Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Baxter's heart

This is the story of Baxter. In October 2012, this tiny kitten was found alone at a dump on the Red Lake Reservation. He was taken to Red Lake Rosie's Rescue cuddled in a fur hat -- no more than two weeks old (see original blog post here and photos below). I picked him up from the transport and made arrangements for him to go to an experienced foster home for bottlefeeding. It was touch and go more than once, but when he was eating on his own he moved to another foster home with Kelley who already had another lonely-only kitten so they could have friends.

Check out another blog post: here.

December 19, 2012 
The news is pretty good overall- Baxter does have a heart murmur, and it is significant at 2 mm, but it is not moving a lot if blood. Dr. Ralph wants to see him at 6 months. It won't get better, but also shouldn't get bigger, and he is doing just fine. He is small because he is a preemie or genetically small. He will probably stay small. Needs to watch weight gain, and eat extra healthy food. That will mean that his humans will always have to be careful about his weight and diet, no fat kittyness or his heart will get strained. Also teeth, which I will need to find out more about, his teeth need to stay healthy. 

He did really well during the ultrasound and his heartbeat was good and strong. He also has a big heart for his size, which dr. Ralph said he will just have to grow into. I thought that was just awesome. His appetite is good, he is eating plenty. I don't know what all this means for Baxter, but if he needs follow up care, he might as well stay here. There isn't a surgeon in MN according to Dr. Ralph who would or could fix his heart, but for now he is ok. Everything else seems really healthy.

Baxter has such a sense of adventure with food. Well, cats will eat CHEESE yes, but BLUE CHEESE? That is just weird. Baxter also eats:
Tomato sauce
Dog food
Toaster pastries (pop tarts)
Cheese puffs
Evergreen needles
Pad thai

He is the size of my hand. He eats like a trucker. Weighed Baxter, he is almost 2 pounds. He is still ridiculously tiny, but no one can say he isn't a great eater! Last night he hopped right up onto my plate and helped himself. Can we say entitled?

Baxter is just Baxter. He loves everyone and everything. He kisses, he snuggles, then he runs off to explore. Did I mention the 6 foot pine scented cat toy? Ohmahgerd. I just follow them with the bottle of bitter apple to see what they are going to chew next. :)
Willi and Baxter
February 26, 2013 
Baxter is currently running amok throughout the house chasing his tail, Willi (his foster kitten sister), his mousie, and annoying poor Casey, our new cat boarder who is on the wait list for the shelter. He is a little bundle of love. I haven't had kittens that were bottle fed before, and he has Terrible boundaries! In my face, in my food, has to sleep attached to me. But he loves everyone. He is going to go with me to speak to a group of students about cat rescues. 

He has these hilarious lynx point ear tips, and he is still so slinky and skinny, but eats everything. He does have an issue with wanting to be held while eating so he goes back and forth between me and the food. We are working on that. 

Baxter needs to go back to get an ultrasound at 5 months and then we will know a little more about what his future holds. He won't get fixed until I know he can survive anesthesia. 

So pretty much life as usual at Camp Leaf. :)

May 8, 2013
I went to work this morning because I had a few things I had to do, but blah. Not important. I picked up Baxter and my husband and off we went for ultrasound. Baxter cheerfully hopped in the carrier and barely squawked the whole long drive to Southview. As we were walking to the door with the carrier, Boris and my other cats made a point to come running over to sniff him, even putting up paws so they could see him in the carrier. Exactly like they were giving him moral support.

The news is not good. Bax has an inoperable significant murmur that did not improve as he got older. His heart is enlarged, and is already showing signs of strain. One side is thickening and the other atrophied in response to the irregular blood flow. It won't get better. He is still tiny for his age- six pounds at 7 months, but Dr. Ralph said he won't get much bigger which is good- his heart won't work as hard.

 Bax was so good- I couldn't look away from the monitor so my husband held him with the tech while they were doing the ultrasound. Dr. Ralph was really thorough and checked everything- it took a long time. His heart goes moosh moosh instead of thub thub. It's actually a pretty interesting process.

He can get fixed (yeah tutored!) but will need to lead a quiet life. We were all pretty quiet on the way home. Husband gave him some solid gold which he woofed down- the boy has a healthy appetite. I am back at work thinking about what is really important. I know in the scheme of things our first world problems like the loss of Renee's kittens and Baxter's heart shouldn't feel like the end of the world, but they still do. I guess because we fix the problems we can fix, and some weird freaky people just don't care about cats.

Baxter will lead a happy life while he is here, and represent Feline Rescue and Rosie's at events because working is fun for him. If his prognosis was good I was preparing to let him go, and I could have, but now, I think he is going to stay with his family at Camp Leaf. He will probably live to be 20 just to prove everyone wrong.
Later on May 8, 2013
Baxter was waiting for me when I got home. Everyday my doggy, Boris and Baxter wait for me and run to meet me when I get home. He purred and shows no sign that he is anything other then a happy boy. All the Leaf cats have Russian names. Baxter's official Leaf cat name will be Alexei, after another sick little prince. I just let Cathy (Feline Rescue foster coordinator) know we failed foster (again) sigh. She asked if I would keep him as a foster, um NO. But I will keep him as our cat. Alexei Kelleyovich Leaf, otherwise known as Baxter.

1 comment:

Anonymous said... favorite words....a failed foster! Camp Leaf sounds like a terrific place to live, and Baxter will have a glorious life. Thank you for loving this sweetheart and going to great lengths to make sure he has a wonderful, happy, healthy life.


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