Our little Emilia was battling a nasty ear infection when we adopted her, during which, we made several trips to see Dr. Mike. A month or so later (maybe even less than a month), we had to take her to see him again but this time, it was for her eye! I’m to blame for this and I felt terrible and was so embarrassed to take her into the vet, yet again. She had been picking on the kittens a lot, so I bought some Feliway, which is supposed to be a calming agent for cats. I sprayed it on the chaise part of our couch, because she likes to lay there. The directions say to give it 15 minutes before your cat comes near the sprayed area but I didn’t do a good job of keeping Emilia out of the area. I could tell right away she got some in her eyes. One eye seemed to work through it just fine but the other eye became totally inflamed! I gave the other eye a little time, in the hopes it would clear up like the first eye, to no avail. She kept squinting and sometimes, couldn’t keep it open at all. At this point, we were still finishing up the ear drops and Dr. Mike then prescribed Emilia two eye drops, so this was not a fun time in her life! Fortunately, the ear drops were only a couple times a week but the eye drops were daily.
Even though getting allll those drops was pure misery, I think that somewhere in the back of her mind, she knew it was for her own good. She still loves us.
There is a blog called Five Heart Home and I always thought it was the cutest name. I never would have thought of something so creative for this post had I not made a recipe I found on there for margarita pie. So good! Anyway, I can’t take credit for the cute name of this post but I really wanted to use the title!
We went from being just two people, to being two people with a cat, to being two people with three cats rather quickly. We went from two hearts to five hearts in about six weeks time.
We brought the kittens home at the end of June. They started out in the bathroom until they could see the vet because we wanted to make sure they were healthy before we exposed Emilia to them. The poor little things were both so terrified at first. They stayed close to one another constantly and spent most of the time trying to hide. Our bathroom isn’t very large so they were limited on options but that didn’t stop them from trying! They both ran when we tried to get close so we were very slow and gradual in all our movements with them. They were definitely interested in the food we gave them though! It was so cute, watching their tiny little mouths eat the kitten food. We were forced to keep them in the bathroom for several days as a precaution.
We wanted to take the kittens to our regular vet, Dr. Mike, but he was booked up for a full two weeks. Our bathroom gets very warm, it doesn’t have any windows and it’s too small to really have to house two kittens, a litter box, bedding, etc., so we took them to another vet with a good reputation so we could let them out of the bathroom. Both kittens came back with a clean bill of health! The orange and white baby definitely started to come around before the black “tuxedo” kitten. I don’t think either of them were huge fans of ours at first but at least the orange and white one was gradually figuring out that he was probably safe with us.
Before Emilia met them, she had definitely figured out that something was going on behind the bathroom door. She would sometimes try to look under the door and she would wait outside while we went in, in an effort to get a quick peak. Once the kittens were cleared to meet her, I opened the door just a little to let her see the orange kitten. She stared him for a moment and then the hissing started, so that was enough for the first day! Her little face peaking through the door was pretty cute though.
Once we decided to bring them out of the bathroom, we ordered a little cat kennel to keep in the living room. We figured this would help expose them to their surroundings without overwhelming them, let Emilia get a good look at them and keep them confined so we didn’t lose them in the apartment. Emilia seemed unsure of what to think at first, and just stared at them for a while but finally, she decided that this wasn’t a good idea. More cats weren’t necessary, as our lives were fulfilled once we adopted her, and I am certain she felt the kittens should go back to where they came from.
We kept the kittens in the little kennel for a couple days. I’m not sure if this would be considered long enough to allow Emilia to adjust or not… I think most people would tell us to wait longer but we didn’t. Their little nails kept getting caught in the mesh material and the orange kitten seemed to be getting curious. We let them out and allowed them to wander around a little, exploring their new home. The orange one was coming around but the black cat continued to keep his distance. Emilia wasn’t very nice to them so we definitely had to keep a close watch on everyone during this big change.
Rather than leave the kittens in their little kennel, we set up a kitten station in the second bedroom with all the necessities so they would have room to play while we were gone. Then when we came home, we would open the door and allow them a little more freedom. We had to keep them separate from Emilia because she was significantly bigger than them and they couldn’t really hold their own with her.
Here we are, four months later, and they still can’t quite hold their own with Emilia but they’re getting there. The important thing is, all five of us survived this transition.
It’s common for veterinary hospitals to offer a complimentary wellness exam within a certain number of days after someone adopts a pet. After reading reviews & asking my pet loving friends & family their opinions, we decided on a veterinary clinic. This blog post does mention one bad experience with them but before I go any further, I would like to say that we’ve been to see them many times since then, & all our other experiences have been significantly better than the first!
The majority of the people I spoke with about vet recommendations specifically mentioned “Dr. Mike,” who works at & owns a local clinic with his wife. I also read great reviews about him online so I requested that Emilia see Dr. Mike specifically for her wellness exam but it didnt work out so we ended up seeing someone else (I don’t recall this other vet’s name). The other vet gave Emilia a quick once over but to be honest, I felt like this visit was a waste of my time & I could have provided the level of care she did. However, I’m not a vet & maybe I was just wrong in my assumptions of what a wellness exam entails. Anyway, the vet said Emilia looked good so we went along our way.
Emilia was doing a lot of meowing & itching of the ears! She was still her sweet self but it was accompanied by this constant, bellowing meow. At first, I attributed this to her neediness & the separation anxiety she suffered from in the beginning, & I still think it was partially that, but also ear discomfort. When we picked her up from the humane society, they said she had been treated for ear mites and mentioned the “coffee grounds” in her ears could still be seen but were just residual from the mites and it would cause a little itching, so I wasn’t terribly concerned with the scratching at first. I did mention the situation during that first visit, & said I wanted to make sure the mites were, in fact, dead because she was doing a lot more than “a little” scratching. She took a look in Emilia’s ears but said she couldn’t see clearly & that someone could check again on our next visit to make sure they’re dead. What?? So, if they aren’t dead, Emilia just has to suffer through the discomfort until her next appointment? I wasn’t impressed & Emilia continued to scratch her ears.
I then made another appointment and this time, was very clear about the fact that I wanted to see no other vet besides Dr. Mike, & this time, my request was accomodated.
**Sidenote: Emilia has the most adorable face so whenever we take her in, people always comment on it, & Dr. Mike was no exception, immediately calling her a sweetheart. When I told him Rob had chosen her, Dr. Mike said, “Your husband has good taste in cats.” She has the cutest little meows too, where it’s like purring & a meow all in one. Even the vet tech commented on it! I wish I had it on video! I cannot even handle the cuteness.**
Anyway, Dr. Mike actually took a good look at her ears & came to the conclusion that she was suffering from an ear infection. He prescribed her some ear drops & asked if we would be able to handle giving them to her. I assured him that Emilia is the sweetest thing & that, between Rob & I, we could get the job done.
How wrong I was.
We made one attempt to give her the drops that evening & Emilia put up quite a fight, due to a combination of dislike of the drops & pain from the infection. We did it but she spent the rest of the night across the room from us, looking at us with eyes full of anger. We felt awful! We also decided that we hadn’t had her long enough to put her through that and were concerned it would have a negative impact on our bonding. I called the vet the next morning, and they had us bring her back in that very day so they could flush her ears with medication. They had to put her under for this, which didn’t thrill me. I know animals are usually okay but this was our first experience with allowing them to put her under and I didn’t have much of a choice, as we had to deal with the infection. It stressed me out so much! Signing the waivers had my stomach in knots.
He said the flushing of her right ear went beautifully but the left was so inflamed, that he couldn’t see the ear drum & was concerned about the damage it could have, and her ear started to bleed profusely so they had to switch medications mid-way. The good news was that she seemed to feel significantly better after having her ears flushed, which was a relief to us. I felt bad because I had to leave work to get her to the vet and then had to return to work after dropping her off so she stayed there until Rob was off work and could pick her up several hours later. After Rob got her home, she was sweet and the difference was already obvious.
She had to go back to see Dr. Mike 10 days later & while he was happy with her progress, he decided to flush her ears one more time. Our poor Emilia had to go through this twice!
During yet another follow up appointment, Dr. Mike was very happy with Emilia’s ears, told us to go back to the ear drops, which went smoother this time. She still hated them but at least she was no longer dealing with the pain or tenderness from the infection & she didn’t stay angry nearly as long. It definitely takes the two of us working as a team and wrapping her in a towel to get the job done.
During a phone call with Dr. Mike when he was checking on Emilia, I brought up my concerns about the other vet, because it bothered me that there was a possibility that maybe Emilia’s ear infection could have been caught sooner. Maybe if it had been, it wouldn’t have progressed into what it became. I wasn’t accusatory, because there’s no way to prove that there were any telltale signs of the infection during the intitial wellness exam, & I know I’m not a vet. Dr. Mike basically said it’s possible it could have been caught sooner but its tough to say, not having seen her himself and not knowing how progressed the infection was during that initial appointment. I guess we’ll never know. The good news is, he got her all taken care of!