My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1089: Drawing and Adventures with Richard the Cat

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 07-28-2013 11:54 AM 2028 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1088: Checking In Part 1089 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 1090: Getting Back on Track »

First off – I want to thank you all for the nice warm welcome back. It feels good to know that so many of you missed my daily postings and that I am not just babbling on here to myself each day when I write. Although, sometimes I don’t think that would be terrible, as somehow writing things down really helps me sort my thoughts and make a plan of action. In any case, I missed talking with many of you each day and it is good to be back in the swing of things.

I did get some drawing time in yesterday. I am working on a couple of series of designs that I think will be pretty nice. They will all be related, but they will be sold in sets of three designs per pattern. As usual my mind thinks of too many variations to be practical. So I just had to draw the line and pick a number out of the air and go from there.

I spent the past week working on the line drawings. Even though I only spent an hour or so here or there, I think I have what I need to make thing work how I see them in my mind. Now comes the fun part of assembling the pieces, and of course cutting the designs themselves.

I am still not ready to let you know what the entire idea is yet, but I did make a teaser of a portion of the design:

As you can see, it is going to be a bit of fun cutting. I hope it will be just enough detail so that even those new to the scroll saw will be able to successfully make it. I am beginning to get excited about them as they come together, and I am looking forward to seeing them finished and ready.

As I was minding my own business drawing, I began to notice that my cat Richard was showing signs of discomfort. He had gone into his box several times and at times gave a little cry. Now he is pretty vocal to begin with, so at first I thought nothing of it, but after several times in and out it dawned on me that he was having issues. He was also licking in between his visits which was much more than the general clean-up that cats do.

I mentioned this to Keith who was getting ready go out for a bit and he agreed that something was up. Of course it was Saturday afternoon and we wondered if we did run into trouble what our options would be. I called our usual vet but wasn’t optimistic that they would be able to see him. Last week when Pancakes (our other cat) tore a nail from his foot, they gave a date to see him to be sometime in August. I have been nursing that ouchie by bathing it in a mix of peroxide and water, as per their instructions and thankfully it seems to be healing nicely.

But bowel issues are another story. Anyone who has had trouble in this area knows the pain and discomfort that accompanies not being able to evacuate, and a cat is no different. I called the vet and there was a message on their machine that in an emergency another vet, a little farther from town, would be on call. I copied the number “just in case” things got worse. The message stated that it would be a minimum $100 charge for them to see a pet in an emergency and anything that is done would be additional. Apparently they didn’t want people jumping the gun and bringing in non-emergent pets just because they were impatient.

As the afternoon went on, I continued drawing, but Rich seemed to get worse. He was very unsettled and as time went on, he seemed more and more distressed. Finally, at about 5pm, I called the emergency number, as I didn’t want things to go to the evening hours with no help. I was amazed at how NICE the vet was – even though I had bothered him on a Saturday afternoon – and he spent a good 10 minutes talking to me about the problem and trying to give a decent diagnosis over the phone. When all was said and done, we decided to wait it out a bit longer, but he told me not to hesitate to call back if the problem escalated. In the mean time, I was to give him some Vitamin C and some “Laxatone” to help him move the bowel. (The Vitamin C was actually to ward off urinary crystals, which was the main concern the vet had, as it could be very dangerous to him)

I took a ride to both the area pharmacies, which unfortunately both closed at 5pm. It was just after and I wished I had called a bit earlier. I returned home, and my neighbor Lee had said that vaseline could be used to help (administered orally) which I had also read. But that meant that it would need to go through the whole plumbing system to be effective.

When Keith returned, he was going to take me for a bit to eat. Just as we were leaving, we looked in on Rich and he was listless and didn’t look good. Both of us were rather shocked at how he looked, and while it is hard to describe, as cat parents, we just KNEW he was in distress. I immediately called the vet back and he agreed to meet us at the office just out of Yarmouth. By then it was nearly 7pm and it would take us nearly an hour to get there.

Long story short, the vet arrived shortly after we did. He had to open the office up just for us and fortunately he was able to help Richard get things moving. Apparently it was an impacted bowel after all, and thankfully not the crystallization of his urine. The vet said this was much easier to treat, and much less dangerous. Richard did however have a fever, as infection already had started.

I’m not trying to gross anyone out with all this kitty poop stuff, but it was quite traumatic for all of us and it happens frequently in older cats. I suppose with having three cats that are all nearly 10 years old, I need to expect an occasional trip to the vet as they age.

I must say that I absolutely loved this vet. He obvious has a deep love for animals, as at no time whatsoever did he make me feel as if I was bothering him. Even with the first lengthy phone conversation he was patient and genuinely concerned for Rich (and he wasn’t getting paid for that) Out of this distressing episode, I think I found a new place to take the ‘babies.’ When I mentioned about the long wait to bring in Pancakes regarding his foot, this vet seemed shocked that they wouldn’t see him right away. They are located only five minutes further and are a smaller office, so perhaps they would be a better place to go.

Living in the country is wonderful and peaceful and beautiful, but it does have some disadvantages. When I lived in Chicago, all night emergency clinics were common and although they were a bit more expensive than the regular vet, they were at least available. I can’t tell you how grateful I am that this doctor was available.

Rich was the perfect patient. Although we had a carrier, he sat curled up in my lap the whole time in the car. We didn’t even need to put him in it in the office, as we were the only ones there. Even through the painful procedure, all he did was cry out a bit and then when it was finished, you could actually see the relief on his little furry face. Poor thing!

I found myself very emotional with the whole thing. I am sure that the other events going on have to do with that too. I feel fragile lately and don’t want to travel far out of my own little space here. Perhaps it is my way of wanting to keep the world at bay.

So all is well this Sunday morning and we are back on track. Rich is sleeping comfortably and I am sure that he understands the process of getting him to the vet to help. He was good as gold the entire time.

I hope to do some drawing today and finish up at least the first phase of these designs. It is a foggy morning and much calmer than it has been of late. Perhaps it can remain that way.

I wish you all a wonderful Sunday.

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

8 comments so far

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2854 days

#1 posted 07-28-2013 12:48 PM

I have a soft heart for our pets also. They are your kids when the 2-legged ones leave the nest. We give our boys laxatone everyday to help with the hairballs. With as much as they like it, I’ve thought of takin some myself… lol. Hope your Sunday is gr8 with the same for the week ahead. :)

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2970 days

#2 posted 07-28-2013 01:01 PM

LOL, Roger! When I was in the States, they had flavoured Laxatone. (Beef, Fish, etc.) You think they would make it for humans in a ‘beer’ flavour for the guys and a ‘chocolate’ flavour for us gals!

Yes – Rich has been with me through thick and thin. He is more like a dog than a cat. The smartest of the bunch (don’t tell the other two) and he was so good too. I know he knew we were getting him help. About half way home he was curled up in my lap in the car and let out a huge ‘sigh!’ I knew at that moment he would be OK. Poor sweet thing was probably so relieved to be without pain! The doc was fabulous though and even though it cost me $200 in the end, it was worth it.

I hope you have a great day as well! :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Rick13403's profile


256 posts in 3554 days

#3 posted 07-28-2013 01:38 PM

Hi Sheila, So glad that things “worked out” ok for Richard and you. It is quite upsetting when you don’t know what is going on, just that something is wrong. I would move to the new vet asap. He sounds like one of a kind.
Have a good day,

-- Rick - DeWalt 788 & Ex21 -

View nancyann's profile


106 posts in 1943 days

#4 posted 07-28-2013 03:10 PM

Glad things worked out for Rch.It’s upsetting to watch our babies in pain and not know what to do.

-- Nancy Antley

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2970 days

#5 posted 07-28-2013 03:20 PM

Thank you both Rick and Nancy. Yes, it is almost like having a sick child. I do think I will continue to go to the new vet. He was very kind and caring and while it may seem expensive to some, to think that he had to come and open the office for a personal visit was really good. I couldn’t imagine having to wait until Monday to care for Rich. I am happy to report he is very much back to his normal self, albeit tired. I am very relieved.

I hope you both have a nice Sunday. :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View CFrye's profile


10272 posts in 1890 days

#6 posted 07-28-2013 07:32 PM

Not much more helpless a feeling as not knowing what or how to fix someone you love, especially when they can’t tell you. You are blessed to have a supportive partner in Keith. So glad Richard is better! The new pattern looks pretty, like an applique off a quilt. Looking forward to seeing the rest. Thanks for sharing and God bless.

-- God bless, Candy

View Celticscroller's profile


1269 posts in 2123 days

#7 posted 07-28-2013 08:41 PM

Hi Sheila,
I’m glad to hear things worked out well for your little buddy. That vet sounds great! Caring service is not dead yet!
The new pattern looks intriguing. I’m trying to put a season on it without much luck! Looking forward to see it all.
Have a great day. Another sunny summer one here – that’s almost a month with sunshine and no rain!

-- Anna, Richmond BC

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2970 days

#8 posted 07-28-2013 09:08 PM

Hi, Anna and CFrye. It is good to hear from you.

Yes – seeing my little friend in distress was troubling. I remember when my kids were young and didn’t talk yet and were sick. It was that same feeling of helplessness. I think that is why parents learn to tune in so well to their children. And much of that carries over to their pets.

The new pattern is coming along. It should only be a day or two before I will show the first batch. It was a busy day today, but most of it was spent catching up on the housework and laundry and the other things that have been neglected.

Weather was nice today, but yesterday it reminded me of autumn. There was that cool nip in the air. But that is OK – Autumn is my favorite season.

I hope you get some rain soon, Anna. Your flowers are going to need it. Take care and have a good evening.

:) Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

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