OK, I've decided to try blogging on weekend mornings. Because that's when I used to write in a journal. (But my journal didn't lure me into mindless online games.)
A week ago Thursday there was frost on my windshield in the morning. The next day it got into the 70's, then Saturday & Sunday got into the 80's, & Monday it got into the 90's!. And it was a 3-day weekend for me--Monday was my pass day. I enjoyed it being warm enough to do things outside, but it really got too hot. I opened all the windows & storm windows & turned off the furnace. (I finally turned it back on last Thursday when cloudy skies meant the house didn't warm up enough during the day.) Katy was freaked by a curtain blowing in a window, then enjoyed sitting next to the screens smelling the outdoors. I planted some pansies & did some cleaning including hosing off the front porch & its furniture. Now I have a nice clean place to sit outside much earlier in the season than usual. I'm close enough to the street that it gets quite grungy over the winter.
I guess my biggest news of this week, which will seem weird or TMI to most people, is that while cleaning Katy's litter boxes I saw sausage-shaped poops! I'd had her for some time when she used the litter box in front of me, with really bad diarrhea. And I realized I'd never actually scooped proper sausage shapes out (it's all coated with the litter). I didn't rush her to the vet because she seemed otherwise healthy--instead I experimented with different cat foods. I thought she might have a food allergy.
When we did go to the vet he said it was probably chronic colitis due to giardia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giardia
from drinking out of a puddle (the shelter took her in as a stray), but if he sent a stool sample to Cornell for testing it would probably come back negative. He gave her a shot to reduce the inflammation in her gut, & some syringes of medicine to give her for 10 days. There was improvement that wore off as the shot wore off, but little effect I could see from the oral meds except that she became increasingly wary of me. He also told me that multiple treatments generally don't get rid of chronic giardia, but a high fiber diet manages it--he recommended a brand sold by vets. And she isn't contagious. Just wash my hands after cleaning the litterbox, don't let toddlers play in the litterbox, etc. Giardia apparently prefer specific species, but cross-species infections do occur.
I've been feeding her Iams Digestive Care, with gradual improvement. I had tried it before, but didn't notice immediate improvement so tried others--some definitely made it worse! Sometimes she stepped in diarrhea with a back paw while trying to cover it with her front paws, then tracked it around the house. Ugh! She never understood that when I held a paw under a faucet & washed it I was helping her.
I probably have to assume she'll carry the protozoa for life, which means not getting a 2nd cat (sharing litterboxes). And dogs have been known to treat litterboxes as snack boxes.
In other Katy news, one evening this week she suddenly ran under my chair & was doing something under there. I assumed she was playing with one of her catnip mice. Then she came out carrying a real mouse. A little gray house mouse, not a field mouse like we used to have in Big Flats. She played with until I managed to scoop up it up with a yogurt container & a piece of paper--it was apparently wounded & could no longer run. She watched me scoop it up, but kept looking around for it.
Rodents don't freak me--I handled (& sometimes killed) plenty as a biology & psychology student as well as in my 1st post-college job, but I don't want wild ones in my house. It's an old house (~1885) & not well sealed up, so I wasn't really surprised.