First, Jackie was not doing well at all. He still has kind of diarrhea even though the fiber has done wonders at firming up his stool. What moves out of him is more of a pudding consistency. This would be great except for the fur that's around his butthole. And the drippy poop was just hanging in the fur, making shit stalactites. He smelled like a barnyard. I tried trimming him up and cutting back the crap mats, but I didn't have much success because the minute he heard the snip of the scissors, he was gone.
Well, a couple of weekends ago, I noticed he'd pulled off one of the crap mats by himself. I felt this was a good thing. Except when I saw him laying on a pillow on the patio. His legs and butt and tail were all raw. And I saw fly eggs on the tail. I flashbacked to Chandler and what the vet said about him not grooming. I hoped the eggs was the end of it.
But they weren't. They actually crawled in to him and fly larvae was coming out of him. A nasty sight, for anyone.
And once again, I remembered what my vet had said. "If the cat can't groom enough to keep the flies from laying eggs, it's time to say goodbye".
I called the clinic where Jackie had been neutered and asked about euthanizing him. I told her who's name Jackie had originally been under. She checked and told me that we couldn't have him put to sleep, since we were just "fostering" him. This kind of surprised me and when I hung up, I called my vet's office. My vet isn't fond of ferals, but Jackie can't live like this. I made an open arrangement to bring him in if we could get him in the trap and they'd take care of it for me. Then I got a private message on Facebook from the guy who originally set up Jackie's neutering. The other vet clinic had contacted him. He was upset. We messaged back and forth about it for a while and made the decision that John would come to our house, catch Jackie and get him into a trap. He said it would take him less than five minutes. John had already made the appointment for Jackie. For a shave, bath and checkup. Not euthanasia.
Thursday evening, Jackie went into the bottom of a cat condo. And when John showed up with his net, he had Jackie within thirty seconds. Took the net with Jackie in it into my bathroom, Brian was in there with the trap. And Jackie was in the trap within five minutes. Brian and I were absolutely amazed. Brian took Jackie to the vet on Friday, meeting John in the parking lot. Brian and I are not to go into the clinic with Jackie, John will do it (he doesn't want any fuss from the vet). John contacted me Friday night, Jackie had been really nasty. And he had a burst anal sac, as well as maggots coming out of his butt. All of that had been taken care of. Bloodwork and fecal came back great.
John was supposed to be bringing Jackie back Friday night, but we decided it would be best if John kept him overnight. (I hate when the kitty comes out of the anesthesia.) And he kept him on Saturday. Sunday morning, John said that he had to work until one, he'd check with us later. Jackie came home Sunday night, a very stressed, tired, clean kitty.
John gave me instructions on care and we left Jackie in his carrier Sunday night. During the day Sunday, Brian had assembled the double decker large dog crate to house Jackie in his recovery. This was done in my bathroom (not much room in there now, good thing fat smooshes or I wouldn't be able to use the potty or the shower). Brian cut a piece of wood to cover the hole between the stories of the crates and I put down pee pads and took the litterbox from the bottom, putting it on the top. When it came time to put Jackie in the crates, I got a taller cat condo, brought it into the bathroom, opened the door to the top crate. I pulled all of the bedding out of the carrier where Jackie was staying. I took the carrier over to the crate, set it on the condo and opened the carrier door. Jackie was out of that carrier in less than a minute. Into the crate, onto the shelf (Brian cut wood to fit, two pieces and when placed together between the top and bottom pieces of the crate, makes a nice little shelf - I had places some soft bedding on that).
So, Jackie is using the litter box (he's also getting flagyl) and eating his A/D happily. He hisses at us, but when I pet him, I can put my face against his and he purrs for me. So, he's feeling a lot better now than he was last week at this time. He'll be in there until at least the middle of next week. No feeling sorry for him this time and letting him out too soon. And we've made a promise to John. If anything goes wrong, we will call him immediately. And every four to six month, Jackie will go to the vet for cleaning. Because he doesn't do it himself and it adversely affects his health. But for right now, he's in a nice warm clean quiet place, with very little to distract him. Right now, he needs to get well.
The other problem is with Jackie's wife, Katie Blue.
Two weekends ago, I noticed a bunch of dried blood around the bottom of her mouth. I'd never seen this before, but she was eating and wasn't drooling or anything like that. I took a wait and see approach.Well, the right side of her chin started to swell up. She ate and groomed, she didn't like me putting my fingers in her mouth, but her gums had swollen so much, the skin was pulled tight and was shiny. Knowing that there was nothing I could do about it if it was cancer, I didn't jump right on a vet visit. But while Brian was en route with Jackie last Friday, I called our vet and made an apointment for Katie. I knew that it wasn't an immediate death sentence, that Katie would come home with me because she wasn't drooling and was eating. I kept thinking back to Pepper. After dodging another bullet with Jackie, could it happen with Katie, too? Honestly? I wasn't optimistic. I had accepted the possibility that Katie's time with us might just be weeks.
Yesterday morning I was like Elmer Fudd in the old Bugs Bunny cartoons. Sneaking the carrier into the family room. Wiping it down. Sneaking my keys and wallet into my pocked. Walking quietly past where she was sleeping. Not talking or doing anything to alert her that some unpleasantness was headed her way. When I had everything I needed, I walked over to where she was, put my hand on her, quickly scruffed her neck and swung the carrier door open and pushed her into the carrier. It happened so quickly that she didn't have much time to fight it.
Got to the vet, the parking lot was torn up. Someone had complained to the county about non-compliance of the ADA and the landlord was having work done to make the sidewalk wheelchair accessible. Once inside, I talked with Alicia for a while, then it was our turn in the office. Once inside, I got Katie out of the carrier, she was weighed (a little under ten pounds) . Then I waited for the doc, holding Katie the entire time. He came in, there was small talk and he looked inside Katie's mouth. He leaned back and said he had a cat come in last summer with the exact presentation as Katie. And with the other cat, it had been a tooth abscess. Tooth was extracted, everything cleaned up and the kitty is fine today. If it wasn't a tooth, then it was most likely squamous cell cancer. (My fear.) But the fact that it didn't hurt her much when he pushed on it and that the jaw underneath wasn't mooshy (meaning the cancer had infected it and was eating away), he wasn't leaning towards the cancer diagnosis. He took her back for x-rays and I waited. The tech came in and said that he wanted me to come back and look at the x-rays. He had taken two. And he pointed out the left side jaw bone, how it came all the way to the chin. And he pointed out the right jaw bone, the also came almost to the chin. It stopped at the canine tooth, that was very crooked compared to the left canine. No moosh. No loss of bone. Tooth abscess.
So, Katie has surgery scheduled for next Monday. She's on clindamycin for the week and he said that the abscess could very well come to a head and break, not to worry about it. This would make it easier for him next week. She'll also be getting a dental at the same time.
She's not fond of the medicine and I have to figure out how to get her to not run when she sees me coming. I'd like to take her in to see Jackie, but I have to get her first.
So, two bullets dodged.
If you'd like to help out with donations, I'm going to try to get some new shirt designs up for Valentine's day in my store by next week. And there's those adorable dainty little heart earrings. Or you could just donate to the cat fund. Paypal personal option to nuttybuddy at paypal.com.