I can't believe how quickly 2019 went! One day it was here and the next it was gone! The cats and I had a great year minus a few major issues. 2020 has started off well as far as everyone's health! Pudding is growing so very fast and Oreo's health is now stable. Oreo has been off of the Phenobarbital for a couple of months now (as directed by our vet) and his health is back to normal. It was definitely in his best interest to wait on any further stressful testing and I'm so glad our vet allowed us to make the decision to hold off on the MRI. I think the rest itself helped him a lot. As far as what happened and seeing that he's OK now, the vet feels it may have been related to a virus and it just needed to run it's course. Hopefully 2020 will be a healthier year all around.
Onyx had a bit of an issue during the holidays, but she is OK now. She had the runs for a few days and we consulted our vet just before Christmas. She was given an antibiotic and things cleared up pretty quickly. Since then, she has been fine! Pudding definitely helps to keep both Oreo and Onyx active by playing and chasing them around the condo. Sometimes they enjoy Pudding's energy and sometimes, well, not so much, lol! Regardless, the three get along really well and seem to appreciate one another most of the time.
Just before the Holidays I sent away for a DNA test for Pudding. We just recently got the results back this week and I am pleasantly surprised! It turns out that Pudding's DNA makeup is closest to that of a Siberian cat! I had my suspicions that he would turn out to be a Siberian and I am more than thrilled to know for sure that I have one as a family member! The test itself really breaks down a lot of information and it's super interesting to see how they come up with the result. They break the DNA down into categories and give you a description of each including history, personality traits and any known health issues associates to each breed. I thought this was a really fun experience and I definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking to know more about their cat's breed. The test itself only takes a few second to do and a few weeks to get back the complete results. For more information about Basepaws and their testing kits please visit their website!
Here's some of the info pulled from Pudding's test:
As time goes by, Oreo becomes more and more himself. It's been over a month now since the last seizure (October 4th) and when he began the Phenobarbital. Since then, Oreo has come a long way. I had the meeting with the Animal Communication Specialist this week. It was very interesting and very informative. Although some may not believe that humans can be sensitive enough to actually communicate with animals, I believe some of us can. Some of the things she said really made a lot of sense and I was very grateful to have taken the appointment. She explained that all animals are sensitive, but some can be much more sensitive than others. Not sensitive in the way of emotions but sensitive as far as electrical energy emitted by devices and Wifi. This type of radiation is known as EMF radiation and there is quite a lot of substantial documentation about it online.
The more we dove into what happened to Oreo and took a look at his surroundings, the more her theory made sense to me. As a freelancer and online worker, my home is full of technology. There are either computers or devices in every room and my place is not that big. The Wifi is constantly on and I am in front of a screen most of the day. I've taken some simple measures, like turning off the Wifi at night, to help make the environment safer for my cats and for myself. I've also purchased some EMF neutralizer kit for my home. I spoke with our veterinarian last weekend and seeing as Oreo has not had another seizure, she feels it's alright to wait on the MRI. He has been doing much better and if he doesn't need to be put through the stress at this moment in time, it's preferable to wait a while to see how things continue to progress. He will still have to go to see our vet for a follow up, but it will be much less stressful than having to spend the entire day sedated in a veterinary hospital an hour away from home. He will continue to be monitored for the time being and the Phenobarbital will also be diminished to see how he fairs without it. I've set aside the offset of funds collected from donations in a separate account and will keep it specifically for Oreo and whatever else he may need in regards to everything that has happened. I have to admit that I am relieved that we can wait on the scan seeing how nervous I was about it in the first place. My stress level has dropped substantially since the appointment was cancelled.
As you've all seen through our recent videos, Oreo, Onyx and Pudding have been getting along really well! I am so happy! Although Pudding can be very high energy and sometimes he's a bit much for the two others, he has been accepted completely as a part of the family. I am really looking forward to seeing him grow up. I am so glad that we found each other, even if I was not planning on having another family member. They always seem to find us when we least expect it!
This week has been pretty good so far, knock on wood! Oreo seems to be feeling much better and his spirits are brighter. I can still see the anger in his face when Pudding gets on his nerves, but then again sometimes Oreo even instigates it in the first place. He is still not bouncing around but I've gotten rid of the laser toy ever since the first seizure happened. Oreo's bounces generally begin while playing with the laser. The neurologist did tell me that contrary to popular belief, laser toys don't cause seizures in cats. So maybe I'll get a new one once he's feeling better. I've tried taking out the catnip and throwing around the ball with him but as soon as Pudding enters the fun, Oreo is out of there! Both Oreo and Onyx kind of move away and allow for Pudding to go nuts. Oreo did show some interest in playing with one of the wand toys this week which was nice to see. I guess things just need more time. Pudding's energy level is still really high and both Oreo and Onyx seem to allow him to have front and center stage when it comes to playing.
Oreo has allowed Pudding to play with him a few times over the past week as long as it stays within the means of what he's comfortable with. He's eating well and I've been able to start taking pictures of him and filming with him once again. Regardless, things won't be the same as they were because I still prefer that he work less for his own well being. So he won't be playing multiple characters in videos like he used to unless I film it over the course of a few days. I am doing my best to give him minimal work and split it up between myself all of the cats. Working with him this week, I could sense that he misses it. Perhaps he misses the time we spend together while working, or then again maybe it's just the treats!
Last weekend I went to visit my parents for lunch one afternoon and as I opened the closet to get my jacket out, Oreo bolted and hid under the bed. I realized that it was the closet his carrier is kept in and he probably thought he was going to have to go to the vet again. I gently pulled him out from under the bed and set him down in my covers and gave him a big kiss and told him he was not going anywhere. He kind of froze up, didn't want to move and whimpered. I felt so bad. He has obviously really been affected by everything that has happened. I am glad that we still have a couple of weeks before his MRI so that he has more time to rest. As far as it is right now, I don't want to bring him for the scan. Things seem alright and I am still petrified to put him under anesthesia, mainly because of how he reacted to it when he choked on the cat treat last winter. It was not a good experience for either of us. Regardless, the final decision will come after I have the appointment with the Animal Communication Specialist on the 12th. If at that point it's decided that we cancel it, I will make an appointment with a Homeopath/Holistic counselor who specializes in animals. I had contacted her a few weeks ago but because of the cost of the MRI, I don't want to spend money on anything else beforehand. She comes to the house to work with the animal which is great because that means no stress for Oreo as far as having to travel. I've heard great things about her and she's been practicing for many years so we'll see how that all plays our when the time comes.
Pudding will be neutered on November 21st. I am also looking forward to seeing how that affects everything. Normally the energy level drops slightly once the animal is spayed/neutered. I am sure that both Oreo and Onyx will also appreciate a day without Pudding around. He will go in around 8:30 am that morning and should be ready to be picked up around 3 pm. I can't believe how quickly he is growing! They get big so fast!
After looking into the other clinic available for the MRI, there's a waiting list just to see the neurologist. That would mean that the actual MRI would only be scheduled after the Holidays. I finally got a call back from the neurologist at the previous clinic I went to. She called me yesterday and I explained to her that I do not want anything else done other than the MRI. I told her that I can pay the $3000 for the MRI but I cannot afford a $10,000 vet bill because she suddenly decides that other things need to be done. I asked a few questions regarding the appointment and procedure and told the doctor that I prefer to bring Oreo on the morning of the appointment and wait for him all way. She agreed that what I suggested is fine. I am concerned about putting Oreo under anesthesia but I know that we have to in order to do the exam. The doctor said that she is not worried about the anesthesia as Oreo is healthy otherwise. Still... I worry. I hope there are no other complications. I am petrified to make the wrong choice for him.
The date of the appointment for the MRI is on November 14th. I'll have a few weeks to get mentally ready for it and Oreo will have some time to rest before putting him through more stress. The appointment with the Animal Communication Specialist is on November 12th. I am glad it's before the MRI. I am hoping she will be able to give me some insight and maybe some helpful tools in order to keep both Oreo and I calm that day. I am so worried that something will happen or that he doesn't really need it and I'll be putting him through madness for nothing. I just want to do what's right for him. The neurologist said that she can dose Oreo for the Phenobarbital on the day of the MRI as well. He would otherwise have to go back to his regular vet and do it there beforehand. It's probably best everything is done at once so he has the least amount of stress possible. Oreo is awful during blood tests so it may be better to have it done while he is sleeping on the day of the MRI. That way there's no back and forth again also. I think having a bit of time before the test will also help to see how he does for a few weeks with no added stressers other than Pudding. Oreo has not shown any signs of other seizure activity since that last one on the 4th of October.
I am really looking forward to speaking with the Animal Communication Specialist. What she does is really intriguing. She is known around the province for what she does and she even teaches her profession. She has worked with many animals of many different sizes and species. I really hope that she is able to connect with Oreo and help him to feel more at ease. I am sure I will learn a few things as well. I've been reading articles about her and watching interviews. She seems like a very special lady and people from around the world come to her for consultations. Oreo won't have to go anywhere for the consultation either. Everything is done at home so that he can remain comfortable.
Oreo has been getting back into the swing of things slowly but he's still not bouncing around like he normally does. I really miss seeing him play like that. I know he probably gets pretty pooped out from Pudding chasing him around so he may not have the energy for bouncing. Regardless, I hope he will be able to enjoy himself that way again. I've been doing my best to try and help him but sometimes I just feel like my best is not enough. I love him so much adn I just want him to be OK. Thanks again to everyone who has been following for all of your support, generosity and kindness. I'll keep updating the blog weekly as we approach the MRI date.
I spoke with Oreo's regular vet last evening about all of the happenings this week. I told her about the appointment with the neurologist and what was mentioned about the Phenobarbital. Oreo's vet was very honest in saying that she feels Oreo really should have the MRI for various reasons. She also understood my concern and the need to get a second opinion. My vet also explained to me that normally a Vestibular disorder is not something that comes and goes in small doses like Oreo experienced. Vestibular disorder will cause the cat to lose their balance and walk in circles, usually with a head tilt. They will continue to do this for days or even weeks until it passes. Oreo didn't walk in circles, nor does he have a head tilt and what happened was quick, under 2 minutes. This is why she feels it was more seizure related. Seizures usually last anywhere from a few seconds to around 5 minutes. Whether the seizures were caused by an onset of stress or not, we can't really know for sure until we see what's going on inside of his brain. As far as the Phenobarbital, she explained that even though it is a low dose, there is always a risk of the animal getting another seizure when being taken off of it. So she feels that he should stay on it until I either get a second opinion or he has the actual MRI. To actually go and get the second opinion, it's an hour away and another $250. I hate having to put him through all of this. I am so tired and I know he is tired and fed up too.
I am still really torn with all of this. I wish that Oreo didn't have to go for this test, period. I am worried about things that could happen during the procedure, worried about the anesthesia and worried about him being alone with people I don't know and away from me for so many hours. No matter where I take him to get the exam done, it's going to be a long drive and a very long day for the both of us. I think the only way I will be able to do this is to drive him in myself that morning and stay at the clinic all day and wait for him. That way I will be there if anything happens. Pudding and Onyx will be ok on their own for the day. I can bring a book or maybe my laptop with a few movies on it and just wait. I have a pet camera that I can access from anywhere as well so I'd be able to check on the others every so often. I just wish I was not such a nervous driver to top it all off, especially driving in the dark. I just know that I need to be there with Oreo, for my own sanity and also for moral support for him. I think he will know I am there even if I'm not in the same room as him.
On a brighter note, Oreo seems to be acting a bit more himself these past couple of days. Yesterday he tried to catch the drops on the shower door like he always does. I have not seen him do that in weeks. I can see that he is still not very happy about Pudding, even if he loses himself in playtime every now and then. Pudding is really high energy and sometimes Oreo just isn't in the mood. I think a lot of his stress is probably based around Pudding being here and that fact that he's not always the center of attention like he normally is. Pudding kind of came in and took over the peace and quiet for all of us. I love him dearly, but my goodness he makes a mess!
I spoke to an Animal Communication Specialist yesterday. She specializes in communication and healing. She asked me if Oreo has a microchip and I said yes. She said that she just recently had a case with a dog where his microchip was causing him to have seizures. She said it's not impossible that Oreo could have experienced the same thing especially seeing that I have a lot of technology in his living space. She said that the dog had the microchip removed and he no longer has seizures. Unfortunately, microchip removal is a lot more harmful than implantation. The chip is so small it's often quite hard to locate and the animal is always at risk when being under anesthesia. Many vets won't do microchip removal because of the dangers associated with it. I did take the specialist's advice and ordered some EMF Neutralizers that I can place around our home. At the small price I got them for, it doesn't hurt to try. I had never thought of this stuff before but it makes sense. I am online all the time and I have computers and devices in every room. Oreo and I have an appointment with the Animal Communication specialist in a couple of weeks for a communication / healing session.
I really want to be able to do the right thing for Oreo. My brain still needs some rest but I don't want to wait too long either. My vet also mentioned that we can wait until it's one month that Oreo has been on the Phenobarbital and do his blood tests. They will know for sure at that point if the dosage is actually doing anything or not. If it's not actually doing anything at that point, we can try weaning him off of it slowly. Regardless, it's still better to have the MRI done in order to help rule out any other serious conditions. I wish that I could switch places with him for all of this. I would rather go and do it for him than have him go through all of this.
It's unbelievable how hard it can be when deciding what's best for your pet. You want to be sure they have the best treatment possible without adding more stress to the current problem. I want to thank all of you who answered my plea for advice last evening. I finally did get the estimate late last night (a total of $3033), however, still no call back. It was also explained that the estimate given is not final as there are other charges that can be incurred on the date of the exam. So in all reality, the estimate is not really an estimate. As much as I appreciated the time the doctor took to speak with me during the initial appointment the other day, I now have reservations about leaving Oreo at the clinic. I know that they have all of the latest technology and it's the only place you can really go for tests like Oreo was suggested to undergo. I just have this feeling that I really don't like about it all. You guys are right and I need to go with my gut on this one. I know that the place will sill be there after I've gotten a second opinion and I'll still be able to make another appointment if and when I decide it's the right thing to do.
I think so much has happened in the past few weeks and the answers have been so vague that I am having a real hard time trusting people. I also feel that Oreo needs a break and some time to enjoy himself at home without being dragged to another test or clinic. So I've decided to get a second opinion and try to find a Holistic or Naturopathic vet. I also found an Animal Communications Specialist but for whatever reason the appointments only seem to be by phone or Skype and not on site. I am not completely sure how it works but at this point I will try anything! If anyone has any additional information, please feel free to share it!
I have decided that I will also try the CBD Oil that many of you have suggested. I asked the neurologist about it the other day and she said that it won't hurt him and that many people choose to use it as an alternative therapy. So I know that there is no danger in trying it. I will try and find a local company that sells it for pets. There was an American company that had contacted me on Instagram and said they'd send me some but I don't think it will be able to be sent over the border. I think I am better off finding some here.
Ideally I would also like to take Oreo off the Phenobarbital as the neurologist said that she didn't think it was actually doing anything at the dose he has anyway. I will contact my regular vet about this today and see what they think. If they agree that we should try taking him off it, I am sure they will give me the process in order to do that. I don't know if Oreo will have to see my vet again for blood tests before going off of the meds. It's possible.
When I decided this last evening I felt a sigh of relief. I was actually able to sleep last night for the first time in weeks. I've been having these horrible nightmares that Oreo is drowning and I have to save him. I wake up in a pool of sweat and tears. Last night I slept through the whole night not even getting up once to go to the bathroom. That's pretty good because I always wake up at least once during the night. I will keep you guys posted on the progress we make. I know many of you have sent in donations already for the MRI and I thank all of you for your help. I will put everything aside and save it for what comes next. Even if he has the MRI is in a few weeks instead, we will have everything we need to cover it at that point in time.
I cannot thank you all enough for your help, kindness and generosity. I felt awful having second thoughts last nigh, but after reading everyone's comments, I feel much better and I am so glad I asked you all for advice.
The Oreo Cat calendars will continue to be available until the New Year. They're super cute and they make great Holiday gifts! I get $5 for each one sold and will put it towards towards vet bills.
Many of you have asked if you can just donate a few dollars so I made a PayPal link for $3 here: https://www.paypal.me/TModugno/3USD
Tina and Oreo.
Yesterday after the neurology appointment I asked to have a detailed breakdown of all of the expenses sent to me. I asked once while paying the bill at the clinic and the girl at the cash said someone would call me later that day. Someone did call and leave me a message but they didn't even mention cost. All they said was that it would be fine if I brought Oreo the night before, which was one of my questions. So I called the clinic back and asked again that a detailed estimate be sent to me by email and that the doctor please call me back because I have questions. The receptionist said sure and if no one had answered me by 1 pm today to call them back. No one answered me again today so I called back at 1:30 and asked again. They said that something would be sent to me and someone would call back. It's now 7 pm and I've still not gotten any information whatsoever. To be honest, it doesn't make me feel very good. If a client is going to spend upwards of $3000 on a digital imaging exam for their pet, they're questions need to be answered. I am really not feeling very good about this situation and I am starting to have doubts about bringing Oreo back for the exam. I am already nervous enough about leaving him overnight and the fact that no one is answering me leaves me very frustrated and uncomfortable. I really don't know what to do and I am wondering if I should look elsewhere for a second opinion.
ThankThere are not many veterinary neurologists in my area and I've already checked prices at each one. They're relatively the same or more expensive so no matter where we go, we'll dish out the same amount of cash. I am just wondering if someone else would be more attentive to our needs. This is my baby and I don't feel right leaving Oreo with people I don't know unless I have every single solitary question answered. I don't feel it's right that no one has called me back or provided a complete estimate as of yet. I understand vets are busy, but providing a client with an estimate can easily be done by a secretary and should be done when it's asked for or even right there on site.
I don't know if I am over thinking things because I am tired but I just don't feel good about it. I'd love to know your thoughts in the comments. Thanks so much for any insight!
*** I should add that the clinic is rather far. It’s about 40 minutes away with no traffic. I also called another clinic around an hour away and asked for prices. Theirs are pretty hefty too. I looked up the MRI in particular and it will range anywhere from $2000 - $4000 in my area. Sometimes the meds to make the animal sleep are included, sometimes not.
So I finally got the "estimate" emailed to me this evening at 8pm in the midst of all your replies. I won't post the email but it mentions that the estimate is not "final" and that it doesn't include any other possible expenses that could be uncured during the exam such as difficulties with anesthesia and other things. I would not doubt that there would be extra charges at the end of it from the way the email reads anyway. I still, however, have not gotten a call back from the doctor to answer my questions. After seeing all of your comments, I've decided to get a second opinion. I think it will help to give me peace of mind. I know the average price now regardless. Thanks so much for all of your comments.
Oreo saw the neurologist with Oreo today and they watched the video I filmed of his last seizure and then did a physical examination to test his reflexes and a few other things. The neurologist told me that what Oreo shows in the video is not typical of a seizure. She explained that Focal seizures can happen and their effects could very possibly be what Oreo experienced, but it may not even be a seizure at all. She said that it may also be caused by a Vestibular disorder. She was not even convinced that the Phenobarbital is doing anything or is even needed. In order to rule out any brain lesions or other things, Oreo will have an MRI next Tuesday. This will help the neurologist to understand if it his episodes are really being caused by seizures or by something else. This will also help indicate if he needs to continue to stay on the medication or not, or if he needs something else entirely. For now, out of safety precautions, we will keep him on the low dose until we have the results of the MRI.
The neurologist was very thorough in answering all of my questions and the clinic itself is very impressive. I will bring Oreo in next Monday afternoon and he will have to stay overnight. He will have his MRI next Tuesday morning and I will be able to pick him up late afternoon. The doctor suggested that I leave him this afternoon so that he could pass the MRI tomorrow morning but I was really not prepared to leave him there. I thought about it, but I was too upset and emotional to be able to do it today. If I had known beforehand that he would have needed to stay, I would have prepared myself for it. It was not an emergency so the doctor said that next week would be just as good. This way I will have a week to prepare myself for him to be gone overnight.
Oreo still seems to be doing better with the lower dose of Phenobarbital but it would be even better if he wound up not needing it at all. He's still in a bit of a bad mood and even the doctor said that he had quite a personality while she and the technician examined him. Lol, that's my Oreo!
Once again, I want to thank everyone for all of your thoughts and prayers as well as the help you've given us in paying for Oreo's bill so far. The MRI itself will cost $2800 plus tax. I don't have the full estimate at the moment, they are supposed to send it to me by email. There will most probably be additional charges as Oreo needs to be sedated in order to do the exam. I have a lump in my throat just thinking about all of this. It's really expensive. Today's appointment was another $200.
The Oreo Cat calendars will continue to be available until the New Year. They're super cute and they make great Holiday gifts! I get $5 for each one sold and will put it towards towards vet bills.
Thank you all for your support. I would have never been able to do all of this without you guys. You are our angels and we are truly blessed.
This weekend is Thanksgiving in Canada. Monday is also Onyx's birthday. Thanksgiving weekend is also my dad's birthday. There's a family lunch planned on Monday to celebrate the holiday as well as my dad's birthday. I'd like to go because I've not seen my family since all of this began with Oreo. At the same time I am super worried. Being gone a few hours will mean that I can't watch him. I have a pet camera that I can use when I am out of the house, but it's not the same as being home. Thankfully, my family lives less than 10 minutes away in Ontario. I kind of need to get out and change my thoughts for a little while too. I feel awful feeling that, but it's been very heavy on my heart and mind and my brain feels like mush. I am thinking to maybe just go for an hour and eat with them and skip desert. Hopefully the cats will sleep during that time.
I brought down Oreo's dose of Phenobarbital last evening. I already see small changes this morning. Every morning when I get up, Oreo usually always follows me into the bathroom and sits by the toilet and sticks his face in my feet. Then he normally goes to sit on the bath mat while I wash my face and proceeds to clean his legs. This morning he did that, so I was happy. He only cleaned one leg, but one is much better than none! While I was getting ready for classes, I found him with a ball in his mouth. As many of you know, this is an Oreo staple. I've not seen him do it since all of this started so I was really happy to see him with a ball in his mouth this morning!
Pudding got him to run around a little bit once again this morning as well. I thank God for this little orange fuzz ball. Without him around I think Oreo would sleep all day. Pudding forces him to get up and move around even if he doesn't want to. Yesterday afternoon Pudding chased him around for a good 20 minutes and the the two of them fell asleep together on top of the kitchen table afterwards. I was floored when I walked into the kitchen to see them both lying there snuggled next to one other.
I've been getting some comments on Oreo's social media asking me to "bring Oreo back". As much as I appreciate how fond everyone is of him, I hope everyone can understand that he is unable to make videos like we normally do at the moment. I am having a hard time with it also and I miss working with him, but I feel it's best right now to let him rest. He has been very aggressive this past week and it's just not the time to have him pose in front of the camera. I have been doing my best to get him in on the action in any way that I can, but I don't feel right having him act for the time being. When he is ready, I know he will show me in his own way. Pudding has been fantastic! I am floored at how easy it is to work with him already. I don't even have to use treats, but just a few toys with ribbons and bells. He doesn't seem to mind the camera at all either. I have a feeling he will probably be able to do many of the things that Oreo can do and I am excited and eager to work more with him.
I've also gotten a lot of comments about the use of CBD Oil. I will definitely ask the neurologist about this product at Oreo's appointment on Tuesday and see what she thinks. If this is something that she feels would be helpful, I am sure we will be able to get a prescription for the appropriate dose. I don't want to give him anything without the OK of the vet for the time being. This also goes for food and diet changes. Although I appreciate the opinions and insight I have been receiving, I think it's important to stick to the instructions from Oreo's veterinarian as far as what he should and should not eat. Every cat is different and we cannot make assumptions that one food brand is bad or good. We also need to be weary of things we read online. Not everything we read is truthful and unfortunately, people can sometimes be dishonest. In a case like Oreo's, I feel the smartest thing to do is to follow the advice of his doctor.
I want to thank all of you once again for all of the love and support we've received through social media in the past couple of weeks. I am so grateful to have all of you. Your kindness, love and generosity is unsurpassed and may God bless you all!
The medication has been really hard on Oreo so far. All he has been doing is sleeping and eating. He doesn't want to play, he's in a terrible mood and he won't even wash himself. Every time I have to give him his pill, I literally want to cry. I hate seeing him like this, it's really breaking my heart. I phoned my vet yesterday and they got back to me last night. They're going to adjust the dose so that it's half of what he is taking now. I am going to pick up the new prescription today. I really hope that lessening the dose will help because as it is now, it's stopping any seizures but it's not helping him at all mentally or psychologically. Oreo has a lot of fluff and usually spends hours a day grooming himself and since he has begun the medication he is a mess. I would love to be able to bathe him but he'll scratch my eyes out if I try.
La Presse newspaper came to interview me for a piece on cats in the media yesterday afternoon and Oreo was horrible. Normally Oreo is really good with people. He is curious, inviting and gentle. Yesterday he almost bit the reporter and he growled at me when I tried to pick him up. Pudding helped to lighten the mood a little bit with his cuteness. I feel awful for Oreo. I wish that there was something more I could do for him to help the situation. I've still been putting calming videos on TV for him daily. The TV will stay on for 12 hours straight with videos of fish, birds, water or forests. He seems to enjoy them.
I have been trying to force Oreo to move around a little bit before dinner time by playing with a wand toy. He'll have a few moments where he swats the toy or does a little hop and spin. In those short moments, I can still see Oreo in his eyes. The moments don't last long though. Yesterday he came to nibble on my socks which is something he usually always does. Oreo will often chase me around the condo and try to nibble on my socks or slippers. It was nice to see him do that yesterday, even if it was only for a few seconds. Oreo and Onyx sat butt to butt sprawled out on the kitchen floor last night also. It's something I've not seen him do for a couple of weeks so it was nice to see. Pudding has been forcing Oreo to get up and move around. Onyx has taken to playing with Pudding this week since her better half doesn't seem too interested. She and Pudding will set themselves on my bookshelf with pudding on a lower shelf and Onyx on a higher one. They'll try to catch one another's paws through the openings in the shelf. This morning the two of them were sprawled out on my bed together. It's nice to see them getting along. I think Onyx will definitely appreciate Pudding and his energy while Oreo is in his current condition.
I hope that things get better. It's really hard for me to see Oreo like this. I don't know if he will ever be completely himself again after all of this. I really hope that lowering the dose of his medication helps him to smile again and to enjoy the things he used to enjoy.
Since Oreo started the Phenobarbital on Friday, his body is still adjusting. My vet told me that it can take a couple of weeks for him to adjust so I still need to give it some time. He has little spurts of energy where he almost seems like himself and then he goes back to looking glassy eyed and a bit lost. Yesterday we opened his KitNipBox and that helped to get him to play and move around a bit. It seemed like he forgot he was ill for a few moments which was nice.
Yesterday I noticed that the tip of his tongue is white. I got worried and of course I called the vet. Every little thing drives me crazy with worry and fear these past few days. She had me check his gums and I tried to get a video of his tongue but of course, Murphy's Law, when you need your cat to stick their tongue out, they don't. The vet said his gums look normal and as long as the rest of his tongue is pink, there is no reason to be alarmed. It may just be a bit of dehydration making the tip of his tongue discolored. I've been adding water to his food to try and keep him hydrated. The Phenobarbital makes them thirsty and in return he's peeing a lot. He's also still having wet poops so I would guess that is what is causing the dehydration. I will keep tabs on it and see if it changes today. If not, I may bring him in again just to be on the safe side.
I've not been sleeping too well and have been concentrating on listening for any sounds of Oreo getting up at night. Each time he gets up to go to the bathroom I go and check on him. Last night he ended up stepping in his pee and got wet litter stuck on one of his back paws. Try cleaning that off... it's not easy! I had to dip his paw into some warm water to get the litter to come off. He was not happy. Then I had to dry his paw and he was not happy with that either. He made pee-pee paw marks all over the floor. I washed the floor at 3am. Oreo had a very mild fever last night also, but I think it may have been caused by the stress of having to clean his paw. I didn't want him to eat the litter and get sick from that too.
I've been putting calming videos on my television for him throughout the day. Yesterday he fell asleep watching a beach video. This morning he snoozed to the sounds of a babbling brook. I know it may seem silly, but the videos really do seem to help him to rest and relax.
I really miss my boy. I miss his spirit, his personality and his comedic nature. I miss spending time working together with him to make videos. I miss his sassy little self and his funny bunny hops. Pudding has been great through all of this so far. He seems to really feel the pain in my heart. Every time I feel like I am going to cry, he comes to snuggle with me. He's a bundle of energy but he's also a real little bundle of love. I am so glad we found one another. Pudding has been sneezing a lot the past few days. I was concerned about that too so I consulted the vet in regards to it. He doesn't have any secretions coming out of his nose so there is no cause for alarm here either. Apparently many cats can have Herpes virus in the nose and it can cause sneezes and itches. Some cats can also have things like Chronic Rhinosinusitis but if they don't have discharge, are eating, drinking and have normal energy levels it doesn't seem to be a cause for real concern. Pudding is fine otherwise, he is just sneezing a few times a day. It always seems to be after he's stuck his face into something so maybe he is also just still getting used to the new smells, dust and whatnot in his new home. All of his tests came back normal and he seems to be completely healthy otherwise so the vet suggested giving him some lysine to help boost his immune system.
So we continue on one day at a time....
Yesterday went well. Oreo seemed much brighter and he looked like he was feeling much better. This morning he seems less bright once again. He's eating, but I noticed a big load of wet poop in the litter box and he had some stuck to his fur. So I know he's got issues with that today on top of everything else. I know the week has been stressful and he also just started a new medication which makes him drink much more water than usual. He's also been eating only wet food for the past couple of days, although it's a Gastro formula so it is not likely to cause diarrhea. I am not too sure what to think. I took his temperature and he doesn't seem to have a fever, although it's sometimes hard to get an accurate reading with the ear thermometer. He's sleeping a lot, but I know that can be a side effect of the Phenobarbital along with the extra water intake. Diarrhea doesn't seem to be in the list of symptoms for that medication so I am worried. Anything is going to set my brain on constant worry for the next while.
I don't want to have to take him back to the Hospital today. The poor kid has had enough for one week. I will go for a drive later and pick him up some Fortiflora to see if that will help his poops issue. My vet is not open today so if anything else happens, I have to bring him to the 24 hour Hospital. I am hoping things will be alright today and if he still has wet poops tomorrow, I will call my vet and see what they feel we should do. For now, regardless of how he is feeling, he's still eating.
Pudding is still forcing him to get up and play this morning. Oreo doesn't seem to mind, but he's not in the mood for playing. So he just stands there and lets pudding jump all over him. He's such a good boy. Onyx ate this morning. I got her to eat some Whiskas dry food but she threw it all up right after. I don't think her stomach tolerates it as she's not used to it, but it was still good that tried. I waited a little while and gave her some warmed Fancy Feast and she gobbled it up and has not been sick again.
I am still exhausted too. I feel like I could sleep for three days. I've continued working and doing my morning classes throughout this whole ordeal. I don't want to upset the kids or the parents by taking time off. I find doing the classes each morning also helps get my mind of things for a bit. I love seeing the kids smile and laugh and it feels good to joke around with them.
I really hope Oreo will be alright. I hope the diarrhea isn't a sign of something else we'll need to worry about. I really hope it's just a side effect of everything that has happened this week. I will continue to monitor him today and if I see anything really abnormal, I will just have to take him in again. Cross your fingers that the Fortiflora will help. I'll try to go and get them asap today. At least he is not going multiple times a day. He just seems to go once in the morning and/or once in the evening so it's not constant. Perhaps I can worry less in that case. He's had it a lot worse at other moments where he's gone many times a day. Sorry this was such a s*!%ty post!
As usual, I will keep you all posted on his progress.
Oreo and I spent two and a half hours at the vet last evening. They ran a few other tests to rule out any infectious diseases and other things. All of his tests came back normal. He had a small fever while at the vet, but sometimes temperature can be elevated due to stress. Lord knows Oreo has been under a lot of stress this week in particular. All of Pudding's tests came back clean also. This is great news because it means that Oreo's condition could not have been caused by any bacteria or virus brought in by the new kitten.
The vet explained that the type of seizures Oreo is having are called Focal Seizures. These type of seizures affect one side of the brain. When they happen, the animal stays conscious and can sometimes turn towards the side of the brain the seizure is happening on (which I've noticed happen with Oreo). Oreo turns towards the left when the seizure begins. The vet said that two seizures in one week is a lot so they prescribed him Phenobarbital. Oreo will have to take this twice a day, morning and evening. In three weeks he will go in for another blood test to see how the drug is working in his system. This is a medication that needs to be adjusted according to how the animal's system reacts to the dose. Since we don't know the underlying cause of the seizures, Oreo will need to see a Neurologist and have a scan of his brain done. We have an appointment on Tuesday October 15th at 11 am.
From what I've read Focal seizures can be caused by many things such as lesions, trauma and other pretty serious issues. They can also be caused by more minor things such as loud noises, tastes, smells and bright light. I am hoping the cause of Oreo's is something more minor. I've started journaling the date, time and exterior factors at the moment of each seizure. I will keep this as well as the video I filmed of Oreo's last seizure to show the specialist. Unlike Generalized Seizures that completely paralyze the animal, Focal Seizures take much less energy and the animal usually walks away from them as though nothing happened. This is what happened to Oreo. There is still a danger of the animal hurting themselves in the case of falling of a high surface.
I've received many messages via social media in regards to seizures in pets. Many people have told me that the medication works really well and their pets have no more or very minimal seizures after being on it. I've also been informed that many pets with this condition still live long and happy lives. This is all reassuring news, even though I am still scared stiff. I've also been told about the benefits of CBD Oil for seizures. There's a CBD Oil company sending Oreo a sample to try for free. I will, of course, consult my veterinarian and specialist before administering any other types of supplements or medications.
I am so tired and my heart is hurting so much right now. I hate seeing Oreo like this and I wish that there was something more that I could do to take this away from him. He's my everything and I love him with all my heart and soul... even if he's mean to me sometimes! I just want to get to the bottom of this and find out what's wrong. If it's something like everyday noises, lights, smells or tastes, I can do my best to help avoid those things. If it's something else that I can't help... at least I will be prepared.
The vet forewarned me that Oreo will be extra tired, thirsty and hungry for the nest few days while his body gets used to the medication. Once his body adjusts, he should get back to normal. If the seizures disappear while on the Pheno, it's a good sign. If they continue, well... we'll deal with that if it happens.
Pudding is doing well. He's a purrfectly healthy little kitten as far as all of his tests have shown. He's feisty, full of energy and a real little love bucket. He keeps trying to get under the covers with me at night but I am afraid to let him sleep there because he's still too small! I don't want to roll over him accidentally. He's been sleeping in my sweater in the morning while I have classes. The students don't even know he's there unless he pokes his head out and surprises them. Yesterday, I went to pay for Pudding's adoption fee and the ladies from the rescue told me that it had been paid. Apparently someone contacted them on Facebook asking to pay the fee. They said that their daughter is in the hospital and she watches Oreo’s videos online. Oreo's videos make her happy and help her to concentrate less on being sick. I asked who it was, but the ladies from the rescue told me that the person wanted to remain anonymous and just to tell me that they are from North Carolina. I was floored. People can be really amazing. It's crazy how whenever something really bad happens, there's always something good that happens to balance things out.
Onyx is still not eating. She's always been real easy with food and since all this started she's turned her nose up at everything she'd normally eat. I tried a few different things but so far she'll just walk away from whatever I offer her or if I am lucky, she'll pick at it. I've only been successful in getting her to eat treats. I hope this doesn't continue because this will be another whole huge problem. I think I will bring her in for blood tests too, just to be sure it's really stress related and/ or behavioural and nothing else.
I want to thank all of you guys once again. I don't think I would have been able to get through this week without all of you. It's been very hard and you've all been an amazing support system. It's times like these where you see the good in the human race. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I've updated all of the expenses below. I think there are a few small bills missing that I misplaced during all the commotion. With your help, we've raised $3000 in donations to pay for Oreo's bills. I've spent around $2000 so far. I am worried about how much the specialist and the MRI will cost but I will tackle that when we get to it. My vet told me that the scan can cost around $2000.
The Oreo Cat calendars will be available until the New Year. Funds collected from these will go towards vet bills.
Tina, Oreo, Onyx and Pudding.
Oreo was OK all morning and seemed to be getting better and then all of a sudden he had another seizure this afternoon. He was looking for food, climbed up onto the TV stand and fell off. Luckily, there's a cat bed right below the TV stand, so he fell right into it. He proceeded to walk towards the couch and kind of kept low to the ground but his body and his head were shaking. I was able to film the end of it but didn't get the whole thing. I called the vet right away and we will have to return this evening at 5pm.
Oreo will definitely have to see a specialist and have a scan done to see what's going on. I was able to remain calm this time around, which I think probably helped the situation. He came out of it like nothing even happened and continued on his merry way trying to find food. I am going to start keeping a journal of the date and time and approximately how long the seizures last.
All of this is really hard. I can't help but blame myself wondering if I could have done something differently to keep this from happening. I keep praying to God that Oreo will be alright. He is my light and my joy and I don't know what I would do without him. I am exhausted and I've not had any exercise since this started happening so my energy level is very low. I also keep getting headaches. I miss making videos with him and just having a normal day.
I will keep everyone posted as to what the vet says this evening. I am sure he will be put on medication right away. So far, I've heard good things about the medication from others so it's reassuring. Regardless, we will still have to look into the cause. If it's something that can be helped by things other than medication, we'll have to do whatever needs to be done. Please keep praying for us in the meantime.
'The vet called this afternoon with the results of Oreo's tests and they revealed that he DOES NOT have Pancreatitis, so that's good news! The bad news is that we still don't know what caused the seizure, nor why he is still feeling ill. Although he is still eating normally, Oreo didn't do much other than sit in his box car all morning. I know that yesterday was very stressful for him and he's probably still tired so I will give him another day or two to recuperate. If he doesn't seem better by the weekend, I will take the vet's advice and make an appointment with a specialist.
I am going to have his Urine analyzed to see if anything is found there. I'll go to pick up a kit from the vet to try and get a sample at home. If I am unable to get a sample, it will have to be done at the vet which means more stress for Oreo. Hopefully I'll be able to get one while he's comfortable at home.
Pudding got him to come out of his box car for a little bit this afternoon. Oreo is not running around, but he did engage in a little peek-a-boo which is good. Hopefully Pudding will help to entice him to move around a bit. I know the stress of the new kitten doesn't help everything but if Oreo can become comfortable with him, it will make things easier.
I didn't sleep much last night from worry. I know I've got to try and rest but it's easier said than done in a situation like this. I don't think I will be able to fully rest until I know that Oreo is back to normal and/or OK. Thanks again to everyone for all of your continued support, thoughts and prayers. I am so very grateful for each and every one of you!
UPDATE 6:22 pm
Oreo had his blood work done today and the tests revealed that he has a problem with his pancreas. His samples have been sent to a specialist for further testing. I will get the results tomorrow. Oreo had a really high fever this morning of 41.2 degrees. It's very high for a cat. Regardless of the fever, he was still eating... but that's Oreo. The vet said that he can remain at home as long as he keeps eating but if he stops eating or begins vomiting, he will need to be hospitalized. He got an antibiotic injection for his pancreas as well as some medication to bring down the fever. He seems to be feeling a bit better now. He's not washed himself for a few days or lied around belly up like he normally does. He's just been sitting in his box car. This evening he began washing himself and decided to hang out belly up in the kitchen. You have no idea how glad I was to see the belly fluff!
The vet forewarned me that the fever will go up and down so he may be groggy again tomorrow morning, at which point he will get another dose of the medicine for the fever. I purchased a digital ear thermometer to be able to take his temperature easily before giving him any medication.
After all that, when I got back home from the vet, Pudding was limping. When it rains, it pours. He doesn't want to run, chase the ball or climb the stairs. He's been doing that non-stop the past 3 days so obviously whatever it is, it's painful. I went back to the vet with pudding to get an ex-ray. He doesn't have any broken bones but his front right elbow is tender. He was given an anti-inflammatory and I will have to let the vet know hoe he is doing in a few days.
Today was crazy... I really don't know what I would do without all of Oreo's fans. I am so blessed, so lucky and so grateful for each and every one of you. I would have never been able to even think about how to get through all of this without you guys. It's been a VERY expensive week and I would have never been able to afford it without your help. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
I promise to keep doing my very best to make all of you laugh and smile.
Update 10:00 am
Yesterday was probably one of the most scariest days of my life. It's so hard to see your per suffering and not be able to do anything to comfort them. The vet checked in on Oreo last evening to see if he had any relapse, which he has not as of yet. Oreo ate normally last evening and this morning but he's just not himself. He's normally very feisty come breakfast time and pops into my bedroom at 5:30 am to start ringing the dinner bell. This morning he actually went over to the opposite side of the bed that he usually goes to, peeked onto the bed and then walked out of the room. Under normal circumstances, Oreo and Onyx usually have a zoomies session after breakfast and there was none of that this morning as well. He just seems, I don't know... not like Oreo. He did play with a whisker that fell onto the table while sitting in his box car. That's more like himself, but he's usually much more playful and energetic.
Needless to say I am pretty worried. Oreo will be going in for some blood work today. I hope he won't pull a fit like he usually does. He can make it very hard for the technicians to get a sample. From what I've learned about seizures so far, sometimes something as simple as blood sugar levels, thyroid, kidney or electrolyte issues can set them off. These are all things that can easily be found and remedies through a blood test. I should have the results today as well, so we will be able to start doing whatever needs to be done if something is found. If we don;t see anything in his blood tests, I will inquire about seeing a specialist to have an MRI done.
I want to thank all of you who've helped me out financially with this situation so far. I am very grateful to have such a wonderful online family that is always there in our time of need. I will continue to post updates for you all here on our blog as the situation progresses. I will also update all of the bills as we continue to look for the cause of the problem. I just really wish for Oreo to get back to his funny little self. I love him with all my heart and I just want to see him smile and bounce again.
The Oreo Cat calendars will be available until the New Year. Funds collected from these will go towards vet bills.
Many of you have asked if you can just donate a few dollars so I made a PayPal link for $3 here: https://www.paypal.me/TModugno/3USD
I would also like to sincerely thank all of you who have come forward with insight and experience in regards to this situation. It makes me feel a little more reassured to know that this can be controlled and that pets can still live long and happy lives regardless. Hopefully we'll find answers asap so that we can begin on that road.
Thank you for all of your continued support, love and prayers!
Tina, Oreo, Onyx and Pudding
I had one of the scariest experiences of my life today. Oreo had an Epileptic seizure this morning at around 6:30 am. I thought he was watching a fly when I saw him and I tried to find it and swat it away. Then I realized it was not a fly. He started growling and hissing as the seizure took hold of him. It lasted for maybe a minute or two and then he began to calm down. I rushed him to the Hospital and the vet saw us right away. It's the first time I see it happen to Oreo and it was scary as heck. I remember my ex-husband’s old cat Besss used to have them and I had witnessed them a couple of times. In fact, that’s how Besss passed away, however she was 18 when she started having seizures, not 6 like Oreo. So it’s quite a shock for me.
The vet said that this sort of thing can begin happening at any time. There is no specific cause for it and there is no cure. It can happen only once just like it can also happen again today or tomorrow or next week. I will have to monitor Oreo closely and if it happens again he'll need to be put on medication and sent to a specialist for a scan. So it will just be a waiting game for the time being.
I brought my new kitten Pudding with us because I didn't want to shut him into a room alone. He's still too small to leave running freely around the house while I am gone. I think Oreo actually appreciated that Pudding was there. Oreo gave Pudding some snuggles and he seems more open to him now. So if anything good comes out of this, it's that. Pudding even climbed all over Oreo when we got home.
Everything always seems to happen at once over here! With Pudding coming in and now this, my pockets have completely emptied. A HUGE thank you to everyone who has made small donations and/or purchased Oreo's calendar. It will be a BIG help! If I have to bring Oreo for a scan, I've been told it will cost over $2000 so all the funds collected will be of great use!
I have posted the bills accumulated so far for Oreo's emergency visit and the bills Pudding has racked up in the past week below. I will keep updates here as far as Oreo's condition and do some research on the topic of Feline Epilepsy. I welcome any advice, insight and suggestions from pet owners who've dealt with or who currently are dealing with this issue.
Oreo Cat calendars will be available until the New Year and funds collected from these will go towards these bills as well as ones to come. You can purchase them through our site here: https://www.theoreocat.com/books.html
Many of you have asked if you can just donate a few dollars so I made a PayPal link for $3 here: https://www.paypal.me/TModugno/3USD
Prayers are also welcome!!
Tina, Oreo, Onyx and Pudding
As a pet owner, spoiling my cats is inevitable! It's great to know that there are products I can trust, like Katris,
to help my two fluffs feel like the royalty they are! So you can imagine that when Katris told me they were sending us a new product to review, I was definitely excited!
The Katris Nest is a simple modern lounger and massager made especially for your feline furriend. The elegant and sleek design fit easily into any type of decor while providing your cat with a comfortable place to lounge and play.
Featuring a large circular surface that provides your cat with the ultimate massage, the Katris Nest is a must-have
for any cat owner! Once your cat is done with their trip to the Katris spa, the Nest also provides the purrfect spot
for a nap!
As soon as I opened the box, Oreo and Onyx were immediately memorized by this strange new contraption. The Katris Nest came with a small packet of catnip that I added to the middle section. It took no more than 20 seconds for both cats to want to explore this new fancy spot to sit. Onyx realized right away that if she rubbed her back against it, she'd get a fabulous massage. It took Oreo a little longer as he just wanted to sleep in it at first! Now he loves to multitask and play belly up while getting his daily massage.
As always, I am very impressed by this new Katris product. I still have the Katris blocks from a few years ago and they've held up better than any other scratchers we have. I definitely recommend this new product to all cat owners!
Now on Kickstarter
* This post has been sponsored by Katris
I started working with Qkids in March of 2018. My life was going through a drastic change causing a whirlwind of events that had a large effect on my future. My husband of 10 years announced that he wanted a divorce. I met my ex-husband at work many moons ago and we decided to marry in 2008. During our marriage, I began to have problems with severe anxiety as a result of my line of work. I worked as an artist in the video game industry and at times the stress could be quite unbearable. In 2010, I lost my job due to a mass company-wide layoff. After losing my job, my ex-husband and I agreed that it would be best I not return to an office job due to the anxiety it caused. As a result, I started to work as a freelance worker illustrating educational content, writing and illustrating children’s books.
Being a freelance worker was the perfect way to keep my anxiety in check. Although I did not have a huge salary, I was able to keep house and have a small income on the side. My ex-husband had a very well paying job, so everything balanced out. Last January, when he announced that he wanted to separate, I was shocked and quite scared. My freelance work was not enough to keep my head above water if I had to support myself. I did not want to return to a full-time office job out of fear that it would awaken my anxiety resulting in health problems. I began to search online for other freelancing options and I found Qkids.
After reading more about Qkids, I knew that it was the perfect solution for me so I applied for the job. The process was quite quick and I was hired within 3 weeks. My life began to change the moment I started working with Qkids. I had never heard of teaching online before applying for this job. Today, I could not see my life without teaching online. Qkids helped me to build self confidence, to put my fears aside and to push through what was probably the most difficult time in my life. Qkids helped to give my life new value and new purpose. Because of Qkids, I was able to get through my separation while feeling confident that I could support myself.
I have never had a job that is so rewarding and mentally satisfying. Waking up to smiling kids eager to learn every morning helps make each day all that brighter. Having the opportunity to work with children and to see their progress really gives my life meaning. I have never felt a greater sense of accomplishment as I have teaching online with Qkids. Teaching online helps me to balance my life, giving me the time to do the things I enjoy while having a great steady paying job. The best part is that I can do it from the comfort of my own home. Since beginning to teach online with Qkids I have learned a lot about ESL and the online teaching industry. I’ve completed two online courses, one for each TESOL and TEFL. These courses opened up my mind to a whole new world of knowledge and possibilities. Qkids has helped me to make my life the very best that it can be.
I still continue to work as a children’s book author and illustrator. I also work as an online influencer blogging about pet products as a result of my cat, Oreo, being famous. Divorce doesn’t mean your life ends. It can mean that your life is just beginning. Although it was difficult, my divorce resulted in me finding the best job I’ve ever had and living the very best life I can live.
Dream jobs do exist. You just have to be willing to adjust your lifestyle and do the work.
Make a difference
If you’re looking for a rewarding job that really makes a difference, look no further than teaching online with Qkids! For more information and to apply visit: http://teacher.qkids.net
Referral code: HFIIWN
Tina Modugno is a children's book author and illustrator from Canada. She currently resides in the province of Quebec along with her cat Oreo (The Oreo Cat), who is a famous feline celebrity. Together Oreo and Tina create short family friendly video content for popular online applications. Oreo's popularity has inspired Tina's writing and she's published various books featuring her fluffy black and white cat.
For more information about Oreo visit: www.theoreocat.com
Tina's work: www.tinamodugno.com
Today I had to make one of the hardest decisions I will make in my lifetime. Looking at Sunshine, I could see that she was no longer happy. After 19 and a half years, our time together has come to an end.
I met Sunshine in 2001, when I first moved out of my parent’s house. It was my first time living on my own and the reassurance of having a pet comforted me. I will never forget the first day we met. It was at the SPCA in Montreal on June 16th, 2001. I walked into the cat room, observed all of the cages and came upon this cute little black and white kitten of around 6 weeks old. He was feisty, fluffy and adorable. I took him out of his cage and brought him into the play area to see if we’d click. I’d never had a cat before so I was not aware of their temperament. This kitten didn’t like me it seemed. He started hissing and waving his paws at me. 20 times smaller than me, he scared me. I decided he wasn’t the one. As I walked back into the area with the cages, I could hear this weird squeaking noise. I looked around but wasn’t sure where it was coming from. Finally, I crouched down in front of a cage on the floor and peered into it. The squeak was coming from the back of the cage. I could see two little eyes and some orange ears poking out from behind a litter box.
I spoke softly and the orange eared cat came out from her hiding spot and walked up to the front of the cage. This little striped orange tabby the color of the sun, was completely disheveled and sounded more like a mouse than a cat. I opened the cage door and picked her up and she instantly hugged me. I knew right then and there that I had found my soulmate. On that day, I adopted Sunshine and she became my best friend.
Sunshine had a difficult start. The SPCA told me that Sunshine was around 6 months old and that she had been spayed. Sunshine and I went home to our new apartment and stared our lives together. A few weeks after adopting Sunshine, I woke up to the horror or her having a miscarriage right on my bed. It was 3 am and there was blood everywhere. It was probably one of the scariest experiences I’ve ever had. I immediately rushed her to an animal hospital. The hospital told me what was going on and that Sunshine was definitely not spayed. She was pregnant from the moment I got her. The hospital told me that they could not treat her as she was adopted from the SPCA. They said I would have to bring her there for treatment. Petrified, I took Sunshine back home and called the SPCA. Around 7 am, they phoned me back and told me to bring Sunshine in immediately.
The SPCA apologized multiple times for their mishap and told me they’d have to keep Sunshine for a few days. They were unsure of whether she’d survive this or not but they’d do their best. I was heartbroken. They kept Sunshine for a total of 5 days. I visited her everyday. Finally after what seemed like the longest 5 days of my life, Sunshine was ready to come home.
Sunshine went through many health issues during her life and I thought I was going to lose her many times. She suffered from Kidney disease and went through many rough times, but she always ended up pulling through. For the past little while she was howling for a few seconds over a dozen times daily. She’d just kind of lose herself and stare at the walls and yell. Caring for her was getting to be a lot of work and sometimes I lost my patience and just cried. She started to have lots of accidents and make lots of messes. She’d often step in her pee on the way out of the litter box and track it all over the house. I’ve never washed my floor so much in my entire life as I have in the past few months. In addition to the pee-pee paw prints, she also threw up a few times daily. Even with all of that, she was still playful, so I hung on and let her enjoy those moments. She’d also still snuggle at bedtime and loved to sleep on my head and chew on my hair.
This past weekend she stopped howling completely and she spent most of the day in her bed. She could not even go to the bathroom herself. I had to bring her to the litter box, stand her in it and let her pee, then bring her back to her bed. That’s when I realized that this time, she was not going to pull through. Seeing her the way she has been these past few days broke my heart and I knew that her time had come. I kept wishing that all of a sudden she’d bounce back, but this time things were different. Sunshine was with me through the good and the bad, relationships and breakups, job loss, new jobs and several moves. No matter how up or down I was, she was always beside me. Her unconditional love got me through many hardships and I am so grateful for everything she did for me throughout our years together. She really was my ray of sunshine.
Sunshine, I will miss you more than you know. My pillow will seem so empty at night without you. May you find peace up there among all of the amazing pets that have passed. Until we meet again my golden angel, I love you dearly.
Monday December 10th, 2018
Oreo is pretty much back to himself today and I am so glad. Yesterday I tried giving him hard kibble again. It scares me beyond belief now, but he did alright. He still tried to eat it too fast, but I stood right next to him and watched him like a hawk. I removed the automatic feeders I have that were set to go off various times a day. Oreo eats very small portions many times daily because he can't control how much he stuffs his face. I am too afraid to leave the feeders out after everything as sometimes Oreo will push them around and pieces will fall out. I don't want that to happen while I am sleeping or not home so I've removed them completely.
I am not using a bowl yet either. I am using his NoBowl to feed him instead. This way he has no choice but to eat slowly. Oreo also eats a dental formula that is much larger in size than regular kibble. This forces him to chew the pieces rather than just swallow them. With his NoBowl, only 2 or three pieces come out at a time and he's got to kick the thing around to get them all out. This is the safest way to feed him dry food for now. Still, I am very scared and paranoid. Oreo was using the automatic feeders because he wakes me up in the middle of the night for food. Without the feeders going off, I will get less sleep... but I will worry less. I would rather have to wake up and feed him than worry about him choking in the middle of the night. Last night I got up at midnight and fed him a bowl of wet food with a bit of pumpkin mixed in. I won't be feeding him kibble during the night anymore either. I am too afraid something might happen and rushing him to a vet a that hour would not be easy.
So for now, I will be keeping an eye on him while he eats and rearranging his feeding schedule a bit so that it can accommodate all of us. I am looking into getting a couple of automatic feeders that can accommodate wet food also. It's a lot to have to do, but he is my life! I don't know what I would do without him and whatever needs to be done to ensure his safety, I will do.
I will also make an appointment for him at a new vet in the next couple of weeks. I will let his bruises heal up first. I'd like to go and check if he may have some form of swallowing disorder seeing as he chokes so often. I want to look at taking him to another vet to get a second opinion on the situation and also to see if Oreo might be more comfortable with someone else. I am very grateful at everything his current clinic has done for him in the past week, but I am wondering if Oreo might be less likely to freak out if we tried someone else. I hate seeing those bruises on him and I'd love for him to be comfortable enough that things like that won't happen next time around.
If you're still following the blog, this will be my last entry for this issue. If any other situations arise, I will definitely write a new blog post and keep you all informed!
Tina & Oreo.
Saturday December 8th, 2018
I was pretty concerned that Oreo had not pooped in a few days yesterday so I phoned the vet back and took an appointment for this morning. Luckily, Oreo passed stool during the night. The poor little dude got it stuck in his fluff and it was quite the conundrum to get it out! I had to chase him around with a comb in the middle of the night. I was finally able to use the comb to dislodge the piece of poop that was stuck to him. He was not happy, but once he realized what I had done, he gave me some love. Seeing as he pooped, I called the vet back this morning and cancelled the appointment. Oreo is still peeing a lot, that still concerns me too, but I think he needs a couple more days rest before he gets stressed out again. I will see how things improve over the weekend and make another appointment for him next week.
I have still been adding extra water to his food and yesterday he ate a little bowl of roasted pumpkin. The pumpkin also had quite a bit of water in it. Maybe he's just peeing more because his water intake is more than usual. I will wait until Monday to start feeding him kibble again. I am still petrified that he will choke. I tried starting him slow this morning by giving him a canned food that had chunks in it instead of a paté. He almost choked on it once again. I really don't know what to do about the velocity at which he constantly tries to shovel in his food. I've tried everything under the sun to get him to eat slower. He's tried a number of slow feeders, some that he's even been able to break. I've tried portioning his meals and I've also tried food puzzles. Oreo is just a food monster and I am forever going to be paranoid after this.
Oreo still has pretty bad bruising from the tests. I feel terribly to see the marks on him. I hope they heal up fast. I will give him another dose of Metacam today. He has 4 doses to take and this will be the third one. Regardless of his bruising, he was running around playing this morning so that is a good sign.
Friday December 7th, 2018
Oreo slept well last night, so did I! I went to bet at 7:30 pm and caught up on some lost sleep. I got up around 11:30 pm to feed him his snack. He's been eating normally but he is still not drinking. I am not extremely concerned about that seeing as I have still been adding water to his food. He is also still peeing a lot but it could be the wet food that is making him pee more. I've still not been able to get a urine sample. He just won't go in the litter with the beads. I noticed he has not pooped since this whole ordeal too. I am more concerned about that than anything else. He's been taking his daily dose of Laxatone and I gave him about a quarter of a teaspoon of Olive Oil this morning. I've also roasted off some pumpkin that I will puree and add to his food. I've used that before for bathroom trouble and it always seems to help. I hope I will see some poop by the end of the day.
I will call the vet again later today to let them know he is still peeing quite often and that I've not been able to collect a sample. We'll see what they'll want us to do. Ideally, if he can wait until Monday to go back so he can get a few more days rest, that would be great. I don't want to stress him out yet again by going back today or tomorrow. He seems alright physically, other than his bruises. I gave him his dose of Metacam this morning so that should help a little with the swelling. He also played with Onyx this morning while I had my classes. The two of them were chasing one another around like they often do. It was good to see Oreo run around. It means he's got his energy back.
We've yet to make some new videos. I will try and work with him a little today and see how he fairs. I don't want to force him or stress him, so if he's not in the mood I will hold off a bit longer. Hopefully by next week, we'll be back to normal and be able to get our work done!
Thursday December 6th, 2018
Oreo had a good night last night. He ate his meals and he slept with me on my bed the whole night. I think he was still a little shaken up from the events and it comforted him to cuddle a little. He woke at 1:30 am and I fed him a snack which he gobbled up leaving not a crumb. This morning he ate all of his breakfast and he is now resting. He is still not as active as he normally would be, however he is still on medication so it may have some form of effect on him. He took his anti-inflammatory last evening in his food. I have yet to try giving him his other medication today. I fear that may be difficult. I am more concerned about his eating and drinking than anything else. So as long as he is actively doing both, I am happy. He was quite dehydrated yesterday so I've been adding extra water to his wet food and he has been consuming it willingly.
I've still not been able to get a urine sample. I have a feeling he will have to go back to the vet to get one. I will let him rest some more today and see how he is feeling tomorrow. So far so good though, I can see lots of improvement over the last few days. Hopefully he will be closer to himself by the weekend.
Thanking you all once again for all of your amazing love and support throughout this whole ordeal.
Wednesday December 5th, 2018
I had a HUGE scare with Oreo this week. He choked on a cat treat that he’s eaten many times before. The problem with Oreo is that he eats too fast sometimes. He kind of sucks his food up like a feline vacuum cleaner. This time the treat got stuck in his throat and he started wheezing and gagging. I thought he’d throw up, but after about a minute or so it was apparent that he was not going to, so I rushed him to the vet immediately. Luckily, he was still breathing but the treat was obviously making it very difficult for him to swallow.
The staff at the clinic were amazing. I ran in asking for help and they dropped everything. They set aside other appointments to help us right away. They did 2 X-rays and put him under an anesthetic so that they could dislodge the treat. He has medication for 2 weeks to help with the irritation and he needs to eat only soft foods for the week. While I was waiting at the vet, I started to cry with worry. There was a woman there with her two dogs, a schnauzer and a terrier. The little terrier came and sat next to me and started licking my face when it saw me crying. Thank the Lord for animals. They are the most wonderful beings on this Earth.
Last evening Oreo was really not himself. He would not eat or drink anything. He just wandered around aimlessly and slept a lot. He was peeing a lot more than usual too which was strange seeing as he didn't drink anything. Oreo didn't want to sleep in my bed last night so I slept on the floor beside him to be able to monitor him throughout the night. I woke up a few times to try and feed him, but no dice. This morning he finally ate some watered down Friskies. He went back to the vet for additional testing. He had his Kidneys checked out and the numbers were a little abnormal. I have to try and get a pee sample withing the next couple of days so that a urine analysis can be done. If I am unable to get the sample, we will need to return to the vet to have it done there. They did not want to do it today seeing everything else they did. The poor critter got poked and prodded enough and he didn't have enough liquid in his bladder to give a large enough sample.
Since posting about this on Monday, Oreo and I have received an unbelievable outpouring of generosity and affection from his followers. You cannot believe how thankful I am to have this wonderful community of people willing to help in our time of need. Between the purchases of his merchandise and donations that have come in to help with his bills, we've collected over $2000. His vet bills have been paid off in full and the rest will be put towards whatever else he needs coming up. I've included the current bills below. I am missing one for canned food that totaled around $30.
I’ve never been so scared in my life. I don’t know what I’d do without him. I love him more than anything in this world. I will update this blog with current events as the situation progresses. For now, he is home and resting. He will need a few days to recover from everything he's gone through. He should hopefully be back to himself after a few days. I will keep an eye on the Kidney situation and post any updates here. A huge thank you to everyone for your support, kindness and generosity. We are very lucky to have all of you. God Bless each and every one of you.
Tina & Oreo
Happy Senior Pet month! I consider myself so lucky to have my little old lady Sunshine by my side for 19 years and counting. Everyday with her is a blessing! 💚
During the month of November, shelters and rescues across the country hope those looking to adopt a new furry family member will consider a senior pet. Senior pets are often overlooked and can unfortunately live out the rest of their lives in a shelter. There are many benefits to adopting a senior pet such as the fact that they are calmer and less energetic, making them ideal for households with young children. Unlike their younger counterparts, they need less patience, energy and training. What many first time adopters of younger pets are not prepared for is the amount of hard work that can go into housetraining a puppy or kitten.
A senior pet may need more healthcare than a younger pet but they still deserve to live out the rest of their lives in a happy, loving home! Adopting a senior pet can also be a very rewarding experience in the sense that you truly are saving a life that another has turned away. This November, please help to spread the word about senior pets and help to give them a chance at a happy retirement!
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A little while back I wrote about my current separation with my spouse. Since then, all of the steps have been made in order to file for divorce. The whole process was not easy and I can definitely say that it has been quite a learning experience. When I got married 10 years ago, I never imagined being in this position. Life sometimes throws you things that are unexpected. The past few months have not been easy and the cats and I had no alternative other than to live in a toxic environment until we were able to leave. The type of work that I do does not make life easy financially, therefore I had to continue living with my spouse under the same roof while making arrangements to move out. When all of this first began in January, I was heartbroken and I felt betrayed. I was not sure how I was going to get through this. As time went by, I realized that the person I had been with for 10 years was a complete stranger. Part of being married is promising to be honest and not to keep secrets. Meanwhile a secret had been kept from me for many years.
Of course, there are two people in a marriage and I don't deny that I did some things I am not proud of. Once inside of this huge tower of terror, I realized the reasons behind how I acted in certain situations. It all boiled down to the fact that I was angry. I was angry about a lot of things that happened throughout the years of our relationship. There were countless times where I felt unimportant. Friends and material things were always put above me. No matter how hard I tried to discuss these issues with my spouse at the time, defensiveness and temper tantrums always resulted from it. For some reason, I would always find myself apologizing in the end for something that I didn't even do. I realize now that I was very easily made to feel guilty. Things like jealousy, dishonesty, lies and temper were always the instigator and I just allowed myself to accept them as though they were just a normal part of a relationship. Obviously they are not and my conscience took it's toll. I've never been so angry at someone for so many things. Sometimes that anger would fuel me to nag causing further upsets in the relationship. Regardless of the anger, I can honestly say that I always made an effort. Marriage was always something that was important to me. It means family and it means that you work together at solving your problems. I always did my best regardless of the situation to be open minded and willing to work to solve whatever issues arised. Even after my spouse told me he wanted a divorce, I did my best to try to see if we could resolve it.
My efforts were not lost as I learned a lot about myself through that process and I have become a genuinely happier person. Doing the work made me realize that I am important too and that I deserve to be happy. I can't force someone else to love me and I can't force someone else to work at something if they've already checked out years ago. All of these stepping stones helped to make me a stronger person.
So as of today, my new life begins. I've moved with Oreo, Onyx and Sunshine. I have to say that driving away yesterday and leaving the mess of anger behind felt very liberating. The cats seem to be settling in fine already! Sunshine surprised me the most! She was up and about as soon as I opened her taxi door. She began exploring rooms and window ledges and she's eating really well! Oreo checked out the balcony right away and he showed me his appreciation by stretching out belly up in the sun. Onyx is the only one who is having a little trouble adjusting. Although I can understand with all the hustle and bustle that it must be frightening for her. She's been hiding under the bed covers since last evening. Oreo has coaxed her out a few times to come and explore. She seems happy regardless, she will just take a little longer to get use to it. I am a little concerned about Sunshine as I found a lump between her neck and her chest a couple of weeks ago. As many of us well know, lumps and bumps are never a good sign. I was unsure of what to do but once I spoke with my vet, I feel I am doing the right thing. My vet reassured me that at her age (18 years old), lumps and bumps will appear. At this point, what is most important is that she is happy and that she is enjoying her everyday, which she is! They told me to just keep her with me as long as she is happy and not to stress her out with biopsies and treatments and whatnot. So that's what I am doing. I am very lucky that she is here with me and as long as she is happy that's what matters.
This is the beginning of a new chapter in my life. I am looking forward to sharing it with everyone. I can honestly say that I am content with my life just the way that it is at this moment. I am grateful and lucky to have such a wonderful and supportive family and to have a place that I can now call my own. Sometimes we have to live through the bad to find the good. Out of all of the heap of anger and discouragement came Oreo and Onyx. They are two of the best things that have ever happened to me and I would do it all over again just for them.
Here's to new beginnings...
Tina Modugno is a children’s illustrator from Canada. Tina loves all animals, kids books and cartoons! She currently resides in Quebec with her husband and four cats!