On June 26, I wrote a little about the feline behind the scenes here (Smokey). He just had his annual "senior" vet exam and some unusual results came out of it...
The vet noticed some bleeding inside one of his eyes and a possibly slightly detached retina, and bulging blood vessels in his other eye. So she took his blood pressure and the number was off the scale. So my cat is now on blood pressure lowering medication. While I'm pretty concerned about Smokey, the amusing thing about this is that most people would think that I would be the first of us to be on blood pressure medication! The medicine is Amlodipine and is used in people, so I had to have the prescription filled at the normal pharmacy. He gets a quarter of a 2.5mg pill. The size of the pill is about the size of the tip of a pen, which probably explains why the pharmacist gave me a weird look and asked if I had a pill cutter. I did manage to figure out a way to cut the pill into fourths without crushing the thing. The good news is that I don't have a hard time giving medicine to Smokey (other people do, though, which makes it hard to go away on vacations).
A couple of days later Smokey's blood work-up came back and the tests show he's in perfect health otherwise. His kidney values that were previously in the high range are now in the normal range, and his thyroid is also at a perfect level (he has had to take medicine daily for that too).
The vet visits for him during the past few years have caused a roller coaster level of emotions. I realize that Smokey is an old cat, and while he's in fairly good health the fact is that he's 18 years old (which is kind of like 90 in a human). He has occasional problems with jumping onto things (which he refuses to acknowledge) and is starting to slow down a lot. Since I had to have my other cat put down a few years ago at 18 (and still am trying to come to terms with that decision) it's hard to accept that Smokey is at the same age now, and thinking about the end of his life is not a pleasant thought. I'm trying to take this whole thing a day at a time and enjoy our time together while we can. That's tough to do when you're in the vet's office.
So while I'm on a the dark subject of death, I'd like to take a moment to remember Billy Mays, who died on Sunday, June 28 at nearly 51 years old. Y'all know Billy as the guy who did the commercials for OxiClean and Kaboom (cleaning products), and more recently the Awesome Auger. He also was part of the show Pitchmen on The Discovery Channel, which chronicled how products get from inventor to direct TV sales. The one thing that Pitchmen revealed was that Billy really did believe in the products he advertised, and was definitely the kind of guy who valued family and community. In the last episode of Pitchmen before he died, Billy made fun of Vince Offer, the creepy guy who does the Shamwow commercials (side note: I break into hysterical laughter every time Vince does the Slap Chop commercial and throws the competing product backwards into the sink). While Billy's volume was always set to "LOUD!" he had an enthusiasm that caught your attention (although I admit to doing 30-second-skip over most commercials these days).
Side note: If you're not convinced about how creepy Vince is, take a quick look at the Wikipedia link above, and then search for ShamPow (a parody on the ShamWow commerical) on YouTube (or, to avoid having to deal with Flash, do the search on your Internet-connected TiVo). It's absolutely hilarious! Subscript on the side note: I just realized that there are a bunch of ShamPow parodies - the one to see is the one posted by ClipCritics or xfinisherx123, although the one from ParanoiaPrise is also really good too).