January 28th 2013 5:40 pm
[ Leave A Comment | 3 people already have ]
Up until the beginning of August 2012, Uno's left eye caused her no trouble at all. There never was any excessive tearing. Interestingly too, Lefty, Righty, and Uno never have had any of the typical kitten runny eye, sore eye, or upper respiratory problems that most young kittens have. Even now none of the three have ever had any of the typical runny eye, sore eye, or upper respiratory problems that most cats get, even when some other cats in my household had these problems.
At the beginning of August 2012, for the first time since her surgery she had undergone as a tiny kitten, Uno started showing excessive tearing down the left side of her face. It was clear liquid. There was no sign of infection, no swelling, nothing at all to indicate any problem. Allergy seemed unlikely because she was only having excessive tearing on the left side, not the right side. It was thought that perhaps the problem was some kind of irritation and that it might resolve itself.
As time progressed, the tearing got worse and Uno's left eye started obviously bothering her a LOT. There still was no evidence of infection or any other problem to explain the tearing except for the possibility that the eyelids were somehow again causing irritation or there was a problem with the eyeball itself. The decision was made to have Uno undergo a second surgery, this time for a complete enucleation of the left eye.
On September 3 2012, Uno underwent her second surgery. The vet found that for some unknown reason, what was left of Uno's left eyeball had ruptured. Complete enucleation of the left eye was done and the eye opening was sutured completely closed. I took Uno home that night with orders to keep her crated for a week so she couldn't do anything to injure herself. The vet told me that Uno was likely to be subdued and in pain after the anesthetic fully wore off. However, when it comes to Uno, its better to expect the unexpected.
That very night, Uno made it clear that she felt GREAT. It was just lucky for me that Uno still was under enough anesthetic effect to still be willing to be relatively inactive and accepting of her necessary crate confinement. The consensus is that just as before her first surgery, Uno's left eye must have been bothering her so much before the second surgery, that the second surgery brought her so much relief that she felt good even with the post-surgical pain. As a preventative measure, Uno was put on antibiotics for a week post-surgery.
Uno's next few days in the crate were a nightmare for me and for her. She wanted OUT. She repeatedly loudly protested (the Siamese in her was SO obvious when she was crated, no other breed can vocalize the way a Siamese or Siamese mix, especially a pissed off one, can) and tried to pull the crate door open. I managed to keep Uno crated five days and then there absolutely was no holding her back any longer. On the fifth day she repeatedly dumped her litter, her food, and her water, and was raising so much hell in the crate I was afraid she was going to hurt herself if I tried to keep her crated any longer. So I let her out.
Uno came out like a rocket and she never looked back. Uno healed rapidly and without any complications after her second surgery. She immediately resumed her position as the Queen of my cat family. Uno still continues to astound me with her agility and coordination. Yesterday I was sitting on the bed working at my laptop and Uno was lying on the headboard above me. She decided she wanted to go somewhere so she took a flying leap from the headboard, sailing over and completely clearing me and my laptop and landing at the foot of the bed, a good 90 inches distance from the headboard.
Whenever I hear anybody talking negatively about handicapped animals, I think of how well and happily and capably all the handicapped animals I've had over the years have handled life and how much they all have lived their lives to the fullest and enjoyed their lives.
After all who would have ever thought that an undersized little kitten with only one eye would manage to become the ruler and Queen of all the other cats in my cat family and although I try not to show favoritism, I must admit Uno has become my favorite cat.
January 28th 2013 4:39 pm
[ Leave A Comment ]
I've told of Hallie's passing in her own diary. Hallie's passing affected all my cats for she had been the undisputed Queen and ruler over all the cats in my house since the day she first had healed enough to be allowed freedom of the entire house. When Hallie came through a hallway or doorway or other narrow area, any other cat would literally get out of her way when they saw her coming. If another cat was laying or sitting in a spot Hallie wanted, they would vacate that spot and give it up to her without question. Whenever I shared any human food with the cats, if Hallie came to get any, the other cats would hang back and stay out of her way until she departed before they would try to get their share. Whereas other cats frequently shared food dishes (I free choice dry food but when I'm refilling the dishes the cats usually all have to come check out the food) no other cat would bother Hallie when she was eating. Litter pans were no problem, except for young kittens, I've never seen two cats try to use the same litter pan at the same time even though I have some huge pans that are at least twice the length and width of normal litter pans and would easily accommodate two cats at once. I've found that cats like plenty of room in a litter pan and that many of the litter pans I see offered for sale at petshops, especially covered litter pans, are too small for an adult cat to comfortably stand, turn around, etc in.
After Hallie's passing, the other cats acted sort of "lost" without her. They were so used to watching for her and yielding to her, they were still on the alert and prepared to yield but now there was no queen of the cats for them to yield to. None of my other adult cats had the strong willed, dominant, determined to get her own way "Queen of the cats" temperament that Hallie had.
As I stated in Hallie's diary entry about her passing, the answer to who would take her place as ruler and Queen of my feline family came from the most unexpected place.
Only a short time after Hallie's passing, one individual took the initiative to step up and take over the ruling position as Queen of my feline family. This individual was the only one of my cats who really had the dominant, strong willed, determined to get her own way no matter what kind of temperament that had made Hallie the undisputed Queen and ruler of my cat family.
As a small kitten, this new Queen had already made it clear to the other cats to yield to her, let her be first, and not interfere with her when there was food involved. It used to be both amazing and amusing at the same time to see this tiny kitten always beat my other cats to a treat and swat at even the biggest adult cat who made any attempt to get too close. Any one of the adult cats could so easily have swatted that impudent little kitten right off her feet had they chosen to do so. But as is usual with most adult cats except perhaps for outdoor unaltered males, the adult cats showed infinite patience with the kitten and let the little kitten have her way.
Thus even before Hallie's passing, a pattern was already being formed which cleared the way for the new Queen to take her place as the new ruler of my cat family.
To look at her, the new Queen of my cat family would appear to be the unlikeliest candidate for becoming the ruler of my cats. She was barely a year old, undersized for her age, lean, lightweight, she had only one eye, and along with Lefty and Righty, she had just finished recovering from being spayed. But the new Queen of my cat family had never let anything stop her yet from doing what she intended to do (as long as it was safe and there was no need for human intervention of course!).
Thus it was that Uno, the smallest and youngest of my cats, stepped up and took the role of ruler, Queen of my cat family. The others accordingly gave Uno the same respect as they had given Hallie, but with a difference. Hallie was an old arthritic cat who had suffered much in her life and was often irritable and wanted to just lay around and not be disturbed. Uno on the other hand, was very young and playful when she took over as Queen. Whereas Hallie was usually slow-moving and demanded the other cats get out of her way, Uno is small, young, and very quick and easily gets where she wants to go and rarely ever has to make another cat get out of her way except for when it comes to things such as treats. Uno always has to be first when it comes to treats etc..
Hallie for the most part wanted the other cats to just get out of her way and leave her alone although she would let other cats sleep near her and occasionally she would enjoy playing with the younger cats. Uno on the other hand, being the youngest, is much more amiable with the other cats enjoys their company, enjoys playing with them, and likes sleeping together with other cats especially Lefty and Righty. Like most of my younger cats, Uno still goes to Buddha to have him mother her, wash her ears, etc.
When I give the cats treats, Uno being Queen always has to be first and the other cats stay back and wait on her just as they did for Hallie when Hallie was Queen. However, when Hallie got a treat, she was rather slow eating it and not inclined to exert the energy to try to take treats from any of the other cats. Uno on the other hand, is lightning fast at taking a treat, carrying it away from the other cats, and eating it and the other cats must be quick at eating their treats too or else Uno will steal their treats right out from under their noses and eat their treats as well as her own.
Uno's absolute favorite treat is cheese. There are times when she was at the opposite end of the house or sound asleep on my bed and I've tried to see if I could sneak cheese out of the refrigerator without her catching me and somehow she always knows and is right there before I even get the refrigerator door shut, demanding me give her a piece of it. Yet she doesn't do this if I'm getting anything else out of the refrigerator. How she knows when its cheese I'm getting out of the refrigerator, I don't know. When I have cheese, Uno is right there trying to convince me to share and if any other cat tries to come close, as fast as lightning Uno will smack at them with her forepaw. BTW when Uno and other cats smack at each other this way, they don't use their claws at all, they keep their claws retracted.
I like Dannon Activia blueberry and strawberry flavored yogurt and often eat it. Uno also likes yogurt and when I'm done with it, I'll set the container on the floor for her and she'll use her forepaw, usually her right forepaw, to scrape yogurt from the insides of the container. Then she'll lick the yogurt off her forepaw. Although some of the other cats like yogurt too, they will wait until Uno is finished before they try their own luck at the yogurt container.
January 28th 2013 3:30 pm
[ Leave A Comment ]
As I write this second entry in Uno's diary, Uno is in her favorite spot, lying on my lap right between me and my laptop, bumping my arm with her nose wanting me to pet her and although she knows better, occasionally trying to chew on my trackball cord.
Now...to continue Uno's story....
After Uno's surgery to trim her eyelids, relieved of the misery of her severe entropion (caused by the lack of a normal eyeball in the socket), she started showing her true self. She became a little dynamo which gave her her original name of Dynamo. As soon as her stitches had been removed, she no longer had to be crated or restricted to supervised play. Partly because she felt good for the first time in her life and partly because of Buddha's mothering her, Uno's confidence was in place and she was gung ho to take on the world. She did so with a vengeance and never looked back.
Uno was anywhere and everywhere all at once. No place was too high to climb, no cord was safe from her attempts to chew it, no other cat was safe from her baby playfulness, nothing was going to stop her now. Luckily Uno had no interest in chewing electrical cords, they were too thick for her tastes. Her preferences were for thin USB mouse and trackball cords. I had to splice trackball cords and repair them several times during Uno's kittenhood.
In spite of or perhaps BECAUSE Uno is one-eyed, small, lean and lightweight due to her Siamese type build, she's the fastest most coordinated cat I've ever known. During that first week after her surgery, she astounded me by doing such feats as leaping from the top of a shelf 5 feet high onto my bed which was a good 7 feet away from the shelf, a leap that carried her OVER one of my computer desks with two monitors on it, and landing precisely with one forepaw on a dime-sized piece of cheese I had placed on the bed beside me for Buttons, one of my other cats. I had just placed that piece of cheese on the bed for Buttons and he didn't even get time to move his head down and forward to pick it up before Uno snatched it and took off with it to the floor. Uno's entire maneuver was performed in mere seconds!
This kind of agility, speed, and coordination wasn't what I would have expected to see in an almost 9 week old, small for her age, one-eyed kitten. I've never seen a normal 2-eyed kitten do these things, not even Wings another of my cats who was named Wings for her ability to seemingly fly and land on me light as a feather from absolutely nowhere.
Uno very quickly made her dominant, strong willed, determined temperament and presence felt among the other cats, all except Hallie. Uno never once tried to bother Hallie. Hallie was the only cat in the house that Uno totally respected from day one. The other cats probably communicated to Uno that she should leave Hallie alone just as they communicated to Uno that Charlie the blue front Amazon parrot, Percy the cockatiel, Mama the chinchilla, Chloe the bearded dragon, the snakes, and the aquarium were all to be left alone. Uno never tried to bother them either.
My best friend had kept Uno's litter sister, who was longhaired and white and although larger than Uno, had the same slender oriental body type as Uno. Two of the older white kittens had found new homes but nobody wanted the two older white kittens with damaged eyes. So on 7-29-2011, Lefty and Righty joined my feline family. At this time, I changed Uno's name from Dynamo to Uno because it fit together with Lefty and Righty to make a theme of three names that aptly described the most distinguishing characteristics of the three kittens.
Lefty and Righty were similar in build to Uno and although there's no way to ever know for sure, it's quite likely that Lefty and Righty's mother was a sister to Uno's mother or at least very closely related. It's also possible that they all share the same father. White in cats is dominant and a cat has to have a white parent to produce white progeny. One of Uno's parents obviously wasn't white and would have had to be black, brown tabby carrying solid black, or Seal Point Siamese which is actually genetically a black cat whose appearance is modified by the action of the thermoreceptive partial albinism gene that is responsible for point colored cats.
Luckily Lefty and Righty's damaged eyes do not cause them discomfort or give them any kind of problems. Lefty's left eye is severely scarred and she has no vision in that eye. She does have vision in her right eye. Righty's right eye is scarred but less severely than Lefty's left eye and Righty does have partial vision in her right eye.
As soon as I brought Lefty and Righty home, all three-Lefty, Righty, and Uno-made it clear they were very much all bonded and very glad to see each other. The instant they came together, all three greeted each other with the familiarity you only see in cats who know each other well and like each other.
Lefty and Righty have temperaments that are totally different from Uno's temperament. Both are quiet and easygoing and laid back. They have an interesting way of "rotating", the only word I can think of at the moment to describe it. For awhile Lefty will be persistently wanting attention, petting etc, while Righty doesn't actively seek human attention much at all. Then they will switch off and Lefty will be doing her own thing while Righty will be persistently seeking human attention and petting etc. They also do this trading places when it comes to who sleeps where. One will sleep on a pillow near my head while the other will sleep on one of the cat beds at the foot of my bed. Then the two will switch places.
Speaking of rotating, I don't know if other people see cats organize rotations for favorite spots to sit or sleep, etc, or not but I see my cats do this all the time. The prime spot in the house for the cats is a cat bed by the window and next to the computer desk in my bedroom. The cats actually take turns sitting or sleeping on that cat bed. Once in a while two cats will sit together on that cat bed when something interesting is going on outside the window. Never once has there been any kind of cat quarrel over that favorite spot.
The cats also seem to have some kind of agreement among them for shelves by other windows in other rooms where they like to sit and watch out the window, for favored perches on the cat trees, and for favorite cat beds. There never are any disputes over these spots.
I find that cat communication is far more complex and imaginative than most people realize. Games between multiple cats are often obviously well planned and organized with an agreement on who will play the prey role. The cat who's agreed to be "it" will turn his or her back and, except for tail twitching, will pretend to be unaware of the cat or cats sneaking up on him. At the last minute, the cat who is "it" will obligingly run from the chaser, a play wrestling match usually ensues and then the cats reverse roles. The chaser becomes the chasee.
Two or more cats will play together batting the ball in the Turbo Scratcher, a toy the cats dearly love and one of the first cat scratching toys I found that the cats actually really spend a good bit of time playing with. The cats also love cat trees that have sisal rope around them and carpeted perches, although the trees they loved most were the cat trees built with actual tree branches and carpeted shelves that I had for many years until those became worn out and fell apart. The cats have all sorts of small toys, little balls, toy mice, the small boodabones, a couple of old socks rolled up with catnip inside them, etc. I try to keep all their toys in a basket but like little kids, soon as I pick up their toys and put them in the basket, the cats get busy taking them out and strewing them all over the place again!
Just like humans, the cats occasionally will be in irritable or bad moods and not want bothered and get into an argument with another cat who won't take "leave me alone" for an answer. There are times when everybody seems to be "in a mood" and argumentative. These cat quarrels are usually noisy and dramatic, with hissing, growling, long low warning meows, fluffed tails and chasing each other but when they're over there's rarely even a scratch on any of the combatants. When anybody has gotten a scratch on the nose, it usually was very well deserved.
Sometimes the cats are all in a weirdly active, playful, energetic mood. Interestingly, I've noticed this often coincides with a full moon. Even more sedate less active cats will usually run and play and act silly at these times.
Whenever I bring in fresh catnip from my catnip garden and crush a leaf to release the scent, it's fascinating to watch the cats start noticing the scent in the air. They put their heads up, you can see their noses wriggling as they start noticing the catnip scent. Then the fun begins. I strew bunches of catnip leaves and flowers around. Different cats react to catnip different ways. Some of them will rub their cheeks against it and roll on it. Some of them will eat it. Some of them will become very playful and play with if. A couple of them will play with it and then race around the house. A couple of them don't do much more than possess and guard their catnip from the other cats.
I've found the most effective kitty discipline to be a can of canned air or a can of air freshener. A squirt bottle of water works too, but with the canned air or air freshener, it's the hissing sound that does the disciplining. I don't actually squirt a cat with either one, I just aim in the general direction of the cat and tell the cat to get down, leave him or her alone, leave it alone, knock it off, etc and the offending cat or cats immediately stop the undesired action and usually vacate the area for awhile. After just a few times, I don't even have to actually squirt anything, all I have to do is just pick up the can and tell the cat get down, knock it off, etc. Sometimes when the cats are mobbing me and I'm busy or not in the mood to be mobbed, I'll pick up the can and say "enough now" and the cats will clear out and leave me alone for at least a good 10 to 15 minutes before they return. When they return, they gingerly come up to me, testing to see if its ok yet to mob me.
I always have plenty of feline "help" when it comes to changing bedding and making beds. However, the cats don't want any part of vacuuming, steam cleaning carpets, or flea spraying the house. They clear out when they see me go get the vacuum cleaner, steam cleaner, or flea spray jug. Most of them also usually clear out when they see me preparing to give them their flea drops and heartworm preventative/dewormer or when they see me pick up the claw clipper. The only declawed cats I have are cats that came already declawed. Except for Buddha, nobody cares much for having their claws clipped. Buddha is the only cat that will quietly lay in my lap and let me clip his claws without any protest. With a cat that struggles or tries to scratch or bite when having its claws clipped, I wrap the cat in a towel and just stick the foot I'm working on out of the towel, although after all my years of clipping cat claws, I can clip claws so fast that I usually have most of the claws clipped before a cat even starts getting really upset. Maybe thats the reason why it seems my cats don't protest claw clipping until I'm getting ready to do the very LAST claw.
Uno is one of my cats who, befitting her temperament, usually vigorously and very vocally protests claw clipping. Sometimes I have to towel her although usually I'm fast enough that I have most of her claws clipped before she gets to physically resisting enough to cause any problem. Like most of the other cats do, soon as I'm finished clipping her claws, she usually immediately flees the room. Unless I'm still clipping other cats claws, those who flee the room after their claws are done usually return after a few minutes and except for being a bit more alert to what I might pick up, act as if nothing has happened.
January 27th 2013 10:25 am
[ Leave A Comment | 2 people already have ]
Early Saturday morning, May 28 2011, six little kittens in a box were dumped at a sanitation plant. Four of the kittens were approximately 6 weeks old, two of the kittens were only 4 weeks old. Five of the kittens were white, one was black. A small bag of dry cat food was left sitting uselessly alongside the box. There the kittens sat in an open cardboard box throughout the long Memorial Day holiday weekend until Tuesday May 31 2011 when the sanitation plant employees returned to work and discovered the box of kittens.
One of the sanitation workers immediately called my best friend, a veterinarian who lives in the same town and told her about the kittens and asked her if she could take them and try to save them. She agreed and he took the box of kittens to her house.
Upon inspection, all six of the kittens were remarkably healthy, no herpes virus, no upper respiratory problems, no ear mites, although they did have a lot of fleas and of course were in very bad condition from starvation and dehydration after going 4 days without anything to eat or drink. Being the youngest, the little 4 week old kittens were in such bad shape it was feared neither would survive.
The smallest kitten, the 4-week old black kitten, not only was in worst condition of all from starvation and dehydration, she also had a mess of fluid and crusty matter streaming down the entire left side of her face and her left paw etc was wet and crusty from having tried to rub at her left eye which obviously was causing her serious irritation. Closer examination revealed that the little 4-week old black kitten had severe entropion which was causing her alot of discomfort and all the excessive tearing. Her left eye had been completely destroyed, someone had deliberately put her eye out. What was left of the eyeball had
Two of the 6 week old white kittens also had eye damage caused by some kind of sharp object. One of the white kitten's left eye was so damaged there was no sight left in it and her right eye was damaged too although she seemed to have a fair amount of vision left in the right eye. One of the 6 week white kittens had damage to her right eye but not to her left eye. Luckily the two white kittens eye damage wasn't severe enough to do any more than cause permanent scarring and vision loss. The other two 6 week old white kittens and the 4-week old white longhaired littermate to the little black kitten had no eye damage at all.
When offered solid food, it immediately was clear that none of the kittens had any idea at all what food even was. Obviously none of them had even begun to be weaned yet when they were taken from their mothers and dumped. My best friend tube fed the kittens, rehydrated them, got rid of the fleas, and gave them other supportive care. The kittens survived and began to regain condition.
When the little black kitten was approximately 8 weeks old, she underwent surgery to have her left eyelids trimmed and sutured shut to correct the problem with entropion. While under anesthetic she was closely and very gently examined to try to discern what actually remained of her left eyeball but no eyeball could be seen. Due to her small size and the softness of kitten skull bones, no attempt was made to do any deep probing to try to find the eyeball because of the risks involved. It was assumed that whatever remained of her left eyeball was too small and too recessed into her head to be visible. The conjunctival membranes and tear duct were left intact so that she would have normal tear drainage. Except for some normal post-surgical slight drainage over the next 24 hours after the surgery, she had no further problems with the eye until a little over a year later.
Knowing I like black cats and handicapped cats, my best friend offered me the little black kitten. Of course I accepted and took her home after her surgery. Uno had to be kept crated but in an early demonstration of her strong will & determined temperament, she threw such a fit in the crate I was afraid she'd injure herself and so I would let her out to play beside me on the bed for short periods of time and then put her back in the crate.
When I first uploaded photos of Uno, they didn't show on her profile for some reason. I hope they will show now. The photos of Uno with the little green ball and the toy mouse were taken during two of her short play sessions on the bed two days after her surgery. They clearly demonstrate how strong willed and determined she was and how playful and surprisingly unaffected she was by her surgery. My best friend and I feel that she was probably so miserable with the eye before the surgery that even with post-surgical pain etc, Uno was so much relieved by the surgery that she felt good compared to all she had suffered before her surgery.
A week after her surgery, it appeared to me that Uno's sutures had begun to itch a little. She was starting to try to scratch at them so her sutures were removed. Surprisingly, she held still and cooperated with the task of suture removal & seemed relieved to get her stitches out.
Uno was at first named Dynamo because after her surgery she became a little dynamo, a fast moving bundle of energy. Being one-eyed seemed to have absolutely no effect at all on her coordination. I quickly found out a one-eyed kitten is every bit as rambunctious as a normal two-eyed kitten.
The third picture of Uno was taken July 13 2011 and shows her attacking a booda bone, one of her favorite toys at that time.
Uno also was very sweet, personable and loving. Her favorite spot to sleep at that age was curled up beside me or when I was lying down, she would curl up on my shoulder. Amazing that this tiny kitten whose first experiences with humans were shock, agony, terror, pain, starvation, dehydration and the trauma of having an eye put out, is so sweet and personable and trusting and loves human attention.
At first Uno was fearful of the other cats, which was to be expected but also being such a young kitten, she quickly got used to those cats who took the time to interact with her. Buddha, a 10+year old cat who I adopted from a shelter when he was 7 months old and whose personality fits his name, was as usual the first and most persistent in winning her friendship and trust, doing his usual self-assigned role of being friend to all who will allow him to befriend him and self-assigned role of kitten caretaker.
Although Uno had beenn eating canned food prior to arriving at my house, from the first day I got her she refused canned food and preferred dry cat food. She also liked (and still likes) yogurt and wanted to sample anything she saw a human eating. Her absolute favorite treat was and still is cheese. It's impossible to sneak a slice of cheese or a piece of string cheese out of the refrigerator without Uno instantly showing up to try to con me out of a bite.
Sort By Oldest First
(What does RSS do?)