20 April 2015

Needing some reassurance

     I'm throwing this electronic bottle onto the waves of the internet ocean, mostly because I need the possible hug I might get back.

     This is Diamond, one of my two cats. A shelter cat, we got her when she was just barely 8 weeks old. Her mother had been dropped off at the shelter and the next day, gave birth to I don't know how many kittens. The shelter doesn't have room to raise a bunch of kittens so they farm them out to people who foster them until they reach an age when they can be put up for adoption.

    The person who fostered Diamond's mother and siblings didn't do a very good job. When we chose Diamond and brought her home, she was unable to walk. She pushed herself along the floor like a brand new kitten. She also had not been properly weaned. I'd had her for less than 48 hours when I realized that she wasn't pooping. She was litter trained, but...no poops. An 8 week old kitten poops a lot. So I took her to my vet, who realized that the kitten had been eating kitty litter and her anus was 'cemented shut'. An xray of her bowels showed they were so full of feces that they were pressing up against her pyloric valve!

    She spent the next week in the vets, them trying desperately to get her to poop, and her bowels completely untrained to do so. It took a heavy drug of the sort that is not usually approved for kittens to get things moving. 

    She came home, traumatized by a week at the vets, and still unable to walk. We attributed that to the possibility that the fosterer had never, ever let the kittens out of a small kennel.
   She quickly learned to walk and now has no problems with walking or running, but she is clumsy and doesn't jump with the assurance that most cats do. This is a lesson for everyone out there planning on raising cats, dogs and horses for sale. Babies need plenty of room to run, jump, and just learn how to move. All those mental connections are made as babies, and if they aren't allowed to form, they NEVER do as adults.  Keeping a foal in a small pen may keep it safe, but it will never, ever learn how to move as well as one that is allowed plenty of room to run. 

    In Diamond's case, it was obvious the fosterer just wanted to get rid of the cats as soon as possible. She did not pay attention to the kittens-were they eating? Were they excreting? She didn't take the time to check if ALL the kittens were doing so.  She just raised them to the mandatory 8 weeks of age and returned the family to the shelter.)

   Most kittens that are weaned too early for ever after have mental issues. My sister had a cat that had been weaned too young and would suck on anything soft. Socks, blankets, towels...her cat was constantly sucking and ingesting fibers that played havoc with it's intestines. It was also extremely neurotic.

    Diamond, while timid, isn't neurotic, but she will also eat things that aren't edible. Twice before I'd made the mistake of leaving a toy out and once she finished 'killing' it, she ate it. One time she'd swallowed a small woolen ball, the other time it was  a red plastic nipple. 
 She vomited them both up and I learned to keep things out of her reach when we couldn't keep an eye on her. 

   This morning she started vomiting at 2 AM. She seldom if ever vomits unless it's to get rid of a foreign object. But this time, I just knew something was badly wrong. I managed to get her to the vet right after breakfast and they x rayed her. Sure enough, she has 'something' lodged in her pyloric valve. They're keeping her tonight, and the vet called and said she is 'stressing'. Well, yeah.......poor cat. She is afraid of the vet, as are most animals, and she's always been a cuddler...with me. Sleeping in a cage probably reminds her of her days at the shelter.

    When I got home from taking her to the vet's, I found the rag I'd used to clean up the vomit (at 2 AM in the dark). I found HALF of the toy she'd eaten. A 'mouse' made of stiff bristle fibers, you'd think a cat would find it inedible. Not Diamond. Worse, the toy had a metal wire sticking out one end. (this style is a new one, the one Diamond ate had a metal wire fishing loop inside to connect it to a string). But otherwise, it's identical.

    Now I don't know if she suffered a puncture while eating it or vomiting it. I called the vet asap with this information. They have to do surgery to remove the piece that's stuck in her system.

   Poor Diamond. I am so worried. She could possibly die of this, despite the best efforts of the vet. She occupies a very very large part of my heart.

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