Happy Birthday, Shunt Cats!

A very happy birthday to Newt’s friends, and fellow shunt cats:

Peanut from New Hampshire – five years old on July 4th!  Peanut is an inoperable MVD shunt kitty.

Kal-El from Scotland turned one year old in March! 

PassePoil from Canada, who will be two years old this month.  PassePoil had his shunt surgically corrected in Jan ’09.

With each birthday is another celebration of life, and hope – hope for all shunt cats that they, too, can thrive and survive.

Happy Birthday to You,

Happy Birthday to You,

Happy Birthday dear Kal-El, Peanut and PassePoil,

Happy BIrthday to you …

and many Meow!!!


Did you ever wonder why vacation is spelled va-cat-ion? Why, because the CAT is supposed to be right in the middle of it!

Did you ever wonder why vacation is spelled va-cat-ion? Why, because the CAT is supposed to be right in the middle of it!


True confessions time.


Newt has turned our entire household upside down during his time with us, and this was made markedly evident by the most recent turn of events.


After I finally finished a hideous months’ long client project, Cat Daddy has been grumbling insistently about my need to Get. Some. Rest!  The first two weeks of my free time consisted of me teaching a week-long class, and then taking another intensive class.


So much for resting


One of the small sacrifices that have been made is that we have not gone away together since Newt first toddled his little furry footies all over our hearts more than a year ago. We have not been able to have a romantic getaway since Newt moved in, because of the extra care he requires. Fellow shunt parents know that it’s not so much extreme care, just rather time consuming to prep his frequent meals, and knowing the signs of when he is about to go symptomatic so we can adjust his meds and monitor him.


Cat Daddy was insistent that I REST – no computer, no clients, no phone – just REST, for at least a couple of days. He had a couple of days off, a place in mind, the sitter lined up, and it was just a question of whether or not he thought I’d *really* be able to truly REST. He was concerned that I would be fretting and worrying about the baby instead of resting (not that HE would ALSO be worrying LOL).


My gallant Cat Daddy’s solution? Let’s bring Newt WITH us! (Oh, how I adore that man!)


We’re regularly traveled with a dog or two, but a cat?!? Who takes a kitty on vacation? Are we crazy?


All together now, a resounding YES! We are crazy! It’s official – I am a crazy cat lady. As if I didn’t already know that from the Great Cucumber Debate, but now I can hardly deny the truth.


And for the record, Newt traveled just fine, and had a wonderful time.


Plans are already underway for our next romantic vacation – cat and all!

Newt the Brute!

Newt’s weigh in at his vet appointment today.

Drumroll please …

Little New New topped the scales at a whopping nine pounds, one ounce. (4.14 Kgs).  Everyone at the clinic was cheering! 

::Screaming:: 9.1 POUNDS!!! OMG! Almost a year ago, he weighed a mere one pound (.45 Kg) at diagnosis.  We continue to be humbled and amazed by how far he’s come, and how much he’s grown.

Cat Daddy, of course, is convinced it is because *he* has been the primary Newtritionist over the last three months while I’m on assignment working seven days a week. I concur.  Cat Daddy is a much better fixer of feline food, obviously.

Yay, Newt! You’re officially a little big cat now!

Hello, Fellow Shunt Cat Owners

Quick hello to all of the new shunt cat owners who have emailed Newt.  I promise that we will get your information uploaded to his site ASAP.

We are in the process of purchasing additional server space, so hopefully we will be able to begin migrating the site over soon.

In the meantime, please keep your email updates coming – it lifts our spirits and gives us hope to see so many responses.

Hugs to you and yours, from us and ours. 

Newt’s Cat Daddy is Performing at the Kennedy Center!

Little New New has been thriving under the care of Cat Daddy.  We’re pretty sure he’s gained a bit more weight!

Cat Daddy has gotten really good at juggling meal planning and preparation for Newt, and taking excellent care while I’ve been stuck on assignment with a grueling work schedule.

But now, Cat Daddy has an important job coming up – he’s been invited to perform at the Kennedy Center!

As you can imagine, *I* am as proud as I can be.  Newt, however, prefers to have Cat Daddy performing at home – in particular, singing silly songs about big ears, rat tails, and little pink footie paws …


When Newt was a baby, he constantly wanted to be held and snuggled.  To enable routine work function (you know, computer use, washing dishes, sweeping, etc.) I rigged him up a baby sling.  Used a Pashmina shawl, (blue, of course, for my little boy). Initially wrapped it around my neck (he only weighed one pound!), and as he grew, adjusted the strap to go around the shoulder and under the arm. 

He will still ask to snuggle in his sling when he’s having a bad day. From these pictures, you can see: 1) his growth, and 2) the wear and tear of his sling.

Dare I admit that I sing lullabies to my cat?!?!

Excerpted from The Beach Boys’ Hushabye,

written by Mort Shuman and Doc Pomus

Hush hush

Oh my darlin’ don’t you cry
Guardian angels up above
Take care of the one I love

Oo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo
Ah ah ah ah

Hush hush

Oo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo
Ah ah ah ah

Hush hush

Oooo oooo oooo oooo

Lullabye and goodnight
In your dreams I hold you tight
Lullabye and goodnight
Til the dawn’s early light


Newt’s First Birthday

Well, well, well, my little Pookie Bear.  As near as we can figure, you are now ONE YEAR OLD!

After combing thru the shelter logs, and cross-referencing with your early vet records, it seems you were born sometime in mid-March, 2008. So we have decided that March 15th is the day we will celebrate your birthday – this special, first birthday, and all future birthdays that may come.

Through the last year, you have brought more tears, more laughter, more challenges, and, more victories than any other animal with whom we have shared our lives.  Consequently, you have enriched our lives in ways never before dreamed or imagined, and we have grown in ways that we never expected.

We sometimes ask you “Why are you here?” 

Is it to illustrate the frailty of life? The ability to overcome insurmountable odds? The way that traditional and holistic vet care can work together?

Or is it simply to love, and to be loved, for however long you are here?  Something so many of us seek and rarely find.

Whatever the reason for your presence, and for your survival against the odds, we are so very glad that you are here. You have so eloquently reminded us to cherish every moment spent with a loved one.

We love you, New New. 

Happy Birthday, and here’s to many, many more!

With love,
Mommy and Cat Daddy



Newt is Feeling Better!

Couple of anxious days, but he’s almost back to the “new” Newt.

Enema averted – for now.

Thanks to all the well-wishers for their thoughts and encouragement!  Cat Daddy and I were a bit worried.  While the drooling wasn’t nearly as bad as it had been pre-ER, it still was a shock, I guess, to have it come back.

The trigger this time, we think was caused by him sneaking onto the counter and stealing part of a portion of cooked cabbage.  (Where I’m from, it was always the COW that ate the cabbage, not the CAT!)

We are so careful with the cat food, and our food, but he has gotten so fast, and so sneaky! I opened the box with the cabbage in it, turned around to get a plate, and when I turned back, he was proudly strutting across the counter with a hunk of it clenched in his teeth, chomping and slurping with every step.

Cheeky little bugger!

While cabbage was never ON his menu, it is now certainly banned from consideration.

Possibly it upset his tummy a bit, causing him to not want to eat his dinner, upsetting the balance of his carefully timed meals, etc etc etc.  Or maybe he just thought I needed to call his holistic vet in a panic – after all,  it HAD been seven weeks since we’d last seen her!

Newt’s Having a Less-than-Great Day

Well, it was too good to be true.

For seven weeks, New New has shown no symptoms.

Until today.

He did not want breakfast – good thing I direct dosed his meds, instead of adding to his food. After breakfast, he climbed on me, asking for Reiki and snuggles.  I happily obliged, as one of the main differences post-ER has been his sudden independence, and a vanishing of his previous snuggly, clingy previous behaviors.

I got out his sling, so he could cuddle while I work.  Little Schnookums has grown so much that he barely fits in it any more!

He has now started drooling, and a tiny bit of wheezing – neither of which has happened in the last seven weeks.

So far, the drooling isn’t really bad – just a bit; nonetheless, I’m worried.

He, on the other hand, seems perfectly content to snuggle draped around my neck, watching me type, and intermittently dozing.

Happy Birthday to Claudia!

Happy Birthday to You,

Happy Birthday to You,

Happy Birthday Dear Claudia,

Happy Birthday to You …

and many Meeeeeeeeeeeeoooooooooooooow!

In honor of fellow shunt cat Claudia in the UK’s third birthday, Newt has composed a special song for her.  Yes, he has shamelessly ripped off the Americanized version of the birthday song, but he did add his own special little kitty touch at the end …

Happy Birthday to You,

Happy Birthday to You,

Happy Birthday Dear Claudia,

Happy Birthday to You …

and many Meeeeeeeeeeeeoooooooooooooow!