Thursday, January 7, 2010

Murray Now in Colorado

August 21, 2011--A new picture of Murray. And a note from his Mom, Angela:
I think we finally have Murray converted to wet food as of this weekend. He was a stubborn stinker and I will admit I wasn't trying super hard. I started feeding Mishi in the same room as him (all the cats were being fed separately - long story) and he eats canned food - Fancy Feast. Well, after he saw Mishi eating it - he took an interest. When I had given it to him before, he had turned his cute little nose up at it. It looks like he has lost some weight, as well - which is a good thing because he was a bit of an oinker.
My thoughts. Murray may have been a big boy, but he is so very sweet. See the video below. That was shortly after he came to Spa Venita, and he was so comfortable. I am sure that he is happy as can be with Angela.


Update 4/30/10--Murray's Thank You note.


Update 4/25/10--Two days ago, I drove up the NJ Turnpike to gather Murray and his belongings from Dawn. He made just a few peeps in the car, and came with a boatload of stuff. He came with his Purina dry, but I put a plate of FF Chicken Feast down for his consideration.

I slept in Murray's room that night, and he slept part of the time on my feet but mostly on his blanket. He is a die-hard dry food boy. Loves to be petted, and purrs for it. After I plugged up the hole he broke in the bottom of my mattress foundation (so that he would have a hidey hole), I opened up his carrier, and he now considers that his "safe spot." Sadly, it's a hard sided carrier and won't be going on the plane with him.

He loves his feather toy. He tries to jump for it. What a thud his ~18 lbs makes.

If you look again at his video, you will see he has light spots on his cheeks. Almost makes him look like a cartoon cat.

He's a lover.

Yesterday, Angela flew in to take him home. By that time he was pretty accustomed to Spa Venita and was not hiding much. He played with Angela with his feather toy.

Angela sorted through Murray's belongings and selected a few to be shipped to her. She held him for a picture before they went on their way.

Late last night, Angela posted on the FDMB.
We're home...And at least one of us is absolutely exhausted and one of us is hiding under the bed. I will let you decide who is exhausted and who is hiding. But I will apologize if it this post makes it appear that I do not have command of the English language.

It was a relatively uneventful trip. Although I did lose my ankles somewhere over the Midwest and picked up a bee-yoo-ti-ful pair of cankles.

We got through security with minimal excitement. I pulled Murray out of the carrier and he wrapped his front paws around my neck and his back paws around my waist and held on. One of the security guys was looking in the other direction when I pulled Murray out. When the security guy turned back around he said, "What is that?!?!" When I told him it was a cat and showed him Murray's beautiful face, he said that's not a cat, that's a tiger, what does he eat?" Poor Murray. My heart was pounding when it was time to get him back in the carrier. But he went right back in with little struggle.

During the flight, he was such a good, good boy! Hardly a peep out of him - most people around me didn't even realize that there was a cat on board.

I put him in the spare room with a litter box and a carrier - although not his - because he found his own carrier to be such a comfort. I laid his blanket out on the spare bed. Shortly, I will be giving him some of the NV Raw Rabbit that Peanut and Mishi eat sprinkled with some of his dry Kitten Chow (ugh!) - I am hoping that he will be a raw fanatic like my other guys are. But am not holding my breath - it sounds like he may be a difficult convert.

I can hear him upstairs right now - he does not land lightly when he jumps off the spare bed. But I don't even think my guys know there is another kitty in the house. Peanut is sitting here demanding that he be fed....his dinner is 3 hours late......

So I'm going to feed the boys, take a bath, and collapse into bed.

Thank you all who donated, sent good vibes/wishes. And thank you Venita for your wonderful hospitality and for everything that you did to get Murray to his new happy home!


Update 3/26/10--The same day that I posted the update below, Angela (CyrusMishi&Angela on the FDMB), who lives in Colorado, stepped up to adopt Murray. Angela filled out the adoption application, Murray's current Mum reviewed that and called Angela's references, and heartily approved Angela as Murray new Mom.

I am working on a commercial flight for Angela to come pick Murray up the weekend of April 24-25. Angela will be flying into Philly (cheaper and nonstop flights), so I will have to get Murray down to my home for a night or two.

I will be looking for transport help once I find out from Murray's current Mum when he is available to travel and whether she can help drive.

Murray's current Mum will be putting up $200 for the plane fare. I am fundraising for between $140 and $220 to finance the rest of the flight.


Update 3/12/10--From Murray's Mum:
I'm going to reach out to Liz soon as I need to see about giving him up to a no-kill shelter - it's the best option if no one is willing to take him at this point. He will at least get more face-time, one-on-one exposure in a no kill shelter.

Update 3/4/10--Email from Murray's Mum:
Murray made a trip to the vet on Monday - he is now up to date with his shots and I've posted some flyers so we'll see how that goes. He is now on some temporary medication (Amoxicllan and an Antihistamine) for a skin allergy. The vet was not sure what it was from, but said it did not appear to be driven by fleas since he did not have any on his coat and he does not go outdoors. The only thing I can think of is maybe he's experiencing allergies to the cleaning products I use (Clorox and Fantastic for the little box and Cinch for everywhere else). I don't know, but this poor little guy can't get a break! I really wish someone out there would take a chance on him! Even the vet commented how good he is during the visit - he was given two shots and still remained calm, purring right afterward when I pet him.

I also told the vet that I have not given him insulin based on your analysis. I inquired about testing his blood for fructose, but she said there was no need since his urine was already showing no signs of glucose.
I suggested to Murray's Mum that it might be a food allergy, which might have resulted from a change to wet food. I suggested that she eliminate beef, fish, wheat gluten, grains, and soy. If his skin clears up, could then add them back in, one at a time, to see what (if it is a food allergy) the culprit might be.

In response, Murray's Mum said Murray is still eating the dry purina kittten chow and sometimes fancy feast- chicken, turkey, or beef. "He is not keen on wet food so he doesn't always eat it even though I leave it out for him to eat at his leisure."


Update 2/24/10--Cats in Need has signed up as a rescue on Adopt a Pet, and Murray is our first listing.

Murray also has an adoption flyer.


Update 2/2/10--Murray has been posted on PetFinder.

Update January 25, 2010--Email from Murray's Mom.
Murray has been completely off insulin since Thursday (Jan 21). I have checked his glucose levels in his urine twice using Clinistix and both times came up negative for glucose. He doesn't like wet cat food much, but he did eat some of the tender beef feast classic by Fancy Feast. I'll stay away from fish flavors.

The Clifton NJ Animal Shelter (from which Murray was adopted) has agreed to list him on its Petfinder page. Murray's Mom has been working on a cute description. I have sent Murray's info off to some rescues who call on me when they have diabetic cats, and they are crossposting Murray.


Update January 22, 2010--Murray Mom has responded twice. Among her comments:
Thank you for you suggestions and I am hoping we find Murray a new caregiver soon. I had been doing the same frequency of insulin shots for about a year. The vet had said I could test his glucose with urine strips so that is what I was doing to test the glucose until I saw that he seemed stable on a regular basis - I cannot draw blood. I have been giving him no wet food, only Purina Kitten Chow (dry food) as suggested by the vet for the past few years (since he was diagnosed).

Your comment that he is a diet controlled diabetic does make sense based on what I'm learning from you, but I don't understand why the vet never addressed this with me when I took him in each time and results showed normal blood fructose levels. I had just assumed what I was doing was working. His last visit was in December 09 and I did tell them that I was giving him the insulin every three to four days - they in turn said I should be giving it to him every day and did not say anything further when the results cae back excellent - only that they were surprised his blood fructose showed excellent results.

I appreciate all your help and I will follow up with [the Clifton NJ Animal Shelter] as well to see what additional steps we can take to get him adopted by a caregiver willing to test his blood periodically as well as control his diet.

I appreciate that you will continue to promote Murray as he is indeed a special kitty.

The biggest help I could use is to find Murray a good home where someone can give him the special attention he needs as soon as possible. I am doing the best I can in ensuring he gets the proper care needed and stopped the insulin as you suggested. Yes I use the strips, like Diastix, that test the urine for glucose.

I haven't heard back from [the Clifton NJ Animal Shelter] yet regarding Petfinder so the only site he's posted on is your message board site.


Update January 20, 2010--After Nancy's visit to Murray and reviewing Murray's blood test records from the vet, I wrote the following to his Mom, and copied the Clifton NJ Animal Shelter:
I seriously question whether your Murray is currently diabetic. I am not a veterinarian. I am a person who has treated a diabetic cat for 4.5 years.

When Nancy (a member of the Feline Diabetes Message Board—FDMB) came to visit Murray, she was able to test his blood glucose level and Murray measured 76 mg/dl, which is a non-diabetic level.* Nancy did that test 2 days after you had given Murray 5.2 units of insulin. Diabetic cats normally need insulin every 12 hours. For Murray to have a reading of 76 two days after an insulin shot makes it appear that he does not need insulin shots—his body seems to be producing the insulin he needs.

I also reviewed blood tests that Murray received at his vet. The results show that Murray has likely not had diabetic blood glucose levels since November 2007. His blood glucose level on November 17, 2007, was 34 mg/dl, a hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) level. All the fructosamine tests since show “excellent glycemic control.”

Often diabetic cats go into remission and no longer need insulin. This can especially be the case with infection- and steroid-induced diabetes. Murray was diagnosed with diabetes two months after he was treated with dexamethasone (a steroid) and ampicillin and amoxi (antibiotics).

I do not know the frequency or amount of insulin you have been giving Murray since November 2007. As you know, hypoglycemia is a risk for any cat on insulin and especially one who spends a lot of time at home alone. I am concerned that the sporadic, large doses of insulin that you currently give Murray put him at grave risk for hypoglycemia, which can lead to seizures, coma, brain damage, or death.

You know how to test Murray’s blood glucose levels at home, and Nancy left the tools to do that. I believe that it is the very high carbohydrate dry food you feed him and Murray’s body’s own natural defenses that have kept him safe thus far. But there is just so long one can play Russian Roulette before the bullet leaves the chamber.

I suggest you immediately consult with a vet about Murray’s current diabetic status. Too often, caregivers who are not testing a cat’s blood glucose levels at home and their vets do not realize that the cat is in remission until the cat suffers a hypoglycemic episode. I do not want to see that be Murray’s fate. If you would like me to go with you to the vet to explain why I believe Murray does not need insulin, I would be happy to do that. Or perhaps Nancy could go; you already know her and hopefully feel comfortable with her.

I believe that Murray should be treated like a diet-controlled diabetic. I suggest that you stop all insulin shots now, even before consultation with the vet. I recommend that you occasionally test Murray’s blood glucose levels. I suggest that you feed Murray low-carbohydrate wet food to keep his blood glucose levels in a non-diabetic range. You can use a timed feeder or a pet sitter to do that when you are away from home on business.

If you have further information about Murray’s diabetic treatment since November 2007 that counters my belief that Murray is no longer diabetic, I would like to discuss that with you.

At this time, it seems to me that the Clifton Animal Shelter could promote Murray’s adoption through its Petfinder page and through adoption events as a diet-controlled diabetic. I believe that with the broader audience of potential adoptees, Murray will very quickly have another loving home.

Nancy's visit turns out to be great news for Murray chances as an adoption candidate. Nancy found Murray to be healthy, loving, and playful, all making him highly adoptable. A future owner will have to take care with his diet and with periodic blood glucose tests, but those are simple things that should not bar Murray from re-adoption.

I also wish to continue to promote Murray’s adoption through the FDMB Cats in Need Blog and the FDMB.

* This wiki article will help you understand the meaning of different measures of blood glucose level in a cat.)

Update January 15, 2010--Nancy (BobsMom) visited Murray and filed this report:
Awww what an adorable cat. He is overweight but he is actually quite playful as well. He walks fine and loves his feather toy. He is quiet and calm and just a lovely cat with a wonderful attitude. His eyes, ears and nose all appear to be clear. His breath did not appear to smell bad which I guess means that his teeth are okay. Here is the best part, he let me check his blood and.....................BG's 76!!!! last shot of PZI two days ago. 5.2u

Murray appears to be very loved and spoiled by [his Mom]. She is a really nice girl who wants the best for him. They have a quiet home and he is the only cat. She showed me all his medical records. They were receipts and they did not show what if anything was wrong, just a list of meds and prices. I am no expert, but I saw absolutely nothing out of the ordinary. No high priced vet bills that would indicate any type of medical problem. He has only ever been to this vet except once when she first got him. I do need to mention that he only eats dry food, kitten chow.

Oh, one more thing. I wish that I had brought a camera because his pictures did not do him justice. He is really handsome boy.

Honestly, all around nice cat and anyone would be very lucky to have him as pet.

PS - I left a brand new contour meter with Dawn, along with many test strips and 100 lancets so that Murray's new owner will not have to buy those things. I really hope he finds a home.

Update 1/10/10--Yesterday's email from Murray's Mom:

Murray has a special litter box (made by Tidy Cat) with a drawer that comes out making it easy to test the urine for glucose. When not using it for testing, a deodorized pad is in the drawer to soak up the urine - pad needs to be changed once a week. I can give this litter box to his new owner along with additional supplies I've been using for Murray (shampoo, his own towels, toothbrush, cat carrier, his favorite toys, food dishes, etc.). I'm also willing to donate $200 toward his care to the new owner as a token of my gratitude for being able to give him the special attention he deserves.

I can also arrange for a visit if anyone wants to meet him.

I hope to get someone from the FDMB over to visit Murray this week. I am also hoping to get copies of Murray's vet records released to that person.


1/7/10--I received this email a couple days ago:

I am a volunteer at a shelter in Clifton, NJ. We have someone who has a cat which was recently diagnosed with diabetes, he is super affectionate and known as "the hugger". He is about 4-5 years old and his owner has been doing bloodwork and giving him insulin. Her job is changing and she will be traveling more often and can not care for him properly anymore. Any advice/help/guidance will be appreciated; she is looking to place him somewhere he will get the right love and attention he needs and deserves.

I sent a follow-up email and got this information:
  1. Name? Murray
  2. Breed/markings? Tabby, Brown/Black Fur, Green Eyes
  3. Declawed? No
  4. Picture? Pending
  5. Any other comments on general disposition other than those already stated? He is shy at first, but takes about a week or so to warm up to someone. Once he knows them, he loves to be near people and will sit on your lap or next to you. He comes when I whistle. He's obedient. He likes to play (favorite toys are feather toys). He likes to cuddle.
  6. How does the cat get along with other cats, with dogs, and with children? I don't have children of my own, but he was fine with visitors. I don't have other pets so not sure about other animals. My guess is that he would not attack any animals and stay away from them - he doesn't strike me as an extrovert.
  7. Will the cat be leaving/has the cat left a home where he was particularly bonded with another pet? N/A
  8. How long diabetic? Diagnosed in Oct 2007
  9. How diagnosed? Vet checked blood/fructose levels
  10. History of DKA or hypoglycemia? Not sure
  11. Past and current clinical symptoms of diabetes? Drinks alot of water
  12. Current insulin (type/amount/frequency)? PZI insulin - 5.2 units once every 3 to 4 days a week. Short syringe U-100.
  13. Accustomed to hometesting with a glucometer? I have a special litter box ( I can provide it to the new owner) where a draw comes out and you can dip the stick in the pee to check glucose.
  14. History of blood glucose readings? (If a spreadsheet isn't available on the web, perhaps a general description of the cat's readings.): Last test was months ago - result was normal.
  15. Other health issues, including any recent or current dental, urinary tract, or upper respiratory problems? He may have allergies as he sneezes sometimes, but nothing diagnosed.
  16. Any behavior problems (such as spraying or inappropriate urination)? Inappropriate urination when he was sick right before diabetes diagnosis. If I don't clean the litter box for several days, he defecates next to it.
  17. Status of vaccinations? Rabies in 2007.
  18. Are vet records available? Can a potential adopter speak to the cat's current vet? Yes. Parkview animal hospital in Passaic. Dr. Staubach
  19. Anything else you think a potential adopter might want to know? He's a shy boy at first, but after getting to know you, he's a purr machine and will be your best friend. He's a lap cat and loves to climb into bed, sit next to you, watch tv and such. He's a gentle giant - never bit me or growled at me. He also loves to be held and sometimes hugs you when held. He also loves to be brushed.
Right now he eats only dry food - Purina Kitten Chow and sometimes Purina Indoor Chow mixed in. Dr. said to keep him on a higher protein diet and recommended kitten chow for that reason. It seems to be working as his last visit on 12/11/09 and showed blood fructose levels in excellent condition.

At this point, I give him insulin every three to four days. His medication costs about $30 every quarter and needles about $25 every 6 months (Wedgewood Pharmacy - mail order RX). Shipping and tax is about $12. Next RX to be refilled is in March. His vet is Parkview Animal Hospital in Passaic (Dr Staubach and his assistant).

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