A Poem for Newt

Once again, I am overwhelmed by the compassion and support of Newt’s friends and fans around the globe.

While celebrating yesterday’s excitement over Cat Liver Shunt Support Group celebrating its first Birthday / Anniversary, Newt was having another rough day.  Not nearly as bad as last weekend’s episode, which resulted in the 3AM trip to the ER for precautionary fluids, but moderately symptomatic nonetheless.

On top of the ever-present anxiety induced by another round of drool and lethargy, I was dealing with a puking cat, an abscessed tooth, an out-of-town Cat Daddy, an incessantly barking dog, a bout of doggy diarrhea, and a last-minute set of major changes on the current project.

I was tired.  Whiny, achy, emotional, frightened and frustrated.  And … just tired.

So very, very tired.

But I was not alone.

With the well wishes for Newt winging their way across the globe, and a wonderful, empathetic pep talk from “the best friend I’ve never met,” I found comfort and encouragement, and the strength to soldier on.

Our little group has developed such a sense of community – of family – it’s wonderful and amazing, and so welcome – especially at times like these. 

And to top it off, an extra special surprise arrived today.

There is a cat on our group, a very special older gentleman named Pingu, age ten, who has been medically managed for the last five years.  He has experienced several major setbacks of late, but through it all, his mum is always welcoming the newbies, and leading the cheering and support when we need it.

Today, upon hearing that Newt was still episodic, she emailed him a Get Well Poem that she’d written.

A Special Poem for Newt ( as he,s poorly!!XX)
Reprinted with Permission from Gayla Lamb

I know this wonderful handsome cat, he,s gorgeous , his name is Newt
He has a wonderful mum and a wonderful dad and he,s just incredibly cute!
But he get,s these days, just like his friends when he feels all yukky and sick
So extra cuddles from his mum and his dad i think could do the trick!
It,s sad to see , to have to watch to see him sleep and drool,
To know he feels so awfully sick when he,s usually so bloomin cool
He,s Newt the cat, well he,s the man, a dude to all his friends,
Whatever he says whatever he does yay Newt sets all the trends!
We love him to bits, and we hate to know he,s having some really bad days,
And that we all want to help as much as we can in all our different ways!
So sending him hugs sending him love and sending extremely good vibes
From Pingu and me and Sharky too and all the rest of the tribexxxxxxxxxxxxxx


Folks, I got shivers when, a few moments after reading her poem to Newt, the drool stopped, he ate a bit of lunch, had a drink, a bath, and then, curled up comfortably to sleep.

Never underestimate the power of friendship, love and Hope.

Happy Birthday, CatLiverShunt.org

Just a quick note to say Happy Birthday to us.  Our little support group – www.CatLiverShunt.org – is One Year Old today, and like any kitten, my, how we have grown!

From our very basic beginnings of an experiment in trying to provide real-time communication between shunt cat owners, and a group effort to assemble anecdotal information on caring for our shunt kitties, and through some growing pains, we have grown to include 62 members from around the globe, representing: Guam, Taiwan, Canada, Australia, Spain,Scotland, England, the Netherlands, and 22 of the United States.


Among other things, as a group, we have:

  • Assembled a data repository of 147 discussion topics pertaining to the care and comfort of our special kitties, and our shared sense of community.
  • Unearthed interesting tidbits previously un-noted in research papers on the condition (such as the changing eye colour).
  • Generated a wonderful list of the various types of food and treats.
  • Compared various medication and treatment options.
  • Analyzed differences in symptoms and how to recognize oncoming episodes.
  • Celebrated our cats’ successes and milestones, and mourned setbacks and losses.

Cat Daddy and I are so amazed and humbled by the warmth, camaraderie and overwhelming support we have seen on this site. We thank each of you for your efforts to share information, love and Hope to fellow owners. Special thank yous  to members who have made donations to help fund the site, and to our European Moderator.

And the true thanks goes to you – each of you – who have contributed and been a part of our group.  Knowing that there are others just like us -dealing with drool, sticky Lactulose and odd behaviors, juggling schedules, coordinating menus, fretting over treatment/surgery options,and, generally being totally smitten with your kitten – has been a lifesaver. 

Together, we have achieved what previously had never been attempted or accomplished. We are no longer alone!

Happy Birthday to Us!