Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Birthday Boys!

My "Brother-Boys", Henry (left) and Brother (right), turned one year old around the beginning of April. As you can see, Brother is a strapping lad of a cat and Henry is a forever kitten.

From the back their size discrepancy is much more pronounced. Brother weighs in around 10 pounds and Henry's struggles to stay at five pounds.

April was not a good month for Henry. He fell just below five pounds and it took some intensive food therapy to get him to gain anything. At his best, he gains one ounce per week. To give you some perspective of how pathetic this is, a healthy kitten gains one ounce per day!

Henry is sometimes skinny, sometimes very skinny and sometimes almost "fat". Fat, for Henry, means not skinny, but a little meat over his backbone. Yes, I can feel every ounce he weighs, or not, depending on the day. In most pictures he looks normal, but, as you can see, it's all about the angle of the camera.

These pictures of Henry in my bassinet don't even come close to showing how adorable he was on this day. When the moms came to pick up their children from childcare, they all oohed and ahhed over him. He's on the Boppy in the bassinet and it's the most ideal position and angle for him to sleep, from a digestive standpoint. I think because of the setting and the fact that he felt wonderful having his tummy in the right position, he was very, very, very relaxed and it made him look extra adorable to all of us.

I have finally come to realize that each day is different for Henry. There is no "stable" like I thought we'd reach. What works one day doesn't work the next or it works for a week straight and then never again. I frequently have to get up at night to medicate him. Ideally, he'd have a dose of Reglan exactly every 6 hours around the clock, but most of the time, well, about 70% of the time, he makes it 8 to 10 hours through the night and I don't have to get up. Henry is high maintanence and he's always going to be this way. I have more patience with him that I ever expected I could have for anything except Apple. He's so very loving that it must make me this way. I've never gotten impatient or angry with him for taking over an hour to eat one little morsel. It's so clear that he's trying hard and doing to best he can, even if he only manages to smell his food and can't take a bite.

I have to make a video, if I can, of how he smells his food. It's like a nose ballet in his little bowl!

Not to be outdone, Brother is a very loving, sensitive cat. He is bashful with strangers, but velcro with me. He has a sense of humor and loves to play. He loves taking his toys out of the basket and putting them all over the house. He and Merlin are perfect wrestling mates. They are never too rough with each other, ever! Brother is very clever; he can open plastic food containers and eat the food before you can blink. Merlin and Poppy are his accomplices. He can talk and has a sweet, high voice. I love when he talks. If he was human, he'd sound a bit like M.J., I think, high pitched and breathy, but soft-spoken and melodic.

Brother is very tactile with his front paws. He loves to touch things with his "hands." If I rub or pet them, he's in heaven. He pats me and reaches out if I pass by him. He can reach into impossible spaces and retrieve things, often things he shouldn't be getting into.

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