Tuesday, August 31, 2010

So, Ben just went back to the shelter today for neuter surgery and the adoption floor. Last night, he left me with some pictures I had to share. I'll post them in sequence, so you can see the developing fun.

I came into the bathroom last night and this is what I found. Someone discovered the toilet paper roll and holder!

What's this?

Now, like many of my kitten predecessors, I will help you remove the icky mauve plastic wall tile, too!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Foster kitten Smoke, who was still sitting at the shelter alone after his sister was adopted, was put on hold yesterday and taken home today. I got to say good-bye to him and meet his adopter.

Yahya went back to the shelter on Tuesday for neuter surgery after getting the go ahead from our vet. While I wouldn't say he is nice and plump, he is a slim but healthy weight. It was amazing to watch how quickly his wounds healed up. We were thinking the largest one would need stitches once the infection cleared but it closed up nicely on its own. It was about the size of a quarter when I brought him home and within two days it was dime sized and when I returned him it was a dot. Today, it's completely healed and his fur is already growing back. He has white, light orange and dark orange fur all in that area and it looks really cool growing back. There are still 3 small scars where the bot flies were removed which are bigger than anything left by the large wound. When I left today, he was curled up on his fleece blanket with his green hippo stuffed toy.

I brought Ben (in the photos!) home that same night I returned Yahya. He lagged behind his siblings in his prior foster home and they had to return him before going on vacation. He was steadily gaining weight in the shelter again so I have him for a while for weight gain. He's a tiny little thing compared to our last few but very loud.

The oldest of our classic editions, as Alan calls them, Tora the 14 year old brown and white tabby is really sick. We have him separated from everyone else in our bedroom, mainly to give him space from the crazy dogs. He kept up us the first couple nights because his breathing was so awful. His lungs are full of fluid. He sounds better after a few days of meds which brought his temperature down. The emergency clinic diagnosed an upper respiratory infection but it's much worse and without the nasal and eye symptoms we usually see with URI. We're not totally sure what is happening but he does have some kind of respiratory infection as well as a UTI and asthma. The x-rays showed a lot of fluid around his lungs and possibly his heart. I'm worried about how congested his lungs still sound but he's eating well and trying to escape the room, so he must be feeling better. It's crazy how quickly cats can go downhill. One day he's getting a little matted, which was new and worrisome, and the next he's agonal breathing. It must be their small body size. We will probably be going back in sometime this week if he continues to sound so horrible. He is a house cat but did manage to sneak out an accidentally left open door and was out for a few hours earlier in the week. He's looking a little scraggly in this photo and I think this is the first time ever that he's actually looked like an elderly cat. He's starting to get old cat skinny hips. After kidney stones 5 years ago and a small cancerous tumor removed 4 years ago, he's had a pretty awesome run of health. The cancer was most likely injection site located cancer which has a very high recurrence. We've been very lucky up until now.

Needless to say we are being very careful to practice good hygiene to protect both the kitten and the sick cat from each other. We always keep the fosters in a separate room that is well-cleaned between uses. So far, neither of the other two classics are showing any signs of illness.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Yesterday, I brought two kittens back to the shelter for spay and neuter surgery, a full week after their sister, the little fatty, Rosie, was adopted. Ember and Smoke http://tiny.cc/zt96c, as of close time tonight, were both still available and showing up on the website. Ember has some of the most beautiful tortie coloring I've ever seen. Smoke is a huge cuddler and is also very pretty with black fur sprinkled with wisps of white. I kept them a little longer than I had planned because our surgery list was very long and crammed with other kittens earlier this week and I found out they both had roundworms.


I had hoped to get them back on Saturday so I could take Yahya home sooner. Yahya, a male orange and white tabby kitten came into the shelter a mess. Staff pulled 3 bot flies (cuterebra) out of his neck. (Don't google cuterebra if you are squeamish--they are the closest thing to Aliens I've ever seen!) He also had a large, wide open wound on his neck that was surrounded by necrotic tissue and infested in maggots. It may have been a bot fly hole that got torn and/or infected. He was skinny and scraggly and the most pathetic kitten I've ever seen. The bots were some of the largest we've ever pulled out of an animal and were probably making it difficult for him to swallow. I washed the wounds--Yahya was amazingly well behaved in what was basically a very intrusive and long bath with lots of probing of sore places--and the vet gave him something for parasites and prescribed an antibiotic. I learned that I'm really not that bothered by the creepy crawlies in the wounds especially since I told myself the maggots only attack dead tissue. (I found out later that that wasn't necessarily true but they did seem to be only around the dead tissue in this case.) Over the next week, the bot fly wounds healed quickly--it's amazing how quickly they heal--and Yahya had to put up with the vet debriding the large wound and daily cleaning.
By this past weekend, we were able to stop debriding. The scab is only about the size of a nickel now and it's surrounded by pretty new pink skin. He's still sloughing some of the dead skin but is looking like a kitten and not a walking wound now. During all of this, he was a trooper but he got a little scared of people since the treatment was probably painful. He's home with us now to gain some weight and learn to trust again. The vet thinks he only will need about a week before he can return for neuter surgery. We're hoping his testicles will deign to drop by then as he's now cryptorchid. (We originally thought he was a she because of that and who really wanted to subject him to more probing after everything he'd been through that first day?)