Monday, November 16, 2009

Oooh -- it's been at least two weeks ...

It's been a weird kind of week. I've been doing lots of Country Veterinarying. Hence, little blogging. The kittens all had sticky eyes a couple of weeks ago, and I'd wipe them clean with warm water and a paper towel a couple of times a day and then put NeoSporin on their eyes (well, their eyelids, cuz they closed their eyes, but you know what I mean) and put them back in the kitten box with their mother. I'm pretty sure she licked it right back off, but either the antibiotic or the extra cleaning cleared it up in a couple of days. Wild kittens often have ringworm, which clears up (on THEM) pretty quickly. Not on humans when they transfer it -- you might remember I came back with it last fall. It's not a worm; it's a fungus like athlete's foot or crotch rot, and it responds (eventually) to the kinds of creams you buy for those things. The kittens, when I pick them up, all climb straight up under my chin, so last year and this, I got it on my chest first. Sigh.

Yeshua had a weird, wet cough when I got here. I'm not sure if the hairball I stepped on getting out of bed in the morning cured it or not, but I've been giving him that Femalt stuff. He likes it and it helps. And I wormed all the big cats too, so they're a little healthier. That flea stuff that goes on the back of their heads for Tiger and Yeshua, cuz they sleep with me. I put it on Yeshua two nights ago. That night Tiger got in bed with us and groomed his head for 20 MINUTES! His hair was wet!!! He just lay there like a stone Buddha and let her. (I think he's a highly ascended Buddhist.) I'm sure she licked it all off. There's one left from when they were small, for cats under five pounds, and I was hoping to get that onto him today. He’s been gone all day though. I saw him through the kitchen window early this afternoon. He’s such a good hunter, and he had something. Couldn’t see what, but it was bigger than a mouse, and still alive. Yasmin went over to help him with it, so he picked it up and took it off in the underbrush behind the driveway.

Marmalade, the big, three-year old tomcat (this picture's two years old) is BIG, and he fights a lot. His head feels like a softball, and his head and neck are always covered in scars and scabs. He got in a fight Sunday night (I think). He came for table scraps Monday morning, and let me pet him, which is unusual. I found a couple of engorged ticks on him, and poured olive oil over them. Olive oil works great for ticks -- when I did it for a third one, at night, it was gone in the morning. And it's cheap and quick and easy to apply -- just separate the hair a little and pour.

I got a look at his face though. His left eye was swollen shut, and leaking a thick, sticky fluid. Later in the day it was open a little, but very bloody. And the next day, the eyeball looked collapsed and sunken -- I was sure it was lost. I thought about trying the NeoSporin, but I was pretty sure I'd need stitches and a tet booster after that. There's a site I have bookmarked where you can look up dosages for dogs and cats, for human drugs. We have ampicillin here under the bathroom sink. Bob orders antibiotics from Mexico; it's very cheap; and they're always on hand. It says, for cats and dogs, for ampicillin, 10mg per pound of body weight, every six hours. Well, I'm not gonna weigh Marmalade any more than I'm going to be able to put NeoSponin where he hurts. The ampicillin capsules are 500 mg, and he's gotta weigh 20 pounds, so I've been mixing half a capsule's worth into a couple of tablespoons of canned tuna, and getting 2 whole capsules into him daily. He's really picked up, and yesterday I saw his eye, and talked to a friend who's a nurse and a farmer, and we think he's going to keep the eye and the sight. Hallelujah!

And, it's very easy to medicate him now. This morning he was lying on the picnic table bench, so I mixed up his stuff and went out on the front step, and he RAN across the yard to me. Tuna love. Except, he lets me pet him a lot while he's eating it, and he'll sit on the steps with me for half-an-hour or so after, letting me pet him, and occasionally chewing my fingers gently, after it's done. And tonight, he let me wash his face a little with a wet facecloth. He’s still got yucky stuff on it, from the eye leaking. He didn’t LIKE it – he’d pull his head away. But he didn’t do anything else. Didn’t offer to scratch or bite, or even leave. He just stayed on the steps with me, and kept pushing his head into my hands. A really sweet-natured cat. He's good about the kittens too -- they come to smell the tuna, and I lift them away, but he lets them stand there and even lick the dregs out of the bowl after. I’m glad I knew that you could give them human antibiotics, and where to look for dosages, and that I’ve stuck with this. He’s just acting like a healthy cat today.

We lost one of the kittens Saturday night. This one, the little orange one. It was just a dumb accident, and we're both blaming ourselves. They're so fragile. We've both been feeling awful. They’re five weeks old now. We’re always very careful, and it wasn’t carelessness for this accident, but now we’re being extra-careful. I was sitting on the front steps last night, with the other two, the runty black one and the calico, on the back of my shoulders, trying to wrestle with each other. The black one got down, and I think the calico was trying to eat my head. I could feel paws and claws on my head behind my ears, and another pair down around my delts, and she was trying to bite – but my head’s too big for kitten bites. Don’t know that I have any recent kitten pictures – I’ll have to take some more.

It's hard. We got home last night and were carrying groceries in, both of us with both hands full. I went to kick the door closed, but looked around first. The orange one was the quickest on the stairs and always wanted in the house. He usually got in too, and I'd have to pick him up (more than once cuz he was fast and the calico would be trying too, after the orange one's first attempt) and put him back out. So I didn't kick the door last night: I turned around to look and make sure he wasn't half-way in already. He wasn't there and I remembered why and went and cried a little.


  1. You are so good about taking care of your kitties. So glad you posted again and came visiting!

  2. I loved your cartoon about duality, and I've copied it, but not shared it yet. And I very much like the quotation about the big yellow dogs. I'm putting the book on my wish list on Amazon, so I remember it when money's a little less tight.

    And thank you, about the kitties. My son said to me on the weekend, "You used to not let me have a cat because you hated them." And it's true. I was the one non-cat person in my family -- right up til I got here last September, and Yeshua was 10 days old and his mother wouldn't feed him, and he needed me. God knows, I needed him.