Look at that face.
Granted, it’s not a good picture – lighting is bad because of where he was when I took it a few minutes ago, but I didn’t want to force him out just to take a better-lit image.
The feeding tube.
You can see the end of the tube in the picture above. The blue thing on the tube is a little cap that keeps the end closed between feedings. The tube itself actually runs through a bit of white tape on his blue bandage, then loops around and down between the layers of bandage and his neck. The tube is held in place with sutures. I’ll try to get a picture of the loop some other time.
Anyway, his feeding sessions go like this – 10 ml lukewarm water, then 30ml pureed and thinned hi-calorie food, then whatever meds are due, depending on which feeding session of the day it is, and, finally, another 10ml of water.
The little blue cap unscrews, and each syringe will screw into the tube. It’s really pretty cool and very simple to use. If the end of the tube gets any food on it, I just wipe it off with a damp paper towel.
The food and water are pushed through the tube slowly – a ml or two at a time. At first we went VERY slowly – too fast and he could vomit – but now he’s a bit more comfortable with it and we can feed him a little more at a time.
We started offering him regular food (that he would have to actually chew) this morning, and he sniffed it, but he wasn’t interested. The vet has said to try different kinds of food until we find something he likes.
Of course, it’s only been a handful of days since he had the tube put in, and I know it will take some time before he is really feeling like his old self, but there are tiny signs, I think.
He purrs like a really loud outboard motor during the feedings. Not because of the food, but because while we feed him, we are also scratching him in all those hard-to-reach, just-under-the-edges-of-the-bandage places he can’t really get to. Plus, we’re just spending time with him. He’s happy.
His eyes are more alert. When we first brought him home, last Thursday night, his left eyelid was a little droopier than the right, and he just looked weary. But now the droopiness is gone and his eyes look clearer and brighter and interested, somewhat, in what’s going on around him.
He’s occasionally hanging out with the family. He’ll sit on the couch if we’re watching tv, for instance.
He is using the litterbox, and he’s got a sort of routine about it. He’ll use the scratching post for a moment before sauntering casually into the litterbox room.
The only rough part has to do more with the relationship between Softie and Scratchy. She doesn’t quite know what to make of him. She stares at him from a distance, and hisses if he comes too close.
Which, mostly, he doesn’t. I think he feels vulnerable with the collar and tube…plus, I’m sure he still doesn’t feel well. He’s still jaundiced – that will take time to go away, I figure. But anyway, him not feeling like himself, and Scratchy not knowing what’s going on with him…that’s the stumbling point right now.
Scratchy has a variety of nooks throughout the house where he can curl up and feel safe, whether we’re feeding him or he just wants to rest.
For now, that works. I have faith that everything will sort itself out between the furry siblings, and for now the main thing is to help Scratchy heal.
He’s got a follow up appointment tonight. They’ll check his liver levels and see if there is any change, see if he still needs to be on his antibiotics and the antacid, and so on. I’ll keep you updated.
Thank you all, so very much, for your good wishes and kind words. They meant a lot to us.
In the gardens…
One of our rogue squash plants has climbed up into the lilac bush in the back corner of our yard.
It’s bearing fruit, too.
As the squash gets bigger, it droops lower, pulling the lilac branches with it. I’m curious to see if it grows big enough to drag the lilac branches to the ground.
On Sunday a guy I work with gave me some chicken of the woods mushrooms and some chanterelles he’d picked the day before. I took them home and cleaned them off, broke the chicken into smaller pieces, and sauteed them in a little butter and a splash of sake.
Bill and the kids had gone off to dig steamers with a friend of Bill’s, and then both families would have dinner at our house. I figured the mushrooms could be part of a little pre-steamer appetizer.
When I got home from work and a quick stop at the grocery store, I made a tomatillo and green tomato salsa with cilantro and jalapeno, and scallion from the garden, plus a splash of lime juice. I also made some guacamole.
Here they are:
I made mozzarella, too.
Here it is, stretching:
I’d picked up some brie and baguettes at the store, so I sliced one baguette up into little rounds, cut those in half, and toasted them a bit in the oven to crisp them up.
I drizzled olive oil on all of them, then topped half with some mozzarella and the other half with brie. Then I topped the mozzarella ones with slices of yellow pear tomato, a chiffonade of basil, another drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. I topped the brie ones with some of the mushrooms – about half with bits of chicken of the woods, and the other half with little chanterelles.
Everything was well-received, I’m happy to say.
Oh – and we didn’t have steamers. No luck with them.
We had a whole mess of blue crabs instead!
Here are a couple of them, pre-boil.
Anyway, I also made wings, in case anyone didn’t want seafood. I roasted them all, then placed half in a sticky sauce made with roasted garlic jelly and green tomato jam, plus some soy sauce, sesame oil, and a little lime juice, put them back in the oven to cook off some of the liquid, and ended up with lovely dark, rich, sweet, sticky wings.
Dinner was great. We had some crabs left over, so Bill and I picked them last night and I made crab cakes. Sorry – no pictures. They’re all gone.
And that’s about it for the moment.
How’s things with you?