Kitten in a Cone

Dear Liza,

Our cat, whose name is Mouse, is an adorable, fluffy ball of joy.

She also has allergies. Sometimes her skin gets so itchy that she scratches herself sore, and she looks like she’s been in a fight!

These aren’t new allergies; she sometimes looked like this in Salinas, but she was an indoor/outdoor cat then, and we assumed she was getting into tiffs with the neighbors.

But Mouse is strictly an indoor cat here in Portland, so we took her to the vet. She gave her some medicine to help with the Itchies. But it isn’t very effective, and is hard on her kidneys, so we can’t give her too much of it.

The Vet also gave us a cone. The cone is more effective than the medicine at keeping her from scratching herself, but she hates it. It is heavy and makes her clumsy.

She looks like a table lamp or a dish antennae. So, whenever we can, we take the cone off and snuggle.

Snuggles are good for everybody.


Grandma Judy

Animal Complications

Dear Liza,

We have been extra busy this week, keeping up with the needs of our fellow critters.

Mouse, before her allergy problems kicked in…

Mouse, our cat, has skin allergies which make her itch. When she was an indoor-outdoor cat in Salinas, we saw the scratches in her face, but assumed she had been fighting with local cats. But now that she is exclusively indoors, it is clear the scratches are self-inflicted. The vet tells us that she is allergic…. to cats?

Slightly scruffier….

She is on medication that soothes the itch, but it’s hard on her liver, and can only be given in small doses. So, for a week, poor Mousie wore the collar of shame to try and let her damaged nose heal. She was not happy. She walked around like a depressed lampshade.

A sad, resentful kitten

Finally, her nose had healed enough we felt it was time to lose the collar. She is so much happier! Now, if we can just keep her from hurting herself.

Meanwhile, Cousin Kestrel has finally gotten her pet snake!

The happy face of a girl with her snake

Kestrel has always been very sympathetic to animals. When she learned about hog nosed snakes, she became fascinated. She did hours of research to learn how to care for one, and worked with Auntie Katie to develop a vivarium for it to live in.

Sir Isaac Snooten in situ

The vivarium has plants, insects, and sandy soil for snakey to tunnel into. It has a warming mat to protect against Portland’s chill and a humidity monitor to keep him comfy.

The snake’s name is Sir Issac Snooten. He passes his time underground, teaching celestial mechanics and gravitational laws to the isopods who eat his poop.

Ready for his close-up


Grandma Judy