Friday, September 28, 2018

The tools I use to make giving my cat fluids easier

a twisty hook hanger, a sweat band and canned food

What does a hanger with a twisty hook, a sweatband headband, and a bunch of canned food have in common? They all help me give fluids to my cat without a lot of complaints.

Muffin started developing kidney issues a while back and we want to make her as stable as we can so I have recently started giving her fluids. She has never been a fan of the building fluid bulb when getting subq fluids in the past, so I wanted a way to distract her.  The easiest way to distract her is with food, but the feeling of the fluids would get her walking around to get away from it and it would dislodge the needle. This would result in contamination of the needle and fluids all over the place.

The solution?  A headband. I don't remember where I got it but it was the perfect size to fit around Muffin's middle. I've used it on a few of my cats and it works well for the smaller members as well as the larger ones.

I then take the fluid line and fresh needle and feed it under the sweatband to get her used to it. She walks around while I put a can of food on a plate for her.

Tiny Tiger canned food Turkey and Giblets on a white plate

I am able to slip the needle into her and start the fluids flowing while she was eating. She gobbled the food down so quickly she was done before the fluids were. Fortunately, she is able to walk around and still receive the rest without risk. The pressure of the headband distracts her from the bulb of fluid forming under her skin so she doesn't try to remove the needle or lick her back.

The hanger? It makes it easy to hang the fluids from a high point so that gravity helps the fluids flow faster. I can put it on the door, or the curtain rod, even on the curtain rod or the cat tree, whatever is convenient and it keeps the front of the bag visible to me so I can see how much fluid she is getting.

I hope my tricks help you if you ever have to give fluids to your cats..

Monday, September 24, 2018

Black Cat Photography for fun and amusement

Trying to get photos of black kitties without natural light is "fun". I thought I would try getting artsy photos with my 50mm lens but it was having a hard time figuring out what to focus on.. I very much need to upgrade my kit lens but I still haven't gotten around to it.. Maybe Santa will bring me something

As you can see these were taken before they were neutered last week. I also had a lovely series of photos of Graham falling asleep. I decided to put them in gif form

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Saying Goodbye

Well, this was mighty difficult. Actually, the decision was very easy to make but carrying it out was the difficult part.

After I picked Graham up from the vet, I was optimistic. I was told that he was blind but he was navigating the room okay. He was walking around, he ate, I had hope.

He then settled down in the middle of the cold floor. I wanted to give him some comfort so I tried to hold him, he did not want that. This was unlike him. I tried to give him Happy Bear, he did not want that. This was unlike him. I was able to get him on a blanket and hoped that a good night of rest in familiar settings would help. I was exhausted and went to bed.

Because I posted the link, Stella was watching in on the webcam in the morning and saw him have another seizure. I went down post seizure and he was still out of it. I was able to cuddle him until he came around but at that point, he wanted nothing to do with me. He was covered in urine again, so I did my best to dry him off without upsetting him too much.

I went back upstairs to work and kept the camera running on my computer. Two hours later I saw another seizure and it was violent. He was still flailing as I got to him and I tried to keep him as calm as I could.  When it stopped he was once again nonresponsive. He sat there but it was like no one was home. I wrapped him up in a towel and was going to rush him right to the vet but I was pretty certain if I did that I would not see him again. I decided to sit there and hold him for a few minutes as he always enjoyed cuddling and I enjoyed cuddling him. I held him and talked softly to him and kissed his head many times. As he started to come around I knew this moment had ended and he would start insisting he be put down. The Graham I knew and adored was gone.

Even if this was something that he could come back from, would he ever fully come back? I did not know. I just knew that two seizures in two hours was something I could not handle by myself. I took him down to the vet and the techs took him out back while I waited for the vet to be free and the rescue to be contacted. By the time I saw the vet Graham had two more seizures. It was time in my mind. The vet very kindly took the long road to explain why they had come to the conclusion as well. I agreed with her telling her that the decision was the right on and the easy one to come to but most difficult to go through. I was asked if I would like to be with him and that is something I can do so I wanted to.
Despite what others will tell you, if you feel you are unable to be with them at the end do not feel you have to or you do not love them or you are less than. In many cases, the animal isn't aware you are there. There are times that not being there is actually kinder for the animal, especially if they are very sensitive to your moods. 
Graham was not only out of it from the seizures but they sedated him prior to the injection so he had no clue I was there.  I had my hand on his body and could feel his very rapid heartbeat despite the sedation. I held him, I gave him a kiss for myself, for all of you, and one for a safe journey. The whole thing took only moments..

Once he was gone I gave his body one final cuddle.

I will admit a huge part of me wanted to adopt him and not let him go. In not the way I would have preferred, I was able to love and care for him for his entire life.  None of us are promised a long life, but I was able to fill his with love and fun and food.. his life, while short, was great.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Graham the kitten and the very bad no good day.

Unfortunately, things have taken a pretty sad and serious turn here at Casa de Gato.  Everything seemed fine on Wednesday morning, but when I went to take care of them for the final time that night Graham seemed very restless. He was pacing the room. He would walk over to the food bowl, have a bite and leave and pace some more.  As I started to realize what was happening (it wasn't immediately apparent because the other kittens were racing around) I watched him and he seemed to be in more and more distress. I called him over to me and he came and laid down next to me but was not attention seeking at all. He just sat there and purred. 

I had noticed he was unkempt looking as he was pacing and now that he was next to me I was able to get a better look. His back end was all wet and smelled like urine. I found a drying puddle of urine on the floor and wondered if he was having issues with crystals or an infection. I attempted to gently feel for a bladder and found one. It wasn't huge or hard, but the fact that I could find one was concerning to me.  I called the rescue and to report what was going on and request a trip to the emergency clinic. Fortunately, there is one about 15 minutes from my house and we bundled him up and headed in. On the way, he started twitching. I opened the carrier and put my hand over his shoulders and he pushed up into them and had a seizure. I let the rescue know what was going on and things took a pretty dramatic turn. I went from a possible infection to *oh my goodness what on earth is going on*

The e-clinic took him out back for an eval while they talked to me about what was going on. I checked the carrier and noticed he peed during his episode, so at least I knew he wasn't blocked. At this point, it was midnight so we were only a few hours away from a vet being open so we wanted to keep testing to a minimum. I am all for figuring out what is going on, but if delaying the tests a few hours isn't going to change the outcome and it will save several hundred dollars, then that is the route I, and the rescue, wanted to take.  While I was talking to the vet he had another seizure. This changed things.

I authorized what they felt they needed to do for his comfort and safety and I left with a bill of $700 - because they require you prepay everything you authorize them to do before they do it and then refund you what they don't do.

I got home at 1 am and woke up at 7 am. I called the clinic for an update and that never goes well. Why to E-clinics not keep brief talking points at the phone for the receptionist?? Anyway, the doctor called and told me that he didn't have another seizure and he spent some time sleeping. She also believed that the seizures caused him to be blind. This is not uncommon. The director of the rescue was going to pick him up and take him to their vet. I was also headed out of town for the day. He spent the entire day at the vet and I was able to pick him up.  He is now home with me.

The vet said she could not find a cause for the seizures. It is either idiopathic and will clear up and never happen again, it is toxo and so she put him on antibiotics for that, or it is something very serious and if so most likely life ending.  I asked if it could have anything to do with the neutering, the vaccine he received at the time or the flea meds that he received on Sunday. She said those causes were highly unlikely.  I asked if it was a possible low blood sugar thing because everyone was so hissy lately and maybe they were preventing him from eating, and she believed not as he would have most likely passed out first. I asked about the blindness and was told that he was having some pupil response now but that she still thought he was highly visually impaired. She said if his vision wasn't restored in a week that he probably wouldn't get it back.

He came home and didn't want to come out of the carrier. I pulled him out so I could take the bandage off his foot. He did not want to be restrained, at all, period. He doesn't want to be held or snuggled or even sit on my chest.  This breaks my heart most of all because I am no comfort to him. All I can do it sit by and watch him. He wandered around for a while avoiding siblings and other obstacles in the room. He walked right too me and weaved his way between my legs (one of his favorite things to do) without bumping into either leg. It is my belief that he can see. I threw a small toy in front of him and it garnered no reaction, but it was small and I tossed it quickly.. I tried another larger toy and he tracked it.  So while I don't think his vision is 100% I do think there is some function.

He ate several small bites. He would go to the food and eat a bit and then would wander off and pace the room again. He went back several times. He then went to the litter box. He dug and squatted, squeaked his displeasure, dug some more, squatted, squeaked his displeasure, etc.. I was about to have a panic attack when he finally found a hole to his approval and started urinating.  He produced a urine ball that was the size of his head!  He almost fell asleep while peeing - again, totally about to have a panic attack when he started leaning forward and resting his head on the side of the box but he finally finished and left.

He went to the middle of the room. I tried to take his bandage off quietly, but he wasn't happy at my holding his foot. He just sat there and purred at full volume.. which made me worry. I tried to pat him - which he liked - and I was able to kiss him, and wrap my arms around where he sat - so like a big hug without touching him.  I was not thrilled that he was on the cold floor, so I tried to put him on Happy Bear. Graham always liked Happy Bear, but this time he squawked his displeasure and got off. He was quite unsteady getting off and I think that was probably the reason. I went and got a blanket for him to sit on instead. He wandered to the edge of it and sat there and purred and purred.  Michaela who has been extremely bothered by the kittens since being neutered was concerned for him and actually worked her way over to him. She's been secluding herself so the kittens won't try to nurse so this was a very interesting reaction.. it appears that cats can tell the difference between happy purrs and purrs of self-soothing.

His siblings, for the most part, have been respectful of his need for rest. S'more was less than gentle with him a couple of times, but it ended pretty quickly.

I left him sleeping. I wish I could do more. I have a few thoughts I'll talk to the vet about tomorrow as I had them once I got home. I know I'm probably grasping at straws. I'm also hoping that I'll wake up tomorrow to a much improved Graham who is feeling much better and I won't need or want to do anything else. If you want to check on him, I left him sleeping in full view of the webcam in the kitten room

If anyone is motivated by Graham's story to help financially, the rescue that is sponsoring him could use some help to pay for the bills. I know people feel silly donating very small amounts, but even $5 can help. You can find a donate button or the mailing address if you prefer to send a donation at or you can use my paypal address (the donate link is in the sidebar) and I can forward it on.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Monday Morning update on Thursday

Sorry for the lack of posts here. The kittens were neutered on Sunday and they came back quite drunk. I took these photos prior to being neutered

They came back Sunday evening quite drunk.  I've dealt with drunk kitties quite a few times, but all of them seemed to be favoring their hind leg as well. I wrote into the rescue and was told that they also received their vaccine in that leg.. well that explained that.

Unfortunately, they also reacted quite badly to the whole vet experience and have been setting off hiss storms for three days now. This is why it is such a good idea for kittens to recover at home with people who know what is going on and can try to keep things as calm as possible. They have been quite resistant to all of my "but you love each other!!" "suggestions" and while things are currently much improved, with a tortie among the bunch it doesn't take much to set them off. Torties.. you have got to love them!!

Actually, S'more has recently turned into a super lovey kitten who jumps right up on my lap and asks for belly rubs. Graham is awesome because he runs right up to me and attaches himself to my ankle, but S'more is the first one in my lap and I am a sucker for that.

I think they need a couple more days to fully get over everything. Then there will be the process of getting them through the system, getting their health checks and going up for adoption.. Won't be long now.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

More Deer at Casa de Gato

We actually have two deer family that make the rounds around my house now.  This beautiful family showed up recently.

It thrills me every time I see them.  On Thursday, two of the babies from the first family showed up in front of my house. I saw one walk by and I was so excited that I jumped up and immediately started a Facebook live to share. The deer walked out of the view so I stopped and I moved to a different window.  The deer moved right in front of my driveway.. it was so cool.

I ran back to my office to get my DSLR and take close up photos. I took some stunning photos. The deer moved off to the side of my garage and I ran to the side window to wait for it and this deer looked different. The sibling was also there. I got some poor shots of them from the angles they were at. The smaller one moved to the back of the garage and I could see it out the back window and I took some great photos.. then I realized I could see the other one in the reflection of the window and I took a few photos trying to get a good one and I grabbed a pretty good one when the deer were spooked and ran off.  As they were running I wanted to try to get one of it bounding, and I saw the No SD Card warning on the display.  I nearly banged my head on the wall.. They were really great photos. I mean I was less than 10 feet away from them and I had my zoom lens..

I am guessing I am going to have more chances.. I am just going to have to be very careful to keep an SD card in my camera..

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Poor abused Raffe

When I was taking photos I noticed something odd about Raffe..

My first thought was that someone vomited on his foot, but that didn't really make sense with the location and the small amount. A closer look revealed something unsettling..

It looks like Raffe is going to need a new set of feet.. and a new tail..

Monday, September 10, 2018

These kittens are ready to go

Well, I can't deny it any longer. Marshmallow was not at weight last weekend, but this week he totally is. It is not like I was refusing to feed them (although I did totally threaten that) but now we are just waiting on an appointment for them to be neutered, which should come sometime this week..

I will admit, Graham has been tugging at my heartstrings, so I am very glad he has people waiting for him. I have to tell you, he is some kind of special.

and for those of you who thought Michaela deserved her own bowl of food:

I've done that, she just spends 20 minutes licking the gravy off the food..
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