Playing Cat and Mouse

Thursday, Jul. 31, 2003 – 6:04 p.m.

2003-07-31 6:04

Galahad the Pee Monster

This past weekend was a bit chaotic. I have been working on the bed and I had a long list of other things to do including mowing the lawn, and spraying/deadheading/weeding the roses. However, earlier in the week, I had been by the vet to pick up some cat food and I mentioned that Galahad had been peeing in places other than the litter box. Given the chaos over the last couple of months (including the flood, the new flooring, and the colon operation), the fact that has been peeing on the bathmat or in a cardboard box or dirty clothes (better than CLEAN clothes)), while very upsetting and disgusting, is perhaps understandable. The vet’s office mentioned that such behavior might indicate a urinary track infection. Since such things can be VERY dangerous for a male cat so when I caught him doing it again Friday night, I resolved to have him checked out.

So Saturday morning, after I had done some initial weeding for the roses (and deadheading) *** Good News: only saw one beetle. Hopefully that means that the season is over. **** I took him over to the clinic and they checked him out. Let me say that he looked very grumpy when he saw the pet carrier. The vet palpated his bladder and said that is was quite small so he was not “backed up” and then they took him into the back to get a urine sample but unfortunately they were not able to get any from him (guess he peed before I got him in the carrier) so they handed me a jar of No-Sorb litter along with antibiotics with instructions to deliver the urine sample for the Animal Emergency Clinic to get it tested.

On the way home, I guess I drove like a madman because I scared the shit out of Galahad, literally. When I got the guy home, I noticed that he had let loose while in the carrier. I did not realize just how much until I got him upstairs and in the litter box (which he didn’t need because he had already pooped… it was stuck to his stomach. [Eeewww] I tried to wipe it off but Galahad was VERY unhappy that I was using wipes to clean his butt. Ok, that wasn’t going to work so I put him in the tub and turned on the water. He was really good … he stood there stiffly and yowled in my ear while I washed his feet, tail and belly. I am sure that he would have left if I had given him a chance but I didn’t give him a chance. Poor guy.

After drying him off, I put him in the other bathroom where I had cleaned out the litter box and put the tiny amount of No-Sorb to the box. I made sure he had water because I wanted him to pee. I then proceeded to work on the bed and I checked back several times through the afternoon. He went in about 11am and it wasn’t until about 9pm that he peed… he pooped twice through the afternoon (which I cleaned out each time) but it was the evening while I was sitting there. Following the instructions, I drained off the urine into the cup and put it in the fridge to take to get tested the next day. He was very happy to be let out of the bathroom!

Sunday I took the sample over to the emergency clinic and about 45 minutes later, they called and said that the sample did contain bacteria so I should go ahead and start the antibiotics. I will confess the fact that I didn’t sterilize the pan, he pooped twice before peeing, and it was more than 12 hours before the sample got tested may mean that the sample was contaminated. However, better safe than sorry, so the guy is getting a pill ever morning for the next two weeks.

Lafayette the Hunter

While Galahad was complaining about being locked in the bathroom, I came downstairs to the living room and noticed something small scurry along the wall and under the corner table. [sigh] I had a mouse. Since I had been washing G and cleaning litter boxes, my jeans had gotten wet and were now covered in litter… so I took them off and threw them in the washer. I was in the kitchen in a couple of minutes later when I heard a commotion in the dinning room. Lafayette had knocked over a box and was looking very attentive around the box. Gee, Lafayette had found the mouse! We shuffled stuff around and eventually the mouse ran between the pine chest and the wall. Lafayette was trying to get his paw in there so I moved the chest and L was able to get in there. When he came out, I initially thought that he had some fuzz on his whiskers. When he came closer, I realize it was the mouse! He came over and dropped it… the mouse quivered a little on its back and then rolled over and ran off as I was reaching for it. Lafayette looked at me as if to say “why did you let it get away??” This time it ran over and behind the china cabinet in the corner. I moved cabinet to let the great hunter behind and, of course, the mouse ran out the other side. I manage to get the mouse cornered behind a table where there were some windows screens (the windows downstairs don’t have screens so we had bought removable screens that could be placed in the window when it was open.) The mouse was spread-eagle on one of the screens and I tried to get Lafayette to come over but he kept looking at me like “Daddy! The fuzzy thing is over here so why would I come over there??” Oh, well, there the thing was so I just grabbed it by the tail.

Remember how I had said that I had taken off my pants to put them in the washer? Yes, there I was in my underwear with a mouse in my hand. Now What?? Well, I am not a particularly bloodthirsty individual… I had nothing against the mouse; I just didn’t want it in my house. [Sigh] Not being particularly vain, I stepped out the front door, gave a good under-hand swing, and sent the mouse sailing into the wooded area in my front yard (about 20 or so ft away)… Gives the name Fledermaus a whole new meaning. I then stepped to the right so that I was hidden from the waist down behind the holly bushes that grow in front of my porch… Not that there was anyone to see me…

Spraying for blackspot

One of the other things on my to-do list was to spray the roses with a contact fungicide. One of the things I learned at the CR school the week before is that if one has an existing blackspot problem, it is often desirable to spray a couple of times in quick succession (a couple days apart) with a contact fungicide to kill the current spores and then implement a more long-term prevention program with something like Banner-Max (which one only has to spray every two weeks). I have had some problems with chemical burn so I decided I would spray in the evening for a change. I went and got some Mancozeb (as well as some baits for rodents) and a new respirator during the afternoon. However, I got working on the bed again and it was almost 8pm before I realize that if I was going to spray, I had better get to it. So I suited up with my long-sleeve shirt, hat, goggles (the kind that are used in chemistry classes with the actual vents, rather than a bunch of holes for ventilation), chemical-resistant gloves, and my new respirator. Ok, looks like I DO need the large side mask… I pulled it as tight as I could but I couldn’t get it to really seal. Under both the positive and negative pressure tests, it still leaked slowly. [sigh] Well, I used it anyway. I mixed up two gallons in the sprayer and it was fortunate that the spray came out white because the light was failing even as I started. I did my best to hit every bush but by the end, I was pretty much guessing where stuff was.

So that left me to clean up in the dark…. I have a 5-way nozzle on my faucet allowing me to run a hose to the far back, another under the front porch to over near the driveway, two over to the rose beds where the soaker hoses are installed and one with a short hose to use as a general “I need water from the faucet”. Each connection has it’s own on/off control lever. I turned off all but the short hose and filled up the sprayer with water for the first rinse (I generally do three direct rinses and then fill it about half full and pressurize the sprayer to rinse out the spray wand.) When I flipped the switch on the five-way to turn off my short hose, something blew and all of a sudden there was water spraying everywhere. Remember that I have fully suited up with mask and goggles (which were pretty well fogged by this point)…. I couldn’t tell if a hose had broken or what so I was feeling around in the dark trying to determine where the leak was and getting water sprayed up my sleeve in the process. Eventually, I just let the jet of water sail off into the dark where it hit someplace over near the oak tree while I finished rinsing out the sprayer. I checked the next day and it appears that the pressure blew out one of the on/off controls so now I need a new 5-way faucet.

Well, that was my Saturday…. Any surprise that I am looking a little tired of late??

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