Let’s be real

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When I decided to make Stop and Eat the Flowers, it seemed like a great idea. I have mental health issues, and had a slew of physical health issues, and telling myself to create something – it was therapeutic. I don’t feel like leaving the house: Write something. I put off chores ritualistically, but made deadlines with companies. I pushed myself to remain “out there” instead of shuttering my life.

In November though, I took a position at a small business I am very proud to have found, and became a part of a team. We all care about pets. We have all been through our trials. Every staff member brings something refreshing that keeps our repeat customers in touch with us, even after we had the doors closed for 3 months. I was even more fortunate to keep my position, breaking my body to keep the customers coming back to us as we couldn’t let them inside our store. It’s been fascinating to see what I can endure.

I am about to turn 38 this month. I watched my youth slip off this skin starting last year. Dry skin, hair, nails, eczema. It’s sort of refreshing, because it also marks the time I didn’t quit. I still have this job. I work on my feet. It’s a very physical position. I am expanding my knowledge in this industry. In THIS industry: Companion Animals; Husbandry and Nutrition. I miss the opportunities I used to have, but this is so US. I use a lot of “I” through this article, but it’s about Stop and Eat the Flowers.

Over the last year I know you’ve seen updates slip by in a blink…Blink and you miss it. I carry around a heavy weight about the choices I have made, things I can’t do better that just end up happening, no previous skills in new illnesses that I feel get left too long untreated.

Going back to the beginning of what I started writing today: This -was- my therapy. The blog was my therapy for that lifestyle.
I feel that the evolution started around this time:

Lily got bloat and no matter how I tried, she died in October 2018.
Murphy did Lupron injections for her ovarian cysts, but still she died before six months was out, in June 2019 over a heart issue.
I juggled my 3 parrots until I couldn’t anymore over Idris’ behavior, and she left to have a pretty cool life out in Virginia in August 2019. No, I swear this is not like telling someone “The dog moved to a farm in the country”. Idris is alive and well and her favorite bird is ‘Coco’.

Tommy had hyperthyroidism. It’s cured. He’s stage 2 Chronic Kidney Disease. He had a UTI last week and we didn’t even know, but it showed in his urine during his 3 month post I-131 labs.

Aside from what I feel in my heart, I’ll tell you why parents go without the things they need. Kids are more important that they remain in peak health. I need 2 new veneers. These are *tap tap* 19 years old. My original 2 teeth broke during a car accident. Tommy needs that money. I am having vision issues. Instead, I got Yue her first vet check. Age 11, and Yue had a physical and labs done.

Alright. If I still have your attention by the time we’re down here; Why don’t I write more if there is so much to discuss?
Have you ever heard of the Spoon Theory?
*magic Wiki-Wiki-Wiki* Pew pew: Here ya go

Some days I get home from work, and I’m People’d out and want to turn my brain off, or I’m crippled out, and I need to settle my skeleton and eat anti-inflammatories and pound various non-caffeinated non-carbonated beverages and shout

Father’s Day card finally cleared New York from the U.K.

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Shop local

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We live around a decent agriculture area. When Tom came back from his hospital stay, and it was time to make him another batch of food, there was no turkey in any grocery store. His father didn’t want me to substitute chicken, which was great, BECAUSE THERE WAS NO CHICKEN EITHER. There was also no beef, and he’s intolerant of pork because it irritates his digestive tract.

Would you believe there is a turkey farm 15 minutes from my neighborhood?

It was surreal. I set the order up through a series of emails. I had to go to the ATM and pull out cash. I had to break the bills into exact change in petty cash because hey, no one was taking cash. I stopped by after work, and walked to an empty storefront. Our turkey was sitting there with our name on it and the total. I placed my money, took said turkey, drove way politely; all this was at dusk.

I broke the turkey down at home. Saved the frame for cooking, and did the wings and drums in a marinade for the family.
I did this twice.

Now turkey is back in stock at the grocery store, and money is tighter since there has been no additional relief payment.

I really don’t know what is ahead of us for Thanksgiving this year, but I know where I can get a turkey when the sun goes down.

B.F.F. PLAY (Paté Lovers, Aw Yeah!)

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I’ll admit, I never had much reason to recommend B.F.F., other than it being another cool line from Weruva. It’s been fish-based, and my bourgy girls don’t eat fish, they only eat shellfish. Otherwise we stick to the land creatures. I was researching foods to send Tommy with during his 4 1/2 day hospital stay, and I found PLAY.

It’s time to PLAY… for dinner!? That’s right, new B.F.F. Paté Lovers Aw Yeah! recipes are what your best feline friend has been asking for. Grain, gluten, carrageenan, and starch free means that these playful patés are sure to please even the pickiest of pals. Available in cans and pouches in three protein options; chicken only, fish only, and mixed protein recipes.

*BLINK* REALLY!? *SQUEAK* Of course we’re trying this out. I ordered a case of Topsy Turvy from work and when Tom came home with a few cans left, I tried them on my ladies. It is a very wet pate, but not quite a stew texture. Amalie likes it, and she’s a kibble junkie.

Last week I picked up an order of four cases of PLAY and two cases of OMG.

This would be the ideal time for the girls to decide this is no longer food.

That was longer than I thought

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It’s nearly July?

What’s going on with you, besides washing your hands and not touching your face? Did you buy any of your masks from TheCatBall?

they’re on Etsy

April flowers sure didn’t bring May flowers this year.

Princess Yue Pajama Pants finally got her first physical and labs at the vet. She’s 11.
Stewart had an ear infection and went to another vet. Then he got a kitty cold.
Tommy ended up with his I-131 treatment for his hyperthyroid. (more about this in another post) Then he got fat. He’s been dieting, got his first labs on 1 month follow up, and has his second labs in 2 weeks while we’re almost back at goal weight. He’s been so traumatized since we’ve moved to Maryland that we’ve throwing his first Gotcha Day on July 18th.

I still have my day job, and it’s been something alright. We closed the doors, and ran at half staff but full time hours. Realistically everything is opening up way too fast, and people keep coming into the drug store either without their facial cover, or with their nose exposed. Ewwww. The whole point is to not overwhelm the healthcare system and protect each other from lasting effects of a virus to which there is no vaccine. The amazing thing is that I have been running on fumes and paranoia (because I have asthma) is that I haven’t been taken down with an illness since before March… at least not on my work days.

Now we’re back to 75% staff at part time hours, and go – me, I had a migraine a week ago. I was able to call a coworker on for relief. Nice.

I told my mental health people that I need to be able to start writing again, so we’re on a non stimulant ADD medication. I quit the last medication for that months ago because I was seeing things out of the corner of my left eye a.k.a. YOU’RE PARANOID. Let’s be real; these things happen.

We’re doing a new #Basepawscats Cat DNA experience

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Basepaws provided us with Catkits in 2017 in exchange for documenting the process, reviews, interpretation, realistic expectations, etc.

Basepaws provided us with a free Catkit for Stewart 1 year ago, after accepting him into their research program because of his asthma diagnosis.

What’s going on with the Catkit process now that Basepaws got their deal from Shark Tank? I decided to find out.

I PURCHASED my very first Basepaws Cat DNA Test Kit, as I have one cat left here that is not a Basepaws Cat. So far, I am seeing that the Catkit term is not longer on the website.

Let me tell you about Amalie. She’s somewhere between 13 and 75 years old. I’ve asked her, but she has a flair for the dramatic.

She’s my 9 lb tortie with a degenerative dental disease, and she hates Stewart. If they so happen to want to research resorptive lesions in the future, I’ll have them run Amalie for that. You always have the option to opt in with their research as they are screening for new traits to study.

tortie cat

Click through the logo to see what Basepaws can provide you about your feline family

This is the link to the breeds and conditions research they are seeking.

Click here to read up on Amalie’s dental condition.

PS Basepaws is also offering a Coach My Cat subscription, but I don’t know that my family has a need for it at the moment.

PSS Holy cats – let me put this out there:
4 Interest-free payments from QUADPAY (didn’t qualify)
G Pay
Amazon Pay

So much flexibility to purrsuade you. Cheers.

February was Pet Dental Awareness Month

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What were we doing? Not getting Dentals.
Yes. I am as disappointed as you that I didn’t have any new dirt to post here, but there was a good reason.
Hyperthyroidism likes to play with your liver, heart, and even the kidneys. Tommy had a grade 4 heart murmur and was ineligible for general anesthesia. I don’t believe in anesthesia-free “cleanings” as the pet will not cooperate with any tartar that is under the gum line while they are awake.

What could I do? Whatever I could. The veterinarians saying ‘no’ does not mean the pet mom’s journey comes to a halt.

His mouth was in pain, and his tartar was so forward in his mouth moving towards his incisors. I hadn’t seen this with him, and I don’t know if it were related to the disease. His mouth was too tender for him to let me do a manual scaling.

Here comes Petzlife.

I had heard about it years ago, and picked up the spray at a Pet Expo so use on my previous dog, Lila. She was Brachycephalic ie SMASH FACE, and after we had her teeth cleaned and the offending ones pulled, I would spray this on her molars to help retard new tartar formation. What I didn’t know was it’s safety or efficacy on cats.

Then I went to Stacy with PetsWeekly , and she found that this is multi-species. Woo! The directions were to break down excessive buildup, apply twice a day for 30 days, 20-30 minutes post or pre food+water intake. Toothbrushes don’t work here. Finger tip brushes won’t either.
I have to use a cotton swab. 1) His pouches are shallow and tight especially when 2) his mouth is already very sore

In time, I found out that he was fighting me because his tooth sensitivity, and that the gel was too cold. I spread it on the base of my thumb and let it warm to my body temperature before application.

How did this work for Tommy? Very well. He still has the tartar, but the build up seems to be millimeters thinner and some chunks have broken away on their own. I got his sensitivity under control that he will even spend time gnawing on meaty chews.

Our Petzlife of choice for this situation is the Salmon Gel. Cheers.

Shop local if you can, but if you’re Social Distancing, Here is your link to Chewy.com

Lala and the GoFundMe re: Tommy hyperthyroidism

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Hyperthyroidism in cats – Tommy

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He is a hot mess.

He has a heart issue, elevated liver enzymes, and his T4 is a 15. We started the methimazole on Friday, sat down with his vet today, and he’ll be back at the vet next week to draw blood, check his levels, and adjust his methimazole.

Am I even spelling that right?

With a number of 15, it may be thyroid cancer. With his cardiac numbers as high as they are, he may not be a candidate for I-131, which is a radioactive iodine injection. If his liver numbers don’t go down, we have to look at it for tumors.

If, may, may not… We wait. We run the drills and start at the bottom, and work our way up, and we wait.

If all numbers normalize, we pursue I-131. If thyroid doesn’t normalize, we pursue I-131. If he has thyroid cancer, and only thyroid cancer, the I-131 is the best option because if he has cancer and it spreads, the thyroid will absorb and process the iodine, regardless of where that tissue has traveled.

If cardiac does not normalize, but liver improves, then the last thing we do is an EKG to either rule him out or qualify him for the I-131. It’s something about the way the heart will perform after therapy, and heart disease can speed up? I am not a magician/physician.

Then again, even if his cardiac values lower, they are so high right now that he may end up living with an enlarged heart. We’re at the bottom though, and not even at viewing the heart yet. There is no point while we’re waiting to see how well this oral medication is working.

This is probably better suited to put in one of those diagrams that predicts outcomes. The next part I can’t wrap my head around is that if he has cancer, and we don’t get him the optimal and most effective treatment before June, how is this going to effect his mortality rate?

Currently, he is upset eating his usual food. He has associated this with bad things. It’s close to him getting medications, close to him getting PetzLife oral gel swabbed on his teeth (he can’t have his dental worked on in his condition), and he concluded yesterday that if he has to eat his routine food, it’s going to bite him in the ass. I told his daddy that ‘I don’t really care if he has to start eating the cans in the pantry; Just keep me abreast of inventory’.

I should see if there is anything to my benefit in my Cornell book on cats. Dismal is going to look up info on studies concluded and outcomes in similarity to Tom.

Basepaws Catkit DNA testing update #10

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All three cats have now received their health reports with 100 clear.

What does this mean? (nothing) No…wait…they are not at an increased risk for diseases and conditions based on the DNA mutations they tested for, but nothing says they will stay well. Activity, diet, exposures, and even pure chance can still get these cats sick.

What were they being tested for?

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is the most common genetic disease in cats. PKD is characterized by the formation of small fluid-filled cysts in the kidneys that lead to kidney failure.
Gene PKD1 Mutation C>A

This is an example of an actual mutation they tested for and how they summarize what increased risk testing positive for this mutation of this gene will look like.

I still cannot stress the importance of semi annual exams in seniors and annual exams in the more youthful cats, because these tests are not used to diagnose conditions. I myself carry a few gene mutations that put me at risk but haven’t presented the diseases yet, and may never present the disease.

My distraction is a bit higher providing this update. Tommy Gargoyle is getting an expanded assortment of tests ran today. We had the visit, an ECG, blood pressure, 2 vials of blood, and I have to collect his urine this evening to get back to his vet. I am not sure what the outcome will be as far as diagnosis, treatment or mortality rates. I am curious to see if there is anything he gets diagnosed with to send back to Basepaws in regards to their research program.

Stewart has contributed his files and sample to Basepaws’ research for asthma in felines. Their research is not only about illnesses and their links to genes, but in purebred breeds to expand their growing database. You can view this page here:
Does your cat have a specific health condition? Apply now to take part in our research study and join us in learning more about genetically occurring diseases in all pets.


  • Acromegaly
  • Asthma
  • Calcium Oxalate Urolithiasis
  • Diabetes (Type II or Insulin Resistant)
  • Feline Idiopathic Cystitis
  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
  • Polycystic Kidney Disease
  • Struvite Urolithiasis  “

Click through the logo to see what Basepaws can provide you about your feline family