Thursday, February 24, 2011

Moving Foward

Its sad to say that while Avram and I have enjoyed keeping this blog, life moves too fast for us to keep detailed posts up about the boys and share all their wonderful antics and adventures. But fear not we are not disappearing into the ether, we are just changing the format just a little bit. Instead of updating the blog, we will be updating the boys very own facebook fan page where everyone who wants to can keep up to date with their daily doings :)

We hope to see you there :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Litter for a Cause

World's Best Cat Litter (the only litter we use and recommend to everyone with a cat) sent us an email spotlighting a very wonderful program where cat litter is being donated to help shelters in Los Angeles provide for their feline charges. I'm happy to spread the word and ask that everyone spread the word and click on the graphic above or go to the facebook page and vote. Every time you vote more litter is donated so please spread the word and vote often!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Update on Arthur

I took Arthur in for his 6 month check up today. Dr. Plotnick was happy to report that Arthur is the picture of health. There are no lingering effects or even signs that earlier this year he was so ill. The only thing of slight concern is that Arthur now weighs 16lbs 6oz and the Dr would be happier if Arthur was closer to the low 15 range. So we need to work on getting him a bit more active and a bit less food.

He got blood drawn to do some blood work to just make sure that all his levels are where they should be and his yearly shots while he was at it. As always there is tons of love and praise for how handsome he is. And of course I cant say enough good things about the staff at Manhattan Cat Specialists they have been a blessing to us and give such excellent care to our boys and mental reassurance to us that our boys are well taken care of :)

Next week its Beowulf's turn for a check up.

UPDATE:: The Doctor called with Arthur's blood results and he is one perfectly healthy kitty :)

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Recent Photos of the Boys

First of all, Liz and I want to thank everyone who has sent kind wishes, thoughts, and prayers to us, both through this blog and elsewhere. Your support has meant a lot to us and to our boys and it really helped us through this ordeal.

With all the hubub about our boys' health, we haven't posted all the pictures we'd like to share with you. So here are some of our favorites from the last couple of weeks. We hope you enjoy looking at them almost as much as we enjoyed being there to take them. The pic of above was just shot a few minutes ago.

This pic of Beowulf exploring an box really doesn't tell the whole story. He hung out in the box for a couple of hours before we finally had to throw it out.

This one is a couple of weeks old, taken when Arthur still had his feeding tube but was getting better. He loves to lie down in the laundry basket.

More snuggling, from another day. What you probably can't see here is that the boys are touching paws. They do this a lot.

Arthur just relaxing.

Friday, April 02, 2010

The Well Traveled Cat

As of today Dr. Plotnick has pronounced Arthur fully recovered. He still has a small scab on his neck from the feeding tube, but he sees no reason for further concern or treatment for Arthur's illness. He's happy, active and while not eating tons he seems to be back to eating his normal amount and maintaining his weight without the tube :)

Beowulf's test results came back showing him to be perfectly healthy in every way. Now we dont have to go back to the vet for 6 months for Beowulf and 2 months for Arthur so he can get his shots.

So no more weekly trips across town to the vet for Arthur, his days traveling around the city by cab are over.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Beowulf Checks Out

So today Beowulf went in for his annual check up and his shots. This was his first time at the new vets office so we were a bit on edge with what Dr. Plotnick would have to say and how he would react to the long trip to the office.

As per usual he wasn't happy with leaving the house in his carrier, but he was well behaved and purred up a storm for the Dr and his tech. They were impressed with his sweet demeanor and his ability to purr while getting poked, prodded and having his blood and urine drawn and getting his shots.

So tomorrow we'll find out the results of his blood work, and get a healthy baseline for his records. According to Dr. Plotnick, Beowulf is as healthy as any cat can be. Hes 14.5 lbs and as we've always known handsome and lovable.

Once we got home he got some treats to reward him for being a good boy, but he didn't think it was enough and nagged me until I finally gave in and went into the bedroom with him to lay on the bed and rub and groom him :)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Tube is Out, But Concerns Remain

Yesterday, we took Arthur to his vet Dr. Plotnick and we came into the appointment with concerns about Arthur's eating. As I mentioned in my most recent post, Arthur has been eating on his own, but not the 250 calories per day we had been aiming for so he was still getting a tube feeding or two every day.

We went into the appointment assuming that his feeding tube was going to be staying in for the foreseeable future and that we were going to have to keep shooting for normalcy. However, Dr. Plotnick was persistent in his belief that we should remove Arthur's feeding tube right away. He told us that, now that Arthur's liver has returned to normal, if Arthur eats every day but eats less calories he's not in immediate danger of going back into fatty liver syndrome. He also said he believes that the presence of the feeding tube itself might be holding Arthur back from eating as much as he should.

He said we don't need to obsessively count Arthur's calories as long as we see him eating consistently. We have a follow-up appointment next Friday to see how Arthur's weight and health do in his first week without the tube. If it's a problem, we can always move back to force feeding with a new tube or a syringe.

So we made the leap. The tube is out and, though Arthur has a bandage around his neck while the hole heals up (about 36 hours), he is now tube-free and we can see that he is much much happier. He was affectionate throughout this ordeal, but he is even more affectionate now. The picture above shows him snuggling on the ottoman between our feet. When we took this shot, we were sitting watching a movie and he came up and sat on Liz's lap and kneaded her and then sat on mine and then settled between our feet.

He has been eating, but the usual nibble here and there. However, to be honest, the amount he is eating might be equivalent to what he was eating before he got sick. It's hard to say because he always snuck into the kitchen and grabbed some kibble when nobody was looking rather than eating huge amounts right when we put food down (like his brother does). We have seen him going into the kitchen late at night to grab more food.

We are cautiously optimistic that he has turned the corner and will be eating enough on his own. As usual, Dr. Plotnick has made us feel really confident in what we are doing. He is an amazing veterinarian, we have a ton of faith in him, and we believe we can't really go wrong. He's done as much for our mental health as for Arthur's physical health.

If you've read about our saga with the old vet, you know that the old vet had said at one point that we shouldn't worry about how much Arthur was eating and we wrote that off as bad advice when Arthur's condition worsened. However, as Dr. P pointed out, there's a big difference between that time and this one. When the old vet told us we shouldn't be concerned about Arthur's food in-take, he was in the throes of intense liver disease. Now his liver is normal and Dr. P tells us that he will not go back into fatty liver if he has a few days where he is eating less than we would like.

However, you'll forgive us for still being a bit obsessive about how much Arthur is eating and still watching him closely. Hopefully he starts eating a bit more in front of us.

Another side effect of the tube removal is that, once we remove the bandage tonight, Liz will start sleeping in the bedroom again. She has been sleeping on the living room couch every night for the last month so she could keep an eye on Arthur at night and make sure his brother didn't wrestle him and pull the feeding tube out. With no more tube, we can both go back to sleeping in the bedroom.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tons of Frustration as Arthur is Eating Less

As you may have read, Arthur's liver numbers came back normal last week. And indeed he looks much healthier and acts much healthier. He's been very active and assertive, even trying to wrestle his brother (which we break up, because of fear it will dislodge the feeding tube). He even nags us for food, but then when we go in the kitchen and give it to him, he eats maybe two licks or just rubs our feet.

On a good day, he's eating maybe 100 to 125 of the 250 calories he needs on his own, but the past couple of days have not necessarily been good days. This morning I spent about two hours trying to cajole him into eating, after he woke me up and begged for food.

Here's how it went:

1. 7 a.m.: Arthur knocks on the bedroom door and wakes me up (Liz is asleep in the living room where she sleeps to watch the boys at night). I get up and open up a can of Solid Gold Tuna for Arthur and dump some dry food for Beowulf. Arthur runs over the bowl and starts eating, but after a few licks, he tries to follow me back to the bedroom. I leave the food out for an hour, but he doesn't go back.

2. 8 a.m.: I go back into the kitchen weigh the food bowl (it's like .5 ounces lighter than it was so maybe he got 15 calories). I then put down dry food for Arthur. I make him follow me in and put tuna flakes on top of the kibble. He eats the flakes, but none of the kibble. I try this several times. Each time he follows me back to the bedroom rather than staying in the kitchen and eating. I sit on the kitchen floor with him for a while. He still won't eat.

3. 9:30 a.m. I tell Liz Arthur needs his full 83 calorie tube feeding again. The same thing happened yesterday and last night for his night feeding.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Good News

I got one of the best phone calls of my life this morning. If he'd been there in person I would have embarrassed myself and him by hugging and kissing him. Who is this "him" you ask? Why our vet, and he called bright and early this morning to give me the results of Arthur's blood work and urine analysis.

::Drum Roll::

Our baby boy is almost good as new :) His liver values are back to normal and everything from his bloodwork to his physical examination say that he's just about ready to have the tube removed and put all this behind him IF he starts eating again on his own.

So our new mission is to get him to eat on his own. At the Dr's suggestion we will be skipping some of his tube feeding times in the hopes that he will be hungry enough to eat his food. This afternoon I skipped his feeding and removed all available food that he could snack on. I gave him a new cat nip toy I bought and waited. Around 5pm he started bugging me and when I put down a can of Solid Gold Tuna he devoured most of it. Now this could be a result of the appetite stimulant we gave him yesterday, or actual hunger but if he can keep this up we can be sure he's recovered and ready to have his tube removed :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Check up Results

Took Arthur in today for another weekly checkup with the vet. Hes now 14 lbs up from 13.6 last week and the Dr is very pleased with his overall demeanor and the fact he has little to no yellow color anymore. Even the low grade fever he's been running the last few visits is gone and by all accounts Arthur is doing well.

The only fly in the ointment is the fact that he still isn't eating much on his own. The Dr is still puzzled over this and gave us an appetite stimulant to use as needed to try and help Arthur eat more by mouth and less by tube. He took some urine and blood samples to do tests and will call us tomorrow with the results.

While the last few weeks have been stressful and trying in the extreme we are beyond happy with the new vet and the level of care he has been getting. These weekly visits are a benchmark of how much Arthur is improving and gives us a chance to get answers to questions and suggestions for what we can do differently or improve on in regards to his care.

We cant thank all of you enough for you support, ideas and suggestions during this time. It means a lot to us and we cant begin express our appreciation :)