What’s an opossum?

RavenMom’s been trying really hard to think of something interesting, funny, or creative to share, but can’t come up with anything. She’s very concerned about my continued fur loss, which makes me rather strange looking from several angles. I’ve removed most of the fur from my lower belly, inner & front thighs, and the underside of my tail. Mom said I’m going to have an opossum tail if this doesn’t stop soon. I’m not exactly sure what that means, but I doubt it’s a good thing.

The steroid shot I got two weeks ago should still be in my system, but it doesn’t seem to be solving the problem, so Mom consulted with the vet late last week and started me on antihistamines. The prescribed dose made me sleep or walk around in a stupor, so I’m getting only 1/2 dose and hopefully that will be enough to help stop me from de-furring myself.

Mom’s bothered by the way I look, not because I’m furless, but because it shows that something is medically wrong and they haven’t been able to figure it out yet. The vet is pretty sure it’s an allergy, but there’s no way to guess what it could be. I have no signs of illness other than my fur loss. Luckily, my skin is is perfect condition – no redness, bumps, or any other sign of irritation so we don’t have to worry about skin infections.

We really need the weather to change so it’s cold and maybe get some rain. If there’s a pollen that I’m allergic to, hopefully that will make it go away. If my furloss doesn’t stop in winter, I may have a food allergy, and that can be really difficult to figure out. I’m a very selective eater so mom’s hoping she doesn’t have to try to get me to eat a new food with ingredients I’ve never had before.

Mom’s been remiss in visiting all of your blogs. She’s been a little mopey lately worrying about me, but she’s trying to remember that this probably isn’t a life-threatening issue and she needs to chill. She enjoys visiting all of you and it lifts her spirits so I’m going to try to make her visit more.

Posted in Health | 15 Comments

Thursday evening relaxing

I’m tired of showing off my naked legs so I thought I’d share a more flattering photo. Mom thought the light was just perfect for a flash-free photo. Raven

Posted in Random musings | 18 Comments

“Naked” kitty – hair loss from allergies

In our house “naked” used to mean I wasn’t wearing my collar. But now it means I’m a partially furless kitty with lots of skin showing! 

Last month I mentioned that I had licked my tummy and legs quite a bit and even had a little sore on my skin because I had licked too much. The vet gave me a shot of medicine to help alleviate the itching and it worked for a little while. But after a couple weeks, Mom noticed I was still licking a lot and losing a lot of fur. So back to the vet we went.

There are many causes of hair loss in cats, but my vet is 99.9% sure my hair loss is caused by an allergy. I could be allergic to something in the house, some pollen that’s coming in from outside, or something I’ve been eating. Mom & Dad can’t think of anything new in the house like furniture, rugs, blankets, shampoos, or laundry detergent. We don’t use air fresheners or perfumes and they hardly ever buy anything new. I’m an indoor kitty, but there’s no telling what’s blowing in from outside. As for my diet, I’ve eaten the same canned and dry food for years, but they did start giving me an immune-support supplement a while back and it contains some ingredients that aren’t in my regular foods. That’s the only thing they can think of that has changed, so we’re hoping that’s the cause. If it’s not, we’re at a total loss as to what it could be.

The vet gave me another shot of medicine (a steroid called Depo-medrol), but this time I got a full dose instead of a 1/2 dose like last time. He said it will last about 4 weeks. If I’m allergic to something from outside, it should go away as we get into the fall season. If I’m allergic to the supplement I’ve been eating, he said it can take 6 weeks for a food allergen to get out of my body, so if that’s the cause, I should be doing better in 4-6 weeks.

The vet suggested mom take pictures of my hair loss so we have a reference to compare if I’m doing better or worse. The photos are not the most flattering pictures of me, but Mom decided to share them because she wants to show what can happen when a kitty is allergic to something.

If you look at me from on top or the side, you’d barely know I’m missing any of my lustrous black floof. My tail lacks it’s usual floofiness, but that’s not obvious.

But once you look at my belly, back legs, and the underside of my tail, you see the truth of what allergies can to do a kitty’s fur!

I’ve lost the fur on the bottom half of my tummy and the underside of my tail.

Raven hairloss

I’ve also lost the fur on my inner thighs and the backs of my legs down to my ankles.

Raven hairlossLuckily, my skin isn’t irritated. You can see that’s it’s a nice pink color and doesn’t have any sores or irritated spots. This is good because damaged skin can lead to skin infections. Mom think I look a bit strange, but she has fun rubbing my warm, soft belly skin. The oppossom-like tail, well, she’s not too fond of that but hopefully I’ll be back in full floof by next spring!

p.s. I was cooperative during this photo shoot, but I meowed my confusion a few times. This is not how my dad usually holds me and I couldn’t figure out why we were standing in the kitchen in such an awkward position! Seriously, the shot of Depo-medrol has given me a ravenous appetite so put me down and give my my third serving of dinner please.

Posted in Health | 20 Comments

New channel on bird t.v.

I got a new channel on bird t.v. today. This little flock of wild turkeys flew to my neighbor’s roof.

Wild turkeys

They’re big! I’m glad they were across the street and not in my yard.

wild turkey

In other news, I went to the vet today for a follow-up on my hair loss. The vet is almost 100% sure I’m allergic to something but we’re not sure what. We’ll post about that next, but mom has to get some good photos of me first. In the meantime, enjoy an early Thanksgiving!  Just kidding! I don’t eat turkey, I eat chicken.

Posted in Cat antics | 19 Comments

Black kitty in my yard

Many of you will remember our feral kitty, Squatty the Stray, who spent a lot of time in my front yard. He’s been gone for just over 5 months and recently a new kitty has been frequenting my yard.

Kitty comes by most days and hangs out under its favorite shrubs. I don’t get a very long look as it’s walking around the yard, but kitty is svelte, black, and fairly skittish. Mom & Dad don’t shoo kitty away if it’s resting under a bush where I can’t see it, but since I’m not thrilled with it loitering in plain sight, they will open the front door so kitty skedaddles away. They won’t be mean to kitty, but they’re trying to keep my life “low stress” until they figure out why I’ve removed large patches of my fur.

This is a terrible photo (looking into the sun with a telephoto lens from inside the house), but here kitty is on the boulder in my front yard. Kitty is jet black with short hair and yellow eyes, so we have a few things in common! Once it realized mom was taking pictures, kitty hurried off and hid in the bushes.

New black kitty in my yard

Kitty appears to be in good condition so we’re not feeding it. Mom did put out a water dish because it’s over 100 degrees here and it’s important that kitty can find clean water to stay hydrated. As long as kitty doesn’t aggravate me we don’t mind letting it use the yard. We’ll have to wait and see if kitty keeps hanging out here or if it has a home and spends less time out as winter approaches. We’ll also have to try to determine if it’s a boy or a girl so mom can call it something other than “kitty”.

Posted in Neighborhood animals | 18 Comments