Monday, January 23, 2017

We are here

Abbey looking out of the window Christmas Day 2016

Hello, friends and furiends. We are still here. We apologize for being missing in blogland. I have been sick with bronchitis. I got a little better, then it came on full force again. I’m finally starting to feel better.

I have also been concerned about Abbey. But I am so happy to report that she is doing well. Since Jan. 8, the day before she saw the specialist, she has had one episode of bringing up food. We didn’t witness it, but the small amount of thrown up food was undigested and looked like hers. Larry found a little thrown up liquid in another room later than morning. We don’t know if that was Abbey or one of the other kitties.

Other than that, Abbey has not thrown up. Going from every couple of days to that is wonderful.

The vet wants her to stay on the Cerenia for a month. She said that one of the problems that can cause regurgitation is a sliding hiatal hernia, which is difficult to diagnose in a cat. If the Cerenia seems to help her, then that makes a sliding hiatal hernia less likely.

Abbey is eating mostly her regular Blue Buffalo, but some of the venison food (D/D). I am hoping that she will eventually eat more venison. Connor is eating the I/D food that the vet gave us to try until we were able to order the venison. Natasha will eat only the Blue Buffalo. So we may end up offering three dry foods. I would like to try at least one more flavor of D/D food. 

Does anyone have any experience with the D/D food? If you have a cat with gastritis or another digestive problem that is managed at least partly with food, is there a particular type that seems to help?

Thank you for your patience with us. We have missed visiting you and hope to do a lot of that this week.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Update on Abbey

Abbey meditating, Jan. 10, 2017

Abbey and I want to thank you for your thoughts and prayers and healing vibes. We appreciate your support!

Abbey saw an internal medicine specialist, Dr. Rios, on Monday. She took a detailed history, conducted an examination, took x-rays, and did extensive lab work (blood work and urinalysis).

Her blood work, x-rays, and urinalysis were “unremarkable.” She has not lost any more weight since her visit with our regular vet in December. She weighs 12 pounds and 11 ounces. Dr. Rios said she had normal muscle mass.

Dr. Rios is not sure what is causing Abbey’s chronic bringing up of food (usually regurgitation, sometimes vomiting). She thinks it’s possible that it’s related to gastritis, such as a food allergy or inflammatory bowel disease.

But there are many things that could be causing the problem. Because of that and because Abbey had shown improvement after a diet change in late 2015, Dr. Rios wants to take several steps.

She wants Abbey to eat exclusively Hill’s or Royal Canin Venison. If she eats it, we need to keep her on it for at least 3 weeks to assess the effects.

She will be on Cerenia once a day for 7 to 10 days. Dr. Rios wants to try it to see if it makes any difference.

There is also the possibility of gastric parasites, so Abbey is receiving 3 doses of medicine for that over 4 weeks.

If there’s no significant change, then more testing will be done, including a gastroduodenoscopy. Dr. Rios said because of her young age and because she looked in good physical condition (not emaciated), she wanted to try the above first before doing a scope.

Dr. Rios wants us to continue keeping a log of any episodes and keep her updated via email every few days about how she’s doing.

Abbey did very well at the vet’s on Monday. Usually she has to be sedated for anything to be done, but she didn’t have to be. The fact that she allowed the x-rays, etc. without sedation is astounding to us, but we are glad. Dr. Rios said Abbey was even purring for them. 

We had to order the venison food from our regular vet, and because of delays due to weather, it won’t arrive until later this week. Meanwhile, we’re offering an ID food that Dr. Rios gave us.

We had a helpful discussion about commercial cat food and prescription food and how one little tweak in a formula or recipe can have effects on the cats.

Abbey seems to feel good, and is eating the ID food and her regular food. Connor and Natasha seem to like the ID food, too. I hope all three will eat the venison. It is always easier in a multi-cat household if everyone is eating the same thing!

We are going to take it a step at a time. We are thankful that nothing serious was found in her blood work, x-rays, or exam, and we hope the diet changes will help. We liked Dr. Rios, and we appreciate her willingness to get emails from us about how Abbey is doing. 

Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for caring about Abbey.

Monday, January 9, 2017


Abbey on Christmas Day, 2016.

I ask you, dear friends, to say a prayer for Abbey or send healing vibes or thoughts to her.

We are taking her to see an internal medicine specialist today.

Abbey has had issues with her stomach since the first few months we adopted her. She periodically regurgitated her food. The vet tried her on some food in which the protein was tinier than usual, and we tried grain-free food. Finally, when we tried Blue Buffalo for Sensitive Stomachs, she stopped regurgitating on a regular basis.

Last April she weighed 16 pounds. She could stand to lose a little, but she was starting to play a lot with Connor.

Starting in May, Abbey began to regurgitate her food again every few days. It would come out in long tubes, like a cigar, undigested dry food. I tried getting wider bowls for the food so that it would slow down her eating. She went 11 days without a problem. Then she started again.

I also noticed she was losing some weight. I hoped it was because she was running around the house at breakneck speeds with Connor.

We took her to our regular vet in early December, and she had lost 4 pounds since April. I had no idea it was that much. At 12 pounds she wasn’t emaciated by any means, but our vet said that was too much weight to attribute to exercise.

Our vet wanted to do some research on what the best tests were. She knew how to start out testing, but didn’t know how to go further—it wasn’t an area she was familiar with. She ended up recommending that Abbey see an internal specialist.

Abbey continues to eat, play, and follow us around the house. Her eyes are bright. She does seem more anxious than usual, jumping at regular household sounds. And there’s the weight loss. Our vet seems most concerned about that. I realize now that the regurgitation could be totally unrelated to the weight loss. And there are many things that can cause weight loss.

I am hoping and praying that whatever is going on with Abbey will be treatable and fixable.

Thank you for “listening” and thank you for your prayers and thoughts for our girl.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Friendly Fill-Ins Blog Hop: with Natasha

Happy Friday! We’re participating in the Friendly Fill-Ins Blog Hop, presented by 15 and Meowing and McGuffy’s Reader. This week Natasha is helping me.

1. I have seen ________________ play in concert.

2. I would like to attend a _________________ concert.

3. In the dead of Winter, I _______________.

4. The main ringer on my cell phone is __________________.

1. I have seen Alabama, Ricky Skaggs, and Roberta Flack play in concert. Those were many years ago. (Natasha: I haven’t been to a concert, but I like the calming music Mama plays in the evenings.)

2. I would like to attend an Alison Krauss or a Brandi Carlisle concert. (Natasha: I like that Alison Krauss, too. She sounds like an angel.)

3. In the dead of Winter, I like sitting and reading with a warm sweater, something hot to drink, and kitties nearby. (Natasha: In the dead of Winter, I am so glad I have a home where I am safe and warm.)

4. The main ringer on my cell phone is called Illuminate. (Natasha: The main ringer on my cell phone is called Dogs Barking.)

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A Special Gift

I received a special gift for Christmas from my dear friend, Carolyn. 

Carolyn started thinking about the gift months ago, when I donated some grapevine wreaths to a Facebook auction she was having.

My father made many of the wreaths years ago—he’s been gone for 19 years—and I have a box full. I have decorated some, but I had many more than I would ever use.

Carolyn bought one of the wreaths and said she had an idea for how to use it.

At Christmas, I found out what her idea had been. Meet Wreath Kitty:

Carolyn was so creative in making this unique gift, one that I will treasure. 

Wreath Kitty is hanging on my office door at work. I usually have the door open, so I see her there more than I would if she was hanging on a door at home.

What gifts do you treasure?

Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all of you from Abbey, Natasha, Connor, and me! We hope that you had a wonderful holiday.

Instead of making resolutions for the New Year, we focus more on what our intentions will be. Something a little softer than a resolution.

For this post, we thought we’d share some hopes that we have for 2017:

*That more animals in shelters will be adopted into loving homes.

*That shelters will receive more support for becoming no-kill shelters.

*That people will take more seriously their commitments to their pets when they adopt. It’s a lifetime commitment!

*That fewer people will think a dog or cat’s place is always outside, and that it’s OK to chain a dog in the yard and provide no interaction.

*That humans will have more respect for animals.

These hopes won’t turn into reality without a lot of work. We intend to do as much as we can this year to improve the lives of animals, and I know you, our blogging community, will do the same.

So let’s hear it for animal welfare and for all we can do this year for the animals. Cheers!