Our poor Jameson has had a time of it. If it isn’t one thing for this cat, it’s another! When we brought he & Sebastian home and tried to set up their first vet appointment, our regular vet was booked two weeks out so we took them to our back up vet for their exams. They sent them both home with a clean bill of health.
As time went on, Sebastian continued to grow, ate plenty and was putting on weight as expected. Sebastian and Jameson are brothers from the same litter so we expected them to grow at a similar rate to one another, but Jameson just wasn’t keeping up. As time wore on, Sebastian grew to be significantly bigger than Jameson, who was so skinny. We took them to the back up vet again and I mentioned how thin he was compared to Sebastian. The vet tech felt him over a little and said he was a little boney but he’s probably fine. So we went on our way.
Emilia and Sebastian would wrestle and play with toys. Sebastian loved playing with all of the toys available and spent hours entertaining himself with them. He & Emilia enjoyed chasing lasers, playing with balls, etc. Through all of this, my concern for Jameson increased, because he was very inactive and just watched the other cats having fun. I began to wonder why he was so lethargic… I think he WANTED to play, instead of just watching the others enjoy themselves.
We still couldn’t get him to gain weight. I was worried he wasn’t getting enough food and maybe the other cats weren’t letting him eat, so I decided I would start feeding him separately. I had him on the dining room table and gave him a treat and he tried to eat it. The desire was there but he would pick it up with his teeth, then drop it right back down onto the table. It didn’t make sense so I knew something had to be wrong with him.
I got him into the vet as soon as possible. We saw a different vet this day than our regular Dr. Mike, but I was happy to see this other vet because he has wonderful reviews online. He took a quick look over Jameson and knew exactly what was wrong with him: coccidia. He had parasites! Due to Jameson’s small size, he didn’t think they could do a blood draw and didn’t feel tests were even necessary. He prescribed us 10 days of oral medication, which I had to give to the kitten daily and he hated it. As soon as we got rid of the coccidia, Jameson was an entirely new kitten! His appetite was back and his energy levels increased so he started to play! We were so happy he was feeling better and it was something so easy to fix. I’m glad I noticed what was going on because he’d basically been going hungry. Poor guy.
At least that issue was solved.
Obviously, Jameson has always been smaller than the other cats. When it came to holding his own against Emilia, he really couldn’t do it so I started to worry about him while we were at work. Our one consolation is that he was small enough to fit in places the others couldn’t if he needed to hide. Anyway, one day, I finally decided I would separate him and leave him in the second bedroom with everything he could possibly need. I knew he wouldn’t love it but I thought he would adjust. I was trying to be a good cat mom and protect him but it backfired, because when I came home, he looked like this.
The two kittens definitely didn’t adjust to being separated for the day and they ran their paws under the door, as they were reaching for each other and crying. They hadn’t spent even an hour of their lives apart before this. When I let him out, I realized that Jameson had been so desperate to get out that he had spent the day rubbing his nose on the bottom of the door until it was raw. I was shocked and upset and full of guilt, maybe even a little embarrassed at my poor decision. Needless to say, I never did that again and went back to giving all three cats free roam.
The good news is that his little nose has since healed all the way and there’s no visibls scarring. It took a little time though!
A few weeks ago, Rob & I ran to the store and when we returned, we opened the front door and just heard loud noises, cats running across the hard wood floors and saw a flurry of fur. Jameson ran from the kitchen to the living room and I could tell he was tangled up in something. It took me a minute to realize that he was tangled in a fly strip! One had been hanging above the kitchen sink and must have fallen, and he had obviously been on the kitchen counter, like he isn’t supposed to be but regularly is. Fortunately, it was surprisingly easy to peel the fly strip off of him, however, one side of his body was covered in the sticky stuff. Awesome. This picture doesn’t even do it justice because it was all over his hind legs, tail and more.
We didn’t really know what to do so Rob called the vet to ask for advice and they said to give him a bath using the blue Dawn dish soap. That’s the stuff they use on animals caught in oil spills so this seemed like a good idea! I was worried that Jameson or one of the other cats would try to lick the toxic sticky stuff from the fly strip off of his body so I stayed home and distracted them with toys and treats to keep this from happening while Rob ran to buy some dish soap.
When he returned, we attempted the deed of giving Jameson a bath and it was a nightmare. I think he truly believed we were trying to drown him and fought us with everything he had in him. We moved as quickly as we could but were totally unsuccessful in removing the sticky mess from his fur and we both ended up bleeding in multiple spots on our body by the end of it. I’ve never seen an animal in such a panic! I asked the advice of people on one of the cat pages I follow and someone suggested olive oil. You just massage it into his fur and comb it out. It was gradual but it worked and it’s non-toxic so we were finally getting somewhere! Although, he was really oily for several days after that.
We don’t keep those toxic fly strips in the house anymore.
At least that problem was taken care of.
We try to responsible in what we feed our cats. We don’t let them have much salt, they eat their boiled chicken completely unseasoned, we avoid dry food for the most part. However, one day, I gave each of them a little taste of whipped cream. This may not be the healthiest idea for them, because cats are lactose intolerant, but I’ve also heard of plenty of people giving their cats a little taste and having no issues. Sebastian and Emilia had their tastes and the two of them were just fine afterward.
Jameson was a completely different story. He spent the rest of the night throwing up and couldn’t keep any food down for the next two or three days. For the first time, he wasn’t trying to gorge himself on everything he could get his teeth on. Right about the time I was getting really worried and considering taking him to the vet, he finally started to get back to normal. This was another embarrassing cat mom moment.
We’ve pretty much decided that if something can go wrong for a cat, Jameson will be that cat. We’ve realized that we really need to second guess everything for his sake, to keep him safe and healthy. No more scary moments around here!