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US Ex-pat w. new stray needs help - kitty won't eat! :-( - Page 2

post #31 of 293
Hissy is an expert, who is highly respected in the rescue community.
If I had 2 sick rescues and the opportunity to have her personal help, I would contact her immediately.

How are they today?
post #32 of 293
Thread Starter 
Friday Evening Update

Slooty & Luna went back to the vet in the mid-afternoon.

Slooty received another round of shots for her fever/eye infection and had her eyes cleaned.

Luna performed admirably by throwing up foamy liquid right on the vet's table while she was being examined - how's that for getting the point across? She was promptly rewarded with shots of her own. Even so, the vet still thinks she's just reacting to her dry kitten chow feast. We've been ordered to withhold food until tomorrow. Tomorrow she'll get a very small amount of wet food and hopefully she'll want it.

I've just finished giving Slooty another 5mL of tepid goat's milk over the course of a gentle hour. We're getting better at getting it down as calmy as possible.

To clarify an earlier post - the Vet advised 20mL total g-milk per day, administered in four 5mL doses throughout the day until she starts recovering and wanting to eat on her own. Slooty will get her last 5mL before bed tonight, as well as another round of antibiotic eyedrops.

Luna has rapidly declined from your average inquisitive kitten into a fuzzy lump on the bed. We've been assured that she'll be up and running again tomorrow, but we can't help but be worried.

My fiancee, bless her heart, had to take them to the Vet by herself today, and the trauma of watching them get shots, cry during cleanings, and just her general worry and heartbreak over caring for these two finally pushed her over the top. I came home from work today to find the 3 of them in bed, and my fiancee burst into tears almost immediately upon seeing me. We had a good long cry together.

I will be contacting Hissy directly as soon as this post is finished, and I'll be back again before bed with one last update.

Thank you for your love and support, everyone!
post #33 of 293
We are with you in spirit.
Slooty & Luna
post #34 of 293
Sending good vibes your way and hoping that things will get better. Please give your fiancee a big hug from me, you two are being great!!
post #35 of 293
Thanks for the update, we appreciate it because we want to see these little ones flourish!
post #36 of 293
They are deffinatly two lucky cats!!

It seems you are doing a great job with them
post #37 of 293
Thread Starter 
Studio - fiancee appreciated the hug immensely!

Saturday Morning Update

The four of us were all much too tired last night to post another update before bed, so our apologies to anyone who was waiting for one.

Slooty and Luna slept on the bed with us again. Hissy has strongly advised that we separate them if possible, but our living space is so small here in China that they would still be close enough to infect each other. We're going to keep them comfortable and just medicate and love them the best that we can.

Luna spent the night curled up against one or the other of us near our heads, and Slooty was down at the foot of the bed by herself. This has been their usual behavior from the beginning.

Luna was up in the middle of the night and had a small, very runny bowel movement in the litter box. This one was considerably firmer than the pure liquid she had been producing all day Friday though, so are hopeful.

At about 7:30 this morning Luna started whining - Slooty is a nearly silent cat, perhaps because she's deaf? but Luna is quite loud - and I got up to prepare a test breakfast for her. Both cats followed me into our kitchen area and plopped down to watch. Slooty then went into the bathroom and peed - not in the litterbox but about 2 feet short of it on the tile floor. We hardly cared though, so happy were we to see her make a nice pool of healthy yellow urine for us!

Both Slooty and Luna have had a bit of water on their own this morning, and Luna has been to her litterbox to pee.

Slooty had her 5mL goat's milk breakfast via dropper-syringe with hardly any protest.

Luna, who was whining but didn't show interest in her food, was given 2mL of the same. Luna's considerably smaller than Slooty and they will both be fed several more times today, so we didn't want to overdo it and set Luna into vomiting again.

Both kittens are now resting comfortably on the floor watching us tidy up around them. Slooty will get her morning antibiotic eyedrops very soon. Her eyes look tremendously better than when we picked her up Tuesday night, although they're still not better yet.

This afternoon both kittens will return to the Vet. We are switching from shots to orally-administered human antibiotics today. The Vet (and we) don't want to torture them with 3+ shots in the back each day, and she assures us we can buy a strong human antibiotic to treat what they have in a local pharmacy. She told us this yesterday but I still elected for them having shots at that time because I was not yet confident in my ability to give them liquids orally with the syringe.

We've got a humidifier going 24/7 now and will keep steaming their respiratory systems as best we can. We've got a dinky little water heater - quite large by Chinese standards actually! - so we can't give them the sauna that we wish we could.

Time for Slooty's eyedrops!

Comments and feedback are ALWAYS appreciated!!!
post #38 of 293
I was so happy to see your post. I'll continue sending prayers and healing vibes for these two little fur-babies and hugs to you and your wife for the wonderful thing you are doing for them. I'm sure I speak for all of us when I say our thoughts, prayers and hearts are with you.
post #39 of 293
Your struggle to help Slooty and Luna has captured our hearts.
More vibes on the way.
post #40 of 293
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the gifts everyone! Your PM's won't go unanswered, I promise we'll get to them eventually!

Brief update to mention that Slooty made a BM in the litterbox at 10am! It was very runny, but it was formed, and this was her first BM since Thursday when we began the forcefeedings so we are very happy!

Baby steps, right?
post #41 of 293
Yes, always celebrate the baby steps. Good luck with these two cuties they look a bit Persian to me.
post #42 of 293
Each day brings a little victory!!! I am so happy about the bowel movements ... (weird, isn't it?), but that's a good sign that their digestive system is getting back "online". Between the goat milk, the antibiotics and all the care and love you are giving these 2 beauties, I am sure their health will improve greatly in the next few days... When they start to feel better, they should regain their appetite, just remember to feed the slowly and little amounts.

Thank you for taking the time to get us posted!!!
post #43 of 293
Yes...baby steps.
Way to "go" Slooty.
post #44 of 293
Thread Starter 
Saturday Evening Update

For clarity's sake, I'll run through the day's events for each cat separately. Rereading my previous posts I was jumping back and forth from cat to cat a lot and it seemed unnecessarily confusing.

Figuring they were tired of being boxed up during transit, we swaddled them separately and I carried Slooty while my fiancee carried Luna on the 30min walk to the vet. We got a lot of strange looks (Chinese people generally don't have a high opinion of cats or dogs) and delighted a lot of children with the two fuzzy white heads poking out of our bundles of stoles and towels.

The vet is a spartan, 3 room affair. The back room is primarily for stock, the front room is for smaller animals, and the side room is for the big fellas. When we arrived a puppy was getting an IV in the front room and an epileptic German Shepherd (poor guy!) was sprawled out inside blankets in the side room.

Slooty at the Vet
We set Slooty down on the table and began waiting for the Vet who was tending to the German Shepherd's seizures. (I have no idea what was wrong with him) Slooty, apparently feeling quite a bit better, leapt off the table down to the floor and strolled directly towards the massive Shepherd. Knowing that a Shepherd could kill a kitten in an instant - especially one in a foul mood because it's having seizures! - I ran and scooped her up before she got too close to learn if it was friendly or not. All in all the Vet was pleased with her progress, as Slooty trotted happily around her office. She really looked like a new cat.

Luna at the Vet
Luna was gently placed onto the table beside Slooty, and as Slooty departed to greet the Shepherd Luna made a beeline down the table to say hello to the feverish puppy. The puppy's owner and myself watched in disbelief as Luna walked right up to the puppy - which was prostrate on the table - and ever so gently kissed her on the nose. While I am proud of my empathetic kittens, never in my life have I seen cats with so little "dog-sense." Dogs are dangerous, dummy! Be careful! Luna also perked up a lot at the Vet and now that we were switching to oral antibiotics the Vet said she probably wouldn't need to see them again until they were both completely healthy and it would be time for de-worming and to schedule spayings.

Slooty at Home
Upon returning home Slooty got her first 5mL dose of the new medicine. It's another human antibiotic intended for infants, and has a nice assortment of vitamins along with the core active ingredients. Slooty took it with almost no fuss, and then set about thoroughly grooming herself at the foot of the bed. This was the first time we had ever seen her self-groom so we were extremely happy - she's getting better! She had another BM around 9pm, still very moist but again slightly more formed than the last one. And lastly she received her last dose of goat's milk and eyedrops about 15min ago and is now happily curled up back on the bed. Both her eyes and her energy level are a LOT better today - we're very hopeful for a full recovery at this point!

Luna at Home
Luna had diarrhea once and peed once this evening but managed to get both into the litterbox. She got very cranky as soon as we got home and we accurately guessed that she was hungry. Unfortunately for her, she's only allowed to have medicine and goat's milk for the next couple days until her BM's stabilize. She seemed to enjoy the medicine though, which made my job a lot easier. She didn't take much goat's milk, but she took a lot of medicine 2 hours beforehand and we're satisfied with that. She's buried somewhere inside our comforter on the bed.

All in all it was a good day. Luna was actually doing worse than Slooty this morning, but her lethargy was almost certainly due to hunger after not eating yesterday and not any real sickness. Once she had some goat's milk for lunch she perked up quite a bit. Slooty had a great day, and we're hopeful her progress will continue just as rapidly tomorrow.

See everyone on Sunday! Thank you for everything!
post #45 of 293
You bring your adventures with Slooty and Luna to life for us.
I am so glad that they seem to be progressing toward recovery.

More vibes on the way, this time for you, your fiancée, Slooty and Luna.

When things stabilize, I would love to hear more of your observations about cats in China.
Thank you for sharing this remarkable story with us Andrew.
post #46 of 293
Thank you for the update!!! From what you are telling, I think your lovely babies are already doing better. This interest they have for what is around is a good sign!

Just a note though, you said you carried your cats in your arms to go to the etc... Be careful, they might be scared by someting, a dog passing by or a loud noise, and they could jump from your arms and escape... I never, ever take my cats (even little kittens) in my arms to the vet.

Let me tell you a story. At my vet office, there is a cat who lives in the office: Maria Luisa is a beautiful black female cat, that wanders in the middle of the clients. One day, a client's pitbull came racing through the door and attacked her, taking her in his jaws at the abdomen. There was panic in the office, my vet jumped on the dog, grabbed him by the neck and had almost to cut his breathing to make him let go of the poor Maria Luisa. Imagine if it were a client's cat! She would have been protrected if she were in a carrier.

Let me reassure you, Maria Luisa, who by luck was not harmed in any vital organ, recovered completely. She is now walking again in the vet office, although more timidly then before.

I think it would be better to take your beautiful cats in their carrier. Ok, they don't like it... but it's for a short time!

Wishing your babies a full recovery... And I bet fiancee is already feeling better since Slooty and Luna are getting better!
post #47 of 293
continued for Luna and SLotty
post #48 of 293
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
I'm sure I speak for all of us when I say our thoughts, prayers and hearts are with you.
They certainly are!

These updates are getting better by the day More healthy on their way over for the little munchkins
post #49 of 293
Bless you two for all the love and care you have shown your 2 fur babies. I'm so glad they are doing so much better! You will continue to be in my prayers!
post #50 of 293
Thread Starter 
Sunday Morning Update - "Kitten Attack"

Saturday Night Tidbit
As we got into bed last night Luna settled down beside me as usual, but this time Slooty came walking back from her waterbowl, leapt up onto the bed, and walked directly over to where I was laying down and curled up in the crook of my arm. Up until this point she had always chosen to be at the end of the bed by herself, my fiancee and I were shocked and delighted!

Sunday Morning
At about 6am Luna was up and crying. We figured she was hungry so I gave her 2mL of goat's milk before she made it clear she had had enough. We all climbed back into bed and fell back asleep.

At 8am Luna was up again, this time sitting on the floor of the kitchen crying repeatedly. I got up to give her more goat's milk, but on a whim decided to test her appetite with some pure tuna wet cat food. While holding her in one hand to keep her from screaming at me, I opened the pack and squeezed a tiny bit onto my index finger. She began purring IMMEDIATELY, and purring LOUDLY. I put her down on the floor beside her bowl and put a tiny bit of food in. She was in heaven.

Remembering her vomiting bout a few days ago, I only let her have a very tiny portion so we could monitor her reaction before possibly giving her more later. After she had licked my fingers, the bowl, and the floor around the bowl clean three times over she began angrily protesting the dearth of victuals. It was then that I scooped her up and returned her to the bed.

At which point a funny thing happened...

From the other side of the bed Slooty got a whiff of the tuna residue on Luna and jumped up from her spot and raced over to Luna for a better smell. Having determined that yes, this kitten did indeed just have tuna, Slooty looked directly at me and began yelling. When a tuna fish didn't magically materialize out of my ear she jumped off the bed and began sniffing frantically around the floor. I grabbed another bowl and gave her a little as well, more than Luna since she's bigger, but not enough to risk making her sick. She happily scarfed it down and licked the bowl until it shone.

That marked the first time we had ever seen Slooty eat, and she ate ravenously.

I would count this morning as a breakthrough!

They both have since had their morning medicine, and Slooty has had her eyes cleaned and treated.

Neither kitten has been very happy with the low volume of their breakfasts though, and they both vented their frustrations in their own special way:

Slooty protested her miniscule breakfast the best way possible - she discovered Daddy's laptop (for the first time) and sabotaged it...

Luna prostrate on the bed expressing her abject misery over not being allowed to eat an entire 400lb tuna...

See you all this evening, thank you for all your support!
post #51 of 293
Thread Starter 
I would also like to ask for suggestions on the best way to clean stained & matted fur. You can see from the photos that the fur around Slooty's eyes is heavily stained and chunky from her eye infection. We've got the infection almost completely cleared up but are having a hard time "degunking" the old mucuous from the fur itself. Currently we are using babywipes to gently stroke at the trouble spots, but they're not very effective.

Any suggestions?

How about for their little heinies and the fur surrounding them?

Thank you!!!
post #52 of 293
I don't know if they have lard available, but lard will work. So will cornstarch and a fine toothed comb. For the hind ends, your best bet is to trim the long hairs with scissors very carefully so feces don't get stuck there. Glad to hear they are still coming along.
post #53 of 293
My DH and I have been following this story about your two beautiful girl since you first posted. We both think you are doing a wonderful thing and continue to pray and send vibes your way. Continue the good progress.

Sending some prayers

You and your fiancee are both angels
post #54 of 293
Glad to hear that Slooty has eaten some actual food. I've been following but haven't posted.

I see what you mean about Slootys eyes. I don't know what to suggest about that except that in time, with out the infection, she should clean herself up. You can keep going with the babywipes, but I perfer good old fashion cottonwool with warm water. The key is the WARM. Baby wipes are cold.

I agree with Hissy. Trim the rear end fur, its not nice to see them eat whats stuck on it

Good luck, Keep up the good work!!!
post #55 of 293
The pictures of Slooty on your laptop and Luna giving you the "LOOK" are priceless.

Reading your update was the purr-fect way to begin my Sunday.
post #56 of 293
I had to laugh reading your update on your babies!!!!! They do have a way to get even at us!! From the photos I can tell they are feeling and looking much better! They are very lucky to have found you...
post #57 of 293
I've been following this thread, too, and am so pleased that the kittens are doing so much better. They're both going to grow into beautiful cats, especially being odd-eyed. Contined health
post #58 of 293
Thread Starter 
Sunday Evening Update

Although she was able to keep her tuna breakfast down for most of the morning, it did eventually come back up around lunch time. She only vomited once though, so we weren't too upset. Luna's been returned to a strict goat's milk diet for today, tomorrow, and possibly Tuesday depending on how she's doing. She is not the least bit happy about this, as you might imagine On the whole though she had a good day, alternating between naps on the bed, trips to the water bowl, crying for food, and tinkling in the litter box.

This kitty is just an incredible success story. Her eyes are almost perfect and we get to enjoy her beautiful blue and brown gaze without any squinting now. She was very active today, the most she's ever been, following us all over the house at a trot to keep tabs on what we were doing, exploring nooks and crannies, and being refreshingly demanding about being fed exactly when she felt like it. Slooty had 4 small meals today, 2 of tuna and 2 of roasted chicken (tiny bites of leg meat). She had one soft but not runny BM and several healthy yellow tinkles. She's not quite well enough to want to truly play yet, but she's up and about and vocal so I'd say she's about 80% normal kitten at this point - truly amazing!

While we're delighted with Slooty's return from the brink, we're clearly concerned about Luna's ongoing tummy trouble. She's not even half as bad as Slooty was when we got her though, so we're not as stressed about Luna - just keeping a careful eye on her and seeing that she gets her medicine.

It's midnight, and I have freshmen to teach bright and early at 8am tomorrow, so please excuse the brevity of this update.

Briefly though, some of you have asked about the pet culture here in China. Some super quick tidbits before we crash out:

-I've never seen a pet carrier in this country, even at "real" pet stores
-I've also never seen a litter box. I've improvised two for the present from cardboard boxes with the sides trimmed down, reinforced with duct tape, and lined with plastic.
-Most people regard cats and dogs as ridiculous luxuries and/or filthy street pests. The first thing my fiancee's parents said when we told them we were on the lookout for kittens was "kittens? why? they're filthy and smelly!"

... well yeah, you would be too if you were forced to live on the street!

Unfortunately, in developing countries (I've also lived in the Philippines) this seems to be the norm.

My fiancee has a distant aunt who lives in the countryside and they've got a dog whose entire life is spent attached to a 2m rope tied to the outside corner of the house. We play with it when we're there but they never do. The first time we went they told us not to go near it (it was starving for affection, a real sweetheart) because it was dirty... well duh, you need to wash it! With my fiancee translating, I asked them why they didn't bring it into the house? They matter of factly informed me that clearly if it lived inside the house it wouldn't be able to guard them! (tell that to a German Shepherd or a ChowChow owner...)

The people who do have house pets, inside pets, generally "get it" though. Unfortunately they're in the tiny minority...

But yeah, developing countries can be depressing places to live sometimes if you're a dyed-in-the-wool animal lover like myself.

Time for bed, hope I didn't make anyone too sad! Just reread the first half of the post if you're in a somber mood at this point!

Goodnight everyone!!!
post #59 of 293
What a wonderful thread! Your kits are gorgeous! I can empathise very closely as I spent ten years in Bosnia and everything you have said about attitudes and vet care applies there too, though I did eventually, like you, find a great vet who helped save the lives of my rescue kittens. Like you too, my two white cats, Wellington and Persil, are Bosnian street rescues, both very sick and dying when I got them. (Dushka and Ellie are also Bosnian).

I also found that goat milk was the answer for a sick kitten, especially when they couldn't smell anything, but I mixed it with egg yolk for extra nourishment. They still love that mix to this day. But I was giving them, even at three weeks which was when I got Dushka, more than 20ml a day - she was getting closer to 40ml/day in five meals. But as yours have now started to eat on their own, they will soon tell you when they are getting enough.

It is very possible that the tummy upsets are due to worms, or to some other intestinal bacteria. It took me five weeks to clear Wellington (and his brother, whom I have since sadly lost) from various nasty parasites that gave them loose stools and vomiting. I don't know if your vet can test for everything, but it might be worth mentioning. They pick up everything going while on the streets and have no immunity.

It is a wonderful thing you have done and I am sure you and your fiancee will have many years of happiness with your new family.
post #60 of 293
Yes, that was my thought too: worms. Here in Portugal, we always deworm stray cats/kittens when they are older then 1 month the moment we rescue them. We do that all the time. We found, by experience, that 80% of tummy trouble in rescue cats are because of worms. We don't test them, we deworm. Then if tummy troubles get worse or get going we test. We also deflea them.

I find it strange that your vet hasn't dewormed the two kitten, they are old enough for that. Luna's vomiting is strange and could be accounted for by worms. How are Luna BM?
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