Boogie has two brothers, Otis and Milo. They all lived in a kennel at my Vet's Office. Dr. Mixon of the Newtown Veterinary Center decided to take them in since they were surrendered by a good samaritan a few months ago. I couldn't help him with them right away, but a few weeks ago I started by trying to work with Boogie, which I detailed HERE. He was very fractious AND sick and things didn't go very well. Boogie was so sick that I had to bring him back to the Vet until he could recover.
The good news is that Boogie had a fan in Mandy, one of the Vet Techs at Dr. Mixon's practice. Mandy adopted Boogie and reports that although he is still hissing, she is able to handle him and is in no rush to get him socialized. She can take it at his pace and hopefully, in time, he'll be used to human contact and actually enjoy it.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Unhappy Boy.
Otis was able to find his forever home and has been with them for a few days. That left Milo, a lovely orange tabby mix with medium length fur. I'd heard that Milo's personality was somewhere between Boogie's fearfulness and his brother Otis's friendliness. I was somewhat concerned what that might mean, but since it was just one kitten I decided to take him on. I brought him home today.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Milo photo bombed by his cat dancer toy.
Milo is very pretty. He's three months old, but looks like he may grow to be a big kitty one day. Milo cried furiously from inside his cat carrier, scratching at the walls of it to get out as I drove us home. Nothing I said would soothe him. I hoped he would quiet down so I could sneak into Panera Bread and buy a few treats since I hadn't had anything to eat since last night. I knew bringing a cat into a restaurant would be frowned upon, but it was too hot to leave him in the car and I thought I'd be in and out before anyone was the wiser.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Hello Milo!
The second I walked in the door, Milo began CRYING. I walked up to the counter mentally tracking how much time was passing. I acted like nothing was going on. The women in line ahead of me were looking around. One started to rub her watering eyes. I started to panic. Could an allergic reaction happen this quickly?
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. You can almost see Milo's tail. It's VERY long and fluffy.
Milo was bouncing around inside the carrier that was slung over my arm like a big purse. He meowed frantically. I said something to the ladies about how I'd only be in the store for a minute and they agreed he should not be in the car and thankfully did not point at me and scream that their runny eyes were from the cat being there!
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson.
The young woman at the counter was in a daze. She had NO idea I had a cat with me and took forever to fulfill my order. I beat cheeks out of there while Milo continued to protest.
I got Milo settled into his new home. He was out of a cage at the Vet's office and in my bathroom. He'd have sunlight and fresh air and lots of toys and a cat tree. Sadly, he would be on his own for awhile. I want to make certain he's not sick, then I'll start to introduce him to the girls, Beauty, Belly Holiday and Hello Dahlia. Once that is done, he can live in the room with them as long as he's friendly and doesn't need me to work with him.
I let Milo out of the carrier. He stopped crying. He sniffed around with his tail down, but not tucked between his legs. I didn't know if I could touch him so I simply observed him. After a few minutes I spoke to him and he meowed back at me. He sniffed at the food I gave him and had a few bites. When he came over towards me I reached out to pet him. He reacted by raising his back to meet my hand! Once he did that he relaxed and so did I.
Milo got a few more pets, then I took out a toy for him to play with. He was engaged right away, the stopped playing and ate more food. I'm not worried that he'll need work. He's in good shape already.
Dr. Mixon provided all of Milo's Vet care for no cost so there's nothing for me to do but find Milo a great home. If all rescues could be this easy…:::KNOCK WOOD:::
I think we all need a reason to smile after everything that transpired this week. It's fitting that I have some good news at last. A week after all Hell broke loose there are promising signs that things are changing for the better.
This morning ALL the cats showed up for breakfast. They sat in their usual places, near their food plate, clearly hungry. Though we're not feeding their regular diet, they were all receptive to the grain free canned food we put down. Each cat walked over to their plate, sniffed, then licked at the warm mound of food, tentatively, then with more gusto.
The cats I'd been most concerned about were Gracie and Petunia. They've eaten the least amount of food and been afflicted the longest. Knowing that they ate their breakfast was a tremendous relief. Perhaps the worst is over?
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Meanwhile, my foster kittens "help" me make the bed in their room.
The PCR test results are not in yet, but we hope to have news that will guide us to an answer. We may never know what happened to our cats, but today I learned from our foster mom, Cyndie that some of her clients had similar problems with both their cats and dogs down in Georgia. Our cats had zero contact with these animals, so I wonder if there's an odd virus out there or this was just another red herring?
I'm still busted up about Spencer. He's feeling better and comes to me to tell me he's hungry every few hours. He's eating small meals, but eating with the enthusiasm he had before he fell ill. He hates getting ear drops, but he forgives me soon after I apply them. It was very lovely that so many people cared about him possibly having cancer. It means a lot to have such compassion and support when I felt like giving up. Thank you to everyone who shared their messages both here and on Facebook
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Human scratching post, NOT!
The silver lining began a week ago, before our cats began to get sick. My good friends Lynne and her husband, Steve, came over to visit my black foster kittens. It was their third visit, but this time I had a feeling they weren't going to leave empty handed.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Fresh kittens ready to be adopted!
Steve had a cat named Clevie, who he rescued from a video rental store (which will give you a hint as to how long ago it was). Clevie was Steve's little girl and he loved her dearly. After he and Lynne married, Clevie became part of their kitty-family. Sadly, Clevie was diagnosed with cancer and a few weeks ago she passed away. Clearly this is not a time to adopt another cat.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. You gotta sandwich there? Can I have a bite?
The first time the couple came to visit the kittens it was just for fun, but one kitten left a lasting impression. Lynne and Steve pushed their feelings aside, knowing it wasn't the right time.
After Clevie passed they came to visit the kittens again, but it was too soon. I couldn't push them to adopt and they were grieving. I think seeing the kittens helped cheer them up. Who can't smile when they see kittens being kittens?
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. A rare sight-kittens sleeping.
The third time they came to visit, they brought an empty cat carrier. The cat they'd fallen for was Cutie Patootie, partially because of her silly floppy, extra-toed feet and partially because she is very outgoing and loving. Cutie was the kitten I worried about most. I didn't think she'd survive her first few weeks and I was constantly bottle feeding her so she wouldn't have to compete with her five sisters for nourishment. Secretly, Cutie was my favorite and if she had to go, I was glad she was going with my friends. I'd get updates on her and even get to see her once in awhile. They're great people and so devoted to their cats. I couldn't ask for a better home.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Cutie.
Though Cutie would have two other adult kitties to play with, Lynne and Steve had other plans. They'd also fallen for Sabrina, the kitten with the cutest little black toes-the kitten with the goofy markings on her face. 'Brini was another gem, truly all the kittens of this litter are extremely loving kitties. When they offered to adopt Sabrina, I was delighted. The girls would always have each other and be in a loving home.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Sabrina, growing up fast and looking lovelier than ever.
We did the paperwork and got the kittens ready to go. I gave them a quick kiss on the head and wished them happy journeys. For once, I didn't even cry when they left since it wasn't really saying goodbye, it was just saying goodbye for now. I knew I'd see them again one day.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Steve & Lynne with their new kitties.
-------------------One week later-----------------------
The girls have new names. 'Brini is now Ripley (Sigourney Weaver in the Alien movies), and Cutie is now Neko Case (Neko Case is a wild haired singer and just Neko means “cat” in Japanese). I'm told they're doing great, eating like piggies and keep trying to bust out of their room (just as they did here every day!). They can't wait to meet their new kitty family and be able to race all over the house to their heart's content.
Boogie, the feral kitten I was working with is doing better, but he won't be coming back here again. One of the Vet Techs where he's staying is going to give him a forever home and work with him to help him out of his shell! His brother, Otis, is getting adopted in a few hours by a young family and I've offered to take Milo and put him with my girls so he can have company until we find him a forever home.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Otis is getting adopted today!
-------------------And More Good News!-----------------------
Update on KING: King is able to go UP AND DOWN the stairs in his new home! Not only that but his mama-Judy reported the following about King meeting the alpha cat-Yasmin: “At one point she was lying on my bedroom floor - she sort of lies on her side with all her legs stretched out in front of her - and King Arthur lay down in almost exactly the same pose about 2 feet away from her, they looked like bookends, it was cute. Then he kept looking at her, and he'd scootch over a little to be closer to her - then he would wait a minute and do it again. This went on for maybe 5 minutes until they were maybe 6 inches apart. I kept waiting for her to jump up and bop him one, but she didn't do anything - I'm sure she knew he was there even though her eyes were closed. If they were people, I'd say it was like a little kid trying to get closer so they could hang out next to the cool teenager (or cool old lady in this case). So they just napped there together for a little while - I thought that was kind of a breakthrough.”
I believe we have a Silver lining on quite a few or our dark clouds. It's been a Hell of a week. I wonder what will come next?
I'm not even certain where to start all this…the past week has been a nightmare and there are no signs of it being over any time soon. Even with all the doom and gloom there were a few bright spots; maybe just enough to keep me from jumping off a cliff.
My Vet took on three, eight-week old kittens who were found by a friend. They were all sick with an upper respiratory infection and needed a lot of care. Two of the kittens were basically friendly, but one was not. Clearly this kitten had no socialization and was in dire need of one on one time to turn him around. I was asked to take all the kittens, but I could not at the time so my Vet provided care for them.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Milo.
During that time the two kittens got better and more friendly. They may be getting adopted together soon, but sadly, the lone gray kitten was still fractious and faced the sad reality of being released outdoors once he was vetted and healthy.
I just couldn't let that happen. After King was adopted I picked up the cat who my friend, Jill named Boogie. I liked the name because the kitten wanted to "boogie" away from me (and he had “eye boogies”).
The goal was to get him socialized and ready for adoption. I'd done it before with much older cats. I could do it again.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Otis.
What was different this time was that I made many mistakes and Boogie had to pay the price.
One of the Vet Techs was able to handle Boogie, but he was very fearful. With that in mind, I chose to allow him to have free reign over the small bathroom that would be his home. This is a mistake. I should have crated him so I could control the space and his interaction with me.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Boogie, not loving being handled by his friend, Kristen.
Boogie was clearly SICK, not just a runny eye. He cried and he cried, missing his brothers and being scared in the new space; his meow was clearly rough. He was hoarse, sneezing, shooting goo out of his nose. He obviously was not going to be able to smell any food I offered him. It would make it impossible for me to get him socialized if I couldn't get him to connect me with something good (food).
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Boogie, terrified, in the cat tree in the foster room.
For a few days I struggled with him and made some progress, but after about four days he got worse and more skittish. He also stopped eating more than a bite of food. The kitten only weighed a few pounds. Not eating is potentially fatal. As I grew more stressed out about him not eating, I'm sure it didn't help him want to eat. I even gave up and offered him some dry food. He ate a few bites, but not enough.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Boogie arrives and sings a song of sadness.
By the fifth day I decided he needed to be crated and I'd just work on getting him well, then worry about socializing later. The problem was that I couldn't medicate him. First, I had to get him in the crate if I had any hope of doing anything with him.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. A moment of calm. I wish I could have cleaned the crust off his eyes, but he was too fractious for me to try.
I set up the crate. There wasn't much space around it. I got a broom and figured I would gently sweep him into the crate. It didn't work. He flipped out. I had to move everything out of the room other than the crate. He hid behind the toilet, crying. I kept trying to get him to move. He wouldn't. I started to get mad and frustrated. He flipped out more, then jumped into the sink, accidentally turning the faucet onto himself! He sat there crying, looking at me terrified with the water drizzling over his fur.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Crying. Missing his brothers, but “tough love”-separating Boogie from other kittens was the only way to get him socialized.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Baby steps with baby food and canned grain free food.
I finally got Boogie into the crate after about 30 painful minutes. He sat on his pink bed and cried. I had to leave the room and cry. I didn't go back for a day because I felt so guilty. I asked Sam to try to get him to eat off a spoon taped to a long stick. Boogie ate only a tiny amount of food.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. The first day or two went all right.
The next day I tried again, very calmly to get him to eat. I know all the tricks and I tried most of them. He just wouldn't eat, but I did happen to catch him near the front of the crate. I reached out to pet him. I needed to feel his body to asses how thin he had become. As I touched him he turned, violently hissing at me, but he didn't bite me. I tried not to be scared, tried to soothe. I stroked him again and felt a skeleton under my fingers. Boogie was in critical condition. He had to go back to the Vet—NOW.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. It was clear that Boogie was in no hurry to make friends, but at least he wouldn't hide.
He had to go back and get fed and get WELL. I would work with him all over again once I knew for creation his URI was resolved. I couldn't take him to the Vet. Sam had to do it, so I asked him to underscore that I wanted Boogie back as soon as he was well. I couldn't let him go back outside and live the life of a feral cat. I got him to play, jump over my leg, eat just inches away from my hands. I could turn him around, but first he had to be well enough to smell his food and get some weight back on his frail frame.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Afraid of me taking his photo…
The Vet was supposed to contact me with an update, but I haven't heard a word in 48 hours. I fear the worse for Boogie. The Vet is closed tomorrow. I'll have to wait until Monday to find out what became of him. I pray I was not too late and that they could help him.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Boogie felt safe in the tub and would even play with a Cat Dancer until he started to feel worse and refused to play.
I will have nightmares for a long time about him crying in the sink with that pleading look in his eyes, the water running over him while he was too scared to move.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Nicky on one of his two trips to the Vet.
The clouds continues to darken and the pressure of trying to cure what ails my cats is crippling. More on that in part two, along with the silver lining no one could have seen coming.
I have to admit I didn't feel very hopeful about Bobette's future. In fact I had a lot of doubt that she'd end up being able to keep her leg. Although the sutures are gone, there are no more antibiotics to take, and her fur has started to grow back; she walks with a pronounced limp.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Ho-hum. Bobette doesn't know I'm about to put her in a cat carrier. Hee hee!
I finally got brave enough to touch Bobette's leg. I carefully ran my fingers along the velvety surface where I thought her kneecap should be and I felt a small, sharp object under the skin. I flashed back to the surgery, watching Dr. Mixon digging into her leg. He used some sort of uber-nail-clippers to clip back some of Bobette's bones and I think he said he was making her a new knee cap. Was this what I was feeling, under the surface? Considering her limp, it made sense.
I began to doubt my judgement and curse myself for not spending the $2500.00 to have Bobette's surgery done by an Orthopedic surgeon. What was I thinking trying to save money and hope I could get away with it. Dr. Mixon is a General Practitioner, not a specialist.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Watch this lady zip around and…oops…rip into my HAND! Hilarity ensues…
Today I brought Bobette in for her re-check. Dr. Mixon asked me how she was doing and I glumly replied; “Well, not so good, her kneecap popped out and she is limping a lot.” Bobette was nervous and I had her under a towel as I updated the Vet. Dr. Mixon uncovered Bobette and looked at her leg, then a curious look crossed his face.
He had me hold her on her side so he could manipulate her leg. I told him about the thing I felt when I checked her leg and he shook his head.
“It's not her kneecap, it's the PIN I put into her leg to hold things in place. Her knee is just fine. In fact it's exactly where it should be.”
Dr. Mixon showed me how Bobette's leg is straight. It flexes normally, instead of being crooked. The knee is in place. As he admired the result, he added; “I'm a better surgeon than I thought!”
I just stood there in awe.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Pondering her future.
Dr. Mixon removed the few remaining staples from her incision and I made an appointment for a month from now to have the pin removed from her leg. Until then the game plan is to get her moving more and playing. I'll be taking down the big dog crate that was once her home, throwing away the e-collar she wore for what seemed like an eternity, and getting a few new toys for her to chase.
The next thing we have to work on is to find out why Bobette doesn't seem to like her boys or any other cats, for that matter. After all this-to find out she has to be an only cat, is going to make her adoption very difficult, indeed.
WARNING: the video of Bobette walking may make you sad and it shows her injury quite clearly. Also, there is an out-of-focus photo of her injury that may upset the squeamish.
Bobette's been on one Hell of a journey along a very bumpy road. Just when I think we've rounded a corner, something unexpected occurs. I realize I'm getting caught up in this cycle of hope and fear with her situation. I have to hope she WILL regain the use of her leg and will be comfortable, but what if she doesn't? What if I have to make the choice to have her leg amputated? This is something I don't know if I have the courage to do for her and I hope it will not come to pass. In the meantime, let me catch you up on how she's doing.
After the first few days with the bandage, we adjust to a new routine. Every morning I check on Bobette to see what sort of mess I need to clean up. She can't manage getting around and often I discover wet cat litter on the edge of her e-collar, indicating she's fallen face first into the dirty litter. The inside of her crate is in disarray. Some times she pees outside the crate onto the floor. I started putting training pads on the floor around the crate to help offset this problem. I never get mad. It makes me sad. I hate this life for her. I so want it to be over-for her to be free from the crate and feeling well again. I must be patient. She will get there…she will get there…
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. The morning mess.
Sam often spends time holding Bobette as I clean up the mess and get her fed. It's a nice time for her because she can stretch out and relax without her e-collar on. The day before her bandage was to come off, we left off her e-collar as well. She wasn't picking at the bandage and without the e-collar she had some hope of sleeping in an more normal position. It's very clear she's not getting much rest as she often falls asleep while Sam holds her. Between the pain from her surgery, being in an uncomfortable crate and her body working on healing, she must be exhausted.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. The morning before the big day. Bobette is non plused.
The big day finally arrived. I couldn't wait to get Bobette to Dr. Mixon's to get the bandage off. I had to borrow Sam's car because we had about six inches of snow, followed by frozen rain and with my car being 2wd, there was no way I was going to get to our appointment on time.
Bobette cried in her carrier just once, then was quiet for the rest of the trip. I kept looking at the clock. I had to drive slowly but the roads weren't too bad. I got there right on time-at 11am. No sooner than I walked in the door, I was told that my appointment was for 9am! But I wouldn't have agreed to that time because that's about when the cats get fed. I didn't have time to worry about it because they said they'd squeeze Bobette in between appointments. Couldn't we just get this over with? I really couldn't wait any longer!
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Sleepy Bobette.
A few minutes later, Bobette and I were in one of the exam rooms. Dr. Mixon and his Vet Tech began working on removing the bandage. I was worried that Bobette would become fractious, as she'd done so many 21s before. Initially there were no problems other than a lot of material to cut through.
With just about all the bandaging off, Bobette started to get VERY DISTRESSED. She started screaming as the last piece of tape was coming off. Dr. Mixon stopped and he and the Tech tried to restrain her. I tried to help, but she was thrashing around and shrieking so loudly, there was no calming her down. I foolishly tried to reach out to her and she bit down HARD into the top of my hand. I felt her canine teeth meet under my flesh. Everyone let go of Bobette and she began to urinate all over the exam table, then threw herself off the table and onto the floor. I was crying out to her, worried she had just broken her leg. My hand was throbbing badly and I felt woozy. There was a sink nearby so I washed my hand, pushing the blood out of it as best I could. I knew how filthy cat's mouths are and that I just signed myself up for a trip to the ER if we didn't get my hand clean-fast.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Bandage removal time!
It was all a crazy blur. I was trying not to cry. The pain was unbearable, but I was still worried about Bobette. Dr. Mixon got big gloves out and we got the cat into the cat carrier to recover. They'd have to sedate her later and get the rest of the bandage off. No one understood what upset her so severely until much later. In the meantime, Dr. Mixon urged me to go see a Dr. right away.
I was lucky the Clinic could fit me in if I could get there in 10 minutes. I met with Maureen, the Nurse Practioner. She said I needed to be on antibiotics as soon as possible and that if the infection spread-which it could do even with the oral antibiotics, that I'd have to go to the ER in a few days. Great. I don't have health insurance, or money, for that matter. What an idiot I was.
I was still pretty shaky and my hand hurt badly even though it didn't look like much. I picked up the antibiotics which were $71.00! I needed to kill some time while they were working on Bobette, so I called Gene, a friend and local pet sitter and asked him if he wanted to meet me and have some soup at the local grocery store. I'd seen him there before and figured he might be in the area. Sure enough, he said the timing was good and we had a little visit.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. My hand is already turning purply blue and starting to swell just minutes after I was bitten.
Gene is so cheerful, it put me in a good mood. We talked about bad pet parents and his grandson (who he adores like no other), then told me he was just about to pick up his new car. This is big news since Gene's car has 180,000+ miles on it and he's getting a brand new RED VW Bug! Our chat helped me get my mind off my hand. Everything would sort out. It was just another bump in the road.
I ended up going home for about 45 minutes, then left for Dr. Mixon's to pick up Bobette. The shock from being bitten must have been getting to me because suddenly I was so tired I just wanted to sleep. I promised myself as soon as I got home and got Bobette settled, I'd get some rest. I'd already taken an antibiotic so that was hopefully starting to kill the pasteurellosis that was making my hand swell up.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Oh my goodness!
I got back to Dr. Mixon's in good time. I realized I'd forgotten to even find out if Bobette's patella was still in place or if it had moved out, back to it's old location. I didn't have to wait long for the news. Some of it was very troubling and some, hopeful.
While Bobette was sedated, Dr. Mixon examined her leg. The patella, oddly enough, was STILL in PLACE! Bobette still has at least a month to go before we know if she'll be able to walk normally, but this was promising news. Now I had to keep her from jumping, encourage her to walk and give her time to heal.
The bad news was that the wooden tongue depressor he used as part of the splint in her bandage, had slipped down and been rubbing onto the back of her leg, causing a horrific wound. One of Bobette's toes had a cut on it, which I knew happened just after the surgery. It was not healing due to being in the bandage for so long. Both injuries were going to heal in time, but one had pus in it, which meant more antibiotics for Bobette and and more difficult recovery. When I saw the wound it was clear why she was in so much pain. Looking at her leg makes me hurt, too.
I have a lot of guilt about this. I've tried so hard to do the right thing for her and I failed. It will be even harder for her to walk at all with the added injuries to her leg-which was clear when I got her home.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Bobette's first steps.
I set up the bigger crate for her new home and gave her a real cat litter pan to use-at last. She went to it right away, got in, peed and got out, but her leg was very weak. Sam put her on the floor and we had her walk over to me. She was reluctant to uncurl her paw to even place it on the floor. As she walked, she wobbled. Some times she used her paw and some times not. I tried to put some calendula cream on her wound but she is so sensitive, I had to leave it alone. How is this cat going to recover from all these injuries and walk again?
I just don't know. I know I'll be there for her as we find out. Bobette is young and strong. Now that her bandage is off, she'll have a chance to heal. One day we'll know if this was all worth it or just a waste of time. It's too soon to tell.
For now, we both need some rest.
While I had my complete-black-out-nap, my phone rang. It was on the table in my office. I didn't hear it ring. If I had, I would have answered the call. It was none other than “Cat Daddy,” Jackson Galaxy. I awoke to discover a voice mail from him, which of course made me swoon with glee. Through the fog of the nap, I tried to activate my over-stressed brain so I could call him back.
My words got caught up in my mouth, but somehow I managed to have a somewhat logical conversation with “the man.” Initially I called to discuss a secret thing with him, but we veered off topic and started to talk about cats. Even though I spend 99% of my day doing something with, to or for cats, talking with Jackson was pure delight. He told me how thrilled he was for all the support he got for the Premiere of “My Cat From Hell” and that the ratings SHOCKED the folks at Animal Planet. Not only did MCFH do well, it BEAT OUT ALL THE OTHER SHOWS for the entire 4th Quarter of last year!
Now we just have to help Jackson keep it up…her hee..so to speak.
As we spoke, Jackson, graciously offered up an idea that will be a surprise I'll be sharing with you in a week.
But what about Bobette?!
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Drugged up. Not happy and wanting OUT!
Bobette got out of her e-collar and ripped out her IV at the Vet. She was a “bad” patient. I was supposed to pick her up in the morning, but I ended up not getting her until well into the afternoon. Before she left I had to help hold her down so her leg could be bandaged up again. Dr. Mixon had to use many layers to wrap her leg so it would stay in one position for the next 12 days (or years as it's been feeling like). She complained and growled during the bandaging, clearly she did NOT care to be touched and who could blame her?
Also, Bobette was being given Buprenex, which made her pupils dilate and act very lovey-dovey, but was too weak to stand. I got her home and awkwardly positioned her into her crate. Of course she started to cry and roll around. I begged her to sit still and rest. She was very agitated and, I'm sure in a lot of pain. I felt about one inch tall.
I covered her crate and let her rest, but the second I got downstairs to my office, I heard her banging around on the floor above. I went up and checked on her. She'd made a big mess of her cage. I straightened everything out and left her to rest. Again she started banging around. This went on for a good hour. I was to the point of losing my mind. I already felt bad even looking at her, but I quickly realized she couldn't even use her litter pan. She was just too weak and I was irritated that I had to keep running up to check on her every few minutes. How was I ever going to get any work done? I know that's selfish but I have to make a living!
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. First night-bandage is coming off already. Now what to do?
I helped her get into the pan, realizing the sides were way too high. I held her, hoping she would do her thing, but she just wriggled away and I freaked out thinking she was going to break her leg again. I tried to carefully put her down, but she fought me and fell over. She just rolled around, not able to get into any position that would quiet her down. I felt completely overwhelmed, not having a clue as to how to properly care for a cat in such a sad state. This was nothing like caring for a cat with an upper respiratory infection.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Bobette is such a good girl as we assess what to do about fixing the bandage on her leg.
Then I noticed her bandage. It was slipping down her leg. She was going to be able to bend her knee, if she didn't do so already. I called out to Sam, asking him to help me with her. I ran into the bathroom, looking frantically for some first aid tape. We had about an inch left in the container. I gently tried to pull Bobette's bandage up, but she screamed in pain. I started to cry and shake. I didn't know what to do. Dr. Mixon's office was closed.
I asked Sam to go the store and get more tape and anything else that would work. It's just a bandage. We can deal with this. I held Bobette in my lap, careful that her injured leg would fall over my knee. She calmed down some, but the adhesive on her e-collar was coming off. Oh boy, what luck.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Bobette in her tiny recovery “suite.”
We tried in vain to repair the bandage, but nothing stuck to her fur. I was beyond worried and in truth, I flipped out. Looking back on it, I realize I had PMS. Oh joy. That always helps me be calm, damn it!
It was nearly midnight the first night Bobette was home. Sam and I decided to take her to the Emergency Vet to re-do the bandage. They told me the cost for an exam was $90.00 IF we got there BEFORE midnight and $145.00 if we got there AFTER midnight. Are you kidding me? I asked for a rescue discount and they did not provide one. Nice. It was going to cost almost as much to re-do her bandage as it did to do the SURGERY!
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Finally, some rest after a long few days.
We got to the ER at 12:02am. The woman who met us at the door, looked at her watch and said with a mischievous smile; “Just midnight now. Good timing.”
An HOUR later, Bobette finally had her bandage adjusted. We decided to just get it so it would stay on during the night because the other option was to sedate her and re-do the bandage completely, which odds were, she would just shake it off anyway; plus it was going to put the total damage to $400.00!
The Vet replaced just the top portion of the bandage and Bobette relaxed in her crate. We drove home in silence. I imagined this was the beginning of a complete nightmare of trying to keep her from undoing the bandaging and ruining any chance she had for the repair to heal.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. This is how you fall in love with your foster cat.
I also realized that her crate was too big. She needed to be confined to a smaller space that forced her to either sit on a cat bed or use the litter pan and that was it…and the litter pan's sides were far too high. I needed something with barely an edge on it. Fortunately we had a large baking sheet that fit the bill. And no, I am not going to re-use it after Bobette heals up! Really? Do you really think I would do that?
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. This is your cat on drugs.
I got everything set up in a new crate. Bobette flopped over. We left. It was about 2am and I was going to get up in a few hours, but I passed out cold and slept until 8am. I was afraid to look in on Bobette.
She was sitting in her crate, looking at me. She cried. She hadn't made to much of a mess. She was still goofy from being drugged up. Her bandage was still on and so was her e-collar. She has to be held in someone's lap to be fed, so Sam volunteered. We took off her e-collar so she could reach her food. She didn't eat very well for a few days, but she did eat.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. No more drugs on board!
Sam kept her company while I tended to clean up and providing for whatever Sam needed. I brought him his glasses, his book. I made coffee for him-anything to keep him in the room. Bobette relaxed and later that night she slept during my turn to care for her. She passed out on the bed, the last of her drugs wearing off. I did me a lot of good to see her like that.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Stretching out on Sam.
The next few days were difficult, but not as bad. We developed a new routine. Sam and I both had to provide care for Bobette because one person had to hold her while the other cleaned up the many messes. Bobette's aim wasn't the best and I went through a box of “wee-wee” pads and had to do a lot of laundry. As Bobette began to feel better, I offered her a scratching pad which she eagerly dug into. It was very endearing to see her do something normal, only have to sit like a human to do it. I secured a small scratcher to her cage in case she would use it there, as well, but mostly we just give her “scratchy-time” during each break from her cage.
©2012 Robin A.F Olson. Scratchy time!
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. How to sit in a lap when your leg is bandaged.
What's really nice about this experience is that I've finally gotten to know Bobette. She's a doll. She has no problem sitting in my lap for hours. She purrs, eats well and her nasty contusions around the upper part of her bandage have healed. She loves Sam and I think the feeling is mutual. She also is a bit of a Houdini because she managed to get out of her e-collar for a few hours. Thankfully she picked at her bandage but didn't do much to it. It's still in place a week after it was re-worked. We only have three and a half MORE days to go until the bandage comes off. I cannot WAIT.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Watching crappy TV.
It's a lot of work and takes a lot of time to care for Bobette. I'm glad the worst days may be past us and I hope good days are to come. I had to remove Mikey and Jakey from the room early on. She just couldn't tolerate them any more and they were afraid of her. I don't often see a Mother react so angrily towards her offspring, but we must keep the peace, so the boys are in the bathroom for now…well..the boy…one of our Pumpkin Patch babies got adopted last night and one is coming back to us. It's all a bit of a mess, but it will be worked out.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Feelin' pretty good now!
It's late Friday and Bobette seems a little better every day and a little more accepting of having to wear the cone of shame and a clunky bandage on her leg. Dr. Mixon said there's no way to know if her leg is dying under that bandage. If it's too tight from re-bandaging, she will lose blood flow and lose the leg. The only way to know is to take off the bandage! So now, of course, I'm very worried. We can't take off the bandage, Bobette seems fine, but what is going on under that dressing? It was bad enough I had to worry that the surgery was a failure, but now what if her leg is useless? I don't believe I signed up for this. Nope.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Bobette this morning.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. A week since the surgery-doing just fine.
I'm going to decide that her leg is all right. Walking may not be easy, but if her leg was necrotic, I really hope she'd show some signs of feeling lousy or crabby or something. For now she is sweet as can be and so easy to love. I want to provide the best for her and I hope I've made good choices to help that happen. Sam and I have a crush on this girl and we can't let her down.
It's like anything else. I just have to give it time. Bandages come off in two and a half more days..tick tock!
The monitor attached to Bobette continued to beep in a steady rhythm as Dr. Mixon prepared to make the first incision into her left rear leg. I held my breath as he pressed the scalpel blade into her flesh. For some reason I expected a lot of blood to shoot out all over the room. I guess I've watched one too many horror movies.
The skin gave way, with little blood escaping from the opening. Right away I felt sick to my stomach. It was partly due to having only had some apple juice for breakfast; I first thought, but as the Dr. kept working the blade, it dawned on me that this thing he was cutting into looked a lot like a raw chicken leg. It was deeply disturbing to me to be hit with the mixed emotions of my brain recognizing “food” versus my conscious mind being completely DISGUSTED with myself for even thinking that. I wanted to throw up. It was clear to me why Dr. Mixon is a vegan. I started to seriously think about giving up meat, myself, but never thought I had the fortitude to stick with it. Maybe now I did.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. The first incision.
Dr. Mixon was very focused on what he was doing. I focused on staying out of the way. The Tech was at attention, ready to hand him something or adjust the lamps. I learned that once the patient was draped, the area that was blue was NOT to be TOUCHED or even LEANED over. Being a chubby monkey, who is far from a limber ballerina, I was even more worried that any second now I'd crash into something and take the contents of a shelf down with me. The room just had enough space for all of us and the equipment. I also didn't want to distract Dr. Mixon so I just stood still and tried not to want to sit down. We'd already been on our feet for a few hours and had a long while yet to go, but my back complained. The Tech stretched her legs and arms. I guess I wasn't the only one who was already getting tired.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. I'm not sure what Dr Mixon is doing here. Eww!
An alarm sounded on the monitor. Bobette's blood pressure was too low. This is the part in the TV show when someone yells; “Code Blue! Get the paddles!”
I asked what was going on. If Bobette was OK. Dr. Mixon looked at the monitor and said casually; “the monitor isn't always accurate…maybe Bobette's lines are kinked.”
Or maybe Bobette was going to DIE ANY SECOND! OHMYGOD!!!! I wanted to jump out of my skin while the Tech peeked under the layers of blue fabric to check on Bobette. She acknowledged that things looked all right, but Dr. Mixon quickly had her adjust the settings on the amount of fluid that was going into her IV as the monitor alarm kept going off. I bit my tongue, but I wanted to yell; “DO SOMETHING YOU'RE GOING TO LOSE HER!”
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Code orange! Watch that blood pressure!
But again, this was not new to them as it was to me. Bobette's pressure went up very slightly. Dr. Mixon told me not to worry, but I worried anyway. Bobette wasn't his cat. (Of course this is where I start wondering what the heck I'm doing in an operating room in the first place.)
Eventually her pressure went up to with an acceptable range. I thought about how fragile Bobette was at this moment. The twist of a dial, a kink in a tiny plastic line into her front leg, could mean her death. Thinking about this put me on edge even more.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Suturing up the leg.
As Dr. Mixon teased some of the muscle out of the way, looking for Bobette's kneecap, he made some familiar sounds. I was transported back in time to my childhood, when my dad was trying to fix the faucet. I was to hold the tools and hand them to him when he asked. He must have realized he forgot a part or encountered something he didn't expect because he unleashed a torrent of profanity. While Dr. Mixon is far more reserved, I could tell from his sighs and grunts that he was having difficulty. As he worked, he began to describe what he saw.
Bobette was in far worse shape than we anticipated. Her patella, may never have been in place or was not in place for very long. There was no groove in the joint for her kneecap to float into. He had to use a small saw to shape a space for the kneecap to go. He also said her leg had twisted outward as she grew, so the muscles that wrapped around the leg were very out of place. Ideally, what should happen is her femur should be cut through and turned into the correct position-this was NOT something we could do in a few hours time and with only one tech. I imagined the recovery time from doing that would be very difficult, as well.
What he could do was after creating the groove for the kneecap, he would re-work how the muscles attached, pinning them down in places with nylon sutures, which would never dissolve and would permanently keep the muscles from popping back out and into their old position.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. All sutured up. Whew.
He used a chisel, then some sort of uber-nail clippers to trim away some bone. Each sound made me shiver. To me it looked like he was just carving up her leg and I couldn't imagine that what he was doing would help her at all. How would she ever walk on that leg after what he did? I also thought about Bobette. She was going to be in immense pain when she woke up. He kept teasing the muscles to release them in some areas. I didn't look too closely and just tried to take photos to get my mind off what he was doing.
It was nearly 2pm and we had started around 10:30am. Dr. Mixon had to pick his son up from school to take him to the Doctor. I offered to go get him, but of course, I can't due to security issues. Dr. Mixon said (thank goodness) that he did not want to rush the surgery so I left the operating room and got his phone. He had the Tech dial a number and put the phone on “speaker.” I guess he called his ex-wife who was not too happy to hear from him. I felt really guilty, but I also didn't want him to rush. He had done as much as he could, but needed time to suture Bobette's leg. As with everything else, it took a lot longer than I expected it would, but Dr. Mixon was very careful about making sure everything was done properly.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Wait…STAPLES, too? EEK!
The monitor kept on beeping. I glanced over and saw that all Bobette's vitals were within safe limits. As Dr. Mixon finished suturing he swore. The kneecap had already moved out of place. He was able to get it back by pushing it in place, which he hadn't been able to do before the surgery. I asked him what her prognosis was and he wasn't very optimistic.
He thought it was likely her patella would pop back out. Perhaps it would not pop out too far and would pop back into place; he wasn't sure. I asked if she was going to lose her leg-soemthing I had feared all along. He said yes, probably, but not right now. My heart sank. After all this work to have it fail before she even got off the operating table was very disappointing. That said, we really had to wait and see.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. My poor baby!
The biggest hurdle now was to keep Bobette from bending her leg-at any cost. Bend the leg and the surgery was going to fail. She had to keep that leg straight for a week, at least.
But first things first-Bobette had to wake up from surgery. She'd been out for hours. We were all really tired from being on our feet for so long. Dr. Mixon left us to clean up the room. The Tech did most of the cleaning and I stayed with Bobette. We had to furiously rub her to get her to wake up after all the life support was removed. She was left her intubated until she swallowed for the first time. I don't know why that is, but I do know it took a long time for her to be ready for the tube to come out. I worried she wasn't going to wake up.
Once she was awake, she was very crabby and started moaning. It was difficult and frightening to hold her down. She started to thrash violently in her cage and I called out for help. I was so worried she would break her leg she was writhing around so hard. We wrapped her in a towel like a kitty-burrito. She quieted down, but moaned a great deal more earnestly. I held her paw and told her it was going to be all right. I could only imagine how terrible she had to be feeling at that moment. I wondered if it was all in vain. I prayed it would work out in time.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Waking up after surgery. Poor sweetie.
We gave Bobette another pain killer and she quieted down. The Tech said it was okay for me to go home-which I did gladly.
I got home around 4pm and finally had something to eat. As I started to unwind, my eyelids grew heavy. I dragged myself upstairs, took off some of my clothes and fell, exhausted into bed. I slept until 7pm-the beep…beep…beep of the monitor still ringing in my ears.
…up next…part three, Bobette's Post Op Life…stay tuned…
THIS IS PART ONE SO YOU'RE SAFE.
It's rather ironic that there's so much going on in my life to write about, yet I don't have time to write any of it down. Meanwhile the days slip by and the details become a bit fuzzy around the edges.
Last week marked the first time I'd ever witnessed anything more than a spay surgery. It was time for Bobette to have surgery to (hopefully) correct her luxated patella. The poor girl couldn't walk without limping. Her kneecap was so far out of place it was a wonder she could run or jump at all. She mostly used her other legs for jumping and if she got really inspired to go after a toy, her back end would slip out from under her when she ran. Clearly, she needed help, but there was no guarantee she would ever walk normally again. Getting a kneecap back in place is one thing, but to get it to STAY in place is another.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Bobette's future home while she recovers with commentary from her boys, Jakey & Mikey.
There was much to do to prep for Bobette's life after surgery. Dr. Mixon, her Vet, wanted her to have cage rest for three weeks, so I got out my biggest dog crate and set it up, not realizing I was making a big mistake. I'd never had a cat with an invasive surgery on a limb to recover from-of course I'd cared for Bob after 1/2 of his liver was removed just a year ago, but all I had to do for him was make sure he was eating and staying quiet on his heated bed. With Bobette, I'd have to keep her from moving at all costs. I hated to lock her up in a cage, and force her to wear the “cone of shame,” but she had to rest.
In the first week, should Bobette be able to bend her leg at all, she would ruin the surgery and her kneecap would pop back out. We had to give it time to set in it's new position and that meant a lot of sitting around. For a year old cat, who wants to play, that was a lot to ask for.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. The welcome committee at Dr. Mixon's practice. Look familiar?
The morning of the surgery I was feeling hopeful, but scared. I thought I'd be sitting in the waiting room until they finished up, but Dr. Mixon came out and asked me, or was it told me?, I should come back and see the surgery. My heart dropped into my pants. ME? Watch? Even though I watch all those ER “reality” shows on TV, I ALWAYS look away when they get into the gory surgery scenes. There was no looking away from this, but could I handle it without throwing up or fainting?
I didn't realize I'd have to help out, which is not a problem at all, especially considering Dr. Mixon was doing the surgery for about $2000.00 less than an Orthopedic surgeon would have charged. Dr. Mixon is a General Practitioner, not a specialist, but he admittedly enjoys doing orthopedic procedures and another friend said her dog did well after Dr. M. did a similar surgery on him.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Last pets before surgery.
Bobette was sitting in her cat carrier, her pupils dilated. She hadn't had breakfast-of course-because anesthesia can cause the cat to vomit and you don't want her to aspirate anything into her lungs and get pneumonia. It's better not to have a full tummy (but you tell that to the cat!). Two days before we'd been in this same waiting room together, but only to get Bobette's pre-operative blood work done so we could make sure she'd be healthy enough for surgery. With three people holding her down, there was no way to get her blood, so we had to hope that being so young she'd be fine under anesthesia-this is not something I'm happy to report. I'm sure as we sat together, Bobette was getting very tense, probably reliving what happened those few days prior and I wondered if she'd become so fractious that we'd be able to do the surgery at all.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. After being given something to relax her a bit, Bobette and I share a few moments before her surgery prep begins.
I brought her into the back of the Practice and sat her on an exam table. The Vet tech was getting supplies ready and I asked her to walk me through what was going to happen next and what she'd want me to do. Mostly I had to just hold Bobette down and not lose any fingers in the process but I kept thinking' “I'm a Graphic Designer! I'm a Graphic Designer. I'm NOT A VET TECH! WHAT AM I DOING HERE?!”.
I took the lead and spoke very calmly to Bobette. I didn't restrain her very tightly. We were very quiet as we worked on her. It wasn't difficult at all to give Bobette a few shots. One was to relax her so we could insert the IV, which would be in place during surgery and provide her with fluids. The other was the dreaded Metacam, which I challenged Dr. M. on giving her because it's known to cause renal failure. He quickly pushed back and said it was safe if she was kept hydrated. I was really tweaked that he gave it to her after all I'd heard about it killing cats more than helping them, but what could I do? Now I'm thinking we'll have to do a post op-blood test to see if she's ok.
I held Bobette down so the Tech could insert an IV into her leg. I was really feeling like a traitor. Here is this sweet cat. I don't know her very well, but I still care about her. She's scared, drugged up and only at the beginning of what is going to be a very awful day. I couldn't blame Bobette as she pitched a fit and shrieked as the Tech tried to shave her front leg. Try as we might, we couldn't get her to settle down so it was decided she needed to be gassed so she would just konk out.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. I will never look at another storage tub the same way again, ever. I was not a happy camper seeing this.
The Tech grabbed a plastic storage tub with holes cut into either end. One end was taped up and the other was open. She attached a hose to the open end, then had me place Bobette inside the bin. She barely fit. I started to realize maybe this is what they do to kill cats at shelters? I wanted to grab the box, get Bobette out and RUN for it. This just seemed inhumane, but what do I know about this---nothing other than it really bothered me to see this happening.
The Tech snapped down the lid and turned a dial allowing the gas to enter the box. Bobette didn't fuss at all and in a few minutes was slumped down, oblivious to the world around her. It's VERY UNNERVING to see an unconscious cat. They might as well be dead, because it's not much different. I kept wondering how anyone could do this to animals every day and not have nightmares each night.The Tech told me she was going to remove the lid FAST. I had to get Bobette out of the box, then run with the box into a back room and NOT BREATHE ANYTHING IN OR I WOULD PASS OUT, TOO.
I told her to do a countdown and on…“1” we jumped into action. I couldn't be distracted by Bobette being so limp. I put her down, grabbed the box and ran off, making sure the lid didn't come back off. I was weirdly tempted to open the lid and take a big sniff so I had a reason not to see the surgery, but I figured I would hit my head when I passed out, too. Probably not the best idea.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. After being intubated, the IV is set. Bobette is completely out of it, thankfully.
Then began a very long process of preparing Bobette's leg for surgery. I kept wondering how long she could be unconscious without it doing her harm. The Tech asked me to adjust a light or hold something or get this or that. She began to shave Bobette and we discovered she has very odd fur. It grows in different directions and was difficult to trim down close to her skin. I noticed that Bobette has a tuft of fur on her neck that reminds me of Alfalfa from the Our Gang show (It's probably before your time, so here's a link )
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Bobette gets a furcut.
Poor Bobette. I just wanted to take her home, but the surgery hadn't even begun. She looked so helpless laying on the table. I whispered to her that it was going to be okay. I hoped it wasn't a lie. A monitor nearby beeped every time her heart beat. As long as we heard the beep, she was okay.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Aww..Bobette!
Bobette's leg was wiped down a few times. Dr. Mixon saw what the Tech was doing and stopped her. She missed a spot on Bobett's leg right under the tape that held her leg in place. She had to shave it down and re-do all the antiseptic wipes, which again, Dr. Mixon corrected, making certain that the area where the sugary was being done was NOT getting wiped over twice. Even though it took a lot of time, I was glad he was a stickler for keeping things clean.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. iping down her leg. Make it nice and clean.
So far, so good. I was on my feet. I hadn't passed out. Okay, no blood yet, either. Sheesh! I got this far, I need some credit.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. All set. What's next?
Bobette was fine so far. I was fine, too, but was glad I wasn't attached to a heart monitor because everyone would know just how scared I was. Bobette's monitor kept beeping along…beep…beep…beep.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Dr. Mixon begins his part of the prep work.
Then Dr. Mixon began draping Bobette with layers of cloth that would allow him to focus only on her leg and also to keep the surgical area cleaner. I kept thinking that surely he was done, but he'd add another layer. Then he slipped a small sock over Bobette's leg and cut a hole into it which was over the area where he'd be making the incision. After he created the opening, he quickly sutured around the edges of the opening so the fabric would stay in place. This was the final task he had before he could get started.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Paging Dr. Robin! Does this mask make my face look fat?
He was very focused and there was little talking. The only sound was the beeping of the monitor. Dr. Mixon looked up for a moment and said; “Now you know why these surgeries cost so much money.” And even before he made one cut, I understood. The prep work took at least an hour if not more. When he was done, Bobette the cat was gone and in her place was an alien leg sprouting from a field of pale green sterile sheets.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Where's Bobette?
…stay tuned for Part Two: SURGERY…next.
the DOOD started coughing three days ago. At first I thought it was a hairball, but quickly realized it was something far worse. This sort of cough is not a "hairball" cough. I got the DOOD to visit with Dr. Mixon yesterday morning, a few minutes before he began the surgery on Bobette. Because it was a last minute appointment there wasn't time to run any tests. He suggested we put DOOD on clavamox and see how he did, but something didn't sit right with me because he said it might be an obstruction, not illness.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. the DOOD, not feeling well at all…
Last night DOOD continued to have coughing fits, but he ate well and seemed quiet, but not completely out of touch with the other cats. I made an appointment for him to see Dr Larry at 9:30am. The morning couldn't come fast enough-even though I knew it was going to cost a lot more money for this Vet visit. I couldn't let DOOD suffer or possibly get a lot worse and need hospitalization.
DOOD was great at the Vet. He let everyone handle him without complaint. Dr. Larry thought the DOOD was adorable, but was concerned after he heard DOOD cough-which thankfully he did so Larry could get a better read on what was going on. I know the look on Larry's face when something isn't right and clearly DOOD didn't have a minor issue.
They did chest X-rays and blood work. The blood work didn't give them any additional information, but the x-rays showed an interstitial pattern in the top of his lungs. It might be pneumonia or something else. It's too soon to know. Right now DOOD has antibiotics on board via a shot but tomorrow I'm to start him on 2 weeks of clavamox and hopefully that will help him feel better.
1. I'm worried about the DOOD, of course. I love that boy to bits and I worry we will lose him if he gets worse (which he was doing this afternoon so they gave him a shot instead of wait for me to start giving him meds when we got home)
2. I'm terrified that this is contagious. A few of the cats have a very mild URI. What if they ALL get this? It will bankrupt me, in addition to completely causing me to fall apart. I'm so close already and with Bobette's care-which has to be 24/7 right now, I'm just whipped, broken and beaten.
3. And what will happen to the cats…Spencer has breathing issues already. Gracie is going to the Vet tomorrow to begin the process of having a big cyst removed from her abdomen that might be cancer.
4. Bobette's kittens, who have had the runs for weeks-who we started on a de-wormer and flagyl have WORSE stool now…worse than ever!!! So I had to run to the vet for the 4th time today to drop off a stool sample for them to be tested.
There's just too much going on all at once with no one to help. I really need a volunteer foster home for Kitten Associates so maybe some one can foster the two kittens while I focus on their mom-who can't walk at all and who is whacked out on buprenex and falls over and can't get up-so I have to be with her all the time.
I have so much to catch you up on, but this is all I have time for. I need to raise some funds to help offset the costs for the DOOD. I hope to GOD he doesn't need to see a specialist and I know we just did a fundraiser for Bobette. If you can't help out, that's completely fine, don't feel bad. Every little bit helps right now and I appreciate whatever anyone can do.
I've been getting to know Bobette since she and her boys arrived last month. Right off the bat, I noticed Bobette angrily going after her kittens and I asked my Vet about it. He suggested it was due to her being spayed and the boys being big enough to leave and that in the wild, they would have been cast off to prevent them from in-breeding with the colony. It made sense, but it troubled me to see her doing that. The boys were not being injured, just scared off.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Bobette getting some love from her boys.
But what I've come to understand is that Bobette is in pain and I believe that's what makes her lash out. She can be a warm and affectionate Mother. Her boys often come over to her and rub up against her, but if they try to play or get too close to her leg, she growls and swats at them.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Bobette often sits with her leg stretched out. I hate seeing her like this and can't wait for her to get better!
Bobette's limp, which used to be almost unnoticeable, is now pronounced. She wants to chase after toys, along with her boys and some times she does, but her back legs go out on her and then her limp gets even worse. She doesn't jump much these days and she sits awkwardly on the bed. At times she extends her leg, stretching it out, trying to pop her sublimated kneecap back into position, but it won't go.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. This is Bobette standing, not walking.
Her injury is rated a 4 out of 4-the worst it can be. Although the Vets in Georgia told us she didn't need surgery, our Vet, Dr. J. Chris Mixon, feels she would do very well and have a much more comfortable life with it. I asked if her kneecap would pop back out and he said no and that he often does this surgery on much smaller patients and those stay in place (those little pocket-pal dogs), so this should go fairly well.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Mikey waiting for his forever home.
After surgery Bobette will have to have THREE WEEKS of cage rest and THREE WEEKS of mild exercise. I will HATE crating her, but I know it's nothing compared to a lifetime of being able to run and jump like a normal cat. Bobette was either struck by a car or hurt by a human. However she got this way, I'm determined to help her be whole again.
The cost to repair Bobette's leg is not going to be $100.00 as I first reported. I don't know if I misunderstood or the other factors, like a pre-op blood test, weren't taken into account. Dr. Mixon, is still giving us a tremendous and very generous discount. Instead of paying $2500.00, he's only asking for $500.00. One of our friends already donated $100.00 to her surgery so we only need to raise a little bit more.
©2012 Robin A.F. Olson. Mikey (right) and Mom (left)-hard to tell them apart and Mikey is about half Bobette's age.
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