Holiday Newsletter

This is the newsletter that will be mailed to all my clients next week.

Hello Fat Tabby Family,

I start this newsletter with some sadness: on August 22nd I lost my best little buddy and Fat Tabby mascot Buster (that’s him in the upper left corner). He took ill on the 18th and he passed away in my arms at home the evening of the 22nd. Dr. Strand of Twain Harte Veterinary Hospital did a home visit for us. I know they did all they could to save him. Buster was only 10 and I miss him terribly. He’s buried next to Cosette who passed on April 1st due to cancer at the age of 18. They were best buddies and she was his surrogate mama.

And in all that chaos summer just flew by. We had such a short and mild one that I’m not sure I’m ready for winter. On that note:

I will be taking December 3rd through 10th for my annual vacation

for my party for my family and as a rest between holidays. I will be entirely unavailable those days.

Normally I can always fit clients in but holiday bookings I would like to limit to 6-8 client visits a day so please contact me as soon as you know your plans. With good weather I can fit in 10 but we never know what this time of year will bring and snow slows me down tremendously. Please review my snow policy on my website: fattabbyandfriends.com.

Just a reminder that I do have a $15 holiday surcharge for each of the following six  days: Thanksgiving Eve, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

**Please note that I most likely will not be able to accommodate last minute bookings effective immediately until after the first of the year. Please plan ahead if possible as I hate to turn clients away.**

All best wishes for a most beautiful Holiday season,

Jan

Sweet Dreams Baby Buster

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Taken just a couple weeks ago

It is with a shattered heart that I write this: My beloved Buster – the face, mascot, and namesake of my business – has crossed the Rainbow Bridge tonight. He was only ten.

He died in my arms.

Last Sunday night he suddenly started vomiting and couldn’t walk. The night before he was running bonkers through the house chasing the laser. I took him to the vet Monday morning where they gave him antibiotics and fluids and ran tests. The tests came back hyperthyroid and kidney disease (which he had no signs of prior except for some minor weight loss) so I took him in Tuesday and they kept him until Wednesday. He’s also showing signs of heart disease. All of this was very sudden – as cats are prone to doing.

But, sadly, he never responded to treatment. To compound issues he was so stressed up at the vet his breathing was erratic and his tongue turned blue. I brought him home last night and decided to not bring him up for treatment today as he was failing rapidly. He calmed down about two hours after coming home and spent every minute after relaxed and peaceful despite being in obvious pain and nearly paralyzed. He was even purring for me all day today when I would pet him. He stopped eating but did give the turkey baby food I offered him this morning about 15 licks. Dr. Strand came to the house this evening as I could not bring myself to torture him more by taking him back to the vet since Buster was still fairly alert.

Buster was extremely close to Cosette who passed 4 months ago. I know for a fact she will greet him and this was confirmed by a number of intuitive friends who said they sensed his cat “mom” nearby. Cosette and Buster came from the same feral colony about 3 years apart so I have no doubt they were related but Cosette always treated Buster as her “baby.” They were inseparable in life and I know they will be in their new life. Wait for Mama at the Bridge with Cosette, Buster. I love you so very much.

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Buster’s Altar where he’ll lie in state until burial in the morning.

Sweet Dreams my Bitty Girl

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Cosette was tiny – she never weighed more than 5 pounds – so I called her my “Bitty Girl.”

Tonight I had to say goodbye to my 18 year old Cosette. She was fine a week ago then, as cats tend to do, she just suddenly “tanked.” Dr. Jackson at Twain Harte Vet did a short exam and found a mass in her abdomen.

I offered her Reiki the entire time and was playing Reiki chants on my phone. Dr. Jackson said it was hands down the most peaceful transition she’d ever done and she swore she was being totally honest. She said the peace was palpable. I could feel it but was happy to know others did too. The first time she walked into the room her first words to me were, “Wow it’s so peaceful in here.” Reiki works and I’m thankful I was able to use Reiki to calm me down so I could be peaceful and present for Cosette. Fly free Bitty Girl – run home and see Tabitha and Toby and wait for mama by the gate. I love you.

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Humans’ Use Of Pain-Relief Creams Proves Fatal To Felines

Reblogged from NPR https://n.pr/1aKKy3X

By PONCIE RUTSCH

Veterinarians have long warned that pain medications like ibuprofen are toxic to pets. And it now looks like merely using a pain relief cream can put cats at risk.

That’s what happened in two households, according to a report issued Friday by the Food and Drug Administration. Two cats in one household developed kidney failure and recovered with attention from a veterinarian. But in a second household, three cats died.

When the veterinarians performed necropsies on the three dead cats, they found physical damage in the cats’ intestines and kidneys, evidence of the toxic effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs. NSAIDs include ibuprofen, like Advil and Motrin, and naproxen, which is in Aleve.

Ibuprofen is the most common drug that pets eat, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, perhaps since many of the pills are candy-coated. In pets, the drugs can cause stomach or intestinal ulcers and kidney failure.

But these cats died by flurbiprofen, another NSAID. In the case of its most recent victims, the cat owner applied a lotion or cream containing flurbiprofen to treat muscle or arthritis pain. And it’s highly unusual for a cat to show up at the vet’s office; usually it’s the dogs that get into trouble from exposure to NSAIDs.

“I can’t even remember the last cat I’ve seen that got into ibuprofen or an NSAID,” Erica Reineke, an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine, tells Shots. “We’ve seen more cats that get into antidepressants.”

Reineke says that she probably treats a pet for some sort of ingestion problem every day, but usually it’s chocolate or chewing gum, or the owner’s medication. As little as 50 milligrams of ibuprofen for every kilogram a cat weighs can cause problems; for dogs, it’s 100 milligrams for every kilogram. Reineke says she’s never seen flurbiprofen toxicity in her office and would have a hard time estimating how much would be toxic to a cat or dog.

This isn’t an animal mistreatment issue — none of the cats died because owners were applying their medications to the cats. The owners reported using the product on their necks or feet, and somehow the animals were exposed. The third cat died after the owner had stopped using the medication.

The FDA recommends that pet owners store all medications away from pets and to discard anything used to apply the medication. If any furniture or carpeting becomes contaminated, clean it immediately.

And keep an eye on those pets – if they show signs of lethargy, vomiting or lack of appetite, go see a vet immediately.

 

 

Tuolumne County Animal Control launches food bank for pets

Union Democrat article by Alex Maclean

Tuolumne County Animal Control has started a food bank for pets in response to a growing need within the community.

Christina Whitcomb, who works for Animal Control as a registered veterinary technician, said she proposed the idea after seeing more people coming into the agency’s shelter in Jamestown over the past year seeking food for their pets.

“When I first started here, which was about three years ago, I never saw anybody come in and ask for animal food,” she said. “Now, we probably get people coming in on a weekly basis for the past year.”

Whitcomb said some of those who have come to the shelter in need of food for their pets were homeless, while others had just fallen on hard times.

However, the fact that they came to the shelter asking for help showed Whitcomb they cared about the well-being of their animals.

“I commend them for doing that because it shows they care,” she said. “I’ve always wanted people to do that. If they can’t afford something, animal control is here to help.

People who work for Animal Control were previously using their own money to purchase dog and cat food that they could give to the pet owners who came to them asking for help.

Whitcomb got permission from her supervisors, Animal Control Manager Mike Mazouch and Agricultural Commissioner Kelle Schroeder, to begin seeking donations through Facebook a few weeks ago.

“We’re budgeted to feed animals in our shelter, but not a program like this, so I started promoting it through Facebook and people started bringing us food,” she said.

People in the community have dropped off about 100 pounds of animal food over the past several weeks since Whitcomb put out the call for donations, according to her estimates.

Tractor Supply Co., which has a store in East Sonora, also recently donated an entire pallet that Whitcomb estimated was about 500 pounds of animal food.

“Tuolumne County has an amazing community because they step up when people need help,” Whitcomb said.

The agency will give away free dog and cat food on a first come, first serve basis at its first food bank day on Wednesday. (See box for more details.)

Whitcomb said they are planning to create a regular schedule for food bank days after seeing how the first one goes and how many people show up, because there’s nothing else like it in the county.

“We have ATCAA food banks, but nothing for animals,” she said. “We wanted to show people that Animal Control isn’t just laws and regulations. We really do care and want animals to be taken care of and not be hungry.”

People who are interested in donating can also drop off food at the shelter.

Whitcomb said dry food is ideal, but canned food that’s not expired is also accepted for dogs and cats with dental issues or no teeth at all. Canned food with a pop top is preferred for people who don’t have access to a can opener.

The agency also recommends donating food that’s certified by the Association of American Feed Officials, or AAFCO, which established nutritional requirements for pet food. Whitcomb said it will say on the packaging whether it’s AAFCO certified.

It’s important for domesticated animals to get the proper type of pet food because they can encounter health problems from eating food that’s high in fat, Whitcomb said.

“Our animals aren’t wolves anymore, we’ve domesticated them and changed the way they digest things,” she said. “You can’t just feed them scraps from your hands.”

Contact Alex MacLean at amaclean@uniondemocrat.com or (209) 588-4530.

Thank you Lia!

Just got this lovely recommendation from my former client Lia. I had the pleasure of taking care of their cats Chauncey and Habu. Chauncey loved his brushing time but Habu was what I called an invisi-cat – she disappeared when I walked in the door. Occasionally she’d peer down from the top of the stairs “phantom of the opera” style: you could only see half her face as the other half was hidden behind a wall lol.

“My husband and I lived in the Sonora area temporarily before moving back to SoCal. While living in Sonora, we traveled to SoCal often for several days at a time. We were so grateful that a friend told us about Jan and her pet-sitting services. We couldn’t have been happier, or felt more at ease with the care that our pets received. Jan asked us what level of communication we’d like about her daily visits, and even offered photos and videos. She is very knowledgeable and keeps herself informed on the latest regarding the health and safety of animals. Her love and care for their well-being creates an environment of trust that is unmatched. While she is a pet-sitter, not a “house-sitter” she is willing to help out with simple things like bringing in your trash can, or bringing in newspapers from the driveway, time provided. I highly recommend using the services of Fat Tabby pet-sitting. Jan is very in-tune to the different personalities and needs of your furry (or scaley, feathery, etc) family members. You can feel secure and confident that they will be safe, clean, loved and happy. ~ Lia”

Digital Detox

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Well we all made it through the holidays. I think this was the first Christmas I didn’t have a client emergency! Despite that I’m still pretty exhausted so, since January is a traditionally very slow month, I am taking a month long digital break. We don’t have television – not since 2007 – and I get text and email bookings so I will be on the computer or phone each day but I won’t be on news sites nor social media during this time.

This is not some sanctimonious “I’m too good for the Internet and if you were smart you’d follow my example” nonsense. I really dislike that attitude. This is for me to get some healthier daily habits in place during my slow time: meditation, more consistent exercise, daily grounding, normal human being bed times, things like that. I also need to be more creative in my real life and want to start writing again.

Once a new habit is practiced for 30 days there’s a high likelihood that it becomes permanent. My goal is to have those habits in place once busy season begins again.

If you need to contact me the Fat Tabby number is my cell phone. I’m also on WhatsApp.

Have a peaceful January!

Another Goodbye

It’s with mixed emotions that I have to say “Happy Tails” to another long time client. Lily and her mom Tara are moving back to their Sacramento hometown after over two years in Sonora. I walked Lily upwards of twice a week for those two plus years and it’s hard to say goodbye even though good things await them.

Here I am with Lily this afternoon on our very last walkabout. Yes I cried. I’ll miss this happy little girl very much.

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Silly Lily and Auntie Jan

Important Info on Grain Free Diets

Sierra Veterinary Care in Sonora has been doing a lot of work and research on grain free diets. There is new info out there that points to them causing severe illness. If you don’t follow Sierra Vet on Facebook it would be a good idea. Here’s their latest post on the grain free issue. (Note: I’ve never liked grain free – my cats’ fur looked awful on it years ago and I stopped. I feed ProPlan Indoor with a Purina Vet formula for urinary issues.)

“Remember that grain-free issue I have been ranting about for months?? UCD School of Veterinary Medicine released the paper on which diets they are seeing the disease in. Some may say I’m biased but our veterinary school is the best in the world!!

In short it includes: Taste of the Wild venison and Legumes, ACANA (multiple formulas), 4health (multiple formulas), Zignature Lamb, Instinct Lamb, Nutrisource chicken and rice, Kirkland Signature, FROMM (multiple formulas) and Orijen. If you are feeding these diets we strongly advise you change diets faster than you can say FOOD TRIALS ARE SO INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT!! This entire disease would have been avoided had companies done feed trials on their food. Their AAFCO statement should say their food underwent a feeding trial.

If the food your dog is on isn’t on the above no no list, we still strongly advise changing to a diet that has had a feed trial done on it because a diet can easily be poorly formulated and be flying under the radar. The easy ones we suggest feeding are: Hill’s Science Diet (my personal favorite), Royal Canin, and PurinaProPlan. Here’s the article for your reference:

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/file?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0209112&type=printable&fbclid=IwAR2dCRvjEAUrnTs_XT3gUhgS_z_zlIPag9X1youM9KCw62yu2mFGHKSdH-8