Sunday, January 31, 2016

unlucky Rose

Remember Tramp?

I helped rescue him about a year and half ago. He's been with his foster mom ever since as he's waited for his forever home. Meanwhile, his foster mom fell in love with him, but when the perfect new forever home came along, she was willing to let him go. His new family have been looking for a lovey, cuddly kitty-friend for one of their lonely kitties.

Tramp was set to go to his new home Saturday after his final vet checkup, but sadly, he escaped his foster mom's house on Thursday night. Foster mom came home after work to find her door ajar and several kitties missing. So, she's working on rounding them back up, which will delay Tramp's delivery. Hopefully Tramp comes back inside soon.

Meanwhile, I had a Saturday morning vet appointment with no Tramp, and with Rose being due for annual check up, it was her unlucky day.

Catching Rose is always an ordeal, she desperately fears humans.  And after this experience, she'll believe her fear is fully justified.

Rose hunkered down at the vet hoping it would all go away. She didn't get her wish, instead she got a couple of pokes and a good look over. Vet said she's healthy - yea!

Upon coming back home, she walked around, crying for about five minutes. I felt horrible for causing her such emotional distress. Thankfully, Nahum, her best kitty friend, attended to her and offered what he does best, providing comfort.

After getting loved on by Nahum, she had to have a drink! A good stiff drink always helps with the stress.

She made her way to her safe cubby and kept watch. Poor girl couldn't settle to sleep for a number of hours. I so wish human contact wasn't so intensely stressful for her. I'm grateful she's healthy and won't need to be corralled again for another year or so.

Friday, January 22, 2016

former feral Friday

Oliver enjoying some inside play time!               Jan 21, 2016
Every time I get to hang out with Oliver my heart glows with joy. My bond with him is quite different from all of the other cats. There something about how we met and that it took quite some time for us to trust each other. He was the first feral-like cat that I befriended. Over the course of time, he went from being too scared to be in yard with me, to being a puddle of purring kitty-putty in my lap.

Join me for an Oliver flashback...

I first started noticing feral Oliver around the neighborhood in January 2011.
Jan 23, 2011
Over time I started noticing him hanging out in and around my yard more and more.
July 29, 2011

Aug 15, 2011
He was pretty thin back then.
Aug 26, 2011
 I knew absolutely nothing about feral cats then, so it took me awhile to start feeding him.
Aug 30, 2011
He took to the food right away!
Sept 1, 2011
Then I built him a house and a matching dining hall.
Sept 7, 2011
He immediately claimed the house as his.
Sept 18, 2011
Then came slowly working to win his trust.
                  Oct 6, 2011

He's such a beauty!                      Oct 7, 2011
And at long last the amazing moment happened, his desire to be held overcame his fear. He climbed into my lap and completely melted into me. I cried tears of joy and delight as I held him close.
Oliver's first cuddle                                        Oct 20, 2011
After that first cuddle, he wanted more and more cuddles. I was more than happy to oblige!
Nov 8, 2011

Dec 2, 2011
I was so honored when he brought his kittens to share in his bounty.
Dec 31, 2011
Over the years, Oliver's made his desire to be an inside kitty very clear. Sadly, he's a frequent urine marker, so he's only allowed inside under supervision or if I'm traveling and then I Oliverize his room by covering every surface with sheets and towels. I tried all sorts of things to get him to stop spraying but sadly nothing worked. Over the years he's mellowed a bit with the spraying, so I may try some of those things again.

He would jump up onto the outside window sill and beg to be let in. He has the saddest cry.
 Feb 18, 2012
When time allows, I bring him inside for some supervised snuggle time.
July 8, 2012
Last summer I had the brilliant idea of camping in the back yard with Oliver - if Oliver can't come inside to spend the night with me, then I could go outside and spend the night in his space.

Aug 1, 2015
It took a little time to win his trust, and in that time, Oliver has freely given me his heart. He is such a delightful gift, a gift that I treasure and I'm immensely grateful for.
Oct 10, 2015
Thank you, Oliver, for choosing me.

Thank you everyone for your kind comments about MK's absence. Many of you said you can't believe it's been a year already, I feel much the same way. He'll forever live in my heart and in Pierre and Oliver's lives.

Happy former feral Friday!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


Buddy's always been a picky eater, but now as he gets older his finickiness is growing, as his weight is dropping. So, I'm always looking for more creative ways to get him to eat. He really likes saucy food and doesn't care for the chewing part as much. He loves to lick up the sauce in Friskies shreds or the sauce in Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers foods. He's never been into healthy food and that's more true now than ever.

He loves people food - bacon (his all time favorite!), tuna, chicken, cheese, etc. He's becoming quite the pest come dinner time, with his getting up on the table and begging. He doesn't take no for an answer! Anyway, I had an idea - what about getting a mini-food processor and blending up some custom foods for him. This way I can mix in some of his favorite human-foods into cat food, making custom flavors and food that's more saucy.

I found the perfect thing at the local Goodwill - a Small Cuisinart Stick Hand Blender with Whisk and Chopper Attachments for $15. The container is the perfect size for cat food.

For this smoothie, I used a half can of Taste of the Wild wet food (which Buddy refuses to eat, cuz it's chunky and too healthy) and added some sliced cheese-product (which Buddy loves!)


Saucy, cheesy goodness!

Now comes the test - will he eat it?

That is a no! So, I bring out some Purely Fancy Feast tuna to see if maybe he'll eat that...

After two bites of dry kibble, he turns his back - he's done. Sigh.

Since he rejected all of his options, this is one of those nights where he just wasn't gonna eat, no matter what. He has eaten other smoothies I've made using Friskies or Fancy Feast as the base. I knew trying the healthier stuff was a risk. This smoothie won't be wasted as Theo and Nahum will happily make it go away!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

remembering MK

It was one year ago today that MK disappeared.

I still miss him dearly.

Pierre misses his brother too. They lived their lives together everyday, playing, hanging out, and cuddling.

I had dreams of trying to convert Oliver, MK, and Pierre into inside kitties, but MK remained semi-feral and wouldn't let me get to close. Investing your heart into feral kitties is dangerous business, as their lives are often too short, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Oliver and his family are my family.

You are loved MK, you are forever loved.

MK, Pierre, and Oliver

Monday, January 18, 2016

Monday Marvin-monster madness

Marvin still can't get enough of fetch! I love having a cat that plays fetch, it's the funnest thing. I also love that unlike playing fetch with a dog, Marvin's sparkle ball remains clean and dry even after hours of play. My friend's chocolate lab played fetch and got the ball slobbery and nasty in no time - yuck! When I'm lying in bed at night trying to fall asleep, Marvin will drop his sparkle ball on my neck, his way of asking me to throw it again!

Marvin's asthma is responding nicely to the oral meds he's getting (Pred & Terbutaline). Meanwhile, I'm slowly trying to get him acclimated to the AeroKat, in hopes of someday being able to use inhaler meds. Progress is slow, very slow.

On top of his kidney failure, dental problems, and asthma, he's got another condition that's been going on which is very troubling to me. Every so often, he'll not be able to walk straight and frequently falls down when walking. It looks like what I imagine would happen if one of his back legs was asleep or numb. When this happens there are no signs of distress, he doesn't seem bothered by it at all. Eyes and pupils appear normal, but he's not able to jump without falling - hard. The condition seems to last for about 6-12 hours and seems to slowly get worse in that time and then slowly gets better.

He recently had one of these episodes and it was by far the worst it's been. It's really scary to see him not able to get around. I was deathly afraid he would try to jump and crash, injuring himself. When this is happening he doesn't act or seem any different than normal besides not being able to move straight or stand. This time around, I set up a one-level containment cage to keep him from hurting himself until the condition wore off.

I debated about taking him into emergency, but his lack of distress made me think it could wait. I feared it might be a blood clot or mini-stroke, but figured if that were true he would be in distress. I took him to the vet the next day and of course all his symptoms were gone, thus he appeared quite normal. This was actually the second time I took him in for this condition, but this time with a different vet (not one of the usual vets I see).

Even though I had a video that showed a little of his symptoms, he checked out as being just fine. The vet ran a comprehensive blood panel to look for anomalies but everything came back as expected. She basically told me the same thing my standard vet told me, that we've exhausted their diagnostic capability, next step is MRI. With his other health problems, I don't think I can justify the expense of an MRI, so for now, I'll keep close watch on him and pray.

This vet was very afraid of Marvin. She didn't want to handle him alone and asked me to restrain him when she did her exam. When she left to do the blood work, she didn't dare pick him up and carry him in the back (as all the other vets do) but said she would get the vet tech to do that! Later I learned that they have his file marked as an aggressive cat, which is funny, considering he's my therapy cat! He's sugary sweet just so long as you are trying to stick something up his butt or down his throat! He considers those actions violations, so watch out! I'm guessing if I were facing those actions, I might respond just like Marvin!

I fall more and more for this guy everyday. He's so little and yet has a huge personality!!