Well! My human, Hsin-Yi, was really surprised (and horrified!) to read all your comments with your stories about tiny kitties who could hunt and bring home huge rats…
It’s giving her nightmares now about what Muesli might bring back next…hee! hee!
Hmm…well, it could be really useful, you know. I’ve heard about kitties that have kitty kleptomania and go around the neighbourhood stealing things and bringing them back home…maybe I could teach Muesli to go and bring back some yummies for me!
My other human, Paul, nearly had nightmares of a different kind when he came home a few days ago and found a big hairy Australian visitor in our living room!
He couldn’t believe it when he yelled to Hsin-Yi and she said, without looking up, “Yeah, it’s been there all day.”
WHAT?? Paul stared at Hsin-Yi like she’d gone barkers. How could she have spent all day with a huge spider sitting on the wall next to her?
You see, Hsin-Yi really likes spiders – she thinks they’re very beautiful and fascinating – and they’re good too, coz they eat lots of insects. In fact, they say that without spiders, we’d all be crushed to death by a blanket of insects and nothing would be left in the world! Hsin-Yi thinks spiders are very misunderstood. One of her favourite stories is ‘Charlotte’s Web’, although the ending always makes her cry…
In the days long ago when she couldn’t have any pets and was desperate, she once found a spider in a web in the corner of the kitchen and she named it Esmerelda – and she used to swat flies to half-kill them and then feed them to Esmerelda (Paul thought she was completely mad This is what being deprived of pets in childhood does to you...!).
Anyway, she said, she thought that was an Australian Huntsman spider and although their bites can be very ouchie and make you swell up, it wasn’t really poisonous…and besides, most wild animals won’t do anything to you if you just leave them alone…
“I don’t care how wonderful it is,” said Paul. “There’s no way I’m going to sit here with that thing above my head!”
Well, Hsin-Yi said there was no way she would let him kill it! So in the end, they agreed to catch it and put it out in the garden.
OK, Paul might look really cool in these pictures but actually, he was
screaming like a girl – er, I mean, giving helpful guidance while Hsin-Yi was catching it.
Oh! And the spider did a strange thing when my humans tapped it gently with a broom - it just suddenly jumped away from the wall and floated down from the ceiling, like a paratrooper, on a silky thread from its bum! Hsin-Yi thought it was the coolest thing she’d ever seen (Paul thought it was the scariest thing he’d ever seen) – she made sure that she was ready so that she got it as it landed.
She didn’t think it was that big really – she once got to hold a tarantula that was about 5 times bigger! – and she really wanted to keep it for a bit to look at it more closely but Paul said: No way! Out to the garden immediately!
Anyway, if you think that Hsin-Yi’s behaviour with spiders is a bit worrying – let me tell you, she’s been acting weird in other ways lately… One morning a couple of weeks ago, I was wandering out to the garden after breakfast like I always do, to stretch and do my morning wee…when I noticed that Hsin-Yi was skulking in a creepy way around me…holding a giant soup spoon!
What on earth was she doing?
And then – you won’t believe this – when I squatted to pee, she put the giant spoon under my bum and collected all my wee in it!
Well, finally I found out why…turns out that my humans were taking me to my vets (Hamilton Vet Clinic) for a check-up that day!
See, now that I’m supposed to be a “senior doggie” – the vet told my humans that it’s better if I can go for check-ups more often, rather than just once a year like I used to – so as to catch any sickies early. So they said every 4 – 6 months would be best. And they have a special “Senior Pet Check” which has a discount, so it’s less money paper to pay.
So that’s what I was going for that day! And they were going to do all the tests on me – blood test, bone test, tummy test, heart test, eye test, poo test – and of course, a “urine test” too!
So they needed my humans to collect some of my wee to take with us. Well, Hsin-Yi had the idea of using an old soup spoon.
She says – as a tip to other doggie owners – that a “soup ladle with a long handle” is a great & easy way to collect wee from us doggies! So that’s going to be my “pee spoon” from now on – hee! hee!
Anyway, so I had my check-up and my vet, Dr Anthony, said I’m in great condition! I still have no signs of arthritis at all and my heart is great and my tummy is good and my weight is fine and my muscles are strong and my blood & cholesterol & hormones & stuff are all good and…well, I’m doing pretty well!
There was just one thing: my eyes. Dr Anthony put a special light in my eyes and saw that there were these weird bubble things inside my eyeballs! They are not ‘cataracts’ and he wasn’t sure what they were…
They don’t seem to be bothering me at all – I can see just fine and I’m not rubbing my eyes or anything – but my vet said it was better to get them checked out. He thought they might be a kind of tumour in the eye – and also, he was worried that they might cause “glaucoma” which is a special kind of eye sickie when there is too much blood pressure in the eye and if you don’t get medicines to treat it, you can even go blind! One of my brothers had glaucoma so I need to watch out for that as well.
So last week, my human, Hsin-Yi, took me to see a Special Eye Vet for Doggies who was visiting from Sydney. Well, I have to say – I didn’t like the experience very much! He might be a fancy Eye Vet but he didn’t have any bedside manners at all! He didn’t say hello to me properly or give me any treats, like Dr Anthony does - he just grabbed my head and started shining lots of scary lights in my eyes. But I was very good and I listened to Hsin-Yi, who was standing next to me, saying, “Good girl, Honey, goooood girl! Stay…Stay…Good girl…” – and I didn’t wriggle or struggle at all.
Even when the Special Eye Vet started stabbing my eye with a fat stick called a Tono-pen which is supposed to measure the pressure in my eyeballs…oooh, that was horrible!…but I was very brave and I sat very still until it was all over. The Special Eye Vet was very impressed with me – he said they normally have to hold doggies down and many doggies have tried to bite him when he got too close to their faces and started sticking things in their eyes. Hsin-Yi said she was REALLY proud of me – how brave and calm I was – because she would have been scared if a stranger started stabbing her eyeballs!
I wish I had photos to show you how scary it was and how brave I was, sitting there, but Hsin-Yi had to take me to the Special Eye Vet by herself and it was a very busy time and the small waiting room was FULL of people (and lots of doggies were very badly behaved with stupid humans who didn’t teach them any manners or try to control them!) – so Hsin-Yi was quite stressy and busy managing everything and she couldn’t take pictures. So you’ll just have to take my word for it! But believe me – that Special Eye Vet looked scary - he was wearing all sorts of weird things on his head, with bits over his eyes and he had lots of scary things that he kept jabbing into my eyes!
And after we came out and I was sitting by the Reception while Hsin-Yi was paying, a very rude Weimeraner doggie came in dragging his owner (who was doing nothing to control him!) and he just barged right up to my face and started climbing all over me and trying to hump me! But I was still very good and didn’t get grumpy – I only gave him a small growl and then looked at Hsin-Yi. She kept telling me what a good girl I was and giving me treats for being so patient. When we got out of the vet clinic, she gave me a BIG hug and said she was soooo proud of me – and wished she could take me somewhere to get ice-cream as a special treat, like she used to back in Auckland!
Anyway, the good news is – the bubbles in my eyes are nothing to worry about. They are ‘iridocilliary cysts‘ - which is a kind of “benign tumour”, so it’s not the scary cancer sickie. They are especially common in Golden Retrievers, although Danes can get them too, as they get older. And they can just stay in my eyes ‘coz they’re not doing anything and I can see fine and they are not bothering me. Oh, and my eyeball pressure is really good so I definitely don’t have glaucoma!