What’s one more cat…

Last January, we started the year with three cats.

Nikki

Nikki is the oldest. She turned 16 last March. Even though she is elderly, she still loves to hunt – mostly lizards.

Tails

Tails is the middle child at 14 years old. Jase picked her out from the animal shelter when he was three. And he is the one to name her. She stays home most of the time. The only thing she catches is stuffed animals that she loves to carry around.

Spooky

The youngest is Spooky. She showed up on our doorstep as kitten. She is the more serious hunter and only became a cuddler in the last few years. She turned 13 last July.

We were fine with our three girls. We had no plans to add any other cats. And then….we went to Oliver Garden. And as I posted back in September, we came home with a kitten. He was about 4 months old. We named him Shadow.

Shadow

Having a kitten with a bunch of older cats was definitely interesting. He couldn’t seem to figure out why none of the others wanted to play with him.

About a month or so after we got Shadow, Tails caught a cold. We could hear it in her chest and took her to the vet. What we hadn’t realized is that she hadn’t been eating. We free feed the cats so it is hard to tell who is eating and how much. I had noticed Tails sitting by the bowl several times but thought nothing of it until later. When the vet examined Tails for the cold (which was a respiratory infection), the vet also found a lump under her tongue. The vet said most often this would be cancerous.

All my online research, confirmed what the doctor said. And the prognosis wasn’t good. Most cats died within 6 months – even with treatment. The most we could hope for was a year. Radiation or removing the lumps were options as was steroid shots to reduce the size of the lump. Tails was 14 years old and had already lost about 2 lbs (since we hadn’t realized she had stopped eating due to the lump.) We didn’t think she would survive surgery and didn’t want to try radiation.

We decided to try the steroid shot with the hope of giving her a few more months with us. Eating was hard for her and I ended up feeding her canned cat food about 8 times a day (because she could only get so much down at each feeding.) For a few days, it seemed to be working. And then she started not eating as much. Then finally she stopped eating. It was at that point – about 2 1/2 weeks after her diagnosis – that we made the hard decision to have her euthanized.

Now this is Jace’s cat. He picked her out, he named her, and she often slept on his bed. It was hard for him, but he understood we were doing the right thing.

We could have just stuck with three cats, but hey, what is one more cat…We talked about getting another kitten to give Shadow a playmate – and help distract us from missing Tails.

Luna

Enter Luna – a grey tabby kitten that was just 10 weeks old when we got her. This was the best decision as Shadow and Luna quickly bonded.

Right about the time, Luna turned 14 weeks we noticed bumps on her stomach. Since I was already taking her in for a booster shot, I had the vet look at her. The bumps were her mammary glands that were enlarged. The vet said they see this when a cat is pregnant. Of course, Luna can’t be pregnant; she is too young and hadn’t been near an intact boy cat. Shadow had been neutered 3 1/2 weeks before we got Luna. She did have a brother but again, we were thinking he was too young and she had been separated from him for 4 weeks by this time.

An ultrasound didn’t show any kittens but the vet said to bring her back in 3 weeks and they would be able to tell if she was pregnant. Over the next few weeks, her mammary glands got even bigger – especially in the front.

Well, while my daughter was secretly hoping for more kittens, it turns out, Luna wasn’t pregnant. The vet hypothesized that maybe her body just thought she was pregnant. Her suggestion was to have her spayed and hopefully her hormone levels will return to normal.

Luna was spayed on Thursday so now we have to wait a week or two to see if the mammary glands return to normal.

So, here it is January, and we have our four cats – and there is definitely not room for one more.

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