Everything · Pictures · The Cats

Sonic – Resilience, tenacity of life and love.

This is going to be a very long post. I tried to make it shorter, but it still ended up ridiculously long. But I can’t tell all of what’s been going on with Sonic in fewer words than in this post.

Sonic and Hero

If you have read the previous post about Sonic, then you know what he went through and how I have been trying everything to have him improve and gain weight. So you know about his problem with constipation…

Another scare with Sonic last week. But now we are hopefully on the right track for this to never happen again.

Last weekend, late on Sunday evening the 31st of January, Sonic started struggling to pass the remaining bit of bowel movement, after passing some hard stool. It was the last bit that the new stool softener couldn’t make soft enough. A while before that, I had to temporarily change his stool softener, because I found that the previous stool softener was the reason why Sonic kept throwing up so often. In addition, of it not working well enough. I am giving him fibre with malt paste to soften his stool now. Which is enough at the moment anyway, since Sonic only gets liquid food (a special formula for sick and weakened cats) and after that he’ll get kitten formula.

During the night from Sunday to Monday, poor Sonic kept trying and trying to pass that remaining bowel movement. He just wasn’t able to do it. To make matters worse, he started throwing up from exhaustion and being upset. (Sonic always throws up as soon as he gets upset or stressed out about something). Every little bit of water he got in, came right back up.

I stayed by his side the whole time, trying to comfort him any way I could, hoping he would try to sleep a bit. Unfortunately, he kept trying the whole night, repeatedly throwing up the water I was giving him. By the morning, he was absolutely exhausted and dehydrated. Since he is still below a normal weight, exhaustion and dehydration like that becomes life threatening.

Off to the Vet

I called the Vet right in the morning and told them what was going on. Before I left with Sonic, both Ralph and I thought that this might be it. Ralph thought he might never see his boy alive again and had to say good bye to him, just in case the worst would happen and the Vet would not be able to save him. I was in a near panicked state, barely keeping it together.

Taxi Driver wasn’t happy with us – I called a Taxi and off we went. But before I got out of the Taxi, and after I paid, the driver told me that I should inform the Taxi company that I would have an animal with me the next time, because he doesn’t accept animals in his Taxi normally and that it has to do with his religion and that animals are unclean, therefore creating a problem for him and others with the same belief. He wasn’t shouting at me or anything, just calmly saying it. But after using Taxis most of my life for Vet visits, it’s the first time ever I heard about anything like it. Especially, it’s just a kitty in a carrier, a leak proof one at that. But now it made sense why the driver didn’t even greet me and kept looking back to Sonic with an annoyed look on his face.

So I got out and into the waiting room of our Vet, which was thankfully empty and we didn’t have to wait at all. I was so worried and expected the worst.

Our lovely Vet took sweet Sonic out of his carrier and had a good look at what’s going on, while I told her all the details. Like I was expecting, there was only one solid and rather hard poo left in him, which he was unable to pass. The Vet gave him two tiny enemas to soften it all up and then massaged his tummy, to break the piece up as much as possible. Thankfully it all worked and it was out without too much difficulties. Although by that time, Sonic’s rectum was all swollen up and in pain from trying desperately all night.

Sonic stayed at the Vet for a few hours

Because of how dehydrated, exhausted and weak he was, the Vet decided it would be best for him to stay with them for a few hours. That way they would be able to give him a long intravenous drip for rehydration, while also being able to keep an eye on him and able to help if he get’s worse. She explained that the subcutaneous drip, which creates a little pocket of liquid under his skin for rehydration, would not be taken up by his body fast and well enough, as his general body temperature was also a bit lower than normal.

Before the access was laid, the Vet listened to Sonic’s heart and breathing, which was thankfully perfectly normal. His heart was beating strong and perfectly regular, and his breathing was normal as well. So the access for the vein was put in, after shaving a small area on a front leg above the vein. That way they were also able to take some blood easily, to check on his kidneys, blood sugar and some other important things. Everything turned out to be fine with the blood results, which was such a great sign in itself. Then through the vein access, he received pain medication as well. An antibiotic was given too, but subcutaneously.

And so Sonic was put into his hospital bed cage / carrier, with the drip attached to the outside of it. The Vet also made him a pillow, because I told her Sonic always wants to rest his head on something. I said good bye to the sweet boy, but felt very hopeful he would be fine. Sonic is always so calm and brave at the Vet and never complains or panics. He seems to trust the Vet fully, as he’s been there so many times already (not just for emergencies though). He didn’t seem to worry or even look distressed.

Just so you know what it looks like… The following photo of Sonic in his a Vet Carrier Cage was taken a year prior, when he was there to resolve his constipation. In the picture, Sonic was put in the Vet Carrier, while we were waiting for the enema he received, to do it’s work. Only last week, he had his blanket with him as well, which the Vet made into a head rest for him, and there was an IV attached to the outside. Btw, Sonic stayed in the recovery room last week, where it’s quiet, warm and the light is dimmed.

Sonic a year ago, in January 2020

I took the tram home instead of another Taxi just for myself. On the way, I told Ralph everything and that I am going to pick him up again in the afternoon.

Back at home, I could hardly sit still while we were waiting for the time to go by, until I could go to pick him up again. Though I was reassured by not receiving a call from the Vet while waiting at home. Because the Vet said she would call right away if Sonic would suddenly get worse, or has to be picked up sooner in case he gets upset and wants to go home.

Though thankfully, the time went by and I could finally go and pick him up. It was a lovely sunny day and not cold. Therefore I decided I would use my bicycle instead of calling a Taxi again. I took an additional blanket with me so I could wrap Sonic up and keep him warm on the way home. Btw, Sonic actually prefers the bicycle rides. He is not complaining much on the bicycle, just in the beginning when I put him in the carrier. In a car on the other hand, he stays upset the whole ride and cries a lot.

Once I was back at the Vet office, I didn’t have to wait again and was called in quickly. The Vet brought Sonic out from the back and put him on the examination table and Sonic was already sitting and looking around, visibly feeling a lot better. His IV was still attached to him. Apparently he started to perk up after the IV had been going in for half an hour. Though Sonic didn’t start to cry or struggle in there. In all, he stayed at the Vet for about 4 hours and spent that time either looking around a bit, or sleeping.

It was such a relief! God was I glad to see Sonic and he was glad to see me too! Sonic got another little drip, but subcutaneous, which would rehydrate him some more over the next few hours. After that, we put him in his carrier and we were on our way home again. This sweetie actually enjoyed the ride home and watching everything interested. It’s not a long ride anyway. Once I got us home, I opened the carrier and let him step out.

Back at home

Lisa, Hero and Samantha all came to check on him. He was still weak and unsteady, but that was no surprise after everything.

Sonic went straight for a drink. A really really long drink and then he walked into the bedroom, followed by everyone.

Everyone followed Sonic and stayed with him in the bedroom

The reason for Sonic’s struggles and the way to the solution

Now we also know what is always causing constipation. Sonic has a slight abnormality in the way his rectum is shaped, which makes it very easy for things to get stuck if the stool isn’t soft enough. The shape also results in the stool getting too big to pass easily once it gets stuck there.

His constipation problems were one of his two big issues that nearly took his life repeatedly. The other issue is the auto immune disorder, which affects his gums and causes a runny nose and runny eyes. Although the disorder is under control, his gums are very sensitive. There are no wounds or anything anymore, but it seems to be a nerve issue that make his gums sensitive in some way, although not painful. This is why Sonic kept losing weight, despite eating. Sonic is also extremely fussy and picky with food, which does not help at all of course.

It took me quite a while to figure out how to stop him from losing weight. Everything I tried to feed him, he refused, due to his pickiness. He just has a little sniff at something and then goes “Yuck, no…” and walks off. Sometimes also trying to bury it before walking off.

For a long time I kept failing when trying to give him liquid food with a syringe in his mouth. He was struggling against it and if I got anything in at all, he would refuse to swallow it and everything would run out of his mouth. A second try after that was always even more impossible. I was considering to talk to the Vet about a feeding tube, but Ralph and I knew that would never work and only stress him out.

Success with feeding – As you know, I’m not giving up. So out of desperation, I kept trying to work out how to feed him with a syringe. For some reason, and by some more trial and error, I finally found the right way to feed him with a syringe. I just have to put the food on the back of his tongue and it’s fine. Not only that! He actually loves it! It’s unbelievable, but he LOVES getting his formula like that now. He doesn’t want to lick it up himself, because he dislikes anything that he thinks is messy. I use a 1ml syringe, so I have to keep pulling up some more milk for him. And you can see that he is looking forward to more while I am doing that. Then amount from the 1ml syringe is just right for a mouth full that he swallows in one go. He’s getting 100ml a day of a formula very high in nutrients and energy.

The improvement was amazing

Just 24 hours after feeding him like that, he had a whole lot more energy. Within not even a week, he was walking fast and steady, no wonky legs, no weakness. On the bad Monday last week, he was so weak, he could not even drink water properly. He couldn’t hold up his head or used his tongue properly, he was that weak. So the difference was enormous to say the least. The formula is Royal Canin’s Convalescence Support support btw. Unfortunately, it’s not being produced anymore and the last remaining stock in the stores is now almost gone. Thankfully though, Kitten Formula is going to work just as well. I’ll probably just have to feed him a bit more of it.

This big comfy chair next to the living room window is now Sonic’s favourite spot. He’s decided to hang out there while he recovers and becomes stronger. I took the photos during the beginning of last week. Lisa and Hero often stay close to Sonic, especially when he was still rather weak. The blankies are on there to protect the chair from getting ripped to bits lol. Sonic also has his little cushions to rest his head on.

How Sonic is doing now

Sonic still prefers to hang out on the big chair by the window. He can see everyone from there and it’s soft and comfy. His body temperature was a bit low in the beginning of last week and we kept covering him with a blanket to keep him warm.

  • Since Wednesday of last week, Sonic’s body temperature is back to normal.
  • Digestion is working and he’s not struggling with hard bowel movements. Sonic also gets up and has drinks of water often.
  • Sonic is walking rather fast and normal again. He jumps up on his chair with ease.
  • He’s interested in things again, purrs and enjoys cuddles and brushing and is even playing when I get out his favourite toys.
  • Sonic’s appetite is huge now and he loves getting fed with the milk formula and enjoys some boiled chicken breast.
Sonic enjoying some chicken

I only had one wish for Christmas and my birthday, which was today, and my wish is for Sonic to keep getting better, gain weight and stay with us for a lot longer! So far it seems, my wish has been granted! I keep praying for Sonic’s wellbeing and I’m thankful that the sweet boy is still with us and still fighting to get stronger! What a boy!

I have a couple more posts coming up that I didn’t post because my attention and mind was all on Sonic. Thank you so much for all your sweet comments and your kindness.

Lots of love from us all!

Everything · Pictures · The Cats

Sonic is doing better! A lot better!

Hello my friends! You remember when I wrote about Sonic and that his age is becoming very apparent? Back in December, Ralph and I were very worried about him. He kept losing weight, but neither of the two Vet’s in our Vet office could find anything wrong with him. They did a big and very detailed blood test, and it turned out to be perfectly fine. It was actually quite amazing for a 17 year old kitty! Samantha’s blood test turned out just as great btw. His heart was checked, his lungs, everything. He had a full body x-ray. All good! The only health problem he has is a slow digestion and he needs a fibre rich diet and stool softener. The other problem is his auto-immune disorder, which causes inflammation lesions in his mouth, a runny nose and eyes. But that was and is under control with the immune system support tablets he’s getting.

By mid December, we thought he would pass away any day. I checked if he was still with us multiple times during the night and I stayed with him in the bedroom during the day as well. He was almost too weak to walk to the kitty litter or go for a drink. So I carried him to the toilet often, and brought him to the water. I just wanted Sonic to be close to us all the time. I got him a soft basket and put it between Ralph and me on our large bed. He’s basically between our heads. It was heartbreaking and we thought it was his time to go. He wasn’t purring anymore, because I think he didn’t even have energy for that. Hero, Lisa and Samantha knew he wasn’t well. They were staying with him on the bed a lot.

He was just not eating enough. It was really difficult, as I could not convince that little boy to eat more and Ralph could tell you just how worried and stressed out I became, because I tried every food I could possibly try on him. Including kitten formula and special Reconvalescence support drinks, that help very ill cats regain strength and help them gain weight. The problem was just, Sonic didn’t want any of it, no matter what I tried.

Then I had the problem with his medication. He started refusing to accept food with meds on it. So there was only the syringe left. But he always used to struggle when I tried giving him anything into his mouth with a syringe. He would also refuse to swallow it and spit it out.

So I tried to feed him without the meds on it which worked a little, but soon he refused to accept any of his usual food.

Though I refused to give up.

I knew he had to eat, no matter what. I also knew he absolutely NEEDED his meds, because otherwise he would start having severe constipation and his auto-immune disorder would flare up and cause lesions in his mouth, which would make him want to eat even less.

Sonic doesn’t normally want anything but kibbles. But I had the idea to try boiled chicken breast, which I always used to make for Murli and still do it for Samantha every now and then.

And wouldn’t you know it, he started to eat! I started feeding him all throughout the night and day. I took the chicken bits into the bed with me, in a little bowl I could close up. Sonic let me know when he wanted some food, or I would wake up on my own and check on him and gave him some of the chicken. About every two hours, sometimes less, I fed him through the night and during the day. I didn’t care that I wasn’t getting proper sleep, I was just happy he ate.

Samantha and Sonic eating chicken together

After a few days, less than a week, he started getting some strength back. He was walking a little better and didn’t appear so unsteady. But I still had the problem with his medicine. He didn’t accept the chicken if I would add the meds to it, even if I tried masking the taste and smell with salmon oil.

The only way was to use the syringe to give him his medicine. I thought I rather have him be upset with me for using the syringe to squirt meds into his mouth, than him not having his meds at all. After a bunch of failed tries, I managed to figure out how to properly do it via the syringe.

I pick him up and put him on a kitchen counter. Then I put one arm around him and with the other, I use the syringe and squirt the medicine as far back as possible. Just far enough to get it to the back of his tongue. I only use about 0.5ml at once. Which is so little, that it doesn’t cause a problem and he swallows it. I also add gravy from Samantha’s food, to make it taste better, which makes a huge difference. I also found that I can dissolve the immune system tablets in the liquid meds I give him. So I mix it all up and give it to him 3 times a day.

How Sonic is doing now

After doing all of that since around Christmas, Sonic has been slowly gaining weight! It was and is beautiful to watch him get stronger again. I still feed him throughout the night and the day. I don’t wake him up for food, but I keep checking on him, and if he’s awake, I’ll give him his chicken. He also finally started accepting his high fibre kibbles again!

Of course I have to give him supplements, since he eats mostly boiled chicken breast, which probably doesn’t have nearly enough Vitamins and other important things like Taurine. He’s getting that in his syringe as well, because I bought a liquid formula which has everything he needs, including Taurine.

His digestion is getting better and he’s so much stronger now. He’s going to the kitty toilet and for drinks all the time and it’s not a problem. He’s purring and rolling on his back whenever he gets a cuddle, and he loves playing on the bed with strings and his fluffy little toy mousies.

Sonic in his basket on our bed yesterday afternoon. Sleepy after eating.

Sonic is still staying in his basket on our bed, because he just loves it. It’s actually like a miracle that he is gaining weight and doing so much better. He still has to gain more weight, but we’ll get there. He’s eating very well and getting stronger.

I am so happy to be able to write this finally and let you know about how that sweet boy is going, now that it’s absolutely certain he is improving for good. I’m just so thankful.

Lots of love from us all!

Everything · Kitty Knowledge · Pictures · The Cats

What a week! Constipated Sonic emergency.

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Sonic

First the most important thing: He’s been fine since after the Vet visit. He’s a happy Sonic again, flopping all over the apartment as always.

Originally, I started to write a post for Tuesday, which I never got to finish because Sonic became unwell due to sudden acute obstipation.

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Source: http://veterinaryteam.dvm360.com/constipated-kitty-offer-veterinary-clients-handout

It started during the night from Monday to Tuesday. I woke up to Sonic being very restless. He was up and down from the bed, going to the toilet and back up on the bed again. He did it repeatedly, so I got up with him and noticed he was straining to have a bowel movement. He was really trying hard, but nothing would happen. This went on for a while, but eventually Sonic curled up beside me and we all fell asleep.

As I got up the next morning, I came into the living room to Sonic happily playing with one of the strings they have hanging around the place. He also ate and drank properly and because I had put more of his medicine in his food that morning, I was hoping it would resolve itself.

Later that same Tuesday morning we also had a Lady come by who had a look at our bathroom tiles, so she can prepare the right ones for us when they come to change the tap in the shower.

It was all very busy that morning and into the afternoon. But at around 2pm I tried to have a little nap, and Sonic was with me on the bed as well. We slept for a little while, but then I woke up to him straining to have a bowel movement again. The periods of rest between him trying became much shorter, until he was basically straining the whole time, even while being on the bed. I think he was becoming really exhausted. His back legs were moving and kicking and he was unable to relax at all anymore.

He also started feeling hot to the touch and he was now complaining when trying to press out a bowel movement, without anything happening. He was glowing hot and seemed to get weak. He got worse quickly suddenly.

I knew I have to get him to the Vet instantly. I called our Vet office, which was closing at that time of day, to ask which Vet would be on call for emergencies right now. But instead, the Vet told us to come over right away and he’ll wait for us. Our Vet office has two Vets. The Lady Vet is doing the mornings and the male Vet is doing the late afternoons. I know both of them, and he is just as great and kind.

My hands were shaking, my heart pounding in my head, I was so worried about our sweet boy. I picked Sonic up from the bed and put him into the carrier and called a Taxi, which thankfully came within just a minute.

Sonic was complaining loudly all the way to the Vet about being in the carrier. Since he can’t hear me talking to him, I just put my hand into the carrier and laid it on him, which helped. Traffic was thankfully not bad anymore, since it was more than half an hour after the evening rush hour. We arrived in maybe 6 minutes.

At the Vet

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Sonic in the carrier, just as I got in the door at the Vet office and put him down on a little chair. The carrier is the wrong way around… There are windows with netting on both ends and on the other side of it, as well as on the top

Just after I got in and put the carrier down, the Vet already came to us to take us into the examination room. Sonic was put on the examination table and checked out, while I was right there, next to him. The Vet hooked Sonic up to a drip for rehydration and then a bit later, two tiny cat size appropriate enemas were given.

Sonic was just lying on his side with his head in my hand, which he always likes to do, while we had to wait for the medicine to do its work inside his digestive tract. He was obviously totally exhausted. But even if he weren’t exhausted, Sonic is always relaxed and patient at the Vet. He never complains or struggles. He’s the most patient cat.

After the medicine had enough time to work, the Vet started massaging Sonics tummy. It took a bit of effort for Sonic, but eventually, the whole problem was resolved and that poor boy was relieved of his blockage. The Vet even gave Sonic a big clean up with warm running water, cat shampoo and then dried him off. Even with that, he remained as calm as anything.

Then as the carrier got put on the table, Sonic just went in by himself right away. He’s had enough at that point, I’m sure. Though he must have felt so much better already.

The Vet gave us some more medicine that helps with Peristalsis in the digestive tract. I have to put 0.3ml in his mouth with a little syringe three times a day.

In  addition, I’ll give him the fibre-rich dry food again. I had stopped giving it because Sonic kept throwing up from it. But the Vet explained to me why that was likely happening… The fibre-rich food was being digested in his stomach quite quickly and easily, but then could not move on fast enough out of his stomach into his intestines, because it was working too slow, which then caused him to throw it back up.

Now with the medicine and smaller portions, he seems to keep it down just fine! Which is a good sign that his intestines are now working better.

How Sonic is doing now

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Sonic the next morning, after the Vet. He was still tired, but obviously feeling well and comfy now.

Sonic was already feeling so much better right after we got home from the Vet at about 8pm. His temperature had already dropped down to almost normal again and he was flopping down on the floor, as he always likes to do. Then he just went to sleep and slept all the way through to the next morning.

The next day he was already up for playing again, feeling hungry and drinking properly. He was fine and a happy little kitty boy again!

He’s been going to the toilet without a problem since and is all back to normal.

So how did it come to this?

Sonic needs a bit of medicine on his dry food that helps his digestion work properly. Unfortunately, he refuses to eat wet food. I tried and tried, he does not want to know anything about it. So dry food it is, although it’s high-quality dry food. He drinks plenty of water, so he’s well hydrated normally.

Now I am sure I know what happened that it came to this… Samantha must have eaten his medicated dry food. The medicine is a syrup that gets put right on top of his food, and normally he’s already waiting to have his food when I put it down. But he was not feeling that hungry I guess, so I just put it down for him. Samantha must have gotten to that food before Sonic did, without me noticing… I put Sonic’s dry food WAY OUT of Samantha’s path. His food is right next to our bed, on my side of it and normally it works out like that.

Samantha must have eaten Sonic’s medicated food on Sunday and Monday, because she had a light case of the runs on Monday morning and Tuesday morning.

The next problem was that Sonic did not drink like he usually does. In fact, I think none of the cats drank normally Sunday to Tuesday. I have a feeling that the extremely high humidity we have right now made them less thirsty. They might have felt like their throats aren’t feeling dry ever and did not feel the need to drink as much.

This combined must have Sonic caused to get severely blocked up.

Now I learned more and will make sure that nothing like this happens again. We already have two cat fountains that they all love to drink out of. But I think I’ll add another small one, which I will move around.

I found that putting a water bowl somewhere on a new spot will make the cats curious about it and then drink out of it, just because it’s suddenly right there. Having more water bowls around generally always helps. With Sonic, Samantha and Murli I found that their water intake increased by a lot after we got the water fountains.

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Playful Sonic – He was watching the lens cap of the camera, which was dangling from it on a string…

It’s so wonderful to see him feel happy and well again. We have a beautiful sunny summer day today! Murli is out on the balcony and Samantha at the window in the living room, enjoying the sun. Sonic is wandering around the apartment after he having a little play fight with Samantha.

Have a lovely Caturday! Love from me and the cats!