Wet Noodle, Wild Cat

It’s been a rough day. Not for me, but for Alice and Jack. I took them in for their routine vaccinations and they were NOT happy. They were upset with me first thing because I wouldn’t give them have any dry food, as I normally do each morning. Every time I walked toward their food area, they dashed ahead of me, thinking I was finally going to give them food. Shame on me.

Alice fought like the devil when it was time to get into the carrier and Jack didn’t like the idea but he’s been back and forth to the vet so many times since the week before Christmas that I think he knew there was no point putting up a fight.

Once in the carrier, Alice cried, scratched, and stuck her little legs out between the bars of the door, reaching…reaching. I felt so bad. I knew she was going to be ok but can you imagine the stress and anxiety a cat must feel when they’re shoved in a ‘cage’ and put into a car for transport? They have no clue what’s going on or what’s going to happen. I often wonder if my surviving kitties remember how Fuzzy, Korn, and Smokie one by one went for a ride and never returned. The others had a view of the burial in the garden from the catio but did they understand? Are they afraid every time they go for a ride? I shudder at the thoughts that must go through their minds. (Of course, I shudder at my own thoughts half the time.)

Alice cried all the way to the vet, which was about 30 miles away. Jack never made a sound. He’s used to this. For the entire drive, I hoped neither one of them would throw up or relieve themselves in the carriers. I brought extra bedding just in case. Thankfully, not feeding them before we left worked as I had hoped. Neither one threw up and unbelievably they didn’t have any other accidents either!

Dr. Missy, our very caring and gentle veterinarian, looked over both Alice and Jack. Jack still has some rattly sounds in his lungs, which is why he’s still on his steroids. Alice passed her ‘once over’ with flying colors. Dr. Missy even complimented her on her shiny and luxurious coat! I brush them all every day so I’m glad it’s showing.

They got their vaccinations and before Dr. Missy left, I asked for advice on how to get an elder cat with a tendency to rip people to shreds into a carrier. Poor Kitty needs her vaccinations, too but thanks to our previous vet, it’s next to impossible to get her into a carrier. Dr. Missy gave me some good suggestions. She said a little gabapentin might help to relieve some stress and anxiety. I happen to be on gabapentin and she told me I could give about 100mg in food an hour or so before getting her into the carrier. I don’t know if it will work, but I can sure give it a shot. The other tip was to set the carrier on its end, grab the cat by the scruff of the neck and back her into the carrier, butt first and quickly. That’s when Dad popped off a funny! He said, “That’ll be like sticking a wet noodle up a wild cat’s ass.” I thought I was going to wet myself!

On the way home, Alice never made a peep. She waited until we pulled up in front of the house and then she started to cry. I don’t know how she knew but she knew. I never saw Jack or Alice for about 3 hours after we got home. They came out to eat their dinner and then Jack went back into hiding. Alice is on my bed, sleeping so hard right now. She’s snoring and even had a nightmare. Poor baby!

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I have two more cats needing vaccinations. Kitty and Honey. Honey weighs a whopping 20 lbs. now – she won’t be easy to carry! And Kitty? Well, we’ll see. Hopefully, I can get her in the carrier. You know…. wet noodle, wild cat.

Another Ordeal

It’s been quite an emotional weekend for me. On Friday, Jack got sick. He was coughing and his breathing was strained. His respirations were higher than they should be and his breathing was odd. By Saturday, I didn’t know if he would make it. I cried most of the day. By Sunday, I was preparing myself to say goodbye. I didn’t know if he would make it to the vet on Monday if I could even get him in that day. I didn’t know if I would get him help in time to save him or if I would be too late and be forced to put him down. There was another obstacle, too. The road conditions weren’t very good in many places. Our vet is 30 miles away and they had some severe ice accumulation. Would the roads be so bad I wouldn’t be able to take him? My heart was breaking.

Now a little history on Jack. He was a stray and of course, I rescued him. I have a soft spot for cats. I can’t help it. Based on the fact that he didn’t mark his territory inside or outside, I figured his age to be no more than 6 months old. I quickly had him neutered.

Within the first year, we noticed Jack had this dry, hacking cough (but not very often) as if he were trying to hack up a hairball, with no results. Then my Dad noticed that his breathing was different than the other cats. His chest would rise with each breath but then his abdomen would rise quickly behind, as his chest fell. It was odd and I had never seen this before.

Our vet (at that time) didn’t seem concerned, stating he “probably just had allergies” because after all “cats can have allergies, too” she told me. I know that, but I have never seen allergies do this to a cat and I’ve had so many cats in my lifetime it would make your head spin. Jack had episodes before (much like this current episode) but they were always short lived. He always snapped out of it quickly but I was always worried.

When he was in that catfight just before Christmas, he was put on antibiotics. The entire course of the antibiotics he had no coughing fits. His breathing seemed very close to normal. I realized this at nearly the end of the treatment. Within 2 days of treatment’s end, he was coughing again and then this episode followed a few days later.

So, now my head was spinning with thoughts I couldn’t stop. Fear, worry, sadness, and GRIEF set in. Unimaginable grief to have to put down yet another beloved cat! I did some research. Based on Jack’s symptoms, I surmised he had what is called a diaphragmatic hernia. I was almost certain. Surgery to repair such a hernia can range anywhere from $1,200 – $2,000, depending on the area. How the hell am I supposed to come up with that kind of money? I would have to open a Go Fund Me page without a doubt. I would have to plead with my friends and family to donate, and if they couldn’t donate then to please share on social media. I needed to save Jack’s life. I needed to have a plan.

Monday morning, I called the vet 20 minutes before they even opened for business. They had no appointments open. I was crushed. The gal on the phone was sweet and told me to bring Jack in at the end of the day, about 4p. Of course, I jumped on that idea and although I was unhappy Jack would have to wait for a little longer, at least he was going to be seen! About an hour later, our 4p appointment got bumped up to 11a. I was so happy!

Upon arrival, they took us into an exam room and it wasn’t long before Dr. Missy came in. I explained the situation and Jack’s symptoms. I even showed her a video of Jack’s coughing attack and another clip of his breathing. She said that I was right to be concerned about a diaphragmatic hernia based on those symptoms but she said from last month’s x-rays, she didn’t see evidence of that. To make sure she didn’t miss anything, she took a couple more x-rays.

I am elated to report that I was wrong about my diagnosis! All of Jack’s internal organs were exactly where they should be. There was no evidence of any kind of hernia. His lungs were a different story. They were spotted and inflamed, and Dr. Missy said it looked like this was putting pressure against his windpipe, which was causing the cough. She also said we can’t rule out allergies, as our previous vet had suggested but whatever the allergen was had triggered a major reaction/infection in the lungs.

Jack got a fast-acting antibiotic injection, along with oral antibiotics and a steroid to follow up for 10 days at home. I noticed Jack feeling much better as soon as we got home! His breathing had stabilized and his cough subsided…for longer periods of time in between anyway.

We will have to go back in 2 weeks to recheck his lungs and we may have to continue the steroids off and on for the rest of his life, depending on whether this “thing” goes completely away or not. He’s had this going on for most of his life and had gone untreated because our previous vet didn’t think it was serious. So, now it’s a waiting game.

Jack has become such a mama’s boy since we got him. Of course, he won’t be too happy with me when he learns he will never step foot outside again. For two reasons: I want to protect him from that mean ol’ stray puddy tat and he has cost us over $500, not counting the bill for recheck in two weeks! He’s too expensive a cat to let outside! He will have to be happy with the catio!

Finally, I can say I have my Jack back!

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A Caturday In Hiding

Poor Honey had to go to the vet yesterday. She went from 16 lbs. in January, to 17 lbs. in March, to a whopping 19 lbs. at the end of May! She has been on a diet since January! That didn’t work, obviously.

To the vet she went. She was not happy. In fact, she looks pissed.

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She was a good girl though. She hissed at me when I put her in the carrier, but no hisses at our new vet. Everyone commented on how gorgeous she was… I think this may go to her head and cause her to expect more food.

The vet checked Honey’s thyroid, which was normal. She took a ‘picture’ of her belly to check for excessive liquids or masses. Nothing abnormal. Diabetes was ruled out as she shows no signs of that. She does have big bones so she may have some Maine Coon in her, but her belly shouldn’t look like she swallowed a bowling ball.

So, first step… Change her diet to a special weight management metabolic cat food, to try to trick her metabolism into high gear…or least a higher gear than it’s stuck in right now.  EXPENSIVE cat food, I might add. Ok. I’ll try anything at this point, but after a couple of months if she doesn’t lose weight then I’m trying a different kind.

As soon as we got her home yesterday, she hid under my bed. Of course, she hadn’t eaten anything all day so I fed her and she came out for that…naturally.

I didn’t see her much until just a few minutes ago. She spent her entire Caturday hiding under my bed. I think she thought it would be safe to hide in case I wanted to put her in the cage and go for another ride!

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She decided to give Alice a bath and Alice loves that! I gave Honey a good brushing while she was occupied with Alice. When I stopped brushing, Honey stopped and looked at Alice like, “What was I thinking?”

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So, Honey, aka Fatty McCatty, aka Porkahontas, among other funny names….is unhappy and hungry. I just want her to be at a healthy enough weight to be able to run and play with the others. I want her to be able to jump on my bed with grace. I want her to be playful and energetic once again.

Good Care Costs A Bit More, It Seems

A little, fat, hairy ass spider just ran up the wall and back down again, never to be seen until it scares the crap out of me crawling up my leg or some other body part. Yay.

Aaaaaagh. It has been a couple of hectic weeks and I’m glad things are on the mend.

Last week, Kitty got sick and I took her to our primary vet. I’ve had about all I am going to take from that clinic! Poor Kitty was confined to her carrier from 11am Thursday to around 1pm on Friday when I finally got her home! I was livid. I even sent extra bedding so she would have a little bit of home. Did they use it? Nope. That poor cat sat in her own urine for all that time. She was traumatized to the max. I will most likely never be able to get her in a carrier again. EVER.

Her blood work showed she is pre-diabetic, so all of my furbabies are on a diet and their dry food is being limited. I still think there’s something else going on to cause blood and mucus in her stool but what the hell do I know? They gave her meds for worms and other parasites….which I told them I could not give to my cats because of my pain and mobility issues. That was the reason she stayed overnight. When I picked her up they handed me a bottle of liquid medication for parasites and told me there was 4 more doses left. That pissed me off because they didn’t tell me there would be more than one dose! The whole reason for her staying the night was so THEY could give the meds. (If I had to take her home right after they gave the meds, she would have thrown it up on the drive back.)

Then on Saturday, poor Alice was sick again. A few weeks ago she had the sniffles and the sneezies but it went away after about 5 days, as cat colds normally do. Well, it came back again and she just wasn’t eating or drinking much. Monday, I tried to call our secondary vet (more expensive) but they were booked up until this Saturday. I called a few other vets, but they were all booked up as well. Out of desperation, I called our primary vet but she was booked until this Friday. (Phew!)

The last vet I called got us in on Tuesday, cost a little more, but was the best vet I have ever encountered in my life! First off, the facility didn’t smell like it was a veterinary clinic. No dog smell, cat smell, disinfectant smell, medicine-y smell, no nothing. They have these awesome odor eliminating candles! Of course, I had to buy one!

 

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The receptionist was very friendly. It was Alice’s turn almost right away. The vet was a very caring and gentle woman, who brought her assistant in to help. She was also very kind and gentle. She made Alice feel very secure and safe while the vet was checking her out. The vet told listened to her lungs to check for an upper respiratory problem. Turns out it wasn’t in her lungs, it was in her sinuses. They gave Alice subcutaneous fluids to hydrate, and a long-acting antibiotic injection. She understood that I had issues giving oral meds. I knew the injection would be more costly but it was worth it. In fact, paying more for everything at this new place was worth it!  We have ourselves a new vet!

Alice is feeling much better today. She finally has her appetite back! She’s eating and drinking better and not sneezing as much. She’s back to her old self again! Now, to keep an eye on Kitty…who was just snoring like crazy beside me…hopefully, she’ll not have any more symptoms but if she does, at least I will feel more at ease about taking her to this new vet! (That is IF I can get her into the carrier.)

 

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Oh, and that little, fat, hairy ass spider just found his way up my leg, just as I suspected he would! I squealed a little and brushed him off. He took off and went back from whence he came. I’m sure I haven’t seen the last of him!