Six Toes

Six Toes
What's Up?

Monday, February 28, 2011

A Reiki Master, A Cat, and a Community

Six Toes is indeed a lucky kitty.  This weekend he was fortunate to secure the services, however indirectly, of one of the most important Reiki masters in America...Christopher Penczak.  You see, my daughter was attending a convention where Mr. Penczak was teaching.  She was able to consult him about Six Toes and how to heal him from his heart problem and other difficulties.  Mr. Penczak offered many suggestions based on his teachings, which she will attempt.  Frankly, we'd do just about anything to save Six Toes...even thought right now he seems to be doing fine.

Reiki is the practice of healing the body through energy manipulation.  It is Japanese in origin and focuses on stress reduction through relaxation techniques.  It is done by laying hands on the person being treated and balancing the energies of the person.  Exactly how that happens, I'm not sure.  But I know people who have undergone Reiki treatments say it works.  I've never seen it applied to a cat.  I guess we will find out if Six Toes is interested in Reiki.

I can't tell you how many times I've worried about him since this started...when he sleeps, if he stops purring, I sometimes wake him in panic, thinking he's stopped breathing.  I watch his breathing and when he's busy chasing his brother Buddha around the house. If he seems too active, I'll stop him by picking him up and petting him, trying to calm him down so he doesn't hurt himself.  He spends a lot of time in my lap or lying by the computer as I write...although why he sticks to me like glue when there are other people and cats in the house I don't know.  He's picked me.  So I guess I owe it to him to do the best I can by him.

Others in the community have been supportive of Six Toes as well.  The pharmacist asks how he's doing.  Friends always reference Six Toes.  The vet checks in from time to time.  He is a loved cat, no question.  But then, look at his picture!  How could you not love that little face?

Friday, February 25, 2011


Six Toes has a new obsession.  It isn't belly rubs, string or catnip.  It's bubbles!  Much like the yellow fish in "Finding Nemo".

If you pour a glass of pop and set it near you on a table, Six Toes will sneak up when you're not looking and put his face over the glass.  If you're still distracted, he'll even put his face IN the glass, just to get closer to the bubbles!  Then, if you STILL haven't noticed him, he'll sit up and put his paw IN the glass, IN the pop, in an attempt to capture or maybe stop the bubbles!  Which usually results in tipping the glass over.

So what is it he finds so fascinating?  The sound?  The feel? 

We  may never know...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Getting better? Maybe.

Got Six Toes his new medicine.  It's called Atenolol and it's given to humans as well.  It's a beta blocker used to treat high blood pressure and for people suffering a heart attack to improve their survival.  The first day or two after he started this medicine, Six Toes was groggy.  Really groggy.  He had trouble walking a straight line and his butt wiggled.  He slept a lot more and ate voraciously when he woke up.  But after that he started seeming more like his old self, sleeping less and playing more.  The groggy/wiggly thing was over.  He's alert and having a grand time chasing his brother in the house.

Got to take Six Toes back to the vet in a couple of weeks for a quick blood draw to see if the medicine is working.  I've got my fingers crossed that it has.  It's nice to have my old Six Toes back and happy to sit in my lap when I sit down, poking me in the eye to wake up in the morning.  My buddy.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

It's Always Darkest....

Today the vet called.  The bloodwork on Six Toes was back.  It was, sad to say, horrible.  Every level elevated.  Sodium through the roof.  Evidence for early liver failure.  And so on.  And so on.  It was hard to concentrate with all the medical terminology and descriptions.  Hard to get beyond "I'm so sorry."

"But we're going to put him on a medication...hopefully it will help him."  said the vet.  "We'll do everything we can to see that he enjoys life.  Think positive."

Wow.  It's hard to think positive when every test is abnormal and results seem dire.  Yet Six Toes continues to have a good time in my home, stealing bits of meat from my plate and growling at Buddha while he eats it.  Playing with and grooming Bully, his best dog friend.  Playing tag as you walk by him around corners.  Sleeping in the comfy chair.  Watching the birds outside at the feeder.  Just like normal.

This afternoon I sat down to sew and there he my lap as usual.  With his loud purr.  Occasionally trying to snatch the thread from the opposite side of my sewing project.  The rascal.

So this evening I'll be heading off to Walgreen's to get Six Toes his medications.  And praying.  If not begging.  Being thankful that he doesn't know how ill he is or how worried we are, those of us who love him.  And I'll ask, if you're reading this, that you say an extra prayer or two for my cat Six Toes.  He needs all the help he can get.  As he has ever since I got him seven months ago.

Six Toes is special.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Story of Six Toes

Greetings cat lovers.  This is the story of my mutant kitty, Six Toes.  How is he a mutant?  Simple.  He's got deformed eyelids, a really messed up heart, and six toes (hence his name).  He's seven months old now, but I got him when he was just two weeks old.  Seems his mom left Six Toes and his brother Buddha (whom I also own) after she was run off by a dog.  They were brought to me because they really needed help.

Six Toes was and is a character.  He was the biggest of the two kittens.  He ate the most.  Six Toes had a habit of sucking off his brother Buddha's chest while he slept because he missed his mommy so much.  I cleaned them up and kept them warm (fortunately it was summer).  Buddha was in bad shape, being a lot smaller with a massive hernia on his tummy.  I took both kittens to the vet.  She didn't give Buddha much chance to live, but Six Toes, she said, was darn near indestructible.

So I fed them, kept them warm and let them walk out in the sun on the grass.  Buddha got better and his hernia healed.  Today he's a very quiet and thoughtful cat.  And Six Toes got bigger too, getting into mischief at every turn.  He developed a habit of sitting with me, wanting pets.  He's always been there whenever I sat down to sew. He became my buddy.

Transition to this week.  I took Six Toes in to the vet to get his shots when the vet, after listening to his heart, looked up at me.  "He's got a heart murmur."  She listened again.  "A bad heart murmur."  She listened a third time.  "I'm really sorry..."

In my mind, I thought 'It can't be that bad.'  So I said "What do you mean?" 

"He's got a really bad sounding heart murmur.  I recommend we do a cardiac workup on him as soon as possible.  We might be able to put him on medications that could help, but aside from that, there's nothing we can do."

Again, my mind was slow to take this in.  "Are you saying he could die?"

The vet was slow to respond.  "I don't know.  A lot can happen.  I've seen cats live a long time with a murmur like that and others die from cardiac arrest pretty quickly.  I won't know until we get him checked out."

You can understand how I felt.

So I started this blog to follow the life of my cat, Six Toes, however long that may be.  Because, well, he's Six Toes.  My mutant kitty.