LATEST UPDATE: 10 September 2018
Happy 10 Week Cativersary Omelette!
We just got back from a vet checkup, he’s doing well but his left ear was bothering him over the weekend and he wasn’t eating quite as much as he has been – so we figured it was worth a checkup. Omelette is up to 7#12oz and his blood work keeps getting better. He’s officially no longer anemic. I’m still hopeful that his weight will settle in around 9 or 10 pounds. He’s got a medium-big frame, he’s still quite ‘deflated’. His left ear is still bothering him, he’s got new meds for that yeast infection, an anti-inflammatory, and some B12 (to help with appetite). Other than that he’s doing really well. He’s still gaining opinions. This weekend he remembered that he used to be a tomcat and started singing us the song of his people – Der Caterwaul. He’s started being picky about food. He seems to prefer the most expensive pate available, about 3 cans a day. He’s still filling out so, he’s still allowed to eat as much as he wants.
He has been bunking with us and Catsy Cline and her kitten for the past month at night. No drama, just the three of them in the bedroom with us, every one gets along just fine. They all seem to like the same grub. He still wakes me up at 0430 if I’m not already reaching for my pants. If I haven’t moved by 0445 he directs drool directly into my eye and nostrils.
I’m giving serious consideration as registering myself as his emotional support people so I can take him to shows and whatnot with me in the fall. I think I’d even be ok wearing a brightly colored vest asking people not to pet me(treats are ok). He’s grown super attached to me and frets when I’m not immediately near by. If he hadn’t lead such a difficult life I’d probably tell him to get over it. Since he’s lived the ‘hard knock’ type life – I let him do pretty much whatever he wants.
Thanks again everyone,
Chad and everyone else here at QO.
26 August 2018
Hey folks, Chad here.
Omelette has been with us now for eight weeks as of today. He’s a completely different cat. He has opinions, he’s now strong enough to go up and down stairs unaided, it’s astonishing. Things have been a bit more wacky than usual around these parts because we’re also fostering a kitten, and her mother, but he’s been taking it all in stride. He’s let a wee kitten walk all over him as it’s been bottle fed. He, the kitten, and Catsy Cline (the kitten mom) have all been hunkering down in the bedroom nightly. Everyone is getting along better than we had thought they would. There are some personality conflicts but, cats are assholes – it’s to be expected.
This morning I figured something more than regular cat breakfast was due, and this happened.
For a sense of scale, those are 16″ tiles. Paimei is our biggest – 17# last time he went to the vet. Penny is 11#. Omelette was 8.5# at his last checkup, now he’s just over 9# if our postal scale is to be believed. Paimei is pretty laid back, really laid back. But that’s tuna, and he’s sharing.
I’d apologize for the state of the floor around the cat trough but – six cats throw kibble all around that area of the kitchen, it gets cleaned after coffee, this was before coffee. The grape is a different story, but yes – it’s there on purpose.
It’s been a transformative two months for Omelette. He literally follows me everywhere I go. EVERYWHERE. If I sit down, he’s on my lap or by my feet. If I’m doing something not-loud in the shop, he’ll walk out with me and happily wander around investigating or yelling at me or he’ll just lay down and wait until it’s time to go someplace else.
He’s still putting on weight, none of it lard yet. He eats like a teenager. As soon as he thinks I need to wake up (around 0430) he’s on my chest rubbing his two-toothed slobber covered mouth all over my face. He gets carried down stairs, eats 1/2 a can of food before the coffee is done brewing, then I can give him the
other 1/2 can of food while I take kitten formula and coffee up to Abby so she can get the smaller monsters fed. THEN he’s busy for at least 5 minutes licking his chops while I give the other cats some wet food in the am (they all get like 1/2 a small can each – like a treat amount, just to make them be social together) – he also gets some. This morning it was tuna, he ate his then went and… well – the photograph above speaks volumes. After that he needs some exercise. A tour of the house’s many cat lavatories will do, after that he settles down on the carpet in the dining room until it’s time for lunch.
So, eight weeks ago I pulled this matted, infected, starved, tongue-tumored, rotten-mouthed, fleabag out of a hedge after breakfast. Took him to the vet, learned he DID have a chance in hell, asked for some help from all of you folks, and here he is. He looks like a regular cat. He’s starting to act like a regular cat. Well, he’s not a regular cat, he’s special. He’s a member of our family and you’re all friends of his. Right on.
I’ll let you all know when he starts to demand to ride around on my shoulder like a parrot. Maybe in a month, he’s still building up his strength. Thanks again everyone, this dude fits in quite nicely here at Questionable Origin. I still need to get him some shop shirts.
UPDATE as of 11:00 am Wednesday 27 June 2018:
Omelette is HOME!
He has two teeth remaining, which were the only teeth that could be saved. He’ll be on soft food for a while, because he also has stitches, and a cauterized spot on his tongue where the pedunculated mass was removed (and that mass is now being sent out for analysis). He has a followup appointment next Tuesday, and he’ll be eating recovery food until then. He’s already gained a bit over half a pound.
His bill did come back bigger than initially estimated for a few reasons, not limited to it being a tough surgery and challenging anaesthesia — they had to breathe for him the whole time he was under. He’s still very weak, but is improving. Our vet has also pitched in by discounting the usual cost of all of this work. We all feel so incredibly lucky.
He can walk around a bit, and hold his head up, but he’ll likely spend a lot of time groggy and sleeping.
For those of you who missed out on donating Monday night, I’m turning donations back on, with a new upper limit based on the present bill and the followup visit, when he’ll also get all his vaccinations and stuff. For transparency:
None of us have the words to say how grateful we are for all of this help. I mean, Omelette never had the words, but even wordsmith Abby finds herself speechless. If you still want to give, the link’s at the bottom of this page.
UPDATE as of 1:30 pm Tuesday 26 June 2018:
Omelette is out of surgery and in recovery!
He now has only two remaining teeth — they were all in very very bad shape and only two could be saved. In the course of his surgery, they also found a growth on his tongue. The tumorous growth has been removed now, and will be sent out to be biopsied for more information to be used in his treatment.
Because he’s so skinny and weak, they’re keeping him a little bit extra while he comes out of anaesthesia. If all stays well, we will be able to pick him up late this afternoon.
We’re eager to have him home to snuggle and love, and we’ll be posting another update as soon as he comes home.
Sunday morning we went out for breakfast with QO’s guest, Carrie from Alpenglow Industries, who had been in town doing a bunch of product development work with us. While we were walking from the parking lot to the restaurant, we heard a plaintive meowing coming from the bushes, and thought we saw a small, scruffy cat hiding out there.
After a terrific and productive breakfast, Abby was showing Carrie around the historic Golden Lamb, while Chad headed for the car. Except… he heard that meowing again, and this time, he sat down on the steps to check out the situation. And that’s when he saw the cat, for sure.
Now, it’s a well-known fact that Chad’s an absolute sucker for a cat in need. That’s why Chad and Abby already have 5 indoor cats, one outdoor cat who has her own cat house and is a permanent fixture, and a half-dozen other cats who circulate around the area doing barn cat duty. I mean, what are we supposed to do? Turn them away? Tell them we’re full on cats? We’ve tried, but you know how it is: cats don’t listen. So, while Abby and Carrie were upstairs engaged in conversation with fine folks at the Golden Lamb where Abby has hosted fiber events and QO just might do something similar again one of these days, they received this text from Chad:
Abby and Carrie cut the conversation short and headed out to see what was up. Chad stood, with a determined look in his eye, holding a tiny, filthy bundle of matted fur and bones, shivering despite the muggy June day, wrapped up in his flannel shirt.
“Let’s go,” he said, striding towards the parking lot, then settling into the back seat of Abby’s hoopty yarn wagon, talking to the cat in soothing tones. “We’ll get you fixed up,” he said. “It’s going to be okay.”
It was Sunday, and no veterinarians in town were open, so Chad, Abby, and young Edward made comfortable space in the garage for this poor bedraggled beastie. A cardboard box and trash bag were turned into a makeshift litter box. Dry food was brought out on a little plate, along with a bowl of water, and Chad gently put the cat down right there next to food and drink, then went off in search of something to turn into a bed.
The poor cat couldn’t quite stand up. It seemed injured, maybe, or sick, but definitely malnourished and desperate. It stood, took a step, placed both front paws in the water bowl, spilling most of it. With a wailing mew, it fell down and started lapping at the floor where the water had spilled. A few sips later, the poor thing tried for the kibble, but spilled that too, managing just a few chunks. It tossed its head back, wincing, and swallowed some pieces whole.
All afternoon and evening, Chad nursed that cat to the best of his ability. After Abby and Edward saw Carrie off at the airport, they joined in too, and by bedtime, the cat was a little bit cleaner, hanging out on the landing right by the garage door. The hard thing is keeping a desperate animal quarantined away from the ones who already live in the house, when all you want to do is take them in and take care of them. But everyone needed to know whether or not this cat had any contagious ailments, whether or not there were injuries and how severe they were, and so on.
Monday morning, Chad was probably ringing the vet’s phone before the receptionist even had a chance to sit down. Lebanon Small Animal Clinic is a terrific veterinary practice, staffed by really caring and skilled people, and they managed to find a spot less than 90 minutes out when they could see our new friend and help determine what the next steps should be.
“If they need a name,” Chad said, holding his hand to the door of the cat carrier containing a slightly perkier kitty, again in the back seat of the yarn wagon, “then you’re right, it should be Omelette. All I wanted was an Omelette.”
Well, to make a long story short, Dr. Jason and the rest of the staff at Lebanon Small Animal Clinic leapt to action to see what the situation was.
Omelette weighs just over 5 pounds, and was very weak from malnutrition and dehydration. No chip was found, and Omelette was decreed to be either female, or a neutered male — but it was hard to be entirely sure due to the condition of matted fur at Omelette’s back end.
No actual injuries were revealed in the examination — just starvation and thirst, probably due to the extremely bad condition of Omelette’s teeth. And when the bloodwork came back, we learned Omelette was negative for feline leukemia, but positive for FIV, or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus.
Omelette had some fleas, and lots of matted fur, which came off in clumps while being combed to check for fleas. And Omelette stood there, purring, stronger today than the previous day, while first the vet, and then Abby, while waiting, pulled a fine toothed flea comb through the dandruff-ridden mats of fur Omelette obviously had not had the strength to clean for quite some time.
After a while, Dr. Jason came back in with his prognosis and thoughts. FIV, he said, doesn’t have to be a big deal — perhaps especially in this case, because poor Omelette’s teeth were most likely the source of almost all the problems. And they’d have to come out, which would mean Omelette then couldn’t bite anything or anyone, and so would not be able to transfer FIV to any other cats. However, it would definitely mean Omelette would need to become an inside cat. Dr. Jason estimated age to be at least 5 years, and perhaps much older.
But, he said, if the dental issues could be resolved, and the malnutrition handled, Omelette stood to make a pretty full recovery and be a very happy cat.
We won’t lie: there were no dry eyes at this prognosis. Chad and Abby might have vowed at the outset that they wouldn’t get attached, but there’s really only so much you can do to avoid caring when a desperate wild animal puts its head in your lap and purrs because you’re brushing its matted fur and scrubbing it with a washcloth.
“The next appointment I have for dental surgery is Friday,” said Dr. Jason, “But, you know, I don’t want to wait that long. I can move stuff around a bit, and you come back first thing tomorrow, and we’ll get right on the surgery.” At that point, too, there would be a definitive gender reveal. If that gender revealed potential fertility, well, that would be the moment any such fertility would need to be ended. And flea treatment. And worming. And also some subcutaneous fluids, today, to help with dehydration and constipation following on the dehydration. And worming. And, oh man, some cat shampoo and a bath, now that it was clear there were no broken bones. Omelette has no tail, but the vet thinks they were born with no tail, rather than having lost it in a mishap.
“You don’t have to pay today,” said the vet tech bringing Omelette back from blood draws and fluid injection and so forth. “You can settle up after the teeth extraction and everything.” Chad and Abby agreed, already thinking about where they’d find the money to pay this bill — because, well, we may have mentioned Chad’s a sucker for a cat in need, but it’s not like Abby isn’t also a sucker for a cat in need. And Omelette is in such dire need.
The vet tech dashed off to bring back an estimate for the whole thing, and Chad took a picture of Omelette.
While Chad was typing all that up and posting it to social media, Abby snapped this photo.
So, Omelette heads back first thing tomorrow morning. It’s been a good day for Omelette today, in which they’ve eaten an entire can of medical-grade recovery food for the starving cat, and drunk a bunch of water, and gotten a new cat bed. Omelette doesn’t seem very well accustomed to people, but is behaving incredibly grateful, and rapidly developing an attachment to the humans of Questionable Origin, who now have high hopes of seeing this cat recover and live out their remaining years in the kind of comfort they doubtless never imagined while lying, almost starved to death, too weak to move, in the shrubbery beside a parking lot.
And if you would like to contribute a little something to help us pay Omelette’s medical bills, you can! Here’s the estimate we have from the vet:
You can donate right now, right here, and we’ll all be incredibly grateful for anything you can manage.
Help With Omelette’s Medical Bills
Thank you ALL for helping with Omelette’s medical bills! Seriously, we can’t thank you enough.
Follow QO on all the social media places to keep up with Omelette’s progress.