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Cleo's Page

Last Updated: 12/28/22

Cleo on 8/22/22.

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Story


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Cleo on 8/22/22.


Story

Some time around 2020, I noticed a little tortoiseshell cat in the distance who seemed like she wanted to come closer to eat but King Tut was living outside. When he would see her, he would chase her off. In late December of 2021, I brought King Tut in to live in the basement after he went into acute kidney and liver failure. I spent a lot of money to save his life; I am fairly certain he was poisoned but do not know if it was intentional. Since he had already given at least three cats abscesses, and he bites and hits me on a whim, he lives in the basement. He is quite happy there. Anyway, when an outdoor cat is no longer there, another fills the vacuum, and it was Cleo. She began to come more regularly to eat. By early spring, I could pet her. She seemed nice but scared. I did not know for sure if she still had a "real home" but she certainly did not want to be there anymore. As I was trying to be fiscally responsible, I could not convince myself to have her vetted. Since she had been around for years without signs of pregnancy or kittens, it was a good bet she was spayed or infertile. There was no reason to have a cat who was not even mine vetted until there was.

Cleo came to eat on 8/8/22 but I never saw her on 8/9/22 or 8/10/22 which was unusual. I thought of all sorts of scenarios, the worst being she was hurt and could or would not come to me. The morning of 8/11/22, I saw her sitting on the front porch which was strange as she was always on the back porch where the food is. When I approached, I saw why. She had a profound limp, and her back right foot was swollen like a balloon. She ran from me. I could not catch her or get her to eat. On 8/9/22, my niece had come by when I was at work to swim, and she saw the orange tabby that the neighbor calls "Mr. Orange" but I call him Stash (a knick name for my late cat Gino who looked very similar). Like King Tut, Stash is a bully who gives other cats abscesses which is what he did to Cleo. I was able to grab Cleo that night but she dug a sharp claw in me and got away. I put the carrier outside on top of something with the lid open. The next morning, I got Cleo in the carrier.

I called my regular vet who had vetted King Tut in a single day when I caught him but they said they did not have room for her and would not let me leave her there for the day! I was so pissed. I called an emergency vet who also said they were too busy! Finally, I found a place 10 minutes from my job where I brought her. They would not let me go to work though until they talked to me so I was 1.5 hours late to work on a day with rush work due.

While at the emergency vet, they examined her, and I requested that they do a microchip scan (found nothing) and trim her dagger nails. For her surgery, they sedated her with hydromorphone and dexmedetomidine. They took two x-rays which showed no bone breaks. Then, they shaved her leg. They lanced her foot in two locations and expressed red-yellow pus. Part of her foot was swollen due to cellulitis. They cleaned the area and left the wounds open. They gave her a shot of Convenia for antibiotic, a shot of Onsior for pain, and a rabies shot. They instructed me to keep her in an e-collar. I would give her Onsior pills for three days which I crushed into liquid cat treats.

I picked up Miss Cleo and got her home a little after 5 pm on 8/12/22. I put an e-collar on her which was oh so fun to figure out. Cleo is recuperating in the master bathroom. She ate next to nothing from 8/12/22 through her appointment at the regular vet on 8/15/22 at 3 pm. I spoon fed her some liquid Churu and other liquidy cat treats which she liked but she did not like the e-collar. She did not pee until around noon on 8/15/22, and she did not defecate until I was at work on 8/17/22! I believe she ate next to nothing from 8/9/22 (her presumed injury date) and 8/12/22 and then very little from 8/12/22 to 8/15/22. Once the e-collar was off, she ate all that I offered.

At the regular vet on 8/15/22, the very first thing the vet said to me shocked me. It was something like, "Cleo is an outdoor cat. That is her home. She belongs outside. You need to put her outside." Later she said, "Cleo will never go to the bathroom inside." I am sorry but WTF! How does she know Cleo's history when I do not! While the vet was saying this, Cleo was head butting her so hard that she almost fell over! Cleo is super sweet and did finally use the litter pan so too bad vet, I am going to try to integrate her. Anyway, she was 9.93 pounds. Based on her teeth, the vet agreed with my 3 to 5 years old assessement, and I will "assign" her a birthday of 8/12/18. They checked for a microchip again and found none. They put Profender on her to kill worms. They drew blood for a feline leukemia and feline AIDS test which came back negative and a "junior panel" of blood work. They gave her a distemper shot and microchipped her. I dropped off Cleo's feces on 8/18/22 for testing. The results were negative; however, her blood work (which was otherwise normal) had Eosinophils at 5069, above the maximum of 1000. The vet said that meant she had parasites despite nothing otherwise showing up. So, now Cleo has to get 5 days of Panacur, 9 days off, 5 more days of Panacur, and then re-test her bloodwork. The vet (who did not call me until 8/19/22 with the fecal and bloodwork even though the bloodwork had been done for TWO days!) also wanted her to get a dose of Revolution but, by chance, I had put on a dose on 8/18/22. I had lefotver Revolution from when King Tut was outside.

The evening of 8/19/22, I let Cleo in the master bedroom attached to the bathroom that she had spent a week in. I cannot do any site swapping until her treatment is over. She does not meow to get out or scratch the door but I am sure that she is bored. I tried to play with her but she did not care. She just wants me to rub her, and if I stop or do too much of it, she scratches me. Otherwise, she is a sweetheart.

Cleo is feeling pent up in the bathroom and bedroom alone most of the time. She "asks" me to pet her but after a few moments, she tries to bite and/or scratch. So, I feel like I have another King Tut who wants to hurt me. I hope I am overreacting, and that she is calmer once she is out in the house but she has to be in quarantine for a total of about five weeks, all because of high Eosinophils! That is way too long!

My brother came to visit on 9/4/22 and said he had something to show me and that I would not be happy. It was a lost cat poster for a cat named "Emmitt." It was Cleo. I called. She "belonged" to the farm two houses away from me. The "owner" told me that he has five outdoor only cats, and she is one of them. When I told him I had spent over $1300 on her at the vet, he said he could not afford that (I did not ask him for it) and said I could keep her. The next day, the neighbor between us texted me to say it was actually she who put up the flyers because she had been feeding her too! So, Cleo was eating at three houses! She was eating twice what a cat her size should eat at my house alone. I asked the "owner" (I do not believe people should "own" other species, more like caretakers) about Cleo's age. He thought she was about ten but did not know for sure. That is a lot older than both the vet and I surmised. He had gotten her and her brother in North Carolina as kittens. I forgot to ask him about her vaccination status but I am guessing he has no records. I will ask if he comes and visits before he moves as I suggested.

Neither neighbor contacted me within the next 8 days after saying they wanted to see Cleo. Cleo went back to the vet on 9/10/22 for her distemper booster and blood draw. Cleo was up to 10.2 pounds. I am limiting her food but she will eat every drop offered. The vet agreed that Cleo does not look to be ten years old so I do not know if the "owner" even knows! The vet called on 9/12/22 to tell me that her Eosinophils were down to ~750 so she is good to go. I have installed a three-foot high baby gate in the doorway of the bedroom so the cats can see each other. I also got some Multicat Feliway which put a greasy stain on my wall. Tinkie and Emmy hiss when they see Cleo which is not very often because since the vet visit, Cleo sleeps and hides under an old pink "love" couch of my late mother's. She only comes out to eat and do her business. So, that is not going so well! She did eat some Churu from a plate a few feet from the door on 9/12/22 while Emmy ate hers a few feet on the other side. At some point, I am just going to open the gate and hope for the best but it would be nice if they had some interaction through the gate that was not hostile before then.

I removed the gate on 9/24/22. After a few hours, Cleo dashed downstairs and all over the house looking for a way out. She paused long enough to try to nose kiss Emmy who was hissing in her face. Tinkie was sound asleep and hard of hearing. Then, Cleo went back to "her" room. The next day, she came out a few times but stayed upstairs, darting around a bit. Emmy is a hisser but takes no action. Tinkie lays low but looks ready to engage and goes into asthma attacks while considering. Cleo does not seem to mind either one of them. One minute Cleo can be all sweet coming into the room next to hers and wanting attention, and the next minute she is fritzy and goes and hides under her couch.

I let Cleo out each day when I came home from work and mostly put her up at night. One night, Tinkie woke me up because she was spit hissing at Cleo so that ended that. During the day on the weekends, Cleo was out. On 10/3/22, after I let her out in the morning, intending to leave her out while at work for the first time, Tinkie made her move. Tinkie went full on attack with spit hissing, swatting, and chasing. I do not know if there was any biting. Cleo ran from the dining room up to the sewing room with Tinkie right on her. Cleo was also hissing and swatting to defend herself. By the time I got up there, they were under the bed about six feet apart but without hissing, growling, ears back, etc. I used a pole to get Tinkie out and inspected her for injuries. Her neck was wet but I do not know if that was from the fight or messing eating. I used the pole to get Cleo out, and she ran out of the room. I assumed she went to her room and closed the door. Luckily, I heard a noise in the den (another half flight up) before I left for work and got Cleo from there to her room for the day. Now, I only let her out when I am home and awake. Tinkie is very territorial and will not eat or play if she can see Cleo. Cleo is non-chalant about it but does not like actually being attacked obviously! Emmy is just a hisser and does not participate in contact sports. I guess there will be no harmony or full integration.

After the above, I put up the baby gate in the hallway so Cleo could have access to three bedrooms during the day. t night, I closed her in her room so Tinkie and Emmy could sleep with me if they wanted to do so. Despite having access to more rooms, Cleo rarely left her room. I removed all separation between Cleo and Tinkie/Emmy around 10/22/22 or so (forgot to record the date). There have not been any contact fighting since then (today is 11/3/22), just passing hisses and such. Cleo only leaves the master bedroom and bathroom area when it is feeding time. She has full access to the house except the attic, garage, and basement where King Tut lives. As of 11/3/22, I can now get her to come to the bottom of the stairs near the kitchen and eat treats. She will start to eat food there but flip out since Tinkie and Emmy are 10 feet away. So, I am still feeding Cleo in the master bathroom. Cleo mostly hides but, when I am on the computer in the bedroom next to hers, she will come and purr and even let me hold her. If, however, I approach her when she is in "her room," she will bite and scratch me if I try to touch her or do her nails. At this point, I take care of her but am not trying to force her to join the other cats or I in a more fulfilling life. Sometimes, just being alive and not attacked is as good as it gets. Tinkie still watches Cleo but seems to know now that she is in charge and that Cleo is not a threat. Emmy hisses at her shadow and I so, of course, she hisses if she sees Cleo but does not engage. Everybody stays in their own zones.

Cleo would not let me trim her nails. The vet gave me Gabapentin, and I gave her two 100 mg capsules dumped in her food on 12/1/22 and was able to finally trim her nails after months. I hope I do not have to do this every time.

Well, I did it again on 12/26/22 as she does not let me do her nails. I will now put her on a four week rotation of drugging and nail trimming. While drugged, she came downstairs on her own which she otherwise never does. The Gabapentin reduces her anxiety and fears. Hopefully, this will not last forever. She and Emmy have almost touched noses now a few times but, every time, Emmy has to go and hiss spit in her face (but she does not attack). I have not seen Tinkerbelle go after Cleo in a while now, and Tinkie's health is worsening (kidney failure and anorexia).


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