Saturday, July 12, 2008

Kitten Progress

Beatrice slept through the night without attacking my nose in the middle of the night to convince me that it was playtime. This was most excellent, and the first time that this has happened. I also introduced her to the laser pointer today, which went well. (Well, at least I find it amusing.)

The Wild Kittens are still having loose stool issues, so I took a sample of Zoe's to the vet. (I would have taken Malcolm's too, but I hadn't realized until after the fact that he also is having issues, albeit not as bad as Zoe's.) I'll hear in 24 to 48 hours what the fecal test shows.

They still run and hide when I come into the bathroom, and what's worse, often seem to spend pretty much all of their time hiding, even when I'm not there. (They eat and use the litterbox when I'm not there, so clearly they do venture forth sometimes.) Last night I sat with them for a long while, but couldn't get them interested in the laser pointer or a feather toy. They'd watch the toys move, but not get up to chase them, or even put out a paw in an attempt to catch anything even if it were quite close by.

I tried again today with a gone-fishing toy (a fish on an elastic string on a stick) and while it took a *very* long time, and started *very* slowly, I did finally get both kittens out from behind the toilet and playing with the fish toy. Granted, if I made a sound or a movement other than those necessary for moving the fishie, the kittens ran and hid again. Still, I find this to be excellent progress.

I am constantly overwhelmed by how beautiful these two cats are, and in such different ways. I'm still looking for my camera (not very hard-- I've been busy) but even so, I doubt I'll be able to properly capture Malcolm's looks because he has dark fur. I'll try, though.

Ran into DNL, again, as I seem to be completely unable to avoid her. Not only is she bringing me eggplant paremsan tomorrow (oh ear), but she asked after Bozo. She has such a tenuous grasp on everything involved (whose cat he was, how he could possibly have gotten FeLV and FIV, etc.) that it makes discussing things with her tortuous (and it usually circles back around to how hard a life someone else has had, and religion.) So that's unfortunate. But she keeps the cats' water dish full, and for that I am grateful.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Goodbye Bozo

It's raining in the desert tonight. And when I got home, Creamsicle, the cat who looks most like Bozo, was waiting for me, up on the 2nd floor.

Bozo (Waffles) was a very good boy. He came out of the carrier, gentle but curious. He even went into the sink, much like Beatrice did on Monday night. Eventually he let me just pet him. He behaved very well for the vet tech, letting her take his temperature (fever of 104), get his weight (10pounds-- he should have been twice that, really), and such. The tech offered him some treats, which he quickly and hungrily went for, but couldn't seem to eat. She brought him some a/d wet food, though, and that he gobbled down. Then he just let me pet him, sweet boy.

The vet, the same one I saw on Monday, looked him over. Bozo's skin was yellowish, a sign that his liver was failing. Most pressingly, he wouldn't let the vet look in his mouth-- the only time he growled or swatted. The vet tech returned and burritoed Bozo so the vet could look at him. The vet also made me look. Most of the inside of his mouth was black, and what wasn't, was an angry red. Clearly an infection was raging through his mouth, making it impossible for him to eat. He was also very dehydrated, on top of everything else.

The vet took him away to give him sub-q fluids, with the plan that we would treat the mouth infection with antibiotics and pain killers; essentially we'd treat the symptoms and hope for the best. The liver problem could have been because Bozo hadn't eaten in so long.

But then the vet came back to ask if I wanted him tested for FeLV and FIV. I sort of didn't because I knew that if he were positive for either the vet would suggest putting him down. But knowing, by the same token, would give us a better idea about the liver and a prognosis for beating the infection in Bozo's mouth. So I said yes.

I then called my parents. My mom is Bozo's sponsor, and besides, I needed the support. The vet came back after a while to tell me that Bozo was positive for both FIV and FeLV and so his prognosis was very poor. I asked if that meant (to be specific) that he was suggestion... and I trailed off, unable to finish. The vet finished for me, and we agreed, through my tears, that the best thing for the poor baby, was to put him to sleep.

Eventually they brought Bozo back to me, wrapped in a towel. They'd already put a tube in his front leg. They let me stay with him for a long while, just petting him and telling him that he was loved and that I'd remember him. Then the vet returned, explained what would happen in far more detail than I needed, and gave him the shot. After a few seconds, Bozo put his head down and it was over.

There were many tears and a few comforting phone calls in the middle, as well as a call to the neighbor-lady to tell her what was going on, but now I am home and the skies are rumbling thunder, and I need to go hug my cats.

Bozo is Sick

I received a message from my apartment complex people today, that someone here has somewhat adopted one of the outdoor cats and that he's not doing well. (She called the office, wanting help from "The cat lady! The cat lady!") A bit later, I called the person and found out that it's Bozo (although his previous owners, who left him here as a kitten, bastards, named him Waffles.) He's peeing dark colored urine, has lost a great deal of weight and has what looks like dried blood around his mouth. The person who called has him in her apartment now, and I'll be taking him to the vet at 7pm tonight. Apparently Bozo/Waffles is still quite friendly (at least with her) and hasn't become too feral. (In the catching spree those nights, in dealing with 13 cats, I don't really recall if he seemed less feral than the others. He was certainly one of the calmest during the recovery period.) She also says her car isn't working, so she can't take him to the vet...

I'm glad this person cares, but I don't know what's going to happen. She wants someone else to adopt him-- and I believe her when she says that he'd make a good pet, but finding a home for an adult cat? Unlikely when we're swimming in kittens, so to speak. When I go to pick up Bozo/Waffles, I'll ask her more about whether she can properly adopt him, or at the very least, care for him if he can be helped but needs convalescence.

When did this become my full time job? (And you know what? I'd be perfectly happy if this were my full time job, at least for a bit, but I am neglecting some other things.) But, as I keep saying when people ask 'Why?'-- the alternative is unthinkable.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Kittens Again!

Beatrice is off visiting her Forever Mommy. She'll come back to me on Friday because her Forever Mommy is moving apartments, and then going away for much of the summer. Still, it's good that she'll get to be with her forever mommy, and it means I'll get more sleep tonight. (Beatrice likes to pounce on me. A lot.)

This also means for the next few days I can spend more time with the Wee Wild Kittens.

Zoe hissed at me-- the tiniest little hiss you've *ever* heard-- which I was actually glad about. This shows some spunk. She still let me pick her up and sat in my lap all limp with fright. I combed out all the ucky, ucky dead fleas and dirt. (Well, maybe not all, but a terrifying amount. I'll comb them both again tomorrow.) Then she got erythromicin (sp?) for her eye troubles. I'm sure she was thrilled.

I did the same procedure with Mal, although he tried to escape a little bit by crawling very slowly out of my lap. Thankfully he had fewer dead fleas and such in him thanks to the vet tech's ministrations yesterday. He's a really gorgeous kitten-- turns out he's not all black with an undercoat but instead many shades of brown, black and even silvery. His ears are far too large for him (as are his paws) so I think he's going to be bigger than either of his sisters (or just have bat ears forever, heh.)

It's going to take some work to get them to trust me at all, but given the shape they're in, I'm not sure they'd have made it much longer out in the 'wild.' I don't know how I'm going to find homes for them, and I don't know what's going to happen at their 6 month FeLV retest, but we're making steps in the right direction, I'm sure of it.

(See? I'm not wallowing in self-pity at the moment! Yay for Project-Cat back on track!)

Kitten Improvement

The wee ones in my bathroom are improving-- they've not only learned what a litter box is (hurrah!) but there seems to be no repeat of the terrifying liquid poo explosion of the previous night. I couldn't find any appropriate baby food at Walgreen's, so I'll have to go to a real store later. They don't seem to mind eating kitten food from my fingers, but they won't *start* with that-- they seem to need the syringe to tell them that this is food to start with. So, I mixed some kitten food with warm water and syringe fed first. (As I say, it's not so much force feeding as it is bottle-feeding sans bottle- they'll lick from the syringe, which is adorably cute.) I also got them to each eat several finger-fuls of 'nutrical', which is good. Beatrice never really took to it, but these two seem to like it.

Yesterday at the vet, Mal's one eye was completely shut, it was so full of goo. I haven't gotten the prescription filled for that yet (although it has now been dropped off, which took a good long while as I had to explain that this was for a cat, so my birthdate really wasn't going to be of much help for their system. Neither am *I* in their system. Mal now is. Heh.) But even so, while I cleaned a bit of goop out of both of their eyes today (mainly from Zoe), they weren't nearly as problematic as yesterday.

I'm really proud of these two brave little toasters. They can't be feeling well, they're scared, and all they have is each other, but they're doing pretty well. I'll be far more happy when I see them playing and such, but even so, they're brighter eyed today, and there's just all around improvement.

Greater improvement will occur, though, when I finally find a flea comb. Neither the vet nor Walgreen's had one (no surprise on the latter) and I can't find mine. I'll pick one up later on, though, so that'll be okay.

Now, though, Beatrice and I are off to visit her Forever Mommy and watch Firefly (Mal and Zoe's namesakes!)

There will be more pictures later, I'm sure. Quite frankly, I can't get over how enormous Mal's ears are, or how pretty his eyes (when not goopy), and how generally beautiful Zoe is. Finding my camera, though, would be an excellent step in the right direction...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Back from another Vet Trip

Another vet, another vet tech, and neither could believe the number and size of the fleas. Ew. But the vet tech was so incredibly helpful-- she washed off the fuzzy black kitty and cleaned out his eyes, and combed out some fleas, then wrapped him up in a warm towel. The dilute calico hid under a towel dispenser. She calmed me down, too-- I was in tears 'til she came in, just worrying about the fuzzies.

The vet came in, a very nice woman who introduced herself and actually talked to me. (I liked her better than yesterday's vet. There are about a dozen at this place, and you can request ones, but at this point I just go to whomever is available. This one greeted me with, "I hear you have your hands full.") Yesterday's vet had refused to do a fecal, and this vet didn't want to poke things at the kittens, either, but assumed that they have various worms, plus we're assuming coccydia, since Beatrice had that when she came to me. It appears that the black kitten's intestines are okay, but the calico's are gooshy (So she's the explosive diarrhea kitten, which explains how it got onto the black kitten's back.) If the dewormer stuff doesn't clear it up, I'm to bring them a sample. Lovely.

I had to wait a long while for the vet tech to come back. At this point I decided that the kittens deserved names, poor dears. So they are now Mal and Zoe, characters from the tv show Firefly. I named them that because they are strong characters, and I hoped that it'll give them strength to overcome what's wrong and their fears.

The vet tech showed me that the kittens just needed one dose of dewormer and I half-jokingly asked if she'd help me give it to them now. She said yes, hurrah, so the kittens have had that. I then gave them their Albon (lots more of a dose than Beatrice got 6 weeks ago!) when we got home.

As far as not eating, I'm to offer them a variety of foods and force feed if necessary. So I sat down with Zoe and got her to eat a whole bunch of Turkey baby food. It's not so much force feeding as it is precisely dripping food onto her tongue when it comes out to lick. Heh. Mal did the same, so now they're both fed, and I'll try feeding them more later-- I have to go out for the evening, to an engagement I really can't back out of. Besides, the babies probably don't want to be poked at for a while anyway.

In Beatrice news, she comes running whenever you open the door and launches herself at your leg. It's adorable. :)

And, Tuesday

The Wild Kittens aren't so wild-- they're barely moving, even if I pick one up and put her in my lap. They haven't eaten anything at all, not even when I tried to force a bit of baby food into one fo them. Sometime during the night one (or both?) of them left the carrier, got into the bathtub and had explosive liquid diarrhea, but as far as I can tell, neither of them have moved out of the crate since.

We are off to the vet for a 3pm appointment. I ... am quite worried.

The 8pm Appointment

I didn't want to write about Beatrice's appointment until I'd gotten a chance to talk to her Forever Mommy. Like the dilute calico kitten, Beatrice's felv test also came back as a weak positive. This is, obviously, heart-wrenching, but we're still hopeful, given that she's so strong and bounced back after all the trouble she had before. She's a playful crazy kitten, and her forever mommy still wants to adopt her. Fingers crossed that the 6month test comes back negative.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The 5pm Appointment

Both kittens (fluffy black and dilute calico) are covered in fleas and have ear mites. No surprise. They probably have internal parasites, but the doctor informed me that he doesn't like sticking things up their butts, so I should bring in a sample.

Fluffy black kitty is a boy. Dilute calico kitty is a girl.

Dilute calico kitty is positive for feline leukemia.


Today I really wish I'd never even begun Project-Cat. I know that's me wallowing in self-pity, and worrying over a kitten who will be retested in 6months, so maybe she'll have thrown it off by then. But crap.

Beatrice will be tested at her appointment tonight (in a little over an hour from now.)

Honestly, I don't know how to deal with this. The first problem is that I'm supposed to keep the dilute calico separate from the fluffy black (and should keep them both separate from my cats, and Beatrice, too.) I live in a small space. I really don't know what to do. But all my friends here either have cats (so can't foster another) or don't have cats because they hate them.

I'm overwhelmed at the moment. I know this blog is supposed to be about the cats, so I apologize for my moment of self-pity.

Unforseen Circumstances

(aka: Wild Kittens in my bathtub.)

This post was going to be about Beatrice, and her trips to see her Forever Mommy. It was also going to be an "OH ! nQ#$" post about how I think Barnaby (who may need a new name) looks pregnant.

However, as I came home from grocery shopping today, feeling very not well, I happened to spy the Wild Kittens and Little Grey Girl (and Bessie) hanging out in the stairwell.

I dropped the groceries and grabbed both kittens.

Ow. I bled profusely, but wrestled the babies into the bathtub (and shut the sliding door, to keep them from Beatrice.)

This was ... unexpected. I didn't expect to catch one let alone two with my bare hands. I certainly didn't manage to convince the kittens that humans aren't evil, but I figure getting them into my flat is the first step.

(Next step, move Beatrice into my bedroom, still separate from my housecats, and give the Wild Kittens the whole bathroom.)

So why am I typing when there's so much to be done? Because I need to calm down-- I'm all shakey. (Plus I desperately needed a bandaid, heh.)

Back out to the shops to get another litterbox, it looks like. I'm ... overwhelmed.

Also, there are now going to be vet bills galore, so feel free to click the wee "donate" button over on the left...

Pictures later.

Edit to Add: Vet appointment for the wild fuzzies at 5pm. Vet appointment for Beatrice (to get her shots, and such) at 8:20. This is *not* how I anticipated spending my day...

So now I need tips on socializing feral kittens...