Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Confession Time for the #FatChick #amwriting #MyWANA

Welcome to Not Enough Time in the Day and today's edition of my fat chick memoirs. It's time to come clean to everyone. I've been going through some major upheavals as of late and once again I've put my health and well-being on the back burner. Not good. No, not at all.

Because I've let the stress of my crazy life get to me yet again, I've done a bit of a backslide in my weight loss program and my blood sugar has been out of sorts. It's not super high or anything, but enough to make me feel crappy again. Without the energy to keep going, I've let everything slide including my writing.


Having four pen names is hard enough, but when you couple that with health issues that drain your energy and a full time job as a veterinarian you hit the wall and hard. I've gained seven of the twenty five pounds I lost since my journey began and it makes me so mad at myself. I've got no one to blame but me for this. I allowed the stresses to take over and just went back to my old habits of snacking while I worked on my current WIP for each pen name. I've let the housework slide again after I just got it all caught up too. ARRRRGGGHHH!!!

Besides the bad side effects of raising my blood sugar, blood pressure and gaining weight, my creativity with my writing has dropped off. I can't have that happen if I expect to have two novellas completed for a summer anthology, a third stand alone novella to complete a monster erotica series and get another series off and running before the end of the summer months. Yes, it's only February, but before I know it we'll be in June and I'll be out of time and my sanity will be gone.

I know it's common to make resolutions for the new year and then promptly break them all before the end of January, but I didn't want to be one of those statistics. I wanted to be able to continue moving forward even if it was just with small steps. Now I've found myself pushed back a few miles and ashamed of myself for it. I thought having this blog to keep myself focused would be the key, but then I dropped off posting here too. I turned within myself and buried it all...AGAIN.

So here I am moving forward from this point. It's the best I can do. I can't go back and change what I've already done. I have to move forward and keep moving in that direction even if it's only baby steps. Eventually I'll get to the finish line, but I'm not going to stress over the fact it's taking me longer to get there.

The same goes for my writing goals. I've put too many things on my plate, setting myself up for failure. This week I'll whittle things down to the anthology and the monster erotica and not freak out that the new series will be out later in the year. I'm the publisher for crying out loud! LOL! I can change the deadlines to whatever I want them to be. It's why I decided to start up Sassy Vixen Publishing in the first place and here I was putting unrealistic deadlines on myself. What a dork! LOL

Whew! Just writing that down makes it more official to me. I feel a huge weight lift off my shoulders. More streamlining is in the works this week as I filter out even more baggage. I'm ditching yahoo groups, some tribes on Triberr, revamping my connections on all social media outlets and overall giving myself permission to breathe.

Until next time
~The Fat Chick

Friday, February 14, 2014

#FurbabyFriday: @dochappycamper Revisits How Many Cats is Too Many? #catlady #MyWANA

Welcome to a revisited Furbaby Fridays with Dr. Tammy. This was the very first post I did for this feature even though since this blog's creation I've tossed out stories about my experiences as a veterinarian. Furbaby Fridays was my attempt to keep some of the stories going on a regular basis. Things got too hectic as my life tends to do, so this feature took a back seat for a bit. I'm hoping to give at least a post a month to this one. I'm starting out revisiting with the previous posts including the ones covering the things toxic to pets.

After twenty-one years as a veterinarian, I've seen and experienced quite a few memorable cases. Some of them would break your heart just as much as others would make you smile. Today I'd like to talk about a topic that quite a few people don't ever think about until they have a problem.

Just How Many Cats Is too Many for One Household?

If you put ten veterinarians in one room and ask this question, you will undoubtedly get ten different answers. Over the years I've come up with one criteria that will help you determine if you should have a cat in the first place and just how many you are willing to share your space with.  Drum roll please...you need a MINIMUM of one litter box per cat.  That's right. I said one box per cat. The rule of thumb is actually one box per cat plus one. So if you have two cats, you should have at least three litter boxes.

But I live in a small studio apartment? I can't have more than one box.

Well, then you shouldn't have more than one cat. Sure, two cats may do fine with the one box if it's a large one, but once you start adding the third, fourth and fifth cat to your furbaby family, you are asking for a world of hurt with only one litter box. 

Cats are very territorial. If they start to feel crowded or stressed in any way, they are going to start exhibiting behavior problems. The first of which is inappropriate urination. This doesn't just mean spraying urine on walls, doors and windows. Stressed cats will start urinating on bedding, furniture and clothing. You name it, they will pee on it. 

Stressed cats can develop a syndrome called FLUTD: Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease. This can be a life-threatening condition in male cats. Cystitis can develop because of the stress causing the cat to be unable to urinate and it's bladder to fill. Toxins normally expelled from the body through the urine will then back up causing kidney problems, even kidney failure, electrolyte imbalances that can cause a fatal arrhythmia, not to mention the cats are in excruciating pain. It's not pretty and requires an emergency run to your veterinarian.

The second most common behavioral issues with a crowded cat household is aggression directed at one or more of the other cats, or even human family members. Many cats are euthanized every year because of aggression towards humans. Most of these cases could have been avoided if the warning signs were noticed from the beginning. 

My cats do just fine with one litter box because they know if they start peeing on my stuff, they will be banished outside.

Good luck with that. As a veterinarian who has to treat outdoor cats for injuries from fights, dog attacks, hit by car/truck injuries, not to mention the contagious viral diseases that affect cats, I always recommend cats stay indoors. My two cats are indoors and they are quite happy. They have four litter boxes, multiple toys and scratching posts to keep them busy and we give them individual attention. We don't have fighting between them and we don't have any urinations or defecations outside of their litter boxes. Now if someone could find a way to retrieve all the bottle caps they've tossed under the stove and refrigerator, life would be "purrfect" for them!

If you live in an area where your cat is able to go outside and roam around without being exposed to the dangers I described above, more power to you. The folks who live in heavily populated areas should think twice about letting their cats roam. You may not mind having strange cats in your yard, but your neighbors may not be so happy about it. Some cities also require outdoor cats to be licensed and others have a limit on how many you can have in the house so make sure you check with the local animal control office for the local regulations.

Think twice about bringing home a cat!

I'm not saying DON'T have a cat or several cats as part of your family. I want you to think about a few things first before you bring that cute little fur ball into your home.

1. Is your living space big enough for the required number of litter boxes?

2. Are you willing to scoop out those boxes at least once a day and completely clean them out at least every other week?

3. Do you have a local veterinarian to be sure each cat is healthy before you bring them into your home and to help you keep them healthy afterward? This includes vaccinations, annual checkups, grooming if long haired, nail trims, dentistries, and proper nutrition. (For you vegetarians and vegans: cats are CARNIVORES. Their diet has to be mostly MEAT. If you can't handle the idea that your pet has to eat meat, then don't get a cat.)

4. Cats and dogs are a lifelong commitment. You can't just get rid of them when they no longer suit your needs/desires.

5. Are you willing to give up being the Master of your house? Once a cat enters, everything and everyone is there to serve them. ;)

I hope this post helps to give you some insight on what it takes to be the "guardian" of a cat. You can't make them fit your lifestyle. They allow YOU into theirs. Once you are "in," it's your responsibility to make sure they have everything they need to keep happy and healthy for many years to come.

Until next time...
~Dr. Tammy

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The #FatChick Pays the Price for Not Taking Her Own Advice #SayNo #MyWANA #SB48

Once again The Fat Chick has to confess to not taking her own advice. Just last week I talked about having to get to a place in my life where I'm comfortable saying no to things and not over-committing myself. When I wrote that blog, I had already promised the hubby I'd host/cook for his Super Bowl party. It was his 40th birthday as well so how could I say no? I mean, the man spoiled me rotten by taking me to Disneyland for my birthday. We stayed at the Grand Californian for heaven's sake. He ROCKS!!!

I have to say I pulled off a fabulous party and got the house in tip top shape for an old friend of hubby's who stayed overnight after the game. It was a great time for all—well, those of us who are Seattle Seahawks fans had a grand time! LOL

By the end of the game, my back was in spasms and my feet were killing me. Not only do I suffer from chronic back pain, I get heel spur pain off and on too. 

With help, we got the food all put away and the kitchen in some semblance of order before we settled in to relax for the night. That's when the pain hit...hard. I thought I could sleep it off and be fine for work at the veterinary hospital yesterday. 

Yeah, that didn't work out so well. 

I was up hourly trying to get comfortable and with the tiny over forty bladder I have, getting up to go to the bathroom was an excruciating chore. Finally, hubby had enough and made me call in to work. There was no way he was going to allow me to go in like that. This is where my old bud, Vicodin comes in handy. When I have to take it, the pain is unbearable and I can't drive while on it. Needless to say I spent the entire time in bed and loopy. By mid-afternoon yesterday, hubby and I decided I needed to stay in bed one more day. Otherwise he was going to take me to the hospital to MAKE ME STAY IN BED. 

I kid you not. When your husband has to threaten to take you to the hospital to make you rest, you need to listen! LOL! Seriously, I've never had anyone in my life who cares for me like he does. If he could take the pain from me he would. 

That's what you get ladies when you marry a young stud muffin! I'm not talking about the dudes who are mentally young either. My husband is seven years younger than me and he treats me like a QUEEN.

So going forward from today, I have to listen to my body and not take on everything on my shoulders. I have to let people help me when they offer AND I have to ASK them for help too.

Here's to my promise to myself and hopefully all of you who are like me will take the pledge too. JUST SAY NO!!!

Until next time,
~The Fat Chick

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