Friday, April 30, 2010
Really? when did this become a holiday???
I did read several articles on the subject, and most were what you would expect, keep your cat combed well, give hairball remedies, etc. but one really stood out to me. It said hairballs were not a natural occurrence for cats, and it was a result of a diet that was inappropriate and or inflammatory responses.
How fascinating. I have one cat, Ollie, who occasionally throws hairballs, and I generally groom him and they stop. It got to the point that when I groom him (because he HATES it) I have started to shave his belly down by an inch or two (leaving an inch or two). When his excess fur is removed and his belly shaved, he doesn't get them any more. But this definitely got me thinking at the situation completely differently - especially since he once became constipated and now has cancer. Might this be a symptom of something more???
I remember when I used to work at the vet, and we did fecal samples (poop tests) and from time to time I would get a sample that was mostly hair. Those were always so interesting to me, because you couldn't tell until you went digging around in them.
But then part of me wonders about the fact that humans bred cats to have long hair, and maybe that is outside the norm of what happens with a normal cat?? I know cats were designed to have barbs on their tongue that causes them to swallow hair when groomed. It would only make sense they would be designed to be able to handle that. But then we go mucking about the genetic code adding longer more beautiful hair... *shrug*
I'm all for new ideas and new ways to think of things that are different "from the way they have always been" which is why I'm sharing. Make of this what you will.
I know it was a little early, but the kits kept seeming to be interested in food, and I was wondering how far that interest went. I personally think the face kits make when they taste food for the first time - good or bad - is quite humorous, so I generally can't resist (no matter how many times I tell myself that kittens will wean on to food on their own with out my help).
The boys both really liked the taste of the food, but they couldn't quite make the connection to the stuff they were smelling and the stuff I put in their mouth. That's OK. The girl however LOVED food, and quickly made the connection to the food mom was eating to the stuff I put in her mouth, and went up to the bowl and started eating!! :)
it was really cute
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
I was surfing around kitten blogs (as I'm liked to do when I'm bored) and saw over at Forever Foster a plug for a charity that is listed on the Pepsi Refresh Project. I thought what a good idea. I've gone over there a time or two but nothing regular, which I'm a little sad for because there are so many great animal causes.
This one is very close to my heart. I dream of being able to set up clinics like this for people - well that and a mobile spay neuter RV - and their pets.
Signing up is very easy, and I've never been spammed by them. You get ten votes a day to vote on ten different projects. So proud of Pepsi for doing this, and a little ashamed of myself for not participating more. I am so going to have to actually put this in my to-do list so I don't forget.
I've annoyed Lilly by moving her, then rearranging her kittens to try to keep a better eye on them. I kept putting them in the kitten box that most moms use, but she kept moving them back. She got so annoyed that the carrier apparently was no longer safe from me that she moved them into the corner of the room. I tried blocking that off, but she kept shoving them in there, so I'm trying not to be pushy any more. another week or two they won't listen to her any more anyway.
I've ended up calling Thing Two "Marty" and it seems to fit him pretty well. Today he thought he might come out of the corner, but once he saw how big the room was he turned around
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I can't believe it has only been two weeks since the kits were born. They are doing so well. Last night they started walking out of the nest on their own. they didn't venture very far before they turned around and went back in, but each one in turn gave it a shot.
The girl, Bastet, is doing the best at walking. She is very stable (considering) and walking up on her feet and off her belly. Thing One I think might be called Rupert, is doing next best. He too is up on his feet, but he is very wobbly. Thing Two is the slowest (and the heaviest) of the bunch. He's still mostly swimming where he wants to go - not that there is anything wrong with that, he's only two weeks old for goodness sake. I was a little concerned for him when comparing how far along Bast is - which is what I consider about week 3 status. They are so very much going to be a handful in a few weeks..
But I'll try to temper it with a cute story about him, and then immediately post a kitten update..
Took him to the Oncologist this morning. Of course he was totally not amused by it but at least he didn't howl on the way up. He let the doctor examine him, but when the surgeon came in he was a little more outward about his displeasure about being all felt up. His tumor is right up next to his spine, so taking it off with "clean margins" would involve taking part of his pelvic bone.. which I just can't fathom putting him through.
They also talked about how if it came back after the first removal, it was pretty much an aggressive growth and it would most likely continue to recur no matter what we did. Looks like what I *should* have done was the biopsy at the first surgery and gone for chemo after that. Would that have killed this and given him a longer life? Who knows. Maybe those first time surgery removal/chemo patients were the ones who's growths wouldn't have come back even if they hadn't had chemo.. (yes I'm justifying to make myself feel a little better)
She did make it a point to tell me that vaccines are still very important and the incidence of VAS is greatly outnumbered by the incidents of disease prevented by vaccines. I found it very interesting that she made it a point to say that. She said a lot of people get "gun shy" over vaccines after VAS, which I totally get.
I am not anti-vaccine by any stretch of the imagination. I believe in the good they can do, and think every cat should be vaccinated. My quandary is how OFTEN do they need to be vaccinated. When humans get rabies vaccines they are good for what, 10 years? so how do they know the vaccine isn't longer lasting? the FVRCP vaccine was recommended every year, and now every three.
Well anyway... I don't believe in dwelling, but I do believe in sharing experiences... so this is a this is what is happening (or has happened) post for prosperity. If you come across this because your cat has or may have a vaccine associated sarcoma, I am sorry. I hope you get a better prognosis then Ollie.
as for my cute story.. I went downstairs to spend time with Lilly. I went into the sauna to get the book I am reading and when Ollie heard the sauna door open he came running meowing out as if to say "WAIT FOR ME!! I want to sauna too!!" so instead of playing with kittens, we sauna-ed. Stayed in there for almost 30 minutes which was quite a long time for him.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Yes, we all do it from time to time, and it is part of the human experience, but sometimes you fail so spectacularly that you can't help but feeling miserable about it.
Ollie had his appointment with the holistic vet this morning, and I completely spaced and went to work instead. I was 10 minutes late before I realized I missed it.
What the spectacular part about it is that I spent half an hour with Ollie this morning, we saunaed for a while, and I spent some time mixing up some supplements in some tasty food for him to eat and then watched him eat it to make sure he got a good portion of it. I even stirred the bowl to make sure he got the last bits that he could want.
Took such good care of him, and not once did it dawn on me that he had an appoinment.
So he has his appointment with the oncologist tomorrow which I can't forget because DH is coming with me. This might actually work out for the better, because I think seeing the holistic after the oncologist might be better - at least that is what I am telling myself.
but yes, I still feel pretty much like I hoped my mother would when ever she would forget me at some place she was supposed to pick me up.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Checked on the kittens last night. Not all that much to report, they are doing very well, eating up a storm so mom is now eating three full cans of cat food a day and some dry (it is out, she's nibbling, but not really eating it) the cords fell off Sunday and Monday, and last night the little girl had one eye 75% open and the other 25%. So we'll probably be seeing more eyeballs in the next 24-36 hours..
I'll try to get some more photos of them soon.
Well I can embed the video, but it is so much larger then the blog that it is silly looking.
So the short version is here
the longer 5 minute version with Ollie putting his head against the heaters and actually kneeding is here
On a side note, I felt the need to groom Ollie over the weekend and never got to it. He is long haired, and if I do not keep on top of it, he ends up vomiting rather frequently. Well I hadn't in a while and he was, and so this morning I had a few minutes so I sat him down and apologized before hand and combed the fur on his top and back, and then took him into the bathroom and trimmed up his belly fur. It is three or more inches long, and combing it is never much fun. When I have a lot of time, I use scissors and stay an inch or so away from his body and just go very slowly, but this time I pulled out the trimmers I have. They work even more slowly then trimming, but I don't have to be as careful because they can't cut him so I can work quicker. Goodness was he ticked off. I kept trying to explain to him he would appreciate not having all that fur but he didn't care. I told him I loved him frequently, didn't care about that either. Just kept swearing at me. Finally when I was done I offered him a yummy treat, but he was too ticked to eat it. So I threw down a handful of dry food (cat cookies at my house) and while he partook of that, he had one eye out for my shenanigans - fearing I would be trying to grab him and do evil things to him again. Yup, more guilt. But I knew it would make him feel better in the long run and there was no way around ticking him off to get it done, so I just sucked it up and took his wrath. I'm sure he'll forgive me in time to sauna tomorrow :)
Monday, April 5, 2010
The other weekend we went to a home show and there was a company selling dry heat saunas. They had a little sign that said the floor models would be sold for any reasonable offer. Long story shortened (because this a blog about cats after all) I ended up with a nice hot sauna.
I LOVE it. Each day since it has been working I've been in it, and it is freaking the cats right out because they can see me but can't get to me. The first two days they lined up by the front door and cried for me to come out, pawing at the glass, etc. Since then they have come to accept the fact that mommy is weird and sit and wait for me to come out. Originally I would open the door but the hot air coming out would cause them to turn away, but Sunday I did that to Ollie and he walked right in.
He investigated the floor that has two heaters, then looked up at me on the bench and jumped up and stood next to me. I laughed at him and patted him, watching him for any signs of distress. 140 degrees is not ideal for cats, but he likes to lay in the sun and bake so I figured he would be OK for a short time. I thought he'd look at me, call me insane and then leave, but instead he started purring, head bumping me, and digging his head into the walls of the sauna. He eventually laid down and purred and actually started making biscuits.
Now I have always known Ollie COULD purr. He did when he was a kitten, but I haven't heard it in a very long time. He's always so crotchety, that I feel he's swearing at me even as he is asking to be patted. This was the happiest I have EVER seen him.
After a few minutes, the timer went off and the sauna shut off. I could hear Ollie say "this better not be over!!" and when I stood up to leave I could feel his disappointment. I told him he could stay in there, but he left with me, and stuck to my side for the next hour. When I walked toward the sauna a few minutes after leaving to hang the towel I was using back up, he got very excited. I opened the door for him to go back in, and he jumped right in. He didn't want to be in there with out me though and came right back out when I didn't come in.
I found him later in the day baking in the sun. Guess he's really loving the heat.
Unfortunately I did find a third lump up near his spine. We are going to make an appointment with an oncologist to get more info, and we still have the appointment next week with the holistic vet.