Who Wants Brush Brush?

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Updates on Mikan

Mikan is now on his third round of anti-biotics. This time, for his fever.

Last Saturday morning, I noticed that Mikan's ears felt really cold to the touch, was looking rather listless and had no appetite for the usual fare. Even the new batch of wheatgrass I bought could not interest him one bit. I tried canfood - still not interested. Surrendering, I opened up a bottle of Gerber chicken which he slowly lapped up about two-thirds. I gave him his tablet then left him to rest, thinking that having to take antibiotics for the past 2 weeks must have upset his system a little.

Come Sunday night, Mikan was still disinterested in food and play, choosing a quiet corner to sleep while the rest went on about their usual business. I dished out half a bottle of Gerber and water and brought it to Mikan. He finished the food but refused to touch the water, getting up to walk away whenever I went near with the water dish. And while I was pestering Mikan to eat and drink, I was in turn chased after by a horde of meowing kitties, fully convinced they were starving and wondering out loud why they were being left out of being fed. Eventually, I gave the other half of the can to the others to share and left Mikan to rest, hoping that he'd get better.

Before I left for work on Monday, Mikan was still languid. I carried him up to the bed to rest and thought he felt feverish. Worried, I quickly brought in a trough of cold water, dampened a towel and draped it over his back. Poor boy did not resist, the wet towel must have made him feel slightly better. The other naughties took turns to come up to investigate and lovingly gave Mikan a lick or two on the forehead before walking away. They must have known that their big brother was not feeling well and were trying to comfort him.

I couldn't concentrate on work that day and went back early to check on my sick boy. Mikan's doctor is usually fully booked so I didn't bother to call and went to the clinic straight away. It started raining buckets just as we were leaving the house, which was just as well for no one was there when we reached and Mikan got to go in first. The doctor took his temperature and indeed, Mikan was having fever, 1 degree higher than normal. The doctor felt that the bladder infection probably had nothing to do with fever and honestly told me that he was not sure what was causing it. We could run tests but the procedure would be long and tedious. All he could do was to give Mikan symptomatic treatment for the fever and observe his condition. Though I remained worried about the underlying cause of Mikan's fever, I understood where the doctor was coming from.

So, Mikan was given a jab and sent home to rest with more anti-biotics to take. He was feeling much better the next day, with the fever gone and appetite and curiosity returned.

Anyhow, naughty Mikan is now perching atop the cabinets watching as I type away on the computer, happily unawares of the worriment he had caused in the past month.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Video = What is Inside the Dustbin?

Cutie came squealing that she was sure that something is in the dustbin making rustling sounds. Turned out that greedy Mikan was hiding in there, licking empty bicuit wrappers with gusto.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


After spending 2 years with an Australian lady, dear Oreo was returned to us in 2004 when his owner had to return home. When he first came back to us, he was very shy and confused, prefering to hide in the litter bin most of the time. From being the only cat in the house, he suddenly had to share his living space with so many others and worse, the nice lady he had lived with for so long did not seemed to be around any longer. Fortunately, it took just a few days for good-natured Oreo to realise that, hey, this place was not too bad afterall. My guess was that Oreo figured out that there was no point brooding over the past; He had to move on, to feel loved and to love someone once again.

From then on, Oreo really loved us to the best that he could. He would always follow someone around, looking for any opportunity to be petted. He would be there sitting near the sink when I did the dishes; He would be there at the bench when I sat down to rest. All I had to do was look up and he would be there watching, front paws kneading, mer-ow-ing softly and waiting to give me loving head-butts. Oreo was a boy who loved only people. He had no cat friends and thrived solely on human attention. He loved to sit on laps but hated to be carried. We touched noses all the time.

One morning in February this year, when I got a call from H telling me that Oreo had passed away, I was totally shattered. I had last seen him two weeks earlier and indeed, he was having a bit of a sniffle. But that was all, wasn't it? I had refused to believe it, how can my big healthy boy die from a mild flu? Although it had been a nasty thought, I wanted to believe that the casualty was someone else, another cat, anyone but Oreo. They must have made a mistake.

When I was there at the cat house a week later, I had to believe the news was true. There was no more Oreo sitting on the shelves watching. There was no more Oreo shadowing as I moved around to check on the other cats. There was no more Oreo doing his signature mer-ow as I looked his way. I sat and cried for a long time that day.

Bye bye for now, my lovely head-butting friend.

In Loving Memory of Oreo (2002 - Feb 2006)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Video = Princey Snoozing In the Sun

I thought Princey truly epitomised serenity here.

Que Zen music.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Video = Mikan Having His Milk

Baby Mikan drinking from his bottle. Cuteness!

Mikan Says Thank You

Mikan says thank you all nice uncles and aunties, jiejies and gorgors for your well-wishes. He still has this itchy feeling there, so he still visits the toilet 20 times a day. There is still blood in his urine but this is afterall only the second day of his medication.

"But one thing good came out of Mikan falling ill," I heard Princey told Maggie last night: "We get can food everyday now."

Anyhow, I gave sick boy a good brush before I left for work this morning. He even rolled over and requested that I do his belly too. Ah, such sweetness.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Mikan Goes To the Vet

The heavy downpour yesterday proved to be a blessing in disguise. Eventhough I waited some time for a cab (4 consecutive empty taxis slowed down, took a look at the carrier at my feet and sped away hurriedly), I did not have to wait long at the vet's. Many other patients did not show up so I was the one of the first to arrive for the evening consultation.

Mikan refused to come out of his carrier when it was his turn. But I'm feeling fine, mom. I finished all my dinner and drank water before this, remember? And after that I even went to the toilet five times. Opps.

The doctor felt around Mikan's tummy and told me that he couldn't really feel his bladder so it must be quite empty. The previous time, his bladder walls were thick and hard with bad inflammation so it was easily palpable. This time, since the bladder was not full, it meant Mikan was still able to pass urine successfully so doctor ruled out the possibility of blocked urethra. As Mikan still played and ate normal, the doctor said that the infection must have just started. The only discomfort Mikan would have felt was the constant itch in his bladder.

The doctor also felt that the current diet and lifestyle are probably not the cause of Mikan's condition, since my 2 other boys eat the exact same food and lead the exact same sedentary lifestyle. He told me that some individuals are just predisposed towards having UTI but the actual cause may never be fully explained. Some cats can have blood in the urine even without crystals or infection in their bladder. He felt that the best thing to do for Mikan is to prescribe some anti-biotics to clear the infection and then observe him further at home. We thanked the doctor, collected Mikan's medicine and waited for his dad to pick us up.

While waiting outside the clinic, I set Mikan's carrier down on the steps and a tabby came over to say hello. The friendly young tabby put his nose on Mikan's carrier door and asked him what happened. Mikan sat dejectedly at the other end and replied that he was not allowed to talk to strangers and that he just wanted to go home and pretend that none of this was happening. Few minutes later, a nice lady who was feeding the strays passed by and saw Mikan. She peered into the carrier and asked me what was on his head. Turned out that the silly boy had decided to disguise himself by wearing the carrier cushion on his head.

At a red light halfway home, Mikan's dad complimented that our boy was well-behaved and reached into the carrier to pet him on the head. Mikan snuggled up against his dad's palm and started purring for the first time since the evening, relieved at knowing that we love him afterall.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Mikan Has UTI Again

I sensed something was amiss when Mikan sat beside me while I was cleaning their kitty litter this morning. He is usually very shy when it comes to going toilet, preferring to do it when no one is around. So when Mikan went into the bin when I was there, it was bad sign. As he squatted, I snatched a piece of tissue from the table top and placed it under his bum. My heart sank when he stood up and I saw the tissue stained with just 2 big drops of pink liquid. That meant he had blood in his urine, a sure sign of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI).

The last time Mikan had UTI, the poor boy had to spend a night at the vet's to get a proper urine sample and I remembered him straining his neck to watch me as I was leaving. Sigh.

Anyhow, the examination showed that the infection was not due to stones nor a blockage. The urinalysis showed normal pH, high levels of red blood cells (due to the blood) and white blood cells (sign of infection) and some bacteria. However, cultures for the types of bacteria that commonly cause urological infection showed up negative, which meant that all the tests had been unsuccessful in pin-pointing the exact cause of infection.

Fortunately, Mikan responded to the second round of anti-biotics prescribed and remained problem free for more than a year till now.

I have just contacted the vet's office and he is fully booked for today. I will have to walk-in and from previous experience, the wait is likely to be an hour the least. I must remember to bring extra towels for Mikan to change while waiting.

It is going to be tough for me to concentrate on work today.