Tuesday, November 26, 2013


I pound the keyboard quite happily tonight in order to be able to say that by gosh, I think we've turned a corner in the world of our Garfield!

Since being placed on the allergen free food, his eyes have cleared up completely, his chin acne is well on it's way to being under control, and his stool is forming nicely (so sorry if that's too much info!). I'm so relieved I could sing :)

As well, his spirits appear to have picked up somewhat too (is that reaching I wonder?) - but I don't doubt it since I think that the allergies in his eyes was really starting to get him down. For any of of you hayfever sufferers out there, you'll totally be able to relate I'm sure :)

So a thousand thank you's to everyone for reading as always and for allowing me the luxury of having this space to connect with all of you and help me to help our fosters.

Here's to Bright Garfield Days ahead!!!

Saturday, November 23, 2013


We've been working diligently here at Safe Haven to help bring Garfield's issues under control. Yes, you read correctly, that was a plural reference and yes, it's been frustrating and extremely stressful, but I think we've made it up the hill.

Garfield's swollen, red, weepy eyes, were really starting to concern me. I came home from volunteering last Sunday, to discover that in just afew hours the one eye was pretty well swollen almost shut. We had been applying tetracycline ointment in both eyes for over a week with no real results, but it kept nagging at me that his eyes really resembled Flossy's when she had first come to me, and so I decided right there and then that we had nothing to lose if we tried some allergen free food to see if that made any difference.

Well we started the allergen free last Monday, slowly mixing it in. The downside is that it's not weight control, but I think his overall health and happiness is more important, and provided we continue to measure out his feedings (with no free feeds), it won't be that detrimental. The first few days, I held my breath but it became quickly obvious that his eyes were clearing up. As of today, there is a remarkable difference, his eyes are clear, there's no more weeping of any kind, and the swelling near the corners is all but gone. Unfortunately however, the allergen free is causing abit of diahrea at present with the change in diet yet again (this is his 4th food change since arriving), but I'm hopeful that given another week or so, that too will settle down.

The other issues are feline acne (on his chin and the parts of his face where his whiskers connect in), and hairballs! The acne started several weeks ago and continues to evade us even though we've been diligent about washing with a soap. I'm not sure if it's just his being susceptible to it (some cats are more than others) or if it's the stress of living with Rocky. From the research I've done, both can be a factor. The hairballs are a daily issue - he doesn't actual expel them, but coughs regularly. I've been giving him a little hairball remedy at least every other day (he loves it and will eat it right from the tube!), which appears to help, and I'm brushing him regularly as well so hopefully we can keep that under control.

If all of this wasn't enough, we had another visit this time from a very nice lady who was interested in adopting Garfield, and she came out early this morning to meet him...........

As with the majority of the other 7 people who have expressed interest, his weight is a concern. She asked me repeatedly if I could guarantee his health which of course I cannot. I tried to tell her politely but firmly, that I can no more guarantee his health or his length of life, than I could my own or hers for that matter! After about 45 mins, I gently showed her the door. She was a nice person but she's another who is looking for something that she's not going to find, regardless of whether she adopts a skinny cat or a heavy one - anyone can become sick or die at any time; person or animal. Attempts to convey that quickly proved futile, so I bid her adieu with abit of frustration.

Of course I felt at one point as though I was having to defend Garfield as I tried to explain his suspected food allergies, feline acne, hairball issues, and how his current weight is not his fault!!!!

That too made me feel uncomfortable and somewhat resentful. I finished by telling her that I want the person/s who adopts our boy to love him for just the way he is, not with the idea that they are going to be able to change him into a skinny cat (which of course is a healthier thought but not very realistic I'm afraid).

So tonight he's still here, but he's safe, he's being taken well care of, and we love him................I remind myself that that is all that really matters for today.

PS: To the individuals who have told me repeatedly how stupid it was of us to rescue a 22Ib cat from certain euthanasia - you can go jump in the lake!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, November 9, 2013


Today I feel a little bit like an investigator. Not sure of what I have, uncertain about the facts versus assumptions, and mystified about how to best to approach the situation.

Garfield has gone in the last week or so from spending a great deal of time downstairs with us when we're home, to staying upstairs and unless I'm up there watching television, being by himself. His appetite, water intake and litterbox habits all remain normal but I sense a shift in his mood, and it's concerning me. Three times this week, I've caught Rocky, jumping on Garfield's back and biting his neck - dominance aggression I know, but Garfield will not fight back and Rocky knows it. Garfield outweighs Rocky by as much as 10-12 Ibs easy, yet it just goes to show how the alpha aspect works.......because Rocky is the Boss in this house; even a cat twice his size won't take him on.

I suspect that that is why Garfield has become a little more reclusive and preferring to stay on the 2nd floor. He's also gone from lounging on the landing to preferring the old beat up chair in our home office or the bed in our spare bedroom - again, both places that Rocky won't frequent as much. In addition to the change in his behaviour, I've also noted that afew sores which were present on his gumline when he was first taken to animal control, and the puffiness/redness around the bottom lids of his eyes, that was also present upon initial examination, seemed to have both flared up again.

We took him to the vet afew weeks ago regarding the eyes but the visit was a total disaster. He became very aggressive and violent once he was let out of the carrier at the vets, it took 4 people to hold him down, the vet was afraid to properly examine him, and in the end, he bit Steve as they were trying to get him back into the carrier to come home. Soooooo, another vet visit is not the preferred route to go and Steve has actually indicated that he's not willing to take him back. The stress on both him and Garfield was enough that at this point anyway - so I may have to find another avenue to have this addressed; perhaps a vet who does home visits?.

I'm only taking guesses at this point but I wonder strongly if the swollen eyes and sores are stress related?

This is the harder part of fostering; when you wish the cat could actually talk and tell you what was wrong and how they really felt. Every foster parent wants their houseguest to be happy and enjoy the time in their home - thinking that Garfield may be unhappy here to the point where he's exhibiting physical symptoms of that is a worry for sure.

Wish us luck.

Saturday, November 2, 2013


After Garfield has had his breakfast, he LOVES to stretch right out and purr up a storm! He always makes me smile when I find him like that - it's as if he's saying "Now THAT was good" I love it even more that when he strikes this pose, his racoon style tail is bent so far forward with happiness that I think one of these days I'm going to find it actually touching the top of his head! *L*

We just went through a breakout of chin acne with him as well. At first I couldn't figure out what was causing it, but then I realized that the drinkwell water station that our boys have been using for awhile (we purchased it in the States last year), was plastic and that it was likely the culprit. So, out it came and in went a stainless steel water bowl - and voila!, the sores have completely cleared up!

Otherwise all is well! Rocky has completely adjusted to Garfield and yesterday they were caught napping together on our bed. As I type this, Rocky has just found his way onto the arm of the chair that Garfield is laying in, so it would appear that his adoption is imminent since Rocky's final relenting with any foster is usually right before their forever family comes to get them! *L*

Happy Saturday everyone!! :))