Baby’s Back!

The Ginger bug is home again!!

With his silver, space age bandage, too! 🙂

He seemed very happy to be out of the carrier and in familiar territory. He is quite active – a little too active! and moving around better, now that he doesn’t have that leg dangling off his shoulder.

Did I mention he’s being too active?

He’s already been caught on the shelf in front of one of the windows, about 4 ft off the ground. The girls tried moving my husband’s walker, because he was using it to climb up there. Not down, though. He was jumping straight down from the shelf.

When he was caught up there again, even after the walker was moved, the girls made it safer for him to get up and down, rather than try to stop him. The walker is back and open, with it’s nice, padded seat, and the carrier in front as a “step”.

And to think I was worried about that extension cord being in his way. That cord is for the ceramic terrarium heat bulb in the cat house outside. It should be warm enough now, that it isn’t needed, so I put the cords away. I did, however, bring the frame of the mini-greenhouse back into the sun room, and it is now holding the spare heat bulb safely above the space in front of his box nest.

Right now, he is on limited food and water, as we monitor if he starts getting sick. Tomorrow, food and water goes back to normal. He is to get the medication he was on already, once every evening, and has two other medications that he is to take twice a day, starting tonight.

Tomorrow, I’m going to go back and pick up one of those surgical shirts. We were going to make him one, but realized that the materials we have would likely get snagged on the sutures.

Speaking of which…

He is to return to the vet in 2 weeks for a follow up examination and removal of the sutures.

Until then, we keep him in the sun room, monitor him, and pamper him like crazy.

I added that last part, not the vet… 😉

Back to the full disclosure part;

These are the bills, with a grand total of $1,316.48 Today’s bill is the two page one. Interesting to see how much the neuter cost, without anesthetic charge. The list of drugs is also interesting to see. I know people on several of them! 😀

The bill on the far right is his examination, x-rays and medications from a few days ago.

Seeing how Ginger is acting right now, I think he’s going to do really well. I think, in the time it took to get him to surgery, he already got used to using only three legs, and this amputation is just making it easier on him.

The girls have been to check on him several times already, arranged things a bit as they felt he needed, and plugged in the heater bulb. It’s not particularly cold in there yet, but the surgical site and shaved areas would still get colder, faster.

We are so happy he’s doing so well!!!

The Re-Farmer

Ginger update; more good news

This post falls into the full disclosure and transparency zone.

I just got a call from the vet clinic, this time about the bill.

They were able to give us two estimates, depending on how long the surgery took and how complicated it might get. Those estimates included the examination and x-rays we’d brought him in for, which we had to pay before bringing him home (just over $230). What neither estimate included was the cost of having him neutered at the same time, since we requested that later.

image source

So we were hoping for things to be at the low end, plus the cost of neuter. Thanks to the generosity of those who donated through the Ko-fi page, and through direct donations, we had that covered. The transfers are still incomplete, and one of the donations is still on hold, but we could use the funds from my tax return, set aside for garden soil and chainsaw purchase/repair, as a buffer until they came through. If it was on the high end, it would have been a bit harder to come up with the total, but we would have found a way.

Well, it turned out to be on the low end of the estimate – and that was even with the neuter! Which, of course, would not have cost as much as usual, since he was already there for surgery. The total bill for the amputation and neuter will be a little over $1000.

At that amount, we’ll only need to use the chainsaw purchase/repair money as a buffer, and not touch the garden soil money, until the transfers are complete.

One of the things that was brought up during the call is that he might want to scratch at the wound. There are medical “sweaters” available for sale. We will look at some, but we could also just make him one. My daughter and I both crochet, and we could whip some something like that in very short time. If nothing else, it’ll keep the shaved area and wound warm and dry.

With this good news, I’ve made some changes to the Ko-fi page. To start, the fundraiser goal graph is removed, now that the surgery is complete.

For quite some time, I have had people suggest I include a donation button, and some have even offered to make donations, to help with the kitties. I resisted, because I have a really hard time asking people for money! I know how tight times are, but for Ginger’s injury, we had no choice, and the kindness and assistance offered has been humbling and generous. We will leave the donation buttons up and the donation page active. If anyone wishes to help with the kitties, these donations will be used to help buy cat food and litter, pay for spaying and neutering, and any other vet bills that come up. Nothing else.

I will be sure to post photos and more updates when we bring Ginger home, and during his recovery.

The Re-Farmer

Ginger baby update

Status update on the Ginger bug!

He was very happy to see me this morning. So happy, he flung himself onto the ground at my feet, rolling around so I could pet his belly!

Right. On. His. Injury.


He was moving around so much, it was hard to get pictures!

To refresh his water, I decided to quickly open the doors to outside and toss out the old water, he actually made a run for the door! This boy wants to go outside!

I’m sure his misses his brothers, Nutmeg and Creamsicle baby! But he will have his sister, Cabbages, and a whole lot of other cats to play with, when this is over.

This morning, I called the vet clinic to ask about having him fixed while he is with them tomorrow. The last thing we’re going to do is get him all patched up, then send him back outside where the coyotes and other predators can get him. She talked to one of the doctors who said that yes, they can, but first they will see how the amputation surgery goes since, obviously, that’s the priority. If that goes well, he’ll get a quick snip while he is still under.

We also talked about the financing.

Full disclosure and transparency, here.

Thanks to the generosity of so many, both through the Ko-fi fundraising, and direct donations, we have enough to cover the lower end of the estimate. Ko-fi works through PayPal, and I set up new accounts for both at the same time. The PayPal account is linked to completely separate bank account from our personal stuff. The down side is, PayPal takes several business days to transfer funds. Plus, they went and put the first donation we received on hold. Apparently, that’s a normal thing for them to do with new accounts, but it may be another 7 business days before the hold is removed. Only then can it be transferred, which can take several more days.

So we will also be looking into the third party financing option. We may not need it if the total is on the low end of the estimate, but if it’s on the high end, we will.

With that in mind, if you do wish to support Ginger Snap’s surgery, you can do so by buying him a coffee (donations can be as low as $1 Canadian), sharing or reblogging this post, or the Ko-fi fundraising page.

Many thanks!

The Re-Farmer

Update: Well, I tried to go through the pre-approval process with the third party financing. It didn’t work! I got stuck right at the beginning, with our address. It seems we don’t exist. Their system couldn’t even accept our little hamlet, never mind our box number or our physical address. I wasn’t even getting any error messages. It just kept looping back to the address input area.

I called the clinic to let them know it wasn’t going to happen. It turns out, we’re not the only clients they’ve had, who have had this problem.

This was just in case things did not go well and the bill ended up on the high end of the estimate. They are aware of the situation, and have been really awesome about it. In fact, they’ve been pretty awesome, all around!

Ginger will be in good hands.

Ginger Baby Update

I figured I’d get this out as quickly as I could, because I know people are interested!

While checking on him yesterday, the sun room was actually getting too warm! So we turned on the ceiling fan and opened the inner door to the old kitchen, so cooler air could circulate through screen window of the outer door. My daughters have taken on giving him his evening pill. It’s supposed to taste like cat treats, so they give it to him with a couple of treats, and have had no problem with him eating it.

This morning, he was eager for attention – and very curious about my phone when I tried to take pictures!

He is eating and drinking well, though he ignores the wet cat food. It was chilly by morning, so I made sure he got some nice warm water. When I brought warm water for the cats outside throughout the winter, Ginger would be the one coming over and drinking out of the jug while I knocked the ice out of the water bowls and cleaned out the heated water bowl. He’s a big fan of warm water! 😀

I was somewhat concerned about the litter pan still looking mostly undisturbed. This morning, however, I found that he’s been using the spilled dirt I’d swept into a pile, after Potato Beetle knocked a plant pot over,during his own convalescence in the sun room. The sun room has concrete floors, so I’m not too worried. Once things are warm enough and the yard is dry enough, we basically empty the sun room every spring to clean the floor and get things re-organized. This is where we keep our frequently used yard tools, as well as the critter food, while also keeping my late father’s swing bench open so we can just sit in there and enjoy the warmth and sunshine. The cats love that swing bench! We will also be it as a green house for our seedlings, too, once I pick up a shelf to hold them all, and the overnight temperatures are warmer.

Since we are also using it to isolate injured kitties, we’ve got leftover pieces of rigid insulation on the floor in front of the box bed, and under the food and water, so little paws don’t get too cold on the concrete!

Yeah. We’re sucks, when it comes to the cats! 😀

Did I mention he wanted attention?

Poor baby is lonely! He’s used to at least having his brothers, Nutmeg and Creamsicle Jr, to play with. And he does want to play! It’s hard to visit with him because he gets so excited, and starts moving around too much. Of course, we can’t not visit him, because we need to check on him and give him some loving.

While the temperatures were warm this morning – it was 1C/34F when I headed out – there was a very cold wind! I’m so glad we have been able to keep Ginger in the sun room. We weren’t able to, when his mom ended up with stitches. Yes, he was a regular user of the heated cat shelter, but clambering in and out of there would not have been good. That and Nicky the Nose has been showing up again, and he’s been starting fights with the males. Not so much with Ginger and his litter mates. They were born so late in the season last year, they aren’t sexually mature yet, and not a threat to him. We think he might be responsible for Potato Beetle’s injury, though, and with things warming up, the baby boys are going to start being interested in the girls soon, and Nicky is not going to like that. We chase Nicky off when we see him but, just this morning, I saw him out my window, slinking away through the trees towards the empty farm across the road.


Ginger is doing remarkably well. As he moves around, he does keep trying to put weight on that leg. !!! Thank goodness I’m not squeamish, because every time he does, things move in ways they just aren’t meant to! Of course, when he sits or lies down, he has no way to move the leg out of the way, so… yeah. Not pleasant. At least he doesn’t seem to be in pain.

He will be having a much easier time after the surgery, that’s for sure!!

Which leads me to our fundraising promo. Ginger’s surgery is scheduled for 2 days from now. If you would like to help support him, you can buy him a Ko-fi (donations can be as little as $1 Canadian), share and/or reblog this post, or share the Ko-fi page.

Many thanks!

The Re-Farmer

Ginger update

First up, I want to say how much we all appreciate the wonderful comments, feedback, support and reblogs we about poor little Ginger!

If you click on the button on the top of the right hand column, or click here, you can see the current fundraising status. At the time of this writing, 20% of the goal has already been reached, just overnight! We are so thankful. ❤

I had checked on Ginger last night, just through the door from the old kitchen, so as not to disturb him too much. It took me a while to spot him! Then I realized there was this little nose peeking out from under the flap of the “nest” we made in a box, back when Potato Beetle was convalescing in the sun room. He had a nice, soft pillow for a bed in a nice warm nest.

When I checked through the bathroom window this morning, I found him sitting in front of the door to the old kitchen, oddly curled up with his forehead on the floor. ??? A few moments later, he started to tip over, then jarred himself awake. 😀 It was like one of those videos you see, where a kitten is so tired, it falls asleep while sitting up and starts to fall over.

When I checked on Ginger this morning, he was still by the door and didn’t want to move, even as I had to open the door over him! He just squished down, then became very interested in the old kitchen! Which we are not going to let him into, right now.

I’m happy to say that Ginger was looking really good this morning. He was moving around, wanting attention and pets (!!) and meowing at me. I actually wish he wasn’t moving around quite so much. Seeing that leg flopping around the way it does is rather horrific. It isn’t stopping him, though!

He also seems to have a very good appetite. The dry kibble bowl was empty. He didn’t seem to have eaten any of the wet cat food we’d also left for him. I thought maybe he didn’t like the pate, so I brought a can of shredded cat food for him. He still preferred the dry kibble.

While the sun room is warmer than outside, I had considered turning on the terrarium heater bulb we had set up for Potato Beetle, when it was still much colder. Unfortunately, we have no way to set it higher. I didn’t want to risk him stumbling and falling against it, so for now, there’s no heat source for him. Thankfully, the weather is getting warmer every day for the next while, so he should be just fine.

The sun room is where the cat, bird and deer food is stored, and normally I’d be going in and out through the outside doors. We don’t want other cats running in with Ginger right now, so the plan was to do things the long way around; go into the sun room through the old kitchen, collect the containers of feed, take them through the house to the main entry, then head outside with the warm water.

That’s a lot of containers to get through the door, while trying to make sure none of the inside cats make a run for it!

I did the short version of my morning rounds, because I wanted to call the vet clinic when they opened.

I had company.

Ginger’s brothers, Nutmeg (camouflaged in the grass) and Creamsicle Jr. followed along. Butterscotch did, too, but she stayed well back in the trees.

Potato Beetle emerged as well, and paused to say hello to Nutmeg. 🙂

I had a chance to check his back leg. The wound is still quite visible, but all closed up and the fur the vet shaved away is starting to grow back. There is no sign of a limp, and he doesn’t seem to be favoring the leg in any way, so all seems very well.

For those new to this blog, Butterscotch and Potato Beetle both had trips to the vet this winter. We found a gash inside one of Butterscotch’s back legs. While she is one of the friendlier yard cats, she does not like to be indoors, and doesn’t even like to be in the sun room. We’d converted the sun room into a maternity ward a couple of years back, in hopes of socializing and adopting out kittens, but once those babies were born, she kept breaking out. She tore right through the screen at the top of the door that was there at the time. So while we were eventually able to get her into a cat carrier and get her to the vet for some stitches, we were not able to keep her isolated as she healed. Her wound was a clean cut, so it is likely she had fallen over something sharp. Sadly, there are lots of sharp things all over the farm! It may not have even happened here, as she does visit the neighbouring farms.

Potato Beetle then showed up with blood on his fur one day, but it took us a couple of days before we could find where it was from. He had clearly been in a fight. By the time we could get him to the vet, the wound had already started to heal. He did not need stitches, but he did get cleaned up and was given some antibiotics. We set him up in the sun room for a few days to heal, with a nice warm nest to sleep in, and the terrarium heater bulb nearby. Which also kept his water from freezing! Thankfully, we don’t have to worry about that now. The outside water bowls still freeze over, but in the sun room, Ginger’s water bowl was just fine.

When I got back to the house, I found Rosencrantz (on the right, drinking water) had come out. She’s been hanging around more often lately, which is good. Junk Pile cat (with Potato Beetle, in the kibble house) doesn’t seem to wander off like Rosencrantz, her mother, but she still won’t let us anywhere near her. Her mystery baby is even shier, but at least we see her? him? in the cat house, snuggling with Nostrildamus (aka: Nosey).

I haven’t seen Nosey for several days. I am concerned. Hopefully, he’s just out visiting the neighbouring farms and discovering some lady cats.

For those who are new, you can read up about how we got our current cat house here and here. It now has a ceramic terrarium heater bulb to keep the kitties warm in winter. You can also read about the kibble house we built, here and here. (All links should open in new tabs, so you don’t lose your place. 🙂 )

I just got a call from the vet while I was writing this!

I’d called after I finished my rounds and talked about booking the surgery and payment options. They just called back and the surgery is going to happen on Sunday, three days from now.

Gosh, that’s a long time for Ginger, but it’s the earliest they can do. We’ll be dropping him off at 8:15 in the morning.

Ginger will be staying in the sun room, of course, which will make it much easier to have him fasting for the required 8 hours before surgery.

As for payments, they don’t do it themselves, but contract out to another company. It’s all on a pre-approved basis, so they would have paperwork for us to fill out, they do the surgery, and then we’d make arrangements with this company.


With that in mind, if you wish to help with Ginger’s vet bills, you can do so by going to the Ko-fi page, or even just reblogging and sharing this post or sharing the Ko-fi page.

Meanwhile, Ginger is going to be pampered as much as possible!

Poor baby!

The Re-Farmer

ps: my husband is hilarious. He just came over and suggested a name change for Ginger.



Broken Baby

This morning, while doing my morning rounds, the kitties all came out to say hello.

Then I saw Ginger.

Walking on three legs.

His right front leg was dangling and swinging in a most unfortunate way.

I tried to go to him, but he “ran” away. I didn’t want to risk losing track of him or hurting him more, so I went inside. My younger daughter was handy, so I told her about it, and she went outside with the cat carrier to try and catch him, while I called the vet clinic.

The doctor was in surgery at the time, so we were told to bring him in for 3pm. My daughter had caught Ginger, and we had a few hours, so we set him up in the sun room, where he would be safe and we could check on him through the bathroom window.

It was encouraging to see that he had jumped up onto the swing bench to nap in a sun spot. Also, his injured leg is not visible in the photo. He’s lying on that shoulder.

I had hopes that it might not be too bad. After all, he wouldn’t be lying on the injury if it was really bad, right?

So we brought him to the vet and my daughter went in, because she can wear a mask. She texted me updates whenever she was able. At first, the doctor thought there might be a dislocation, but they had to sedate him to take x-rays. He is the friendlier of the litter, but he’s not fully socialized, by any means, so it took a bit longer for them to examine him.

What the x-rays revealed was a badly broken elbow. What the doctor thought was a dislocation was a broken bone, sitting on top of another bone.

Not only was it a very bad break, but in a very bad spot.

We were presented with two options. One was a surgical repair. The last time the doctor had gone that route, it ended up costing $2200. The other option was amputation. My daughter texted me while they looked up the cost of that, but my immediate reaction was that an amputation would be far less traumatic.

For the amputation, we got two estimates. Which it would be depends on if it takes 2 or 3 hours to amputate, and how difficult things turn out to be. The price range was just over $1300, to just over $2000.


At that point, they woke him up to give him more pain killers so we could take him home and talk about it. Once in the vehicle, my daughter was able to give me more information. The surgical repair is something they couldn’t even be sure would work, largely due to the placement of the break and how bad it is.

Oh, and we did ask what they thought might have caused the injury. He clearly had not been in any sort of fight. They think it was most likely a really bad fall. 😦

The problem isn’t deciding what action to take, but how to pay for it. Even the money set aside for the garden soil and the emergency fund together would cover the lower amount, but that would screw us over for all our gardening, repair and maintenance plans over the summer. I don’t think I’ll even tell my family about it. Their response would be to have him put down – and not necessarily having the vet do it, for the gun owners.

We’re not going to do that.

In fact, what we’re likely going to do is have him fixed and, after the surgery, turn him into an indoor cat.

Hopefully, the vet will let us make monthly payments. However, I have also done something I have had quite a few people recommend I do over the past several years. I’m loath to do it, but for the kitties, I will.

You may have noticed a new button at the top of the column on the right. We now have a donation page set up with Ko-fi. Anyone who would like to support taking care of the kitties can click and donate any amount they wish.

Currently, I’ve got a fundraising goal of $1300. If it costs more, we should be able to cover it. If we raise more than the goal, it will go towards getting Ginger fixed so we can bring him inside. My older daughter tells me she’s planning to open up to more commissions to raise funds, too. There are only so many she can take at the same time, though.

Tomorrow, we call the vet back and talk about setting up the amputation and payment options. Until then, we’ve set up the sun room for Ginger’s convalescence, and he is there now. In fact, my daughter just have him the first of the treat flavoured painkillers we brought home with him, which he is to get every 24 hours.

Because the swing bench is a favourite place for the cats to nap, we moved it around and set up “stairs” for him to use, so he doesn’t have to jump up onto it, as he had in the earlier photo I took.

The poor broken baby! He’s being remarkably calm and stoic about the whole thing.

Pretty soon, we might have to consider changing his name from Ginger to Tripod! 😉

The Re-Farmer