The Collar Is Back


In October last year, Grumpy had eye surgery to try and fix an eye ulcer which had developed.

Since then it has been one step forward, two steps back, probably quite boring to tell the story to you but here goes anyway.. Grumpy initially had some entropion, a condition where the eyelid rolls inwards, so that the fur is sitting against the eyeball. The vet was convinced that this was caused by squinting due to pain from the ulcer, and once we fixed the ulcer the entropion would clear up..

We non-vets had some suspicion that the entropion might have appeared before the ulcer, that it might have caused the ulcer, and that this might have been caused by her previous problem with Horners Syndrome. The problem happened to be the eye on the same side where she’d had Horners Syndrome.

Grumpy as a kitten, July 2005

Either way it seemed a bit like the chicken or the egg, which came first? We would never know, and discussion on the topic seemed a bit pointless, the vet very forceful in their opinion it must be caused by the ulcer and not willing to entertain other possibilities.. which was a bit frustrating. We figured it was best to focus on getting the ulcer problem solved.

Over the next several months, there was surgery, then eyedrops, tablets, capsules, creams, a dye put in the eye and checked with a blacklight to assess the extent of the ulcer, plus a seemingly never ending round of vet consultations which were very stressful for Grumpy. The minute we would put Grumpy in the carrier she would shake like she was terrified. Any progress we made seemed undone at the next visit. We left longer and longer between the visits, and noticed an improvement on one visit, then a decline on the next visit.

When our vet was not there one day, we saw another vet who prescribed a new MAGIC cream which we found to be work a treat. The entropion was solved almost instantly. We talked with that vet about possible surgery to fix the entropion. He felt that was some distance in the future, and hoped the cream would do the trick. However, on our next visit we discovered MAGIC cream had made the ulcer worse and we had to stop using it.

Grumpy as a kitten, July 2005

After a while, the major thing we all agreed on was that we needed to stop taking Grumpy to the vet to check on the ulcer because each time we did, the ulcer would flare up. The vet felt this was stress related, and given how much Grumpy would stress over those vet visits, we agreed to try this, plus some new medication. We have a blacklight at home, the vet supplied us with the dye, and though it took a lot of time, we did manage to eventually heal the ulcer completely at home.

This did not heal the entropion, though. That actually seemed to become worse. We still had the MAGIC cream which seemed to fix the entropion earlier on in this process, and we were using that every few days and checking to make sure the ulcer did not return. The ulcer did not return, but the entropion was not fixed by it, either.

Feeling discouraged, I arranged for our vet to do a home visit where we intended to seriously discuss the surgery option. We felt that we could not allow this eyelid to keep folding in forever. On arrival, our vet again seemed convinced there would be an ulcer causing the entropion. The dye test proved this theory wrong, and the vet then had to open their mind to other possibilities that might be causing the problem.

Grumpy as a kitten, July 2005

FINALLY we could consider other possibilities! The vet wanted to consult an cat ophthalmologist and get back to us. A week later we got the call, asking us to bring Grumpy in for blood tests in an attempt to eliminate every possible possibility before going down the surgery road. We talked about giving her anesthesia right away to make things less stressful.

The plan was, no food from midnight the night before, take away water at 6am, we would call when on our way, on arrival I would go in to let them know we had arrived, Grumpy would go straight in for the gas, they would take the bloods, we would take her home right away, and she would recover there. Great plan, I felt.

When we got there, the vet wanted to try taking the blood without the gas. I should have said no, we made a plan to try and reduce stress, lets stick to the plan. Big mistake Snoskred! The only person that can hold her is The Other Half, so he agreed to try this new plan. After 10 minutes of clipping fur, then failing to draw the bloods plus much stress, the vet finally decided to give Grumpy the gas. I was kicking myself for not saying no to this last minute change of plan.

Grumpy as a kitten, July 2005

The bloods went off to be tested, 10 days later everything came back negative, and the surgery was planned. We had to take her in the night before so she could be put on a drip and fully hydrated due to her previous kidney issues. Again we planned no food from X time, no water from X time, put her under to put the drip in, and this time I planned to say NO if anyone tried to change the plan. Luckily that did not happen, the drip was successfully put in and she was settled in for her overnight stay with plenty of items from home.

Surgery went well, just before she was sent home they gave her a painkiller which was safe to use with her kidney issues. I wish I had asked more questions about what the painkiller was and possible side effects, but at this point we were just glad to be taking her home.

On arrival home, this was not the cat we knew at all. She placed herself on guard at the door, and pretty much stayed there for the next 30!! hours, only leaving to eat, drink and bathroom. She was on high alert. Any little movement, she was tracking it. She seemed to be in no pain whatsoever, in fact she never showed any signs that she knew she’d had surgery, there was no attempt on her part to access that eye area.

Grumpy as a teenage cat, September 2005

When I did some research on the drug they had given her, mania was a side effect. When the vet called to check in, I described what was happening and it was quite common and normal in cats who were given this medication.

On the one hand, this side effect was way better than her usual post surgery behaviour, which was being totally obsessed with getting the soft collar off. On the other hand, we were worried that she was not getting any rest at all. Finally after 2 days of crazy, she got some sleep and returned to her normal self.

She goes back to the vet later this week for a quick check up. We are hoping the soft collar can be removed after that. The amount of times we have been woken by Grumpy scratching at it cannot be counted with our human numbers. ;)


FriYAY Kitty Day


Supervisor kitty discovered our retro Caroma bathroom stool that almost every Australian household seemed to have, back in the 70’s and 80’s.


I have no idea where this thing came from or how it found its way into our household. I secretly suspect these things travel in packs at night, populating themselves into houses where there is not a Caroma bathroom stool presently living.


Ours gets used for so many things. Changing light bulbs, haircuts and hairdye-ing, and now it seems to have become a kitty perch. Really what Happy wants is a series of plastic stools at varying heights, so she can pick and choose where to sit and supervise our kitchen work.

I turned around and saw her sitting here, and doubled over laughing, because she was giving me her unique improbable kitty face.


Recent PINCHme Samples


In December of 2014 I wrote about PINCHme samples – I also wrote this post about how *not* to sample – AKA don’t be stingy. Today I am giving you an update on recent samples I have received.


Over winter 2015 things went very quiet at PINCHme with not many samples released at all. They picked back up again in late September. The first sample they sent me was by far the least stingy and most awesome sample ever – a full sized Mitchum Clinical Deodorant.. when I next visited the shops I made sure to look for it on the shelf and was quite taken aback when I saw this –


I’ve been using it every second day since I got it and I have to say, it is pretty amazing. It smells wonderful, too. How does one use a 48 hour antiperspirant when one showers every day, one thought? I tested it out, still having my daily shower as usual on the second day and then *not* putting anything on and fate made sure I tried this on the hottest day we’ve had thus far – 35 degrees, no sweat, no smells.

It feels weird, not putting anything on after a shower, but I have got used to it. You only need to use the tiniest amount of this stuff – one click of the dial at the bottom per armpit. I’ve been using it every second day for over a month now and I still have over half a container left. Normally I would go through one roll on per month.

I knew I’d heard things about aluminium in antiperspirants so when I checked the ingredients I was a little unsure, but I did some research into that and it is all urban myths as far as I can see. I will definitely be buying this one.

Good job on not being stingy, Mitchum! In fact you did such a good job of not being stingy you have won two customers, I bought a similar product for The Other Half when I saw them on special recently.


So here we have some Dynamo clothes washing liquid – I gave this a legit trial with some clothes which were stained that have been awaiting stain removal. It removed almost all the stains. I’m keeping the second packet for more stains, and will consider purchasing a small amount of this to keep on hand. One small negative – our front load washer does not have anything to stop the liquid running right into the machine, so the detergent went right in.

There is also a Schick Quattro razor. I’m not a user of razors very often – I prefer waxing – plus I am unlikely to use anything with 4 blades as a regular thing, but I’ll give it a try. Anything more than two blades reminds me of this little ad from The D Generation


There is a Chux magic eraser – now I just have to find something to use that on! – and some Fancy Feast which the cats were big fans of. They would be even greater fans if only I would follow these feeding instructions –


Grumpy is 5kg, so that would be 7.5 pouches a day. This would be an increase of 7 pouches a day as the kitties get half a pouch/tin of wet food each morning. At 1.42 per pouch, this would cost me $10.65 a day in cat food! Unless I could find it on special somewhere..

If I followed these instructions, Grumpy would soon be 10kg, in which case I would have to feed her 15 pouches. Exponential growth! If I showed these feeding instructions to my vet, who recently told us our kitties need to watch their weight, she would probably fall on the floor laughing. It makes me wonder – is anyone out there actually reading and following those instructions? That would be very bad. :/

I find PINCHme free samples to be interesting, I always love receiving mail and sometimes the samples are a source of great products we end up loving and buying. We are still using Fairy Platinum dishwasher tablets and we love them, I am a big fan of the Mitchum deodorant..

Samples are usually released @PINCHme on Tuesdays at mid-day. They sell out very quickly, so you want to be logged in at 11:58am and ready to go. Sometimes they have surprise samples on other days, as well.

You can sign up for PINCHme here and I do not receive anything for sending you there, sadly. They ought to have a decent referral program. They do have one but it is linked to the samples which usually sell out within minutes, plus there is some blather about having to be logged in when you refer someone.

FYI the usual statements apply – nobody paid me to write this post, I do receive free samples from PINCHme but they are samples anyone can receive if they are a member and they sign in at the right time to claim a sample.

customer feedback, exercise, kitties, PINCHme

Kitty VS Chooky


Little Kitty is still a chaser of chooks if she gets the opportunity. When the chooks are free ranging she will watch them intently and hope someone opens the door.

You can see Red Comb is giving her the evil eye. And her proximity to the cat grass pot with the freshly raised sunflower seeds is why that particular plant pot now resides on the table out of reach of the chookys.

Chickens, country life, kitties

That Escalated Quickly.

There is Grumpy, freshly home from her eye surgery which came to us all as a surprise on Friday. Her eye ulcer had improved since the last visit – however – it was not healing properly and the vet felt it was deeper than it looked, and so she wanted to operate.

I can’t describe what was done surgically because eyes and me = major cringe factor. I can’t even put eyedrops in a human and while I can watch all kinds of surgery on TV, I cannot watch anything to do with eyes. I can tell you she will be wearing that lovely collar for a week. She will not be a fan of this once the tranquiliser wears off and she regains her usual senses.

At present, it is like having a drunk cat in the house. You’re not quite sure what she is going to do next, so anywhere she goes one of us follows. She was at the vets for the smallest amount of time possible because that environment is very stressful to her.

The minute we decided to do the surgery, she was given pre-meds to try and keep her from stressing too much and allowed back into her cat carrier until it was time to put her out.

While Grumpy was chilling in the cat carrier, Happy got her vaccinations and a health check. She is seriously moulting at the moment. The vet asked me if I brush her – I usually do that once a week or so. I had brushed her just the day before and still fur was everywhere. The vet showed me something I had never seen before – brushing the fur with wet fingers.


This is a revelation, my friends. Happy and I sat down for over an hour later that day and played a new game which she was a huge fan of. I wasn’t sure she would enjoy this at first because she will run at the slightest droplet of water. I filled a bucket with water, wet my hands, and use my hands as the brush, then put them back in the water to wash off the fur.. Every time I would stop, she would look at me with this face that said, MORE, PLS. She even let me do her tail, belly, neck, face and paws..


So it is eye cream twice daily for Grumpy, plus 7 days of that lovely Elizabethan collar and a return visit next Friday. Sprinkle gets daily wet brushing plus brush-brushing. Both of them will be getting less kibble as they are getting a little chunky. After the 7 days, we might add in some daily laser dot time for both of them.


Sunday Selections Week 40


I think for the foreseeable future, we will make the first Sunday of the month Garden Check In day. The Dianthus in our older planter pot from 2014 are flowering again.

About four weeks ago we did some new planting and two weeks ago I posted this update post.


The flyscreen wrapped garden box is doing very well. We’ve had a praying mantis which has been hanging out on top of it.


The sunflower seeds have turned into tiny plants.


The Nasturtiums are having a wonderful time in their new home. The chooks quite often stand on the hardware wire but they do not eat the plants. In a couple of weeks I will feel secure enough to take this ex-kitty door off.


As you can see, the jasmine has climbed high up the arch. It is smelling awesome!


Next time I will show you the progress of some new plants we have purchased, including my first ever succulent – Portulaca. Here they are as I was buying them in the garden centre.


And a close up of the Portulaca. There were 6 seedlings in here.


The chooks have been getting plenty of free ranging time, and Kitty Supervisor is on the job. I’ve kept that pot on the table for a couple of weeks to make sure the sunflowers get a decent start without a chook eating them incident, but that meant the cats could not eat the cat grass. It was good for the cat grass because they had been chowing down on it, and it needed a break from kitty teeth! ;)


Kitty Supervisor can watch them down here from a side window which is good, because they like to venture down here to some very old lawn clippings and leaves which were left here for a couple of years to turn into bug filled mulch – AKA happy meal time for chooks! There is a gate which shuts this area off if and when new clippings are left here – however that has not happened in some time, the bag catcher is broken.

Weekly Wrap Up –

Daylight Savings starts today here in Australia. Normally this is my favourite time of year because in previous years I have suffered from SAD – that is Seasonal Affective Disorder – however this past winter I did a lot better than usual. I’m crediting the evening candle show, an LED light changing shower head, and LED lights throughout the house for that improvement.

So today I am a little bit sad to be saying goodbye to 5-6 hours of candle time a day. I’ll still be burning candles of an evening and I think that is a long term change for the better for me, it will just be candles for a shorter amount of time each day, and more time outside in the evening for plant watering and chooky chores.

In scheduling news, I already have two posts scheduled for 2016. All my Wednesday posts are written for the rest of the year, and I am scheduled out to November for the other blog days. I like to write ahead, and sometimes posts come up that are time sensitive and the other not so time sensitive posts get pushed out further.

There Was An Incident –

Grumpy is extra grumpy this week. She did something to her eye – we are not sure what happened to start it off, but she was squinting a lot and somehow her bottom eyelid was turning in as a result. After making a vet appointment for Monday we were trying to get some photos to show the vet because we could fix the eyelid – turn it out the right way – and sometimes it would stay fixed for a decent length of time, so we could not guarantee it would happen when we were at the vets with Grumpy. Happy did a little photobomb.


I did manage to get a decent in focus shot which showed the vet everything she needed to see, plus after I showed her the photo the eyelid started to turn in while we were there. That was the last time it turned in and I hope it never happens again!

Ever since Grumpy had that terrible Kidney Shutdown of 2014, she has not been a fan of vets at all. The only person that can hold her when we are there now is The Other Half, and he is the only person who can hold her when she needs to be medicated – which she has needed twice a day this past week for a tablet and ointment in her eye.

We went back to the vet on Friday for another eye dye and blacklight look. It seems like progress has been made, not just on the eye front but also a trip where the only thing that happens is dye in her eye might help her a lot with her vet fears.

We’ll keep up the ointment for another 7 days then take her back again next Friday. This time Happy will go along for a check up as well. I fully anticipate that once the vet finds her melty spot, she will lie down on the table, purr a lot, and ask for belly rubs. :)

The Martian –

The Martian Official Website

We went to see The Martian this weekend. I’d started reading the book a few months ago. The book was something I knew The Other Half would deeply love, so I made him start reading it – and he finished it before I did! That is the fastest he has ever read a book in his lifetime.

I read the book again this week in preparation for seeing the movie and loved it just as much the second time. I was curious about a few things – would the movie begin with the same line as the book, which contains a pretty serious swear word? That would be fine in Australia but I really cannot see the US audience enjoying that. And how would they handle the night soil stuff?

The truth is, I suspect this might be the best space movie ever created, or at least a tie for first place with Apollo 13. Yes, there was some swearing. Yes, there was vacuum sealed poop. Yes, I did cringe at the whole poop thing being a germophobe, but I actually cringed more at Mark performing surgery on himself. There was nothing in the movie that I did not deeply enjoy. Matt Damon was brilliant as expected, so was everyone in it.

So if you have not read the book and you like science, space, Matt Damon, NASA and/or movies set in space, go and see the movie. If you like the movie, read the book. The movie runs for 2h20m, and it felt to me like it went for 30 minutes maximum. Sephyroth wrote about The Martian too. Beware though his post contains some spoilers if you have not seen it.

garden, Home, kitties, movies, Sunday Selections, weekly wrap up