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March 2019 Notes

Who’s in care with TinyKittens as of March 22:
@ SHELLY’S HOUSE:

 [basement nursery] Serenity, Nelia
[main part of house] Mason and Auracuda are in the main part of the house with the Tiny Tuxies (aka the Teens and Cassidy)
[sun porch] Stanley and Chester
@ TKHQ 2.1:
[bachelorette pad] Mama Lorelai and her daughter Rory from a previous litter
[feral recovery room(s)] Elsa (black and white girl), Ryker (floofy black boy with dental and ear issues), Titus (ginger boy)
IN FOSTER CARE: 
[@ Kimsies’] Moustachio (see Leo, Bobbi, Bowie & Big Brother Jager Facebook page for updates)
[Other fosters] Marcus, Echo

→  Comparison weight chart from the Country Superstars to Lorelai’s Gilmore Girls ←
(Note: The chart now includes all of the TinyKittens litters from 2013 to now whose weight charts I could find. It doesn’t include Molly’s kittens, Sophie’s kittens, the Fairy Kittens, or Petunia’s kittens.)

March 22

  • Paris and Lulu went to their new forever home today. Their new Facebook page is Lulu and Paris’s Forever Home.
  • After their tiny suitcases and adoption, Shelly gave a detailed update on everything:

    • Kitten Watch: We are officially on kitten watch. And Serenity and Nelia are now on the main cam, not just on VIP. Nelia started nesting last night, and Shelly thinks we’ll see labour in less than 48 hours. (Nelia is definitely looking very uncomfortable.) They don’t know how many kittens are expected — they don’t want to stress out the mamas more than necessary to find out.
    • Stanley is not responding typically to his insulin, most likely due to the fact that he’s still growing. (Growth hormone interferes with insulin.) He doesn’t eat enough to gain weight if only fed twice a day so they’ll be feeding him smaller amounts four times a day (for a larger total daily intake) instead. His case is very complicated; everything that can go wrong with him has gone wrong — his pancreas isn’t working at all (exocrine pancreatic insufficiency + endocrine pancreatic insufficiency aka diabetes), he’s still a growing kitten, and he’s not eating enough. His diabetes will be tricky to treat or stabilize until he’s finished growing. He’s back with Chester on the sun porch. (He was so adorably happy to be back.) The nest that was on the porch has been moved down to the nursery. Shelly weighed him to make sure her scale was calibrated well — he weighs 1.88 kg.
    • Aura is doing great in the 17 days since her touch up surgery. Shelly saw evidence of a snot rocket yesterday but no food shooting out of Auru’s nose, and there has been no sign of infection.
    • Lorelai and Rory: Lorelai may have an adoption application. (TK is very behind on emails, what with all that’s been going on.) The adorable, affectionate Rory still needs a forever home of her own.
    • Bradner colony: Still have a few cats left to TNR at the Bradner colony. The cats there are very trap-smart now so trapping the remaining few is very difficult and time-consuming.
    • Happy Forest colony: Only three cats are left recovering at TKHQ. (Elsa, Ryker, and Titus?) These are cats who had extensive dentals involving the removal of almost all their teeth. The rest of the trapped cats have been TNRed back to the colony.
  • Stanley’s evening feedings: The plan is to feed Stanley four times a day — at 8PM, around midnight (essentially 3 to 5 hours after the earlier feeding), 8AM, and around noon (again, 3 to 5 hours after the previous feeding). He gets 1/4 teaspoon of pancreatic enzymes (Pank-Aid) with 50 grams of wet food at each feeding, and he gets his insulin shots with the 8PM and 8AM feedings. This evening’s first feeding went quite well (he scarfed it down in about three minutes), but as Shelly says, “It’s too soon for celebration.” The whole process took about 15 minutes for the 8PM feeding and less than five minutes for the 11:30 PM one, compared to two hours per feeding last weekend. (Here’s hoping that this continues.)

March 21

  • Paris is now wearing a sock onesie because she wouldn’t leave her spay incision alone.
  • Shelly gave an update while fitting Paris with her new outfit. Stanley is staying at Canada West for one more night. They want to try one more change in his treatment — they are increasing his insulin and changing his feeding schedule to four times a day, with a larger total amount of food and less enzymes, in the hopes that his nausea and mouth irritation will subside. Cathy will be picking him up at around noon tomorrow and then bringing him back to Shelly’s.

March 20

March 19

  • Shelly posted an update on Stanley, including a lovely video from the hospital showcasing the decorating the staff there did on his favourite cardboard box.
  • Shelly posted a picture of Theo, an tom cat ho was TNRed from the Happy Forest. He’s estimated to be about eight years old, which is one of the oldest ferals the team has encountered at the colony. And, amazingly, he doesn’t have the typical “gingervitis” dental problems that a lot of the gingers at the colony have had.
  • Kim T posted pictures from her trip to the Happy Forest colony today.

March 18

  • Stanley has gone back to Canada West’s ICU — feeding him (and thus getting the right amount of enzymes, meds, and insulin into him) has been extremely difficult this past weekend, and he just needs more intense monitoring. Some of his test results are in, but Shelly needs to wait for the doctor to have time to discuss them with her.
    • Stanley’s test results confirm that he does indeed have exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) along with juvenile diabetes. Essentially, his pancreas is not working at all. He’ll be on enzymes and insulin for life. His enzyme supplements were increased when his food quantity was increased on Thursday, and they are making him nauseous and making his mouth hurt, which is why they’ve been having such a hard time getting enough food into him and all of his meds/supplements. [It is interesting to note that oral bleeding is apparently a possible side effect of enzyme supplements.] He’s been losing weight. So he’s at the ICU so they can try to get a handle on the optimal feeding and treatment plan for him. Shelly confirmed that they can’t do a pancreas transplant on a feline. [The property owner at the Bradner colony has mentioned that nearly every litter born at the colony has had a kitten who is much smaller than the others; EPI is genetic and causes poor nutrient absorption — I wonder if maybe it’s not the reason for the small kittens/cats.]
  • Paris and Lulu had their spays today. Paris is taking a bit longer to recover than her sister; Lulu has been full of scamp since she came back.
  • The four males brought in from the Happy Forest on March 16 (Roscoe, Tye, Theo, and another) had their neuters today.
  • Per Shelly, six ferals are ready to go back to the colony tomorrow. (Not sure if that includes the four who just had their neuters today. A couple of the ferals who were previously brought in had extensive dentals and so are likely not amond those going back tomorrow.)
  • Kathryn Jane posted pictures and video from her trip to the Happy Forest today.

March 17

  • Kim T posted some pictures from her trip to the Happy Forest today.

March 16

  • Sookie and Lane went to their new forever home together at around noon today, rather unexpectedly as both Shelly and the adopter suddenly had an opening in their schedules. Their new Facebook page is Adventures with Lane & Sookie – The Gilmore Girls Kittens. (The audio during the on-cam adoption was terribly erratic, cutting in and out randomly.)
  • Paris and Lulu will be getting spayed on Monday and then will be going home together later next week.
  • Nelia, a pregnant feral from the Happy Forest, was brought in to the nursery downstairs this afternoon. Shelly thinks Nelia is further along in her pregnancy than Serenity. (Serenity is still pretty shut down and unhappy at being inside, but she’s eating and using the litterbox at least.) Shelly thinks she’s more than one  year old but less than two; Shelly thinks her nipples have been used before, so this won’t be her first pregnancy. Her teeth are pretty good, but she’s got some ear mites.
  • Four more males were also brought in from the Happy Forest for neuters. They include Roscoe (black and white boy), Theo (ginger boy), and  Tye (ginger boy). (Not sure who the fourth one is.)
  • Kathryn Jane posted some pictures of Hyatt from her trips to the Happy Forest over the last week or so.

March 15

  • Salia went to her new, hopefully forever home. (She’s being foster-adopted, and will hopefully get along with the two ginger boys already living there.) Suzanne and Cathy packed her tinysuitcase on-cam, but the adoption itself was off-cam.
  • Stanley is proving to be a very difficult (if adorable) patient. He doesn’t like the taste of the enzymes so, even hungry, he doesn’t want to eat all of the food he’s given, especially since they are now giving him more of both in the hopes of him gaining some weight. It takes the better part of two hours each feeding to get the food, meds, and enzymes into him along with his insulin, which must be tiring for both of them.

March 14

  • Shelly announced that Salia will be going to her new home tomorrow under a foster-to-adopt agreement. (Her new family just want to make sure she will be happy with their two current cats.)
  • Elsa was spayed today. Her uterus was friable and fluid-filled. She also also had a number of teeth removed. She’ll be at TKHQ for at least the next couple of weeks recovering.
  • Lane and Sookie also went in for their spays today.
  • Stanley went to see the specialist today. His juvenile diabetes is still not under control, but they’re working on it. They have the okay to increase his food intake, which also means his insulin and pancreatic enzymes will also need to be increased. He will still get fed every 12 hours. They are still waiting on his pancreas test results. His last urine sample (from Tuesday) showed no ketones, which is good. He will have a weekly check-in with the specialist. His evening feeding — the first one with the increased food amount — was very long, nearly two hours from the time Shelly first brought in his food to when he was finally as finished as he was going to get and she could give him his insulin shot.

March 13

  • Chester was moved upstairs to the sun porch, where he seems to get along quite well with Stanley and Salia. (We learned on March 14 that he was primarily brought up because TK knew Salia was leaving — her foster-to-adopt has been underway for a few weeks and probably would have been announced today if Facebook hadn’t been having major issues all day.)
  • Shelly posted a video of Lorelai and Rory snuggling with each other. 

March 12

  • Stanley has been in and out of the porch every two hours or so today so presumably Shelly (or Gwen) is doing the glucose curve test she’d mentioned a few days ago.
  • New TNRs from the Happy Forest colony: Three newly-catalogued cats are listed as being at TKHQ: males Titus (ginger) and Rothwell (black) and female Raakel (black). Titus apparently needs a dental and also has an injured left front paw.
  • Shelly posted a video of the Gilmore Girls finally discovering Grandpa Mason’s milkbar.
  • Kim T posted pictures from her visit to the Happy Forest today.

March 10

  • Stanley is continuing to do much better. Shelly is giving him his enzymes with 1/2 of each of his two daily, 52-gram meals (to ensure that he is getting them all even if he doesn’t eat his full meal). He is also getting the metronidazole after the full meal, followed by his insulin injection. He has been noticeably perkier since coming home from the hospital — more energy, more playful, better appetite, no signs of ataxia so far, though he has been licking his lips a lot. They’ve been instructed to not check his blood glucose unless he seems lethargic or flat. (Current school of thought on diabetes management is to worry less about the numbers and more about the clinical signs.) He will be seeing the specialist again later this week. The specialist may do a glucose curve, or Shelly might do that herself tomorrow.
  • Lorelai‘s adoption application has been pulled so TK is looking for an adopter for her again. She and Rory are hanging out at the new TKHQ house. Lorelai’s kittens (Lane, Lulu, Paris, and Sookie) are upstairs in the living room.
  • Happy Forest ferals update:
    • Elsa and Serenity were ultrasounded on March 8 — Elsa is NOT pregnant and has been scheduled for her spay on March 14; Serenity IS pregnant (we have no further details on that).
    • The floofy black boy has been named Ryker. He apparently has some dental and ear issues in addition to needing a neuter.
    • Chester, who is extremely friendly, and Serenity, who is confirmed pregnant, were moved over to the basement nursery this afternoon. They are currently viewable on the VIP stream.

March 9

  • Stanley is continuing to do great.



  • Aura is doing great. Enjoying getting to eat wet food again.

March 8

Loads of updates today.

Gilmore Girls

  • Surprise! Luke has been adopted and has gone to his new forever home, where he will have a new little (but a few days older) sister named Lolo. His new Facebook page is Luke’s Café.
  • Some of the Gilmore Girls (Luke, Lane, and Paris) got to have their first field trip to see Grandpa Mason today in time for Luke’s tiny suitcase and adoption.
  • Lorelai and the other kittens all have homes. Lorelai will probably go at the end of next week. She is going to a home with other friendly cats. The remaining four kittens are still not at spay weight so their adoptions will have to wait until then. They are all going in pairs, but we don’t yet know which pairs.
  • Rory was moved down with Lorelai and the girls, so that Stanley had a quiet and mellow sun porch to come back to with minimal whapping. Lorelai and Rory may be moved over to TKHQ 2.1.

Aura

  • Is still doing great after her surgery. She’s been only allowed kibble for the last while because of the danger of wet food getting into her nasal cavity so she’s happy to have wet food. The specialist did her touch-up surgery for free.

Stanley:

  • Stanley was allowed to come home from the hospital this afternoon after eight days in the ICU. He’s still not out of the woods, but they feel he will do well at home. (Cathy has been visiting him at the hospital every day and brought him home. She had a lovely little visit with him after Shelly and Suzanne left. There was much cuteness on his part. He looks noticeably perkier than before.)

  • He’s on a strict eating schedule and will have to be monitored extremely closely. There is to be no food, not even treats, at all in the room, though he can have unlimited water. (He is thin, but the most important thing to address is the diabetes. They’ll worry about his weight later.) They think they have his insulin dose figured out, and he’s been stable for the last 24 hours. They’ve had to try different types of insulin and different doses to hit upon the one that appears to be working. Currently being fed twice a twice, with his insulin after that. They are starting some new therapies along with the insulin for his juvenile diabetes. (Still don’t know why he developed that suddenly.)
  • There are two possibilities for what is wrong with him. Both are genetic.
    • One of the possibilities is not good. Lysosomal Storage disease, (LSD) a genetic progressive disease that will be fatal. He was showing symptoms in multiple systems on intake, which could be explained by LSD but also could have been related to the diabetes and other issues he had. There are no tests to positively identify it.
    • The other possibility is better, as it can be managed with medication — exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI).  If he is diagnosed with EPI, he would be the only young cat to ever be documented with it as it is typically older dogs and cats that are diagnosed with it. (One documented case in a juvenile dog but not a cat.) The treatment is to replace the enzymes that are missing. He would need them for life along with the insulin. They are waiting for more test results. It would affect his ability to absorb nutrients and would explain his stunted growth, appetite, and failure to thrive.
    • They will start him on the pancreatic enzymes tonight with his evening meal between 7 and 8 PM. (His next insulin injection is due at 8 PM, after his meal.) He’s on a high energy gastro diet. He needs all the calories he can get, and they don’t want to put him on diabetic food along with the insulin.[It would be interesting if they could do a genetic study on this colony. From early updates, we know that most, if not all, litters born at the colony have included at least one kitten who never really got as big as their siblings. Compare Stanley with Jean and Maddie, who are believed to be his littermate siblings. The property owner has brought one of the small cats — a ginger, I believe — into her home and was curious about any findings about Stanley. Both likely options are genetic in nature and it would be interesting to see how prevalent it is in the colony.]
  • He later purred for Shelly for the first time.

Mason:

  • Mason has been receiving treatment for his anemia for five weeks now. His hematocrit is now 28% (up from 20%), but they’d like it to be a bit higher.

Feral Colony:

  • Chester, Millie, and Tulio (ginger mackerel tabby boy) are still recovering at TKHQ 2.1. Yesterday, they trapped three more cats at the Happy Forest: females Elsa and Serenity (a new cat at the feeding station who hasn’t yet been catalogued) and a floofy black male who also hasn’t been catalogued yet. Elsa and Serenity went to Mountain View for ultrasounds. While Shelly was on-cam after Luke’s adoption, she received an ultrasound picture that showed at least one kitten. (Not sure yet whose ultrasound it was or if both cats are pregnant.) (Added later: Serenity is pregnant, Elsa is not.)
  • Kimsies posted a couple of videos from her visit to the colony today.Rollins has a terrible allergy so his fur is all patchy like Riska’s was. Wonder what it is at the colony that causes this.

TKHQ 2.1:

  • They’ve managed to humanely relocate the squirrels that were living in the attic at the new TKHQ.

March 7

  • The date for the 3rd Annual Pub Night Fundraiser for TinyKittens has been announced. This year, the fundraiser will be held on a weekend, on Sunday, July 21, 2019, from 5PM to 10PM. This year, the fundraiser has the full pub, with a capacity of 220 people.

March 6

  • Lorelai had her spay surgery today. They had a cancellation and so Luke went as well to have his neuter since he is now over the minimum weight and age.
  • Auracuda went to West Coast Dental to have her “touch-up surgery” on her palate.

  • Kimsies posted a lovely little video of her with Stashy.

March 5

March 4

    • Shelly posted a video of Mason vs. a toy lizard.
  • She also posted a video of Puffs vs. the same toy lizard.

March 3

Shelly update

Shelly sat in with Salia and Rory shortly after noon today (with a brief outside visit from Yoda, the neighbour’s cat) and gave a lengthy update on what’s happening at TinyKittens:

  • Stanley: She spoke with his criticalist. Stanley is being treated for diabetic ketoacidosis. There has been confusion about whether or not he has diabetes as he has had normal blood glucose levels on previous tests. Don’t know if this is a new primary problem or another symptom of his mystery underlying illness.
    • He’s been stable since he was admitted. His appetite came back quickly, and he got his first negative ketones urinalysis late last night, early this morning. Now they are putting him back on the low-dose, long-acting insulin, which they had started him on just prior to him going into ketoacidosis. They’re going to continue to monitor him closely as they transition him from the IV insulin and fluids he was getting to the new, injectable insulin twice a day. Working on getting his blood glucose into normal levels and keeping his appetite up. He’s not eating a diabetic diet at the moment as they want to slowly ease into managing his insulin.
    • He’ll be at Canada West at least another 24 hours. Think they’ll be bringing him home in a couple of days. His primary specialist is out of town until Wednesday and will have to process all this new information once they get back before Stanley goes back. He hasn’t gained weight, and they were pretty concerned when it first happened. The vets have been surprised at how quickly the ketoacidosis cleared up.
    • Have a few more tests that they are running. Each new symptom opens up new possibilities to be investigated. Don’t know what’s next for him. Still haven’t ruled out FIP. They’ve done as much testing as they can do for it, but all tests have been as negative as they can be but still haven’t ruled it out.
    • Gwen took him in to Mountain View on February 27 because he had lost some weight and they wanted to do some more tests. At the time, he was stable. His glucose came back high, not uncommon for stressed cats. (They’d gotten a high reading before, but also many normal readings.) He had no other typical diabetes symptoms, such as excessive thirst or peeing. They did a fructosamine test, which returns the average of the last two weeks of glucose levels. It was normal. (Dr. F has never seen a cat that had a normal fructosamine test who turned out to have diabetes.) Dr. F consulted with Stanley’s internist and they decided to start him on Thursday on the low-dose insulin and monitor him closely. On Friday afternoon, Gwen noticed that he was pretty lethargic and sent videos to everyone. Cathy took him to the specialist immediately, where he was admitted. Jennifer (Chloe’s mama) met her there for emotional support. That was when they found out about the diabetic ketoacidosis.
    • Suzanne and Cathy have been visiting him, giving him snuggles at Canada West.
  • Aura: Aura has had a bit of a URI for the past weeks or so and was put on antibiotics for the first time in a few months. She will be going in on Wednesday (March 6)  for some touch-up surgery on her palate as a couple of pinhead-sized holes have opened up along the midline of her hard and soft palate and another where her soft palate meets her hard palate. (This may be why she keeps getting nasal infections.)
  • Gilmore Girls: Have had their first vaccines and so could potentially meet Grandpa Mason now, but Shelly is a bit cautious about exposing the kittens to Aura’s URI at the moment.
  • Mason: Lorie and Dave have been giving Mason his meds and generally holding down the fort in the evenings at Shelly’s while she was away. Mason’s anemia has been slow to respond, only a 3% increase in his hematocrit. He has a couple of other things they are trying to treat that are slow to respond (nothing critical — he has low potassium so he’s getting potassium supplements, and his phosphorus is high so he’s getting treatment for that) but he’s doing well. His kidney levels are steady.
  • Moustachio: Stashy is doing very well, especially considering how bad his kidney levels were just a few months ago.
  • Jean Grey is doing great in foster care. She’s actually purred for her fosters. She will stay in her foster home until her foster thinks she’s ready.
  • TNR: TinyKittens did a bunch of TNR last week. (Not a lot of details given, though several cat names were found from looking at the catalogue on the TinyKittens site.) Some dentals, some long-term treatments.
  • TKHQ 2.1 repairs are coming along. “Maybe more surprises for you later.” Shelly will post more pictures later, when there’s something to show.

Other updates:

  • Kim T posted pictures from her visit to the Happy Forest today.

March 2

  • Shelly has been updating her evening post from yesterday with updates about Stanley’s condition.
    At 06:21, she wrote “Stanley has been monitored very closely throughout the night, and his vitals are stable. He has used the litterbox once and eaten a big meal”.
    At 09:21, she wrote that he had eaten again and been examined by the critical care specialist. They are currently waiting on an update from him/her.
    She later posted an update, that Stanley is stable and not in any current danger. The vet team is still treating his diabetic ketoacidosis, and they are still trying to determine what is causing his ongoing issues.
  • Kathryn Jane posted videos from her visits to the Happy Forest over the last week.

March 1

  • Stanley has lost some weight and been a bit wobbly over the last week or so.  He was supposed to go back to Mountain View today for more tests, but instead they took samples at Shelly’s house and he headed off to the specialist at around 5:30 PM for observation overnight.
  • Shelly later posted an update that Stanley was being treated for diabetic ketoacidosis. He will be staying at Canada West Vets’ emergency ICU for the next 3 to 8 days.
  • Kimsies returned Horace to the Happy Forest today.
  • She also posted a video of her arrival at the colony.