Author’s Note: Many thanks to Miss Elizabeth for letting me ask her questions about Tigress. Pictures used with permission.
What is her name and how old is she?
Her name is Tigress, she will be five in (I’m guessing) mid November.
How did she come to live with you?
She came to me after my sister’s husband found her and her brother on the side of the road, out in the country. We suspect they were dumped there. She didn’t really bond with my sister, so she was going to find her a new home. I said no because I already had 2. I went to her house on Christmas eve (an little under 2 hours away) and ended up falling in love. She came home with us that night, cuddled and purred the whole way home.
Did you know she had asthma if not, how did you find out?
I did not know at that point that she has asthma. I found out when she was 2. I thought she had a hairball problem, googled remedies, and came across a video of a cat having an asthma attack, it was identical. A trip to the Vet, with x rays revealed that she does in fact have it.
What are they doing to treat flare ups?
It was the first case her vet had seen in real life. At the time, we treated with a steroid shot during flair ups, when they became more frequent, we decided to try her on a preventive medicine (terbutaline) and oral prednisone as needed. Over time, with positive reinforcement, she learned to come to me for her medicine. She rarely needs prednisone anymore and hasn’t needed a shot in over a year. As far as I can tell, dust triggers her asthma, but it’s hard to tell. She is strictly indoor, but I know we can bring stuff in on our clothes.
What advice do you have for others who have a cat with asthma?
The best advice i can offer is to take it seriously and to treat it. We have 3 other cats, one of them attacks Tigress on a regular basis but I don’t know that it really has to do with asthma. One cat appears to attempt to comfort her when she has an attack.
Author’s Note: Miss Claire for taking time to answer questions about her extra love needed furbaby Lenny. All pictures used with permission.
I am curious how the other members of the family react to him (assuming you have other cats).
I have 5 cats in total. They all seem to let Lenny away with everything! With food Lenny will run round and take food out of their mouths!!! It’s like they know he is special.
How did he come to live with you?
When he was a kitten the breeder wasn’t sure if he would survive as he was so small. When he was 13weeks old he was 710g. When we went to see him he looked very poorly. He had gooey eyes and was very smelly. We were hesitant to take him but after many discussions with my husband we felt he needed our help as eating communally wasn’t helping. At the time the breeder had 18 cats in a small mobile home. He couldn’t possibly be getting the attention he needed.
Did you have to syringe feed him? Did the vet say if this a disorder he developed as a kitten?
He had no problem eating he just face plants everything you give him. It ends up his nose and all round his face which he can’t wash himself. He had conjunctivitis. We treated that and it cleared. I then received an email from the breeder that she had sine test results for Lenny. He had 3 bacterial infections one being pseudomonas. The conditions where he was born was not very sanitary especially the amount of cats in one place. So hearing he wasn’t well wasn’t a surprise. When I took him to the vet she was shocked. She said I should take him back to breeder. I couldn’t. I’d had him 2 weeks and had fallen in love with him. Instead I emailed the breeder and explained what the vet said. She said she would take him back and I could have Jimmy instead. I said no I would have Jimmy and keep Lenny. I would look after Lenny through whatever happens. If he grew into a normal cat then I would make a payment for Jimmy otherwise we were quits. She agreed. So we got Jimmy who is Lenny’s half brother.
Is there anything else you would like to share about him?
I have to clean Lenny on a regular basis as he often poops his pants. I have trimmed his fur to avoid having to get clumps out his fur! When he is really bad he gets a bath which he really hates!
The vet thinks he was either born like it or that it was a difficult birth. He said in natural selection he probably wouldn’t have survived….
He is a funny little boy. He doesn’t know how to ‘cat’. He can’t jump or climb. He has the tiniest Miow which we it hear when he wants his wet food. He spends most of the time sleeping or just watching the others hare round the house. He likes to play with string and bugs and flies!
We have a catio so if I let him he stays out there all night bug watching. If I bring him in I put him on the bed and he sleeps on the pillow with his head propped. If I scratch his ear he puts his paws on too of my hand and puts his head on top!
The vet doesn’t know what will happen with Lenny. Without expensive scans it’s hard to say. Who knows. All I know is I will care for him for however long it takes. Whether that will be 6 months or 6 years.
We both had doubts whether the breeder would keep Lenny or have him put to sleep. For us we had to keep him.
Does anyone else have a disability?
This last one is Cookie she is a rescue. She was found living in a greenhouse living on insects and bird food. She has an air pistol pellet in her knee. When she came she was a nervous wreck. Now she is very confident and likes a fuss
Does anyone try to groom lenny?
We do but he hates it. I can only think it’s because he is so skinny it’s not very comfortable. But because he can’t wash if I brush him within a few minutes he’s back looking a scruff! He tolerates a certain amount then screams to be let go. I usually get enough time to clean up his bits and his face. Bath time involves the husband as I can’t hold him as he wriggles too much.Jimmy his brother sometimes pins him down and washes him…. I wish he would do an all over! Lenny doesn’t let him for very long. I think he likes being a stinky teenager!
After a bath he is super fluffy. And smells like a baby! Then he goes and rolls in the dust outside!!!
Sounds like a petulant child
Very much so. He almost knows when I need to clean him up and he leads me a right merry dance. He rubs behind the sofa and hides under the chair where no one can reach him lol. The smell of food usually gets him out!!!
Anything else you want to add about him or his siblings?
They all get on great. When Jimmy or Penny (both 11 months) play fight with lenny they seem to be very gentle with him. Yet Lenny will climb on top of Jimmy and try chewing at him. They are funny to watch as Jimmy could slap him down in a second but he doesn’t. Even cookie plays chase with him but doesn’t get her claws out. It’s like they know he’s not like them. Animals are just awesome.