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.

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Life Happens, Even to Cats

This first theme – the rest of this week and next week – will be about cats and is dedicated to my cat, Cimorene. There are a lot of cat blogs already on the Internet. I’m not trying to duplicate any of them, but I’m choosing this topic to start out with because my little kitty is very, very much on my mind right now.

Here’s why:

Last Friday, January 27, 2012, I took my five month old kitten to the vet to get spayed. Now this is a standard surgery, and I wasn’t expecting anything to go wrong. But something did go wrong. During the surgery she stopped breathing. While they got her breathing again and completed the surgery she had trouble waking up, and when she did, it was clear something wasn’t right. The vet thinks she may have had a stroke. So she’s had to stay in the hospital ever since. She’s making slow progress, but there’s no way to know whether she’ll recover or how much she’ll recover.

So if you have any extra prayers or positive thoughts you can send her way, I would appreciate it. In the meantime I will blog about her and maybe cats in general while I help her recover. I know not everybody likes cats or even animals. But I think everyone can probably understand or imagine what it’s like to have someone they love hurting or sick and in the hospital. And even though my kitty isn’t human I love her. And when someone I love, whether human or animal, is hurting, I hurt too.

Have you ever had someone you loved — animal or human — in the hospital or very sick? If you’d like to talk about it you can tell your story in the comments. Do you know of any cats who had a stroke and recovered? I’d like to hear about it if so.

My "princess" in the hospital