Thursday, April 23, 2009

Second Update on my Cat Kiki' Allergies

Here's another pet update: My cat Kiki is better than she had been. She lost her Elizabethan collar a few days ago and I didn't bother getting another one since she seemed better. She was well enough to sit outside for the 2 nice super-hot days we've had - and how happy she was to hear the birds, feel the sun, and just sleep outside. Then the yesterday she had a setback - suddenly she developed a hot spot on her side. She started ripping out her fur in that area, and the skin actually had welts, like hives. I dapped this area with peroxide and applied some of the Tea Tree lotion. I also gave her 2 mg of antihistamine, which seemed to help her. On her own volition, she stayed indoors, hid behind the radio and rested. Today, she seemed better but was still itchy. I gave her a Selsun Blue bath, which helped her a lot. She was able to go out and carry on with her usual activities.

She is old, and is in a frail condition. She will need daily antihistamine, and will need a bath every 5-7 days. She gets her Advantage or Frontline for fleas, she's allergic not just to fleas but to other things. I suspect it's some pollen or something outside. But she loves the outdoors so much I can't bear turning her into a 100% indoor cat. She stays near the house, and I'm observing her to see if the daily antihistamine and weekly baths keep her allergy in check.

I continue to give her an egg yolk every day. She loves this very much, so I'm able to give it to her as is, or with a bit of olive oil, or mixed with her food and Immugen and even her anithistamine, although it's better to pry open mouth and pop the antihistamine into her throat.

It's touch and go. She's an old cat, but as long as she can still be happy listening to the birds, or getting her ears rubbed, I'll do my best to keep her comfortable. If she should be in pain, or her quality of life goes down, or if she's plain miserable all the time, then it'll be time to put her to sleep. It makes me sad thinking about this, but she is 16 years old and that's very old in cat years.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Susan Boyle Sites

Like many others, I find myself enchanted at Susan Boyle. Here are some sites that feature her singing:

Killing Me Softly -
Cry Me a River -
I Dreamed a Dream - (from Les Miserables, and this one has her ground-breaking performance)
Titanic Song -

and if you really want a good laugh, check this out. It's Jay Leno as Susan

Monday, April 13, 2009

EASTER 2009!

Saturday, April 11, 2009


First thing yesterday, I gave Kiki another Selsun Blue bath, which helped her a lot. She loves those baths, as long as her feet are planted firmly on the ground. The lukewarm water must feel good, and the medicated Selsun Blue must also soothe her skin. Poor thing! The part she really hates is after the shampoo, when she is wet and cold. She shivers for a long time, but I can tell that her itchiness has waned.

The antihistamine, Chlorpheniramine 4 mg, that I ordered from didn't come in yesterday; it wasn't their fault, I ordered it Wednesday and I probably won't get it until Monday. I couldn't wait because Kiki was miserable with the itching and with the collar which leaves her so disoriented. I went to RiteAid and looked in the Benadryl, antihistamine section, and would you believe it, I found Chlorpheniramine 4 mg. I gave her half a pill and in just a short time, she relaxed. What happened was she became sleepy, a side effect. Another possible side effect is upset stomach, but Kiki was fine there. She was able to rest and was more comfortable. I gave her another half a pill at night and she slept well. I have to say that because of the antihistamine, she is better and much more comfortable. As of yesterday, she was still itchy because I removed her collar and she started scratching and yanking her fur out again. Back went the Elizabethan collar, and it'll stay on until she stops this pulling off of her fur.

So, the Selsun Blue bath and especially the antihistamine helped her a lot. I don't know if the cod liver oil and the egg yolks are helping her too, but they can't hurt. She loves the egg yolks and greedily laps her little bowl with the stuff in the morning.

I'm hoping she gets well enough so we can remove her collar and she can resume her cat life, albeit more sedate since she is around 16 years old.

Friday, April 10, 2009


Here's a quick update on my cat, Kiki. She's not doing very well, although she seems slightly better than she was last week. She continues to scratch and has little appetite. I bought her an Elizabethan collar, which gets in her way, and I've given her Selsun Blue baths - and have also used a Tea Tree oil spray (with Vitamins A and D) in between baths. My research suggested a weekly bath, but I didn't wait a week because she's uncomfortable and the bath helps her. The pet store manager said too many baths will dry out her skin, which could be worse, so I'm watching out for dryness.

I've been giving her 2 egg yolks a day (the eggs are small, recommendation is one egg yolk). I continue to give her Immugen and have added Cod liver oil. She barely eats, so I get a bit of food, mix in the Imuugen and cod liver oil and cajole her into eating. She'll eat a tablespoon or so. She does like the egg yolks. She is drinking a lot of water. She likes to continue doing her usual routine, although I'm not allowing her to go to the rose garden, which she enjoys in the morning. She's allowed in the courtyard for a few hours when it's sunny. Otherswise, she hangs around in my office, den, and bedroom - depending on the time of day. (She has a schedule.)

I ordered an antihistamine from Petmeds,which should be coming in today. Maybe that'll help her. If she doesn't get better, she's going to the vet Monday.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


See the picture? That's my cat, Kiki,with a homemade elizabethan collar. Here's the story. A few weeks ago, I noticed black fur all over the place. I thought maybe the weather was getting warmer and Kiki was molting, shedding her thick fur, to cool off. The clumps of fur got worse, and she would show up with fur sticking out her mouth. Patches of skin started appearing on her body. My son and I looked this up - there's a cool vet site at - and realized the problem was either of two things: she had some internal chemical problem and was losing her fur; or she was yanking out her fur. We figured the latter since we had seen her with fur in her mouth. She was always scratching as well.

We gave her a dose of her flea medicine. She continued scratching and biting off her fur. I finally gave her a bath in diluted medicated Selsin Blue, and fashioned a homemade elizabethan collar so she can't pull off her fur. I applied a bit of Hydrocortisone on some of the raw spots on her behind, but she got really angry at me. I ordered a cat antihistamine, Chlorpheniramine 4 mg, from Petmeds; she can have 1-2 mg every 12 hours. Read vet's review of this stuff:

Vet's Review (Michael Dym, VMD)
"Chlorpheniramine "
Inhalent/contact allergies are one of the most common reasons for veterinary exam for dogs and cats outside of yearly wellness exams. Such allergies result in much itching, fee chewing, secondary bacterial and/or yeast infections of the skin and ears. This frustrating condition often leads to repetitive vet exams, cortisone and antibiotic prescriptions and increasing expense. For those pets prone to these allergic conditions, it is often an excellent idea to try an antihistamine first such as chlorphenirimine, diphenhydramine or clemastine from 1800petmeds. As I discuss under these other product reviews, the overall effectiveness of anthistamines in symptomatic relief in dogs is approximately 25% in my experience, and thus they are most effectively used when combined with essential fatty acids like Super omega 3 from 1800petmeds, regular shampooing, and antioxidant therapy with supplements like proanthozone. I especially find the chlorphenirimine antihistamine useful and my number one choice in allergic cats at a typical dose of 1 or 2 mg twice daily. However to enhance effectiveness in cats, I will prescribe a fatty acid such as nordic naturals pet cod liver oil, or be well, or missing link to my feline patients. The only rare side effects I see with this inexpensive antihistamine is mild sedation and even less common rare digestive upset. However I always try anthistamine therapy first, in conjunction with other supportive allergy treatments, before reaching for more expensive drugs like atopica or using cortisone, which can occasionally have short term and long term side effects in some patients. My overall rating of chlorphenirimine is a 4. Its ease of use a 5. Its efficacy a 3.5, when combined with the supportive measures listed here and under my product review of diphenhydramine.

Based on our internet research, vets will assume it's an allergy problem before looking into other matters. We are doing that. Hopefully, this will clear up. If not, we will have to take her to vet. One of the reasons I hate taking her to the vet is that we've had vets run expensive tests on our cats, and have suggested drastic measures as pulling out my cat's teeth or putting another cat to sleep in order to get rid of that black stuff in her ears - tests and measures which proved unnecessary. I've arrived at the conclusion that they want to make money more than to help my cat. I recall how our vet insisted we could only get Advantage flea medicine from her, which meant we had to pay her an office visit to buy the stuff. Same thing with cat senior's food - she had insisted we could only buy this from her. I've found answers to many of these cat problems in the internet, from the use of Immugen to boost her immunities to how-to-make an elizabethan collar.

So, here's what I think happened to my cat. Someone in our household believes there are no fleas in the winter, and stops giving our cat her flea medicine during that time. Our Kiki loves to sleep under a bougainvillea bush in the rose garden, and I think she either got bit by fleas or some other little creature. Kiki is very allergic; she's had episode similar to this, although this bout is pretty bad. I've had to bathe her in medicated cat shampoo, and I've squirted anti-itch stuff. I think some of those chemicals made her sicker last time, so I thought I'd do it my way. I'm going to rub some olive oil with tea tree oil on her bald spots, later on.
It's a bit tough because she gets upset, and I'm easily intimated by her.

I hope this allergy problem clears up.

The internet is a great place to find information about pet problems.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


It's springtime, and the weather has changed. It's warmer now, and I've had the urge to buy new clothes. Clothes shopping has been a pain because it's difficult to find clothes that aren't too young (too short, too tight). For a couple of years I was wearing Indian kurtas - silky, loose, airy, very comfortable. Then I figured I can't be wearing kurtas all my life, and looked around for some other styles. I discovered a couple of designers whose clothes I like: Citron of Santa Monica and Chico's. I love their silk tops and pants. They have simple lines with just a few catchy details. I've been buying them online because it's more convenient, and frankly, cheaper. If you go to the Citron shop in Santa Monica, clothes run for over a hundred dollars, but you can find the same clothes online for half the price. I know what size I wear for Citron and Chico's brands, so I can bravely buy the clothes without trying them on.

But the other day, I wanted to find some skirts and wanted to actually try them on, so I went to a department store. Naturally I got sidetracked and started trying on other clothes. One of the items I grabbed was a retro-gypsy peasant blouse - black and white, with string gathering the neckline, and elastic at the waist. When I put this on and looked in the mirror, I almost laughed because I saw my mother in my reflection. Even when she was older, she liked clothes with some style. One of her favorites was a peasant blouse that she wore with a drop-waist shirred skirt. She wore huge hoop gold earrings and clunky jewelry with this outfit.

So, anyway, I looked at myself with that peasant blouse and there was my mother - same face, same shape. It was a bit amusing and also a bit odd.

The blouse was a bit tight, otherwise I would have bought it and worn my mother's clunky gold jewelry (which I inherited)with it.

In the meantime, I'll hold off buying more clothes. I have enough.

Photo of my mother was taken in 1994 when she was 82 years old.