More Health Issues for Chris


Chris will be ten in a few months and up until recently, he never went to the vet for a health issue. I think the first time was from an eye infection that Floki passed on to Frankie and Chris when we adopted Floki a couple of years ago. The next visit was a couple of weeks ago after The Catfight of the Century. Last week I reported that Chris had a cold. By the end of the week the sneezing and sniffling had mostly ended but then the vomiting started. All weekend Chris ate very little but threw up a lot. I called the vet first thing Monday morning and made an appointment for him that afternoon.

When we arrived there was a women there with a small dog that looked somewhat like a Pomeranian but not exactly. This dog was a major barker. She barked at me when we came in and then she discovered Chris in his carrier and started barking at him. I was annoyed so I can imagine how Chris felt. She did bring the dog outside for a couple of minutes but then brought her back in and the barking continued. Thankfully, we got ushered into an exam room before too long.

I immediately opened the door and let Chris out.

The vet tech then came in and asked several questions about Chris and then weighed him. He weighed 17.3 pounds. Down from 18 pounds two weeks ago.

The vet came in and asked several of the same questions and examined Chris. He couldn’t immediately tell what was causing the vomiting but he did point out that Chris’s teeth were inflamed and he would need to have his teeth cleaned and probably some would need to be extracted. He also said he had an ear infection. This was a different vet than the last one who also saw the problem with Chris’s ears. That vet cleaned his ears but she didn’t offer a plan to get rid of the problem.

I vaguely remember shortly after we adopted Chris a vet told us some cats are prone to these ear polyps and indicated there wasn’t much that could be done about them but gave us a cleaner for them. Since then we have been cleaning Chris’s ears periodically. I told the vet that the other vet said that it couldn’t be cured but this vet said that wasn’t true. I did just look it up and the first thing I read said it could only be cured with surgery so perhaps Chris has something different.

The vet wanted to do the same blood test over again and a couple of other tests along with a test on his ear bugs. I didn’t understand everything he was saying but I do remember one test was related to his pancreas. He left the room to work up a plan, so we waited.

After a while someone came in with a plan and I decided against paying for more blood tests that we just took. I did agree to the other tests and I said it was okay to give him a shot for nausea but I did not want to bring home pills for that. I have personally experienced cats going downhill after starting medication so I like to keep that to what is absolutely necessary. I did get a medication for Chris’s ears. If the vet is right and this could cure him then I think it is worth a try.

I asked if they could clean his ears and give him the first round of ear drops while they were doing their tests and they agreed. They took Chris away and it wasn’t long before I heard loud sounds of a cat in distress coming from the other room. The tech came back in with Chris a minute or two later and said they were only able to clean one ear and didn’t put in the medication because Chris was resisting too much. They sad they would clean his ears when he came in for the teeth cleaning.

We waited around for a little longer, for what, I don’t know.

We were then cleared to send the vet’s kids to college pay our bill. I did that and brought Chris home. I forgot to make an appointment for his teeth so I called and made it for next Wednesday.

When I got home I let Chris out of his carrier outside. I figured I would do something good for him after what he went through.

Rose was upset that I didn’t make an appointment for his teeth this week but the vet wanted to give him time to feel better. Plus all the test results are not back yet. Despite that, Chris has eaten almost nothing since returning yesterday so Rose called the vet to try to get him in as soon as possible. We are waiting for a call back from the vet who is probably in surgery this morning.

Rose’s sister, Felice, works for a vet and the two of them talked about Chris last night. Felice said that at ten years old Chris would be considered a geriatric cat and these teeth issues are quite common in older cats. I thought it was not uncommon for cats to live fifteen years or more so geriatric seems a bit premature to me. At least I hope it is. I do understand why these teeth issues are common though.

Some people believe that dry food is good for a cat’s teeth. Even the vet said so when I said I would need to try harder to get Chris off the dry food after his teeth are gone. He said dry food is good for their teeth. I don’t believe that. I think what is good for a cat’s teeth is what nature intended, chewing on bone. Unfortunately, since our cats don’t eat live mice, their opportunity to chew on bones is virtually non-existent. I suppose I could give them raw chicken wings (cooked bones are dangerous) but they have become such dainty eaters that I don’t think they could handle it.

I won’t lie, I am worried about Chris. I know anytime you give someone anesthesia there is a risk. I also know he will be given antibiotics which will kill off his good bacteria and cause problems down the road. I did order probiotics for cats so hopefully that will help when the time comes. In the meantime, I will try to look on the bright side and hope this is the beginning of Chris getting better, not worse.

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Photo Friday: Before and After


We went on a short trip recently and I wanted to show you pictures of Chris and Frankie before and after the trip.

Before:

After:

Can you tell these photos are three days apart?

The Lucky Unlucky Cat


This is a story about a cat I called Lucky. At the time I did not realize how wrong I would be about choosing that name and also how right I would be.

It started on a Saturday Night, October 8, 2005. Our neighbor across the street, Doug, called and said there was an injured kitten under my wife’s car and it was hissing when he tried to get close. Of course, the last thing we needed was another cat (we had six then) but we couldn’t leave it there.

I went outside and tried to coax the kitten out from under the car but she was not going to budge. I didn’t know the sex of the kitten at the time but we found out later it was a female. Her front paw looked broken and she had a hard time moving. She hissed at me a few times, probably because she was scared, but she never tried to bite me.

I put some dry food near her and she ate it all, so I gave her some wet food and a little water. She was very hungry and thirsty. Since I couldn’t get her out from under the car, I decided to move the car. I very carefully backed it up while Rose and her son’s girlfriend watched for any movement. Rose threw a towel over her as soon as the car was clear and we very carefully moved her to the garage.

We got her into the garage and put her on a couple of towels. That’s when we noticed a chunk of skin about the size of a quarter, maybe bigger, missing from her hind quarter. She also had cuts on one of her ears and it looked like her jaw was slightly out of alignment. We suspected right away, but we knew then, that a car hit her.

Lucky

Rose put some antibacterial ointment on her wounds and we moved her near the door and made a make-shift barricade around her so she wouldn’t hurt herself further in the garage. I gave her some food and water and checked on her a few times before we went to bed.

At the time we were raising two boys and six cats and did not have money to spare so a large vet bill for a stray cat was not in our budget. Because of that, we decided to bring her to the SPCA in New Port Richey, Florida, which opened at noon the next day. We got there when they opened and they turned us away before we even got to the door. They said they had no vet on duty and they were full. Vet or no vet, full or not full, they were still in a better position to help an injured cat than I was and should have done something. Since then I have not been a fan of the SPCA, even though I know I shouldn’t judge because of one incident.

Rose was very upset and said to the person at the SPCA, “What are we supposed to do, put him back on the side of the road?” They did give us a list of vets in the area and I called a place called Little Animal Hospital, which was named that because they were on Little Road. They told us to bring the cat in, which we did.

When we got there they took the cat in the back while we waited in the front. We noticed there was a big window showing a room full of cats that needed to be adopted. It was nice to know that they cared enough to do that. A few minutes later we were called to the back where we spoke to the vet.

She told us her foot was broken and would need to be amputated. There was also unknown internal injuries. We didn’t even ask about the cost because we knew that the surgery, combined with all the other rehabilitation costs, as well as the costs of getting her spayed and immunized would be way more than we could afford. Our other choice was to have her put to sleep. I didn’t like that idea but there seemed to be no other choice so we agreed to that, paid the $73 bill and left feeling horrible.

On the way home I told Rose we made a mistake. This little kitten needed us to save her and we failed. We should have arranged to make payments or something. Rose agreed with me but it was too late.

Around the same time, Rose’s Mom was looking to adopt a cat so Rose told her about the cats at the vet’s office that were for adoption. She found a Maine Coon cat there that she adopted and named Monkey.

Monkey

She also came back with a story that we were very happy to hear. Our little girl lucky was not Euthanized. The vet decided to try to save her. They did not amputate her paw either. She did require a lot of rehabilitation. Just using the litter box required human help for many weeks until she healed. I do not know what happened to her after that but I was very glad that the story had a happy ending.

Photo Friday: Creek Ratz Cat


All my recent cat photos are still on my camera and Chris is on my lap so I decided to look through old photos for something to post today. As some of you know, my wife and I spent 16 months in Myrtle Beach between mid 2009 and late 2010. It is where we adopted Chris late in 2009. While there we enjoyed going to a place called Murrell’s Inlet.

Murrell’s Inlet had several shops and restaurants, one of which was called Creek Ratz. We liked eating there but I also enjoyed the company of a stray cat that was a regular visitor at the restaurant. I would always order a salad with grilled chicken when he was around and then slip him most of the chicken.

Creek Ratz Cat March 23, 2010

Have You Seen This Mouse?


We have literally dozens of toy mice in our house but Floki only likes one of them. Actually, “like” is too weak of a word. He loves this one mouse. I often see him chasing it around the house and sometimes the play will last for a half-hour or even longer.

The problem is, the mouse gets lost quite often. My wife is always telling me to “find Floki’s mouse.” The fist place I look is under the coffee table, which has an opening big enough for a mouse but not big enough for the Siamese cat that’s chasing it. I also check under the beds, under the sofa, and in the closets. Sometimes it’s hiding in the closet.

While I am looking, Floki follows me around, waiting for me to find it. Sometimes I think he knows where his mouse is but he enjoys watching me look for it. I think that because there have been a few times when I couldn’t find it and gave up. I would then see Floki playing with it an hour later.

I want to buy a few more of the same mice but a web search revealed no results. I was hoping someone out there could help me identify who makes it so I can by more. Here is what it looks like.

It has a furry cover around what seems to be a plastic interior. It is not soft like some stuffed mice although the plastic is probably hollow so it has some give to it.

If you have seen this mouse please call Crimestoppers let me know in the comments. If you haven’t seen it, tell me about another mouse that your cat loves.

Merry Christmas


Frankie, Chris, and Floki want to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas.

As my gift to you, my Kindle book, Bad Cat Chris: The Baddest Cat You’ll Ever Love, will be free all day on Christmas. It is five years old now but if you haven’t read it and are interested in what we went through after adopting Chris, I encourage you to pick up a copy while it is free. The special is from midnight to midnight Pacific time.