About Minnaloushe

I know it isn’t weekend cat blogging time, but I have some not so good news about Zak’s beloved girl cat, Minnaloushe.

She is at the vet hospital right now; she has Feline Hepatic Lipidosis, commonly known as “Fatty Liver Syndrome.”

It happens when a cat stops eating for whatever reason; when they do this, and their bodies resort to metabolizing fat to survive, the liver ends up with fat deposited in its tissues. For whatever reason, cats are not efficient at metabolizing body fat, so it tends to build up in the liver and cause liver failure.

We have lost a cat in the past to this, over a decade ago, before vets knew much about it and how to treat it.

It is, however, treatable, and since we caught it so early, Minna has a good chance to pull through. What we have to do is force-feed her and give her IV fluids until her body stops metabolizing itself to survive. At that point, the liver damage is reversable. It just means that we may end up feeding her either through a stomach tube, or forcing food from a syringe into her mouth, for six or eight weeks.

I just thought I should let my readers know. For one thing, lots of you are cat lovers and know how Zak and Morganna and I dote on our kitties, and you would understand. For another thing, I don’t know how much time I will be able to devote to the blog if we are going to be running a kitty convalescence center in addition to getting our kitchen redone and keeping all and sundry fed and happy.

I will still finish “Those Darned Chemicals,” though, and I have lots of other stuff planned, including a new installment of “The Chinese Cookbook Project.” So, stay tuned and wish us all luck.



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  1. Best of luck to the whole family – I know Minna is getting the best treatment she can, as well as a lot of love!

    Comment by Amy — October 10, 2005 #

  2. Family comes first! So it’s fine if there’s a lull in your blogging 8^)

    I’ve never force-fed a cat before. Maybe my trick for bathing them might come in handy. Hold them up by their scruff, which will turn them into a zombie-cat (like when their mom carried them around as kittens). I didn’t get one single scratch when I washed 3 cats this way.

    So maybe while the cat is being held by the scruff, someone else can squish in some foot with a turkey baster, then put her down enough so that she gets out of zombie-cat mode so hopefully she’ll swallow. If that does work, then repeat however many times it takes to get her meal in.

    Or maybe if a tube has to be used, the scruff thing might help with the insertion. I don’t really know, and I’d guess the vet techs have better ideas.

    Best of luck, and hugs for your cat and you guys too!

    Comment by Anonymous — October 10, 2005 #

  3. Whenever I think of youse (which will be often)I will send off a good-eating wish for the dancing cat.

    Both peg tubes and force-feeding have their good points and bad.
    If force-feeding, wrapping her in a towel first may help. Ask if your vet has catheter-tip syringes to use, but be sure to suck the meal UP through the syringe to be sure that it won’t have a clogging bit that will gum up the OUT process.
    If peg-tube, be sure that the peg-tube stays protected–we send our patients home wearing tube shirts with the peg-tube further protected by a loose wrap of vet wrap between feedings.

    Force feeding is less invasive, if it works.
    Already thinking of all of you–Judith

    Comment by wwjudith — October 10, 2005 #

  4. Take care of your kitty. I’m truly sorry to hear about her problems.

    Be well!

    Comment by Kate — October 11, 2005 #

  5. Thank you all!

    I do have pretty tentative good news on the Minna front: apparently, though they had to force feed her last night, all day today, she was eating, both soft and dry food. Her blood liver enzyme levels are back in the normal range, and she has been drinking and urinating normally again.

    We may be able to bring her home tomorrow, but we will have to keep her isolated so we can monitor her eating, drinking and eliminating. So–fingers crossed–she may be okay.

    We are not sure what started the not-eating, whether she had some sort of infection or if it was stress from one of the other cats picking on her–Springheel Jack stalks her and is awful to her, and he may have been keeping her from the food.

    If that is the case, he may have to have a new living arrangement. I hope it doesn’t have to come to that.

    I am just glad that it looks like she is getting better.

    In that case, look for the finish of Those Darned Chemicals in the next several days.

    Comment by Barbara Fisher — October 11, 2005 #

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