Kitten Update

Sorry about not posting anything for a month and a half. Life kept happening. I had to take time to take care of my kitten as well as spend time taking care of other family and work obligations.

The weekend after I wrote my last blog post I was able to bring my kitten home from the hospital. She needed a lot of care those first weeks. She was like a brand newborn kitten in a six month old body. She had to learn everything over again. (Where’s a mother cat when you need one?) She’d learned to eat soft food and to walk — sort of — at the hospital. When my husband saw her for the first time he said she looked like she was drunk. She still walks like she’s drunk and maybe always will, but at least she’s not as wobbly as she was back then.

For the first two weeks I mixed water into her food, because I wasn’t sure she could drink water without drowning herself. Over a period of three weeks I weaned her from soft food to dry food. The soft food, even the cheapest stuff, was getting very expensive to buy, especially as her appetite came back. She’s totally on dry food now and drinks water quite normally out of a dish.

Kitty's sick room in our "box room"

Another thing we worked really hard on was litter box training. She’d always been real good about it, but she hadn’t been able to use a litter box at the hospital, so she had to be re-taught. I got the cat attract litter which seemed to help. And I cleaned up lots of messes. She still has some messes but uses the box at least 60% of the time. She doesn’t dig although she does scratch; it’s as if she sort of remembers what to do but not quite. It seems she doesn’t like to use the box if it’s already been used, as she tends to have her accidents when there’s a deposit already in the box. So I’ve started cleaning it after each use instead of once a day like before. I’ve thought about getting a self-cleaning litter box since they clean the box after each use, but I have some concerns. One is that if it went off while she was inside it would scare her, and she’d never use it again. Another is the price — they’re expensive. And the last concern is whether she could even get into one. You see, she can’t climb or jump. And she hasn’t shown any sign that she can walk up a ramp either. Her sense of balance and eyesight just aren’t good enough.

The last thing to return was her eyesight. And I’m not sure how well she can see. I suspect not well. Sometimes she seems to see better than at other times, but it’s hard to know. She doesn’t really play, and she totally ignores the laser pointer which she used to love, but sometimes she shadow boxes. So what is she seeing? Anything?

So I’m left with a neurologically impaired cat with an impaired sense of balance, impaired vision, and not completely reliable with the litter box. On the other hand she’s snuggly, she purrs, and I don’t have to worry about her getting on the counters.

Cimorene wearing purple to celebrate Mardi Gras. In this photo she still can't see much, if at all.