Sunday, January 28, 2007

Love Ackworth School Samplers?

Not a whole lot of stitching going on around here today - too many other things to do. I am actually doing two Stitching Bloggers Birthday/Christmas Club people... and both of their birthdays in February, only one week apart from each other! I managed to get the package for the first one completely finished and packed up for Mike to mail out tomorrow. Keeping me on my toes! LOL But, then for a while tonight I did work on the Long Dog Mystery Sampler (aka 18th Century Band Sampler). If you have been looking at this here or in other blogs and have been thinking you might want to stitch it, yet don't have a subscription to The Gift of Stitching online magazine... you have three more days to get Part One of the sampler. On Thursday, Part Two is released and this issue will not be available to download (unless you want to pay an extra fee for a back issue). I only mention this because I have gotten a lot of comments and emails about it. That said, I had fun with this again tonight. I like that there is blue in the sampler now.

I love, love, love Ackworth School Samplers! Do you? I was thrilled yesterday when the new issue of Sampler & Antique Needlework Quarterly (Spring 2007) arrived in my mailbox. The issue has an article on the Ackworth School, and... oh my, look at this gorgeous design! I keep staring at it!!
Mike and I were out running errands yesterday and had to stop in to WalMart. I found something there that I just had to buy! We picked up a heated mattress pad for our bed. We had the most wonderful night's sleep last night with it! Our room is always kept relatively warm - at least at bedtime, and then the heat comes back before it is time to get up... but this heated mattress pad is amazingly comfortable! Anyone else ever try one?
OK... I have a veterinary question for anyone with any experience... even though I am a psychotherapist, I am not entirely sure that my human-based treatment ideas and trials are working here. Angus is on a strictly wet food diet since his illness and surgery. This is key to his health right now. He is on something called Royal Canin Urinary SO canned food. Mike also picked up a bag of Royal Canin Urinary SO dry food. I think he just asked the girl at the front desk at the vet for a bag. He is unclear whether or not the vet approved this. However, he felt the need to buy it because our cats have always had dry kibble available to them. But, I talked to him and we decided we don't want Angus eating that. He not only is prone to kidney stones, but he also has some stones in his ureter. Here is the catch - one of our cats, Lily, loves dry food. She really doesn't touch wet food at all. But, we cannot leave any dry food out. We have put Angus in isolation daily so that Lily can eat. This seems to be having a negative effect on Angus, who is not stupid. He is now sitting around with the wet food on his plate (he always loved wet food, and even this new diet was initially palatable to him) and trying to see if either of us will break down and give him the dry food. Also, this is forcing Lily, and any of the other cats wanting any dry food, to have to eat at a time we choose and only for a short period (since we are always anxious to let Angus out of the bathroom). Anyone have any realistic solutions??
Stitched on today: Started a gift (which I think may be too big of an undertaking given when the receiver's birthday is....) and 18th Century Band Sampler


Old Yankee Stitcher said...

Your stitching is lovely. I relly like the colors and will be going to sign up for the Gift of Stitching right now. Thanks, CJ P.S. Sorry no animal knowledge.

Dianne said...

I can't see why a few pieces of the dry food that is 'good for his bladder' broken up a bit on top of the wet should hurt him. I'm thinking one or two-like a topping on a kitty sundae.

Claudia said...

The Mistery sampler is gorgeous: I love how's turning out!!!
And the Ackworth pattern for the frame is stunning!!!! Will you stitch it???

Rachel said...

I worked as a vet tech to help get me through grad school, and we did perform several PUs while I was there (one on a dalmation, even.) Although we used a different brand of specialty diet food for our clients, I can't imagine that giving him the (approprite, low ash, etc.) dry food would be a problem. Are you specifically worried about his fluid intake or just that the dry food would have a different chemical composition then the wet food?

I would call the vet with your concerns and let him decide if avoiding the dry food is necessary. If your only worry is fluid intake there are some medications that will help to ensure that that is not a problem (and you can just watch him for a day or two to make sure his fluid levels are appropriately high. Although, traditionally, it is not that difficult for a cat, even a sick one, to self-maintain the proper fluid levels. Cats tend to not eat when they are sick, rather then not drink. And there are various tricks (running water, etc.) that almost always work to convince them if you have a difficult case.) If you are worried about the diet itself, he can clear up whether or not he believes that the food is appropriate. I'm sure it would be a "call in the morning, get an answer in the afternoon" sort of scenario, but at least you would know.

Anonymous said...

Your band sampler is very pretty, great progress! And that Ackworth frame is stunning - I might have to get both magazines - arrrghh!

I agree with Rachel, I would call your vet and see what he suggests about the feeding issue - good luck!

stitchwitched said...

I agree with what others have posted: check with your vet, as the dry food you got from the vet may be fine; but be sure it's also okay for Lily. Angus probably feels he is being punished, so if they must be separated to eat, perhaps you could sequester the others during that time period. When we had both senior cats and kittens, we installed a tiny doggie door to allow the kittens into a room where kitten food was. All our adult cats except the really fat one who really needed NOT to eat the high calorie food could get in -- tubby cat tried and did manage to squeeze through a few times, but the door worked fairly well to keep her out. There are also more complicated pet door scenarios with electronic tags on the pet collars to allow through only those that are supposed to go through ... But I would try working with various scenarios of dividing cats to eat (if they do need to be divided) and convincing each one that the separation is because they are special, i.e., make the separation synonymous with a special treat of some kind.

bunnyhead said...

That sampler from the magazine is definitely to drool over! And how on earth did you end up with two birthday stitchers--- and in the same month to boot! If anyone can do it, it's Carol and her electric needles!

Vonna said...

Sorry Carol, I can't help you on the kitty if it was kids and constipation, etc...I'm the woman...but no kitty knowledge at all. Sorry!

Your LDS is just gorgeous and I keep thinking I should start it with my million and 1 other things...but I'm going to hold off. I can't wait for my AS mag to get here I love Ackworth designs too!

Jean said...

Your LDS Sampler is coming along nicely.. and yes I too love Ackworth Samplers..

Wendy said...

I'm a new convert to Ackworth Samplers so I'll have to make sure to get this issue of SANQ. Your LHS sampler looks so nice now with the second band started.

Robin said...

Hi Carol! I worked in an Emergency Vet Hospital for 10 years and I agree with Rachel. Sometimes we had cats that would not eat wet (although most prefer it to dry) but maybe you could put some warm water on the dry just enough to make it "wet" without losing crunchiness-Does that make sense? My mother's dog is diabetic and has never been completely regulated despite my mothers military precision with measuring food and giving insulin and her dog can eat both the wet and dry forms of the diet food. (I know that this is a different problem that what you have!) Either way I would check with the doctor which you would probably do anyway.
And your stitching is beautiful as usual.

BeckySC said...

I am loving the Mystery Sampler. I almost decided to start it.....Yours is looking great-the colors are wonderful!

AS you know Toby is on a special diet as well, because of his bladder stones (31 stones they removed in June) and he is not allowed to have anything else at all. If he does he runs the chance of his stones returning and with his age it's a dangerous surgery. He is on a DRY food, but I requested dry, as that is what he is used too-HOWEVER, I could have gotten the canned/wet food. Maybe you can change to whichever Angus prefers...ALSO, Meagan, our cat eats Toby's food-we can't stop her and the vet said it would do her NO harm.

hugs to you and wishes for a good week!

Rachel said...

Okay, so I belatedly realised you were also asking about behavior modification techniques. (It was late last night, sorry!)

As a general rule it is much easier to convince cats to *do* something rather then to *not* do something. Simple repetition, sometimes with rewards sometimes not, tends to get the point across very quickly. As for avoiding particular behaviors - modified aversion therapy tends to work best. Make the situation into something they would normally avoid. But (and it's a fairly big but) as a general rule they need to not know that the humans are involved in making the situation intolerable. This tends to involve booby trapping items/places. Typical things cats hate include cans with pennies in them (the noise they make), double sided tape, crumpled up and then spread out aluminum foil, and, of course, sprayed water. Just remember negative reinforcement when connected to a human does *not* tend to easily lead to the desired result. (ie, you don't actually want the cat to see you spraying it with water, you want more of a "hand of God" approach).

For what you have described thusfar I would try to make Angus' time in the bathroom "special" in some way. A specific toy he loves that he can only play with while in there, having either you or Mike feed the other acts while he is in the bathroom alone with his favorite person, extra grooming time while he's in there, etc. Of course as he's currently reluctant to eat you'll have to just wait for him to finish, and then pick him up and be very cheerful and excited about going in there and giving him his "treat". A few days of "you eat and then the fun begins" and you should have less of a struggle on your hand.

Good luck!

Stitch Wizard said...

Carol, my experience although it is with my little dog Blossom is that the dry food should not be a problem at all. She too had stones in the ureater, which perforated, but this food is designed to not be a problem, be it dry or moist. I put the dry out in a dish for her and when she begs from me, I then give her tastes of the canned food. Ask your vet, but it seems to me that it should all be ok if prescribed by your vet. Debby

Michelle said...

Your band sampler is looking so pretty - so colorful. I wish I had some advice for you regarding Angus...with three of my own, I have a hard time figuring out how to give something to one but not to the others and vice versa. And they are so sensitive about being locked up, etc. Good luck and let me know what ends up working. We're having a food issue at our house too with the cats.

Michele said...

Our 3 year old tabby had a severe urinary tract infection and stones a year ago .. $1500 later, he was put on the wet food the vet prescribed .. he hated it, and with two other cats to think about, we talked to the vet .. he said moving him to dry food, the low ash kind (don't have the name with me at work, but you can only buy it at the vets) would be fine, and totally ok for the other cats to eat too .. since urinary tract issues are common for cats. Good Luck!

tkdchick said...

Carol I enjoy watching the Long Dog Sampler coming along.

How about adding a little water to the dry food for Angus...then its not so dry?

Gill said...

I used to really dislike samplers but they are steadily growing on me. I might look at your Ackworth School picture for a while and learn to love it too!
Sorry can't offer any advice about Angus' food - hope you manage to find a solution soon.

Heather said...

When Brandy had cystitis, we had to force him to eat some special urnary tract crunchies (he and his sister hated crunchies), which were James Wellbeloved and they had cranberry in them to help with the waterworks. But he wasn't a crunchie eater normally and ate them as though they were treats.

Cats who eat them on a regular basis are advised not to eat them (so my vet said) because they can dehydrate, which is no good for kitties with kidney problems.

I'm sure that's why your vet has probably said no crunchies.

Heather said...

When Brandy had cystitis, we had to force him to eat some special urnary tract crunchies (he and his sister hated crunchies), which were James Wellbeloved and they had cranberry in them to help with the waterworks. But he wasn't a crunchie eater normally and ate them as though they were treats.

Cats who eat them on a regular basis are advised not to eat them (so my vet said) because they can dehydrate, which is no good for kitties with kidney problems.

I'm sure that's why your vet has probably said no crunchies.

Cathy said...

That Ackworth is beautiful - maybe I need to get a subscription to SANQ now!

Your band sampler also looks great!

Poor Angus - hope his condition continues to improve!

stitcherw said...

Your long dog sampler is turning out so pretty I couldn't resist any longer and signed up for the magazine. I won't start it in the near future, but wanted to make sure I had the pattern. Now I just need to figure out how to print off the pattern in a little bit larger size than it comes in. I managed to get it enlarged, but then only a portion of the pattern prints, I can't get the other part of the one page to print when it is enlarged. Oh well, eventually I'll figure it out.

Sorry you are having such trouble with Angus wanting dry kibble and not being able to have it. Trying to keep one to a special diet when you have multiple pets is hard. I can't think of anything to add to what you or others have mentioned. I'll keep hoping Angus continues to improve and will be able to have back the crunchies he wants.

Denaria said...

I went to Ackworth School...didn't stitch any samplers though.