Self fulfilling prophecy fail

Sketch by Sarah Sakowski

The title says it all. Either this method of willing Shernie back home doesn't work or my ability to perform it sucked! Shernie is still at the hospital this very moment.

The vet called late morning to say Shernie is still not eating/peeing/pooing. With her drip, the bladder is obviously very full so the next step of the investigation was ultrasound. That revealed only more questions than answers. There were snowflake looking particle floating all over in Shernie's bladder. When allowed to settle a few lumps of about 3mm (big for a kitty bladder) were seen. However, whether they are bladder stones is inconclusive as the 3mm lumps could just be smaller sediments clamping together when settled. They also noticed possible fluid filled cysts on her pancreas. They are undecided if it could be pancreatitis. But the treatment for pancreatitis is fluid therapy which Shernie is already undergoing right now so there will be no further investigation along this route for now.

Conclusion: Shernie has to stay ANOTHER night at the hospital to undergo fluid therapy by drip and to monitor if she pees. Her bladder is very full now and if she hasn't peed by tomorrow they might open her up. ( What if Shernie is not peeing cos it's not her litter in the hospital?; she is my most littered trained kitty)

Agrr.. Shernie's current bill is now S$500, add that too the previous S$260 and the continued hospitalisation tonight. OMG! Crazy crazy bill awaits me. As if the heartache of seeing my dear Shernie sick is not enough.

At times like these morbid thoughts enter my mind. Perhaps all in life is equilibrium and for the awesome joy and happiness you receive, you will have to pay back in the same intensity of sorrow. Crappy day!

Counting Sheeps, Seeing Shernies

Trying very hard to sleep but too much on my mind. Mostly my thoughts keep going back to Shernie. I've been trying to do work to keep my mind off her and it's not working. Obviously the reason for my blogging at this hour. Writing, drawing, painting, creating etc. have always been therapeutic to me, calming down the tempest in my mind. Writing is usually the fastest as it is fuss-free and require the least set up and planning. Just switch on laptop and type type away...

Well, since Shernie is already occupying my mind, I shall do a self fulfilling prophecy by thinking of my relief when the vet calls me later to tell me Shernie is fine and I can bring her home with mild medication and monitoring. Now that will be a happy day!

Shernie has been hospitalised

We brought Shernie to the vet as she continued to be unable to eat, even her favourite can of wet food. She was examined and some blood samples were taken from her to ran some test. Now she has a large bald patch below her right chin where they drew the blood. Ever the sweetest thing, she remained friendly to everyone but growled softly when the vet examined her near her abdomen and spine. Shernie NEVER growls! Ok she did but only once when we brought kitten Tolgrie home.

Happy times

Thank goodness all her organs seemed in order during the examination apart from the seeming discomfort near the abdomen. Best of all, the blood results were fine! Liver enzymes in the correct range, platelets wee bit low but might be due to transfer (phew), white blood cells ok. I was relieved. We were advised to bribe her with her favourite food and feed her by hand as she may be used to getting feed by hand by my parents. Shernie came home with a prescription of antacids and anti-inflammatory medication and a crazy bill to show for it.

Help! I don't print $$

We did everything we were told to. Cooked Shernie some fish and pounded the dried food and mixed it into a meal. All the kitties went crazy, Shernie just curled in a corner. Then things turn for the worse, she vomited some fluid. Shernie had to be quarantined in a room to ascertain if she ate, drank, peed or pooed. By the next day, she has done none. There was a moment of joy when she eat a few mouthfuls in the late morning. Then 10 minutes later, she vomited it all out. Super worried by now. Called the vet and was told to bring her in.

She was still hydrated and in good shape so it wasn't that bad yet. An x-ray was done to check for foreign bodies as Shernie had a history of chewing stuff. The x-ray promptly showed nothing. Nothing conclusive to be drawn. Since Shernie was unable to keep any nutrition down, the vet suggested putting Shernie on a drip and hospitalisation. It was deemed most important to keep Shernie's body condition strong in case she needed further treatment.

On the drip. Her right front paw is bandaged too because they tried to find a vein there and failed. =[

Shernie is currently being monitored at the vet and if she has not improved by late tomorrow morning, it is off to do the ultrasound. If that reveals nothing, it is open surgery to explore her abdomen. Gasp! Shernie and operation in the same sentence does not go down well with me.

Super fucking worried now!! Serve me right for choosing to become a cat parent! The moment your pets show sign of being different from their normal self, you get worried sick. You don't want to be that paranoid parent who bring your pets to the vet for every small little thing and in the process stress them out by being poked and prod for nothing. But do you want to be that parent who think to wait it out and finds out too late that it's something serious? Damned if you do, damned if you don't!

All I can do now is to pray for my little fur ball.

Please be your sweet, carefree self again


Who says cold blooded means cold hearted?

Bit Bit my terrapin is missing my dad so much that he has been sulking!

He didn't eat for 2 days and hasn't really been playing. Poor boy! Who says that terrapins do not offer much bonding to their owner? My dad and Bit Bit took to each other from the get go and every time my dad goes on holiday, little boy gets a little sad. Well, 2 days seems to be the limit for Bit Bit cos last night he finally ate and swam around a little. My dad will be so heartened to hear he's been missed.

Peak-a-boo from Bit Bit who was smaller than his toy friend when I first got him


New day, new worry

Shernie, possibly the sweetest cat ever alive, will not eat. Agrrr... New day, whole new kitty problem. Shernie has always been a greedy cat. She will do ANYTHING for food. Beg, coax, steal or do tricks. All the cats can do tricks like sit and paw but Shernie does it with gusto and complete willingness. If this action end off with the promise of food (however little), Shernie will do it. Cats are prideful? Not greedy (and sweet) Shernie.

Shernie is one sweet, greedy cat

When we first rescued her from the shelter, she will literally gobble up her food. She was always the first to finish! We could only conclude that she was really scared of being abandoned and left hungry again. As she settled in, she ate with more leisure and confidence that all the food in her bowl is truly her's and that he next meal will surely come.

Happy and Contented

I did not put her in. But that random t-shirt was my doing.

While waiting for the new house to be ready, we stay in my parents at their flat temporarily. A bit hard with 4 cats but it will soon be over. Shernie being the expert at tugging heartstrings is the only cat let out in the living room to be with my parents when we are not at home. My parents are the biggest softies in the world and are no match for Shernie's puss-in-boots eyes. End result: Shernie gets a lot of food a day and is usually not too excited by the time I come home and feed everyone at night. I assumed she was being fussy because she was getting treats all day. But a few days ago, my parents went on holiday and Shernie is still rather disinterested in food till today. Worried! =[

I usually feed the cats dry food mixed with water. My reason: dry food is more packed with nutrition per gram but with little water content. To ensure kitties get the moisture they need and prevent any kidney or bladder problems, water is added to their dry food. They usually lap it up but there are fussy days when they look at you and hope for just dry food or a can of wet food.

So today, I gave Shernie only dry food. To test if she was just fussy or really not eating. She ate a few kibbles and left and had to be coaxed to finish her bowl. Shernie is still excited about feeding time though because she came running when she heard me move the bowls. I'm just confused. I've narrowed it down that if she is still excited at meal time, she must probably be fussy about the food or she might be having discomfort in her mouth or digestive system? Discomfort in mouth is highly likely as Shernie has a habit of chewing things. She has chewed through some $1000+ worth of laptop and handphone chargers and piano cables etc. She came to us bogeh (no teeth). Was she abandoned for her only bad habit? Only she will know the story.

I intend to continue to monitor her and feed her different foods to see her reaction. If she is really not eating at all, that is cause for worry and a visit to the vet is due.

Is it to the vet again? I don't really like that guy.


Would you do this for Sweet Girl?

Due to my love for animals, especially cats, I actually know most of the community cats that live near my parents’ flat in their HDB estate. For easy reference, I’ve even named a few regular ones such as “Mr. Grey”, “Tuxi”, “Sock”, “Sweet Girl” etc.

The furry friends there are lucky to have an auntie that loves them and feed them daily at about 9pm. She also stays to watch them eat and clears up after them to prevent rats and other pets. This has developed into a bond where she is familiar with each cat’s temperament and range. She is also understandably pretty defensive about them. So I will not reveal my parents' HDB estate in this post to spare them (cats & cat lady) any heartache should case some crazy cat hater takes it upon himself to comes set traps for them or call them AVA to report the cats as nuisance. Don’t be shocked, there are people who are not willing to share this world with animals and will go to lengths to ensure them. I don’t understand why these people can’t just let them kitties live their lives! I can go on about intolerant people but not today. Today I talk about a little cat I call “Sweet Girl”.

Always a little shy

Everyday around the same time, you will see all the kitties start to hang out around the area where she usually feeds them. Sweet Girl is a shy, small sized cat that usually lurks further from the epicenter of things. She really sweet natured and super friendly with humans.  Sometimes I worry that she is wayyy too friendly. Her spot at night is behind a potted plant on the way to my parents flat and so I see her almost every time I visit my parents. 

Super cute with those giant eyes! You can't see the patches in such bad lighting and she hides during the day.

One night, I discovered that she has bald patches on her body and was scratching and licking a lot. She probably has mites. I decided that she does not look good and needed help. I went back to my parents’ place and came back down with cat food, water and a tube of Revolution. She was not hard to find since she is naturally friendly and has interacted with me a few time. I fed her cat food with water and squeezed the tube of Revolution onto the scruff of her neck. It is important to ensure Revolution goes onto the mid part of the scruff where the cat cannot reach when they clean themselves. It is an effective mite treatment for cats but a poison as well.

I left and recently when I visited my parents again, I saw her trying to go for a rat. She looks happy, healthy and most of the bald patches have filled in. I’m so glad for her. Hope she has many more happy years in her.

No good before and after photos as I only meet her at night and my camera is too shitty in that lighting. 

My Cat's Mysterious Third Eyelid

A few days ago, I took Taffy (my cream coloured Siamese/Burmese mix cat) to the vet. Her third eyelids were covering three quarters of her beautiful blue eyes. From my rather limited knowledge of cat biology, third eyelids could mean anything from eye infection to immune deficiency problems. Whatever it is, it is definitely bad news! 
Taffy with visible third eyelids

The paranoid cat parent in me took immediate action and arranged for an appointment with her vet.  Taffy is more than 8 years old and has chronic bladder issues so I tend to be very jumpy about her health. I was not always this paranoid but that is a story for another day. 
Taffy with her beautiful blue eyes

As I did not have the car with me, I had to take a cab. Not all cab driver are accepting to cats in Singapore but my driver agreed to bring us to the vet, grudgingly. He has a scroll on his face the whole way and kept turning his around to eye the kitty carrier Taffy was in suspiciously. Oh well, I’m just grateful he was willing to take us.

Taffy was not happy! She knows that if I have to stuff her into her carrier and take her anywhere by CAB, it can’t mean anything good.  Taffy is used to taking trips in the car roaming between the front and back seats. She got the usual pokes and prods at the vet like getting her temperature taken (Rectal! Poor girl) and the nasty test which make her eyes neon green.

To my immense relief (for the time being), Taffy was diagnosed with nothing bigger than a probable eye infection. With almost a spring in my step, I collected Taffy’s eye drops and exited the clinic.  At the bottom step, I caught sight of 2 grown man hugging and sobbing into each other.  They must have just said their last goodbyes to a dear friend.  They cried a good 5 minutes and then left hand in hand with their heads bowed in resignation.

I recognized myself in them. I lost Stoppy here more than a year ago and cried at that same spot. I wanted to go over to offer my comfort but I was at a loss of what to say. After all, the sorrow  of losing Stoppy is still the same. I ended up sobbing my way home that day. 

My Stoppy boy that I mourn for till this day