Kitten sighting

While coming back to the sun room door after working in the garden, I spotted some unexpected movement.

Kittens, dashing under the cat’s house!

One of the mamas brought her babies to the kibble house, and they are not kittens I recognise.

It took some patience, some hiding behind the hand rail near the sun room door, and my phone zoomed in, to finally get some photos. This was the best I could get, and it’s cropped quite tightly.

As so often happens, I see more in photos than I could in the moment. In this case, it was finding that there is something wrong with the little calico’s eye. Unfortunately, there’s no way of knowing when they’ll even be back at the kibble house again, never mind any chance of catching it to get a better look. That doesn’t look like the usual eye infections we sometimes see in the yard cats.

Hopefully, we will have more success socializing this year’s kittens than last year. Hopefully, whatever is wrong with it is something that will heal on its own.

Poor baby!

In the end, I think I saw a third, darker kitten, but I’m not certain.

The Re-Farmer

A Cabbages update!

Today, we got updated on how Cabbages is doing.

The short answer is, great!

She looks almost normal again!

And is living the high life! She’s getting a salmon fillet every day, as well as boiled chicken and high protein dry cat food. It takes her about 2 hours to eat everything, and she’s getting lots of weigh-ins. She gets tired very quickly, which the vet thinks is a side effect of the neurological infection. She also has her very own tiny human and to dote on her, and massaging her legs, every day. She also has a new name, but we will keep calling her Cabbages, here. 🙂

She will be with them a while longer, until after she recovers from getting spayed, which will be later this month, I think. Then she will be moving on to her forever home.

They have done so well by her!

If you would like to contribute to our fundraiser to reimburse the cat lady for Cabbages’ vet bills, click on the button below, or click here. If you would like to read more about it, click here.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

The Re-Farmer

Two pounds!

We got some wonderful updates on how Cabbages is doing today, and I am beyond thrilled.

She has regained 2 pounds!

At her lowest, she weighed in at 1.65kg/3.63lb, and today she weighed in at 2.55kg/5.62lbs

I don’t think she ever weighed as much as 3kg/6.6lbs to being with.

She is still on medication and is not allowed out of the cat cage she’s kept in, unless she’s being held. She should soon be allowed out to wander around, though.

Next month, she will be getting spayed by a special vet, due to her neurological history. She will then spend 2 weeks with the cat lady and her family, before moving on to her forever home. She will be living with someone who has been in the animal care industry for 44 years!

Which means Cabbages will be with the cat lady and her family for at least another month. I’m just blown away that they took her – and her unexpected expenses! – on without hesitation, and fought so hard to keep her alive. The costs must be well over the $1200 she last mentioned to me, and not a penny of it is from the organization she is associated with. They would have contributed to the euthanasia cost, though. 😦 Cabbages was such a very sick kitty, it’s amazing she was able to pull through!

The cat lady has never asked for anything in return, but she and her family have been so amazing. Even her 5 yr old spends time with Cabbages, every day, making sure she eats and massaging her legs.

*melt*

I do want to do something for her and her family, though. That is why we started the fundraiser, which is to be a surprise to reimburse her for most of the costs. I’m sure the final total she’ll be spending on Cabbages will be more than the $1500 goal we have set. We’ll be contributing as much as we can ourselves, too, of course.

If you would like to contribute to the fundraiser for the awesome cat lady that saved Cabbages, you can go to our Ko-fi donation page.

(There is supposed to be a donation panel under this paragraph. I see it in preview, but not when I publish. Please let me know in the comments below, if you see a donation panel. Thanks!

Update: trying a button this time. Do you see it?)

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

This fundraiser is intended to be a thank you surprise, so she knows nothing about it or this blog. Since it’s a surprise, I’ve carefully cropped these photos she shared with me today, to remove any identifying features.

Just look at her! She’s looking almost like she did, before she got sick!

The poor little thing has been through so much, in such a short time. It just amazes me, how quickly she is bouncing back. Care is still being taken, of course, and I do wonder what sort of permanent damage she may have sustained. Particularly since it was her brain that was affected.

She may have some company with her, soon. The cat lady mentioned she’d picked up another frozen cat today. It has lost its ears, but will be fine. Once the results of the blood work is in, and they get the all clear, it will be joining Cabbages. She will have a recovery buddy. 🙂

What amazing people.

The Re-Farmer

What an improvement!

Okay, I just had to do it. I had to include a picture of Cabbages.

The cat lady messaged me with a picture, and I’ve cropped out anything remotely identifying.

Just look at that face!!! Those eyes!!

Apparently, she is very chatty. She’s never been particularly vocal, but with so many other cats around, she probably had no reason to be.

She was like this, when the cat lady took her. Losing weight. Increasingly lethargic. Needing to be fed with a syringe. We had no idea how close to death she was. Thanks to the cat lady, Cabbages is still with us, doing SO much better, and has a forever home waiting for her.

What an amazing woman.

If you would like to read more about Cabbages and our fundraiser to surprise-reimburse her vet expenses, click here. Or, you can go straight to the fundraiser page here.

The Re-Farmer

Quick Cabbages and kitty update

I just wanted to make a quick update post, before writing the post I intended to. 😀

I have been in contact with the cat lady. I let her know that Butterscotch and Nosencrantz are snagged for their trip to the vet tomorrow. I had gone to spend some time with them, just before I contected her. They were both loafed on the swing bench and, to my surprise, Butterscotch was all over me, purring her heart out, wanting pets and skritches. So much so, she was bowling right over Nosencrantz, who was looking pretty stunned. 😀

I was able to give Nosencrantz some attention. This is the first time we’ve been able to do more than just pet her and occasionally pick her up, outside. I was noticing her behaviour while skritching her ears and gave them a closer look.

She has ear mites.

*sigh*

It’s not a surprise, but with all the yard cats we’ve brought inside, we’ve never seen ear mites before. We have been very fortunate, that way. I called the vet clinic to let them know, and it turns out treatment for ear mites is on the list, along with deworming and vaccinations. All of that, plus getting them fixed, for only $75 a cat!! Oh, how I appreciate connecting with this organization. After all this is done, I plan to continue donating to them, as we are able.

We’ve got these two booked for tomorrow, then Beep Beep and Fenrir on Feb. 7. Talking with the cat lady, we confirmed Feb. 23 for two more inside cats for adoption; we will need to decide which ones go first.

She also passed on the e-transfer information, which is to the organization that is covering the rest of the vet bill. Since my husband’s disability payment came in early, I was able to make a payment in advance. I can make payments as I am able, as long as it’s paid off by the end of the year. She has a budget from this organization, and I know any payments made allows her to have more budget to help more cats, so I was happy to make a payment now. That, and I don’t like unresolved line items in my budget.

The payment for my PAL is driving me nuts. I have no idea when my license will be processed and the payment will come out. All I know it that is should be within 4 months, and I’ve got about 3 more months to go.

Anyhow.

She also updated me a little about Cabbages. She is eating roast beef!

She sent pictures, which I am not asking permission to use right now, but the difference in her is amazing! She has quite clearly regained some weight. In one of the pictures, she was eating shredded pieces of beef. The last pictures we saw, she was eating meat mush. So that is another encouraging sign!

Cabbages and Turmeric

The photo above was taken just after New Year’s. According to the vet, she would have been already starting to get sick, but we saw no signs of that at the time. She’s isn’t back to how she looked then, but being such a little cat to begin with, even this little weight gain makes for a very dramatic difference.

She is set to visit the vet again, soon. I really look forward to hearing what he has to say!!

If you would like to read more about Cabbages and our fundraiser to surprise-reimburse her for vet expenses, click here. Or, you can go straight to the fundraiser page here.

I am so very happy and encouraged by how she is doing. What a fighter!

The Re-Farmer

Cabbages update – and fundraiser announcement.

We had not heard from the cat lady about Cabbages for a little while, which was a “no news is good news” situation. Today I had to run errands with my mother, so I sent a quick text to let her know that, if she needed to call us, to please call the land line.

I didn’t even get a chance to tell the rest of the household to keep a handset near them, when I got a call.

So here we have a very encouraging, do we dare say hopeful? update.

Cabbages is still a very sick kitty, but she is not in the hospital anymore. She is back at home with the cat lady and her family.

Cabbages has been eating, though only while being actively fed. If the food is just left with her, she doesn’t eat. She didn’t like the baby food they tried, but she will eat roasted drumsticks that have been chopped fine for her.

She is being given an antibiotic in pill form, once every three hours.

Yes, you read that right. Every three hours. They have alarms set to go off every three hours. The vet even texted her at 2:30 am to make sure Cabbages got her pill!

Her entire family is in on this one. Even her 5 yr old son is spending hours with Cabbages. *melt* This sort of thing is old hat for their oldest, who is right in there with helping with the treatments and feeding. They’ve done this a few times, it seems!

Cabbages is fighting off the pills, which is understandable to begin with, but these are apparently huge pills that have to be shoved down her throat, and they can’t be broken up (they become too bitter).

I was told Cabbages was “still” doing the head pressing thing against their hands; something which is a warning symptom. This surprised me, because Cabbages had never done that at all, when she was still with us.

She is on valerian as a preventative for seizures. She has never had a seizure, but as she became sicker, it was something she became more at-risk for.

A panel of vets got together to talk about her. She is quite the unicorn, and they are all flummoxed by her condition. The notion that she was born with some sort of congenital defect has now been rejected. Other vets thought that she absolutely had to have come in contact with, or ingested, anti-flea substances, but we have never, ever, had anything like that in our household. We don’t do the collars. Fleas aren’t a problem here.

The other vets also brought up the possibility of Cabbages ingesting some sort of narcotic but, again, that’s just not possible. We don’t have the kinds of drugs they were talking about in the household, and even with the prescription drugs, great care is taken to make sure none get dropped, etc. Standard stuff, really.

The other vets actually recommended euthanizing Cabbages, but the vet that’s caring for her said he would work with the client some more. The cat lady is willing to keep trying, as Cabbages is showing signs of improvement.

Cabbages is moving around more, and her balance is getting better. Her vision is also improving. She has even had a bowel movement in the litter box; the first since they’ve had her. With all the medications she’s on, it was a real mess, but it shows her system is still working.

The conclusion remains that this is toxoplasmosis and a related bacterial infection that has crossed into her brain, however they haven’t ruled out that she might have a brain tumor. Her blood tests show no signs of cancer, but with all the meds she’s on, it’s possible that affected the test results. The only way to know 100% is with an MRI. There is only one MRI in the city available for cats, and it costs $3000 to use it, so that’s not going to happen. Especially when that is far less likely to be the cause of her illness.

So they will continue to treat her with these rare antibiotics (now in pill form, rather than IV) that can cross the blood/brain barrier, valerian, etc., and keep hoping. Even as we were talking on the phone, the cat lady mentioned she had drumsticks in the oven to spoon feed Cabbages.

She also mentioned in passing that all this has now cost them $1200 in vet bills. If Cabbages pulls through, she is still looking at months of treatments before she is in the clear. The organization that the cat lady is connected with covers the vet and food bills for cats that are with fosters, all funded by donations, but the vet services they provide is typically for things like vaccinations, deworming, and discounted spay and neutering. They balked at taking in such a severely sick cat and adding more to their vet bills – but they did offer to help cover some of the cost of euthanasia. :-/ I understand why they would have to draw the line, but sheesh!!

So the cat lady continues to pay for all this out of pocket.

She is not at all asking for money; in fact, she regaled me with stories of how she has a terrible kitchen because the money intended for renovating it went to treating their own two cats that had gotten so sick, she actually sent them in to be euthanized, but with the help of this vet, they found a way to treat them. There is a reason he gets called “Jesus”! The kitchen renovation money got all used up, but the cats are now recovered and thriving, and her family feels it was worth every bit of it.

As I was thinking about it today, I decided to start a fundraiser for her, as a thank you surprise. With that in mind, I have started a fundraising goal on our ko-fi account for Cdn$1500. It is set to accept as little as Cdn$1.

The final vet bill will probably be more than that goal, but it’s above what she has already spent, and there’s no way to know right now how much it will be.

We will be paying her for getting the other cats fixed, of course, but that is through her, to the organization. This would be completely separate from that. She’s paying out of her and her family’s own personal income, and she is the one that will be the recipient of the fundraiser, not the organization.

With that in mind, if you would like to contribute towards Cabbages’ vet bills the cat lady is paying for out of pocket, you can click on the donation link at the top, right of this post, or click here.

Thank you!

The Re-Farmer

Cabbages update: there is still hope!

Oh, my goodness. The stuff going on with Cabbages leaves me feeling like I’ve got mental and emotional whiplash!

When we got the call this morning, we were fully prepared to be told that Cabbages had either passed during the night, or was euthanized.

Neither happened!

She is not out of the woods yet, by any means, but she is apparently a real fighter!

One of the things they were trying with her was a new and rare antibiotic that can cross the blood/brain barrier. There is only one, it’s administered through IV, and it seems to be helping. Cabbages’ vision is starting to come back, and she is eating from a spoon. She is also wanting to eat which, to me, is the major sign of progress. This vet is not one to make animals suffer for extended periods just to do different things, so he would not have decided to keep trying to help her if he didn’t think she had a chance to make it. At this point, she will be staying at the hospital for two more days, with the staff spoon feeding her.

Also, they have figured out what’s wrong with her.

It’s toxoplasmosis. Which basically all cats have, but rarely get sick from. The way the vet apparently put it, it’s like a unicorn in a sea of zebras. She was likely already weak, and somehow, it made its way from her gut to her bloodstream, her spine and finally her brain, causing the neurological problems they were seeing. It was compared to meningitis in humans.

If our angel cat lady hadn’t taken Cabbages to the vet the very day she got her, where Cabbages got that initial dose of antibiotics, she probably would have died by the weekend. If the cat lady hadn’t taken Cabbages back to the vet so quickly on Monday morning, where they started her on this rare antibiotic, she would have probably died that day. Had Cabbages not been in the city for care, she would not have gotten that rare antibiotic, because the local vet – or any rural vets, really – simply don’t have it.

As it is, it is so rare for cats to get sick from this, the rest of our cats are just fine. It’s actually more of a danger to us. We were advised to completely empty the litter boxes, wash and bleach them, once a week, along with the scoops. And, of course, wash our hands after changing the litter. We regularly clean the litter boxes, but we don’t bleach them. With so many litter boxes, that’s going to have to take some organization, and probably doing it on a rotation. It’s not like we can have all the litter boxed out of commission for washing and bleaching at the same time.

I’m going to have to buy more bleach.

It’s too bad we have to keep the two basements blocked off. The old basement is where taps are, and it would be much easier to clean the litter boxes, there. We made the wire mesh “door” between the basements in such a way that it could be slid to one side to get through, but the cats were so determined to get through, we’ve had to rig things on both sides of door to stop them from pushing through. The old basement is where we are storing the more breakable stuff, but it’s also where the sump pump reservoir is. Yes, there is a cover (of sorts) over it, but we still don’t want to risk a cat getting into there, not to mention the other things they could get into.

We’ll figure it out.

Anyhow.

So that’s the news we got, this morning! Cabbages is still fighting!

What a brave little champ.

The Re-Farmer

Another Cabbages update

I just got a call about how Cabbages is doing.

It is still not good.

She will be staying the night with the vet, as they try another antibiotic on her. The vet is saying he’s treating her as if she were his own cat.

They still don’t know what’s wrong with her. A full blood workup is actually showing her blood is really good. There is something neurological going on, and she can no longer see. Unless something dramatically changes overnight, she will be put down at noon.

With the blood work they’ve done, we at least know that this is nothing that the other cats may have “caught”. The vet thinks she probably started to fail at least a month ago – since before Christmas, for sure. We saw no sign of this in her, that far back.

He also thinks it is most likely a a neurological defect she was probably born with. What we were doing to try and help her – force feeding her and keeping her hydrated – was basically the only thing anyone could do for her. Though they are trying medications, they really aren’t able to do much more than that, either.

Poor little thing.

It now makes me wonder how she would have fared, if we had never managed to snag her and bring her indoors. She likely would have had a couple of litters by now or, more likely, would have been another one of those outdoor cats that just disappeared, and we’d never know what happened.

At least she had those couple of years of a pampered life indoors.

The Re-Farmer

Cabbages update; it’s not looking good

I had been so encouraged after the last communication we had with the woman who took in Cabbages for us.

Last night, things changed for the worse.

She found Cabbages barely able to lift her head, and rushed her to the vet, where she remains now.

They can’t find what’s wrong with her!

The vet even asked if it was possible Cabbages had ingested something – which is something I’ve been wracking my brains about, too. When she told me she had replied by saying she didn’t think we were the sort of household to have that around, I realized the vet meant more illicit substances. Which, no, we don’t. I did mention my husband’s medications, but most of them are in bubble packs. It’s a rare thing for us to drop pills, and when it does happen, we don’t stop searching until we find and dispose of them. She asked about plants and started listing some off. I mentioned the Jade trees, but she didn’t know about them being a problem. The cats have been leaving the Jade trees alone now, anyhow, other than trying to claw through the cage around the one, to get at the dirt.

The vet also said that it could be she was born with some sort of congenital defect, and it’s just showing up as a problem now. Which is more of a possibility that anything else I can think of.

At one point, she mentioned that she’s already spent $800 on Cabbages, though she quickly added that this was not a concern, before continuing. I had not realized she was paying out of pocket. I know this organization covers all costs of cats for fosters, but I guess she’s not a foster!

She is heading from the city to the town our vet is in today, to pick up some frozen cats. Cabbages remains with the vet as they try to figure out what is wrong with her. It’s hard to treat an illness when you don’t know what the illness is! She assured me that this is the best vet in the province. He’s been nicknamed “Jesus” for all the animals he’s been able to bring back to life. Still, there is only so much he can do, and they will not go beyond the reasonable and cause her more suffering.

If she does pull through, there is already someone lined up to adopt her. Someone who works for the city humane society.

As much as I hope she makes it, a got a sense that this is very unlikely.

Damn. She really did seem to be improving for a while, there. 😦

Aside from this, we confirmed a few other things. We still have Butterscotch and Nosencrantz slated to be fixed at the end of the month. On Feb. 7, we have Beep Beep and Fenrir now booked. After that, she wants to focus on the adoptable indoor cats, two at a time. We would drop them off for the surgery, and she would bring them back with her at the end of the day to go to the waiting fosters, where they will recover before being adopted out. I asked about when, and she said she hoped to start on Feb. 21. I told her we will work with her schedule, whatever it happens to be.

*sigh*

What a rough way to start the day.

I am so incredibly grateful that she has been willing to take Cabbages on and able to get her into a vet so quickly. We’d still be feeding her with a syringe right now, of course. And we’d have no idea what was wrong with her, and no resources to get her to the local vet ourselves. The fact that the city vet also has no idea what’s wrong with her actually helps, if that makes sense. They really want to figure it out, because if it turns out to be something contagious, we need to know when it comes to the other cats. None of whom are showing any signs of it. Cabbages did have that brief period where she was throwing up more, before she stopped eating and drinking. Another reason I wonder if she ate something that did this to her.

Poor little thing.

The Re-Farmer

Saying goodbye; a Cabbages update

Well, it’s done.

As I write this, Cabbages should still be on the road to the city.

Last night, we tried her on some of the cat milk we picked up. She wouldn’t do it while I was close by, but once I stepped away, she did drink from the little bowl. Which was adorable, with her snout completely hidden, but no chance of a photo!

We also fed her food goo, thinned with the cat milk, using the syringe. She definitely liked it better than thinned with plain water.

So did Turmeric. While the girls were feeding Cabbages, Turmeric tried to eat the food goo right out of her mouth!!

Once she had a full belly, she got to enjoy some cuddles and grooming.

I think Beep Beep is going to miss Cabbages!

Here she is, getting some post-breakfast cuddles from “grandma”. 🙂

I got texts this morning from the woman that is helping us with the cats. She was going from town to town, so we arranged to be her last stop before returning to the city, to reduce the amount of time Cabbages would be in a vehicle. She had a kennel for Cabbages, and was also picking up six (!!!) other cats along the way.

Then I got a text saying they had an unexpected extra cat, and were using the kennel intended for Cabbages. She was wondering if we had one they could borrow, though she might be able to borrow one from the vet clinic. We have three carriers in total, but won’t need all three until they start taking more cats in, so we’re okay with lending one of them. We’ll still have enough to bring Butterscotch and Nutmeg in to get fixed, at the end of the month, and can get it back then. Plus, it meant not having to transfer Cabbages from one carrier to another, while in a parking lot! I’m good with that.

I had an awesome surprise when I headed out early to meet them with Cabbages, and an even bigger one when I got back, but I’ll share about those in my next post.

I left early with Cabbages, because I expected to have snow issues. I didn’t, but I didn’t mind being early. They got to the place we arranged to meet early, too. We got two big bags of donated dry cat food and a case of wet cat food they couldn’t use (the wet cat food had no labels on the cans!).

She let us know that Cabbages would first be tested for Feline Leukemia – she made an appointment for her at the vet this afternoon, and it’s a quick test, so she will be able to let us know by this evening. If she does test positive for that, all the cats will need to be tested. !!!

She was happy to hear that Cabbages has been doing better and starting to eat and drink on her own. She hasn’t been throwing up anymore, and there has been no blood in her stools, which are other positive signs. Hopefully, the blood tests they will be doing will answer some questions.

So there we are. One cat, already gone. She is hoping, over the next few weeks, to be able to take 3 cats at a time. Including Cabbages, we have a total of 8 cats to be adopted out, so that should work out to 3 trips.

The house is going to feel pretty empty with “just” eight cats left in the house!

The main thing is that Cabbages is now going to get the vet care she needs, and that makes us happy.

The Re-Farmer