Saturday, February 27, 2010

Kitty Journal 41 - Bath for Sherbet!

Today, I decided to give Sherbet a bath. Why? Because he hasn't bathe in three weeks. Salem already had his bath last week so he was exempted. I boiled water, pour it into a pail and mixed with cold water. At the right temperature (slightly warmer than to my liking), I pour some into a basin and mixed in Earthbath Cat Shampoo. Ahh, love the smell. Then I grab the struggling Sherbet and in he go into the basin. I'm guessing the temperature is perfect for him since he didn't mew at all. He was just busy trying to get out of the basin. After a few minutes of scrubbing, another few minutes of rinsing and another few minutes of wiping his face with a wet cloth, he's all done. Smelling good and totally wet. I wrapped him up in a thick towel, then rubs him as much as I can and voila, into the cage till he's not dripping wet. I don't use hair dryer on him since he's terrified of the sound. Let him dry out on his own.

Here is the semi-wet Sherbet, after a bath.



















I gave him wetfood mixed with his liver supplement and after a few hours, Sherbet is back to his fluffy but smelling good self. After having a nice bath and eating good food, he's down for his usual nap.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Kitty Journal 40 - D.I.Y Cat Toy and My Cats Video

I modified a dangling cat toy that I made a few months back. I used a wire hanger, fishing thread, a bit of yarn and a small bell.

Voila, a homemade dangling cat toy













Look at how my cats played with it


Another trait my cats have is licking each other, but mostly Sherbet demands grooming session from other cats namely Salem and my late Neko-chan. Here is a video of how thorough Salem is grooming his "brother's" face. Though they are not blood related at all.


P/S: Sorry if the quality is not very good, it was taken via mobile phone camera and I don't have video editing software. XD

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Kitty Journal 39 - Hello There

These past few days, a sort of black tabby stray kept coming to my front door asking for food. He looks beautiful, a bit on the skinny side but his tail is beautiful. I didn't dare touch him since my Sherbet is still under precaution due to liver problem, so I just watched him from the door. My bf came over and helped me feed the cat, we call him Kelabu (Gray). He is somewhat fierce and territorial, which I think is typical for an intact male cat. Sometimes I see him engaged in cat fights at night time downstairs. I wondered if he's a stray or someone's pet, but I guess I'll never know. He could probably be the typical outdoor pet, some so-called owner feed him but let him roam and defecate wherever it pleases. The typical mindset of some cat owners I think.

He will be gone during the morning and then appears at noon till night near the front of my door to beg for food. To be honest, I would have taken him in as one my own if I could but at the moment I am somewhat tight with a cat that is sick and I already have two adult male cats. Having another adult male cat in the house will be somewhat difficult, especially with Sherbet being very territorial. I am somewhat glad I put up netting on my front door, so I can keep my indoor cats and Kelabu apart. Even so, Sherbet doesn't hesitate to hiss and spat at Kelabu when he comes to beg for food.

I wish Kelabu the best and ponders his fate. If I were not this tight with money now, and he is confirmed a stray, I would take him in a heartbeat. Keep him caged, neuters and put him up for adoption. That's the right thing to do. Alas, I can only smile, feed him and greets him. The timing is so wrong..

P/S: His expression reminds me of my late Neko-chan, that fierce piercing eyes.

Kitty Journal 38 - Another Day At Home (Pics)

This morning I snapped a few pictures of my sleeping cats. They looked so adorable together, reminds me of the days when they were so much younger. I don't feel like writing anything much today, just post pictures to feast your eyes on. Behold! The cuteness of the ultimate cuteness! :D

1 year ago
















Yesterday












Sherbet, the computer technician?










Salem, hanging out on the D.I.Y cage


Naptime!

Sherbet's napping expression (looks somewhat like an old man hehe)
























Salem's sleeping expression (looks very kitten-like hehe)




















Saturday, February 20, 2010

Kitty Journal 37 - Post Second Bloodtest

Today is the 3rd day I gave Sherbet his supplements. He looks normal, same affectionate and active cat. He plays around and slept together with Salem. Watching them sleep together is so cute. To be really honest, I'm glad the liver problem was detected quite early. From what I'm seeing, the supplements is helping Sherbet's liver flush out the toxins by itself. But I should not be too relaxed, I should practice more vigilance! Everyday I took the time to groom Sherbet and peek into his ears, watch the skin coloring and watched their pee clump and poo. Noting if there's any different in the color, amount and frequency. So far nothing out of the ordinary.

For one thing, I practice better hygiene for my cats now. I throw away kibbles that are exposed for long hours and washes their food and water bowl every few hours. I am also more careful at leaving dirty dishes in the sink. Either I wash them and put the clean dishes away, or I cover them with something so my cats can't have access to dirty dishes. I always kept the garbage bin closed, so that my cats can't ransack the garbage. It was funny how these thing was somewhat insignificant a few months back. Now, it is my duty to keep dangerous things away from my cats.

It was sad losing a cat, but it made me realized a lot of things I haven't realized before. Cleanliness, safety and hygiene from the eyes of cats. On a broader view, the death of Neko-chan made me look at a lot of things more critically. On a side note, the diagnose of Sherbet's liver problem somehow made me forget about my sadness. I was too busy worrying about another of my furkids and somehow it helped me get through the grief. A blessing in disguise of some sort I reckon. As I watch Salem and Sherbet huddled together in a corner, I smiled to myself and think "Oh, how cute". I wish for them to stay like that for years and years to come.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Kitty Journal 36 - Blood Test Result 180210

I waited patiently for my phone to ring yesterday. At around 10am, the vet called me to give report of the blood test. It seems Sherbet still have liver function problem. The result of the tests still shows somewhat high toxicity in the liver. Although the vet told me he can't really compare both the result since it was done at a different machine. For some reason, the vet that took the blood send it to another lab for testing. Hence, it's somewhat difficult to gauge the exact range of toxic in the liver. The platelet count, from what I saw was at the borderline. This is good for me since the last blood test shows the platelet count somewhat in below the normal range.

After some consultation, the vet told me give Sherbet the same liver supplement they gave the week before for seven days. The supplement is called Samylin (for small breeds), 1 sachet per day for seven days.

SAMYLIN®

The liver has an essential role in many body functions, such as metabolism and storage of nutrients. Daily it is exposed to many threats and toxins. SAMYLIN® helps protect the liver via a complex of antioxidants that work synergistically to provide the best possible protection. It contains the antioxidant Glutathione precursor SAMe and thiol donor Silybin, vitamin E and C for management of liver disorders.

-taken from VetPlus uk website

I'm guessing Sherbet is still out of danger, and we're hoping that he will get well by himself gradually. I asked the vet's opinion about Sherbet's condition, whether is is something contagious but he said, from the test everything else looks normal except for his liver function and the borderline platelet count. From his experience, it is probably poison ingestion and not infection of some sort. I raked my brains with my bf on how Sherbet and the late Neko-chan could be poisoned but not Salem. They are all indoor cats, my apartment never had any invasion of rodents and hardly any insects came in (I chase flies like a maniac in my apartment with my fly swatter). What does the two of them have in common that's different from Salem? I asked myself. After talking to my bf, we realized Sherbet and the late Neko-chan loves eating the kibble I bought for them. Neko-chan ate the most, Sherbet was second in line and Salem barely ate the kibble. Salem prefers wetfood than dry kibbles. After awhile we realized it was something in the food. We also realized the amount of kibble they ate had reduced greatly since last November.

In October, 7kg was barely enough to feed them for a month but by November I only needed around 6kg. After each month it was reduced to barely 3kg a month. I thought it was due to the smaller portion I gave them each feeding. My family was commenting Neko-chan looks fat and worried she'd get obese and get sick. So I reduced their feeding portions. How I should have paid more attention. After much discussion, my bf and I realized that in October I bought an automatic air freshener to mask the strong litter box odor at my apartment. Every 28 minutes, the air freshener would spray the perfume and although it was high up the door frame it was close to the cat's food and drink bowl. It dawned to me, that probably the residue of the air freshener seeped into their kibble and they've been ingesting the chemicals for the last 4 months. In other words, the last four months I've been accidentally feeding my cats poisonous kibbles.

Since of all the cats, Neko-chan is the big eater and also easily stressed out she was the one most effected by the poisoning. Sherbet ate a lot of kibble too but he is less stressed out than Neko-chan hence the slower effect. Salem who ate the least kibble and the least stressed, shows no signs of poisoning. I tried to read up on the air freshener but not much information was available but after much consideration, I see no other cause for poisoning. Neko-chan was never a curious cat compared to Salem who was much more curious and naughty, hence the conclusion of the disease plaguing my household. I immediately took out the air freshener and leave it in the no-cat room (which is actually sort of like my dressing room). I mopped the floor, wash and changed their kibble and water. I have a feeling Sherbet will get better eventually, but it will take a lot of effort from me. I think he will also have to take the supplement for awhile before he is deemed healthy. The good news is that Sherbet is free to roam inside the house now. He is happier and less stressed. Though he have liver function problem, Sherbet is still the same naughty and active cat. He run around the house playing with Salem. Pounce on the dangling toy, eat kibble as much as he can and rolls around near me or my bf. Salem looks happier too since he has his playmate back with him now. Now that I have realized where the fault lies, I will put more effort into taking care of them. I shall update my little cat notebook and monitor their health and habits more. This 1 year has taught me some lessons, good ones and bad ones. I shall take everything in and strive to be a better parent to my cats.

It saddens me somewhat when I showed the vet the result of my late Neko-chan's blood test. He says her liver function test is bad, but it is still good. They had a cat warded there that had 1.3K amount of liver toxicity (which is almost triple of the late Neko-chan's result) but that cat fell from the 5th floor and injured it's liver. From the way the vet said it, Neko-chan could probably be saved. But it no use wondering the "If", I made the wrong choice and lived to regret it. Again, this is a bitter lesson I have learned. Now, I have to calm down the somewhat stressed out Sherbet. Being locked up for 8 days is getting to him and the visit to vet (twice in a week period) really scared him. Other than the usual petting session and playing session, I gave him catnip to calm him down. Let's all wish Sherbet, get well soon! Your wishes will surely reach him.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Kitty Journal 35 - The Anxious Day

After more than a week of confining Sherbet in a cage, I finally took him to the vet for a second blood test. He was somewhat scared and trembling when we got to the vet. Poor boy is really afraid of strangers. After some maneuvering, the vet managed to get Sherbet's blood samples. Off they go to be tested. In the meantime, Sherbet have to stay another day in a cage. Poor poor boy, hates being caged. His sad mewing can be heard all day long, heart-wrenching and so pitiful. But it had to be done, for I or the vet are not sure if what he had is contagious.

Although I have made some arrangements for Sherbet and Salem. Every once in a while, I let Sherbet out of the cage and cat room so he can roam the house (not that my house is THAT big anyway). Salem is kept in the cat room, but not inside the cage. I locked the cage when Salem is confined in the cat room. Sherbet happily roams the house, rubbing his face everywhere he goes. Following me around, rolling on the floor near my feet. I can tell that's he is so happy to be let out. But Salem on the other hand is jealous. He would mew loudly, scratching at the door wanting to go out. Such demanding kitty, no compassion for his "brother". I usually ignores Salem until it was time for Sherbet to go into his cage (usually after an hour or two). I kept their litter box separated, same as their food and drinking bowl.


"I demand to be free!"

Both my boys look very healthy, running around whenever I took out the dangling toys. Can't really see if any of them are really sick. But of course, the blood test will determined Sherbet's fate. I wait patiently for the doctor's phone call which will decide his future. Will Sherbet be staying longer in a cage? Will Salem be the king of the house when Sherbet is being locked down? Will Sherbet accept being in the cage longer than he's ever been before? All I can do is wait, hope and pray for my cat's well-being. February is a sad month, it was the month I broke my arm when I was 12 and it was the month I lost one of my dear cat. It is also the month a lot of cat lover lost their furkids. Let's hope the coming days bring more joy (as it is the Lunar New Year). We can't wallow in misery and sadness, we must move on to happy things.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Kitty Journal 34 - Trial For Me

After the incident with Neko-chan, I was more anxious about my other cats. Since her death was somewhat shrouded mystery, the actual reason her liver problem / failure was not known. I was afraid it was something contagious. I decided to change vet when the vet I went to before told me to wait until everything settles down when I asked if I should bring my other cats for blood test. I find it rather odd, and alarming. I went to another vet, recommended by a friend who is really good with cats. I even called the vet in advanced and asked for opinion whether I should do blood tests on my other cats.

Since I goes around on motorbike with my bf, we decided to bring one cat at a time. Salem was chosen to go first and we endured the loud mews until we arrived at the vet. He was quiet at the vet and slightly frighten but as usual Mr-Stress-Free-Salem went in to see the vet with tail erect and purrs. He is always the happy cat. We were shown the FeLV test and I was relieved to see it negative. Vet told us the blood test result would be ready the next day and will give me a call when they get the result. I went back home with Salem and asked my bf's opinion when to bring in Sherbet. I have to say, cat's bill was really denting my pocket. But I love them and I don't want to suffer another loss. After discussing, we decided to bring in Sherbet the next day. It's better to bring him early and be at ease rather than being too late.

Vet called me in the afternoon and told us Salem's blood test looks very good. Everything is normal and healthy. Can't say how relieved I was to hear that news. One live has been spared, and I was glad Mr-Nosy-But-Stress-Free-Salem is clear of diseases. That evening we brought in Sherbet for testing. He was scared (he is the coward in the household) but he was happy during examination. His temperature was slightly higher, I'm guessing due to being very scared during the journey. He was also tested negative for FeLV (Feline Leukimia Virus) and I felt another weight has been lift off my shoulder. We brought Sherbet back and waited patiently for the blood test results.

The next afternoon, vet called me but I was not relieved. They detected some abnormalities in the blood test. His platelet count was low and his liver test shown slightly higher numbers. Vet says it could be due to a lot of reasons, poisoning, viral infection, bacterial infection and further testing will show what the actual cause of liver problem. They told me to come in and take the medicine for Sherbet. I quickly got ready and went to the vet with my bf. We were told to give Sherbet the medicine one sachet a day for the next seven days and then do another blood test at the end of the seven days to see how his liver looks. I was told to separate my cats and not share food, water or the litter box. Hearing Sherbet has liver problem makes me remember the sad days of Neko-chan. I couldn't save her but by god I will save Sherbet. Hence the painful days of Sherbet in confinement. I had to clean the cage where I confined Neko-chan on her last days with disinfectant and then put Sherbet inside. He mews sadly whenever I pass by his room but it can't be helped. Unless the sickness was determined, he had to be separated from Salem.

This is another trial for me, I must stay strong and take care of my cats. I pity Sherbet mewing sadly in his cage but it's for his own good. Seven days of trial, seven days for my cats to be healthy. I pray that all will be well for my beloved cats, my dear family.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Kitty Journal 33 - Post Funeral

After burying my beloved Neko-chan in the rain, I went home and shower. I remembers not saying anything at the vet when I went to pick her body. I kept quite, trying to stop the tears from bursting. Faded pink towel wrapped around her, and the vet put her slowly into the carrier. All the way, silent tears dripped on my cheeks. I prayed furiously for the rain to stop but I guess the sky had cried for her too. My bf and I stopped by a hardware shop and bought a new hoe. We went to the car park at my apartment and started digging. The rain was falling hard but the spot we picked was shaded, we didn't get hit by rain too badly and at least my beloved Neko-chan will not be drenched.

After saying a small prayer, I lay her lifeless body into the ground and cover soil over her. She has lain to rest and I thank her for all the good memories, the fun and the fight she has fought. As I walked back into my apartment, all the good memories flashes before my eyes. The day I picked her up and nurse her back to health. The time she got bad diarrhea and I had to clean her cage almost every hour. The time she got healthy and chubby, I was so proud of her. The times she purrs loudly even before I pet her. Her love to groom herself and other cats, her cute mew when she runs up to me. Her cute swagger when she follows me around the house. Her demands for belly rubs and her sleeping beside me on the bed. I will miss her a lot since she was so close to me.

It's more than 24 hours since I buried her and the pain is still raw to me. I avoid looking at her pictures, I haven't looked at her grave since yesterday. Only memento of hers I have at the moment is her collar. Her toys, bedding and such are thrown away for fear of harboring germs. Last night as I cleaner her litter box, I felt like she died all over again. I threw away her last clump of pee in her litter box and cried as I wiped the last 2 yellow stains of her pee on the litter box. In my mind I kept thinking, this is her last moment here at my home. Even now I try not to think too much of her as my tears will run down my cheeks.

I wonder if the time will come when I think of her and not cry, if I can visit her grave or accept her gone from my life. The memories of her last few days with me rips at my heart. I wonder if I will ever manage to forgive myself. To rid of this guilt. I wonder if a love lost can be found anew. I can only wonder if time will tell.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Kitty Journal 32 - A Love Lost

At 3.19pm, I got the call from the vet. I sit up in attention, listening to the vet's voice. I was crestfallen after the vet told me she didn't make it. The pain is so raw, I kept crying and crying. Today is a sad day for me. The love I have found is lost today. My beautiful girl has left me behind. She has gone to a better place, and I should remember that.

She had struggle hard and suffered. I blame myself for everything, for failing to see the symptoms earlier. I was too late. And she has left me forever.

Kitty Journal 31 - The Sum of All Fear II


Today, I woke up at my mobile phone rang. It was the vet and he told me of the blood test results. Neko-chan's liver doesn't look very good. The toxins in her liver is 6x the normal amount and it's distressing. I told the vet she stopped eating and drinking, and was told to brought her in immediately. I brought her in and was ushered into the examination room, vet told details of the blood test and what it means. From her white cell count and liver examination, she has liver problem and it's probably something parasitic. I told the vet she's gone comatose, and he took her out of the carrier.

She was so weak, she didn't even fight when the vet lay her down on the examination table. She only mew weakly in pain and my heart hurts. The night before I cried when I went into her room, comforting her. I see her life ebbed away before my eyes and I felt so helpless. I can't do anything to help her. Vet told me he'll put her on IV drip but I watched again helplessly as the vet tried to put IV drip on her front leg and failed. Her blood circulation is so bad and it's impossible to put it on her front leg. Vet told me to go home first and he'll try to put her on IV drip again and will contact me in an hour. I walked out of the clinic somewhat dazed and blank. I felt it was very serious and deep inside I felt her chance of survival is 50-50. I pray she will survive, I pray she fights hard to survive. I'm waiting patiently, sad but determine to see her well.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Kitty Journal 30 - The Sum of All Fear

Today, I send Neko-chan to the vet. I have suspected Neko-chan is sick since Thursday but never realised it was something serious and dangerous. Since she spend most of her time lying down and sleeping, I never realized that she had lost a lot of weight. It was until I saw her walking around, that it got me thinking, "She's so thin". Then it hit me, have I really seen her eating heartily? I realized then I haven't seen her eat much. I guess I thought she was bored of the kibble that I gave them, since my other cats doesn't eat a lot either lately. But as I looked at her more, I became worried. Though I delayed sending her to the vet, didn't want to be too protective I guess. Maybe I was too obsessed with my cats but that was my biggest mistake. I am still pondering why I didn't send her to vet quickly. I have no answer. I should say I am a bad owner, a bad mother no less. I am ashamed and angry at myself.

I bought her wet food and was more surprised she barely ate it. She just licks the juice and not eat the chunks of juicy chicken. That was very alarming. I knew something was really wrong but the vet has already closed and the next day was a public holiday. After some thinking, I thought maybe the kibble was not fresh enough so I opened a new batch of kibble. Neko-chan ate and I was relieved. After a while, she still didn't eat as much as I hoped for and again it got me worried. Monday was another public holiday (and the vet is closed on Monday anyway), I waited patiently for today and send her to the vet as quickly as I can.

From the early diagnose, it seems that it is something serious. She's already jaundiced and lost 1 kg since the last time the vet took her weight (in December). Vet told me she probably have liver and kidney problem, a blood test will show the problem more clearly. Since she was too fierce at the vet, she had to be sedated for the vet to draw her blood. I'm waiting for the call from the vet to pick her up. It's frightening, but I hope it is something that I can handle and I hope Neko-chan can get well soon. I hope she will be fine. Deep inside I realized I have no paid enough attention to them. To be honest, I was trying to be less confining and less constricting. I realized Neko-chan had some stress problem, so I let her have her freedom but I guess I didn't watch closely enough. I hope I learned my lessons. I shall wait patiently for now and hope for the best.

Memorial

Memorial

Sherbet's Cute Mew

Click Play to listen!