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 · Ralph and I · Society and News

The mood has completely changed – Covid Update March 13

While people and daily life still seemed very normal at the beginning of this week, this has now changed, almost overnight.

Yesterday, everything started changing throughout the day. It’s hard to describe, but the mood is very subdued and strange.

While more new measures and restrictions were being planned by our government yesterday, rumours started spreading.

It started yesterday morning. Rumours that were saying that absolutely everything, including supermarkets, pharmacies and all government offices (including social welfare, national health, health department etc) will close down next week. I knew right away it wasn’t true and I tried my best to keep telling people it’s not true.

The government gave a press conference, announcing that more restrictions are being planned, but that the rumours floating around are false.

Supermarkets, pharmacies, banks, government offices, post/mail and basically everything that is important for the country, daily life, the infrastructure and it’s people will remain open they say. Closures and restrictions will be implemented on businesses and services that people can live without for a few weeks.

Yesterday, a pharmacy in the city was already limiting the amount of people who were able to enter at the same time. Only 3 people were allowed in the pharmacy at once.

Today, that same pharmacy was serving people only through the hatch in the door.

Then this morning, more rumours were spreading which caused widespread panic buying

Early this morning, some more rumours were floating around and spreading like wildfire. Some rumours were still the same as yesterday, while others were new. Today the rumours had it, that absolutely all stores, pharmacies, gas stations and banks will close down by midday today and that a curfew will be implemented for the night-time starting Monday.

People started panic buying in such numbers, that people were waiting for an hour or longer at supermarkets. It kept getting progressively worse all day. The shelves are now empty pretty much. Even shortly after the supermarkets had opened for the day, shelves were emptied within a short time. Some stores were hit worse than others, depending on their location.

Long lines of people waiting to get into one of the larger grocery stores in a mall not far away from us. It was like that at most supermarkets. (Source: KronenZeitung krone.at/2116507)

I heard from my friend, who lives just a block away from us, that she saw people ripping food out of each others hands at the store. Then we heard that one Aldi store (called Hofer in Austria), located in a rather bad area, had been pretty much wrecked by people ripping open packages and simply being rowdy and selfish.

Mostly it was long long lines in front of grocery stores. People were running into banks and building lines in front of ATMs. In turn, many ATMs were out of order by the early afternoon.

What also did not help was that nothing was being done about people taking way too much at once for themselves in the grocery stores (for example one person/family buying up all the milk).

Basically, people were panic buying and going crazy all day.

My Dad said that all of the bread was gone within a short time after the stores opened in the morning. I hope the panic buying will calm down again over the course of next week.

The new measures that were announced by the government today

  • All schools, including high schools, elementary schools and kindergartens, as well as universities and any education facilities will close by Wednesday. Universities and higher education will be closed on Monday already. But students can stay home already if they can.
  • Restaurants, pubs, cafés etc, have to close by 3pm in the afternoon. So nightclubs and anything else that would be open all night, will stay closed completely. They want to avoid all those many people coming together every night, especially during the weekends, while going out.
  • All sports events are cancelled
  • Some areas in Tyrol, which is especially badly hit by the outbreak in Austria, will be put under quarantine.
  • Supermarkets, banks, pet supply stores, pharmacies, tobacconists, public transport, post and mail services and other essential parts of society, like all facilities and companies that are important for all the infrastructure in Austria (including Telephone and Internet), will not be closed at any point
  • Public transport: Trams and Busses will automatically open the doors for entry and exit at every stop, so people won’t have to use the buttons to open them. Only the trams and busses will be used that have a separate cabin for the drivers to protect them
  • People are asked to stay home, unless it is absolutely necessary and can’t be avoided. People should gather with friends and family for now and instead use other means (internet, phone) to stay in contact.

Some news regarding my medication supply

I had put in a request to get my pain medication supply home with me for the next 3 1/2 weeks.

Though I got a call this morning from my doctors office, informing me that the health department has said, that nobody is getting their medicine home for a longer period of time, even if they have plenty of their time allowance left, which I did. No exceptions.

On the other hand, I also got some reassuring news. Apparently, my pharmacy will not close down. In the worst case they said, they will serve everyone through the little hatch. Those hatches exist for the night shifts, where people are being served through those hatches as well.

Our plan for the next month (or beyond if it’s neccessary)

Since I expected panic buying, I had ordered a bunch of food in time. So our supplies last for about two months, including the supplies for the cats. The only thing I can’t get more of in advance is my medicine.

It’s now eerily quiet and empty in the streets

I was out at about 4pm, which is normally very busy on Friday. But even the busiest street was very empty. Hardly any cars. Hardly any people. And now at night, nobody is out. It’s totally quiet and empty in the street as far as I can see.

One supermarket I passed earlier was dark for some reason. Looked like they had to close down for some reason. I also saw people with loads of boxes of groceries, and big bags full of the same, entering their apartment buildings, or carrying the shopping home. I also saw long lines in front of Tobacconists in the city centre. Our area wasn’t like that thankfully.

It was already very weird and quiet everywhere. Even our building is quiet. Normally you would hear people getting ready to go out on a Friday night, but there is no one going now. There is no music being heard from anywhere, no friends coming over. People are just in their homes.

I would not be surprised if some rather bad people will try to use the emptiness of city streets for bad things. We are thankfully in a safe area anyway, but I still closed down the shutters in front of our street facing window. I’m always rather safe.

I’ll keep you all updated anyway. Ralph, the cats and I are still perfectly fine ❤ I’m now off to bed, as it’s way past midnight and I’m tired.

Love from us and the cats to all of you!

Good night from Sonic and Lisa in our fluffy comfy bed
Everything · Pictures · Places · Ralph and I · Society and News · The Cats

How the Covid situation affects us

I’m sure most people are sick of hearing about that Virus all the time constantly, but I wanted to let you all know about our current situation and about what I know about everything so far.

I’ve been writing on this post since Monday, but due to constant changes in information and situations, I kept updating my draft, trying to write with the little time I had during the week. This is going to be a really long text post.

They made a live map for the outbreak You can zoom in and click on the red dots, which will tell you the case count, the deaths, number of people recovered. Though not every country has the dots as detailed as in China or the US, where every affected area gets its own dot. For most other European countries, there is just one dot that represents all cases in that country.
arcgis.com – Map created by the Johns Hopkins University

Italy, one of our southern neighbour countries, is apparently one of the worst affected countries now

The first cases in Austria according to the government

February 25, 2020
Innsbruck, Tyrol, 2 Cases

Austria had it’s first confirmed cases in Innsbruck, Tyrol, the state that directly borders Italy. 2 People, a young Italian couple, who came from one of the worst affected areas in Italy.

February 27, 2020
Vienna, 2 Cases

A married couple in their 70s, were confirmed to be infected with the Coronavirus, after they came home from their vacation in Northern Italy.

February 28, 2020
Vienna, 1 Case

The son of the older couple from Vienna, was confirmed to be infected with the Virus as well.

February 29, 2020 –
Korneuburg, Lower Austria, 2 Cases

A man and woman in their 50s, from Lower Austria (the state around Vienna) who also came back from northern Italy, were confirmed to be infected with the Virus.

Eastern Styria (Our state), 1 Case
A 50 year old woman, who also came back from northern Italy, was confirmed to have the Virus. She’s now being treated in a hospital in our city, Graz.

Salzburg, Upper Austria, 1 Case
A 36 year old woman, who came back from Northern Italy as well, has been confirmed to have the Virus.

March 1, 2020
Vienna, 4 Cases

  • A German couple coming to Vienna, after visiting a carnival event in Germany.
  • A woman from Vienna, who came back from Italy, was confirmed to have the Virus.
  • Another man was confirmed to have the virus, but I did not have any information as to where he came from, or any other information.

March 2, 2020 –
Salzburg, Upper Austria, 1 Case

1 case confirmed in Salzburg. No other details are known to the public yet.

Vienna, 1 Case
1 case confirmed in Vienna. No other details are known to the public yet.

March 3, 2020 –
Salzburg, Upper Austria, 1 Case

1 case confirmed in Salzburg. No other details are known to the public yet

Graz, Styria, 1 Case
1 case confirmed in Graz. He knew and had contact with the 50 year old woman from eastern Styria and got infected through her.

In the evening of March 3, we had 18 confirmed cases in Austria.

On March 5, 2020, the case count went up to 29. There are no more details mentioned for any of the new cases. Only the state or the city is mentioned anymore. But by now the number has gone up again most likely.

On March 6, 2020, Austria has 55 confirmed cases: Vienna (23), Lower Austria (15), our state Styria (5), Salzburg (5), Tyrol (4), Vorarlberg (1), Upper Austria (1) and Carinthia (1). In all 4000 people have been tested for the Virus.

This morning, March 7, 2020, Austria has 74 confirmed cases: Vienna (23), Lower Austria (23), Tyrol (7), our state Styria (6), Salzburg (5), Upper Austria (4), Burgenland (4), Vorarlberg (1) and Carinthia (1).

In all 4308 people have been tested for the Virus in Austria as of today.

First 2 patients are healthy again

On the other hand, the first two patients that came in from Italy and then became ill in Innsbruck, Tyrol have now officially recovered. They’ve been kept in the hospital until the repeated tests showed that they were free of the Virus. Even after someone is already feeling fine again, the Virus can still be detected in the tests.

Most of the people who have been infected, are not getting severely ill thankfully. They feel better within about 10 days.

According to the current information they gave out, Patients that recovered from the Virus are immune against becoming sick from it again, at least for a few years. They don’t really know yet how many years, as it can also vary between people, but with other Corona-viruses people still had antibodies and therefore immunity against it up to 5 years later, others up to 3 years. They also said that it could be totally different this time and the immunity could be a lot shorter. Nothing is certain at this point.

Another information they gave out was the hope that the warmer temperatures coming with spring will help to slow down the spread of the Virus. Saying the Virus does not like warm temperatures when it’s outside of a body. The warmer it is, the sooner the Virus dies on surfaces. The sun will also fry it on outside surfaces.

No evidence throughout the whole outbreak that cats and dogs are able to contract the Virus!

One of my first massive worries were the cats. All cats and dogs. Our furkids. But thankfully, the ECDC and many other health organisations have found no evidence that pets can become ill or even spread the Virus. During the whole outbreak, there has been no sign of it. Most Viruses mutate to fit only cells of a certain animal family or only humans. They have the right fittings basically, to fit just the right receptors in bodies. And if it’s human cells that it has fittings for, then it will not affect a cat or dog. These fittings are made to exactly fit the receptors of certain cells, where they attach and invade. If such a Virus enters a cat, it simply can’t invade through any of their cells, since the receptors aren’t fitting together.

Now they started testing pets of Corona Patients in China and they have detected the Virus in some of the pets, who are then put in an Vet Clinic for Quarantine. But it seems the pets don’t become ill themselves. So unless the Virus mutates to be able to infect the cells of dogs, cats and other animals, the animals won’t become ill. But I guess they are worried that pets can spread the Virus.

Since it seems that cats and dogs won’t become sick themselves is a huge relief. Because I was so worried that Samantha and Sonic especially, would not be able to survive an infection, due to their age. And with Lisa and Hero, I was not sure if they are too young to survive it, or if they would be strong enough by now. But that worry is now off the table.

People here already started small scale panic buying

Last Saturday, I went to the nearby grocery store, a rather large store. Ralph and I had planned for us to get some shopping done over the next days, to stock up for a while, so that we don’t have to go into the stores again for some time. Mostly because of the flu going around rather quite badly.

First I headed off to get powdered milk and long lasting UHT Milk. Normally that big store has a big stock of it all the time. This time though, it was ALL gone. All of it. I saw the last of the UHT milk being carried off by a few blokes who belonged together. They had 3 full shopping carts, filled to the top with nothing but UHT milk.

Even the coffee creamer powders were gone, as well as the condensed milk.

The tinned food I had planned on buying was gone as well. Just like noodles and rice. Otherwise most of the stock was still there like always. It was just the stuff that can be stocked for a while that was gone. Oh and hand sanitizers and disinfectant cleaning products were decimated pretty bad too. There are also a bunch of random empty shelves that don’t really make sense. Like just one type of produce that’s been bought up by somebody. At least in the last few days, this has been the case for all the stores I’ve been to.

I could hardly believe it. Only when I read the online newspapers for Austria, did I find out that before the weekend, some officials had recommended that people stock up on food, water, sanitising products and other necessities, to last them for about two weeks. So that was most likely the reason behind that.

Now it seems all sorts of sanitizers and disinfection products are absolutely sold out everywhere here. In all the stores I’ve been to, these things are completely gone. But alcohol with a high percentage should be just as good. Therefore, I’ll get some strong Alcohol, like some typical Austrian Schnaps, which usually have a ridiculously high alcohol percentage. Then I’ll fill some of it in a small bottle and carry that with me to disinfect my hands when I’m out and about.

Stocking up

Since people have already been panic buying, in a rather small scale compared to full-blown panic buying, I thought I better make sure we have a good amount of everything that’s important. So I guess I’ve been panic buying then as well? So it’s panic buying because of people panic buying. Which is probably why it’s always gets so bad… But at least I didn’t empty out shelves in the stores. I ordered some online and I am buying additional things for our stock, little by little.

First I placed a number of orders last Saturday for food with a long shelf live, which arrived on Tuesday. I also bought more than enough milk that won’t spoil, as well as sugar, rice and noodles, and a whole bunch of high-calorie food that lasts long and where you don’t need to eat much of it to get all the nutrients. There is a whole bunch more for us that I stocked up on, so that we could last for quite a while without having to rely on the stores.

I also thought that those slim fast type drinks, that are supposed to be food replacement, can be a great emergency food source. I have some of it, because I had phases where I had no appetite at all and could not get anything down, but I was at least able to drink those.

Also stocking up for the cats

I already have quite a bit of food stocked for the cats anyway, but I also ordered some more on Saturday. Mainly I ordered dry food, since that lasts long and you get a whole lot of it. I wanted to have that covered first. But I will also try and stock up on wet cat food now as much as possible.

Even today as it was raining hard, I rode to the closets pet supply store to buy some more supplies for the cats.

Ideas for the cats

Then I realised that baby kitten formula can be a great emergency food supply for the cats, at least in the worst case. Since it will give them all the nutrients and energy.

Also, there is formula for cats in recovery, which is very similar to the baby kitten formula. I’ve got both at home for Samantha to help her gain some weight.

Then I thought about the kitty litter and how I could have enough of that at home. It seems the silicate type, which I have never used before, could be a great idea for an emergency kitty litter supply. Since it is lightweight and supposed to last quite a while.

Maybe those ideas can help someone. Also, if you have any helpful suggestions for the cats and us, let me know in the comments or in an email: catlady-natascha@protonmail.com

My worry was/is not so much about Covid, but about the access to my pain medication

Because according to the current emergency epidemic laws, any establishment, office, store, building etc., has to be closed right away, if there is just one person that frequented said place even just once, and then turns out to have the virus.

Also, everyone who works at one of these places and anyone who was present in these places at the same time, has to be tested multiple times and stay home in quarantine for 2 weeks, or until they recovered and the Virus isn’t detected anymore in their blood tests.

It just takes one person, in any of the places I depend on for my pain medication, and it has to shut down instantly.

I depend on…

  • my doctor’s office, to write my pain med prescription once a month.
  • the health department’s office for narcotic medications, who’s head doctor stamps and signs the prescription to make it valid. Without that, you can’t get anything at the pharmacy.
  • my pharmacy, who has the physical prescription as well as all my medicine for the month, to be picked up by me in the intervals it says on the script. So I never actually have all of it at home.

So even if just a person, who simply worries they could have contracted the Virus, comes into my doctor’s office, the doctor’s office is shut down right away by the health department head doctor and it’s going to stay closed until that person is cleared to be free of the Virus.

There has been a case just like that, a few days ago, in Lower Austria. Because a woman who ran into her GP’s office, because she was in a panic about being infected with the Virus, the GP was forced to close the whole office right away, as the law requires. Otherwise he would get in huge legal trouble and face harsh consequences. So after closing the whole office in an instant, he was required to call the health department and inform them of the situation. After that, the health department will officially shut down the office for a certain amount of time. Even though that woman turned out to be free of the Virus in the end, the Doctor’s office is still closed two weeks later and not even the Doctor himself knows when he’ll be able to open up again. He’s not even receiving any information from the health department upon his request either.

On top of all that, every person who was in the office at the time that woman entered it, has to quarantine for two weeks and get tested repeatedly after these 14 days.

Even though they list it absolutely everywhere not to run into any doctors office or hospital if a person is worried about having the Virus, I’m certain that many will still simply go in and then all of the above starts at another doctors office.

For this reason, I have worried myself sick. The prospect of losing access to my pain medication from one day to the next is extremely frightening, especially when you don’t know if there would be any help at all if it does happen. From past experiences, I know that chronic pain patients have a hard time to receive actual pain relief even during normal times. In an emergency, the situation is usually the same everywhere and one is turned away everywhere and told to deal with it.

The problem is, that with just my own agony of being bed bound from pain, I would be unable to care for Ralph and the cats in a normal way, as I would have a hard time to even care for myself. Who would get everything done then? It would be a nightmare. I can’t even stand for a minute because of my spine and joints without pain medication. On top of that, my migraine would become a lot worse too. The pain level of the migraines would be so bad again, I would just hope to pass out from pain for a while. These severe attacks would last 14 days or more at a time. That is why I’m so freaked out at the thought of losing access to my medication.

As of now, most, including the staff at my doctor’s office and most other people, don’t think the chance is very high that it’s going to be so bad.

Thankfully, I already have the next prescription all sorted out and after my current one ends, the next one goes until mid April. To have the actual valid prescription is the most important thing. That way, I could at least prove that I have a valid prescription and a hospital or a different pharmacy might be able to provide my medications. Especially since it’s not my fault if the pharmacy has to shut down. There are also many many many more patients like me in the exact same situation all over Graz and the Metro area.

The general situation

I’ve seen the empty streets in many cities in Europe on the news. Here in Graz life still seems to go on like always. The number of people wasn’t any lower in the city from what I saw all week. The city centre is usually packed full of people on Friday afternoon and Saturday, with people going shopping in all the stores and people sitting in the Cafés, laughing and having fun. The city centre is a typical shopping area, with one store after the other, as well as lots of Cafés.

Apparently, in the UK toilet paper, kitchen rolls and all sorts of things are running out in stores because people are panic buying in lots of places. When I went to Aldi’s and Spar, they still had enough of everything. Even the long-lasting milk is still plentiful. Although tinned food, all sanitizing products, including hand sanitizers, are totally out of stock. These products are completely gone everywhere. But as long as you can buy strong alcohol, like Schnapps and Vodka, for example, it should not be a problem. Even just washing your hands with soap should be enough.

Ralph, the cats and I right now

We’re all fine, as are the cats! We’ve got lots of kibbles stocked up for the cats and we have food and drink stocked up for us as well. So on that end, we’re not going to have any problems.

At the moment, I’m still feeling the migraine from earlier in the evening. It was gone, but then came back when I was doing household chores… It was the second migraine today, the first one came on in the morning. It’s all that worrying about losing access to my pain medicine. I feel bad for poor Ralph, who’s had to listen to my worries for the past two weeks…

Otherwise, spring is coming, there are beautiful little spring flowers everywhere in the garden and bushes and trees are starting to sprout. Soon, the cats will be able to lie in the sun on the balcony and open windows (with cat safety nets of course).

The birds are also feeding happily and collecting little sticks for their new nests. We’re looking forward to the late spring and early summer, as by then, hopefully, this crisis will be over.

Thinking of you all and sending lots of love from Ralph, the cats and myself ❤

Everything · Kitty Knowledge · Pictures · The Cats

What a week! Constipated Sonic emergency.

Sonic_playing_on_Bed_02
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.

2019-08-30 10_54_15-veterinary-FelineConstipation-ClientHandout.pdf
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

20190828_Sonicatthevet
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

20190828_Sonic
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.

Sonic_playing_on_Bed_01
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!

Everything · Murli the cat · Pictures · Videos

March 7, 2017 Murli stressed out by noisy road work

Hello my dear furends! I haven’t really slept this night either, even though I feel better today. At least compared to how sick I felt over the weekend.

Anyway, this morning we suddenly had a construction site right in front and around one corner of our apartment building. They are apparently starting to renew the pavement. So they use a jack-hammer to get the old stuff out. OMG, it’s so loud! The whole house was vibrating and the noise was resonating through everything.

Here is what it sounds like with the window closed:

Here is what it sounds like directly in the street. Even though I filmed this in the later afternoon and at that point they were already around the corner, which made it slightly less loud. It was worse before. It was already 3:30pm when they went around the corner. The jack-hammer was being used non stop from 8am until 5pm, except for one hour during their lunch break at noon.

Poor Murli was so afraid, she didn’t even knew what to do anymore. She ran through the whole apartment with a bushy tail, again and again, seemingly not feeling comfortable to stay anywhere. Even though she has numerous hiding spots, they weren’t enough for her this morning. I think it’s the intense vibrations that make it worse. Cats have much more sensitive nerves in their paws than we do. It’s so they can feel the smallest little movement, like a mouse walking. Their hearing of course is also much more sensitive. They especially dislike noises in the deeper spectrum. I’m sure that she heard a lot more that we couldn’t hear. I’m sure she isn’t just feeling these vibrations much more intensely, but I can imagine that’s accompanied by an additional noise as well. She never heard a jack-hammer so close by.

Even though  I was worried about Murli, and my heart was aching seeing her scared like that, I tried to not show my worry and did everything just like usual. Because if she sees me acting different, it would just add to her fears. If she sees me behaving like all the time, she realizes that the situation in our home itself is safe and nothing is wrong. Murli always notices when I become nervous or afraid, which causes her to feel on edge as well.

She didn’t leave my side at all the whole day. We are already always together, but today much more so. She stayed close to me. Then I saw her sitting underneath the drying rack, which had a big blanket on top. Then I got the idea that I get one of her boxes, and put it under that thing.

This is the box under the drying rack, before I put the big blanket over it, so it was like a tent around her box.

March 7 2017 - 2

I also put one of her beloved Valerian root pouches into the box for her, because it seems to calm her somewhat. This was shortly after Murli got into her box. The little Valerian root pouch is between her front paws. I sat right there with her. First at the desk. But then I sat down on the floor, in front of the drying rack, with my coffee and iPad. We stayed like this until noon, when I used the quiet of the construction workers lunch break to get into bed for a nap. Murli went right after me and jumped into bed as well.

March 7 2017 - 1

I always take her blankies into bed with us for her to cuddle on:

March 7 2017 - 3

I took this photo when I got up again. Murli was able to rest at least, despite the noise. I didn’t really sleep either, but I needed the rest anyway. Btw, when we sleep like that, she likes to curl right into the back of my knees. My legs were bent around her back. She always tries to curl herself as close as possible to me. It’s so cute.

She even stayed in bed after I got up. But not for long. Thankfully, at 5pm, the jack-hammer finally stopped. After Murli ate, she got into bed again. Since then she sleeps, which is no wonder. I feel quite sleepy myself lol. Probably because the sleepless night and the flu.

So hopefully I’ll finally sleep normally tonight. Hugs & love to all, from both of us❤️️