Hello Fall

September has started off on the cool side.  Our day time highs have been in the mid/upper 60’s to low 70’s with night time lows dipping into the 40’s.  This is a bit unusual for so early in September.  Many years we are still in the mid 80’s.  Yet the cooler air has been beautiful.  All in all we had a very nice summer.  Temperatures rarely hit 90.  I hope the beautiful weather will continue especially as we look ahead to winter.

My outside boys are very spoiled!  As soon as the lows hit the 50’s, they want heat pads.  I wasn’t ready for magic boxes yet so I drug out the tent houses ( which by the way, Amazon has them for a great price right now; $44.99).  Within 10 minutes of me placing them on the love seat, all 3 had checked them out.  That night all 3 were in the tent houses snugly and warm!  Here is a picture of them.

Tent houses

Shadow, Hampton and Stellar (on the right on just a heat pad).

The long range forecast shows the temperatures to remain about the same.  I hope this will work for them until the winter shelter goes up in mid October.

Each year in late August/early September the neighborhood deer and their fawns all begin to reappear.  I have been seeing Gimpy with her two twins as well as Big Mama and Wobble with two fawns.  I do believe that the fawn Wobble is caring for is her twin, Weeble’s fawn.  Weeble must have been hit by a car in late July.  She would come to see me every day 2-3 times.  She had brought her fawn a few times as well.  She would go right up to my back door and wait for me.  I was so sad.  Yet her fawn remains.  Of course I continue to name them all.  Gimpy has a female and male.  We call them Gidget and Gadget.  I am calling Big Mama’s fawn, Winnie and Weeble’s fawn, Wendie.  Here is a picture of Gimpy, Gidget, Gadget, Big Mama, Winnie and Wobble with Wendie.  Oh how I wish Weeble was here too.

Deer August 2017

From Left to right: Gadget, Gidget, Wendie, Gimpy, Winnie, Wobble and Big Mama.

Misty is recovering quite well.  She was very quiet and subdued for a few days.  Partly as she really needed to rest and partly from a heavy dose of pain killers.  She is now off the pain killers and back to her ornery self!  She is not supposed to go up and down stairs more than once a day as well as no jumping at all.  We have put up baby gates, which she just pushes out of the way!  Fortunately her incision is healing very well.  Very little swelling.  Her perianal nodule is taking a bit longer to heal.  She goes back for a recheck on Monday.  We are still waiting for news on the biopsy report.

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Misty Sue

Today I am going to be writing about our sweet pup, Misty.  She is a Samoyed and will be 13 in November.  As I write, she in surgery having a soft tissue sarcoma removed from her left hip and a perianal adenoma removed from her anus.  That is quite a mouthful!  I am doing my best to keep busy today so I do not worry so much about her.

Misty was first diagnosed with cancer in February 2014.  She had cancer of the urethra which is a form of Transitional Cell Carcinoma (TCC).  This type of cancer left untreated is very aggressive and the life expectancy is around 3 months.   Misty had battled urinary tract infections her entire life which was treated with round after round of antibiotics.  It was discovered that she had an inverted vulva and surgery might help remedy the problem.  During this surgery, the cancer was discovered.  Misty was 9 at the time and in very good health.  We elected to do 19 rounds of radiation and then 1 year of oral metronomic chemotherapy.  She was such the trooper and sailed through all of the treatments.  She went into remission in July of 2015 where she still remains today.

In addition to the radiation and metronomic chemotherapy, I also put her on a regime of a cancer diet called Budwig Diet.  This is basically an emulsion of cottage cheese and flax seed oil.  I also used liquid zeolite to help clear the toxins from the radiation and chemotherapy.  She remained on a maintenance dose of the Budwig diet and I just started to put her on it twice a day since a new type of cancer was found.

In June I discovered a small lump on her left hip.  She had a few fatty tumors on her sides, but his felt somewhat different.  I had my vet aspirate it and it came back as unknown.  Misty was due for her 6 month cancer recheck so I decided to have it aspirated again.  This time it came back as a spindle cell tumor.  A biopsy was then done to discover the cancer.  By this time, the lump had doubled in size.

We met with a surgeon and oncologist to discuss our options.  If the tumor was not removed it would kill her in a very short time as it would grow into the rectum.  The surgeon was happy to report that Misty is still in very good health and should do very well with this surgery.  Unfortunately with a spindle cell tumor, wide margins have to be made both in width and depth.  With the location on her hip and near a bone, the margins may not be able to be as wide as needed.  This will result in some type of treatment after surgery.  We are hoping that metronomic chemotherapy can be used again as it does not involve so many trips to the vet.  Yet at the very end of her treatment 2 years ago, her blood platelet levels dropped.  The concern is that the levels might drop again and sooner this time around.  We will know more once the tumor is sent for complete biopsy to discover its true nature.

We are hopeful that she will get to come home this evening and a full recovery will happen shortly.  Please send good thoughts to our beautiful girl.

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Home Cooking

Summer time always seems to be a busy time of the year.  Also it has been a relatively calm season for all of the kitties.  I am still seeing the coyotes a few times each month, but they are not coming close to the house.  It still worry each and every night for my 3 outside boys.  My hope is that when the weather turns cooler, the coyotes will not travel so far thus keeping away from my property.

This blog post is going to be about home cooking for cats.  I decided in the late winter that I wanted all of my cats to be on the best food I could provide.  It was especially important with Cisco testing positive for FIV and later having lower urinary tract disease.  Last year I went through a process of trying new canned foods.  It turned into a disaster, when Jake and Marvin both became very sick from a spoiled can of Weruva.  I decided to not mess with their diet and went back to their normal canned food of Wellness and Trader Joes.   My inside boys are not picky at all.  They will eat most anything.  Yet, the outside boys are VERY picky.  Go figure that the feral boys are the picky ones!  The outside crew mostly loves anything with fish.  Of course this worries me as too much fish (especially tuna) is not good for them.  They also love to eat dry food.  I do whatever I can to get my outside boys to eat the best food, but sometimes I have to just be sure they eat!

I had always been interested in trying home cooked pet food. Raw feeding never appealed to me.  I wish that years ago, I had taken the plunge with our dog and give home cooking a try.  Of course, hearing lots of negative comments from our vet prompted me to not pursue this endeavor.  This time around, I researched for about 6 weeks.  I found forums, books and knowledgeable web sites.  I knew it would be a slow introduction process, but one I wanted to try.

I decided to start with chicken ( often the easiest protein to start with) and see how they reacted.  I chose boneless, skinless chicken thighs as they are a bit more tasty and less expensive than the breasts.  I chose to use a pre mixed supplement instead of mixing and buying all of my own.  I chose the company Food Fur Life  and used their product EZ Complete.  It truly was easy and simple to use.  I chose the method of crock pot cooking.  I then cooled the meat and liquid, shredded the chicken and then pureed it all in a food processor.  It is very important to use all of the extra cooking liquid as many vital nutrients are present in the liquid. All of my cats prefer pate style cat food so the food processor was a must.  Once the food reached the desired consistency, the EZ Complete was added and mixed thoroughly.  I then was able to place the food in freezer containers to keep frozen until needed.  I usually made 2 lbs at a time.  I defrost the food in the refrigerator and when ready to serve, I warm it a bit my placing the closed container in a small bowl of warm water.  I always add extra water when serving their food to be sure they are all getting extra water in their diets.

The inside cats took to the new food very well.  I started with just 1/2t. of new food each day, gradually reducing their current wet food.  It took a good 6-8 weeks to acclimate them to the chicken.  The outside cats were a much harder sell.  One day they would eat it and they next no one touched it.  Yet I kept offering just a small amount each day.

Once the initial 6-8 weeks had passed and they were eating just home cooked with an additional 2 T. of dry food each day, I decided to introduce a new protein.  I decided to try pork.  One of my indoor cats ( Jake) cannot eat any beef.  So beef would not be an option.  I used boneless pork butt roasts and once again used the crock post method.  It is often necessary to cut away some of the fat from the roast either before or after cooking. They all loved the pork.  Even the outside boys preferred the pork!  The introduction of pork went quicker and only took 3-4 weeks.

It is recommended that you introduce at least 3 proteins that are then rotated however you see fit.  I was a bit stuck on the last protein since beef was not an option and I did not want to use fish.  I was able to purchase the chicken thighs and pork roasts at local grocery stores, yet the last choice would need to be ordered online.  I decided that I would try both boneless ground rabbit and boneless turkey thighs.  A company called Hare Today-Gone Tomorrow sold both and the shipping was not horrible since I am only one state away.  The rabbit was a huge hit.  All of the cats really enjoyed it.  I was the one that really did not care for it.  While cooking it, the smell was not appealing to me.  It also was very fatty.  I decided that the rabbit would be used just once a week as it also was more costly.  I have since learned that rabbit is much cheaper in the winter months than summer.

After using the EZ Complete for a few months, it became apparent that it was going to be way to costly to feed it to 6 cats.  I needed to learn how to supplement on my own.  Through a wonderful forum, I was able to find very knowledgeable people.  There were many recipes with all of the nutritional information available.  I was easily able to purchase all of the supplements online.  I also needed to order chicken hearts, chicken livers, pork hearts and pork livers.  I was able to stock up from Hare Today-Gone Tomorrow so it would last for many months.  Using my own supplements has made the price of home cooking so very reasonable.  The chicken and pork are the best value while the rabbit in season is used as a once a week treat.  I also introduced ground turkey thighs, yet this too is a bit more expensive.

To add a bit of flavor to some of the batches, I have added 6-12 oz of no salt added canned salmon or tuna.  I have decided that doing this a few times each year is just fine.  I also have worked out a system, where I make the food in 5 lb batches.  I will cook for 2 days and then have enough food for 6-8 weeks.  It does take some time, but it is not an all day event.  The crock pot cooking takes 3-4 hours.  Then the cooling process is 1-1.5 hours.  The mixing and portioning is around 30 minutes. I use a scale to weigh the correct amount in each container as well as weighing their food at each meal.   I am sure in time, I will get more efficient.

A few things I have learned along the way:

  1.  Research, research, research.  I am still researching to be sure that I am feeding them the best food.  Be sure that you have accurate information.  There are some sites out there that don’t use supplements.  Cats need certain vital minerals and vitamins.
  2. Go slow and keep going slow.  I absolutely did not want any vomiting or diarrhea.  Follow the guidelines and introduce very slowly.
  3. Trust yourself.  I had a lot of doubt that I was doing the right thing.  I was worried, they would get sick or I would make them sick.  I needed to trust the process.
  4. When Cisco got sick, I had many moments where I freaked out.  I thought it must be the home cooked food.  Yet I knew that what I was feeding was better than commercially prepared canned food.  At that time, the inside boys no longer received any dry food.  This was very very hard for them.  Yet when you are dealing with lower urinary tract disease, it is most important for them to consume as much water as possible.  So no more dry food.
  5. I still offer canned food once a week.  I decided this needed to be an option since there are times when I am away and I have a pet sitter.  Canned food is much easier to portion.  We have canned food Sunday each week!
  6. My outside boys still have not transitioned.  I still offer and mix a bit into Shadow and Stellar’s food.  Hampton is not fond of any of it.  I just take it all week by week.

It has been an interesting journey for me.  I have learned so much and I am happy with how all of the cats are doing.  I do find that if the outside boys transition fully, I may need a separate freezer!  Right now I have 36, 8 oz containers and a few smaller size containers in my freezer.

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Plans for making An Apartment

I have written quite a few times about “The Apartment” that my husband and son designed.  I even wrote a special post pack in April about it!  You can read about it here.  My husband was gracious enough to draw up the plans so I could post them here if anyone wishes to make one.  As a reminder, here is the finished product.  It is small enough to fit in small spaces and even works well in corners.

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I will attach the plans here as well as in the original post.  Hope your cats will enjoy it as much as mine do!  Please share with me if you make one too.

Apartment 1

Apartment 2

– I use 0.5” MDF or Particle Board
– One 4×8’ sheet should be just right for one apartment
– Cut pieces to the dimensions shown below.  The square cut-out in the Top can be offset 1.5-2” from the edges.
– The sides are designed to overlap the top/shelf/bottom and the back so you can screw to join the levels
– I typically attach the carpet first, but you might find it helpful to attach the sides, top and bottom first and work around inside.
– I use spare, semi-plush carpet for the lining.  I line every surface except for the backside of the back and the bottom side of the bottom.
– I keep 1/2 inch gaps from the carpet where the boards will be joined.
– Secure the carpet prior to attaching the sides.  I have used both a staple gun with 1/4-3/8” staples and an electric glue gun.  The glue takes longer, but I feel it is a better adhesion and safer for the cats.
– Don’t forget to carpet the edges!
– Once the boards are carpeted, secure each board together.  I typically use approx 1 1/2” fine drywall screws.  It can be tricky to line the boards up on the 1/2” side, and it might take a few tries.
– Refer to the completed pictures for orientation.
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Mid Summer Updates

Where oh where did the month of June go?  As usual summer is flying by.  I love the long warm days and spending time outside with the 3 boys.  Summer is always a great time to watch them frolic in the yard and play with each other.  The wildlife in my yard is also plentiful this time of the year.

First a quick update on Cisco.  He is doing fantastic!!  No problems at all.  His fur is almost completely grown back and he is one happy boy.  He has really blossomed and we are very fortunate to have him.  He hangs out with Jake and Marvin and Misty ( our dog) too.  He loves getting treats and he loves to eat!  When I am preparing dinner for the animals, he is almost as vocal as Misty!  At night he sleeps on our bed or on a chair in our room.  The best part, is that he never ever tries to get out any of the doors.  He must realize he has a great life living inside!  Here is a picture of the 3 of them on our bed.

Marvin, Jake and Cisco

Marvin, Jake and Cisco

Shadow, Stellar and Hampton are having a great summer with one minor exception; the coyotes are still around.  For awhile, I was seeing the coyotes every single night.  Then they leave for about a week, but then return once again.  Usually there is just one, but there have been 3 together.  I so fear for my three boys.  I tell them each and every night that they need to be alert at all times and if they get into a situation, they need to get up high.  Hampton and Stellar have both run up onto the deck railing and the privacy screen when the coyote has been in the yard.  We did have one scare when the coyote came right up to the deck.  It did not come onto the deck, but it was very close. Last week, I purchased a red flashing light that works on solar power.  It is aimed out in the yard and is supposed to mimic predator glowing eyes.  I still need to be sure the flashing lights are positioned properly.  I also increased the range of the motion light and bought brighter bulbs. I did read where you can purchase wolf urine and saturate rags to scatter around.  I really do not want to do this.  In all of the years we have lived here, we only see the coyote about once a year.  It has now been 20-30 times since May.  Each night I hope that they have moved on and found a new hunting spot.  Here is a picture of one from our yard at night.

coyote June 2017

Hampton has really blossomed this summer.  He is hanging out with Shadow and/or Stellar all of the time.  He is trying to play with Shadow and they usually spend all of their days together.  Stellar still leaves each morning after breakfast, but he has been returning in the early afternoon.  He then stays until dark.  Most nights he is out and about all night.  Shadow and Hampton stick closer to home, but they too have been wandering around as well.  Here are a few pictures

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Hampton, Shadow and Stellar

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Shadow and Stellar grooming each other

The deer have all had their babies and I am seeing so many this year.  Gimpy, my favorite deer had twins!  The poor sweet thing.  I have seen the fawns just a few times, but Gimpy comes a few times a week.  Fortunately she looks good.  Big Mama appears to have had just one, but both of her fawns from last year also gave birth.  This is a bit unusual as they were so young.  Yet they were both large and born fairly early in the season last year.  I have seen all 3 of them together with their fawns.  I look forward to late summer/early fall when the group will all be back together.  Here are a few pictures.

Gimpy and twins June 28 2017

Gimpy and her twins

fawn June 2017

Fawn July 2017

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Cisco’s Recovery and a Few Updates

Cisco is nearing the 100% healed mark!!  It was a long two plus weeks.  We had 3 additional trips to MedVet after the surgery which all led to a few set backs.  The 20-25 minute drive each way was not easy.  On the way, he would cry and thrash around trying to find a way out and also trying to find a way to get the cone off.  He did well at each visit and was exhausted after so the ride home was usually peaceful.

It seems that the past two weeks are somewhat of a blur.  It was a full time job keeping a close eye on him.  He did find a way to get the cone off so constant monitoring was necessary.  Thank goodness I had a camera in his room to watch him.  While he was on the gabapentin, he was very sleepy.  This was good as it allowed him to stay calm and rest.  Yet after many days, this drug caused diarrhea.  The litter he had to use (Yesterday’s News) was just awful.  I felt that all I was doing was completely emptying the litter box each time he went.  Cisco also did not like it and last week he began holding his urine for 26-28 hours.  I decided to sprinkle some of his regular litter into the box with the Yesterday’s News.  He was literally in the box within 10 seconds!  Fortunately he is now urinating 2-3 times each day.

Last Friday he had his final check up.  He had one stitch that had not dissolved yet so the cone needed to remain on for a few more days.  We decided that it was time he came out of his room.  I had been allowing Jake and Marvin time in his room for visits.  Jake was freaked by the cone and had many hisses, but Marvin seemed ok.  Cisco was so much happier when he was allowed out of his room.  Once out of his room we kept him in our bedroom with the door closed at night so we could keep an eye on him.

On Monday, I started allowing him time without the cone as long as I could watch him.  At first, he would immediately start licking.  I was told that he could do regular grooming, but nothing excessive or the cone would need to go back on.  It took him a few times to understand.  I gave him 3 strikes and the cone goes back on!  Then on Tuesday I decided to give it a try and see how he did without it and without constant monitoring.  He seemed to do fine.  I checked the incision at the end of the day and it was not red at all.  He was then allowed to go cone free for the night!  I am hopeful the dreaded cone does not have to go back on.

During all of this, I would not have been able to get through it all without all of the support from my husband.  He went above and beyond to help me with Cisco.  The best was that he slept in Cisco’s room on an old mattress for 8 or 9 ( I lost count) nights.  When I was in the room with him, I woke up constantly and Cisco was more on edge.  With my husband, Cisco would just sleep.  I cannot begin to thank him enough for his love, support and caring during this time.  He is one in a million!

My outside boys have been doing well.  They love the warm weather.  Our nights have still been cool so I have 2 heat pads out.  They just love them during the night and in the early mornings.  My biggest problem is that all 3 of them seem to be out and about so much at night.  Stellar has always been the one to be out and about in the summer.  Yet Shadow and Hampton were always home bodies.  Now they are all 3 out.  This is such a worry.  The past 3 out of 4 nights, the coyotes have been in the yard.  This is very unusual.  I usually only see them about once a year.  Two nights ago, one was running through with what looked like a bunny in its mouth.  This morning two were in the yard at 6:15 am.  It just scares me so.  Shadow and Hampton were on the deck this morning and both shot up and were quite shaken.  Stellar was who knows where.  When I got up this morning, Stellar was not here.  I was worried and went looking.  I found him next door just lounging in some tall grass.  Ugh.  I need a protective barrier around my property.

Here is the video of the coyotes this morning.

 

Shadow and Stellar love the warm weather.  When both are present, they can usually be found right beside each other.  Their favorite time of the day is early evening when they curl up together on a love seat.  Hampton will occasionally join them, but not for a snuggle.

Here they are snuggled together

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Cisco’s Surgery

Cisco’s transition to inside life had been going so smoothly.  He was fully integrated with Jake and Marvin and had been out of his “safe” room for almost 2 months.  In fact, we were just getting ready to put the “safe” room back to a guest room!  Things can happen very suddenly that change the course.  This is a very long account.  I decided to write it out mostly for my records.  Feel free to pass over this very long post.

Last Thursday night, May 11, 2017, Cisco came into our room for bed time.  As I was brushing my teeth, he came in to use the litter box.  Once I was finished, I noticed he was still in there.  I kept an eye on him and finally after nearly 10 minutes he came out.  I checked to see and there was indeed both urine and stool in the box.  I wondered if he was a bit constipated.

Friday morning emerged and Cisco seemed fine.  Yet later that day I noticed he was in and out of the litter box more than normal.  By early afternoon, he was going into the litter box and then he was crying.  I still wondered if he was constipated.  I had recently begun introducing home cooked cat food into his diet.  A change in diet can definitely cause constipation.  I kept an eye on him and started to worry.  We were headed out of town the next morning.  At 4 pm, I called the vet and she was concerned.  It sounded like a possible urinary blockage.  She suggested I take him right to MedVet since if it was a blockage, he would end up there any way.  Ugh.  It’s now after 4 pm on a Friday and a trip to MedVet at rush hour is not fun.

We arrived near 5:30 and Cisco was taken back for a check immediately.  It wasn’t long before we were told, it was a urinary blockage and he would need to have a procedure done.  Male cats tend to develop this condition due to anatomically having a very narrow urethra.  They put him under anesthesia and inserted a catheter to break up the blockage.  Then the bladder is irrigated to help remove any other toxins or tissue build up.  The catheter remains in place for 24-48 hours.  We were sent home knowing he would remain until Sunday evening or Monday morning.  We also went ahead and continued our weekend out of town plans.

Cisco did well with the procedure.  The blockage was a collection of struvite crystals.  When they viewed the urine sample, they found 50+ crystals and some blood.  It was then determined an ultrasound was necessary to check for any stones in the bladder.  Fortunately the bladder and urethra were free of stones.  This was good news. Cisco was monitored throughout the day and night on Saturday and was doing well.  The only complication was that he was not eating.

On Sunday morning, the catheter was removed and we waited to hear if/when he urinated on his own.  As long as he was urinating on his own, he would be allowed to come home Sunday evening.  I heard a few hours later that he had indeed urinated on his own!  I was so happy.  We made plans to pick him up early evening.

Unfortunately just a few hours later, I received another call saying that he could not urinate on his own.  There was no physical blockage, but his bladder was contracting, but no urine would come out.  They gave him a few more hours to see if the medication would help.  It did not.  The internal medicine vet did not feel that doing a recatheterization was a good idea.  With all of the spasms he would most likely do fine with the catheter, but then block again without the catheter.  It also is not a good idea to recatheter often as the urethra can then develop small tears.  They decided to manually express the bladder overnight and make a decision Monday morning.

Overnight he did well with the bladder expression, but my morning he was grouchy and in pain.  His bladder was growing hard again.  We had the option to recatheter or move forward with a surgical option.  We decided on the surgical approach as we did not want him to continue in so much pain.

The only other option was a PU surgery (Perineal urethrostomy).  During the procedure, the penis is removed and the larger diameter urethra that is closer to the bladder is sutured to the skin between the anus and the scrotum. This provides a new opening through which the cat can urinate.  I was told that even though this procedure sounds complicated, it is a very straight forward surgery.

The surgery was performed Monday afternoon.  He did very well and was resting comfortably.  Now we had to wait for him to urinate on his own.  The plan was to pick him up late day Tuesday.  He did well overnight Monday and urinated on his own.  When the surgeon went to check on him Tuesday morning, his bladder was still having spasms.  He would urinate only small dribbles unless a bit of pressure was applied to the bladder.  The surgeon felt, once the inflammation reduced and the spasms stopped, he would be fine.  We decided to go get him as he was very stressed and still was not eating.  Once home, he might settle.

When we arrived to pick him up, he had urinated on his own without any pressure applied to the bladder.  This was good news and made us feel better about taking him home.  He was happy to see us.  The instructions and medication list were both long.  I was a bit unprepared for how much of his fur was shaved.  Each paw had something shaved for a needle and his entire back end and part of his abdomen were also shaved.  He was also so very skinny.

Fortunately we still had the “safe” room ready.  We did a bit more clearing out.  I also had to get some special litter made out of paper called Yesterday’s News.  It was the strangest litter I had ever used.  It needed to be non clumping so it did not stick to the incision.  I also bought him an inflatable cone that I thought might be more comfortable than the plastic one.  In the long run, this cone was more comfortable, but he could reach back much further.  I decided to just stick with the plastic cone.

Cisco was not happy to be shut in his room.  He so wanted out.  It took awhile to calm him down.  He did manage to eat a small bit, but he kept pacing and running into every wall with the cone.  He was a bit frantic.  It was only 30 minutes or so home that he tried the litter box.  It was awful to once again see him in there for long periods with no urine production.  He did this over and over a few times before getting really tired.  We watched him closely as we did not want the cone to fall off.  The incision was swollen and red and he was not to lick it at all.  At bed time, I went to give a bit more food and medicine.  He takes his medicine like a champ!  Yet the litter box issues started again.  He did not cry, but he was definitely straining.  He had a small blood clot that feel off from straining.  So then there was a bit of blood.  I felt a call was needed to the vet.

After hearing the situation, we had to take Cisco back to MedVet that night.  Of course it was nearing 10 pm.  Once there, it was determined that thankfully he was not blocked, but the continued spasms and then some mental aspect might be causing the issue.  His bladder was very small and soft.  We had a wonderful emergency vet.  At first she wanted to try an “off label” antidepressant to see if that would calm him.  Yet while discussing the situation, she thought of trying gabapentin for the nerve pain as well as the sedating properties.  This drug is often used to calm cats that are terrified of vet visits.  It also is approved for use in cats.  We decided to try the gabapentin as well as some sub q fluids.  We were back home around 1:30 am.

I decided it was best to sleep in the room with Cisco.  I really needed to keep an eye on him.  I slept fitfully as I was concerned about him.  He got up around 3 am and once again attempted the litter box. Of course once again nothing came out.  He then became frantic and was trying to get out of the room.  He kept banging his head against the gate and then attempted to jump it.  He would not calm down at all.  I had to get my husband to help.  I tried placing Cisco in a large dog crate, but he got his paw stuck.  We then put him in the large carrier we use for him as he couldn’t move too much.  My husband said he would stay with Cisco as I was as frantic as Cisco.  He needed calm and I was definitely not calm.

Once I left the room, Cisco calmed within 20 minutes.  He was then allowed out of the carrier.  He settled under the bed side table before getting up around 4 am and finally urinating!  He did well the rest of the night.  I arrived with breakfast around 7 am.  He was happy to see me and was able to eat.  After breakfast it was time for medicine.  He then went pee again!! After all of that he was ready for a nap.  We continued to watch him throughout the day.  The surgeon called and wanted us to bring him back in so she could have a look.  I told her it would be very stressful for him.  She agreed that I could email her pictures and we would talk later.  After looking at the pictures, she thought he was a bit swollen, but agreed if he was eating and urinating fine we could talk again on late Thursday or early Friday. My husband and I either took turns in the room with him or watched him from the wireless ip camera we set up.  He did really well until 6 pm when the gabapentin must have worn off.  He was once again agitated and trying to get out of the room and trying to get the cone off.  It took almost an hour for him to calm down.  Fortunately he stayed calm the remainder of the evening.  At bed time, he was given the rest of his medication.  My husband slept in the room with him again.  Cisco did great.  He slept all night getting up only once to pee and poop!

Today he is having a pretty good day too.  He is eating like a champ and having no issues in the litter box.  So far all day, he sleeps for 2+ hours and then is awake for 15-30 minutes.  He is very cuddly today which is good to see.  He so wants out of the room and will cry at the gate.  The cone makes him quite agitated.  He tries very hard to get it off.  I am concerned about the damage he could do if the cone did come off.  Marvin and Jake have seen him through the gate and both are a bit freaked out.  Hopefully next week they can have a visit in Cisco’s room.

This is all a day by day process.  I have read many accounts about this surgery.  Each day that passes is progress, but we are not out of the woods yet.  I was so hoping he would not need any more trips back to MedVet until the recheck on May 26.  Unfortunately the surgeon emailed me today that she really wants to see him tomorrow.  She will be unavailable all weekend and would feel better seeing him in person.  We will definitely make the trip.

Here he is with his dreaded cone. Note the unhappy facial expression.

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