Hello It's a new year, and I figured it was time for a Sammi update! My big lunk's been doing pretty good OTJ, with a few little blips. The early morning of October 8th Sam started vomiting. By 6:00 am he was huddled on my bedroom floor in meatloaf position and absolutely miserable. A BG check showed his sugar at 258, with a retest at 298. Yikes! Sam is a cat that has to eat to keep his blood sugar regulated, but he refused to eat on his own. So out came the silicon-tipped feeding syringe, and he got assisted fed pate soup every few hours throughout the day. Luckily, his pancreas kicked in with food on board, and his BG# went down even though I know he was still in pain. That night I cooked him up a pink salmon fillet -- and that was happily accepted, and the next morning he was once again eating his pate on his own. No return of the meatloaf position since then, and the only vomiting has been hairballs (of unusual size, my goodness -- I'd swear a saber-toothed tiger snuck into the house, judging by the size of those things!). Another blip in his readings on November 15th, a reading of 110 that went down to 56 after feeding. I blame him getting into a bit of the kitten's dry food. --I know I shouldn't have the dry food in the house at all, but I had to make certain allowances with the kittens. Here's Sam yesterday. He's such a handsome fellow, just ask him! So... new kittens in the house! Their mom was a feral living under a neighbor's hedge, and I could hear she had kittens towards the end of June. Then near the end of July the cameras caught her coming out of the hedge... and all the skin on her tail had been stripped off. It was horrible. I went to animal control to discuss options, and they promised that if I trapped mommy-cat, they'd get her to a veterinarian. Since that sounded much better than maggots and roaches eating mommy-cat alive, I talked to the neighbors to get their permission, then set up the trap -- and caught mommy and her two kittens all together. A very nice woman from animal control came for them (at around 9:00 that night; it only took about 12 minutes from the time I called to when she showed up). She immediately took mommy-cat to the vet, but the doctor felt that too much bone was exposed up to her spine to amputate, so mommy-cat was put to sleep. (I know this wasn't a story animal control made up to make me feel better, because I went to the vet hospital the next morning to ask about her. ...And wow! The number of animals that animal control had brought there since the night before was amazing. The hospital had paperwork for 7-8 animals... I hope some of them had better outcomes than mommy-cat.) Now, animal control had misled me about the kittens. When I had gone in to ask about mommy-cat, they said they'd work with the feral kittens, get them used to humans, then put them out for adoption. I went to go visit them several times -- in the Unsocialized Cat room I asked how could feral kittens be socialized when no one was willing to handle them, or spend any time with them. "Oh, just being around the people cleaning the cages will tame them up!" Yeah, right! With over 100 cats and kittens that were tame and already up for adoption, the two little ferals stuck in the Unsocialized room didn't stand a chance. First... I said, "If no one adopts them, please call, and I'll take them." Then, seeing the little black one's goopy-ooky eyes, and both of them looking more and more scared, I went back and said, "Okay. Fine. You win. You won't let me foster, so I'll adopt." It wasn't quite that easy, though. Animal control won't release an animal until it's been spayed/neutered. "They're too young," I said. "Oh, we don't go by age, we go by weight. We fix them at 2 1/2 pounds," said the woman at the front counter. "There's no way those kittens are even 2 pounds!" I said. "Their paperwork says 2 1/2," said the counter woman. "That's inside the plastic den, it says so on your own paperwork!" I growled. "I've set them up to be spayed next Tuesday," said the woman. "You can pick them up after 4:00 pm." Needless to say, I picked them up that Tuesday on a trust and health waiver, unspayed, because they were too small, too sick, and too young. While the animal control vet had prescribed antibiotics to take home, the counter refused to give them to me. Luckily I was able to get them into my vet that Thursday morning. And after a month of quarantine in my bathroom and 3 rounds of deworming (can I say eww? Eww eww eww! Strongid did nothing, those girls needed Drontal! Got the 50 count bottle from Chewy, everyone got dewormed. Including me, I drank down diatomaceous earth for two weeks just in case, because, Ewwwww!), their FeLV and FIV test came back negative and I was able to slowly introduce them to Sam and the two older girls. Here they are in the bathtub baby bed during quarantine. Sam will never forgive them for sleeping in his baby bed. Silly boy! You're still my #1 Bub! It's been -- something else. Sam has been the grumpy old man, growling and hissing and saying such nasty things that, if they were in English, would surely earn him a mouth full of soap I can hear him, several times a day, complain, "Why are there *@$% kittens in my bed? Why are there kittens in my room? Who let these bleepity-bleeps in the house? I demand you kick them outside, now!" Jasmine, one of the older girls I took in after my grandmother passed on, hunts the poor littles mercilessly. I've taken to calling her Mean-o Mean-o cat. "Look out!" I call to the kittens, "Mean-o Mean-o is on the warpath!" The kittens are now Mia, and her little sister Shadow. Shadow was so incredibly frail when I brought her home I was afraid she wasn't going to make it. And I don't know if she'll ever grow to full size. Mia's quite a bit bigger than her, now. But they're both love bugs, full of purrs and head butts and side swipes. Mia chases Sam around, and they get into little slap-fights with each other. Nothing serious; the claws are never out, and they usually settle down on opposite sides of the love seat. I think the extra running around has been good for Sam, because he's finally below the 18 pound mark, weight-wise. The more weight off the big boy, the better! Lets see... Sam's ears have been doing much better since I started giving him a quarter of Zyrtec every few days. And I've pretty much pin-pointed his allergy problem to the dirt that surrounds the house. He loves rolling in dust, but in the last few years our soil's been contaminated by the neighbors. (When it rains, the puddles are covered with greasy, discolored suds worse than a bubble bath, and black sticky ooze sticks to the drip edge of our roof, it's disgusting ) I know I could solve Sam's allergy problems by keeping him inside, but he needs his outside time for his mental well-being. He's a hunter at heart, even if he doesn't have any teeth and his idea of capturing something is to lay on top of it until he gets bored. I'm looking to move, but ugh, the housing market! I started Sam on Jackson Galaxy Cat Probiotics to help with his poopies. He went from a year of liqui-poo that Fortiflora, SEB, and S. boulardii wouldn't touch, to chronic constipation that nothing was helping. The JG probiotics, though... They've really made a difference. Either the dried pumpkin, or the digestive enzymes; either way, he's finally going potty properly. Yay! As an added bonus, since I started this particular probiotic it seems his rusting is finally improving. He'd gotten quite orange around the ruff; now, it's darkened back up some, although the red's not yet completely gone. I'm hopeful, though! Even the grey/white areas look a bit better. Or maybe I've just gotten more used to those Well, I've probably written enough of a novel for now. I hope everyone and their sugar kitties are doing well! If anyone has any questions about Tresiba, or are considering starting their cats on Tresiba, I'm on FDMB nearly every day -- even though I rarely post I can't offer much advice, but I do love talking about it. I feel it was a real game-changer/life-saver for Sam. Bless you all, and may everyone have a wonderful new year!