Monday, August 31, 2015

more Bert-man

So lovely spending the weekend with the Bert-man. I spent some time with him this morning soaking in his loves as I don't know when I'll get to see him again. 

Bert puts his whole body into being loved on! Petting him is a very active engagement, he's purring, squirming around, smashing his head into my hand while also trying to make sure his tummy gets rubbed all at the same time. 

He's got so much personality! I could just sit and love on him for hours.

Seeing him adore the attention, I can't help but think of him living on the street and going without human touch. I'm so grateful to have rescued him and given him another chance at the good life. I still get the sense from him that he's super-grateful at this second chance.

Once more I've had to let him go back to his new home and once more, my heart is ouchy. This guy really took a bit piece of my heart in the year I got to foster him. Be well my Bert!!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

full house

We have a visitor!

Recognize this guy?

Yep, it's the Bert-man!!

We get the pleasure of his presence for a long weekend! His mom is selling her house as she's moving further south. The real estate market here is pretty hot, with lots of demand and few houses available. What that means is houses sell crazy-quick. Basically, you list your house, go away for a long weekend, people come see it and when you return you sort through the five or six offers you received and choose the one you want. 

Bert's mom went to hang out at the ocean for the weekend with her doggies and didn't want to leave Bert there by himself as potential buyers paraded through their house, so he's with us! He was a little scared at first and thus hissy, then he started to trust and wanted head rubs and loves for a few seconds before the hissing started, and now it's just love! No more hisses! Not having seen him for awhile, I forgot just how amazingly lovey he is! He is such a sweetie!!

He's gotten a little more plump around the middle, he was always a solid cat, now he's a little more robust! It's good to get some Bert time again, so glad this guy has a great home now! Yea for Bert!!! Seeing Bert so lovey and so well cared for makes my heart warm with gratitude.

Having Bert here means we have a very full house! Five cats downstairs, Marvin moved to our bedroom, and Bert gets Oliver's room, which leaves Oliver and Pierre outside. Seven cats in our small house (996 sqft, 92.5 sqm) feels like a lot of cats!! I had to run the dishwasher this morning full of just cat dishes. Oh my! 

And poor Oliver wanted some inside time today, but there are no rooms available! Maybe we need a bigger house to accommodate all the cats!

Oliver didn't care about not having a room, he was quite happy 
being in my lap in the middle of the living room!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

adventures in Marvinville

Marvin went to my vet last week for his vaccines, microchip, and for another general look over, this time by my vet. This will make the third different vet who has gotten to see him. I had concerns about the state of his kidneys, because from day one, he's peed a lot and the size of his pees are super-size.

The good news is that he's gained some weight, he's now 7.7 pounds (3.49kg). The bad news is that even after his recent dental work, many of his teeth are still in rough shape and my vet was puzzled why the other vet didn't extract more. She thinks more need to go. This made me really angry, Marvin went to the second vet for a full mouth extraction after the first vet said his teeth were all rotten and needed to come out, but the second vet only extracted one (that was really bad) and cleaned the rest. He noted there was severe periodontal disease, but apparently didn't see fit to extract more.

Sadly, the bad news doesn't stop there. My vet recommended we do a SDMA test to check for kidney failure. Before his dental work, one of his kidney values was high but the other was normal. The SDMA test indicated advanced kidney failure. My vet thinks the anesthesia from the dental work in addition to the high bacteria load from the dental infections may have really pushed his kidneys over the edge. She indicated that with a cat in his condition, she would have proactively put him on a course of fluids for two days prior to and post surgery to really flush out all the toxins and the nasty side effects of the anesthesia. Of course he didn't get any of those fluids as the vet who did the surgery apparently didn't share her concerns about his kidneys.

With the kidney failure, she doesn't think it's wise to be addressing the other dental concerns right now because of the risk associated with more anesthesia. Dang. So, he's on special (expensive) kidney food (which he hates) and we will retest his kidney panel in a few weeks.

This was my first time taking one of my rescue cats to a different (and much cheaper) vet. The extraction was considerably less expensive (saved about $1,000) but it came at a high cost to Marvin's kidneys. With the knowledge I had at the time I think I made a decent choice, but knowing what I know now, I'll be sticking with my more expensive vet that I know and trust.

In talking with some other people who know a lot about cats, I learned that there is a possibility that his kidneys may rebound. The idea is maybe his kidneys were inundated with toxins and may clear up in time to better functioning. I certainly hope and pray this is true, but we'll have to wait to find out.

Meanwhile, now that he's vaccinated, he's been given the green light to explore the whole house! He wasted no time in taking it all in, much to the displeasure of the resident cats. He is such a bold explorer! He had mapped the entire house in about 15 minutes and began working on the vertical surfaces!

Nahum: I'm not so sure about this ambassador job...

After being out and free in the house for about an hour or so, Marvin went into the bathroom and sprayed the wall. Great! Really?? Argh! The sad part was the urine was nearly clear, just a faint yellow hue. He's since sprayed more on other excursions out of his room but he doesn't seem to spray in his room. He's also taken to terrorizing Rose, in a very similar fashion as Bert once did. I'm wondering if sharing space with five other cats is just too much for him! Because of these annoying habits, he only gets supervised freedom.

I'm very happy to report that he's become quite the cuddle bug. When I visit with him in his room, he'll get super close and settle right with me. Monday night he got to spend the night in the bedroom and he slept on me the entire night! It's been fun to see his personality start to shine through. 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

good asking

The voting is in from the previous post - Buddy was indeed asking for bedtime cuddles, which actually involves another dinner and tummy rubs, so technically everyone is right! When we go upstairs to bed, he gets a snack before climbing into bed and cuddling in for tummy rubs. He likes the same routine every night - no deviations are permitted!

Buddy - Aug 23, 2015 5:51pm
In this more recent picture, taken tonight, Buddy is clearly asking for early dinner. Dinner time is 6pm and they always petition for dinner to be early! Buddy is not shy about getting in my face and making sure his request is received.

Buddy - Aug 23, 2015 7:00pm
And here he is asking for second dinner, only an hour after first dinner! It never stops!

I'm very happy to report that the steroid treatment he's getting for IBS seems to be helping. He's gone from horking nearly daily to now maybe once a week. And he actually looks like he's gaining some weight, even though the scale doesn't seem to indicate any gain. His middle feels more solid. Yea for Buddy!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

watchful gaze

This is how Buddy asks for what he wants:

Can you tell what he is asking for? I'll give you a hint, this picture was taken at 10:11pm. 

He only asks for three things: tummy rubs, second (and third, fourth, fifth...) dinners, and to go to bed (nightly cuddles). 

What is Buddy asking for?

I'll post the answer after the voting closes.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Mr. Marvins

Mr. Marvin is doing amazing! He's graduated to Oliver's room in the house. He's super curious and explored the space in no time. I love watching cats explore and map their new territory! These first few pictures are from Saturday, Aug 8th.

After he felt comfy in his new space, I gave him his first nip nanner...

I think he likes it!

One big drool fest! Wow!! 

These next pictures are from a week later, Aug 16th.

As you can see, Marvin is looking GREAT!

Now that his teeth are all healed up, he'll be vaccinated and chipped this week and then he'll be posted on PetFinder in hopes of finding his perfect new home!

The more comfortable Marvin gets, the more lovey he gets. He's even settled in my lap a few times and cuddled up to me on the bed. He's a very social boy who loves having his cheeks rubbed - although doing so gets his drool factory running in overdrive which is fine until he shakes his head and covers everything with drool!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Marvin update

What better way to celebrate World Cat Day than celebrating this guy's progress! Just look at how much better he looks after having his ouchy tooth removed.

Marvin's looking awesome! He's one good looking dude!

The food has really done him some good, he's filled in nicely. 
I love his rich chocolatey color!

Now that he's not in pain, he's much more interested in activity! The plan is to move him inside the house on Saturday. He'll go into what I call Oliver's room, which is the small room Oliver gets lock in when we travel. Once he's inside, he'll have a lot more room to move about and I'll get a better sense of his personality. One thing I know about him is that he is very vocal! He's got a booming voice that he's not afraid to use it! 

Beautiful Marvin

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

double vet visit fun

Marvin did great yesterday! He talked (very loudly) to me the entire way to the office, I think he was sharing his last will and testament. I didn't need to announce our arrival at the office as he did that for us! That boy has some Siamese pipes, wow!

He went in to have his remaining teeth extracted, because the rescue vet said they were rough shape. But the vet at the surgery place only pulled the really loose one and cleaned up the remainder. So, now he's back in factory specs and ready to roll! Go Marvin!!

Meanwhile, Buddy went to the our regular vet.
Pre-vet visit tummy rubs!
His trip wasn't pre-planned, as he had stopped eating sometime over the weekend but his vomiting continued, so we wanted to get him checked out, particularly his kidney and thyroid values.

During the physical exam the vet felt something odd in his innards, somewhere near the intestines and wanted to check it out, so a few x-rays later she saw something that looked a little odd. The blood work showed that his kidneys are a little better than last time and thyroid is right where it should be. I was very happy to hear about those kidney values! Thyroid is responding well to the methimazole.

The next diagnostic option was ultrasound, so I went ahead and opted for that (I love my cat insurance!) The ultrasound revealed no tumor, so that's good, but it showed what she believes might be irritable bowel syndrome, something she thinks may have been there awhile. The other possible option is some form of lymphoma. So, for now we treat with basic steroid and hope for the best.

Of course right when he got back home, he made us a big liar, he started eating up again just fine! Buddy! Even with a shaved tummy, he's still very much Buddy and wants his tummy rubbed on demand. It's good to have him home and eating again.

Monday, August 3, 2015


Camping with Oliver was such a fun time, I decided to go it again on Saturday night!

This time he didn't come around until much later, so that gave me some time to play with the camera. Managed to get one picture of the stars that was somewhat decent.

Once inside and full from his snacks, he settled right in for some serious cuddles and sleep!

I don't think the bonding time had the desired effect I was hoping for. Come Sunday night, Oliver once again disobeyed curfew, he was no where to be found. Dang! Now, I've taken to pulling all the feral food except for what's on the back porch. That way, if he wants to eat, he has to come in.

Meanwhile, have you met Marvin? He's my latest rescue. I got an email from someone that they had been seeing him come around for about a week. He was (is) super skinny. So, I went over a week ago last Friday and trapped him (you can read more about him here).

He's an older non-microchipped, neutered boy and thankfully he tested negative for FIV and FeLV (yah!) and appears generally healthy except for being way too thin and for having a mouth full of rotten teeth. The vet wiggled his right top canine and it was quite loose. Poor guy.

I LOVE his coloring, he's such a good looking boy and he seems to have a sweet temperament.

You can see his right upper canine sticks out more than the other.

Marvin will be going in for surgery this morning to have all of his remaining teeth extracted. He'll be feeling so much better when this is all done. He must be in so much pain with all those rotten teeth. I can't wait to get to know his personality when he's healed up and able to fully relax! Meanwhile, I'll be doing some research on lost cats to see if someone could be looking for him.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

bonding time

There's been some tension in my relationship with Oliver lately. It concerns his new disdain for curfew. A few weeks ago, he decided he's not interested in being locked up on the back porch for the night anymore, so he stopped coming in. I would go find him and haul him in, but then he started hiding and running from me. He was clearly communicating that he wanted to stay out all night and protect the territory.

I can't sleep when I hear the sound of cats fighting, especially when I know it's my Oliver. There have been a number nights over these weeks where I've not been able to haul him in, and he fights, fights, and fights... I wore ear plugs to bed those nights, so I didn't hear it, but come morning, his body had many cuts and scratches from the battling.

So, with this tension between us, I thought maybe a father-cat bonding experience might help. With it being a beautiful evening and a full moon, I thought what better than a camping trip with my Oliver!

The tent is setup in Oliver's yard.

After setting up the tent, I looked all over for Oliver but he was no where to be found! Brat!

Pierre comes by and checks out the setup

Then not long after Pierre's visit, Oliver stopped in

Everyone knows that camping is not camping without special yummies! 
We started with the yummy snacks

When camping with a cat, it's important to pack the litter box, which he used in the night

The moment when I told him I had forgotten to pack the toys

Oliver was a little confused if this counted as inside-kitty time,
 when technically it was taking place in his yard

I think Oliver purred all night! He so LOVES to cuddle, we cuddled nearly the entire night. 
However, cuddling with an outdoor cat with razor sharp claws poses a few challenges! Ouch!

He occasionally got up to look out the window

I opened the door at 5:30am and he slowly worked his way out

I think Oliver likes camping!

Later in the morning, Pierre came by to verify Oliver's story
about spending the night in the big blue fort
I love that Oliver purred the entire time in the tent. He didn't view the tent as a prison, but a fun place to cuddle and be with his human. I adore this boy and so wish he could be an inside cat and give up his tough, territorial nature, but his non-stop urine marking makes that undoable. Thankfully, he didn't spray in the tent! We'll have to try this again, but next time I need to remember to pack the kitty toys!