K, I’m exhausted, plus hard times for kitties!

Today I took my mother for her follow up appointment with the specialist, to tell her how her scope went.

The one she still thinks didn’t happen, because she doesn’t remember the procedure.

The one where, even after the explanation by the pharmacist that seemed to mollify her, she still thinks prescribed her new medications, replacing other medications she suddenly now things worked so well (which rather contradicts why she went to the doctor over concerns that lead her to this specialist in the first place).

It didn’t help that, once we got there, we ended up waiting in the examination room for an hour before he came to see her!

My mother wasn’t at her worse behaviour towards me, but she certainly wasn’t having one of her better days.

I am so exhausted.

As for her procedure, they found no problems. No damage to her esophagus or trachea at all. No, he didn’t change her medications on her and did not give her any new prescriptions.

As for her not remembering the procedure, he talked about the medicine they put into her IV (she’d never mentioned an IV to me; only the throat spray) and how he’d talked to her about not finding any reason to take any samples…

It wasn’t until we were driving home that something finally cleared up for me. After her procedure, she talked to me about how a doctor she’d never seen before had spoken to her and told her they didn’t “finish” because she was on blood thinners, so she was convinced that taking samples was THE reason she was there, but they didn’t do anything at all, because she didn’t stop her blood thinners.

On the drive home, she suddenly asked me, was this the same doctor that we saw last time?

Yes, it was.

She didn’t recognise him. It must be because he was wearing a mask.

No, he wasn’t. No one at the clinic was wearing a mask.

Which is when I asked her if she hadn’t recognized him at the hospital. There was a pause, and I could almost hear the “click” in her brain, and she said, no, she hadn’t.

All this time, she thought the procedure had been done by a completely different doctor she’d never met before.

Once she realized what was going on, she commented that she’s been having a harder time remembering faces.


There was a whole lot of other stuff we talked about during the hours I spent with her, and most of them were not pleasant. Even telling her mundane stuff, like how we had to replace the parts inside the toilet tank, and need to call a plumber for the bathroom fixtures, she suddenly went off on a tangent about how I only ever talk about “bad” stuff, and how if I only went to church, we would have blessings and nothing would ever go wrong anymore. *sigh* She’s been watching too much TV prosperity gospel. Particularly stuff by people on talk shows, selling their books. God is not a magic genie in a bottle, there to answer our wishes.

It gets really mentally exhausting trying to keep up with the sudden changes in topic or getting blindsided by illogical assumptions.

It made the hours seem so much longer, that’s for sure.

But, it went over okay overall, even if she went off on how she wished she never saw this doctor, and that the procedure was a total waste of time, etc., etc.

I was more than happy to get home.

Before I settled in for the evening, though, I decided to feed the outside cats, first.

When I go into the old kitchen, the cats in the sun room hear the noises I make and get pretty active. I started to hear a very unusual meowing, though. One I did not recognise. I opened the inner door to see, and discovered The Distinguished Guest was there.

Then he turned to walk towards an empty food bowl.

Using only three legs.

He wasn’t putting any weight on one front paw, if he could avoid it. I couldn’t see any blood or obvious injury, but recently we’d heard a cat fight outside, and when my daughter checked, she saw it was Shop Towel and TDG again – the two toms that wander in and out, but don’t live here.

I’m so glad we brought Potato Beetle inside.

Poor TDG is having a really hard time, but he won’t let us near him. He was hungry enough to not run away completely while I was putting kibble out, but he did keep running off to other trays, as I moved around.

I’m still sure that he used to be a pet that got dumped. When he first showed up, he did allow us to pet him, but now he’s gotten completely feral.

I really don’t know how to help him. I don’t want to contact the rescue about him. For starters, we have no way of knowing when he’ll be around, so it’s not like we can count on trapping him. Plus, she’s still recovering from major surgery.

She did contact me last night, sharing about how Cabbages, the bitties, and the other outside kittens that got adopted out.

Including Plushy, who just went through some major surgery, too!

Thankfully, he went to a family of means!

He had been perfectly fine until one morning, he threw up and there was blood. They immediately took him to a vet. They X-rayed him and found an intestinal blockage, from a twist. It’s the sort of thing that can happen randomly and has no specific cause. They put him into surgery immediately, and found all his intestines were messed up. It ended up taking a team of 3 vets 4 hours (and $6000, up front!!!!) to save him. Apparently, they were amazed he didn’t die as a kitten, with how is insides looked. !!!

He is now on special food, because his intestines are now shorter, but is doing fine. In fact, other than throwing up blood that one time, there had been no sign of any problems at all! While he was living with the cat lady and getting vet care, there was no sign of problems. Of course, while he was living here, when he finally decided that human contact was an enjoyable thing, we saw no issues, either. Yet, apparently his insides were messed up and, while it’s not actually unusual, when it happens, they usually die as kittens.

The Cat Lady even commented about how so many cats from us have had problems. With Tissue, it was behavioural. Cabbages had her major health problems (she’s doing fantastic now, and angry at the Cat Lady for being chastised after stealing a chicken leg off the counter), Muffin is a total homewrecker that is all over her husband, but won’t let the Cat Lady come near her, and of the two bitties they still have, the tuxedo turns out to have a “grade 3” heart murmur, which is apparently the most common type. Not a major issue, but still something to keep an ear on.

The bitties are going to be fixed during spring break, and they are totally loving life with the Cat Lady and the other rescues!

I wonder if we’d ever even discover they had issues if they had remained yard cats? Yard cats tend to have such short life spans, we’d probably never know if they disappeared because of something like this, or if a coyote or eagle or something got them.

I’m just glad the family that has Plushy now was both willing and able to have her taken care of!

The Re-Farmer

Check up

Would you look at this handsome boy?

He’s in the V shaped bed they had him in to do an ultrasound at the vet. It took two of us to hold him while the vet did the ultrasound! Once it was done and he rolled himself over, he happily stayed in it, apparently quite comfortable!

Also, Leyendecker has an almost completely clean bill of health!

The vet actually brought over a little printout of the results from his blood tests. All but one result was back to normal, and the one was not a concern and likely due to stress. Even his kidneys show no sign of damage. It was his potassium levels that were the real surprise. They were perfectly normal. Last time, it was off the charts. The vet once again called him a miracle cat. Those potassium levels should have killed him.

During the ultrasound, she said that she could still see there was junk in his bladder, but just a little. The urinary cat food should help with that. He was also weighed, and is down half a kilogram (about a pound).

The medical exam and tests were well within my daughter’s budget, so I was able to get more wet and dry cat food for him. We’re trying a different brand this time, as he didn’t really like the other one. At least not compared to regular kibble and wet cat food. A 6 pound/2.72kg bag of kibble is almost $45, while one 156g/5.5oz tin of wet cat food is $2.47 each.


The vet did remember to ask about Keith; the last time I spoke to her on the phone, I had mentioned we had another sick cat. I told her that he passed away peacefully in his sleep soon after our call.

So this is about as good the news can get about Leyendecker! Her recommendation to help reduce his stress is the same: try and adopt him out to a home with less cats! Mind you, being able to adopt out more cats in general would have much the same affect.

I remember when we brought in our first outdoor cat, Fenrir. At the time, I swore we would not bring in any more cats. Three was enough.

Then we brought in cats that were sick or injured.

Then we brought females in so they wouldn’t get pregnant before we could get them fixed.

Always with the plan to socialize and adopt out cats, which hasn’t worked out all that well.

But it’s not like there’s much of an alternative. We’ve had people tell us we should just shoot them, but we’re not going to do that. We will just keep taking care of them, and hopefully adopt them out.

The Re-Farmer

Cold morning, and a bit of an update

When I checked the weather this morning, at about 6:30am, we were at -6C/21F – colder than was predicted. It’s going to warm up again, but this was definitely a precursor of what’s to come, about a week from now.

The kitties seemed to be okay with it, though.

It had warmed up to about 0C/32F by the time I was taking this picture. It’ll be time to hook up electricity to the cat house soon. There was frost on the inside of the windows!

There was also no water left in their bowls at all this morning. Even the big plastic heated bowl that stopped working last winter had nothing but shards of ice stuck to the sides. It makes me wonder if we’ve got something large, like a deer, coming around and drinking the water.

The kitties were very happy when I refilled the bowls with warm water. ๐Ÿ˜Š

When I first open the sun room door, it’s not unusual for cats to explode out of the shelf shelter next to the door. I’ve had to reinforce the rigid insulation, even at the very bottom, because they hit the sides on the way out and break it.

This morning, I saw a whole bunch of very small white and grey kittens bursting out of the shelf shelter. These would be the pump shack kittens! They’ve found a warm and cozy place to spend the night, near the house, which makes me feel much better. There are still a couple of other little kittens – I think they are Caramel’s hidden litter – that go shooting across the yard when I come out. Hopefully, as things get colder, they will learn that beside the house is a warmer, safer place to be, and the giant food givers mean them no harm.

I tried to do a head count this morning. It’s hard, because they move so much. Especially with all the mostly white ones. I think I counted 25, though. Almost all kittens and cattens. Among the adults, I see Rosencrantz and Caramel regularly. I think I see Junk Pile, but one of the cattens looks so much like her, and is about the same size as her, I’m not sure. Rolando Moon, at least, is very easy to spot, and she comes and goes frequently. She is the last of the orange cats! I did not see her this morning. I’m not sure about all the ‘iccuses, all of which are grey tabbies. The adult males – all of them – have pretty much disappeared. The mamas were never particularly large, so I’m not sure if I’m seeing almost grown grey tabby cattens or adult cats!

Even Sad Face (aka Shop Towel), father to all those white and grey kittens, is rarely seen these days. I haven’t seen The Distinguished Guest in quite a while, and even then, only briefly. Potato Beetle hasn’t been seen in quite some time. One of the cattens looks a LOT like Potato Beetle.

We’ll need to take advantage of the few days of warm weather we’ll be having and get work done outside. This morning, I took the wheel barrow to the barn and went searching. There are two last pieces of high density mats that will go into the cat’s house to help insulate the floor – and can survive being scratched at. I also found one last large tarp of some kind. It needs to be cleaned up and patched up, but it should be big enough to put over the hole in the roof of the shed by the barn. My brother was able to put salvaged pieces of metal roofing on the other side, but we don’t have a safe way to do that on this side.

Too bad the scaffolding that used to be here disappeared before we moved in. That would have allowed us to patch up a few shed roofs. ๐Ÿ˜•

On top of that, I’ve got more to work on in the old kitchen garden to make it more functional, and there’s more clean up and weeding to prepare the beds for next year. Of course, we need to finish painting the water bowl shelter, but it’s been too cold for that, the last couple of days. We should be able to get it finished before things start getting – and staying – cold again.

In other things, my daughter and I did a dump run yesterday, then ran some errands. One of them was to visit my MILs grave to see if it needs to be cleaned up and add some silk flowers I got for it.

We never found it.

My daughter was so sick the day of the funeral, she could not remember where it was, other than vaguely in the middle somewhere. Maybe. The cemetery is quite large, but we went through the whole thing. We were starting to go through it a second time when my daughter spotted a notice on a storage shed. It turns out that some of the monuments had been damaged during this spring’s flooding, and were being slowly removed and repaired.

That explains what looked like unmarked graves I was finding! I guess my MIL’s grave stone was among those that had to be removed for repair.

We had another errand to run, but since we were still in town, I added one more. I kept forgetting to book an appointment for follow up bloodwork for Leyendecker. The vet clinic has just reopened in a new location, so we went there and I went in to book it. They are still most definitely still in move-in mode! It’s a much larger location, though, which I think was much needed. It took a while for the receptionist to find Leyendecker in the system (she ended up having to do a refresh and reload, and suddenly it all popped up!), but she was able to get us in.

For today!

I did not expect it to be that quick!

So I will be heading into town again this afternoon with Leyendecker. It’s just for blood work, and he didn’t need to fast or anything like that.

Hard to believe that, only a week or so ago, we seriously thought we might have to have him put down. He now seems completely back to normal! The only thing that’s changed is that now Nosencrantz and Butterscotch are okay with him being in my office/bedroom with them, though Nosencrantz will still growl at him sometimes. Hopefully, the blood work will reflect his improved condition.

The one last errand needed was to pick up some cash to pay the septic guy. We’ll get that done as soon as we can, and then we can cover the tank for the winter. We’ll have to use the insulated tarp again. I don’t think we’ll be getting another round straw bale before winter. We shall see. I would rather have straw, as it’s easier to move than a tarp frozen to the ground, if we need access to the tank again!

It’s always such a push to get things done before winter!

The Re-Farmer

Chipping away, and a sick kitty update

Yesterday I got a call back from the third roofing company we want to get an estimate from for my brother, and arranged for him to come by today. With the gate having to be unlocked and open anyway, I took advantage of it to mow the driveway.

And then keep mowing.

And mowing.

And mowing some more!

As for the roof, we will get the estimate tomorrow. While chatting with him, I mentioned getting estimates several years ago, and what a difference it is, now. He told me that some things have gone up in price by 100% since then!

Once I get the numbers, I’ll pass them on to my brother and after that, it’s in the hands of him and my mother. Hopefully, she won’t decide to string us along again and back out of her promise to pay for it again. Prices will only keep going up. The north side of the roof, where the ice and snow melts away last, is looking really bad right now. If would be really good if we could get a new roof before winter.

I asked my daughters to switch from sleeping during the day and being up at night, so we can get more things done faster during the day. As I write this, my younger daughter is outside building a mini-kibble house for the water bowls. It’ll be nice for the cats to not have water bowls buried in snow in the winter!

That gave me the time to finish mowing the outer yard.

“Finish” being a relative term. Basically, I’ve just been chipping away at the overgrown areas, little by little. Whenever I started working on a area that hadn’t been mowed or scythed before, I’d have to go back and forth with the mower at least three time, to actually get the grass cut properly.

I got the area in front of the shed with the collapsed roof done, expanding from what I’d been able to do when I used the scythe. We need space to get in, but also to set aside the lumber we will be salvaging. There is an old metal garage door leaning against a wall in there. Once the roof pieces over it are clear, I want to set it on the ground nearby. Salvaged wood can go on top of it, and be kept off the ground. We can then cover it with a tarp or something for the winter.

I was also able to widen the area along the driveway and to where the branch pile used to be. I want to mow around that area more, as we will be doing scrap wood burns there.

What I really need to do is get a path mown to the barn. I went into there to grab some stuff I thought my daughter could use in building the kibble house. Dragging it through the tall grass – even the area I’d scythed earlier – is not easy! There are things under the collapsed shed roof that need to be moved to the barn to protect them, and there’s no way I’m going to drag those though the tall grass.

I also started to push further beyond the pump shack. Normally, there would be a lane wide enough to drive in, all the way to the back gate from here. Last year, all I managed was a walking path. At some point, I want to get at least a path mowed. I still need to do some repairs on the back gate. One side of it got ripped away from the gate post, likely by a startled deer, in the winter. It’s up again, but not repaired.

I also got good progress getting a path cleared to the storage shed. I wasn’t up to fighting that tall grass all the way, when there were higher traffic areas that I needed to finish, first. Still, it’s going to make a big difference.

We’ll give the grass clippings a day or two to dry in the sun, the rake it up for eventual use in the garden.

I so wish we could use that shed as a workshop, which is what it used to be. With my parents’ belongings stored in there, there is just no space. We can’t even get at the back of it. It’s all blocked by bags and boxes and furniture.

My sister had been digging around in there, trying to find boxes with photos to take, so I tried looking around a bit. The boxes are stacked on top of each other, and the stacks are starting to collapse. We’re going to have to get in there and figure out what to do. Part of the problem is, when it started to be used as storage for my parents’ stuff, no one had a grasp of just how much there would be, so the first things put in there were not done with any sort of plan in mind. They were just sort of stacked wherever. Soft things, like the bags of clothes (so many clothes!!!) are filling spaces that should have been left open as paths – and would have been if we’d known about all the large items that would have to be squeezed in among the boxes and bags. Even as we were moving things over there, the girls did try to rearrange things to fit more efficiently, but there was only so much they could do.

The one shed that has a good roof and isn’t rotting away, and we can’t use it.


Meanwhile, my mother still gets these moments of urgency, asking me if the door is locked (we don’t have a key), and worried that someone is going to steal all her stuff. As if anyone wants her bags of old clothes that she doesn’t even want herself, or dozens of (mostly salvaged) mirrors we kept finding all over the place! For all that she left the farm years before we moved here, leaving so much stuff behind for others to deal with, she is still so attached to her belongings. Which means we’re stuck hanging on to them.


On a less pleasant note, I called the vet clinic this morning, asking to talk to one of the doctors. I got a call back shortly after I got back inside from mowing.

We are in a very frustrating situation.

Leyendecker seems to be doing better. His appetite is improving. He’s more active. He seems like he’s better in so many ways, but one.

He’s still not voiding.

Every time we see him try and use the litter, at best, there are just a few damp spots. The girls have seen him trying to pee in other places, too, and not succeeding. There has been nothing to clean up.

After describing this to the vet, she said the only option left would be the surgery to make him a “girl”, but there is no way we’re doing that to him. It would just leave him with other problems, and he’d still have a short life, and a much less pleasant one. The longer he can’t pee, though, the more the potassium levels will be building up again – and he was already at “potassium levels of death”, to quote the vet, when they first saw him.

There is only one option left.

The added problem?

Keith has suddenly started having problems, too.

Yesterday, my younger daughter and I watched him try and use the litter, unsuccessfully, and start yowling in distress. My poor daughter was so upset, she started crying.

One of the things Keith likes to do is run in front of us into the bathroom, then fling himself onto the mat in front of the toilet, so we can pay attention to him. Last night, I came in and found him lying on the mat and, to be honest, I wasn’t sure he was still alive until I pet him for a while and he started purring a bit and eventually shifting position. I checked him again during the night, and found him loafed around the side of the toilet, looking miserable.

I haven’t seen him yet during the day, but my husband has been keeping an eye on him, and says he is looking in really bad shape.

I brought this up with the doctor, and we’re looking at the same situation as Leyendecker – and my daughter already used up almost all her savings to pay for his treatment. Right now, she might have enough left for them both to have one final appointment with the vet.

It’s been decided, though. We’ll keep monitoring Keith. If he starts voiding again on his own, it should work out, but if not, tomorrow, I’m making an appointment for them both.

Talk about brutal.

Which really, really sucks. They are the sweetest boys. But the more time goes by, the more internal damage is happening, and the worse it will be for them.

There is no real choice.


Meanwhile, we’re trying to figure out what the heck is going on. We even looked up to see if there were any recalls on cat food we didn’t know about (there is only one brand so far this year, and it’s a brand I’ve never heard of before). We make sure they have a variety of both wet and dry cat foods, and they have access to water at various points around the house. Most of the litter boxes are downstairs, but there are some upstairs, too. We did not allow the cats access to the basement until we cleaned it out, disposing of all sorts of potentially dangerous substances in the process. And yet, somehow, Cabbages was getting into something none of the other cats was getting into, that slowly poisoned her over a long period of time before she finally became sick (and is now thriving, thanks to the Cat Lady’s efforts). The vet said the toxin was either from anti-flea chemicals (which we don’t have) or fertilizers (which we don’t have in the house). So how did it happen?

Leyendecker did not have crystals in his urine, so the vet says muscle spasms, but if that were it the muscle relaxants – and he’s on two of them! – would be working.

And now Keith is having problems?

What the heck? These are all younger cats, too. Keith is the oldest of the sick kitties, and he’s only about four years old!

I just don’t know what to think.

The Re-Farmer

Leyendecker and the new meds

Yesterday afternoon, I picked up the new muscle relaxants we will be trying on Leyendecker. Last night, we gave him his first dose about 15 minutes before he got the rest of his meds.

I was VERY happy to discover there are no needles on those syringes. When I first saw them, I thought they were injections – and wondered just how it was to be administered into the cheek pouch!

Happily, we just need to squirt it into the side of his mouth.

Which he seriously did not like.

In fact, he’s fighting us off a lot more when it’s time to give him his meds. He’s a big boy, and that size is mostly muscle!

I made sure to check, and there is no change in his other medications. After he gets those, he soon passes out for hours.

This new stuff says it “may cause sedation or hyperactivity”.

Last night, we got hyperactivity.

That boy went nuts!

It made him much harder to dose with the rest of his medications, that’s for sure! He’s caught on to what we’re about to do and tries to fight us off. I don’t blame him for having trust issues right now!

He even clambered his way to the top of my metal shelf! He didn’t stay there long. Mostly, he tried to claw his way out of the room. He also hunted down and tackled Nosencrantz, completely ignoring all my efforts to stop him.

I ran out of the special wet cat food that came with him from the vet. He doesn’t really like it, either. I split a can between the three cats, and the other two don’t like it all that much, either. They don’t particularly care for the special dry cat food, either. I’ve been able to feed the ladies separately from Leyendecker, which means I can give them regular kibble. Today, I split up a can of wet cat food, and wow! did Leyenecker tuck into it! He emptied his bowl, but turned his nose up at my refilling it with dry cat food!

As for how he’s doing, so far, the problem has not been solved. He seems to be doing well in all respects, but he still is barely able to pee. He keeps going in and out of the litter box, leaving little spots of wet, and yowling.

Today, he got his second dose of the new meds. This time, we gave it to him after the rest of the meds were done, and letting him stop to eat or try to use the litter a few times in between pills.

Changing the order seems to have made the difference. He didn’t go hyper this time, and is now curled up on my bed and ignoring the other cats.

I might actually get some sleep tonight!

Ah, who am I kidding. I probably won’t! ๐Ÿ˜†

Here’s hoping the meds finally start to work.

The Re-Farmer

I touched some babies! Plus a Leyendecker update. And Updated

Three of five…

The grey and white and orange and white kittens were hungry enough to come over and eat, while I was still there. I paid attention to Rosencrantz, who basically just sniffs my outreached hand, maybe gives it a head pump, then tries to bight my fingers.

When the grey and white clambered into the food dish and ignored me, I was able to pet it. It eventually noticed, looked at me, but didn’t leave. It was similar with the orange and white. The tortie eventually came over and climbed into the bowl, too. I was able to pet it a bit before it realized what was happening, and started to run off.

The other two were apparently not as hungry. One stayed on the other side of the chain link fence, snoozing. The other sat in the grass nearby and watched me, but that’s it.

Being able to touch any of them is huge progress, though!

On another, less cheerful note…

Leyendecker is not getting better.

I don’t think he’s getting worse, but that’s not good, either.

He keeps trying to pee and has the littlest dribbles, but that’s it. He has been yowling and complaining. He’s also getting ticked off at being give his meds twice a day and becoming less cooperative. He is also not eating much. Of course, once the meds kick in, he basically just sleeps, but it would be good if the muscle relaxants would give him a chance to pee, first!

I hadn’t heard from the cat lady in a while. I know she’s been in and out of the hospital, so I didn’t want to bother her. I did send a message to her today – and she has a blocked cat, too! He’s in the hospital now. Her bill has already been more than twice what ours was. When her cat’s catheter was removed, he immediately blocked again, so he’s been transferred has been put under for a larger catheter. As in, it’s being done right now, as I’m writing this! ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ Poor baby!

As for our situation, I’ve called the clinic and the doctor will call me back today. The vet that worked on Leyendecker has the second shift, so she came in later. The problem is, the bill has already pretty much wiped out my daughter’s savings. If he ends up needing another catheter and overnight stays, we just can’t do it. The alternative it to have him put down, and that is a very real possibility. It’s not just about immediate costs, but that he would likely end up having permanent kidney damage and being on meds and a special diet for the rest of his life. It’s hard enough to pay for our own meds, never mind for a cat, too. And how could we keep him on a special diet, separate from the other cats? Having him isolated in my room now is only adding to his stress. He wants out, and the more uncomfortable he is physically, the more he wants out. Add to that, he’s started going after both Nosencrantz and Butterscotch. I’ve already had to break up a couple of fights.

It’s not a good situation.

Well. We’ll see how the call with the vet goes.

Poor Leyendecker.

The Re-Farmer

Update: I just got off the phone with the vet.

I told her what was going on with Leyendecker and we talked about his meds. Sometimes, they just don’t respond to them. She didn’t even suggest bringing him back in. With no crystals in his urine, and how well he voided once the catheter was in, that’s not the issue. The block is muscle spasms at the tip of the urethra. The muscle relaxants should be doing the job, but they’re not, and they can’t just keep putting in catheters.

There is a surgical option. I’d read about it while doing research, so I was already aware of it. It is to open the urethra higher up, essentially making him anatomically female. However, it’s a bloody surgery, and is not without risk. It can result in both urinary and fecal incontinence (she’s actually had that happen after one of her surgeries). He would be at increased risk of UTIs, and there would be lifelong problems. Even if we could afford it, I wouldn’t want to do that to him, and she didn’t sound like it was an option she favoured, either.

However, there isn’t much else that can be done. There is another muscle relaxant that is administered by syringe. It can’t be used for long, due to risk of liver damage, but for the length is can be safely used, it might work. So we will try that. It should be ready to pick up this afternoon.

If that doesn’t work, there is nothing else that can be done. At that point, we would have to put him down.


Blocked – Updated!

Oh, the poor baby boy!

I just got back from the vet clinic – without Leyendecker.

Our first surprise is something you can’t see in the photo. When we went hunting for him to put him in the carrier, we found him under a shelf in the basement. Well. Not really a shelf. The inside of an gutted antique radio in the basement where a speaker used to be. It had been used a nest when he was a kitten. The basement is cooler, and where most of the litter boxes are. When he came out of the shelf, his white fur was orange! Especially his paws were bright orange. I’m thinking rust, maybe?

Anyhow, we got him in the carrier, then my daughter carried him up the stairs for me, since I can’t do stairs well at the best of times, never mind while carrying this big boy. I got to the clinic about 15 minutes early, but they were running behind, so we ended up waiting about 45 minutes before going into the examination room. Poor boy yowled for most of the ride in, and much of the time in the waiting room, too.

My daughter had sent me a list of the symptoms they saw that I read off to the vet when she came in. One thing the girls noted was the first time it started. He had been using the litter box, though they couldn’t tell whether he was trying to poop or pee. By the time I finished reading the list, I think the vet had already figured it out. She gave his abdomen a feel and, almost right away, said he had a blocked urinary tract. She could feel his bladder. The poor thing probably hasn’t been able to pee for days!

We’ve been there often enough that they know we have limited funds. In fact, I have zero budget for any of this. My daughter said she would pay for it. Now, paying for the check up is one thing, but the procedure averages about $900-$1000, depending on how bad it is. And it would be done tonight. The alternative, if we couldn’t afford the procedure, would be euthanasia. I messaged the family right away, and before I finished telling the doctor that my daughter was paying for it and it was up to her, I got the okay.

All those commissions she’s been working so hard on are coming through for Leyendecker.

Once the vet got the okay, she quickly weighed him – he is 8.6kg/19 pounds – then rushed off with him to their kennel, while they prepped to put him under and get a catheter in him. I waited until someone else came in with the authorization form to sign.

Right off the hop, we’re at almost $475. They’re authorized for a maximum $1000, with a request to phone us if it might go over. I don’t know what my daughter’s budget is, but it will take a few days for her to transfer the funds from her PayPal account. The fortunate thing is, we haven’t finished doing our monthly shopping, so I can actually cover the amount until her transfer clears and she can send it to me. Meanwhile, my husband has even transferred some funds his dad sent him for his birthday to help contribute!

We will get a call tonight when they are done, to let us know how things went. He will spend the night at the clinic and, if all goes well, we’ll be bringing him home tomorrow, though from what I’m reading online, they tend to be kept in hospital for several days, because the catheter is left in for a while. We will find out more when they call us tonight. I think they’ll be able to give us the total damage by then, too.

One thing is for sure.

Leyendecker is now off the adoption list!

The Re-Farmer

Update: I just got off the phone with the vet a little while ago. Leyendecker was just waking up when she called. The procedure went well, though they did have some issues getting the catheter in because he’s such a big boy.

The good news: they found NO crystals in his urine at all. Which means the cause was along the lines of muscle spasms and stress, not a UTI. So far, he is recovering well, but he will stay with them for a couple of days, with the catheter in. When he comes home, it will be with a muscle relaxant and some pain killers.

The not so good news: his bloodwork was pretty bad. His kidneys tested off the charts, as did his potassium levels. This would be because he was blocked for so long. Usually, at those levels the heart simply stops. They want to test him again after a couple of weeks to see if he has permanent kidney damage.

Once he’s back home, I’ll try to isolate him in my office/craft room/bedroom. With Nosencrantz and Butterscotch still refusing to leave the room, I hope that works out. They don’t get along normally, but if he’s recovering from surgery, that may change. Keeping him here will allow me to monitor him and make sure he’s actually urinating properly. We’ll also be able to monitor his food and fluid intake and, hopefully, reduce his stress.

When I commented that he was off the adoption list, the vet actually said he would do better in a household with fewer cats. Which is true. It’s just difficult to justify after spending so much money on him and, frankly, there are other cats in our household that I think are more adoptable. The problem is, people aren’t adopting these days. All the shelters are full with mostly surrendered cats. The alternative is to start sending some of the fixed indoor cats outside, and I just don’t like that idea at all.

Meanwhile, we will do what we can for him.

The Re-Farmer

Look who’s back! Also, a trip to the vet booked

Last night, as I headed out to do my evening rounds, I was quite happy to see Potato Beetle was back! I left the sun room door open while I did my thing, and he went straight in to his private dining area, and stayed! He was quite content for me to close him up in the sun room for the night.

This morning, he really wanted attention…

Dang, that boy is sharp!

He had no interest in leaving, though. I left the door open while doing my morning rounds. I came back to find him lounging on the swing bench, with kittens! He didn’t stay long enough for me to get a picture of them together, though.

Unlike some of the other adult cats, he and the kittens get along just fine!

On another note, I did a bit of a rush on my morning rounds, so I could call the vet clinic when they opened. Layendecker has been behaving strangely for a few days now. I don’t see him often, but the girls tell me he’s been very lethargic. The alarming thing is that, every now and then, he will suddenly start making this horribly distressed wailing sort of meow. Even the other cats will come running to see what’s going on, when he does it. About the only thing we can think of is that he is feeling some sort of intestinal distress. He doesn’t seem bloated or gassy, that we can tell, but one of my daughters observed that when she tried to palpate his abdomen, he would start panting. He clearly doesn’t like it, and doesn’t like being picked up, either.

I was able to get an appointment for him this evening. The clinic has greatly extended their hours, since the lockdowns and restrictions got lifted. I imagine they have a lot of catching up to do and, like with clinics and hospitals for humans, a lot of animals didn’t get the treatment or diagnosis they needed. As a “medical facility”, they are still required to require masking, but when I’ve told them I can’t wear one the first time I went in without one, they haven’t said anything to me, since.

Hopefully, whatever is wrong with Layendecker will just need some simple treatment, but of course, we worry. On top of that, I don’t have the budget for it. My daughter is paying for today, and we’ll see what the diagnosis and treatment ends up being.

Oh, my daughter just sent me a list of the symptoms they noticed. That will be useful at the vet’s. Interesting. Apparently, the first time the yowling started, he was in the middle of using the litter. It doesn’t look like he’s eating, either, though he does seem to be drinking.

Poor Layendecker. I do hope things work out well for him!

The Re-Farmer

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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!

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The Re-Farmer