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Foster Cat Journal: Heavy Heart for Huggy Mama

Huggy Mama and her boys arrived barely two weeks ago. Over that time there have been quite a few medical issues that came up. Of course, you all know that the Huggy Bunch never was treated for fleas or ear mites before traveling to Connecticut (that was a mistake, I assure you). Sadly, Huggy had to endure a nasty ear mite infection and she and Snuggles had flea dirt on them.

Huggy's incision from her spay surgery wasn't looking great. Perhaps she picked at the sutures or she was too active, too soon after the operation. She was put on a course of Baytril and I kept an eye on it.

Huggy was really good about being pilled and very clever about spitting them out when I wasn't paying attention. I caught on to her tricks quickly and made sure she got a treat after every pill. That way I knew she swallowed her medicine.

The kittens kept nursing, which I strongly discouraged. They're well weaned and Huggy needed some rest. I don't often have a Mama and kittens for this long. By the time the kittens are weaned, the Mama is usually gone-adopted or released if she's feral. I have little experience with Mamas, especially post-spay.

The past few days, Huggy's really blossomed. The once quiet and reserved Mama, decided she wanted to play along with the kittens. She'd burble and squawk, the merrrow at the toys. She jumped and ran, plopped into my lap, made muffins and purred. She seemed very happy.

Yesterday, since the boys were off getting neutered (or so we thought since they didn't have the surgery when the Vet realized their little nuggets hadn't descended yet), I decided to give Huggy a treat. I carried her into my bedroom where she could get more space to run and we could snuggle in bed together for a few hours. Huggy wasn't scared at all. She didn't hide even though she smelled the scent of all the other cats in the house, I'm sure. She was curious, that's it.

She REALLY got goofy. Running and jumping around. She hopped up on the bed and sat on my lap, purring loudly. She stretched out, laid her head on my face and relaxed. What a love!

Happy Huggy.jpg

While I was petting her, I noticed one of her mammary glands was swollen. I thought it was full of milk since the kittens were not home to feed. It felt hot, but I thought that might be just because her belly is shaved and she's a mom. What do I know? Last night she ate and seemed fine. I gave her her almost last dose of Baytril and went to bed.

I've been in charge of putting together an Adoption Event that happened today. Last night I was really tired. Of course, I got my period that morning, had awful cramps from Hell and wanted to just stay in bed. Instead I dealt with my intern and getting things ready for the adoption event. My head was spinning from all the last minute details. I asked Sam to feed Huggy and Angel and our cats so I could go pick the kittens up from the Vet.

When I got up this morning, I felt bad for not spending much time with Angel, so I fed her and sat with her awhile, figuring Sam would care for Huggy. I left awhile later and made a mad dash to the Vet to get the kittens, then go home, pick up the Mamas and turn around and head off to the Adoption Event with all six cats.

I brought Dash and Snuggles in to see their Mama. I opened the door and I knew something was wrong. Huggy was laying in bed and would not get up. Huggy ALWAYS meets me at the door with a cute little meow-hello. She would not even look at me when I entered the room. I went over to her and she looked up at me. I touched her belly and recoiled.

Her mammary glands were HUGE, HOT, and HARD. It seemed as though someone inserted a hard edged tray under her skin. It was WRONG. VERY WRONG. Huggy did not want to get up. I called out to Sam and asked him if she ate that morning and he said, NO. That she hadn't even gotten up.


I made a few calls, fast. I talked to Super Deb and she said to get Huggy to the Vet ASAP. They didn't have any open appointments, so I was on my own. No problem. Huggy was going to the Vet no matter what it took.

Fortunately we were able to get her in to see Mill Plain Vets, Bless You! I had 15 minutes before I had to leave. Sam volunteered to take Huggy to the Vet so I could get to the Adoption Event. It was the LAST PLACE I wanted to go, but I have a strong sense of duty-and the cats needed to be there. I sent Sam off, gingerly putting Huggy into the carrier and giving her a kiss before she left. I felt like a real jerk for not catching this sooner and for not going with her to the Vet. I was sick with worry.

Huggy, moments before I gingerly lifted her into the cat carrier. She was running a fever of 104°.

Within the next hour I heard from Sam. Huggy was suffering from a fairly serious case of Mastitis. Two Vets took a look at her and have put her on an IV, given her more Baytril and Amoxicillin.

She's going to be staying at the Vet over the weekend. On Monday I expect an update. It's possible she may need surgery to remove the worse of the infected tissue. Although I didn't see any oozing, scabs or injuries, she's got a raging infection going on. She's a young cat, only 1 1/2 years old. I hope she's got a lot of fight in her and that she pulls through without any serious damage.

She's been through so much in her short life, but she's lucky she has so many people watching out for her and giving her the best care possible. She deserves all we can do and more—not only because she was rescued off Death Row at Henry County, but because she's so very special and loving. I need to see her pull through, feel great and be 100% healthy. No more fleas, ear mites, feline acne, infections...just a healthy, happy girl, ready to move on to her forever home.

It's quiet in the house. Angel and her kittens are back with Jennifer. Dash and Snuggles have been resting after their big day. I think about Huggy, probably hooked up to an IV, back in a cage. I really hate doing this to her, but there's no choice. I miss her a lot. I wish I could see her. I cross my fingers and hope that her life will be saved, yet again. It's a good thing she has a few left.


And poor you! I do believe that you're right to think Huggy has a lot of fight in her. She's young, and in the time she's been with you she's received more medical attention, love and proper nutrition than she's ever had. That all makes her stronger and better able to fight the infection. Every momcat is different and I bet there are many that are spayed while lactating whose mammaries get hard because of the hormonal changes and then everything goes back to normal. The vet's is the best place for her right now, even though it's giving you an ulcer. I'm optimistic that you'll hear a positive prognosis for Huggy tomorrow. Go Team Huggy!

PS How did the adoption event go? I hope lots of beasties got forever homes!

Huggy has a massive infection, so hopefully it will respond to more antibiotics. The problem is that she already was getting Baytril daily and that didn't stop it, so we'll see how she does. Haven't heard anything today. Am figuring tomorrow they will update me.

Adoption event got us two adoptions! Will spill the beans on that soon.


When I read the title I thought Huggy had passed away. I'm glad to hear she's still with us. I hope sue pulls through!!!

We recently had a mamma cat in one of our foster homes go through the same thing. She pulled through and is 100% now. I know the same will be said for Huggy but until she is 100% she will be in my thoughts. And I'll ask Martha to say a kitty prayer for Huggy since she knows exactly how she's feeling.

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