From commentor Anna Maria:
Hi, remember Pita? I thought folks might appreciate an update.
So, much to my mean little Ali’s fury, I ended up keeping him. I just got so attached to him so quickly. He really is a character and a perfectly named little pest. He wants constant attention, is always in the middle, and eats EVERYTHING. No food item, bag, box, plastic wrap or piece of furniture in his path escapes his bite. It’s as if he has to set his fangs into every object just to be 100% certain it’s not edible. I’m doing some construction work in my bathroom and his favorite pastime at the moment is biting at the bits of plaster and spackle sticking out on the unfinished wall. Once while visiting my parents, my mother awoke me while holding an apple with a perfect set of Pita teeth marks having pierced its flesh. “Since when do cats eat FRUIT?!” she yelled.
Unfortunately his bite/chew/eat obsession has its downside. A few weeks ago I came home to find a battery–A METAL BATTERY–cracked open in half on the floor with battery acid sprinkled around it. Ali would never, Pita never wouldn’t. So off to the vet emergency hospital we were in the middle of the night. I brought both cats for fear Ali may have stepped in the acid and licked her paws. Luckily, neither of them showed signs of poisoning or acidic burns. But Pita required a week of preventative meds just in case. My legs are still scarred from his scratching me as I painstainkly force fed him meds through an oral syringe. “The one fucking thing you don’t want to eat?! I’m trying to save your life you little shit!” I would bellow at him. Total cost of vet ER, meds and follow up blood work: $1500. He is damn lucky he is so lovable.
Ali, however, still hates him. A mere glimpse of him across the room will produce hissing from her, the quality of which is reminiscent of a snake colony. Pita to his credit doesn’t seem to let it bother him. He is always playful and friendly. In fact, I’ve only heard him hiss twice: the first time he saw/heard the vacuum cleaner, and once when Ali walked away from her food dish too soon. He pounced on her bowl with the speed of a cheetah and started gulping at her remaining food. When I snatched the bowl from him he gave me this little hiss as if to say “curses, foiled again!”
As you can see from the photos, he’s quite content and very good at looking cute to force forgiveness for all his naughty behavior.
Gotta love the happy endings.
Apart from comparing what the vets call “depraved appetites” (our red-tabby-oriental rescue cat Rocket is a maniacal cloth-chewer, far worse than any dog we’ve ever had), what’s on the agenda for the day?
shhhhhh….. wabbits awe sweeping….
@OzarkHillbilly: Crazy wabbit, trix are for kids.
Our cat that just died last year was a crazy eater, not as bad as Pita but crazy. She would eat anything & often became frantic when we were eating because she wanted whatever it was we had. It took a while to train her to accept she would have to wait until we were done before she got a treat. She loved frozen peas, bananas and popcorn. Really just any human food except sweets. She was as skinny as a rail.
Car pooler just texted me he is sick so I have to drive t work myself today, work is just that, work.
Our other kitty has a cold, sneezing & coughing & a little listless the last couple days. Vet said she should be OK in a day or two.
Nice story about Pita; I missed the tale about how he came to be part of the family in the first place, so I’m glad you linked it. I guess you just have to keep a kitten who shows up on your fifth floor apartment’s window ledge!
I didn’t realize cats could be destructive chewers like some dogs are. We’ve been lucky with our dogs; none chew anything they’re not supposed to after puppyhood.
My sister recently acquired a puppy — the pup’s mother is a chocolate lab, baby-daddy unknown. She’s the cutest little pup, but such a chewer (teething)! We spent all evening taking away inappropriate chewing objects and replacing them with chew toys.
@BillinGlendaleCA: Do you know how to catch a unique wabbit?
I let the Gabster out to do her business around 4am. She cornered a skunk near the deck and we all know what followed. I rubbed Gaby down with Nature’s Miracle–she’s out on the deck drying out. My nose is so filled with skunk that I cannot tell whether the dining room and living room stink or if its just my imagination. I’m going to call the groomers as soon as they open to see if they can do an emergency deskunking.
Anna Marie: Pita is adorable.
Gaby is, too. It’s all that saves them….
@OzarkHillbilly: You neak up on dem. Do you know how to catch a tame wabbit?
Tame way! U neak up on dem!
@Kristine: A tomato juice bath is the remedy I’ve always heard about. Don’t know if it’s truly effective and have fortunately never had to test it.
@Betty Cracker: Nature’s Miracle is pretty good stuff. The other remedy I’ve heard of is baking soda/dish soap/peroxide. Folks swear by it. After they’re done swearing.
I had the privilege of house-sitting for friends last week, leaving me with Ben the Beagle and Madam the Cat. This proved the adage “To a dog you’re family; to a cat you’re staff.” Ben loved his walks, sniffing every blade of grass in the lawn to the point that I would get impatient and prompt him “C’mon, Sam…” reflexively using my late dog’s name since that was the last time I walked a dog.
It took a while for Madam to warm up to me, and she never actually came up to me except at feeding time. After four days she would deign to let me skritch her behind the ears if I happened to pass by.
I truly miss having an animal companion, but given that I’m out of the house 12 hours a day, a dog is not possible, and I’m not really a cat person.
My cats don’t ear fruit, but they do eat kale.
It’s called pica, and people can have it too:
Cats and Pica
It can be triggered by malnutrition or a spate of near-starvation or maybe a brain aberration. No one seems to know.
@WereBear: Lil Bit is a rescue and she is just nuts about food.
The four-year-old has a rehearsal for his first play tonight. He’s a last-minute fill-in, two shows, three lines. I figure that’s a good way for him to see if he likes this acting thing.
@raven: RJ almost died from starvation before the police took custody of him. My way of treating The Hungry Problem is to push food at them with a snow shovel.
RJ is pretty normal, now. But we still feed dry (even though canned is better for them) because seeing an empty bowl can bring it back to him.
Iowa Old Lady
The editor who acquired my book has “left” my publisher. I plan to spend the day freaking out.
@Iowa Old Lady: How awful! Can you withdraw the book?
Because it’s “orphaned” now. Nobody else will treat it right.
@Iowa Old Lady: That is rough.
What a great post for the morning.
The last rescue I took for foster and got stuck with is named Rosa (I already had a Rosie, so it gets confusing at times). Skinny stray boxer mix who so far has chewed the lace curtain panel behind her cage, the tv plug and cord out of the wall socket (can’t believe she didn’t fry herself), 3 rugs or pet beds, a king sized comforter, and chewed holes into two walls in different rooms. Because she was bored. Even though she’s left with chew toys or rawhide when I go to work. And some of that destruction was done through the bars of her cage. She is lovable otherwise, which is what keeps her alive.
Good morning, Pita. You are a very pretty boy!
Duh. Ya think?
NYTimes: New Generic Ballot Surveys don’t show signs of Republican Wave
CNN’s audience moved from R+1 to D+5 in a recent poll, and Fox’s audience is allegedly “even”.
As Martin Longman’s written at Washington Monthly, I like our chances this fall.
Even with “the view from nowhere” “objective” media writing all the “this might be bad for Democrats!!” stories.
And Obama so weak and polarizing and all.
Iowa Old Lady
@WereBear: I don’t think my contract allows me to withdraw the book. At least, I can’t see a clause to that effect.
@Iowa Old Lady:
Good luck with that. Aargh! Are you able to find the departed editor for any advice?
Wish you well. Accomplishment to have written a book!
Iowa Old Lady
@Elizabelle: The departed editor is probably irrelevant at this point. I’m taking deep breaths. Thanks for the good wishes.
Glad Pita found a home. Pita is cute as a button
I assume the radio silence from WV means Cole has finally found somewhere to dry out?
A Humble Lurker
I believe there was a My Cat From Hell episode with a cat that had a similar habit. Named Gus, I think. In that case the cat was just bored and the owners weren’t playing with him or wearing him out enough.
Watch: Daddy-daughter dance off goes viral
by Lilly Workneh | July 28, 2014 at 3:21 PM
Yay, morning pet stories are my favorite things about Balloon-Juice. It’s especially important today since I just learned of that one of my favorite people at NPR, Margo Adler, passed away yesterday. She was an amazingly good reporter and correspondent.
Back when my job required long drives during both rush hours, Adler was a favorite voice giving me really interesting information.
There are people who like to hurrumpf around proclaiming how they will never give to NPR again. That is short-sighted. There are many professionals at NPR committed to doing the work needed to give us information about what’s going on. Unfortunately, there is one fewer this morning.
Can’t truly recommend it, as it has grown clunky and much too well worn since its debut, but Detective Story is on TCM this Wednesday at 8 p.m. Eastern.
However, as an ensemble piece, it is certainly worth a gander. And the actor playing the Lieutenant practically gives a master class in the technique of successfully underplaying a character (which, against the teeth-gritting short-fused vigor of Kirk Douglas, was a gutsy choice by him and/or the director).
@Keith G: I’m so sorry to hear of Adler’s passing! While recognizing that NPR has its faults, I am also a fan, and despite having sworn off donating a time or two when something someone says on the station pisses me off, I always relent and pony up when they come around with the begging bowl. NPR is a consistently educational and entertaining station that is a vitally important voice in our national media and a necessary counterpart to the corporate-owned outfits.
Now, in case you haven’t figured it out, these builders didn’t allow Section 8 into their buildings out of the goodness of their hearts.
THEY GOT A BIG TAX BREAK in exchange for allowing the Section 8.
I guess the tax break must be about up, so they want to get rid of the Section 8 folks.
Hence, this clown.
Notice, no mention of the tax breaks for the builders.
Congressman wants to end CHA “supervouchers”
CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock is seeking an end to a Chicago Housing Authority program that puts some of the city’s poorest residents into its highest priced apartments.
Schock says CHA “supervouchers” allows a select few families to receive $3,000 to $4,000 a month in rent assistance that puts them in “some of the nicest luxury units.”
Schock says the agency awards vouchers up to 300 percent of market value. The Peoria Republican wants to bring that down to 120 percent.
Inside the tail, Yisroel Brownstein looked out from his position trapped beneath the dying man. He could see flames burning on the runway in the distance where fuel had been spilled. As if from a cave, he watched as the fire diminished and flickered and went out. He said that the silence was like none he has ever heard since then. “I thought maybe this was death. Like if there was a waiting room for death. I felt like that’s where I was.”
GOP Governor Who Won’t Expand Medicaid Blames Obama For High Uninsured Rate In State
By: Justin Baragona
Monday, July, 28th, 2014, 4:24 pm
Due to the Affordable Care Act, the percentage of uninsured people in this country has decreased dramatically over the past few months. However, there is one state where there has actually been an increase in those who lack health insurance. A study done by WalletHub finds that Mississippi is the only state that has seen its uninsured population increase since the implementation of Obamacare. Prior to the first enrollment period on the health care exchanges, Mississippi’s uninsured rate was 18.11%. It has since climbed to 21.46%, which is the second highest uninsured rate in the nation, trailing only Texas.
When presented with this information by The Daily Journal, Republican Gov. Phil Bryant knew exactly where to point the finger of blame.
“If statistics show that the ill-conceived and so-called Affordable Care Act is resulting in higher rates of uninsured people in Mississippi, I’d say that’s yet another example of a broken promise from Barack Obama.”
@satby: I was about to write you (or maybe I did?) to say that I could take care of your dogs if you wanted to go down to help with the kids on the border. But I may be re-thinking that after your post. :-)
Er … Saying “break a leg” just doesn’t seem right.
Good luck — and enjoy!
Hugs all around.
That is sad. She was one of the folks who did not make me gag.
I guess Anna Maria can start calling 5th floor cat Pica.
Not pet related but:
Swedish voice actress does three characters from Wicked and KILLS IT.
Love this update! I would recommend Feliway which is mother cat pheromones. We bought the plug-in diffuser. Our cat Octavia HATED our other cat Baylor when we brought him home from the shelter. And she hated us too though she was fine before and had loved our previous cat before he passed away. Within 24 hours of using Feliway, she was not hissing and clawing. And within 48 hours, she could be within a few feet of him. We used it for 1 1/2 months max and haven’t used it since then. Now they are best buddies!
Ordinary batteries (technically dry cells) of the sort a cat could chew don’t contain acid. They’re called alkaline batteries for a reason. Still not good to eat (toxic stuff) and an emergency vet visit was certainly appropriate. The corrosive battery acid is found in the lead-acid battery found under the hood (bonnet in some countries) of your auto, and that *is* nasty stuff that will burn you on contact.
@Keith G: I heard about her passing yesterday. I remember reading “Drawing Down the Moon” years and years ago – it was a very important book to me.
Karen in GA
Okay, you know how people say they spat all over their monitors, but they really didn’t? I just spat all over my laptop. (Laughing, I mean — I don’t just randomly spit. You’re thinking of llamas.)
Karen in GA
@Iowa Old Lady: I’m so sorry! I don’t know much about the publishing world, so I can’t offer any advice other than continuing the deep breaths.
Congrats on writing the book and getting the contract, though, for what it’s worth. (It is a hell of an accomplishment — not sure that helps right now, though.)
Question — does this have to spell doom for you?
@Bill D.: Not all dry cells are alkaline.
@Iowa Old Lady: My condolences.
@Cervantes: OK, I was simplifying; I was thinking of lithium cells as the other option but I forgot that a lot of people use rechargeables. Still, none of these have acidic chemistry as far as I can tell. OTOH I can see a pet or child having to undergo chelation therapy for a while after ingesting potentially toxic levels of, say, nickel from a rechargeable.
@Iowa Old Lady: I have friends who have been orphaned. Some transitioned just fine, while others had problems. See who is assigned your book, and talk to them. If you know any other writers with that house, talk to them about their editors. It may be possible to request an assignment to someone you think might work.
Iowa Old Lady
@Karen in GA: Kristine says she’s seen it work. I’ll know more in a day or two. The bad email was there this morning when I got up.
@Kristine: Thanks for the reassurance and ideas. We’ll see how it goes.
@Bill D.: Yes, alkaline batteries are so called because the electrolyte they use is basic (for example, potassium hydroxide). The (older, or even original) zinc-carbon or zinc-chloride dry cells use a slightly acid electrolyte.
Great story! He is adorable. Glad Anna Marie kept him.
Loved the bit about as Ali’s hissing sounding like a “snake colony.”
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
Pita is an adorable pita. Much to Ali’s dismay, obviously. Thanks for sharing the story and pictures.
Charlotte likes crunchy things, which unfortunately means that she’ll chew on any piece of plastic or other crunchy object that gets left laying around. I did make her a cat toy with a knitted cover over one of those little paper baggies of silicon balls that they put in purses, and she LURVES it. She will fetch it over and over again.
@Iowa Old Lady: I don’t know how big the house is, but sometimes the editor’s assistant gets promoted and inherits some of the books. If that proves the case, you may be dealing with someone who sees things the same way as your editor, so the transition might not be bad.
It’s a roll of the dice and not fun, especially with your first book. Here’s hoping that it works out for you.
My (wife’s birthday present) cat has a thing for long strips of cloth. We had a toy that was essentially 9″ of cloth on a stick and before we had a clue he had this much of an issue, had left it down low enough for him to get. Ate 2/3rds of it and blocked up his digestive track and was basically dying from dehydration. Took him in to the vet and had the terrible news, surgery or dead cat, now. Needless to say he got his surgery, but he gets called Versace Cat (coulda bought a handbag for that price) or, when he starts on something he shouldn’t be eating, Prader-Willi Cat.
What a wonderful story. I also have a tuxie male, age 5, and a tabby female, age 8. However, they adore each other and sleep curled up next to each other. They also groom each other. Of course, the tabby is incredibly outgoing and loves everyone and everything she’s ever met. I hope your two cats learn to love each other or at least tolerate each other.
Thanks for the comments everyone.
@WereBear: I’m not sure it’s pica as opposed to need for attention or just generic kitty naughtiness/curiosity. When he showed up on my window ledge, there was no sign of malnutrition of any kind–in fact, he was quite large for his age and very healthy (still is). He did have a broken tail tip, so he could have experienced some kind of trauma that might be the cause as well. But he really does have the most ridiculous appetite. He once managed to bust open a pack of bread rolls and ate nearly all of them–that was 6 large sandwich rolls–and that was after he’d eaten his dinner.
I neglected to mention Pita’s love for carbs–he goes bezerk at the sight of bread or the rustling of a package of crackers. He will try to swat salt and vinegar potato chips right out my hand as they are headed to my mouth. I think that’s why he’s obsessed with the plaster and spackle–it reminds him of bread.
@Bill D.: Actually it was one of those little specialty lithium batteries. Ironically, it was the battery for his favorite laser toy, which I left on the table on purpose to remind myself to pick up replacements the next time I went to the store. Never imagining of course that he’d be remotely interested in it, let alone bust it open with his little fangs. True, my used of “acid” was poetic license, but that powder is very corrosive to a little creature’s intestinal track and it may as well have been acid for the absolute meltdown I had when I realized what he’d done.
That is ridiculous.
He’s lucky to have you — and maybe even vice versa.
Wow, he really looks like my dearly departed Speak. Give him some loving for me (but not too much, Speak hated to have loving forced on him).
Cats may not eat fruit, but they will definitely bite and claw it. Especially peaches, nectarines, grapes and cherries – cat toy sized food, that may or may not find their way to the floor to be stepped on in the night by an unsuspecting human. And one of my cats does eat corn silks. He will chew a little on a corn husk, but the silks he completely devours. Another one eats anything crunchy, if a people is eating it too – Cheezits, graham crackers, cashews, peanuts, corn nuts. Graham crackers and cheezits are the favorites – those she will steal (or lick and chew on) even (especially) if someone isn’t eating them at the time.
@JaneE: I just want to chime in here to suggest people check labels before they let their cats eat people food. I had no idea that there was onion salt in the pepperidge farm goldfish cheese crackers, and my kitty was crazy for them so I let him eat them. Bad, bad, bad.
Save yourself from wondering, as I do, if the onion salt contributed to the anemia that killed him, or whether the anemia was a secondary condition resulting from the kidney failure, as it sometimes is.
No onion or garlic, even if it’s onion salt or garlic salt.
Keaton likes cantaloupe. Not sure why, but he does. And Charlotte loves bread.
Both of my cats are chewers. I have been through a lot of coaxial cable, ethernet cables, and laptop chargers. I’ve found that my cats will chew on the puppy kongs, in which I put anchovy paste. The chew toys cut down on the chewing a bit. I also got them the smallest plastic dog bones I could find, which are still a little large for them. They’ll both eat wierd stuff – popcorn, any kind of chips, corn, potato, pita, sweet potato, etc. One of my cats will steal steamed green beans right off the stove. I had no idea cats could be chewers until I got these two. It was right out of the My Cat From Hell episode about the chewing cat. They have grown out of it somewhat. I no longer have to replace my ethernet cables on a monthly basis.
@WaterGirl: LOL! I went to work and just saw this now. Yeah, she’s a handful. But sweet.
Hee, hee, hee! — Does Pita, stand for (P=Pain I=in T=The A=Ass)? He is a sweetheart! I hope he and the other cat can truly get along someday! — I would have his Iron level checked! And ask the Vet about something called PICA it’s a condition both cats and humans can and do have! It’s usually in response to a deficiency that the body is experiencing for some reason. They animals and humans alike eat everything in sight in hopes of full filling the vitamin or iron void in their systems. My cat had it when he first came to us! To some extent overfeeding may have to temporarily exist to get things in order again, but a fat cat is better than a dead cat from having eaten something deadly!
Explanation of Pica: — http://pets.webmd.com/cats/guide/unusual-cat-cravings
@AMD: Definitely scary! The chemistry of those batteries is quite caustic and hazardous if ingested, aside from the dire choking hazard. I’m glad your cat is OK.
Paul in KY
May take another year or three for Ali not to hiss at him.