Friday, December 30, 2011

Bunny and Indy's acupuncture

Today was Indy's 4th acupuncture and Bunny's 3rd.

Dr Susanna is very happy with Indy's progress. His pulse is much, much stronger today, and he is as good as it gets! So, instead of 8 treatments, four already got Indy back to health and he doesn't need anymore treatments.

Bunny's pulse, unfortunately, is still almost "non-existent", which means it is very, very weak. As stout and as "German" as our StarWars walker is, Bunny is actually in poor health. Dr Susanna says Bunny also has a lot of flab (yes, Bunny is obese) and this may be due to years of eating kibble (too much carbohydrates). If Bunny doesn't reduce his flap, he might get diabetes and that would be really, really serious.

Poor Buns.

But now, Bunny is already on home-cooked food, so he's on the right track. I just have to work on getting him to reduce his flab.

Bunny also has a lot of blockages in his heart (pericarp) meridian. Unfortunately, to unblock these, the needles had to be inserted on his paw and he did not allow that at all. So we could only do the spleen and the kidneys.  Hopefully, that would help improve the overall balance.

Dr Susanna suspects Bunny has a lot of anxiety, as his problem may be a "mind" matter, and not so much of the body. Coincidentally, Bunny started getting "sick" when I began my packing. Maybe he is very worried of this change and doesn't know what is going to happen.  So, it could be a case of worry and distress.

Dr Susanna recommends Bach Flowers for Bunny. She will do a mixture of about 7 of the Bach Flower plant extracts to address Bunny's anxiety.  But the relief is not immediate, as with all things natural. It would take 1-2 months.

About Bach Flowers:

Dr Susanna says she has also treated anxiety and sadness in animals who have lost their lifelong companion. She uses the Bach Flower plant extracts as well.

After the acupuncture needles were inserted in Bunny, we put him in the cage. After a few minutes, Dr Susanna saw Bunny "doing something" inside the cage....

Bunny had gingerly taken out all but two needles with his teeth and spat them out in the carrier! He couldn't reach the two more on his back.

We had to re-do Bunny again.

Indy had his needles first, and he was complaining non-stop with this typical Indy-noises, but he did not take out any of his needles. All were intact after 25 minutes.

Earlier on, I had to go to the neighbour's to get Indy back home in time for his appointment. It was pure luck that I managed to get Indy to come to me as he was in the taximan's house again. It took me about 10 minutes to coax him out.

I'll bet it would be a long, long time before Indy would trust me again.

What?? She called me out to get needles poked into me???

 Indy is in the beige carrier and Bunny in the blue. Bobby is guarding both.

 Tabs came to nose around and watch.

 Bunny, after the 25 minutes.
I plucked out all the needles, clever me, eh?  

Since Indy doesn't need the treatment any longer, his slot is now given to Bobby for next week. Dr Susanna believes Bobby will benefit from acupuncture too.






Thursday, December 29, 2011

The many faces of Tabs

It's portrait time for Her Royal Tabness!

 Tiger takes the "higher" throne. Tabs is happy with the slightly lower one.

 She likes to sit behind my laptop when I do my work - yes, as an inspirational good-luck charm for me!

 Asking Bobby to play with her.

 Kittens just love boxes, don't they?

 That's the irresistible face...

 Her Royal Cuteness!

 She's been more obedient and well-behaved since her spaying, but she is still trying to get out to the grass and sunshine. Can't let her out because she's way too fast for me to monitor and she'd dash out to the road to sit under the car.

Just a few more days, Tabs...we'll be moving and you'll have a protected area with grass and sunshine where you'll be save from the road. Please wait a bit, Tabs.

 Tabs and me, in the room.

Here's Tabs saying, "Have a nice day, folks!"

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tiger's new playmate

You know how I have four cats from the Cow family and they don't get along with anyone? These would be Cow, Bunny, Pole and Cleo. Cow is alpha and misunderstood. Cleo is alpha and longs for her mother, Pole's affections but Pole rejects Cleo. Bunny...well, Bunny is the Bunnyphant and even though he is not alpha, by virtue of his size, he is perceived to be alpha and he is a bully, too.

That leaves only Tiger and Indy and both are rather passive and docile cats, but terribly intimidated by the Cow family.

Indy used to be best of friends with Vixey, Kimba and Suki, but Vixey passed away and so did Kimba and Suki. After that, he made friends with the foster kittens, who then also got adopted, so Indy became a loner again. We sometimes feel really sorry for Indy because all his friends passed away. And my husband used to say Indy will be the last cat we'd ever adopt since the ones that we adopted after him all passed away in accidents on the road (Kimba and Suki).

Tiger was best of friends with Wii (also a tabby, and Wii was Vixey's brother), but after Vixey passed away, Cow & Bunny chased Wii out to the back alley and Wii had to live there. When the back neighbour hurled obscenities at Wii and started throwing things at him, I asked my friend, Roselin, if she could adopt Wii. Wii just didn't dare come into my house anymore because he feared Cow & Bunny; he would only come back for food in Mac's place, but whenever he did, he would mew to call me. The back neighbour couldn't stand the sound of any animal, and would go berserk whenever Wii mewed. That became a daily problem for us. Each time he went berserk, he would shout at the top of his voice and hurl obscenities towards our house.

After Wii went to Roselin's, he became the alpha there and started wreaking havoc in Roselin's otherwise peaceful 16-cat colony. Wii could not get along with any of Roselin's cat and finally became best friends with a dog called John Wayne, who coincidentally could not get along with any dog. It took Roselin TONS of patience and more than a year before Wii settled in and just the other day, I met Roselin and she says Wii is now the tai-kor in the house and Wii gets to sleep in her bedroom too. I had planned to take Wii back should he still fail to adjust in Roselin's household or continues bullying her cats, but I don't have to anymore now. Also, I have no idea what would happen if Wii met Cow & Bunny again.

But after Wii left, my heart really broke as Tiger had no friends anymore. Tiger missed Wii and spent the next few days looking up and down the alley for his best friend. I think it was harder for me to watch Tiger than it was for Tiger to miss Wii, or maybe it's just as hard. Anyway, I'm glad that's over now.

Tiger used to have a Tabby Club on the street where he would make friends with all the tabbies (and the pakcik down the  road has SO MANY because he refuses to get them spayed despite my repeated offers). All these tabbies would follow Tiger in a line.

But when at home, Tiger is always alone. I guess his only friend was Bobby. Tiger spends his time with Bobby and me in my room.

But now, lo and behold, Tiger seems to have found a new playmate....and who might that be?


Yups, it's me, Tabs.

Tiger and Tabs have been playing all morning, running around the house. I think it's a game of hide-and-seek. I haven't seen Tiger playing in a long time, so this is really such a welcome sight.

 This is the house we made for Indy but he wasn't interested, now Tiger is using it as a playhouse to hide in and Tabs is supposed to look for him.

 It's wonderful seeing Tiger having fun again.

Previously, his highlight of the day was waiting for Wii to come back for food and they would touch noses and he'd spend time accompanying Wii as he ate. But that's more than a year ago now. Roselin adopted Wii in August 2010.

 Catch me if you can!

Just now, BOTH of them went inside the playhouse!

On the homefront

I think (fingers crossed) that Bunny's worst is over or his body has sorted itself out and we still don't know what was wrong with him for the last two weeks. The vet said to let it be as long as his fever isn't too high and he is still eating (which he definitely was!). Throughout this period, I gave him Vetri DMG twice a day and Neurobion as well because he was limping on the back leg. The vet said it could be arthritis.

Well, today, Bunny seemed much, much better. Not only did he come down for breakfast on his own, he also came back many times asking for food. Now, that's more like the Bunny we all know.

 Bunny eating a mid-morning snack.

There was some problem with Pole, though. If you remember, this morning, she picked a fight with Tiger during breakfast, so I scolded her and off she scooted away without eating. She never came back after that.

By 10am, I went out to look for her, and called her at every house that she frequents. There as no Pole. I went out again an hour later and there was still no sight of Pole.

I knew she must be sulking somewhere because I scolded her earlier, so I asked my husband to go look for her.

Within minutes, I heard the gate open and there was Pole. Gosh, cats and their hypersensitivity!

 Here's Pole eating my home-cooked food. All of it, too.

 Tiger and Tabs asking for food each time someone else ate.

 Bunny eating grass.

Some say it's to make themselves vomit so that they get rid of whatever toxins that's in the stomach. Some say it's they eating the medicinal herbs that they need. Some say they are juicing!

We'll never really know, would we? Unless we hear it straight from a cat!

Er...hello Mr Cat, may I be so bold as to enquire why you are eating grass?


Grass? We cats call it "chewing gum" and we do it for fun.

P.S. Please disregard the three lines above!

Monday, December 26, 2011

And at breakfast this morning...

In my quest to change so many of the not-so-good habits of my cats (due to my own ignorance, lack of commitment and persistence in the past years), I remind myself that even Dr Susanna took 3 years to convert her most challenging cat from kibble to home-cooked.

So, whatever "achievement" I can get in less than 3 years is a cause for celebration already.

Armed with that "consolation", I plod on...

So, it's only been barely a week of introducing so many changes, especially in the area of food, and I've already got all 6 of my adult cats willingly eating the better branded canned foods (Hooray!). They have stopped asking for kibble or Fussie Cat.

And last night, I was completely but pleasantly surprised that they actually ate the home-cooked meal I prepared for them.

So, this morning came the acid test, so to speak.

Did they still want my home-cooked food?

At first sniff....NO.

Nobody wanted it!

Oh, that's alright. Now, that sounds more REAL, honestly. Before this, I thought I was dreaming or living some fairytale.

So, I mixed the home-cooked (which I'd already mixed with the new supplement Natural Pet Once-Daily Super Multi with Glucosamine powder) with some Natural Balance canned food.

Slowly, but surely, they ate it...

 This is the supplement.

It comes in a box of 30 satchets and for my brood, it's half a sachet per day. It is retailed at RM65.90. There is also one for optimal fur. I bought this because Bobby is arthritic and the vet says maybe Bunny is, too. Obesity can lead to arthritis, I think, so I'd better do something about my obese cats.

Pole was the first to be served the home-cooked this morning, she turned her nose up. Before I could give her the mixed food (with the canned food), a fight can ensued (initiated by Pole) and she had already run away.

As you can see from the photo above, Tiger isn't interested. Tiger is about the most persistent cat I have. He is known to sit and stare for hours without making a sound when he wants something. Last time, it was for all the ikan bilis (anchovies) treat my husband would bring back for him. Talk about having patience, Tiger tops the list.

So, Tiger sat and looked.

And looked.

No, Tiger, I'm only giving you this...please eat it.

He finally ate it since his stomach was probably more insistent than his mind for today. And I'm glad!

Cow and Bunny ate it up, but not completely.

I could almost hear them say, "Hey Mum, we've been humouring you for so many days now, give us a break, will you?"

Of course Tabs ate up her giant share in her own cage (she was wreaking havoc in the house and to herself yesterday, so we caged her for the night). This morning, she had pulled down the whole big towel, flipped her water bowl and messed up her cat-sand. Well, that's what most kittens do, anyway.

In the photo above, Tabs is polishing up Bobby's left-overs. She later polished up everybody's food bowl.

Indy came back later and refused to eat the home-cooked food. I mixed it with his AD but it was still a "no". Later on, he ate it up. Yay!

Now, only Cleo and Pole left...

 Surprisingly, Cleo ate her share!

Wow...this is totally unexpected. Now, one more to go - Pole. I'd have to wait for her to make another entrance. Hopefully, she'd be hungry enough by then, as long as she doesn't go to the neighbour's to eat their kibbles.

 Indy back to his running-water-drinking habit.

 Tabs going crazy over Ultraman.

And here's the best news EVER!

Yesterday, I placed two small boxes of cat-sand in the sun for the purpose of refreshing them. It's for Tabs as she is the only one who knows how to use the litter-box.

Guess what we saw this morning?

 That's TIGER perching on and urinating in one of the small litter boxes!

YAY! Now, this calls for a REAL celebration!

Yay! They ate my food!

So, I blended the "muck" I cooked up for Bobby and the cats, and I was going to give it to them for breakfast tomorrow, but Tiger came by as I was halfway blending the food.

Oh, it's Christmas....a little bit of supper won't hurt, I thought. And I was also eager to try out my new food even though I know the cats aren't supposed to be hungry yet.

Never goes nothing...

 The blender kept stopping - I think the blade isn't right for blending solids. But this blender only came with one type of blades (it has four blades).

 Tiger ate straight from the container itself!
I couldn't believe it!
Finicky Tiger (who isn't supposed to be hungry now) is eating my food!

 And yes, Cow is eating it, too!

 I brought some upstairs for Bunny the Sheikh, and of course, Bunny ate it all up!
Hooray!! That's 3 of them already...

 Tiger asking to go into the room.

We locked Tabs in because just now, our hearts almost stopped when Tabs escaped by slipping past the door and went out to the road. All four of us went looking for her and it was...heart-stopping indeed. Gosh, the contractors better get my new house ready soon. It's best we move asap.

 Tabs ate it too!

 Bobby, who is equally finicky, also liked it and ate it all up.
Wow...count...that's 5 and there's just three more to go.

Pole already ate a bit earlier on, but that's before I got it blended. Does that count?

 Indy came asking for food, so I gave him some, but he didn't want to eat.
I then mixed it with his AD, and he ate it up as well.

 Looks like Indy is a bit addicted to AD for now.
Well, it's good for him since he had lost 500g while he was sick.

Cleo sniffed at it, and walked away. Okay, it's alright. We'll have to work with you a wee bit harder, won't we?

 But I ate...I'm a good girl, I am.

Yes, Tabs, you are a good girl, you are, but you mustn't run out to the road, please.

Yes, they say Christmas is a magical day. Indeed it has been for my brood and me!

Tomorrow I'm going add the Natural Pet multivitamins I bought from the store today. It says it uses human grade pharmaceuticals. It has vitamins, minerals, probiotics, etc.

My home-cooked meal for Bobby and the cats

I thought I should try my hands at home-cooking for Bobby and the cats now that we have read so much literature on it, and many have shared their time-tested recipes.

This is what I used for today:

Chicken carcass
Chicken liver
Some mutton and beef that a friend gave me (from her catfood)
Chicken breastmeat with skin

Potato (small amounts)

 The meat stuff.

 Veggies to be added in later.

I remember Dr Susanna saying it's 95% protein and 5% veggies for cats. Dogs would need more veggies as they are omnivores.

By the time my stew was ready, we had to go out to attend to matters of the new house, so I did not have time to blend it yet. And by the time we came home, the cats were too hungry so I fed them canned food first.

However, Bobby and Pole were late, as usual, so I managed to feed them some (without blending). Bobby and Pole ate it up, but Pole didn't want to neat. She wanted it mixed with some canned food. But hey, the fact that she ate it is GOOD ENOUGH for me, bearing in mind for finicky my whole brood is.

And of course someone else ate it too - Tabs. Good little Tabs!

 I'm going to blend it soon, and am wondering if I should add eggshells....

 Here's Pole eating up my home-cooked food.


Tomorrow would be the real test when I feed the rest of them.

Wish me luck!

But even if they don't like it, Bobby will eat it up!

And Tabs, too.


Another tabby?

This morning, we heard Tiger complaining in Mac's place at the back of the house...

 What's wrong, Tiger?

 Oh, there's a visitor in the back alley...

 It's a tabby and wears a blue collar.

 A blue collar with a bell, just like Tab's red collar with a bell.

My husband thought maybe it's Tabs' sibling or parent coming to look for her. But we couldn't risk taking Tabs out, especially when she has just been spayed.

 This time, Tiger was VERY unhappy with this new visitor even though it's a tabby.

Eventually, we could not intervene too much. Tiger went out and chased the blue-collared tabby all the way, down the alley.

 Meanwhile, I had dismantled Tabs' cage thinking she'd be alright, but NO, she was too boisterous for her own good, so we set up the cage again and here's the disciplinarian at work. Apparently, and I witnessed this myself, Tabs understands the command "SIT!", or was it just a coincidence?

 Looks like she does listen, after all.

 Time out to play - Tabs went berserk over the Ultraman! She hugged it and rolled around with it, but it was SO fast, I failed to catch it on camera.

 And I bought her a nice new ball too, but she wasn't too interested in it.