Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bunny, the guide-cat!

Blind humans have guide-dogs to help them move around, and usually these dogs are specially trained to do the job, and they do a mighty good job, too.  But who do blind dogs have to help them move around?  Who helps them?

Well, I wouldn't know about other blind dogs, but I have an almost-blind dog in my house - 14 year-old Bobby.

Here's Bobby sitting on his favourite chair (this rocking chair is everybody's favourite chair in the house, but since Bobby is the oldest resident in the house, he is given the privilege of owning the chair).

Both of Bobby's eyes are already cataracted, and he is almost blind.  He can find his way around the house quite well, has no problems going up the staircase, but he often bumps into the legs of the furniture in the house. 

So, who helps Bobby around the house?


Bunny is from my first litter of rescued cats.  He is now four-and-a-half years old.  Bunny is FIV+ and does get sick quite easily since his immune system is compromised.  But, despite it all, Bunny has now taken upon himself the task of being Bobby's "guide-cat"!

Bobby and his trusty guide-cat, Bunny.

When Bobby sleeps, Bunny tries to catch a nap too.  It's hard work guiding a dog around the house!

The guide-cat is always near.

Whenever Bobby goes down the stairs every morning, Bunny accompanies him down, and he does this by going in front of Bobby, and nudging Bobby towards the right direction.  It's quite amazing and heart-warming just watching the two friends go down the stairs, especially how conscientiously Bunny guides Bobby down, sometimes with a worried look on his face! 

Dog and guide-cat napping while Cow and Cleo look on.

My son, Jia-Wen and Bunny.  Bunny will only sit this way on Jia-Wen's lap.

The other day, a most interesting episode transpired.  Bobby was in Jia-Wen's bedroom and wanted to go out.  He did not know that the door of the room was partially ajar.  Bobby made this way toward the door, and ended up stuck in the triangular corner between the door and the wall. 

Poor Bobby.  He did not know where he was or what had happened, so he just stood there, with this nose facing the door hinge.

But wait....the trusty guide-cat is always good old Bunny came to the rescue.

Bunny walked up to Bobby and began nudging him.  He continued nudging Bobby until Bobby got the message, that he had to back away from the corner.  So, Bobby started walking backways until he came out of the corner, all the while, with Bunny nudging him.   

Without the help of any human, Bunny got Bobby out from that corner, and safely out of the room.

It just completely warms your heart, watching the two of them. 

Bunny Bun Buns, the caring guide-cat to Bobby.

By the way, we did not train Bunny for this job (we wouldn't know how!).  He does it from his heart. 

So, one wonders sometimes, just how much an animal knows. We'll never know, will we?  It also doesn't matter. 

It's not how much we know that matters, but how much we care, and this holds true for animals, too!

Flashback (4 years ago, when Bunny and his siblings, Cow and Pole, were rescued):

Bobby helped look after them...

Bobby had never seen a kitten before.
The kittens were only 2 days old when I found them by the roadside.

Eat your food, Pole.

Bunny, you're going the wrong way.  Over here...

Watch your step, little ones...

One good turn deserves another.

That's a universal law we can't defy!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Meeting Jennifer and Tara

Jennifer and Tara came over to the SJBA to meet up with me today. 

It was such a pleasure for me to meet both of them.  It's been months since I last saw Tara - she has grown so much...!!

Hi Tara....!!

Tara and Jennifer

It is truly so heartwarming to see how lovingly Jennifer's family has cared for Tara.  She is pampered to the core!

Tara making friends with the children at the temple.

More children...

Tara, the tiger?   That's a Pokemon suit Jennifer bought from Taiwan.

Tara simply adores attention.

Next...Tara meets Boy (the labrador recently rescued at the temple) posting, please.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

We share, too...

Bobby and the cats take their breakfast together every morning.  Cow (one of our alpha cats) has never been interested in Bobby's boiled chicken meals until lately when he decided to lick up whatever that's left in Bobby's bowl after the latter had finished his meal.  This, of course, isn't much - just a few morsels and some soup.

This morning, Cow decided he couldn't wait until Bobby finished, so...

I'll just help myself to some of your food, if you don't mind.

And they both licked the platter clean...

And at lunch time today, Bobby decided he would share Cow's bowl of food, but the bowl was too small for two mouths, so I quickly put another bowl beside Cow's and the two friends happily ate everything up.

  Sharing is a virtue, and when they can share, surely we can, too.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bunny got his brother, Cow

Poor little seems to be one thing after another.  First, it was the fever.  Then, it was the flu, and that was followed by the FLUTD.  He was sick for almost a month and was on two antibiotics and some other medicines.  But he recovered and things were back to normal.  

Not for long, though... 

Last Thursday night, we heard the sound of a very short cat fight on the porch, and after a few minutes, a very forlorn-looking Bunny walked into the kitchen and sat on a towel. 

We knew Cow was involved in the fight as it happened right after Cow jumped into the porch.  Moreover, Cow had been behaving quite crankily for the last few days.    

Our cats do fight occasionally, but usually nobody gets injured (it's usually just a few cat-snarls and a stand-off where the loser-cat walks away).  So, I thought perhaps Bunny had just lost the fight and was feeling dejected.  Bunny is bigger in size, but he doesn't fight back. 

It was much later that we noticed Bunny was bleeding quite badly from his chin, and upon closer examination, there was a pretty bad wound there.  There was also another small injury on his paw.  I wasn't sure if it was due to a bite or a scratch, though. 

It was very late at night and it did not appear to be very serious, so I just cleaned his wounds with water and applied some ointment on it.  The bleeding from the chin stopped. 

The next morning (Friday), I noticed a small, soft swelling had developed on the chin.  Bunny wasn't looking too good and wasn't his normal happy "talkative" self.  By "talkative", I mean that he always answers us when we call his name, and sometimes on his own, he calls us by making his own unique Bunny-sounds.  But Bunny was still eating, so I didn't think there was anything seriously wrong. 

Friday was an extremely busy day for me and I only got back by evening.  By then, I noticed the swelling had grown bigger but it was still very soft and jelly-like, sort of hanging down from the chin.  Bunny also felt feverish.  The left side of his face was clearly swollen.   

On Saturday morning, I took him to the vet. 

The vet said the soft jelly-like swelling on the chin was an absess, and Bunny would have to be sedated so that a "hole" (puncture) can be made to drain the pus out.  If not, everything will turn septic and he might even lose the skin around the absess once it starts to decay.  It had been barely a little more than 24 hours after the bite and already an absess had formed.  Bunny's temperature was 40.2 degrees.  He was having fever.  He would need subcutaneous fluids as well.  The vet wasn't sure how serious the wound had become until the fur was shaven off.     

I had not expected it to be that serious... I thought it was just a scratch wound. 

So, Bunny had to stay at the clinic and I only brought him home in the evening after the procedure had been done.  He was given a new antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory medicine. 

Bunny was shaven on the left side of his face.  The vet explained that the most serious bite was not the one on the chin, but another one, located on the left temple, just below the ear.  I hadn't seen this one at all because it was covered by his fur.  There was also another bite behind his ear, and of course, the one on the chin. 

Bunny's shaven face. 
There is the bite behind the ear, and also the hole on the temple (not very visible).

The wound on the chin and the paw.

The injury on the temple was the worst of the three, and the fluids had no place to accumulate, so it flowed all the way down to the chin (also, probably due to gravity) and that formed the soft jelly-like swelling that was hanging down from the chin. 

Another puncture was made on the chin so that whatever pus that were to form later would be drained out.  So, Bunny had two puncture holes (one on the temple and another on the chin) for "drainage".  I was given povidone iodine to apply on the three wounds.  Luckily Bunny did not need to wear the e-collar.  That would have been a great source of stress for him.       

If it's any consolation, the vet told me that during the festive seasons when they are firecrackers, some animals go cranky, and they do get more fighting cases during such times.  Some animals are scared of the noise and it makes aggressive.   

When Bunny came home, everyone (Bobby and the cats) came to take a look.  Cow came too, and I told Cow to look at poor Bunny's injuries.  Cow seemed very remorseful (at least I thought he did).  He followed Bunny from a distance and even sat next to him when Bunny went to the kitchen to eat.  I think Cow felt bad. 

Cow feeling quite sorry for what he had done.

That night, Cow even allowed Bunny to sleep on my bed with me.  He (Cow) went downstairs to the sofa.  Normally, only Cow and Bobby gets to sleep on the bed every night.  Cow allows the other cats to come into the room, but they cannot sleep on the bed. 

Bunny slept soundly, but woke me up at 3.30am.  He was hungry, so I took him downstairs and fed him.  From 3.30am onwards, Bunny was making a lot of noise.  I guess he was feeling uncomfortable.  Poor thing...

Bunny sleeps on the "favourite chair" in the house.
Bunny gets the chair now.  It's a "privilege" for the sick.  

However, I noticed that Cow has been targetting Indy, so I need to monitor the two of them now. 

A potential fight between Cow and Indy. 
Bobby acts as mediator: "Hey, you two, cut it out!"

Bunny's condition has been improving day by day.  There is still some fluids oozing from the two holes, especially the one on the temple. 

At the time of writing this posting, Bunny is sleeping on a towel on my desk. 

And Cow is nearby....

"I promise I won't attack Bunny anymore."
"I promise I won't attack Bunny anymore."
"I promise I won't attack Bunny anymore."

Say "I promise I won't attack any other cat again', Cow.

But the vet said, "Ahh, it happens....even human siblings fight, don't they?"

Yes, I guess they do.

Goodnight, everyone.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

And how is Bunnyphant?

Bunny's urine actually cleared up the very next day after he was given the medication.  His urine was pale yellow (no traces of blood at all) and his urination was normal too.  He is still on medication now, and the vet hopes his "recovery" is not just a suppression of the symptoms because of the medicine (especially the steroids).  The real test comes when he finishes all his medicines.  If there is no relapse, we can all heave a big relief. 

Bunny was on steroids for only 3 days.  It has now been replaced by a papaya enzyme which is very mild.  His other medication is the Baytril (antibiotic) and Gluocosamine. 

My sneezing colony has almost stopped sneezing except for the occasional "tishoo!".  The sneezing by the other 5 cats only lasted for about 3-4 days.  It stopped on its own, helped by the Vetri DMG, of course. 

It's been very hectic with a total of 6 sneezing cats.  Glad that's over now (keeping fingers crossed).  

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bunny has FLUTD

It is really one thing after another for poor Bunny.  Just as when we were about to rejoice that he had not sneezed the whole of yesterday, something else cropped up.  

He came into my room yesterday and squatted to urinate.  I was surprised because he does not normally do this at all (urinating in the room).  But I think he did it to show me that he was straining to urinate and that something was wrong.  And within the hour, he showed me two more times - once in the kitchen sink and another time on the toilet bowl.  

I consulted the vet today, and he said it is something serious and should not be taken lightly at all because if the bladder is blocked, it could be a fatal condition.  

So, I rushed Bunny to the vet's and thankfully, his bladder is not blocked.  A urine test was done and everything is quite normal except for the presence of blood and excess white blood cells.  

Bunny has FLUTD and is now put on four types of medication - the antibiotic Baytril, Glucosamine and steroids for 3 days (to be replaced by a papase enzyme after that).  The vet suspects that the infection may not have healed completely with the first course of Baytril, so we need to carry on for a longer period.  

I have to monitor his condition for the next few days and hope there is some improvement.

The vet says Bunny's FLUTD has nothing to do with the flu at all.  It is something totally separate.    

Poor thing after another.  

The rest of the cats are sneezing a little less now, so I hope that's a good sign that the flu is tailing off.  

Bunny eating after the trip to the vet's.

Monday, August 2, 2010


Poor little Bunny...

He started sneezing last night.  We kept him warm by giving him towels to lie on, but it looked like he had caught the sniffles.

I consulted the vet today, and he said it is to be expected due to Bunny's compromised immune system.  I asked if I should give him any medication.  The vet said since Bunny is already on two antibiotics, he does not want to pump Bunny with more medication.  So he told me to just give him the "salt-water treatment". 

What I needed to do is to drop warm salt water into Bunny's nostrils about 5-6 times a day.  The salt serves as a natural antiseptic and it would make him sneeze to clear his nose. 

Drop salt water into his nostrils???

"Yes, play with him, and do it in between, then continue playing with him," said the vet.

I thought it was going to be a battle....or a near-impossibility. 

So far, we have managed to do it twice, and it hasn't been so bad, really.  

Of course Bunny didn't quite like it, but he did not put up any fierce fight.  And he also did not run off after the treatment.     

Here's Bunny-Pink-Nose right after the salt-water treatment just now.

I hope this treatment would help relieve his sniffles. 

At a glance, doesn't he remind you of a famour reindeer?

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Bunny & Friends

Bunny ate 5 small kibble-meals today, all on his own.  I did not have to give him any AD or syringe water anymore.  Each time, he would come into the kitchen and meow for food. 

I think he still needs time to regain his confidence as he followed me everywhere in the house.  

This afternoon, I decided to stay put in the room, so that he could take a nice long nap.

While Bunny was napping, his friends took turns to keep him company...

That's Tiger watching over Bunny.

Cow and Cleo watching...
Bobby keeps Bunny company by also taking a nap! 

So, Bunny had a nice long afternoon nap until my husband and my son, Jia-Wen, came home from work.

Hi, Bunny...!!

In a way, it was "lucky" that I was on my semester break this week and was able to take leave to look after Bunny for the whole week.  A new semester starts next week, and I will be busy again. 

Bunny eats kibbles on his own!

This is the moment we've been waiting for....Bunny eating kibbles on his own!

Since Bunny fell sick on Sunday, he has been rooming in with my son, Jia-Wen (even when he was healthy, he often slept in Jia-Wen's room).  But Jia-Wen had to go to work at 4am this morning, so when he left, Bunny walked over to my bedroom.  I had been contemplating whether to go over to Jia-Wen's room or bring Bunny over to mine.  I guess Bunny read my mind and made his choice.

At around 6.45am every morning, Cleo will make her morning calls for breakfast.  This happens without fail.  So when Cleo called this morning, I went downstairs, and to my surprise, Bunny followed me. 

I put some kibbles in front of him, and he nibbled at some!  However, since yesterday, he has been feeling a little nervous by the presence of Cow and the other cats.  I guess Bunny still feels a little "not himself yet", so he feels threatened by the other cats.  He just nibbled a little and walked away.

He wanted to go into the garden, so I accompanied him.  He must have spent close to 45 minutes just grooming himself and getting a dose of the morning air.

Cleaning every inch of his body...

Indy and Tiger kept him company. 
I think they mean well, but Bunny preferred to be by himself.

He spent some time scratching on the rattan trunk and sitting on his favourite garden chair.  He has always liked sitting in the porch. 

Later, he went into the kitchen again, so I offered him some fresh kibbles...

He ate them!

Now, he is resting on the window sill in my bedroom, getting some sunshine.

As I am writing this, Bunny came down and asked for more kibbles again!

So I guess the vet was right.  Bunny seems to be on the road to recovery now that he is eating on his own again.  We will never know what caused his illness for the past one week.  We will also never know what cured him.  It must have been a combination of everything that we gave him - medicine, food, rest, tender loving care, time, prayers and positive thinking. 

But I remember doing everything I could not to stress him unnecessarily and letting him be as relaxed as possible.  This was the one thing the vet emphasized.  But it definitely involved a lot of time and patience monitoring him, keeping the other cats away and accompanying him wherever he wanted to go.
Bunny is with me in the room now. 

And Bunny says a big "thank you" to everyone who has sent prayers and positive thoughts for his recovery.

Thank you, everyone!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Just 4 kibbles

Today, Bunny ate from my hand again.  He still doesn't want to eat from the bowl, for some reason.  But it's good enough that he is eating the AD from my hand.

I managed to get him to eat just 4 kibbles this evening, and that's by wrapping the kibble with AD. 

I hope in time, he will eat his normal food again, because that's what the vet is looking for.  Then, at least we can all heave a sigh of relief that Bunny is well.

He still sleeps a lot.

Next top (feline) models?

It's not easy to take a good photo of the cats unless they are resting, lounging or sleeping.  And sometimes, when you're just about to take a really interesting shot, they get up and move away...

Here are some shots we took today. 

Bunny, after a meal.

What bliss...

Cow, the alpha and the terrorist.

Cleo, the Calico-Queen and the only one who can antagonise Cow.
Never judge a cat by her size or gender.

Tiger, the ever-so-mild-mannered cat, waiting patiently and asking for food.

Who can say "no" to a face like that?

And what is Bobby doing? 
Well, there was a lot of noise outside the house today (construction work at the neighbour's) and Bobby found it just too loud.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bunny eats on his own

Bunny had taken a long nap after coming back from the vet's, and since he was asleep, I too needed a nap quite badly.  Bunny was on the ottoman (his favourite place), but after awhile, I was awakened by Bunny walking on my body.  He came right towards me, lay on my chest and meowed.  I hope he was trying to tell me that he was feeling better already.  When Bunny was small, he used to do this a lot.  

After about an hour or so, Bunny went over to Bobby, who was sleeping on "the favourite chair in the house".  Normally, everybody tries to get the chair (readers might remember Suki's infamous coup de tat to wrestle this chair from everyone else, dog, cat or human!).  Seems like Bunny just wanted to share the chair with Bobby this time.

And he did!

But Bobby wasn't comfortable, so he came down and went under the sofa.

And Bunny got "the chair".

At 4.30pm, it was time to (force)feed Bunny his AD.  I brought a small portion out and let him sniff the food, but as usual, he wasn't interested.  I put a tiny blob into his mouth, but he spat it out.  Instead, he slowly licked the food off my hand!  Looks like Bunny did not want to be forcefed.  He had decided to eat on my own!  I was really delighted.  For me, that's a milestone.  I know the vet said he would only be happy if Bunny started eating his kibbles, but for me, this is already a great achievement.  

So, Bunny licked up small portions off my hand, and finished about 1 tablespoon of AD.

Eat, Bunny, eat.

Bunny is eating on his own!

It was feeding time again at 8.30pm just now.  Again, he ate off my hand.  I hope in time, Bunny will eat from the bowl.  I gave him his medicine after that.

Perhaps the Baytril is working, or Bunny just needed a longer time to recover.  Whatever it is, it's moment-by-moment now, and as long as Bunny gets better, I am thankful.

Thank you very much for your kind thoughts and prayers for Bunny!