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!

Look Deeply into my Eyes …

Look deeply into my amazing copper-colored eyes

  and tell me I’m beautiful.

Or at least, feed me!

Pretty please? I’m staaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarving!

Copper colored eyes can be indicative of a feline PSS. Although some breeds can, and do, have eyes like Newt’s, it is a breed characteristic, and not indicative of an underlying condition. However, one of the hallmarks in shunt kitties is that unusual eye color.

We are aware of one cat who had a successful liver shunt surgery, and their eyes changed colour, from copper to a rich gold.  Another cat’s eyes began to change with their diet’s change, and eventually changed further after their shunt surgery. 

Newt’s First Snow

In an effort to be good Cat Parents, and teach a very important object lesson (e.g., the dangers of trying to sneak out of  the house into the big, bad world!) we decided to allow Newt to “escape” outside in the heaviest snow fall of the season.

We were prepared, and waiting.  Camera – check, running shoes – check, traffic status – check (the snow plows had not yet come into our streets, so traffic had been non-existent).  Conditions were optimal to show Newt that he *really* did not want to go outside, now did he?

Cat Daddy was waiting outside the front door as I opened it to permit Newt to make a mad dash to freedom.

It was NOT what he was expecting! 

He stopped and stood confusedly on the porch, his little pink nose quivering with the onslaught of new smells. He tiptoed across the wet porch, eyes darting left and right, tail bushed up in excitement.  Slowly, he began to creep to the left, gingerly stepping onto the snowy path trodden down by the dogs.

YUCK. Cold little pink footie paws. This was NO fun!

Spying the freshly shoveled sidewalk to his right, he quickly turned around, and made a mad dash down the sidewalk and under the truck, with Cat Daddy and the camera crew in hot pursuit.

Uhm, great.  One thing we had NOT anticipated and checked off the list – crawling under the truck in eight inches of snow to retrieve him.  Oops.

No worries. He continued to dart in and out from under the truck, whiskers twitching and flicking snow off of his toes. 

Suddenly, he got brave, and tore off towards the back yard.  Finding it not to his liking, he took refuge under a giant bush, and was quickly rescued by Cat Daddy and brought back into the safety of the warm house. 

 He did NOT go near the door again for the rest of the day.

Lesson learned? One can only hope.



Newt News!

Welcome to Newt’s blog. Subscribe and keep up to date on Newt’s journey toward health while living with a cat liver shunt.

Check back often, as we will attempt to re-create Newt’s previous timeline, and continue adding new updates on his condition. Please share Newt’s blog and website with other shunt kitty parents, who may be in need of additional information resources, and hope for their liver-impaired feline family members.