I was going to give you guys the third and final section of the Carolyn Workout today (which I promise I’ll get to tomorrow), but I just need to tell you or someone or anyone some things. Maybe get some differing opinions and hopefully have people reassure me that I’m a good cat mom.
We took Mitten Head to the vet Monday afternoon after our cat-sitter told us about some troubling behavior that Mitten Head exhibited over the weekend. While she was eating, Lyra would yelp and pull back like something bit her. Then she took the food into her paw, scooped it up, and ate it out of her paw. When she got done, she’d flick the rest on the wall.
We’ve seen this before…
Let me back up and give you some history. We adopted Mitten Head from Furkids, an excellent no-kill shelter for mittens and a few puppies. But mostly for kitties! Furkids is not set up like a typical shelter, there are no cats stuck in individual cages or crates, confined to a three foot by three foot area. Instead, Furkids has open rooms with carpeted shelves and cat trees, and a wall of litter boxes and a wall of food and water. It’s like a cat play place. It’s very nice.
We visited multiple times to check out cats, and when we walked in to the first room, Lyra got up, stretched, and nudged Sean with her head. He was sold. And that’s how we ended up with our baby Mitten Head.
Within the first week of adopting Lyra, we took her to the vet because of a urinary tract infection, something she is apparently prone to as we have been to the vet multiple times since then for the same condition. Our current vet suggested a prescription (read expensive) diet which help reduce Lyra’s incidences of UTI. She still gets them every so often, but not near as often as before.
After a while, we noticed her strange eating habits. When we fed her hard food, she’d make a yelping or choking noise and pull away from the food quickly. She started pawing one kibble at a time out of the bowl and onto her place mat, eating them kibble by kibble. It was cute and sad at the same time. Like my cat was a little human. She also had terribly bad breath and drooled quite a bit. Ew, Mitten Head.
That’s when we took her to the vet and discovered the horrible diagnosis—feline stomatitis. Her immune system was rejecting her teeth causing painful inflammation and inability to eat normally, also explaining her weight loss (when you’re 8 lbs and you lose a whole pound, that’s a big deal).
The removal of her teeth was projected to cost Sean and I around $2000, which we didn’t happen to have laying around or budgeted toward cat surgery. Fortunately, Sean’s uncle on his mom’s side is a veterinarian and offered to extract the teeth that weren’t doing well. That involved Sean taking a week off work, driving all the way to Kentucky, and taking care of a recovering cat on his way back. Poor Sean. Poor Mitten Head.
That was back in May and the vets (both in Georgia and Kentucky) said that should buy us around 6 months before we’d have to get the rest removed. And now, about three months later, we’re in the same boat as before, trying to finagle money and arrange another trip to Kentucky to have the rest of her teeth removed. Poor toothless Mitten Head. The vets say that she’ll adapt as cats are apt to do, but she’ll be stuck on a wet food diet for the rest of her life (or a dry food-made wet diet). Yummy.
But at least she’ll be happier and not in pain forever. It’s just up to us deciding which one to do. I’d rather have it done at our vet and reduce the already high amount of stress she’ll be experiencing by eliminating the 8+ hour ride from Georgia to Northern Kentucky. On the other hand, I cannot afford a $1000+ surgery for my cat. I need to be saving money for a car since mine is constantly on the verge of explosion.
I’ve seriously considered starting a Kickstarter fundraiser to help pay for it, but I don’t know if that’s even legal since it doesn’t really fall within their parameters…
Ideas? I’m all out of stuff to sell.
In other slightly funny cat news, as usual, I had to fight the cat to get her in the travel carrier. It typically involves me shutting all the doors and cornering her in some room. She looks so pitiful trying to climb the doors to avoid being pushed into the carrier. Blood is usually drawn, especially now that her claws are razor-sharp again. Well, after we got back from the vet, we let her out and put the carrier in the “cat room.” A little later I went in and the room smelled so strongly of cat urine that I called Sean in to try to locate where it was, because it was most def not in the little box. After a few sniffs we found the location…
The cat carrier.
She went back in the cat carrier and peed in it just to show it what for. How disgustingly hilarious is that?