The Manny Chronicles

by brandt

Sometimes, having young animals can be extremely frustrating.  For our 2 kittens, we had some health issues to work through, then some behavior issues to work through, and I think we’re now at a point where both Ashley and I and the cats have a mutual understanding about what is acceptable behavior and what isn’t.  For example, chasing each other around and playing, even in the middle of the night while we’re trying to sleep is something we’ve conceded.  Chewing on electronics cords (like for our entertainment center, surround sound, or computers) isn’t acceptable.  Shedding all over our clothes is another compromise we made.  Fine, go ahead and shed.  But when I catch a kitty paws deep in our sink eating our leftover food, I’m not happy, and that’s not acceptable behavior.

The funny thing about having an animal is monitoring their health is much different from, say, Ashley and I monitoring each other’s health.  If I’m developing a cough, Ashley can tell.  If her stomach isn’t feeling well, I can tell.  But with animals, especially young ones like our kittens (who are less than a year and a half old), sometimes they’re so concerned with playing that it’s tough to find out if they’re healthy.

Last Wednesday/Thursday, we noticed Manny’s eye was starting to act a bit weird.  He had some mucus in the corner of his eye when he woke up, which we figured to be normal eye-mucus from sleeping.  We cleaned it out, and noticed that night when we got home from work that it was back.  We monitored it, cleaning it out, and noticed that his eye was starting to become irritated.  We got the cats from a wonderful family who fostered them and nursed them back to health after finding them malnourished sealed up in a box on the steps of the Humane Society, but before we actually were able to take ownership, they needed to be tested and verified they were healthy. Because of their malnourished state when the foster-family found them, they did have some health problems.  Even after we took them over, we had a little bit of a wheezing problem, which they worked themselves out of .  I wanted to see if Manny could work himself out of it (Toby wasn’t having any problems), so we decided to monitor and keep a close eye.

Monday  rolls around, and it’s still there.  We decided that, if by Friday he wasn’t better, we would take him to a vet.  On Thursday and Friday, his eye seemed to stop discharging mucus, but the tear duct looked to be irritated.  I was relieved that he was working himself out of it, but wanted to monitor that tear duct carefully.  We had some friends come over on Sunday night, and as I was holding Manny (he doesn’t understand “personal space,” and was jumping in everyone’s lap), I looked in his eye.  The poor guy had rubbed the area around his tear duct basically raw.

Due to the holiday yesterday, I didn’t have to work, so I gave our local vet here a call and took him in to get it looked at.  I was really impressed at how caring the nurses were towards Manny, and even though the poor guy was shaking and meowing from nervousness (and also shedding like fur was going out of style), they did a great job of making him feel as comfortable as he could (even when they had to…erm…take his temperature…animal owners know what I mean).

Long story short, thankfully he doesn’t have a scratched cornea or other major serious disease.  It looks like it might be a minor upper respiratory infection, and after cleaning up his eye and tear duct, you could really see where he rubbed it raw. They prescribed him an eye ointment that we need to rub directly on his eye three times per day, which just after one day has worked wonders.  We also have some antibiotics to give him (a liquid), which should be here tomorrow.  The company who does the compound formula called me yesterday and asked “What kind of flavor would you like for Manny?”

“Um…cat flavored?”

“Well, do you have a preference?  We’ve got fish, beef..”

“Fish.”

“Tuna, whitefish…”

“Tuna.”

Hopefully he’ll take to that a bit better than his eye ointment.  Oh, and the worst part about his situation?

Yes friends, my poor cat has to wear the cone of shame. He usually likes it if I hold him like a baby, but yesterday was even worse – he couldn’t sleep unless I held him that way.

Now that everyone’s feeling bad for Manny, I need to rag on him for a bit.  See, the cat isn’t very good with adapting…at all.  He usually walks with his head down, looking and smelling for scraps of food or random kitties that would jump out from hiding under blankets.  The problem with his cone is that if he’s looking down, the cone gets caught against the carpeting and won’t let him go any further – that is, unless he lifts his head.  Same thing with going around corners.  He’s so used to taking the corners tight to peer around it, and he doesn’t realize that he has to alter his behavior to adapt to the cone.

If anything, his friend is being very nice to him.

That’s Toby on the left, and obviously Manny on the right.  He doesn’t understand that he can lift his head up.  The cone just makes sure you don’t rub your eye, it’s not like you’ve got shackles around your neck!!

The worst part, though, is the look he’s been giving me.  I think both parents and animal owners know the look – “Why are you doing this to me?  What did I do wrong?!!?”  I got an extremely nasty look after they took his  temperature and after they put the cone on him.  Ashley wondered this morning if this whole experience is going to scar him for life.  Meh…he’ll be fine in a week.

$140.00 later, I think Manny’s finally on the mend.

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5 Comments to “The Manny Chronicles”

  1. poor little manny!!!!!!!!!!!!!! my cat would flip! Here’s to a speedy recovery from the cone of shame! ❤

    • He’s actually looking much better since Monday when I took him to the doctor. The ointment and him not irritating his eye has helped a ton. I’ve been nice to him and taken the cone off when we’re home to give him a break, so he’s been…OK. Hopefully a full recovery will be by the end of the week.

  2. Awe man, hope the kitty gets better soon! Our puppies have both had to wear those unbearable cones on their heads too as they’ve both had 3, yes 3 each, eye surgeries. Sharpeis get entropion due to all their wrinkles and unless you want them to be blind, they have surgery take wedges out of the eyelids so their lashes don’t scratch their corneas. Major expense, but they both have good eyes now!

  3. Aww poor guy!! I love that you have to hold him for him to sleep! Macky had the cone of shame when he broke his leg at just 4 months old. We had to keep him separated from his brother, but since they missed each other we would give them visiting time. The first time they saw each other post-surgery Macky went running (limping) to his brother all excited and Sunny was like “AHHHHHH! MONSTER WITH CONE ON HEAD!” and ran away from him. Macky also walked into walls when trying to cut corners with that thing on. We laugh about it now and like to remind him when he’s bad, but it was so sad at a the time. He was a goofy kitten to begin with (hence the broken leg) so the cone just make the awkwardness so much worse.

    Get well soon Manny!

  4. Get better soon, Manny! When either of the dogs are forced to wear the cone they generally use it as an effect weapon against the other dog. Which isn’t to say that they don’t roam around looking pathetic as the dickens, but given the opportunity they like to blindside their buddies with it. Hope the eye problem goes away soon – I hope Manny appreciates that you picked him a cat-liquid flavor that you thought he’d like.

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