Wednesday, November 30, 2005

X-ray Kitty

Savannah gets x-rayed tomorrow to determine when the bolts come out - let's hope the news is good!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Thanks giving

I give thanks for veterinarians around the United States, and for people who love animals in general and cats in particular.

On Thursday, we fed Savannah some ground-up turkey. Dr. Bob had told us that we could give her some as a treat as long as we ground it very fine. Heather used the blender and a lot of water, and we had the turkey blended to a thin liquid. Heather put about 5 ccs into Savannah through the syringe, and then...


Couldn't move the plunger at ALL. Not a millimeter in. Even when trying to force it. We tried everything we could think of - warm water to flush it through, soda (on a recommendation from a nurse and a vet), and even backing up the plunger a little bit (which Heather was veryopposed to, although I couldn't think as it would hurt her much). Nothing. Savannah, of course, was unperturbed by the whole thing, sitting calmly in Heather's lap the entire time.

We called the Laurel Animal Hospital on Friday morning after an anxious night. They recommended warm water and gentle pressure, which didn't work, and agreed we could try the soda, which didn't work. Then they told us to take her to a local vet.

We took her to the Kettering Animal Hospital (we were in Dayton, OH, visiting family - did I mention that?) were we had to explain her medical history to the staff and the vet. ("Has she been spayed?" "Um..." "How old is she?" "Um..." and so on) The vet took her away from us and returned with her a few minutes later. Turns out the tube had been kinked underneath her bandage, where we couldn't see it, and we hadn't blocked it up with the turkey, like we'd thought. They'd put on a new bandage, cleaned the area underneath for us, and repositioned the tube so it wouldn't kink again*. He also gave us a topical antibiotic for the area around where the tube goes into her neck, and made some recommendations.

Oh yeah, and he didn't charge us for the visit.

People who love animals are the coolest.

*I should note that the way the vet repositioned the tube is the same way it was positioned when Savannah came home with us, but we'd moved the tube around for ease of feeding, since it lies across the back of her head and pokes up between her ears. So we screwed that up. :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

Heather and I (and the cat) are off to Ohio until Monday. Have a Happy Thanksgiving, all, and don't eat too much.

It Burns

Slow getting in to work today due to the truck that was abaze on I-95 southbound. Not just any truck, though, but one that was carrying propane. Yipes. I'm hearing that it's burning something like 8600 gallons. Both sides of I-95, all four lanes, shut down completely. Nasty.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Pathetic the Cat

This pathetic cat. She smells so bad - due to her mouth being wired open, we can essentially smell her digestion. (Belated warning, maybe you shouldn't be reading this while eating - sorry). She stinks.

In further pathetic cat news, we're pretty much certain that she's blind in her left eye. She's got no reaction to things coming at her from that side. You can all but smack her in the face (no, we didn't smack her in the face) and she doesn't flinch or even bat the eye until you contact her whiskers. AND we're pretty sure she's got a lo of hearing loss, too, as she doesn't react to most noises and often can't tell we're in a room until we enter her line of sight - which, again, is only the right side.

What a sad cat. She seems cheerful enough, though, and she'll be coming with us this weekend for holiday festivities. The vet said we could blend up a piece of turkey and feed it to her as a Thanksgiving treat. ;)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Doin' Okay

Savannah is showing much improvement, as she's moving around a lot more and her eyes are open again. So we felt it was time to introduce her to the birds, as seen here.

Birds, Kitty; Kitty, Birds

"What's that thing?"

"No, you can't climb up there."

A Step Back

And we were doing so well...

Savannah had surgery on Friday to put her feeding tube back in. On Wednesday and Thursday she'd been animated, alert and awake (yay alliteration!) and now she's back to sleeping all of the time and looking out of it. On Saturday her neck started to swell up and at some point her tongue did the same thing. So we're back to where she was when I first met her - groggy, disoriented, not moving much. She seems to recover pretty fast, though, so hopefully the swelling will go down soon.

Not sure if the tube is in differently this time or if we're doing something differently or what, but she seems to be getting a lot more air in her stomach now when we feed her. She's always burping after we feed her now.

*sigh* Poor cat.

UPDATE: Appears the swelling is normal. No word about the burping, though. ;) She was much more active last night, so the lethargy was probably just a reaction to the surgery.

English Pet Peeves (ongoing)

  • You don't "peek" your interest, you pique it.
  • It's not your want to do something, it's your wont to do it.
  • "Irregardless" is not a word, regardless of how much you want it to be.
  • "An historical" is bad English (or, according to certain style guides, archaic and affected). If there's an initial 'h' pronounced, you use a.
  • Speakers imply, listeners infer.
  • Flammable and inflammable mean the same damn thing. (Why is that?)
  • The singular of data is datum. 'Data' is PLURAL.
  • You're not phased by something (unless you're in STAR TREK), you're fazed by it. Or unfazed. Pick your poison.
  • As was pointed out in the comments, "I could care less" when what is meant is "I couldn't care less".
  • My own inability to get comma usage correct. *growls*
  • Apostrophe usage: You don't use them to make things plural (unless it's a lowercase letter), for crying out loud! This one really bothers me, so it's going to get extra space. I just read somewhere online: "Have you gotten your's yet?" GAH!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Sonny and Glory

Glory has a thing for Sonny.


Our sun conure, Sonny.


Jezzy, one of our conures.


Our Amazon, Glory.


This is Scooter, our miniature Quaker. He likes having his picture taken. ;)

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Kitty Food Woes

Savannah is back with us after less than a day at the hospital. Heather's been working from home the last few days in order to spend time with her (and the birds) and make sure she was getting fed. She kept calling and asking, "Can we keep her one more day?" "Sure!"

Yesterday, though, Savannah pulled out her food tube. She was on the bed with Heather, one minute it was in, the next it was lying next to her. So Heather took her in.

Dr. Bob took a look at her and decided he'd put the tube back in on Friday if she hadn't eaten anything on her own before then. So we're trying to get her to eat something, mostly stuff we've blended up for her. The smell of it is driving her crazy and she wants to do it, she just hasn't figured out how yet. She's not a fan of us sticking it in her mouth for her, either. ;)
Biggest news was that her back jaw may be an ongoing problem for her. There's nothing they could do back there as far as reconstruction; apparently the part of the jaw that curves up to meet the rest of the skull is too thin and fragile to anchor in any way - bolting something to it would be like driving a nail through glass. So they may have to keep fiddling with that, and hoping that it heals correctly. Poor cat's going to need a lot of care.

Other news: Her left eye is still dilated. Dr. Bob thinks that could lead to problems down the road, either glaucoma or some kind of shrinkage of the eye. She definitely can't see out of it, either. Poor cat. We think she's got some hearing loss, too.

She's adorable, though. No question that she was someone's cat at some point, even if she was living as a stray for a while. She loves to be wherever we are and will follow us around the room (when she's not exploring). Still haven't introduced her to the birds, though.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Savannah Came Home!

On Saturday, amidst preparations for the party and people coming that night (see here for why) we went to see Savannah at the vet's for our daily visit. She walked right out of her cage, over to my wife (who was crouched down so that she could see her) and jumped right up into her lap. This absolutely melted the wife, who had this silly/cute look on her face for the rest of the visit.

As we were getting ready to leave, Kim (one of the staff there) came back to where we were holding Savannah and asked if we wanted to take her home for the weekend. Well, YEAH! So they sent us home with supplies and instructions on how to feed her through the tube. We had to take her home in a box because she was a bit nervous about the car ride (and we didn't have a carrier, of course, since we didn't expect this) and the vet recommended that we didn't just carry her. She did NOT like the box, but was fairly calm.

When we arrived at home, we took her upstairs and let her out of the box in our bedroom, after closing the doors to the hallway. She was as animated as I've ever seen her, poking around under the bed and in the closet and basically familiarizing herself with the room. She decided she liked the bed, and slept on it for most of the rest of the weekend.

While the original idea was to have her sleep in the bathroom, Heather insisted that we try letting her have free run of both bathroom and bedroom, which meant that she ended up sleeping with us for most of the night. I was a little bit nervous, since I tend to move around a lot in my sleep, but it worked out okay.

She is a sweetheart! Feeding time was a little rough at first, as we tried to hold her while we did it. She didn't like that, and tended to squirm. Once we figured out, though, that letting her get comfortable and then petting her worked, it was much smoother. She's still not eating solid food, though, and since she needs to be fed every two hours and we both work day jobs, she had to go back to the vet. Very neat to have her at home, though!

It's My Birthday, Precious

On Sunday, November 6, I turned 30. This was a big milestone for me, as for years I never thought I'd make it to my 30th birthday.

Y'see, I was an accident-prone child. My parents were taking me to the emergency room a lot. I've almost cut my earlobe off (requiring stitches), split open one of my eyelids horizontally (more stitches), sliced through my upper lip horizontally (yet more stitches) and vertically almost to my nostril (again with the stitches). I've broken both arms and the little finger on both hands (in one case, I broke my left little finger on a Monday and my right arm the next Saturday - while I was teaching at a first aid camp).

I was a fairly reckless teen, as these things go. My parents used to let me walk to nearby stores before I could drive. Goodness only knows why, as I used to just walk out into traffic on the four-lane highway that was the main drag in our town, secure in my adolescent invulnerability and the knowledge that the drivers could see me and would brake in time.

I was hit by a car on October 30 of 1993, seven days prior to my 18th birthday. Actually, pinned between two cars would be more accurate. Happened in my own driveway, for crying out loud! I spent my 18th birthday in the hospital, taking anticoagulants so that the blood clots, which formed when my calf muscles were compressed by the two cars, didn't go to my brain and give me a stroke or go clog my heart or something. I spent a week in the hospital and three weeks out of school.

See? I have no idea how I made it, either. Somehow I did, though. In any event, we had a party on Saturday night to celebrate. Heather and I decided (before we were hit with... well, before Savannah was hit, I guess) that we'd do a movie/TV themed night, just to have some variety. We weren't sure how people would take it, but they seemed to like the idea and most people showed up in costume.

<-- me (as Indiana Jones), my dad (as Henry Jones, Sr.) and Mitchell (as Indiana the dog)

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Great News

The specialist saw Savannah on Tuesday, and decided that she looked okay to him, and would be better off without further surgery.

What this means: Savannah should be able to come home as soon as she starts eating on her own! Woo-hoo! We don't know if that's in a day or a week, but it should hopefully be soon.

What else this means: We should be well and truly covered on the financial field, thanks to the kindness of everyone who has helped out. Anything extra we take in is going to the animal hospital, so if you still want to send in money send it to them directly (address is here if you need it). Thank you all so much - for passing the word, sending emails, posting auctions (23 hours to go!), checking in, and of course for sending money. We'll still keep everyone regularly updated on how she's doing, of course.

I posted pictures (here) that we took of Savannah yesterday. We think she has decided that Heather's lap is just the right size and shape for her. Still doesn't like it when you touch her back legs and flanks; must still be tender back there from not really using them for two weeks, or they're still sore from the accident (or both). She likes to wander around and hiss at the other cats, and really doesn't like it if you stop her from getting into places she wants to get into (like the boiler room, or the operating room). She's going to be a handful, I think. ;)

Thanks again, everyone!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Kitty pics

Savannah - Monday/Tuesday report

I got to see Savannah on Monday, and she was WALKING! This may not seem like a big deal but it's really the first time we'd seen her walk around. They moved her to a bigger cage on the floor and when we opened it she came out to greet us (kinda). This was a big improvement, and the staff was all very happy with her progress. She was also talking - in a cat way - mewling when she didn't get her way and hissing at, well, everything. She has a lot of stiffness in her back legs due to sitting in a cage for two weeks, but she was moving. Didn't like to be touched back there, though.

Of course, now that she has some freedom she doesn't like to be contained, so she'd walk around and hiss at the other animals, and would hiss and mewl (furiously or plaintively, depending) whenever she was thwarted in any way. Since there are places she shouldn't be going and things she shouldn't be getting into, this happened a lot. The staff says that's her "showing her calico", which means nothing to me as I've never had a cat. Are calicos always this temperamental?

Dr. Bob mentioned as she was walking around that he'd probably end up having to have her back in after all of the current work was done to do other work on her. Poor cat's going to be worked over from one end to the other.

Tuesday I couldn't go see her because I had to work, but Heather did. She came home very upset, saying it "was the worst visit yet!" Apparently Savannah cried when she had to leave, which had Heather in tears as well. This cat needs to come home yesterday, if not sooner.

They did have about an hour together, though. Savannah sat in her lap, purred, kneaded her legs and arced into her hands. At one point she even tried to roll over for her, although I guess that didn't work out too well.

On a side note, she has some motion in her jaw now. With the bolts and wiring and such, it has a limited range of motion, and she's set up so that when she opens and closes her jaw it moves along a rod-type thing that looks like a piston - makes her look like Cyber-kitty. Funny and sad at the same time.

Still no word on when she's coming home. We should find out today what the specialist had to say yesterday, I hope. I'll make sure to get some pictures of her walking around, too!

Talky Update

Firstly, thanks to local radio station z104 and host Mathew Blades for helping to spread the word! Hopefully this'll mean lots of support for little Savannah. Not that they're the only ones - as well as these people, there's Diva Kitty and the Fluffies, who've been driving a lot of traffic our way. Thank you everyone!

(I feel the need to provide links to everyone who has linked here. If you want your site linked, let me know)

The Adam Hughes art auction I listed here netted $679.69 for Savannah - yay!

Once again, to donate, go here for info on how to send money to the vet or to us.

moon phase