Throwback Thursday – Hope

OK guys, ended up with an accidental Throwback Thursday post!

Think I need a group hug.  Don’t fret, Newt is FINE. I’m just getting a bit snively and emotional, after looking at his original vet records for the first time in what seems like years.

Was told that he was probably going to die any day, and to just keep him comfortable, so this is nothing new. But reading the discharge papers with the words “poor prognosis” really is taking my breath away.

I remember how stunned we were, and how desperate we were for information and for … Hope. And now, six years later, our tiny Little Lion is a sleek and spoiled older Little Lion?

It seems unbelievable.

So much gratitude to everyone who has joined us on this journey, both from the earliest days to the most recent. Each of you is so important. Each of your sharing your stories of Hope with your own liver shunt kitties is such a beacon of Hope.

Together, we ARE making a difference.

Oops, gotta go, my “poor prognosis” puddy tat needs belly snorgles!

Fish Filching Fiend

Little brat broke into the “food safe” and ate eight times his normal amount of fish last nite! He’s okay so far this morning, but monitoring closely.

We had prepared cod for his upcoming meals – at least 1/2 cup of it. Some for yesterday’s snacks, and the rest to freeze for later. We placed it in the “food safe,” also known as a bigass, glass cake dome, which has worked very at preventing Pookie’s pilfering.

Until last night.

Totally my fault.  Was motivated and productive yesterday, clearing out excess crafting supplies to donate. (An aside – do any of you know any animal rescue groups, or struggling owners who may want supplies to make things to raise money for their pet’s care? Please let me know! I really prefer to have my stuff go to help liver shunt kitties, or rescued animals, if at all possible.)

In my rush, I may have not gotten the cake dome flush against the stove, and possibly a small sliver of entrée was left – just enough for a mangy tabby’s little lizard toes to slide underneath, crack open the safe, and gorge on the contents like a deranged and starving piranha.

I left for the dog park to sneak in some knitting at 9:55 pm. When Cat Daddy got home at 10:07pm, the dome was slid across the stove, and fish flakes were scattered across the stove, the counters, the floor, the Newtster …

Yes, I smelled his breath!

Not surprising, as that boy inhales his food, and can clean out a full bowl of food in seconds.  Ten minutes would be a veritable eternity for him to burp, slurp and gorge himself silly on whatever he happened to find.  We’ve already had to put safety locks on the cabinet to keep him from breaking into where The Dog’s kibble is kept, and move any appealing items in the fridge up on the top shelves (and yes, we have caught him clinging like a limpet as he climbs the shelves to get to the good stuff!)  So, a valuable lesson – Schnookie is a safecracker!

His usual protein per meal is approximately one (1) US Tablespoon. We’re estimating he ate at least eight (8) tablespoons. Immediate direct dose of Lactulose, followed by another dose three hours later. Needless to say, he did NOT get his midnight snack last night.

Yes, I confess, I punished my Pookie by sending him to bed without any supper!

Monitored closely through the night for any signs of trouble. He was fine, but I wasn’t LOL.

So far, he’s okay today. I, on the other hand, am a bit groggy and nervous, but hopeful that today will be normal for him.

Sheep Fest, Here I Come!

We are very excited at the surge of interest in “Newt Food!” One of the shunt cat owners was talking to their vet about “Newt’s Diet” and the vet asked what brand that was LOL. Hope to soon have more sample menus and recipes for you to try.

In the meantime, definitely talk to your vet about preparing your shunt cat’s meals yourself.  You may hear them say what the other vet did – “Wow, your cat eats better than I do!” Particularly if you are searching for more economical ways to manage the condition, homeprepping meals can save money. It just takes more time. But, with Newt, the results speak for themselves.

Newt continues to do well.  He was rather unfazed when Bopper visited earlier this week for the Second Cat Liver Shunt Conference.  Spent most of the day snoozing in the Annex Box, but he did climb up and demand snuggles.  Think perhaps he was feeling a bit put out that mum’s attention wasn’t entirely focused on him.

Cat Daddy will be doing main zookeeping duties tomorrow, as he is insisting that I attend the humongous sheep and wool festival.  He says I deserve a vacation after the last round of deadlines.  Not to mention, I’ve been threatening for years to attend and watch the herding dog trials.  Now I can go pet yarn AND watch the dogs! Have my list of must-see vendors, a small shopping list of things I hope to buy, am visiting a booth to see the Ghandi-type of spinning wheel in action, and hope to get to try some other wheels as well. Plus, one of the vendors is offering a free spindle class. 

Still want to try and make a T-shirt and cards with Newt’s Ravelery info on it, in case people are ask about his copper eyes. Yeah, yeah, again with promoting liver shunt cats, what can I say? ::smile:: It’s the least I can do, as so many folks are now speaking up, sharing their shunt cat stories, info, and Hope.  We have quite a happening little community evolving, and the more creative venues we can reach, the more Hope that we can provide to future owners and their special shunt cats.

First Annual International Cat Liver Shunt Conference?

Well, it looks as if my hare-brained idea may be taking shape!

It originally started with me jokingly suggesting to SugarMint that while she is on vacation in Pennsylvania, that we meet halfway for lunch (aka the First Annual International Cat Liver Shunt Conference).  She is still there, and hasn’t returned to Florida yet.

Plus, now we have Buddy in NE PA, and Abby is also in PA. 

At a minimum, we are thinking about meeting at a big box pet food store along 95 in Philly, sometime in the next couple of weeks.

Anyone have any suggestions on cat-friendly establishments?  I am not sure if Newt will be accompanying me, but am hoping to do some Reiki on SugarMint, so we need a place where we can have at least one cat, and possibly more, if anyone else want to come.

So, what do you think? Is this a good idea?  Does anyone have any suggestions for a cat-friendly venue?

He’s OKAY!

Just got the call from the surgeon, he did fine.  Still a bit unsteady, but ate his post op meal, Plan B (Sent a backup snack of CHICKEN just in case his normal meal wasn’t appealing.  We know how much he loves his CHICKEN!)

She said he did fine, and is not getting around quite normally yet, but nothing to be alarmed about.  She will call again by 330 and we should be able to get him between 4 and 5.

Woo Hoo!  Now I can stop cleaning closets and scrubbing floors …

Lisa (and Newt, soon to be home again!)


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’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



A “Star” is Born

the best estimate of his inauspicious beginning

Shrouded in mystery, on or about this day in history, a star is born.

Nothing is known about the first three weeks of his life – his origins, his lineage, his history – just the best estimate of his inauspicious beginning here on Earth.

Welcome, Newt, and Happy BIrthday!