Friday, August 13, 2010


I received an email about 2 kittens near my office who were in danger of getting run over. When I went to the post office near our area to look for them it was raining and some guys were kind enough to look for them in the elevated garden where somebody had placed them. They were placed in the box I took with me. When I got home, I took them out and found two very cute and very sweet kittens. We called the male gray tabby Falafel and the tricolored female Baba Ganush.

They were a joy to have and we had grown to love them in the short time we knew them.
A few weeks ago, the two had suddenly grown lethargic and were hot to the touch. They were both running a fever over 40C. They were anemic and were hospitalized for a week. When they were discharged they were back to their normal, boisterous selves. It was a good thing they were sent home as Falafel would poke the butt of the patient dog in the adjacent cage. When I would visit and open their cages, they would come flying out, they were so funny.

Last Tuesday, Falafel vomited and wouldn't eat the whole day. He was brought back to the hospital. I couldn't get off work early and had missed my little baby. I was thinking I'll visit him tomorrow and spend a longer time so we could bond. Little did I know that he would be gone. I received the dreaded message from the hospital at 3AM.

The vet suggested we segregate Baba for two weeks as it may be corona virus, which is in the same family of that hateful disease FIP. FIP killed 7 of my cats a few years back one after the other. It's a nightmare I hope never to experience again. Poor Baba, confused and angry at being separated, won't eat and would just cry. My Mom force fed her today. She plays when she thinks nobody is watching.We have disinfected all the litter boxes and beddings just to be sure.

She may be wondering why Falafel is nowhere to be seen. The last time they were together, when Falafel was sick, she lay beside him and hugged him while they slept. I miss Falafel and feel bad for Baba. I hope and pray too that all my kitties inside the house will be spared of any infection. They are all taking vitamin C to boost their immune system.
Goodbye, my dear little Falafel, I had hoped to see you grow into a handsome young cat. We'll take care of Baba Ganush, don't you worry.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Uni and Chili Have Been Spayed and Neutered

Brother and sister Uni and Chili have been spayed and neutered last Wednesday. Chili was supposed to have been neutered weeks ago together with brother Mochi but his blood tests showed elevated liver enzymes. We had to give him a liver supplement first. But since Chili is so laid back and gentle, giving him medication has never been a problem.

The weather has been so hot here that a lot of animals have gone sick, mostly with symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting. A week after his blood test he became ill. His temperature was high and he stayed in the hospital for 3 nights. At the same time sister Jelly Bean also had diarrhea. We gave her Yakult, then Benebac and when she was still sick, the doctor prescribed her antibiotics.

Uni had her blood tests last Sunday and results were normal. Uni is the smallest of the four siblings and thankfully she has never been sick. She and Chili are now doing well. They came home with their satellite dish around their necks. Chili ate right away but Uni preferred to be alone for awhile. We didn't force her and yesterday she ate on her own and used the litter box.

Jelly Bean is already doing fine and I've scheduled her blood tests to be taken tomorrow. Hopefully, like Uni, her results will be normal. I get paranoid with these 4 kittens as their Mommy had kidney problems and left us too soon.

My next project is to have the female cats out front to be spayed as well. I can only have 1 done at a time. We don't have enough space for recuperating as most of the garage is occupied with the babies one of the female cats has left here for us to take care of.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Tale of 7 Kittens

When there are strays who wander to our house for food, we don't have the heart to turn them away. As a result, we have several cats who regularly come to the house during meal times. There is a lady who cares for some of them but she cannot keep them in her house and because of limited income she cannot bring them to the vet when they get sick. A few weeks ago, one of the cats brought her kitten in our garage and left her there. It was a very small white kitten who was very thin. I tried giving her some food but she wouldn't eat and just lay there. I thought she was already dead but when I picked her up she started moving but was cold to the touch. I brought her to the vet, where she was given a vitamin shot, prescription medication and eye ointment. I told my Mom about her since we are caring for a number of cats already but she was okay with it. She also couldn't turn her back on an animal in need. We named her Sugar.

The next morning my Mom told me to go outside and look at the cage. I was surprised to find that the Mommy cat left another 2 kittens, so now they were 3. This went on for several days until they became 7 kittens.

I bought another cage and we had to put some wire across as some of them could escape because they were so tiny. There was even a morning that the Mommy cat brought a healthy looking kitten which someone was taking care of. We returned that kitten. The babies were on antibiotics and had a viral infection. My Mom patiently gives them milk from a dropper. The Mommy cat, it seemed had been nursing all the kittens even if some of them weren't her own.

We also noticed that they were scratching and had some bald spots. The vet examined them and thankfully it was not scabies but fungal infection. From experience, fungal infection is easier to treat although it is still contagious. They are being treated with Betadine. They are of varied colors and now they all look like brown kittens. 

There is one kitten who is blind in one eye and had grey markings. We called him Molasses. Sadly he passed away last week. 

We are hoping that they will grow up to be healthy kitties. We plan to have them adopted to loving homes when they are big enough and well enough. The sad thing here is that it is hard to have cats adopted out especially if they do not have breeds. 

We have also scheduled the female cats outside for spaying starting next week. It is in a NGO clinic where the spaying fees are much more affordable.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Bitty Hurt His Eye

I got quite a scare a few nights ago. I was out having coffee with friends and my siblings when my Mom called to say that Bitty's eye was bleeding. Bitty is our 9 year old blind cat. We hurried home and looked at Bitty, his left eye which is protruding looked like it was deflated and there was blood. We brought him to the hospital which was, thankfully, open 24 hours. The doctor gave him antibiotics and pain relievers. He also administered topical antibiotics and medication which was deproteinized calf's blood extract to heal the wound. Bitty was so quiet throughout the whole procedure and kept on going to my side to hug me. I felt like something was squeezing my chest to look at my little boy. He may have scratched his eye. He didn't act like he was wary of the other cats.

After the hospital, we then proceeded to look for a 24 hour drugstore to buy his medication. I'm applying his topical medication twice a day. We have to wait at least 5 minutes after placing the antibiotic before applying the wound medicine so that the antibiotics will have enough time to seep into the eye. He was also prescribed a pain reliever to be taken every 12 hours.

It's a good thing we've been on holiday. Bitty has been by my side constantly and he has me all to himself.

Friday, April 2, 2010

It Must Have Been Fate, Cupcake

Last March 26, I was driving home, when I turned on a street and saw that there was heavy traffic on the usual route I took. I decided to go to the grocery first, in the hopes that traffic would have eased up by the time I went home. Sure enough the street was clear except for this familiar silhouette in the middle of the road. I drove slowly and this kitten looked up but refused to budge from where he was standing.
It looked like he was lost and was looking for something. There were creeks on both sides of the road. I took it to the side where there was a gate, thinking that he may have gone out and got scared. It went under the gate but kept crying. I went back to the car but I didn't go far and was trying to see what the kitten would do next. It ran from under the gate, onto the street to the other side to stand on a low wall where it could plunge onto the creek. Ok, enough was enough, I went out and tried to get the kitten who then decided that he wanted to play catch first. After causing a scene, I was able to get him only to realize I didn't have a carrier or box.

I kept the kitten on my lap to calm him down but he kept trying to escape and was still crying. I sang to him like I do with my babies when they are agitated - and it worked. Its head was slowly getting heavier until I could feel its even breathing. Maybe I bored the poor kitty to sleep, but it worked! We were able to get home safely. 

The kitten turned out to be a she - her name is now Cupcake. She had her first vet visit last Sunday. I was thinking of putting her up for adoption, but we'll see. One thing I am sure though, she will never live in the streets again.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Benefits of Neutering

Gummy Bear is not the type of kitty who likes to be held. He plays rough and he bites for real. We have accepted this as his natural behavior. But when he reached about 6 months and was old enough to look for a mate, his behavior turned aggressive. We had to wait because one of his testicles had not descended.  He would pick fights with all the other cats and he sprayed everywhere. When it looked like his condition was not going to change, his vet decided to go ahead and do the operation.                                               
He has stopped spraying since then and though we still can't hug him, his behavior has mellowed. He still picks fights but he has chosen only one other cat, Dumpling, to growl and hiss at. He likes playing with the kittens and has become friendlier with his humans. When I would be petting and playing with the kitties, I would see him looking at me. Seems like he is only waiting for an invitation, because when I call him, he would come near me and wait to be petted. 

Neutering of cats also decreases the urge in males to go out and look for females. This will make them less susceptible to fights and getting run over by cars. And as responsible pet owners, we should also try not to add to the population of homeless cats if we are not willing to take care of the kittens they sire.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I Need My Therapy!

There are days when you wish you could divide your body or have as many arms as an octopus, there's just so much to do. Today was such a day. I found it hard to unwind even when I reached home. I just felt high strung and couldn't relax. That was until I sat on the couch to watch Animal Planet and one by one my cats Chester, Kahlua, Munchkin, Milkshake, Taffy, Chili and Honey sat beside me to watch television as well and rub their faces to be petted. They took turns on my lap and cuddled. I started to feel like my normal self again. When I went to my room after dinner, my kitten Uni raced me to the door and Bitty welcomed me inside. We rested for awhile with Uni rubbing her face on mine and made noises like a bird. 

In animal language, rubbing of faces is a sign of affection and I just wallowed in theirs. I read in an article that petting a cat is like taking valium. They sense how their humans feel and could detect if anything's different or wrong. So with 18 cats, that would mean that I don't need to go to the drugstore for a long time to come :-)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Sign of Trust

I have read that an animal's most vulnerable area is its belly. If an animal would get on its back and show you his tummy, he shows you that he trusts you.

I find them especially cute in this position, they look like little children. I also find it very flattering that they would show an enormous amount of trust in their humans.

I encountered one of my kitties, Raffles, in the middle of a busy intersection, when she was a tiny kitten. She was causing so much traffic because the cars were trying to miss running over her. When I got her, we were both shaking, she was panting and all I could see were the whites of her eyes. She was able to relax when we got home, and started showing signs of hostility. Whenever we would greet her, she would hiss and try to escape. This went on for awhile, and slowly she was able to lower her guard and let us touch her. She's now a fat kitty who runs to us when the other cats would pick a fight with her.

A little patience and a lot of TLC really works wonders.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Our Dog Who Thinks She's A Cat

Our dog Honey, like the rest of our brood was also taken from the streets. At first, we thought we saw a rat, then we thought it was a cat. Much to our surprise, it turned out to be a dog.

Honey grew up among cats. She lives up to her name. I have never seen her growl nor has she bitten or attacked any of the cats even when they pester her. She doesn't even bark that much. She has seen several of the kitties grow up. When Mallows had her kittens, Honey would at times watch after the babies when the Mommy cat would be sleeping. She would call the attention of any human near the vicinity when any of the kittens would be too near the edge of the sofa. We found this to be quite amazing.

She's of mixed breed so we didn't know how big she would grow. She now weighs 48 lbs. She would see the cats jumping from one chair to another and one human lap to the next and she would try to imitate them. Just imagine how it feels to have a 30 lb dog coming out of nowhere and jumping up your lap.

I remember the first time I took her for a walk after she came from the hospital. I was so excited to use her new leash and collar (which took hours deciding what color would suite her and her toy bone which had to be the perfect shape and color). I saw the people on the streets whispering and then look at us. They were the same people who would kick her when she was scavenging for food. I immediately carried her and took her back inside as they might insist she was theirs because now she was looking so much better. I was not giving her up without a fight. We even looked for witnesses who saw that she was maltreated.

That was 4 years ago. Honey is now the official biggest, if not oldest, big sister to my cat family. Good thing she didn't take to using the litter box :-)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Are blind cats really more sensitive?

It's quite amazing that cats seem to know what day it is and expect you to do your usual routine together. My cat Bitty knows when it's time for me to go home and if I'm not there on time, he makes a loud fuss. By the time I get home, he would usually treat me like I'm not there. Sundays are our favorite time together. We wake up together, usually late in the morning. If I don't have breakfast, he won't have breakfast. But on regular days, he would wake up early and wait for his meal. And he expects me to be there with him the whole day. He follows me from room to room and when it's time for our nap, he would lead the way upstairs. But on Sundays when I have to do errands, he really gets upset. He knows when it's a workday and when it's a weekend.

Bitty is a blind kitty, maybe that's why he's a little more sensitive than our other cats. When I have to pack for a business trip, he's the first one to get in the luggage. I have to be quick because he's going to pee, naughty kitty that he is :-). Packing is a tiring business, I have to put all the clothes in and get all the cats out. When I get back, he gives me the silent treatment. But he's back to his sweet self when we retire for the night. It's hard to get up in the mornings because he would be wrapped around my arm, sleeping soundly.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Taking Care of Each Other

These four kittens were born last October 2, 2009.
We helped their mother Mallows give birth to them, they are very close to my heart. The firstborn is Mochi, then Uni, followed by Jelly Bean and the last baby was breech and he is Chili. They are now 4 months old and as is expected, very curious of their surroundings. They would often race me to get inside my room and play there and push my things off the table.
Last Jan 18, while I was on a business trip, my Mom sent me an sms that Jelly Bean was not eating and was hot to the touch. Just losing their mother Mallows, I was already paranoid. Jelly Bean was the smallest and to look at her, she was so frail.
Based on her blood tests, she had high liver enzyme values and also had a viral infection. I was quite relieved that it was not kidney failure but it was better for her to stay at the hospital where she can be hydrated and given medication.

Before going to visit her, we noticed that Chili was also lethargic. We could see it in his coat and his face looked different as well. So while visiting his sister, he also had an exam. He didn't have any infection but his liver enzymes were elevated. He was confined next to Jelly Bean.

These two would compete for attention when we visited them, so we took turns carrying them while they slept. They would also eat when hand fed which was a good sign. At home, we kept a close watch on Uni and Mochi. Uni was so sweet at this time, as if she was trying to comfort me. Mochi, on the other hand, started sneezing and we took him with us in one of the visits to Jelly Bean and Chili. He was prescribed antibiotics and vitamins for his colds. 
Jelly Bean and Chili were confined for 6 and 5 days respectively. They were given a clean bill of health and were finally able to go home. I think Mallows would be happy with the way things turned out. Maybe because of all the stress, I got sick too and had to stay at home the next day, where the kittens in turn kept me company.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Where Do I Sleep?

It's a good thing I now have a double bed, with the number of my kitties wanting to sleep in our room. I used to have a single bed but Bitty kept on falling from the side. Whenever it's time to go upstairs, there would be a loud noise of cat paws running up the stairs, one has to be careful not to step on them and fall. It's good also to have a lot of patience as they like to keep their noses in on whatever I'm doing. When I'm working on my laptop, there would be several trying to run on the keyboards or sleep on top of it. Or when I would get something from the closet or drawer, Oatmeal especially, loves to poke her head in or play inside and mess up my clothes and shoes. But that's just part of everyday life. 
When I close the lights everyone would take up their favorite spot, I just have to be quick and find a place for myself before I end up sleeping on the floor.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

We Miss You Mallows

Mallows came into our lives one day and then left just as quickly. But during this short time, a precious bond was formed between us.

She passed away last January 12 at 12:30 AM. It was so sudden, one day she was doing fine and the next she was gone. She was diagnosed to have acute renal failure. She was vomiting and I brought her to the hospital. They couldn't see anything wrong with her except that she had gas. The next day she wouldn't eat and had grown weak. She was brought back to the hospital and when she was checked, she was already dehydrated and her temperature had dropped. We had her admitted and she was put on IV fluids. In the wee hours of the morning she was gone.

Mallows was a sweet and quiet cat. I have so many good memories of her. She left behind four beautiful kittens. I am happy that I have a part of her with us but I also feed bad when I think that they no longer have their mom. Mallows was such a loving mother. She took care of her babies well. I think they miss her as just today one of her kittens was trying to nurse from Chester, one of our male cats.

We may have had a short time together but I will always treasure these times and though it hurts that she is no longer here, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Friday, January 8, 2010

One Day at the Vet's....

December is the time of the year I spend almost every weekend at the vet's clinic. Most of my cat's annual vaccination are scheduled at this time. I saw a poster with a feral cat standing in the corner and the caption was "Homeless Not Worthless". I felt a pinch in the region of my heart. I agree wholeheartedly.

Update on Gummy Bear

Gummy's collar is off and it's business as usual. His spraying behavior has lessened and we've noticed that he's not as aggressive as before. And I was really surprised earlier when I saw him playing with the kittens. He was like a little kitten himself. He was tender with them and it was more like nibbles and not really bites which he gives the others and us humans. He was so cute hiding beside the refrigerator waiting for his playmates to finish drinking. He's currently playing tag with Jelly Bean, the smallest kitten of the 4.


Chester is probably one of the nicest cats I've ever met. Good thing he's living with us. He is a brown tabby and now also a fat cat. His favorite activity is sleeping but he also likes to play with his toys now and then. He's the first cat we adopted from the streets who was already full grown as we always make it a point to adopt when they are kittens so as not to cause problems with the other adults in the house. He's like a puppy, he answers and comes to us when we call him - and I mean EVERYTIME we call him. Even a nod of the head will suffice for him, he'll come answering. He also knows how to follow directions, when he was still living outside, he would accompany us to the store and when we'd tell him to wait, he will wait and we would go home together. He's now an indoor kitty and safer inside the house.

However, last December 30, he decided to sleep in a basket which was a container for some Christmas giveaways. I don't know what happened but the basket fell with him still inside. He couldn't put weight on his right hind leg. He had an x-ray and fortunately he didn't break any bone. He was given pain killers and my Mom massages his leg every so often. He's doing better now, just saw him sleeping in the clothes hamper earlier. I learned a lesson never to leave baskets where they can reach them and where they might fall.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Gummy Bear Got Neutered

Gummy Bear was neutered last December 24, 2009. We waited long because one of his balls had not descended. Buts since he was becoming aggressive and spraying all over the house, we consulted with his vet and she said they would do the operation. When I got him, he had stitches as the vet said the operation was not a simple neutering and they had to look for the undescended testicle. His being such a fat cat didn't help either. He looked so cute with a collar. But still the feisty cat when we had to clean his wound. The stitches were removed last Friday. I haven't seen him spray yet and hopefully this urge will be gone for good. He's still our grumpy cat though. :-)