THE SCRATCHING POST
Issue #20, By Barbara Stanley firstname.lastname@example.org
Home 2 Cats, P. O. Box 752671, Memphis, TN 38175-2671
Our mission is:
To provide food, medical care, love and sanctuary for injured, disabled or abused animals
To educate the public in what constitutes responsible cat care and ownership.
To engage in other activities related to animal rescue and public education about cat care and responsibilities.
Mews You Can Use
Your Cat's Teeth
Cats sleek bodies and fine senses work together to create an amazing work of art. Every part of the cat’s body works together to make them excellent predators. Teeth particularly play an important role in catching, killing and devouring prey.
Over the course of their lifetime, cats will have two sets of teeth. Their first set is their baby, or milk, teeth. This set consists of 26 teeth that they acquire beginning around the age of 4 weeks. The second set, or the adult teeth, begins to emerge at around 3 to 4 months of age. This set will contain a total of 30 teeth: the canines, incisors and molars.
Their canines (there are 4) have pressure sensing nerve endings. Cats use their canines to grasp and grip a prey. The nerve endings give them the ability to feel and detect the tiny depression at the back of the neck on its prey, which helps expedite the kill.
The incisors are the cat’s front teeth. They consist of 6 upper and 6 lower sets. The are used to grasp the prey and also help keep the tongue within the mouth.
The cat has 10 pre-molars and 4 molars. The pre-molars are somewhat pointed and shear like scissors. Since cats cannot move their jaw sideways, they tear small pieces of meat with their pre-molars so they can chew and swallow. The 4 molars help the cat to grind their food. Cats will often turn their heads sideways to aid them with chewing their food.
In a natural diet, the cat’s teeth are cleaned as they scrape over the bones. At home, dry food helps prevent tartar buildup more than wet food because it doesn’t adhere to their teeth as much. The individual chemistry in the mouth of each cat also plays a role in tartar buildup.
Tartar will irritate and push the gums away from the roots. This results in the teeth loosening, falling out, and allows infection to enter. Infection can result in gingivitis, tonsillitis, and pharyngitis. Kidney and heart infections frequently begin in the mouth if the infection is allowed into the blood stream.
You can do your part in keeping this amazing system healthy and working by providing your feline with yearly dental and health exams.
Spring is a time of rebirth and new beginnings, as the plants and flowers emerge from their slumber. Spring had sprung and the weather was wonderful as I walked outside to enjoy the day. I couldn’t wait to see what wonderful surprises waited in the garden.
Well, I must admit I was surprised when I had only taken a few steps outdoors and thought I heard a cat cry. I quickly decided it was a bird, but the sound came again. I started talking and immediately saw two blue eyes peeking at me. I talked some more and the owner of the voice and those baby blues emerged. A Siamese so apparently overjoyed to see me. I was stunned.
A quick once over let me know he was covered with fleas, ticks, and ear mites. Unfortunately, these were the least of his problems. He had an open wound on his hip, he was severely dehydrated, and obviously starving.
I quickly grabbed him, placed him in a kennel, and headed to the vet’s. Sago’s condition was so poor that I really expected to be advised to put him down. During our ride I talked to Sago and this pitiful creature purred and made biscuits non-stop. Of course he won my heart before we ever arrived at the clinic.
Sago weighed in at 5 ½ lbs, half of what he should have weighed. IV’s were started, x-ray’s taken, and blood work run and still he purred and made biscuits. His rear leg was fractured, which had caused the open wound and he was running a high fever due to an infection in his leg. His ear mite infestation was so severe that both eardrums were ruptured. His age was estimated at 12 plus years.
And still Sago purred and made biscuits. In fact his avid biscuit making was proving to be a challenge for the staff when working on his IV line.
Sago gained some strength over the next few days, readying for the surgery on his leg that would certainly be required. There was a strong chance he would lose the leg. During those few days of recovery, nature did what nature does: his leg started forming a false joint! The only surgery needed was to ‘clean up’ the infected area.
After surgery, Sago was Home 2 Cats bound for his recovery, and yes, he was purring and making biscuits during the whole trip.
At his six-week check up, Sago weighed in at 11 ¼ lbs! He had almost doubled his weight. He was retested for Feline Leukemia and FIV. Unfortunately, Sago tested positive for FIV. To verify this new information, blood work was sent out to a lab.
Three days later we were sure: Sago had kitty AIDS. With this news, Sago gained permanent sanctuary with Home 2 Cats where he will be housed with the other cats that have tested positive for FIV.
I believe the spirit of Simon the Siamese (Scratching Post 2004, Cat Tails) guided Sago to our door that spring day. Like Simon, Sago is enjoying his rebirth and new beginnings while purring and making biscuits. Thank you, Simon, for saving this wonderful boy’s life that day.
Animal and People Recognition
While losing a companion is one of life's greatest sorrows, never having one is to miss out on years of loving companionship.
In Memory Of Animals
Beloved cat of Tina & Ray Osborne
Of Home 2 Cats
--Larry & Barbara Stanley
The Cocker Spaniel who loved cats.
Beloved pet of Mike & Marlene Mauk
--Bob & Dody Cordes
The passing of the above listed cats that were not just pets, but companions and furry family members, saddens us. Most of these cats showed up in pitiful condition and with severe health issues, literally "on the doorstep" of their soon-to-be family.
Each of these people opened their hearts and pocket books to help these special cats that selected them, even though they had severe health issues. We not only want to honor the memory of these beloved cats but also honor the very special people that shared their lives and home with them.
In Memory Of People
--Ruth Blann Cartledge
In Honor Of People
Larry & Barbara Stanley
For all the good work they do.
--Ruth Blann Cartledge
A Word From Home (2Cats)
Pilling the Cat
I was at the vet’s office recently, amazingly enough, without a cat in tow. While waiting, another patient’s ‘mother’ asked if I had cats. I immediately looked to see if my summer clothes had the winter ‘mohair look’ when I realized that she wasn’t looking at my clothing, she looking at my scarred and cat scratched arms.
I quickly stated that I did cat rescue. No sooner were the words out of my mouth than I pictured her having a vision of a 100 lb. plus lady (that’s right, I am not stating my full weight!) wrestling with a 10 lb. plus cat (the cat didn’t want to divulge his weight either). I knew that at this point she was probably rooting for the cat and not the rescuer.
I informed her I ran a sanctuary and most of the permanent residents had health issues that required daily medication. Not all were overjoyed to receive this on a daily basis therefore the arms become the first line of attack.
With that remark, the lady and, in fact, everyone in the waiting room quickly formed a bond with me. Everyone could identify with ‘pilling the cat!’
Here are three pilling scenarios that I seem to encounter:
I’m at the vet’s with Buttercup. Buttercup is the ideal patient. The staff is fussing over her and she has the most angelic look on her face. The vet prescribes some pills, pops one in Buttercup’s mouth, and the whole time this beautiful creature is staring adoringly at the doctor.
At the sanctuary, Buttercup has been spending the afternoon at the scratching post making sure every claw is fine-tuned. The minute the pill bottle is opened, every hair on that angelic head is standing on end, ears back and of course the claws are just daring me to approach.
I’m at the vet’s with Schroeder. It takes the doctor and several techs to restrain Schroeder who appears to be possessed (the head is about to do a 360). After a ten-minute struggle, hair scattered about the room and the pill down, the bottle is handed to me with the instructions to give it twice a day. As I stagger out I’m told, "by the way, it has a pretty bitter taste!"
At the sanctuary…well, I think you can envision what happens…hence the scratches.
Scuba goes to the vet’s and this angel practically holds his paw out and pops the pill himself.
At the sanctuary, Scuba is still an angel. (This behavior is rare in the cat world!)
I am joking about Scenario 2. Our vets are very compassionate and never stress the animal.
Schroeder does go into his ‘possessed cat’ act if a pill is in hand, whether is be at the vet’s or the sanctuary. Pills are a definite problem for Schroeder (and us), so we have a special cream made up with his medication to rub inside his ear.
If you have a cat that’s difficult to pill, ask your vet about specialty medicines, such as flavored liquids or creams.
Home 2 Cats Is Now On Petfinder.Com
Looking to adopt a cat or kitten? Check out our current pet list and our adoption day calendar on Home 2 Cats home page on petfinder.com under shelters/organizations. You may also access our home page directly by http://www.petfinder.org/shelters/TN159.html
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