Poorly kitten with cat flu.

(562 Posts)
ToffeeWhirl Wed 05-Jun-13 19:27:21

Our six-month-old Balinese kitten has a recurrence of cat flu again sad. He first had it a month ago. This time, he has a high temperature, an eye infection, the sneezes and is sleeping all the time. He is still eating and drinking, thank goodness, but he is very underweight.

If he gets another recurrence, the vet will check for other diseases.

I have come away from the vet with a bagful of medicines and a much depleted bank account.

The vet did reassure me that this wasn't life threatening. We are all besotted with this kitten, particularly my oldest son. The other day, DS1 fell asleep during the day and I found him and the kitten tucked up under the duvet, both heads on the pillow smile.

Has anyone else had a cat with cat flu? If so, did it keep coming back? Any tips?

Also, any tips on telling the breeder would be welcome. I chickened out of telling her the first time round, but I really feel I should this time. However, I don't know what to say without sounding as if I'm asking for a refund or blaming her in some way. Also, I'm not sure what she can do about it if her cats are carriers. Does it mean that she shouldn't be selling kittens, or is this just a risk you take when you buy a cat from a breeder?

Incidentally, the only reason we bought a pedigree was because I am allergic to cats and this was one of the few breeds that don't trigger my allergies. Am not particularly bothered whether I have a moggie or a pedigree, just don't want to spend my days sneezing and wheezing.

cozietoesie Wed 05-Jun-13 19:35:29

Aw heck, toffee.

I'm pretty sure that Seniorboy has Cat Flu residue. Since I've had him he's been a sneezer, runny nose and so on - some times worse than others. And he's 18 now so Kitten Strachey should have a long life ahead of him as long as you keep him toasty warm.

I'm annoyed, though, that you didn't tell the breeder. Just email her!

ToffeeWhirl Wed 05-Jun-13 19:46:06

Hi, cozie! Sorry about Seniorboy - it does sound like cat flu. But good to know that he's enjoying a very long life.

I knew you'd be annoyed with me about not telling the breeder! I just don't know what to say to her though. Whatever I write sounds so accusing and I don't mean it to be. She seemed like a lovely woman and I'm sure she didn't know the kitten had cat flu (he was very well when we collected him from her).

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 05-Jun-13 19:48:55

One of ours had it as a kitten, the breeder put her back with mum for a while, it's 28 years ago so it's a bit hazy, and she recovered.

All the breeders cats were vaccinated so I don't know how she caught it.

She lived to be about 17 which is fairly good for a chinchilla.

It is very frightening though to have a kitten so poorly.

ToffeeWhirl Wed 05-Jun-13 19:51:11

Fluffy - the vet said our kitten would have caught it before he was vaccinated (probably from his mum) and the vaccination will suppress the symptoms, but not stop them completely. I expect that is what happened with your kitten. It's good to know she had such a long life, though.

cozietoesie Wed 05-Jun-13 19:57:16

I know.

Half of the email just saying what has happened, physically, with KS plus the vet's views. The second half talking about KS's day to day routine and integration in the family.

A PS indicating that you're much in love with KS but thought she should have a heads up.

And add a picture of him. That's important.

I appreciate that you don't feel like doing this - but you absolutely must. It's for the breeder's sake as well as anything. If you want to run a draft past me, feel free tomorrow. (Best not tonight.)

ToffeeWhirl Wed 05-Jun-13 20:03:10

Thank you, cozie. I will write it tonight. I have sent her photos before, but this time I will add a picture of kitty in his new (rather stylish grin) cat basket/carrier. She will be able to see from that that he's not well (his dishevelled fur and sore eyes were instantly spotted in the photo when I sent it to my cat-expert friend today. The vet told me cats stop grooming themselves when they're ill, so their fur starts to look bedraggled).

ToffeeWhirl Wed 05-Jun-13 20:03:41

Actually, I'll add that photo to my Mumsnet photos too, so you can see him if you like smile.

MumnGran Wed 05-Jun-13 20:09:41

ToffeeWhirl .... I am not sure why your vet may be looking for another condition because of a cat flu recurrence, because if the flue is herpes virus based, then he should know that the cat will have it for life. We have a vet on here, who I hope will confirm for you (or this link explains it quite well : www.cat-world.com.au/feline-herpesvirus

There are three different viruses causing symptoms which are commonly known under the one heading of types of "cat 'flu". Some symptoms will give strong indication of which virus a cat has (such as eye ulcerations) but only lab tests will give a conclusive answer. One of the "flu's" - the herpes virus - remains with the cat after recovery from first infection. It may eventually clear after many years, but effectively can be there for life. Most of the time the cat will show no symptoms at all, but sometimes will throw flu symptoms for no apparent reason (stress is often a major factor). At this stage they also "shed" the virus, so unvaccs'd cats can be infected.

Because such a lot of kittens pick up these virus's from Mum before vaccination, and then go on to have litters of their own, it is often impossible to work out where the flu virus first originated. There are huge number of healthy happy cats who have this, and it is unlikely tp present you with major problems in her life, although she may always react this way if stressed (eg cattery stays).

Hope that helps a bit, and as I say .... hopefully our vet will pop in to confirm

cozietoesie Wed 05-Jun-13 20:12:39

Cat flu is complicated, yes. It's not just one simple single issue.

cozietoesie Wed 05-Jun-13 20:16:58

Toffee

Just an add on comment. From my experience, keep him really toasty warm. Get an electric blanket and have it on on the appropriate bed all day. He can choose whether to use it but he ought to have the option.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 06-Jun-13 10:16:01

Thanks for the link and the explanation, Mumngran. The vet explained that the kitten will have cat flu for life, but he wants to eliminate the possibility of other diseases if kitty gets ill again, as there could be more going on than just cat flu, I suppose (though hopefully not). He said kitty is showing signs of both types of cat flu at the moment and, as you say, only lab tests will tell us which one.

I'm a bit concerned about stress triggering cat flu recurrences. Our kitten is terrified of my younger son (seven and noisy!). He runs away and hides whenever DS2 comes in the room. That is the only source of stress in his life, but I can't eliminate that (although I do remind DS2 to be quiet when he is around kitty). Other than that, he has a very relaxed life, sleeping on us all in rotation or lying in patches of sunlight.

He seems a bit better already this morning. His eyes look brighter and he has started grooming himself again. He even found his voice enough to protest at being shut out of our bedroom. He didn't eat much for breakfast though, even though I heated his food up for him to make it smell more attractive.

Cozi - he still sleeps with a hot-water bottle every night, but I have ordered a heated pad to sleep on as well.

MumnGran Thu 06-Jun-13 10:24:16

I think the son related stress will ease as your kitten becomes used to the house, and that he isn't actuallly damaging her in any way when he is being noisy. Obviously you can help the process along if DS can be persuaded to sit quietly on the floor playing with arms length toys (feathers on string?) which tempt the kitten out to play without being held etc. It may take time, but I would say its definitely possible to eliminate the stress factor without eliminating DS grin
One of the great things about things about young kittens is that play can tempt them past their fear barriers.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 06-Jun-13 10:42:00

Phew, glad I don't have to get rid of DS2, Mum grin. DS2 didn't want - and doesn't like - the kitten (it was DS1 who wanted him), so he doesn't have anything to do with him. I know he is jealous of him, being the new baby in the house. I have encouraged him to engage with kitty, but he's simply not interested. And kitty hasn't been very playful, probably because he has been ill on and off.

I assume as DS2 and the kitten grow up together, they will learn to get along.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 06-Jun-13 18:25:15

Just back from the vet. Our kitten's temperature is down, so that's good. He had a tiny amount of food and drink this morning, but hasn't eaten a thing since and has slept all day. The vet said that was normal considering his condition. He took a blood sample this time to check for feline aids. Poor kitten has a shaved patch on his neck now sad.

Since we came home, I have managed to tempt him with some kitten milk, which he lapped up. He still refuses to touch his heated-up food and the smell is so awful that I'm tempted to stop heating it up. It's certainly not a smell that would make me want to eat it!

ToffeeWhirl Thu 06-Jun-13 18:32:58

cozie - I PM'd you a draft of my email to the breeder, but am not sure if you'll see it, thanks to Mumsnet losing the red dot.

out2lunch Thu 06-Jun-13 18:36:12

Mine will always eat ham if ill.small prices hand fed.its horrible when they are ill especially kits.my siamese was very ill when young but recovered really well.
Good luck.

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 06-Jun-13 18:38:46

How about one of those rotisserie chickens? Cats love them. Or a little bit of cheese.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 06-Jun-13 18:55:34

I have ham in the fridge, out. Will try handing him little bits by hand. Thanks.

Fluffy - No rotisserie here, but will try some little bits of cheese.

Thanks for the tips. Am so worried now that he is going to get really ill. We bought him to help my DS1 cope with his OCD/anxiety and he absolutely adores him. It's good to hear stories of cats that recover.

out2lunch Thu 06-Jun-13 19:01:44

Oh have just seen yr pic.beautiful.my siamese is identical except he is a red point.
Never a dull moment.: )

Melissakitkat Thu 06-Jun-13 19:04:14

Try olbas oil on the radiators - we used this when our cats suddenly got cat flu before Xmas - the eucalyptus helps clear their little nostrils and when they can't smell they don't eat. Ours also got a antibiotic jab from the vets. Xxx

Melissakitkat Thu 06-Jun-13 19:05:13

Btw all 9 of our cats recovered although at one point the house was resounding with the sound of cat sneezing! :0)

ToffeeWhirl Fri 07-Jun-13 15:45:44

Kitten really loves being fed little bits of ham, so thanks for that tip, out. He is also lapping up small amounts of kitten milk. He had a very small amount of Royal Canin kitten food (wet) this morning, but hasn't wanted to eat anything since, apart from the ham.

Am really apprehensive about ringing the vet for the blood-test results in case they have found anything else wrong with him.

out2lunch Fri 07-Jun-13 16:53:02

Ahh bless him.
Good luck with the vets.

ToffeeWhirl Fri 07-Jun-13 17:02:59

Phew. Test came back negative for feline AIDS and leukemia. Vet said the cat flu could last three to four weeks and wants to see him next week to check him.

He is still sleeping most of the time, so I am taking bits of food to him. He ate some kitten biscuits just now. He's probably just too tired to make the effort to walk to his cat bowls. He can't even get all the way upstairs - he keeps stopping halfway. I almost fell over him this morning because he is the same colour as the stairs and I didn't see him.

MumnGran Fri 07-Jun-13 17:21:17

So pleased for you smile

I highly recommend NutriPlus gel for cats who won't eat. Contains all the necessary nutrients in a tiny amount, which you can wipe onto paws and they wash off. Amazing .....and got one of my girls through a very serious illness.
Available often from vets, over the counter, or see :
www.petmeds.co.uk/p-3652-nutri-plus-gel.aspx?=googleshopping&CAWELAID=448552653&cagpspn=pla&gclid=CJSY6N6s0rcCFWbJtAod_BAA8g
(the one offered on amazon doesn't look like the right tube, so I would be wary!)

Hope all goes well.

ToffeeWhirl Fri 07-Jun-13 17:35:04

Oh, thanks for that, MumnGran. That's exactly the sort of thing I've been looking for, but I could only find a vitamin paste. Will google it or ask the vet.

ToffeeWhirl Sat 08-Jun-13 17:52:48

Kitty is currently curled up on his new electric blanket, purring happily. And he has just finished licking vitamin paste off his paws. Thanks for all these useful tips everyone. Together, we can rebuild this kitten!

cozietoesie Sat 08-Jun-13 18:06:19

Certainly can! Thanks for the tip about the Nutriplus, Mum. I think I do all Seniorboy's grooming these days but anythng is worth a try.

smile

out2lunch Sat 08-Jun-13 19:08:35

Ah good. smile

ToffeeWhirl Sat 08-Jun-13 19:24:41

Just realised I didn't thank Melissa for the tip about Olbas oil - so sorry and thank you! I'm going to try the Olbas oil tonight and then, hopefully, it will encourage him to eat more. Am very impressed that you had nine cats with cat flu - and very encouraged that they all recovered.

Mumngran - I used your tip about putting paste on paws with the vitamin paste. Very clever. He licked it all off smile.

cozie - no reply from breeder yet...

cozietoesie Sat 08-Jun-13 20:11:13

Doesn't surprise me at all.

cozietoesie Sat 08-Jun-13 20:15:27

Y'all will have to excuse me for an hour. I need to watch 'Battleship', Haven't seen it for a week.

grin

ToffeeWhirl Sat 08-Jun-13 20:28:41

You think she won't reply? Embarrassed? Guilty? Both?

cozietoesie Sat 08-Jun-13 20:33:53

Nonplussed I would guess. (I only watched the highlights.)

MumnGran Sun 09-Jun-13 11:41:32

I can only speak from personal experience, but a decade or more of phoning breeders to tell them cats had come into rescue offered about a 10% chance of getting a positive response.

That is truly sad, and I hope your breeder falls into that category, but in reality many just don't want to know once their kittens have been sold..... the worst 10% just hang up the phone. Most will talk, but not really want to acknowledge that a problem anything to do with them.

When it comes to telling them they have sold kittens with 'flu, the "uninterested" breeders are likely to be a) worried about what that means for their breeding b) worried that word will get out into the breeding community c) won't want to admit liability in case you want a refund d) consider its nothing to do with them - that's why they provide initial cover through PetPlan. ....or e) and most depressing of all, won't actually give a damn.

A few 'breeders' actually do believe that their tiny kittens have "caught a cold", when they show flu symptoms as babies!!!

I really hope, Toffee, that this will not be your experience .....but if the breeder is helpful and concerned, then you will be one of the luckier people. sad

ToffeeWhirl Sun 09-Jun-13 12:23:03

Oh, that's sad to hear, MumnGran. A friend thinks I should be asking for a refund, but I hadn't intended to do this. She said I had been sold 'shoddy goods', but my kitten is a living creature, not 'goods', and living creatures are unpredictable.

The breeder did provide initial cover through PetPlan, but when the cover came to an end, I changed to a cheaper provider. There is a 14-day waiting period before they will pay for anything and, of course, our kitten got ill then. Now nothing to do with cat flu will be covered. Sod's law.

If the breeder really did know the kitten was ill when she sold him to me, I will find that quite shocking. She knew that we were travelling a long way to get to her and staying overnight (which all cost money) and that we were buying the kitten for my son, who is ill with OCD/anxiety disorder. The last thing he needs is a poorly kitten or, god forbid, a kitten that doesn't survive. He will be distraught if that happens, although I don't now think it will.

Incidentally, DS1 thought kitty had run away yesterday and rang us in a terrible state. He and his grandma, who was with him whilst we were taking our younger son out, couldn't find him in the house, then noticed that the back door had been left open (turned out to have been left open by my younger son's friend, who didn't know that we keep our cat indoors). Eventually, they found kitty hiding under the bed near the open door, trembling. Turns out he is actually terrified of the Big Outdoors.

Kitty's fur looks terribly unkempt this morning sad. However, he has eaten some Applaws and licked vitamin paste off his paws. I have also managed to get the eye drops in (can still see that third eye lid) and given him his antibiotic tablet. He may have gone off me for a while grin.

cozietoesie Sun 09-Jun-13 13:27:47

I think he'll pull through, Toffee. Like Seniorboy he might have some residual effects (eg sneezing, the occasional slightly runny nose etc) - but remember that SB is 18 which is good going for any cat let alone a Siamese. So he sets a precedent.

Keep him real toasty warm with lots of love.

Fingers crossed for you.

ToffeeWhirl Sun 09-Jun-13 16:43:47

Thanks for those encouraging words, cozie. He had been cuddled on DS1's lap for most of the day, with a bowl of cat biscuits and pieces of ham at his side to tempt him. I'm sure the warmth of DS1's lap and the constant stroking and cuddling will be doing him good. And then he has his electric blanket at night, so he's warm then too.

It's amazing that Seniorboy is 18. That's 88 in human years, isn't it? The oldest cat ever recorded was 38, apparently, so you never know...

out2lunch Sun 09-Jun-13 17:07:38

Our cat became ill be soon after we got him.I thought about contacting the breeder but really didn't think it would be worthwhile - I was far too preoccupied with looking after the cat.I think I knew what sort of response I would get too.
I think some of these breeds are very delicate but seem to live to a ripe old age thanks to all the tlc.
I had a rescue half burmese who suffered with hay fever but made it to almost 20. smile

WouldBeHarrietVane Sun 09-Jun-13 17:11:54

We also had a poorly kitten with cat flu, but he recovered with lots of tlc and became a venerable old cat before he finally moved on to better things.

ToffeeWhirl Sun 09-Jun-13 17:14:02

out - it's really cheering me up to hear all these encouraging stories. Thanks.

MumnGran Sun 09-Jun-13 21:09:54

Toffee .... I would hope that the breeder did not sell you a sick kitten! it was probably quite fine before it left, but (as we discussed, with the herpes virus) the stress of moving to the new home is often enough to trigger a bout.

Have nursed lots of rescues through flu .... and with prompt vet treatment, as you did, and TLC they recover well, and carry on doing well for lots of years grin

Your kitten has you, and thats what will make the difference!!

ToffeeWhirl Sun 09-Jun-13 23:20:53

Wouldbe - I must have x-posted with you. Good to hear of another cat living to a ripe old age in spite of early cat flu.

Mum - it's true that our kitten looked very healthy when we collected him. However, the breeder described him as a lap cat and he never seemed to have the energy you would expect from a kitten, so I wonder now if he was not as well as he should have been. You would think the breeder would spot that. Anyway, it's good to know that your rescue kittens have recovered so well and gives me hope.

Actually, I think I see a spark of energy in him tonight. He started exploring the room, then leapt onto my lap and climbed up onto my shoulder, which he hasn't done for ages. Maybe he's turning the corner.

Am taking him back to the vet for a check up on Tuesday.

ZebraOwl Mon 10-Jun-13 01:23:52

Oh poor StracheySnowy ToffeeKitten. Just caught up, am so sorry to hear he's been so poorly.

Glad that you've been able to get lots of help & reassurance from here, especially with the breeder not having responded to you. Ugh.

Am so glad my two are not the only felines in the world that are terrified of Outside. Partly as it reassures me, but also cos the last thing you need is an AWOL kitten.

How's your DS1 doing atm? Hope he's coping okay with his furry little pal being so poorly.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 10-Jun-13 10:32:35

Hi Zebra! Yes, the kitten of countless names is very poorly. He won't eat at all this morning - it really worries me. Have tried him on warmed-up Applaws chicken (usually his favourite), two types of kitten biscuits and pieces of ham. He refuses them all. However, he is sitting on my lap, grooming himself, and I think the grooming must be a good sign. But he is so thin sad.

DS1 is being brilliant at helping me give kitty his meds and spends all day cuddling him. He doesn't know how worried I am about the kitten. He assumes he will be fine, which, I hope, is the case (and I am encouraged by all the reassurance on this thread).

Good news for DS1: his appointment with the CBT therapist has finally come through and starts this week!

<kitty jumps off my lap and goes to his food bowl>

Can anyone make sense of this? Kitty has gone up to his food bowls, sniffed at them, then scratched at the floor around them, like he does in his litter tray - as if he is trying to scratch earth and cover something up.

Oh, good, he's started eating. I don't think he likes the Applaws chicken heated up, actually.

Still no word from the breeder. It's making me angry now. She could be on holiday, I suppose...

Just to reassure you, all my cats have cat flu. I take in waifs and strays, all were symptomatic when I got them.

Eldest cat has runny eyes occasionally but never has a serious recurrence although she does wheeze a bit.

Her 4 yo daughter never shows symptoms.

The other 4 yo almost lost an eye to it he was so bad when I found him, he's never had a recurrence either.

The two youngest were very bad when I took them in, bleeding noses, breathing issues, conjunctivitis. They recovered well and are almost a year old now with no recurrences, one of them has a watery eye occasionally but nothing serious.

They can live a long and healthy life with it in their system so try not to worry about the future too much smile

ToffeeWhirl Mon 10-Jun-13 10:44:08

Summer - that does reassure me. Did the cats all stop eating when they were ill? My kitten is so thin that I can see his bones. I'm frightened he's just going to waste away.

cozietoesie Mon 10-Jun-13 10:46:22

Grooming is a good sign, I reckon - and remember that they're generally a lean breed.

Good news for DS1 also.

Best of luck for this week - and I wouldn't worry about the breeder now. You did your best and if she doesn't respond, so be it.

cozietoesie Mon 10-Jun-13 10:48:12

PS - keep an eye on tray use to see if there's peeing and pooing going on. Getting liquid into him is the main thing even though, like you, I'd be edgy at no noshing.

SoupDragon Mon 10-Jun-13 10:52:55

I'm having to try and fatten up my 5 year old cat at the moment (different reason but the principle is the same I guess) and the vet suggested things like chicken and scrambled eggs as they have very little waste in them.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 10-Jun-13 10:53:11

Good, I thought grooming must be a good sign. Have just helped him to do more grooming by wiping vitamin paste on his paws grin. And yes, the vet did comment on Balinese being a lean breed. Will try to forget about the breeder, but it bothers me because it doesn't fit with the impression I had of her. She seemed to really care about her cats.

Am very happy about DS1's forthcoming appointment.

Liquid is the priority right now. He may have lost his sense of smell and they don't like to eat if they can't smell it. As long as he's drinking, peeing and grooming I wouldn't worry too much. Keep an eye on his breathing, pneumonia is the killer with cat flu so if he becomes worryingly lethargic and rattles/wheezes when he breathes he may need to be admitted for treatment but for the moment he sounds like he's doing ok. Grooming and affection are great signs.

cozietoesie Mon 10-Jun-13 10:59:30

You did what you could with the breeder - and she may be on holiday now. I'd just move on.

You're vetting him tomorrow anyway I think? So you can check weight and condition with her.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 10-Jun-13 11:17:09

He is drinking, Summer, so that's good. He's also regularly using the litter tray, grooming himself and coming up to us for endless cuddles. He likes nothing more than going to sleep on a lap. I can't hear any wheezing at all.

Yes, cozie, am going to the vet tomorrow evening.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 10-Jun-13 11:18:18

Oh, just had a lovely reply from the breeder!

ToffeeWhirl Mon 10-Jun-13 11:21:40

Right, have just reread it. She says she has been contacting all the people who had his siblings to see if anyone else has a problem. All the others are ok at the moment. She says all the cats here are vaccinated, so there should be no problem, but occasionally they pick things up from shows or trips to the vets. She has changed the type of vaccine she uses as there is talk in the cat world about the one she was using being not very effective these days, particularly the calici part of it - apparently it was developed 40 years ago, and now is not very effective.

She says she hates to think there is a problem and that she may neuter his mother if she is not passing on strong immunity as she is not happy with that.

She asks me to keep in touch as she wants to do all she can to help.

Phew. My faith in my own intuition and in human nature has been restored.

grin

cozietoesie Mon 10-Jun-13 11:26:01

Well that was a great reply - and shows you were right to let her know.

Well done.

DiaryOfAWimpyMum Mon 10-Jun-13 12:25:36

I would still email the breeder she may not be interested but if one of my cats was unwell I would be worried about the breeding cats having it, but some don't give a toss.

I was recommended years ago to give this to my cats, so always have some in powder form and put it in their drinking water, it keeps them healthy, good for cat flu and herpes and helps prevent fleas (apparently) ; l lysine

I only just realised there is one especially for cats, mine still have the one from the health food shop, which i'm sure is cheaper.

DiaryOfAWimpyMum Mon 10-Jun-13 12:26:13

Oh sorry I wrote that before going shopping then posted just now blush

ToffeeWhirl Mon 10-Jun-13 12:27:52

'She says all the cats with her are vaccinated', I should have said (cut and pasting).

Yes, it was the right thing to tell her, cozie (as you urged me to do when kitty first became ill in April - I know, I know! [smile).

A new development: kitty has started licking walls. Why?! It is a particular area of wall in DS1's bedroom. I wiped it down with wet cotton wool, thinking it may have had some invisible liquid on it, but he was straight back to licking it. I have taken him away from it in case the paint is toxic. DS1 said he noticed kitty doing this yesterday and removed him from it, but he kept going back. Really bizarre.

cozietoesie Mon 10-Jun-13 12:37:35

Gawd - I have no idea. I would have to guess some sort of attractive smell on the wall but what that could be....................?

ToffeeWhirl Mon 10-Jun-13 12:42:59

If it was right in front of where DS1 sits to play his XBox, I would imagine it was splashes of (forbidden) fizzy drinks (I find the empty cans in the bin), but it's tucked away round the corner, where nobody goes. I have googled and it can be related to dietary needs/anaemia, so I will mention it to the vet tomorrow.

Thanks for the tip about lysine, Diary. Did you ever giving it in biscuit form, as a treat? It's a lot cheaper that way, but will be a waste of money if kitty won't eat it.

cozietoesie Mon 10-Jun-13 12:54:40

OK - here are some thoughts. But be warned that they're real beyond the boundary fence stuff.

Has that wall ever been replastered or been slightly damp? If so, there might be some slight chemical efflorescence which is attracting him. I'm thinking something that might have a salty or mineral odour (they have terrific noses) and I'm also wondering whether you're still giving him the Applaws wet food? Do you remember that that's not a complete food ? If he's not getting Applaws dry or another brand of kitten food, maybe he's missing some nutrients.

There could also be some stress which might be producing a pica type behaviour and could be helped with Feliway if you haven't got it.

Also - did you end up getting him neutered? (Thinking how ill he's been, that might not have been foremost on your mind.) If not, and given his age, he might just have been doing a 'starter' spray. You wouldn't necessarily notice a smell because the hormones haven't kicked fully in yet.

That's a garbled tome indeed.

I'd wash the wall down with non-bio, check his nosh (and change it if necessary) and discuss the neutering with the vet tomorrow if not already done.

Maybe others can come up with ideas.

DiaryOfAWimpyMum Mon 10-Jun-13 12:59:32

I never tried it in biscuit form, always power in water which both cats and the dog drank. It really does help.

If she is going to cat shows she could have picked it up there, I know of people who go but change before they come home to their own cats.

Not sure about the wallpaper, he sounds like a character!

out2lunch Mon 10-Jun-13 13:18:54

Sounds to me like a spraying issue
Mine could spray for England
But definitely worth mentioning to vet re paint and pica etc
Re the skinniness - they are so lean....despite eating so much mine was transparent at times in bright sunlight.
Try not to worry too much op these cats are really sensitive and intelligent and do pick up on stress etc.

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 10-Jun-13 14:17:38

Is it lead paint? Some cats like sweet tastes, ours loves icing off cakes.

I've never had a wall-licker, that's a new one.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 10-Jun-13 14:52:41

cozie - it's a loft conversion, so the wall was plastered over as it was just brick-work. Kitty is being offered both wet and dry food, but he's eating such miniscule amounts that he might be lacking vitamins/minerals. Am giving him vitamin paste now, so that should help.

I have got some Feliway, so no harm in trying that to see if it helps.

The spraying idea is a real possibility. I was going to get him neutered this month (20% discount at the vet for neutering this month grin), but his illness has delayed that. I'll ask the vet's advice about when it would be ok to do that.

In the meantime, I discovered a simple solution: I have pulled DS1's washing basket in front of that bit of the wall. Cue: one very frustrated kitty.

Diary - cat show sounds plausible, but if the owner had carried the virus back on her from a cat show, you'd think her other kittens would be infected too and they are fine. It's all very confusing.

out - yes, he will probably always be a slim cat.

It's not lead paint, Fluffy (luckily).

Am going to have to make a list of things to discuss with the vet tomorrow, so I don't forget anything.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 11-Jun-13 09:37:51

DS1 reports that our kitten is now licking other parts of his wall confused.

<adds to long list of questions for vet>

cozietoesie Tue 11-Jun-13 09:58:47

I'd say it's spraying of some sort, Toffee. Orientals can be quite 'forward' in their maturity for that and 6 months is well old enough for that sort of thing.

Is it today he's going to the vet?

cozietoesie Tue 11-Jun-13 10:01:01

PS - let me put it this way. He's going to have to be neutered anyway so when that's done, you can scrub the wall down with something to neutralize any possible smell and see what happens. (Neutering should pretty well stop it in a single cat household.) Your only serious issue is whether he's well enough at the moment and that I'd discuss with the vet.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 11-Jun-13 10:11:47

So he's spraying on the wall and then licking it? Ugh. Why?

No smell, but I think you said the hormones probably haven't kicked in yet.

I have to say, it is very funny to watch because he is so determined and licks so thoroughly. You'd think that wall was the most delicious thing ever.

Seeing the vet today at 5, yes.

cozietoesie Tue 11-Jun-13 10:14:00

I don't know why - even if it is that. All I'm thinking is that he's going to have to be neutered in any case so you might as well get that out of the equation as soon as he's able to take the op.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 11-Jun-13 10:19:11

Here's another cat like mine grin.

cozietoesie Tue 11-Jun-13 10:31:31

Weird - although worth noting that that's a tiled bathroom so maybe relatively recently completed/grouted and maybe also having something/some odour efflorescing from the wall.)

I would be inclined to throw a broad spectrum solution at this and consider also stress and/or nutrient deficits as in my earlier post. (The neutering has to be done anyway so should be discussed with the vet for an early resolution.)

I just don't know, Toffee. Any other solutions from posters would be great to hear.

cozietoesie Tue 11-Jun-13 10:34:14

PS - are you in a position to switch rooms wholesale for a short period? (I appreciate that it might not be possible to separate KS from DS1 and put him in a room by himself - due to attachment etc.)

ToffeeWhirl Tue 11-Jun-13 10:43:34

Yes, that's true about the tiled bathroom, but there is another online clip of a cat licking a normal wall (it's a bit blurry, which is why I didn't link to that one).

It's ok, we're all downstairs now and kitty is with us. If DS1 and kitty go upstairs later, DS1 is vigilant about stopping the licking and will bring him downstairs again if he won't stop. We are concerned about toxins in the paint.

I'll let you know what the vet says about it.

cozietoesie Tue 11-Jun-13 10:50:22

Good - I'm interested.

Best of luck.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 11-Jun-13 19:31:10

Saw the vet. He is concerned because kitty has lost more weight and he thinks there may be something other than cat flu going on. He wants to test for liver/kidney issues, which will involve sedation and a blood test. We will sort out an appointment in the next couple of days.

He thinks the licking thing is to do with something kitty is not getting in his diet. He doesn't think it's spraying and says that because the kitten is so underweight and unwell, he wouldn't recommend having him neutered yet.

Poor kitty tried to jump up on the vet's lap and couldn't do it, so he fell awkwardly on the floor. It was so sad to see. He keeps trying to do kittenish things and not having the strength.

MumnGran - the Nutriplus gel arrived today, so I wiped it on his paws and he licked it all off. Thanks again for that recommendation.

DS1 remains blissfully oblivious of all this, and I intend to keep it that way. Hopefully, whatever is wrong can be sorted and we'll have a well kitten again.

cozietoesie Tue 11-Jun-13 19:37:25

Oh Dear. Get him in for the procedure as soon as possible then and keep us posted.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 11-Jun-13 19:39:49

Good grief, your poor kitten.

I work in nursing homes, they use vitamin drinks there to support residents and it really works. I'm sure a lot of them would pass if it wasn't for good basic nursing.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 11-Jun-13 19:45:29

Yes, I will, cozie.

Glad to hear that, Fluffy. I will keep on with the Nutriplan. It's meant to encourage appetite, as well as providing vitamines and minerals.

cozietoesie Tue 11-Jun-13 19:47:26

Well I'll be thinking of you all - so difficult for you, especially, to have all this trouble and yet to have to stay superficially calm and happy for DS1's sake.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 11-Jun-13 20:28:58

vitamins, not vitamines, obviously.

Thanks, cozie. DS1 doesn't suspect a thing, thank goodness. The vet mentioned possible liver shunt and I have scared myself by googling it, but at least I know cats can live with it. No point in speculating at the moment.

out2lunch Tue 11-Jun-13 22:36:47

If it's any help at all op our siamese was given a very poor prognosis by the vets as a kitten.after lots of tests and stays at a special hospital the vets didn't really come to any conclusions.he just grew and ate and got stronger.
Fingers crossed.

ToffeeWhirl Wed 12-Jun-13 00:20:55

That's comforting to hear, out2lunch. Fingers crossed indeed.

He did manage to eat a little Applaws chicken this evening and came back for more - probably still only a third of a small tin, but better than nothing.

cozietoesie Wed 12-Jun-13 09:45:50

How is he this morning, Toffee?

ToffeeWhirl Wed 12-Jun-13 11:40:52

Funnily enough, he's eating a little more. He ate about half a little tin of Applaws chicken last night and has eaten a bit more this morning. Then DH gave him some Felix and he ate some of that. So that is an improvement. Maybe he's just lost weight because he has cat flu confused and now he's beginning to feel better.

Anyway, we have booked him in for the sedation and blood test on Friday morning. Unfortunately, I don't think the insurance will cover it because the issue predates the official start of the insurance (there was a 14 day period after I took it out when they wouldn't cover any new illnesses. That ends today, but they're bound to say the blood test is related to his ongoing issues). It's like a big black hole of money. Obviously, we will pay what we need to to keep kitty well, but it's frustrating to be paying for insurance, then realise it won't pay up when we need it.

Anyway, I'm glad he's eating a little more. Also, DS1's first appointment with the psychologist to help with his OCD was this morning and that went well.

ZebraOwl Wed 12-Jun-13 11:42:09

Oh ToffeeWhirl, am so sorry the Kitten Of Many Names is such a poorly little boy. Glad that you've been able to get so much good advice from people here though & also that DS1's no idea of how worried you are and/or how poorly his feline friend is.

Hopefully the Nutriplus gel will help with any possible nutritional deficiency. As Applaws is so beloved of the wee one would you think of trying Almo? It is a complete wet food (well, Almo actually don't think any cat should be fed only wet, but it is okay to do so unlike with the Applaws) so would be better in that sense & is a high quality not-full-of-gubbins one. Zooplus, MedicAnimal & Pet Supermarket all stock it & am sure plenty of other places do too. (My local independent petshop stocks it, so yours might?)

Am so SO pleased to hear that DS1 has some CBT lined up & I really REALLY hope that it helps him.

(Eek! Need to be going out NOW! Mnyarghkle!)

cozietoesie Wed 12-Jun-13 11:52:47

Glad you've seen some improvement, Toffee, modest though it is - and good news about DS1's good result with his appointment.

smile

DiaryOfAWimpyMum Wed 12-Jun-13 12:11:55

Toffee I should have added I had a cat with cat flu and whenever I started her on the l lysiene she only ever had one bad bout again. It is seriously good stuff.

I have yet to meet a cat who doesn't like applaws!

ToffeeWhirl Wed 12-Jun-13 14:03:39

Zebra - you're right, he is a kitten of many names smile. The vet still calls him Snowy, but we call him Baby and that is the name he answers to. We really will give him a proper name one day.

Thanks for the tip about Almo wet food. That's a great idea.

Zebra and cozie - I feel hopeful about the CBT treatment. The psychologist is very experienced with OCD, particularly amongst children, and DS1 liked her, so that's half the battle.

Diary - I asked the vet about L Lysiene yesterday and he was all in favour. Will definitely get some.

ToffeeKitten is sleeping on his blanket now, but he has been back to his food bowl two or three times this morning, so that's hopeful.

cozietoesie Wed 12-Jun-13 14:32:00

What a wee fighter, eh?

smile

ToffeeWhirl Wed 12-Jun-13 16:44:46

Let's hope so, cozie.

He has slept in his basket most of the day, but I just brought him a bowl of wet food and he ate it, then used the litter tray. Then he went upstairs to see DS1.

He is leaving little clumps of hair on the floor behind him. Will mention it to the vet, as it doesn't look normal. Maybe it's a nutritional deficiency from not eating enough.

cozietoesie Wed 12-Jun-13 16:47:58

Have you tried a groom to see the extent of any problem ?

Oh - and have you moved him on to a complete wet kitten food? (I know he likes the Applaws wet (and that's better than nothing) but......)

ToffeeWhirl Wed 12-Jun-13 16:51:14

No. Will have to hunt for the brush <looks in horror at the piles of stuff lying around>.

Well, he was eating biscuits and wet food until the last couple of days, but yes, he does seem to have stopped eating biscuits now. Agree I should try him on a complete wet food whilst he prefers it, eg. Almo. Although we are giving him Felix kitten wet pouches as well. Isn't that a complete food? confused

cozietoesie Wed 12-Jun-13 16:54:11

It is. If he's eating standard wet kitten food as well as the wet Applaws, that's OK. Other posters might have suggestions for some good brands to tempt his appetite.

Well done.

ToffeeWhirl Wed 12-Jun-13 17:01:37

We are offering him anything and everything now. We just want him to eat! DH came back with all sorts of treats and several packets of kitten milk yesterday. I am also offering him Science Plan Healthy Development kitten biscuits and Royal Canin kitten pouches.

cozietoesie Wed 12-Jun-13 17:13:56

Good stuff. Remember to keep it to small amounts, regularly changed. (They like fresh and it dries up very quickly.) Cat food freezes beautifully by the way - if you want to avoid throwing away lots of expensive stuff which has gone off/dried up/you're not sure about.

ToffeeWhirl Wed 12-Jun-13 18:22:19

I only leave wet food out in the bowl for about an hour, then throw it away - am a bit paranoid about germs growing on it.

Have ordered some mini chicken fillets in my online shopping order for today and am going to cook those for him. DH thinks we should cook some minced lamb too, as that would be fattening.

Thanks for the tip about freezing.

ToffeeWhirl Wed 12-Jun-13 20:36:06

Well, ToffeeKitten was just asking me for food. He is now tucking into some more Applaws smile.

Forgive me posting here every time he eats, but am using this as a record for myself so I can inform the vet.

MumnGran Wed 12-Jun-13 20:37:57

Brilliant news Toffee smile so pleased for you, and for poor little Baby. He has had a rough patch.
Not sure if renewed appetite will all be down to the NutriPlus, but its amazing stuff isn't it..... seems to work like a charm, every time.

ToffeeWhirl Wed 12-Jun-13 21:54:22

He's just having another snack smile.

Mum - we are having a battle over the NutriPlus. I wipe a blob on his paws and he shakes it off. I put it on again... etc. But, in the end, I win grin.

ToffeeWhirl Wed 12-Jun-13 21:55:14

Oh dear, he hardly ate anything. But he showed willing, at least.

cozietoesie Wed 12-Jun-13 22:04:36

Yes indeed - he's showing willing. You can't expect him to eat all the time, after all.

ZebraOwl Fri 14-Jun-13 08:34:03

Is fantastic your DS1 liked the psychologist on first meeting: as you say, that's incredibly important. I have everything crossed for you that this works for him. (If Baby The Kitten Of Many Aliases is sneezing lots hopefully, with DS1 being loved so much by him that luck will focus on CBT working well...)

Willingness to eat is brilliant & I'd guess that it's the same for Baby as for us: even when you reach the stage in convalescence where you're interested in food you just can't manage to eat very much. I imagine dry food would feel a bit like hard work just now if eating is tiring. Softening it up with milk or water or mixing it in with wet food might help.

I'd guess the fur-loss is probably linked to the dietary deficiencies that are leading to the wall-licking - similar to the way people with anorexia lose their hair due to malnutrition. I hope that it is "just" that & will thus improve when he starts getting everything he needs in his diet.

ToffeeWhirl Fri 14-Jun-13 12:42:20

Well, came back from the vet very happy because he is pleased with ToffeeKitten's progress and decided we'd wait before doing any more tests smile. So that's better for kitty's stress levels and for our bank balance. The vet advised me to get kitty weighed by the nurse regularly to check that he's gaining weight. I told him that kitty was licking all sorts of things now (washing machine and other walls), but he didn't seem very concerned about it.

An hour after I arrived home, DS1 screams to me that I have to see the cat. And there is ToffeeKitten looking all the world like a plucked chicken, with all the fur pulled out of his chest and a raw, red patch underneath. It looks really sore and .... shocking.

So, I phoned the vet for advice (wondering if it was some sort of stress reaction to visiting the vet) and they have asked me to take him back in at 5.

In the meantime, we are taking DS1 to visit his new school (fingers crossed he will cope, as he will be very nervous - maybe I could try Feliway on him too? wink), then going into work (to pay for all the vet fees!).

I never knew that having a kitten would be such a rollercoster.

Thank you for all the kind and encouraging words, cozie, Mum and zebra.

cozietoesie Fri 14-Jun-13 12:51:02

Yikes. How did DS1 cope with finding him? (There's only so long that you can disguise the fact that KS isn't so hot, I guess.

Let us know how he gets on.

You're getting more of a roller coaster ride with this one than most people get in a lifetime of cats by the way.

MumnGran Fri 14-Jun-13 17:10:31

See what the vet says, but it sounds like a major pica episode, as a stress response to all the stuff that has been going on - bless his heart. I am guessing he has progressed very rapidly through licking one spot, to multi target, to doing it to himself.
Once they start, its really hard to stop, and would recommend contacting Vicky Halls (or similar decent feline behaviourist) for advice on managing.

If you can persuade your vet to treat it as something completely new then you may be able to have it covered by insurance!!

ToffeeWhirl Fri 14-Jun-13 17:54:29

Well, the vet checked for fleas (none), then said it could be stress or it could be itchy skin caused by an underlying liver disorder, which only blood tests will determine. He has given me Fucidin cream to put on it and we will adopt a wait-and-see approach. This is a new symptom, so I think any tests that the vet does after this would be covered by the insurance.

The vet didn't charge me for the second consultation today, which was kind.

My next challenge is to stop ToffeeKitten licking off the Fucidin cream.

Mum - oh goodness, I hope it's not that. Thanks for the contact, but we don't have any money left to spend on this kitten, unless it's an emergency, so I will hold off on that for now.

cozie - DS was a bit shocked when he found a plucked kitten, but seems to have recovered remarkably quickly. It still hasn't occured to him that we have a sickly kitten, so he's not worried about that, and he is not squeamish.

DH, on the other hand, nearly passed out when I showed him... grin

MumnGran Fri 14-Jun-13 17:59:10

you could ask vet for a (free!) collar ...like a cone... that stops them biting at stitches after ops, and will also prevent licking off cream, and any attempt at more fur pulling. Wouldn't need to take him back, to get that.

A seriously quiet weekend sounds in order, so he can de-stress as much as possible. More than anything though, I am just so pleased for you that he is getting better and eating again smile.

ToffeeWhirl Fri 14-Jun-13 18:04:06

Damn, I wish they'd offered me a free collar. I can't get back there today and I have to keep stopping him from licking at it.

I agree about the quiet weekend for him - and for all of us smile!

ZebraOwl Fri 14-Jun-13 22:26:45

Do you have a babygro (even a doll's one) kicking about/gettable? You have to make certain alterations & be ready to help with Using The Tray but I know people who've used it as an alternative to The Cone Of Shame with cats who will not/cannot tolerate it...

But poor wee Toffeekitten, what a time he's having - and poor you having to deal with it, too! Am very glad that it's not upset your DS1 - how did the school visit go? I hope it went well - it's good he has psychological support in place now as the psychologist should be able to help manage the impact of transitioning to a new school.

ToffeeWhirl Fri 14-Jun-13 22:32:35

I love the idea of him in a BabyGro, Zebra grin. After all, he is already my surrogate baby. So far, I have managed to distract him from licking that spot and he is now sleeping on DH's lap. Will see how it goes tomorrow.

And yes, he is having quite a time of it, poor kitten.

The school visit went well, thanks. Almost couldn't get DS1 there because he panicked, but somehow, between me and DH, we persuaded him to go. He has a longer visit on Monday, so am crossing my fingers that he will cope with that. He has to realise that the only way to overcome his anxieties is to face them head on. As you say, Zebra, the psychologist can help him to cope with that transition. I feel really hopeful.

ZebraOwl Sat 15-Jun-13 17:20:13

Apparently it does make cats look almost unbearably cute... Suspect your DS2 would be distinctly unimpressed, mind you. I suppose another option would be to pop him in a sling so you can trot him about the place in a perma-snuggle & he can't get to the sore spot? wink I hope the fucidin helps & that ToffeeKitten can be dissuaded from licking that spot.

Glad the school visit went well & hope that Monday's does too: will keep my hooves crossed smile

cozietoesie Mon 17-Jun-13 09:12:52

How is he doing today, Toffee?

It seems that Seniorboy has come out in sympathy with KS by developing a URI. (I think he's had latent cat flu for years and with his age, and a less effective immune system, it's seized the opportunity.) Just waiting for a phone back from the vet as to whether I have to go in.

cozietoesie Mon 17-Jun-13 10:14:02

In tomorrow. Not sure there's much they can do but in view of his age etc the vet wants to see him.

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 17-Jun-13 10:17:41

Poor senior boy, is he eating?

cozietoesie Mon 17-Jun-13 10:23:11

Eating, drinking and using his tray fine. (Well a big sick this morning but that was because he got out of bed and immediately pigged his first breakfast.) His eyes are OK and he doesn't look to have any mouth problems - just two big snottery sneezes.

I think he may always have had a latent flu - he's been given to occasional sneezing and a wet nose since I got him. (You'll have to watch for that on KS, Toffee.) Just that he's old and cat flu is dangerous to the young and the old - like so many things.

MumnGran Mon 17-Jun-13 10:25:01

awwww .... hope he picks up soon!

ZebraOwl Mon 17-Jun-13 16:45:00

Sorry to hear Seniorboy's poorly too cozie: hope that he's not too bad with it.

How's Kitten Strachey today Toffee? And how did DS1's school visit go?

ToffeeWhirl Mon 17-Jun-13 17:30:49

Oh, so sorry to hear about Seniorboy, cozie. If he is still eating, drinking and using his litter tray, those must be really good signs. Let us know how you get on at the vet tomorrow.

Kitten Strachey is doing well, I think. He is eating more each day - still small amounts, but more frequently. I think he is getting used to us bringing him food regularly, even when he is lying in his basket (pampered cat smile). He still won't touch biscuits at the moment, but I think that is because we are willing to keep giving him wet food in our desperation to make him eat. He is eating mostly Felix at present, augmented with his favourite Applaws.

His eye infection has gone and we can see his big blue eyes again. He hasn't scratched at his fur again, so his wounds are healing.

He is still licking walls confused. We know when he's doing it because we can hear his tongue rasping on the wall. He knows he isn't meant to do it because he always stops and looks a bit guilty when we approach him.

Am still putting the NutriPlus on his paws and at least some of it gets licked off. The rest of it ends up in sticky blobs on the floor for us to tread on in the morning. Oh, and I am adding Lysine to his water to combat the flu virus. Would that help Seniorboy, cozie? I bought mine from a healthfood shop (cheaper than online) and I just cut up the capsules and sprinkle it into the drinking water.

DS1 is sleeping downstairs with him at night at the moment. He is a bit put out that kitty always goes back to his heated basket after his cuddles (he does love that electric pad).

Last night, we had a major breakthrough with DS2, who has held out all this time and never even stroked kitty. However, I was reading to DS2 in his bed last night and kitty was curled up against me. He was so still that DS2 tentatively reached out his hand and stroked him. Once he'd started, he couldn't stop. "He's so soft!" I managed to stay calm and not make a big deal about it, but really I wanted to whoop.

I am going to take kitty in for weighing every couple of weeks and only take him back to the vet if he isn't gaining weight or if anymore symptoms show.

Thanks for asking after DS1's school visit, zebra. Unfortunately, it was cancelled until this Friday. However, he had another CBT session and it went really well. He definitely feels more hopeful that he will be able to overcome his OCD now.

cozietoesie Mon 17-Jun-13 17:53:19

Good news about both DSs, Toffee - and good news also about KS's improving health. (Bar the wall-licking, little devil. I would actually chastise him verbally when you hear the sound rather than approaching him and waiting for him to stop. Best if you do it rather than the DSs - adults have a more measured tone than youngsters.)

I was actually considering the Lysine and shall consult with the vet tomorrow in the interests of transparency. At the moment, he's just keeping close to his electric blanket so warmth and rest appear to be doing the trick - no more snottery sneezes since this morning at least.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 17-Jun-13 20:06:48

ToffeeKitten just fell down the stairs sad. Poor boy. He's unhurt, just a bit surprised. We all cuddled him. But DS1 said he had noticed him being wobbly on his legs today, as had I. His back legs aren't behaving quite right. I hope it's because he's still recovering from the cat flu.

cozietoesie Mon 17-Jun-13 20:13:01

Oh Dear. I'm wondering whether that's weakness through being an invalid? Could you keep him downstairs so that no stairs are required?

cozietoesie Mon 17-Jun-13 20:22:19

Does he seem to be using his tray OK, Toffee?

ToffeeWhirl Mon 17-Jun-13 20:27:32

Yes, I hope so. We will carry him upstairs if he wants to go up and be with DS1.

He is using his tray.

Oh dear, he is such a worry.

cozietoesie Mon 17-Jun-13 20:31:49

Doing their tray squat is the biggest unavoidable strain on back legs so if that's going OK, it's something.

Such a worry, indeed. You're coping well.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 17-Jun-13 20:48:27

Ah, that's worth knowing. I'll take the lid off the litter tray and watch him next time he goes.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 18-Jun-13 10:15:22

What time is your visit to the vet today, cozie? I do hope the vet can deal with his URI, in spite of Seniorboy's age <fingers and paws crossed>.

Came down to a long slug-like hairball lying on the kitchen floor this morning - a lovely start to the day. All that hair ToffeeKitten had pulled off himself the other day had to come out sometime, I suppose.

There has been another incident: he fell off a chair yesterday evening. He was looking up at me and he just tipped backwards and fell sad. I was scared to leave him for the night (DS1 was sleeping upstairs again), but tucked all the chairs under the table so that he wouldn't jump on them. And he does love his heated basket, so I knew he'd stay there for the night.

He seems ok this morning. His miaw has come back at last, which is so sweet to hear. He demanded breakfast and ate about a quarter of a pouch of Felix, so he still has an appetite. He also went upstairs when I wasn't looking and he was fine this time.

He stopped licking the wall when he caught me looking at him this morning - then he waited for me to leave, so he could continue grin. I carried him away from it instead, much to his irritation, I'm sure. (Those walls are just so damn tasty!).

cozietoesie Tue 18-Jun-13 10:27:25

Later today. I think he's not too bad - sleeping on his electric blanket at the moment so it seems that heat is a good thing. (At any rate he thinks so despite the fact that it's summer - and it seems that KS thinks so also?) I'll let you know how it goes.

Good news about him getting rid of the hairball and then eating but I don't like the sound of him falling off a chair. Maybe he got dizzy from lack of food and invalid status (and maybe he was already feeling queasy from the hairball) but ....keep a close eye on him? (I'm sure you will anyway.)

ToffeeWhirl Tue 18-Jun-13 13:16:49

Good, glad Seniorboy is enjoying his electric blanket and sleeping well.

No, I don't like the falling-off-chair thing either. This morning, he has wobbled whilst sitting on the sofa arm (I caught him), he has snapped at me twice whilst I was stroking him (maybe something hurt?) and he is licking walls all over the place. After I told him to stop last time, he went into the corner of the sitting room and did a wee. Am not sure if that was a protest at being told to stop something he liked doing or if he is just getting very confused. He is still wiping with his paws around his food bowl, as if it is his litter tray too.

Honestly, it feels as if something is not right with him and I think I will have to take him back to the vet for further blood tests, even though the experience is stressful for him. A friend suggested I cover his basket with a blanket to stop people looking in at him, as I think that caused him a lot of stress last time.

I did mention to DS1 today that I didn't think he was a well cat and that I was worried about him. I thought he might need time to get used to the idea, in case the worst happens. DS1 just accepted it at face value and missed the implication, but that's probably all he can deal with at the moment.

Best of luck at the vet this afternoon, cozie.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 18-Jun-13 14:27:05

He is unsteady when he's sitting still now too. He wobbled to the left and nearly fell a minute ago. It's either that his balance is all wrong or his back legs are weak.

MumnGran Tue 18-Jun-13 14:33:34

Toffee ...I know you don't need the additional expense, but do think that what you are seeing indicates an urgent call to the vet.
Will keep fingers crossed here.

Just as a thought, I would mention the L-lysine and double check with the vet on the dosage he has been having in his water, from the capsules. Am sure its fine, but these are odd symptoms so vet needs to know precise full picture.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 18-Jun-13 14:41:00

I'll see if I can take him tomorrow morning, MumnGran. I agree with you. There are too many odd symptoms and they seem to be increasing, not getting better. I wondered if the wobbliness is an ear infection that is affecting his balance, but there is no point speculating really as only the vet will know.

I will mention the L-lysine, but I'm sure he isn't getting too high a dose.

Oh, and there is no expense now as these are new symptoms and will be covered entirely by the insurance. I was just holding off taking him because he was so stressed by the experience last time and I wanted to give him a break.

MumnGran Tue 18-Jun-13 14:45:53

Hate guess-working symptoms but these could be neurological (hence the query about the L dosage).
Would keep a very close eye.
Poor baby. And poor you!!

cozietoesie Tue 18-Jun-13 14:47:25

Back home.

Seniorboy did OK - we didn't manage to get enough blood to send away but enough to be going along with along with urine tomorrow (for the kidney tests.) For the cat flu he got an AB jab for secondary infections and will get another later in the week. The vet was broadly OK with his weight and condition given his age.

Toffee, I'm heartsore about wee KS. I'd phone the vet this afternoon and see if they want to see him right away. These new symptoms are worrying and, like you, I wonder if he could have a secondary infection - there not being much you can do about the virus itself. I'd phone right away. Sorry.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 18-Jun-13 15:41:00

Which bit of going to the vets distresses him? I've noticed the less traumatic it is to get I'm into the carrier equals a less stressful visit.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 18-Jun-13 15:57:49

Well done to Seniorboy. Hopefully the AB jab will help him right away. It's good that his weight and condition is ok for his age.

I have phoned the vet and the vet we normally see is off till Saturday. The first time any vet can see him for blood tests is Friday morning. In light of what you said, I wonder if I should ring back and ask to speak to a vet (I spoke to the receptionist).

Fluffy - ToffeeKitten's carrier is his bed, so he doesn't mind being in that, although he doesn't like the fact that he is shut in when I take him out. I suspect he just gets stressed at being out with lots of different people looking through the front of the basket at him.

MumnGran Tue 18-Jun-13 16:04:10

I would call back, Toffee.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 18-Jun-13 16:10:32

Could you put a towel over it while your waiting in the vets?

When do senior boys blood tests come back cozie?

ToffeeWhirl Tue 18-Jun-13 16:14:21

Have managed to get him booked in for 6pm this evening smile.

MumnGran Tue 18-Jun-13 16:15:57

Suggest taking a log of all weakness, wobbles & impaired co-ordination in the last 24 hours (because if anything like me, I forget half the things I meant to say!!)

ToffeeWhirl Tue 18-Jun-13 16:22:13

Funny you should say that - have just come back to the thread to note it all down! This thread is a good record.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 18-Jun-13 16:28:04

Yes, Fluffy, that's a great idea about covering the basket. Will do that.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 18-Jun-13 19:35:54

Back from the vet. He said that, as we thought, these were seriously bad signs and it is very bad news that ToffeeKitten is getting progressively more symptoms. He suspects liver problems affecting the brain, but asked me not to speculate too much until we get the results on Thursday.

He decided to do the blood test straight away, but warned me that, because we don't know what is wrong internally with the kitten, the poor thing might have an adverse reaction to the sedation. Well, that just about finished me off - the thought of going home without our cat and telling DS1. I ended up leaving kitty and walking back to the car in floods of tears. I couldn't stop, even in front of DS2, who was waiting for me with DH. We called round on MIL and I was still in floods. DS2 actually told me to pull myself together blush.

Well, the good news out of all this is that the vet decided to try gas instead of an injection and this seems to have worked well. When I picked kitty up, he was really perky and looking out of the basket.

I'm not telling DS1 anything about what the vet said until we know something for sure on Thursday. I just hope that, whatever it is, it can be treated. I don't suppose ToffeeKitten will make old bones, but I'd like him to have a few years, at least.

He is sleeping peacefully on my lap again, curled up like a perfectly round shell, with his nose tucked into his tail. I keep crying, but I really mustn't let DS1 see or he'll know something is up. Hopefully if I have a good cry now, I will be all cried out by the time I see DS1, who is playing XBox upstairs with his friends and still blissfully unaware of what is happening.

cozietoesie Tue 18-Jun-13 19:38:27

Oh Toffee. sad

I have to go somewhere for a short while. I'll be back directly.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 18-Jun-13 19:42:12

Thanks, cozie. I can't believe how upset I am. Am in pieces. It's just like when my dog died when I was 15, but I have only known this kitten for a few months.

I think it's also because we invested so much hope in this kitten. We bought him to help my DS1 overcome his illness and saw him as a symbol of hope. And he is such a sweet kitten.

Really must pull myself together. Have DS2's bath to do and story to read. And must not let DS1 see me all red-eyed and pathetic.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 18-Jun-13 19:46:18

Oh lord, this is just awful. That poor little cat.

cozietoesie Tue 18-Jun-13 20:19:45

Back now.

Seniorboy's blood, that small amount they managed to collect, was analysed in-house. (They had enough to measure the technical mumble technical GS22 enzyme widgets or something.) The vet phoned me mid-afternoon to give me the results and was pretty happy with them. I have to collect a urine sample tomorrow morning and they'll analyse that as well - and together, they should cover what the vet needs to know for continued NSAID use. (Allied with his clearly good condition and reasonable weight.) She's treating the cat flu as a separate problem because luckily there are no interactions.

Toffee - I'm just very upset about KS. All of the regulars on this board have 'known' him (through you) since he first arrived and for me, it almost feels as if he's one of my own boys. Everything crossed here for him.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 18-Jun-13 20:33:30

Oh, that's such good news about Seniorboy, cozie grin. I'm so pleased for you and him.

Fluffy - thank you. It's just not fair.

Right, I have pulled myself together at last. Have had to reapply make up so DS1 doesn't suspect anything. Have had lots of cuddles with ToffeeKitten.

Am being practical now. I hope that whatever the vet finds, it will be possible to medicate and kitty's problems will melt away for the moment. I realise that may be wishful thinking.

If the vet says that the kindest thing is to put kitty to sleep, how on earth do I know when to make that decision? ToffeeKitten is not in pain or discomfort. So long as he is on a familiar lap and has regular food and water, he's a contented cat. (I realise the wobbly legs will become more of a problem if they get worse). I don't want to end this kitten's contented life. How do you know when the time is right? Actually, I asked the vet that and he said I'll know. Do you think that's true?

MumnGran Tue 18-Jun-13 20:35:00

Toffee, I am so very very sorry.
No-one should have to go through this, least of all you and your DS.

He is blessed that he has you, and that you have given him such very prompt veterinary attention and TLC.
I truly truly hope that he will be with you for some while to come.

Unmumsnetty [hug]

MumnGran Tue 18-Jun-13 20:40:19

Sorry - bit of a X post.

Toffee, I do think you will know if and when he starts to fail. I have been through this more times than I want to think about, as took on a lot of health issue cats, and oldies, in my time. Sometimes I have made the call a bit late, sometimes I have jumped a little early.
Of the two, I would always say that it is best to make the decision a day or two early than a let animals linger. It is kinder
BUT ... anyone who loves their cat as much as you do, will absolutely know. Just as you knew in your heart, this evening, that he really did have symptoms that needed urgent attention.

It may not be for a long while, and we will all be sending up hopes and crossing fingers for him.

I do think that, whatever level the test reveals, once the result is in you should telephone the breeder.

cozietoesie Tue 18-Jun-13 20:53:16

It's not Thursday, Toffee. The usual lots of love and treats for him and leave what may happen later in the week until the results of the tests are known. As I said, everything here crossed for him.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 18-Jun-13 20:59:08

Mum and cozie - you are both such a comfort, particularly because you have, unfortunately for you, been through this all before.

I feel a bit calmer now, so I will just make sure we follow our usual routine, which is that DS1 and I watch some telly together after I have put DS2 to bed, whilst ToffeeKitten falls asleep on one or both of us.

I might suggest that DS1 sleeps downstairs with ToffeeKitten again. He likes it downstairs because it's cooler than his loft room when it gets humid. And he likes being near kitty, even though kitty seems to prefer his basket at night. But it might be good to have someone there to keep an eye on kitty, should he need it. And it will give DS1 extra time with him.

cozietoesie Tue 18-Jun-13 21:08:50

It will also give KS some comfort having a person near him. That may be a small thing but sometimes these small things matter when a cat isn't well.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 18-Jun-13 21:13:08

Yes, it's all that matters to him, really. He just likes a familiar lap to doze on.

He is fast asleep in his basket at the moment and looking perfectly content.

MumnGran Tue 18-Jun-13 21:14:17

I hope you, too, manage to get some sleep.

Sending you love and strength, and keeping fingers (and paws) crossed here for Thursday.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 18-Jun-13 23:48:11

Thanks, MumnGran and Mimsy.

Kitty couldn't climb into his litter tray earlier and needed me to lift him in, so I have swapped it for the spare one with a lower side.

He and DS1 are sleeping together on a mattress downstairs tonight. They look very comfy.

cozietoesie Tue 18-Jun-13 23:53:31

Keep an eye on things a couple of times during the night if you can, eh?

Thinking of you all.

ZebraOwl Wed 19-Jun-13 00:14:40

Oh Toffee... I'm so SO sorry.

I am not a "huggy" person but I really do wish I could give you a hug because it is just so grim. And the waiting time to fill your head with subjunctive horrors is another layer of awful. It makes me want to kick the Donkey Of Destiny very hard. While I'm wearing my pointe shoes.

Am keeping everything crossed that Kitten Strachey will, against all the odds, pull through. If he doesn't, at least he will have had a happy life: all that love & care & kindness your family have given him. Also, at least DS1 has psych support in place to help him process & cope with it.

Poor darling Kitten Of Many Names. Will be thinking of him - and all of the rest of your family of course.

ToffeeWhirl Wed 19-Jun-13 07:09:53

Zebra - thank you. I also want to kick the Donkey of Destiny.

cozie - I didn't see your last message before I went to bed, but I did remove ToffeeKitten to his basket before I went up because he was looking a little squashed under DS1's arm and it looked as if he wouldn't be able to extricate himself.

During the night, he managed to use his litter tray twice, but he is no longer covering anything.

He returned to DS1 in the early hours and slept next to him.

This morning, he was very hungry. I fed him some beef Felix, but he was still asking for more, so I gave him a whole tin of Applaws chicken and pumpkin, which he ate. It was satisfying seeing him enjoying it so much.

He is, if anything, more unsteady on his legs. It is upsetting to see how quickly he is deteriorating.

He looked as if he needed to use the litter tray after breakfast, so I lifted him in and he just fell out before I could catch him sad. I hadn't realised he was even weaker this morning until that happened. The sides of this tray are lower than the other one, but it is smaller overall, which makes it harder for him to stand in it now his back legs aren't supporting him. I think I might need to get a large tray instead, so he doesn't have to climb into it and there is plenty of room. Meanwhile, I will need to support him when he uses it.

DS1 said, "I think he might have a disease", so I said yes, I thought so too. He didn't say anything else.

We are keeping him in the dining room today, so he can't hurt himself by trying to climb stairs or sofas. I expect he will spend most of his day on our laps anyway.

My dog was PTS after his back legs went. In his case, it was something to do with his spine. Years later, I saw that people had made wheelchairs for their dogs and felt a momentary pang that we hadn't thought of that, which is crazy, I know. But I have been trying to work out if we can keep ToffeeKitten alive even if he can't use his back legs. He is perfectly happy in himself, which makes it seem awful to be considering the possibility of ending his life if there is no hope for recovery.

What we all hope for, of course, is magic drugs that will restore the use of his back legs and keep him going for as long as possible. I don't know if that's likely though.

DiaryOfAWimpyMum Wed 19-Jun-13 07:18:37

Toffee I just seen this again, I'm so sorry to read this, sounds like him and Ds are very close, so very sad.

I too am hoping the medication works for him. Have you let the breeder know?

I'm thinking positive thoughts for him - glad he is still eating x

ToffeeWhirl Wed 19-Jun-13 07:23:15

Thanks, Diary. I have just emailed the breeder. She will be very upset, as she thought he was so much better now.

ToffeeWhirl Wed 19-Jun-13 07:24:40

cozie - how is Seniorboy today? Forgive me for not asking earlier. Good luck with collecting the urine sample (am trying to imagine how on earth you do that!). And I hope the results come back soon, so you know what you're dealing with.

MumnGran Wed 19-Jun-13 07:31:49

Yes, sorry Cozie, I did mean to ask yesterday, and offer sympathies. So hard as they age sad

DiaryOfAWimpyMum Wed 19-Jun-13 07:35:36

Oh urine samples!! I used to lay down a full newspaper in the litter tray and let them wee on that then collect the wee from there. Although I did have to hover a bit.

I'm assuming kittenofmanynames is expensive pedigree? If he has and has health problems, I would usually gave given a buyer a choice of another kitten or some money back to help with vet expenses.

I just realised he is a Balinese, they have the most gorgeous eyes!!

ToffeeWhirl Wed 19-Jun-13 07:40:51

Diary - yes, kitty is an expensive pedigree. And he does have beautiful eyes (pics on my profile). I chose a Balinese because they are meant to be good for people with cat allergy, like me. It's certainly worked - I don't even need to take my antihistimines. However, I am now besotted with the breed. I assumed a cat wouldn't be bothered about us, but this kitten is incredibly attached to us. If he is sitting on one lap and one of us sits next to him, he reaches out his paw to touch the other person. All he wants to do is be near us. It's incredibly sweet.

The breeder has already said that she will replace him if 'the worst happens' and we will definitely take her up on that offer.

But, of course, we don't want a new cat. We want this one sad.

DiaryOfAWimpyMum Wed 19-Jun-13 08:05:16

I felt a little bit insensitive typing that, I don't know if I said but I used to breed cats so I like to see people are getting treated properly, that's very good of her, shows she is responsible breeder, he is just gorgeous, lets hope he is here for a good while yet!

cozietoesie Wed 19-Jun-13 08:07:55

Sorry to hear that his weakness has increased. Poor wee man. At least he's eating and happy.

Seniorboy still has a slightly stertorous breathing but no snottery sneezes thus far - so looking better. I'm now sitting here awaiting the first pee of the morning, with saucer ready. (I wait until he's settling on his tray and hold it underneath him. Works a treat if a little bit of a protracted process when he crosses his legs.)

MumnGran Wed 19-Jun-13 08:08:37

Echoes WimpyMum ....in full.

Toffee, of course you only want him! There will be enough time to talk about options if the worst does happen.

ToffeeWhirl Wed 19-Jun-13 09:39:35

Oh, I'm glad Seniorboy is a little better this morning, cozie. Am laughing at the vision of you sitting with the saucer poised - hope you don't have too long a wait).

Diary - you weren't insensitive at all, don't worry.

DS1 has worked out what's going on all out on his own, which is the right way for it to happen, rather than me having to break it to him. I have just answered his questions when he asks them. He said, "If anything happens to him, I'm never having another cat. Ever."

I have dealt with the litter issue. As even the low-rimmed tray was causing problems, I have put down an old plastic breadboard, on lots of newspaper, and tipped the litter on that. He tried to wee in the sitting room again, so I whisked him through to the kitchen and popped him onto the litter. Success!

We have been taking it in turns holding him on our laps. Frustratingly, he had a little burst of energy earlier and wouldn't stay seated, which meant we all had to hover nervously whilst he wobbled around. It was a great relief when he settled down again. At the moment, he is resting on my tummy whilst I type.

ToffeeWhirl Wed 19-Jun-13 09:40:20

Hmm, don't know why that stray bracket sneaked in there, cozie.

cozietoesie Wed 19-Jun-13 09:48:22

Try a large baking tray with a teensy rim if you have one?

ToffeeWhirl Wed 19-Jun-13 09:58:18

The only tray I have with a low rim is a muffin tray! I think this way will do for now. Will see how things go. Did you get the wee sample?

cozietoesie Wed 19-Jun-13 10:09:29

Ah well - just depends what you have in the oven, I guess.

Nope. No sample. Blighter did a pee in the early hours when I was still asleep and is now flat out on his blanket. I just know that he'll head for the tray as soon as I go off to do something. The actual collection is straightforward it's the waiting around that's a PITA!

DiaryOfAWimpyMum Wed 19-Jun-13 10:45:56

I used to use a plastic food tray for tiny kittens, with litter spread across the top, it can be a little bit messy on the floor after they flick the litter about.

Lots of unwell cats just now, 2 of my cats have conjunctivitis I look like I've been playing with a baby tiger, so many scratches on my arms trying to get the ointment in.

Cozie I don't know who is more clever you or the cat catching wee on a little saucer!!

cozietoesie Wed 19-Jun-13 10:51:15

Well it's actually a saucer from an antique coffee can so is perhaps just a little deeper than your normal saucer - but honestly, it's the easiest way to do it if you have a cat that will actually pee! angry

MumnGran Wed 19-Jun-13 10:54:23

Toffee.......
this is the last conversation to really be having now, but as you have mentioned DS1's reaction, it seems to be the 'right' time, so you can hopefully feel a bit supported here.

It is a very natural reaction for your son to say "never again", but really is an unhealthy track to start down, for children or adults.
One of the weird benefits of having kids grow up with animals is that they do learn to cope with death. It hurts. It feels as though you will never recover. But, as all adults know, life does go on. And children learn that loving an animals can only ever be finite. But, it matters just as much that the children learn they can love again. Its a crucial lesson for life. Another animal will not be the same. How could it. But they will learn to love the new 'baby' for its own characteristics. Thats a really important thing for them

I know of just one friend who has never had an animal, and once asked him why he didn't like them (animal haters aren't usually my kind of person, but I like him ...and he is lovely with our animals). He told me that his dog died when he was 9. They never got another, and he felt no other dog would be the same, and could never face the hurt of loss anyway.
How sad is that. To never love again, because you once loved so well?
We had more funerals for various animals than I could count - each of them adored.

I would not minimise for one second the devastation that experiences such as yours cause (actually did go through a similar sort of scenario with a cat of mine. I was incoherent with grief when we lost her at 11 months!)
It is horrendous, and I have usually sworn I would not have another.
A month or two later, something else would end up with its feet under the table, causing laughter and showing us a new little personality.

It is time when adults have to take the lead a little bit, in the same way that we make them do so many things that they are resistant to ....because its the right lessons to be teaching them about the world, and the way it works.
Hardest of all is making yourself believe you can love again.

but I still say this conversation has arrived to soon, Toffee. Little guy is stiull fighting, and even sounds a tiny bit stronger today
I, for one, am still crossing every toe and finger for you all..

ToffeeWhirl Wed 19-Jun-13 11:41:28

MumnGran - you are absolutely right. And, actually, there is no way we won't be getting another cat one day because DH and I really, really want to have a cat in the house always. We have loved having this extra member of the family so much and he has enhanced our lives in so many ways (well, maybe not so much financially wink).

So, if the worst happens, we will be accepting another kitten, regardless of what DS1 says. But we will emphasise to DS1 that this doesn't mean we will ever forget Snowy/Baby/Kitten Strachey/Kittenofsomanynames. In time, I think DS1 will understand that, but it's all too raw for him at the moment. And he has never been through this before.

That is so sad that your friend never allowed himself to have another dog.

And you are right - ToffeeKitten really is fighting back today. He has eaten loads and he is actually remarkably frisky and playful. It has made it quite difficult to look after him because instead of curling up safely in his basket, he is prowling around, looking for things to do. DS1 is a loving, but slightly unreliable, nurse, so I am on nursing duties and it is just like looking after a toddler. Kitty is resting on my lap at the moment, but the moment I put him down to get on with anything else, he is on the prowl again. That would be fine normally, of course, but it's alarming now. He somehow climbed up onto the back of the sofa, but then wobbled at the top and only didn't fall because I was right there with him. The last thing I want is for him to add an injury to his ailments.

cozietoesie Wed 19-Jun-13 11:53:42

Well see how it goes. No-one is giving up on him and you won't be getting the blood results back until tomorrow. Eating and playing may be a temporary good sign but at least it's a good sign, eh?

MumnGran Wed 19-Jun-13 12:00:14

That sounds like such positive news Toffee. There is always hope!!
All fingers crossed for the blood tests tomorrow. Though it sounds as thought the blood chemistry may have considerably improved since they took the samples!!

I apologise for preaching to the converted sad Its such a sensitive topic., and a;ways hard to talk about, but do think that being open helps a little. If and when one can be.
flowers

ToffeeWhirl Wed 19-Jun-13 12:14:26

Yes, there is still hope. Have just been trying to convey that to DS1, but he feels like I did yesterday. I have had time to pick myself up since then.

Wouldn't it be fantastic if it turned out to be some sort of temporary and self-limiting inflammation following the cat flu? Not that the vet has indicated this at all, so I know I'm clutching at straws here.

Don't apologise, Mum. You were quite right to say.

cozietoesie Wed 19-Jun-13 12:18:39

You're in the difficult position of having to wait, Toffee - and waiting is so hard. Your mind goes back and forward, back and forward ......
And you can't even, realistically, get out of the house to do something active to occupy yourself - because KS will be at home and you'll be worrying about him.

Everything crossed for tomorrow.

ToffeeWhirl Wed 19-Jun-13 19:26:55

You are so right, cozie. I have been googling, even though I shouldn't.

ToffeeKitten has been really perky today. He wants to go all over the house and to be with one of us at all times. I came back from the school run to find him upstairs. Chastised DH, who hadn't realised kitty was in the dining room and had left the door open. Luckily, kitty had managed to climb the stairs without any adverse outcome this time.

DS1 hasn't spent any time with him, but I think he just can't bear it. He just wants to cut himself off so that he can't get hurt. I will let him sleep downstairs again tonight.

cozietoesie Wed 19-Jun-13 19:53:49

Well perky is very good - in my experience, cats who aren't well go into themselves a bit (or more) so he's clearly happy. (Being close doesn't necessarily mean anything worrying with a Siamese/Balinese because they just like it - they'd spend their lives hanging around with people if they didn't have to eat and poo.)

I think it sounds better than yesterday, I have to say. Is he still wobbling on his back legs and having difficulty using his tray?

cozietoesie Wed 19-Jun-13 19:55:38

Sorry - I meant......cats who feel bad......

ToffeeWhirl Wed 19-Jun-13 20:11:18

He is still just as wobbly, although he will persist in jumping up on things when we're not being attentive and scaring the hell out of us. He is managing to use the pile of litter on newspaper in the corner of the kitchen.

But he has just pulled the fur out of his chest again and it's all red and sore again. Why?! He did it whilst sitting on my lap, being cuddled, so he shouldn't have been stressed. He seems agitated though. I noticed him grooming a bit vigorously and discovered - too late - what he'd been oing to himself. It only took a few minutes. Maybe he feels wrong and it's his way of coping with feeling unsettled.

ToffeeWhirl Wed 19-Jun-13 20:11:54

doing not oing. Am typing too fast today.

cozietoesie Wed 19-Jun-13 20:33:08

You know what stress is like - being in a good situation for a few minutes or hours doesn't mean that the stress isn't still there. It just sits quietly for a bit.

I realize that you can't ask the breeder this but there does appear to be a genetic/breed component to pica for instance - in particular among orientals such as Siamese, Balinese, Tonks etc. And pica is thought to be stress related so he may be susceptible.

I've never, myself, had a Siamese with the level of stress that that might just possibly demonstrate but then all my boys have eg slept with me (which is a de-stressor for them) and have my bed as their safe place. Even Seniorboy, who was frequently to be found hiding on the top of kitchen cupboards when he lived with my Mum, is now pretty sociable and laid back compared to before.

If KS gets agitated, or starts overgrooming, have you thought of taking him for a quiet time/lie down with you ? (I'm thinking that your allergy appears not to have reared its head badly since you got him.)

DH's Siamese as a child used to pull her fur out when stressed.

Our Siamese is too dim to get stressed hmm

ToffeeWhirl Wed 19-Jun-13 21:19:35

Oh, Mimsy, that made me smile smile.

Funnily enough, cozie, I was wondering whether I should be the one to sleep downstairs tonight. I did try to sleep with KS on the sofa earlier today, but he wouldn't settle, whereas normally he would have curled up on me instantly.

He is frantic at the moment. I'm trying to keep him on my lap, but he keeps climbing up onto my shoulder. He is very vocal. And he is biting and biting at his fur. I have put some Fucidin cream (presribed by the vet) on him to stop any itching. Itchy skin is one of the symtoms of liver disorders, isn't it?

He can't seem to settle, poor thing.

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 19-Jun-13 21:27:37

Could you nip to the supermarket for a cheap babygrow?

cozietoesie Wed 19-Jun-13 21:30:58

I'd send the rest of the family to bed/outside the living room and put him one on one with just you for the rest of the night. I'd also get some music or radio going quietly in the background.

I don't know much about stress - maybe other posters have suggestions. What I have always done is reverted, in times of troubled cats, to keeping things very very stable/structured and quiet/white noised (eg radio) and allowed the cat to have an absolutely defended place which is just their own apart from me.

Hopefully, someone else can come up with thoughts also.

ToffeeWhirl Wed 19-Jun-13 22:04:43

Good idea, Fluffy, except DH and I have consumed wine, and rather too much for driving, I fear blush. We needed it!

cozie - he has finally calmed down on my lap. Poor baby is probably overwhelmed by what is going on with him. I think I will do as you say tonight.

He has managed to use the paper again. He seems to prefer the newspaper to the litter, but that's ok.

cozietoesie Wed 19-Jun-13 22:15:32

I'm afraid, Toffee, that he probably sees you as his person, despite the fact that you got him for DS1. They choose.

If so, and I rather think it is, he'll need a lot more of you if he's not to be stressed by seeming 'rejection' (as he sees it.) I think I've mentioned before that my boys have always seen Exclusion from The Presence as a punishment and it's true. Unless they can link it to a sin they've committed, they just don't understand and get upset.

It's a consequence of living with Siamese/Balinese. They can genuinely become obsessed with 'their person'.

ToffeeWhirl Wed 19-Jun-13 22:15:43

Well, apparently, my shoulder is the place to be. He has gone all quiet now.

ToffeeWhirl Wed 19-Jun-13 22:17:24

I am very happy (and feel lucky) to be his person, cozie.

ToffeeWhirl Wed 19-Jun-13 22:18:33

DS1 and I have decided we will both sleep downstairs tonight.

(And if there is another humungous house spider on the loose again, like last night, it had better not use me as a shortcut to somewhere).

cozietoesie Wed 19-Jun-13 22:21:54

I think that that's good.smile

It will fill up his 'need tank' to have a long night session with you. I reckon you might see an improvement tomorrow.

Best of luck, anyway.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 20-Jun-13 04:10:55

Am awake with ToffeeKitten. Have just given him a tin of Applaws because he was asking for food. He is on my lap now, grooming himself (not biting). Hoping to get more sleep soon...

DiaryOfAWimpyMum Thu 20-Jun-13 04:28:06

Good to read he is still eating well and running/jumping around he sounds relaxed enough and as cozie said if he has his own space to go to he should be fine.

A girl cat I had used to rip patches of fur out, I never ever got to bottom of it, I just remember her bald patches, i wonder if a babygrow would restrict his movement a bit too much, Ive done it with kittens before after ops but never a 6 month old.

Im going to try get some sleep I hope you and toffeecat can do the same.

cozietoesie Thu 20-Jun-13 06:31:45

Hope you all got some more sleep.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 20-Jun-13 10:06:41

Yes, I went back to sleep - then overslept and only just managed to get DS2 to school on time. ToffeeKitten refused to lie down when I was trying to get back to sleep and sat up like a sentry beside me. He is very hungry this morning and very vocal. He was determined to go upstairs after breakfast, so DS1 hovered behind him as he went up. Once up there, he was stuck - he seems to know it's risky for him to come down - so DS1 carried him back down.

He climbed up onto my shoulder a moment ago and almost gave us all a heart attack by jumping off. However, he landed fine. I know I shouldn't get my hopes up, but I can't help hoping it was all some weird nerve inflammation that is resolving itself. Not even sure if that's possible.

Had a good chat with DS1 about the situation this morning. He said again that he will never have another cat, so I told him MumnGran's story about her friend and pointed out how sad it was that he had never had another dog. I said that having a pet is painful as well as joyful because they can get sick and die, but that is no reason to cut yourself off from the joy of having a pet. He said again that no cat could replace our cat and I agreed with him, but explained that we would love a new cat for itself, not as a replacement. He looked thoughtful. Am really touched by how he's dealing with this.

Hopefully, the vet will ring sooner rather than later and we'll know what we're dealing with.

cozietoesie Thu 20-Jun-13 10:16:26

Yep - he's happy, now. His person has come round. The sitting up like a sentry would be checking that you were actually preparing to sleep and not going to sneak out on him. (Bet he lay down/snuck in with you once you were out for the count?)

Has he overgroomed this morning as far as you know?

cozietoesie Thu 20-Jun-13 10:18:59

I'm not really hovering here, by the way - just still waiting for Seniorboy to pee so at a loose end. Can't go downstairs to work so it's books or the laptop.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 20-Jun-13 10:21:18

Aww, you think? I like your explanation for him sitting up like a sentry. I have no idea what happened after I fell asleep, but you may well be right.

He hasn't overgroomed so far this morning.

He keeps wanting to climb back up on my shoulder and onto my back, though, and it's not safe for him. I know he landed fine once, luckily, but it makes me nervous. Maybe he's staking his claim to me? He might know there's not a lot else I can do if he's perched on me grin.

MumnGran Thu 20-Jun-13 10:22:21

Toffee ...am hoping that the improvement is because his system is back to functioning well enough to clear build up of toxins . The signs are very positive - particularly the increased appetite and rising activity level.
Remains to be seen what the vet will say based on results, but would hope that the wobbliness will also start to improve.

Fingers crossed for your appointment today!

DS1 will get there. It is hard for children to extrapolate how they will feel in the future dependant on differing circumstance. I was, and am, a huge believer in having proper funerals .....mine even buried the goldfish!! .... and I still treasure a eulogy written by my (then) 7 year old to a hamster who apparently was " a trouthful pet" (among his other outstanding qualities)

However, repeat repeat repeat .....KS is improving!! you are still on wait and see..... and if crossed fingers are any indicator, he will come through.
flowers ahead of vets visit.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 20-Jun-13 10:26:18

Good luck with the pee collection this morning. I love the fact that Seniorboy pees into an antique saucer.

cozietoesie Thu 20-Jun-13 10:28:31

You do get 'climbers' - I recall that Thirdboy used to want to go around draped over people's shoulders to the great consternation of some builders we had in. (He was very sociable with strangers, unusually.)

Usually, though, it's just a desperate attempt to be close to their person. When you get a close one (and I reckon he is - in spades) they can have quite a large 'need tank' and they like to keep it topped up.

Good that he's not overgroomed so far. I had hoped that sleeping with you would help.

smile

MumnGran Thu 20-Jun-13 10:29:04

cosie ...I'm definitely hovering, as a work avoidance ploy!!

Toffee .... I have had a Siamese and also a moggie who were shoulder sitters. The trick - if you don't mind living your life with a feline version of Long John Silver's parrot - is in realising that they do manage to find a balance as you move. Not so firm with KS at the mo, obviously, so I wouldn't do any housework or zooming up and down stairs while he is wobbly, but its amazing how they can manage to stay put through all sorts of manoeuvring. I swear my poor posture is down to the moggy sleeping across my shoulders whenever I was standing at kitchen counters.

cozietoesie Thu 20-Jun-13 10:34:29

Ha! Pee collecting- Ha!

(So what did you do with your day yesterday cozie?)

The blighter crossed his legs yesterday until it was too late to make the vets with fresh pee for testing. He had two poos but no pee - and the look on his face when it got to 18.00, I gave up, and he could finally sit and squat, was (I swear) one of undisguised glee. 'That'll show her! Teach her to take me for a blood test.'

So now we're back waiting. He has his second AB jab early afternoon so I'm hoping against hope that he'll give in and pee before we have to leave the house. Given that he's flat out on his blanket, I'm not holding out a whole lot of hope.

MumnGran Thu 20-Jun-13 11:20:35

sooooo have the t-shirt on that one!! my vets eventually gave me a mass of 'needle covers' (small, plastic, non absorbent but enough to scratch in!) which went into the lit tray instead of litter. Helped a lot.

Do hope he improves though Cozie, and that the pee - when finally caught - isn't too badly out of kilter.

cozietoesie Thu 20-Jun-13 11:31:10

I think he's fine and the flu seems better. I know ABs shouldn't help a virus but his nose has dried up and his snoring (Pah!) isn't too stertorous at all. He's also eating like a horse.

The vet just likes to cross her Ts (quite rightly) and he's getting his own back for me vetting him on Tuesday. I'll get it eventually - when he has a moment of inattention - but it doesn't look like today.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 20-Jun-13 11:50:48

Still waiting for the vet to ring. I wish he'd hurry up.

Mum - I love the 'trouthful' hamster eulogy smile. Agree with you about holding proper pet funerals. My grandfather and I did that for my family dog and we both visited his grave, at the end of our garden, regularly. It was comforting.

God, I hope you're right about his system clearing out the toxins. He does seem less wobbly this morning. He climbed the stairs alone, again (but won't come down) and he has been able to jump on my lap and jump off again. His fur looks awful though - straggly and with all the hairs separated, as if he's been using hair gel.

He is perched on my shoulder again whilst I type. I am fine with that normally, but don't want him to hurt himself jumping off. However, he has really settled down there at the moment and seems very comfy smile.

cozie - that's so great that Seniorboy is improving. Very frustrating about the lack of pee collection though.

ZebraOwl Thu 20-Jun-13 11:56:30

Just stopping in to see how things are going.

Glad it sounds as though Seniorboy's improving.

Really do hope that apparent improvements in KS are real-and-lasting. I have everything crossed for you. He sounds as though he is a happy little kitty, especially for getting to spend so much time with you. Definitely sounds as though you are His Human & being near you makes him feel happy-safe-loved.

Take care smile

ZebraOwl Thu 20-Jun-13 11:59:18

Bother, took me so long writing I crossed with your post.

Afraid I giggled at the idea of a cat wearing hair/fur gel, though obviously not at the fact KS is looking so bedraggled. Is prolly to be expected with his having been such a poorly wee poppet I suppose, but must be hard to see.

Hope so so vet rings soon & that news is good.

MumnGran Thu 20-Jun-13 12:06:03

Toffee, I always think the coat is the last thing to come back up to healthy look ....its certainly usually the first thing to "go"!
The "starey" look of an open coat is horrid on them, isn't it. Grooming doesn't help much, but it does right itself once they feel good again smile

cozietoesie Thu 20-Jun-13 12:08:24

Toffee

As a Balinese, his fur is longer than a Siamese so maybe, as he's six months, it's starting to grow a little - as well as showing signs of his illness, I won't deny that. Have you done any light grooming, recently?

Be sure to tell the vet that his condition seems a bit better - as indeed, it does. My vet usually rings mid-late afternoon but I guess the timing is dependent on when they usually get lab results back in that practice.

cozietoesie Thu 20-Jun-13 14:13:55

Yay! (Phew.) Sample now in vets' hands.

No word yet, Toffee?

ToffeeWhirl Thu 20-Jun-13 14:22:21

Well done, cozie.

Nope. Not a word. He is going to ring whilst I'm on the school run, isn't he?

ToffeeKitten is needing non-stop attention today, so I am carrying him around with me wherever I go. If I do leave him alone at all, he waits by the door for me to come back.

Thank you, Zebra, Mum and cozie for checking in to see if there is any news. Wish I had some to report. I thought vet'd ring first thing.

cozietoesie Thu 20-Jun-13 14:27:11

No - usually during the day and later on in my experience. (You're probably right about the school run.) If they're doing full bloods they usually send them to an outside firm so you've got logistics intervening.

Yep - I'm afraid you're 'the person' now. That's good for his illness because while he's focussing on you, he'll be happier and (hopefully) won't overgroom or lick walls.

How is the allergy doing with all this close contact?

ToffeeWhirl Thu 20-Jun-13 14:39:11

No allergy symptoms except I am wheezier than usual and that might be kitty or it might just be the weather. Nothing that my inhalers can't deal with.

I'll have my mobile with me on the school run, but it's so hard to take in information when surrounded by loads of school children chattering away, not to mention my own DS wanting my attention. And I won't be able to write anything down.

You are right about kitty not being able to overgroom or lick walls whilst he's with me. He did have a sneaky lick around the fireplace earlier, when I was chatting with a friend over coffee, but I picked him up and he dozed off on my lap.

If I do put him down to do anything (was determined to clear our messy dining-room table today, so I put him down whilst I did that), he just stands there, looking at me and making whispery miaws.

He has eaten more and I managed to get some vitamin paste on his paws, although he shook a lot of it off. Will have another attempt later.

cozietoesie Thu 20-Jun-13 14:57:17

The weather is real muggy, yes. Keep an eye on it, though.

If/when he recovers, I'm afraid that this is the difficult time. (Says, Toffee - 'Oh Sure, Tell me about it! grin) If he's bonded with you, he'll be very clingy and needy being so young. The good news for your sanity is that it does ease off as they get more confidence in you and mature. Talking to them a lot is good for the process in my experience - always answer if they yowl.

DiaryOfAWimpyMum Thu 20-Jun-13 15:55:06

Sorry Toffee Ive been out at and and pre interview i was stressing about interview.

I'm hoping/praying for some good news from the Vet.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 20-Jun-13 16:03:52

Can't wait any longer and had the excuse that I needed to check whether to keep the appointment booked for tomorrow, so I have phoned up. Vet will ring me back shortly...

ToffeeWhirl Thu 20-Jun-13 16:05:21

And whilst I'm waiting for the phone to ring, just wanted to say that I came back from school run to find kitty sitting smugly on the table, which is meant to be out of bounds. I didn't have the heart to turf him off, although he hopped back onto my lap as soon as I sat down.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 20-Jun-13 16:07:20

Diary - I hope your interview went ok. How nerve wracking.

cozie - thanks for the warning re clinginess! I like chatting to him anyway. I always used to chat to myself when on my own, so at least I now have someone who listens (and answers) grin.

cozietoesie Thu 20-Jun-13 16:35:47

...sitting smugly on the table..... and with no sign of guilt??

You're going to have to watch this one. One hint of weakness and he's going to have you right under the paw.

(Being flagrantly disobedient to a house rule might also be a sign that he's improving though. smile)

ToffeeWhirl Thu 20-Jun-13 17:31:44

Oh, cozie, he has us all under his paw.

Well, I finally have some news and it's not good, I'm afraid. The vet thinks ToffeeKitten has feline infectious peritonitis, which is incurable. The treatment is symptomatic and palliative. He will give him steroids when his symptoms get too difficult, but there is nothing else he can do. He can't say how long he'll live, but said it's a good sign if he manages to live beyond a year. You can't have another cat for six months after having a cat with this because the virus hangs around in the environment.

It is also possible that he may have Lysosomal Storage Disease, which is one of the diseases Balinese are susceptible to, but this is also incurable, so it makes no difference to ToffeeKitten. Both affect brain and balance.

The vet could go ahead and do X rays, scans, CT scan and a tissue biopsy to confirm the diagnosis, but there doesn't seem a lot of point if there is no cure.

I have told DS1, who has been very brave, but is also very angry about it. I said we were going to have to live with the uncertainty and just make sure kitty has the best life possible in the time he has left. This was not what was meant to happen when we bought a kitten to help DS1 with his anxieties, but that's a risk you take, I suppose. I will tell his psychotherapist about it so that she can help him to come to terms with it. It's a hard lesson for a young boy to learn when he's been having a hard time of life so far already. The poor boy has his interview at his new school tomorrow as well.

As for ToffeeKitten, nothing has changed for him. He is still curled up peacefully on my lap. He is not in any pain or discomfort. We will just have to make sure it stays that way for him.

I'm so sorry I don't have better news. You have all been so lovely helping me cope with having my first kitten and then it being a poorly kitten. As always, any advice or experiences of dealing with this sort of thing will be gratefully received.

cozietoesie Thu 20-Jun-13 17:43:04

A short life but you'll make it a good one, then. Ah well. sad

I'm not entirely sure that the situation with DS will work the way you think right now. Externalizing his anxieties might actually work for him (ie he was actually angry and didn't bottle up.) You'll doubtless be discussing with his psychotherapist.

You'll be emailing the sad news to the breeder?

I'm truly sorry the news wasn't better.

cozietoesie Thu 20-Jun-13 17:44:06

I didn't mean 'externalizing' but I can't think of the right word. It will come to me later.

DiaryOfAWimpyMum Thu 20-Jun-13 17:49:41

I'm so sorry to read this Toffee, it does sound like FIP sadly, you just have keep doing what you are with him and let him be as rested and comfortable as possible over the coming weeks.

I would be very surprised if the breeders cats do not have this as you say between cats it spreads so very easily, food bowls, litter tray etc.

I feel feel for you and DS1 Toffee and of course Toffeekitten

MumnGran Thu 20-Jun-13 17:59:52

Truly sorry to hear this news Toffee. DS1's anger and frustration are very natural. This is an awful thing for your family to have to deal with.
FIP is such a lousy thing.

Not good news for the breeder, but definitely they need to know.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 20-Jun-13 18:05:14

Yes, we will definitely make it a good life, cozie. I hadn't thought of DS1's reaction being healthy, but I suppose you're right. And at least he will have time to come to terms with the fact that ToffeeKitten is not going to have a long life.

I will email the breeder, yes.

Diary - yes, I assume this is all floating around amongst the breeder's cats. It does mean that I am loathe to get a replacement from her. And I am also a bit scared of getting a cat from any breeder now, but how else do I buy another Balinese?

ToffeeWhirl Thu 20-Jun-13 18:06:34

Mum - sorry, posted before I saw your post. Am not sure what it means for the breeder, but I suspect it means she shouldn't be breeding from her cats...

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 20-Jun-13 18:17:44

Oh dear toffee, this poor kitten just didn't stand a chance did he?

ToffeeWhirl Thu 20-Jun-13 18:20:50

No, Fluffy, he didn't.

Do you think it's crazy of me to wonder if I could put him in a babysling? Then he would still get cuddles, but I would be able to get on with my jobs in the house. Anyone done this?

Am trying to think up practical ways to deal with his symptoms. I will also get a low-rimmed litter tray, as it looks as if he won't be able to deal with his normal litter tray again, and I don't really want to live with a mound of litter on my kitchen floor.

And will order lots and lots of Applaws Chicken and Pumpkin because he loves it smile.

MumnGran Thu 20-Jun-13 18:25:33

Toffee .... this is probably one of the most useful links to read on the subject of FIP: www.fabcats.org/cat_group/faq/fipfaq.html
from What is coronavirus serology on down is relevant in terms of the breeder, but sadly a huge number of cats in this country will show a positive for coronavirus, and no-one can tell when a variant will occur and cause the condition affecting your poor little one. Equally, other cats could be exposed to the same strain but not develop the 'full-blown' condition.

I know nothing of the Lysosomal Storage Syndrome although FAB have an item on it on this page www.fabcats.org/breeders/inherited_disorders/neurological.php
It seems to indicate it is fairly rare.

As to having another kitten. Toffee .... tha is a leap of faith. Given the time lapse to ensure that the house is virus fee, all should be well. Neither condition is specific only to Balinese (or even Siamese) so this is not a breed issue. Perhaps take advice from your vet.

Again, I am so very very sorry.

MumnGran Thu 20-Jun-13 18:36:00

I am the worlds soppiest cat person, and have carried tiny orphaned singleton kittens in a specially sewn pocket in my sweater before now! BUT ....I think you have to keep a bit of a practical head!

It is OK to tell him that much as you adore him and are there for him, he is just as safe being in the room with you as he is sitting on you.... when you need to do chores. Your lap will still be there for him later.
Otherwise before you know it, he will still be with you in three months ( <<crosses fingers like mad>> ) as a totally dependent limpet, who won't even let you take the children to school because you can't drive and cuddle him at the same time.

Your TLC brought him through the crisis this time, and your nurture is vital ...but you will need to find a balance, Toffee.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 20-Jun-13 18:37:53

It's just him standing there, making whispery miaws and looking up at me is not doing me any good, Mum! And I feel guilty if I don't pick him up.

Am googling pet carriers, but will think about your point of view.

MumnGran Thu 20-Jun-13 18:40:57

Honestly, have had to convince the aforementioned singleton handrears that they didn't need to live up my jumper permanently.

When he miaows, just bend down and giove him a stroke, and carry on chatting to him. Repeat as needed, Then pick him up for a cuddle before you do the next chore.
It does work.

Of course, baby slings are also an option ....only you can judge what is best for you smile

cozietoesie Thu 20-Jun-13 18:46:20

MumnGran gives wise counsel, Toffee. Finding a balance will be difficult, especially if you're not sure how long he has to go, but you'll recall that I mentioned preserving your sanity up there somewhere and if you're still carrying him around everywhere at a year old.......

ZebraOwl Thu 20-Jun-13 18:48:00

Oh Toffee, I'm so SO sorry to hear this. It is just grim. Am glad that DS1 has psych support in place to help him process what's going on.

I hope that KS is able to have a while longer with you.

As for the sling: it is certainly possible & it sounds as though KS might enjoy being trotted about the place with you like that.

(My two think chicken & pumpkin is the best food ever too. As they have a similar reaction to salmon & pumpkin & are not that keen on fish, am v curious to know what it is about pumpkin...)

It might help to make a plan with DS1 (& DS2 if he's willing/able to engage) & your DH for what will happen as Baby becomes iller & also how you're going to choose to commemorate him - making a scrapbook/memory box, planting something special in the garden, writing down/drawing how you feel...

I don't have any Right Words. Suspect there may not be any just now. But I really am very sorry & hope that all of you are as okay as it is possible to be in the circs.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 20-Jun-13 18:50:34

You are both wise sages grin.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 20-Jun-13 18:57:40

Posted too soon to see your post, Zebra. You are a wise sage too!

That is such a lovely idea about a scrapbook/memory box. I suspect DS1 won't be interested, but I will do it if he won't and then it's there for him to see when he's ready.

Am tempted by the sling again... God, I must be very suggestible.

I don't know what it is about pumpkin. I don't think I have ever seen ToffeeKitten eat anything as fast as he ate the chicken and pumpkin.

MumnGran Thu 20-Jun-13 18:57:46

probably more "crone" category these days sad

Stay strong, Toffee. You are handling this amazingly.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 20-Jun-13 19:02:37

DS1 has refused dinner sad.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 20-Jun-13 19:03:28

My way of dealing with difficult situations is to have a plan and get practical, Mumn. It has got me through many a sticky situation.

MumnGran Thu 20-Jun-13 19:03:48

He is processing
hug

MumnGran Thu 20-Jun-13 19:05:13

sorry Toffee .... X post.
Whatever works for you and the family and KS is the right strategy now.
All you should concentrate on is what is going to work best for you all.

Take advice that works and bin the rest.
x

ToffeeWhirl Thu 20-Jun-13 19:14:03

DS1 has just come in and stroked kitty and said we must do absolutely everything to keep him alive as long as possible - vitamins, everything. I explained that I was already giving him vitamins. I think he's really worried we are going to whisk him off to have him put to sleep. I reassured him that that is not at all the case.

MumnGran Thu 20-Jun-13 19:48:12

flowers wine [hug]
...and a large [medal] for your son, who is being tremendously brave.
I suspect he gets it from his mum

DiaryOfAWimpyMum Thu 20-Jun-13 19:59:05

Toffee if/when you decided to buy another Balinese from the money you will get refunded from this breeder, give me a yell and where you can travel too and I can start asking around

My facebook is full of cat breeders, and one of those breeder knows another 2000 and I am still a member or some cat clubs and a few yahoo groups too. So finding another Balinese shouldn't be a problem.

Terrible you were sold him tbh very sad that he was even bred. It's very unfair on your family and the kitten.

DiaryOfAWimpyMum Thu 20-Jun-13 19:59:58

Ah bless DS1, must be very difficult to understand and comprehend.

ZebraOwl Thu 20-Jun-13 20:30:58

<curtseys> get me, a wise sage wink

The pumpkin!thing is weird. I never have pumpkin so cannot see if they'd like it without chicken. Is almost tempting to try it at some point, apart from the bit where I don't much like pumpkin...

Definitely good to be clear with DS1 about what will happen with KS if he's scared you might have him PTS at any moment. As well as reassuring him you won't do that you maybe need to have a wee chat with him about how a time will come when Baby is so poorly it's not fair to him to keep him alive because you don't want to have to say goodbye sad

Memoryboxes/scrapbooks can be v useful tools: making them can be therapeutic in & of itself. DS1 might find himself inspired if he sees you making one & I thinkhope will find it helpful to be reminded of Good Things. Particularly important to have lots of pictures of Kitten Strachey looking well so he doesn't lose sight of the fact he did look okay at one stage.

ToffeeWhirl Fri 21-Jun-13 00:28:10

Mum - have only just had time to read your links. Thank you. They are really useful.

Diary - thank you very much for offering to help us find another Balinese one day. I'm not sure if I'm entitled to ask for a refund from the breeder, to be honest. She has offered me a replacement, but, of course, I'm not sure I want another cat from her, although I realise she had no idea this kitten was going to become unwell. She has replied to my latest email to say how very sorry she is, but no mention of a refund.

Zebra - yes, making a memory box/scrapbook will be very helpful to me. It's the sort of thing I do that DS1 mocks me for, but he will benefit from the end product, hopefully. I remember trying to get him and DS2 to keep a travel journal in France one holiday. It was farcical. Ended up with me doing all the entries whilst they ran around outside.

cozie - yes, you are quite right about me needing to preserve my sanity. I'm holding off on the kitty sling for now, but I can't promise I won't succumb later grin. How is Seniorboy doing tonight?

Kitty sat up next to DS1 whilst he fell asleep, but watched me intently whilst I did stuff in the kitchen and hopped straight onto my lap when I sat down. He keeps reaching up his paw and patting me to make sure I pay him attention and don't look at the screen too much. Am looking forward to cuddling him tonight, though I can't sleep down here indefinitely. DH was a bit surprised I was going to sleep down here again. Hopefully, I'll be able to use my own bed again tomorrow night, although I'll let DS1 sleep down here provided kitty is ok. He is less wobbly at the moment, so not such a danger to himself.

ZebraOwl Fri 21-Jun-13 01:07:49

I'm sure DS1 will benefit from the end product. Is a good tool for encouraging accessing & exploring feelings rather than pushing them away with OCD behaviours & useful in terms of being a reminder of all the Happy Things when swamped by The Sad. Really hope that DS1's OCD doesn't flare in response to this - I can just see the risk either in terms of response to stressor or as a Magical Thinking one ("if I do X then Snowy won't die after all" &/or "Snowy is ill because I didn't [compulsive behaviour]"). Hopefully your openness & the psych input will help stave that off. (Not meaning to be unhelpful/give you something else to worry about, sorry. Is part of the reason I thought him helping make the memory box might be good though...)

Someone I dance with was telling me the other night that her husband is a bit jealous of the cat cos kitty insists on claiming night-time snuggling privileges... Am glad you're down with him again tonight though.

I suspect the breeder is unlikely to offer a refund but think she'd find it difficult to refuse. Not sure on the legal side of things but imagine refusing risks damage to reputation, which they'll be desperate to avoid. Hopefully Diary &/or some of the others will be able to advise you. As you say, she'd no idea KS would become so poorly, but not wanting to get another kitten from her is completely understandable!

MumnGran Fri 21-Jun-13 08:19:17

Toffee, the approach to the breeder is actually pretty much a 'given' because of the probable FIP.
Any breeder will understand that, as you "obviously cannot introduce a another kitten for a very considerable length of time because of the FIP factor, it will not sensible to take a replacement in the foreseeable future and you would therefore appreciate a refund"
That said ....check your insurance policy ....you may be covered for the original price.

I am not saying the breeder is going to be happy about it, but you do have absolute justification for declining a replacement in this instance.

cozietoesie Fri 21-Jun-13 08:33:28

KS sounds like a bright little button. (Keeping a close eye on you but sitting next to DS1 - those are good tactics.)

Seniorboy is OK. He has a little bit of a UTI (so said the urine analysis) so he has to go in again at the weekend for a final AB jab to make a full interim-length AB course and shall have another urine analysis next week. The vet's not overly concerned but just wants to clear it up now before it has any consequences. We've never been keen on giving him many (if any at all) ABs so they're having a good effect.

How is KS this morning? Did you all get a good night's sleep?

DiaryOfAWimpyMum Fri 21-Jun-13 08:44:41

You are absolutely entitled to a refund, she sold you a kitten with FIP, as Mum said she wll know you cannot take another kitten and whats is the difference really, she can sell a kitten a give you the money from it, although she probably shouldn't be breeding at all.

Some most breeders may not offer a refund but I think you should ask, if not pm me the details and I will. Any good respectable breeder would be falling over themselves to make things easier for you and DS just now.

I hope you have all a peaceful night

MumnGran Fri 21-Jun-13 08:47:11

Good news on your old chap Cosie

MumnGran Fri 21-Jun-13 08:50:47

Sadly Diary one of the reasons I came out of that whole world is because there are a damn sight fewer of those really good breeders than we would like to think.
<<crosses fingers that KS was bred by one of them>>
Its sad.
However, I know you have major links so should be able to point Toffee to someone who is actually 'one of the good guys' and not just gloss on the surface and all nails underneath (there are a lot of those!)

DiaryOfAWimpyMum Fri 21-Jun-13 09:09:37

Yes, me too, it's also very very catty bitchy

ToffeeWhirl Fri 21-Jun-13 09:43:38

Good morning all. We had a good night with KS, who clearly relished having two of us to cuddle. He seems a calm little soul this morning. I found him perched on top of one of the mattresses, which was leaning against the wall, when I came back from the school run. He couldn't get down, but miawed at me to lift him down so he could get back on my lap (where he is now).

He is still hungry, but being very fussy. He refused tuna Felix, but gobbled up a bowl of Applaws chicken and pumpkin. I'll try him on a different flavour Felix later. Also, we are going to the pet shop later, so I can stock up on more food. He isn't touching his biscuits, but there doesn't seem any point in pushing it now. He did have a bit of a runny poo this morning though - not sure if that is his diet or the illness. I need to get some unscented baby wipes to deal with that.

We are taking DS1 to his (possible) new school this afternoon, so KS will be on his own for a few hours. He seems to go into his heated basket when he's alone, so he should be ok. I'll move the mattresses so he can't get stranded up there.

<KS scoots up to sit on my shoulder>

Zebra - I am also concerned about the effect that this will have on DS1's OCD. I hope he doesn't think he's caused it by resisting his OCD habits. Hopefully, his therapist can help him with that.

Mum - I checked my insurance policy last night and, for some inexplicable reason, the higher level of insurance which I took out does not give you any money if your pet dies - but the lower level does. So I can't get any money from the insurers. That's a good point you make about my reason for refusing a replacement from the breeder and requesting money back.

cozie - glad to hear Seniorboy is doing ok and responding so well to the ABs.

Diary - I wasn't sure if I had a right to ask for a refund from the breeder, although I take Mum's point about there now being no point in getting a replacement from her. I thought perhaps getting a sick kitten was a risk you took when you bought a kitten from a breeder. After all, she didn't know he had FIP when she sold him to me. I will give her time to come back to me before discussing it (she said in her recent email, she was 'trying to get her head round it'). Thank you so much for offering to help with the email and also with getting another cat one day. I would really appreciate that help.

Have to get on with non-kitten-related duties now. KS may protest, but I can't sit here with him on my lap all day (appealing as it may be).

ZebraOwl Fri 21-Jun-13 10:06:22

Glad you had a good night & that KS seems chipper.

While you're at the pet shop it might be worth investing in something like these as baby wipes might irritate KS's skin, even the unscented ones, because their skin has a different pH level. It might be fine but as he's already poorly & having some problems with his skin it might be best to be cautious?

I hope DS1's school visit goes well & that KS behaves himself while you're out wink

Are you able to talk to DS1 about his understanding of what's happening (& why)? Might help ensure OCD beliefs don't get the chance to take hold?

Am glad you're able to get guidance about dealing with breeders from Mum & Diary - I hope it makes you feel slightly more in control of the situation. Not exactly in control, I just can't think of the right words, sorry... Am meaning that hopefully their advice & support will help you feel more confident in dealing with the breeder & being assertive about what you expect from her. Yes.

Take care smile

ToffeeWhirl Fri 21-Jun-13 10:15:29

Great advice about the Tushies wipes, Zebra. I'll look out for those.

Yes, I can talk with DS1 about it. He is still railing against the unfairness of fate at the moment, but I will keep an ear open for any indication that he's feeling responsible.

Am also wondering if DS2 is feeling guilty and magically responsible, as he was so jealous of the kitten and wanted him to disappear. He has only just started interracting with him. Oh dear, so much potential for worries.

Yes, it's wonderful that I can have advice on breeders here. Wish I'd asked here first now. I didn't because I felt guilty about getting a pedigree instead of a rescue cat, even though it was only because of my cat allergy.

And you are saying all the right words. Thank you.

cozietoesie Fri 21-Jun-13 11:29:24

Not that I really wish to talk about it right now, Toffee, but you can get pedigree rescues - including Balinese and Siamese. (Older owners die, people emigrate etc.) I think, if/when it comes to it, that might be your way forward - and arguably better for DS1 and DS2 to adjust to in light of your current problems. (Giving a new home to a lonely older cat etc.)

ZebraOwl Fri 21-Jun-13 11:32:56

I have the general cat-cleaning version of the tushie wipes - they were incredibly useful on the occasion Nijinsky decided to try to climb the chimney. He only got as far as climbing up onto the fake coal in the gasfire but that was enough to make him filthy. Trying to clean chimney grime off a black cat was a bit tricky, funnily enough...

Oh dear, poor DS2. Maybe worth having a chat with him too to make certain he understands it was nothing to do with him wishing Baby away?

Can understand why you felt anxious - it is a tricksy one as it's such an emotive issue. Part of the reason my Ballet Cats don't get to sleep in with me is the fact I am allergic to them. Am on huge doses of antihistamine all year round anyway - along of other allergy meds in varying combinations, hitting time of year where I HAVE to use The Eyedrops Of Doom, boo - so they don't cause me much trouble on the allergyfront, but several hours (including the point where lung function is naturally at its lowest) with them draped over me would be pushing it. I groom them to reduce the allergen effect & do other Allergen Dampening Things but know that I'm lucky to be able to cope with Normal Cats. My best friend has only ever admired my kitties through the windows as she is terribly allergic to cats - a discovery she only made after going away to university: when she came home for the holidays she was suddenly allergic to her beloved had-since-being-a-tiny cat.

I should be getting myself ready to go to class. The temptation to instead stay at home with the cats is quite high. They certainly think that's a better idea...

cozietoesie Fri 21-Jun-13 11:51:28

Firstboy went up the chimney one day in an old house - and ended up black. (He got on to the ledge inside where the fine soot drops down and he was a young Siamese - very pale at that stage.) Only time in my life we've ever been forced to bath a cat. I carry the mental scars still.

DiaryOfAWimpyMum Fri 21-Jun-13 12:27:00

Again it's good he is eating. smile

read this when you get a minute - scroll down to 'the breeder'

Her head will be spinning as she should really shut down and have all her cats tested to try eliminate the carrier(S) but like Mum I do know of breeders who had herpes and flu going around and didn't stop.

She should be giving you a refund and I would be more than happy to email her a very strong email on your behalf once she has her head round it and if she does not offer you a refund.

ToffeeWhirl Fri 21-Jun-13 17:02:07

I have just had a reply from a vet in the US who I emailed asking about
Polyprenyl immunostimulant, which he used to treat cats with the dry form of FIP. It extended their lives. Am going to pass it on to the vet and see what he says. Worth a try, I thought.

DS1 is going through the denial stage of grief by deciding that kitty doesn't have FIP, or, indeed, any serious illness, after all. I am not spoiling this fantasy for him. He can come to terms with it in his own time.

On our way back from his visit to the new school (difficult, but he has nevertheless been invited back for a trial week - phew), we visited a pet shop and I bought some more complete wet food and lots of tins of Applaws. The wet wipes were shockingly expensive, so I bought unscented baby wipes from Tesco and will hope they are ok to use.

Kitty was sleeping in his basket when we arrived home. He spoke to us when we peeked in, then came out to find a lap.

Couldn't find a baking tray big enough to use as a litter tray, so I'm going to use the spare litter tray, which has lower sides than the main one we use, and see if he can cope with that, as his legs seem a little stronger. Am getting a bit fed up with the mountain of cat litter on the kitchen floor and the soggy newspaper.

cozie - I didn't realise there were pedigree rescues. Will bear it in mind when the time comes.

grin at cozie's and zebra's chimney-climbing cats.

Diary - thank you for the link on breeders.

cozietoesie Fri 21-Jun-13 17:16:33

Good news about DS1's trial week. I'm sure you'll be letting them know about the problems at home and they'll take that into account and (hopefully) help him with them.

Maybe ask DH if he can help on the litter tray front? If he's handy he could maybe cut down the sides of a standard one a bit with a hacksaw or lino knife and then sand off the raw edges to make smooth. He'd maybe welcome the opportunity to do something practical.

DiaryOfAWimpyMum Fri 21-Jun-13 17:20:47

Another thing my cats love is fish - I sometimes go and buy a frozen bag from Lidl - pollock usually stick it in the microwave with water and voila and it's gentle on the tummy and full of good nutrients my female cat would live on it if she could.

I will do some more googling later so see if there is any advice more on easing symptoms etc. I did find a cat which had lived 3/4 yrs with FIP last night

ToffeeWhirl Fri 21-Jun-13 17:27:52

3 - 4 years would be great, Diary. I know, from googling, that it is often within 6 months of diagnosis. Afraid kitty won't touch fish - neither the tinned variety, nor fresh. I was surprised, but my friend, who has always had Siamese, said none of her cats liked fish either. Maybe it's a Siamese/Balinese thing.

cozie - the last thing I would describe my DH is is 'handy' or practical grin. I'd love to see his face if I suggested what you just said! It's a nice idea, but I have as much chance of getting him to do that as I do of winning the lottery.

DiaryOfAWimpyMum Fri 21-Jun-13 17:46:40

It's only my girl cat who likes fish tbh, they all like chicken and the boy love ham/bacon. Fussy!

They put me off Lidl chicken when they turned their noses up at it. 2 of mine have conjunctivitis and i would very surprised if the 3rd didn't get it.

cozietoesie Fri 21-Jun-13 17:50:07

Ah well. (It's an easy job if you have the right tools - just cutting down some hard plastic. I could do it myself in between cooking supper and eating it.)

Any handy friends or neighbours ?

cozietoesie Fri 21-Jun-13 17:51:03

PS - Seniorboy doesn't like fish much either. Chicken is the thing with him.

DiaryOfAWimpyMum Fri 21-Jun-13 18:40:37

I would still go with the litter on just a tray tbh, he can step on and off, maybe put some paper underneath it, it's easy for me to say though as I have a tiled area for them so easy to clean.

this answers a lot of questions and looks like he can eat what he wants

ZebraOwl Fri 21-Jun-13 20:29:07

Good news about the trial week despite the visit being difficult. Suppose it is the bargaining stage of things that you need to be esp concerned about for DS1.

Truly do hope that you are able to keep KS for years rather than months.

My two are both decidedly unimpressed with fish. They will eat it, but they are hugely unenthusiastic. (Unless there is pumpkin involved, naturally...) Chicken is Very Much The Thing here, too.

Am quite impressed cozie's not still bearing physical scars from the cat bathing along of the mental ones! Mine get wiped down after being groomed to stop them broadcasting stray loose fur & reduce how allergenic they are, but idea of bathing a cat... Erk. Mine might love to sit in the bath/basin when they're damp following human ablutions, but I don't think they'd be too pleased if I was to attempt to bathe them. Sincerely hope I never need to!

changeforthebetter Fri 21-Jun-13 20:43:15

each of our rescue mogs had cat flu sad two of.the three are still ok at 13. one died of lung cancer last year sad he had an ace life thoughsmile

cozietoesie Fri 21-Jun-13 20:53:48

Well Seniorboy's flu appears to have abated although he still has to go for his final jab tomorrow and he's 18, change.

There was no room for physical scars, Zebra. I've never known any of my boys to scratch with intent but boy can they wriggle. It required 4 adults at the kitchen sink - to pinion all moving/wriggling parts as well as do the bathing and rinsing.

ZebraOwl Fri 21-Jun-13 21:42:53

Glad to hear that!

Mine don't scratch on purpose, but claws come out when there is Flailing In Terror, which, with Nijinsky, is frequent. So if I'm holding him & someone knocks on the door, I will get scratched as he bolts for cover. Balanchine tends to claw to stop himself falling, which is pure instinct, no? Sadly neither of them understand that if they catch us with their claws it hurts us, even if they have no intention of hurting us. Ech.

It is amazing how wriggly cats can be when they put their minds to it...

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 21-Jun-13 22:18:31

That's good to hear cozie. He's a grand old age isn't he? Our oldest made 17 through sheer spite.

cozietoesie Fri 21-Jun-13 22:22:29

It's good for a Siamese in particular. No one in the family thought he'd last more than a month or two when he came to me at 13.

ToffeeWhirl Sat 22-Jun-13 08:56:37

Diary - sorry your cats have conjunctivitis. Hope it heals soon. I am using the spare litter tray and ToffeeKitten is fine with it at the moment because he isn't so wobbly. That link is great, thanks.

Zebra - good point about needing to watch out for the bargaining stage with DS1.

change - so sorry you lost one of your cats to cancer last year sad.

cozie - how is Seniorboy today?

This morning, ToffeeKitten is very, very needy still (almost entirely centred on me - once I am in his room, he follows me around, protesting, until he is either picked up or takes matters into his own hands and climbs up me), but actually better in himself. His legs seem stronger and I have, finally, taken a deep breath and allowed him the run of the house again, as he was getting frustrated being stuck in just two rooms. He is also doing proper loud miaows again, which he hasn't done for ages. Didn't eat much this morning, but he ate loads yesterday, so I'm not too concerned about that. He is still having runny poos (sorry if TMI), but I still think that's most likely because he's eating wet food and refusing biscuits.

No sign of overgrooming this morning either. His poor plucked chest is all scabbed now - he looks as if he has been in an accident. Hopefully, it will heal soon and he will be his normal beautiful self.

I am just pleased he is having a reprieve for the moment. I know anything can happen, but it's good to see him on relatively healthy form for the moment.

cozietoesie Sat 22-Jun-13 09:07:19

Well that's excellent news, Toffee. I did think he might improve once you'd 'given in' and started 'acting properly as his person'. The trouble with some Siamese (and by extension Balinese) is, as I've said before, that they really do become incredibly strongly focussed on their chosen one and get miserable and stressed if they feel rejected for some reason.

Now how you're going to explain all this to DS1 is another matter. In my experience, it's not a mother/kitten type of relationship but I suspect you'll have to say something along the lines of 'He thinks I'm his mommy' to avoid jealousy. I'll mull over while I'm taking (the currently snoring) Seniorboy to the vet for his final jab. We're due to leave in an hour or so.

smile

PS - I know it's not the weather for it but could you maybe wear an old fleece for a day or two (or evening or two) so that it acquires your smell and put that, unwashed, in his bed? It might help with him sleeping there and allow you to get on with things.

ToffeeWhirl Sat 22-Jun-13 09:25:39

Oh, great idea about the fleece, cozie. I will try that.

DS1 has already noticed that I'm kitty's 'mum' and he is actually fine about it. I think any jealousy over me being anyone else's mum was dealt with when I had DS2. And I think he's quite relieved that I am carrying the main burden of caring for ToffeeKitten. DH, on the other hand, thinks I shouldn't be so indulgent with kitty, but he's probably a bit miffed that he has been usurped at night in favour of ToffeeKitten grin. (I was in my own bed last night at least, although didn't get to bed till the early hours, so kitty didn't have long on his own).

I always wanted a third child, so at least I am able to lavish those maternal feelings on ToffeeKitten now. The friends I met last night were highly amused at the vision of me wearing him in a sling (which I still haven't entirely discounted, in spite of your and Mum's advice to the contrary grin).

ToffeeWhirl Sat 22-Jun-13 09:26:15

Good luck to Seniorboy for his final jab. Hope he continues to improve.

cozietoesie Sat 22-Jun-13 09:40:27

It's because DH hasn't been 'chosen'. Believe me, if he had been the one chosen to be the special person, you wouldn't see him after 22.00 - he'd be lying on the floor all night feeding KS taste treats and giving him cuddles.

But he's a grown up so he can deal with that himself.

grin

ToffeeWhirl Sat 22-Jun-13 09:43:30

Oh, you are clever! That hadn't occurred to me. So, he's the jealous one, not DS1 grin.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 22-Jun-13 09:45:42

When our cat was a kitten he'd lie in my arms in bed like a baby and give dh looks that said "I've got the mommy s undivided attention, Ha!".

cozietoesie Sat 22-Jun-13 09:50:12

Oh everyone gets jealous when you have a Siamese/Balinese in the household. (It's something about the breed, their character and the oftentimes rarity with which they bestow their special favours.)

I've had youngsters rushing into the kitchen in wild excitement to say 'Seniorboy has sat on me..... ME!'.

With DH, just spread around an occasional 'It's just because I give him food, darling' and 'I really think that Toffeekitten likes you best of anyone in the house'. He'll believe it.

grin

ToffeeWhirl Sat 22-Jun-13 09:51:28

grin, Fluffy.

On a more prosaic note, ToffeeKitten has a rather smelly tail this morning and we have visitors - well one, in the form of my mother, who has a keen sense of smell. Do you think I should risk washing it? (Except that will cause both kitty and me stress). Any other way of removing smell from smelly cat? Maybe I should just wipe it down with damp tissues.

ToffeeWhirl Sat 22-Jun-13 09:52:10

I could squirt him with my new tester tube of perfume from Liz Earle, I suppose hmm.

cozietoesie Sat 22-Jun-13 09:53:35

Just a wipe down if you have a neutral tissue, I think. I'd also be fairly careful to keep him out of the way of the visitors if you can - just to avoid him getting over-peopled in his current fragile state.

cozietoesie Sat 22-Jun-13 10:01:46

PS - if you can't avoid a meet and greet with him, set aside a good half hour after they leave to top up his tank with a mini-snooze for him alone. That should do it.

ToffeeWhirl Sat 22-Jun-13 10:11:04

Oh dear, he has pooed on the front-door mat and then was sick on the hall floor. Poor love. His rear end is caked in poo. And he's very vocal. Am worried he's in pain now. God, how do you tell?

And just tissue won't get the poo off. I want to shower him, but he'll go crazy. Might have to enlist DS1's help and just use lots of wet tissues whilst he holds him.

He has just tried to jump up on a chair and fallen off. One minute he's fine, the next this.

My mum is going to be in for more than she bargained for this weekend. Mind you, there is usually some drama going on here, unfortunately.

cozietoesie Sat 22-Jun-13 10:41:28

Just back.

Wet tissues alternated with dry tissues should do it. I really wouldn't recommend a shower in his current state - although I can't see how bad it is to judge.

I suspect you're getting stressed out and communicating to him. Or maybe doing something different to your normal routine? They love a very decided structure to their lives - particularly when they're not well.

Give it an hour or two anyway and see how he goes. If they're in pain, they tend to go quiet in my experience (maybe also to lick the fur over the offending part) and not to meow/behave as normal.

ToffeeWhirl Sat 22-Jun-13 11:13:39

No, I won't shower him. Am getting stressed because I have to get the house sorted before mum comes and kitty is being needy. Argh!

He's been sick again. Looks a bit like a fur ball - long and sluglike. But like porridge, so I don't know if it is a fur ball.

Am trying to cook a big breakfast for teenage boys with poor kitty following me around. Am hoping to chuck the boys out later grin.

Ah, he's gone back into his basket, so he has worked out I am not for climbing on at the moment.

How did it go at the vet?

ToffeeWhirl Sat 22-Jun-13 11:14:37

No, it's not porridge, it's his morning chicken. Have just seen what DH gave him for breakfast and it's exactly the same.

ToffeeWhirl Sat 22-Jun-13 11:16:39

I don't mean to be mean about saying I'll shower him (I won't), but I really don't cope well with cuddling a pooey cat. Makes me worry about germs. As for DS1, who is genuinely OCDish about germs, I don't know how he'll cope, although it is probably good for him to challenge his anxieties.

cozietoesie Sat 22-Jun-13 11:44:09

Of course you don't mean to be mean - and I completely understand. I just think that showering is such a desperately stressful thing anyway and what with his poor plucked chest just now scabbing over and maybe getting wet again ......

I thought you might be stressed and cats can pick up on eg everyone running around being headless. I trust that DH is helping out there and not headed for the woodshed?

Get the boys out - or at any rate, leave them shut in the kitchen washing the dishes - and go for a relax once you've cleaned the kit. The visitors will just have to take you as they find you for once. I'm sure it's not the first time your Mom has seen a bit of poo and some disorganisation!

smile

The vet went fine. He doesn't like it but at least it was only a jab and not an attempt to get bloods. I came back, got into 'leisurewear' (sweats) and went to the computer so he's happy now that everything is back on track. A stickler for routine, that cat.

ToffeeWhirl Sat 22-Jun-13 11:47:16

Mission achieved with wet tissues and an old towel. DS1 held him whilst I did the wiping. Kitty's still smelly, but he's grooming himself now to get the water off, so I hope he'll manage to clean himself thoroughly.

Good to know the vocalising isn't pain related.

cozietoesie Sat 22-Jun-13 11:51:32

Well done.

DS1 got lots of praise? Helping out with that must have been quite difficult for him and the fact that he got through it might be useful.

ToffeeWhirl Sat 22-Jun-13 11:54:12

DH has run away taken DS2 out for the day.

The boys won't go out. I even promised them money to walk into town and buy themselves lunch from a cafe, but DS1 won't go. His OCD has gone crazy today - cat diagnosis and school visit obviously being triggers - and isn't being helped by his best friend thinking it's funny to wind him up about it. So I think they will probably spend the day playing on the XBox, which is far from healthy, but at least they are up in DS1's bedroom, so not under my feet.

Am sitting down with a cup of tea and cuddling kitty for a while. We both need it. Trying to ignore the farmyard smells wafting up from his paws grin.

ToffeeWhirl Sat 22-Jun-13 11:56:52

Goodness, I thanked him, but was probably too distracted by the wriggly cat to be make much of it. I'll go up and say something later and it will also give me a chance to judge how relations are between him and his friend. He wanted to handle it his friend's teasing himself, which is probably wise, but I will step in if necessary.

DiaryOfAWimpyMum Sat 22-Jun-13 12:19:04

One of my cats does those long porridge slug like fur balls, Nutri-care at P@home do a good paste for it, I need to get more, those fur slugs make me heave.

Good to hear he is being nice and vocal again. smile

cozietoesie Sat 22-Jun-13 12:26:25

Ah well - going up to officially thank him and see how he's doing sounds good. Bet you could see his 'friend' far enough, today.

His OCD may have gone crazy but he did manage to help which is no small thing. Maybe he used up all his anti-stress though so will have to relax and re-build it. Bit like kitty, eh?

ZebraOwl Sat 22-Jun-13 14:57:46

Golly.

Good on DS1 for managing to help with cleaning up KS: hope that he's able to manage his friend's teasing & relax.

Glad Seniorboy's trip to the vet went okay.

I know they're pricey but it might be worth forking out for the pet-wipes if runny poo is likely to be an ongoing problem as they'll help deal with the smell as well as (hopefully) making the clean-up a bit easier?

ToffeeWhirl Sun 23-Jun-13 00:17:05

Well, runny poo does seem to have been the main symptom for KS today. It has been a full-time job wiping him down afterwards. He is also doing poos in unexpected places, eg. in a corner of the sitting room and on the front-door mat.

I mixed some biscuits with his chicken and he ate them. Am hoping if I keep doing this he will be consuming more dry food and, hopefully, this will help control the diarrhoea. Of course that depends on whether it is diet related or illness related.

Will bear those wipes in mind, Zebra. Thanks.

My mother arrived today. She hasn't seen ToffeeKitten for six weeks and she was shocked by the change in him. He looked relatively healthy last time she saw him, but she really noticed how thin he is now and how unhealthy his fur looks.

DS1 said this evening that he is trying not to interract with the kitten because he knows he's going to die. We explained that that would only bewilder and upset the kitten and also that he would probably very much regret that after kitty died. That seemed to hit home and he cuddled him after our conversation. He is sleeping downstairs with kitty tonight and will fetch me if he needs me to deal with any issues in the night.

Diary - thanks for the tip on Nutri Plan fur ball lotion.

cozie - really glad the vet trip went fine for Seniorboy. Hopefully you will see a lot of improvement after this latest AB jab.

ZebraOwl Sun 23-Jun-13 01:38:59

Pauvre KS: suppose if his poo is runny he may be having issues getting to his tray on time &/or recognising his need to toilet.

Am glad you were able to get DS1 to understand withdrawing from KS would be bad for both of them. Sounds like an excellent arrangement you've fixed up for overnight: KS gets attention; DS1 gets time with KS; you don't get husband!grump; & DS1 doesn't feel as though he's got to handle everything alone.

Do hope ToffeeKitten's tummy settles.

ToffeeWhirl Sun 23-Jun-13 10:58:18

Yes, Zebra, am finding runny poo in all sorts of unexpected places, mainly the front-door and kitchen mats. Have just followed the smell...

Overnight arrangement seemed to go well.

KS ate breakfast of Applaws chicken mixed with biscuits. Am hoping that sneaking biscuits back into his diet will help his tum.

cozietoesie Sun 23-Jun-13 11:15:01

How many trays has he got, Toffee? (Wondering whether an extra one or two would help.)

cozietoesie Sun 23-Jun-13 19:59:18

How has he been today, Toffee?

ToffeeWhirl Sun 23-Jun-13 20:30:53

Funnily enough, the extra litter trays are next on my shopping list, cozie. That and some extra towels/blankets as I'm having to wash his stuff a lot.

He has not been at all well today sad. He has had a lot of dashes to the litter tray or the mats and was also sick all over the fleece blanket in his basket (hence me deciding to buy extra).

I don't know what to do about feeding him. Googling advice on cats with D&V comes up with advice to withhold food for 24 hours. However, I'm not sure that's the right thing to do in his case because he doesn't have food poisoning or a bug. It would be good for him to have a break from D&V though.

What's so touching is how he always tries to get to a good place to be ill. He doesn't always make it to the litter tray, but he makes a heroic effort to get somewhere that he thinks is suitable (and I suppose mats feel rough, a bit like litter).

We have been watching him walk and he is compensating for his wobbliness by holding his legs differently. As a result, he can now go up and down stairs on his own again, which is an improvement.

But, generally, it is pretty obvious that he is a very ill cat and that he probably won't last that long. It's heartbreaking. My DM is staying this weekend and she is not an animal lover at all, but even she is terribly upset and has been giving him lots of cuddles. He is such an affectionate, communicative cat that he is hard to resist.

DS1 is still in denial and has decided it's not FIP. He has said he'll come with me to the vet next time so that he can ask him questions.

cozietoesie Sun 23-Jun-13 20:37:08

The vets on this board have given us very clear advice on feeding with D&V, Toffee, and that is that latest thinking does not recommend withholding food for 24 hours. (It can actually be quite dangerous apparently.) Try and give him bland food (and fresh water of course) and hope that if it's a bug it will work its course through. If it's the illness of course - well, you'll need veterinary advice tomorrow, in case there's some palliative care they can give him in the shape of meds.

I take it you can now just phone the vet instead of having to box up KS and taking him along?

ToffeeWhirl Sun 23-Jun-13 20:42:27

Have they said what bland food, cozie? Someone mentioned scrambled egg further upthread, I think. I have some cold roast chicken too.

I assume I can now phone the vet for advice. I wouldn't think he'll want me bringing a possible FIP-positive cat into the surgery unnecessarily. And I really don't want to put ToffeeKitten through that stress.

cozietoesie Sun 23-Jun-13 20:46:04

Cold roast chicken chopped up a bit sounds good to me if he'll take it.

ToffeeWhirl Sun 23-Jun-13 20:51:02

Oh good. Should I give him a break from food tonight, though? He had a good breakfast of biscuits and Applaws and has eaten some biscuits this evening.

cozietoesie Sun 23-Jun-13 20:56:07

<wiggles hands>

I think I'd ensure, given his current poorly state, that he has fresh food available any time he wants it. If you're chopping up some chicken, though, I'd recommend you only do a small amount at any one time. It seems to dry up and harden even more quickly even than normal cat food.

ToffeeWhirl Sun 23-Jun-13 22:47:46

Sorry, only just got a minute to pop back.

I have chopped up a very small amount of chicken. He loved it smile. So satisfying to see him enjoying it so much.

I won't give him any more tonight. He has some biscuits and two bowls of water - one in the usual place and one by his basket.

I never leave his food out for long because I think I read somewhere that it can go off. That's the last thing he needs.

DS1 is sleeping downstairs again, with the usual caveat that he can call on me at any time if necessary.

cozietoesie Sun 23-Jun-13 22:49:24

Well done.

smile

MumnGran Sun 23-Jun-13 22:52:57

You can buy frozen coley fillets in small portions sizes, and most cats love them! take seconds to cook in the microwave and then flake.

Sorry his tummy has been so poorly, Toffee. Not a symptom you needed. flowers

ZebraOwl Sun 23-Jun-13 23:09:18

Poor KS: sorry (for all of you) he's having such a tough time of things.

If you can give DS1 the opportunity to talk to the vet it might be a good idea - will hopefully help him feel he understands exactly what's going on & there might be questions he wants to ask that need specialist knowledge to answer fully. He might well find the answers upsetting, but it's likely that facts would be less distressing than what he might imagine & it might help ensure he opens up rather than bottles up.

Bless KS trying not to make a mess when he's poorly.

It does all just seem terribly unfair. And I know, oh how I know only too well, that Life's Not Fair (& nor, by extension, is death) but it is still epically sucktacular.

ToffeeWhirl Sun 23-Jun-13 23:28:41

Yes, it is incredibly unfair, Zebra. I know I am not responsible for what is happening to poor kitty, but I am in anguish over the fact that I have made life harder, not easier, for DS1 by buying the kitten in the first place. The action was meant to be something wonderful that would cheer us all up and give him a much-wanted pet to love and cuddle when he felt stressed. And now this.

But yes, these things happen even when you'd really rather they didn't. And I hope we can help DS1 come to terms with the epic unfairness of it without becoming bitter, going OCD-crazy or refusing to engage with a pet ever again. I keep emphasising that we are lucky to have kitty, even if only for a short time.

I agree with you that talking to the vet might be exactly what DS1 needs. Normally, he can't get to the vet because it's outside his comfort zone, but he is motivated enough to manage it next time, i think. Am not planning on going soon, though, as it is such a stressful experience for ToffeeKitten.

Mum - thanks for the cooking tip smile.

ZebraOwl Mon 24-Jun-13 00:16:15

It's hard not to feel that kind of guilt: that disconnect between what you know, logically-rationally, to be true; & then the feelings, the guilt & fear & subjunctive thoughts. That said, it truly is none of it your fault. It is just An Awful Thing. KS is lucky you are his person: I suspect a lot of people would've simply had him put down to save themselves the trouble of having to care for him. That's a big thing.

Really do hope that you all come through this as ok as is possible.

Is indeed v impressive DS1 feels able to go to the vet because [he thinks] it will help ToffeeKitten. Hope that the visit doesn't need to be soon.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 24-Jun-13 10:38:26

DS1 was worried we were going to have ToffeeKitten put down straight away, Zebra. That wouldn't have occurred to me at this stage. He still has quality of life at the moment.

My best friend used to inject her cat twice daily when the cat developed diabetes. Later, the vet told her that owners hardly ever took that path; they nearly always had the pet put down. He was so impressed that she had continued to treat her cat (who died of natural causes, sleeping on her sofa, a couple of years later).

ToffeeKitten still had a dodgy tum overnight and this morning. He enjoyed a small amount of roast chicken for breakfast and is sleeping in his basket now.

Have to take DS1 to his CBT appointment this morning, but may ring the vet for advice later.

cozietoesie Mon 24-Jun-13 10:54:24

Good luck with the CBT appointment. Let us know how the vet phone call goes. Maybe he can suggest some meds for the dodgy tummy as it's not clearing by itself.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 24-Jun-13 12:36:30

DS1 couldn't get to CBT appointment - too anxious. Never mind, it's not surprising at the moment. I still had a fruitful discussion with his CBT therapist.

Have phoned the vet and he has prescribed antibiotics and probiotic paste for ToffeeKitten. He said these symptoms fit more with FIP than the Storage Disease thingy because FIP travels round different organs, causing varying symptoms.

The vet also said he is happy to have a chat with DS1 on the phone if it will help DS1 to understand and accept what is happening. He is being so helpful and kind.

cozietoesie Mon 24-Jun-13 12:43:15

I'm not surprised he couldn't get to it given all the circumstances. At least you had a good discussion with the CBT therapist.

Shall you pick up the meds this afternoon?

(What a nice vet.)

ToffeeWhirl Mon 24-Jun-13 12:51:19

Yes, this afternoon for the meds. He was going to give kitty an injection, but I don't want to put the kitten put under any more stress with a vet visit, so he said pills were fine and assured me that wouldn't make any difference to ToffeeKitten.

He knows we bought the kitten for my DS1 to help him cope with his anxieties and OCD and has shown a lot of concern about him.

He is really lovely.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 24-Jun-13 12:52:07

How is Seniorboy today, cozie?

cozietoesie Mon 24-Jun-13 12:56:20

He seems fine - just belted down the stairs to get his lunch, not realizing I'd already taken it upstairs. (Or, more likely, wants to 'persuade' me to go back up there so he can eat it. He likes to have me there at food time.)

I have to collect more pee tomorrow but at least he hasn't got to go in.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 24-Jun-13 12:57:51

That sounds very good, cozie smile.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 24-Jun-13 15:52:33

Came back from school run to find sick on the floor. More mess in litter tray. Kitten sleeping in his basket. Just as well he will be on meds for his poorly tum soon (DH picking them up after he gets home - he just doesn't know that yet).

His eyes aren't blue anymore sad.

cozietoesie Mon 24-Jun-13 16:27:11

Not blue?

cozietoesie Mon 24-Jun-13 16:35:14

Give the vet a quick phone cal and let him know - or get DH to tell the practice when he picks up the meds.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 24-Jun-13 16:38:15

No, they are dark pools. They were stunning light blue.

I daren't ring that poor vet again, even though he is lovely. I will tell DH.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 24-Jun-13 16:39:36

What does it mean? I know that coppery eyes can mean kidney issues, I think.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 24-Jun-13 16:41:15

Ah, found this.

cozietoesie Mon 24-Jun-13 16:47:03

It's not good, Toffee. I'm so sorry.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 24-Jun-13 16:50:23

It's an indication of disease, isn't it?

I can't get in touch with DH. Should I ring the vet? Do vets expect their customers to ring them up frequently when their pets are ill?

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 24-Jun-13 16:54:03

Ring them, it's their job to help.

cozietoesie Mon 24-Jun-13 16:54:51

I think it depends on the vet and your relationship with them. In general, I probably would phone the practice with any new symptom for a cat on the off chance that it might affect the nature of any meds they prescribe. But with KS, I'm not sure it could make any difference. If you phone, probably enough to leave a message for the vet to put on file.

cozietoesie Mon 24-Jun-13 16:56:01

PS - then he can decide whether or not to phone you back to discuss.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 24-Jun-13 17:01:33

DH phoned me from the vet's surgery because they couldn't find the meds, so I was able to tell him to tell the vet.

My friend just suggested it might be kinder to put kitty to sleep now, but I really don't think he's in pain or unhappy and I still think meds might help him.

cozietoesie Mon 24-Jun-13 17:07:55

Have a word with the vet on that once you see how the meds do. I fear that it might be coming close.

ToffeeWhirl Mon 24-Jun-13 17:09:24

I know. I did tell my mum to say goodbye to him when she left today.

cozietoesie Mon 24-Jun-13 17:11:52

sad

ToffeeWhirl Mon 24-Jun-13 17:49:56

DH left a message to be passed onto the vet about ToffeeKitten's eyes, so I expect the vet will ring if necessary.

cozietoesie Mon 24-Jun-13 17:52:16

I'd have thought so. He seems the type.

DiaryOfAWimpyMum Mon 24-Jun-13 18:12:17

Just catching up here and hoping he is just having an 'off day'.

MumnGran Mon 24-Jun-13 18:25:04

Dear Toffee ... I am sorry I have been out all day today. So glad though, that you have chosen to call the vet and hoping he will get back to you before too long. They never mind the calls, in this sort of situation.

I very much hope I am wrong, but would brace yourself for perhaps difficult things to hear from the vet. The eyes are not a good sign, sweetheart, and it may be that it is close to the time when you will have to do the right thing for your poor little one. The trouble is that cats, bless them, mask their discomfort so well. When they display obvious signs, it is usually an indicator that they are already feeling very poorly.
I am so sorry.

As I said ...wait to hear from the vet, but just wanted for it not to hit you like a steam roller if he does suggest the worst.

Very much in my thoughts.
x x x