Chappy: Vet update

He is stumped therefore he is keeping Chappy for a few days to monitor and get blood and urine samples. What bothers him most is the incredible amount of muscle mass this cat has lost and the fact that he only eats when you feed him- drinks when you give him a syringe of water- which is assist feeding is not normal behavior. At least we can rule out FHL!
Said he can tell just by the look of him that he feels puny-and for now that is all I know-

Night with Chappy

I kept hearing him cry after the house went quiet. Not angry cries demanding to be released from his temporary confinement. Small cries, intermittent seems like he is in pain.

He is in Quarantine and the room is pretty much devoid of furniture for reason. I went and piled up old blankets and pillows making a temporary soft chair on the floor next to the wall.

When I picked him up, he hissed and tensed up. I placed him in my lap as I settled down on the new chair. I was wearing an old terry cloth robe who has seen better days. It is one that has held many a kitten or cat either when they are being fed, or being comforted. I tucked him down into the folds and started petting him gently. Harp of Hope music playing, I fell asleep with him still mewing.

Before I nodded off- I prayed that God would help my vet find answers today. Chappy’s temp is still subnormal, he was so cold- 98.8 at last check. I think he slept a bit, but I could still feel his mews and my heart broke knowing he was beyond my reach to help him.

I woke up at 6:00 a.m. he was still doing the occassional meow. I stretched my stiff back and he didn’t move off my lap. I ended up slipping off the robe and leaving it around him. Went outside to the bleach step, changed clothes and shoes and went downstairs. I wish my appointment was this morning and not this afternoon and so we wait…

Chappy’s Story…

Over fifteen years ago now, I went in to see my vet with another cat who was infested with earmites. As I walked into the clinic Dr. Sullivan (may he forever R.I.P) who was at the front counter saw me coming and he beamed his wide smile and said- “Mary Anne, just the person I was looking for- come with me!”

I sighed, because I knew full well what “come with me” really meant. He wasn’t going to give me samples of kitty products, slip me some cat medications on the sly, ask me to test a new cat litter, or present me with food for my group. It was kitten season and undoubtedly, someone had dropped off a kitten in need of a home (mine.) I followed him back to the all-familiar back room where he put dumped kitties and we stopped at this metal crate that contained three emaciated kittens (mostly black).

He told me that they had been found at a near-abandoned campground in Washington by a retired couple who just drive around all year chasing the sun in a motor home. He said they had brought them in late last night, and he didn’t think that keeping them in a metal crate when he KNEW where they would get more love was with me. I sighed again- but as the saying goes- “There’s a sucker born every minute” (and I was born twice). I told him I would take them.

Two of them were the fluffiest, skinniest kittens I had ever seen. Evidently had Persian somewhere in them. I put them upstairs in the kitten room and gave them food- they wouldn’t eat! These kittens were probably 8 weeks old when found-and in the coming days I would find myself frazzled beyond belief trying to get them to eat something- I tried every brand, I tried tuna, baby food, mackeral- nothing- no dry food either so I was assist-feeding and baffled as the vet had checked them out head to toe and pronounced them neglected by pretty healthy by all standards.

One afternoon as I was on my knees in the room watching them again (not eat) I thought about where they came from- an abandoned campground that people still did camp at and I had a burst of inspiration. I scrambled to my feet, ran downstairs, grabbed some raw hotdogs and a pair of scissors and cut that hot dog into mighty small pieces. Placing the pieces on a cookie tray, I went back upstairs and put it on the ground- they DOVE for it. So for a few days, I would give them typical campground food slowly mixing it into the dry and wet food until they were only eating cat food. I named one Chaplain (now Chappy) one Dash and the last one Dillon.

They started to grow, to catch up for lost time, only one (Dash) well, she didn’t stop growing- she became huge- towering over the other two kittens until I realized that she was the mom! That’s how undernourished they were.

Dash and Chappy are still here living with us. Dillon was adopted out to couple with no children and no other cats.

Chappy’s routine he set was in the day, he was virtually invisible staying outside in the tunnels or in the enclosure, but at night, when I was asleep, he would creep into the house and lay near me. If I tried to touch him, he would bolt. He stopped bolting when I stopped trying to touch him and just let him be who he wanted to be. But I rarely saw him in the day- just at night.

About a week ago, he started coming into the house in the daytime and lying behind the couch. I noticed his back legs were turning from black to silver because he is a senior man. But this change was strange as darkness is his friend and I wondered and just watched.

When he walked, he would wobble a bit and if I tried to go to him, he would hiss at me so unlike him. Now I not only watched but I worried.

Last night, I woke up around 3:00 a.m. to a moaning sound- a low moan like a cow does right before she gives birth. It was unsettling and I grabbed a flashlight and went in search of who was making the noise- it was Chappy.

He was once again behind the couch and I knew that if I approached him, even if he was injured- he would elude me and run through the tunnels. So I boarded up the exit to the patio- the tunnel entrances and then went to fetch him- RIGHT! LOL An hour later, I finally captured a squirming Chappy and was trying to put him in the cat carrier. He would have none of it and the minute he was in- and I was trying to shut the door- he would escape…….life around here can get interesting at times. The other cats who were in the house were now gathered interested wondering why mom was so flustered and Chappy so hissed. But I finally got him and I went upstairs and made my last room ready for him. He has all he needs until Monday when I have a vet appointment and I will also take Chappy in at the same time and get him looked at. I knew, once he was released from the cat carrier he would be a formidable opponent but by Monday if he is left alone and only observed outside the room, he would be calmer. At least that is the hope.
As I watched him during the release, I saw that he was limping and what I suspect might have happened was during that butt-heads raid on my enclosure- the person who did damage also threw out the padding I have on the irrigation culverts that serve as tunnels to the enclosure. The tunnels are at a slant so without traction on the smooth plastic, the tunnels can turn into a slide. I suspect maybe Chap tumbled down this slide and landed wrong.

He’s not a fighter and although some people might call him semi-feral, he isn’t that either. He is just a cat who was born outside away from humans therefore human touch can make him nervous and put him on edge.

I didn’t want to leave him up there without apologizing for capturing him in the first place, so I was able to go to him, ignore his hissing and growling and pet him and tell him I loved him and was just concerned about an injury.

It could be that confinement will cure him- being still and quiet with enough food and water available will make him better and by Monday he will be fine, that’s my hope.

When I shut the chicken wire door to the room, he yowled for about 20 minutes but I don’t hear him right now. I will be leaving him alone until Monday so he can decompress. I did comb him out before I left and checked for heat traces on his body and found none. If he doesn’t eat or drink or use the litter pan by Sunday, I will know that something is really up and on Monday he will be seen by my vet.

My husband woke up during all the fracass of trying to capture Chappy and said he wished he had a video camera- I would make it on YouTube!

Chappy is the kitty with the white chin in the front in the photo below-


Hope just died…

The little manx kitten who I had been PROMISED would have been immediately taken to the vet and seen- the sister of the three kitties already here has been put to sleep.

Something told me this morning to stop at the house where I got these kittens and find out the result of the vet visit and to my dismay, I see the woman on her front porch cuddling this kitten and the kitten is pooping all over her shirt.

As calmly as I could, and I was NOT calm, I went over and talked to the woman and asked her why she didn’t do as she promised she would? “Oh she is so cute, she is eating, and pooping and peeing, I just couldn’t let her go!”

I very not calmly started kicking myself in the ass for NOT taking this kitten from the woman in the FIRST place, I asked the woman to surrender this little girl to me so I could take her to the vet.

At first, she didn’t want to but when I pointed out that there was a huge load of poop looming out of that tiny rectum-she sighed and handed her over. I almost raced to the car and beat the speed limit getting to the vet- where Hope was examined and found to be structurally defected. Even her anal glands were not located in the right place and her little stub of a tail was broke as well. Her spine was out of alignment and she was clearly suffering. I kissed her tiny head and told her I was so sorry and we let her go.

What the hell? Was this person just going to stay on the porch with this dying kitten until it died in her arms? And why didn’t I insist on taking the kitten in the first place becoming more forceful as the woman kept assurring me over and over that as soon as I left she would take her in?

I’m sorry, I am just so angry and anger gave way to tears of despair on the ride home. I thank God that I listened to that small voice telling me to check up on the kitten’s progress or lack thereof- The woman seemed so sincere and I trusted her to do the right thing and the kitten had to suffer for it.

Light a candle in your window for Hope who is on her way to a much better place where stupid, ignorant people are not allowed to enter.

Fog has been adopted!

This is Fog and he is a year and a half old. He is an affectionate, loving and tolerant kitty and he went to his new home this morning! He is with my CPA- he will be the only cat in the house and will have two adults and one 8 year old boy to love him. They have a dog, but Fog adores dogs and their dog is used to cats so it all should be okay.

Brandi flushed out a cat this morning in the tall grasses of the field! The cat ran up a tree and so I hustled the two dogs into the house and went to get the cat. He is pitch black and skinny as a post, dehydrated and has an URI- only pure survival skills got this cat to the walnut tree. I have him in my last room he is probably about six or seven years old. He took so much sub cu fluids that I am now out! I haven’t seen this cat before and am grateful for Brandi finding him and alerting on him. She came back when I called her as I figured out she was chasing a cat- it happened so quick. Poor kitty is in bad shape but not from being chased by Brandi but from being neglected and put outside to survive.

Yes it is kitten season

These three arrived about ten minutes ago. One of the black boys has a severely broken tail and I am calling him Bentley. There is also a Manx-cross girl but she is at the vet because her rectum is really messed up. She may not survive- it looks like her tail is broken as well and she is leaking both stool and urine. 🙁 I will know tomorrow if she has made it through the night or not.

The Inn is full and this innkeeper is going to rest and watch America’s Got Talent in a few minutes and try to forget that it is kitten season and people are irresponsible and won’t neuter!


Reading Cats


Meet Ashford, he has been here for a few months-dumped out at a friend’s home who literally lives in the middle of nowhere on a ranch in Eastern Oregon.

He was a tom, pretty beat up so he was vetted, neutered, tested, vaccinated and came back here to live with us. He wasn’t eating for the longest time, I would be assist- feeding him trying to encourage him to eat. Then he would decide to eat but sparingly. I took him to the vet several times, and all they could tell me was he is an old guy and I should continue to do the best I could for him.

I tried him in several different cages some outside some inside, but he still was unresponsive and his lack of appetitie alarmed me. Appetitie stimulants did nothing for him.

Yesterday, I decided to just go ahead and let him outside despite the dangers that lurk out there.

I sat down on the bottom stair, he was nestled in my arms and gently released my hold on him. He looked up at me as if to say “Really? I can go now?” Tears fell on his fur, but I nodded my agreement and he jumped off my lap and headed for the barn.

In a few moments, I followed him only to discover to my delight that he was eating out of the feral feeder. He now has made the upper hay loft his home and is eating well. His drooling has stopped and he no longer trembles.

His problem was not only old age, but also confinement. Sometimes kitties don’t want to live on carpet, get their water out of pet fountains and poop and pee in pans and containers. Sometimes, they would rather feel the grass beneath their paws have multiple escape routes planned should predators venture into their territory. Sometimes, but not always, what WE think is best for them is not in their best interest.

Sylvester gets adopted!

Years ago in the pet food aisle of PetSmart I ran into a gentleman and we got to talking. He was looking for a tuxedo boy to replace his kitty. His wife had passed away and the cat soon followed. He thinks he died from a broken heart.

We exchanged phone numbers and the next day he was here looking over my cats and adopted Tux- an older tuxedo kitty. This was over 15 years ago.

Mr. Ryan called last night and he laid Tux to rest a few weeks ago. (cancer). He wanted to know if I had a loving, older male tuxedo kitty to keep him company. I told him about Sylvester, took Sylvester over to his house and it was love at first sight!

When I left the house, Sylvester was lying on top of the couch as if he always lived there! Mr Ryan slipped me a few dollars so I was able to buy cat food and cat litter on the way home. Which is good because I was running really low.

So now, in the new enclosure, we have Willow, Toad and Sullivan three mackeral tabby kitties. Vaughn is wandering the house trying to pretend he is alpha (but Trump won’t let him be!)

I also have a new cat outside in the cat cage that is attached to the barn. Grayson came to us a few days ago and he had been grazed by a car. The cage he is in is roomy and full of straw. There is no break on the leg, it looks like he was just dragged. He got lucky the vet said.

On the doggy front- Brandi the new german shepherd’s urine results are in- she has a UTI and so she is on antibiotics. Once she is done with them, I will have to submit another urine sample for analysis to see if she is cleared up.

Everyone else is doing good, hunkering down for the upcoming storm. Thundershowers and high winds are predicted for later tonight.

I just want to say how grateful I am for those of you who read my blog and respond either privately or publicly. You seriously have kept me going on some really dark days of late- Mike still has two holes in his foot that are not healing and they want to send him back to the wound care clinic that put him in danger in the first place- over my dead body will that happen!

Beware of “free dogs.”

Took our new dog (we are now calling her Brandi) to the vet today because I had a few concerns. Her ear is inflamed and torn a bit- I was told by her previous owner that she got attacked by a pitbull mix. She has yet to breathe correctly- she pants like a steam engine. If you touch her skin, she comes unglued and starts itching like crazy. She eats like there is no tomorrow and she drinks more water than I have ever seen a dog drink. At night, she wakes me 4-5 times to go potty. I was thinking diabetes- the vet says he doesn’t think so, but he took a urine sample to send to the lab. The vet is thinking she has Cushings Disease.

Cushing Disease typically will show up on middle-aged spayed German Shepherds. The stomach becomes distended (almost pot-bellied in appearance). It occurs when there is to much cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands and it can be a sign of cancer. The cortisol regulates the blood sugar, stress, kidney and heart function. The dog will do rapid shedding and the skin will get bumpy like insect bites have occurred. Cushings Disease slowly poisons the dog and surgery needs to be performed in order to remove the tumor and give the dog some relief. After surgery, the dog will need meds for her entire life. If in her past she was put on steriods for an extended period of time, that too can cause Cushing’s Disease.

It doesn’t matter, we are head over heels in love with this beautiful girl and we will wait for the test results to come back and go from there. There is no way I am going to return her from where she came from- she didn’t have a very good life there I don’t think. When we got her, she had one of those nasty prong collars on and it was so tight Mike had to cut it off to remove it!

I walked with her back to the creek tonight after her vet visit and told her she did really great (except when I asked her to pee on command) she sort of flunked that part of the exam! I told her she was beautiful and she is in a safe place and no one will hurt her ever again. She lopped me in the face after we talked.

As soon as the test results are back, I will let you know the verdict- but after reading the brochure I got at the vet, I am reasonably sure my vet is right on the money. Her symptoms all point to Cushing’s-