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Stupid Pet Owners


They said if I could keep him restrained for five minutes that should do it. Who were they kidding? Two seconds in and my right bicep had already endured multiple lacerations. I was convinced my left eye was in imminent danger. I should have put a shirt on before attempting this. In fact, safety goggles were probably in order. How could an otherwise docile 8 year-old be so strong? Four seconds in and I wasn’t sure how much longer I would last. This is what I get for skipping Total Body, I thought to myself.

Back from the Vet

Dr. Larry didn't see anything that would cause concern on Bob's x-ray, but as you know, x-rays don't show everything. Bob's blood panel came back mostly just fine, but there was one serious value, that of his ALT or liver function. Bob's always had a high ALT, up to about 450 or so, when in the 20-100 is normal. Bob was on Denamarin for a long time, but when he was sick last year, I took him off it. Last May his ALT was down to 236, which we all considered to be good news. Today it was in the 700's!

I don't know if Bob's fall injured his liver or that his liver is in bad shape and it was just fate that we found out he was in trouble after his fall. Or, if Bob had a heart attack since ALT can raise from heart ailments, too.

Bob's already back on the Denamarin and to be extra careful, I'm taking Bob to VREC in Norwalk early tomorrow afternoon to get an ultrasound done of his liver. Going there means giving them my wallet, but so be it. I will do whatever it takes for Bob.

Bob's home. He ate well for me and then had a big drink of water. He's hanging out, watching what's going on. I wish he'd get on his fluffy bed and rest, but maybe it's good that he's alert.

Thursday I'm supposed to fly to Chicago to attend Petsmart Charities Feline Forum. I can't leave here knowing Bob's health is at risk. I hope to get some answers tomorrow and find out if it's OK for me to leave Bob for a few days. Sam will be here, but he tells me he'll be away from home for a long chunk of the day on Friday and he's busy with work. I'm really the hawk when it comes to keeping an eye on how the cats are doing.

By the way, we measured the distance Bob fell so I can tell the Vet tomorrow-16.6 feet. If he fell a few inches closer to the deck, he would have hit some large rocks. It made me sick to realize that. I just hope Bob will be all right. I'm scared to know what they'll find out tomorrow. I fear that this is the beginning of the end for him.

The Tweetie Chronicles: Chapter Six

This chapter is a difficult one to write both physically and emotionally. Last night I wrestled with whether or not I should leave out what happened and just keep this as a positive, uplifting story, but that's not how life goes some times.

The truth is, socializing feral kittens can be difficult, frustrating and painful. It's part of the process. Some times all the work is for naught. Some times we have to accept the results we get, knowing we did our best. Some times things go beautifully and without a hitch and it's just another notch on our belt of success.

Yesterday, though Tweetie was mellow and friendly, the three kittens I introduced him to, didn't care for him one bit. Poor Tweetie wanted to fit in and play, but they just hissed and arched their tiny backs. Eventually, Tweetie hissed back and ran off to hide in his carrier. I got them all to play together and eat in close proximity, but clearly the kittens were all stressed.

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Tweetie putting up with hisses from Sprinkles

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Pixie, is not thrilled, while Tweetie looks to make friends elsewhere.

At 6pm Sprinkles' adoptive family come to see her again. Since they also wanted to see Tweetie, I left him in the room, instead of moving him to his private quarters.

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Still hoping to make friends. Tweetie tries his luck with Twinkles.

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Friend or Foe? Who's that knocking upon my door?

It was clear, fairly quickly, that all the kittens were stressed during the visit. Because it was important that Sprinkles show well, I realized I needed to move Tweetie to his room. Tweetie was upset. I reached to scruff him and he went down right away. A good, submissive move.

Because I was distracted by the visitors, I missed scruffing Tweetie properly and grabbed his shoulder. He flipped out and bit me. Instead of moving my hand, which I SHOULD HAVE DONE, I tried to adjust my grip, but it was too late. Tweetie's teeth sunk deeply into my index finger-the same one he bit a week ago.

Instead of screaming, I calmly let him go, stood up and told him to "go to your carrier." As I walked behind him, he ran into his carrier. I shut the door, preparing to return him to his room. My finger was throbbing painfully and starting to gush blood. Sprinkles' family thought I had magic powers over cats, by getting Tweetie to obey me so quickly, but I just knew he'd run to the first, small, dark place he could find.

I summoned up the courage to be calm and excused myself from the room, bringing Tweetie with me. I put him back in his room and quietly left him to calm down while I took care of my wounds.

I have five bite marks on my finger. It hurts like Hell. I furiously cleaned my finger, fearing infection. I've been down this road before with my very own formerly feral cat, Cricket. He sent me to the hospital once when he didn't want to go to the Vet. He sunk his teeth into my hand. It swelled up like a balloon, even though I cleaned it out. I got a few shots, one in the ass, for my troubles. I wasn't sure this wound was that serious. I sure hoped it wasn't.

The family finally left and I basically fell apart. I haven't slept well for a long while and I was very upset, thinking about Tweetie. He'd made all this great progress. Would his chances of being adopted end because he bit me? Would anyone see past that and feel safe around him?

I know it was MY FAULT that Tweetie bit me. He told me, most clearly, that he was upset and I did not heed his warning signs, so the warnings became more explosive. I never should have touched a cat in the "red zone." I should have re-directed him with a toy and got him into his carrier. My fear was how would he behave now that we've had this "incident?"

I went to bed at 10pm after getting everyone fed. Normally I'm up much later, but my body was aching. I laid in bed and couldn't get comfortable. I tossed and turned, worrying about Tweetie. In my heart, even though he hurt me, I know he didn't mean it.

I got up an hour later and made some chamomile tea. It tastes like ass (actually, I never tasted an ass, so this is just a guess). I brought it into Tweetie's room, not knowing what his state of mind would be.

He was sitting on the cat condo, so I sat on the floor next to it. I didn't reach out to give him a pet, I just looked over at him. He looked at me and burbled, then cocked his head, curious as to why I wasn't petting him. He jumped off the condo and nervously ran past me. He sat on the floor and looked at me as I sipped my tea.

He got up and jumped onto my leg. As I lifted the teacup to my lips, he head-butted my elbow and burbled another greeting. I touched his back and he melted into my lap, looking up at me as if nothing tragic had happened and that everything, as far as he was concerned was just fine...and oh, could I pet him some more so he could purr louder??

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So this, my friends, is part of my difficult journey with a cat who has literally gotten under my skin in so many ways. He's a good egg, I promise. I take all the blame for what happened. I'm not sure what this means for him or if it's just another bump in the road? I just hope beyond hope's limits that I can find Tweetie the loving home he so deserves and a band-aid for my finger. I seem to be out.


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