Category Archives: Lizzy

Yearling female, classic tabby/white. Found on 10 Apr 07 in area 1. Adopted 9 Jun 07.

Scrawny cats should not be operated on

From Dawn’s blog, I quote this post dated 7 Jun 07:

This cat could not be sterilised because the vet thought she was too skinny and a bit too young. The vet thought the cats looked a bit skinny on the whole and told E_Cat and the caregiver that they need to get the owner to fatten the cats up.

This is the latest in a series of “scrawny cats oughtn’t be operated on” rants, including the Pyometra cat and Lizzy. More here: How to sterilise stray cats?

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Scrawny Lizzy got herself a home!

Lizzy did it! On Saturday morning, Foster Mum called to say there was a family visiting the cattery who were interested to take Lizzy home right away. We were a bit cautious-happy since she’s still scrawny and needs fattening up. However, after speaking to the father, btmao and I decided they would be a good family for her.

We had thought it was going to take a bit longer before she’s succulent enough to be put for adoption, but she’s always been more than eager to go home.

Lizzy doing well, despite incompetent vet attention

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Lizzy on 31 May, during our visit. Full of verve, love, and mirth.

She has some SERIOUS filling out to do, but even so, she’s already looking fat compared to her first week at the cattery.

We were worried about Lizzy’s health as we said here. As promised, here’s the chronology of her encounter with the vet who sterilised her and the aftermath:

April 10
Lizzy was kitnapped and prepped for removal into foster care. Along with her, Ryan was also kitnapped, but as he was an established semi-pet cat, he was to be demojoed and returned.

April 11
Ryan is returned. I did not mention our concern with the possible botch-up for Lizzy here as we wanted to make sure it wasn’t just a miscommunication. But apparently, despite leaving notes on their separate carriers with their description, what’s to be done for each, and talking to the new pet-transport guy we’re trying out (as he’s working with the new vet we were recommended), Lizzy has been sterilised and tipped ear. All we wanted was for her to be checked, dewormed and vaccinated. In case anyone wonders, it’s the same vet who was April’s first consultation).

April 12
Foster Mum called with a Lizzy update. She sounded displeased that Lizzy’s been sterilised. She thought we had instructed the vet to do so. We were of course unhappy that the vet and the transport guy made it sound like we did. Lizzy is not our first skinny cat rescue – we know better than to sterilise a skinny cat without observing or checking her for her health status. This could be a matter of life and death!

April 14
Still disbelieving that a vet would go ahead and sterilise such a scrawny cat, we made a beeline for Lizzy when we reached the cattery.

These pictures belie the truth of how SCRAWNY Lizzy was, but they’re the best I managed.

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Literally skin touching bones. I could ‘clamp’ her with a 1.5inch airspace between my finger and thumb.

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Sunken sides…you could use her hollow sides for a cup. IF she stayed still while it rains, it could make a decent puddle right there.

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Bothered by the stitches. Lizzy kept worrying at them, much more so than a cat’s who’s had her sterilisation 4 days ago should.

Vid: Lizzy worrying at her stitches. Rough and messy, they did not look like the professional stitching expected of a vet

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Despite her questionable health status and the worry about her stitches, she sort of set our mind at ease with her full-bodied demands for attention. That she was still infinitely interested to have human company was quite a good sign we thought.

Vid: Lizzy demanding for and showing how to give affection

April 15
Foster Mum called. Lizzy’s running a fever, her surgical wound is not only bleeding, the stitches has bursted! I asked someone who was going to visit later to take a picture. This picture is off a camera phone with low-res capability only and the bleeding has already been staved, the wound cleaned and applied with anti-septic medication. But still, check out the gape!

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May 31
1.5 months since the botched sterilisation job. Lizzy doing well today, seemingly recovered and none the worse for wear. All that’s needed is for her to fatten up a bit more to look like a cat used to a roof over her head and the leisure of being served regular meals. She is one lucky girl. And we hope she will find a good home soon. Now for the fattening up prepping.

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Never been happier to see a fuzzy tumtum.

Fellow victims
Was Lizzy’s case an unlucky fluke? I wish it was, but look at her fellow kitty victims who had been under the ministrations of the same vet, during the same period. Compared to them, Lizzy is very lucky indeed.

  • Gemma. Blog post chronology: 1, 2, 3, 4 5, 6. All posts.
  • Spicy. Blog post chronology: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. All posts. There is no direct description but we understand Spicy was first sent to the vet, who wrapped his injured limb in steel plated despite the fact that Spicy’s leg bone was not broken and that wrapping the injury site actually aggravated his injury which should have been left open to promote blood circulation. Because of the wrappings, the chances for saving Spicy’s leg was FURTHER aggravated.
  • Ta-Ru. Blog post chronology: 1, 2, 3, 4. All posts.
  • Twinkle. Blog post chronology: 1, 2, 3. All posts. There is no direct description but but we understand Twinkle was first sent to the vet, who mistreated his condition and refused to consider the possibility of other causes despite questions and requests for tests to be done. Twinkle’s life was saved because he was sent to another vet for a second opinion. The second vet did tests and confirmed him to be a poisoning victim, not just a kitty with simple upset tumtum and runs.

The experience has certainly jaundiced our eyes even more about the type of unprofessionalism that could be out there.

On 18 Apr, the vet’s pet transport called, purportedly to clarify any misunderstanding. Never did we imagine there to be a surreptitous motive. We were fuming when we talked to Foster Mum and some others later to find that he claimed we agreed that we had told him to sterilise Lizzy regardless. Another unfathomable happenstance was that the vet claimed that before she put Lizzy under her knife, she had asked the transport guy to confirm with us if she is to be sterilised and that he had called us and replyed to her that we confirmed with him for her to go ahead. We certainly did not receive any calls about this from either of them.

Poor Lizzy, we had thought to settle her quickly and had hoped this new vet/pet transport would work out to be a reliable backup in case our regular go-to guy is not available, which he wasn’t on that day Ryan and Lizzy decided to do a twin debut in Area 1. As for Ryan, we’ve not seen him since his release, and can only hope he’s ok until we do sight him.

Despite the happy ending for Lizzy, it is still frightful to be aware of the possible tragedies that could have happened because of this vet. The kitty victims named here were lucky despite their various conditions that were in another league of serious. They’re not worse off or dead because of the decisiveness of their carers who realised something was not right with the “care” the vet had administered and sought the help and opinions of other trusted vets. We shall remember the lesson learnt and we hope you who read it also take away the lessons that there are vets and there are vets, and that it is important to observe kitty’s habits and understand a bit of basic kitty care.

Cattery visit

Yup, after being absent for most of May, we made it today.

Frankie’s looking good – looks like his condition has stabilised. Lizzy is filling out if slowly, as is April. Cassie is as tail-wag happy as ever. Chrissy looks fine now – we’re hoping she will be well enough to be de-mojo’d soon. Corrie’s still strutting despite her neew fluff-less look. Angel’s not doing so good, and is on a 8-meal-a-day chicken broth and mashed up wet food diet.

A few other kitties were photo’d and we got some updates too, like Foster Mum’s new kitty whom I’ve named Kobe. Photos and details on all to come.

Busy weekend

Yesterday we rushed Chrissy to the vet, caught up with the cats at Foster Mum’s and today, we managed to bag Kenji for his mojo-cision, while spotting a new 4mth old tuxedo boy in the same locale and spooking Benji off. Amid all the action, btmao got help from a young girl and we talked to her at length about TNRM and responsible pet ownership, we hoped she’d evangelise what we pumped into her at her school, at home, and among her friends. The trouble with the new vet and new pet transport (whom we tried for the first time, and were evaluating in case our regular go-to pet transport-sterilisation-arrangements guy, V, couldn’t help out for future cases) who collectively botched Lizzy’s checkup must also be documented.

Details to come.

Area 1 newbies: Lizzy and Ryan

This morning, btmao spotted a classic tabby/white young female and a larger ginger spotted tabby boy who seemed to be tailing her during the area 1 morning feed. That can only spell trouble.

And the two poor things were starved – they were scrounging at the rubbish dump and wolfing down bread!

So we decided to go look for them after work.

The female was found on the 2nd storey of the carpark, appearing at the same time that Ivan responded to btmao on the ground floor. So I was dispatched to retrieve/lure her down while btmao attended to le terrible.

She was loud, and she’s beautiful and scrawny, not to mention grubby.

At this point, she just kept stalling and refused to follow me down the stairs, so I picked up her, and she purred during the entire journey. She was so trusting… only as a pet could be this guileless.

I brought her to where btmao was pssting. Ivan was there and had finished his food at this time (already!). So btmao came over and started serving the ravenous girl. Ivan followed a ways, and stopped.

The ginger boy was nowhere in sight. Given her affectionate and trusting nature, we decided to rehome her (what’s new) if Foster Mum could take her on, but of course she would be sterilised regardless, it’s just a matter of timing. So btmao went home for the carrier while I waited on her gluttony.

Ever the gentleman, Ivan kept his distance, though he did call, probably as he was still a bit hopeful for more food. Regardless of his name, he is a very sweet, considerate alpha.

When bmao returned, it was just about time to get put the girl into carrier. At this time, who should appear but the ginger boy! He came bounding happily across the road, and up the little slope to where we were, but stopped short when he realised Ivan was there. He then sat on the grass directly in front of Ivan, and was about 2-3 metres away only. Of course, they both postured like gentlemen and only did some vocal strutting (though given the sitting stance of the ginger boy it seemed more like he was unsure and was ready to submit to Ivan’s terribleness).

The ruckus was, needless to say, disturbing to a scrawny omega, so the girl was starting to get spooked and was about to slink under a car. I quickly stopped her by scruffing her and btmao swung open the carrier and we slid her in.

One down!

We were wondering if the boy could be persuaded to give up his mojo. But we were not hopeful.

Then btmao made the call to Foster Mum. While she did so, I was checking out the boy. He looked familiar and was probably a semi-pet from one of the known households from across the road letting their cats roam.

I decided to try my luck and approached him. He actually presented his tummy and allowed me to give him headrubs.

btmao had confirmed the girl’s check-in at Foster Mum then. We exchanged looks and whispers. She hurried home for another carrier while I continued to coax the boy.

Ivan remained under the lorry he had retreated to and continued to posture from time to time. The boy though seemed more interested in the headrubs than reciprocating.

I was gingerly providing scritches to him, and hoped my edginess didn’t spook him before Ivan did.

I took the time to check him out. It’s not often that we see cats from across the road in area1. He’s got a road-burnish clot on his right ear. His face, near the left eye were full of little welts too. He looked like he’s been in a scuffle and was recovering. The large male that we had spotted in Area 1 had lodged himself in the area this ginger boy came from. And we’ve stopped the large male from at least one stand-off with resident semi-pet cats. I wager this ginger boy was a victim of his territory staking. This boy was probably getting displaced and trying to establish another territory. But the poor boy would be making a big mistake to think he can outswagger Ivan. Even the large male that defeated him had to concede to Ivan and retreated across the road. (Incidentally, the large male is another one of those devil cats that turns any tnrm programme into hell simply because he’s the belligerent ruckus in the neighbourhood but refuse to be friends and give up his mojo)

It seemed to take forever but finally btmao returned. When she got in range with the open carrier, I took a deep breath, whispered “good boy” to the ginger one and scruffed him.

Next, nothing happened. Surprisingly. I was braced for a struggle or protest, but he did neither. We slid him into the carrier after a bit of work, as this one was smaller and he’s quite a fair bit of heft on him – we estimate him to be more than 1 year old given the size of his head.

As we sorted out the aftermath of the girl’s dinner, btmao asked if I checked the ginger boy’s balls since he’s a pet. If he’s already done, though we highly doubt, we can save him a trip and us some money. I decided to chance it, and opened the carrier, scruffed him, and flipped him belly-up for btmao to check. As before, no resistance. We were re-stunned.

And the crux of the manoeuvre? Yes, the boy has cojones, fully formed round ones.

I slid him back into the carrier the same way. Then we brought them home and isolated them in the room.

Later, our mum went in to check them out too. The fact that she recognised the boy as one of the semi-pets from across the road sealed it. We’re suckers again, for sterilising someone’s pet again. But for the sake of Ivan, we decided we had to. Plus it’ll do this boy’s health some very wholesome goodness too to give up his mojo too. Take it as community service.

Because the girl’s coat pattern resembles Izzy so much, we decided to name her after him: she’s now Lizzy.

As for the ginger boy, he put us in mind of Brian, a classic ginger tabby boy who had also come to area1 from across the road like him. So we decided to name him Ryan. Sadly for Brian, he was abandoned and was not street-savvy at all. He kept vacillating between area1 and Ryan’s neighbourhood, and that was his undoing. He was killed soon after we got him sterilised ni a hit-and-run. We hope Ryan will fare much better, and with his mojo gone, that he will stay put in his neighbourhood. We’ll also try ot get that dratted big-headed tabby that’s been terrorising his neighbourhood.

So that’s today’s buzz. Lizzy for rehoming, and in place of Kenji, we’ve got Ryan… the balance is not that far out of kilter.

(EDIT: Lizzy and Ryan were a personal first for me. It’s always been btmao who does the carrier shoving since she’s the cat-piper. Never have our roles been reversed before)