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FCJ: From Meh to Meow

My friend, Connie says that Cara reminds her of a little bird, with big, curious eyes and slender, delicate limbs. Cara IS a fragile creature. I'm afraid to pick her up. The endoscopy has taken quite a toll on her and I find my reaction to her is to be as gentle as possible.

©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Poor little baby. The morning after endoscopy.

Cara needs care around the clock. I had to take a step back from EVERYTHING in my life, other than cat care, to make it work. No blogging, no answering emails, other than very important ones, no working on getting MacGruber, Chester and Mazie adopted. I'm on my own most of this week, which makes it more difficult, but Sam needed to be at a Conference in Chicago, so he left not long after Cara returned from the Vet hospital. In a way, it's a good thing he's gone. I can get up at all hours of the night and not bother him and not having to worry about making dinner or shopping is a relief. In a twisted way, I'm getting a vacation.

©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. The nightmare shedule.

Some vacation! I've been in a daze. I absolutely must stick to the schedule of giving out medications. I want Cara to heal, feel better, be happy again. I do NOT want her to have to be rushed back to the Vet. She's been through so much already. I chose not to have the Vet implant a feeding tube, so I have to make this work. I can't make a mistake-the food can't be too thick. Cara cannot vomit. She just can't. If she does-she goes right back to the Vet for another $1000.00 procedure.

©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. They say cats are stoic about hiding their pain, but it's clear that some times the pain is too much, even for them to bear.

On Sunday, Cara looked like Hell. I realized she wasn't laying down, but rather, sitting up, trying to sleep while her siblings ran around the room, bouncing off the walls. It was not the best place for her, but I didn't want to move her into a crate somewhere else. Her room is nice and warm and there's a big brown electric blanket for her to warm herself on. Even with all that, I find her sitting on top of the space heater as it rotates back and forth-as if she's on a ride at Disneyland for very sick kittens. She's just cold. It must be due to her low body weight.

With Polly. R.Olson.jpg
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Polly is huge in comparison to little Cara.

The past few days have become a bit of a blur. My iPhone alarm goes off to remind me it's time to do something for Cara every few hours. I get up like a zombie and do whatever it is that needs to be done. I can't leave the house for very long, nor can I sleep for very long. I find myself grabbing naps whenever I can. I still have to provide care for Bob and make sure the other cats are fed and...just before Sam left, we found out Nora has an eye infection that must be medicated, too. It's only for two weeks! I know this will pass. I just need to get through it.

Like Hell. R.Olson.jpg
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Cara is painfully thin.

Cara didn't move around very much. She didn't eat very well, either. I changed her food a little bit and found something she likes even if it's very watered down. She eats all her food, then burps and gurgles. I'm sure she's not used to having a full tummy so after she eats, she just sits quietly. I think it's too much for her to do much else. Meanwhile, I sit with her, take notes to track her progress and wait to see if something is going to happen. I whisper to her; “Please don't throw up...please.” So far, she hasn't vomited since Friday.

Resting. R.Olson.jpg
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. At last, after a few days, Cara can lay down for more than a few moments.

Cara tried to lay down, but her tummy grumbled too much. She sat up with her eyes closed, teetering back and forth. Eventually she got so tired she had to lay down. She could only do it for brief periods of time. When she did lay down I could see how much thinner she had become. I felt a knot in my gut, too. Would Cara begin to bounce back and if so, how long would this take?

©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. A big moment-Cara reached out for a toy.

Connie stopped in to visit Cara last night after we took a break and went out for dinner. While she was there, Cara ate up a good deal of dinner, then looked up at us brightly, as if to show off that something was going on-something good. I teased a ribbon toy in front of her. She reached out and touched it. She just sat there, not moving, but that she would try to play at all, was a great sign. Clearly she was exhausted just from eating, so we let her rest.

On the Cat Bed R.Olson.jpg
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. Look who's feeling better!

This morning, my alarm went off at 6am. I dragged myself out of bed. All I had to do was give Cara one medication, then I could go back to bed for an hour before I had to feed her. Every time I open the door to the foster room, I wonder what she'll be doing. Will she be resting and be comfortable? Will she still be hunched over in pain?

I opened the door and I didn't see Cara. All I saw was a blur as she RAN out of the foster room and RAN down the stairs! Clearly, she's beginning to feel better or she's as sick of getting medications as I am giving them to her.

Looking Up R.Olson.jpg
©2011 Robin A.F. Olson. There's the expression I've been missing for almost a week! Is she back for good? I sure hope so!

Cara ate well today and ate quite a bit. Her eyes sparkle again and she has pep! She's still far too thin, but with time that may improve. It is FAR TOO SOON to say that Cara is out of the woods. Her strictures can come back in a heartbeat and odds are they will any day now, as the usual time between them closing again is 5 to 7 days. Usually these strictures have to be re-opened one or two more times to stay open, so there's still a long way to go.

That said, when I look into Cara's bright green eyes, I see what was missing for so long. I see joy and her mischeivious nature has replaced hunger and pain. It's an amazing sight, truly amazing.


You are a saint, i know i say this every single time you post something but it's true. Thank GOD Cara landed in your capable hands.

The look on her face - those eyes - in the top pictures is too much to bear. Sweet baby face. What a difference in her appearance. THANK YOU ROBIN!!!!! Let us know what we can do to help. How is the CHIPIN GOING?

Bless you for all you are doing for one tiny little kitten!! I'm sending all my energy and good thoughts to you and her for a complete and speedy recovery!!

Thank you, Tamar. We're doing our best. Right now, to be safe, we STILL need to raise at least another $700 to $1700 to cover the costs associated with doing two more balloon dilations. We made enough money to pay back our loan, but only have a few hundred in the bank to cover the next steps. The other issue is IF we have to place a feeding tube for Cara to really heal up, she'll need to be boarded at the Vet for TWO WEEKS. Ka-CHING! SO...I guess at this point, the more we can load up into our account, the better. That way we can say YES if Cara needs more help.

Thank you for your support for Cara. We appreciate it a lot!

Big, warm hugs coming to you both... and lots of purrayers for continued healing (and some rest for you!).

I've been following Cara's story for a while now, and it breaks my heart. I'm glad to hear she's got some of he spunk back, and pray it's back for good. You are doing such a wonderful job with her. :)

VAST improvement!

And I send much love and sleep from the land of remembering what life's like with a newborn! ;)


Providing a shelter for a homeless cat is the noblest thing a person can do these days.

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