Friday, April 29, 2016

everyday is a gift

I hope you don't grow tired of me marveling over Marvin. I suppose some day, having a cat at work with me will be normal, but until then, you'll need to bear with me as I gush with gratitude and joy!! Each day I get with Marvin is a precious gift!

First, a quick look back at Marvin's history. He had been abandoned and was scrounging food where he could get it. Poor thing was skin and bones - he had loose and rotten teeth and thus a lot of  pain. Some nice people put food out for him and emailed me asking if I could help him.

July 23, 2015
 The next day he went right into my trap like a good boy.
July 24, 2015
Then came getting him lots of medical care, food, and love. And now, he's still got chronic problems, which will shorten his lifespan, so I'm soaking up everyday I get with this guy.

Here are a few scenes from a recent hard days work...





Marvin maybe little in stature, but he's got a big heart and unlimited loves to offer! 





Enjoy this moment - it's a unique gift that's just for you!

Happy Weekend!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Willow Wednesday

"Willow's being cute again!!!"

Spend a few hours at my house and I bet you'll hear that statement a few times.

When you think about it, it's really a silly thing to say. Might as well say, "Wow! The sun came up again this morning!!" or "Yea, I think I'll breathe some air today!"  or "Does Theo want dinner?!" Pure silliness. Willow can't help being cute, it's just who she is.

So... Here's more of precious Willow being Willow...








Thursday, April 21, 2016

Happy Planet (dwarf-planets and otherwise) Day!

Happy Jupiter Day! No, that doesn't sound right. Happy Mercury Day! Hmmm... that sounds off too, maybe Happy Pluto Day! (but does that work? Plutonians lost their planet status awhile back, so they may be offended...) If I say Happy Earth Day, the Martians and Neptunians will all be up in arms (do they even have arms?) about the lack of inclusivity. So, I'll go with Happy Whatever Planet (or other large celestial orbiting body) you associate with Day!

Marvin enjoyed a wheezy-free day at the office on Thursday.

I know I've said it before, but I'll just keep saying it, I so love having him with me at work and he seems to love being around humans all day! He's such a socialite! At work, he greets people and then flops over on the floor and wants his belly rubbed! He's such a ham. What's remarkable about that is he never does that at home! He never flops over and never wants his belly rubbed!! Tummy rubs must be part of his work persona.

I'm celebrating Planet Day by celebrating Marvin! He's my latest rescue (recycled and reused) cat. Someone discarded him but I had the good fortune of trapping him and taking him in - giving him food, love, medical care, and everything else he wants and needs (not necessarily in that order).

Marvin with landing gear stuck in down position

Marvin with landing gear retracted
Yea for all the rescue kitties out there - this is the day to celebrate the rescue kitties!!!
Extra treats for all rescues!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

floaty factory


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Marvin has a thing for drinking out of my water mug at the office. I often don't notice until I go for a drink of water in the middle of a session and then I see a few extra bits in the water! Sometimes I don't notice the floaties until after I just took a big gulp.  Yum! Marvin!!!


Thank you everyone for your ideas, suggestions, purrs, and prayers about Marvin and his asthma. The other day I decided to go back and try crushing up the steroid pill into his wet food and he started eating it. Hallelujah! I'll keep going with this route until he stops eating again.

A few of you suggested the idea of building a nebulizer box. I actually came across this idea a few months back and got really excited about it - excited enough to buy a nebulizer and start gathering the parts. He loves going into boxes and bags, so I figured this would be easy. Then I started looking for the meds in nebulizer solution form. The Albuterol has a nebulizer solution option but I couldn't find the steroid. After further research I learned the nebulizer box doesn't work for steroid because it would get in his eyes and other orifices and membranes. Apparently that's bad. I still need to follow-up with the vet about this concern.

Some suggested air filters, I have big air filters on every floor of the house and even one at the office. I got those way back when Willow was diagnosed with asthma and it seemed to help her. With the warmer weather we've been having, we need to open the windows (no AC) which invites the pollen and other stuff right in.

I'm guessing his recent asthma worsening was due to the really bad pollen season we've been having. I think it did a number on his lungs, just like it seemed to do a number on my brain (2-weeks of migraines - ugh!) The pollen has eased up and he's been getting his meds (no asthma attacks for three days), so I took him back to the office with me on Monday. Sadly, I had to run him home in the middle of his work shift due to asthma attacks returning - the office was a sweltering 83°F (28.3°C), which seemed to make his asthma worse (it made my migraine worse too).

We'll keep working on it. He's such a delight! I'm so amazed at the cats I rescue - each have such delightful personalities! It's so crazy to think before I trapped Marvin, he was starving to death, in lots of pain, and lacking human affection for who knows how long. No more, he knows love now.

Monday, April 11, 2016

need to breathe

It's hard to know if Marvin's asthma is actually getting worse or if it's just worse because he refuses to take his meds. He has chronic dental pain which means he refuses to have his mouth touched. Unfortunately, we're not able to do any more treatment for his dental issues due to his failing kidneys, but even if we were somehow able to magically take away his dental pain, he's had the chronic pain for years, so he's never going to be at ease having his mouth touched. Pilling or squirting liquids into his mouth is not an option.


I got his steroid compounded into a liquid and it's flavored with fish (also tried chicken). I've mixed it into his wet food but more and more he's refusing to eat his wet food. I even tried withholding the dry food to force him to eat the wet - but he responded with a hunger strike and refused to eat at all. He also refuses to eat any of his favorite junk foods (cheese, bacon, etc.) when they're laced with meds. Sigh.
Humans: 0
Marvin: 1

I broke down and spent the big bucks and got inhalers and the AeroKat chamber.


I've read a bunch about how to acclimate a cat to using the AeroKat and tried the slow acclimation process. I even put his favorite foods in the mask (bacon) so he could fish it out. In the end it was a colossal (and expensive) fail! I could maybe get him to take one panicked breath, the idea of holding it on to his face for ten breaths is just plain crazy.

Humans: 0
Marvin: 2


My cat sitter extraordinaire, Annie, has been a licensed veterinary technician forever. She has a real heart for cats and is quite amazing with them. After I asked her for advice, she offered to stop in and show me how to work the AeroKat with Marvin. I was excited at the idea of a professional showing me how to hold him so this could work. Well, Annie left very humbled.

Humans: 0
Marvin: 3

Part of the challenge is that Marvin is really, really small. When I first rescued him he was only about 5 pounds, now he's at his ideal weight, maybe even a little over at 7 pounds. There's nothing to the guy, he doesn't have a scruff to grab - really he doesn't have anything to grab except skin and bones. I don't want to squeeze his bones or innards too tight for fear something might break. Whatever I do, he fights and wiggles his way free, even with two grown adults trying to hold him. Annie even tried wrapping him in a kitty burrito, but it still didn't matter, Marvin wasn't having any of it.

Annie suggested trying a grooming bag, the idea is the cat is tightly secured in the bag and the paws are all neatly tucked inside. So, it's like a kitty burrito. I figured it was worth trying.


 

I bought the small from Amazon, but compared to Marvin's petite size, this bag is HUGE. Two Marvins could fit in this thing. Even so, I tried to get him in the bag but again he wasn't having it. Even with two of us trying to stuff him in - no go, which is weird, cuz he gets right into his travel bag with not even a hint of struggle.

Humans: 0
Marvin: 4

Meanwhile, Marvin has more and more asthma attacks and it's really getting me stressed. The poor guy can't breathe, I've got the meds that can help him but I'm not able to administer them. I've stopped taking him to work with me because of his frequent wheezing, it's quite distressing seeing a cat not able to breathe.

I'm really not sure what else to do. The idea of just watching him struggle for breath doesn't sound appealing. If anyone has any suggestions, I would love to hear them.

I'm thinking about bringing him next door to the vet's office everyday and paying for the technicians to strong arm him into taking his meds - that is of course assuming they are able to gang up on him and make it happen. The vet has his file flagged that he's an aggressive cat. I'm afraid by doing that he'll begin to hate getting into his travel bag and will start fighting me on that, but I guess that's better than dying from lack of air.


I suppose, I should start considering the "quality of life" question. I'm soooo not ready for that, but  when will I ever be ready. Sigh.