Saturday, March 30, 2013

Heartwarming News Story

This is a wonderful news story.. please remember that your own local shelter really could use some donations

A shelter in Farmington Maine recently had to take in 75 dogs from one home.  They were seized, so they need to hold on to them until it works its way through the court system.  The shelter I volunteer for was once a part of a seizure and the amount of work was near overwhelming.  Even more overwhelming is the fact that  for the Franklin County Animal Shelter that is about a quarter of the animals they take in annually..

Friday, March 29, 2013

Esmay's Ear

Hi, I have a "bad" ear.. 
Normally wafer thin, the inside swelled up and now it is very thick and short
You can't really see the folds and lumps in the white part of the upper ear, but it is really quite thick.
Fortunately it does not hurt and I don't mind when she touches it
It just makes me look unique!
Most info on hematomas say that they hurt, but Esmay doesn't mind if I rub or handle her ear, so I massage it softly before and after I try to clean out her ear.  Even on baytril her ear goop isn't getting better.. She will have to go have a recheck when her antibiotics are over in a few days and they'll determine what they want to do with her.  I so do wish I had an otoscope so I could get a good look in there.. with her hematoma a normally small opening to her ear is even smaller.. but alas, my knowing what is going on doesn't make a bit of difference :)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Yup, Fluffy went home over the weekend! :) I have third hand knowledge that it was a lovely family who has had Himalayan cats before and had fallen in love with her.  When I saw her on Saturday of last week I saw she was "on hold" and I asked.  They had business in Boston and were intending on picking her up on Sunday.. (I can't tell you how badly I wanted to go back on Sunday.. )

I sure will miss that girl.  (and I so do hope whoever adopted her stops by and say hello.. cause they'll have free cat sitting services from me when ever they want it)

Feeling the Love

My husband and I were sitting down watching TV the other day and when I looked over I saw these two sharing his lap.  He'll occasionally have two cats on him, but usually one is on the chest and one is on the lap, so this was a little unique.  Skippy seems to have the ability to get away with encroaching on other kitties where if anyone else tried to do what he tries to do they wouldn't get away with it.  It really is quite endearing..

and so is this.

Monday, March 25, 2013


Well Esmay is doing fine.  She's not all that thrilled about getting the antibiotics she has been given - and considering she didn't have any bacteria in her urinalysis, I have no idea why I'm giving them to her.

As a reminder, she was surrendered to the shelter at 13 years of age and started drinking and urinating excessively while up for adoption.  She went to the vet and the UA had lots of protein, blood and glucose in her urine.  A BG was in the 350 range.  She was diagnosed diabetic with a secondary urinary infection because if it (very common for diabetics who have a lot of glucose in their urine)

She was diagnosed on the 18th, came to my house on the 21st.  I don't believe she had insulin given to her by the staff... but they did give her the antibiotic.  When I got her home I tested her blood sugar and it was in the 50 (which was very low) it slowly rose until it leveled out around 70 - anything under 100 is not diabetic. I am so glad that she was sent to me, because if anyone had injected insulin into her body while she was in the 50 range (heck even at 70) it would have killed her.  I don't use that term lightly.  Maybe someone would have been around to see her go into hypoglycemic shock and been able to do something about it, but there is a real possibility that even if they had been aware of it that they couldn't have been able to counter the insulin.

So now we really only have to deal with this ear of hers.  Poor thing.  Reading through her history she has had several bouts with discharge from that ear, and I have no doubt that what ever is causing it (it is suspected polyps - which makes total sense to me) made her scratch her ear so badly that she damaged it causing a hematoma.  (no spell check, I do not mean tomato!) which means that the area between the inside and outside of her ear is inflamed - generally when it happens it fills with blood (and sure, it can often look like a tomato but that doesn't mean I meant tomato)  Often fixing it means surgery, and if there is a polyp in there, they can take that out as well.  Doesn't mean that is what is next for her, but that is a possibly - but not until she's done her antibiotics, so she's here for a few more days - unless she never forgives me for pilling her in which case she'll go back sooner and be stuck in a cage so she can't hide from who is going to medicate her..

I do want to say that I'm really loving her eyes, they look a bit like really cool marbles..

Friday, March 22, 2013

For Allie

So I saw on Facebook that Allie wants to win a pink make over from GloGirly Designs..

I thought I'd enter and if I won I'd make Allie's fondest wish come true.. to get more entries I had to make a blog post..

So here it is.

but what ever you do, DO NOT go over and enter the contest  because seriously, the more entries, the less chance Allie has of winning..

Cause this poor deprived kitteh so needs a pink make over

So, I got this email..

     We have a 13 year old cat that has been with us for a month or so and started drinking all of her water and peeing a lot.  We sent her to {redacted name of vet} and she is diabetic and has a UTI so I need a wonderful foster home for her :-)  Know anyone that may be interested.....?  :-)  She is going to be starting on 1 unit twice a day and as you probably know he recommends feeding her a high protein wet food such as fancy feast classics.  Let me know...

well duh.

So I went and got her after work.

She is interesting.  I introduced myself to her and she started purring.  I asked her if I could pick her up and I got the distinct impression she was against that.  I decided to leave her be while I got up to date in her information and checked on supplies (as well as a few kitties* in particular)  but shortly after I shut the cage door the shelter worker came in and picked her right up and stuffed her in a carrier... and stuffed is the correct term because she was totally unhappy at being held.

Her official name is "Bandit".. yeah, that doesn't work for me, and she doesn't much seem to like it, so I'm calling her Esmay. 
The shelter didn't have enough food nor enough testing supplies so I brought her home and cleaned up the room from Fluffy and left her in her carrier while I did it. When I did open the carrier she SHOT right out and started patrolling the room, walked around with purpose. She then went behind the couch and sat there. My husband had come in and we were having a conversation and I was about to leave and go get supplies at Walmart when she decided to come out and check out the room again. Gave it another quick once around and back behind the couch.

Went to Walmart, picked up a meter, strips and some Fancy Feast Classics as recommended by said vet as the new recommended foods.. I laughed and laughed because I've been using those for diabetics for ten years. I picked up my preferred Turkey and Giblets - even found a coupon on the shelf.

When I got home she was sitting on the couch, and was very happy to see me. She let me love on her, and gave me head butts. She is a very sweet kitty.. I feel so bad for her (more on her story in a minute) I was able to draw a little blood and was able to test her, and low and behold her blood sugar level was 53! I am guessing she was never diabetic and said vet (mentioned in yesterdays post) simply decided she was diabetic and that caused her urinary issues - it is very common. Diabetic cats often spill glucose into the urine and it feeds the bacteria causing a UTI. I got the vet paperwork including a blood panel they did on her, and I didn't see a fructosamine - which gives an average blood sugar level for the past few weeks. I know full well that a cat who is ill can have elevated blood sugar levels (I got very high blood sugar readings off Ollie once when he was feeling miserable) and I don't doubt the stress on her over the past few months (more on that in a bit) along with the species inappropriate food (dry) that often causes feline urine PH to dip too low ( hers was 6.5 instead of the 7.5 - 7.0 range it should be) and become alkaline instead of acidic which caused the urinary issues which caused her more stress, which made her throw more glucose and thus her reading at the vet of blood sugar levels in the 350s.

She was diagnosed at the vet on the 18th. She has been on antibiotics since then as well as a change in diet to a high protein low plant based diet and thus the better blood sugar levels. Might she actually be diabetic and giving her the right food put her into remission - absolutely. But reading over her history, I'm thinking that isn't the case. But I do not presume to assume that I am right in this and I will be watching her very carefully over the next few days.

Poor Esmay was surrendered to the shelter at the beginning of 2013 because her owner is ill. Just like poor Pumpkin, she was separated from her owner due to an illness. She is very fortunate to have ended up in a shelter with a high adoption rate and the willingness to treat a 13 yr old cat for diabetes - a diagnosis that makes all too many people run for the hills. There are soooo many cats out there right now that are diabetic that desperately need homes and finding a person who is willing to take on the challenge of testing and injecting a cat twice a day every day is hard.

So a thirteen year old kitty surrendered to the shelter. She was adopted out as a companion for another kitty. The new owner had her about a week before returning her because they did not get along. How sad is that.. a thirteen year old kitty given a week :( She got sick with upper respiratory issues and was on medication before being adopted.. so she lost her home, went to a strange place with lots of other animals, and noises and smells and weird people coming in and out, and she got sick and was medicated, then more people and then put in a carrier and brought to another house where there was another kitty and they didn't get along so another carrier and back to the shelter.. you get the point. Thirteen.. according to the charts that is about 70 years old..

not to mention her poor ear with a hematoma on it..

*Lucy was not at the shelter but had been moved to a satellite adoption center and I was told she is doing very well. Fluffy is still at the shelter and is on the adoption floor. Sadly she is in a cage instead of one of the adoption rooms, but considering her limp I am not surprised. I'm going to do a write up for her in hopes to generate a little more interest in her. I do love her dearly. I was telling my husband about my seeing her and he asked if I wanted to adopt her.. of course I do, but we are so not the right fit for her. We are a two level house with hard wood floors and rambunctious kitties.. I could not give her what she needs

Update: I tested her this morning and her blood sugar level was 59. I was a little concerned that maybe the meter wasn't working properly. I went upstairs to find a bottle of test solution (which gives a standard BG reading) while looking for it I also came across another meter I had so I decided to test that one and the new one with the solution. While they did not give the exact same reading - which is pretty standard - it was close enough that I am no longer concerned about Esmay being diabetic. I was able to trim most of her back claws. I found a wetish discharge in her hematoma ear which was pretty gross. I combed her because her short hair felt a bit matted and she is apparently having grooming issues due to being overweight as she had some dandruff and excess fur which felt a bit like matted fur, but there were no mats. She is REALLY sweet, but very much a tortie (even with her white locket) she does NOT want to be on your lap, she does NOT want you to decide where she is going to be thank you very much. I could do pretty much what ever I wanted to her as long as I didn't hold her down nor move her around. I so do love a kitty with an attitude. :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

What I know - How I pill a cat

I have been pilling cats for 20ish years, and I have gotten to the point where I feel pretty comfortable pilling pretty much any cat.

I'm careful saying that, as I remember fully years ago when my Tiger got an abscess. After waiting way too long past my scheduled appointment to see the vet, the vet told me I needed clavamox (which I so knew because Tig had many abscesses by that point) and had brought in a pill to pill him.  I warned the vet that Tig was not an "easy pill" and he dismissed me and proceeded to give the pill.  Well Tig was annoyed by his arrogance and ended up biting him so hard he drew blood.  I couldn't have been prouder of my boy in that moment.

Anyway.. This is what I do..

The first and most important is the grab of the head. I am right handed so I use my left hand,  I wrap my hand around the top of the cat's head, keeping my thumb on the right side

I then slip my pinkie behind the head.

This has the effect to keep the kitty in place.  You know how cats try to 'back out' of any situation, and you often have to wedge them against yourself to keep them from backing out of getting pilled, well for most situations and most cats, this covers that need to have someone hold or keep them from backing up.  It isn't perfect, some cats still try, at which point I'll stick a foot, or a leg if I am sitting down, behind the cat.

Next is to lift the head up and point the nose directly to the ceiling.  Doing this will cause the mouth to open slightly..

At this point you have a straight shot to drop the pill down the back of the mouth (aka right in front of the roof of the mouth) and have it land in the throat.  Sometimes you'll do it first shot, but some times you need to stick your finger in the mouth to push it in past the "hump" of the tongue.  This is where my last trick will help a lot.

Insert "pill" here please

You slip your thumb down into the mouth - but you bring a little bit of the lip with you.  This is not painful for the cat UNTIL they try to bite you..  Once they start to bite down it will feel uncomfortable for them and they'll stop.  This prevents you from getting bit, and will give you a few extra seconds to get your finger in there and push the pill into the throat.

Make sure you follow up with a LOT of praise and love and food.  "Dry pilling" which is what this is, can have the side effect of the pill getting stuck in the throat and causing some severe irritation which can then lead to vomiting and anorexia. If your kitty won't eat, then using a syringe with a little water to force the a little water into the mouth and cause some swallowing will help.  Your vet can provide you a needless syringe for just this purpose or you can usually get one at your local pharmacy, or even in the infant department at most major stores.

If you want you can and probably should practice pilling your kitty with treats.  They will be more inclined to let you do it because "fails" will be yummy for them. It will also give you a little bit of an advantage when the time comes as you'll have experience and your kitty will be expecting treats.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Custom Designed Tshirt

I was recently contacted by Leslie Jones at BuildASign and EasyCanvasPrints offering me a free custom designed shirt at their new venture

With BlogPaws coming up I thought what the heck, and I agreed.

I just made my shirt. I was a little frustrated with the process because uploading your own clip art - while very easy to do - didn't seem to make a very good for me shirt. I'm not a fan of straight up T-shirts with big logos on the front. If this is your thing, this would be an option for you. I ended up choosing the Girly classic tee, but they also have tees from American Apparel.

I used their fonts and their clip art and built something I think is kind of cute. I'm interested to see what it looks like when it shows up. The t-shirt worked out to about $32 with free shipping if I can wait two weeks, but cost $30 if I want a 'rush' job of a week.. Yup, I took the two weeks.

I was given this for free... which I am thankful for.  I was asked to give a review, but the opinions are all mine.  I'll give you the review on the shirt when I get it.

Their budget T-shirt is about $20 with an additional $5 or so if you want design on both the front and the back.  They also have sweatshirts to put design on as well.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Shooting at the Shelter - Room 2

I also got the "back of disdain  from someone who didn't want their photo taken.

I was also shown some baby gerbils that were born at the shelter three weeks ago.  They were really cute and in a few weeks they too will go up for adoption.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Shooting at the Shelter - Room 1

attention diverted by two adopters entering the shelter
I wonder if they'll adopt me
Sorry boys, they are here for me

Two women came in the shelter while I was there and they ended up taking a kitty home in less than half an hour. I can so totally understand streamlining the adoption process to make it easier to get cats into homes, but man that seems so darn fast.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

This looks to be the last Fluffy update

I wasn't able to see her on Wednesday as the shelter isn't open past the time I get out of work.  I checked in with her Thursday and she seemed to be doing better.  She was eating if someone paid attention to her and her stools had firmed up a bit.  I asked what the plan was for her.  Their intention was to put her up for adoption so I left her there.

I stopped by on Friday to take some more photos and visit with her and Lucy.

Lucy was happy to see me but dismissed me pretty easily.  She is definitely waiting for her family to show up and she'll know 'em when she sees 'em!  Purrs Lucy.. and I hope you get in that home right quick.

I then went and saw Fluffy.  When I walked in she curled her tail around her face and tried to pretend I wasn't there.

You can see some of the food they have been trying to get her to eat.  She'll eat a few bites if you give it to her, then she stops eating after a few bites.  I totally get the need to leave the food near her, but she so won't eat it.. :)

When Fluffy realized I was there to pay some attention to her, her whole demeanor changed.  She was the most active she has been since being at the shelter.

She was very happy to see me.  The shelter learned she likes Temptations so I gave her some and she ate them for me. She asked for belly rubs and let me kiss her.  She wasn't up for adoption on Friday, but she had gained a few ounces, so I was much less fearful for her and I found it a little easier to let her go in my heart.

no.. don't let me go, bring me home, let me curl up on your lap
Hopefully she will make it to the floor soon.  While I was there two women came in to the shelter and before I had left they had taken another Himmy home (more on that later) and a beautiful chocolate seal point boy went home between the time I saw him Thursday and the time I went back in on Friday.

Fluffy is Ectrodactyl.  It is other wise known as Lobster Claw Syndrome.  I am assuming it is genetic, and I am assuming it is the result of over breeding.  She is missing the claws on her intact front paw.  I can only assume that they were removed by a vet at one point, but I can not say it wasn't also genetic.  I would so love to get an x-ray of her paws and see exactly what is going on with her, but it is totally unnecessary and in the end it absolutely will not matter.  What is is what is.   As a result she knows she isn't fully capable of catching prey and will only go after the slowest of 'prey'. It is so cute to watch her play.

Best wishes Fluffy!  May you live in the lap of luxury, in a one floor home with lots and lots of plush carpet.

Darn tootin!

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