How is June almost half over?

June is just flying by.  The outside crew has been enjoying the warm days and nights.  Unfortunately the inside crew has been sick again.  Ugh.  This month has also brought the deer to my yard along with their young fawns.  I always look forward to seeing a new batch of fawns each June and July.

Hampton and Shadow spend most of their days on or under the deck.  They have learned to enjoy each others company.  Hampton still has a few moments where he will run after Shadow or Stellar, but he is doing much better.  Stellar is gone most of the day, but spends a few hours here late in the afternoon and into the evening.  He then leaves again for a good portion of the night.  Shadow was having many nights where he was gone for awhile too.  Yet, he now is spending more and more nights on the deck.  This seems to be the pattern each year.  When the nights are finally warm, the cats are often out and about for a few weeks.  Then it seems to get old and they are back sleeping or protecting the deck.  It has been fun to see the 3 of them lounging in the yard in the evening.  They love the feel of the cool grass.  Here is a picture of them taking a nap after dinner. ( you can see my lettuce growing too!)

June sleepy cats

I had a visit from Cisco on Saturday night.  He came up onto the deck while Shadow, Stellar and Hampton were all present.  I think Shadow and Stellar recognized him.  He sniffed around and then went to lie down in his old feeding station.  I had been thinking about him and wondering if he was ok.  He looked a little thin, but otherwise just fine.  I so wish I knew where he went and if he now has a home.

Unfortunately my inside kitties, Jake and Marvin have had diarrhea again.  They were diagnosed with Clostridium overgrowth in late April, but both recovered.  I had them on a probiotic for awhile, but stopped when they both appeared normal again.  This bacteria is always present in the digestive tract and an overgrowth occurs from food poisoning or eating something bad outside.  We were not able to pinpoint what caused the initial outbreak, but believe it was a certain type of salmon cat food.  Once this over growth occurs, the cats are susceptible to a recurrence which can be caused by stress or over eating or once again eating something bad.  Marvin started not acting right last week.  His diarrhea lasted for about 5-7 days.  I first tried the probiotic Propectalin, but he did not want to eat it.  I then moved to Jarrow brand of S. bourladi which is used to control the clostridium and stop the diarrhea.  It took about 2 days to work.  I knew that there was a chance Jake would get this from the litter box.  I was cleaning them 4x a day, but had waited to thoroughly dump, sanitize and refill the boxes until Marvin was 100% well.  This was my mistake.  Jake started on Friday night.  I could tell he was not acting himself that day.  Today is his second day on the S. bourladi so hopefully he will be better by this evening.

Now I have the challenge of making sure the clostridum stays at an acceptable level.  I plan to continue a maintenance dose of the S. bourladi for a few weeks then switch to a 2x daily probiotic of Nexabiotic.  It contains S. bourladi, but also other strains of probiotics that may help to keep the clostridum levels low.  The problem with the S. bourladi capsules is that for a cat dosage, the capsule has to be split into 2 or 4 doses.  The taste is quite bitter and most cats won’t eat it mixed into food.  I am having to open the capsules and carefully pour the contents into smaller capsules that I can then place in their food or in a pill pocket.  Jake is fairly easy to pill using a pill gun, but Marvin must have his in a pill pocket or cream cheese!  I will have to split the Nexabiotic too, but hopefully it can just be mixed into their food.  I plan to keep them on the probiotic for a few months.

Lastly, I want to mention the deer.  So far I have had two females with their fawns in the yard.  I have seen them both at night on the cameras as well as in the daytime.  Yesterday I was able to see Big Mama with her twins.  One of the other females in the group had one fawn who was seen a few times, but lately I have only seen the mom.  Many times the fawns do not survive.  Sometimes they are killed by coyotes, other times by cars or even just lack of care from the mother.  Last year when the group of three females returned in early fall, there was only one fawn remaining.  I have yet to see Gimpy.  I was certain she was pregnant again and hope that she is ok.  The past few times I saw her, she was limping so badly.  I cannot imagine caring for a fawn in her condition.  Yet each year she is remarkable. I am sending good thoughts to Gimpy each day in hope that she is well.

Here are a few nighttime pictures of the little ones.

Mom and babyMom and twins


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