Tuesday, March 28, 2006

we now have teeth

Ok, so they are the tiniest specks of teeth, but they are there. I had to check this morning when Monkey Boy went for the food again this morning. Last night he was in Myla's food full faced chompin away.. ok slurping away.. Man, these guys are growing up fast!!

They still have little to no use for me at this point. They still look at me like "what are you going to do to me NOW". All too soon they'll be running up my pant legs and getting into way too much trouble :)

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Don't you need just one more cat?

I'm so mean. Sorry.

I read over my blog the other day (when I went to make sure the pictures fit in the template) and noticed I have been ranting about raw lately. We are still all on it - and except for a little pica going on (eating of non food items) things have been going pretty well. My last batch I added some green beans (frenched in a can) and the pica stopped. I added the beans cause I read somewhere they were good for diabetics.. who knows if they are or not.. I wanted to add greens, I had this piece of info, I had lots of cans of beans, so they got some. Besides, Jack loves them anyway.

The last batch I removed the b vitamins, and the egg whites, and it has gotten the same reception as every other batch... so I'll put those back in.

As I mentioned yesterday, I tried feeding whole pieces of hen. Didn't go over well. I think they ate the heart and the short piece of ribs I put out. Jack chewed on the wing a few different times, but on the whole, it didn't go over well at all.

The bunny is doing VERY well. I got the last room in my house set up (FINALLY) and she's in there. I put an old rug down, and she stays on that for the most part. I can open up the cage and let her run around for hours with the door open and she just hangs out on the rug or in her cage. Currently, there are no electrical cords in there, so the only damage she can do is peeing on the floor (Please no!) and chewing on stuff... and she seems to have no interest in either. She's been very good using her litter box. She didn't like the switch of litter over to feline pine (pellets) so I think once that is gone I'm going to go back to some sort of shredded material. She is eating like a horse.. But she is a growing bun :) She gets along really well with Tweedle and Ollie. yes, Mr Grumpy Pants Ollie.. it's cute.

I believe I've been ranting about not being able to get Em's BG's under control as well. She is having a reduced need for insulin, but trying to figure out what that is, I have over dosed her a couple of times. Fortunately, her body does a glucose dump from her liver keeping her from hypo-ing (aka no blood sugar in body thus death) but it is throwing everything out of wack. I was getting very frustrated as I was having a hard time getting her sugars down this last time, but I think they are on their way, and hopefully we can keep them there. Not sure what to do when she gets another low reading, as getting less than half a unit into her is going to be hard.

hum.. what else haven't I told you about.. Eli is overcoming his paranoia and is actually asking to be patted. It is so sweet, and it's about time. Unfortunately, he's given it to Tweedle who you can no longer go to and pick up. She'll come to you just fine, but if you look at her and make a move toward her she runs like the wind.

Oh yes, and the 'kitty crack episode" of 3/25/06. :) I was frustrated with Em's sugars and the raw food was still quite frozen in the fridge, and the kids all wanted something to eat. So I threw down some dry Innova Evo. They have all really liked this food, but since figuring out it doesn't help Em's sugars, I've stopped doing it. I couldn't find Em so I figured I would throw some down so I could get her to come into the kitchen so I could test her sugars. Well, Eli was downstairs, and moments after I threw the food on the floor he came racing up the stairs. DH asked in a joking way if that was her. Em the log kitty running anywhere is just unheard of. Well, moments later who should actually race up the stairs at a pace I have not seen from her in over 12 years, but Em. :) She loves that dry food. She can't eat it - as she has the hardest time picking it up off the floor, and we have more of her spit on the floor than she has food in her tummy, but she loves it.

Okay, I think that is all the news as of now. Stay tuned cause you know tomorrow is going to bring its own new challenges.. like where on earth am I going to put the kitten cage now that the kittens have started to figure out how to walk (cause it is currently on top of the TV and they could break their little bodies if they fell out.)

Saturday, March 25, 2006

learing to walk and play

The Four of them. Can you see the long toe on the first one?

A better shot of his long opposable thumb

Learning to walk

Giving up on walking and playing


Um. mom... what is that???

I bought a cornish game hen to see if the cats would eat the thing whole. There is a whole other school of thought when feeding raw and that is to feed the entire prey to the animal. Let them chew the bones and rip the flesh off the meat and what not. Since they were doing better with their chunked portion of ground, I thought what the heck. Thought the predator in them might enjoy it.

Well they seem to have no concept that it is food. They sniffed, seemed interested.. I think Tweedle ran into the living room with one of the gizzards.. but so far the pieces I put down are pretty much unmolested. Jack chewed on one of the wings for a bit..

Maybe they just don't want their "ma" to see what wild vicious animals they can be, and will eat it when I'm not around.. (ha ha, I'm so funny)

Em is still confusing me with her BG levels. I had her down to 168 the other day (pre-shot - which is fantastic for her) and I only gave her half a dose, and I seemed to over dose her, which shot her levels way back up. I can't get them back down either. I'm going to do a curve today and see what 2 units does to her when she's this high up. I did one unit on Thursday and the spot checks said she was pretty flat - indicating that 1u was not enough. arrgh

The kittens are starting to interact with each other. The little girl spends a lot of time contemplating her thumb. It's cute. Often looks like she is trying to suck on it. The walking is coming a bit more. still not good at it, but they are giving it a shot. They are only 3 weeks old and are already almost a pound.. will be before next week is out. according to the schedules, they are about a week ahead of schedule.. which fits in with their opening their eyes 5 days early :)

Sunday, March 19, 2006

diabetic frustrations (ok, and pet food too)

Ok, so Em has been a diabetic cat for what.. almost 7 years now.. She started losing weight at the very end of 2005, and continued to do so through 2006. She is on herbs, and cosequin, and Vitamin E. I noticed her sugars were a bit low, so I started reducing the insulin.. from 7 units down to none (which was too little)

One day when giving her the pills, we didn't feed her right after, and the pills stuck in her esophagus, and caused her to start vomiting. She didn't stop for a week. Blood tests and vet visits proved this was her only problem. Her fructosamine showed she had high blood sugars, but I knew that going in, cause I realized that no insulin was not working.

Due to her previous weight loss - we think from the other cats eating her meals while she gets distracted - we switched her to canned and fed her separated out. This decreased her need for insulin. However the vomiting and what not increased it, so we were at 3 units.

Kept an eye on her. Decided that three feeding stations for the cats (due to Jack and Eli being on urinary food) was very frustrating, so I looked into alternatives. Decided that a raw diet was going to be the best option.

Started raw about three weeks ago. Not the huge hit I would expect, but no one has lost weight. Everyone is perky and has lots of energy. Eli's face is looking so very good.. Em's sugars were even lower.

Em started to fill out. She got down to like 13lbs 2 oz, and was back up to 13lbs 13 1/2 or so. Was this the raw, or the canned we were shoving down her throat when she wasn't eating, I'm not sure at this point.

But soon Em decided she wasn't eating raw. Fought it every step of the way. I did a 12 hour fast and she still wasn't going for it. Switched over to Evo canned for her alone. Starting to mix in bits of raw to get her back on it

Last night her BG was 181 before eating (normal pre-shot is in the mid 300s). I was ecstatic. Well, we forgot to give insulin, and four hours later she was in the 300s. This morning she was in the 300s and when I weighed her she was back down to 13 lbs. I can't figure out why she's losing weight. She LOOKS great. looks like she is up to 14, but nooooo.. grrrr.

Raw is going well for everyone. I'm grinding my own. No veggies.. So I'm starting to think I need to put some in.. why? well cause Jack started chewing the rabbit's timothy hay, and Ollie sampled Bri's lettuce. Or maybe I should just give up and go to Evo for everyone. There is so much negativity regarding raw in the vet community. I can't find anyone who has used it having an issue with raw online. I've only started to look, but all the negative press I find is from people / vets who say the bacteria would be a problem. Negativity from people who have never done it, no studies to back it up.. nothing! Only naysayers who have no proof.

What ticks me off the most about these naysayers is that they want you to feed a good quality cat food. Well frankly, to find one that doesn't contain garlic (harmful to cats - though the pet food industry says that isn't proven, *rolls eyes*, at least not in the quantities they put in.. well why on earth do they put it in at all??) and is low in carbohydrates - things that apparently cats can't utilize well at all, and frankly seem to be just cheap fillers so they can make more money - is next to impossible. Even Innova Evo - which seems to be the best at the moment - has tomato flakes in it. Tomatoes are from the nightshade family - and cats who have ingested tomatoes have died. (my cats are known to clean off my tomato sauce from my dinner plate with no problems - so I'm not going to worry - just cheezes me off that they would put it in)

So what is a cat owner to do? I want to feed them the best I can so I don't have to deal with health issues in the future. Not to say there won't be any, but the consensus is starting to be that dry food is a huge culprit in a lot of medical issues. Being unemployed and having all day to search around for information only makes things worse I think. Only 'good' info I can find are from people who feed raw, and who haven't studied nutrition. Only 'bad' info I can find are from people who have supposedly studied it, but apparently not in depth, and honestly have no experience with it at all.

I started on this journey thanks to the felinedibetes.com message board, and the input of Dr. Lisa, a regular member of the board. She runs catinfo.org. and has used the recipe I'm using for years with her cats. I still feel like I'm doing the right thing, but it is hard when the professionals out there are against it.

Friday, March 17, 2006

update on the babies

The babies are doing well. Growing like weeds. Weighing from 8.3 (the girl) to 9.4 (big boy) All of their eyes were open before a week of age. The girl lost her cord a few days after she opened her eyes. They still don't like to be away from each other, and spend most of their time sleeping still... but then they aren't even two weeks yet, so this is to be expected.

I have temporarily given up on getting Em to eat raw food. She refused to eat it, and I didn't want to force feed her every day. So I need to go out and find a high quality, low carb, no garlic cat food. Not as easy as it sounds, surprisingly. There are one or two options in each brand of food that are low carb, now I need to see if they have garlic in them or not. Garlic - like onions - can cause anemia. Not to say that it will, but I'm just not willing to risk it, and it annoys the ship out of me that cat food companies who say they want only the best for your cats keep putting it in. Even supplements designed to help your cats have it too.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

We now have three eyes

Big boy has both of his open, and little ol man has one. The girl still has her cord attached.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Just call me winky!

Without his mom there, all the shots of this little boy were so fuzzy that they are almost not worth keeping.. She showed up for two photos and decided to go play with Bri again

Bri on the other hand, was getting 'serious' She was chasing Myla around, even tried to mount her. Myla started hissing and I had to break them up. Bri then went and sat on the fake satin pillow that is now in there. Ever the princess.. *rolls eyes*

ok, I swear they are trying to confuse me

Last night I was pretty certain that big boy was starting to open one of his eyes. A full five days early. This morning the other was completely open. I can't stop them, but I can't help but wonder if I should be doing something to make sure they don't dry out. *shrug*

Things are going well with the kittens. Still gaining weight. Mom is eating like a horse.

Thursday, March 9, 2006

heartache hurts

The one bad thing about losing a kitten (other than the obvious) is it ruins the joy of the others. I'm scared to death to go down there now afraid I'll find another one dead. I keep making my husband do it... at the oddest times too. Maybe in a few days, the kittens will be bigger and stronger and I won't be so worried.

The babies are all still gaining, which is nice. Two have lost their cords now. The Zithromax stopped the URI in its tracks. Mom is actually being neat and tidy, and while I wouldn't say attentive, I haven't gotten any of them to poop yet, so she must be doing SOMETHING for them.

My own kids are okay. Em is losing weight again. I don't like having to supplement her raw diet with canned, but it seems the only way to get her to eat enough. The rest of the gang likes it well enough, but not immediately. They have a few bites, go off about their day, then finish it up. Wouldn't normally have a problem with that but this stuff doesn't smell the best. I missed giving Ollie antibiotics yesterday for his teeth. He had gotten seven days worth so I peeked at them first, and they were still inflamed, so he got one this morning, and we'll continue on the two-week treatment. Hopefully that will put a stop to this.

Bri likes to be out and about, so I am thinking of moving her again. I don't want her on the floor in the office because the only place the cage fits is in front of the cable wires. Must have cable or I have no internet. :) I have some extra rugs downstairs, so I'm going to work on getting the boxes unpacked in my craft room and get her in there with a spare rug so she doesn't have to worry about doing her cute bunny flips on the slippery wood floor. She's very good about her litter box, so she might have very long running free times. Only cords in there are electrical, and they don't need to be plugged in all the time. Yes, there is the wood objects she might chew on, so we'll see.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Myla is clueless

I just went to check on them. The little calico one was out of the nest screaming. Myla was a bit bothered but did absolutely nothing. Even when I took the other kittens away, even when I pulled her out of the nest and put her NEXT to the kitten.

I'll be surprised if these kittens make it to adulthood

must remember why I do this

Sometimes it is VERY hard to continue. Today is one of those days. I very much want to pack all the fosters up and bring them back.


Well I went down this morning around 10 am to find the little orange kitten laying on its back not moving. I packed everyone up, threw clothes on, ran to the clinic. He was dead. Myla smothered him.

Not doing too bad to only tear up now.. The vet (who doesn't know me) treated me like I had no clue on kittens.. even after I told her. *sigh* I don't like her.

Everyone else is still gaining weight. The little calico really looked sick this morning. She sneezed a few times yesterday, but today it was bad. She's the only one showing symptoms, but they are all on zithromax, which they all made the most horrid faces at. Myla went to eat while I medicated, and they screamed. She came back a few moments later and sat on the black and white one... totally sat on him.. I love her she's so sweet, but I could smack her into next week right now... well maybe not smack, but I wouldn't mind putting her into next week.. (does that make any sense?)

Myla also got a good exam, and there is no other kittens. Must have been her uterus that I was feeling prior... now that it has shrunken back there is nothing to feel.

Bri wishes she was a kitty

I have let Bri run around the computer room. So far so good, no chewing on things (that I can hear anyway) The kitties are interested in her but aren't bugging her. They keep jumping up on things when she comes closer, and she looks like she wishes she could jump up on things too. She's so sweet.

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

and the mom of the year award goes to....

Someone other than Myla!! that is for certain. Her idea of taking care of her kids is to sit on them, and that is enough thank you. She ran out of the nest this morning to eat, and I fed her. I was weighing the kittens (gaining nicely thank you) and they were screeching and she couldn't care less. I whistled and she reacted, so she's not deaf. I put the little orange one outside of the nest, and she ran over and sniffed him, then sat on the other kittens, leaving him all alone.

I moved the nursing kittens to the other side of her, and the screaming seemed to bother her a bit more, so she leaned over to him and sniffed him. This gave him a direction to swim to, and he found his way back. *rolls eyes* That was cheating!!

It was cute, cause I put him right outside of the nest, and he basically swam in circles until she sniffed him, then it was a straight shot for him.

the little girl is sneezing. I don't like that one bit. But at least she put on some weight, so again, I'm not going to worry about that for now.

Monday, March 6, 2006

Bri and the kittens

I have been taking Bri downstairs to the kitten room cause that floor is padded whereas the rest of my floors are hardwood, and she doesn't like them very much. Myla the foster mom was okay with her when she was pregnant. The first intro was a little iffy, but it quickly went much better and I wasn't worried with the two loose in the room as long as I was there to supervise.

Well, with the intro of the kittens I wasn't sure what she'd think. She's not an overly concerned mother. I've had moms who would take the babies right out of my hand before. Myla couldn't care less when I examine or clean them.

So the first time Myla saw Bri, she sniffed at her, then went back to her kittens. She went to eat afterwards, and the bunny jumped right into the nest with the kittens. I shooed her away. Later when Myla was back in the nest, Bri went back in, and for a few minutes, they were all snuggling together.

and wouldn't you know it, I had JUST run out of room on my digital cam!!

Sunday, March 5, 2006

Update on the kittens

Well so far no more kittens have emerged, but I wouldn't be shocked if there was one more in there. It is very hard to tell cause her mammary glands are full of milk. We have one black and white (boy) two solid black (boy) one ginger - no apparent stripes (boy) and one calico (girl) Several have double paws

All are doing extremely well. I went down last night after my post and found one of the black ones outside of the carrier / nest. He seemed perfectly fine, so I assume Myla walked out of the carrier and he was still attached to a nipple.

She has eaten, and I got some cute shots.. sadly none were in really good focus. Will have to try with my other camera.

Myla's practical joke

Well maybe practical joke isn't the right term, but what else to call it? We went to bed around 10pm, and at 12:30 I woke up and had to go pee. I got up, did what I had to do, got back into bed, got comfy, then heard screams. Now the bedroom is upstairs and down the hall from the kitten room... pretty far away. They were faint but I just KNEW.. I got up, walked down the hall, through the kitchen, turned the stairwell light on, when I realized I didn't have my glasses. At this time the screams were very loud. Turned around, woke up the hubby - cause if I heard screams THAT loud I knew something was wrong. Grabbed my glasses, walked back down, got downstairs and noticed that Myla had shoved two of her kittens under the door onto the concrete - which is VERY cold. One calico, one red/blond tabby. the red one was the one screaming his head off. Good thing too cause if I hadn't shown up, I have a feeling that the first born would have died. See there was another calico on the other side of the room in a puddle of blood. Barely moving, barely breathing.

I looked around for more, found a solid black one and put the three together. then started concentrating on the cold one. Did a warm bath and lots of rubbing. Watching it gasp for breath was rewarding, so was the second gasp.. and the cries.. very nice. Seems to be doing well.

Started cleaning up and trying to get all the kittens on to some place warm. Myla still didn't seem that interested in them yet. Found a puddle of urine.. *rolls eyes* and another kitten. This one hidden under a pile of towels that are dirty and were set aside to come up to wash.

I gathered all the kittens and put them on a bedding pad in the carrier with the heating pad on. They still feel very cold to the touch. Gave them all a drop of KMR. While drying them off, most of them gave me stool. very odd to me. I don't remember new borns ever producing stool. (rubbing in general gets them to eliminate, but that's usually after they have eaten something) Made the bedding warm with a heating pad then shut if off. Myla joined them as soon as I had them all in there and huddled together.

So at this point we have five kittens. Two calico, two solid black, and one red. I know she has at least one more kitten in her, possibly two, but she seemed to not want to give birth while I was there.

Hopefully the next couple will go smoothly. Not sure what to do next, though. Myla was fighting being a cage this afternoon.. do I try to keep her caged now that she's got something to keep her busy?

Saturday, March 4, 2006

the waiting game

well still no kittens. Don't know why. She is about to explode, and she has tons of milk.. She destroyed her cage today.. so I had to put her in the old rabbit cage. She hates to be in it, wants to be loose.. more so now than ever before. I just KNOW she wants to give birth on my couch. I've left her loose for a couple of hours. Would be nice if I went back down to kittens.

The raw food diet did not go over as well as I had expected. The raw meat was a HUGE hit, but mix it up with liver and hearts and supplements and it is poison. Well okay maybe not that bad, but they are avoiding it. Only way I can get any in Em is to mix it up with stuff that she is used to. Even that really isn't working this evening. This is frustrating. Figured it would go over like gangbusters, but nooooo.. silly kitties want to play with the box instead of the really cool toy.

Well, I'm not giving in with the others.. They are getting snacks, but their meals are raw. Em I have to be more careful with because of her diabetes. Hopefully, the transition won't take long..

Friday, March 3, 2006

Myla Update

Well I went down again this afternoon and had a good belly rub with her. She LOVES having her belly rubbed at this point.. she has got to be in prelabor.. HAS to be. Kittens are still moving well. Only problem at this point is I noticed a small amount of puss like substance at her vulva. *crosses fingers that its just prelabor stuff*

I also had my first round of making raw cat food. Went way better than I thought it would. I HATE raw meat and rarely cook with it unless it is highly processed. Guess since I didn't have to worry about picking out veins and icky stuff I wasn't that concerned. Grinding raw bones was interesting. Unfortunately, there were quite a few left over in the grinder when I was all done. *shrug* Not quite sure how to fix that. Maybe save grinding the liver and hearts for after the bones to help force it through.

I can imagine what the kids are thinking of the huge production. I hope they never figure out what I am doing. Cause if they are in my face while I'm doing it, it is NOT going to be fun. (update 2016 - ha ha ha.. we now call it "chicken raining from the sky" day..)

*goes to check up on Myla again*

I'm not giving up these kittens till they go to collage

Oh I'm getting sick and tired of waiting.. come on Myla.. push em out, shove em out, WAAAY OUT!

She's doing well. Doesn't like any of the boxes I give her to sleep in, insists on sleeping in her litter box. *shakes head*

On the bunny front, Bri LOVES parsley, does not like dandelion greens.. She's adorable. I'm afraid I'm over feeding her, cause she eats everything in sight. I'm sure she's bored in her cage all the time. I should bring her down stairs to the kitten room more often, but she does like chewing on wires.. Will have to find a way to block them all..

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

STILL no kittens

What on earth is that cat waiting for?!?! I want kittens darn it!!

I went to the feed store and got new pellets (for baby bunnies) and new hay for Bri. I tried to get a bale, but they didn't have one... so I ended up spending quite a bit on the timothy they had. Bri likes it though. The pellets not so much. but that is okay, she isn't supposed to eat a lot of pellets anyway.

The grinder came in the other day, so today I'm going to go out and get some chicken and supplements, and see if we can't start them out on raw today. Wish us luck!
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