Meowing at the Solstice Moon

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I have two Bengal cats, Hamlet (shown above) and Ophelia (below), who are half-siblings and ten years old. This isn’t considered old for a breed that supposedly lives to be 20, but both have developed hyperthyroidism. Symptoms included weight loss, increased appetite, throwing up and somewhat erratic behavior. While I learned on PetMD.com that hyperthyroidism was relatively common for cats over 9 years old and therefore the likely cause, as a responsible pet owner I nonetheless wanted it confirmed by my veterinarian.

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So I started with Ophelia, who had gotten especially skinny. Somewhere in the vicinity of $1400 later, I was told she had hyperthyroidism. <sigh> She is now on medication that costs more than mine, her lab work is in normal range, but she still hasn’t gained weight, even though she’s eating about 50% more than before. I should be so lucky to increase my intake like that and lose weight! In my dreams!

So, as my budget allows, Hamlet will be next. For now, I have him on an herbal remedy I found online for hyperthyroidism. In spite of the fact they claim it has “bacon flavor” it smells like a distasteful herbal remedy. I put 50 milliliters in his food twice a day, which of course annoys him since it apparently makes it taste funny. If you have a cat, then you know how they are about strange smells and tastes. The good news is since they’re hungry all the time, he eventually eats it. The bad news is that I’m now feeding these two four times a day instead of twice. The even-worse news is that sometimes their midnight snack doesn’t hold them long enough so breakfast occurs on demand at 6:00 or 7:00 a.m. As a retiree, trust me when I say those times are now considered in the middle of the night.

hammiefishtankCLCBengals are typically 1/8 Asian leopard, giving them some wild blood. This accounts for their interesting spotted and marbled patterns and coloration, plus their behavior is different than the usual garden-variety feline, too. For example, Ophelia will fetch her toys like a dog. She has a propensity for tight places, which has resulted in numerous near-emergencies over the years. They can jump like you wouldn’t believe, love high places, like on top of cabinets, and they’re quite vocal. Even as I write, Hamlet is standing in front on my computer monitor meowing for his afternoon snack. This is often not a normal “meow” but more of a howl-yowl-growl medley that sounds downright creepy to the uninitiated.

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And that sound at o’dark:30 is pretty grating. Upon exiting dreamland, my first response is usually to yell, “Shut-up, Hamlet!” That works for about ten seconds. He persists, and when I still don’t get up, he starts to play dirty. He starts digging on my top-down/bottom-up window shades which are quite vulnerable to his claws. That gets me out of bed, and usually in a less than happy frame of mind, as I stumble into the kitchen, haul out a can of cat food, and dish it up. Usually that shuts him up and I get to go back to sleep for a few more precious hours.

So a few days ago, I wake up to the usual howling and notice it’s still dark outside. I check the clock: 5:15 a.m. I am not a happy camper. We exchange the usual dialog with me finally serving their breakfast along with various uncomplimentary comments. I go back to bed, just get comfortable, and the yowling starts again, punctuated as usual by molesting my blinds! OMG! I am furious! How dare he complain about the food at this hour? He persists, I get up again, do some more yelling and even give him a well-deserved swat so he jumps down from the windowsill and away from the blinds.

At which point I notice that it’s amazingly light outside. Really bright. What the heck was out there? I push up the shade and get a brilliant blast right in my face. The Full Moon, listing toward the western horizon. I live in the country where it’s dark and it was an amazing sight, especially over the lake, where it was reflected in what can only be described as incredibly breathtaking. I enjoy it, awestruck, for a few magic moments, then finally go back to bed.

Bengals Boxing 004Later that day, in complaining to my neighbor, a fellow pet lover, about Hamlet’s antics that morning it suddenly all made sense. Hamlet wasn’t asking for breakfast at 5:15. He was telling me to look at the Moon! Stupid human! Of course I felt horrifically guilty for yelling insulting names at him, to say nothing of that swat on the behind. I’d never seen anything quite like that Solstice Full Moon before and neither had he.

He’d been pouting under the coffee table all morning, so of course I gave him a profuse apology accompanied by a peace offering of some fresh catnip from the yard.

But I still felt incredibly guilty.

 

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26 thoughts on “Meowing at the Solstice Moon

  1. I love that bottom picture. Your story about the cats waking you up reminded me of my parents’ cat Tigger. Tigger was an indoor/outdoor cat in the days when that was the norm. She’d usually come in at night and want out in the morning (or breakfast and then out). First, she’d paw at my dad. If that didn’t work, she’d start shredding the tissues in the box on the headboard. Still no response? She’d rake her claws across the heat register in the bedroom. Fortunately, my dad was still working and had to get up early so it never got to that point.

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  2. Your cats are beautiful. I have 2 cats that are hyperthyroid, I had 3, but one passed in April of CKD. I buy their medicine from the Walmart Pharmacy for 1/3 the cost of what the vet sells it for, you may want to consider that.

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    • I’ll check but I doubt I can get it at Walmart because it is compounded so I can apply it to her ear. Even the local compounding pharmacy can’t do it, it comes from a special veterinary pharmacy in Arizona. It’s difficult enough to administer, much less give her a pill or shot. I would wind up in a rubber room in a few days if I had to do either of those. As it is, I have to sneak up on her to apply it to her ear because I swear she can read my mind and hides whenever I get it out. She does not make it easy.

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  3. So sorry about Hamlet and Ophelia’s medical conditions. I just heard this morning the moon was called a Strawberry Moon because it’s strawberry picking season. Many people capture images of its redness. Unfortunately, it didn’t look red where I am, but big and bright, nonetheless.

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      • Kiara is a really good photographer and she once commented about slowing down f-stops or something to take night photos, but I don’t think my generic little camera has such a thing.

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      • I loved my old Pentax where you could control the shutter speed and F-stops, which allowed you to control the focal point. For example, if you wanted to blur the background it was easy by using a lower F-stop while F-22 focused at infinity and thus everything. It also told you when the exposure was correct. I have no clue if my digital will do any of that much less how to do it. I suppose I could find one that does that but it would probably cost a fortune. I miss being able to control the pictures like I could with that old classic film camera.

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      • I love photos, but have never been very good at taking them. I’m sure you know much more about this than I do. Btw, thus far, 13 likes on the reblogged post.

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  4. Pingback: Meowing at the Solstice Moon — Marcha’s Two-Cents Worth – Jeanne Foguth's Blog

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