Long newsy NEWS at Mythicbells

January has been a busy month for me: weather issues, migraines, kitty issues, projects to do, and fur fur fur everywhere.

In the kitty news — no, sorry, no impending kittens yet, but we are hopeful.  Sahara usually goes into heat in February or March.  This has turned out to be a good thing this year as it gave me a bit more time to finally get around to addressing the problems with Sahara’s teeth.  Most of you won’t remember, but over a year ago, I had her teeth cleaned and we discovered that she suffers from FORLS (Feline Oral Resorptive Lesions).  She had several extractions at that time, but I was reluctant to remove any of her canines.  These lesions are like kitty cavities, but they can’t be treated like human cavities.  Filling them doesn’t stop the erosion.  So far the only recourse they have is to remove the affected teeth.  It is believed that these teeth cause quite a bit of pain until they are removed.  Furthermore, it’s unlikely that you are going to discover them unless the kitty is under anesthesia for a teeth cleaning since the erosion is below the gum line.

Much of the preventative ‘stuff’ you are urged to attend to for the care of your cats’ teeth is not aimed at FORLS but at plaque and gum disease.  The lesions are something different entirely.  They start eating away at the teeth and, like the Terminator, THE WILL NOT STOP until the tooth is gone or falls out.  I imagine that FORLS are more common than we are generally aware of.  A kitty loses a tooth. Maybe we notice, maybe not, but if we do we just shrug and think little of it.  Chances are it wasted away to the point it dropped out.  Or you take your kitty to the vet for a dental and the vet tells you that they had to do an extraction.  You think nothing of that either except that your pocket book is a bit (a lot!) lighter, but it’s probable that tooth was decaying due to lesions.  It turned out that three of Sahara’s canine teeth were affected.  As you can imagine, an extraction of a canine is a MAJOR ordeal for both cat and vet.  The roots of lower canine teeth go way down into the mandible of the lower jaw.  However, my vet was surprised to discover that the roots of these canines had been completely absorbed into the bone of her jaws.  Essentially those canines were no longer anchored by anything.  It made the surgery quite a bit less complicated. She had her oral surgery a week ago and this time I allowed them to remove the canines.  There were a few other miscellaneous teeth removed as well, SO, Sahara (aka Fang) is now down to one upper canine and few small teeth.  She recovered nicely and seems quite chipper.  I suspect that she feels a lot better as well.  I’m also relieved that removal of the canines did not mar her stupendous beauty at all.  Those of you who have Sahara’s kittens will be wondering if this condition is hereditary.  I asked the vet that question and have also done some research.  To date, they have not made a hereditary link, nor do they know what causes FORLS in cats.  Obviously dental issues do happen in younger cats.  In fact “they” say that all cats show problems by about two or three years of age.  Sahara is 4 1/2.  Some breeds are more prone to dental problems — Persians because of the shorter muzzles and more crowded teeth and Abyssinian for reasons I don’t know.

SO, that’s the story on Sahara.  She may not have any teeth, but she is in excellent health and was caught racing around like a crazy cat in the enclosure yesterday.  She also has quite the CATitude about being groomed and has me tearing my hair out over trying to keep her fur in a more or less knot-free condition.  I gave up on Nugget and, as many of you know who watch my videos, I broke down and gave her a full bear cut followed by a bath.  The others are all in great shape with the possible exception of Koi Koi who has the same nasty CATitude as her auntie Sahara.  I will be needing to take her in hand sooner rather than later, I think.  The question is, how to accomplish that and get out with my skin intact.

One more kitty news item.  I have been … am attempting to … go 100% raw food with their diet.  Sometimes it seems easier to just pop open a can or, in my case a few dozen cans, than to keep up with the raw even though I buy about 50% commercially made and the other 50% is a simple matter of mixing in a few supplements.  I slowly began feeding more canned due to the kittens.  I haven’t decided yet how to handle that, but am considering raising the next litter on an all raw diet.  Most are transitioned one way or another willy nilly despite my recommendations over to a plethora of diets anyway.  The kitties LOVE the commercial Rad Cat which is unfortunate because it costs a small fortune.  SIGH!  On the upside, I’m well motivated as I was seeing to my dismay more than your average kitty intestinal issues (mainly diarrhea) in Simba Kahn and Tiny Bear.  There are so many things that cause diarrhea in cats.  It’s the bane of my existence!  I know that most cats do fine on whatever us humans decide they are going to eat.  Many limp along with mild chronic issues.  And there are a few that have other health concerns that cause intestinal problems that are unrelated to diet but perhaps acerbated if not given a diet totally appropriate for a carnivore.  In general, I feel that a good meat based canned food is fine, but with two of my cats having problems, I felt it was time for another shift.  Poor Simba Kahn (my biggest Fancy Feast addict) has been without Fancy Feast for a couple of weeks… but his poo no longer smells (and it has ALWAYS been over the top in the odor department) and there is no diarrhea.  It’s a little early to tell yet if this is going to be the solution for Tiny Bear, but she has also been diarrhea free for a couple of weeks.

I was going to make this a quick post to show off the completion of my project and there I went and got all wordy!!  Oh, well.  I finally managed to finish the secretary and get it put back together.  Here it is:



… and after:



Next project – 24 x 30 canvas oil painting of Sahara (it’s been a very long time since I’ve done any of this kind of art):



22 responses to “Long newsy NEWS at Mythicbells

  1. What a difference in your secretary, Molly! I really like the side designs especially now with the flowers and bugs added in. I think you did a great job. Now it fits in with the rest of your home decor.

  2. Oh Molly,
    Thanks for all the news thats fit to eat, touch and feel at MythicSmells.
    Glad Saharas managing so well on so few TEEF.

    The Secretary (forgot what the British equivalent term is – Writing Cabinet?) is amazing. I adore the dragon on the drawers at the front, in particular.

    Good luck with Sahara’s picture – I look forward to see that complete as well.


  3. I was so happy to see a long, newsy update from you in my inbox today!! 🙂

    So sorry to hear Sahara has had such an ordeal with her teeth. I am glad she is feeling better now. So do you now have to feed her seperately, or is the rabbit meat pretty finely ground?

    I have my dog on a raw diet (chicken), but havent switched my kitties over yet. I feed them Fancy Feast though (at your advice). So even with the rabbit meat you have to add suppliments? Do you have time to shoot me some links to the suppliers you use?

    Wow! Love, love, love the secretary now! I love everything about it, but my favorite parts are the sides! They are fantastic (and thank you for the close up)!

    Cant wait to see the finished portrait of Sahara.

    • I’m no expert, but one thing you have to be careful of is that they get enough taurine. If not they can go blind.

      • Yes, taurine is one of the supplements I add. You’ll notice that most of the commercial raw frozen foods do not have taurine added. Which I find interesting and can only assume that’s because the natural taurine in raw meat is not destroyed by the cooking process. However, some studies indicated that rabbit meat is lower in taurine than other meats. How true this is, I don’t know, but I never take the chance and always had taurine to any meat mix I prepare at home.

    • Kelly,

      I’ll shoot you off an email. Minimal supplements to the ground rabbit since it incl. bone and organs. My supplier also does chicken now too. He sells the rabbit in diff. grinds (i.e. fine, coarse, etc.) I ordered the course ground this last time (before Sahara’s surgery) but haven’t received it yet. Still, I think she will be fine with it. If not she can eat the Rad Cat which she likes best anyway. Sahara does fine with the ground up meat which is what they all eat. Occasionally I throw in hearts and gizzards from the grocery store. I saw her chewing on a piece, but I think KF finished it for her.

      • Molly…how much do you think it would cost to feed two small (7.25 and 9 lbs) cats a raw diet on Rad Cat? on rabbit?

        P & Z are doing fine on what they are eating (Blue Buffalo Indoor Health Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe), but I am thinking of at least switching them to Blue Buffalo Wilderness as it is completely grain-free. Ideally I’d love to switch them to raw, but I just don’t know if it’s feasible for me.

      • If what you are doing is working, I’d stay with that, Mindy. Plus I believe you said their diet is guided by a specialist? You can do the math – if you get Rad Cat at a Pet Food Express that gives you a 4th free if you buy 3 and you get the largest tub which is 24 oz it boils down to $8 per pound of food. If you make your own, it’s more economical. An adult cat will eat 3 – 5 oz a day.

      • I was just curious how much it would cost. I’m definitely planning on trying the completely grain-free option from Blue Buffalo as they are still vomiting, just MUCH less frequently.

      • I checked and Pet Food Express is in CA only, but I found a natural and holistic pet supply store not too far from me, so I might experiment. I’ve been tossing it around in my head for so long I might just get it out of my system. I’ve also been seriously questioning the judgement of my so-called GI specialist since our last visit when he recommended trying Hills Prescription food again, which is loaded with crap. They used to eat I/D, which was supposed to be for cats with GI issues, but it was loaded with wheat, corn, and crap…lots of vomiting from P & Z. This time it was the supposed hypoallergenic formula Z/D, but the ingredients were brewers rice and a LONG list of chemicals. They both vomited immediately and were VERY thirsty. I’m convinced that vets get a kick-back from Hills. I immediately went back to Blue Buffalo. It’s like there’s a conspiracy to make pets sick so they need more vet care.

  4. My older cat (15 yr) is very resistant to grooming too, and would snap at the vets when being shaved. I finally broke down and got a clipper of my own and used one of the spacer heads to clip most of the back half to be relatively short.

    He was actually pretty tolerant of it unless the clipper hit a knot or mat. More tolerant than of brushing or combing, even.

    Since he had mats parts were pretty horrid looking at first, but now he looks pretty decent, and with less fur he can keep himself tidier on his own.

  5. Super artwork, Molly. Love the oil of Sahara. Am also rediscovering painting after an incredible snowbound winter.

  6. I’m so glad to hear that Sahara is on the mend! My first dachshund had teeth issues, but hers were due to pyorrhea. Not fun, either way…

    For Tiny Bear and Simba Kahn has your vet mentioned trying a course of Flagyl (metronitazole) to see if it has any effect. With Phoebe & Zoey’s IBD a tiny dose 3 times a week keeps the diarrhea away and has significantly decreased the incidences of vomiting. Especially if you continue to see diarrhea once they are FF free, it might be something to consider, although I doubt the FF would be causing the diarrhea since the flavors you fed them were corn, wheat, etc. free.

    The secretary looks awesome! I have to agree with the others who said the sides were their favorite! I’m sure your painting of Sahara will be beautiful, especially considering how magnificent (albeit toothless) she is!

    • Thank you, Mindy. Yes, we’ve been doing the Flagyl or we were up until 2 weeks ago. SK’s issues *seem* to be gone, but until I cut out the canned he still managed to drive me out of the house with a litter box deposit. Why some cats are more odoriferous than others I don’t know, but suspect that it must be a slight deficiency in their digestion even if they have not overt problems. The difference in the litter boxes from canned to dry is something no one believes until they actually try it and is probably neither here nor there. Tiny Bear has turned up an elevated liver enzyme in a recent blood test and also in several done a few years ago. it’s possible that she may have something else going on, but there’s no point in worrying about it yet. I’m hopeful that diet will mitigate ……

      • Oh, I know that awful smell all too well! Before P & Z’s IBD was stabile, I would know IMMEDIATELY if one of them was having a flare. It was this awful, putrid smell! Luckily, giving them the Flagyl on a regular basis has worked. We have tried a few times to eliminate it, but after a week or so, the ‘pudding,’ as my vet calls it, returns. I was down to only giving it (1/8 of the smallest tablet available) 2X/week, but increased to 3X/week because of increased vomiting. My vet said it is such a tiny amount that it’s not likely to cause long-term problems, especially since the alternative is definitely not good for them (or me). Pilling them was quite an issue for a while as the pill has a really bad taste so I had to get it in liquid from a compounding pharmacy for a while. Then I discovered the salmon pill pockets, which they were both easily eating…and life was much easier. Now, they have both decided they don’t want to eat the pill pockets anymore, but luckily if I put the pill in the pill pocket, I’m able to easily push it down their throat as it’s just the right size. I just make sure that it has gone all the way down before I let them go. I should have known it was too good to be true when they ate the pill pockets so easily…lol!

  7. Wonderful newsy Newsletter Molly, sorry to hear poor Sahara had to have some extractions 😦 I am sure it will not worry her eating.
    The writing Bureau looks wonderful – you did a grand job in transforming the whole look and I am sure you are pleased with it yourself.
    I also look forward to seeing ‘Sahara’ on canvas when finished, it looks as if you have made a great start already, good luck!! 🙂

  8. Thanks for all the news Molly. Be it long and wordy, I always enjoy reading every part of it. The secretary looks amazing and I’m looking forward to seeing the completed artwork of Sahara. Sahara and Sequoia are definately the two ‘ divas’ in the Barr household by the sound of it.

  9. I must say, after reading that, I feel like I’ve taken a seminar. Molly is a fabulous teacher and makes the information easy to understand. Informative though it was, I was osrry to hear that Sahara had such a problem in the first place. Poor little girl. But, I am glad she is feeling better.
    Also, you did an amazing job on the secretary !!!!

  10. Im thinking of Sahara and hope she willl not be suffering from FORL in the ones she got left. She is beauty with our withour teeth and maybe we will see her doing a “Simba Kahn” later on. (tounge out)
    Do wildcats get FORL? My vet couldnt answer this and I was thinking of the discussion above regarding taurine and nutritions.
    And bear cut, I have never lion trimmed a chinchilla/Silver shaded/Golden but I used to lion trim my blue cream smoke Persian girl every summer.
    She loved to be trimmed and the machine vibrations, and when the had 3mm lion cut the was a little bit more sensitive when cuddling and also sneaked under my pyjama to be warm at night.
    I guess if one trim a chichilla it turns out to be pink underneath, a “chipiggie”?
    The secretair/armoire is fabulous! Between the art and with the matching lady on the wall its no longer a furniture but an eyecatching bigger piece of the One and Only- Molly!

  11. Just a thought crossed my mind Molly (not a very long journey) but you do realize of course that you have prepared and finished your secretary just in time to welcome in ‘ the year of the DRAGON! ‘

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