Cat Needs Brain Surgery

FK needs brain surgery, and your help.

If you read my last post, you know that my elderly mother’s beloved rescued cat, Fluffy Kitty (yes, that is his name), had a terrible infection behind his eye back in December. After seeing a veterinary ophthalmologist, he was put on heavy duty antibiotics, in which case the infection shrunk back. As the doctor could see no more inflammation against the eye, he was sent home with no further instructions. This expense tapped my mother, but this cat is her baby (and the sweetheart of everyone who meets him, for no lap goes cold with Fluffy Kitty around).

This week, however, Fluffy Kitty started to act strangely. He was confused and disoriented. My mother was in the hospital that day, and her other cat had a dental appointment, so I rushed Fluffy Kitty to the vet in the morning. They, in turn, informed us he needed to go to a neurologist.

Yesterday, after an MRI, my brother, myself and my mom drove the 35 minutes to the neurologist. Upon examining the results, the neurologist told us it looked as if the infection had spread to the frontal area of the brain, but with surgery, there was a good chance he could recover quite well, barring anything unusual. Well, unfortunately, something unusual cropped up. The veterinary neurologist is not positive what it is, but within the infection, he found something he needs to send for testing. He is concerned about lymphoma. By this time, and even with help, the expenses have become out of control, but I ask you… would YOU deny a wonderful old lady the cat she loves and sleeps with her and is just the sweetest cat in the world to everyone? She kept saying “My Fluffy Kitty can’t die, he just can’t die.”

I will not know until next week what the results are of the tests… it ‘could’ be a harsh infection that he removed and will need antibiotics and be ok, it could be toxoplasmosis, or corona virus, or another viral infection.

In the meantime, I have set up a GoFunMe page to help my mom afford all this. Even small amounts add up and matter if enough folks help. Please offer something, if you can. Share the page, get the word out. It will be appreciated more than you can imagine.

GO FUND ME

 


The Day his Purr Stopped

Life has become crazy beyond description, and not in a good way, unfortunately.

Well, ok, some things are not horrible, such as my novel Beyond Every Mirror, which is doing ok in sales and getting great reviews. A few missed editing errors cost me a few stars in a couple reviews, but all editing errors have been fixed, so that shouldn’t be an issue anymore. It’s difficult to have to do it all by yourself; publishing… Self-publishing is a difficult endeavor. My goal is to get back to traditional publishing (where I don’t have to pay for an editor, etc). Fortunately, as I do professional editing, I am able for the most part to edit my own books, but it’s easy to miss things. Hence, once I can afford it, an outside editor will be hired. Cover design as well I have so far done myself, and as a professional photographer (I am just a ‘Jill of all Trades’ lol) I know enough graphic design to do a fairly decent cover (apparently, since my cover for Beyond Every Mirror is up for a cover design award) and I am studying graphic design daily to learn more and more tricks for making really cool covers.

As for the craziness in my life, if you love cats, you will sympathize. Two of my mother’s cats have become ill. Not related. Fluffy Kitty, a gorgeous and large 19 lb Silver Maine Coon I rescued when he showed up one terrible winter and started sleeping on the love seat on my porch. He was un-neutered and gorgeous. Not expecting to keep him, as I already had a house full of foster and rescued felines, I named him, simply “Fluffy Kitty” due to his heavy coat. He turned out to be the absolute epitome of the indoor cat! Once he was neutered, tested and inoculated, he was inside and PURRRfectly happy. The most loving cat I have ever met (and that is a LOT of cats). He is obsessed with always being in laps and his purr never stops.

Day before yesterday, however, his purr stopped.

He acted lethargic, disoriented. He was at the vet hospital all yesterday and today we transferred him to a veterinary neurologist. A month or so ago, he developed a severe infection behind his right eye. I think this is somehow related, even though they were able to cure the infection at the time, I believe some was deep and left behind, thus working into his brain somehow. Vets have agreed with me, but he’s getting an MRI tomorrow to be sure and see if there’s something underlying.

His best friend, Humphries, also saw the vet yesterday due to not eating and vomiting bile. His issue, as I knew, was due to bad teeth. Easy fix. With my mother also in the hospital today, this was a most stressful day! The “saving grace” of the day, if you can call it such, was twofold: My novel, Beyond Every Mirror, received a good review through the most important review company in the world! And my mother received a clean bill of health. But, the worry over Fluffy Kitty (not to mention the expense) is beyond stressful.

Bookwise, I will have “Sands of Time: Extended Special Edition” will be out soon all over the place, in all ebook formats and paperback.

In the meantime, if you love romance fantasy pick up a copy of Beyond Every Mirror. You will be pleased that you did.

 

Watch my website for contests and giveaways!

 

 

 

 

 


Cat Digs Out of His Own Grave!

Like something out of Stephen King’s novel, Pet Sematary, Bart the cat returned five days after he was “killed” by a car and buried.

 

 

Humane Society of Tampa Bay

 

Around January 20th, 2015 in Tampa, FL, Bart sustained extensive injuries when hit by a car. Thinking him dead, his owner, Ellis Hutson, and a neighbor buried him in his yard. But Bart was not dead. Seriously injured, he clawed his way out of the dirt and reemerged in the yard of neighbor Dusty Albritton.

Albritton says the cat was “dead in a pool of blood and stiff.” But the Humane Society, who are experienced in seeing cats “come back” from severe trauma, explain that most likely Bart was unconscious and then awoke and climbed his way to the surface of the shallow grave, hid for a few days until hunger drove him to seek food at a familiar location; the neighbor’s home. The myth of cats having nine lives ruminated from the cat’s incredible resiliency and ability to recover from serious injury. Bart suffered head trauma, a broken jaw and will lose his left eye. But he is very much alive and was never dead. Inexperienced in detecting vital signs in an animal, Bart’s owner and neighbor erroneous made an assumption that could have caused the cat’s demise even where the car did not.

Finish reading: http://www.examiner.com/article/cat-climbs-from-his-own-grave, for more info and photos, plus video.


Don’t Starve Your Cat!

A cat outside may not be as safe, but at least has a chance of finding food. Don't leave cats trapped inside a house or apartment with no food or water or care.


American Playwright Elmer Rice once said “If nature had intended our skeletons to be visible it would have put them on the outside of our bodies.”

This quote does not have to refer only to humans. And, indeed, it seems in my mind to refer more to animals. In one day, I have read three articles of cats being deliberately starved to death, left in homes ON PURPOSE to die slow and agonizing deaths.

All of these posts are from Florida. I’m sure it’s coincidence, since this sort of terrible cruelty happens here in Connecticut as well as everywhere else (remember the British woman who no longer wanted her cats so she just stopped feeding them?).  But, in reading news from all over the country on pet care and attitudes towards animals, I noticed a trend of news articles on starving cats in Florida and of horses in Texas.

The moral of the following news stories is that none of these cats had to suffer. There is ALWAYS another way, a way to prevent the cruelty. Read on:

http://www.examiner.com/cats-in-hartford/something-is-better-than-nothing-don-t-starve-your-cat


Rare October Autumn Storm Leaves Cats Cold

November, 11, 2011:

October 29, 2011 was an historic date. Winter Storm Alfred, almost two months before the start of winter, dumped various amounts of snow all over the Northeast. From Maryland to Maine, millions lost power as trees, still heavy with leaves, grabbed the dense saturated snow and ripped boughs and branches to the ground, taking down lines right along with them.
In Connecticut alone, almost a million people were without electricity. For a week or more, many spent their time in dark, cold homes. Many abandoned their homes to stay with friends and relatives who had power or generators.
Cats, however, had to stay home, or worse, outside in the dark.
So, what’s the big deal? you ask. Cats have fur coats, so they were under no danger of the cold (unless of course you have a Sphynx, or one of the other rare breeds with little hair).
Jake watches Winter Strom Alfred

Winter storm Alfred left the state of CT in a state of emergency.

Read the Rest of this Story here: http://www.examiner.com/cats-in-hartford/rare-october-autumn-storm-leaves-cats-cold


Winter Storm Alfred Strikes Connecticut Hard!

October 2011:

My cats watched out the window as a rare Nor’easter struck us head on and hard here in Connecticut Saturday, October 29th. It was forecast to start as rain but for the most part began as a wet heavy snow around 1pm. During the night, the wet heavy snow built up on the trees, still heavy with leaves, and took down large limbs and branches, blocking roads, tearing power lines down on every street and knocking power out to over 800,000 Connecticut customers.

Today is November 3rd and we are still without power. We only just received internet and TV today, as the main ATT box is right across the street from my house and they placed a generator on it so we can at least have TV and WiFi (those of us with generators anyway) until electricity is restored, which is not estimated to happen for another 3 or 4 days!

The first few days with no heat was the worst. The cats loved it. They ran around the house like kittens, tearing up rugs like something out of a cartoon as they raced up and down the hall. But by the next day I had the generator in place outside and large safe wires coming in through the window, which had my 6 kitties quite curious but fortunately smart enough not to touch.

Now, I have heat, TV, computer and internet and a few lights. No water or anything to cook with as the microwave is too much for the small generator. So, I have been eating out a lot! I have not had luck finding anyone with a hot shower yet and I have been going through many gallons a day of store bought water just to do every day routines.

The cats certainly don’t seem to mind not having light, though they can see in the dark. I cannot. They have learned to stay out of my way, as I have accidentally tripped over or kicked more than one feline in the dark.

Outside resembles a war zone, or a tornado path. No tree was spared damage and many are just gone. My back yard, though we have only one tree which only lost a single limb, is littered with large branches from the neighbor’s trees. Wires still hang onto the sidewalks all along the main roads. Some trees sill hang precariously over the road and I always hold my breath when I drive underneath them.

Connecticut was hardest hit in this storm. Out of almost 1.8 million power outages, almost a million alone were in CT. Most of us are still without power, but the numbers are dropping. Apparently, many crews are reluctant to respond since they were never paid from help they gave the state after Hurricane Irene. Not fair to those of us living in the dark, but Congress people had better get their stuff together and make sure they pay their bills. The way the weather has been around here, who knows what odd weather phenomena will hit next.

I took this opportunity to exercise my creative muscles and make a dramatic video from scenes and photos I retrieved in my travels. For more on getting your own video (or having your old VHS tapes turned into beautiful DVD memories, please visit my web site at www.hoovesandpawsvideo.com.

See Pictures, Video and Slideshow Here: http://www.examiner.com/cats-in-hartford/winter-stromalfred-strikes-connecticut-hard


Cat in NZ Shot by Neighbor

Abyssinian cat shot

Abyssinian cat shot

“Fur is flying between two Wakatipu [New Zealand] neighbours in high-end rural Speargrass Flat after a $1000 pet cat was shot dead,” writes reporter Russell Blackstock for Mountain Scene, a web site that focuses on news in rural New Zealand.

He continues: ” Former local property developer Ross Allan says his four kids are distraught because their beloved Abyssinian moggy Fred was killed by famed New Zealand landscape artist Peter Beadle ”

Apparently, Beadle thought the cat was a feral stalking his prized Peking ducks. According to him, he shot “above the cat’s head” to scare it away. But the .22 buckshot hit the kitten (less than a year old) in the stomach! The cat ran home and died a day later.

Allan is searching for justice (and finding none), while Beadle is satisfied with his offer to pay the vet bills.

This case and many others, such as the famed Mary Bale incident, bring me to a very important point: The on-going debate over indoor vs. outdoor for pet cats.

I have written several books and numerous articles on the importance of keeping your cats indoors! There is a reason why I am so persistent in my plight to inform and educate the public on why it is NOT cruel to keep cats indoors, and why it is vital for the cat’s health and well being.

In the Mary Bale case; Yes, what she did was unthinkable; she had no right to toss that poor cat into a garbage bin! It was wrong, it was cruel! However…. If the owners had kept their cat indoors this never would have happened.

It is the same in this case, or in the case of the cat shot by the arrow, and many other cases of animals being subject to human cruelty. If these cats were not outdoor cats, they would not have been hurt, killed or thrown in a garbage bin by a stranger.

I am not saying that nothing can happen to cats kept indoors, because let’s face it, life is full of unexpected mishaps. But, most of all indoor-related accidents are generally preventable. You have more control over your cat’s environment and protection when you keep them indoors.

I have found that strays who were abandoned, abused, dumped or otherwise mistreated in some form, once they come into the house of a caring cat person, have little or no desire to go back outside. Moving a cat from one location to another also seems to curb that need for the outdoors. They know they are safe and they feel more comfortable.

But, you respond, isn’t it natural for a cat to be outside in their own environment? No, and here is why: The outdoors are no longer the cat’s “natural” environment. Just like dogs, we have domesticated them and they rely on us. 

Now, I have a horse and board him at whatever facility I can afford at the time, which means we have moved around a bit. Most of your barns have barn cats. I have found little problem with this as long as the cats are fed (it is wrong to assume a cat will hunt more mice if not fed, all it will do is make for a hungry miserable cat), de-wormed (mice and other game that cats eat give the cats parasites such as intestinal worms), de-flea’d (even indoor cats can get fleas, though not as likely unless there’s a pet that goes out and in and is not kept on a de-flea medication such as Frontline) and groomed.

I have run into barn owners who think you just toss a cat or two in the barn and that’s that. They argue that “the cats do just fine.”  But how do they know? Most of the time, people like that have so little knowledge of cats, they would not know if the cat was sick until it was too late. Then they would just assume the cat “died of natural causes” when in truth the cat suffered.

My horse’s veterinarian once said to me “cats are fine until they are not.” Truer words couldn’t have been spoken. Cats are stoic creatures that usually show little signs of illness until it has progressed quite a bit. Unless you truly know the signs, you won’t know the cat is ill until it is either near death or extremely ill.

So, back to the subject. Many people assume cats are happier outdoors. At one time, this was the majority thinking and like most of life’s varying attributes, people have a problem with change. Many people stick to the old ways, whether it is in physical life or in their beliefs.

Thus, at one time it was more popular to keep cats outside (or at the least give them the choice of indoors or out), many have held to the notion that this is what’s best for all cats. And nothing could be farther from the truth.

Cats kept indoors DO need a specific environment to keep them at their best. No one is talking about locking them in a dark room and never letting them out here. They need access to sunlight, they need a place to scratch and climb and run and have fun. Think you don’t have room for all of this in your small house or apartment? Think again. Modification is the key and can be accomodated to any size home.

My book, House Cat, has all the information you need on “bringing the outdoors in” for your cat.


Hissing Kitty

It will take time for her to trust.

Her name, as the shelter gave her, is Lightning. But it just does not fit her. As I watched the new foster kitten in her cage (a large dog crate with littler box, food, water and the softest blankets I could find) a more appropriate name came to me. Victoria. She is so pretty and delicate, it seemed a much better name for her.

And so, though her shelter name may be Lightning, that’s not what I call her. In any event, Victoria is a frightened little kitten. They said she was about 3 months old, but I checked her teeth… she is four months. She’s a pretty pretty girl. The hiss she lets out when first anyone goes near her cage belies her beauty. She even spits and bats out with her paw. But stick your hand in and pet her, and she relaxes out and purrs. She even stretches out and lets you pet her belly.

You might wonder why such opposite reactions?  Let me see if I can explain with a true story. My part feral kitten Binx was in the hallway the other day…. Usually this is no big deal anymore; I walk out of the bathroom and he sees me and lays there till I walk by and he either runs if he is a playful mood or he stays put. I shut the bathroom light off and stepped out, down the hall. His eyes must have not fully adjusted and he must not have been complately aware of my presence because as I stepped down the hall (it was suddenly very dark) he let out a hiss that would curl your nose hairs! He rarely if ever hisses anymore. He used to act like the most vicious cat in cat history. But he’s part of the family now, and he follows me around, rubs against me and wants to be pet (still won’t let me pick him up though). But I had startled him and for a second he thought I was a stranger. The feral in him came out. And this is a behavior that can occur on occasion throughout the life of a former feral.

With Victoria it is fear that makes her hiss and spat. She had some very bad experiences, different from those Binx had, but bad nontheless. She knows most humans are okay, but still, instinct tells her to be cautious and let those who approach know she means business. But, hiss or not, the moment I stick my hand in there and start to pet her (she does not scratch or bite), the domestic feline comes out nd she purrs and stretches out.

It will take some time, but Victoria will come out of this. She just needs to learn to trust again. My Binx is getting so much better even with people other than myself. He is slowly allowing others near him. Victoria, in time, will learn as well.