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Catching Samantha and to the vet’s and total pandemonium!

During Indy’s visit, I had brought along Samantha’s faeces.  The fecal examination of her stools showed the presence of a lot of Clostridia, a gram-positive anaerobic bacteria. The vet says Samantha would need to be dewormed, given a B-12 injection and if possible, three days of anti-parasitic liquid medicine.

I said the three days of anti-parasitic liquid meds would be impossible. But the injection, possible, if and only if I can catch her.

So after I settled Indy in, the adventure to catch Samantha began.

This is where we left Samantha earlier when we took Indy to the vet’s and failed miserably to extricate her from her own entrapment. I did show the photos to the vet to ask if she could injure herself or her unborn kittens by being stuck up there and the vet said no. They are very flexible and very strong.

By the time we got home with Indy, Samantha was already settled back down.

My plan was to use a towel.

I know, it’s just a simple plan. So I brought a towel along with me and Samantha had already got herself out of that entrapment and was just sitting calmly behind the computer screen. I went towards her as calmly as I could and placed the towel on her. She didn’t know what I was going to do, so I held onto her, carried her (still no struggle…yet) and attempted to put her into the carrier.

That’s when all hell broke loose!

She refused to allow me to put her into the carrier and she struggled and growled, and attempted to bite me. I didn’t scruff her as she’s heavy. I also wasn’t using my bare hands as I was afraid she’d bite me. So with the towel, the grip wasn’t too good. Samantha escaped multiple times, and I caught her again and again.

It was total pandemonium. And while all of that was happening, hubby was fast asleep downstairs!

Samantha was as fierce as a tigress. She bit me on the same finger a few times. The pain was excruciating and I cried out, but funny, there was no blood. It just felt blunt. Later, I found a puncture wound but not deep enough to bleed. Good girl, she knew how to control her bite.

I think it took me about 20 minutes in all, before I was finally able to bundle her up in a bigger towel and stuff the bundle of cat and towel into the carrier.

Then I brought her downstairs, woke hubby up and by then Samantha was scratching and pushing like a captured tigress at the door and I knew she could push the door open any minute. So I told hubby to hold on to the door of the carrier while I got another towel and tied it around the carrier with raffia string before we made the journey to the vet’s.

This is crazy, I know.

Samantha was completely quiet in the car so much so that we wondered if she was still inside or had she tricked us and got out and the carrier could be empty?

Waiting at the clinic.

We took off the towel carefully and found Samantha trembling. The vet said she was very scared and I totally understand. Poor girl. She didn’t understand what was going on no matter how I explained it to her. She and I do not have a long enough relationship and unlike Gerald and Creamy whom I’ve known for a much shorter time (shorter feeding time, that is), the two boys have bonded with me very well. But not Samantha. Sam’s more aloof, being a calico. So I could not get through (telepathically or otherwise) to Samantha and I could not calm her down or give her confidence that she would be safe. Samantha was caught and kept indoors on the same day that Bunny went downhill so I didn’t have enough time to spend with her too as I was busy nursing Bunny.

The vet said she would attempt to give Sam the B-12 injection and do a bigger attempt to deworm her by using the pill-popper. As for the liquid medicine, we can forget about that. It is impossible. But she gave time for Samantha to calm down first.

The vet had to get one of her assistants to handle Samantha. They managed to hold her down long enough for the vet to administer the B-12 and the pill popper was a complete success. The vet then quickly put her back into the carrier. Samantha was so stressed that she released some anal gland liquid in the chaos.

The vet had wanted to palpate her belly to let me know the number of kittens, but this could not be done. However, she managed to press Sam’s nipple and there was already milk, so the vet estimates that she will give birth in 1-2 days.

We got home in one piece, with Samantha in the wrapped up carrier with the raffia string. Then we started to prepare Bunny’s cage for her. The vet agreed that Samantha should be kept in a cage for her delivery. It would be safer. At least we would know where the kittens are.

So while Samantha was still in the carrier, we prepared her cage.

It is rather a poignant moment when I reflected on this. This is Bunny’s cage. Bunny’s gone and new life is going to begin in his cage. It’s poignant, yet meaningful. Bunny would have been proud. I’m sure of it. And we are very practical people. I am not superstitious in any way. If we can put Bunny’s cage to good use, we definitely should.

We have three stainless steel cages. The biggest belong to the Monsters. The smallest one belongs to Ginger (but Lynx has taken ownership of it now). And this medium-sized one belonged to Bunny and Indy. We cannot use the Monsters’ because they need it when they are scared. It is Robin’s safehouse during thunderstorms. Ginger’s cage can be used but Lynx has taken it now. So it made sense to use Bunny’s cage although Indy has moved into it after Bunny passed on.

I asked for Indy’s permission. I hope he understood.

We tied the baskets with cable ties to the cage.

After we got it all ready, it was time to put Samantha in, but the carrier was too big, so I took away the box.

So instead of the box, we are using the carrier without the door.

Cow and Indy came to check things out.

Cleo: Your calico colours are a wee bit “diluted”, so I’m still the Queen.

No dispute there. Absolutely!

Indy was rather upset and refused to go up to the penthouse.

He had actually moved into the cage’s higher platform already. Now, he has to give it up for, maybe, at least 6 weeks. But we will see how things go. Maybe after 4 weeks, we can move the family back to the upstairs room. The plan is fluid.

I am confident Cow, Indy and Cleo will be merciful and will not disturb Samantha.

But, I cannot say the same for Rey. He loves disturbing others.

So Samantha’s big day could be as early as tomorrow!! I’ve got some names prepared: Pico, Petal, Peaches, etc.

I know I named the outside white-socked cat “Peaches”, but I’ve renamed her Socks instead now. Socks must be from the RYABK down the road. We have not seen her since.

It’s been two hours now and Samantha has not come out of the carrier. She will when she is ready. Poor girl. She has to get used to the cage and a new environment now. We also have some major installation of new security windows soon and it’s just as well that Samantha and family stay in the cage. All windows will be replaced (for the sake of the cats!).

Indy to the vet’s (bacterial infection of gut)

I was worried about Indy’s off-and-on loose stools. So I made an appointment for Indy check-up and at the same time, the vet said I should also bring Samantha in because she too is having diarrhoea.

Indy was ready, inside the carrier, I had to pack a few things, and I asked hubby to go put Samantha in the carrier. I am not sure what happened, but Samantha got spooked so much so that she ended up between the glass window and the grille and tried as we did, we could not extricate her from her self-induced entrapment. Photos in the next post.

I tried too, but by then she was already in panic mode. She hissed and growled and if I had pursued it, I would have been hurt badly, for sure. I also did not want to injure her in any way since she is heavily pregnant.

So we drove Indy alone to the vet’s and I brought along a fecal sample from Samantha’s stool.

This post will be all about Indy’s diagnosis.

The vet checked Indy thoroughly as I told her I was worried if Indy might have Inflammable Bowel Disease (IBD) just as Bunny had. The vet assured me it isn’t.

Phew! What a relief…

Indy has no fever, his intestines are okay after being palpated and a fecal examination showed that there is a lot of bacteria. So what Indy has is a bacterial infection of his intestines.

We also discussed Bunny’s condition as I needed to understand it more. The vet thinks the lumps in the intestines and brain was caused by his FIV+ condition. The IBD is a separate issue. So it may not even be related.

Well, at least I understand now. It is useful information.

Back to Indy now….

The vet dewormed Indy and gave him a B-12 injection. Indy would be needing an antibiotic (Metronidazole) for 10 days followed by Promax, a probiotic for another 6 days. He also needs folic acid for 8 days. This is to be followed by two more B-12 injections in intervals of 10 days each.

The vet suggested that Indy be given Advocate spot-on for two months as well.

Indy weighed 5.7kg (no weight loss).

The vet also opined that Indy’s previous “morning sickness” (vomiting breakfast every morning) could be due to too many hours without food from the previous day’s dinner until the next morning’s breakfast. This did occur to me too. So she thinks that if I feed Indy a snack at night, it will reduce the “empty stomach” time and this might prevent the vomiting. The thing is, I still give Indy Cindy’s pureed food every morning because that’s the only food which he doesn’t vomit out. It works like a miracle and I don’t dare change that. The vet said I could try…

Indy’s recommended food is RC GastroIntestinal. I’ll play it by ear on his food, as long as he eats.

Of course he loves kibble. Indy has always been the Kibble King of the clan.

So Indy is okay, it’s NOT IBD and we went home.

Now, to catch Samantha….(next post, please).  I figured I’d have to do it alone.

For urgent adoption: A little sporo kitten (Aisyah Rizzal’s)

We received this request from Ms Aisyah Rizzal yesterday evening.  She is a university student in Gombak and she rescued this little 7-week old kitten identified with minor sporotrichosis. According to her email, she has already taken the kitten to the vet’s, obtained the medicines (please photos below, sufficient for one more week) and she needs someone to adopt the kitten as she is unable to do so. Please see her message below. If you are able to help, kindly contact Ms Aisyah directly at +60 11-6200 6673 or <aisyahrizzal@gmail.com>.

Initially Ms Aisyah told us that she needed fostering for 2 months, so we contacted fosterers and boarding houses all morning but none could help. Then, when we called Ms Aisyah for clarification, she explained that she actually needs an adopter. Please see her revised message below.

Note: We would like to appeal to all who request for help to state clearly whether they want a fosterer or an adopter. A fosterer means it is only for a certain agreed period of time and the requester must take back the animal after the agreed period of time. Adoption means it is for life.

Here is Ms Aisyah’s revised message:

Hi, im aisyah and im a student at uia gombak. Recently i just pickup a stray kitten that i have been take care of for 5 weeks now. But recently shes diagnosed with sporo😭 on her nose and eyes. Im so sad. Im currently in exam week and its really hard for me to take care of her since im so busy. After my exam ill not be around in malaysia and ill be busier becase of site visit and assignments that require me to stay at studio upcoming semester. My heart breaks everytime i see her in quarantine cage. She didnt even have a proper cage because before shes diagnosed i just let her be in my room and sleep with me. Her name is Yoda and she is 7 weeks old weighing at just 550 g. Shes already dewormed twice and i already bring her to the vet.. i have all of her medications, food and milk and litter box n bentonite (basically i already supply everything for her).. i cant take care of her .. can u take her for adoption until shes heal with her sporo. Its breaking my heart seeing her like that and yet i cant do anyhthing for her.. im a student so i dont have an income and its so expensive to send her to boarding place. I would be sooo appreciated if u can take care of her for life until shes in great health. She also soo manja and she loves kisses me when im sleeping.. please idk what else to do. All of my friends suggest me to just put her in the streets but i really dont want to do that. Im the only one accept her with sporo and my friends kinda freaked out by it. If u can help me a surviving student and a cat lover im so grateful for it.. please consider

Samantha’s diarrhoea issue

Samantha is still having the large bowel diarrhoea.

It must have started right from the beginning when we brought her indoors on 27th Jan. That time I was still very busy nursing Bunny, so I may be mistaken now but I thought I saw well-formed stools in her litter box on the second day. I’m so certain I saw it, but was it from Riley now?  I cannot be absolutely sure anymore.  But let’s put that aside. The fact of the matter is that she still has diarrhoea now. I also find light brown streaks on the floor which means she rubs her buttocks on the floor. She uses the litter boxes now. There are two in the room for her.

Could her diarrhoea be due to being confined and upset? Stress?

Can it be due to the food, but I did not change the food at all. She was eating exactly the same food for the last few months in the porch. The only new food I gave were: (1) Cindy’s Holistic Babycat & Mother and (2) a Primal treat once.

Now, I’ve stopped the Babycat food and the Primal.

I texted the vet for advice and she suggested that at this stage of pregnancy I should just give her probiotics first. She suggested Max Pro GI so I gave that, but on the second day, the diarrhoea became worse. It was watery.  This morning, I gave her Bioflor instead. The good thing about Sammie is that I was able to sprinkle the probiotics onto her food and she ate it all up. Amazing! Most of our cats will never fall for this “trick”.

Samantha is still very skittish and cautious. I still cannot touch her but she allows me to let her sniff at my fingers. While at the porch, she trusted me more.  Poor girl, she must feel I’ve “captured” her and is holding her hostage now. Sorry, Sammie. It is for your own good, really.  I hope one day you will know this.

I’ve texted the vet again to ask if I should bring Sammie to the clinic for a check-up. Will wait for the vet’s advice.

Her delivery date is “anytime”.

She let me use the spoon this close today. What an achievement!

The boy who throw stones at the window, Gerald, did it again today!

He mewed and mewed, so I let him in. He ate and asked to be let out through the door, went downstairs, mewed all over and then left through the front door. Haha…

Sammie didn’t acknowledge him. She just looked. He didn’t even look at her. But with cats, we will never know. I shall not judge anymore. I should not. They probably have their own way of communicating.

We thought Cleo didn’t care about anyone but herself, but now we know she has been misunderstood. She cared deeply for Bunny. Cats show their affection in other ways. Or, they might not show it outright, but they do care. Deeply.

The plan to transition back to raw…or almost there

Here’s my plan to transition the Super Seniors and Tabs back to a raw diet…or somewhere there.

For Tabs, she loves Primal Freeze-Dried, so I’m going to give her that whenever she asks for kibble. I think it shouldn’t be a problem.

Now, for the Super Seniors, it isn’t going to be as easy because they are, well, super seniors, and get to demand whatever they want or else they go on a hunger strike.

Cow and Cleo eat Coco&Joe’s, so that’s taken care of. It’s Indy who is really difficult. Indy seems to need canned food and he will ask for kibble. This evening, I gave them rehydrated Primal and they all ate it. Yay! But after eating, they still asked for kibble. And the way Indy asked was as if he was starving….sigh.

The kibble I had to buy to entice Bunny to eat are RC Renal, RC Gastrointestinal and various flavours of Cindy’s Naturelle Grainfree for variety. Then, I thought I should look for lower protein, so went for Cindy’s Holistic besides Cindy’s Grainfree.

After discussing nutrition with my raw-feeding friend, he tells me that cats cannot digest wheat and kibble isn’t so good for cats with IBD (I know kibble isn’t as good as wet food for cats, but Bunny refused to eat so I had to give him variety and options, else he’d rather starve – Bunny was eating everything and he needed variety). So, now as a first step, I’m going to transition them back to kibble without wheat and that would be Cindy’s Naturelle Grainfree. Salmon has 30% protein and Chicken has 32%. It’s Chicken and Turkey that has 34% but this is the most flavourful (but the protein content is too high for elderly cats).

I hope that in time, I can get them off kibble and back to Primal (to replace kibble). Cow and Cleo are already back on Coco&Joe’s as their staple diet.

Ginger, Rey, Robin, Lynx, Smurfy and Minnie are on Coco&Joe’s. They get Cubgrub’s dehydrated raw chicken for treats and now they also get rehydrated Primal as a treat. I wish Avant would bring in other flavours of Primal such as duck and rabbit (it’s novel protein that we need) but there is no market for these. I guess the idea and importance of protein rotation hasn’t caught on with cat parents yet.

I spoke with Coco&Joe’s and they do have their Prime Combo which has duck but they are coming up with a pure duck flavour soon. This would be good as that’s considered a novel protein.

The purpose of a novel protein diet is to replace the most likely allergen in a pet’s diet with a protein that their body hasn’t been exposed to. This reduces the chances that your pet will have a negative immune response to the protein.

Everyone is what they eat. Nutrition is really important for good health.

Neutering aid for 2 dogs in Balakong (Tong Yut Fun’s) & Updates

We have provided an aid of RM300 for the neutering of these two dogs. Another RM250 is gifted by Mr Kok Khee Wee to help out with the rest of the bill. The male dog, Sporty Boy, was given antibiotics for his cough. It is not distemper as he has already been fully vaccinated. Sporty Boy has already recovered now.

Ms Tong does her CNRM work with Mr Wong Woi Kan and together, they feed many street dogs.

Bunny’s ashes are back with us

Thank you very much, Pet Memorial Services, for doing the last rites for Bunny.

Time to remember the joy Bunny brought to our lives.

Bunny Bun Buns, your energy is one with Nature now. Be free!

We shall be reunited one day.

From stardust to stardust, till the next Big Bang!

Gerald visits Samantha from the window

It is a version of boy throwing stones at window to wait for girl to open window for him to climb in.

Gerald was at the window this morning, mewing to get in to see Samantha.

It was simply too cute, so I opened the netting to let him in. Thank goodness Samantha isn’t desperate to escape. She’s not ruthless. Otherwise, that would have been a huge risk. It was a calculated risk, not to worry. I won’t do anything foolish to risk Sam escaping when it’s so close to her delivery date.

For new readers: Gerald mated with Samantha and she got pregnant and delivered her kittens but we don’t know where the kittens are. Three weeks after delivery, Samantha came into heat and Gerald mated with her again on 6th December 2022. I saw both mating sessions and tried to stop it, but I could not. So I caught Gerald and Creamy on the 6th itself and got them neutered. Samantha was and still is impossible to be touched, must less caught. We tricked her to come into the house so that she will have a safe place to deliver and so that I can take her to be spayed once the kittens are weaned off breastmilk. But I will need all your help to rehome the kittens. Please help when the time comes. Thank you.

Gerald ate Sam’s food and spent some time in the room.

Riley and Tabs wanted to come into too, but I didn’t allow them.

I went downstairs and after awhile, heard the sound of vigorous scratching on the netting.  I rushed up immediately, so scared that Gerald might have managed to open the netting with sheer force, but thankfully he could not. I don’t think anyone can open the netting, not after how I’ve secured it, but you know cats…they are so much smarter than us.

So I brought Gerald down to let him out the front door downstairs but Creamy was already there and Creamy growled and hissed at him, refusing to let him go out to the porch.

I finally settled the two and they both ate in the porch.

Life is never boring.

Of protein rotation, hydrolysed protein, the biggest junkie in our clan and stories about the Monsters

It was because of Bunny that I had to create the “Surprise-Me-Happy-Meals”, just to entice Bunny to eat. He was getting very choosy and losing protein, so I had to resort of offering him all kinds of different foods ranging from raw, to canned, to cooked and to kibble.

Whatever it took, just to get him to eat.

And once the other cats know that Bunny gets special treatment, of course they would demand for it too.

But lately, Cow and Cleo have gone back to eating raw, which is really good.

Indy still needs canned and cooked so let’s see how that goes later.

I just read up about hydrolysed proteins – it is available as kibble. The protein is broken up to such a small size so that the immune system does not react to it. More about this later. In normal food, the protein is intact. RC has a prescription diet that uses feather protein. Ming-Yi’s cat, Dorami, needs this product due to allergies but Mina (the mother) likes it more.

Maybe Indy needs this? I shall discuss with the vet first.

Indy had a 7-week bout with bloody diarrhoea in October 2019. The vet did various tests and prescribed various treatment but nothing worked until I found an article where a shelter operator had the same problem with one of his cats. He then switched the cat’s diet to rabbit and it worked. So I did the same for Indy. I switched him to Cubgrub’s pure raw rabbit and it worked!  The bloody diarrhoea stopped. So that turned out to be a case of allergy to chicken because he had eaten it for too long.

The shelter operator said he ensures all his cats have protein rotation. I did the same with our cats too. Protein rotation – that’s the keyword.

But protein rotation can be difficult if the cat isn’t willing to eat another type of single protein. So I use Coco&Joe’s because in every recipe, there is a mix of proteins. For every meal, the cat will be eating at least two different proteins. For Gerald and Creamy who has refused to eat raw food, I supplement their regular canned food with Monge’s Monoprotein Rabbit. They don’t really like it, but I mix it up with what they like and normally, it’s all eaten up.

So back to the Surprise-Me-Happy-Meals. Tabs demanded for kibble too, after knowing (and hearing!) that the Super Seniors have kibble. And now, Tabs has turned out to be our biggest junkie among all our cats. She wants kibble at anytime she likes and Riley is riding on this as well. I have to find a way to cut this down. I started by offering Primal Freeze-Dried yesterday, instead of kibble. Take it or leave it, Tabs, it’s your choice. I know you aren’t starving.

Kibble, kibble, kibble, kibble, kibble!

Ginger too was equally demanding and wanted kibble or he would go on a hunger strike. This is because he knows Tabs got it.

But after “exiling” Ginger to the catio because he just had to spray urine all over the house without us knowing, Ginger has had no choice but to eat what the Monsters eat and that’s Coco&Joe’s with the occasional treats. So, Ginger is back to raw now. So the exile has done Ginger good, nutrition-wise. He also only eats twice a day now, just like the Monsters. But why is he still so obese??  It could be his genes that came from his father (we don’t know who it is). Daffodil was so small, as small as Cleo.

In any case, Ginger has always loved the Monsters, especially Minnie and Smurfy. They love him too, so they are all reunited as one big happy family at the catio.

Ginger’s Catio, make no mistake. Uncle Ginger is the boss. The silly Monsters fight amongst themselves but nobody bullies Uncle Ginger. Uncle Ginger also doesn’t care when they fight. “Sort it out yourselves, you silly boys, I’m going to take my nap. Just don’t be too loud.” Uncle Ginger to the Monsters is what Uncle Bobby was to Cow, Bunny, Pole, Tiger, Cleo, Indy and Tabs.

Allow me to digress a little, please. When I had to rehome Minnie and her boys, believe me, it was one of the hardest decisions of my life and it pained me so tremendously. But that was a decision I made because I was too depressed at the time and I thought I was going to die soon. Then who would look after this young family? That was the reason I had them rehomed. I supplied their food throughout their stay at the adopter’s. But that’s water under the bridge now. They are back home. But without Rio. Rio passed away of unexplained causes when he was there.

I recall how so many little reminders would make me think of them. There wasn’t a day when I did not wake up thinking about them. You know the song “Five Little Ducks Went Out One Day”? That killed me each time I heard it because the boys went first and Minnie only went much later when she did her Phantom of the Opera stint in our attic.

Now I can listen to the Five Little Ducks without anymore feelings of guilt. Maybe a tiny bit, because of Rio.

The first round of rehoming was just the four younger boys without Smurfy. I thought Smurfy was so close to Ginger so we should keep him. Then, within 2 days, we brought them all back. Their photos and videos broke my heart so we took them all back. But down the road, I couldn’t cope again, so there was a second rehoming was done after the boys were neutered. This time they were slightly older so I thought they would be able to cope better. Minnie had already left them when they turned four months old. She escaped and went back to the street, only occasionally coming back to see them at Stargate 2.

So I erroneously thought Minnie had detached herself from them but I was wrong. After getting them rehomed, Minnie came back mewing and mewing that same evening. I felt SO bad about this. And Ginger also missed them. How many times I wanted to just drive to the adopter’s place to take them all back but I was in such dire straits health-wise that I couldn’t cope. Minnie soon got used to it but not Ginger. Then Minnie did her Phantom stint and I caught her (finally!) so Minnie was reunited with her boys. That reduced my guilt, by just a wee bit.

For one-and-half years, the adopter sent photos and videos. Then  we visited after the MCO was lifted and seeing them made us decide to take them back. They actually remembered us. Then we had to build this catio for them since there was no more space in our house. I’m so, so glad we brought them back. Robin was only 3.45kg then and having really bad diarrhoea. It took more than a month to get him back to normal. He is now 5.0kg and has become so super confident that he is the No.1 bully in the catio. Rey was having skin problems but that was resolved quite fast.

Life’s like that. We make the best decisions we can and sometimes it is because we had no other choice due to our circumstances. But it is alright to change our minds and do better after that. We cannot always make the correct decisions, only the best within our capability. And that’s good enough. Nobody expects us to be perfect, so we mustn’t beat ourselves up when our decision goes wrong.