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Dear Diary: today a strange Icelandic woman fiddled my pee-pee

Poor Jack has been having…difficulties. You know…peeing difficulties.

We took him to the local vet this afternoon. She weighed him, squoze his bladder, examined his skin, listened to his heart and said, “you’ll need to get me a urine sample before I can tell you anything. That’ll be £44, please.” About seventy bucks. Sheesh.

To get this here urine sample, we have to isolate him in the downstairs bathroom with a litterbox full of little plastic balls overnight. Then, in the morning, when he has (please god) made pee, I have to suck it up in a pipette and run it in to the vet’s. I have a feeling he’s going to hit that bathroom like a cyclone and scream all night. I plan to drink a lot.

Picture is Jack in the bread oven. Uncle B took it yesterday with his fancy new camera. Here it is — half a meg’s worth of large and in color.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 22, 2014, 10:47 pm

Y’all realize Jack is a year old now. Does that look like a grownup tomcat face to you?

Comment from Can’t Hark My Cry
Time: September 22, 2014, 10:48 pm

Y’know “picture is Jack in the bread oven” was almost heart-stopping; glad to know that the oven wasn’t (apparently) heated and functioning, with Jack slated to become loaves!

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: September 22, 2014, 10:57 pm

For the camera geeks out there that was taken at…. wait for it!… 12,800 ASA, handheld at 1/30th.

For those of us who come from the ASA 25 era, that is a bit like flying to the moon on a broomstick. Only a bit more improbable.

Comment from Doubting Rich
Time: September 22, 2014, 11:23 pm

What camera? Yes, I am that camera geek.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 22, 2014, 11:23 pm

The bread oven is a big, dome-shaped brick opening to the side of the fireplace. The way I understand it, Can’t Hark, they’d shovel hot coals into it and then put a door in place. After it had heated for a while, they’d open it, shovel the coals to the edges and put the risen bread dough in the center and seal it up again until the bread was done.

Right now, it’s full of brick dust, filth and cobwebs. And occasionally cats.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: September 22, 2014, 11:34 pm

Doubting Rich – it’s a Nikon D5300. I’m still trying to get to grips with it, notably the focusing, which seems unreliable at its default setting. Sadly, manufacturers no longer believe a comprehensive operating manual is necessary, so far too much is left for the customer to work out for himself. However, switching the ‘silly setting’ off and sticking to a simple central focus, it seems fine.

The metering, on the other hand, is simply staggering, as is the ability to render sharp images under atrocious lighting at impossible settings.

I don’t throw cameras around like I once did, so one of the more ‘pro’ options would have been wasted and I prefer to spend my money on glass these days – so I bought the 18-140mm zoom instead of the standard option.

So far, so good!

Comment from Can’t Hark My Cry
Time: September 23, 2014, 12:01 am

Sweas: I sort of knew that, but it was still mildly alarming. And I’ll bet they baked more than bread in those ovens–I suspect, in New England, at least, they baked beans.

And, Uncle B: I try to resist rants about how youth is destroying civilization. And I know that in this case, civilization will not only survive but thrive. All the same–the tendency of youth today to subsist on what Ric Locke called Nintendo Learning–“poke stuff to see what happens, until what you want to happen happens”–is very irritating to those of us who savored instruction manuals.

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: September 23, 2014, 12:07 am

Poking stuff to see what háppens is basically what monkeys do…I guess we really don’t need an education system anymore.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: September 23, 2014, 12:14 am

So the vet didn’t offer to catheterize Mad Jack …
Splendid photo, Uncle Badger. Beautiful detail—I could count his whiskers.

Comment from gettimothy
Time: September 23, 2014, 12:16 am

My cat got some sort of crystals in his pipes; it was caused bye the catfood.

Happened twice, almost lost him the second time. He couldn’t pee and it backs up to the kidneys.

Vet put a long pipe cleaner thing up his pipe to clear it.

Comment from Nina
Time: September 23, 2014, 1:08 am

Poor Jack! I hope that what ails him is easily fixable and he’s back to his ornery self soon.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: September 23, 2014, 2:35 am

Uncle B – Good news / Bad news:

The good news is that there’s now a book to teach you to use your DLSR

The bad news is that it’s not really a book, but an app to put on your iPad.


Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: September 23, 2014, 6:46 am

My, but he is a handsome cat!

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: September 23, 2014, 8:20 am

Thanks, Deborah.

Can’t Hark – I fear you are right. In my naivety I’d assumed Nikon simply chose to save money by producing such a poor instruction manual but on reflection it probably is that they realise it would have been wasted effort.

In my ‘day job’ I have all the evidence anyone needs to despair at falling attention spans. I should have known…

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: September 23, 2014, 2:44 pm

I generally find after-market technical publications more useful than manufacturers’ instructions. Myself, I need Heath Kit instructions—which is to say, written for nine year old boys.

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: September 23, 2014, 2:57 pm

Instruction manuals. Hmph. My car is a Buick, but was built in Germany. The instruction manual is in flawless English . . . but it’s unclear on some things. I had the hardest time changing a tail bulb, until I realized I was meant to push the tail lamp assembly out from the body — that the assembly includes the red lens. To read the booklet, you’d think you were supposed to remove it from inside the trunk.

Comment from Mrs Compton
Time: September 23, 2014, 6:31 pm

Did he pee on his balls?

Comment from tibby
Time: September 23, 2014, 7:31 pm

Oh, he is a gorgeous boy. Hope he’s well quickly.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 23, 2014, 7:49 pm

No he did not, Mrs C. I’m reminded that cats can hold it for a long, long time. We may have to lock him in there longer than overnight 🙁

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: September 23, 2014, 9:17 pm

Bladder stones are kinda deadly to boy kitties.

Comment from Stephen Falken
Time: September 23, 2014, 9:35 pm

My cat loves to drink water running out of the faucet. And I let him because he wouldn’t drink much water if he had to get it out of a bowl.

Comment from Frit
Time: September 24, 2014, 12:03 am

He’s a beautiful cat, Stoaty & Uncle Badger. Lovely pic! As for him looking like an adult, well, no, actually. ‘Domestic’ cats do not reach full maturity until about 2 years of age; he’s still got a bit of skeletal setting and muscle filling out to do. 🙂

Sending healing energy to Jack!

Comment from Mitchell
Time: September 24, 2014, 2:58 am

Uncle Badger, nobody does paper manuals anymore. Go to Nikon’s website for the full D5300 Manual and Bob’s your uncle.

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: September 24, 2014, 4:32 am

Your vet is Freydis Thorfinnsdottir?

Britain: land of Filipino nurses, Romanian bricklayers, and Icelandic veterinarians.

And they call the U.S. a melting pot…

Comment from dissent555
Time: September 24, 2014, 5:32 am

Nice shot, Uncle B. I hope Jackie’s feeling better soon; he looks great. Eyes are nice and sharp.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: September 24, 2014, 12:17 pm

Thanks, Mitchell – thought appreciated 🙂

Sadly, that is the same manual the camera came with and there’s a lot it doesn’t explain.

Looks like I’ll have to buy a book (gasp)

Comment from Kat
Time: September 24, 2014, 9:39 pm

Your vet can’t do a cysto? Get a new vet. Urinary blockage is a real threat and WILL kill. He’s the right sex and the right age for issues to be cropping up. I can’t believe a vet would just send him home to pee!! Maybe it’s because I’ve teched in an area with hard, hard water and we saw blocked toms all the time that I’m super sensitive to it, but geez… I just could never imagine sending a cat home when it came in for not peeing. Basic blood work could also start to show blockage issues. Seriously. New vet. That person’s an idiot.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 24, 2014, 9:51 pm

Slim pickings for vets in this area, Kat. She was confident he didn’t have a blockage because his bladder was empty when palpated.

But, yeah, I was kind of surprised to be sent home (though they did offer to keep him until he produced a sample, I can’t imagine what they’d charge for that). And still no luck getting a sample. He’s just holding it overnight.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: September 26, 2014, 3:56 am

Yeah, well, as a man, I can say that it would go like this:

“I’m fine.”

*dick falls off*

“I’m just fine, thanks.”

*arm falls off, hair catches fire*

“I’ll be fine.”

Comment from Bryan JR
Time: October 23, 2014, 5:33 am

Can’t cysto the cat if the bladder is empty.
If he’s going more frequently and/or outside the litter box, but otherwise comfortable, it’s not an emergency YET. Untreated cystitis can, obviously, lead to obstruction.
If cat is constantly straining or licking, uncomfortable, acting “constipated”, walking funny*, etc. and not urinating-that’s an emergency.
We board cats overnight (no charge) just to get a sample, but clinic isn’t manned 24 hours. I always check males frequently. Cats can really concentrate urine, it can be challenging to collect a sample.
Having owner collect sample at least allows monitoring for obstruction signs.
Calling the vet an idiot is a little harsh, provided she explained the situation.
Just my 2 cents.
* An owner presented a cat and said, “He started walking funny today”. He was blocked.

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