A Story from a Customer About Her Senior Cat and Hyperthyroidism

THE SENIOR CAT

Written by: Alison W. Certified Veterinary Technician, Reiki Master

Zaichik the Magnificent came into my life while I was working in Moscow, Russia. I grew up in Connecticut but lived all over the US (personal choice – not military) before visiting a friend who was working in Moscow. I’m a country girl and never thought I’d live in a city (let alone one with a population of over 8 million!) – but I got a job working for US Agency for International Development. I managed environmental contracts and as part of my work travelled over the entire country. (That is a book in itself.) I will never forget seeing Siberian Tiger tracks in the Russian Far East.

Zaichik is a Japanese Bobtail and “Zaichik” [z-eye-chik] means “little rabbit” in Russian. “The Magnificent” part was his own idea. Valentina told me he was a very special kitten, and incidentally the grandson of the Japanese Ambassador’s cat. She insisted that I must have him! How could I resist?



Zaichik the Magnificent in my Moscow flat 1996

Veterinary clinics as we know them did not exist in Russia. Vets made “house calls” for everything, including surgery. Fortunately Zaichik was healthy and his only veterinary encounters were for vaccinations and neutering. I got him an international health certificate and passport and was thrilled when I could bring him to the US in 1997.

In the US cats are far less likely than dogs to have annual examinations. Indoor cats aren’t often exposed to contagious diseases, but they are not immune to other potentially life threatening conditions. This is particularly true as cats age.

Among the most common problems in older cats are:

– Kidney disease
– Diabetes
– Hyperthyroidism

When diagnosed in the early stages by your veterinarian these can all be treated. Prompt care will prolong and enhance the quality of your cat’s life. Symptoms to watch for include:

– Increased thirst (generally paired with increased urination)
– Weight loss
– Behavioral changes



Zaichik the Magnificent in NH 2006

Three years ago I noticed a marked increase in the amount of water Zaichik was consuming. He had also lost weight. My first thought was that he might be diabetic. However, blood tests revealed he was hyperthyroid.

Hyperthyroidism can be treated with a daily pill. Note – I did not use the adverb “easily” in the previous sentence. Does the thought of giving your cat a pill strike terror in your heart? The best medicine in the world is worthless if you can’t get your cat to take it. Fear not! Simply ask your vet to prescribe one of the new transdermal gels that are applied to the skin inside the ear – decreased anxiety for people and cats!

Zaichik’s advice for a long and happy life is “see your vet regularly and just say no to stress”. =^..^=



Zaichik the Magnificent in FL 2013



More from Cat Faeries regard hyperthyroid and medication:

1) When applying the transdermal gels you MUST wear either a vinyl glove or a finger cot because you will absorb the medication and this will affect your own thyroid. Gloves and finger cots can be bought at your local drug store.

2) Veterinary Pharmacy of America can take your cat’s prescription and turn it into a tasty treat. Most cats will gobble their medication in the form of a treat right up!

The treats come in these flavors: beef, chicken, liver, and venison.

We favor the venison because it’s gluten free which is something Cat Faeries feels is important. Wheat gluten causes many health problems and we feel cats and people should eliminate it to maintain health. When your venison flavored treats arrive they must be refrigerated right away.

VPA is located in Texas and can be reached by phone at 877-838-7979 or fax 877 329 7979.

A customer welcomes two new cats after Hurricane Sandy!

Do you recall reading the wonderful story from our customer Judy about her cats Casper and Marshmellow ? If you missed it, read it here – http://www.catfaeries.com/blog/a-beautiful-story-of-two-beloved-cats-written-by-a-cat-faeries-customer/

Judy writes to us again about surviving the storm and opening up their home and hearts to two shelter cats. Here’s the story:


My Cat Faerie,

Our family is embarrassingly well through Superstorm Sandy. Many of my friends and neighbors didn’t. We’re pulling together as a community, helping in whatever ways we can. It is gratifying but can be quite depressing. Since Georgie Girl went home to her family when they came back from the Galapagos a week prior to the storm, we realized how empty our home was without kitties. The aftermath of Sandy only made it more dreary. So, we decided to go to our town animal shelter and see if they had anyone who wanted to join our (I am a firm believer that kitties choose us, not the other way around).

Right away, Simon (his name was Raffe at the time but we didn’t like it) picked my hubby. His paw reached out from between the bars, tapping Sam. Karen said that she was hoping that we’d find an orange kitty to join us. I told her not to go in there with prefromed ideas and to be open to everyone at the shelter…but there was Simon, a redhead reaching out to us as we walked in. He is about 3 years old (they think) and was there since April. He had a tag “SCC” on his cage. I didn’t ask what it meant. The animal shelter is a low-kill shelter and I know that places like this often use codes for the animals that are there regarding how much time they have left to get a family. When we expressed an interest in Simon, the staff told us that SCC meant he was due to go to Suffolk Community College on Monday. They have a veteranary program there and he would be used in the phlebotemy class, a life of having students practice extracting blood on him. I asked if we could have him instead. She asked a supervisor and said “OF COURSE!” and the only reason why he was being sent there was because his whole 6 months there, nobody even looked at him, let alone expressed that they wanted to take him home. This was a way of sparing his life. Sometimes the students take a liking to the kitties and wind up adopting them from there. He would have a much more stable and happy life with us.

Karen had her heart set on getting a kitten, too. I was ambivelent about that because kittens get adopted so much sooner than older cats. But, this was something she felt very strong about, raising a kitty from baby to senior citizen. Then I saw how many kittens were at the shelter waiting for forever homes and I felt better about a kitten joining us, too. None of the kittens are given the luxury of names. She was “9 w/o female b/w tiger.” She and Karen fell in love instantly and her name is now Pepper. Before we left the shelter, we placed Pepper in the cage with Simon to see how they got along. It wasn’t love at first sight, but they seemed to like one another.

Today is a week since Simon and Pepper joined our family. With the exception of one diarhea incident, Pepper has adapted vey well to her new home. She is a bouncy, curious little kitten. Pepper has in INCREDIBLE appetite and she is very attached to Karen so we are convinced that at least a part of Marshmellow’s soul in inside her. Simon is still a bit cautious. He has a favorite hiding spot in the living room and comes out with less and less coaxing. He even comes out on his own more and more. He is only letting me get a couple of brush strokes in at a time on him before he retreats and I am terrified to clip his nails (but i need to get to them very soon for his own safety) but I’m confident he’ll come around. I think he might have a piece of my precious Casper in him, too.

All Pepper wants to do is follow Simon around. She is literally up his butt at times. He is never angry or annoyed but I think he is a little spooked by her enthusiasm at times. I saw Simon cleaning Pepper a few times and Karen got a picture of both of them cuddling in Simon’s “safe place.” In the early morning and at night they chase eachother around and at times do this odd and adorable leap-frog type thing.

I am very bittersweet about these new additions. I love them. Simon and Pepper are family. But since they joined our home, my heart has been aching more than it has in recent times for Casper and Marshmellow. I pray to their souls that I hope they understand that they are not being replaced by these two. I know they do. I know that they are happy that just like we did for them, we saved these two kitties from life in the shelter (or worse) and gave them a good loving home. It just still hurts not having them around.

I’ll be placing an order with you for more Feliway spray and difuser refills soon. Casper and Marshmellow were declawed. Simon and Pepper are not. Clipping Casper and Marshmellow’s back claws were not an issue to clip because they were so mellow. Between having to contend with front claws now, Pepper being so naturally wiggly and Simon being so naturally frightened, I will need your recommendation on a good, safe set of clippers.

Thank you for always being a good friend and a great Cat Faerie. Talk to you soon.

Hugs,

Judy
(and Simon and Pepper…and Sam, and Karen, too)

Another customer shares a story – Fostering Shelter Kittens

I wasn’t looking for a foster kitten, but fate intervened. His intake date was my late brother’s birthday. Weighing a little over a pound he was the only surviving member of his litter. He had one blue and one green eye. Best of all – he came equipped with “auto-purr” (which was activated whenever I picked him up). Hurricane Felix was the second Hurricane of the 2007 Atlantic Hurricane Season so it stood to reason that this kitten had to be a Purricane.



Purricane Felix – July 2007

Everyone has heard the dismal statistics on shelter euthanasia. What you don’t hear are the numbers of “unassisted deaths” due to disease. The cute little kittens who should be the most adoptable are also the most susceptible to parasites and upper respiratory infections. Poorly developed immune systems and the lack of body reserves ensure they are ill equipped to handle the stress of a shelter environment.

Fostering in a home environment:

  • Reduces stress
  • Decreases exposure to contagious diseases
  • Facilitates socialization
  • Saves lives

Purricane needed antibiotics for an upper respiratory infection. He also needed to gain weight in order to be adoptable.

People who love cats but aren’t able or ready to commit to a fulltime pet can provide the extra care kittens need before they can find their forever homes through a shelter.

Of course, some people do fall in love with their fosters (and vice versa). =^..^=



Purricane Felix (aka “The Purr”) – 2009

Alison W. – Certified Veterinary Technician

Another customer shares the story of a very special cat

The Smartest (and Best Cat Ever!) I’ve ever known!

Meet Buster, a.k.a. Gus. Buster came to us as a grown-up, scruffy, overweight cat that regularly snorted with disdain at all those around them. He had been an only cat in his previous house and wasn’t at all certain that he cared for a home where there were other felines. Actually, at the time, there were five other cats in his personal space! But, after a short time, he decided that life with his very own couch and heated blankets was very good and with a terrific health plan, what more could he possibly want? Don’t forget the importance of regular health check-ups for the more mature cats in your house, including dental exams and cleanings.

Any question, especially soon after a meal, was always best answered with a nap. Naps are so important; however, whenever his favorite persons were home, it was always time for another meal and Buster was always at our feet with that very quizzical look.

With great sadness for all members of our family, we lost our funny, old cat several years back to old age. We always felt like he really chose us-we are so glad we adopt since the rewards are endless. It is still difficult to remember when we didn’t turn around and hear his bell throughout the house. Even a nap in all of his favorite spots couldn’t take the place of his very favorite person’s lap (my husband!) and we will always miss his very loud purr…

Tricia L.

Hernando, MS

Hurricane Sandy and Animals: some good news, and good advice.

(This information came from our customers on our Facebook page – keep checking there for more updates.)

If you recall during Hurricane Katrina animals were NOT allowed on buses or other means of evacuation, or in shelters – which was appalling. New York City is not letting that happen!

Our friend and long time customer Janea reports to us via Facebook:

“I was VERY glad to see this morning that in NYC evacuation laws, cab drivers are not allowed to refuse a fare if they have animals with them and shelters are not allowed to refuse people with animals (as long as they’re on leashes or in crates). It’s a city law.”
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=367088446710214&set=a.108944929191235.18214.100002271856724&type=1&theater

From another great person and customer, Judy C:

For those who are evacuating and have pets, below is a listing of pet-friendly hurricane evacuation shelters in the New York metropolitan area:

Nassau County

Nassau Community College – Mitchel Field (NSALA mobile unit(s) will be present)
Charles Lindbergh Boulevard
Uniondale, NY

Suffolk County

Brentwood Rec Center
99 Third Ave
Brentwood, NY 11771

Suffolk Community College Eastern Campus – Corchaug Building
121 Speok – Riverhead Road
Riverhead, NY 11901

NYC/Queens/Brooklyn/Staten Island/Bronx

Animals can be brought to any evacuation shelter that is located in a public school; animals can also be brought on public transportation during an evacuation.

ALL animals must have:
• proof of current vaccinations
• sturdy crate/carrier to keep animal in

All dogs must also have:

• sturdy leash
• current license
• proof of ownership
• bring muzzle (dogs)

Judy also gave us the link to The North Shore Animal League website which will keep us up to date on many aspects of animals and evacuations. These are the folks who go to the front lines whenever there is a disaster or emergency. What brave and loving people they are!

http://www.animalleague.org/rescue/pet-rescue-programs/emergency-rescue/hurricane-sandy.html

And from Baltimore, Maryland:

BARCS needs help tomorrow morning. The shelter is located in a high flood area right along the water in Baltimore City. They will be evacuating all 200+ animals starting at 7 AM tomorrow morning. They are taking the animals to 1st Mariner Arena. If you can help transport, if you can donate crates, blankets, towels, and cleaning supplies, or if you can short term foster during the duration of the storm they can use your help (and can show them an evacuation plan). They need everyone there by 7 am Monday Morning. Please share and thank you!

BARCS is located at 301 Stockholm Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21230

What’s gray-blue and stinking cute? DAPHNE! Our newest family member.

If you read our newsletter regularly you’ll recall that our 18 year old Torti lost her brave battle and crossed The Rainbow Bridge early July. A month later we adopted a lovely tortoiseshell named Coco. But it turned out that Coco missed her foster mom as much as the foster mommie missed her. So, as believers in stories with happy endings and true love, we reunited Coco and Michele, and they are living happily ever after.

A few weeks later we met Daphne at San Francisco Animal Care and Control and knew she was the cat for us. She’s stunning blue gray cat with features like both a Russian Blue and a Chartruex. She has a tiny meow, that built in Chartreux smile, dense plushy fur, and bright green eyes. And the longest legs we’ve ever seen on a cat – we call them her Eiffel Tower Legs!

Daphne took to her new home right away. She had no interest in hiding out in a closet, at all! Within hours of arriving she found all of Betty’s old favorite spots and claimed than as hers.

There has been very little hissing between Daphne and Madeline thanks to Comfort Zone For Cats with Feliway! We have two diffusers running in every room and we spray prominent objects in the house daily for a smooth transition and that “Hi, I like you” vibe! They also get Multi Cat Household flower essence in the water bowl. They aren’t buddies, yet, but we know that in time they will be, and that they will rule Cat Faeries side by side.

Unbeknownst to anyone Daphne carries the Calicivirus. Five days after Daphne arrived at our house she broke out with the classic fiery red and angry looking oowie on her nose, and she had one lesion on her gum. Our house call vet, Dr. Brian Van Horn, raced over and swabbed her eyes, nose and mouth to test her for all the usual nasty things a cat could get. It was confirmed: calicivirus.

Instinctively we knew that she needed Colloidal Defense, and this was supported by our holistic vet, Dr. Cheryl Schwartz. One dropper of Colloidal Defense mixed into her food, twice a day, kicked the virus to the curb in about two and a half days! That scary looking red thing on her nose started to clear and heal immediately.

We’d been talking about adding this wonderful product to Cat Faeries offerings for several years, and with Daphne’s success story with it we sprang into action, and it’s now on our website.

Madeline has obviously been exposed to the calicivirus so Colloidal Defense will be a forever supplement for both cats.

Welcome Daphne!

Here I am! I see birds! Lot’s of pretty birds!

That’s me, Daphne, relaxing after a long, hard day of work at Cat Faeries. What’s my job? Ambassador of Cute!

Here’s Madeline inspecting fresh willow branches fresh from the farmer’s market. We give them to our bunnies to chew on.