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Smile - AWWW....Havens

Updates: Cats and screencaps.

Posted on 2008.11.19 at 09:23
Tags: , ,

This is just a quick update....

Kittens news:

Photobucket Photobucket

~ Charles and Elsa at 12 weeks.
No kittens yet. When my daughter and I got back from visiting my mom a week ago, I emailed the breeder to confirm our planned Nov. 17 pick-up. They would not be ready, she said. She was sorry, but all the kittens were sick. Everyone had sniffles and sneezes. Nothing serious, but the kittens’ vaccinations could not be administered unless they were well. (After the vaccinating, they have to stay at least another week to see if there are any adverse reactions.) I heard from her a few days ago and everyone sounds like they’re on the mend, but we are impatient. And I’m a little worried. Charles, the seal point male, had slight sniffles and gummy eyes both times we were there (Elsa, with a different litter, always looked fit as a fiddle), but the breeder reassured me he would be fine. She agreed that he was finding it more of a challenge, getting over his childhood colds, but that he would grow out of it, just like human children did. She’d seen it happen time and again.

I should note that the breeder, a retired nurse who has been raising Siamese cats for over thirty years, has become a proponent of letting illness in cats take its course as much as possible. She’s adamant that all the antibiotic use in modern veterinary practice has weakened rather than strengthened pet stock overall, even if antibiotics have saved individuals. She also thinks pets are over-inoculated, but that’s a different issue. Therefore, her goal is to let her kittens work through their non-life-threatening childhood illnesses themselves, dosing them as little as possible. That way they will build up their natural immunities. This all sounds very good, but it is stressful when applied to one’s own darlings (and we already are very fond of Charles and Elsa, even if we have only met them twice).

You may be familiar with the same discussion being played out in human medicine. For years now I have read articles about the negative results of over-antibiotic use in humans, creating situations in which disease germs have become immune to important life-saving medicines. Trying to scale back the use of pharmaceuticals for less serious illnesses makes perfect sense. If in humans, why not in pets? But when it’s your own child lying in her bed sobbing with an earache, or your own pet with an infected wound or snotty nose, your resolve might weaken. “Letting nature take its course” to “let them build their immune systems” is easier to talk about than watch. I just hope she’s right and we aren’t going to end up with a chronically sick cat.

P.S. Angelo is fine, no signs of illness. We are only afraid he will have become so used to being lavished with attentions by three humans he might resent new cat companions, after all we’ve gone through to assuage his loneliness! (Seriously, I think he’ll love having the kittens, even if he is bewildered at first.)

Frodo Screencaps news:

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Next up will be a five-part presentation of “The Council of Elrond”. I am nearly finished and hope to have them up this weekend. Each part will come with its associated bit of screenplay and an excerpt from the book, although there can’t be an exact match since the film and book scenes are too different. So far, there will be a jan-u-wine poem for three of the five parts, but she is thinking of writing a new one.

~ Mechtild


shirebound at 2008-11-19 15:58 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I hope the kitties are soon well, and safely in your snuggly arms!
mechtild at 2008-11-19 16:18 (UTC) (Link)
We hope we get them soon, too, Shirebound. Our daughter especially is dying to get them because she plans to be leaving after the turn of the year. But we don't want to get them if they're not feeling good. It's hard enough for a youngster to go to a totally strange place when it's well! Although I am worried I am inclined to trust the breeder, based on her experience and based on the fact that she believes in what she's doing enough to keep the kittens long after she could have sold them and shipped them off to their new owners. Every extra week she keeps them is that much extra food they eat (she gives them a home-made diet worked out between other breeder friends to improve the cats' health and immune systems) and care they receive, and that much extra work. She's 86, and it is not easy providing that kind of care for a bunch of cats and kittens, along with caring for her house. I only had four at the most, so I know. And I'm thirty years younger than our breeder. She amazes me.
primula_baggins at 2008-11-19 16:09 (UTC) (Link)
What interesting looking kitties! Hope they are on the mend, soon. I totally agree that there are just too frigging many innoculations for cats these days.

My cat practically has a coronary when I take him in the car to the vet! Sometimes I think that's harder on him than anything.
mechtild at 2008-11-19 16:34 (UTC) (Link)
You and the breeder could have some passionate talks! She's got links to websites of vets and breeders arguing against a lot of the vaccines cats and dogs are made to get in modern veterinary practice. She thinks, cynically, that it's become a business matter, yearly vaccinations having become a regular income at veterinary practices. I don't like to think our vets are that compromised, but I don't deal with cat care on the scale she does. She linked me to sites written by vets and pet breeders arguing about the matter of vaccinations. The rabies shot was also called unnecessary in pets that never go outdoors, which seems about right to me. The vaccine can cause a reaction and secondary sickness, some extremely serious, in some cats.

It seems agreed that kittens need to be vaccinated, but there are less risky types of vaccinations available than many vets use. But in adult cats, the anti-over-vaccination movement's claim seems to be that although a vaccine can prevent a fatal attack of an illness, it can end up causing a lifetime of low-level chronic illness. Cats that always have "something": sniffles, coughs, upset stomach, dull coats, which the vet can never discover the cause of but only try to treat. More and more people are beginning to think the condition is the result of the vaccinations. Our breeder lives in a rural wooded area, to which she moved about eight years ago. She said she "inherited" a group of feral cats that lived outside. She has not tried to tame them or anything-- except one cat who is declawed and must have been dumped; he's become her only indoor-outdoor cat--but she supplements their water in winter (normally they must just eat snow, like the rabbits and deer), and has made a sort of shelter for them (an old carpetted cat tower with old sleeping bags thrown over it) which she puts out back when it gets 'really cold' (say, 20 below zero). She said that although they live this rough life, they all look great. Sometimes one will disappear, presumably to injury or a predator, but they are never sick. They always have beautiful coats and spotless teeth. Other people who are older talk about their farm cats that never went to vet's, ate scraps and prey animals, and all lived to an old age if they weren't killed by something first. I think she's trying to recall some of that in her own breeding program. So are other breeders, appartently.

Your cat hates the car? Ours too. HATE it. I think it's because they're going to the vet, since I've never taken them anywhere else in a car except when we got them as kittens!

Edited at 2008-11-19 04:37 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
mechtild at 2008-11-19 16:39 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, they are like fairy tale cats. Elves or pixies or sprites, or even stranger creatures like Gollum, lol. Long tubular bodies, great big blue eyes, great big ears, sharp teeth, and they whine a lot. :)

Oh, I hope you enjoy the COE series. Frodo looks wonderful all throughout that scene.

Edited at 2008-11-19 04:40 pm (UTC)
bagma at 2008-11-19 18:39 (UTC) (Link)
They are adorable! I hope you'll have them at home very soon. In my experience, there's nothing more entertaining than having two kitten wreaking havoc in your home...;)

mechtild at 2008-11-19 18:51 (UTC) (Link)
there's nothing more entertaining than having two kitten wreaking havoc in your home

Ha ha! And we *are* bracing ourselves for havoc. We're going to be "cat proofing" - tying up blind cords, pushing figurines to the backs of shelves, putting some things away (until they grow up), and that sort of thing. But we're looking forward to it. We think Angelo is just going to sit there at first, once we are sure they can share the same space. We imagine him hunkered down in the loaf of bread pose as they zoom back and forth around him, his eyes wide and darting this way and that.

Edited at 2008-11-19 06:52 pm (UTC)
julchen11 at 2008-11-19 21:13 (UTC) (Link)
I hope the kitties will be well very soon, my dear. They'll going to live in a wonderful snuggly family.
Angelo will get used to the newbies, as we call it here : they have a so-called baby bonus.

I'm so looking forward to "The Councal of Elrond" caps, dear.

I hope you are doing well and life is good to you.
Missed you, my dear!

Love and hugs,
mechtild at 2008-11-19 22:31 (UTC) (Link)
Julchen, greetings! Thanks for commenting. :)

I hope our baby-bonus pleases Angelo too. I am sure it will, actually, but I think he may be taken aback at first.

Council of Elrond -- I will try to finish them in the next few days. And I still have my fingers crossed that Jan will write yet another poem to this part of the story.

maewyn_2 at 2008-11-19 22:19 (UTC) (Link)
I hope your babies will soon be well enough to go home. It must be so difficult having to wait longer than you had hoped.

Our Banjo is 11 years old, and he has only been to the Vet once. This was when he had his "little operation" and vaccinations. I vaguely think he was supposed to go back for a follow-up, but that never happened! This was more to do with how terrified he was going into the car.

Banjo has been healthy despite not having continuing vaccinations. He self-medicates by eating grass if he needs to empty his stomach (unfortunately, often on the carpet!). The only major concern he has given us seemed to be of a mental nature. About 5 years ago he wouldn't leave the spare room. He seemed to be terrified; rooted to the spot. He wouldn't come out to eat or drink. We brought these necessities to him for a few days. We eventually coaxed him to gradually move further from that spot over the following week. Then he was OK. I've no idea what was wrong with him!

He lives to go outside. When we are home, every time one of us goes outside, he's at the door ready to accompany us! We don't leave him outside as we have a weird neighbour that hates cats (the neighbour on the other side of her property's cat disappeared after being chased by her).

I had to laugh when I read about your comment on where cats sometimes get their water. Even though he has a bowl of water beside his food (which he occasionally drinks from), he prefers to go to the bathroom and hooks out the grate from the bath. He then dips his paw down the drain and licks the water off it. I can't really see how this would be preferable to a bowl of clean water!
mechtild at 2008-11-19 23:33 (UTC) (Link)
It sounds like Banjo is thriving just how he is. I may change our cat care protocol after reading so much of the material links through our breeder and her breeder friends. Maybe we've been killing our cats with kindness, so to speak. Ours have never missed a routine visit--vaccinations and check-ups--plus a number of sick calls, teeth-cleanings, etc. Maybe with fewer vaccinations and a different diet (I have for the last months been switching Angelo to the diet the kittens will eat) will help them live longer than our cats have done so far, except Raoul.

That's interesting about him confining himself to the spare room. Who knows what happened to spook him, but it had to be gratifying to be able to persuade him to come out of it.

About drinking out of toilets, sinks and drains, I read somewhere that it's part of a cat's programming to seek out running water. Maybe because in nature moving water tends to be more wholesome than water standing in a pool or puddle. They sure do love it, as if they were part of a a "back to nature" movement. Next thing will be Banjo insisting on eating only fresh-caught food.
melyanna_65 at 2008-11-19 22:37 (UTC) (Link)
Just a few days ago I've been thinking about your kitties, wondering if there were any news.

I'm sorry they're not with you yet, and I hope they'll recover soon, so you can show them their new home.

*hugs you and pets the "babies" (including Angelo, of course)*
mechtild at 2008-11-19 23:40 (UTC) (Link)
I can't wait for them to see their new home either, Melyanna. It's part of the contract with the breeder that they have to be confined for three days and see a vet for a check-up during that period, or the breeder refuses to be liable if they turn out to have something serious. All the breeder contracts say the same thing so it's nothing unusual.

This actually will be a good thing for these kittens, since they are used to being in only a small space. While our breeder's "retired" cats (cats no longer breeding and being kept as house pets) have the run of the main house, the kittens and breeding cats stay in a room in the downstairs. The kittens might feel overwhelmed to be put at once into a space that is relatively enormous (we have a modest two floor house, but it's a castle compared to the one room home they've known so far).

I figure that after we can see that Angelo and the kittens will like or at least tolerate each other, we'll let the kittens explore the house gradually as the days go by. Once the three are buddies they can start sleeping with Angelo at night. He's missed cat buddies to sleep with.
not_alone at 2008-11-19 23:03 (UTC) (Link)
I do hope your kitties are soon fully recovered and ready for their new home:) The breeder could well be right about the over-inoculation issue. We've always had ours inoculated for everything available, having lost one to feline leukaemia when she was only 7. However, we've had a reminder about the boosters for our remaining cat and I do wonder if it's really necessary now as she's 17 and never stays outside for long.

Looking forward to your COE post:)
mechtild at 2008-11-19 23:47 (UTC) (Link)
I do wonder if it's really necessary now as she's 17 and never stays outside for long.

It's a difficult call. I've been taking our cats to the vet's regularly all these years, shots, check-ups, tooth-cleanings, then all the sick visits, but I wonder if it was necessary and maybe not even always good. Our breeder is kind of like a tree stump evangelist with her impassioned "too much antibiotics, too many and too risky vaccinations!" message; she's really on a mission.

But now I really am skeptical about the benefit of all these shots for pets that lead such circumscribed lives. I'd love to skip the rabies shots for the new kittens, for instance, since our cats go *nowhere*, but the vet might refuse to treat them if they don't have their rabies shots, and they need to be neutered. All cats and dogs are required by law to get rabies shots in this and many U.S. states. I suppose it's a liability issue, in case a pet bites one of the other pets at the vet's, or one of the veterinary workers.

I hope you enjoy the COE posts once I finish them. I want to get them done this weekend. Next week is Thanksgiving in the U. S., a day for families to come together for a big meal, and I'm the hostess. We're going to have a house guest too. No time for posting then!

Edited at 2008-11-19 11:49 pm (UTC)
frolijah_fan_54 at 2008-11-20 02:40 (UTC) (Link)
I can certainly attest to what the overuse of antibiotics has done to humans - we have so many patients in the nursing home where I work that have antibiotic-resistant super infections. It does make sense to try to curb antibiotic use in pets too - but I can sure see how hard it would be when it's YOUR pet!!

I hope the kitties are both well enough for their inoculations VERY soon so you can take them home and spoil them rotten!!

Looking forward to more screencaps - you do them so well.
mechtild at 2008-11-20 03:03 (UTC) (Link)
You work in a nursing home, Frolijah Fan? Are you a nurse? Nursing assistant? Recreation director? Clerical person? I'm trying to picture you in your setting. I have noticed during visits to people in our local hospitals the increase in the number of rooms that have warnings posted, and bags of gowns and boxes of gloves outside, because their disease or infection is resistant to antibiotics. One of my husband's good friends, otherwise a fit and healthy person, was in one of those rooms two years ago for weeks with a life-threatening intestinal infection. She nearly died. Every time I went to see her I had to gown up and wear gloves. She was a trouper, but obviously miserable, even more miserable seeing her friends and family come in looking like sloppy surgeons.

I hope the kitties are coming soon, too. Pretty soon they'll be grown-ups, if this keeps up. I plan to email the breeder for another update if I haven't heard anything by Friday. That will make a week since her last note saying they were improving.
Lavender Took
lavendertook at 2008-11-20 18:44 (UTC) (Link)
Good to see you back and I hope your trip out east was a good one. Sending wishes for the sweet kitties to get well fast and into your family's arms.

The innoculation thing is hard. I get them for my kits, but I'm stretching the boosters more since the vet told me they go for more than a year, so I'm trying to make them every year and half. The thing with the rabies, besides the legality, is that an infected bat or rat can get into your home on freak occasions--the vet told me a story of a household of cats having to be killed due to one being bitten by a bat that entered the house. But as for me, I've never gotten a flu shot, and dont' intend to get one again this season. My coworker said she was made ill by the shot one year and that left her weakened to pick up one virus after another that year, so she doesn't do them anymore.
mechtild at 2008-11-20 20:54 (UTC) (Link)
Hi, Lavender! We hope we see them one of these days, too. The breeder emailed me yesterday to say that although they are o.k. otherwise ("eating me out of house and home" -- although they never lost their appetites while they've been sick), the kittens are still "snotty". So we must wait.

About the flu shot, the breeder told me not to get it. But the years prior that I've had them, I've been fine. Sometimes I work with children and I'm worried about making them sick if I should come down with it.

That's a very good point about the rabies, Lavender. I am thinking I will have to get them inoculated for it, but one of the pet inoculation sites names a rabies vaccine that has fewer risks for the pet than others, or so it is argued. I think I'll print off the article and bring it to my vet.

By the way, our vets have been giving the rabies boosters only every three years, and there is more space between the one for respiratory ailments, too. Maybe you are already doing what a lot have vets have begun to advise.
(Anonymous) at 2008-11-21 21:03 (UTC) (Link)
Welcome back, Mechtild. I hope you and your daughter had a lovely time visiting your mother.

I'm sorry to hear that your little ones have the sniffles. It must be very frustrating, when you are eager to bring them home. I hope they are soon fit and well.

I had to smile at the 'kitty shelves' in Shirebound's link. I was talking to my cousin last night about her cat, Eric. He is a rather portly ginger and white, with the sweetest temperament. My cousin feels guilty about his size, but finds it difficult to reduce his food intake as she also had another cat, Merlin, whose leftovers Eric eats whenever he can get away with it. My cousin's daughter lives next door to her, and she has three cats. These three, being Toast, Mostin and Tilly, come and go via a cat-flap in the door. My cousin commented, 'Imagine how I feel when Jane (her daughter) tells me how Eric struggles to squeeze through the (rather small) cat-flap to get into her flat. Imagine how I feel when she tells me that Eric (who is frightened of Mostin) proceeds to crawl on his belly across the floor until he reaches the food dish.' Eric is apparently under the impression that if he keeps close to the ground Mostin won't see him. A cunning plan; considering Eric's rotund figure, it obviously works!

I'm so looking forward to the CofE screencaps.

~ Blossom.
mechtild at 2008-11-22 02:33 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for the welcome back, Blossom! Your story about Merlin, Eric, Toast, Mostin and Tilly was so funny and dear. Ah, kitties, how I love them! I keep picturing Eric slinking across the floor and trying to squeeze through the cat flap. Ha ha ha!

As for CofE, I have one more intro. to write, then there's the final proofing (which Jan will help me on, I hope). Then they'll be ready. I'll probably post one a day so that people don't get confused about the order.
whiteling at 2008-11-23 15:35 (UTC) (Link)
Aw. Mechtild, I very much hope that your little sweeties will be soon fit as a fiddle again and with you!
I think it's a good thing not to overuse antibiotics and to have only a few, most important vaccinations made. It's a very effective training for the immune system, either human's or animal's. Of course, sometimes it is inevitable to resort to antibiotics - Nietzsche's remark "What does not destroy me, makes me stronger" may be true to some extent, but it's certainly not suitable or necessary in any case, methinks! o_O

mechtild at 2008-11-23 19:27 (UTC) (Link)
"What does not destroy me, makes me stronger"

I wonder if Frodo helped demonstrate this (book Frodo)? :) Seriously, I thought of Frodo and the way he became stronger and stronger in his will, wisdom and character, even as he became more and more depleted as he suffered bearing the burden of the Ring. I wondered if there isn't going to be a burgeoning movement across the boards to help children, help us as a people, grow up better and stronger by being allowed to endure more suffering, illness and adversity. What with the world situation (economy, wars, natural disasters, pressured environment), we may have no choice.

Thanks for stopping by, love. No word on the kittens since earlier this week, when they were "still snotty" but "still eating me out of house and home". This coming week will be so busy (Thanksgiving is Thursday, which means guests and lots of cooking and serving), it's just as well they're not here. We'll want to give them our fullest attention when they first come.
frodosweetstuff at 2008-11-27 13:07 (UTC) (Link)
I hope the kittens will be well soon so that you can bring them home and give Angelo new cat friends. :)))
mechtild at 2008-11-27 15:04 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, Frodosweetstuff. I hope so too. But they might be grown up when we get them at this rate! :)
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