Return trip to the vet-

Pippi just got back from the vet. I was concerned because she was so lethargic and her gums look so pale. I just keep thinking of all the blood washing down the drain when I was gently bathing her. They flushed out her wound, gave her a shot of Covenia and told me that there is a possibility of brain damage due to trauma. She’s just not “here” right now. I have her in Jedi’s old cage and will just keep an eye on her. The hole is deep and there is tissue trauma and maybe she just needs to regroup.

I thought about just chucking it all in. Hanging it all up. Stepping down and letting someone else deal with the feral and stray cat problem in this area- which doesn’t seem to be letting up anytime soon. But when I told Mike last night how I was thinking, he kind of let me have it. He told me that I am these cats only hope and if I hang it up, then the bully wins. He won’t know (or care) that I have stepped down but other cats in the future will know when they find themselves with no where to turn and get dumped into the river, or the wilderness or whatever. Do I want that on my head? Mike asked.

I don’t. I’m just sad. I lost Fiona, GOofy Gus, and Piper within a very short time- all wonderful cats in their own right. Goof couldn’t help it if somewhere along his life a person scared the living pee out of him. He had a few months of just not being terrorized but his fear for humans seemed to intensify regardless.

Thank you to ALL of you once again for stepping out to contact me in all sorts of ways and helping me get a bit of handle on this vet debt we have. Thanks for reading this blog- believing in what we do-and helping me over the very rough spots (especially lately)

One tortie has returned

She was covered in blood! She’s been shot! It looks like it only grazed her head though. I am frantic thinking that perhaps both of the cats were being shot at (have been hearing gunshots fairly close to our home lately late at night) I am praying that Piper escaped and is just scared and hiding out. I had to run up and fetch Mike, they discharged him today and he still has both his legs!!! YAY! When we came home and pulled in the drive, I noticed the tortie laying on the step at a strange angle. I flew out of the car and picked her up and discovered she was covered in blood. I took her into the bathroom and started to gently wash her- that’s when I saw the hole. It is a round hole, not a jagged hole that teeth make. I clipped her fur around her head looking for anything else (exit wound) anything? Didn’t see a thing- after she was dried off, I had Mike take a look at her (he used to be an EMT) he said it looks like a bullet graze- he saw a lot of those in Alaska. The natives would get drunk and shoot at each other just so they could get an ambulance ride into town for more alcohol. She is eating, and I have her in one of our cages. I started her on clinidrops and called my vet- waiting to hear back.

I can’t get under the house- the space is to small, but George is going to come by and take a strong light and see if he can find her sister. Please pray she is all right!

Did she snatch my Torties?

Last week during an especially sunny period, I was out in the front yard raking up leaves and cleaning up a bit. Our two tortie sisters; Piper and Pippi were sunning themselves on the rail. When the car pulled in the drive, they both sat up and watched. They are very friendly girls, we have had them now 6 years. They are almost identical except Pippi has a bad eye that will soon have to be removed (she was born with a congenital defect). Piper has perfect eyes and two golden eyebrows Mike calls her “golden arches.”

This elderly woman exits the vehicle. She was dressed as if she was going to church, dress, heels, clutching her purse. I walked over to her and asked if she was lost? She said, no, she was admiring my cats. She said she had seen them before in the yard (they hang-out by the front steps). They have every opportunity to come inside, but they would rather sleep in the carrier by the door together and so that’s how it’s been. They have NEVER strayed and even rarely will they go into the backyard. They prefer the front.

She said they look like bookends, and I agreed. As I said, they are sisters, identical in size and body pattern differing only in their face. She wanted to pet them and they allowed it. They are very friendly and besides, mom was right there. She made small talk and she kept watching them. Even when a few of the barn cats came out to see what was going on, she was focused on the girls. I should have paid more attention.

The girls are gone. I haven’t been here- been running up to Portland almost daily and coming home late, and they have simply vanished. BOTH of them! Now some might say that the routine for these girls have been broken. But I feed them in the morning and again at night, and was continuing to do so with Mike in the hospital. And now, they are gone. It is so strange. I talked to the neighbors to see if something might have happened on the road or the surrounding houses while I was gone that would spook them- but nothing out of the ordinary.

I didn’t even pay attention to her car, get a plate number. She didn’t rouse my suspicions other than making me feel a bit uneasy that she was watching the girls so intently, Heck, they are still here because in this area, torties are not the favorite for people to adopt them out. I have had more than one person tell me that torties are “ugly!” I disagree, I think they are gorgeous.

So now, I don’t know if she came back and tried to take them and they took off? Or if she was successful and picked them up and put them in her car? All I know is I am worried about how BOTH of them are suddenly missing from a yard they haven’t strayed off of in six years.

I lost it at the vet’s yesterday too. When I went in to make a payment, they presented me with a card that had Fiona’s name and pawprints on it. It just brought the grief back full force. I miss her so much. I’ve not even removed her food bowl off the dining room ramp where she always ate above all the others.

Mike update and other meanderings

He is in a bit of a tug-of-a-war between the top medical team caring for him and the vascular team also overseeing him. His legs are no longer red, they are nice shade of purple (and yes I am being a bit sarcastic here) so there is still issues. His legs were holding over 30 pounds of fluid upon admittance to the ER. He weighed in at 333 on Sunday and on Tuesday he was 302. Some of the team thinks he has a bone infection. They have said he has cellulitis and a bacterial infection found in the cultures that they took. They did an MRI last night at 10:00 p.m. but it was inconclusive to rule out a bone infection and so now he is scheduled for a bone biopsy (but I can’t tell you when). He is in great hands, they really do an all-around good job at looking after him and chasing down the issues. I will tell you more when I learn more.

Once again CATS is looking at a substantial vet bill to pay down. The need is great to pay it down, because Little Man Tate, the 3 month old in the bedroom is bound and determined to get his sisters (and my bedroom slippers) pregnant! Although he is to young to do the full act, he has hurt both Dusky and Maybelline several times in his desire to mate. The bill now stands at $910.00 and if I could even pay it down halfway, they would perform the neuter Tate needs to take away his extreme aggression. I can’t separate him and put him upstairs (it isn’t safe and he is just now starting his vaccinations). So forgive me for asking, but if you could possibly send any money our way it would be appreciated.

Cyber Friend Meet Up Yesterday-

Chris Davis and I belong to the same group and have for a number of years; The Cat Writers’ Association. It is a group made up of published authors and novices, cat photographers, artists, cat experts, veterinarians you name it, we have it. About three years ago we started emailing each other privately and a friendship based on respect started. Yesterday, after meeting with Mike at the hospital, I drove over to meet Chris up close and purr-sonal! We had a marvelous time together.I met her 17 year old cat Molly, and I was able to just sit in the tranquility the forest around her home offered and decompress. She has an incredibly beautiful cat enclosure equipped with not only her personal artist touches, but a waterfall for the kitties to drink out of and play in! I felt like I was transported back into my childhood and I was in an incredible playhouse for kitties. It was magical.

She has squirrels, chimpmunks and bunnies that come in from the forest and feed in her back yard. I had to laugh yesterday watching one rabbit actually chase a squirrel around the base of the tree so she could eat in peace. It was very relaxing. To learn more about Chris and her latest book- visit her website here

Then it was back home to rescue B- Dog who had to be put into her kennel for the day. She is really hurting lately and the Rimadyl isn’t helping her anymore. Even though my car is low to the ground, she can no longer jump into my car without falling. So I had to leave her home with regrets.

It was a wonderful visit, a reprieve from all that is going on at the moment and I know we will meet again soon.

Our Sunday-

We left at 8:00 p.m. Sunday night for Oregon Health Sciences University (where the problems go). Mike was complaining and vetching at me the whole way. He DID NOT want to go. Why did I insist he go to this hospital? He has been running fevers and although it is 80 degrees outside, he has wanted the heaters running while he is wrapped up in a heated throw. His legs are bright red, swollen and for the first time, they smell really bad- the house still reeks of this smell. It overpowers even my stinkiest litterpan!

For the first time since I can remember, he was complaining of pain in both of his legs (and he hasn’t been able to feel his legs for quite awhile). He’s been clammy and chilly in the hottest of days, and even on the way to the hospital (It was 73 degrees outside) he insisted I run the car heater full throttle because he was cold. Poor B-Dog,she was in the back and I thought she was going to have heat stroke! Her water bowl was bone dry when we arrived at the hospital. For Mike, something was brewing and I was tired of messing with these so-called doctors and wound-care specialists who have been caring for him for over two years.

He didn’t want to go. He dug in his heels, he complained, he came up with all sorts of excuses. I finally told him this wasn’t a debate, he was to get his butt into my car NOW and I was taking him in. I’m glad I did that even though the ride up, he barely said two kind words to me. LOL We are friends again by the way. I know he was scared.

They have him now on antibiotics, painkillers and IV fluids. He has been seen by ER doctors, vascular surgeons and various other specialists. They have done blood work and cultures, x-rays and ultra sounds, EKG and he will probably have other tests down the road.

When we first arrived they feared either a systemic infection or osteomilitis (where the infection from the ulcer on his foot has moved into his bones) All tests point to that not being the case. YAY! There are no blood clots in his leg.

He does have cellulitus which is a bacterial infection of the skin and tissue and they are very concerned about this, because unchecked if it travels into the blood stream, he would have died quickly, it can cause other nasty surprises as well. They are concerned at the appearance and size of the ulcer on his foot. They want to get this swelling, redness and infection under control before they move on to stage two. I had to leave after 12 hours with him. We had left in such a rush that I didn’t leave enough food out for the animals so I don’t know many of the details of what else they might be planning because he hadn’t been placed in his own room yet. Mike was joking and giving everyone a bad time- he will be on complete bedrest but I don’t know for how long?

I do know that this wonderful team of skilled vascular surgeons will now be taking up his care and they are pretty amazing and nice. They were a bit puzzled when we told them what a “local” vascular surgeon said and how he acted when he saw Mike for the first time on Thursday. It threw both me and Mike into quite a panic until he was actually seen by a team that knows what they are doing and they settled our fears. This local yokel told us to come up to this hospital and be seen by the team. That they would do an angiogram but it would be a “formality” because Mike was facing amputation of both legs above the knee! By the way- this “specialist” didn’t lay ONE FINGER on Mike’s legs (I had unwrapped them beforehand) He seem afraid to touch them and said he couldn’t help us, it was out of his league!

I don’t know how long Mike will be in the hospital- or what else is planned for him. But I wanted to let you know what is going on. The hospital is HUGE- it is where all the problems go. He’s in great hands, I can relax and for the second time in 8 years of caring for him, get a little bit of a break. But one vascular surgeon assured me that amputation of any of his legs will be the last thing they will do to this man. They will go the extra mile to save him and his legs. They are giving him oxycodone for pain, and I will be unable to visit him daily due to the fact of how far away this hospital is from us. The money isn’t there at the moment and I just really need the time to myself.

Michael update

Pulled some tough love maneuvers and Mike is now admitted to Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland. We left at 8:00 p.m. Sunday night and I just got home. I am exhausted but there are cats to care for as this trip was impromptu and I was in a hurry to get him up there. Will fill in more later and although he is quite ill- it looks like he might just keep both his legs after they are done with him!

Einey…Meanie, Miney… I don’t want no Mo!

:) Here are the newcomers. Tested negative (Yay) vetted and vaccinated:

Two of these cuties (3 months old) have the most unusual coloring I have ever seen on kittens.

Tate is brown, black, gray and white
Maybelline is gray and white
Dusky is black but she has brown tips on her coat and on her head, it is almost yellow- totally beautiful!

They are 3 months old :t

Maybellinemayb

Duskydusk

I don’t “get” some people

Didn’t get much sleep last night, tossed and turned and finally gave up and went into the living room to sleep in the recliner. About 2:00 in the morning, saw headlights sweeping the wall, the car woke me up. I heard a door slam, but this happens a lot where we live. People use our extra wide driveway to turn around in- or if they have car trouble, they park in our drive because it is so wide. But then B started barking (and well she never barks). I heard a thud and then running and by that time I was at the front door. The car was backing out of the driveway leaving in a hurry. I turned on the porch light and stepped outside and that’s when I saw the box and I heard the meowing.

I now have three short-haired probably 8 week old kittens in the bedroom. They are quite sickly and I am waiting for the vet to open so I can take them in, get them tested and start their vaccines. They are thin, they were full of fleas, they have been dewormed and de-flead. But for cripes sake in the middle of the night? What if they had gotten out of the box and wandered away or worse? Plus it was cold last night. Had I stayed in the bedroom, I wouldn’t have found them until morning. So now, I get to add to the mounting vet bill and take in these kittens that should have never hit the ground in the first place. All because someone doesn’t take the responsibility of being a good pet caretaker seriously. Please God let them be negative for FeLV.