Summer days

We had a vacation and it is over, we are both back to work from Monday, but I hope for more sunny days in our garden on weekends and after work.

I do not notice any change in Jossan’s condition, appetite or behaviour. She goes sometimes out to eat grass, sit in the sun and accompany me in my gardening. She and Miii like that, especially Miii. They always stay next to me when outside.

Here is my love Jossan enjoying the sun, the grass and all the scents in our garden two days ago.

(Our cats do not touch lilies when outside.  Lillies are toxic to cats. Instinct, I guess. And I never keep the lillies inside. Only roses in vases, and orchids, saintpaulia, cat grass and aloe vera in pots. Also hoyas and pellargonium. The kitties chew on their grass. 🙂 The other plants they leave alone. But when we had kittens, we removed all the plants out of their reach. Kittens are a different story…)

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Lazy Sunday

A lazy Sunday afternoon, I am reading on the sofa, Jossan is under the blanket. This night and morning she was also under my blanket in the bed. My ❤

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She is feeling well and we hope for spring to come soon so that we can have walks in the garden together.
Next week on Wednesday, a cat dentist will pull out a tooth that seems to be bothering her (FORL). We got okay for that, since all her recent blood tests are good, the cancer is seemingly under control at the moment, and we of course do not want her to have a toothache! Fingers crossed on Wednesday that all goes well with our Queen.
A cat friend’s Siamese girl, with the same bad type of cancer as Jossan has, was put to sleep 10 days ago. 😥 It has spread and took over her lungs with metastases so she was tired and could not breath without problems. She was operated and was on the same medication as Jossan for a few months, which prolonged her life a bit. But then it could not be stopped anymore. So tragic. My heart goes out to my friend.
I hope we will have much more time with Jossan, but I do not think about that much, we chose not to grieve in advance. We take every day as a gift and are grateful for it. And we live in the present. Like cats do. ❤

Oh, Albert

This evening my adorable Foreign White baby Albert decided to turn to a chocolate smoke Oriental van, after playing with and breaking two of my brown powder shadows.

“Oh, fab, they can fly from the shelf with just a tiny little push of a helpful paw, like da bomb making a BANG when they land!
And see how they glitter after falling into pieces in the bathtub, let me smear that a bit and dance on the shiny pearly miniature stardust…
Oh, my paws, look how lovely and chocolatey they are and my nose, am I not a star?
Oh dear, Mom is coming, I will run like the wind and keep on dancing all over the house, landing in one of the off-white sofas, rolling in it back and forth to press all the cacao coloured dust deeper into my once upon a time snow-white fur”.

OH, ALBERT…

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Happy New Year!

We wish you all Happy New 2017! Much health to you and your dear ones, and peace. ❤

We celebrated Jossan’s and Miii’s ninth birthday on 27th of December, and we are grateful for Jossan’s good heath now and that our cats are with us.

Here is a card I made this year (the colours of some of the cats are not from our fur babies, but from a cats that belong to a friend of mine). 201612merryxmas1a1Also, here are two videos of our Leroy. The first one shows how clever he is when solving a puzzle level A for dogs (he can solve almost anything, that cat!)

And one video of Leroy kneading the blanket. Happy New Year and many hugs from us!

 

Leroy turns 10

Today we are celebrating Leroy turning 10 years old! It is hard to believe that our little baby is 10 years old already, feels like yesterday we got him home to Stockholm, from Forshaga, Joakim driving through icy dark landscapes, me holding 12 weeks old Leroy in my lap on the backseat (he yelled and cried in the cage, but the moment I let him come out and sit in my lap he calmed down).

leroy10years

10 years and many memories. He was always there for us, to help bring up the kittens, to console us when sick or sad, to play with us, our visitors, grown ups and small ones, check and patrol our home. Leroy is the best Siamese ever.

Last week they removed 4 of his teeth (back ones, upper jaw). He had FORL in one of them, the other ones ached. Now we hope he will have no pain at all there! Our veterinary ran a complete health check on him recently, all is perfect, including kidneys. We hope for many more years with our precious Leroy!!!

About our other fur babies – so far so good with Jossan, no new tumours we could feel, we were at the control 9 days ago, seemingly all is okay. We do not know how and when it will go from here, but we are enjoying her being her with us and feeling great.

No kittens for us this year – Electra had a phantom pregnancy. 😦 We hope for better luck next year.

Not what we hoped for

Last Friday we got back the results from Jossan’s operation, and it was very bad. All three small tumours they removed were malign, two seemed to be removed in total, one not. And that one was in lymph nodes, which means that the cancer has metastasised. The tumor was very fast growing, also.

I felt completely shattered. It was Friday morning and I headed back to work after meeting the oncologist, Patricio Rivera, and getting the bad news, Jocke took Jossan back home. She was just happy and as usual.

She has no symptoms, since the cancer did not spread yet to her lungs or inner organs (well, not according to the recent x-ray, anyway). When it spreads there and grows, when she gets symptoms maybe like coughing and being tired and not her usual self, that when it starts getting bad, and that is when I will have to let her go, before she starts to suffer. Not now. But my baby will never suffer. I own her that final grace. But I will not think about that now. We will get her regular checkups to see how it progresses and hope for the best.

My working day was not great, I cried and worked, cried and worked. I was so sad. We did not get or asked for any prognoses, since no one can tell really what will happen now. She will not get chemo, since there is no chemo that can preserve her good life quality, and cure her. Only maybe prolong her life a little, but worsen life quality. Still, she will get this COX2 inhibitor, an anti-inflammatory medicine, Metacam, which is good for her, and can stop or slow down the progress of cancer. She will also get special food for cancer patients – a lot of fat and good protein, minimal carbs. One of the dry food that are best in that composition is Royal Canin Intestinal, according to Patricio, we got her that. I’ve also ordered wet food of same kind, and she also eats Bozita and Sheba chicken file and egg yolk at times. We will not give carbs to the cancer!!!

(Yes, she gets food served in bed. Leroy is helping her)

I woke up very late at Saturday, but I was not as sad anymore, I was determined to spend this time we have left together the best we can. Jossan is my big love. We may have weeks or months or years left together, I do not know. No one knows. And you actually never know for anyone how much you have left. We live now, in present and I am happy to have her in my life. I love her so much. ❤

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. 😥
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 news 🙂 ❤ 🙂 – 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 a ‘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.

Other thing that was noticed on the first scan – turbulence 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.

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!

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!

 

 

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.

LillMupp December 2014

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 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”!

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

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 ♥

Merry Christmas!

This year we got no snow for Christmas in Stockholm, and it is unusually warm for December here, so I did not realize that the holidays were approaching so fast. We usually have kittens during the summer, this is the first time we have litters in  winter. Now it is all about them, besides our work. I did not make Christmas cards this year either, but today I realized that it is okay – we are like parents with small childen, they come first, and other things can wait. I should stop stressing about all the other things that much.

All the kittens feel great, Jossan’s five, and LillMupp, or Dexter, Claire’s son. When it comes to TF, they probably did not get it yet. We separated the litter boxes and are trying to keep them uninfected. How much that is possible, I do not know. They feel good, have good stools and I do not notice any odd symptoms. Our big cats feel good too. The medicines are ordered from abroad via our veterinary, and we are a part of the study within SVA (Swedish Veterinary Institute), where our cats will be tested 5 times, once before, and 4 times after the treatment. It all feels good.

I did make one e-card, with little Dexter, or LillMupp, which is his nickname. The photoshoot itself took about one hour, with the most of the pictures looking like this:

Merry Christmas according to LillMupp

Merry Christmas according to LillMupp

and then we got this one, which is our ‘official’ Merry Christmas card this year:

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Also, here are the portraits of Dexter (LillMupp), 7 weeks old, and Jossans kittens, 6 weeks old:

Etsuko, 6 weeks old

Etsuko, 5 weeks old

Electra, 6 weeks old

Electra, 5 weeks old

Elric, 6 weeks old

Elric, 5 weeks old

Eleonora, 6 weeks old

Eleonora, 5 weeks old

Ender, 6 weeks old

Ender, 5 weeks old

Dexter, 7 weeks old

Dexter, 6 weeks old

The Fat Siamese strikes back

Leroy, The King (Lilac point Siamese)

Leroy, The King

#1 Leroy’s Diary, March 2013

One Sunday after lunch, a very secret location somewhere in Sweden

“Can he go from the chair in the corner slowly diagonally over the floor to the left edge of the table and stretch his left, no, wait – his right paw, slowly and lift it here in the air, put it against the table and turn his head towards the camera? Like this?”, said the guy with a funny hat. He was talking about me and asking Mom and Dad.

Of course I could do that. But why should I?

“Ahm, no…”, Mom answered. She and Dad exchanged nervous looks.

“Mauuu”, I said.

“But, Nisse*, Leroy is a family pet, not a circus cat. He cannot do tricks”, said a lady with long hair.

Of course I could do tricks. But, why should I?

“No, he cannot do tricks. But he can do anything if he wants to, and if he gets candy”, Mom said.

Of course I could do anything, but why should I? Wait, did Mom just mention candy?

“Maaaaauuuu”, I said.

Everyone was looking at me, a whole bunch of people I’ve met for the first time today. Dad got out a bag of Dreamies and showed me the candy. Everyone got excited and stared at me.

Let me tell you something – if you already haven’t figured that out yourselves – I love being the center of attention. I deserve everyone’s attention. What I do not necessarily like is to do as I am told. So I jumped from Mom’s lap and ran towards the closest tunnel and crawled in. Ha, humans, eat your candy yourselves!

There is a whole world of new 1000sqm I have to explore. I see you when I see you!

***

Three hours and two shooting sessions later. Take #3.

I think that we are clear on who is the King now. Give me that candy, and I’ll do the walk better than Nisse could ever dream of.  Just because I want that.

Heidi Klum, watch and learn, this is how you do it!

Humans are an inferior species.

#2 Mom’s diary, March 2013.

Sunday evening

We came back from the photo session about an hour ago. We did not take any photos ourselves, everything was sort of secret. New IKEA kitchen, six different ones, the adds will be out in June, I think they said. If they do not photoshop away Leroy, he’ll be a star!!!

Leroy was really cool in an enormously big studio with many new smells. The crew did one photo session at first during which we did not get him to do what we wanted, or go where we decided. No amount of candy or petting helped. The photographer decided that we all should take a break, and let the star rest a bit. She seemed nice, and worked with animals before. Cats are the hardest to film or capture on pictures in arranged situations, they do as they want. 🙂 And Siamese and Orientals even more so than others.

The second shot got much better, Leroy started exploring the main set, not only all the tunnels and the dark parts of the studio. We got to rest for 30 more minutes.

Leroy was completely relaxed during he third attempt. He went everywhere we wanted, looked for candy and was as cool as he is at home. He is not a trained cat that knows tricks and so, but he is a very clever and stable cat with a lot of charisma. The crew was happy with his body language and we wrapped the shoot. It took us half a day! It is not easy becoming a star.

Jocke and I were happy with “Leroy’s” new kitchen. It was elegant, a bit Japanese in style, minimalistic and the colors matched our Leroy perfectly (or the other way round).

Leroy is not a tiny Siamese, but maybe that is why he was cast? Who wants a skinny cat in a kitchen commercial?! 🙂 I hope that they got some good photo today, and that they do not remove him completely from the photo. The ad’s working name is called ‘Minimalisten; walk in kitchen’.

Leroy, the King!

Leroy, the cutest King ever!

#3 Leroy, May 2013

Mom is leaving the Green Room open all the time now during the summer. Sometimes I get to follow with her outside, and run around with her and Miii and Maven. I do not want to run, but I have to, there are butterflies and grass and flowers, and bushes in the backyard.

Mom and Dad are vicious people. Just when I thought that torturing me with Da Bird is the worst that could happen, they let me follow outside. I feel how the outside world is draining my energy with all it has to offer. My body is getting smaller every day. I am disappearing. I’ll melt before the autumn comes.

#4 Leroy, June 2013

Mom and Dad are ridiculous. They called me a star, got home a picture of me from IKEA for their personal use, they were happy. The picture of me that is online, in some commercial.

Leroy, ego surfing

Leroy, ego surfing

I like IKEA. They make good mouse toys. I like the white ones the most.

Other Siamese owners must be envious of Mom and Dad. Well, it is their fault they have strong characters and no heart and starve their cats. Mom and Dad are easily broken, and why would IKEA ever hire a skinny Siamese for the kitchen commercial. Hello? Of course it had to be me.

IKEA took over the world and stayed on top for many decades. They know a star when they see one. The next stop – Hollywood!

Again, Heidi Klum, watch and learn; here I come!

P.S. I wonder if Mom got paid and what did she do with all that money. If she bought more Tasteless Mud for it, I’ll stare at her until she starts crying. Bad Mom. Where is my Tasty Crap?! My star tummy needs its Tasty Crap!!! Humans are impossible to teach and train! Arrrgh.

P.P.S. Nisse* is not called Nisse, I forgot his real name.

***

Leroy’s picture online at Ikea’s site can be seen here:

IKEA, kök

Previous parts of Leroy’s diary can be found here:

The fat Siamese diary – week #1

The fat Siamese diary – part #2

The fat Siamese diary – part #3 (Exhibition)

56 days

Today is 56 days since Claire was mated. There is about 7-10 days only left until Claire’s kittens arrive, and 10 days after that Jossan’s. We saw movements in both of their bellies. So exciting! We are getting more nervous.

Claire has gained a lot of weight since the mating – 950gr, but that is hard to see. Siamese are very long cats and somehow they manage to distribute all that newly gained weight so that it is not that visible. 🙂 Her tummy was pretty prominent and looked big until about 1-2 weeks ago, when the babies seem to have moved down in a way. Jossans seems to be carrying more kittens than Claire.

20131019Jossan

Jossan, resting. About 17-20 days to go

Claire, balancing on the chair

Claire, balancing on the chair, 7-10 days to delivery

20131019ClaireJossan

Claire, bombing the picture and stealing the candy from Jossan

20131019JossanTongue

Jossan, geting another candy

Here is also a video of the Siamese from this morning. Sorry about the mess in the background. 😦

Jossan is picking the food and candy from one of her favorite toys, and at the same time Jocke is trying to take a good photo of Leroy. He calls him ‘Tjockis’ which in Swedish means something like ‘fatso’ and Leroy understands the word and gets offended! Look at his tail! He gets really upset when someone calls him ‘tjockis’. Well, who wouldn’t? I sound silly, since my voice gets ridicilous when I talk to cats and I tell Leroy that he is cute and handsome, not a ‘fatso’.

You can also see a bit better how Claire’s and Jossan’s tummies look like!

The cats seem to feel great. They eat more of the Queens RC food which has high fat and protein content which Leroy finds irresistible and he started to put on some extra weight again! :/

About TF, the parasite which I wrote about previously, we have nothing dramatic to say. The cats feel great and if we did not have them tested we would not notice much of a difference now. The smell of their stool is still foul, but the consistency is ok, most of the time. No irritation, no problems at all. They are happy and healthy, eat well and show nothing out of order.

I’ve been reading for days and weeks all I could find and am still reading more about TF, treatments, symptoms, medications and so on. I’ve talked to helpful people whose cats had TF and who cured them. I am optimistic and not too worried. This parasite is less troublesome or damaging than many other things cats can get. It is treatable and often cats can even get rid of it themselves.

Knowledge and science FTW! Only the best care is good enough for our beloved fur babies. And I wish that for all other pets, all of them deserve love and care.

In the shadows

What I will write about today is something that a few of other cat owners experience as well, but not all are open about it. Some rather go through that in silence and I understand why. But I want to tell about what we are going through and if possible help others with our story.

Claire was mated just a little bit before our story begins and we  were not sure yet if she stayed pregnant.  Jossan had a date that we drove back to his Mom the previous day. The day the story starts, I came home from work and went to the litter boxes to clean them. Claire followed me, and she went on one of the litter boxes in front of me and did #2. Her stool did not look as usual; it was softer, shinier, and there was a little red streak in it. It smelled bad. I felt dizzy and my heart started racing when I saw that particular streak, and I got so scared. What I saw was blood, I understood that.

Joakim had just entered the house, and I showed him what I saw. Claire stared at us with her beautiful blue eyes, wondering why we look so upset and then she happilly ran away hunting for a toy.

I followed her to the upper floor, got to my computer and started googling for the symptoms while calling a veterinary. Our vet had already closed for the day so I called another clinic that is also pretty good. While waiting to talk to the veterinary, I managed to google that the blood in the stool that looked as Claire’s did, light and almost transparent, was just an irritation in the large intestine, and usually not a sign off something serious. OK, that was not bad.

The veterinary was not too worried, cat diarrhea is the most common cause for a veterinary visit, and often there is not a serious cause behind it (in 80% of cases). I said that Claire was pregnant and, sure, if she gets fine by tomorrow, I can accept it as a one time thing, but if it continues, I want to book a time for a checkup. And so we booked the first available time they had, two days later, and I would call and cancel it if Claire got well.

She did not get better. We ran to another clinic the same night and bought special food for cats with diarrhea, gave her probiotics and extra nutrients in a concentrated paste.

Then Leroy got bad. He ate a lot of grass the previous day, so I thought that that is why, but his stool smelled so bad and now we had two cats that were bad in tummy and I started feeling very anxious. Our cats are almost never sick. They can eat whatever, their tummies are fine. And that smell, you just know that something is wrong.

The next day we took both Leroy and Claire to the veterinary to a booked visit. Our furry babies were very cute and cuddly, a picture perfect clinically healthy cats. No fever, happy, good appetite, clear eyes and all. She took a smear from their bottoms (not appreciated!) and looked under the microscope (we knew before and she mentioned that it is not a 100% certain she will find something that way, even if it is there). No, nothing.

But I knew something was wrong.  Although our cats behaved as always, did not go down at all in weight and ate well, that smell and feeling something is wrong was enough. We agreed to collect samples of their stool for some time and send it to SVA (Swedish Veterinary Institute).

I googled and read studies and other sites and discussion boards frenetically. I was certain what it was. Tritrichomonas Foetus, the odd parasite that came to the cat population around 1999, and no one knows how; before it was something that mostly plagued cows. I mailed Casper’s mom Désirée that is a veterinary and researcher also at SVA, but works with birds, and she gave me advice and support and told me for which tests to ask for TF; it was a so called PCR test. We also would test for Giardia and other parasites.And so we sent the collected samples.

As the days went by, all of our cats occasionally got bad stool. The veterinary said that it was too late to separate them anyway, they already were all probably infected with whatever they might have had. What we should focus on was to keep them happy and healthy and not stress them. I called and informed the owner of the guys our girls dated what I worried about and the tests I sent for. She was very worried as well. Her cats were symptom free, but there are symptom-free carriers of TF.

A week later, even before the results came back, I was completely certain that our cats had TF. I read many many things about it, and exchanged plenty of mails with Des, Casper’s Mom, and Jossan’s breeder, my friend Monica. The cats felt absolutely fine, except that it smelled awful in their litter boxes and they sometimes had bad consistency of their poo. Not all the time, maybe 50% in average, it was all good. But not all the same cats all the time had bad stool; it varied. But they played, Claire went up in weight (we weighed the cats every day) and started eating more and more. They slept and ate as before and all was as before. Except for the litter box thing. I checked their bottoms every day to see if they got irritated or swollen, but they were fine.

And then the results came. The veterinary called and said that she was sorry, but it was TF, as I thought. I felt terrible and at the same time relieved. The thing is that Joakim and I were very worried, we did not not sleep or eat well all that time. I could have been wrong about TF, and something else could have been the culprit of the foul smell and the bad tummies. A virus or a bacteria that could kill the unborn kittens and make our cats really sick. Or not kill the kittens, but give them all kind of deformities. Or something that could kill the moms to be, give them inflammation of the uterus etc… I am a breeder and know other breeders, I heard all kind of things that other experienced during their years as breeders. You see pictures of fluffy cute kittens in all these catteries, including ours, and that is true, breeding is an amazing experience, but then, there is that other side of the coin; cats can get sick and bad things can happen. And we must do our best to help them stay healthy and recover fast when sick!

Let me tell you a little about TF.

Tritrichomonas Foetus is a small parasite, it is a single-celled protozoa, flagellate. It looks pretty nasty when enlarged, but it is very small.

The fact is that TF does not actually make cats go down in condition. The parasite lives in the large intestine and causes diarrhea or actually soft poo at times. It smells really bad. At some cats it gives no symptoms at all! All the nutrition from food is already taken and absorbed in the small intestine before it gets to the region where TF resides. That is why cats do not get sick or lose weight. TF does not affect unborn kittens or cats’ condition. Our cats do not go to the toilet more often either. It is the consistency that is sometimes different. And that smell. It is awful.

TF is not contagious for humans.

There are studies in Britain and Norway that were done on taking samples from all the cats on cat shows and it turns out that between 20% and 31% of all the cats had TF! Some had other parasites as well, as for example Giardia.

I think that it is a responsible behavior to treat it, sell only TF -free cats and stop spreading of TF. We could sell a seemingly healthy kittens with TF, but it could give it to other cats and occasional (or in some cases – everyday) diarrhea is not fun to deal with. Our cats have very mild symptoms, but some cats get worse; it depends on their overall health, I guess.

I think that it is not acceptable to sell the cats that are sick or even symptom-free carriers of parasites. Not only  that by selling kittens with problems you would give a lot of emotional and economical stress to the new owners, it is also that we love our cats and kittens with all of our hearts, and we would never give them such a bad start in life that would lead into continued illness and possible misery. TF usually heals on its own on 90% of cats even without medications in average of 9 months. In two years the most of them are fine; about 60% are parasite-free. About 40% are suspected to stay symptom free carriers for longer.

There is a bit of hysteria about TF (when we do not know much about something, we get scared, and sometimes even worse than scared). I read that some claim that TF kills cats, kittens etc. TF does not kill kittens. To quote one of the experts on TF, professor Danielle Gunn-Moore, it is unlikely that kittens with TF die from TF or the diarrhea caused by it. It is much more likely that Giardia or another bacterial, viral or parasitic condition was also present in the kittens if they died, and that it was one of those that were as yet undetected that kills the kittens.

This was confirmed by one of our  veterinaries, Katharina (she works with Buba and she is also an excellent veterinary). I talked today with her, and told her what we have and that we will have kittens soon. We will be able to run to them immediately if the kittens get dehydrated and need some extra liquid under their skin or vitamins, if it comes to that. Although, we tested for other things, and we do not have anything but TF, so the kittens will most likely be fine even if they get TF from the big cats. But it feels good to have  veterinary support even before the kittens turn 12 weeks and all the cats can be medicated and cured. We will try to prevent the kittens from getting TF by separating their litter box from moms’ litter boxes.

We are also in contact with other veterinaries (the cats will be treated when the kittens are big enough at the first clinic we went to, Linnea is also very good veterinary and they will help us get the medicine from abroad, on a licence) and the SVA’s parasitic laboratory and I am mailing some more of the world experts on TF, since abroad  (especially in the US) people have more experience with TF than we in Sweden. Plenty of knowledgable people are involved!

Our cats and kittens to come will be taken care of and treated and move to their new homes when they are tested and given a clean bill of health.

This may be a hard few months ahead of us, but we will do our best.

Informative links about TF:

http://www.icatcare.org/advice-centre/cat-health/tritrichomonas-foetus-infection-cats
http://www.catplanet.co.uk/index.php/magazine/articles/303-tritrichomonas-foetus-tritrix
http://www.cvm.ncsu.edu/docs/documents/ownersguide_tfoetus_revised_122009_final.pdf
http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_tritrichomonas_foetus.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC427826/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19653162

In Swedish, about both Giardia and TF:

http://www.sogrupp.se/2012/06/tritrichomonas-foetus-giardia/