A totally and completely mad day (Samantha and her kittens)!

I woke up at 3am this morning to feed the kittens.

I noticed that feeding round the clock is essential to maintaining their weight. Now that I was the only one feeding the kittens, if I did not feed around the clock, every 3 hours, and at least 12ml each, their weights drop drastically. This means, all this while even though they suckle for comfort or whatever it may be, Samantha was definitely feeding them too. I only supplemented.

So my totally mad day started at 3am today.

I fed Samantha at 3.45am and then gave her her medicines at 4am. By some miracle, I managed to get the pill into her mouth…with some difficulty but no injury or bloodshed on my part.

Jayden came at 7.25am and noticed the kittens’ enclosure. He wasn’t here yesterday.

He was thrilled to see the kittens but he kept pushing the black partition down, so I had to stop him.

Then at 10am, I had to feed the kittens, but Jayden did not want to take a nap. So I had to feed them with Jayden right outside the partition within clear sight of me.

It became a nightmare. Jayden was screaming his head off. He was in one of those moods where I must carry him. But I was feeding the kittens and the kittens were hungry.

When it comes to stressful situations and I am pressure, only two things can happen to me. (1) I compartmentalise and do the needful first, then handle the rest later and when doing the needful, I just have to ignore the rest if “the rest” cannot be explained to (which is Jayden, in this case), or (2) I throw seizure and pass out, not that I want to, but it has happened about 4-5 times before in my lifetime. I throw a complete seizure with limbs hardened, eyes open wide and pass out (the neurosurgeon finally concluded it is just my body’s way of dealing with intense stress/pressure and forcing myself to “relax”). In the past times, it happened when there was someone screaming too.

Luckily I did not pass out this time even though Jayden was screaming uncontrollably. I had to feed the kittens or they become dehydrated (and die). So I fed the kittens as fast as I could, but not too fast or they would choke. I finished feeding in less than 20 minutes, then spent another 20 minutes pacifying an uncontrollably crying Jayden after which he was so tired he fell asleep. Sigh…why didn’t you sleep when I told you to sleep half an hour ago?

Anyway, by this time, I noticed that Samantha’s mammary glands had become engorged. I was afraid of this happening and had forgotted to ask the vet for advice. Breast engorgement is very painful, anyone who has breastfed before will tell you that. And cats do not show discomfort until it is too late.

I contacted the vet by text and informed her that I want to bring Samantha in for a check-up today as her mammary glands look very engorged. At the same time, Tabs had started sneezing two nights ago, so I want to bring her as well. Tabs was sneezing into the air, so whatever she has will be airborne and the kittens are in the kitchen.

By 1.45pm, I had already put Tabs and Samantha into carriers. Ever since that episode where Samantha scratched me so badly until I left a trail of blood from upstairs to downstairs, I scolded her, and she has been behaving since then. So, catching her and putting her into the carrier was not too difficult at all.

By now the vet had seen the photos I took of Samantha’s lesions this morning and agreed that they look less inflamed.

So off we went to the vet’s. Tabs’ story will be in the next post.

The vet agreed that Samantha’s mammary glands are very engorged. She tried to express out the milk. First the milk sprayed out, but only a little. Then, she couldn’t get it out anymore. She had to press very hard before a tiny bit of milk came out. So the vet said she should not continue doing it or it would be doing more harm than good.

Samantha weighed 4.1kg, already lost 200g from the last visit two days ago. It must be due to the hunger strike and the stress of being caged up.

I had already suggested an option to the vet. Since we know it isn’t sporotrichosis (which is contagious and zoonotic) and it might or might not be cryptococcosis (which isn’t contagious nor zoonotic) – still uncertain at this point, this leaves the possibilities of a bacterial infection (which is already addressed by the Convenia antibiotic injection that will last 2 weeks and is safe for breastfeeding) or an allergic reaction which caused the inflammation.

So my suggestion was, why don’t we stop the treatment first and let Samantha breastfeed (good for her, good for her mammary glands, good for the kittens) and continue monitoring Samantha’s lesions?

The vet agreed.

But the vet still wanted to do another skin scrape to check for fungus. So that was done. NO FUNGAL SPORES of any kind. So it isn’t sporo. Phew.

Can it still be crypto? It still can be, because to detect crypto, sometimes, the spores are not present in the lesions, the vet has to poke a needle deep into the skin and draw out a sample to check. This wasn’t done.

Right now, there are no sporo spores and no crypto spores superficially.

Maybe it is a bacterial infection and in any case, her lesions are already less inflamed today.

But now, there is the problem of her having ingested the Prednisolone and Inox. Will that go into the breast milk? The vet took some time to check this out and here’s what she found out:

Prednisolone is safe for breastfeeding. Also, Samantha was on a very lose dose. So that’s settled.

I found this too: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK501076/

Inox was a bit of a problem, though. The vet said it is inconclusive. Some sites say it is safe. Some advise to tread with caution.

I also found this myself: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK500573/

The vet said Samantha was also given a very low dose. And the amount that enters breast milk, if at all it does, may not be harmful. But the keyword here is “may”. So her suggestion was that I can let the kittens suckle for about half an hour, then separate them from Samantha for four hours before letting them suckle again. But by 10pm tonight, the whole family can be reunited. 10pm means it would be 18 hours after the dose I gave at 4am this morning.

I thought that was a reasonable option. But the vet did say to monitor the kittens closely for signs of gastrointestinal problems like vomiting or “turning yellow” which is a sign of liver problem. This is because Inox can adversely affect the liver and if it has entered the breast milk, it may affect the kittens’ liver which may not be matured yet. These signs might not appear immediately too.

So we came home. I cleaned up the room and pushed the cage out (by the way, when Samantha was caged up, she went on a hunger strike, urination strike and defecation strike). It was only when I put her out of the cage that she would eat, urinate and defecate. That’s the calico pride for you.

Then I brought the kittens up. Initially Samantha did not notice them nor they, she. The kittens went about their way exploring the room while Samantha sat that, looking baffled and confused. Could she have already forgotten her kittens or they, she? This is ridiculous…so I carried Samantha to show her the kittens.

Finally, reunited now.

As you can see, Samantha’s lesions are drying up. But the vet had to do some scraping just now, so that would need time to heal again.

The kittens did not suckle as I had just fed them.

I had to put Akira to the nipple before she began suckling. In this photo, you can see how engorged this mammary gland is. Poor Samantha.

The boys were more interested to explore the room.

I’ve been going up to check every half an hour.

I hope 10pm will come soon!

It’s been a totally crazy day, and in between everything, I was busy settling another AnimalCare matter too.

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