November 14th 2013 7:11 am
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We have not been around much recently. My sister is now at university full-time so it is hard for her to come here but today is a big day! I am 10 years old! I came to my forever home in January 2003, at 2 months. It was my sister's 13th birthday. Now she's nearly 23 and has flown the nest (but comes home every weekend to see me) :)
The day is tinged with sadness, of course, that my brother Jet is not here to celebrate with me. He was too good for this world and earned his wings at just 11 months old. It is hard to imagine what kind of cat he would be today. Handsome, I'm sure. Quiet. He was the quietest cat my family had ever had. And totally black, hence his name, except for brown paw pads and six white hairs under his chin. If only there were no cars....
But today my family are grateful that, despite also being hit by a car at 6 months, due to the good luck that I ended up on my own side of the road and was able to get myself home for help and a fast response from an excellent team of vets, I am here to tell the tale. The full tale you can find in my very first diary entry, if you care to take a trip down memory lane...
Lots of love,
May 12th 2012 7:29 am
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Do you like my new diary title, Royal Reflections? We are celebrating being a Daily Diary Pick for the second time in two weeks! Thank you Catster HQ. We will also be celebrating our third Catster-versary next Friday. We joined Catster on 18th May 2009 after my sister read about Dogster in a newspaper. I don't think there will be a 'year in review' from me this year though as I haven't written much this year.
Tidge had his 7 day post-op check yesterday and the news is all good. His mouth is healing well and there is no sign of any infection. Tidge also appears not to be in pain anymore. The vet had mentioned removing the thread which is connecting the two slivers of Tidge's jaw bone (see the awesome yawning pic on his page) to support his jaw, but decided not to. It doesn't seem to be bothering Tidge at all and he is still adapting to eating so we think he needs it for longer. We'll see what happens when he goes back in June for his six-week check. Before I forget, the insurance have also sorted out everything to do with Tidge's surgery with the vet.
As for my eyes, the problem has not gone away and intermittently my third eyelid is quite visible, especially in my left eye. Even when it isn't, I still appear to be looking to the side with one eye sometimes so it looks like I am squinting. I don't have any more vet appointments scheduled but there is still some of the conjunctivitis cream I was given left. Mum and I both find putting the cream in very unpleasant and sometimes, my eyes seem worse for a while afterwards so we are considering taking a few days off the cream and just watching the situation. My family knows I can see and I don't appear to be in pain so the problem is affecting my life at the moment.
We wonder if rather than an infection, it might just be a muscular thing. Is it a muscle which controls retracting the third eyelid? If it is just not retracting properly then there doesn't seem to be much to do about it. For now, we're monitoring things.
Thank you all for the love and support you have shown us.
King Simba XXX
May 4th 2012 4:15 pm
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First of all, my family and I would like to say a huge thank you to all of you lovely Catsters for your comments, messages and gifts of support and your continued purrs for our speedy recoveries. Special thanks to Big Harry and Smiley for spreading the word about Tidge having surgery today.
The good news is that everything went really really well! Of course, it was a very confusing morning in our house as we were all nil by mouth. As Tidge couldn't eat, I couldn't eat, until Mum had got Tidge in his basket and was just about to leave for the vets. Then Mum set off and Tidge was first of all taken for his pre-op checks.The lovely vet talked Mum through how she would do the surgery, actually it is not wire she has inserted, it is a special type of thread similiar to nylon, which will slowly work its way out.
Then she gave Tidge 4 (yes, 4!) shots- including another antibiotic for the infection, a painkiller to help his sore mouth and a sedative to relax him before the op. As Tidge's was going to be the most complex op, he was scheduled last, after all of the day's neuterings and other minor ops. So he was taken into the back room to let the sedative take effect and apparently he was no bother whatsoever, despite being very timid. They put a canula in him ahead of the op too so he now has a little shaved area on his paw-cute!
The actual operation was quite tricky, sadly involving a lot of blood. The infection was very strong and affected his entire jaw and the lower canines have extremely long roots so Tamsin, the surgeon, had to really cut them out to get every last bit. If Tidge were a human, he would be purple with bruises from chin to neck but all the bruising on Tidge is internal and his face is quite swollen, so he has big chubby cheeks. Tamsin used the special thread in a figure of 8 stitch to support his jaw and closed the wounds with dissolvable stitches.
Afterwards, Tidge came round without any complications or trauma and was still drugged up on painkillers, slightly wobbly and needing lots of fuss tonight. He took some water while still at the vet and Tasmin told Mum to just give him normal food if he wanted it, rather than a special diet, so she did. Amazingly, Tidge was demanding food as soon as Mum got home. We no longer eat cat food sachets, our main food is fish fillets (ones that humans could eat too) which Mum steams for us three or four times a day. We also have dry food available to nibble on inbetween times and this has been a very positive diet for us- our coats, for instance, are glossy and there are never sachets lying around getting stale anymore.
Anyway, I digress. Mum offered Tidge both fish and dry food. He loves the dry crispies much more than I do but Mum didn't expect him to try and eat them today. To her surprise, Tidge ate all of both! No way would a human have been able to do that hours after major dental work! Eating didn't seem to bother him much, although we'll see how it goes when the drugs wear off, but it was very messy. Tidge has always been a messy eater. He used to take his food out of the dish anyway as a legacy of living in the wild out of bins and after most of his teeth were removed, it got worse as he couldn't really chew. Today the fish was flying over his shoulder and the crispies bouncing off the wall, so Mum is going to moisten them slightly from now on. Things should improve as Tidge recovers and adapts.
The plan now is for Tidge to go back to the vet in a week's time so his sockets can be checked for any signs of his post-op infection and to keep an eye on his stitches. Then, he'll have a final check in six weeks time, by which time, the special thread in his jaw should have gone too. After that, he should be fine until his yearly check-up in October, but we'll see what the vet says. The totally miraculous thing is that Tidge's jaw should be fine.
My sister has updated my special skills section to explain how I grew my own hip joint after the ball of my hip was removed due to arthritis. And apparently, cats can form new, stronger muscle to support their jaw when their canines are removed too! Because our jaw is mostly supported by our canines, the actual lower jaw bone is very small, a wafer-thin piece the size of a man's thumb, apparently, with muscle around it. Tamsin said if the canines had been removed and no special thread used, the jaw would have become very floppy and unsupported. But with the thread as a temporary anchor, the muscle will develop and strengthen so Tidge should be fine. Are cats fantastic creatures or what???
Tidge is looking surprisingly well despite his ordeal and as I say, so far, he is eating well. In fact, the vets delicately suggested that a few days of lower appetite and less food won't do him any harm. He is a tad on the cuddly side but that's partly because he doesn't roam and get a lot of exercise like I do. He never leaves the garden. Also, I think it goes back to being abandoned and scavening for food. The only signs of his trauma are his slightly swollen face, shaved paw and his tongue sticking out a bit. Also, he used to always have his canines, at least one of them, sticking out when his mouth was closed but not any more! Then there is a little piece of thread visible under his chin and a sore place on his lip from the stitches but they will heal.
My sister has some photos of our brave boy, see his new profile picture. It is late again here but tomorrow she will post more and a little video showing how well he had already bounced back just hours after surgery. Throughout all of this Zack has been looking on concerned and smelling Tidge when he got home because he could obviously smell the vet on him. Tidge was head-butting his chest and nuzzling him.
EDITED TO ADD: We are overwhelmed by the support you have shown us. We have had new messages and comments every day and Tidge has received at least 10 Power of the Paws. We wish we could give gifts to each and every one of you and are in the process of replying to you and sending friend requests to all our new friends. Thank you again Big Harry and Smiley for spreading the word.
Tidge's post-surgery pictures and video are now on his page and various old pictures have been added to his photobook. My sister struggled with the video because her laptop died recently and when she restored it, she lost Windows Movie Maker that she used for all our videos and doesn't know where to get it again. The video she made with the little editor included on her laptop doesn't have good titles because there weren't many to choose from and it looks very odd, really small, in the player on Tidge's page. It's much better in fullscreen though!
She also updated Tidge's bio with the fact he now has no teeth and added an MP3 file from ages ago of Tidge singing to his toys. This is a special skill of his and we hear him doing it all over the house. Thanks again for all your support. We will update again, assuming all continues to go well in the meantime, after Tidge goes back to the vet next week to check on his stitches. In one of the pictures just added, my sister caught him in the middle of a yawn, so you can see his newly toothless gums and the thread supporting his jaw. It was hard to take as cats don't yawn on command but is totally pawsome!