Obie under the pajamas2/3/12 - Ted does the laundry and Obie sleeps wherever he wants to around our house. Sometimes their needs conflict, but they both win. Ted gets to dump the laundry. Obie gets to be invisible.

Most cats don't care what you pile up on them. Obie certainly doesn't. If you seek proof of this concept, check out When you get there, scroll till you find the snapshots of stuff people put on cats.

11/13/12 - Obie is about 13 years old now, but the only sign of his advancing age is the emergence of a couple of white whiskers and hip dysplasia. We ignore the whiskers, but the dysplasia is worrisome; it limits his ability to get around. Fortunately, the same stuff that works for my sore knees--glucosamine/chondroitin--works for Obie. He's getting around just fine with that and occasional low-level laser therapy on the acu-points for his hips.

Obie doesn't feel goodHe's doing just fine, although he doesn't crave the kind of wild, running play for which he used to be a relentless nag (he's let the new cat, Nezumi, take over that role). He's never had a cold, a stomachache, eye or ear problems, or any of the stuff one can expect to have taken a cat to the vet for over the course of a long life. So when he suddenly presents with a wheezy, shrieky cough, ragged breathing, a puffy face, meatloafed body language, lethargy, and a withdrawn demeanor, I get concerned.

Back when Jessica (Becky's daughter) was a wee little thing, Becky and I took her down to Richmond so we could all visit with our mother for the night. Right about bedtime, Little Jessie developed a barky cough. Mom pulled out a pediatric health book from her shelf of old-timey medical references and looked up "croup." Mom turned on the shower and sat with Jessie in the steamy bathroom for a while. When they came out, Mom bundled up Jessie, turned her over to Becky, and told Becky to take her out into the foggy night air. Becky came in after a couple of minutes and put the now-sleeping Jessie to bed. That was the end of that.

The Cornell Book of CatsI don't know that cats get croup. I can't find any evidence that they do. The Cornell Book of Cats doesn't mention it and there's nothing online about feline croup. I palpated Obie's throat, which made him cough, and then, because I realized I don't know what a normal cat throat feels like, I palpated Nezumi's. Accounting for the difference in the relative size of the two cats, Obie's throat structures felt just like Nezumi's. I listened to Obie's chest with the stethoscope left over from my EMS days and all I heard was fur, but when I listened to his throat, I heard ragged breathing. Panic crept up my spine.