Well it’s nearly 6 years since the vet warned us of George’s weight problem. On his last check up with the new vet he weighed in at over 7 kilograms, i.e. still hugely overweight. Since then we have taken measures to try and get him sorted out. As he doesn’t seem to be catching as much as he used to it can only be down to human supplied food.
Step 1 – Special Diet
We have started feeding George Hill’s Vet Essentials Neutered Cat Food. It is the one recommended by the vet and we are getting the Mature version from anywhere online that currently has it on offer (it’s quiet pricey!).
Step 2 – Canvas Neighbours
The neighbours are under strict orders not to feed George anything, although I suspect some are slipping. We have also fitted him with a collar with a bell and a little tag that says “I’m on a special diet please do not feed me” !
Step 3 – Exercise
For the last year or so George seems to have got even more lethargic spending nearly all day and night tucked up in his favourite spots snoozing. Only rousing himself for an hour or so before meal times. So whenever we are out in the garden we try and tempt him with a game of stick chase. Any number of toys (tunnels, teasers, electronic gadgets, catnip laced mice) bought over the years never really worked but a stringy bit of twig from the garden dragged round in a circle never fails to get a response.
Our 3 year old daughter May has taken quiet a shine to him of late and likes to ‘pet’ him. He tolerates the attention but she can get a bit much and he is forced to at least move around as he tries to keep her at a distance! This eventually escalates into a full scale chase round the garden, which certainly gives them both a workout.
In a bid to save a bit of cash we now buy as much of our cat medicine online. Rather than taking him regularly to the vet for his worming tablets (a hefty consultation fee charged for the privilege) I now have to rugby tackle George to the ground and force a pill down his throat.
I’m currently having reasonable success with a ‘Pill Gun‘ a type of syringe that puts the pill at the back of George’s tongue so that he more readily swallows it rather than spitting it, soggy and unusable, back on the floor.
This is not a very enjoyable experience for either me or George so we are always looking for alternatives…
A very helpful Rosalind Manly posted this comment on another post:
Getting a pill down a cat – years of experience with owning cats but I have yet to have a cat that just takes the medication. It normally ends up with us both being stressed out. My current cat has asthma and the medication tastes really bad (foaming at the mouth before she swallows it – if I am lucky to get past the teeth!!!) Now after all these years I have found a solution. Greenies Feline Pill Pockets.
Just thought you would like to know. They do them for dogs too.
I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that George is in fact a zombie cat. He certainly seems to have an unnatural taste for brains. For instance this duck that he brought in, is missing only its head. Why choose a skull and beak combination over a succulent duck breast?
Not 100% sure on my identification, but I think this duck is actually a Teal, no common-or-garden mallard for George. Although he is quiet partial to pigeon breast…
George has finally discovered rabbits, the first set of rabbit feet and entrails left in his usual killspot. Either that or previously he used to eat the feet so leaving nothing to identify the poor critter. He also brought one into the kitchen in the early hours, leaving a big pool of guts, gut contents, blood and feet for me to clean up this morning.
We spent most of the summer and autumn having our kitchen extension renovated, of course George had his own ideas about décor.
His first novelty catch was this poor bat, not the best photo, but I think it’s a Pipistrelle, unfortunately dead by the time we found it. Then two old favourites (blackbird & house mouse), but not usually displayed with such obviously stamp of authority. I guess George likes to christen new territory with his catches not just his scent.
George has been catching and bringing in some rodent or other nearly twice a ‘day’ recently. I say day but it’s often 3am or 5am in the morning. This could just be his way of saying, “Hey, I love you guys, I can be useful too!”, since he has spent a lot of time in catteries at the moment. Whatever it is it is very annoying, the latest was a grass snake that he had neatly chopped into bite size chunks.
Hunting season is obviously in full swing, George has brought in the Blackbird, a Woodpigeon, a vole and a mouse, a small proportion of all his kills I’m sure. Only managed to save the mouse so far. This warm weather is not helping with George’s flea problem either, spent the last 3 days hoovering and blitzing the house with flea spray, hopefully that’s sorted the problem, but I’m not holding my breath (But at least we’ve got a very clean house!).
What on earth is a blackbird doing up at 4 am? Nearly an hour an half before the dawn chorus, with no night vision to speak of. Needless to say George snapped up the chance for an easy meal and brought it into the bedroom to devour.
Due to lack of sleep, work & restless babies, took a while for Liv to realise what was happening, in which time George had distributed feathers all over the bed.
Well I’ve found a really good use for those scented nappy bags at least, disposing of George’s prey.
George has had to share his top spot as the cutest male in the house, with the birth of our son Henry, after an unsettled few days (mainly dealing with the all the excitable visitors to be honest), he seems to have relaxed into it quiet well.
Not a good month for the various shrews, voles and field mice, around Birch Cottage at the moment. Normally I give them a second chance when George brings them in, but because of my lack of sleep and usually having a baby in one arm, I just throw cat & mouse straight out the door to settle their differences. I don’t think much is left of the rodent at the end of this process…
Found a funny looking thread on the rug tonight, only on closer inspection turned out to be a mouse tail, hmm.. nice, it promptly got cremated.
Sometime over the last month George has managed to chip one of his teeth. He’s knocked the end off his upper left canine. Although it doesn’t seem to be bothering him, we will have to see what the vet thinks on his next inevitable visit.
Apart from the usual voles, mice and shrews that George usually brings in (plus a fuck off big rat this morning), he has also taken an interest in more ‘aquatic’ animals. No fish yet, I think he’s building up to that. He’s brought in two frogs so far this year – which he never kills, we always find them in the corner of the kitchen not usually looking too worse for wear.
This is also the first year the garden has been full of Dragon flys and Damsel flys, not quiet sure where they are coming from as the nearest stream has been dry through this drought of a summer. Obviously George had to take an interest as well in his own inimitable way, by catching and eating them. Managed to get a few pictures of this one before he had devoured it (Common Hawker I think).
My camera decided to pack up recently, my trusty Canon IXUS 400, so I was forced to buy a new model, in the end stuck with what I like and got the latest IXUS the Canon IXUS 800 IS. Anyway thought I’d try it out on my favourite subject George, after treating the whole experience with the disdain it deserved he eventually warmed to it and gave me these photos…
We went away over the Easter break, and put George in the cattery for 4 days, on our return we discovered he had managed to inflict himself with a huge cut on his back leg.
The cattery owner, who is usually very good, could not provide a reason as to how this could have happened, so alas we won’t be using them again.
This did mean we had to keep him indoors for nearly two weeks while the wound healed, and he hated it. Begging all hours of the day to be let out. Doing his very best ‘Cato’ impression when he got most frustrated, diving out from behind the sofa, rugby tackling me round the thighes. I’m beginning to wonder if he was attacking the cattery staff, and they took some revenge…
The plus side to all this is he lost some more weight, after a week in the cattery on a strict diet, then two weeks not being able to go out and hunt (or visit his ‘other’ owners).
George loves cheese, so popping the pill (or bits of pill) into small pieces of mature cheddar works a treat, and he wolfs them down, thanks to the vet for that tip.
I can’t believe how easy it used to be to give George pills – see That Cat Pill Thing, where I said “Round one to us, this game is too easy”…
Well George’s been scrapping a bit over the last few days, and managed to grow himself a little pet of his own – an abscess the size of your thumb on the side of his head.
I picked him up on Saturday and showed him to Liv asked her if he looked okay,
“No he looks fine to me”.
“You don’t think he looks a bit, er, lop sided then?”
Anyway took him on another trip to the vet, no weigh-in this time. But the vet was taken by surprise by a hot jet of stinking yellow puss that shot out of the abscess whilst she was examining him. After cleaning him up giving him a quick shot of antibiotics we leave with our weeks ration of antibiotic pills to feed him over the next week.
Well he doesn’t do pills anymore. Full stop end of story.
Reminds me of Terry Pratchet's Unadulterated Cat:
You take the pill in one hand and the cat in the other…
You take the pill in one hand and in the other you take a large kitchen towel with one angry cat head poking out of the end. With your third hand you prise open the tiny jaws, insert the pill, clamp the jaws shut and, with your fourth hand, tickle the throat until a small gulping noise indicates that pill has gone down.
EDIT: We eventually did get the pill down him, after locking him in, starving him, etc. he promptly went out and caught a huge rat and bit its head off to celebrate his freedom.
heard that Frogs were a favourite with some cats, surprisingly this is George’s first (and last?) and also the only animal he’s left alive without me having to pick him up and wrestle the poor beast out of his jaws.
It’s possible the frog’s screams actually scared him off, but equally likely he just didn’t like the taste.
Liv decided to tidy up the garden today, done a pretty good job by all accounts ;). During this process she managed to find two rodent holes that George has obviously been digging at, two ‘half’ rodents on the lawn, and a hell of a lot of feathers. No sign of the dead adult blackbird I had to throw out of the bedroom at 3 o-clock in the morning though…
Last year when George was bringing loads of animals still very much alive and kicking, Liv used to jump up every time he came bursting in through the cat flap, obviously concerned he was about to let loose some noisy, feathered mess of a Magpie in the front room. I would just sit there smugly knowing that he had not got anything because he was meowing, and if he was meowing he ain’t got anything in his mouth, right?
Well he’s learnt a new trick, meowing with a mouth full of blackbird.
Wonder how long it will take me to learn all the nuances of his “Meollowls”.
Had some old friends over last weekend, who have a 2 year old son (who George is usually terrified of). Their son behaved impeccably, the same can’t be said for George. Apart from leaving half eaten corpses everywhere (a blackbird carcass, a couple of mice and a grass snake), he brought in a vole to play with and a blackbird chick – both severely mauled.
I managed to make him drop both outside and they made good their escape, to live another day I don’t know, I guess their son now knows what cats prefer to eat.
To make matters worse, later that weekend, the blackbird parents had relocated their chick right outside the conservatory, feeding it worms as if to say “look what your damn cat’s done to our only offspring!”. It was only a matter of time before George would eat them both. So I caught the chick and made a show of moving it into the woods where the blackbirds continued to try and raise it.
I’m obviously spending far too much time on the computer lately (Liv has been telling me this for years), but now even George is pestering me when I’m online, or perhaps he wants me to update his blog more frequently?
Classic George pose of the moment, taking up as much space as possible on the desk, “annoying” is one word for it. Begs the question how can an animal that looks this obese manage to catch so many birds and rodents?