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 · Pictures · Ralph and I · The Cats

A new phone, a new Internet connection and lots of cat photos!

Hello dear friends!

I hope you all are doing well!

I’m so excited because I’m starting to be fully active again online these days. There is A LOT to catch up on, but I’m happy to do that.

Since I don’t want to make it a long rambling story, I try to make this update as short as I can.

I’ve been feeling better regarding the daily migraines, which are now down to about two a week on average. Sometimes 3, sometimes less than 2. It’s thank’s to Vitamin B2 in high doses, and Magnesium and Q10 in normal daily amounts, that I’ve been taking and responding to well. Now, when the weather is nice and sunny, without any changes, I’ve had a migraine-free phase of over 2 weeks, which is a miracle almost. Everything is better than having a migraine every single day, or one that goes on endlessly without a break for many days.

Since things can’t be always perfect, something else happened… The internet went silly. Again. We changed providers in December 2019 and it was great for a while. But for some reason, the 4G router, which connects to the internet via mobile phone towers, started having reception problems that got worse, around February. Then the bandwidth itself was getting awful and the speed was too bad to even try and do much online. Thinking it could be due to the lockdown and everyone being at home, I just waited and hoped it would get better. Unfortunately it didn’t and instead it got even worse.

At the same time, my old iPhone was starting to show it’s age, unable to cope with the apps that are getting more demanding on older phones. My phone would shut down or crash when trying to take pictures, or trying to write anything on WordPress, or on other sites. At least I was still able to make phone calls with it! 🤣 So with the internet being awful, my phone being unusable for internet as well, we needed to get it sorted out.

I had us changed to a landline internet connection, which is mostly all fibre optics by now. I was not sure what to expect, but it’s amazing. We’ve got a plan that costs us the same as before, but now we have reliable and fast internet. It’s a huge difference. Since the new router does not have to be near a window for reception, it’s in the hallway, in the centre of our home. Therefore I have now WiFi all throughout our home, including out on the balcony.

Ralph also encouraged me to get a new iPhone as well, which I did. It’s the first time I ever got a new and current iPhone. I usually always bought an older one. But since even the older ones last me many years, this new one will last me even longer now. I’ve been having way too much fun with it. The photos and videos it takes are stunning. I can finally record videos and take photos with a phone in low light conditions.

Of course, I’ve been taking 1000s of photos and videos of the cats within a few days. Also, I can now comfortably post from my phone and do anything I used to only do on the laptop.

What’s going on these days

Hero, Samantha, Lisa and Sonic

We enjoy to sit out on the catio (Balcony) as much as possible. Now I can even blog and do other internet things from out there thanks to the new router!

Hero and Lisa spend the most time outside. Like sweet Murli, they want to go out onto the balcony no matter if it’s raining, cold, storming, hot or ice cold. Hero and Lisa even flop down or sit down right in a puddle!

That’s why I’m going to try and see what they do if I put a basin of water out on the balcony on a hot day. I’ve seen them play with water and I’d be curious to see what they do if they have the possibility of actually going into the water.

As of today, the weather has been like summer again, but with storm winds. Now in the evening, it has calmed down and it’s now a hot summer evening.

All week before the sky looked mostly like this and it was rather chilly…

But if the weather is too bad, we just enjoy our time in our home. The kitties can still watch kitty-TV from the bedroom window, as it’s the closest to the bird feeder.

Hero at the bedroom window

I will end this photo-rich post now, before it gets too difficult to load for some.

Now that I can post a lot easier and with internet that works all day and night, I’ll post a lot more frequently, but shorter posts, just like so many of you do as well. Little updates of our daily life.

It’s now nearly 10pm and I am looking forward to bed. I’m not necessarily going to sleep, but I can be online on my new phone too! It’s so much comfier in bed, with kitties around me.

Sonic, Hero and Lisa leaving no room for us to get into bed
Samantha cuddling with her mousie

Ralph will be watching some videos on the laptop or a movie on the TV.

I hope you had a good start into the new week! Sending love from us all and purrs from the kitties 💖

Everything · Pictures · Ralph and I · Society and News

Covid Update Part 1 March 23

It still took me until now to finish this post. Sigh… sorry about that. The weird tiredness still wasn’t letting up at all and it was impossible to think clearly enough to write in such a state. This post is simply an update about the pandemic and the current situation in Austria.

Like I’ve said, I publish these updates to document the historic circumstances we all are finding ourselves in, to have a record of it for myself and for whoever else is interested in reading about it again later on.

One of my huge worries is now gone! I will not lose access to my pain medication at any point. Everything has been sorted out wonderfully, for everyone.

It would be a long boring description of how everything works and was worked out right now, but basically: The health department and the national health care activated the new electronic prescription system a lot sooner than planned. With this system, people are able to call their doctors and order their prescription over the phone. The doctors office then adds / uploads the prescription into your file on the national health data system. Now people can go to any pharmacy they want, tell the pharmacist that a prescription has been put on their file, which the pharmacist can look up and access through your social security number. Then they simply print out the prescription and give you your medicines.

Narcotic long term prescriptions are not being sent through this electronic system though. They are added to your file and everything, but you still have to get the physical paper prescription from your doctor. At the moment, doctors offices are bringing these special prescriptions to the health department office themselves, as an original paper document. The health department then stamps the prescription, scans them into their computer system, and has them brought to the various pharmacies that the patient is receiving their medicine. Because with this prescription, you have to stay at the same pharmacy for the duration of that prescription, usually 28 days. Of course, most people will stay and not change every month.

So basically, I don’t have to go to my doctors office for the prescriptions for as long as this lockdown is going on. Also, depending on the medication, people are able to fill up to 3 months worth of medications at once. Except narcotics. Also, I am almost sure that not every doctors office will give their patients the 3 months worth of medicine at once, as they generally don’t like to do that. I know, because I have trouble every time my doctor goes on holiday and I need my migraine medication for the duration.

Thankfully, I got 4 weeks worth of pain medication at once. Which is a relief, as I was really worried they would just lock everything down, including pharmacies and the health department, and not care one bit if people get their pain medicine. That worry exists due to my horrible experiences throughout my life, with being in terrible pain, but not being helped. With specialist doctors just shrugging their shoulders, literally, and simply not caring one bit.

4097 Coronavirus Infections, March 23 at 5pm

The governments update from today at 5pm.

Staying home, toilet paper craziness and panic buying

So for whatever reason, toilet paper is still being bought like crazy. All over the western world. Maybe even all over the world. Shop keepers say it’s gone within a short time right after they open in the morning. I wonder if we will ever find out what that is all about? Why on earth toilet paper? Some even managed to buy massive amounts of toilet paper, thinking people will be desperate for toilet paper and that they can sell it to them at a high price.

Despite the fact that grocery stores are still being stocked up normally, people are still panic buying long-lasting food and the stores can’t keep up with it. It would be more than enough for everyone if it wouldn’t be for panic buyers. The panic buying seems to happen right when the stores open. For the rest of the day, there are only very few customers in the stores.

Break-ins

The emptiness in the streets during the night is now increasingly used by criminals to break into stores and to rob the few people that are out. Thankfully it’s not rampant here, but it definitely happens a lot more now.

Even my old pharmacy has been broken into and robbed on the first night of the lockdown last week. I am glad my current pharmacy is in a really public place with police CCTV. My old one was in an area that is always quiet and empty overnight, but especially now.

I know there are hardly any hand sanitizers available anymore, and the few that are sold are sold with massively hiked up prices. But before you buy insanely expensive sanitisers, you can use alcohol like Vodka and Schnapps to disinfect your hands while you’re out, if you fill it into a small bottle to carry with you.

I’ll keep updating as much as I can, about life and the cats and everything else going on. Should anyone ever feel worried about us, or simply just feel the need to contact us, you can always email me directly at:

catlady-natascha@protonmail.com

Everything · Pictures · Ralph and I · The Cats

Just letting you know we’re fine!

Hello my dear friends! No worries about us!

Lisa preventing me from using my laptop during the day 😉

I’m sorry I didn’t reply to all the comments yet. I have been extremely tired every day this week, that I didn’t get to do much aside from the normal daily tasks of every day life. Ralph thinks it must be the anxiety I’ve had for the last 3 weeks, where I felt absolutely stressed out, worried and upset. All because the thought of suddenly finding myself without my much needed pain medication, was hanging over my head and weighing heavily. The consequences of not having pain medicine, would mean I’d be bed bound, nauseous from pain and in total agony, not able to even stand for a minute. Which would make it a huge problem in how to care for Ralph and the cats if that were to happen. It would be a nightmare.

But thankfully, everything is going to be fine with my medication and I will also be able to stay at home for the next 4 weeks.

I’ll have another update post up tomorrow. Lots to talk about, lots of news and lots of cat pictures and just sharing how our life is going right now.

For now, I will go to bed. Can’t wait to get back to reading everyone’s blogs, writing my own post and replying to your comments in the morning. Let’s hope I will feel more awake then.

Big hugs & purrs!