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Holiday Hangover


While Martha and I were indulging ourselves with mussels and tenderloin and cava and red wine over the weekend, Clyde followed Bonnie’s lead and began fasting on Christmas eve. So we syringe-fed both kittens a few times on Christmas day and the morning after, and by noon on Monday we noticed that Clyde was eating canned food from the dish on his own again. He quickly regained the 1.5 ounces he’d lost and hasn’t looked back since. That’s our good news from the nursery.

Not so fast for Bonnie, who’s still down over 2 ounces from her first morning weigh-in on 12/21. She stopped eating canned food on her first or second day with us, so we’re into our fifth day of syringe-feeding her.

And unlike Clyde (or any of the seven Gems, all of whom we had to syringe-feed during their Gem Fever days), Bonnie has been drooling long strands of saliva when we feed her, which reminds me of the scary fever that Samantha developed after her spay. The vet who saw Samantha suspected she had calicivirus, which can be lethal.

Samantha started eating again after three or four days, so we’re hoping Bonnie will get there soon. Unlike Samantha, Bonnie isn’t running a fever. And I did find her crunching a little dry food at 7am this morning.

But Bonnie still drools prolifically during syringe-feeding, which she counters by whipping her head from side to side, thereby sending a shotgun-spray of slurry flying onto the counter, the floor, and whoever’s feeding her. Not much fun for anyone involved.

We’ve kept two closed doors and thirty feet of hallway between Bonnie and Clyde and the Sluggers, but I’m starting to suspect that that hasn’t been enough, and that whatever bug Bonnie and Clyde are fighting has found its way into the villa.

When we fostered near-death kittens and healthy kittens in separate rooms in the past (Les Miz in the nursery + Sly and Robbie in the villa; Oggi and Gigi in the nursery + Campers in the villa), we treated the nursery like a toxic waste zone and never went straight to the villa from there.

But since B and C seemed perfectly healthy at first, we probably weren’t as vigilant about washing our hands and changing our clothes after handling them, and we might have unwittingly carried the virus in with us when we visited the Sluggers. It’s hard to say whether that or something else is going on in the villa, but we started finding uneaten meals a couple of days ago, and all four Sluggers have been losing weight since.

They all look normal, and I’ve seen them all graze a bit. A prospective adopter visited yesterday, and while Molina hid under the futon, the bigger three were playful enough for Albert and Willow to win a ticket home (after their third vaccination on Jan 4). But we’ve been sensing something wasn’t quite right.

Except for Molina (who paradoxically seems the least affected by this, at least so far) the Sluggers are big and strong, with two vaccinations in the bank, and we expect them to shrug this virus off relatively easily. No signs of vomiting or excessive salivation so far, and they all slurped up a few syringes of Nutrical this morning.

We’ll hand-feed them if we need to, and keep hoping that Clyde is showing everyone the way forward.

filed by: TS



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