Monday, February 6, 2017

Life with Cats



The "groundhog" might not think spring is coming anytime soon, but my cats totally disagree. The shedding is pretty spectacular. I spent Saturday combing the cats and trimming claws and cleaning ears and giving everyone a once over. Some make it easier than others.

After I had finished grooming everyone I noticed Fleurp was quite insistent that I give her a can of canned food in her 'special place' (I will supplement with her canned food when her spring anemia pops up) so I broke out the scale and weighed her and noticed that her weight had dropped a few ounces. I dug out the Furminator and was the horrible mean momma and did the first of several combings that I've started doing each spring.


This might be impressive to you, but let me put this in perspective..


The smaller one in front on the left is what I took off Jack and the one on the right is what I got off Muffin. I'll probably comb Fleurp again in a couple of days and then next weekend, and probably every weekend after that. If her weight doesn't come back up in the next couple of days or drops even lower I'll probably start her back on prendisolone.

Jack had a bit of a health issue a month or so ago. It started with some diarrhea and then some vomiting. I took him to the vet and there was nothing that popped up in the blood work and he didn't seem painful at all so we decided to watch and wait. The vet mentioned that it could be a side effect of too much thyroid meds (which he is on because when he had his I131 it killed off too much of his thyroid so now we have to supplement it) so I took him off his thyroid meds - partially so I didn't have to pill him when he was feeling miserable. He recovered pretty quickly but I didn't start his meds back up again and over the past few weeks he has slowly started putting weight on so I have started him back up on it. He is responding nicely and doesn't mind being pilled at all.

Muffin's leg is still wobbly. Regardless of what we try, I have a feeling it is just going to be what we have to deal with for the rest of her life. I'm saddened by this, but other than her not wanting to walk down the stairs it really doesn't impact her life... so I follow her lead and don't dwell on it.

Eli is doing well. He will occasionally run around the house like his tail is on fire and two or three times he howls the most pathetic howl that hurts to hear, but each time I check in with him he seems fine so I am learning to disregard it... it is not easy.

Twee is good. Her eyes are watery and I'm not happy about it. I took her to the vet and they were less watery that day and he said 'oh it's just watery eyes not much we can do about it', which didn't amuse me in the least.

Skippy is Skippy. He is nearly six years old and his teeth still look like those of a much younger kitty. The benefits of being on a raw food diet your entire life.

Just an aside.. don't try to make cat food the day before the "big game". The store we went to was out of wings, so the rest of the chicken was horribly picked over and not on sale. I'm guessing that tomorrow it will all be on sale..

****

I'd also like to take a moment and talk to you all about Rupert. Several people expressed dismay with me that I didn't follow-up with the shelter to see exactly what happened with Rupert. I am sorry you feel this way. On some level, I can understand your desire to know exactly what happened, but you have to realize that this is not a perfect world. In order to know exactly what happened to him, I would have to contact the shelter and ask. I know that many of you think this is an easy thing to do, but I said my goodbyes to him when I brought him back to the shelter and I said my final goodbyes to him when I found out that he had taken a turn for the worse. To ask and find out he was euthanized means I would have yet another set of goodbyes.. (even talking about this hurts and I'm in tears at my family's house while they are all jeering at the big game). I would also be interrupting the shelter staff from what they are doing and asking them a very emotional question and force them to face that again. I can't imagine this was any easier for any of them than it is for me. I know you all came to know him and love him through my blog and I have no doubt that the idea of his loss tugged at your heart... but if I were to find out by some miracle they were able to pull him through the chances of him really making it would be infinitesimal, and we would all be forced to live through this a third time.

Sometimes in rescue, you do not get the answers you want, and sometimes you don't get answers at all. I know full well he was cared for, loved and that they are / did make the best decisions for him. For me, that is enough. If that is not for you, I'm sorry, but I will not put all of us through this again.

23 comments:

  1. When we consider how most kittens are conceived and born and raised, the conditions of their mothers and the surroundings of their lives, it's a wonder any are born whole and complete and with enough vitality to grow and thrive, and yet most do. But some don't. It's hard to watch them struggle to be four weeks or six weeks or eight weeks, or thrive and then suddenly fail, but if that's what happens it was part of their body the moment they were born and there is very little we can do about it. But we can and should love them and give them the best we have to give for the short time they have with us.

    Good luck with the rest of the household!

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  2. I'm just wondering... how old is Eli? Because Binga does the crazy howly thing sometimes too. She is also 16-1/2 and going a bit dotty. If Eli is younger, than yeah, I have no idea either!

    Rupert was your foster, and how you face what happened with him is your business. Not to mention the rescue you work with. We are just lucky you allow us into your world to share these kitties with us. I know sometimes people are compelled to ask for more than you can or want to give... but that is their problem.

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    1. He's almost fifteen.. wow.. (born in 2002) I would have told you he was 12 if I hadn't done the math. Em started getting what we called "old kitty disease' where she would forget where we were.. she'd stand around in the kitchen crying pathetically until we would call out to her and remind her where the bedroom was.. and she'd come trotting along a few moments later. This is not that..

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  3. I bought our first FURminator a couple weeks ago because last spring/summer was brutal for Bear with hairballs. I'd been brushing him with a slicker brush ... but after a week of using the FURminator ... OH MY CAT! ... WHERE is this fur COMING FROM?!?! He's not long haired either! I don't know if it's an early spring or the new brush ... but HOLY CAT!

    When Kitty got to the double digits sometimes she'd howl like that and I'd jump out of bed and go running because she NEVER vocalized. And I mean NEVER. Every single time though, she looked at me like I was crazy and then chased me back to bed biting at my heels.

    I'm so sorry about Rupert. I don't know what else to say about him. I'm sorry for him. And you. And I'm sorry that in sharing your pain, it was only multiplied by people who don't understand. Rupert isn't a story line in a soap opera ... he's not a character in a book ... he's a soul and a spirit and insisting on an outcome neglects that truth. I'm not going to lie ... I was curious too ... but I also know that finding out the most likely scenario would bring me to tears and cause me to lose even more faith in life - at a time when my regard for my fellow humans and the fairness of life is waning. Thank you for loving him ... thank you for inspiring me with his LIFE ... and most of all, thank you for being you and inspiring me by boldly laying your boundaries.

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  4. Thanks for the update on all the kids. As for Rupert... we totally get it. What you do is very hard work sometimes.

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  5. For what it's worth, I understand completely about Rupert. He was so loved. That really is all the rest of us need to know. But we enjoy hearing about all your babies. Glad your own clowder seems to be doing okay.

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  6. I can't believe you cope with all these guys and foster too! You're amazing!
    As for sweet Rupert, I've learned not to ask about the precarious fosters I've encountered. It's very hard on the people who have to make the decisions and be there at the end -- as you well know. Difficult as it is, I feel it's not fair to add even a small bit to their load.

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  7. geez Fleurp..... sounds like things are as normal as ever for a multi-cat household

    as for those "second guessing" how you handle things with fosters and the shelter, we understand people wanting to know, but we suspect those are also the people that have never done it and don't really understand....

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  8. Anonymous9:24 AM

    I don't know what you mean by putting us through this again. I hope you will not change anything you are doing because we and the kittens are lucky to have you! I am so sad about Rupert but you gave him a better chance because he had something to fight for instead of living in a cage. I'm sorry some people are upset, but Rescue is not all good outcomes. There are heartbreaks. I am sure Rupert appreciated all that you did for him.

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    1. by putting you through it, I mean yet another sad and depressing post about Rupert. I know that you are all here to enjoy the cats and kittens, and you don't mind being supportive when things don't go well, but post after post of sad things just starts to feel like something I don't want this blog to be.

      it is a very fine line, and I'm sure one more post on the whole thing wouldn't have made that much of a difference in the long run, but my heart could not take it right now.

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  9. I understand about Rupert. While it was a very sad outcome, everyone involved in his life did the best for him. Sometimes things aren't fair, and it hurts. :-(

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  10. Good gracious on the furballs! Impressive indeed. :)

    I'm glad you are respecting your boundaries as far as people wanting updates about Rupert, etc. It's easy to be on the outside reading about the fosters, but I can only imagine how tough it can be emotionally to do the work of fostering, especially when things don't work out as we had hoped.

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  11. I am with you 100% about Angel Rupert, and you are right...we ALL fell in love with him. Just a question about Muffin; do you have an animal chiropractor around?

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    1. that is an awesome question, and no, I don't believe we do... but it can't hurt to ask the vet next time I'm in.

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  12. We love your updates, no matter if they are great or not so much. Sending soft purrs to Rupert, wherever he may be.

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  13. My goodness, you have a lot of health issues to manage in your house. Raven needs a good brushing and light Furminating (not her favorite grooming tool).

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  14. Wow, that's a lot of fur! You could make a whole 'nother cat out of it. MOL. We are sad about Rupert and we understand your feelings.

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  15. We enjoyed reading about your furry family. That was a lot of fur ! We totally understand about Rupert, and we respect it : thank you for reminding us what it sometimes means to be a foster mom or a shelter worker, and how hard it can be.

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  16. I understand why you didn't ask about Rupert some may not but bet those people have never been in the situation so really can't say what they would do. All in all that was a lot of fur you removed

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  17. Buster is a short hair but a decent amount came off him when we groomed him yesterday. That's a lot of hair.

    Emma and Buster

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  18. Wow, that is a lot of fur! I loved the update on each of your cats. I realize the fosters tend to get most of the air time but it's nice to hear about the permacats.

    Totally understand why you would not want to re-open the pain of Rupert's passing. While I certainly would have wanted him to pull through, you know what the shelter told you and that's good enough for me.

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  19. I respect you deeply for what you do. There are smiles and also tears, but kitties who have come to your care, all of them are truly lucky.

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  20. Whoa, that is a lot of fur! I completely understand about Rupert.

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