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Kitty update

Maxie sleeping on my bed with a lamp, by Elizabeth RuffingAfter his vet visit on Friday, Maxie had a lot of unusual bloating, which kept getting worse. We were right back at the vet on Saturday, and Monday, and Tuesday.

I didn’t include in my last post, with all the other sad news, that our vet had had a terrible accident two weeks ago, and got kicked in the chest by a horse. He had shattered ribs and was in intensive care. Thankfully, he is okay, but in pain, and he was just released from the hospital. We visited with him when he stopped by while we were there. I’m so glad is is okay. We have been going to him for the past eleven years. We miss him, but even more in times like this, when we need guidance about our pet from someone we trust and know. His wife brought him in to visit, and it was clear he was feeling weak and tired. I was relieved to see him. I wish I could have asked him for advice.

There are two new vets handling patients, while our vet is away, and they had differing opinions about what we should be trying. We’ve been there for hours every day, and Maxie has had to hang out there even more than we have. Luckily, he seems content when he is there, and, remarkably, purrs for everyone.

Mom and Dad walking with Maxie outsideThe vet on duty on Saturday was worried about trying to get any abdominal fluid, and wasn’t sure any more tests would give us an answer. She indicated it could be risky to try to go in with a needle, in case there is a tumor, and didn’t seem to think an ultrasound would necessarily help. Most of the options she gave didn’t sound like they would have much effect in helping poor Maxie.

Petting Maxie under his chin, by Elizabeth RuffingOn Monday, we went back in, after taking our boy outside for a while, to lift his spirits. He loves the outdoors and the sun, and seemed to enjoy himself. Once at the vet again, we waited for three hours, while everyone there tried to get someone to do the ultrasound. The vet on on Monday said if she did an ultrasound, she could safely put a needle in to drain the fluids that were bloating his abdomen, and she was sure it would tell us what was going on. But they couldn’t get anyone to come until the next morning.

Maxie resting in his bed after his ultrasound and draining, by Elizabeth RuffingWe were back yesterday morning, and watched them roll in the ultrasound machine. The ultrasound didn’t find anything definite, other than that he had a huge pocket of fluid in his abdomen. The doctor who came in to do the ultrasound didn’t drain the area though, which we were anxious to have done, since he was uncomfortable and not eating or going to the bathroom. She felt the vet on duty could safely do it herself, without the ultrasound, since the pocket was so big, but she had some surgeries. We waited some more. I felt like I was going to go insane in that office, if I had to stay anymore. I’ve lost count of how much time we’ve been in there. I asked if I could bring him back later, when the other vet could drain the fluids. They asked we leave him there instead, so the vet could get him started on draining.

An entire liter of fluid came out. Two pounds of fluid. He’s had his tummy shaved and he’s wearing a big bandage temporarily because there was some leaking from the procedure. He couldn’t walk so well when we got home, but he is doing better at the moment. He was able to eat, with the bloating gone, but it will likely come back, since the cause is unknown.

Today is my cousin’s birthday. He passed away from cancer less than a year ago. I remember he had to have the same things done so he could eat. Maxie may have cancer as well. That sounded like the most likely diagnosis, even though we don’t really know. They didn’t feel they could do anything much more, other than drain fluids, if they come back and he is still eating. We’re giving him subcutaneous fluids twice a day for dehydration. He’s also on painkillers and other medicines to try to make him comfortable. He is sleeping mostly, but ate and walked around this morning. We’ll have to stick around here to monitor him.

Pink fleece camouflage Hug Me Kitten, original art toy by Elizabeth RuffingAs you might expect, I haven’t gotten to much else. I put these three new Hug Me Kittens up. I will be posting my new handmade stuffed animal toys in our Ruffing’s shop.

Pink Hug Me Sock Kitten, original art toy by Elizabeth RuffingSewing is probably as good a thing to do as anything, in stressful situations. I try to read, but I get so distracted.

Turquoise Polka Dotted Hug Me Sock Kitten, original art toy by Elizabeth Ruffing

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Our home away from home

Maxie resting in his bed, by Elizabeth RuffingI feel like we’ve been at the vet office for a week. Or a week and a half. It feels longer. Our two oldest kitties are having health issues that need continued attention, and it is always distressing trying to do the best we can for them. Maxie has been getting fluids for kidney problems. We’re doing them at home twice a day, after he had all-day fluids at the vets.

Warming subcutaneous fluids bagThe fluids seem to help him feel a lot better. Last Saturday, he was staggering badly, due to dehydration and toxins in his system. He’s gone in for tests a couple of times over the past week too. At first, the results hadn’t changed much, but today they were better. Hopefully, he’ll level out more, but we’ll be doing the subcutaneous fluids, twice a day, indefinitely. I find it stressful, and I feel guilty poking him with a needle, but today he purred at the vet, for the vet and for the tech, and he even purred in his carrier in the car, and so at least I know it is worth it to make him feel better. I have done fluids before, but it has been a long time. I hope I get better at it.

Subcutaneous fluids in drip bag with line, hanging from ceiling fanMaxie stayed in an isolated area at the vet’s, to be safe. Our two oldest cats are haven’t been vaccinated this year due to their health issues, and so we have to be careful. Zoomie went in for testing along with Max, and he has a low white blood cell count, which can make him more vulnerable to catching things too. He needed his medication for his thyroid adjusted. Then they both go back for more tests. Some of the neighbor cats come poking around the porch and deck, looking in the screened windows. I hope all of them are healthy with nothing to pass on to our cats.

That’s Santana the Peeping Tom cat below. He belongs to a neighbor. He likes to come look in our windows and doors. There are some other cats who show up at night, but I don’t know where they all live. They all look like healthy pets, as far as I can tell.

Peeping Tom Cat, by Elizabeth RuffingI noticed Maxie staggering when I had to come back home with a flat tire last Friday, but thought he must have hurt himself. I am so glad my dad was able to fix the tire and that the car was available when we needed it to get to the vet. I feel uneasy that I almost waited until Monday, thinking the staggering was due to an injury. At least he is doing better now, but it is still sad when pets get old and develop issues. We have to monitor Maxie for bloating he has too, in case he has any heart problems, or other possibly related issues.

Dad changing tireWe got out of the house a little today, to try to relax, and I saw a pregnant long-haired cat down at the plaza where Phoebe and Bertie used to live. I asked if anyone might be able to fit her in for trapping, but I am not sure anyone will make it here. I wish I knew more people to ask for help. Everyone at the rescue is already booked up on time. I can’t do it myself, and I can’t put any cats at risk, transporting her or bringing her here, not with our boys with health issues. So, that is additionally disheartening.

Everyone here is very adamant with me about that, no transporting or keeping cats here. You never know who you will trap either, if you’ll get the right cat, or if you’ll pick up a kitten too young for vetting but too old and feral for adoption, which is what happened with Phoebe and Bertie. After bringing the girls home from that steakhouse, and ending up keeping them, everyone made me promise not to do that again. I really don’t do well with any of it. It makes me feel so sad when I think about that whole project, or when I see the cats there. We started trapping, spaying/neutering, and vaccinating the cats in that colony, but never finished, which means the cats there keep breeding. From what I understand, the rescue needs to concentrate on another two towns at the moment for TNR, because of a grant, and there are never enough volunteers who aren’t already busy.

I initially went along on trips to make photo stories of various projects, like TNR, and ended up with both sad stories to tell, and some happy ones. The weekend before last, Jill and I ran a sick kitten to the vet who didn’t survive. I would like some more happy stories.

Hug Me Slugs, Hug Me Bugs, and Hug Me Toad, original art toys by Elizabeth RuffingSome nice things happened too. Someone ordered all these toys, maybe for Easter. I thought they looked so cute and cheerful together.

Blue Polka Dotted Hug Me Sock Kitten, original art toys by Elizabeth RuffingAnd I added a couple of new toys to my shop, a Hug Me Sock Kitten, and a Hug Me Bug.

Medium Pink Fleece Hug Me Bug, original art toys by Elizabeth RuffingWe posted some more miniature kitten art dolls by Max Bailey too. These are Dixie, the tabby kitten,

Dixie, Original One-of-a-kind Dollhouse-sized Tabby Kitten Art Doll by Max BaileyLibby the calico kitten,

Libby, Original One-of-a-kind Dollhouse-sized Calico Kitten Art Doll by Max BaileyFrannie the black-and-white tuxedo kitten,

Frannie, Original One-of-a-kind Dollhouse-sized Black-and-white Tuxedo Kitten by Max Baileyand Rosie the Ragdoll kitten.

Rosie, Original One-of-a-kind Dollhouse-sized Ragdoll Kitten Art Doll by Max BaileyIf I don’t post again before Easter, I hope you all have a lovely holiday. Easter is my favorite of the holidays.

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Dixie, Original One-of-a-kind Dollhouse-sized Tabby Kitten Art Doll by Max Bailey

Dixie, Original One-of-a-kind Dollhouse-sized Tabby Kitten Art Doll by Max BaileyDixie is a very well-behaved miniature tabby Maine Coon kitten with lovely yellow eyes.

Dixie’s sweet little dress is mauve with pale pink polka dots.

Dixie, Original One-of-a-kind Dollhouse-sized Tabby Kitten Art Doll by Max Bailey Dixie comes with a mahogany-stained dollhouse spindle cradle. It has a mattress, pillow, and coverlet that are pale peach with rose and blue flowers and stems with blue and green leaves. When she gets sleepy, Dixie jumps into her cradle for a refreshing snooze.

Dixie, Original One-of-a-kind Dollhouse-sized Tabby Kitten Art Doll by Max Bailey Dixie is a one-of-a-kind work of art, and is meant for display only.

She was sculpted from paperclay in multiple stages, to allow for drying and detailing.

Dixie, Original One-of-a-kind Dollhouse-sized Tabby Kitten Art Doll by Max BaileyDixie was painted under a magnifying light, with tiny brushes, one hair at a time.

She is signed and sealed with matte varnish for protection and preservation, and comes with a certificate of authenticity.

Dixie, Original One-of-a-kind Dollhouse-sized Tabby Kitten Art Doll by Max Bailey Dixie and her cradle are 1:12 scale. (One inch equals one foot.)

Dixie stands 1 and 3/4 inches tall.

Update: Dixie has been adopted. Thank you!

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Libby, Original One-of-a-kind Dollhouse-sized Calico Kitten Art Doll by Max Bailey

Libby, Original One-of-a-kind Dollhouse-sized Calico Kitten Art Doll by Max BaileyLibby is a darling miniature calico kitten with amber eyes and a tiny pink nose.

She is wearing a grass green dress with pink collar and cuffs. It has tiny pink flowers with yellow centers on the bodice.

Libby, Original One-of-a-kind Dollhouse-sized Calico Kitten Art Doll by Max BaileyLibby comes with a mahogany-stained dollhouse spindle cradle. The mattress, pillow, and coverlet are soft green with a pattern of tan and pink, decorated with tiny red flowers. Libby climbs into her pretty bed for a nap in the afternoons.

Libby, Original One-of-a-kind Dollhouse-sized Calico Kitten Art Doll by Max BaileyLibby is a one-of-a-kind work of art, and is meant for display only.

She was sculpted from paperclay in multiple stages, to allow for drying and detailing.

Libby, Original One-of-a-kind Dollhouse-sized Calico Kitten Art Doll by Max BaileyLibby was painted under a magnifying light, with tiny brushes, one hair at a time.

She is signed and sealed with matte varnish for protection and preservation, and comes with a certificate of authenticity.

Libby, Original One-of-a-kind Dollhouse-sized Calico Kitten Art Doll by Max BaileyLibby and her cradle are 1:12 scale. (One inch equals one foot.)

Libby stands 1 and 7/8 inches tall.

Libby, Original One-of-a-kind Dollhouse-sized Calico Kitten Art Doll by Max BaileyUpdate: Libby has been adopted. Thank you!