A Day in the Life of a Zookeeper

A Day in the Life of a Zookeeper
Ever wonder what its like to share your world with a bunch of crazy critters? Tune in to find out!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween from the Critters

Emma loves to dress up - last year Wonder Woman, year before Princess Leah.  I couldn't find anything this year that I thought was super cute so I settled for a cute sweater instead.

And a cute bandana to add to her collection:

The kitties put up with me making them wear stuff - but only because they love me.  I found a collar - orange side up for girls, boo side up for boys:

haha - look how mad she looks - actually she's not thrilled but she's not mad - I just caught her chattiness mid meow.

And even with no collar - here is a cute one of Ollie on the Halloween placemat:

And my littlest boys...Nigel was pretty cooperative about getting the collar put around his middle:

And here is my Clooney boy:

He might be the supermodel if you want a regular picture but he is NOT a fan of having anything on him.  I have about 17 pictures - they all look about like this - he was just determined not to humor his mother...  :)

Today will be spent keeping the ferret out of the candy - he is a thief and last year I found about 15 pieces hidden behind the guest bathroom door.  He doesn't eat them - just hoards them.  I think he likes them because they are shiny.

Anyway - Happy Halloween from the zoo!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

October Monthly Snapshots

Mr Chompers

Aggie on top of Nigel's cage

Ollie hanging out

Miss Phoebe in black and white

Ollie - film grainy image


Clooney 2

And again Clooney

Gossip at the water cooler

Zoey on the famous purple towel

Zoey when she arrived home from the hospital - you can see her arm bandage from the IV

Saturday, October 29, 2011

October Month in Review

There were big critter happenings this month.  Phoebe had a scary lump which thankfully turned out to be nothing.  Nigel had a runny nose which thankfully turned out to be nothing.  Zoey had a near death illness - very sudden and very scary.  She spent close to 48 hours in the hospital and is on antibiotics and other meds.  She appears to be regaining her strength and now we start a holistic treatment program to deal with whatever it is they found in her intestines.

Emma is still in anti photo mode but it is getting a little better.  Clooney is still happy and healthy and entertaining the household.  Ollie is as ornery as ever causing his regular kitty chaos every day.  Aggie is her same shy, non demanding self.

It fall and the kitties are loving the cooler weather and the open screen door.  Soon it will be the start of the holidays and the craziness that goes with that.....where did this year go?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Holistic Approach

So I have been doing tons of research about what we should do for the Zoey kitty.  The challenge is that the only way to know if she has cancer is to do the surgery.  This would also determine the type of cancer as well.  Without knowing that we can't do chemo therapy.  I visited several websites and found out that kitties with intestinal cancer who have the surgery extend their lives on average 8 weeks or so.  Given the severity of what they need to do it seems to me like it would take more than 8 weeks for her to recover from the whole process so I am leaning towards a firm no on the surgical option.

I have found 6 or so holistic things designed for kitties that I am looking at with my mom (who is an herbalist) that we will consider trying.  She is working on determine the ingredients for all these choices and figuring out which things are contra indicated.  The good thing about this approach is that these products do demonstrate the slowing of the growth of cancers in cats but if she doesn't have cancer they are natural products that will boost her immune system and not cause any issues.  In some strange way it makes me feel better to have a plan.

Since my last post she has done well - eating frequent small meals, drinking, going potty and today we are hanging out together on the bed.  She seems content, purring, still a little congested from here respiratory thing but all in all and pretty happy kitty.  If we could keep her at this level of health for the long term I would be thrilled.

With all the craziness going on with Zo - I have been lax at reporting on my other babies.  They are doing well. Aggie is so happy to have Zoey home.  Everyone has been curious - sniffing her vet smells.  Its a challenge to keep the other kitties out of the litter box and special foods that Zoey needs.  Clooney and Nigel are both doing well - Nigel has been playing downstairs which he seems to enjoy.  We will establish a new normal over the next few weeks.....

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Home with my babies

My Zoey girl is home.  She is still pretty weak but is eating, drinking and going potty - all good signs.  So - ultrasound revealed 2 small masses in the small intestine - could be tumors, cancer or even something she ate that was not digestible.  The only way to know for sure is to do exploratory surgery and for me she just seems to weak right now to handle that.  She is also suffering from some respiratory issues.  UGH!

So - we are trying to decide the best course of action.  Right now we are leaning towards going with the 10 days of meds and getting her stronger.  Then doing another ultrasound and seeing if the masses have changed and then deciding next steps.  Its so hard to make decisions for her without putting my selfish desire to keep her with me in the mix.  All I know is I want her to be happy and feel good for as long as she is here so that is my ultimate goal.  Lots of tears and worry happening at my house.  My other babies are very glad to have her home - so am I.  She seems pretty content - purring and giving kisses.  I am just hoping for a speedy recovery for her and that whatever the future holds it doesn't include any suffering on her part.  One day at a time.....

Better, but not well

We went to see Zoey at the vets office this morning.  I think she is better - she is demonstrating some of her "personality" as the snitty kitty she can be and she was purring and purring this morning when the hubs and I went to see her.  She is definitely brighter and feeling better as a result of the fluids.  She has a respiratory thing going on with a gunky nose.  Vet thinks it is related to the stress on her body from whatever happened yesterday.  They shaved her tummy in prep for an ultrasound later today - hopefully it will tell us more about what is happening.  Fever is gone which is good as it was really high yesterday as well.  So - more waiting today to see what the diagnosis is.....I hope my girl continues to improve today....

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Well - let's just say today was not at all what I expected - Zoey is very, very ill in the hospital and really scaring me.  She was fine last night and then today at about 10 am she started throwing up - by 3:00 I rushed her to the vet.  They did lots of tests - nothing definitive yet.  Just hoping that fluids and antibiotics work overnight and she is better in the morning.  When she got to the vet they discovered an extremely high fever, dehydration and lethargy.  Poor little girl.  The vet threw out several possibilities - some of them not so good.  Just trying not to get ahead of ourselves....should know more in the morning.  For now I am trying to calm the rest of the critters - they are so perceptive and sensing my stress.  Aggie is looking for her sister....ugh - so not what I expected today.  Loving and missing my girl.....

Random Wednesday Stuff

How about some random shots of my babies?

Emma hanging out in the man cave - this is "her" chair

Nigel napping with his stuffed hedgehog

Clooney playing in a box of craft supplies

My pretty Miss Zoey

Emma humoring her mother

Nigel playing with Phoebe's ball

Aggie hanging out at her spot on the cat tree

Phoebe and her beautiful baby blues

Ollie soaking up the afternoon sun

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Clooney and Zoey

An interesting interaction occurred between Clooney and Zoey yesterday.  Zoey was laying on the bed - Clooney came up and laid beside her - he always does this - wants so badly to be friends with her.  She was very tolerant...Then he draped himself over her back - still she was good to go.  Then he started scratching on her - almost like brushing her with his little ferret claws.  Zoey evidently liked this as she was bathing herself and purring like crazy.

Sadly this happy little story doesn't end well.  Clooney was so excited about his new found friend he proceeded to firmly bite Zoey on the chin.  Ferrets bite each others mouths when they play - he thought this was the greatest - Zoey was not impressed.  Ah well - maybe they can be friends again soon.....

Monday, October 24, 2011

Nigel's in Photo Mode

With as much as Emma is in boycott the paparazzi mode - Nigel seems to be having a love affair with the camera.  These shots were taken before a bath a couple of days ago:

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Oliver - my sweet and oh so ornery boy

He keeps me on my toes and frequently finds himself in trouble but I do adore my Oliver boy kitty:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Purple Towel

A couple of weeks ago I decided the rug in the master bath needed a laundry cycle.  In its place I put down a large purple bath towel.  Zoey decided that the purple towel was the greatest thing and firmly planted herself on said towel.

When the laundry was done I went to take the towel and put the rug back - oh good lord.  Cat wailing commenced and the kitty was so unhappy.  I decided to humor her so I folded the towel and put it in the corner out of the way.  This seemed to appease her and she has been happily laying on the towel every day.

I was going to give it a laundry cycle the other day but wailing again stopped me so she just gets to lay on the icky hairy towel I guess.  Not sure what the deal is - she protects her towel as well - giving anyone who comes to close a good whack.

Friday, October 21, 2011

All Is Well - Yippee!

My baby kitty is fine!!!  Woohoo!  Vet said that the lump is a keratin filled cyst.  Not malignant, no issues with it at all.  He doesn't know what caused it and there is nothing that you can do to prevent it but its not a problem.  I am so relieved!  Her blood work came back as well and she is perfectly healthy - well within normals for all her counts.  Great news!