Rosie’s 3rd EPO jab (day 37)

Today was Rosie’s 3rd EPO jab.

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It was a very long wait at the clinic.

We also dewormed Rosie.

Rosie weighed 3.91kg. This increase has been gradual but it is due to the liver being swollen. On the last trip just two days ago, Rosie was 3.6kg. She is actually losing condition, so the weight increase just tells us that the liver is continuing to swell.

After this 3rd jab, we will wait until Thursday or Friday before doing a blood test to see if the EPO is effective for Rosie.

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Back home, eating with Heidi and Ginger.

Yesterday, I made more home-cooked food for Rosie, this time, adding more liver. She loves it, but for wetfood, she has to be handfed. On her own, Rosie only likes kibble.

Bunny the Ostrich!

I’ll let the photos speak for themselves!

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(No words to describe!!)

Rosie’s 3rd acupuncture session (Day 36)

We’re really grateful to our vet-acupuncturist who made time for Rosie today so that she could have a session.

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Rosie is very perky now – trying to dig her way out.

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She even ate in the car!

Twice.

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And she ate at the clinic too.

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Nine needles today.

Rosie’s pulse is still weak. But with TCM, it takes weeks before any progress can be seen. The vet explained that in TCM, blood test results is not the deciding factor. Well-being is. If the patient shows improved clinical well-being, that is good.

So, we shall continue with the Chinese herbs and the acupuncture sessions every week.

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Rosie was SO good, we played peek-a-boo during the 20 minutes while the needles were in.

And just before the 20 minutes were up, what do you know? Rosie stood up and shook 3 needles off.

Cats…they know.

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On the trip back, Rosie sat on my lap and actually, wanted to explore around the car. But I thought it better to just let her sit on my lap.

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Makan, back home!

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The vet did bring to our attention that perhaps Rosie’s tummy looks so bloated because Rosie did lose quite a bit of weight and condition during that period when treatment first started. So, this may make the tummy look even bigger in comparison with the rest of her body.

But if well-being is a yardstick, then yes, Rosie seems much better now than before. At least she wants to eat and she wants to explore.

So never mind what the numbers say, we shall live in the present moment.

Meanwhile, eat up, Rosie!

Taking care of the outside equilibrium

For more than a month since Rosie fell sick, the outside equilibrium has been disturbed.

The one most affected is Daffodil. Not only has she rejected (not recognised) Rosie, she also does not want to come into the house anymore. It’s rather sad, because it took us so long (I have lost count, but I think it did take us 2-3 years) to slowly allow her to feel comfortable and she finally took up residence on our bed, making it her home. She was practically living on our bed, coming down for meals and doing her business outside, then quickly returning to the bed.

We felt she deserves to finally have a home, after living on the street for 10 years (before we moved here). And we were really glad she chose our home.

But now, she doesn’t want to come home anymore. Initially she lived at the shoe rack, which is right outside our door, but now, she seems to be going further out.

Ginger is affected too, but he stays at the patio, still occupying his favourite chair, so Ginger is okay. But he too doesn’t want to come in and sleep in his orange basket anymore.

Perhaps they both think that Rosie is a “new cat” (the smell has changed so much) so, since Rosie occupies the house, they both move out.

Such is cat behaviour.

Vincent, Heidi and Mr Zurik are not affected, though. Heidi still comes into the house. Vincent still occupies the top of the car to guard the porch while Mr Zurik is still up to his tricks.

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This morning’s early breakfast – Daffodil and Ginger in the kitchen.

Yes, that’s Indy with them.

Ever since Tiger and Tabs were granted access to “the rest of the house”, Indy has been itching to come out too. The only problem with Indy is that he sprays (marks territory). So, his trips out have to be supervised.  And Indy isn’t one who wouldn’t try to find a way out to the garden or the roof. The stainless steel netting might deter Tiger and Tabs, but with Indy? He might just find a way to take down the entire frame, which he did, when we first installed the aluminium netting for the kitchen. He took down the whole frame just to mock us.

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Tabs is SO happy to be able to live outside. No more feeling intimidated by the Cow Family and no more getting sprayed with urine by Cow and Bunny. However, Tabs has this thing about only using the litter box in Bunny’s Place so she still has to go back inside for toilet time.

There is a litter box in the downstairs bathroom and one more in the upstairs bathroom – these are for Rosie’s use as well as whoever else. But Tabs insists on only using the one in Bunny’s Place.

Cats…they have their own ways.

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Inside, the Cow Family rules. For example, only Cows (meaning Cow, Bunny, Pole and Cleo) can occupy the Bunny Bed and the Boat. Tiger, Tabs and Indy are not allowed on them.

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Indy gets this large cushion or the floor mat.

Cows are privileged, somehow. They own property. Pole owns the condo. Cleo owns the apartments. Cow and Bunny spray on everything – that’s also a sign of “ownership”. Sometimes, I have to wash the coverings a few times a day too. But here’s the thing, you can wash and wash, and they will continue to spray and spray. Washing often only makes them spray more because it is the absence of their smell that makes them spray.

Hence, *sighs*…just live with it. You cannot win with cats.

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Ginger still thinks Bunny’s Place is THE greatest paradise EVER.

His trips have to be supervised closely, because Ginger doesn’t know (and hasn’t learnt and probably will never learn) how vicious Cow & Bunny can be. Ginger thinks the whole world is good – how we wish it is, Ginger!

Rosie’s 2nd EPO injection (Day 35)

Today was Rosie’s second EPO jab.

Rosie’s HCT (equivalent to PCV), at 20.3%, was below the lower boundary of the normal range, which indicates that she is getting more and more anaemic, which is, unfortunately, expected, since the liver makes blood and Rosie’s liver is badly injured.

We decided to start her on the EPO jab two days ago, on Thursday. The jab is to be given a total of three times, every two days. Then, a blood test will be taken after that to determine if the EPO works on her.

Whatever we have done and are still doing doesn’t seem to be working. It is always the same pattern, it works initially, then the disease takes over and we take two steps backwards. Or perhaps, as the senior vet consoled me, perhaps everything that we are doing is keeping Rosie on, perhaps we are still struggling to fight to disease, even though the disease seems to be winning at this point in time. And if we hadn’t done all this, perhaps it could even be worse now.

The funny thing which I cannot understand is that Rosie seems to feel so much better – she is alert, very curious, her appetite is reasonably good (is willing to eat on her own several times a day, compared to last time when she could not eat at all), her nose appears a trifle bit pinker, yet the blood test results are devastating (shows a marked deterioration) and her abdomen is very, very swollen.

I cannot understand it. Or maybe, the steroids, supplements and fluids are making her feel better despite the disease getting progressively worse by the day.

The other day, the senior vet told me this (and I shall paraphrase it here): He said that as a vet, he fights two battles – one with the disease and one with the patient. The one with the disease, he cannot win, but if he can win the one with the patient (ie. by making the patient feel better), that is already good enough.

I am thankful we have vets who are willing to help us help our pets feel better even though we are unable win the battle with the disease.

Ultimately, what is life, but living in the present moment? As long as Rosie is reasonably happy and is able to eat, I should be thankful.

So Rosie had her 2nd EPO jab today and the subcut was done at the clinic too.

Her acupuncture session is supposed to be tomorrow, but the clinic called to postpone the appointment. We hope it can be done soon too. We are truly banking on TCM now, at least to make Rosie feel better.

Yesterday, in my desperation (at seeing how big her abdomen has become), I consulted a holistic pharmacist-nutritionist who has helped me with a lot of health issues previously (including suggesting qigong for my thyroid cyst – and it worked – the cyst is gone now). He recommended that I could do a liver flush for Rosie and taught me how to do it.

I know it’s a long shot, but what is there to lose at this point?  Even the vets have told me – try anything you can. You have nothing to lose.

So, I did it last night – with a natural magnesium supplement and olive oil, with amounts calculated based on Rosie’s weight.

I am not sure if it worked, because Rosie is supposed to have loose stools. That didn’t quite happen. Rosie defecated – normal stools.

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This morning on the way to the vet’s – actively trying to dig her way out of the carrier. I have found a way to calm her down in the car – travel at no faster than 45km/h. And I always let her know before we approach a speed-hump.

I did ask the vet this morning if she has seen any other cat with such a big abdomen and she said yes. I asked then if they can recover and she shook her head.

Never mind. Life is meant to be lived. As long as there is life, we have to do everything possible to make life peaceful and comfortable.

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Back home, I thought Rosie might want to get some sun out at the patio, but she didn’t. She wanted to come in. I also noticed that Rosie doesn’t quite like when it is too hot.

But she asked for food, and she ate.

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Now, Rosie comes into the kitchen and waits whenever she wants food. She still prefers kibble and her current favourites are Tuscan and Royal Canin Fit. When I force-feed the small wetfood meals five times a day, it’s home-cooked, AD or Recovery and Primal. Rosie doesn’t want BARF – she spits it out.

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Operation Unite is still on.

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We spend time together and she loves being massaged.

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Watching tv – Rosie’s favourite activity.

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Rosie is very easy to take care of, she eats whatever I feed her, she takes all her medicines and supplements and she is very, very courageous too.

Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone.
Kindness in another’s trouble,
Courage in your own.    
― Adam Lindsay Gordon

Good news for Selangor animal caregivers

Selangor animal caregivers would be pleased to read these news:

http://www.thesundaily.my/news/2204270

An excerpt:

Selangor is on its way to becoming the first state in Malaysia to sterilise stray animals rather than culling as a form of population control.

We certainly look forward to the day when councils can at least spare ear-notched animals. Better still, to neuter and return them to their place of birth – the streets.

http://www.thestar.com.my/metro/community/2017/03/24/humane-way-to-deal-with-strays-in-selangor-state-to-ensure-local-councils-use-spaying-and-neutering/

An excerpt:

“If you find a stray dog or cat in your area, you can help by feeding them, capturing them and taking them to one of our panel vets to be spayed.

“SPCA will subsidise the cost. For cats, we will cover 80% of the fee and for dogs, we will cover half of the bill.

“From the sponsorships we have received, I think we can spay and neuter at least 3,000 animals,” she said, adding that after the animals are neutered, they would have their left ear clipped to be identified by the local councils, before being released.

Through the campaign so far, SPCA has raised RM170,000 from sponsors and donors, including the Selangor state government, Yayasan Raja Muda and platinum sponsor Robots and Rembrandts.

Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/metro/community/2017/03/24/humane-way-to-deal-with-strays-in-selangor-state-to-ensure-local-councils-use-spaying-and-neutering/#31pD4iy8wTl3zLby.99

That’s really good to know. Perhaps Selangor applicants who have been applying for our funds for years can now give us a break as there is another fund to help you now.

After having raised funds for almost 8 years now, to help with the neutering of street animals (offered to the whole of Malaysia), maybe we can take a breather and concentrate on helping cases from other states.

We hope in time to come, ear-notched animals in the whole of Malaysia will be spared from capture by the councils. It is quite impossible to rehome all the street animals at this point in time. Neuter-and-return-to-colony (CNRM) is the only feasible and compassionate way to handle the street animal population.

We have to be stray-friendly first, before we can become stray-free. It took the Netherlands 200 years to achieve stray-free status for dogs and until today, neutered cats are still allowed to roam their streets, unharmed, protected by their laws.

We have to make a start to be stray-friendly first. So, it certainly helps if the authorities in our country agree not to capture neutered street animals.

The earth belongs to them too.

They are street animals, not strays.

The street is where they are born;
The street is where they belong. 

Formerly abused dog saves little girl

The story: http://www.news.com.au/world/north-america/abused-shelter-dog-peanut-a-hero-after-going-nuts-to-save-little-girl/news-story/b0a3f7bdbced2ac3ab827e228cd7765c

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A THREE-YEAR-OLD girl was found naked and freezing in a ditch after a rescue shelter dog barked to alert her owner she needed to be outside, then led him to the child.

Peanut, was saved last year from a rescue shelter in the US state of Michigan, and is being hailed a hero after the usually timid hound started “acting crazy” in her owner’s house.

She was running up and down the stairs, barking and yelping to be let outside.

Please do read the whole story!

International Day of Forests (21st March)

Sorry we are late by 4 days, but the message is valid every day.

21st March is celebrated worldwide as International Day of Forests.

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I received two messages on that day, which I’d like to share here:

The first is from India (please modify accordingly for our country):

This is the season of fruits like mango, jamun, jack fruit Etc. My request to all of us is kindly don’t throw the seeds, wash & dry them and pack n keep it in your car. Whenever you go out and find barren land while travelling, on a highway throw these seeds. They will germinate easily the coming monsoon. If with this act we can contribute even a single tree each to our world, our mission is successful. This is not just a random idea. It was initiated decades ago in areas like Satara and Ratnagiri in Maharashtra. Many other districts have appealed to people to spread abundance in nature this way and many citizens have joined this wonderful mission. It would b wonderful if all of us also join this and contribute back to our next generations’ world.

Here’s another one:
Scientists estimate that a single tree can absorb up to 48 pounds of carbon in a single year, releasing fresh oxygen in exchange.
We celebrate our life-giving trees and forests every day—that’s why we’re working to protect more of our global forests.
Bailey Gregory
#InternationalDayofForests
Let’s do the needful, folks.
Let trees grow in abundance!
Cree prophecy

Bunny the bully

Yes, Bunny’s almost blind, but cats function with their sense of smell, so Bunny can still bully.

He was on one of this almost-daily trips out to the garden.

Normally, when Bunny comes out, he expects all the PatioCats to run. Whoever doesn’t run will be subject to being screamed at.

Ginger was happily sitting on his patio chair and had no intention of running. He think he ought to be safe on “higher ground”.

Vincent, Daffodil, Mr Zurik and Heidi were on ground.

Vincent and Heidi ran. Smart.

Daffodil ran too, but stopped halfway and came back to get Ginger. She was smart. She crept up slowly along the side wall, trying her best to avoid Bunny’s “line of sight” (not relevant since Bunny is almost blind). Anyway, she managed to call Ginger and took Ginger away, again creeping along the sides and both ran to safety.

That left…Mr Zurik.

Mr Zurik stood his ground.

I guess Mr Zurik is rather confident now, ever since he fought with Cow and scored a technical win the other day.

Bunny went for Mr Zurik, but the Russian stood his ground alright.

Bunny went tall.

The Russian too went tall.

Two “tall” cats confronting each other.

Jia-Wen had to break up the “tall” war by using the dustpan to break eye contact (again not relevant for Bunny because he’s almost blind).

Later, after Bunny went back inside, everyone came back.

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This is the bully?

Yes, this is the one.