Category Archives: Sara

Adopted 9 Apr 2006. Renamed Mocha.

Sara/Mocha update

(Edit: Kitty Allergies – Food – added 15 Apr 07)

Remember this moody diva?


Remember why she’s forever in a collar?

She’s free of it now!

Here’s the email exchanges between her mum and yours truly. i think it is a good reference for people facing the same issue. A good thing that has good reviews may not be good for your kitty specifically:


Hi YH,

Here’s something that might interest you. Previously, someone also suggested Neem Oil, but I did some research and it’s apparently not effective for allergies. But this writeup on vinegar looks promising.

Hope it helps!



Hi calsifer,

Thanks for that article, we’ll certainly keep that in mind if our cat gets ill again.

The good news is, she’s stopped being allergic and her sores have all healed!

We can’t tell you how ecstatic we are to finally see her off the hood. She’s a lot more energetic and happier too, and her fur has also stopped shedding in large amounts.

We think it might have been the Avoderm food she’s allergic too, but as with all allergies, we can never be 100% sure. We’ll continue feeding her food that the doc recommended, and are keeping our fingers crossed that the allergy won’t pop back!


Hi YH,
That’s fantastic news!

Was it Dr E you consulted? What did you think of him? What food did he recommend? Did he do any other tests etc? What else did he advise? How long was she on the new food before her allergy went away?

Sorry for the barrage of questions, but I’d like to post up whatever info you can provide on our blog as a point of reference for other cat parents. Hope you don’t mind =)

btw, Mocha has a few blog fans – they really love how much she’s blossomed under your tlc.



Hi calsifer,

Dr E was convinced from the start it was an allergy, which he said was one of the top causes of excessive licking and grooming by cats (because they felt itchy) which in turn causes fungal infection and the sores. The only issue was to identify what the cat was allergic to.

He told us the most likely causes of allergy was parasitic, or food, followed by inumerable other possibilties. So we proceeded to eliminate the first two possibilities by spraying the cat with Frontline twice (once a fortnight) and changing her diet. We used Presciption Diet Z (low allergen) formula which was sold at Dr E’s and the cat’s been fine ever since and never had to pay a second visit to the doctor.

However we personally feel it was probably the food and not parasites as we had previously bathed the cat and all the months of tending closely to her sores we’ve never found evidence of parasites. The good doc also took a sample of her fur to get analysed for parasites, which came back negative. Also, there was a brief period of time when we first brought her home when she seemed to heal while on Prescription diet before it ran out and we switched back to Avoderm.

It was about 2-3 weeks after we switched her diet before we confirmed her allergy subsided, but she might have healed earlier, keeping in mind we didn’t dare to take off her hood only until after all the sores had fully healed.

The first sign we noticed of her healing was when her fur stopped shedding so much (remember how her fur came off in bunches?), a sign that she was less distressed perhaps.Now her fur is really soft and fluffy.


(Edit: Kitty Allergies – Food – added 15 Apr 07)


Visit! Sara aka Mocha

Busy, busy! So much to do, and so little time

Scribble, scribble. Mutter, mutter.

Dozing on the job

Drats, grand scheme foiled before it’s completed.


Seriously, today we visited Sara for the first time since she went home with her mum and dad on 9 April last year.

It’s unbelievable how much she’s grown!

Compare this

to this (taken at the cattery)

No doubt this girl has come far. It is obvious the TLC her mum YH, and dad, A gives her.

She is wearing the collar due to a recurring problem with compulsive licking on certain spots of her body. According to her folks, it’s been recurring soon after she went home with them. They’ve been religiously making her wear the collar as soon as it recurred. They’re not happy to, as they also concerned about how it affects her (understandably), and she’s not happy either (just look at her face when it’s on, she’s also much more active when it’s off).

Since their regular vet doesn’t seem to be able to offer a permanent remedy, we’ve suggested to YH and A to try Dr E for a alternative opinion. Hopefully Dr E can help Sara.

That aside, Sara has really grown beautifully, even her eyes seem to be more blue now then the greyish-green-blue hue they used to be. She’s definitely a domesticated cat: she doesn’t scratch furniture – and her folks have a wood-themed decor, she doesn’t rush out the door, neither does she climb windows.

The changes on Sara are even more obvious when compared to what she was like when we first found her.

One of her very first pictures, taken on 3 Jan 06. This is almost right after she was sterilised (30 Dec).

On 15 Jan 06, see how scrawny she is:



Another picture at the cattery taken on 12 Mar 06PICT6935x

Counting blessings

Izzy getting sick so soon after going home, makes us even more appreciative of responsible adopters.

It would seem a given that adopters are immediately fully responsible for the kitty once they bring the cat home.

But reality is different. A friend who also does rehoming, told us how an adopter called her mere days after bringing home a cat. The adopted cat was sick, and the adopter expected her to do everything on her behalf – bring the cat to a vet, pay the bills, nurse the cat back to health and return the cat to the adopter.

This friend was peeved, to say the least. She was also genuinely concerned – if the adopter is not even willing to be responsible so soon after adoption, what’s going to happen if the cat develops some issues in old-age?

The truth is, cats do get stressed easily, and being adopted is a big scary process – sometimes they can’t cope, and their systems react to the stress by geting some down time aka they fall sick.

We’ve been lucky so far *crossed fingers* – not that the cats we adopt out are all super-healthy, but the fact is, these adopters do understand the meaning of adopting a cat and being responsible cat parents hereafter. They take care of the vet visits and nursemaiding themselves. One adopter informed us about the illness only after the cat is recovered – they were concerned that if they let us know earlier, we might demand the cat’s return because they thought we would accuse them of being neglectful parents for letting the cat fall sick. Another, Sara’s parents notified us and kept us updated (ref: 1, 2, 3).

Izzy’s dad, HB has been great with updates too. In fact, I apologised for Izzy giving him wallet burn so soon. But he was gracious and said it’s his responsibility to ensure Izzy’s health and well-being are looked after.

In both Sara and Izzy’s cases, we were prepared for the kitties to be returned (motto: hope for the best but be prepared for the worst). After all they were still newly adopted, an the bond may not be firmly established yet. That they did not do so, but did what was necessary for the cats’ sake, really helps remind us that there are good people on this earth.

Adopters like the one my friend encountered are not that prevalent, but they do exist, and we hope we don’t encounter any like that – it would be a headache, unfai and stressful for the cat.

So we count our blessings, and hope that all adopters are responsible cat parents like most of the ones we’ve encountered so far.

She’s back, and she’s now Bella!

I went with btmao on her feeding rounds, The young calico girl whom we’ve only spotted once before appeared this evening, in the same area where we first met – at Sasha’s.

The lady of the void deck wasn’t there, and neither was Buddy. I wonder if it’s a coincidence that both times the pair were away.

As before, she was ravenous, but wary and would not allow contact. That would have been acceptable, if her tummy wasn’t carrying a suspicious bulge. She was still as scrawny otherwise. Now we’ve the headache of anticpating her delivery, and trying to pre-empt it by de-mojoing her. The hurdle tripping us, is of course, her unpredictable schedule and the rarity of her appearance. We’ve been wrong before when we anxiously sent Sara for her op, thinking she was pregged out when her tummy was filling up (obviously with something else), so maybe this time we are too. I hope so.

Highly suspected is also her homelessness – she’s very clean for a homeless cat, probably another semi-pet cat, with a owner and home, but always put out to roam.

Home visit: Austen n Aaren

Earlier this evening, we finally made it to Austen and Aaren’s, or as they’re now known: Itchy and Scratchy.

They’re part of the Angel Triumvate, the lucky kitts of Angel who’ve survived, and thrived.

The girls have a big garden to run in, and two large labradors for company. They looked fine, and of course much larger than the 2 month babies we remembered them as. Still, they’re very slight and slender, as expected of 10-11 month olds(?) Aaren, it seems, has been making full use of the garden, and is a champion bug-buster. As cats are wont to, she would also bring in the occassional bonus of feathered beings. Apparently, the maids find the macabre offerings a tad disturbing, but they’ve not stopped Aaren from being herself, which is nice of them, good for Aaren, and of course, baaaaaaaad news for the garden denizens.

Amazingly, the girls have swapped personalities. Austen used to be the shy reticent one, and Aaren the bold outgoing affectionate one. About the time they were adopted, they became each other, and thus polar opposite of their own initial persona. But it is not that surprising. Kittens are young, impressionable, and malleable. That’s why I would advice potential adopters to consider grown cats if they do not have time to spend moulding the babies, and/or do not like the idea of having to adapt to varying behaviour(s) in the same kitten/cat over time.

But that’s another story. Austen and Aaren look well, and that’s all that matters.

As their ‘mum’ is not net-savvy, I also took the opportunity to bring along a printout of Hey, what’s that in my food dish?? and the pertinent links (What is Fido really eating, What’s Really in Pet Food), to reinforce the points we’ve previously discussed about food.

We also had a good chat, despite being there all of 45 mins. All in all, we’re happy, and we think their ‘mum’ is also happy that we’re not crazy nazi-fosters. I still have some misgivings – but I do hope they’re just personal bias.

We had planned to visit Asher, their litter-mate, as well, but well, plans change. We’re gunning for the Deepavali holiday to visit him and Mandy, as they’re both in the same locality.

Angel’s babies hold the record for the longest interval between adoption and follow-up visit. I do aim to rectify their status before they hit their first year birthday! Erm, embarrassingly, Sara/Mocha is a very close second.

Sara/Mocha is mending and rounding out

Sara aka Mocha, who got sick and had to see the vet a number of times soon after going home with her parents, is now well!

YH, Mocha's mum's response to my email on Thu, 25 May:
Hi calsifer,

_Mocha is fully recovered and doing very well
now. She's even put on a bit of weight!


My reply sent today:
Hi YH,
That's wonderful to know! Thanks.

YH, we also want to thank you and your husband for sticking it out with Mocha despite her getting sick so soon after going home with you. We really appreciate it a
lot. So thank you again for your TLC for Mocha.

We really hope to visit some time… but keep having trouble finding a free weekend these days!

Meantime, if you've more photos of her, and if it isn't too inconvenient, could you send them along? I'd like to see a weighter Mocha 😉


I had left off asking frequently for updates on Sara because I'm sure YH didn't need Sara's ex-guardians making like buzzards while she tried to tend to Sara and help her get well.

Am glad for the good news.

Sara has good, committed parents – they could have thrown her back when she got sick, since they've only been with her a few days and the emotional attachment was still raw/new, their time together being so short. It's really really admirable that they stuck it out with her.

Also, during the initial stage of Sara's bout of sickness, though there were emails back and forth, it was more trying to understand where and how she might have gotten sick, and not blame pinning. We appreciate YH's maturity and understanding in this very very much.

Hopefully, more people like YH and hubby will adopt – our wards, even though they can't speak, don't walk on 2 legs, and will never vote nor contribute meaningfully to the economy (except maybe as hapless pawns of the pet trade and animal based research), still deserve the best care and TLC, just as much as every human child is expected to receive.

MUST try to visit soon!

Sara/Mocha totes a collar now

Sara/Mocha was sent to the vet, here's the update from her mum I saw this morning, and the subsequent exchanges. I'm so relieved the vet doesn't consider her case serious. Definitely appreciate YH's updates!

Hi all,

Some update on sara/mocha's condition after a trip to the vet:

She is suffering from a bacteria infection in her stomach, which is causing a slight temperature and the diahorrea. Vet suspects she may also have worms, but deworming will have to come later after she recovers from the infection.

Apart from that, her sores are caused by a fungal infection.

So now she has to take several medicines (which she tends to vomit out), shave off the fur, apply topical cream to the sores, and wear a hood (to stop her from licking
them), which she's pretty upset about.

All in all, not a good day
for a cat.


Hi YH,
Thanks for the update. So it looks like the sores are back – remember that one of the reasons we decided to board her was because of the sores? They had cleared up pretty nicely then. Guess this is an aftermath. =(

I hope her tummy issues are mild. I will let Foster Mum know about the tummy bug, so she can watch out for the others as well.

So sorry you've had to get to the vet already. But I think with your TLC, _mocha's going to be just fine. =)

Thanks, YH!

Hi YH,
I just spoke to Foster Mum, and she's just as concerned as I was because _Mocha had been fine.

But she also said the sores did resurface a bit when _Mocha was moved from her initial quarantine quarters into the cat room. But she had been quite hale since.

We talked for a bit and deduced that _Mocha's sores is probably her system's way of dealing with stress – and i guess you know cats tend to stress over changes in environment, food etc. I think most cats get flu, but others just deal with it differently, eg, our Bam Bam lick himself bald in specific spots.

_Mocha probably is having tummy trouble for the same reason. Her former roomies are all doing well, but Foster Mum will keep a lookout.

… I forgot to ask about deworming – sorry!

Hope the info helps. =)

Hi calsifer,

Thanks for your concern. So she wasn't dewormed before?

The vet didn't seem to think her case was serious, as these are common symptoms amongst stray cats, but Foster Mum might want to keep any eye on the other cats as the vet said the cat's stools had a very high level of the bacteria protozoa (I think that's how it's spelt), which was causing the diahorrea too. Hence the suspicion of worms as well.

Her sores have been there from the start (large spots on both hind legs, a mid sized one on one front leg and two small spots on the back), but it got worse as she kept licking them (hence the hood). But they are now healing pretty well – scabs are forming – and we hope they will be the first to heal so at least she won't be so miserable wearing the hood.

Her enthusiasm has waned somewhat on seeing us since we've been force feeding her medicine and making her wear a hood, so here's really hoping she'll get better soon.

On a seperate note, we've been feeding her avoderm and using the same kitty litter (clumping) that Foster Mum used to lessen _mocha's stress.


I'm not sure if she was. Assumed so, but will confirm – Foster Mum has gone out to work and is not reachable right now.

Do you urgently need to know?

Foster Mum will def watch out for the other cats.

THat's a relief that it's not serious. Sure hope _Mocha recovers soon – cats just hate not being to reach everywhere and groom, huh?

So considerate of you to use the same food and litter. =) I always thought it funny that a cat's psychological adaptability seem to be such a separate creature from the physical.

heh… good thing you can stop forcing her once she gets well. Our Bam Bam has to be given half a pill nightly for his kidney problem, and it's a permanent arrangement… we feel like monstrous foie gras farmers. =
Thanks, YH!