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    • CommentTimeJul 7th, 2016 9:30pm (Jul 7th 2016) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    I'll get this big long post out the way then go see what everyone else has been up to :)

    First: we sadly had to rehome Nyx. I want to get that out the way first, I still feel like s**t about it.

    She recovered with her leg far, far faster than expected, and almost everything was going well...apart from her bring left alone. She was having more times where, when we returned, she was being extremely vocal, no matter how little time we left her. At first we didn't realise we had a problem, but then a trainer recommended we film her when left, and it REALLY opened our eyes. Even the times she was quiet when we returned (and so obviously we thought she was fine when left) she whined, screamed, and barked CONSTANTLY for at least 20-25 minutes. Every time we got back and she had been silent, she'd actually only been quiet for a few minutes.

    The footage was incredibly traumatic to watch, so we contacted a trainer and took Nyx to their facility. We'd been talking a week beforehand, and he'd suggested some herbal remedy to help calm her, and had also seen the footage and knew her background. He said that he didn't think we would be able to keep Nyx, and that to do so would be unfair on her and she would get worse in the long run - he said we should expect to leave her to go into a foster home with him (he's affiliated with the rescue we volunteer at). We got to the facility and spent a long time talking first in the room where the rescue assesses how dogs are in a home environment, then he suggested we leave her. It was as expected, even when left with extremely high value foods, Nyx was extremely stressed and would howl, scream, bark and completely ignore the food, no matter what we did.

    The trainer said that given her background, he believed she had been kept with other dogs as her sole companion, and before being dumped she had never been alone...that, combined with being abandoned, obviously left her with a lot of stress. Interestingly he said in other sighthound crosses that had had the same background, they were fine when left with another dog. The trainer got his stooge dog (his own Beagle) and we introduced him to Nyx. They got on like a house on fire of course :smile:

    After they'd been together about an hour we left them in the room, together, not in crates, and went to spy through a back window. The Beagle immediately settled on the couch. Nyx paced for a few minutes, then almost immediately went and lay beside the Beagle with her head actually on the dogs' back - it was AMAZING. We left them for 15 minutes, then went back in and talked some more. At this point we had to get back to the boys, so the trainer said he would do more work with Nyx and phone us to let us know if he had ideas we could try or if he wanted to put Nyx into foster. Walking away has hell.

    He left Nyx several more times, and every time was the same - she just needed a dog she could physically touch when left. So. She is in foster with a 9 month old GSD cross. She's doing great, but it doesn't feel good :sad:

    Less than a week after letting Nyx go, we met up with the trainer because he had a litter of foster kittens, and had suggested a cat for us, and we said we had been thinking of getting a cat a while back but Nyx put an end to that. We viewed the kittens and chose a little boy.

    Within a few days I was absolutely smitten - I might not like cats, but MY kitty boy is the best thing that has ever happened to me.

    Then we had the worst day of our lives when, at the vet apt, our worst fears were confirmed. The indentation in his chest was an extremely rare congenital condition where his ribs are deformed. This causes other issues, means he could have a shortened lifespan, and he has a few other complications too. The only physical symptoms though are the dent and a faster heartbeat (should be 30 breaths per minute and his is 120).

    We were given three options: return him to where we got him from, euthatnise him, or operate.

    For the operation he would first need an x-ray. Now x-rays on kittens under 4 months are not recommended due to the risk; Enzo is currently 13 weeks old and about the size of a 6-8 week old kitten. After the x-ray the operation would involve breaking and resetting his ribs, then sewing a cast into his skin, which gets covered with bandages. All this is extremely high risk and, even after the operation, the condition can return. Oh also, pectus is so rare that no vets at our surgery would be able to treat Enzo, he would have to go to a cat specialist surgery.

    I will continue in another post!
    • CommentTimeJul 7th, 2016 9:34pm (Jul 7th 2016) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    On the same day as that dreadful vet appt, Aubree our bunny also died, and our guinea pig passed away too.

    Aubree died from no known cause (she was fine the day before), but our guinea pig had been torn apart. Literally, torn all down her stomach. We have no idea how it happened; she was in a room on the second floor, the door had been closed, the dogs or kitten didn't have access, and the only other pets in that room were the quail and the rats (in a cage with 1cm bar spacing).

    The window was open a crack so the only thing we could think was a bird of prey got in, but what small bird of pray could do that through a locked cage, in the UK?!?! Other than that, it had to have been Loaf and Slice though?!?!?

    So that was truly horrific, and combined with the news that my first ever kitten was seriously ill and my sweet Aubree was dead, it was a horrific day.

    I did a lot of research into the prognosis of a cat with pectus, with and without surgery, but because pectus is such a rare condition, there is very very little information out there. I found cases where the kitten had been operated on and survived, the kitten had been operated on and died (both during the operation and recovery through complications), and the kitten had been operated on, fully healed, then the condition had returned. I found a few cases where the cat was diagnosed with pectus as a kitten, and survived to double digits with no treatment.

    Throughout all this I was absolutely devastated, if you've been on the blog you will see quite how much I adore Enzo. I did NOT want to put him through such an invasive and stressful operation, but I didn't want to return him either.

    I started setting up a gofundme to raise the £3000-£4000 for the operation, and Lyle got in touch about returning Enzo. I spoke with vets and other cat owners. Eventually it was suggested not to return him, not to operate, but to keep him and love him and spoil him for however long we have him. We immediately phoned our vet and asked what she thought, and she said she thought that was the best option - the vets have zero idea what his prognosis is.

    Enzo has been here a few weeks now, and he is doing GREAT - he knows three tricks through clicker training, he LOVES attention and snuggles, he thinks playing is the best thing ever and he is just fab.
    I'll post the happy stuff now, doom and gloom over I promise :)
    • CommentTimeJul 7th, 2016 9:39pm (Jul 7th 2016) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    Finally, here is my little Enzo, the best little man in the world :heart:

     photo magiccat4_zpsusyc81jj.jpg

    He is extremely small, about the size of an 8 week old kitten, although some 6 week old kittens at the vets were the same size as him :rolling:

     photo ilovehim6_zpsretoxpi6.jpg

    You can see the dent by his right paw here

     photo ilovehim_zpsa6qfzb6f.jpg

    He's a mummy's boy, which I love!

     photo bestcat1_zpsczh7f7gz.jpg

    He has his own cat room, and when we're home he has the whole upper floor and, if the dogs are away, downstairs too. When we are out somewhere, eventually he will have the whole house other than the kitchen (where the dog crates are), as Kasper will never be able to be in the same room as him off lead :P

     photo shelfcat1_zpsiptbwivm.jpg

    The cat room has two cat trees, two (cat) crates, shelves that lead all around the room, and over a dozen toys :tooth:

     photo oneweekkitty3_zpsrghbjsak.jpg

     photo kittycrate8_zpsmyytn3yd.jpg

    The rug on the wall is his climbing wall, to dig his claws in!!! He was watching the chinchillas there, before we moved them into a huge DIY cage downstairs :smile:

    Some of the shelves:

     photo catroom8_zpscm5c1poh.jpg

    More coming (sorry)
    • CommentTimeJul 7th, 2016 9:41pm (Jul 7th 2016) edited

    Keeper of the hens

     photo magiccat2_zpspvh7fmgw.jpg

     photo PURRING_zpshox5hy5g.jpg

    He's just as active as any other kitten :)

     photo catroom4_zpsbyupwhri.jpg

     photo enzo_zpso2ymwzba.jpg

     photo kittysnip1_zpsnfwwnmly.jpg

     photo zooplus8_zps5qdhuee4.jpg

     photo zooplus9_zpsqxqvhxno.jpg

     photo newtoy3_zpsqynblkjf.jpg

     photo newtoy1_zpslwtwh4xr.jpg

    After asking lots of cat owners, our vets, and cat charities, we are adding a brother to the family for Enzo, too. We are visiting a 7.5 week old kitten tomorrow, with the hopes of bringing him home to be a 24/7 playmate, comfort and companion for Enzo when newbie is 10 weeks old.

    I will post more very very soon, I just need to go eat!!
    • CommentTimeJul 7th, 2016 10:01pm (Jul 7th 2016)

    Keeper of the hens


    As we don't know how long Enzo will be with us (of course I'm hoping for years and years and years) we have no idea what condition he may be in when he is old enough to be neutered, so this was a huge concern of mine about bringing another kitten home. When I spoke with vets about this and cat charities, they said to only focus on the hear and now as nobody can say how he will be in a few months' time - he could easily be able to be neutered then, I don't know so I shouldn't worry about it. CP did recommend a male cat though, which is good as the kitten we're interested in is a boy :bigsmile:

    I'm concerned about intros (and appreciate any and all advice!) but do think another kitten will be good for Enzo and, if he is taken too soon, us too.

    So, there you go. Sorry to have disappeared, but what with everything, can usually find me over at my blog though, and if I don't post there either it's time to worry :rolling:

    I have about a billion pics to post, I might try do it now or space it out a little :rolling:
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJul 8th, 2016 6:18pm (Jul 8th 2016)
    He's absolutely beautiful, Red. I'm sorry about Aubree and finding the piggle like that was dreadful - but they had a glorious life with you two which few other people would have done. Concentrate on the happy times you had with them and give little Enzo the same chances and love that you've shown all your fur/scale babies. :heart:
    • CommentTimeJul 8th, 2016 9:25pm (Jul 8th 2016)
    We had a cat with that colouring at rehoming once - we'd never seen it before. He is stunningly handsome! I love his climbing wall - when I decided not to have any more rats the room was to be turned into a cat adventure room (Danny scuppered that when he moved back home though!) I wanted to carpet a wall, put shelves at various heights - some with boxes on - put tubes between them. It'll never happen now though!

    He doesn't know he has this condition and will act as all kittens should! I love that he's learning tricks - Bengals are very intelligent and more wild than the average kitten!!

    • CommentTimeJul 8th, 2016 10:11pm (Jul 8th 2016) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    Thank you both :)

    Kate if you shop on Zooplus they have some awesome cat stuff fairly cheap right now; the cat cube and tunnel are about £4.50, and the large leopard flirt pole (£1.50) are awesome - the flirt pole is Enzo's favourite thing, and it's so big you can get him running all around the room with out moving!!

    My little man is definitely growing, I'm worried his chest is getting worse (in terms of the depth of it going in) as he gets bigger, but again I'm trying to just live in the moment and not worry about it. I count his breathing several times a day and today it was the lowest (most normal) it's been so far.

    He's been a proper little snuggler today when I've had another migraine, he's so good at looking after me :heart:

     photo loveme8_zpsxdwhyf9z.jpg

    Omb that face...

     photo loveme9_zpsugn4nh4c.jpg

    Sleeps like Kasper :rolling:

     photo loveme5_zpsedd9kjxf.jpg

    Size reference; growing like a weed!

     photo loveme6_zpsgjwqlcmd.jpg

    Size 6 foot as a reference :rolling:

     photo theday4_zps2u0cx4kb.jpg

     photo loveme4_zpst5e1jrkf.jpg

    I woke up from a nap today needing some more pain pills and my glasses, and couldn't find them anywhere (I have crappy eyesight without them so it wasn't helping). I phoned Lyle who was walking Rey to ask if he knew where they were and he didn't...found them eventually!!!

     photo loveme3_zpsdwx0xi9v.jpg

    And he really, really likes this toy - best £1.99 I ever spent!!

     photo newtoy8_zpsd44rzihm.jpg
    • CommentTimeJul 8th, 2016 10:25pm (Jul 8th 2016)

    Keeper of the hens

    He often sleeps hanging off something

     photo loveme10_zpsibqz6bnr.jpg

     photo theday_zps93t1sjuk.jpg

    And we have some exciting news, don't we Enzo?!

     photo theday2_zps7xh1x3pi.jpg

    "No mummy, it's all about me...."

     photo theday1_zpsixghzd2b.jpg

    "Everyone look how cute *I* am!"

     photo cutiekit_zpsuvgslv43.jpg

    Yes Enzo, just a minute...We have chosen Enzo's little brother today :smile:

    We went to our vets' surgery today to look at the kittens they have. Two boys were unreserved, their mother had been brought in as a stray, and they were 7.5 weeks old. After seeing them we had an appt to go see another kitten, who was almost 8 weeks old, and we were going to pick whoever we thought would fit best.

    The two boys at the surgery were both brown tabby with bits of white, one was lighter and had ginger on it. Both these kittens were comfortable with people and happy to be handled, and we chose the lighter boy based entirely on looks:

     photo theday7_zpslscpb9e8.jpg

     photo theday6_zpsy8nwh48w.jpg

    Then, within minutes of deciding he was going to be our kitten, the darker boy started coming up and asking for fuss, loving attention etc. So then it was like, do we go based on looks or personality and who would fit in best? Although the lighter kitten accepted attention, he was vocal being picked up, and it was accepted rather than enjoyed.

    So obviously we picked the darker boy, as he kind of picked us!!!

     photo theday8_zpsteemn513.jpg

     photo theday11_zpsdy4gws3k.jpg

     photo theday10_zpsp59hmdcd.jpg

    So Enzo, how do you feel about having a new little brother to play with?

     photo theday3_zpscfxjchee.jpg

    "I don't think so mum, I'M your special little boy..."

     photo theday5_zps3ukvodfi.jpg

    We know baby, you always will be.
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJul 9th, 2016 4:17pm (Jul 9th 2016)
    Oooo, hark at the cat hater... :rolling: They are both lovely...have you introduced them yet Red? I quite expected you to say that you couldn't decide between them and so took both! You might be conquering your addiction to pets... :D
    • CommentTimeJul 9th, 2016 10:43pm (Jul 9th 2016) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    CC, Pecan's not old enough to come home until the end of the month, when he'll be about 10 weeks old. Enzo will be about 16 weeks, Pecan will be 10, and I think Pecan will be the same size or possibly bigger

    I have this huge fear that Enzo will pass before Pecan comes home, and I'll have missed it and he'd have loved a brother, and I'll just have failed him. Maybe I should have just gone and got whatever kittens could have come home asap, instead of going the rescue route and finding a cat that seemed confident and sweet, but meaning we had to wait a few weeks. I'll feel so rotten if anything happens to Enzo beforehand

    I'm trying so hard to live in the now and not think about the future, and it's impossible because every time I spend time with Enzo and every time I love him, I worry about how little time he might have with us and my heart breaks. Every interaction is filled with love but tinged with mourning. I SUCK at not worrying!!

    I think it's because the more he grows, the more crushed his organs will become, and so the more hr grows the more chance he'll become seriously ill...


    On the positive, Enzo is finally building a relationship with Lyle! He's accepting fuss off Lyle, he plays with Lyle, and today for the first time he was letting Lyle stroke his cheek, and Enzo gave his daddy his first pur!!

    Also today my parents came to meet Enzo, and thought he was very cute. They brought him some new toys which was really sweet of them, as they feel somewhat similar to how I do about cats!

    Then this evening we left Enzo with the run of the whole house whilst we were gone!! (apart from the kitchen where the dogs are of course!) We got back and nothing had been knocked over, there were no accidents, and Enzo was upstairs in the cat room, asleep in the rabbit igloo in the top crate as usual, bless him :rolling:

    Now he's just chilling next to me watching the world go by, and occasionally clawing my legs :tooth:

     photo showday_zpsc0lgqn05.jpg

    "Hey Anton, where'd you go?!"

     photo showday8_zpsxclkz9n5.jpg

    Wiggle toy for kids we bought Enzo from the agricultural show today!

     photo showday5_zpspa0ql5rc.jpg

     photo showday4_zpslhj0jqph.jpg

    This was him last night asleep, half falling off the footstool and only held up by Lyle's foot :rolling:

     photo showday2_zpsbufotqzc.jpg

     photo showday1_zpsdokvyc3d.jpg

    Cat corner :tooth:

     photo showday6_zpsdpz5yewc.jpg
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeJul 9th, 2016 11:27pm (Jul 9th 2016)
    Red, your kitties are beautiful. I love Enzo's coat color! Pecan is a little doll too.
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJul 10th, 2016 2:28pm (Jul 10th 2016)
    Of course you won't have failed Enzo - you're giving him a chance that very few other people would, He's a bloody lucky little chap and don't you forget it! :flowers:
    • CommentTimeJul 10th, 2016 4:51pm (Jul 10th 2016)
    I wonder if he lies on his back and stretched out because it relieves a bit of the pressure on his insides so is a bit more comfortable?

    You won't have failed him, and rehoming him from a reputable source is better than taking a random kitten from somewhere that could bring in cat flu, or ringworm, or fleas - all very common with both on-line and breeder kittens. You have to consider health issues for him so please don't be tempted to get a 'give-away' kitten.

    I buy from Zooplus all the time. Cats Best cat litter is fantastic - its plant based so when you dispose of it you can safely flush it, put it in the garden (green) recyling bin, or in the domestic waste without any enviromental issues. It lasts longer than other litter too, and is good at containing smell. No dust either, but gentle underfoot (I should be a salesperson for them!!) My cats love the cardboard scratchers - they sleep on them too. There are lots of cheap balls and mice too - I make the order up to the limit for free postage and then take the toys in to rehoming for the cats and kittens there. We always need them.
    • CommentTimeJul 10th, 2016 7:10pm (Jul 10th 2016) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    Thank you Lynn :D

    Cheers seems so unfair that he's such an awesome little guy and has this condition :( If I'd known about it when we'd have adopted him I'd definitely have adopted a brother for him, too. He does get a lot of attention everyday from us though (smushed up against my left leg sleeping as I type!); last night was the first night he had full roam of the house as we slept, and he very much enjoyed darting over us as we slept and when I woke this morning he was snuggled against my feet :heart: I feel like I need to do absolutely everything right, and everything that I can, because he probably won't have much time with us :sad:

    Kate we thought that too, although he mainly only does it when he's lying next to me?? I'm really glad Pecan is coming from a vet surgery, because it means they should have been checked for any problems dozens of times, so they are safest for Enzo. Also means there shouldn't be any nasty surprises, although we did feel both their ribs just in case :rolling:

    We bought Enzo a third cat tree today hahaha, this one is really cool and is taller even than his tallest one...he's gonna love it :smile:

    Enzo's favourite place to sleep is either next to me or, if he's not quite exhausted, he sprawls all over my keyboard and makes whatever I was doing impossible. If I'm on the PC he makes sure to rest on the wireless keyboard, if I'm on my laptop he lies all across it :rolling:

     photo bestbuds2_zpskblbxa9s.jpg

     photo bestbuds1_zpszzikbkoa.jpg


     photo bestbuds_zpsmtxaxtxk.jpg

     photo bestbuds_zpsflarpdh2.jpg

    And we've had a MASSIVE breakthrough today: Enzo is asking for fuss from Lyle!!!

    Over the past few days Enzo has been accepting brief strokes from Lyle, and then yesterday Lyle got his first cheek rubs and purring from Enzo. But today has been the best day so far with Enzo walking to Lyle for fuss, getting face, body and tail rubs, and Enzo even spent fifteen minutes walking between both of us, asking for love from each :bigsmile: :heart:
    • CommentTimeJul 10th, 2016 8:56pm (Jul 10th 2016)
    He really is a special boy and those pictures are fantastic. Black cats are very difficult to get good pictures of because of lighting, but with your eye and skill, and his lovely silver/black colour the pictures are stunning! He could be stretching out because he's hot - looking around the room at 5 of mine the only curled one is Kitten who's on my feet. It is a trust gesture when they expose their tummy too.
    • CommentTimeJul 10th, 2016 11:10pm (Jul 10th 2016)

    Keeper of the hens

    I guess I am very very trustworthy :tooth:
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeJul 19th, 2016 3:37pm (Jul 19th 2016)
    your kittens are just the cutest ever Red so pleased for you xxxxx