Tag Archive | cats

Mimi and Milo – A match made in heaven – Interspecies love

Two years ago this month, I became mom to an interesting couple of animals – Mimi the dog and Milo the cat. However, their story started 5 months before I even came into the picture. You see, I belong to a Chihuahua meetup group that also assists in rescuing Chihuahuas in need. A Facebook post by Ada Nieves about a Chihuahua and kitten that needed a home caught my eye. My family already consisted of two 12 year old cats – one with chronic sinusitis and the other an anti-social 22 pounder, a 5 year old Chihuahua and an 18 year old turtle. Most people would think my house was full, but I knew there was a piece missing. I debated on adopting a playmate for the dog or a social cat for my lonely cat but was having trouble deciding. When I read Ada’s post, I thought that it may be the answer to my problem. I could help keep the pair together and finally stop worrying about making the wrong choice.

The story of why Mimi and Milo needed to stay together is more than just animals getting along. Mimi had become a surrogate mother for Milo (then named Rover). I will start from the beginning…..

In the Spring of 2012, a lady named Jen took in two little furbabies as she is known to do; however, this time she didn’t realize what an adventure she was setting out on. Mimi was taken in by Jen and her husband after her original mom became critically ill while Mimi was pregnant and was no longer able to care for her. She had a c-section because she only had one puppy in the womb, and unfortunately her puppy was not born alive. The week before they brought Mimi home, Rover was brought into her sister’s grooming salon by a man who said his Mastiffs brought him the kitten! Rover barely had his eyes open, so they hand-fed him until the next week when Mimi arrived. Mimi seemed very depressed, so they offered her the tiny kitten. It was instant love – proven when she started to nurse him. Rover played so gently with her and their bond was amazing…they truly loved each other. It was then that Jen knew that this pair could never be separated. She set on a quest to find them a furever home. Through Ada, she searched high and low to find them the perfect placement.

Meme&Rover

First pic of Mimi and Milo together

Baby Milo

Baby Milo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, Mimi’s troubles were far from over. Later during her spay surgery in August, she developed a hernia along her spay incision, so yet another surgery was required. She actually developed an additional hernia right after I adopted her and needed another surgery then as well – that’s 3 surgeries in one month if you’re counting!

Anyway, while Mimi healed from the first hernia surgery, Jen and I had many conversations to make sure my home was the right one for Mimi and Rover. Fortunately for me, she thought we would fit well together, and I was able to complete my furry family! We each drove many hours to meet halfway between our homes and ended up meeting in a McDonald’s parking lot! Yup… I’m lovin’ it!

When I finally arrived back home, I was worried about how they would adapt to their new surroundings and siblings and vice versa but everyone tolerated each other well right from the start. I could tell that Mimi and Milo (Rover was a good name for the tough guy at the beginning but now he was a mush and needed a mushy name like Milo!) were completely bonded and inseparable. They would sleep in the same bed and many nights I was woken up by the sounds of Milo still nursing on Mimi – 5 months later!

It’s two years later, and their bond is as strong as ever. Milo is now twice as big as Mimi, but he plays with her like they are the same size. Mimi and Milo have completely settled into their new digs. Milo has taken his place as the bratty little brother and chases around the older cats, and Mimi has taught her Chihuahua brother how to be a nicer guy.  In Jen’s words: Milo is like the perfect mix of cat and dog, and Mimi is just a ray of sunshine.


Mimi is now a therapy dog bringing smiles to residents of physical rehabilitation centers, and Milo helps raise money for animal charities by starring in the annual cat fashion show at the Algonquin Hotel in New York City.

 Bonus pictures!

They love to cuddle and sleep near each other.

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I love this pic of them sleeping with Milo's feet on Mimi's face!

I love this pic of them sleeping with Milo’s feet on Mimi’s face!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 out of 5 of the furry zoo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bonus videos!

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Feline Hyperthyroidism – Simon’s story

He loved holding the remote!

He loved holding the remote!

One day I realized I had a really skinny cat. I’m not sure when Simon went from being a huge fat cat to a skinny cat, but one day he wasn’t my big lump of fur anymore. My feline friend was 15 years old so I knew that medical issues may arise, but I had no idea what a diagnosis of hyperthyroidism would entail.

Cats can live great lives if hyperthyroidism is caught early and is treated properly. For Simon, my vet and I chose to administer Methimazole via a gel rubbed on his ears twice a day. Administering meds this way is a much easier method than trying to give a cat a pill. Unfortunately, when I moved to another state and had to switch vets, the new vet had no idea that Methimazole was available in a twist-a-dose gel format. I had to keep getting the meds from my old vet in another state until my new vet was able to research and obtain the product. I also had trouble finding a place to buy it online. On a search today, I found this site which may help you in your search.

I was given great instructions on how to apply the gel to Simon’s ears, but if you were not or are just curious, check out this forumThey give a detailed and accurate explanation along with video on how it all works.

Anyway, the meds kept Simon happy and healthy for a few years. He gained back several pounds to be at a healthy weight. He was active and playful. However, meds are not a cure. As time went on, his health began to deteriorate once again. Trips to the vet now included rehydration via IV fluid. My only option at that point was to begin rehydration administration at home via subcutaneous injection. Fortunately, Simon was a very mellow cat so he tolerated this well. I, on the other hand, was a nervous wreck. I cried and at first it was very difficult for me. The first few times, my boyfriend helped me hold Simon steady which was a huge relief. After a few times though, I got the hang of it and was able to do it all on my own.

Watching YouTube videos like this one really helped. I can’t tell you how many videos I watched. I also read a lot about the various size of needles which affects the pain of injection and flow speed (the smaller the needle, the less pain, but longer to get the fluid in). It’s good to find a happy medium. Sites like this one will help you determine what size needle is best for you and your cat. You will most likely need to buy them with a prescription from your vet from the internet as many vets do not carry the smaller needles.  You can also purchase the fluid (I used Lactated Ringers Solution) from the Internet. Also, check Craigslist.org in your area for people selling excess product. After a cat passes away, many people are generous with their remaining product and will either give it away or sell it for a low price; that’s how I got my first batch of product. Personally, I ended up donating mine to a shelter when it was no longer needed.

For Simon and me, the easiest way to administer the fluid was to sit together in the corner of the couch. I hung the fluid bag on a hanger and attached that hanger to a standing lamp next to the couch. (I actually left it there all the time for ease of set up). Sometimes I would warm the bag of fluid in a large bowl of hot water first. I would have a bag of treats next to us, a bowl of milk or sometimes I would feed him breakfast or dinner while we fluid-ed. One of the most important things for me to do was to use a permanent marker on the bag and mark where the fluid dosages should be. This made it much easier to know when we were done.

The needle stays in on its own if the cat remains fairly still

The needle stays in on its own if the cat remains fairly still. Here he is eating treats.

You can see the yellow edge of the needle resting on his side here

You can see the yellow edge of the needle resting on his side here

He's obv not too bothered by it. Stayed busy watching TV :)

He’s obv not too bothered by it….must have been distracted flipping thru TV channels  🙂

Another issue that Simon ran into because of his dehydration was constipation. For this, my vet suggested Lactulose. It is given in a liquid form (but now seems to have a powder form as well). It is reasonably priced and comes in regular and flavored. Another option is to add pure pumpkin puree to your cat’s diet. Simon didn’t care for the pumpkin, and I tried administering it to him via a large syringe but it was more trouble than it was worth. Doing these things to keep your cat alive is only a good idea if your cat is going to be happy. Torturing him with too many meds and things he hated wasn’t an option for me.

Ultimately, Sub-Q fluids helped extend Simon’s life another few happy months. Don’t be afraid to try it. Your vet should help you try it the first couple of times. Also, having a friend help for the first week or so will be a huge relief to you – even if they just are there to provide moral support.

Good luck and best wishes in your kitty’s journey.

Sleeping wrapped up on my leg. His love never stopped.

Sleeping wrapped up on my leg. His love never stopped. I’m sure he knew I was only trying to help.

Feline Chronic Kidney Disease – Not a death sentence!

When my cat, Oliver, was about 11 years old, he started to lose weight and throw up a lot – mostly watery mush. Because my father had cats with kidney disease and these are key symptoms, I predicted this would be the case with Oliver as well. Unfortunately, I was correct. Also, unfortunately, I got the diagnosis from an inexperienced vet. She said the prognosis wasn’t good; Oliver wasn’t going to live long. His creatinine levels were supposedly bad, and I should prepare for the end. Thankfully the vet was WRONG!!!!!

I considered a kidney transplant but quickly ruled it out as they quoted me a cost around $8,000 and do not guarantee great results. I also considered subcutaneous fluid administration but Oliver was not a very easy-going cat so that wasn’t really an option either. Instead, I switched Oliver’s food to Hill’s K-D prescription diet food, left the bathroom faucet dripping to encourage extra water intake (and to increase my water bill!) and we went on living our lives. Oliver got regular check-ups and lo and behold, when I finally got to see the great vet that I usually took him to at the same practice, his creatinine levels were not at a death-level. I was told to keep doing what I was doing and that was that.

Oliver went on to live another healthy and happy three years. Chronic kidney failure is not always a death sentence. If you hear that diagnosis from your vet, do not freak out. Ask about and learn about what you can do to help your cat live his life to the fullest.

Oliver Garden

Feline Vestibular Disease – stroke-like symptoms

My cat, Simon, had a lot of health issues toward the end of his life. One of them was that he developed feline vestibular disease around age 14. This issue made him act as though he either had a stroke, an ear infection, a balance issue or was just completely uncoordinated. His symptoms started with walking into walls – with the side of his body – like he would fall over into them. He would cry and wail and be completely unresponsive when I would call him or try to comfort him. He would also cock his head to the side and walk in circles.

At first, I suspected a stroke, but he recovered from the episode within a few hours so the vet ruled that out. It is expensive to try to diagnose a stroke and there isn’t much that can be done about it, so I chose not to pursue that line of testing. Simon did not have an ear infection and blood work was good so by process of elimination, the vet gave the diagnosis of vestibular disease. Unfortunately, these episodes would happen every once in a while, but knowing that the condition had a name and it was not life threatening was a huge relief. It seems that this disease may run in the DNA of Siamese cats and I always suspected Simon was part Siamese.

It seems that vestibular disease is not a diagnosis that first comes to mind for many vets. If your cat is experiencing these symptoms, you may want to mention this disease as a possible cause.

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Random Pet Tip – Cat Puke

If you own a cat, you probably have come home to find puke on the bed. This obviously is never a fun thing to have to deal with. Having to strip all of your sheets down to the mattress and put new ones on is never ideal when you just want to fall into bed and go to sleep. Well, I have found a solution for this! Just put a plastic drop cloth on top of your sheets. Because I know how much my cats like to sleep on my bed, I put another sheet on top of the plastic that they can lay on. This way, my cats are happy and I am happy that when they puke on the bed, I only have to clean one sheet and I get to go to sleep at a normal hour. Having an extra sheet and plastic on the bed also enables you to sleep without being covered in fur. 🙂

Cheesy Cat si3756d