pill gun. You can get it from the vet. I put butter on the end of it, get it in the side. press the sides of the mouth open and shoot the pill down the throat.Massage the throat.... I have tried hiding them in Tender Vittles too..

Rambling Woods said...

Sorry..I didn't get to finish my comment. I have to give Elliot an injection every 3 weeks for his allergies so maybe I look at pilling differently. But the pill gun keeps your fingers safe and get it past where the cat can taste it. I also have used the pill pockets with mixed success.

About the birds...different birds like fruit and also raccoons will eat them so I don't know who is eating them. I am not going to put out anymore now as the ground is softer for the robins to get worms and other insects.

I don't know what seeds you had put in your feeders? Are you in the city or suburbs? If I was going to feed one thing, I think I would choose black oil sunflower seeds as pest birds like house sparrows and starlings really can't break them open easily, some learn how and other birds like chickadees and nuthatches really like them. Even a woodpecker will take one and put it into the tree bark and pound it open.

Yes..feeding ground birds can be a challenge because you don't want to leave small seeds out because rodents like them. If you really want to put them out like millet, you can use a boot tray, storage bin lid or anything that will keep them off the ground so you don't have clean up and yeah..if it rains they go all over.

I have to put mine in special tray feeders with holes up off the ground because of the ducks. I also have to bring in my feeders that aren't raccoon proof when it gets warmer and anybody other than a nut ball like me won't want to do that.

But really I am still learning myself and there are a couple of really good bird blogs I will get for you....

Rambling Woods said...

I saw the comment about the Audubon Society and cats. There is a lot of disagreement about what best to do with feral cats. Cats do kill millions of birds and even well fed cats will hunt birds. It's what cats do and feral cats are no different.

I have a couple of friends who are passionate about spaying and neutering feral cats and leaving them out on the streets because they aren't socialized and have a hard time if not impossible adjusting to home life. My sister used to volunteer to do spays and neuters for a feral cat organization.

Now sis volunteers for a no-kill cat shelter and does spays and neuters.

Cats are non-native and I understand that now. They aren't meant to be a part of the wildlife. I don't know what the answer is, but birds are in real trouble from loss of habitat, pesticides and yes.. cats. I feel awful about it, but all I can do myself is keep my two guys inside which has more to do with their health and safety...

I hate when there are no good answers and in every case the feral cats or the birds lose.. darn it all...Michelle

Aunt Becky said...

With my cats, we'd butter the pills and then wrap them in towels. THEN, we'd pry their mouths open and shove the pill down the throat and clamp their mouths shut. We'd then try massaging their throat so they'd have to swallow the buttered pill (which would slip down easily). It normally worked well, actually. Because you're right. Cats are TERRIBLE.

My dog, though, is worse than my cats were.

A piece of news said...

THANK YOU ALL for the suggestions and help. She went to the vet today and we are monitoring her water intake. Also, for the pill, we are going to alternate between the butter and dissolving it in water and squirting it down her throat. I asked if we could mainline it and the vet laughed and said, "No, it isn't heroin!"

Thank goodness he knew I was really joking! She's my grrrl.

A piece of news said...

OH and the reason it isn't like a normal pill is that it is super-nasty and has jagged edges because she is so tiny (it has to be split in half)

On the up side, she's gained weight on the kitten food.