anef: (anef2)
"He's starting to be a frequent flyer, isn't he?" remarked the vet as I took Freddy in to see her for the severalth time in the last few months. 

I was worried because he has been drinking more than usual, and jumping up onto the sink to drink out of the pans soaking in there.  I looked on the internets and they said doom, doom, kidney failure, diabetes, ect, take your cat to the vet immediately, so I thought it would be sensible to do so.

Anyway she prodded him and took his temperature and took a urine sample, and he seems to be fine and is especially not suffering from kidney failure.  She said the next step was blood tests, but given that it is unnaturally cold at the moment he may just be missing outside sources of water (for instance if my neighbour's water feature happens to have frozen over) so to keep an eye on him and come back in a few weeks if things do not improve.

So, panic over for the time being.
anef: (Default)
So we got back from Innsbruck late on Saturday, and the cats all turned up before we went to bed, which was good.  Freddy seemed particularly squeaky, though I didn't think anything of it.  On Sunday it gradually became evident that he had some sort of sore by the base of his tail although he would not let me look at it.   We did manage to swab it with salt solution (I held the writhing and squealing front end while Michael dabbed at the back end with cotton wool).

This morning we went to the vet's and Freddy turns out to have a very nasty ragged bite on his bottom which had got infected.  The vet cleaned it out, dosed with antibiotics and wants to see him again on Wednesday.  In the meantime, more antibiotics and swabbing (oh, joy!)

The chief suspect is Veni, the big black cat from next door, who has been known to lie in wait in the flowerbeds for my cats to come out so he can bully them.  I do keep water pistols in the kitchen but this relies on me being in when he's around.  Not quite sure what to do when we next go on holiday, other than keep the cats shut in for the whole time which I'm not keen on.
anef: (Default)
"well," said the vet.  "Your Freddy's a very interesting cat."

"Oh dear," I thought.  "This is going to be expensive."

Apparently the shard in his chest isn't a piece of twig, oh no.  It's a piece of his own clavicle, which Freddy has managed to fracture.  Apparently it's a bone that they don't use, hence Freddy's ability to trot around, climb onto the kitchen counters and jump off them without actually giving any indication of discomfort or broken bones whatsoever.  The vet still thinks he did it by jumping onto a stake of some sort, which then broke the clavicle and somehow at the same time shoved it out of position. The other one is where it should be.

Anyway, it has now been removed, the wound has been cleaned out and he's got a drain in his chest.  He's staying at the vet's until Friday when they'll take the drain out and hopefully he can come home.

"Is he insured?" asked the vet hopefully.

"Er, no.  But I got a tax refund this year.  I guess that's what it was for."
anef: (Default)
When the kittens arrived I kept them in the spare room for a couple of days, to acclimatise them. I'd come up and feed them and play with them and sit and read so they would get used to me. During one of these times a fly came in and buzzed around. (How? The door was shut. Never mind.) They were fascinated, following its every movement, trying to climb as high as they could to catch it. Eventually it came within reach, was caught, escaped, buzzed around a bit, was caught again, played with and finally eaten. That was fun! Where did that fly go?

Then I let them out, gradually introducing them to the rest of the house. Over the last few days they have grown in confidence, exploring all corners, jumping on the furniture, running up and down stairs and knocking things over (so far no breakages). They are particularly fond of running along behind the sofas, and jumping down behind the one in the bay window. 'What's down there?' asked Michael. 'Nothing,' I said. 'Just a lot of dead flies.' (OK, I do hoover regularly but not so much behind the sofas).

They also seem to have got the runs, although are fortunately (barring a couple of incidents) pretty good at using their litter trays. I mentioned it to the Cats Protection lady, but she thought it was probably due to the change in habitat. 'You haven't been feeding them anything strange, have you?' she asked. No, I said. Just what you recommended - one packet of wet kitten food twice a day between them and the dry food that they're used to.

This morning as they were running around I looked behind the sofa again. There are no dead flies down there any more. Just a few black bits of debris. I think I'm going to start hoovering down there regularly.

Cat update

Nov. 28th, 2009 10:06 am
anef: (Default)
So the cats are now installed in the spare room. They have a place of refuge (under the sofa-bed, currently in sofa form) and food, litter trays, toys etc. We kept them shut in for a couple of days so they could get used to the idea that this was their new place, and I've been going in to sit and play with them. They have been friendlier than I expected - Freddy being very friendly and purry, but also the little black and white one that is currently called Jess*. Even Ruffles** has been coming out to see what is going on, but taking refuge back in the darkest corner soon after.

I left the door to the spare room open yesterday, but mostly they spent the day under the bed. However, when [ profile] la_marquise_de_ and Jackie (who is on LJ but I forget her name) came round yesterday there were surreptitious climbings down the stairs and peeking through the banisters. Eventually they dared to explore the sitting room, rushing in and then rushing out again. Freddy came first, of course, and then Jess, but eventually even Ruffles came down, not wanting to be left out. They got very excited, running up and down the stairs and Freddy exploring the furniture. They retreated upstairs eventually, but there were runnings around during the night and I came down this morning to discover that various things had been knocked over, including a lamp which miraculously is undamaged.

*Must think of a new name for her. Jess just doesn't work for me as a name. I'm thinking Sophie as she clearly has the brains of the bunch - it's noticeable that she's just as curious as Freddy, but she always lets him go first into potential danger. I quite like Judy, but I don't want to give her the name of one of our friends. Other possibilities so far include Cleo or Josephine. Or Maria, though that's another friend. Dunno - any brilliant ideas? I should really just wait and see what fits - for our previous cats the right names have appeared over weeks of living with them.

**And Ruffles is a silly name for a cat, but he's so shy that I find it hard to get an idea of his character. It's funny that he's such a scaredy cat when he is so enormous.

Cat update

Nov. 6th, 2009 05:24 pm
anef: (Default)
So a few weeks ago Michael and I went round to the lady who fosters cats for the CPL and looked at her kittens.  She had a litter of three grey tabbies and one black, two boys and two girls.  They ate chicken enthusiastically and played energetically.  I thought I could probably take a couple of them, but there wasn't really the "wow" factor and I still had a bit of a hankering for a ginger kitten.  So when she offered to let us look at her feral kittens I said "yes please!"

She had them downstairs in a couple of rooms that are her office and conservatory.  There are three of them, a brother and sister (currently called Jessie and Ruffles) and their best friend Freddie. Jessie is a little black and white cat, and Ruffles is a monster.  He's a huge tabby cat with spotty wildcat markings, amber eyes and an enormous fluffy tail.  He's twice the size of his sister.  They're both quite shy and although they will play happily and also eat chicken they tend to run away if I try to stroke them.  This is made up for by Freddie who is a normal sized tabby boy (although he has ominously large feet), with dark, quite thick stripes, and the sweetest little round face.  He seems to be completely unaware that he is a feral cat and is very friendly and purry, very happy to be stroked and will even rub noses. 

So when we set out that afternoon we had the following ideas about cats.  We wanted two of them so they could amuse each other while we were away.  They needed to be short haired as Michael is asthmatic.  And I wanted a ginger one.  Instead I seemed to have fallen in love with three, one of them (Ruffles) large and fluffy, and none of them ginger.  Ho, hum.

After we left we had a debate about whether we could cope with three cats.  Three kittens is awfully sweet, but three cats are a lot of cats.  We had a lot of discussions with friends and thought very sensibly about it.  We could have said that we would take two of them, but it seemed hard to leave one behind as they all got on so well.  And Michael said very sweetly that I should go with what I wanted.  So with much trepidation we are taking all three.

We are away quite a lot in November so they are not arriving until the 25th, by when they will be all vaccinated, microchipped and neutered.  I am going round to see them as often as I can, at least once a week, and plying them with chicken in the hope that they will remember this when I get them home.  They will be about six months old when they arrive. 

So I'm looking forward to having them, although with a bit of trepidation as it's actually a very long time since I've lived with kittens, even though these are more like adolescent cats.  I'm sure it will be a learning experience for all of us.
anef: (Default)
Have been visited by nice Cats Protection League lady and told that the house is officially approved for the installation of cat or cats.  Well, one would have thought so, but You Never Know.  Let's hope they have some cats to offer.


Sep. 11th, 2009 06:15 pm
anef: (Default)
Well, it was bad news at the vet.  Mrs Ford thought that Tabitha was quite near the point where things would start going downhill fast, so she put her to sleep while she was still quite cheerful and not in pain.  I’m sure it was the right decision – I’ve had three weeks of her being quite cheerful and friendly, and we had a nice time out in the garden today.

Please don't ring - I'm not up to talking to anybody.


Aug. 14th, 2009 01:58 pm
anef: (Default)
Well, she' s been in and out to the vet this week.  On Monday Michael took her in because her face had all swollen up, and the vet gave her some more antibiotics.  She took some more blood tests and said when they came back we'd be able to decide on whether Tabitha would be able to cope with an operation to take the teeth out. 

On Wednesday Tabitha turned out to have a red, weeping patch on her face and I got some cream for it.  On Thursday the vet rang to say that her blood tests were back and the thyroid seems to have stabilised.  She was very keen to get her in to take out the bad teeth, so I took her in again today.  The vet said that there was a possibility that the problem with the teeth was not an infection but mouth cancer, so she would take an x-ray as well.

Just now the vet rang to say that Tabitha was still under anaesthetic, but there was a lot of deterioration in the bone of her mouth, under the teeth, and she is 90% sure it is a tumour.  She is going to do a biopsy and send it off for analysis which will take a week.  She says mouth tumours in cats are usually very aggressive and if it is one Tabitha may not have more than a few weeks.

Please don't ring me because I'll only cry down the phone.

anef: (Default)
Turns out that she has thyroid problems.  She has lost huge amounts of weight over the last few months.  I didn't really notice (I am a Bad Cat Mother), because for the whole of her life (or the last ten years of it since we moved to Cambridge) the vet has been saying "Your cat is too fat, she needs to lose weight".  So it never occurred to me that she was getting unhealthily thin.  From 5 kilos last year she has gone down to 3 kilos, and then last month to 2.5. 

So I took her to the vet a couple of weeks ago because she had a weepy eye, and the vet said "that is the least of her problems".  The weepy eye is probably because of an infected tooth, and the vet can't anaesthetise her to take it out because of the thyroid problem.  Her heart might not take it.  So she gave me some antibiotics, some thyroid medicine and said "come back in 3 weeks".

Unfortunately the thyroid medicine seems to be making her sleep all day, and through mealtimes.  I took her back to the vet on Friday, and saw the other vet, who looked at the tooth, which seemed to be better, and said that sleep was when the heart slowed down and repaired itself, so that lots of sleeping was probably not a bad thing.  In fact Tabitha has put on 0.25 kilos just in the couple of weeks of being on the tablets, so there is some good news.  He gave me some more thyroid pills. 

Yesterday, she hissed at me when I tried to pill her, one side of her face has swollen up, and the weepy eye is still weeping.  So I deduce that the bad tooth is bad again, although she is eating quite cheerfully.  That is, once I have found the particular tin of cat food that she really wants to eat, as opposed to the muck that I keep trying to palm off on her.

So I guess it's another trip to the vet next week, which means somehow fitting it round work and Naomi's wedding.  I might try to see if Michael can take her on Monday.  Sigh.

anef: (Default)
Bad Black Cat Next Door keeps trying to get in through the cat flap.  Every so often I hear a thump as he head butts it.  The trouble is, it's not that robust, and I'm afraid he may break it.  Am thinking of solutions involving water pistols.  Any other ideas gratefully received.
anef: (Default)
We had an incident in the conservatory last night.  There was a lot of banging of cat flaps and shouting and then Tabitha bolted through the cat flap into the kitchen, with her fur all on end.  I went out into the conservatory to investigate and discovered next door's black cat, Veni, leaving hastily through the cat flap to the outside.  Yes, the one that has a magnetic catch on it so that strange cats can't get in. 

Now, he may have followed through the cat flap on Tabitha's heels, but there was only one set of wet footprints leading in, which implies that Tabitha was inside, not out, and therefore that he has managed to barge in through the cat flap even though it was secured against him.  Which is worrying.  I locked it after that, but I don't want to stop Tabitha popping in and out.  Maybe I'll start locking it at night. 

They have been having the odd spat through the glass doors to the kitchen, but as there's no way he could get through those I haven't been too worried.  I'm a little puzzled, actually, as to why this is happening as in general Veni seems to be an amiable cat, and Tabitha doesn't go out that much.  Strange.
anef: (Default)
I thought you might like to know it's breakfast time.  No, really.  We always have breakfast at 5.30 am.

The other human forgot to feed me.

I was just interested.

No, that's not my cat-sick on the carpet.  Some other cat did that.

I just thought you might like to know it's tea time.  No, really.  Tea time starts at 4 pm.  I don't know why you think it's at 6 o'clock.


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