• 06Apr

    kitties in the windowI have good news:  Dex is doing better.  We were quite worried for a couple of days, as was the vet.  Dex had refused to eat, so the vet wanted to see him.  He was also collecting fluid in his abdomen.  The vet aspirated some of the fluid to check for infection, blood, or food particles that could have leaked from his digestive system.  All three were negative.  Our instructions were to force feed him every four hours.  Lucky us.  Have you ever seen any of the movies about Helen Keller?  Remember the scene where her new teacher, Annie Sullivan, is trying to make her eat her eggs with a spoon and fold her napkin?  Remember the ensuing battle/foodfight?  That is what forcefeeding Dex was like.  Fill syringe, immobilize cat, force mouth open, squirt food in mouth….Clean food off floor (wall, ceiling, myself, cat’s fur…insert any place you can think of), refill syringe, immobilize cat again, and repeat.  After 24 hours of that we returned to the vet for another check up.  They checked the fluid in his abdomen again…still looking good, and no food ended up outside his digestive tract, which was excellent news.  The vet was afraid there was so much damage to his intestines that the tissue may die.  If this happened, food would leak out of his intestinal tract and into his abdomen.  He could not remove the damaged part, because it encompased the entire intestinal tract, something the cat cannot survive without.  The worst case scenario would be that we would have to put him to sleep. 

    So, that was yesterday.  Since then he has done a “number two” in the litter box. (yay! food is moving in the proper direction and making it through!)  He is also a bit more active.  Instead of sleeping in his cat carrier (his preferred place to be of late) and never leaving it, he has ventured forth into the main areas of the house and even settled himself in his cat bed this evening for several hours.  He also is not happy about eating yet, but he is not as combative as he was a day or two ago about taking his food and medicine.  He looks more like himself and is less groggy.  After I fed him tonight, he even crawled up into my lap for cuddles.  What he seems to like best right now is being bathed.  He has been rather stinky since we brought him home (I think he tinkled on himself either before or after the surgery).  He does not like being dirty, but cannot groom himself quite yet.  I wish I could just give him a good bath, but that has to wait until his wound heals.  So, every time I feed him, I follow it up with a warm wet washcloth over his fur.  This cleans him up from where he may have dribbled food or medicine on himself, signals that the feeding is officially over, and I think he likes the feeling of being groomed.  He is definately doing better!  Thanks to everyone who said a prayer for my poor sick little cat.  We go back to the vet in the morning for another check up.  (That will make 5 out of 6 days at the vet this week – it has been a long week!)

    And in my knitting news…there has not been a lot of knitting going on lately, just a little.  I am currently working on another swallowtail shawl, this time for my husband’s grandmother for her birthday.  I did not want to do the extra repeats like I did last time, so I increased the needle size in order to make the shawl larger.  I hope it turns out okay and the detail of the pattern is not lost by doing this.  It is hard to tell before blocking.  I will post pictures when I am further along.

  • 04Apr

    Dex and SarahWe brought Mister Dex home last night.  He is one sick little kitty.  He is very lethargic, even with the pain medicine.  He has gotten up twice to use his litter box, but it seems to be quite an effort for him, though the box is shallow and only steps from his bed.  The vet is still concerned, and we have to watch him very closely for the next several days.  There was some damage done to his intestines, and the vet is worried that this damage may not heal properly.  I offered Dex some very watered down food this morning as suggested by the vet, but he was not interested in it yet.  Actually, he was adamantly against it.  When I put it near him, he let out a howl.  The kind of howl that for him is a flat out refusal.  Poor kitty.  We are glad to have him home.  I could not sleep last night.  I kept waking up every hour or two to check on him.  He lies in his bed, not moving except when necessary.  He does seem to enjoy some gentle scratching and petting, but he is not inclined to purr at this time.  Sarah-cat avoids him completely.  She will make a wide detour around his bed whenever she has to enter the same room where he is resting.  She did get close to him once, took a tentative sniff, and quickly trotted away. 

    I will keep nursing him, and praying for him, and hope that he will pull through this thing yet.  It is very difficult for me to watch him suffer.  It is difficult for me to watch any person or animal suffer…it just tears me up emotionally.

  • 02Apr

    DexThe vetrinarian just called me with an update on Dex.  He made it through surgery, which lasted more than 3 hours.  The piece of string went all the way from his stomach, through his entire intestinal tract, and out the, um, other end.  The doctor said he is doing okay right now, although he is not “out of the woods” yet.  They are keeping him overnight and will give me an update first thing in the morning. 

    ==UPDATE== (posted by Benjamin — Heather’s husband)
    Dex made it through the night without problems, but the doctor said that he’s a bit groggy still (the cat, not the doctor). We should be able to pick him up this evening as long as everthing goes well today.

  • 02Apr

    DexMy husband and I have two devon rex cats.  Dex, our male cat, became ill over the weekend.  He laid around, vomited a number of times, and refused to eat.  He cried if I tried to even pick him up.  At first, I thought he had some type of stomach bug.  I became increasingly more concerned, and this morning I found out he had a bowel obstruction.  He evidently ate a very long piece of yarn, and was not able to expel it.  I rushed him to the vet this morning where they did x-rays and told me how severe the problem was.  The doctor suggested surgery, but the price of that is quite high.  Due to circumstances, the cost was beyond our means at this time.  It was very difficult to discuss this with my husband, and then tell the doctor that we could not proceed with the surgery.  He said he would sedate Dex and try to see if he could dislodge the yarn nonsurgically without rupturing his intestine.  My husband and I have both been praying about the situation.  We are quite attached to our cats, and our cats are quite attached to one another.

    I received a phone call from the vet.  The procedure was not successful.  My husband and I were aware that this might be the outcome and we might have to put our cat to sleep.  It is very hard to take.  But the vet offered us some hope:  One of the girls who works at the office is friends with an elderly lady.  This elderly lady is wealthy and is not able to “get out and do much” but she likes to help in ways she can.  She has volunteered to pay for Dex’s surgery.  When the vet told me this, I was beyond words.  Benjamin and I had prayed, but we knew his outlook was rather bleak.  So, this lady whom we do not know is paying for our cat to have surgery for a life threatening illness.  Wow.  God provided a means when we had none.  We are talking about how we can thank this woman enough.  My husband suggested knitting a shawl for her….

  • 16Jun

    Kitties in the Window

    My husband and I have Devon Rex cats.  They are a wonderful breed, and we really enjoy them.  We adopted them as adults when they were retired from showing and breeding. 

    Devons are known for their wavy or “rexed” coats, which are downy soft, and their faces are dominated by their large eyes and ears.  They are often described as being pixie-like.  They are friendly and very social.  They prefer to be around people, rather than being aloof. 

    Sarah Ophelia, or Sarah for short, is our female.  She craves attention and eye contact.  She is outspoken and likes to sing.  She is the “mama cat” and always grooms herself, our male cat, and even tries to groom my husband from time to time!  (He does not need it – he is very clean, lol!)

    Luvdatrex, or Dex as we call him, is our male.  He will do his “Lassie” impersonation when he wants something – he will meow until you follow him and he will lead you to what he wants.  His favorite things are clean laundry and watching birds outside the window. 

    For more information check out these sites:

    Cleocatra (This is where my cats came from.)

    Devon Heaven (This is where Dex was born.)

    My cats:  Dex and Sarah.