Thursday, April 27, 2006
I re-read a book I've read once during the grieving period. I've seen the movie too - "My Dog Skip" (based on a true story). The author is Willie Morris. The ending of the book goes like this:
"A month later there was a transatlantic call for me at Oxford University. I went to the front lodge of my college to take it. "Skip died," Daddy said. He and my mum had wrapped him in my baseball jacket and put him in the ground, close to the grave of the little kitten.
I wandered alone among the landmarks of the gray medieval town. A dozen of chimes were ringing among the ancient spires and cupolas and quandrangles, all this so far in miles and in spirit from the small place he and I had once dwelled. Walking alone in the rain, I remembered our days together on this earth. The dog of your boyhood teaches you a great deal about friendship, and love, and death. Old Skip was my brother.
They had buried him under our elm tree, they said - yet this was not totally true. For he really lay buried in my heart."
Just like Velvet. He lay buried in my heart. His chapter in my lifestory has come to an end. Now, I look forward to new chapters and helping more furry friends.
Sunday, April 23, 2006
I am still crying today but yesterday marked the saddest day in the last 24 months of my life - Little Velvet passed away in the morning of 22 Apr 06 at the vet.
That morning, I was awakened by an unexpected sms "Please call xxx - Velvet needs urgent vet attention". My heart sank. I called foster mummy and was told Velvet had diarrhoea since 4am (foster mummy had been feeding Velvet glucose water since the diarrhoea) and was very weak. He was still doing very well the day before and played with another kitten. I rushed down as quickly as I can to pick the very ill Velvet up and then rushed off to the vet. Velvet was totally weak and was moaning softly in the carrier.
Fortunately I did not have to wait long to see Dr. D, the very nice vet (whom I've requested consulting repeatedly despite being informed he has to perform an operation). He commented Velvet was under severe dehydration, suspected he has contracted feline enteritis and has to be immediately put on the drip for 24 hours. I agreed, blew Velvet a kiss and begged him to stay strong. I prayed hard for improvement within the next 24 hours. I received a phone call the moment I stepped out of the clinic - "I'm sorry Celeste, Velvet didn't make it." Dr. D said. My head was spinning, my heart pounding, I rushed back in. I was already in tears and the moment I saw Velvet's lifeless body on the desk, I bawled uncontrollably. The saddest part was that Velvet passed away with his eyes opened. Dr. D told me the moment the drip was placed on him, Velvet vomitted mucus and left shortly thereafter.
I spent the next 60 mins crying and stroking Velvet's forehead, asking him to go in peace. G was on the phone with me while I spent those painful minutes. I was thinking, perhaps Velvet wanted to spare me the heartache of witnessing him go so he only left when I stepped out of the clinic. Perhaps like G said, he knew his time was up and he hung on just to say goodbye to me. I sent a mms of Velvet to G, who said a prayer for him.
Velvet suffered alot. He was still so young. At least, he received 2 weeks of TLC from foster mummy and love from me before he departed this cold and harsh world he was borned into. At least, he didn't die where he was first found, in the muddy and ants-infested field. If there is reincarnation, I hope his rebirth would be a good one. He has already paid for whatever bad deeds he has committed in the past this lifetime.
Many of my friends sent me words of consolation which I appreciated very much. I suppose if you have truly loved someone from the bottom of your heart, you'll still cry and grieve no matter how strong you are, over their departure. With Velvet gone, a small part of me has left with him, just like Tango, Cotton, Mocha and Toffee (who went missing recently). I will remember those who've left me for a better place, forever.
On behalf of Velvet, I would like to thank the following kind sponsors who have helped paid his medical bills.
Total sponsorships: $610.00
Total bill (including cremation & boarding of $50): $700.35
Medical/cremation receipts can be viewed here
Rest in peace Velvet, you'll be dearly and sorely missed.
Monday, April 17, 2006
Age: Approx 4-5 months (will confirm with vet again)
Gender: Male (sterilised)
Personality: Slightly nervous but getting used to be handled by human (more to be updated)
History: Recuperating & undergoing treatment for Rectal Prolapse
Age: Approx 3 months
Colour: Black & White
Gender: Female (unsterilised, too young)
Personality: Curious, active & playful
History: Pelvis bone dislocated, surgery performed on 15 Apr, currently undergoing physiotherapy under TLC of G (temp foster mummy)
Both of them are looking for good and loving homes. Do you know of anyone who can give them a safe, warm & loving home after all the terrible & painful pasts? Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org if you can give them a happily ever after...
* More updates coming soon *
* Sponsorship updates coming soon *
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Yoyo the limping frightened little black & white kitten was found lying in the middle of a path on 12 Apr, Wed night by G who has so kindly agreed to help me out. Yoyo was sent to the vet on the morning of 13 Apr, Thu and was diagnosed with bones around her pelvis being dislocated. We may never know what caused Yoyo's injury but we suspect she has been knocked or run over on that tiny leg of hers by some motor vehicles or even bicycles as she loiters near to a very busy carpark. Yoyo was warded for surgery on 15 Apr, Sat. Surgery fee is around S$800.00 and we badly needed sponsors who could assist to defray the expensive fee as Velvet's case is ongoing and G is nursing other sick/injured cats at home. So far there has been a few positive responses. We hope to receive more responses. If you have always wanted to help but do not know how or do not have the time, please consider helping out financially. Write me at email@example.com to find out how you can help Yoyo on her road to recovery. Yoyo will be very grateful. * I will have the official receipts posted on this blog after consolidation and the sponsors named in the thank you note *
G sms-ed on 16 Apr at 6.15pm: "the surgery is a success & she can be discharged tomorrow, eating well too."
I called Velvet's foster mummy this morning was given great news - Velvet pooped very well this morning (while on the laxatives)!!! I was so happy I nearly wanted to cry. What a relief after so many days of constant worrying. I hope he continues to show improvement. My next challenge is to find Velvet a permanent foster or good home where he no longer has to live as a stray. The vet has reminded me that chances of Velvet having a relapse would be greatly reduced if he has a good home to stay in forever. His condition is too delicate to survive as a stray. Sigh.
Maomao is a very streetwise cat
Also a very well-loved cat by most residents
Maomao came to visit again yesterday morning. She was at my door (7th floor). Oh dear. I hope the neighbours have not seen her so far else they may go berserk. I have never brought her up nor feed her outside my unit. I always feed her at the void deck. I wonder why she keeps coming up nowadays. She is such a wonderful and affectionate cat I don't want any harm to come to her. I remembered an incident when I was very young an ex-neighbour tried to chase a cat who came up with a broom. In its extreme fright, the poor cat tried to escape by jumping off the 7th floor...it was all so sad. I wish nothing of this sort would happened again. For the record, I can't keep cats as my two canine family members are super anti-feline. They'll bark the house down upon sighting any cats. Also, my family will never agree. Anyone has any suggestion on what I can do to prevent Maomao from visiting? I know she is attached to me...
GINNY IS BACK!
Ginny resurfaced after a very long time. He has a tipped left ear. Can't remember if he has the tipped ear the last time I saw him. Wonder where he went to all this while.
TUBBS, CINDER & BELLE
Tubbs snoozing after dinner
Cinder getting more comfortable with me
Belle less nervous nowadays
Pixie in good home now
They're all still loitering around though appearances are not as reliable as Pixie was. Pixie was always there when I needed to find her. She has since gone to a good home.
I keep seeing this kitten resembling Twinkle hiding under a particular black car in the carpark. By the time I rushed down, the kitten is nowhere to be found. I suspect it could be Twinkle. I managed to run into the car owner one day and requested that he looks out for a small kitten who loves hiding under his car. I hope he remembers!
Cookie at 9 months old now
Cookie is experiencing her first heat! She is currently 9 months old and was adopted when she was around 2.5 months old as a very ill and frail puppy. She had very serious kennel cough (on the verge of developing pneumonia) and a tummy load of worms and it took her 2 months of TLC to recover. She is now a healthy, cheerful and playful girl. Will have her spayed after this first heat.
Pics of Cookie when she was younger, at 2.5 months old:
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Remember I mentioned Yoyo the black & white little kitten I found with a very badly injured leg on Tues, 11 Apr? G found her lying in the middle of the path last night. She brought Yoyo to the vet this morning.
Diagnosis: Bones around pelvis dislocated. Surgery required. Surgery alone costs about S$800.00.
We badly need financial help for Yoyo. For me, Velvet's case is still ongoing. For G, she is nursing other cats at home.
Yoyo is due for surgery on Sat, 15 Apr.
Please lend us a helping hand if you can. We will appreciate from the bottom of our hearts. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 97670958.
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
This is the medication for Velvet to help ease his constipation. Poor boy, must be a terrible feeling not being able to pass motion. I really hope that he'll feel better very soon after the medication. Will be following up with foster mummy on his condition. Coming on next is the removal of his sutures.
Separately, G (fellow caregiver) found Yoyo this evening. I am so relieved!!! I am so grateful to G for her kind support during this stress period of time for me. I hope to help her out on Yoyo once Velvet's condition stabilise. Thank you G, from the bottom of my heart.
Found Belle. Have not seen her for quite a while. Am so glad she is fine. She allowed me to go near her and I gave her a quick pat on her head and fed her dinner. I hope to sterilise her as soon as she has complete trust in me.
Maomao was around too. She waited for me at my doorstep for the past two mornings. Frequency of her coming up is getting higher. Am worried that neighbours might be unhappy.
Didn't manage to find Twinke the little tabby kitten. Hope it's safe and sound.
Apparently because Velvet's second sutures was done only on Mon morning, it is quite normal for Velvet to suffer from constipation as a result of the stitch. He also mentioned that Velvet's case maybe a congenital rectal problem. He suggested I give Velvet an oral medication to soften his stools to ease the strain and possibly discomfort. I will drop by the clinic to buy the medication this evening and pass it to foster mummy following that. The alternative to a more permanent solution to Velvet's possible relapse is to do a surgery (requires opening up of the stomach) which will cost a lot more.
I'll bring Velvet to the very nice vet tomorrow evening for the removal of the sutures. I hope it's not gonna cost a lot!
*** *** ***
This is what I found on the internet:
"When rectal prolapse recurs there are two options. The first is a surgery known as colopexy. In this case, an incision is made into the abdomen similar to the incision made for spay surgery. The colon is identified and then retracted along one side of the muscular body wall. Sutures are placed through the colon wall and into the muscle layer to secure the colon to the body wall. Doing this prevents the rectum from prolapsing because it is attached to the colon and kept inside the body by the fixation of the colon. This works pretty well. It is sometimes necessary to repeat this surgery because of insufficient fixation to the body wall or because the rectum persists in stretching and attempting to prolapse again because the underlying cause of the problem has not been identified or can not be controlled. If the rectal tissue is damaged too severely to do a colopexy it is sometimes necessary to amputate the diseased portion of the rectum. This works better than it sounds like it would work but it does sometimes lead to blockages of the rectum by scarring or incontinence due to insufficient function of the remaining rectal tissue. If the cat's life is threatened by the prolapse it may be the best choice, though."
More info here:
An injured Yoyo hiding
Poor little kitten
Then on my way home, I found another young black & white kitten (at where Hazel is) limping rather badly. Her injured or broken leg is held very high up. I decided to name her Yoyo. A malay couple (husband & wife) was feeding her. They told me she was still alright two days ago. She was such a frightened little thing maybe because she was in pain as the injury is still very new. She hid herself inside one of the aircon compressor compartment (the door was locked) by crawling through the gap at the bottom. The couple confided in me they cannot afford to treat her as the husband has just got retrenched. They help what they can by feeding them. Seeing that Yoyo is not going to emerge at least for the night, I told the couple to try keep her if they can get her next day. Then I'll see how I can help though I really don't know how now that I'm worrying so much over Velvet. They agreed and we exchanged numbers. They also told me they think a few cats are being abused nearby the multi-storey carpark where the market is. One of the cats has very bad cuts on its backside and skins are peeling. Ohh...
When I reached my blk, a fellow caregiver called to ask about the situation and to lend me encouraging words. At that moment, I felt so weary, drained out, stressed and totally overwhelmed I wept and wept and wept. From Cotton to Pixie to Tango to Mocha to Velvet to Twinkle and then now Yoyo. It was all so stressful suddenly, especially Velvet's case.
Monday, April 10, 2006
Velvet at foster home temporarily
I have a headache. And a very bad one.
Velvet was discharged from the vet this evening. I received FOUR shocks in less than 30 mins. Shock No. 1 - the vet did a second suture on Velvet's prolapsed rectum! Apparently, the condition did not stabilise and the vet did what they think was in Velvet's best interest, without notifying me - a second suture. Shock No. 2 - because of the second procedure, the bill escalated to a huge sum. I was horrified! Shock No. 3 - Velvet has to return to the vet for removal of the stitches in 3-5 days' time.
I told the recep that they should at least have the courtesy to inform me in view that the surgery was not performed under an emergency situation, so I could be mentally prepared for these events. Or at least, inform me right after the surgery. On that account (after some grumbling), the vet gave me some discount - but still, it's close to $500. Whoa. However at the end of the day, what matters is Velvet's welfare and health.
Shock No. 4 - the vet said Velvet is not suitable for a stray's life anymore after this rectal prolapse case. This is because the muscles around his anus/rectum are now extremely fragile and weak and is likely to relapse once he strains in a diarrhoea or constipation. The rectum could be extruded as far as 8-10 cm in length. I was stunned. Totally stunned. I hadn't expected news of such. What was I to do with poor little Velvet? The vet commented that it may be more humane to euthanise Velvet if he cannot be a home pet (rather than to let him suffer out there when he gets a relapse and no help is rendered in time). I swear I honestly and sincerely am unable to keep him (as much as I want to). My family will go berserk if I do. They have already been very tolerant when I decided to adopt Cookie when she was very ill and frail at 2.5 months old. I have two dogs, one very noisy and one very active. A third pet is IMPOSSIBLE.
Velvet is now being temporarily fostered with a very good foster mummy but only for two weeks. Foster mummy's hands are full too. I understand her predicament.
As if things were not bad enough. I found a young kitten down my block on my way home but the tabby kitten (I named her Twinkle) disappeared under some cars or drains in a flash - I'll have to look for her tomorrow to make sure she's ok.
I think I'm going mad.
Can somebody tell me what I should do??? I want Velvet to live.
PS: To be fair to the vet, she did say the best is for Velvet to live in a good permanent home. She looked very sad as well when she mentioned euthanising as a very last humane resort if I really have to put Velvet back onto the streets (because of his extremely unfavourable condition). She told me he will suffer more if he gets a relapse. I guess as a vet, she has to be very professional and clinical about the case, not emotional.
Latest news: Confirm discharging Velvet from the vet this evening. Velvet will stay with a very good foster temporarily (about two weeks) for post hospitalisation recuperation before release.
Friday, April 07, 2006
Met a very lovely cat down at Esther's block...
This is Oreo, Pixie's younger sister...
Pixie's new bed...Hello Kitty!
Pixie inspecting her new bed...
Testing the durability & quality...
Checking out the environment...
Clever girl! Knows where to pee and poop...
First meal at new home...
What a cute notice! Meant for Oreo.
I'll be visiting Pixie end of the month. Update you folks again!
Maomao outside my door
Taking a lift down
Having her lunch
Eunice found two new cats at her apartment block (Ang Mo Kio estate) yesterday night. She named them Smokey and Othello. These two cats have never been seen in that vicinity. Eunice's gutfeel: they have been abandoned/dumped. She also mentioned she saw a pest control van nearby the same night. Since Smokey & Othello do not seemed to acknowledge each other, I strongly suspect they may have been rounded up from different locations and dumped there by... hmm.
Please ask around if anyone lost their cats. Email me at email@example.com
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
He is just a little boy, he can't take care of himself. Neither can his mummy. He is not as handsome as some but it wasn't his choice. He wants to be strong too but he didn't have a choice either, he was weak. He wished he was borned into a good home but it wasn't meant to be...but what could he do? He could only try his best to survive in this harsh world.
I wish I could give him a good home. If only I could, I would...
Velvet looking very grouchy.
Went to the vet last evening (4 Apr) with the intention of collecting Velvet and releasing him to his "residence" after being informed he is ready to "go home" the previous day. However, his wound still looks raw and wet when I got to see him. There's still part of his rectum that is visible (I forgot to ask the vet assistant if it was suppose to be like that; Dr Wong was in the middle of an emergency surgery because a dog had swallowed a big piece of stone!).
Wound still looks raw and wet
I didn't think in my opinion it was safe and right to let Velvet go in that state. Afterall, the place he loiters in is not exactly clean and cosy. In fact, the area is full of ants and is muddy (especially with all the afternoon rain these days). The last thing I want is to have him risk getting his wound infected. I decided to let him recuperate for another two days and see if his wound would be better. Oh yes, this means more money but no choice I suppose. I'm glad to have some very kind sponsors to help with part of the medical fees. So far, the bill stands at $281.40. More to come.
Will check on Velvet in 48 hours' time. Meanwhile, it's back to my studies. Sigh.