Then we had a bad storm that brought snow and freezing temperatures. Max was no where to be seen. Four days later, as we were coming home from the store, loaded down with cat food and other provisions, he showed up on our front porch, demanding food. My husband unlocked the front door, told Max he would bring him some food. I was behind him, still on the sidewalk. I made a decision. I whipped off my jacket, swooped down on Max on the porch, covering him with my jacket. I had a good hold on him, so he couldn't escape, but the first thing I realized was how LIGHT he was. Inside we went and into the master bathroom. It had become our sanctum for healing kitties, holding kitties for vet care, and for assessing kitty needs. Max went into the bathroom and was still in shock that he didn't do the usual kitty gymnastic/flying trapeze antics. D brought him some warmed up food and moved a litter box in while he was eating. We made a bed for him.
Within a few days, we noticed a pattern with Max. He would eat, then within 20 minutes use the litter box. As much as we were feeding him, he wasn't gaining any weight. So we took him to the vets where we discovered he had Irritable Bowel Disorder aka IBD. You know what I did--I slipped right into hyper-research mode. Apparently, Max had malfunctioning small intestines. According to research, this usually signified the death of an animal because no matter what they eat, their small intestines were so coated with mucus that they couldn't absorb any nutrition. In effect, the animal starves to death. However, my research turned up the Vitamin B12 Protocol. For some animals, getting a shot of Vitamin B12 helps reduces the mucus development in the small intestine, which allows nutrition to be absorbed and helps the animal gain weight. Normally the protocol lasts for 6-8 weeks.
We were desperate to try this because by now Max couldn't walk. Our vet--whom we love and trust with all our animals--suddenly was booked solid for two weeks and we couldn't get in even on emergency visits. So we crushed up some Vitamin B12 tablets and mixed them with distilled water to give to Max. Within 3 days, there was noticeable improvement. He was walking. By the end of the week, he began to gain weight. Six weeks later, we tried to take him off the high dose of B12 because we were worried about his liver. He went back downhill within a few days.
It's three years later and Max still gets B12 every other day to help him. Obviously he became cat number 7 in our household.
In January 2008, I became ill. I thought it was the flu--and it probably was. I also discovered a year earlier that I was highly allergic to food preservatives, which embarked us on a journey of rediscovering unprocessed foods. By February, I was still sick. I wasn't able to help D out with the animals as much. I decided that I should quit smoking since I wasn't able to breathe well at all. I also went to the doctor and discovered I didn't have the flu--but pneumonia! I was given a battery of steroids, antibiotics, and other pills to which I had serious reactions to. Yep--allergic.
During this same time towards the end of February, Jack developed a lump and we feared another abscess. Back to the vet clinic where we found out the lump was the previous antibiotic micropills used to kill the last abscess. Dr. J took it out and we brought Jack home. He ate his hay and some how, he inhaled a piece of hay into his lungs. Our beloved Jack lived only four more days before passing into bunny heaven.
The next day after we buried Jack I ended up in the hospital with a multitude of problems. I'll save those details for another time. Obviously I'm better now because I'm blogging! :D
We were down to just the 7 cats and we started integrating the household. It took months and we still have cat spats every now and then, but for the most part, they have learned to coincide peacefully.
May of this year---my husband dragged me out of bed because one of the local pets who was turned out doors showed up on our back porch with her babies. We discussed it and D put up a shelter box for this Momma and her babies. The next morning, the kittens were still in the box but Momma was gone.We were hoping that Momma would stay and let us help her raise them. However, Momma disappeared. The kittens were between 4-5 weeks old, loaded with ear mites and every one of them had ringworm.
I figured a month to get them raised, cleared of ear mites and ringworm, and we would be able to find them homes. People love kittens and are quick to adopt them. I just love how I'm so wrong!
Well, it took 2 months for us to clear the ringworm and another month to clear the ear mites. We did have flyers out for the kittens to help them get adopted but no one wanted kittens who still needed some treatment. One woman asked me if they got along with dogs. She explained that all her kittens disappeared and she was sure it was because they didn't get along with her dogs. I felt it was possible the kittens had disappeared into the dogs' stomachs. Another lady wanted to know if they were fragile because her granddaughter already killed a Pekingnese dog. *lifts the brow* Another lady wanted the kittens to kill spiders and other bugs. She didn't realize that black widow spider bites would probably kill the kittens. Another one said that if they climbed her drapes or shed on her furniture, she would boot them outdoors to fend for themselves. The one that took the cake wanted to know if she could have the kittens dyed to match her hair color! By this time, I was getting pretty fed up with humanity.
So that's the short story of how we ended up with eleven house hold cats! Tomorrow I can introduce you to the feral colony!