Newt is Ten

On Thursday, we had a quiet celebration here in Newtopia to mark the momentous occasion of Newt’s 10th birthday.

Yes, everybody’s favorite Spotted Schnookums is now TEN YEARS OLD! (That warrants shouting, don’t you agree?)

Both a 1 and a 0 candle were stuck onto a freshly-roasted chicken, and Newt was given brief, unfettered access to gobble at will.

And gobble he did! The accompanying slice of key lime pie and tiny ice cream cone merely served as footstools upon which his paws could be placed for easier access to his beloved chicken. Altho, he did eat some of his pie for a later after snack.)

He nestled into his new bed after playing with his other nine presents.

We are still looking for a decent picture to post – we were laughing so hard at Newt’s “Ferocious Hungry Little Lion Devouring Chicken Attack” that the camera kept shaking!

We are still marveling that our tiny, “going to die any day” kitten baby has reached this major milestone. Many thanks to all of his care team, and to his friends around the world, for sharing this journey.

Happy birthday, Newt. We love you.

Move It or Lose It

Newt is doing well. He is having his super extra gunky dirty ear thing going on again, but no mites. Just … goop.  He’s not struggling when we clean his ears now, so that’s helpful.

Was informed that GoDaddy will no longer be hosting the free blogs, and to keep Newt’s little blog, I need to migrate it. Move it or lose it. 

Been putting it off as long as possible (I seem to be getting more like Newt in not enjoying change LOL). Will be doing some behind the scenes stuff in the next couple of days, and hope it all transfers correctly. New location will be

Wish me luck!

The Great Procraftinator

So, since Newt has made so many wonderful friends around the globe, I wanted to make some of them a small token of his appreciation (like a key fob, or such), and to mark another year of Hope for our liver shunt cats.

Never mind the fact that I am:

  • In the middle of a humongous work project (36 MB and counting);
  • Just double-booked myself with a second, time-sensitive contract;
  • Wanting to sew five pet beds, a pair of pajama bottoms, a superman cape for a cat, and a slip cover for The Dog’s chair;
  • Needing to crochet and wash a swatch before crocheting two towel toppers;
  • Wanting to knit two stuffed animals;
  • Wanting to make 10 sets of stitch markers, and,
  • Trying desperately to clear out and donate much of my craft inventory,

I have become obsessed with making my own free, Shrinky Dinks from recycled #6 plastic containers! Perfect way to re-use all those empty containers from the salad bar where we have splurged and gotten Newt’s bits of fresh broccoli and mini veggie assortments.

Was I satisfied with my quick experiment with a pen, doodles on a piece of plastic, and three minutes with the stove last night? Could I simply be free, and indulge in a burst of spur-of-the-moment creativity? 

All together now, say it with me, “Noooooooooooooooooooooo!“

Once again, we had the ongoing Battle of the Brains – Right vs. Left. A life-long 50/50 split down the middle, where my logical and analytic side fights for dominance with the random and intuitive side.

I had to:

  • Spend hours looking at various sites for techniques while making detailed notes on the process;
  • Spend more time oohing and ahhing over images of finished projects, seeing that others had accomplished what I was envisioning;
  • Bemoan all of Newt’s salad bar containers that we’ve recycled the last two years;
  • Run a mathematical computation (approximate number of containers per week x average number of weeks; variable z includes container size) to estimate how many trinkets I could have made with those recycled bits;
  • Re-organize my Sharpie inventory (by tip size, and colour, of course!);
  • Draw images on several canvas bags and bits of cardboard for design inspiration;
  • Colour those images and determine approximate final size of completed objects, factoring in approximate shrink percentages (variable includes oven temperature);
  • Retrieve my coloured pencils from the “to donate” box, and re-sharpen all of them to lovely crisp points:
  • Doodle designs on card blanks with the lovely, freshly-sharpened, coloured pencils;
  • Find out that Shrink Film is available so you can actually print things from your computer!
  • Generate a spreadsheet comparing prices and online sources on various types of printable film (variable includes shipping costs);
  • Decide that I really should see if I can find a small toaster oven at the thrift store so I can heat them up outside, so the fumes won’t adversely affect Newt;
  • Realize that I can probably use my gift basket heat gun to shrink them outside;
  • Spend even more time comparing different die-cutting options, because it would be soooo much faster and tidier to cut them with a machine instead of by hand (again with the spreadsheets!);
  • Retrieve my hole punches from the “to donate” box;
  • Use the punches on the previously doodles cards to make them even more artistic;
  • Coordinate ribbons for finishing touches on the cards;
  • Visually inspect ribbon rolls for potential use as hangers on the as-yet, still un-started tokens;
  • Re-organize ribbon inventory (by ascending widths – colour coded, of course);
  • Realize that the old CD rack will make an excellent free-standing ribbon spool holder;
  • Roughly compute the quantity of ribbon against the available surface area of the rack to determine size adequacy;
  • Fight the overwhelming urge to immediately hack that rack so the ribbon can be taken out of bins and be more readily available to use on the tokens (plus it will look sooooo pretty!);
  • Realize that the method of dissecting the plastic is still undetermined, so, check out various types of larger hole punches to achieve the same results as a die cutting system, only cheaper (again, again with the spreadsheets!); and then,
  • Check Black Friday ads for any of the machine systems, punches and Shrink Films to be on sale (detailed list, of course, showing cost, any additional coupons, item location, sale times, and, travel time between locations).

::sigh:: I’m already exhausted and I haven’t even started ! LOL

 I really better get back to WORK so I can afford all the tools I wanna buy for my “free” Shrinky Dinks!

On Newt and Nerds

Newt has been having a period of medium days.  Not quite normal, but not quite symptomatic.  He has been tweeting fairly regularly, and he had his first international video chat (the first Transatlantic Cat Liver Shunt Conference!).  Too bad he wasn’t feeling quite up to his normal self.

He refused his chicken breakfast today, after being all cuddly, flirty and normal last night.  Direct dosed 2 ml Lactulose, and he is now in his newest nest, right here under my computer. While he was lounging, I took one of those silly online quizzes.

Alas, Cat Daddy is right. He has always lovingly called me his “Geek Goddess” (silly boy) and now this quiz would seem to agree with his assessment.  Apparently, I am an “Uber Cool Nerd Queen.”  Am not sure if I should be excited or bemused.  I mean, I know I have some pretty geeky tendencies, but had no idea they were that strong LOL.

To maintain my newly acquired status of “Uber Cool Nerd Queen,” I am compelled to point out that a more etymologically correct spelling, sans umlaut u, ist “ueber.” 

::snork:: says I'm an Uber Cool Nerd Queen.  Click here to take the Nerd Test, get nerdy images and jokes, and write on the nerd forum!

Site Upgrades, Transfers and Changes this Weekend

Finally looks as if we will be making the big changeover this weekend.  Keeping all paws crossed for a smooth transition.

This is a test of the Donate Button for PayPal as we make some new and exciting changes to the Cat Liver Shunt Support Network.

Experimenting with ways that you can help us to help other owners of cats with liver shunts, and increase awareness of the condition.

Phase 1 of the major overhaul is complete. 

Newt is on Twitter
Follow NewttheCat on Twitter

Visit Cat Liver Shunt

A Rose by Any Other Name

Ever notice how when you name a cat, it usually morphs into something else?  In general, the cat has a name, and then it has a name.  Or two, or maybe even three. 

Little Newt has a mutlitude of monikers, a veritable lineage of labels, an ever evolving, series of sobriquets. Cat Daddy and I began listing all of Newt’s nom de plumes that we use toward him, or in reference to him, and by his friends, and got quite a giggle out of them.

  1. Newton
  2. Newt
  3. Little Lion
  4. Killer
  5. Kittenator
  6. Newt Newt
  7. New New
  8. Punkin Head
  9. Kleine Katz
  10. The Baby
  11. Schnookums
  12. Schnookie Bear
  13. Booger
  14. Kitty Bunny
  15. Pookie Bear
  16. Pookie
  17. The Pookster
  18. Cutie Newtie
  19. Poochy
  20. Tubby
  21. Twitch
  22. Fat Boy
  23. Chubbs
  24. Pissant
  25. Little Pecker
  26. Sugar Newt
  27. Spot
  28. Varmint
  29. Pudge
  30. Schnookels

Keep in mind, this list does not include some of the more colorful varieties.  And yes, he does respond to all of them.

Baaaaaaaaaad Idea

I reaaaaaaaaaaaally need to get back on a project ASAP.  Have had entirely too much time to think.  Thinking usually leads to grandiose ideas, which tend to get me in trouble.

Somebody PLEASE convince me that I do NOT want a spinning wheel? And of course, the attendant sheep, bunnies, and various assorted furry creatures to go with it?  Pretty please?

Cat Daddy has decreed that this is a “baaaaaaaaaad idea” ::snork gasp wheeze OMG that man is so funny.

In drooling over fat, funky yarns and fainting at the prices of them, I had the brilliant idea that perhaps I should just spin my own. And he agreed!  Oh boy.  I’m in trouble now.

Makes sense though, as my stash is becoming depleted at a rapid rate, and one would hope that the act of spinning would be relaxing and calming, right? The poor man is forever after me to relax, spoil myself with a creative bender, and have FUN.  Spinning sounds like a good match to me!

But before I go all crazy and buy a bunch of tools and gadets about which I have no idea, perhaps I should start small – like maybe a drop spindle?  Not to mention, I can put rabbit ears on Newt – we call him the kitty bunny anyway, and with the Collie, I have enough “wool” output for a small sheep farm!

Still Up and Down

Newt is back to intermittent drooling, bit o’ the wobbles, and finicky eating.  But, he’s drinking well, and having nice comfortable naps.
As per his vet’s suggestion, we’re keeping him at the upper side of Lactulose dosing for now.


Cat Daddy and I are going crazy trying to figure out what is going on with him.

He’s napping in the sunny window now. Newt, that is.  Cat Daddy is having a late lunch.  As for me, I’m about to go put away the garden tools, bring in my knitting and make the selfish decision to frog the current pet bed I’m making. 

Selfish because I don’t think I have any more of the yummy yarn I’ve started with, and now that I’ve found this adorable knitted kitty pattern, I think it would make a very cute little Newt   (Warning, the link contains language that could be objectionable.  With the frustration I’m feeling right now, it made me laugh.) If you’re interested, I’m pretty sure some kind folks have edited out the ^&%@#$()) language, and I’ll share that sanitized version with you. )

Even more selfish when you consider this will be the second bed I’ve had every intention of donating and yet, changed my mind.

Actually, I’ve got three of the darn beds in progress.  The first is being given to a friend; the second, I’m running out of the main yarn; and now, same problem with the third.  Oh dear, as if I need a reason to go buy more yarn!

Fingers and Paws Crossed

Newt had a pretty stable day today.  Minor drool this AM, ate breakfast, lunch and dinner snacks. Not full veggie/chicken mix meals, just chicken, but at least he ate.  Slept peacefully most of the day in his nest.  (No, not the crochet cat bed work in progress, but rather his very own, red feathered, Newt Nest.

Eyes bright, active when out and about.  In fact, he’s foraging the counters right now, searching for morsels of yums. Minimal clumsiness, no ataxia, diarrhea in the litter, so it seems the Lactulose has finally kicked things into high gear.  Backing off now on the dose.

His new antibiotic prescription should be in tomorrow.  His vet is switching him to Neomycin, after having been on the Amoxicillin for a year.  As I understand it, the Neomycin is not absorbed from the intestines so it should be more effective than the Amoxicillin at keeping the gut flora off-kilter and better to minimize ammonia production.  Oh, and yet another reason why we love our vet? On her own, she had the pharmacy compound the Neomycin in Newt’s favorite flavor … CHICKEN!!!

I seem to recall that at least a couple of our shunt cats are on the Neomycin. A couple are on Clavamox, and a couple are on periodic antibiotics instead of daily.  Amazing how the varied approaches are being tailored to each cat’s situation.

Dare we hope that perhaps Pookie will be stable and able to enjoy his birthday tomorrow?