All gone. :-(

Today, I was able to make the trip to the nearest Walmart, primarily to pick up some kibble for the outside cats. There was a pet store nearby, where I was able to pick this up.

What they didn’t have in stock was cat milk or kitten formula mix. I did my shopping at Walmart, then took a different route home to swing by our vet. They had only 2 little cans of kitten formula left, so I got one of them – expensive stuff!!! – and headed home.

Once everything was brought inside, I quickly set up a nest for them in a bin in my office, then went looking for the babies.

They were gone.

The cat house was completely empty.

On the one hand, this is good news. The bitties were not abandoned, for all that we never saw them with a mama. She tried to bring them somewhere safe, but there is just too much activity near the house. The mother is doing her best to take care of her teeny babies.

On the other hand, their chances of survival just dropped significantly. Not just from the elements, but the farther they are from the house, the greater the risk that a predator will find them. Once the mamas start bringing them back to the house for kibble, the kittens tend to stay of their own volition. That’s why we have a yard full of kittens right now, but hardly any mamas. Rosencrantz is really the only one that hangs around, and she’s the oldest of the mamas still outside, now that Butterscotch and Beep Beep are inside.

I’ve just been in contact with the cat lady. Unfortunately, she had not had a chance to look at the emails I’d sent her. There’s a reason she prefers texting! She is currently caring for a 3 week old kitten found to the north of us; the mama had been killed by a coyote, and the rest of the litter died of exposure, so there’s just one lonely baby left. She has been dealing with her own health issues, and just got the go-ahead for major surgery, so things are going to be pretty wild for her for the next while! If we do find any abandoned kitties, though, she told me to let her know right away, and she’ll come get them.

Meanwhile, we now have the nursing kit and formula on hand, just in case.

I really hope things work out well for the bitties!!

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.

Ouch.

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. 😊

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. 😕

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

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! 😆

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! 😟 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.

Damn.

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.

Meanwhile…

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!

Meanwhile…

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