Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Dietary Indiscretion and Other Blunders

Hey! Cat: Don't Eat That!
So, my cats. Not, perhaps, the brightest creatures on four paws. Last week, we noticed they were eating less, and Po started vomiting a lot. At first we thought he was trying to hork up a particularly stubborn hairball, but eventually their decline in appetite became positively alarming. We also noticed that they had nibbled at the leaves of the Easter lilies in the den.

So I googled to see if there might be some relationship there, only to discover that Easter lilies are lethally, horribly toxic to cats (they cause death by kidney failure). So we made a late night run to the veterinary emergency room Sunday, stayed for 4 hours, spent pretty much all of our rainy day fund, and learned that their kidneys were fine (thank goodness). Apparently, they hadn't eaten enough to cause kidney damage, though possibly enough to make their tummies sensitive. But as for what the real culprit was, that remained a mystery.

So we were told to keep an eye on the beasts, and if they didn't improve, take them to our regular vet for a battery of tests. Okay.

Izzy improved quickly, but Po malingered. And then on Tuesday, I found the culprit in the hall, covered in a repulsive brown matter that made it very clear that the item had spent some quality time in Po's intestines.

An entire elastic headband. (Sort of like the ones at right, only tan and less... spotty).


That doesn't look like food, smell like food, or feel like food. Not on the first swallow, nor on the thirtieth, which is what it must have taken for the little beast to consume the entire thing. Interestingly enough, vets refer to this sort of thing as a "dietary indiscretion." That doesn't quite seem to cover it, does it?

So Po isn't dying (yay!), he's just thick as two planks ().

Pond: Oops.
Meanwhile, we chugged ahead on the pond. We put 1-2 inches of sand on all horizontal surfaces.

Then we put our carpet remnants from our nice neighbors down.

And finally, we put a king's ransom worth of 45 mm rubber liner down.

And then we filled it.

And discovered that the east leg of the pond is about 8 inches lower in elevation than the west end. Somehow, we never quite realized what a drop it was. Whoopsie.

So now we have to build a berm on the east side to raise it so that we can put in enough water to come up creditably high on the west side. Bother. The good news is that we were planning to put in a raised bed anyway, so the new highness, hopefully, won't stick out too much.

Lots of Roses
Meanwhile, the roses are full of awesomeness.

Below is the petitely charming 'Climbing Cecile Brunner.'

And this is a frothy pink noisette whose name we somehow lost track of*.

Also in bloom:
Cramoisi Superieur (x 2 - and how!)
Ducher (still just seething with blossoms)
Georgetown Tea (covered in polymorphous big fat pink flowers)
Belinda's Dream
Climbing Old Blush
Buff Beauty
La Marne
Archduke Charles
Mystery Pink Globes (Margot Koster? Mothersday?)
Mutabilis (x 5 - blooming riotously)
Mystery Red Legacy Pillar
Reine des Violettes
Souvenir de la Malmaison
Maggie (x 2)
Graham Thomas
Duchesse de Brabant
Green Ice (x 3)
4th of July (x 2)
Comtesse du Cayla
Autumn Damask
Kaiserin Freidrich
Mademoiselle Franziska Krueger
Isabella Sprunt
Martha Gonzales
Maybe Katy Rd Pink

It might have been easier to list the roses that aren't yet blooming, or only barely:
Mystery Hybrid Perp
The Fairy
New Dawn
Wild Blue Yonder
Ferdinand Pichard
Burgundy Iceberg
Madame Joseph Schwartz
Mrs. RM Finch
Red Cascade

Most have a good excuse: we just transplanted The Fairy, Red Cascade doesn't get enough sun, Ferdinand Pichard is recovering from a bad brush with RoundUp... But overall, I think this garden is about 1 week away from hitting Peak Bloom for 2010. It's wonderful.


*After a little research, I strongly suspect that this is 'Madame Alfred Carriere,' a name I often get confused with 'Alister Stella Grey.' In fact, before it bloomed, I thought maybe it was ASG. However, ASG is much too yellow for our rose. There is a faint possibility that it could be 'Juane Desprez,' but the pale pink looks more like MAC to me.


Anonymous said...

Good to hear about Po....I think. I actually told Lucy this week-end that I needed to call and find out how he was doing. Hope he's back to himself now.


Katie said...

You are such a good writer! I just read a post about cat vomit and dietary indiscretions (it may surprise you to know this is not my normal reading fodder)... and I somehow was totally entertained. Thanks for keeping it real!

Elgin_house said...

Thanks, Kate! You know, I never set out to be the muse of cat vomit, but that's pet ownership for you :-)

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