Bitty Baby update, and a bit of progress

I was really concerned about the bitty babies last night! We dipped at least as low as -7C/19F during the night. I knew if the bitties were inside the cat house, they would be okay – especially if they had a mama to curl up with – but if any of them got caught outside, and the board ramp was knocked over, they couldn’t get back in on their own.

The board ramp was knocked over this morning. The brick it was braced against was frozen to the ground. I suspect we are still getting skunk visits during the night. We don’t see them around anymore, though I’ve seen the odd one on the security camera live feed at night. They go into the cat house entry to eat any kibble that’s left there.

Thankfully, I spotted all four of the bitties through one of the windows. The board ramp is back, but I didn’t want to hang around too much, or they’d be tempted to go outside.

There was no mama. I didn’t even see an adult cat come out of the cat house when I went outside. The bitties have the cat house to themselves; all the other kittens seem to be leaving it to them, other than when they pop into the entry to nibble on some kibble.

All the shallow water bowls were frozen, and the big bowl had a layer of ice on top, but I had some nice, warm water for them. The board ramp I set up for the water bowl shelter is being well used, with lots of little footprints in the frost.

I tried to do a head count, and I think I counted 21, plus the four bitties. Rolando Moon came around later. If any of the mamas came around, it wasn’t while I was there to see them.

With all those growing kittens and cattens, and the temperatures dropping, they are going through the kibble faster. We’re going to have to pick up more before the end of the month. The cat lady is going to try and get some donated cat food for us, too, though we don’t know when she’ll be able to do that.

Before starting on this post, I sent an email to her through her cat rescue’s email address. We usually text, but that’s always a pain out here. Especially if I want to send photos. My phone is supposed to link up to the wifi for calls or texts, if there is no data signal available, but it’s never been good at actually accomplishing that. So I sent the email, with a few pictures, explaining the situation. Hopefully, she knows of a foster family that can take in kittens that aren’t weaned yet. While the kittens don’t look like they are starving or dehydrated, that may just be a “yet”. At least the clones have figured out kibble is food, but I don’t know about the other two.

Hopefully, I will hear back from her soon.

In other things, I got some progress on those willow branches I’d pruned. I dragged them all over to where we’re building up a burn pile where the big branch pile that got chipped used to me, and sorted through them there. Only a few of the branches went straight to the burn pile. With most of them, even if the branches were kind of wonky, most had enough straight sections that I could still use them in sections. It’s still nowhere near enough to finish the wattle weaving, but there will be at least a bit more progress.

Though both today and tomorrow are supposed to have highs just above freezing, with tomorrow slightly warmer than today, we are no longer getting rain and snow. We will be nice and sunny, which makes it a good time to get some things covered. I’m glad I picked up the 3 pack of medium duty tarps at Costco a while back. One of the things that needs to be covered is my late brother’s post pounder that he built. It needs to be refurbished, and that’s not a job we can do right now, but we can at least keep it from getting worse. The trap I’d wrapped around it before was torn to shreds by the wind, and I finally cut the remains away completely, not long ago. The plastic that was covering the motor was also starting to tear, so I made a priority of at least covering that, first. The tarps I have are only 8’x10′, but that should be enough to cover most of it, if I do it right. I’ve learned from how and where the old tarp started shredding, where I need to put some sort of padding, first. Between that and being more strategic on how the tarp is tied down, I hope to be able to reduce the damage from high winds.

The other thing I need cover is the wood pile – formerly junk pile – near the house. The groundhogs absolutely destroyed the old tarp that was over it before, for nesting material – then disappeared. The top boards may be pretty rotten, but the further down we go in the pile, the better shape the wood, and I’d like to keep them from getting worse. This year, however, we had not been able to mow, weed walk or weed a lot of areas as we normally would have, and one side of the pile is among those. It’s completely full of mostly thistles right now. I’ll have to cut away enough of that to be able to reach the pile from all sides, so it can be re-covered with a new tarp. The old tarp was held down by whatever heavy things where handy. This time, I want to actually peg it to the ground.

There is still much to get done before the snow flies – and stays!

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

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! 😟 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.


Full Leyendecker update

The handsome boy has not cooperated with getting his picture taken, so you’ll just have to do with these two!

Is that adorable or what? 💖

We got a call from the vet fairly early in the day, and we were told we could come get him any time. They had kept him overnight again because they had seen a very small amount of blood in his urine bag before removing the catheter, but during the night, without the catheter, he’d had a large and normal pee, so he was good to go home.

He is now on three medications, including a pain killer and a smooth muscle relaxant. The general consensus is that he’s basically stressed out with so many cats in the house. We talked about focusing on adopting him out after he’s done his meds, etc. He will be on one of those meds, in decreasing amounts, for 30 days in total. They started him on it at the clinic, so this evening’s dose was his third day on it. We also got a bag of special diet dry cat food and several cans of wet cat food. If he is on it long term, we can switch to a cheaper branch, but can’t mix brands – so no dry cat food in one brand, and wet cat food in another. For now, he stays on the special food while he is on his medications. One of the things the vet noted is what with fixed males, they tend to get blocked more often in the spring and in the fall, so those are times when we will have to keep an extra eye on him.

The staff apparently all fell in love wit him. He was extremely chill and friendly, and did not act at all like he was sick. “He doesn’t know he’s blocked” was how the vet put it. Which does make it more challenging to keep an eye on him! They want him back in a couple of weeks for new bloodwork to check on his kidneys, because of his off-the-charts high potassium levels they found when they first tested him.

So we need to keep a close eye on him, and that means keeping him in my bedroom/office, and he is not at all happy about that. There is no way we can keep him on different food without isolating him, either. However, since he wants out, keeping him isolated is adding to his stress, which isn’t going to help his recovery any!

Nosencrantz and Butterscotch, meanwhile, are not happy with him being here, either, so that’s not going to help their stress levels any. He, on the other hand, it content to ignore them.

He used the litter box shortly after we got home, which was a good sign. After we gave him his evening meds, though, he went to the litter box, used it a bit, then went to the closet and tried to pee there, then went over by the water bowl and tried to pee there! He started yowling again, too. Hopefully, once the muscle relaxants and pain killer kick in, he’ll be able to use the litter box again without trouble. It will be a while before the discomfort ends.

As I write this, he is on my bed, chilling.

Hopefully, it will be a quiet night tonight. We shall see.

The Re-Farmer

Quick Layendecker update

The boy is home!

He did very well overnight, without the catheter. The way the vet put it, he didn’t know he was blocked. His behaviour was totally normal.

Which means the entire staff fell in love with him. 😁

They also called him a miracle cat, because his potassium levels were so high, it could have killed him. I suspect his large size helped with that.

He is isolated in my bedroom with Butterscotch and Nosencrantz for now, and one of my daughters is spending the “night” with him. Which means I don’t have access to my office for now. I will do a proper update, this evening.

We are so happy he did so well!!

The Re-Farmer

Our 2022 garden: little vegetables, deer damage, more mulching – and Leyendecker update

My daughters were finally able to finish raking up grass clippings from a couple days ago and bring them to the squash and corn patch for me. My older daughter still isn’t feeling very well, but she is much improved, at least, and can be more active again.

While they did that, I did my morning rounds and checked on things. My first find was a disappointment.

The deer chomped this highbush cranberry. Again! It had been recovering so well from the last time they beheaded it. The other cranberry was ignored. The silver buffalo berry and sea buckthorn are being left alone. I don’t know why they keep going after this one.

I wasn’t sure what to expect in the garden this morning. I was awakened by a crashing, early this morning, and discovered Nosencrantz had tried to get at the window again. I’ve actually had to put other screens in front of the window to protect it, because as much as I don’t mind them sitting on the window sill, I DO mind them clawing at the screen and making holes. When I had the window fan set up, they kept trying to jump on top of it and knocking it off, so they could claim the space. I took a couple of the old window screens I found in the shed and barn that we’ve been using for various things. They’re different sizes, so it took two of them to fully cover my window. They’ve got cord running across to hold them in place, but I still need to be able to slide them aside to reach the window. Which means that, if she’s determined enough. Nosencrantz can knock the screens off entirely.

Which is what woke me up.

As I was putting the screen back up, I heard the furnace shut off.

I hadn’t even noticed the furnace was on. Why did the furnace turn on???

Well, it turns out that, instead of the overnight low of 11C/52F that was forecast, the actual temperature at the time was 5C/41F. The girls had their windows open – it was finally bearable up there for them! – but with the way air circulated in this house, that resulted in a cold wind blowing down the stairs.

I have since turned the thermostat down further.

This is where looking at the long range forecast frustrates me. According to those, we weren’t supposed to have overnight lows like that until the end of September. Our average first frost date is Sept. 10, which is Friday. Over the next while, we’re supposed to go up to 28C/82F with a low of 15C/59F on Thursday, then drop to 16C/61F with a low of 4C/36F on Friday, then warm back up again.

Which would be okay, if that actually happened, but if our overnight low was less than half of what was forecast, how can I trust we won’t get frost temperatures?

Well, we can just hope.

The baby eggplant is getting bigger, but looked like it was about to break off its stem, so I dug out the last of the tomato cages I bought this spring and set it up.

Remarkably, there are tiny little peppers forming! They are supposed to turn purple when fully ripe, but I doubt there is enough growing season left for that.

Oh, I forgot to mention. My daughters taste tested the Chocolate Cherry tomatoes, and just loved them. They are very flavourful. The red tomatoes are very mild flavoured. The yellow pear have more flavour, but not compared to the other cherry and grape tomatoes we grew last year. So we won’t grow the yellow pear tomatoes again, but will be saving seed from the Chocolate Cherry. We got the seeds from Veseys, but they don’t seem to carry them anymore. From what I can find, though, they are an open pollinated, heirloom variety, so saving the seeds should give us the same variety. I did find some sites listing them as a hybrid, though, so perhaps there are more varieties with the same name. No matter. We will give it a try!

The girls got a nice big pile of grass clippings gathered for me. This is just from the south yards, which I cut a couple of days ago, so the clippings had time to dry in the sun a bit.

It was enough to finish mulching either side of the sweet corn, around the green bush beans, and most of the space between the corn. I did have to rake up more grass clippings from the north yard where I mowed yesterday to finish the job. The grass in the west yard is so sparse, there are no clippings worth raking up.

At this point, the amending that’s being done here is more for next year. We will be moving the trellises closer to the house next year, and these might be good places to put them. I don’t know when I’ll be able to start taking down trees to build more high raised beds – there are only 2 that are unobstructed and can be taking down at any time. Others need to wait until the garden beds in the east yard are done, and those ones need to be cleared before yet others can be cut down.

So even if things just don’t work out and we’re not able to build any high raised beds this fall, we can still use the new beds we made for the potatoes and melons, and in this corn and squash bed, to build tunnel trellises – I’d want to build two, I think – and more basic trellises with other materials we have available. I think these might even be permanent or semi-permanent locations for trellises, so we can make the extra effort to ensure they are not wonky and wobbly, like the ones we’re using for one last year right now. Which means the more mulching and other amending we do this year, the better it will be for next year.

I’ve also been looking at the grape vines. I want to transplant them to a better location, and would love to build an arbour style trellis for them. It would be nice to make an arched style arbor over the people gate in the chain link fence, but not with those big elms above. Those are not as high on the priority list, though, so we have time to figure out what we want and where.

I’ve been eye balling some of the wood the tree guys set aside for me when they chipped our branch piles. We might be able to use some of them to make smaller, slightly raised beds in the old kitchen garden. Or even just a low wall along one side, to keep people from accidentally stepping where my daughter has planted her irises and daffodils! 😁

I’m quite looking forward to figuring things out.


I just called the vet clinic again, which saved them from needing to call us later on. Leyendecker is eating, which is a good sign. They plan to take the catheter out this afternoon, and will monitor him overnight to make sure he’s peeing properly without it. We will get a call tomorrow. I asked about the bill, as my daughter will most likely transfer funds to me – my debit card has a higher purchase limit than hers does – and I wanted to give her an idea of how much. So far, we’re at about $700. With the medications he’ll be coming home with, and tonight’s overnight stay, she said the total might reach a thousand. Of course, he will need to come back for blood work to check if there is permanent damage to his kidneys. At least with that, we have the list on the form I signed, so I know that after taxes, that’ll be another $150 or so.

The main thing is, he is recovering, eating and drinking, and should soon be coming home!

The Re-Farmer

Morning Beetle – and update

Yesterday, Potato Beetle settled into the sun room, and stayed settled! I had a horrible, sleepless night and wasn’t feeling well as a result, so I asked the girls to feed the cats, and let Potato out if he wanted.

He didn’t want. He was still there when I came out!

I had the door wide open, and he just did this. 😁

By the time I was done the rest of my morning rounds, he was gone, but he certainly wasn’t in any hurry to do so.

I’m do wish he wouldn’t take off for days – or weeks! – at a time. I’d hoped that getting fixed would reduce his wanderlust, but it doesn’t seemed to have had that affect. Ah, well. As long as he keeps coming back!


I got a call from the vet clinic about Leyendecker. He did well overnight and they had collected quite a bit in his catheter bag. It was, however, still bloody, so it doesn’t look like he’ll come home today. The doctor wasn’t in yet and I was supposed to get a call later, but was also warned that she sometimes forgets to make her calls. It was suggested that if I didn’t hear from her by 10am, to call myself.

It’s well past that, but there was much to do. I’ve called just a little while ago, but the tech that can update me was with someone, so they will call back. I called when I did because I will be heading outside again for a few hours, but they can leave a message if they don’t call back before then.

It would be nice if we can bring him home tomorrow!

The Re-Farmer

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