On a completely new note, the header of my blog displays a picture of my youngest kitty. This picture is completely relevant to my blog as he is rubbing his face on the handle of a bag, which at the time contained a knitting project. This little guy is my baby Heimo. He is three years old, part Oriental, and all play! He is also being considered as the poster kitty for cat allergies. (not really, but if there were to be a cat allergy poster kitty, I'm sure he'd be in the running!) Having spent thousands to try to determine what exactly he is allergic to and what will help his allergies (all inconclusive!), we have given in and just accepted them and I do my best to work with him and to keep him from destroying himself. Heimo spent three months wearing an elizabethan collar as a kitten. This did not in any way, shape or form keep him from being bubbly and happy. He learned new games to play incorporating the "cone" into the play. This is Heimo wearing his cone. What you can't see in this picture is the total destruction of his skin that he would render when the cone was off. Now, not only is Heimo uber playful, but he is also a smart little puppy! He figured out how to get his e-collar off. He was not always successful (thank goodness as I work 8 hours/day and sleep 8 hrs/day - not at the same time). He would put his hind foot into the collar and pull until he gagged and keep pulling until he heard the safety collar click. He would then sit up, put a front paw on either side of the cone, and pull it off! True story...I witnessed it on several occasions. After months of the cone and trying various drugs and biopsies of tissue in areas he was devastating, etc., etc., the new vet partner at our clinic told the vet and me about "Softpaws". Softpaws have saved his life! They are wonderful little rubber claw tips which you apply with glue (just like ladies' acrylic nail glue) and they shed off when his claws shed. Of course, I have to keep watch and get new ones on, but that's nothing compared to the torn and bloody patches I would come home to. Now, remember I mentioned how smart he was? Well, he has been rubbing his nose raw with his soft paw, the one on his dew claw. Over the past month, he has this white patch of fur all gone and grey and raw looking, but at least the skin has not been torn open. Last week, however, I noticed that there were scratches in his raw area and that they are getting deeper and worse every day. I told my boyfriend that he must be finding something in the house to rub it on, but for the life of me, I could not find any bloody corners or furniture or the like. So, last night, I'm sitting in the recliner knitting away and the boy cats are curled up together on the back of the couch. I hear Heimo make his little, ouch-that-hurts-but-I-can't-stop-scratching-anyway cry and I went over to pull his face out of his paw. I noticed that the paw had a very long, sharp dew claw! Yikes! I just changed that Softpaw and thought he must've gotten it caught in something for it to have shed so quickly. Then I noticed! It was NOT HIS PAW! He was using Toivo's claws! Toivo was fast asleep and oblivious to the fact that he was being used in such a devious fashion by the little pesky kitty! I will now have to apply Softpaws to the big boy, and I'm not sure how he will take to that as he's 12 and has never had them before. He's very good about me messing with him, he lets me clip his claws, but I've never applied anything to him before. We'll have to see how that goes! I can't have him being used to inflict injury upon the little ichymus maximus!
And there you can see the bloody little face. Poor monkey! No medication has ever worked for him...NONE! So I will apply Animax cream while it is this open and I will apply Softpaws to Toivo and we'll do another deep clean of the house and hope we get a cold snap outside, etc., etc.
Here is a slideshow of some Heimo snaps. Enjoy. http://www.flickr.com/photos/24502536@N03/sets/72157612335808756/show/