No kittens (this time), but 4 newly scanned perfect hearts.

For a breeder without a litter in 2,5 years, I have a very intense and turbulent life. That is because I am a cat Mom, and because breeding is not just about putting two unaltered cats of opposite sex into same room and getting kittens out of that rendezvous 9 weeks later…

Bad, very bad news first – Claire had no kittens this time.đŸ˜„
She went down in weight after 7 weeks of pregnancy, little by little, but still carried what turned out to be empty amniotic sacs to the term. Sleepless nights before we knew she has no kittens in, her started bleeding a bit, urgent visits to veterinary clinics, worries and tears. Claire is a tough cookie, she already started resorbing the stuff in her uterus. No signs of infection or inflammation. She got a medicin (Alizine)e to help her expel the contents and they sampled the fluid coming out. We will take her to a new ultrasound exam now on Monday, see if all got out, and in 10 days we will see a specialist in gynaecology/fertility for cats to discuss why this happened.

Good news – Jossan, Electra and Claire got heart scanned by a cardiologist at Albano and all three girls have perfect hearts.❀❀❀
I was worried about Claire being scanned, she was there to get another injection of Alizin only, and had her heart scan booked in 2 weeks, but the veterinary thought she was well enough and that her condition would not influence her heart scan, so they scanned her as well as her mom and half sister.

And the best newsđŸ™‚â€đŸ™‚ – Funtes has a healthy heart, and is absolutely approved for breeding!
We went to see a cardiology specialist today (previously Funtes was scanned by a consultant within cardiology, whom I guess is good, but matters of heart are difficult, in every sense, and in Funtes case we needed what we were told by some of the other breeders was one of the best teams in Sweden. Ultuna cardiologist team).

Ultuna was informed about the previous scan and what I was told.
Well, it turned out that what Funtes has, is not an aberration or thickening, it is something called 'false tendon'! (I must admit I've never heard of the term before). It is some kind of fibrous tissue/bands and is an anatomic variation, not a pathology. If that is what the first veterinary thought was a thickening.

Other thing that was noticed on the first scan – turbulences on Doppler when Funtes yelled and struggled (poor him hates to be held by force, it was much easier to scan the girls, they just were lying calmly, protesting very little) were not considered a pathology by the expert today, it was normal "bubbling" that Doppler showed. All the measured parameters fall within limits for a normal, healthy heart! He was absolutely approved for breeding and his heart was declared healthy today!

We are very happy. First and foremost because his heart is perfect (which in a way we never doubted), and then because I got so much support and good advice after being open and writing about Funtes on Facebook also, which prompted my breeder colleagues and friends to give me good advice and pushed me to look for a second opinion, which led us to where we are today.

Openness puts us out there with all the bad but also good things that come back to you.
I am grateful and believe that if we ask for help when confused and sad, we will get help and ultimately together we will do the best for our cats and the whole race we work with.

It was the same with TF, I got helped the most, by absolutely by far the most by people that had read this blog and mailed me. I am grateful to them forever.

So that is a lot lately – our expectation of kittens led us to a heartbreak for Claire and the loss, the girls hearts are scanned, and Funtes is back to being perfect hearted and kicking.🙂 So much to take in, so much!

Next station – checking why this happened to Claire and trying to fix it if possible, and then attempting to mate Claire (if she is ok) and Funtes and Funtes and Electra.

Hug cats. Sleep. Try to enjoy the other half of my vacation. I love my cats. So much.

Funtes heart scan

I am grateful for having amazing Siamese cats in my life, they made it so much better.
But I never thought that I will experience so much heartache as a breeder and owner.

Me and my husband always wanted to own and breed healthy cats. Which breeder doesn’t?

I deeply believed that Siamese and Orientals are a healthy race. And it is and it should be. But we have to do more. How much do we check? Can we possibly check for all? No. Only for the things we know may be an issue.

I tested for PRA, as soon as knowledge about it become available, before it was obligatory. I was lucky that my cats and kittens I bred did not have double set of faulty chromosomes and would never get blind. I tested liver, kidneys, viruses. All I knew or heard could go wrong or was recommended.

Years ago I’ve only heard remotely about TF (tritrichomonas foetus) and giardia (it always happened to someone else, you know, in some other country…) when we got TF! I was open with our struggles here on my blog and, while I had support from the most, I’ve actually also had potential buyers saying – oh, great you are open, I appreciate that, but then they went to buy kittens from people who had TF in their catteries, gave it to others while knowing that they might, sold the kittens with TF  and did not care to say that!

Our kitten buyers trust us what we say. If we are silent, they still trust us that we sell them healthy cats. They cannot know about all that can be wrong.

Well, that war on TF we won. Got all clear. A new page, clean cattery, healthy cats, my new import, he and all others scanned four-five times for parasites, healthy, no viruses, nothing. Picture perfect.

Last December I had a young cat who died in a total heart failure. Heard only whispers about cats dying, but no – no heart disease in our race. Pretty cats winning the shows; some have TF, some get put to sleep for heart issues, kidneys or something, it is all silenced down. Now you see them, now you don’t.

A fellow Oriental cat owner had her heart broken recently when her cat died from heart failure. Another one got the sister cat from the first one scanned last week – the same, genetic issue. I really hope that the parents, siblings, half siblings etc get scanned.

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I took my Funtes to the cardiologist today, after learning more and more about the heart issues in our race. The issues I did not think were a problem at all. Maybe minor thing, here and there.

And Funtes beautiful heart, sounds amazingly well – picture perfect health, but then, on the screen – just this little thing – a tiny little thicker tissue next to aorta valve. Almost nonexistent. No, no stenosis, but it is there! It is there. Almost perfect, but not.

He will never get worse, he will never get sick or unwell, he will never need medicines. He will always be perfectly healthy heart wise. He does not have HCM, he has a little thickening in his aorta valve that will not get worse. That is his diagnose.

But – it is a common thing on Siamese and Oriental, and it is genetic, and it can be worse than in his case. Can I breed on him!? The veterinary was hesitating. No definite no. But no yes either. He would probably not breed on him if he was his cat. It depends on who Funtes is mated with. We talked about how we should scan our race more, breed away the defects! Not be silent about it, raise the awareness!

But we have a litter in Claire’s belly where Funtes is father that is due in 3,5 weeks. I talked to the veterinary and we will take them all to him for a complete heart scan when they are 12 weeks old. You can see already then if they have something or not!

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Funtes and Claire are expecting kittens.

If we are lucky, they will not have anything and if healthy otherwise, can be used in breeding. If not, I hope the little fault is as little as on their father and can be a long lived pets with no influence on their lives.

We should heart scan our breeding Siamese and Orientals. We do not have HCM in our race, it is almost non-existing on Siamese and Orientals, but dilated cardiomyopathy that my fellow Siamese/Oriental owners had on their cats is common, and what Funtes has is common. If one in the litter has something, and we know it, we should scan the siblings, offspring, parents, used in breeding. It should become a practice.

And we should always select on health before type.

My heart is open, my cards are on the table. Ethical breeding – we are responsible for the health of our animals and their offspring. We do not know all, but as soon as we learn about the possible problems, it is unacceptable to just close our eyes.

This on Funtes is no one’s fault! And luckily it will not influence his life or health. But it made me more aware of the possible heart problems in our race.

When you know there is something in the lines, or in your cattery – an infection, a virus, a parasite, a disease and you breed on that without curing the cats, or scanning them and just close your eyes and continue – it becomes your fault.

My sunshine Jossan

Jossan resting last afternoon, grooming herself. My love is well and healthy. Happiness!🙂

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Also, if all goes well, she will become a grandmother (Claire & Funtes will have kittens), in about 5 weeks. After 2,5 and more years we may have kittens in our home.🙂 Fingers crossed!

A new test for kidney function

We sometimes organize events or presentations in my cat club (Siameslinjen), and last Saturday we had a guest veterinary LinnĂ©a Brandt who held an excellent presentation on a subject of older cats (on a cell level cats start aging from about 7 years of age, so in a way, all cats older than 7 years are – older cats). One of the leading death causes in older cats (more than one third) is a chronic kidney disease (CKD).

During the presentation I learned about one thing I did not know before – there is a new test available that can help us discover the scary kidney disease earlier than before, during an annual control of our senior furry family members – the IDEXX SDMA blood test.

SDMA typically increases when there is on average a 40% decrease in kidney function. This occurs earlier than creatinine, which doesn’t increase until there is up to 75% loss of kidney function!

We have tested our older cats (most recently Leroy a few months ago, Leroy is 9,5 years old now), and their urea and creatinine were fine, but – they would be fine until 75% of kidney function is already gone! I want to catch this bad condition early, if it is bound to happen, and adjust their diets in time and have them live long and good quality lives! I have mailed one of our veterinaries about the tests, asked if they perform it. I know it is not done readily in Sweden yet, but some veterinaries send it to Idexx laboratory in Germany.

I just wanted to share this with you who may read, to know about this great new test! You may read more here.

Happy Easter

Happy Easter and greetings from us and our cat family!

The spring is almost here (we had some snow last week in Stockholm). All the cats are healthy, and we hope that this year we will have some kittens during the summer. Nothing yet, but we have the plans. That will be so exciting, we did not have kittens since winter 2013/2014.

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Jossan is eating some of the cat grass we grow for our furry friends in the flower pot, and then kindly poses for her yearly ‘cat with an Easter hat’ picture, with a half of one Easter egg-shaped metal candy box acting as a hat.

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Happy Easter!

 

 

Recovery

Yesterday I was so happy I cried.
Jossan has healed and, after months spent in her little body sock, stitches after the cancer operations, infection, complications, depression brought on by the loss of her best friend, she is whole again. Happiness!!!
She is purring and grooming herself her and I am helping (on the pics, she loves to be brushed. Not much hair, but she enjoys it. Leroy is half-napping behind her).

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She is still sleeping curled next to me and is in my lap almost all the time when I sit down at home. My heart is filled with love and I am happy she is well now.

Two weeks later

Last two and a half weeks went both fast and slow, part like a dream, part like a nightmare. At moments it was very painful, sometimes I felt sedated by chemicals produced by my own body. We have capabilities to both hurt and heal.

Our focus shifted from primarily grieving to taking care of Jossan. After her second operation she got complications – a part of her cut would not heal, and close. The infection she got was cured by antibiotics she got, but the edges of the cut healed each for itself, and did not meet here and there.

I feel that she was not sewn that carefully after the operation, the upper part of her chest was sewn so-so; I tried to tighten the knots after a week, and managed with a lot of patience and work. Jossan trusts us 110% and was calm and waited for me to untie and then tie again the problematic knots of her stitches. That helped, the cut healed, but not everywhere. We went to the vet twice again, and they booked a surgery (the third one!) acutely in case the hole does not close, on 30th of December.
The hole did not close, partly because of the too eager nurse who cut of about 1-1,5cm from the thread ends on our second visit, in spite of my objections (“It is plastic, it irritates her skin”, she said.” Yes, but it will get untied”, I said, “there is a reason that surgeons leave them that long!”). She cut them of anyway, and the stitches went off in the evening and Jossan got to have a surgery.

On her revision surgery they trimmed the edges of her skin that did not close and pulled them together and sewed them again. My poor cat got to recover for two weeks longer than we expected at the first place.

The biggest problem in her recovery was not the hole that would not close; it was that she got depressed and would not eat, LillMupp’s death made her very sad, he was closest to her of all the cats. So, I fed her, carried her around on me, lied next to her during the days and nights. She was so sad, we were sad. It all was dark.

Yesterday, finally, the hole (that was not sewed properly again, IMO, and I tightened it, again!), closed and Jossan started eating more and more. I see it finally turning for the better and the future looking brighter.

The good news is also that they did not find any cancer on her other side. The tumour she had there was benign. That and the fact that all was discovered early and removed early, gives her relatively good prognoses, for a cancer type that usually has medium to very poor prognoses.

I hope she will heal fast now, when she started eating on her own (I do not have to feed her for hand all the time anymore) and the cut is closing. The most important is that she got stronger than her sorrow. She is very tough.

I still am very sad and grieving. It will take time to think about it less, but feelings of love and pain and loss will always be there. They will move more to the background with time.

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Jossan, January 2016, recovering

My ever rational brain figured out one thing while I was half-asleep two nights ago; after LillMupp died, I felt like swimming in dark cold waters under a night sky without stars all the time. That night in my bed my mind understood which is the straw I’ll be grabbing.

My straw was Jossan and her little warm body next to me, in the bed. There is so much beauty in love between her and me, that gives me physical feeling of energy and light and warmth in my heart. I love my husband and my other cats very much, but right then it was Jossan and her loving me, and her needing me and me helping her and loving her and nourishing her back to health that became my straw and the source of love and beauty I felt in my heart again, in the middle of all the sadness and darkness.

Heartbreak

Last Monday we lost our beloved LillMupp (SE*La Voix Dexter), Jossans grandchild, Claire’s only kitten. He was only 2 years old. Joakim and I feel broken.

LillMupp <3

LillMupp❀

LillMupp had an amazing personality and was very beautiful. All cats loved him and he loved them. He had a happy childhood and was adored and loved whole of his life.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas with LillMupp 2013, 2 years ago

He liked all humans and greeted everyone that came to our house.

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LillMupp, December 2014

LillMupp went down in weight recently, about three weeks ago, or four. He ate and drank water, seemed otherwise ok. We took him to the veterinary, he listened to his heart and lungs, all sounded normal. He ran blood tests and saw signs of an ongoing infection and anaemia. LillMupp was tested negative against the usual FeLV/FIV, viruses, parasites etc and we repeated the tests for viruses there. Negative. Sent in tests for different kinds of bacteria (mycoplasma) to a bigger lab, and gave him medicines immediately as if he had mycoplasma hemofelis (that can give that clinical picture). Ronaxane and also he got Prednisolone. Where could he get that from? He was not exhibited, did not go outside, and no other cats were sick. He did date three otherwise healthy girls, tested for all he was as well. He had no symptoms of anything, but that low weight. He was actually a bit constipated that day, but went on the litterbox just before we went to the vet.

He got better on medications. He went dramatically up in weight and we were happy. The results came back negative for the lab, no mycoplasma of any kind, but it could have been some other bacteria or a virus. The important thing was he was getting up in weight. He played and all. Then last Sunday, a week ago, almost 2 weeks after the first veterinary visit, he started breathing oddly. Why, we wondered. He did not want to eat himself that evening, so I fed him. He liked to eat from my hand, he was brought up as a single kitten and very attached to us.
On Monday morning I did not think he seemed better, so Joakim took him to the vet, acutely. Jossan followed. I thought that they should take a look at her cut after her other surgery, I did not think it looked as it should, too much discharge was coming out of it, but she seemed otherwise fine. I did not go with them, since I was pretty sick with flu or something like that and in bed, could barely speak.

The agony began when Joakim called me and said that they saw some liquid in LillMupp’s abdomen on x-rays. After that he was taken to the ultrasound examination to a cardiologist. And then Joakim called me and said that they can not save LillMupp, that his abdomen is filled with fluid, that his lungs are filled with fluid, that his heart is not working, that he has a both sided heart failure and that even if he was in intensive care for a long time, the chances to save his life were almost non existing, and even if they would succeed, he would never have a good live afterwards, since his heart could not be fixed.

I jumped in the taxi I called and cried my eyes out on the way to the hospital to say farewell to LillMupp The cab driver was trying to be sympathetic and when he understood through my sobbing why I was crying he said – well, you can get another cat. I just cried and cried.

Joakim, Jossan and LillMupp were in a room made for the final farewell. It was pretty dark with electrical candles giving some light. I collected myself and was silent as much as I could before I went in so I would not give more anxiety to LillMupp and Jossan. Talked to a veterinary myself. I could not believe he could not be saved. He could not. I did not want him to suffer. I have an enormous respect for life. When I was small I killed a fly by mistake with my pen and cried for hours, my mom was annoyed, my dad consoled me. A life is precious. And my cats’ lives, I would do anything to save them. There is no money that would be too much for that. But he suffered so much, he was in pain, he could not breath properly, he was purring, to diminish pain, and happy to see me.

We arranged so that his beloved grandmother Jossan would lie next to him and Joakim held his head and kissed him and I held his paws and body and kissed him, and Jossan licked him, and the veterinary gave him sedative and painkiller and we were there in a long hugging and kissing moment for a while.

Then when we were ready, we moved Jossan from there back to her travelling cage, to spare her from the shock or fear or anxiety of the departure to come. Then the veterinary came back in and gave him the final injection that stopped his precious, big, warm, and ill heart. I was not sure when it stopped, he showed no signs of pain, it was just like he fell asleep. Jossan howled in the middle of it all, it was a sound she never made before, it was like a wolf howling at the moon, an ancient, very primitive kind of scream, pulling the strength from the bottom of her abdomen and lungs. We think that is when his soul departed from his body. Joakim was thinking – was it that he stopped breathing, and she reacted to that, what was it. We do not know. Some things we might never understand.

He will be cremated and we will get his ashes home in a few weeks. We will have our pets ashes buried with us one day. I will think more about that later. His ashes will be in the house with us until then.

The veterinary thought that it could be that his heart just got weaker and weaker with time and then he compensated for it until it was too late. Some infection might or might not have contributed to that. Probably not, but it did not matter anymore. He did not have any offspring.

The pain after his death was physical. I would wake up every few hours after I managed to get asleep, with chests burning from pressure and pain. Cried until half of my eyelashes fell of, and I was dehydrated. Tried to find answers online after a day or two, why it hurts so much, what to do, I felt I will never manage to go on. I found one good site that helped me understand that others who love and have lost their pets feel like I do. ‘Pet’… he was a family member! Our cats are our children, our friends. It is a good site, please read here.

I am trying to understand my grief and understand who I am; grief for atheists and theists is the same in pain, but the consolation is different. I am brought up by Christian parents (dad was an atheist as younger), but I thought that I am an atheist – there is no better place and rainbow bridge after death in my world. Sometimes I feel that being an atheist is a form of masochism. And being a theist is lying to yourself.

I am neither. I KNOW that energy cannot be destroyed or made. That is a fact.

LillMupp is still with us, he has just changed his form. He also lives in our memories, in our hearts.

My dad told me once (not to me directly, but about his views. It was before he denounced his atheism and went back to being Christian) – “do not bring flowers to my grave and visit it often after I die. I won’t care. Be nice to me while I am alive”. That was one of those sentences that influenced who I am today. I want to love and be nice to my beloved ones while they are here with me. I love my husband and my cats and try to make the most of it every day. Flowers on the grave are not meaningless though – they are for the living left behind, we have to live with our sorrows and grief. But I do believe that there are things we do not know, and that it all makes some more sense than a big nothingness and oblivion afterwards.

Energy cannot be created or destroyed, but it can be transformed from one form to another. LillMupp will always be with us. My love for him is forever. But his loss hurts so much, I am crying through the whole text I have typed here. I did not want to write about this on my blog before, and I could not. This happened only a few days before Christmas and I did not want to spread the sorrow and pain we feel. I love LillMupp forever.

Jossan’s further recovery

Jossan has recovered after the first surgery without an infection or complications. We just had to keep an extra eye on her not to get out of her protective body. She was a little Houdini, she, as soon as she was off her painkiller that was also a bit sedating, she would somehow take off her body-sock!
This collar did not help a bit:

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The soft collar that Jossan could take off in 3 seconds; rotate, hold with one paw, pull out the head, using her other paw.:/

I had to put on a plastic collar on her, and then one day when I came back from job this is what waited for me:

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“Yes Mom, I took the body off, and the collar is still on!” HOW?! My Houdini!

So, I had to work some from home and take care of Jossan. She was very calm and not trying anything as long as we watched her. Clever lady.

The stitches were removed 2 weeks after the surgery and all was fine, but she still had to be watched for some time. Now she has healed completely. She did go down i weight though, in spite of all the nutritious food. Body takes a lot when healing.

Last Thursday we had an appointment with an animal oncologist in a big animal hospital. We got referred there because Jossan’s veterinary who operated her went on a longer sick leave and we had to get another surgeon and someone to talk to.

It was good to meed an oncologist. She told me that cats can have at the same time different types of cancer. We will see what she has on her other side when it is removed, the next operation is scheduled for 15th of December. Usually the oncologist we met does not recommend to remove all of the mammary glands (different veterinaries think differently), just the one and one more maybe where the tumors were found. Jossan is in a good condition and took the surgery well, which is not always the case, and that is one of the reasons why she does not recommend it – it is a tough surgery with a very long cut.

I will post some pictures of Jossan’s cut. They are taken with my mobile and not very sharp, but you can see the extension of the cut. It is a very long cut. DO NOT LOOK at the pictures if you are sensitive. There is no blood, but bruises and stitches. The pictures are linked here:

Pictures after the surgery

Also, the kind of tumour that they found so far, on the side that is removed is as I knew, not that aggressive, and actually can be kept down with a medication that is anti-inflammatory (Metacam), not a citostatic, if needed, or a new one appears! That is very good news. But we have to see what kind she has on her other side. And we hope that they remove all of it.

I was away from Friday afternoon to Monday afternoon, went to Norway with Leroy and Albert, to a cat exhibition that we booked a long time before we found Jossan’s tumours. That was supposed to be our first exhibition abroad and I thought to try to get one more certificate each and see if the boys can become International Premiers within FIFe. The hotel and trains were booked, and I went there with a friend that had also some rough time with one of her cats and kitten recently. It was our mini-vacation. Joakim took care of our cats at home, and Jossan.

The exhibition went great, above my expectations, many happy moments,and very happy Leroy (he loves cat shows). Yesterday I came back home and to my beloved cat, with her dad and son and all the medals and bows and we cuddled so much, I was happy. In two weeks, we have a new operation before us, and after that some more recovery to do. And then I hope Jossan will be healthy for many more years to come.

Jossan’s results

We have already received the results from the pathologist. To sum it up – it is the least bad kind of bad news.

Jossan has cancer, as we expected, and we seem to have detected it early, as we hoped. It is also not a very aggressive tumor (at this point), and is of type that gives the best prognoses. It also did not seem to have spread to the surrounding lymph nodes.

In about 5 weeks she will undergo another operation where her other chain of mammary glands will be removed. After that we will check her regularly and hope for the best. If we detect another lump somewhere, we’ll take it from there. The aim and hope is that all the bad cells will be removed and that she will live a long and healthy life after that.❀

I have attached the report if one is interested (click to enlarge).

Report after the first operation

Report from the first operation

More to read about mammary gland cancer can be found here:
http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rfoster/repropath/mammary/Mam_fel/Mam_cat.html
and here (breast cancer):

http://pathology.jhu.edu/breast/grade.php

Mammary glands cancer in cats has similarities to breast cancer in humans. I did not understand all I read in the report at first, but I have looked it up, understood it all, and got a bit relieved. Talked to the veterinary later, she confirmed what I already interpreted from the report. She also told me that it is almost never this good bad report they get back from the pathologist, usually the tumours are faster dividing and the grade is higher. They progress fast, it is easy to miss them, and they are detected later that one could hope for.

We will take care of our dear girl, and hope she will get cancer-free soon! Today I found another lump on her other side that will be operated in December. Mammary gland cancer tends to be bilateral in cats. I am very nervous, but I cannot rush anything. They cannot operate two sides at a same time, and also, after the first operation, she has to heal and the skin should not bee too stretched so it could burst after the next operation.

Jossan and Leroy

Jossan (closer) and Leroy (farther). Yes, she is similar to her dad in her looks, only slender and feminine🙂

I have many mixed emotions, and sometimes I cry, sometimes I am optimistic, all in all I am pretty shaky. But above all I am happy that I have her and that she is recovering well from the first operation.

Halloween where we live

Today Jossan is a bit better. She does not want to eat that much though, so I feed her, and then she starts eating herself. Her temperature is 38°, which is good for a cat, no fever, no too low temperature. Her cut looks good. A lot of bruising, but no infection or blood or foul smell.

I have washed her body sock and am watching Jossan now, taking care that she does not lick her stitches while the body sock dries.

I draw a comic while lying on the floor, next to her, waiting. She is purring.❀ I draw comics about us and our cats sometimes.

Everybody loves "Dreamies"!

Everybody loves “Dreamies”!

The first day after the operation

The first day of Jossan’s recovery went well, considering the circumstances. The night was a bit tough. She did not want anyone in the room, beside me, so the other cats had to leave. I hugged her and tried to get her to eat some, and she did. Small portions. She did not get sick or threw up. She was in pain last night, in spite of the opioid analgesic she is getting (Buprenorphine). Today she seems to have less pain. I am giving her the painkillers according to the schedule.

We both were tired today, but I was happy I could help her feel a bit better by being with her, she takes care of me when I am not well, and now I take care of her. It is love. Our other cats are like that, too.

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Today Jossan looks better.

Today it was better, she wanted to be around other cats, so I carried her to the living room. I worked from home, and I sat in the dining room and could see her all the time (we have a big open space kitchen/dining room and living room connected, no doors). Leroy and Miii were allowed to come close and Leroy even was allowed to lick her head a bit. Jossan is the queen, she decides.

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Leroy, Miii and Jossan. It is warm under, the radiator is on. The cats love that place.

Joakim and I changed her bandage in the afternoon. It was soaked with blood (she bled right after the surgery, it is not new blood), but the cut looks good. No infection or something odd. It is very long, about 30cm and a lot of tissue is removed under. I washed it with saline and we put new sterile pads over it, taped a bit, and the body-sock went back on.

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Omnomnom, tasty! Jossan eats when I bring her the food on a small plate.

Jossan is sleeping and dreaming now, ‘talking’ in her sleep as I type. She basically just is resting, does not move much at all, but she ate well, small portions, bigger than last night though, and went to the litter box, which made me very happy. So far her recovery is great. My tough girl.🙂

Jossan is at home, after the operation

We’ve just came home with Jossan and put her in her bed, in front of the warm radiator. She is in half dark, in a calm and safe environment. She is still tired and painkillers make her calm and a bit sedated. She got a lot of IV fluids today, after the operation, and a medicine against sickness, they said she was a bit sick and threw up after the operation.

The operation went well, I talked to the veterinary after Jossan woke up from anaesthesia. Jossan is a fit and slender cat, small to medium in size (she weighs 3,4 kg), but very long; the veterinary said that she had a lot of mammary glands mass in one row they removed (t was a unilateral operation, they removed the whole chain of mammary glands on one side). The veterinary found one more small lump besides the ones I found, high up towards her armpit, she removed all she could from the surrounding tissue. It is sent for analysis, the results will be in two weeks.

Jossan has gotten body-sock, like a baby, in order to protect the cut that is very long. She has a lot of stitches. The veterinary thought the body might work better for Jossan than a cone (Elizabethan collar). We will try and see.

Jossan ion her body-sock

She will get painkillers in her mouth with every 7 or more hours between the doses. We got them with us from the clinic.

painkillers

painkillers

She can eat little, when she is ready for that, soon, we hope, small portions at time, not to irritate her tummy.

Recovery food

Recovery food

I bought a/d, it is good for her and it is tasty; it is food for recovering patients, and it is high in nutrients. I will be at home with Jossan, and check on the wound regularly for a few days, and then remove compress that she has on, after two-three days.

Jossan is resting in low light, covered with blankets and in front of the radiator, to keep her warm.

Jossan is resting in low light, covered with blankets and in front of the radiator, to keep her warm.

I know it will be malignant tumors she’s got, but the question is which kind and what more can be done. The surgery as it is done, plus removal of the glands on the other side in a second surgery gives the best prognosis. But we take one step at a time.

Jossan does not have any family history of mammary gland cancer, but she was not neutered young, and she was on contraceptive pills at times. She was not often on them, but even little increases the risks. And she is a Siamese; Orientals and Siamese are for some reason more prone to mammary gland tumors than other cat races. You go around and hit your head against the wall and ask yourself – why, why, why? But then, it is bad luck and accident; that is why.

I read that the tumor size is the single most important prognostic factor, and hers were very small, about a size of pepper corn, but a few of them:

“Cats with tumors larger than 3 cm in diameter have a median survival time of 4 to 6 months; cats with tumors 2 to 3 cm in diameter have a median survival time of about 2 years, and cats with tumors less than a 2 cm in diameter tumor have a median survival time of over 3 years.” I read more here.

But then, there is statistics, and there is life.
I love Jossan.

Jossan is having a surgery

Jossan is my cat, I adore her. She is one person’s cat, and I was lucky to be that person. She chose me.

Jossan is turning 8 years in December, and she was always healthy, more or less; she had a food allergy once, some teeth problems that were all fixed latest this June.

She also had an idiopathic cystitis once, when I closed the door to our bedroom for about a week at nights and she could not sleep in my bed. I was just operated and no one could sleep close to me, because of my cut healing. She was crying in front of the door at nights. Joakim tried to cuddle with her and calm her down, but it would not last. I cuddled her, it was ok, I would crawl back to bed (it was hard for me to move), and she was upset and crying again. I guess I smelled like hospital still or she smelled I am not entirely well yet. She was examined and got noninflammatory medicine that helped her symptoms, but basically  she got well when I got well.

She and I are very close, Joakim says we have a telepathic connection. Sometimes it feels like that, it is true. She gave birth to her kittens in my lap. Only one, Eleonora was born in our bed, without me being there at the begining of her giving birth.

She was in her top form this summer, and was even exhibited and got many appraisals.

Jossan, September 2015

Jossan, September 2015

But that all changed recently, she started picking her fur, I though – allergy again? What now? I started changing food to what I knew she never reacted to. Not better. I brushed her teeth, she got Stomodine gel in her mouth (she is prone to gingivitis). She did not get better. She eats well, she is as happy and cuddly as always, but something is not right. What, what?!

I examined her and felt a cluster of small knots in one of her mammary glands. I froze. I just felt I was falling down into nothing. The mammary gland tumors in cats are often not benign, they are almost always bad.That was late Sunday night, and I was on the phone to the veterinary Monday morning (this happened 10 days ago) when the veterinary clinic just opened. We got the appointment the same evening.

And, what we found out, after 2 hours of examinations there – the blood works is fine, but the tumors must go away soon. She will be operated tomorrow. They did an x-ray on Jossan, since those kind of tumors may be aggressive and spread fast, often to lungs. Her lungs and other organs looked good! That felt a bit better, but I still was sitting there, crying.

Jossan’s fur picking seems not to be an allergy, but an over reactive immune system. She has what it looks like a beginning of stomatitis in her mouth, so it could be that that causes the pain which makes he pick her fur. It can be managed sometimes with cortisone (prednisolone), or in different ways, even extracting all teeth in some cases. They are not sure yet what will work for her.

We are taking one step at a time. First Jossan got Prednisolone to get down the itch and inflammation in her mouth. We started with a high dose that we went down with, before the operation, since taking cortisone may slow the healing process after the operation. We started with that immediately after last Monday’s veterinary visit. Prednisolone worked well, she stopped itching, and is not pulling her fur anymore. We went down in dose now, she is still well. That is good!

Tomorrow she is having her first surgery, they will remove the whole one side of her mammary glands, then analyze it and we will take it from there. I will work from home on Friday and take care of her.

I am very nervous and on a verge of tears often. She is my baby. I hope so much we caught all this in time. She had no tumors I could feel in August and September and she had dental check in June and all fine after that.

I promised her she will be well, and pain free and run around in our garden next spring and summer again.

Remembering two years ago and some news

I remember that two years ago we felt so bad – our cats got infected with TF (Tritrichomonas Foetus), two of our Queens were pregnant and we were sick worried about them, our other big cats and kittens to come.

Now we have been Tf free for some time, after a long struggle, three latest negative tests were done this March, July and now last week.

I would recommend all breeders to test for parasites regularly, Giardia and TF, not only FeLV/FIV and other viruses. Treating parasites and getting rid of them is hard.

We are lucky that after a lot of dedication and struggle we managed to get all of our cats well, negative and healthy. We suffered a lot, mostly emotionally, being sick with worry, thinking what to do and how and wondering if it will ever end. Also, it was not cheap to treat the cats and test so many times. I have used Laboklin in Czech Republic to send tests to, they are very good and a bit cheaper than our Swedish lab, it makes a lot of difference when you send tests for many cats many times.

We have also imported an adorable male kitten last March, whom we call Funtes. His name is Dexter Slunce Moravy, CZ from a breeder from Czech Republic that also tested all I asked for. He was retested also twice after he came to us, he is a healthy and happy young boy!

Funtes at a cat show autumn 2015, when he became Champion

We hope for some lovely kittens this winter when Funtes decides he is old enough now (he is almost 13 months, but is still a big baby).🙂

Funtes Electra

Albert is a dark genius and a great artist

A beheaded pig greets us as we enter our home. A Yule goat from the upper floor, dragged all over the house and pushed down the stairs, is lying lifelessly in the corridor.

A cow has met its end by drowning in a bowl in the kitchen.

Under the Christmas tree devoid of half of its decorations sits Albert and stares at us. We have been away. The whole day. He worked on his latest performance and is happy to present it for us.

The crown of his creation meets us when I throw my tired bottom on the sofa, landing it midst of a pile of wet mice and fluffy white hearts; all the red ribbons that they hung by meticulously pulled out and left aside

Albert

Albert

After a longer time

It has been a long struggle with TF (Tritrichomonas Foetus), but at the end all of our cats tested negative; the last one more than a month ago. Several of them who got negative earlier tested repeatedly negative with a month apart between tests.

We checked the two oldest of our kitties, Leroy and Maven for all the blood values after the medications they got, I was worried if they could influence something else, beside killing the parasites. And – all of their values are perfect.🙂 When cats get older (Maven is 8,5 years old, and Leroy is turning 8 in December) we should follow up their blood values now and then to catch some things (like problems with kidney or liver function) before it is too late to correct the problems with a change in diet or medications.

Leroy’s blood values 4 weeks after finished TF treatment and a negative test

I am happy that they got no side effects during the treatments against TF (except for a bit drier mouth and eyes, which went away immediattely after medicating). But I must say one thing – TF is hard to get rid of, we needed repeated treatments and to go up in dose. Some cats got TF-free only after a doubled dose of medication. I got too exhausted of TF mentally, and physically and will just not write about it, and not think about it for some time and enjoy the cats being healthy, cat litter boxes with no foul smell, and all the number #2 products of a lovely consistency. That makes me happy! Just coming home, opening the door and feel only good smells in our house feels so good. So good!

We may be having plans in making for kittens next spring, but for now we are just enjoying the company of our beloved mini lions with no mini-minis at sight. I am happy with how harmonious and well functioning group they are; I am not totaly sure why that is, and if I knew the recipe for a successful pack, I would gladly share it. Hmmm, what could it be?

Maven - being a Siamese is a state of mind. Well, a half- Siamese.

Maven – being a Siamese is a state of mind. Or – a half- Siamese… Or – whatever.

I think the first reason is that they are pack animals, as real big lions (Siamese that is; Maven, being a non-Siamese, but brought up with them, just got adjusted. being a Siamese is partly a state of mind!). The next biggest reason is the King – Leroy, who takes care of everyone, both other cats and humans, and does not allow any silly mobbing or dysfunctional or asocial behaviour. And then – Jossan, small and slender, but, at the same time – a real Queen, she decides who, when and where is allowed to do what, and everyone has respect for her. But, she is nice, not like a dictator queen.🙂 Also, cats in general are not like dogs, they do not have a clear hierarchy, but they have roles, and all of them are important for the whole pride to function and live well.

Another reason is that they are not bored, they have plenty of good places in our house to sleep at – comfortable sofas, cat beds, cat trees, window places to watch the birds and humans that pass by our house, water bowls and food bowls places in different rooms. They get to hunt small cat candy pieces, eat fresh food (or, fresh -. defrosted meatballs made of raw meet, especially for cats) at least twice a day. We cuddle and play with them, a lot. To me they seem happy. They are also in good health. TF was a hell, but other than that, they have been always mostly in good health (Albert’s injury and a dramatic constipation he had two years ago aside).

There was recently a challenge going around on Facebook to post 5 pictures of cats we brought up, a friend challenged me and I did it, choosing not the most favourite cats (since you do not have those, you love all of them with whole of your heart), but the photos I like the most. Here they are, again.

SE* La Voix Elric, lives at Jenny with his half sister Ada

SE* La Voix Elric, lives at Jenny with his half sister Ada

BTW, Elric who moved out first of our E-litter, both FELV, FIV, giardia and TF negative, was mated to two other also tested and all negative and healthy Siamese ladies and the first litter is about to come to world in about a week! So exciting!!! He is a pet, not a breeding cat, but his human Mom was kind enough to let him become a dad before becoming a happy neuter. I am so grateful for that – he is amazing in his looks and temper and his genes should be passed forward. He got to date two chosen ladies that are a good match for him, and have great human breeder Moms that will take care of his offspring as well as we would.

SE* La Voix Ender (pet name Ozzy), lives at Ruth and Lillen, with his big 'brother' Iggy. Picture by Joakim Ohlrogge and Ruth Corke

SE* La Voix Ender (pet name Ozzy), lives at Ruth and Lillen, with his big ‘brother’ Iggy. Picture by Joakim Ohlrogge and Ruth Corke

SE*La Voix Dexter

SE*La Voix Dexter (LillMupp)

SE*La Voix Electra

SE*La Voix Electra

Albert, the one and only <3

My heart Albert, the one and only

Cold summer

Cold and rainy. It is as warm as it was for Christmas last year in Stockholm. Warm or cold, depends how you look at it. We thought it was warm when it was Christmas.

Looking at pics I took 2 days ago, when we had sun for a couple of hours. The cats enjoyed it!

20140621JossanBalcony

Jossan

20140621JossanEleonoraBalcony

Jossan and Eleonora

Jossan is the real Queen, as our fridge magnet says:

Jossan's magnet

Jossan’s magnet

I love Jossan, she is my cat, very loving, always close to me. I feel that we have not only love, but also a deep understanding for each other.
Her daughters are as slim and slender as she is. Not as regal, but I think that they will be. Electra has mom’s contrasts and striking looks. They both have that special ‘something’.

20140621ClaireBalcony

Claire

Electra

Electra

20140621Electra1

Electra

Claire has inherited her mom’s amazing body. Eleonora is a beauty, very similar to Jossan, with better top and ears. Our beauties!
If all is okay, Eleonora will move to Norway this weekend. She has all the papers and today she was checked at the veterinary, we are only waiting for the results of the TF-test. The cats are all good in their tummies after the latest treatment with Tinidazole that we finished two weeks ago.

We will retest them all soon as well, but I sent Eleonoras sample today, still collecting all the others.

The war I may not win?

I wonder if this is a war we may not win. We have certainly lost a few battles and the things did not turn out as I expected.

I had to mix the first batch of medicine against TF with a protection mask on my face and put in the cats’ mouth. It took about 2 hours every day to medicate them all. They of course did not like that. Sometimes they drooled. It did not taste that well, perhaps. But maybe it was not THAT bad, since the most were not drooling or spitting it out. The medicine we got was ‘produced’ in Sweden, but actually it is just a cheap powder for birds, 10% Ronidazole that they imported from Germany, repacked it, and sold it to us about 70 times the commercial price in Germany. But what were our options? Ronidazole is obtained only via license in Sweden.

The powder made for birds was not the appropriate form to give to cats; it is the very formulation that scientist and one of the world’s most famous researcher on TF in cats, Jody Gookin is against, since you cannot guarantee the dose that cats get is exact every time. Some cats get cured from it, some don’t. I read about cases on German discussion boards where cats died. Ours did not have any side effects, and I am happy for that, although they did not get cured.

We tested the cats as a part of the study we are in 2 weeks after the finished treatment and only Claire and Miii were negative. All six kittens were still positive and also four of our big cats. So, only 2 out of 12 cats were negative after a 2200 EUR treatment (20 000 SEK) and a lot of time and effort from our side! That felt like a disaster.

I saw no pattern there. Claire and Jossan were isolated with the kittens, and Claire licked the small bottoms all the time, so she should have been positive. But, she was not. (It could have been a one-time thing, but she was tested a month later, and she was still negative.)

Also, Maven, who is not a Siamese, has her own toilet box (she likes Pee-Wee, Siamese hate it), got really bad and she was alone in one room, since poor thing had watery diarrhoea.

Two-three kittens got a bit better at start of the treatment, but after a week they started having soft smelly stool and blood in it. I tested them immediately after the finished treatment (that test was not a part of the study) and they were positive.😩 Ronidazole just did not seem to work. I wondered if TF our cats had was resistant to the medication, but then, Claire and Miii got negative. They could have gotten TF-negative on their own, though, that is not impossible. They got it 5-6 months before the time they got retested, and sometimes cats can get rid of TF on their own during that time (9 months in average).

But no kittens could move to their new homes, since their owners-to-be already had other (TF-free) cats and I also wanted to cure the small and big ones.

To cut the story shorter, and omit many details – the new medicines were ordered, our veterinary found the new company that could get it for us, this time in capsules, from England, good form (100% Ronidazole). Surprisingly enough, they were cheaper, and although kittens got up in weight (the dose is proportional to the weight, the dose is 30mg/kg, so if your cats weigh more, you pay more), we paid about 75% of the price for the first batch. And the form of the medicine was good, and capsules are so much easier (and less risky for my health) to give.

Our veterinary suggested that the kittens should move to their new homes and be medicated there, to minimise the risk for re-infection at home, since we had so many cats. At the same time, it is not a good way to bond with your kitten you’ve just got with putting the pills every day for two weeks in its mouth. I proposed to the future owners of the kittens who had homes who waited for them to get them immediately after the treatment was done. There were risks, but also, it was better for many reasons – if someone else at home still had TF and its quantities grew again, the cured ones could get it back. The cats were isolated, but not one and one, we found that pretty much impossible.

One owner to be took her kitten 4 days before the medicating was done, and finished it at home. Another couple took their kitten home immediately when the treatment was done. One decided to wait. One was travelling abroad, and could not pick her kitten. One kitten’s future owner changed her mind (not because of TF, but because of a beauty fault that the kitten developed; she was supposed to go into her breeding program). Dexter we did not have heart to sell.

As I write this, I am still waiting for the results of the tests after the second Ronidazole treatment. The cats at home had an occasional diarrhoea after the treatment, but right now they seem fine. The two kittens that moved are well in their tummies, and no foul smell, and the cats that they live with are also well in their tummies. No matter what the results of the tests are, I would have made the same decision as the ones who took the kittens did, but I did not want to decide for others. There was not right or wrong here, only “risky in this way”, or “risky in that way”. My other option was to find new homes to the kittens where there were no other cats, but their future families opted against it. And that was not the option I would be happy about either. The homes that were waiting for the small ones were the perfect homes.

It is a very hard situation, emotionally, and in many other ways, both for us and the owners to be; they waited for their kittens for so long, and then I did not have good news for them after the first treatment, and we had to wait for a long time for the medicines to arrive, just to go through all of it again. Our veterinary was fast to obtain all the licences, and to help us, but that is the procedure – it takes time. So bad. I did not think this will be such a nightmare. I thought we were prepared.

The kittens who moved are very loved and happy in their new homes, Tsuki and Ender (called Ozzy now) moved. The kittens that stayed are also loved here, but they will need to move to their new forever homes soon. Our big cats are okay with the small ones still being here (they are six months now!), except for Jossan that occasionally hisses at them, saying that it is time they move, and Claire that became angry recently and thinks they should move. It is normal reaction, they are moms, and in the nature they should push out their small ones out of the nest at some point. Albert and Leroy think that it is good that they are here, we should have 200 cats, they love cats! Maven and Miii are okay with them, they play and run around gladly with the small ones.

20140310NewTree2

All the kittens on the cat tree

The kittens are big and beautiful, you would never think that they had (and maybe still have) that parasite. We love them so much, and we hope that this nightmare will be over soon.

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Dexter, Elric, Eleonora and Electra

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Electra

 

1 week against TF

We are half way through the treatment now!

I found out that it is easier to make breaks and do something else between medicating groups of cats, I get less exhausted that way. Now I give meds to 3-4 of the big cats, first, then to 2-3 of the big ones and then the kittens, they are the easiest to medicate.

Happy Valentine’s day! These are our ♄

Hours

My ordinary day during the working week:

1 hours of playing with kittens, cleaning and feeding them in the morning

0,5 h getting ready for work

45min – 1 hour traveling to work.

about 9 hours at work

45 minutes -1 hour traveling from work

1 hour eating, getting ready for bed.

1 hour playing with cats and cuddling, feeding them, cleaning

2 hours feeding cats TF medication

2 hours other chores, answering mails etc. Cats are with me.

Sleep? 6 hours? If I am lucky and everything flows.

I am so tired. Then I go to bed and I am too tired to sleep, too worried about the cats and will they be cured after only one round of medications. I worry about different things, my family and what is my part in changing the world for the better.

It takes about 2 hours to medicate all the cats, 6 grown up and 6 kittens. They are kind and nice, but they are not too keen on eating the paste I make of Ronidazole powder, a drop of water and vitamin paste which I am pushing into their mouth. They need different amount, all of them, so it is not easy to measure and mix it. Joakim gets the cats and brings them to the bathroom, one by one, while I am mixing the medication. Then we hold them and pet them and talk to them and get the medication in their mouth. I think it tastes okay, since Albert is not flipping out, he is very sensitive about tastes. On the other hand, he is a cat that prefers eating cactus, pelargoniums and similar to cat candy, so what do I know how tasty the medication really is…

The cats are feeling well, and we notice no side effects. No one has soft stool anymore, already after three days.

Tired.

And I almost forgot – the best part of my day is when, after medicating the cats, and before going to sleep,  Joakim and I eat ice cream on the sofa, and all the cats are cuddling there with us or playing.

More about TF and what might help a bit (besides medicines)

After I wrote my blog post yesterday I kissed the kittens good night and cleaned the litter boxes. And there it was, a cow-pie like poo in one of the ones that the kittens use. So it starts.😩 And this morning there was an another one. Good that we will start with the medications tomorrow.

TF (tritrichomonas foetus) lives in large intestines, where all the nutrients are already absorbed when the food remains come there. What happens there is that the part of water is taken back to the body and if a cat has TF which causes diarrhea, the water that would otherwise go to the body comes out and the cat can gets dehydrated. So, if a small kitten has diarrhea from TF (or anything else) – hydrate, hydrate! Give the kitten a lot of liquids!

If it is a bigger kitten it may be enough to drink milk, water or or water with electrolytes, but a smaller ones will need extra liquids under their skin. I read about that and that is why we had two veterinary clinics informed about the possibility that our kittens may need re-hydration if they get Tf and we could come there with them urgently without waiting to help them. But no one got it until now. And it is not a diarrhea, but it is more watery that the normal stool. That is exactly how our bigger cats had it at start when they just got TF. It normalized with time. Leroy had the most of problems, but that I solved at the end with help of coconut virgin oil supplement and low fat food.

The thing is that TF ‘eats’ fat. All kind of fat except dodecanoic acid is promoting TF growth. And that is very interesting; dodecanoic acid (“laurinsyra in Swedish”) is as effective as Axilur (Panacur) against Giardia, another protosoe that is similar to TF, but lives in small intestine (our cats are tested negative to Giardia, and we never suspected it, but since we tested against many things, we checked that, too. They had ‘only’ TF, nothing else).

Here is a link to the study: http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=17146659 : “Dodecanoic acid appeared to induce trophozoite death by accumulating within the parasite cytoplasm resulting in rupture of the cell membrane.”

The dose of cold pressed coconut oil for the cats is 1/4 teaspoon (or 1ml) 2 times per day. Also, low fat diet is beneficial when fighting TF. That is what stabilized Leroy’s tummy at the end! I found that Royal Canin Light and Brit Care Light were good for that. But any dry food with under 10% fat should be good. I got a tips from Denmark also that Royal Canin hairball dry food also works in stabilizing TF caused diarrhea.

Good we will start our treatment soon!

P.S. I am in no way associated with Royal Canin or any other cat food manufacturer. I do not write about any cat products in order to advertise them. I only write about what I believe and see works for my cats, in order to help other cat owners out there, if possible.