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When I got married my wife already had two miniature dachshunds, Jaxson and Leo. Leo is starting to get older, and Jaxson wears him out, so early this year my wife started talking about getting a puppy to play with Jaxson so Leo could have a break.

Then one day she sends me a text, with a picture; "Can I keep her?"

When Brit brought the kitten home the next day, the dogs (in their crates) went absolutely crazy, barking their heads off and trying to get at her. The kitten ignored them.

Brit held her next to their crates so they could start to get her scent; they went crazy barking and trying to bite her. The kitten ignored them.

I suggested we call her Serenity.

For the next month, the dogs were banned from the office, where the kitten lived. Before we got her, she had lived outdoors (her mother was a farm cat that had a litter on the deck) and she had some parasites that had to be treated. She had no fear of...well, anything, really...and loved to play. At this point we weren't 100% certain that she was female, so we decided to go with an ambiguous name; after discarding a number of choices, we settled on Yoda.
Yoda grew quickly, and Brit slowly introduced her to the dogs, successfully teaching them that she was not, in fact, a chew toy. Once he understood that trying to bite her would get him in trouble, Leo decided to ignore her; Jaxson, on the other hand, was delighted to have a new playmate, and they soon took up wrestling together. Yoda does something that nobody else has been able to do: wear Jaxson out! She loves to wait behind something and then pounce on him, or hide under the couch and grab him when he walks by.
Of course, she also has her own hobbies; she considers herself quite the mighty huntress. When she's not pouncing on Jaxson (or my hand), she stalks any bugs that make it into the house. Brit uses her as a flyswatter: see a fly on the wall, hold the cat up, and Yoda smacks it!

She's a huge fan of water; anytime she sees some, she has to stick her paw in and splash around. Obviously, we have to keep the toilets closed! One time she even jumped into the bathroom sink and turned the water on so she could play in it!

Why am I writing about Yoda now? Last week she started refusing to walk. The vet thought she tore the ligaments in her hind legs and put her in casts; a trip to the ER a few days later, however, turned up a neurological issue.
Right now Yoda is back home and has improved on antibiotics, but we still don't know exactly what's wrong with her. Her initial blood work came back negative; there are a few more tests we're still waiting on. If those are negative as well, the next step would be a MRI and possibly a spinal tap. What will happen after that? I have no idea...
= = =

This diary is NOT a request for donations. However, I am going to throw in a plug for some candles my wife is selling to raise funds.

Love Thy Scents - Scentsy makes electric candles that use small lightbulbs to heat the wax; there's no flame, so you don't have to worry about them getting knocked over. I was skeptical (Brit is into candles - I'm not) but I have to admit that they're pretty nice. There are a ton of scents; my favorite so far is Sugar Cookies.

Want to read more about Yoda, Jaxson, and Leo? They have their own website (which, alas, they rarely update) - A Dog's Journal. (My wife is a professional graphic designer, so she might have helped a little.)

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips for Yoda (41+ / 0-)

    Earlier this week, I was singing "Soft Kitty" to her and she was purring.

    Today my wife decided to try the same thing, and Yoda growled at her. Brit was not amused!

    This is the first time in recorded history that someone has actually appreciated my singing.

  •  May the Force be with Yoda (11+ / 0-)

    and you, and may the test results all be good.

    LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

    by BlackSheep1 on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 06:56:56 PM PST

  •  I sure hope (9+ / 0-)

    you find a solution for her. Good luck, dear kitty.

    Second star on the right and straight on til morning

    by wren on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 07:16:09 PM PST

  •  Oh noes, Yoda is too young & adorable (11+ / 0-)

    to go through something awful :(

    It's bad enough when your pet is sick, but not knowing what's going on can be even worst. I just went through that with my LuvLee, but now she's getting better with her pancreatitis being treated, so we've turned the corner I hope :)

    Sending lots of light & {{{hugs}}} & purrs & scritchies your way!

    Handmade holiday gifts from Jan4insight on Zibbet. Get 10%off everytime with coupon code KOSSACK.

    by jan4insight on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 07:17:24 PM PST

  •  Good luck to Yoda (8+ / 0-)

    I hope you find a TREATABLE diagnosis, soon!

    I love my cats. One is a male who has recurring urinary blockage, and another is a female has stomatitis. I'm not overly concerned about the urinary blockage, Kumahl is on a diet designed to prevent a recurrence, but the stomatitis really bothers me (and her).

    We've moved her off of processed foods, and now she gets baby food twice a day. 2 months later, and the stomatitis either hasn't returned, or hasn't gotten worse. Thankfully, she's not drooling, and continues to groom.

    If anyone knows anything about stomatitis, please let me know. I love Aggie. I want to help her.

    Forgive me, Yoda, for using this diary to call out for advice. You gotta know that I want YOU to do better, too. But I have to ask, for Aggie.

    "Doing My Part to Piss Off the Religious Right" - A sign held by a 10-year old boy on 9-24-05

    by Timbuk3 on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 08:48:23 PM PST

    •  Prayers for Aggie! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Debbie in ME, mayim, Timbuk3

      Thanks for the well wishes on Yoda! I really hope Aggie can get better but I did find thisand thought maybe that could guide you in a better direction.

      I wish our furballs could speak "human" to us so they can tell us what is wrong and since cats tend to hide their sickness it makes it hard on us.  I grew up loving furballs of all walks of life.  

      Thank you for writing about Stomatitis! Never heard of it but now I know what it appears to be :0)

      Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you get all wet

      by baspringer on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 06:34:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the links! (0+ / 0-)

        I'll check it out.

        "Doing My Part to Piss Off the Religious Right" - A sign held by a 10-year old boy on 9-24-05

        by Timbuk3 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:15:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Update to "Thanks for the links!" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        baspringer

        I don't know if you'll see this, but I'll write it, anyway. First, a possibility you might suggest to your vet is to give Yoda B-vitamins. I'm not there. I'm not a vet. I may be full of (sh)it, but there's a reason I suggest it.

        I'll let you google it yourself, but B-vitamin deficiency, especially B-12 can cause neurological disorders, including the sort of demyelination associated with muscular dystrophy. AND, B-vitamins have very low toxicity, excesses being washed out in urine, so you don't have to fear overdosing Yoda on B-vitamins. I found a sub-lingual (liquid, absorbed in the mouth so it doesn't have to be swallowed) B at the local pharmacy that wasn't expensive (although it's a bright red that looks like it would stain like crazy), so it would be easy to add to food or give by mouth.

        Like I said, I'm not a vet (although it's fair for me to point out I did a post-doc in neuroscience), so I could be completely full of it on this, but at least I understand the role MYELIN (google it) plays in nervous transmission. Basically, it provides a bridge between sodium channels so that nerves can transmit action potentials faster.

        Now then, in case anyone cares about stomatitis, I've been doing some reading, and have some experience.

        Aggie's mom was feral when I first met her. She eventually moved into the house and became a lap-kitty, but when we first met I couldn't get near her. Aggie's mom died of stomatitis. More accurately, we made the decision to put her down when it became clear that she would never get better.

        I don't want that to happen to Aggie.

        Side story, we named them "mama gray" and "little gray" at first, but I got to rename "little gray" to Aggie. The point being they were hard to tell apart, which leads to a semi-empirical conclusion that the disease that causes stomatitis involves genetics.

        But, I've also been reading that the disease was little known 50 years ago. There are at least two possible explanations for this; better/more "popular" (doctors are human beings) diagnosis, these days, and a movement away from "farm cats" who are fed scraps from (among other things) naturally produced milk, butchering, etc., and toward modern (purchased) processed food.

        So, just to put things into perspective, I gave Mama Gray steroids on a regular basis. In hindsight, I think this was a mistake. Not because of the well-known tendency of this treatment giving the "patient" diabetes, which I don't think Mama Gray ever developed, but because of the "bounce-back" effect. It seems that ending steroid treatment causes the stomatitis to come back, with a vengeance. I even read about a case where the steroid bounce-back made things worse.

        I've decided to treat Aggie differently. Some of my reading suggests that "processed food", especially dry food that's often left open to the environment after it's opened, but even wet food that's overly processed, is causing this problem.

        We've been feeding her baby food, twice a day. Chicken, turkey, and beef, because cats are "obligate carnivores", which means they need taurine (an amino acid), which is present in muscle but not plants.

        It's FAR too early tell if Aggie is just spoiled from eating "pre-chewed food" (baby food), or if she's getting better, but she's not drooling, she's grooming, and even though she views dry food warily (and hasn't eaten any, that I've seen), I think the pain in her mouth is lessened. Honestly, I think there's some psychological resistance when I try to touch her mouth. She avoids letting me touch her, there, but she doesn't scream in pain, either.

        My reading tells me that stomatitis takes a LONG time to heal, so we're going to keep trying this, for a while; give her what she can eat, make sure it's got MEAT in it, and give her enough to sustain or gain body weight.

        Yeah, it's expensive. Around 60 bucks a month at current prices for baby food.

        But it's worth it, and we're seriously considering making our own cat food.

        And NO MORE STEROIDS. Even for "temporarily" bringing down the stomatitis symptoms, if they recur.

        I dunno why I posted this, since the diary has long ago scrolled off any lists that will get it read. I guess I'd value even one opinion on the way I'm thinking about helping Aggie.

        I drove from DC, where I work, to home, in DE, and spent 2 hours with Aggie hogging my lap, much to the chagrin of her brothers and half-brothers, not to mention Allyson. So there is that. We have quality time together.

        "Doing My Part to Piss Off the Religious Right" - A sign held by a 10-year old boy on 9-24-05

        by Timbuk3 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 08:34:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Great Suggestion! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Timbuk3

          I'd rather have a suggestion and ask than nothing as a suggestion like that could be the KEY to solving her issue! And if that was it well, than you just saved her from potential evasive procedures. :0)

          I know we would pay any amount to make sure she is comfy like you are doing with Aggie.  I really hope that what you are trying is truly working for her, wish I could offer more ideas/suggestions.

          Cheers and Good vibes for both of our furbabies!

          Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you get all wet

          by baspringer on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 08:59:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I hope Yoda ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    radarlady, baspringer, Debbie in ME

    get better.  A sweet story.

    JON

    "Upward, not Northward" - Flatland, by EA Abbott

    by linkage on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 10:21:47 PM PST

  •  Healing scritches to Yoda (5+ / 0-)

    She's a cutie but I can tell she's no one's pushover.

    I quite like cats but I am allergic. So I got a mini dachshund who acts like a cat instead. (Basically I am here to open food and treat bags, she decides when affection is appropriate, and she barely tolerates me sitting on HER sofa, recliner, bed . . . .  She is generally known among my friends as a princess diva.)

    She came to live with me from my best friend because they had the audacity to get more dachshunds. She is an only pet here and she prefers it that way. But I have found that most doxies strongly disapprove of cats, and like Leo just learn to tolerate them. A few become playmates, like Yoda and Jaxson. A neighbor cat likes to visit my patio because of my birdfeeders, and this drives my Brandy crazy. But I think she is disappointed when the cat doesn't come because I think she really enjoys barking at it!

    I hope you get an answer soon. My friends had a doxie who started seizing at age 7, and after many tests they diagnosed Idiopathic Epilepsy, i.e. they hadn't the foggiest notion what caused it. But after a period of determining the right medicine and dosage he continued his dog sports career earning many more titles until he passed from cancer at 13.

    Unfortunately, I am also allergic to most scents so no candles for me, but I do know a friend or two who would probably like something like that.

    •  Dachshunds are the BEST! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Debbie in ME

      Hey Belle Ame,

      Our two dachshunds (Leo and Jaxson) are such goof balls! But Leo sounds more like your furball LOL he think he owns everything!  One thing should clear up is when i lived with a roommate (Leo is nearly 11) was that Leo first playmate was a cat and he LOVED her, and when I moved out I couldn't take that cat and he got depressed.  So a few months later I got Jaxson as a new playmate.

      Leo was more accepting of Yoda than jaxson at first - but now Jaxson and her are the best of friends!  

      Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you get all wet

      by baspringer on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 06:28:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yoda looks so much like my Sumi (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    baspringer, Debbie in ME, mayim

    who has had her share of health issues too.  Warm thoughts and good energy coming your way from here, that Yoda will make a complete recovery and be back to her happy, bouncy self in no time.

    •  Awe Sumi! (2+ / 0-)

      Do you mind if I ask what Sumi had?  

      Cheers and thanks for your warm thoughts :0)

      Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you get all wet

      by baspringer on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 06:36:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  she was a little ragamuffin (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        baspringer, Debbie in ME

        picked up off the streets of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at between 6-8 weeks of age.  She had pneumonia when we got her.  We later found out she had feline leukemia too, though we'd vaccinated her as soon as she kicked the pneumonia, but without test kits there, the vet had to assume she got it from her mom - it was pretty prevalent there.  Then followed a couple of years of poorly controlled asthma (not the right meds there, just prednisolone which half controlled it) and a few bouts of some weird kind of cystitis or something that caused her to quit eating and be in all sorts of discomfort.  

        We moved here to Thailand, she got access to much better care, and has made a pretty incredible turnaround, to a happy (and slightly chubby for the first time) healthy feline with a zillion pounds of adorable attitude wrapped in her petite black body with the greenest of green eyes.  We adore her, obviously, which she takes as her due.  :)

        chin rubs for Yoda, and hugs for you guys.  I know how worrying these things are, and how draining it is when our furry friends are sick and we don't know what's wrong or how to help.

        Now, American in Bangkok :)

        by American in Kathmandu on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 06:49:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Good luck little Yoda! (0+ / 0-)

    Send conservatives to FilthyLiberal.com for re-education.

    by filthyLiberalDOTcom on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:40:54 AM PST

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