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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Getting To Know LL, Our Latest Rescue

We found LL on Ayala ave walking back from the theater on a late Sunday evening. He's about 2 months old. Mark have seen  and fed him once loitering in that area begging for food. But at that time he didn't notice his condition since he also got busy feeding other cats he found in the area. Luckily, he was still there when we happen to walk by. This time we were able to give him a closer look. We found out that his left eye's gone, and the other eye seems to be small and under developed. Although he seemed to have a companion (elderly) cat around him, we thought that there's no way he will be able to survive the street life in that condition. Eventually he will go blind. He will either die of hunger since he wouldn't be able to look for food, or would end up getting run over by a car in that busy street.

We honestly don't have space anymore for another rescue. Our flat is small and is crowded already with 6 full grown cats. I'm also a bit anxious about compromising the health of my 6 cats as they are almost ready to fly and move in with my husband out of the country, if I were to take another one in. But anyhow, we ended bringing him with us - we just didn't have the hearts to turn our back on a blinding kitten. It was difficult to take him away too from his cat companion, but it's just that LL's less likely to survive in his condition. The other cat was healthy looking, and was relieved to see that the tip of its ear was clipped, meaning it has been trapped and neutered.

So there, we were unprepared and all we got was our small reusable grocery bag.  So we took him inside the bag and luckily he wasn't violent at all. I didn't end up getting bitten or scratched. We immediately went to the 24 hour vet clinic close in our area to get him checked and confined for a few days. According to the vet, it was probably an inborn condition where the left eye didn't grow at all, or can also be caused by a trauma to the eye. Other than that, his appetite was good and no signs of respiratory infection.

He spent 3 days confined in the vet clinic for observation. This evening we picked him up to bring him home. He has to be quarantined so we divided our inner balcony in to two. He's living on one side with full accommodation - a poop box, a nice comfy towel inside a carrier without doors so he can go in and out like his room, with food and water, and most specially TOYS.

As soon as he's 100% recovered, we will then have to find him a home.


It was unfortunate that LL died after a week :(. He was well for a few days. He wasn't very active but he does have an appetite. But he grew weak one day and couldn't stand on his own and rushed him to the pet hospital, where he was confined. The vet didn't know what was wrong with him so we agreed that as soon as he stabilizes, he will have a blood test for  FIP, the disease the vet's suspecting LL have.

We were scheduled to go out of town a day later while LL's staying in the animal hospital. Everyday we get updates from the vet. He was slowly deteriorating and they still couldn't extract blood.

When we were waiting for our flight to go back home, the vet called and informed us that LL's really in bad shape and that we have to be prepared for the inevitable. We were worried and sad, but we didn't know what to do. As soon as we landed and headed back home, we planned to just drop off our stuff and drive to the animal hospital to see LL. Unfortunately, when we did get home, it was too late. LL just died...

We rushed to the clinic and saw LL's lifeless body, skin and bones. I cried and asked the doctor if they ever found out what was wrong with him. The doctor said they didn't get a chance to get him tested for FIP, but that's still their suspicion. I caressed LL for the last time and said my good bye. At least he didn't die alone in the street...

I got paranoid and didn't rest anymore. When we got back in the house I sanitized everything and everywhere LL went. I scrubbed the balcony with lysol. I threw the litter, and the pooper scooper that I used for LL too. I mopped our floor with lysol and didn't rest until everything's clean. Then I started giving immunosin to my cats just to make sure that if ever they get the virus, they will have strong immune system to fight it off. Luckily, no one got sick.

I miss LL, and I was devastated that we weren't there when he passed. But I'm sure he knew that he was loved and cared for even for a short time. Good bye LL... we'll see each other again one day in the rainbow bridge.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Kitty Exposure on Reddit

So apparently, my good husband posted a photo of my cats on the bed with me in my "the oilier, the uglier" look, tinkering on my laptop. The comments are very interesting and amusing, I must say... and I'm greatly relieved to read that we are not alone in this world to own a lot of cats (yep, I admit 6 is more than enough). Well, that's not entirely true. I know a number of people who have a battalion of cats in their households, for the reason that they rescue a lot and doesn't have the heart to turn down and look away to those unfortunate, starving, abused, sickly cats/kittens on the streets.

But first, let me clarify - I do have a base station for working :P, and when the photo was taken, we just got up so that explains the big mess (haha excuses, excuses). 

Reading through the comments, I wanted to share one in particular because she practically nailed what you should expect more or less if ever you decide to adopt a cat - especially if you are considering more than one. Although I constantly look for potential adopters and promotes adoption to my friends, I also think it is responsible to tell them upfront what they are getting themselves in to. One of the many reasons there's so many stray cats in the streets is cat dumping. I am so sick and tired of seeing and hearing stories of pet owners who dump their pets all because they are tired of caring for them - either the cat is sick, have unwanted litter, misbehaved, or too much to handle. So when I find an interested adopter, I always make it to a point to set their expectations properly, and also to emphasize that getting a pet is a lifetime commitment. I wish I could make everyone realize that having a pet companion is like having another member of your family. It will be dependent on you, a part of you until the end of its days.

So here it is. Thank you flibbertygiblet of Reddit for a well composed comment. This will be a great reference for potential pet parents.

(note: I emphasized the word "more or less" because each cat has its own personality, and some may or may not be applicable like the costs - in a way, it is cheaper in the Philippines to provide food, cat litter, and medical care than it is in the United States. I do not intend to discourage people from adopting, nor to scare you of,  but I just wanted to give a rough idea of a serious cat care )

"5 cats is hectic, no getting around it. We have five, plus a dog, plus any number of fosters at different times. It is very fun and very rewarding, but here are a few things to consider.
  • each cat needs his/her own litter box. We get away with 3 for the permanent 5, but that is because they are all neutered males and get along fairly well. Each foster gets their own.
  • litter boxes must be cleaned daily. Plus, we completely dump/scrub/refill each one as needed(usually once every few weeks).
  • the amount of money we spend on good food, plus supplements(raw food), plus litter, plus toys is mind boggling. Currently around $150-$200 a month for just the cats.
  • Adaptation. We can't have fragile things on counters, vases of flowers, knick-knacks, stacks of mail, anything like that laying around. We must be vigilant about dropped tacks, staples, or toothpicks. No cords visible.
  • Destruction! They will destroy all that you love unless precautions are taken. We just bought our house a few years ago and have not done much renovating yet. The damage they've done already has shown is what precautions we need to take. We have narrow windowsills, they scamper to sit in them. All walls underneath windows will have to have a sheet of plexiglas on them to protect from scratches. Same for all outward corners.
They will knock things off counters and break them. They will shed and dirty up every blanket in your house(we use duvet covers to combat this). You will get lazy one day, fail to clean the box, and they will pee on your bed(mattress and pillow protectors).
  • Relationships. They have friends and enemies. There will be skirmishes, some you have to break up. Then there's just plain ol' rough housing. They will eat things they shouldn't. Kitty first aid knowledge is required.
  • medical expenses. Even if all is well, and they are indoor(ours are except on leashes)they need medical care. Flea treatments, ear mite treatments(not a huge issue, our fosters sometimes bring them), yearly check ups, shots, spay/neuter. It adds the fuck up. $45 x 5 is a large yearly expense. That's just check-up and rabies shot(ours are on a schedule now, everyone due at once, you can stagger to make it easier). Then there's things like colds that turn into URIs and boogery eyes that get infected from scratching. That's another $35 trip to the vet plus medications(this is rare though).
  • Feeding. Unless free fed, feeding can be a chore. And for free feeding, you need everyone to have self control(we are lucky here). Otherwise, it becomes a huge hassle and time eater to have to portion/feed/supervise the whole process.
  • Lack of sleep. You will lose sleep with so many cats. Whether they are knocking things around, wrestling, arguing, yowling for no apparent reason, running laps, playing with loud toys, trying to get you to play, sleeping on your head, needing fed if hand raising kitten(or a litter), or just taking up way too much fucking space on your king sized bed, you will lose sleep.
  • Time. This is the biggest one besides cost. I spend so much time watering, feeding, petting, playing with, cleaning up after, shooing off counters, snuggling, nail clipping, nip spraying/sprinkling, wrestling, walking, making toys, and everything else. It's a lot of work. Plus, we have a dog, so that's a lot more walking/training/playing.
The only way we are able to do this is because we have a unique situation. I work from home, as does my hubs about 75% of the time, and there's enough money that we don't have to skimp on care and feeding.
However, the cats(plus my dog of course)are the furry loves of my life. They can all be huge pains in the ass, but I wouldn't take a million dollars for any one of them. They are all unique in their personalities, and even though we didn't know it, each new one brought something we were missing. All the time, all the money, all the little annoyances are totally, 100% fucking worth it when they snuggle up for lovins, purr their hearts out, or do something so funny that it can change the outlook on a cloudy day."