Sunday, February 25, 2024
black catscat photographscatsdaily photojelly beanmewsettemr. sunshine

Daily Photo: Mr. Sunshine’s Adventures

black cat on floor
Mr. Sunshine rolls around on the floor.

Mr. Sunshine rolls around in the sun in his favorite spot on the kitchen floor, playing with an empty waffles box because it makes him happy, and showing off the little shaved spot from when he’d had his blood pressure taken.

On Wednesday Mr. Sunshine went back to PetWellClinic Scott for fine needle aspiration of the masses on his abdomen, which seemed a little smaller. Also an antibiotic for a low-grade fever and a little cough. I’m so glad this walk-in clinic can provide this affordably. Dr. Aldinger called with the results, nothing really on one of the masses, but some “spike” cells in the other, sometimes related to cancer. I still need to get imaging but he’s treating this more like an infection as well. He said he’d researched the combined information and found a similarity with “cat scratch fever” or bartonella. We’ll go back next week when his one-week prescription for doxycycline is finished to see how he his.

Dr. Aldinger and veterinary technician Angel remarked about what a good patient Mr. Sunshine is. Thanks again for their gentle handling. Getting to a cat’s belly to poke a few needles into areas that are probably somewhat painful, it’s like reaching into the mouth of a lion. I knew Mr. Sunshine would be a good boy. He didn’t like going over on to his back, but from experience I suggested we toss a cover over his head, like a towel, and he’d settle down, and he did.

black cat
Mr. Sunshine at the clinic.

In the meantime he’s feeling pretty good, eating better and getting back to his daily schedule of prime napping spots. Mr. Sunshine has one of those stereotypical cat faces that never changes expression, he always looks mildly disapproving, but he has a lot of body language that lets you know how he feels, and a mighty #purr.

Thank you to those who purchased from me and sent money after the last post—I wasn’t sure how much I’d be able to do for him this week and that made it all so much easier, along with planning for next week and looking for imaging to round things out.

Our adventures since the last post

Mr. Sunshine had started improving after he’d been to the clinic the first time, perhaps the heart meds took effect right away, though that’s not typical, they usually take a little more time to actually notice the effect, but I’ll take it. And purrhaps it was also some purr therapy from his sister who crawls into the Sleepypod with him at least once each day.

two black cats in sleepypod
Another visit from your sister.

On Tuesday I added some Pepcid to his regimen because I felt he was having some reflux issues affecting his appetite, not uncommon when something like this is up. It didn’t make any difference previously, but it did change his appetite with just the first small dose, so he gets that each day too. How I’m giving Sunshine his medicine: I use a ceramic dish and a pestle to crush the doses to a powder, then mix in some nutritional gel, not too much, just enough to disperse the grains of medication. The thick gel coats the grains so he can’t taste them in his mouth, and the malt flavoring is strong enough to counteract any bitterness he might be able to taste. I let him lick it off my finger and then lick the dish to get the rest.

two black cats
Jelly Bean stepped in to spend some time.

Wednesday morning he coughed a few times, and a cough is more serious with a cardiac condition present, plus Bella has been sneezing a bit here and he certainly doesn’t need a URI. I never know where these things come from. PetWellClinic had called that morning about the oncology referral, then Mr. Sunshine coughed after I’d hung up, and you can’t call them except to leave a message which is usually returned the next day. I stopped down (after I had my totally flat tire fixed very affordably by a local station, after I had my neighbor come by with his compressor to inflate it so I didn’t have to pay for a tow, one more complication this week!), and swung by the clinic to talk about the cough. Dr. Aldinger agreed about an exam and suggested he could also do the fine needle aspiration of the masses on his belly for much less than oncology would charge and we’d have the results in a day or two. We did that as described above, and he also gave me a bottle of compounded liquid doxycycline that has chicken and marshmallow flavor. Marshmallows are only sweet because of the sugar added, but it does have a soft, soothing flavor on its own. More medicine: I can get the dose into his mouth with a syringe and I also have some treats ready in my hand so, even though he hates the syringe and the stuff in his mouth he’s already got his eyes on the treats and we’re good.

Thursday and Friday he’s been eating even better, playing with the treat ball, and letting me know when it’s dinner time. He’s usually in the basket on my desk at that time so all he needs to do is get up and walk in front of my computer monitor, but if he’s sleeping in his sleepypod in the kitchen he is sure to come in and look at me to let me know.

black cat in basket.
Relaxing in the basket, arm stretched out.

He’s moving around more and is more mobile. Steps going up are still difficult as is getting up on things, getting down is fine, I’ve seen him run down the steps from the second floor.

To get up on my desk he walks over to the steps up to the landing, then walks onto the cat tree in the corner, then on the cabinet in front of the window and over onto my desk, where he used to just jump up on the other end of the desk by the door. But he wants to be up here and that’s the important thing.

Until recently he was jumping up onto the cabinet in the kitchen to drink from the fountain, then a few weeks ago using the chair to get onto the table, but now getting onto a chair isn’t easy, nor is getting up steps. It seems to be his hind legs, and I don’t know that it’s strength because his balance is fine, he does a deep downward cat stretch, and leaps across from the table to the cabinet to get to the fountain, so it may be the swelling on his belly makes it difficult to crouch for a leap upwards, or to pull his legs up.

two black cats in sleepypod
Morning naps with Mewsette and Mr. Sunshine.

I need some interim steps aside from the chairs to get him up on to things since he prefers the fountain and I haven’t seen him drink from the water bowl on the floor level; it’s up on a little stool so no one has to lean down that far to drink. I’ve been lifting him up onto the cabinet to drink, and he does have a good long drink, then gets down with no problem, but I want to be sure he has water all the time. Today I moved the Swan fountain from the studio with Simba and Louie and set it up in the kitchen. I love for Simba to have it because of his urinary condition, but he also loves his water bowl and we keep that full. PetLibro had approached me about doing a post about the fountain and they would send me one, but because I haven’t been able to post regularly lately I’ve been holding off, but I may do that now. More on that just below.

Changes on The Creative Cat

Problems in the dashboard

Part of the reason I haven’t been posting as often has been time and events, but it’s also been because I’ve been having difficulties with this site that have slowed it and me down. And little errors happen and I sit down to post and end up doing site maintenance. If you came here this past week you may not have found us at all! Way back in 2012 when I moved from a WordPress-hosted site to a self-hosted site, the databases didn’t move over very gracefully and some images are an issue, not necessarily ones in current posts, but some that moved but were damaged or whose data didn’t move entirely. When I update WordPress or some plugins and those images are affected, it causes repeating loops of trouble on the server. Over the years I’ve determined which ones were the culprits and dug out bits of troublesome code thanks to the help of my service provider, and I’ve been able to remove the bad ones and replace them. Even with that, I still have glitches in my database that cause service issues here.

Outgrowing my space

Recently, however, my service provider has had to shut this site down a few times because it bogged down the entire server it’s hosted on, and that’s happened three times in the past week. We’ve all worked on troubleshooting and I’m back up for now, but it’s still loading slowly. I have always posted a huge number of images because that’s what people want to see, so the site is really huge, even though I’ve optimized them all before they even get here. I set up this “magazine” template “way back when” so that my front page would display from all the categories of posts after a lot of feedback from readers who had a hard time finding things here, but that has been slow to load, as have some posts and pages.

Future plans

I’ve needed to do something about this for a while but it’s just darned difficult to sit down and do it, there’s never a good time, and I’m not sure where to go with the changes I make. First of all I love posting, whether it’s photos or stories or new artwork or merchandise, sharing those things on The Creative Cat has been meaningful to me all these years. I “clip my wings” with my daily commercial art and design, always following someone else’s plans and needs and I enjoy that challenge in a different way, but this is one place I can just do what I want, and I don’t like to limit myself without good reason. I could try posting smaller posts, but what is life without a lot of cat pictures? And I have so many, not sharing them hurts sometimes, like I’m trying to hold them all in! I’ve been seriously considering changing the template away from the “magazine” layout, creating a home page that featured the current daily posts with links to other categories so that the template itself didn’t slow things down. If you have ideas, please comment. I would love to know what you’d like to see.

I’ve been planning a fairly large in-person show in a storefront instead of my spring open house at my house, a show where I can exhibit lots of original art and framed prints as well as photography, which I never have the chance to do, as well as a whopping amount of merchandise. I wanted to get past that event before I did a big overhaul on this site because I rely on this site to reach the audience who purchases from me, both local and distant. I’ve had to push the date farther into May because trapping cats took more time than I’d planned, and then there’s spending time with Mr. Sunshine, which is most important of all. But I’ve also been planning getting all four of the siblings their senior exams with the income from this event so I’ve got to get to it sometime soon.

two black cats
Another visit from Mewsette.

Again, if you’d like to help me with Mr. Sunshine’s care…

…and with the senior panels for the others as well as a follow-up for Mimi, selling my merchandise is how I pay for that. Visit my website,, and do some shopping! I have been making handmade gift items like crazy between everything else, plus artwork and photography for yourself or for gifts. Also consider a portrait, or a portrait certificate. It would make me very happy to pack and ship things to you in return for money.

The antibiotic that cleared up Mimi’s kidney infection last year was $200 for six weeks, and I haven’t seen her look this good for about five years. I might even say it saved her life because that deep infection that no one else had diagnosed was wearing her down and had effects on her digestion and mobility. A long-term advanced antibiotic is the standard treatment for a deep infection, though, and while that’s less expensive than even simple cancer treatments, it’s still an expense and I want to be ready. I’m also seeing symptoms in Mewsette and Giuseppe that I’ve wanted to have examined too, and if there is a connection with toxoplasmosis and some of these symptoms, a toxoplasmosis test for one cat is $140. Vendor show season starts in earnest in July, though I have events in June set up, as well as a fairly big event in May, but that income is weeks away at best.

As always, thanks for following us, and thanks for caring! I always appreciate hearing from you, no matter how that happens.

And if you did want to donate, my Paypal address is bernadette @ bernadette-k . com and my Venmo is @Bernadette-Kazmarski. And thank you for caring, whether you buy something or donate or not.

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“Dishtowels” dishtowels

Mr. Sunshine is on three out of these four dishtowels! Read more and purchase.


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Weekly schedule of features:

Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life

Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters

Tuesday: Rescue Stories

Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork

Thursday: New Merchandise

Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy

Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats

And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!




From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

3 thoughts on “Daily Photo: Mr. Sunshine’s Adventures

  • Mr. Sunshine sure is a handsome dude and we all send many purrs his way.

  • Mary McNeil

    We send purrayers and Power of the Paw that Mr Sunshine is better soon. Webhave a couple with chronic problems too.


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