Sunday, September 15, 2019

Dr Raleigh and Mr Peach

Sometimes, I think Raleigh has a split personality. At times, he is timid but brave enough to come to me and receive pets. It is always the similarly: he begins with talking, saying what sounds like the same thing repeatedly. He approaches me, I hold out my hand in a fist and he slowly, very cautiously, slips under it. He may hasten away even then, but usually, he will let me slide my hand along his back, after which he will come closer and I can pet and stroke him more, even lifting him a little (to get him accustomed to being picked up without cringing or flinching, and if I can manage to put two hands upon him without frightening him.)

Almost always, moments like this come when he is hungry, and he knows food is in the offing: when I first wake in the mornings and when I return from work in the afternoons. If he is feeling up to eating in the evenings, the scene will be repeated then.

Other times, Raleigh is just plain scared of me, hurrying away if I come within a certain distance (the length of which is known only to him.) If he is lying down at such a moment, he will get up and run away. It is as if he had never allowed me to come close at any other time, or as if I were a stranger to him.

This may be the way he will always be. Despite his continuing affliction with stomatitis, I believe he is in better shape than he was when he came to live with me a year ago. His nose is no longer crusty half the time, his eye runs only under great stress (for example, when forced to visit the veterinary hospital), he receives his fill at every meal and he enjoys the warmth and comfort of cat-beds and armchairs. He is protected from the dangers of the outdoors. If he never again ventures onto my lap, I will have to live with that. If he is always wary of my presence, so be it. Animal-rescue is not about the human, but about the animal. If Dr Raleigh enjoys a head-rub while Mr Peach scurries away from my touch, that is how it must be, as long as both of them are content.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The Return of Neville

Neville returned today. I was expecting him to come back to the cosy apartment, but he is back sooner than originally anticipated, and under different conditions.

He is, in fact, here to stay – at least until he is adopted. This will be his new foster-home. The skinny cat with the bad haircut was going to room with me while his foster-guardian is travelling for a week. But the foster-guardian will be moving permanently quite soon. This is not a surprise to me or to the others in my rescue-group. The guardian is moving for her health, and at first intended to take Neville with her, as she is taking several other cats. But Neville’s diabetes, the length of the intended journey and the disruption of routines attendant upon both the trip and the arrival, will not do him any good. After some discussion, I volunteered to have him come to live with me.

The new boy will have his whole diabetes management re-assessed; there will likely be a new type of insulin, a new regimen and a different doctor involved. Neville will undergo a dental procedure, but not for at least a month; he needs his diabetes stabilised and his weight increased. I will monitor his blood-glucose and perform a ‘curve’ on him before any surgery; in fact, we plan for a full physical examination and blood tests, as well.

In the meantime, I will get to know my new roommate, and he will get to know his. I will integrate him with my lot – slowly, of course, and with special care regarding Cammie; she will not be happy with an addition to the household. But even after he begins meeting the others, Neville will be confined to the library when I am absent or asleep, similar to the process by which Parker was introduced to his new family. And, like my late friend Puck, Neville will, after he has filled out and his hair has grown back, be available for adoption.

For Neville’s part, he appears happy with his changed living arrangements. He will want out of the library very soon, I’m sure, but he seems pleased with the solitude and the quiet – his previous foster-home was rather crowded, and he had little peace while eating. There will be adjustments for everyone but, with perseverance and patience – and luck – things will work out. I hope.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Peachy Consults His Doctor

Raleigh visited his doctor today. The results of his examination were a bit disappointing to me. After more than a month on the increased dosage of Prednisolone, his stomatitis is only marginally better.

It is still showing itself around his canines at the front of his mouth, but also at the back, where there are no teeth. It is because of this that the doctor is hesitant to remove Raleigh’s remaining teeth: while it may help some, it probably won’t do away with the stomatitis, and will merely add to his stress and discomfort.

Right now, the veterinary wants to consider the matter. For myself, I am against further surgery, as I don’t think its benefits are greater than its disadvantages. Raleigh remains on his previously prescribed amount of Prednisolone.

As you can see, his time at the hospital was very stressful for Raleigh, causing his eye to run with the usual goop that oozes when he is frightened. Afterward, however, he seemed not to have been bothered by the interruption in his routine, and merely reminded me that I was late with dinner. Following a satisfying meal, he settled down into a cat-bed for a well-deserved snooze. Disappointing or not, the examination was forgotten; Peachy was home again.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Then Again, Josie...

While I looked askance at Josie last week for drinking from the little water-bowl that I had set up especially for Cammie, my Chubs does much more that is endearing than annoying. One of the things that she has learned is not to throw up on rugs or carpets.

After years of hurrying to carry or push her into the bathroom, where there is no floor covering, whenever I hear the tell-tale signs of impending vomit, my senior cat has learned to go there herself. This weekend, I heard the ‘woo-woo-woo’ of Josie feeling the chuck upping; hastening to the bedroom, where I knew she was, I observed Josie trotting down the staircase beside the bed. She walked out of the bedroom and into the bathroom and there deposited her refuse. I spoke warmly to her about her actions. Going to the bathroom, not vomiting, I mean.

I have noticed several times upon coming home that someone, undoubtedly the Great White, had puked in the bathroom (or in the storeroom, which is similarly uncarpetted). There is now and then a small spot on the rugs, but its size means that it was a final surge, probably unexpected, after the first two or three projections. For the most part, Josie makes it to the floor that is easiest to clean.

She is a smart cat. She may not know why I prefer her to throw up in the bathroom, but she knows that it is preferred, and so she tries her best to accommodate me. She has done this for some years now. It's hard not to love such a considerate cat.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

The Fight Over Water Rights

Josie is my oldest cat. For a fifteen year old, she’s doing well. She had all but three of her teeth removed not long ago; aside from the deteriorating teeth, now gone, and the beginnings of kidney disease (due to age), Josie is in good health. She still likes to jump from the bed to the cat-tree by the window and she is eating decently.

My Chubs has, however, started doing something annoying. She has discovered the little water-bowl I keep in the corner of the bedroom for Cammie. I placed it there for the blind princess to have easy access to water when she is lying on her towel in that part of the room. Cammie is spending more time in the sitting room, now that she has gained increased confidence in her sightless navigation of the apartment, but she still often comes into the bedroom for a drink of water. To find Josie already in position at the water-bowl is not only a rude shock for a blind cat, but it also deters her from drinking at all, as she then turns away with growls and hisses, and doesn’t bother to go to another bowl. As Cammie too is at the start of kidney failure (stage one, at this point), she needs water as much as Josie.

The other evening, I had to tell Josie to stay on the bed while Cammie drank her fill at the disputed bowl. She stayed, but she was not happy about it, and stared at me the whole time. I, for my part, had to remain in place to make sure the Great White did the same. It was a battle of wills between two old and cranky creatures, with neither one moving. Only after the princess had drunk what she wanted did I release Josie, who also drank.

It may seem unfair to favour Cammie - I’m sure Josie believes so - but my little Siamese can’t see, so her trek from the sitting room to the farthest water-bowl is long and wearying. She does lap from other bowls, but if she goes all the way to her preferred supply, I don’t want her to be disappointed. Having a drink is much easier for Josie. She of course thinks otherwise.

I made up for my intransigence later with extra attention to my Chubs. But such are the joys of a multi-cat household.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Cammie Knows Best

In July, Cammie became sick, having one of her continual-vomiting episodes. The only cause of it that I could determine was a possibly contaminated tin of the Z/D soft-food that she eats. I have been watchful since then for any further tins with unusual textures.

Yesterday, I opened a new tin of Z/D and gave some of its contents to the princess for dinner. She refused to eat. I had warmed her meal and added a little water to it, as she prefers, but she still didn’t want it. The food looked no different than that which she did not hesitate to consume. But, considering her recent illness, I didn’t want to take any chances, and threw out that portion of food; in fact, I disposed of the whole tin. I opened a new one, and Cammie ate without reluctance. By this morning, half the new tin had been finished.

Though I couldn’t discern any difference between the refused food and that that was eaten, there was clearly something about the former that Cammie disliked. It wasn’t a matter of adding more water or warming it or waiting a minute until she had changed her mind. There was a quality in the serving that was unpleasant to her. With her stomach’s extreme sensitivity to ingredients that it finds harmful, I bowed to her judgement. In this case, Cammie knew best.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

This Week's Worry

Tucker is the next cat on my worry list. In this case, it is his nose. It looks like a small scab has formed under one of his nostrils. At one point, it disappeared, as if it healed and fell off, but then it returned almost the next day. It may be nothing more than a scrape. He may have started whapping at someone and they whapped back.

But his eye on the same side looks like it is a little troublesome, though he is not physically bothered by it, that I can tell. I will take him in to the doctor to see about it, but not yet. Raleigh’s check-up is coming, probably next week, and that will occupy my funds for the time being.

When one has several cats, there is always something to be concerned about. And when there isn’t, I’m concerned that I am missing something.