Saturday, July 10, 2010

Feline Acne

Two feline creatures allow me to share my condo with them.  (Bodyguard gets irritated when I say I'm the "mother" of two cats.  Ooops.  Hehe!)  The oldest one is 12 and the tiny, dumpster-found teeth-enhanced one is almost 5.

Last February, I realized Pussachat (the eldest) had bad breath.  Not as in "I just ate tuna so leave me alone" bad breath, but unhealthy, permanent, kitty-cat mouth smell.  It also seemed she had less of an appetite in the last days and that indicated I had to bring her to the vet.  I have been going to this vet since 1997 when I had my rabbits.  Not all vets are rabbits vets.  Rabbit vets get to charge double the price for a visit :o) and that's a  different blog topic! 

Here I am, cat in hand, at the clinic with Pussachat who gets on the scale.  It's just an ounce away from 15 lbs and that's not what is best for her already aching lower back.  (She overdoes it by taking high jumps to go steal the little one's food). Eyes, ears, thermometer: everything is fine.  Except she has a small case of gingivitis and she needs her teeth cleaned.  That requires anesthesia and anesthesia equals blood tests and that translates into ching-ching.

I suggest they isolate her right after the intervention because she's known to be right down nasty when waking up after anesthesia.  I was even told to go get my own cat out of her cage at the SPCA because she was threatening to bite the attendant's arm off.  This time for the teeth cleansing, they suggested a new type of anesthesia with the hope that it would help with her cattitude upon waking up.

A bit over $500 later, my cat has a brand new smile and we head home.  Her pupils are dilated to the size of dimes.  I get her out of her cage and she heads straight for her food bowl.  The vet told me she shouldn't eat too much right away and only soft foods.  She's miaowing like there is no tomorrow and she won't stop going around in circles.  This twelve-year old is pretty much a sofa cat.  She lays there for hours and only moves if she sees me going to the kitchen (her food bowl) or bathroom (her faucet of choice). My cat is stoned and she's got a bad case of munchies!

Not only are her pupils dilated, she won't sit down for a minute -even if I offer to brush her fur- and she has lost her coordination!  She requests a drink at the bathroom faucet and what kind of a bad cat owner (mom) would I be if I declined this poor sedated (stoned) cat a drink of fresh-from-the-tap water?  I get her on the counter and she knocks her face on the faucet!  It takes her two minutes and a bit of my help to manage to drink from the faucet.  My conclusion: we go back to the "old" type of anesthetics if we need another intervention!  I'd rather have a falsely aggressive cat than a stoner-cat who needs supervision.

In a conversation with the vet before I went to get my (stoned) cat, he tells me: "While she was still sleeping, I gave her a facial".  Me = dumbfound.  A what?  I'm a certified esthetician, I know what a facial is!  But excuse me, you gave my cat a facial?  "You know she has acne, right?"  No, I certainly did not!  Cats get acne now?  "Yes, feline acne.  She has a lot of blackheads under her chin".  Those are blackheads??? (Follow the red arrows on my pic)  I thought she simply scratched herself too vigorously under the chin and it caused her scabs.  I still can't believe what I'm hearing until he says: "You will have to help  remove the blackheads".  I truly appreciate this doctor and have the utmost respect for him, his clinic and his work.  But is he kidding me?  He had her sedated while he gave her a facial!  Do you have any clue what it's like to try to remove ingrowns and blackheads from a cat's chin when she's fully awake?  She's not quite collaborative, let me tell you!  
(This picture shows very well the sparse hairs and irritated chin)
I now clean her chin (almost) every day with Hibitane, a skin cleanser for veterinary use.  It has significantly reduced the number of scabs on her chin and she scratches less.  I try, as much as she lets me, to remove her ingrowns and blackheads.  Who'd have thought an esthetician's cat would have a bad case of acne?

Friday, July 2, 2010

The day I discovered Tim Minchin

My spring 2007 was quite a busy season.  I bought my condo in January and had to pack boxes for my move in June.  I was going from a 3 bedroom /1200 + sq. ft apartment with incredible storage space into a 2 bedroom 900 sq. ft condo with (almost) no storage space.  I had to do a huge clean up in my stuff and throw away a lot of unnecessary things.  My old high school agendas? Recycled.  Letters exchanged during classes? Gone!  Decluttering is time consuming.  I also had friends from Sao Paulo living here from February until April, which meant I had to entertain.  A lot.  I was traveling to Brazil later that year and had registered for Portuguese lessons in addition to my dance classes.  And, oh, no big deal, I was turning 30 that year and work was quite busy to say the very least (Annabelle Model Search, anyone?).

I took possession of the condo on June 15th.  My family came to help me remove all the carpets because, low and behold, ceramic and hardwood floors and to be completed before my official moving in 7 days later.  We were throwing my parents a surprise party on the 23rd.  My parents were throwing me an advance surprise party on June 30  for my 30th birthday and I was flying to Sao Paulo on July 7th.  My schedule allocated very little down time. 

With the money I received as my birthday gift, I bought myself my very first (digital) camera and first iPod.  I had no time to familiarize myself with my new toy and simply asked a colleague of mine (LM) to throw music in there for me.  "Please put this and that on, a little Jami and a little Matchbox Twenty... as for the rest, surprise me".  There I was, sitting comfortably in my first class seat (Yeah, baby!  Hello Aeroplan points!) on my way to Toronto, excited to get together with my Brazilian friends, when I finally turned on my iPod.  I looked at what he had put in.  I like, I like, don't know.  I decided to listen to an artist which I had never heard of, Tim Minchin.  Genre: humour.  WTF?  Please don't tell me LM put sketches on there!

I was quiet and cozy when "Inflatable You" started to play.  Keep in mind that I have absolutely no clue what to expect.  The first thing I know, I giggle, giggle and finally burst out laughing.  My neighbor, a few feet away from me, glances, with his glasses low on his nose.  I tilt my head sideways to express how profoundly sorry I am to have interrupted his very serious reading of a newspaper.  The song starts with Tim stating "This is a love song".  A few sentences in, he declares "delectable, inflatable you".  The guy is declaring his love to an inflatable doll!  I could not help myself: I had to listen to every Tim song LM had put on my iPod!

The fact that he's funny or not is debattable.  ("Your skin is so smooth, I couldn't afford you with hair.  You have all the wholes real girls have got plus one for the air").  It's a question of taste and perception.  His musical talent, however; is unquestionable.  He rocks the piano!  He also includes a lot of harmonies and my heart is quickly won over harmonies.  Again, his choice of (abrasive and vulgar) language may not be suitable for your ears.  You should surely avoid listening to Tim Minchin if you are particularly religious.  Bodyguard does not think Tim is funny at all (and Bodyguard is not one bit religious).  On the other hand, it's been 3 years already and I still listen to Tim on a regular basis.  An instant fixer upper for me.  He cracks me up.  And although his voice is not spectacular, he carries a tune!

Do I like him even a bit more because he wears (what looks like Annabelle) makeup?  I would say he's a Custom Quad Eyeshadow - Ebony, Smudgeliner - Ohmygoth! and Mascara wearer!  If you're in the mood for a funny musical discovery, I'd invite you to visit his official Website:  Here are a few of my personal Tim favorites (of course, Inflatable You remains my classic of choice):
-Rock And Roll Nerd
-You Grew On Me
-Darkside (the piano is amazing!)
-Some People Have It Worse Than Me
-If You Really Loved Me
-Nothing Can Stop Us Now (The end is drastic and cruel, I know!  But the song itself is great).
-Prejudice (What you think it is, it is not!  Love the cleverness of this song.)
I appreciate the musicality his songs bring.  I like the fact that he's silly.  There is plenty of time to be serious and politically correct in daily life.  When I want a dose of silly, easy-listening funnies, I turn to Tim.  He's coming to this year's Just For Laughs and I sure hope to be part of the crowd!  He also strongly supports the use of Canvas Bags and, as a canvas bag user myself, I just can't resist this song.  Kudos to you if the chorus doesn't stay in your head all day after listening to it!
To LM, my work colleague who loaded my iPod with Minchin tunes: THANK YOU for allowing me to discover Tim!