Saturday, June 29, 2019

An update on Hedy

I have been willing to share more of Hedy on my facebook page recently because she is starting to look more like a cat and less like a fur covered skeleton. Even so many people have commented that she looks very skinny so I thought I would do an update post on her so you all know where she stands.

I don't remember the exact weight Hedy came to me at but I believe it was in the low 9lb region. She arrived at the beginning of April and didn't give birth for three weeks.

Hedy when she showed up
 I had to check twice that this wasn't Butters.
Three weeks later after giving birth

She arrived with a URI and some stress shedding. After a few trips to the vet, she started doing well and we had a fairly uneventful pregnancy by April's standard. I know we had some food issues, but once we got her URI settled she seemed to eat well and I don't remember any major issues with diarrhea at the start.

After the kittens were a few weeks old, Hedy started losing weight quite dramatically. She was eating but she had horrific diarrhea. I swear for every ounce of food she ate she produced three of "nacho cheese" looking diarrhea. She was filling up two litter boxes in twelve hours. We tried several different dewormers and had her in the vet multiple times trying to figure out what was going on. I tried offering her raw food and she didn't want it.

Skinny Hedy
After the third round of "well, I have no idea", we tried premium foods. One day I walked into the kitten room and the stool odor was incredibly strong and almost fruity smelling. I looked at the food she loved and that she licked up the gravy first of and saw it was full of potato starch. It was then I decided to remove the dry food and any food that has plant-based ingredients in it; wouldn't you know it.. nacho cheese turned into toothpaste.

So, I fed her only fancy feast kitten food as that was the only food I had in the house that didn't have rice or potato or other plant-based ingredients. She ate it because I gave her no other option. She wasn't a huge fan but she ate enough that it should have put weight on her despite nursing five kittens. Her weight slowly fell down to under six pounds.

eating well and losing weight
the only good use of the phrase "Calories in / Calories out" 
At that point, I freaked and tried raw again. This time she ate it with gusto. she would eat two or three times what she would eat of canned (where she put it I have NO idea) and slowly the weight started to creep back on.  She didn't poop for three days - which is pretty normal for a raw fed cat. I had no idea if she was gaining weight because she was holding in stool or if the raw was doing its job.

Hedy hiding from the kittens
Finally, poop showed up and while it was not the typical dry raw fed poop, it showed me that the weight gain was her own and things were finally FINALLY going in the right direction. Even at six and a half pounds, you could almost see the bumps on her bones through her fur.

Slowly, all too slowly, weight came back on. She started looking a bit better. The fur that remained on her back (since she lost most of what was on her flank) started feeling softer. Something is still not right because she never developed that bone dry poop that comes from eating raw. She might need more medical support she might just need more time on a carb-free diet, I'm not sure.

I am out of here! - Hedy

But she is leaving me today. We are going to neuter her and see if the hormones running through her body is adding to the problem. Since she has started hissing and biting the ears of kittens she has shown she is ready to move on so she will stay with the rescue until a home is found for her. She has been spending most of her time up on the cabinet where the kittens can't reach, only coming down occasionally to use the box or lick the back of the head of a distressed kitten.

The kittens are still with me and will be until they reach weight to be neutered. Agate is there (she is such a little bruiser) but the rest of them need a little finishing. I wish I could keep them at least a couple more weeks because there is so much more for them to learn in their family unit. If I had my way I'd keep them until they are 16 weeks.. they are still super cute at that age and I think it makes for better adult cats, but I get that people want their kittens, and since I have people who are chewing their fingers off waiting for them, I won't fib and keep them longer than is necessary.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Can I take a photo of five kittens?

The kitten's time with me is coming close to an end. Not exactly sure when, but I would suspect in the next few weeks. Thought I would try to get a nice family photo of them (Hedy wasn't having any of it, because if they get too close to her they nurse)

Sunsweet thinks this would be a good place for a family photo
Slate is up for a family photo
Slate photobombs Sunsweet and Marble
Slate hides behind marble while Midnight tries to get into the photo with Sunsweet and Marble.
But where is Agate?
Agate, we can't get the whole family on Raffe for a photo
Agate, that is a much better idea!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Kitten Glamour Shots

Okay, so not really glamour shots. More like "have the Catman hold them so I can get a decent photo of them" shots.. They have entered that million mile an hour phase of life where it feels like I have 10 kittens, not five..

They are doing well, have good solid poops, using the litter box very well, eating well, lots of energy, basically, we are just waiting out the time for them to gain enough weight to be neutered. I am in no rush as they are still quite young. The longer they stay in the family unit the better off they are in the long run, but I know there are people out there anxious to get their kitties.. even if they don't all know it yet.. (Midnight and Agate are not spoken for to the best of my knowledge)

Friday, June 14, 2019

Kitties just love this quilt


This is a queen sized hand made quilt I got at a Christmas Fair a few years ago. It was obnoxiously cheap, I don't think what I paid would have even covered the yarn that made it.  The reason it was so cheap was the woman who made it was making it for a friend who was allergic to cats but a cat slept on it.

She put it in the fair and made a sign written up on a piece of notebook paper with the story that a cat slept on it and the price. I didn't buy it at first, but I simply could not buy it.. I ended up going back for it (and yes, I did blog about it at the time)

I had been storing it in the bottom of the cupboard in the kitten room but every time I opened the door to feed them little miss Marble and her brother Sunsweet (and often Midnight) would climb in and fall asleep on it, driving me insane wondering where they were (because they would often climb to the back where you could not see them)

Finally, I decided to save myself some aggravation and remove the blanket and put it elsewhere. You see how far that got me.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Sunsweet and his sisters

Marble and Sunsweet
Agate post yawn but not quite finished.. Too bad it isn't National Talk Like a Pirate day
(admit it, you just said ARRGH!)
Midnight and Slate (and Marble's tail)
Marble and Sunsweet
I have a feeling that Sunsweet is everyone's favorite.. but I totally could be wrong. Which one is your favorite?

Which kitten is your favorite?

I can't answer this, don't make me choose

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Kittens on the couch

I'm not really sure why, but the kittens have all started hanging out on the couch nearest the door I come in and are there when I visit them in the morning. There are plenty of more comfortable (and frankly way better for photos) than this, but this is what they chose.. so this is what I have to work with.

I have no idea what Agate is doing in this photo, but if you look at the back of her head it looks like she has another set of eyes there - or is that just me?

They are growing like weeds. When they went to the vet with me at the end of last week they were barely a pound.. now they are practically a pound and a half. They really need to stop doing that.. I mean come on, Sunsweet's eyes haven't even changed yet!

Friday, June 7, 2019

Snuggling with Sunsweet

This little boy was the first one to climb up into my lap and fall asleep on me. I wasn't sure this was ever going to happen considering Hedy has been so attentive. It was a nice little gift.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Hedy went back to the vet

Tuesday night Hedy was acting a little off. I was down in the kitten room so it might have been a simple case of her being tired, but I wasn't thrilled how she was looking and she seemed to not be so interested in eating anymore.

A short while into my visit Hedy went to the litterbox and it was pretty obvious that things were not right (Yes, I took a picture of her output and no I am not going to make you look at it) It was very soft, there was some blood at the end of it, and there were copious amounts of it.. like half a cup or even 3/4s (no, I didn't measure it)

She had been filling up her litter box in less than 12 hours so I had to give her a second one.. She is not putting on weight despite having constant access to food and on Tuesday I realized she was losing again and on Wednesday morning there were several piles of vomit.

So, off to the vet, we went. She seemed to quite enjoy the outing..

 Hedy making biscuits 
There is something up here relevant to my interests - Hedy
I need thumbs to get into this treat jar - Hedy
The vet decided to put her back on metronidazole to soothe her colon and probiotics to repopulate the good bacteria and we are going to start off with a general deworming since she hasn't had one of those in a while. Since the kittens are also starting to vomit and have diarrhea again, this seemed like a wise course of action. She improved with the metro before, there is no reason to think she won't again, and if it is worms causing her issues getting rid of those *should* make a huge difference.

If things don't improve we'll go back next week and run some blood tests. If things get worse we'll go in sooner.

If nothing else, it helped with kitten socialization

They weren't impressed with the GSD that was in the lobby barking like only a 150lb dog can do (okay fine, maybe 100lb, maybe only 75.. shush, it was a big dog) but Slate was a little freaked out by a smell on the tech's coat, which I am sure smelled like any number of animals. Everyone else did really well being loved on, so I count it a win.
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