Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Go Ahead

Stick your hand in the cat tree...

Bart on guard

I dare you....

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

On The Mend

Mr. Twitch is back to his usual routine, on the mend from the cat flu. He gets a pass--for a while--on being yelled at for sharpening his claws on the box spring.

As you can see, he has already appropriated the dining room table.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Twitch Update

In case you haven't been following my main blog, I just wanted to let you all know that Twitch is recovering.

I took him to see our vets again on Tuesday last week and he was spiking a one-hundred-and-four degree temperature. Dr. Sherwood decided to try another type of antibiotic--injectable medications since he was having trouble swallowing--and he began to feel better within hours.

I was cautious in hoping because he has been up and down with this cold but he has been pretty much back to his usual self for a couple days now--just resting to restore his reserves.

So we are all relieved about that.

The only two cats who came down with this strain of cat flu are two that I know have never been vaccinated for upper respiratory viruses. All other nineteen cats have had a flu shot at some point or another in their lives and it would seem to have been well-worth the investment.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Twitch Update

Today was taken up mostly with Twitch. After a disrupted night--too many cats, no Dennis--I got up at five to drive to Soldotna. There is veterinary clinic there that has endoscopy ability and I was half-convinced that Twitch had something lodged either in his airways or gullet. I called yesterday and got an eight-o-clock appointment.

So shortly after six, Twitch and I were on the dark and lonely Sterling Highway, heading north. I was so wrapped up in worrying about Twitch that I took little pleasure in the drive, the scattered holiday lights of isolated homesteads, the peacefulness of the long distances. I have been fighting a feeling of helplessness in regard to Twitch--nothing seemed to be bringing back the strong young cat I have grown to love. I don't want to lose him.

Denny, who has been up in Nikiski ice-fishing this week, met us at the Soldotna Animal Hospital. Twitch, stirred up by the two-hour drive, was actually looking pretty good. The vet who examined him seemed to feel so as well. He didn't think endoscopy was warranted at this time and wanted us to give the medications more time. In the exam room, Twitch didn't seem to be as distressed as he had been yesterday morning and hearing the vet confirm most of what our vets in Homer had found quieted the fear in me that I wasn't doing enough for our kitty. the vet ended up drawing blood for a re-check on those values and suggesting a few additions to our approach--a vaporizer and nose drops.

So, I left feeling both reassured and a little silly for panicking.

We said good-bye to Denny about nine and headd back home. Along the way, we were treated to a beautiful sunrise over the Kenai Mountains.

We got home shortly before eleven. I gave Twitch his morning meds and let him find his secure hiding spot for the day--in this case, back out on the mezzanine where he spent most of the weekend. then I ran to town to return his x-rays to the vet clinic and let them know the upshot of our consultation and then to the drug store for nose drops and a cool mist vaporizer. I hit the grocery store for some gourmet dry cat food, as Twitch isn't much of a wet food eater and some quick meals for me.

Then, back at home, I set up the downstairs bathroom for Twitch so I can monitor his eating and drinking overnight. That meant moving BeBe into the entryway for a day or two but he didn't seem to mind. The entry has a screen door and he prefers to be there anyway where he can interact with the other cats.

I set up the vaporizer in the bathroom, prepared several bed-spots for Twitch and put out fresh water and food, then dug him out of his cozy hole and installed him downstairs. The last time I checked, there were a few of the fancy crunchies on the carpet, so I know he has been nosing around in the food dish and that makes me feel better.

Then I took a two-hour nap.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Photogenic Mimi

Another picture of Mimi, who is always photogenic, at repose on the sofa.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Twitch Update

Mr. Twitch

We were up early to take Twitch back to town. Depending on how he responded to the steroid shot, we faced the possibility of having to drive up to Kenai-Soldotna to have a scope put down his throat to see what is going on.

But Twitch seemed slightly brighter to me this morning, and Denny remarked that he was breathing better. It wasn't until we heard both vets say the same that we felt we could trust it wasn't wishful thinking.

So we brought Twitch back home and are trying a course of steroids. Twitch is good about taking the pills but I still haven't seen him eat or drink on his own. I am guardedly optimistic but I won't relax until he is feeling better.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Twitch to the Vet

I woke up to Punkin nestled on the pillow above my head--her traditional sleeping spot. It has been weeks since she has spent the night on the bed with us. It was a sweetness I had missed and gave my day a nice beginning.

The temperatures warmed up overnight. Denny went outside to plug in the truck this morning but didn't since it was almost thirty degrees.

We got up about eight-thirty and got the cats fed before heading into town for a busy day.

Twitch wasn't doing any better so we dropped him off at the veterinary clinic so the vet could check him out at her leisure. He hasn't responded to home nursing and I am getting concerned.

Unfortunately, the vets didn't have much to offer on what is ailing Mr. Twitch. The x-ray showed nothing wrong but his throat and airway seemed inf lammed, so he was given a steroid shot and some antibiotics and scheduled for a re-check tomorrow.

It is so depressing when one of our cats is sick and we can't help them.

lights from the driveway

With Twitch and his carrier settled on my lap, I was happy to see the lights of home as we pulled in the driveway. Here's hoping tomorrow has better news for us.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cat Update

On the cat front, Punkin has perked up a bit over the last few days, seeming more like her old, gregarious self. I can read the writing on the wall but am grateful to see Punkin having good days.

On the otherhand, I am worried about Twitch. He spent all day Thursday sleeping in the dining room. It wasn't like him but you can't really call the vet clinic complaining that your cat is sleeping all day. That's sort of what cats do, after all....

On Fiday, however, Mr. Twitch upped the ante by up-chucking. This--of course--is also fairily normal to a point, as any cat owner could testify> But I draw the line at vomiting of foam--that tells me the stomach is in distress.

I gave Twitch a quarter-tablet of Pepcid to settle his tummy but he brought it back up about an hour later.

So we went to the vet clinic for an exam and blood work. About $200 later, the most I learned was that his blood work was "text-book" perfect and there weren't any signs of plumbing obstructions. He was given some anti emetic injections and sub-cutaneous fluids before we came back home.

My mind was a bit relieved that his internal chemistry was looking normal and the shots stopped his vomiting. But he found himself a cozy den on the mezzanine and stayed there.

He came out this morning for a while, while I was feeding cats. I didn't see him eat but he stayed around the food dishes for a while. His eyes were watery and he was sneezing, so I am hoping he is just fighting off the cat flu. He was mouth-breathing this morning but aside from that wasn't showing any signs of discomfort. I gave him some fluids to help with his hydration and a little later, I found some feline antihistamines and gave him one. I hope it helps with his congestion.

Aside from that, it is just a matter of time. Twitch is young and healthy and if it is the flu, he should start feeling better in a day or so. All I can do is watch him and try to keep him comfortable.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Frannie by Tree-Light

A simple picture but I love the warmth and peace of it.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Twitch at the Door

Twitch watched from the back door while I was outside scattering bird seed. He is an avid wildlife watcher but I think he appreciates being able to keep his paws warm and dry while doing so.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

"Fluffy" Went Home Today!

I checked the log book when I got in to the Shelter today--hoping against experience that *someone* was looking for one or both of our two most recent newcomers. There was only one "lost cat" listed--an eight-year-old neutered male, orange.

The name of the owner looked familiar so when Sherry came in, I asked her from whereabouts this cat was missing. It turns out the cat was missing from the next road up the hill from ours...

Now I was never able to tell "Fluffy's" gender with certainty--the coat was just too thick. Given Black Jack's continued hostility, I had to concede that "Fluffy" may indeed be an eight-year-old neutered male. Sherry said the people were very concerned about their kitty--not only had they called but they had paid a visit to the Shelter to see if their cat was there. If there was a chance that I had their kitty, I wanted to get it home to them.

When I got home, I gave them a call and arranged a meeting. And, yes, our Miss Fluffer-nutter was their missing "Pumpkin."

I know their little girl was thrilled to have her kitty back. And I know Pumpkin is happy to back in familiar surroundings with the people he loves, and who love him.

And our shop seems a bit more tranquil without the vibes of competing male egos.

Everyone is happy with the outcome.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Baby Punkin

Fourteen years ago, in November of 1994, Punkin was a hard-headed bit of orange fluff.

I had no way of knowing what she would become to me.

I am saddened to see her now, reduced to a tired, old cat.

Driven by the terrible thirst of her disease, she wanders the house, going from water bowl to fountain to sink. I tempt her with newly-drawn water or with fresh-fallen snow but that isn't what she seeks. Nothing we can offer seems to be precisely what she craves, though she will sip a little before moving on in her quest. She gets ample fluids under her skin every evening, keeping her hydrated. That satisfies her for a while.