Archive for July 2008

Maurya and I

with 3 comments

You will probably find all this ridiculous if you cannot think of your pets as family. Regardless, I believe I owe it to my family to publish certain things…


This is Chew .

He and his two sisters came to us when they were about two months old. Their mom would come to our garden with them and leave them to play there. Once she realized they were safe she left them with us. Chew was a gentlemanly cat. When other kitties crowded our home he would stay away for long periods. He simply could not bear the divided attention, and was too dignified to ask for more. We never realized he was sick. We could see that he had lost weight, but he looked and behaved normal. Once, he did not come home for two days. This was about two months back, in May 2008. On the third day my mother went out looking for him, found him too weak to move and carried him home. We never took him to a vet. We had our reasons – which I intend to enumerate in a separate article. We could have taken him to Moitri but he looked too weak. Instead, we took him to our family physician who is a homeopath, and has cured many of our cats. My own reasearch on the Net revealed Chew had symptoms of diabetes. Dr. Roy assured us it was a case of paralysis that was affecting both dogs and cats these days. We were reassured. Chew appeared to improve. He did not leave home again. Sometimes he would sit outside, in the sun.

Around the last week of May his condition deteriorated rapidly. I still did not want to move him because he was too weak. We called Dr. Soumen Chatterjee who came highly recommended. He found nothing particularly wrong with Chew and told us that he was merely in shock because of some fight with other tom-cats that he must have had. Chew was prescribed Resource Powder – a high protein supplement. He did not want to eat that – in fact he resisted the extra protein. We force fed him, because surely it was good for him. Didn’t the Doctor say it was? He seemed better for a while. After that we were forced to call Dr. Chatterjee again. A whole week was wasted already. He could not understand what was wrong and lamented that this was the problem with animals: they could not tell us of their troubles. He prescribed fluids to take care of the acute dehydration and anemia that was now apparent. One of the fluids was Haemaccel®. I somehow managed to find someone who could administer the fluid. This very competent man held Chew like he was cattle and put in the needle and expected us to keep him still while he took a call. The needle slipped and then he tried poking it in again. We decided Chew was better off dehydrated than tortured. We paid the man Rs. 200 for his troubles. I had brought him home on my two wheeler. He expected me to reach him to the main road so he could go home easily. I gave him clear directions and bid him goodnight.

The next day we went to Moitri. Dr. Sourav Banerjee understood what was wrong with him even before the blood tests were done and prescribed the proper medicines and fluid. When the test results came out we found Chew was suffering from diabetes, chronic renal failure and accompanying non regenerative anemia. He was NOT supposed to have been on a high protein diet. Haemaccel® would have killed him sooner because of its crystalline nature. It is contraindicated in case of renal problems. (Here is a page that provides relevant information on it). Dr. Banerjee was almost apologetic and nodded his head while looking at the report: ‘ I don’t know what to say’ he said. And i could see that he saw his patients as patients, and that he was a doctor, not a businessman. Chew died two days later, at five to four in the morning of June 12, 2008. His eyes had gone still and had remained that way for the last four hours of his life. I don’t think he recognized any of us any during those final hours.

This is Two.

Why he has such a curious name is a different story. Two had not been well for a very long time. He had been treated by so called doctors, including Dr. Soumen Chatterjee when he visited us for Chew. Two was prescribed an antibiotic and a mouth gel and a spray which I could not locate in any of the Medical Stores that i went to. There was apparently nothing seriously wrong with him except for some mouth/tooth infection, and perhaps he had also caught a bit of cold. After Chew died we did not delay further and took him to Moitri. Dr. Sourav Banerjee, as before, did not need a blood test to diagnose his condition. The test results were less unfortunate than Chew’s: Two was suffering from chronic renal failure with a creatinine count of 10.4  (Chew measured above 14) and acute anemia (5.8). Two was kept on medicine and mostly fluid – twice daily- for a month. I took leave from work during the last phase to look afer him constantly as also to turn the Net upside down for some remedy. I went to work on July 11, 2008 and called home. Two had passed away at quarter to eleven in the morning.

He would put up a fight whenever we tried to administer the fluid. The solution was simple, which we should have found out earlier than we did: we only had to put him in my mother’s lap – or should I say, his mother’s lap, and he would be quiet. He was on her lap when he died. He had looked around, just before death. Ma thought he was looking for me. Possible. Guests, who heard him call ma were always surprised to hear him call calling ‘maa’ and not ‘meow’. He was four and a half years old when he died. He had never really grown up. Liked to sit with ma in the kitchen. Would sleep beside her, with a paw on her. He was the big healthy baby who did not like his mother talking on the phone. He would keep meowing whenever she did, and even tried to take the receiver away from her with his paw.

I am glad Chew and Two died the way they did. It could have been much worse. They could have drowned, like Meemee. Or poisoned, like Lomba Lej. Or dumped somewhere – probably in a lake, by our neighbours, in a sack, like at least four others. We are thankful they died amongst their family knowing always that they were loved and cared for.

Chronic Renal Failure in Cats

Feline CRF can happen because of a number of reasons. The symptoms are quite clear, however. Increased thirst, weight loss, wounds that refuse to heal, foul breath usually accompanied by dental tartar, weak hind legs in many instances – which is also a clear symptom of diabetes. I have also noticed other symptoms which may or may not be clinically acknowledged. Cats thus affected tend to go for raw fish or meat. The reason being, protein, generally speaking, is not particularly healthy for CRF cats since the weakened kidneys cannot get rid of the toxins produced through protein metabolism. On the other hand, without protein, cats are weakned further. They seem to know instinctively, which some doctors also know, that the protein content in raw meat/fish is absorbed almost completely by the body leaving little or no toxic waste for removal. If you are unfortunate enough to have a CRF cat in your family, please do not force him to eat the usual Renal Diet which he will probably find unappealing.  A raw fish diet is just fine. They seem to know their health better than we do. Chew had stopped eating rice almost completely. It was not until the blood work was done that we knew he was diabetic. Please don’t force your cat to eat what he doesn’t want to. Understand that he may be terminal, and he needs all the love and care that you can give him. He might not understand why you have put him on a restricted diet, especially when his inbuilt mechanism is telling him to go exactly for the food that you will not let him have. Dr. Banerjee tried his best, but after the final blood work, he simply said, ‘There is nothing more that we can do; give him whatever he wants to eat; let him remain happy and comfortable’. We hope we were able to do just that.

Another symptom – very important when you have to diagnose a doctor: a real doctor will not lament that animals cant talk , that they cannot tell us of their grief. A real doctor will know. And in spite of his knowing he will insist upon tests just to make sure that his diagnosis is correct. Both Dr. Chatterjee and Dr. Banerjee are associated with Moitri. I really have no idea why Dr. Chatterjee could neither diagnose the problems nor bother to get blood tests done when he could see that the animal that was his patient could not talk to us.

This article may be found in my website in this page. There is much that I would like to put in here, including a review of vets that I have come to know personally, and where one can find decent facilities for animals in Kolkata, as also what to avoid. I also intend to publish my own experience with Alternative Remedies and their efficacy as far as animals are concerned. Please visit in a month for updates.

Written by kapush

July 30, 2008 at 11:09 am

Posted in Animal Welfare

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