Fussy Bearcat?

At 2:00am, I was woken up from a sound sleep by a rather odd thump. I opened my eyes to find Cory on my desk, my laptop woken up from standby under him, while he investigated the empty kibble containers. My “desk” is a laptop stand with little extra space, and isn’t supposed to be expected to support more than 15 lbs – Cory weighs more than that alone! I dragged myself out of bed to get more snacks for him, and he devoured a full one and most of a second. Then, before I could pass out again completely, he demanded a drink.

Cory decided this morning that he didn’t want his breakfast with Jackie, not even half… but moments later, demanded 2 full snacks from me in my room.

He’s been acting a bit oddly about water since yesterday. We make sure the water is warmish, so it won’t hurt his teeth. Suddenly, even though he’s in the bathroom asking several times a day, after a syringeful or two, he suddenly looks at the syringe like it’s an Evil Thing that’s hurting him and takes off. I honestly have no idea what’s up. I’m currently having better luck doing his water in tiny dribbles, withdrawing entirely between them, and aiming to get it more or less as far back as I can, and that’s working. Idunno. We’re going to try setting his fave water fountain back up (we took it down because it’s old and the design is bloody impossible to keep thoroughly clean, why are they always like that?) and see if that helps, but that water isn’t going to be warmed, just room temp, so who knows?

Anyway, early on, Freya decided to take advantage of the morning sunnybeams on my bed as a place for a bath and then a nap.

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Monday

(Sorry, no pics!)

Well, he started off by doing an excellent job on his breakfast (7:45) – he left a few kibble, but not much. After which he had a normal-sized drink.

Then, about an hour later, he came in my room and wanted up on my lap. He was willing to be snuggled but kept looking at the two snack dishes on the desk (I’m learning!). When I offered him some, he went for it… and then, having emptied one, proceeded to devour the secoond one. Good start!

And, at around 10:15, after a second drink, he demanded more, and tore through another 2 snack containers, for a total of roughly 5 tbs of kibble (about 10% treats) in 2.5 hours. I don’t think he agrees with the “small meals spaced out through the day” theory! That’s about 75 ml, a third of the 250 ml we’re aiming for as a goal per day!

He may actually be able to get small amounts of water on his own, at least enough to help with the dry mouth that is probably happening with the increased drooling. He got up from his boxcave, and I heard him jump up onto the back of the toilet, next to the sink where there’s a cup for water. I expected him to yell for water, but a moment later he reappeared and went back to bed without ever demanding attention. And believe me, he’s not shy about announcing it when he wants me to do something!

He was drowsy through lunch and didn’t entirely finish, and afterwards, had a deep sleep in his cave. When I went briefly to the store, he woke up and went outside for a bit. Half an hour before supper, he insisted on crunchies, and finished his lunch and then a single extra snack. We did supper at little late, to give that time to settle, and he ate most, leaving a few kibbles and treats.

Around 11, just before I fell over from heat and humidity, I served up a gourmet dish for all three kids: 1/2 tbs each of three varied flavours of kibbles, 3 (4 for Cory) each of 3 flavourrs of grain-free treats, Freya and Trick got a few cheap treats, and everyone got 3 Temptations treats. Lots of flssvours! To say Cory ate his with enthusiasm is an understatement. And I’m grateful that the other two also enjoyed it. No one’s been eating as much as I’d like recently, no matter what I offer, so it’s good to see.

 

Friday Photos!

Breakfast

Turkey stew in a sunbeam… omnomnom

Can I help you, Mom? Oh… you have the shiny flat thing again.

(Yeah, he’s a little bald in places, itching’ll do that… working on it!)

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Let’s try for normal!

(no pics in this one, but I’m going to do a post or two with pics from Friday and Saturday later today, once I choose which and get them resized and uploaded – around feeding a Cory-Bear! got lots, especially Friday, so probably 2 posts)

Thursday was just hopeless – had to leave the kids and run to the hospital, Jackie was sent there from the dentist after they nicked the edge of her tongue near the back and it would not stop bleeding. Woke up Maria from downstairs, she has a key, and she came and made sure the kids got their lunch and that Cory ate something. He only ate about half, but he made up for it, and then some, for the rest of the day!

Friday started off great for Cory: kibbles with Jackie, snuggles with me, water, brushing, lounging directly in a sunbeam while eating some turkey stew with very little encouragement. I went out early to get more grain-free treats and a little wet food and crunchies – they come in sample packs, and weight for weight, we’re not getting much, but either I can buy a bunch of sample packs of different flavours for $2 each, or I can spend on average $20 for the smallest size of one or two and limit the options while saving money. sigh He’s just so enthusiastic about kibble and so meh about wet food… will do what we have to. Anyway, came back, gave him a kibble snack, he came out as soon as he heard it rattle and purred all the way through. He was quite interested in food all day, in fact. That evening, while I was giving him a snack, I had to yell for Jackie to bring me another one, because he was tearing through the first so fast and still looking for more.

A full meal is 1 tbs of crunchies of one flavour, an additional 1/2 tbs of a different flavour, and several treats – we’re drifting towards generous grain-free treats and away from a very limited number of cheaper ones that contribute to Cory’s itching. A snack is 1 tbs, all one flavour, no treats – except his bedtime snack, which includes a couple of Temptations. We have no problem giving him 2 snacks back to back. At first, we tried spacing them out into more and smaller meals, but he’s making it quite clear that he’s the one who gets to decide the timing – when he chooses to eat, he eats what he wants, and we’re rarely waking him up to encourage him, since he’s eating as much as he otherwise would. It still isn’t nearly as much as the recommended volume for his weight, but it must be enough: he’s not just alert, he’s playful. Saturday night, he ferociously attacked a long shoelace, especially when it dared hide under some newspaper. But when he decides the timing, he doesn’t just tolerate the food and possibly leave early, he demands it and eats a bit more. So, we’ll monitor how much, but if he wants control, then as long as it doesn’t mean eating less, we’re good with that.

But I definitely need to keep the snack containers full, and probably we should start keeping a couple (not just one!) at each desk, especially me, since when he wants to eat, he comes and climbs on top of me but doesn’t want me to pet him. Communication. :-)

With any luck, now the whole run-to-the-hospital, then-recover-from-incident thing is over, we’ll be able to get life back to some kind of stability again.

Low-energy day

I’ll do my best to get pics tomorrow, or video, or better still both… sorry. I spent today exhausted. Due to high anxiety yesterday, I had trouble sleeping, in part because of muscle tension bad enough to cause spasms in my neck and shoulders. I didn’t bother trying to push wet food much on Cory today.

Super-quick summary:

  • 3 meals of 1.5 tbs of kibble with a very few treats (mostly grain-free), all eaten eagerly
  • 1 bedtime meal of 1 tbs with a few treats, and 3 snacks of 1 tbs each, eaten so enthusiastically that the original plan of 1/2 became 1 each time (one of those, after an interruption to ‘help’ Jackie in the shower, he ate the second half off the blanket and had no trouble picking the kibbles up)
  • had some breakfast gushifuds, tho not as much as yesterday, mostly on his own (a couple of finger-fulls at first); had a little bit later, but Trick had stolen most of it, and by the time I refilled it, he’d lost interest
  • water intake still seems a little high
  • fur-pulling is down… so are the grain-containing treats… hmm…
  • had some diarrhea, although not severe

He’s getting so he recognizes the little storage containers I have his snacks measured out in for quick use, and reacts with serious interest. Even snapping the lid on audibly if it was emptied at least an hour before gets his attention and he’ll climb onto me.

There are 7 different plausible flavours (they won’t eat a few things, like green peas or sweet potatoes), everything from chicken or turkey to salmon or ocean fish to lamb. That means I can keep it mixed up to keep him guessing what’ll be coming. That plus the interaction seems to be working well.

According to the various flavours, he should be getting somewhere between a cup (if I judge loosely by lean weight) to a cup and a half a day. That’s a lot to hand-feed! A cup is 250 ml. A tablespoon is 15ml. He’s getting, at the moment, a total of about 9 tbs including treats, That’s only about 135ml, so around half the minimum he needs. The limited wet food he eats is helping, too, but it doesn’t entirely make up the other half. I do hope we can get him more cooperative about assisted wet-food feeding. Other than the concern about getting enough calories into him per day, he’s still happy and normal.

Okay, off to bed (late, running behind on everything today…) Will aim for pics and/or vid tomorrow.

 

Back to Basics?

Sorry, no pics, busy and tiring and frustrating day.

I was out for a while today – what should have been a quick trip became a major trek involving hopping a bus I’m not familiar with in order to get to the other branch of my fave pet store to get something the local one was out of. Was home by noon, though. Cory was okay, mostly just slept, apparently went on the balcony briefly.

  • Breakfast crunchies: woke me a little early – I tried him with a single kibble of a new flavour, and he got super-excitable until I handed over the full deal
  • Breakfast gushifuds: an hour later, did a little finger-feeding, the offered him the rest (slightly watered turkey pate), and he ate quite a lot enthusiastically
  • Snack crunchies: 2x, 1/2 tbs each time – one while I was out, one when I got home, extremely interested and ate all
  • Lunch crunchies: ate enthusiastically, dropped a few but not much
  • Lunch gushifuds: swalllowed some, not entirely willingly – see below
  • Snacks: 2x 1/2 tbs, les interested (possibly due to syringe/bottle feeding experiments)
  • Supper crunchies: ate fairly well, although a bit sleepy
  • Supper gushifuds: none
  • Snacks: ate very enthusiastically – 2x 1/2 tbs
  • Bedtime crunchies: 1 tbs, eagerly, although dropped a couple
  • Water: 3x in the morning, one of them with Jackie while I was out – is trying to get ahold of it to suckle
  • Fur-pulling: not as bad as some days – maybe working on reducing the treats really will help

Considering all the atttempts to get hold of the syringe and suckle while being syringe-fed or watered, I picked up a nursing kit, the same as what we used when he was teeny: a bottle with nipples of a couple of styles. With any luck, he’ll remember the trick of it and it may even feel reassuring to him. I’d rather he ate alone, but it just isn’t happening. The first attempt was not a success: the largest nipple in the kit is clearly much too large for him, and trying to open the smaller ones up enough for diluted pate to pass through is difficult. This meant that when it clogged, he’d get annoyed about me trying to keep a squishy rubber thing in his mouth for no reason, while I couldn’t see it was blocked, then it would come loose and hit him with too much atll at once. Honestly, I’d be ticked off, too. It took me most of a kibble snack to get his gruntle un-dissed. I’m going to call it a learning experience, not a failure. Way back when, we were using KMR, kitten milk, and when we started mixing in kitten pate, we just made the hole bigger and it was only occasionally frustrating for the limited period that he or Eva were getting a mixture. This is different.

The second batch involved taking an entire can of Fancy Feast beef pate, diluting it with 3 tbs of warm water, using my hand blender on it until it was frothy, then putting it through a metal sieve. I was left with 3 small containers each with between 35 and 40 ml of what resembles chocolate milk, and such a small amount of larger solids that it fit entirely on one teaspoon. For some reason, I’ve never met a cat who would tolerate anything microwaved, so each time it got warmed by setting the container in a larger dish of hot water. I tried putting the nipple on the end of the syringe, hoping that would give me more control and help him get the idea, but after a couple of attempts, he’s just getting cranky with the whole thing. Part of that might be because, while I would prefer to schedule his meals around his naps, his naps have always been able to last for quite a long time, and if we did so, he would get few meals through the day – and if they are small meals, they will not add up to enough that way. I’m reluctant to force too much volume at once on him, but it’s hard to get him to eat when he wants nothing to do with it. Also, the constant tiny snacks seem to be eroding his interest in kibble, rather than increasing it. This is worrying.

He got pretty standoffish for a little while in the afternoon and early evening. After I gave up, a little later in the evening he got very affectionate and demonstrative. I was absolutely exhausted – the bus trip ramped my anxiety close to red-zone, after a poor night’s sleep – and just didn’t have the energy left for anything but giving him lots of kibbles. Still worried that he’s getting not nearly enough calories per day, but he’s getting some and stressing him is bad, so it can wait til tomorrow or the next day

 

Oh no, I went out!

(only 1 pic) (Fixed the vids in the last post, and subscriptions on the blog!!!) (Sorry, I was out through his most photogenic time of day – had a psych appointment and needed to get some kitty noms.)

Halo

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