Charley, checking out the cat-calming pheromones I sprayed into the carrier | Jane Boursaw Photo
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(The continuing adventures of Charley, the little black cat that Tim sent me the day after he passed. Read all about her shenanigans here. -jb)

This week, Charley had her annual checkup at Oakwood Veterinary Hospital. It’s never fun for anyone involved. I start dreading it weeks beforehand, because if you recall, she absolutely hates getting stuffed into her little carrier and taking a road trip to the vet’s office.

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Last year, I decided to try a different soft carrier that zips up, which was a really dumb move on my part because getting her into the carrier and keeping her there while zipping up the top was just not going to happen. She ended up escaping upstairs to her cat cave under my bed, and we had to flip the mattress over to retrieve her. Let’s not do that again.

This year, I once again decided to try a different carrier – will I ever learn? This one is a smaller hard-shelled carrier that I thought might help Charley to feel safer and more protected. Another dumb move. My son Will and I surveyed the smaller top and decided not to chance it. Trying to fit a struggling cat through the opening would likely result in things going horribly awry again. No. Just no.

So, we ended up using the carrier that she came home in from Maura’s house out by the Lighthouse more than two years ago. That’s quite the story.

I think we’ll just stick with that carrier from now on! With a little cat-bed in there, she can snuggle in and make herself tiny and try to disappear into a corner of the carrier. All the while shooting darts at me out of her eyes.

Charley is not happy about her annual checkup at Oakwood Veterinary Hospital | Jane Boursaw Photo
Charley is not happy about her annual checkup at Oakwood Veterinary Hospital | Jane Boursaw Photo

Throughout the year, Will has been getting her used to being picked up, so that definitely helped. Well, sort of. The jig was up as soon as she figured out what was happening. But we managed to get her into the carrier and snap the top shut before she was able to escape and race upstairs.

On the advice of her vet, Dr. Mason, one new thing I did this year was buy some cat calming pheromone spray and spray a little into the carrier. It’s supposed to help with anxiety, and I think it really did. She was extremely vocal after we put her into the carrier, but by the time I turned off Bluff Road onto Center Road, she settled down and took it like the brave girl that she is.

Charley, checking out the cat-calming pheromones I sprayed into the carrier | Jane Boursaw Photo
Charley, checking out the cat-calming pheromones I sprayed into the carrier | Jane Boursaw Photo

Charley had a good appointment, and Dr. Mason said she’s in great health. She lost a little weight, clocking in at 8.5 pounds — down three ounces since last year. But he’s not worried and said that anything under 10 pounds is a good goal for her. He also gave her a Rabies vaccine. I asked if she needed it since she’s an indoor cat, but apparently, a Rabies vaccine is actually required every year. She did fine with it.

I mentioned that she’s been throwing up a lot lately, so he suggested we try her on Royal Canin Dry Cat Food. I’ve tried her on a variety of foods lately, including Purina One Sensitive Tummy food, with varying degrees of success (less throwing up). I have something like five different kinds of cat food at the moment. But we’ll definitely try the Royal Canin.

A note about plants … to help figure out why she’s throwing up, I made sure all my houseplants were out of reach. Even though all my plants are supposedly non-toxic to cats, Dr. Mason said even the “safe” ones can cause issues.

I asked him if cats need some sort of plant material to help them digest foods (you know how outdoor cats eat grass all the time), and whether wheatgrass would be ok. He said that’d be fine. So once again, we are back on the wheatgrass! I found organic wheatgrass at Oryana Food Co-op for a couple bucks, and will also try to grow some myself.

In fact, I also picked up some hippie cat food called Lotus from the Co-op that she seems to be doing really well with (she likes it and hasn’t thrown up lately). Maybe that food, along with the wheatgrass and keeping the houseplants out of reach is the right combo of things to keep her healthy.

After we got home, it didn’t take her long to forgive us and get back to the important work of inspecting the woodpile.

Charley inspecting the wood pile | Jane Boursaw Photo
Charley inspecting the wood pile | Jane Boursaw Photo

And, of course, soaking up some heat.

Charley and her woodstove | Jane Boursaw Photo
Charley and her woodstove | Jane Boursaw Photo

Read all Charley stories here.

Also Read…

A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper.

Because Old Mission Gazette is a "Reader Supported Newspaper" -- meaning it exists because of your financial support -- I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks our way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. In a time when local news is becoming a thing of the past, supporting an independent community newspaper is more important now than ever.

To keep the Gazette going, click here to make a donation. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

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