Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Cats 101: We return from our wanderings and Laverne acts all happy but then throws up in the middle of the night

I have told you about our problem with cat vomiting. SH maintains that this is normal, but it is new that Laverne vomits as often as she has been. We tried the tennis balls in the bowl thing. Laverne was too eager to eat to figure out that she could just knock the balls out of the bowl. Shirley, who usually does not get any credit for being that bright, although she does manage to

1. spend most of her life sleeping
2. have someone else take care of getting her food and cleaning her living space
3. get SH to work to get her approval,

is the one who realized that all you have to do is to knock the balls out of the bowl. She wanted the bowl with the balls in it because that looked like fun. Laverne wanted Shirley's bowl because it is no work to get to the food.

So anyway. SH and I returned from being gone for ten days and Laverne was so happy to see us. She was purring and rubbing up next to us and meowing and pretty much being a huge nuisance as we unpacked, but she is our kitty and we love her so we put up with her.

And it was nice that she was happy. There have been times when we have traveled that the cats have punished us for abandoning them. They have ignored us and they do not know us. Nice that we were not facing any drama for being gone so long.

We got everything put away - my uncle's bratwurst, the cinnamon rolls from Coco Bakery in Washburn, the laundry, the kitchen utensils. I had to go to work the next day, so I made my lunch and got my gym clothes together and put my work clothes in the bathroom.

We were tired. I finally got to go to bed. I had to get up in six hours to go to work. I wanted sleep.

But it was not to be. Two hours later, I was awakened by a sound I know oh so well. The sound of a cat preparing to vomit.

(For those of you who do not have cats: there is a pre-vomit sound - the retching. If you hear it soon enough, you can locate the cat and remove her from the very small carpeted or rugged area where she wants to throw up and put her on some kind of cement or wood surface that is easier to clean. It is almost impossible to locate her soon enough usually.)

It was dark.

I was asleep.

I heard the sound.

It woke me up.

I couldn't find the light.

I couldn't find the cat.

Our bedroom consists of 70% wood floor and 30% nice handmade rug that we bought in Morocco.

She threw up on the rug.

I guess she was ticked off after all.


Jessica (tc) said...

Ugh, the cat we have now is a vomiter, mostly because she's an anxious cat (we just rescued her less than a year ago) and partially because she's so freaking furry (short hair, but super dense undercoat). I've never had a cat that vomited this much. We thought she was eating too fast at first, and she was, but we learned she came from a family with a bunch of cats and dogs. We tried those special bowls with the lump in the center of (we can send it to you, if you want it, because it doesn't work for us) and another kind of feeder where the cat has to pull pieces out to eat them. The teaser feeder thing just made her mad. She figured it out easily, but refused to take the time to get her food out. She started losing weight (not a good thing when she was already underweight).

I finally decided that maybe her anxiety about hearing the food drop into the bowl and feeling the need to scarf it right now, right now, right now was related to her past family and all of their pets. We got her an auto feeder, so there is food in there all of the time. If she doesn't hear food going into a bowl, she doesn't go into an eating frenzy, so she only eats a few bits at a time, here and there when she decides she's truly hungry. That cut down on her vomiting every. single. time. she ate, luckily.

She still vomits more than is normal, but it's not every day. The vet says it might just be normal for her, and she's gained weight and looks healthy now (including her skin and coat). We also went grain-free, which seemed to help a lot as well.

Anyway, this long comment is actually just to say that, because of her anxiety (and probably due to being abused/kicked in her previous home, because she has a huge fascination with watching your feet and running away as soon as they are pointed anything near her direction), our cat freaks out whenever you walk toward her. Any time you do it. So if she's pre-retching to vomit, we have to freeze and not even look toward her or she runs all around and kind of vomits on the run. That's...not good. (I really miss my last cat. If I was fast enough, I could grab a piece of newspaper and slip it in front of her before she finished the retching stage. This cat is just weird in so many ways, but that's what makes her a cat, I suppose.)

Short version? I feel ya. So sorry you're dealing with it, too. :(

Class factotum said...

Hi Jessica,

Thanks for the offer of the bowl, but I don't think it would make a difference for us, either.

We put her on new food and it seemed to be going well but then last night, she wanted to come in from hunting in the back yard. She usually wants to come in because she wants Indoor Water instead of the water I have put for her outdoors, which also comes from Indoors, but as far as she's concerned, it's not the same.

But last night, it appears that she wanted to come in just to throw up. It had been over two hours since she ate supper, so I don't think it was her food causing it, but still - why couldn't she just have thrown up outside? She threw up everything in her stomach in three separate places. I didn't know a cat's stomach could hold that much.

Jessica (tc) said...

My husband said the same thing when we first got our cat and she was throwing up several times a day. "She doesn't even eat that much! How does so much come back up?!" ;)

We're debating taking ours to the vet again, because we're concerned about her esophagus and teeth. I'm assuming that it's not good for cats to throw up that much either. Blech.

Finicky cats are weird about the oddest things. Ours refuses to eat anything but one kind of dry food, one kind of wet food, and one kind of cat treat. She won't eat any human foods, including meat of any kind. I've had a lot of cats in my lifetime, but I will never understand them. :P