Tag Archives: Bengal cats

Spot is Doing Great!

Standard

My best boy and Super-Bengal Spot was diagnosed with kidney failure last year.
I freaked out entirely. As usual for me, I wrote about it (here), talked about it (with iDJ and Socks and probably anyone else that didn’t roll their eyes when I said “I’m upset because my cat has been diagnosed with a fatal disease.”), and I worried about it a lot. So much so that I lost my marbles and the day after the vet visit, I backed the Mini into the wall outside our house, hard.

20140524-205832-75512049.jpg
I was so mortified by this extreme idiocy at the time that I couldn’t write about it. I have never, ever done something so stupid in, or to, a car.

The car is fixed now, of course, but it set us back financially quite a bit. Which meant our return visit to the vet – meant to be done before Christmas – didn’t happen until today.

I dithered over taking him in. The last time he bit the crap out of the vet, and was so stressed on the drive it hardly seemed worth doing it again. Then I thought hard and realised that if I kept falling short on taking care of my best boy, and he got worse because of it, I’d never ever forgive myself. So we harnessed him up and made the 30 minute drive to the vet this morning.

He doesn’t go into a crate. He just isn’t that kind of cat. He loves a car trip: but only if we stay under 40mph. That speed is not an option when going to the vet! I have to say that today the hollering wasn’t too bad, and he never tried to get under iDJ’s feet (he was driving), so all in all it wasn’t too stressful this time. Our vet has a pet shop next door so I took him over there for a wander around while we waited our turn. The two filthy working border collies and the young Jack Russel in the queue ahead of us were giving Spot some very, very hungry looks…

It came our turn, and Spot was relaxed and calm, not a shiver or a scared meow. He had his arsehole examined, and his belly listened to, and his mouth and teeth checked – his guts were a bit gassy but everything else is excellent. What clinched it for our vet was the weighing. Spot has gained an entire US pound since we last visited! He’s just under 9lbs now (4.05 kilos), which is an amazing improvement and is a wonderful indicator that the disease is under control. Doc didn’t even feel the need to take a blood sample.

Spot has been on Science Diet C/D dry food nearly his entire life because when he was a very young cat, barely past kittenhood, he got bladder stones. They have never recurred due to the C/D, and I am happy to pay for it. The vet is impressed that Spottie never got fat on this food, as it is apparently quite common for cats to pack on the weight with Science Diet C/D. Considering that perfectly healthy Lokii also eats the C/D and also isn’t fat (okay he has little jiggly underbelly flaps, but he does have a waist and you can feel his ribs), I wonder if it is the way we feed it to them, which has been free-choice since birth. They have never known what real hunger feels like, so they never over-eat.

Last time we were in, the doc wanted us to give Spot wet food as a supplement, to help hydrate his kidneys. Doc really wanted us to stay with the C/d formula, and both boys loved it. For months, it was a super-special treat for them. Then we ran out for three days… and when we got more Spot refused to eat it. Dammit! Lokii got to eat it all, the flabby-bellied chow-hound! We’ve been so worried since.

So, since no one was waiting after us, the doc walked next door with us and spent a good amount to time talking over food for not just Spot, but poor Neko who has also been under the weather lately. Now, our vets always take their time, but it seemed a little different when he knew no one else was waiting – more relaxed – but it could be just me because I know how it feels to have impatient people glaring at you. Not that I heard much of the conversation as Spot was intent on walking us to the back of the shop where I had to stand there and watch him rub all over a pallet. Sigh.

We took him to the big garden centre on the way home. He likes it there! he got some love from a Polish lady who works in the small-animal department, and was carted around by myself outside to look at plants.

20140524-224429-81869834.jpg

So: it is so wonderful to have good news, and while I know the kidney disease will be what takes Spottie-Pants away from me eventually, I know it won’t be any time soon.

Good News about Spot!

Standard

Took Spottie-Pants to the vet this morning. It wasn’t the vet we’d expected, it was the same fella that was working yesterday. Oh well…

He confirmed that it was not the turkey. Whew! He also doesn’t think there was any blockage, as he would have puked up more than just clear liquid. He said Spot had a nice full bladder (of course he did, he didn’t get to pee before we left the house!) and the colour of his gums was good, and he did several pinch-tests of his scruff to check for dehydration. All okay.

Meanwhile Spot was not himself at all. Curled up in a towel, hiding his face, not even slightly interested in checking things out. This is why I wanted the first vet – so he could see the difference in personality. Sigh.

Doc gave him a shot of steroids, and one of antibiotics – just to cover all bases, the magic combination. We also brought home pills of both – I will be having some good fun the next few days. Pilling the animals is my job. Thankfully I’m good at it. I asked how soon could we expect the steroid to work at giving him an appetite – by tonight? He doubtfully said maybe…

By lunchtime when hubby came home, he saw a marked improvement. Spot was in the window waiting for him, and while he didn’t eat any of the tuna offered, he was checking out the food area. He seemed nearly back to normal.

When I got home he was waiting at the door, said hello to me, and followed me into the kitchen. I unpacked my leftover lunch, offered him a bit of chicken (he loves this chicken, and refused it twice yesterday). He ate it! Hubby went off doing errands and I started the dishes. Suddenly I had two kitty feet planted on my thigh, and a little brown and white face looking up at me and asking for scratches.

I’d say that really was a magic shot. I am SO relieved! While we still don’t know why he did this, I’m happy enough that he seems to be getting over it right quick, with a little help.

20131017-194903.jpg

Spot update

Standard

Thank you all for your comments and suggestions and support. I posted and then went straight to bed, so please forgive me for not responding to any of you as I normally would – another day has now passed and it is best to just do an update post.

Spot spent another night about the same as the last one – he would sit where you out him but didn’t want to move around much on his own.

First thing this morning, I rang the vet. Background – our vet is run by brothers and they are in the office on alternate days. So the one who saw Spot on Saturday wasn’t the one I spoke to today, and if I’d gone in, it would have been the one who didn’t see him so recently. Sometimes I appreciate that I can have one veterinarian office with two opinions, but not this time.

I explained the situation, and he didn’t seem overly concerned. Basically I was told that I could bring him in if I felt like it, and that I could keep trying to tempt Spottie with treats. He didn’t seem to think the raw turkey was the catalyst.

Thinking over it again, Spot had the turkey at about 5pm and wanted more when I got up at 7:30am (and he only had the tiniest amount in the morning, not even a spoonful – he’s not used to treats in the morning). If he was going to have a problem from the turkey, shouldn’t it have hit overnight? When I have something that disagrees with me, I know it within six hours or less, and I’m dammed sure kitty metabolisms are faster. So. Maybe he ate something during the day on Monday when we weren’t home? Like plastic? A plant?

Whatever is wrong, I went to work with a heavy heart today. I hated to ‘wait and see’ another day, but I wanted to get the first vet again, and I wanted to warn my boss that I might be in late.

Do any of you feel nervous when asking for time off work to care for a sick pet? I know if I had kids no one would bat an eye. But it’s an animal. And worse, for Irish people – it’s “just a cat.” Don’t forget, they are still classed as vermin here – the same as mice or rats or badgers or mink or foxes…

But I did give warning, and that made me feel better. Because my boss said “poor cat”, and didn’t make a horrible joke or sneer at me. Whew. I know now that if I’m not happy how tonight and tomorrow go, I have a free pass with no further stress.

Now – Spot came downstairs on his own when I got home, and while he didn’t respond to my greeting, he did head right for the litterbox and had a pee. Since he leaves his tail outside the box when he goes (it’s the type with a hood and door), I could see from his habitual tail-pumping that it was a normal length pee, and didn’t cause him any pain. So he must be drinking, even if I’ve not seen him do so. He refused my attempts to give him his favourite chicken this morning, and again when I got home. He also refused some raw chicken, even though I put it in front of both him and Lokii in the hopes that his competitive spirit would overcome his lack of interest. Nope.

But! He is downstairs, and jumped up on iDJ’s lap earlier all on his own. He showed interest in playing with a bit of string, and he has responded vocally when when we say hello to him – he sounds a bit hoarse, however. He rubbed against the brush when offered (until Lokes saw it and butted in), and is rising to meet a hand that is petting him instead of just accepting it. He’s been up and down the stairs a few times, and is now cuddled with his brother in front of the fire. I’ll be in there with them soon, as it’s gotten pretty cold out here.

I’m reposting one of my favourite pictures of him.

20131016-211704.jpg

I think I made Spot worse

Standard

Hiya. I’m still in a bad headspace because of Spottie’s disease which has evidenced itself in a really bad way; I did something really stupid on Sunday. I rather thought that talking about him on the blog would make it better – isn’t that what everyone says? I know I keep the serious shit to myself. The things that “get” to me simmer below the surface: I don’t even realise that I’ve gone a bit insane. I don’t even realise I’ve changed. I don’t realise that I’m not 100% – not that I ever really am at 100%. Who is?

I screwed up with Spot, it seems. We had a turkey on Sunday, and it of course came with all the ooky bits like gizzards and skin and liver and heart. Yuck – but great for feeding raw to your animals. Now, I know not to give too much of the liver at one time, that’s some strong stuff. I cut little chunks off of everything and both cats were gobbling it up (excuse the pun). I was happy, as they didn’t want any ooky bits of our last turkey – probably last November. I thought, ‘fantastic, all that natural moisture will be great for Spot!’ So, I let him have a bit more than I normally would have. He wanted more!

Apparently not so much. He didn’t want his wet food last evening. Lokii didn’t eat it either. Now, I amn’t sure exactly why Lokes didn’t. Either it smelled funny, or he knew his brother wasn’t feeling good and preferred to take care of him over having a tasty snack.

Lokii has been stuck like glue to Spot’s side. Spot has just been sitting, in the loaf-of-bread-pose, most of the time since last evening. He doesn’t want loving. He will cuddle if placed on a lap or under the bedcovers with a person. He doesn’t want food. I haven’t seen him drink, but have seen him pee. He barfed a few times, nothing but clear liquid. Hubby slept in the spare room, because Spot was curled up dead centre under his pillow and he didn’t want to disturb him. I didn’t sleep much last night, waking up to see how Spot was doing, and missing the human body in my bed, too.

He’s better tonight, but despite showing excitement over his favourite treat, he didn’t eat any. Currently he’s curled up in the crook of my knee, in front of the fire, with Lokii being the bread-loaf next to him, keeping watch.

I’m not too surprised that Lokii is such a good caregiver. I know Spot would probably prefer to feel terrible all by himself – that’s what cats do. Lokes refuses to leave his side, however. He always has refused to take no for an answer from his big brother.

I really want to post some fun pictures that I took before all this shit came down, but it seems I’m still not ready – this post started off as a general update on Spot, to segue into fun pics. But I’m not ready. So here’s a great pic of the boys trying to share our bar-stool chair, taken on Friday.

20131015-221707.jpg

Spot has kidney disease.

Standard

The other reason I’m not all full of happiness and sunshine is that my good old man, Spot, has an elevated creatinine level. Now, it’s not terribly high. He’s just barely into the danger zone.

It seems from everything I’ve read, that the danger zone means his kidneys are already failing. You cannot bring back the broken parts, they are gone forever.

Our vet doesn’t want to give him medication – but he seemed a bit unsure about that, and might change his mind. He did say to do our best to raise the amount of fluids Spot takes in. So far, I’ve had resounding success in just adding some of his special (expensive!) Prescription Diet C/D dry kibble to water. He drank for two solid minutes, and ate the waterlogged kibble, too.

We have C/D “wet food” on order – it is prescription after all – but in the meantime I am going to add extra water glasses, bowls, whatever all around the house so he can have a lap or three whenever he is surprised by water being right there. I already knew that cats love surprise water – this is why I have to have a lid on my bedside water glass! I didn’t like drinking fur and the occasional bit of litter that was stuck between his toes (he always sticks his arm all the way into a glass of water first, the nutter).

We will go back in three months for another blood test, to see if the extra hydration helps. The vet himself might be a bit more worried about that than we are, as Spot bit the hell out of him! This was after a mild sedative… Doc said they nearly put him all the way under as he was fine and happy…until he wasn’t. I get the feeling that next time, he will be more cautious around Spottie than he is around our big dog!

I did find it odd that when he said Spot bit him, my response was, ‘Oh shit! I’m so sorry!’ and he laughed – do people not apologise for such things? I raised him better than that…. I do wonder if he’d have been easier to deal with if I were there with him. Doc wanted to do it alone, as he is such a wiggly cat, but I think he’d have been happier with one of his people there.

He is 11 and a half, I don’t want to think that’s old but I suppose it is. He is always so happy and playful! Just this morning he was leaping around like a kitten and attacking imaginary foes. He loves to be loved on, and follows me around every morning when I make my coffee – standing on his hind legs and holding on to my thigh for dear life, while chatting away at me and expecting the head scratches to continue.

I love this cat so much, and I know he won’t last forever. I will do my best to make sure he gets as long as possible to have all those morning head scratches.

20131012-223124.jpg

20131012-223247.jpg

20131012-223456.jpg

20131012-223525.jpg

20131012-223736.jpg

I’ve been missing you

Standard

I don’t know why you’ve not been sleeping in our bed. Did I say or do something that upset you? Did I accidentally hit you in my sleep? Maybe you just prefer the couch lately. I can understand that: I also go through phases when I’d rather sleep downstairs, all warm and snug under the heavy blanket Socks crocheted for me. Too much effort to make the move up the stairs, and yes, the couch is really comfortable.

Whatever your reasons were, I didn’t ask. We value each others’ privacy in this house. But I missed you a lot. I even tried to drop hints, but I wasn’t heard. Too nice, I suppose, too oblique.

Imagine my happiness and surprise this morning to find you snuggled under my blankets with me, your head on my shoulder! I know I am a heavy sleeper, but I thought after so much time apart I would have noticed you sneaking into our bed.

I’m sort of glad I didn’t wake, because I was so pleased to find you there! A fantastic surprise, especially as I got to sleep in and I was fully rested for the first time since last Sunday.

You opened your eyes and looked at me when I removed the covers from your head. I always worry when you do that! How can you breathe? You didn’t say a word, but gave me a happy sigh when I smoothed your hair back and gently touched your cheek. I started to speak, but you put your hand on my lips and held it there as if to preserve the moment, and the silence. When you took your hand away, I smiled and turned to put my arm around your shoulders and hugged you close.

You didn’t mind a bit; in fact you returned the embrace and even snuggled tighter into my side. I was so content, warm and cozy, holding on to the one I love so very much. We stayed that way, hugging, occasionally touching each other’s face, smiling into each other’s eyes.

Until your rotten little brother jumped up on the bed and pounced on your tail, which was peeking out of the blankets and presented too tempting of a target. The moment was lost.

Love you to bits, Spottie-cat! Thank you for a perfect morning.

20120128-102955.jpg

Distracted by cuteness

Standard

I was going through old Facebook photos. My intention was to find some things for me to draw while I’m at the Open Fair. I found one cow and then starting saving pics to put up over here. The kids are just too cute…

20111202-174201.jpg
Spottie, showing his best side. It must be his best, he always sticks it in our faces for a good, close look. That’s iDJ’s hair :)

20111202-174323.jpg
Lokii, at the breeder’s house. He looked goofy even then. We got to bring him home a few weeks later. So tiny! Ah, look at the little pink kitten-belly, too!

20111202-174509.jpg
The Kitty Kings, on their thrones – pun intended :) In the morning, this part of the room gets sun so they like to sit on the litterboxes and warm themselves. Yes, my kitchen is lavender.

20111202-174744.jpg
Awwwwww….

20111202-174815.jpg
Spot annoying Neko. I have a whole series from this day – Neko was asleep until Spot interrupted and plopped himself down right where her head had been. She couldn’t go back to sleep afterward without squishing Spot – not that he would have minded. She is too gentle a dog to even consider something that would hurt Spottie, though.

20111202-175034.jpg
VERY rare occurrence. Even after two years, Lokii is scared of the dog. This is the closest he ever got and stayed relaxed about it. Of course, Spot is his guardian.

20111202-175211.jpg
A last one, to get us in the holiday spirit. Sing it with me: “Cat Butts Roasting on an Open Fire…”

Bengal games

Standard

My Bengal Spot is trying to train me, again. I’m fighting it, but it is sooo hard…

He is nine- I think? -I’m not good at keeping track of these things. But he doesn’t act like it, he’s very playful and healthy. It’s just that he gets bored easily. When that happens, he plays games with his humans.

The easy game is ‘I want to sit with you, but I’m going to make you beg me to do it.’ It’s a long game, so he likes it a lot. It has two parts: in round one he stands on the coffee table and stares at the prime lap position he wants. Human talks to him, pats couch, makes kissy-noises, offers the best place under the blanket. He leans in, looks like he’ll come and lie down…then turns tail and walks away. Repeat 2-3 times. Round two of the game involves circling the living room doing bad things in order to get yelled at. He always goes clockwise and hits the same forbidden places in the same order: going behind the TV where the wire soup is dangerous, standing on the rickety DVD tower trying to push it over and/or reach my Peace lily, then back to the coffee table or the arm of the couch where he can leap onto the top of the bookshelf. He does these things deliberately to get our full attention. All we do is shout no at him, but that’s enough for him to be very happy and come trotting back with a smile on his face to sit on the coffee table and repeat round one. This goes on until I get sick of having to pay so much attention to him and not what I’m trying to watch on TV, and I grab him. Ah, the win goes to Spot every time. I’m rough with him; I grab him, shove him under my elbow, and pretty much sit on him to keep him there. Which is what he wanted all along. He loves being squished. The purring is deafening. Weird cat.

I recently tried grabbing him right away instead of letting him have the full game. At first, it seemed a brilliant solution. He was sooooo happy. So very happy that he got up and left within a few minutes so I would do it again. And later that night he was unbearable, wanting the new game over and over. Sigh.

He’s added in a new part to round two lately, and it is even more annoying. It consists simply of going into the kitchen and howling at the sliding glass door. Repeatedly. I am not amused. He sounds like he is in pain! It’s the most pathetic, woeful sound. The only time he sounds worse is when he has a nightmare – that is terrifying. I’m only guessing about the nightmares, actually. We did catch him twice waking up from a sound sleep and immediately screaming, so that’s our best guess. He never acted as if anything hurt, or ran to the toilet or any other indication of physical pain. But wow, it was scary – he only did it a few times in the space of a few months then stopped.

But the one that I’m fighting so hard against is the 2am ‘come play with me’ caterwaul. He wakes up, his cat-brother and dog-sister and both humans are asleep, and he’s bored. What to do? Wake ‘em all up, of course!

Mwow? Mrrwow. Mrrwow. Mrrwow! Mrrwow. Mrrwow? Mrrwow. Mrrwow. Mrrwow? MMMMWOW! MMMRRROW! MMM-GURGLE-ROW!

By now, we are all awake, staring unmoving at the ceiling, and hoping against hope he’ll stop on his own.

He won’t.

My solution is to go downstairs, shut the living room door, go into the kitchen, shut that door, fill the nearest receptacle with water and then trap him in the living room to throw the water all over him. He never tries to get upstairs, and lets himself be trapped. He appears to enjoy it when I chase him around trying to corner him in a place I don’t mind getting wet. He doesn’t even really mind the water, but he has to shut up for a while to dry himself off.

I’m really hoping I’m training him this time, and not the other way around. He does it less and less, but I have a harder and harder time getting back to sleep.

20111123-210950.jpg
Look at him there, all innocent as he tries to smother his brother to death in his sleep. I’m not falling for that one, either.

Spottie-Cat has been Brushed!

Standard

My project for the evening, Spot done in finger paints:

20111016-224319.jpg

I’m not thrilled. It appears that I’m pretty good at eyes. Those are definitely his eyes, I can see what he’s thinking. But the rest… I need more practice.