Tora The Super Cat

July 13th, 2015

One of a Kind Cats Who Loved Humans, Animals, and Car Rides!

After fighting with a very aggressive cancer for about six weeks, Tora took his last breath while my husband and I were beside him. He was so brave, strong, and courageous, and he never showed any wimpy attitude toward his illness. It was about “living” for him, and not “dying”.


My absolute favorite picture of Tora taken by my friend, Johnny, the cat photographer! Fall 2014

He was able to walk (slowly though) and get wherever he wanted to until the very last week. He has been a very active cat his whole life, so we were so thankful that he had good quality of life right up to a couple of days before his passing. He enjoyed going outside through a cat door, sat on a shelf watching the world go by, and Mikan (his rambunctious sister) literally goes by chasing lizzards, moths, and baby snakes. Even after he partially lost his balance in walking in his last week, he attempted and succeeded to move from where he was to where he wanted to arrive by taking short three steps at a time. He even managed to go upstairs alone to rest up until three days prior. I need to mention this, five hours before he was ready to leave for a cat heaven, he hovered on the floor to get in the litterbox! Although nothing was coming out, he “did” it by lowering his butt briefly. He was such a fastidious and clean kitty. It was so amazing to see his determination and dignity behind these actions!

A mobile vet who offers euthanization had been arranged for Monday, but he completed his life cycle by his own on Sunday. He stayed laying down in his bed as if he was taking an exceptionally long nap. He looked very calm and peaceful.


“Does anyone want to pick me up in the box?” He enjoyed the box-ride daily with a special song along with it.

Tora was my first cat. He taught me so much about cats, inspired me to be the best cat care taker for any cats on earth, having fun with cats in life, and make strong loving connections with cats. His typical day consisted of a regular super-chase with Mikan starting from the backyard through the cat door and the living room up to stairs to the second floor bedrooms, “sharking” walk around the kitchen counter at the feeding time, hide-and-seek play in the kitchen cabinet (he wanted us to call his name to look for him while he’s hiding behind the cabinet door), a couple of daily mutual grooming sessions with Mikan, and at night, a long lap time with Jeffrey, and when we were all ready for bed, he would come up on our bed, flopped down next to my shoulder to tuck me in for the night.


“Give me belly rubs, please!”









“I love sitting in my daddy’s lap while he’s driving. Not to worry, I didn’t attempt to drive.”

He was a very rare cat in that he loved a car ride. When his cat carrier showed up in the living room, he voluntarily went in and waited in there for us to close the door because he knew he would get a fun ride every single time, including a trip to the vet. He was also an official greeter to everybody who came in from the front door. He especially loved the house parties. He would sit down in our conversational circle and enjoyed the company. In fact, our most recent house guest came and stayed for several days before his passing. Despite that I had told her that she might not see Tora much this time since he had difficult time walking, she told us in the next morning that he came to her room to say hello to her by meowing and walking wobbly, let her pet him, and lied down on her computer/electrical cords. He had been always a great host and polite to all the guests over the years. He did his last assignment as a chief cat greeter so beautifully and completely. I am so proud of him.


Tora taught Mikan how to properly play-fight with him, but Tora lost some games… His sister has been grown up!

When Mikan came to our house three years ago as an orphan cat, he LOVED her from the day one – he started licking her as if he was her mother cleaning her. Well, Tora didn’t know Mikan had ringworm (we didn’t know that either!). They were a match made in heaven. They play together, eat together, sleep together, and groom each other for three years! She got lots of lessons from her big brother. I’m sure she has every skills needed by now to take over his role.

We miss terribly not seeing Tora physically because he was always around us, and pretty talkative on top of that, but when I go outside and being open to nature, he comes with the wind – I feel him immediately surrounding my body so gently with love and peace, sometimes, with playfulness.

Tora & Mikan August 2014 together

“Selfie with Mikan and Mom.”


Lots of great memories…










In next blog, I will talk about my learning from taking care of Tora, and share the resources I have used and were very helpful dealing with the challenging time of caring a very sick cat.


“Selfie with Mom and Dad in my favorite car.”



Have You Spoiled Your Cats Lately?

May 6th, 2014


I am not talking about treats or extra toys thrown on the floor.  I am talking about enrichment projects that change cats’ living environment like they wouldn’t even expect in their indoor life!

Attached a carpet to the shelf with a double-sided tape

I finally decided to install shelves on the wall for my cats to climb up to the window up high in the living room.  Technically, I added this project to my husband’s “honey-do list”.  Since this is a very important project for our furry kids’ quality of life, this item went up to the first priority of all other projects, and it was completed last weekend!

We purchased nine heavy-duty 10” x 10” shelves on Amazon and attached a thin carpet from Home Depot with double-sided tape on the shelves’ surfaces for the cats’ “grip-ability”. 

The first cat to try out was Tora.  Most of the time, he always has a casual approach to new things, people, and animals.  He is much more curious than being afraid of them.  A half way done installing the shelves, Tora already tested the upper shelves, and gave my husband further “meow-go”.

"Should I go up or not?!"

"The coast is clear!"

After all the shelves were installed, Mikan was wheeled by her irresistible toy to the shelves, and she made it to the top!  Yay!!  Now, she is the one who uses the shelves everyday when her playmate is not available when she needs him.  Actually, this project was meant for Mikan.  She escaped from our cat-fenced backyard a couple of times recently, and has been looking for something more exciting out there.  While we come up with new idea for a better cat fence, we needed indoor life enrichment for Mikan.

Mikan and Tora are going up and down the shelves everyday so far this week.  To avoid a traffic jam, we might add another long shelf to create an escape route.   They often chase each other going up the shelves. 

"We need more shelves!"

It may become a never-ending project adding another shelf one by one.  Cats are very good at pushing human companion’s creative limit/edge.  Oh well, we love them so much.  We want to do whatever takes for their happiness.  Don’t you?

Yay! Mikan made it to the top!

Easy & Nutritious Chicken Soup for Your Kitty’s Soul

February 18th, 2014


When my little girl kitty, Mikan, was a kitten and was very sick with repeated high fevers, and not eating anything, I made a batch of chicken soup for the first time for the kitties.  When I put it in front of her, she smelled it, and immediately she put her head into the bowl – licked it up every single drop, and wanted more!  I am still ever thankful for the soup because it really saved Mikan’s life.

"Chicken soup gives me lots of energy to play. Yippee!!!"

I started to incorporate the chicken soup to one of our cats’ regular variety of their meals and snacks.  It contains abundance of minerals from bones in an easily digestible liquid form for cats.  Both sick and healthy cats (and dogs) benefit from this broth.  I have given away many jars for my cat friends, and their kitties love it, too!  Here is the recipe to share.  Enjoy!


  • 3-5 lb Chicken bones (any types of bones are good – a whole carcass, thigh bones, drumsticks, etc.)  You can use the bones only or you can buy fresh chicken and cook them with meat on.  5-7 lbs. with meat.  *I used pasture-raised, hormone/antibiotic free a whole chicken carcass from Richardson Farms ($7.50) at Sunset Valley Farmer’s Market this time.  
  • 2 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar *I use Braggs organic, raw, un-filtered apple cider vinegar.


"Let's get cooking!"

  1. Place the chicken bones (and meat) in a soup pot – you need a big pot. 
  2. Add water to cover all the bones and meat completely.
  3. Add 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar into the pot.
  4. Put a cover on, bring the pot to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for a few hours, skimming the foam and extra fat (if too much) coming to the surface.
  5. After meat falls off the bones, separate and reserve the meat in a dish to give to your cats with the soup later.  Make sure there are no bones in the meat.
  6. Add more water if needed and another 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar to the pot with bones and continue cooking in low heat for another five to up to twenty-four hours.  The longer you cook the bones, more nutritious it gets.  I used to simmer only a few hours, but after I tried ten-hour cooking, I was blown away by the flavor and quality difference, so I cook more than ten hours these days.

    After 12 hours of cooking...

  7. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer to a big bowl to cool it down.  Make sure there is NO COOKED BONES in the soup.  It is dangerous to ingest.
  8. Pour the broth into ice cube trays for easy freezing/defrosting, or pour it into glass jars and keep them in the fridge and the freezer.  It is best to use it up within a week in the fridge (I sometimes let it last for two weeks, but the flavor diminishes some.) It lasts a few months in the freezer. 

I also use this yummy broth for human meals like stir-fry dishes and cooking quinoa and brown rice.   But we all know it is really chicken soup for your kitty’s soul!

Finally! My Visit to a Cat Cafe in Japan

November 19th, 2013


Neko (Cat) Cafe in Nagoya

I was totally determined to stop by one of Cat Cafes while I was visiting my parents this time.  My husband and I had only eight days to spare in this trip to do everything we wanted to do, including spending time with my parents and friends, eating delicious meals everyday, a short trip to a very nice and relaxing onsen ryokan (a traditional inn with a natural hot spring bath), shopping for small size clothes, AND going to Cat Café for the first time in my life!

As I introduced Cat Café phenomenon before, it is a business that serves people who cannot have cats at home who want to have a relaxing and fun time with the cats at the café.  They are usually in big cities.  I found one called “Cat Street”, in Nagoya, where we had to take multiple trains for 90 min. each way.  That is life in Japan – I don’t miss it at all.  I cannot believe that I did that commute via trains every single day for seven years working for a bank in Nagoya.  Well, I was early 20’s back then… not anymore.

“We have our own routine, thank you very much!”

The Cat Street was in the middle of the downtown Nagoya where many shopping and commercial buildings are on top of each other, and many small trucks, cars, motorcycles, and bicycles were crossing the streets.  My first thought was, “What a pity!  The cats could never enjoy outside life here.”  On the first floor of the building was a reception area.  We took off our shoes, and were asked to wear a pair of brand new guest socks to enter the cat area on the second floor. 

13 cats with no fights...on that day.

There they were!!  The first kitty that greeted us excitedly was a little orange tabby, Lask.  We were asked not playing with him using our hands.  The lady told us that he was under training not to scratch/bite people.  There were about 13 cats on the second floor space.  In that space, there were about five low tables with seats.  We were assigned to one of the tables, and there was a booklet of “What to do/not to do with the cats” manual on it.  There was a complimentary drinking station to self-serve many soft drinks, coffee, and tea.  The lady explained to us that the first 30min. is 700 yen (about 7 US dollars).  Then, after that, it is 500 yen ($5) per another 30min.

Jeffrey and I couldn’t waste our time there – we needed a “kitty-fix” since my parents live without cats!  While Jeffrey was playing with young crazy teenager cats, my cat radar was going towards older, rather bored cats.  There was a beautiful fluffy white cat nearby, and she was half-sleeping, or pretended being sleepy – so that, I

Thirsty Yomogi

wouldn’t bother her.  And, no, I didn’t bother her.  Soon after, I went to this pretty grey tabby named Yomogi (green vegetable plants used in Japanese sweets).  She was at first hesitating to getting to know me, but after five minutes sniffing around me, she was just fine.  She enjoyed scratching her cheeks, forehead, and back.  Purrrr… that was a “kitty-fix” for sure!  I walked around to take some pictures and to interact with other kitties.  Overall, they were all mellow and settled.  I was glad to see many shelves and cat condos for cats to climb up to and clean water fountains.  I didn’t see any dry food sitting there.  I think there is a feeding schedule.  The place was very clean and organized as it should be anywhere in Japan!  🙂

At the end of the visit, I had a short conversation with the lady who takes care of Cat Street.  She told me that all the cats were purchased from breeders, and the cats are owned by Cat Street.  Even when someone wants to adopt the cat, it could be arranged, but adoption is not the purpose of the Cat Café – my assumption was wrong.  Also, I found out that these cats go to individual cages at night after closing time at 8 pm until next morning. 

Today's traffic update

I felt sad for the cats who would live their entire lives there in the building facing the busy streets in a big city!  They cannot have any outside activities.  Well, I had to rationalize that the Cat Café as a purely business to serve humans, and not cats.  If I would do something like that, I would love to have cats to be adopted to a better place to live with caring permanent human companions.  Plus, I would make sure they have daily access to an enclosed and protected outside play area.  Cats look so happy to be outside jumping, running, and sleeping under a warm sun.  Hey, that is not too bad as a new business idea?!

"Hello, are you leaving in 30min.?"

"Hey, are you Americans, guys?"

"We are the youngest! Let's plaaay!"

My Litter Choice

August 21st, 2013

I talked about my favorite litterbox in my last blog.  It seems like a natural flow to talk about my choice of litter today.  How many different types/brands of litters do you think there are on the market?  There are more than 30!  No wonder I kept buying the same one over and over because it is so confusing.  On top of that, our finicky kitties do not like changes.

In the past, I used scented clumping litter only once because I couldn’t stand the strong perfume it contained.  I could smell the perfume hours after I scooped the litter.  That was just too much.  Then, I switched to an unscented clumping litter (Tidy Cats) and used it for a long time, but I was always wishing that there was less dust in these litters.  I know I inhale them, so  my cats must be, too.  When other alternatives became available, I tried finely-milled corn litter (World’s Best Cat Litter).  Tora and Mimi had no problem switching to it, and I felt good using eco-friendly, bio-degradable product.  However, when summer arrived, something hatched inside the litter bag and the box.  They were thousands of tiny dark-brown bugs crawling inside the litterrrr!!!  “It was creepy”, my husband said.  It happened again this summer, so that was the end of the corn-litter for us.  We tried pine pellets also.  Tora didn’t like the feeling of the pellets on his paws.  Mikan started playing with it rather than using it as a litterbox, so that was a no-go.

OK, here is my litter choice!!  Dr. Elsie’s Ultra Precious Cat. 

"Dr. Elsey's Ultra Precious Cat Litter"


This litter is a clumping type, unscented, and almost no-dust, and my cats approved.  Also, there is a sister product called, Cat Attract by Dr. Elsie’s brand.  It has been proven by my clients that it works for cats who eliminate outside the litterbox (if it is a litter issue and not territorial or medical issues).

By the way, here is an interesting article about litter types from ASPCA.  It talks about Clay v.s. Clumping.  

Here is my favorite litter mat from 3M/Scotch and it really keeps litter trapped inside the mat, and it is easy to clean.  Check it out here.

As a cat sitter to many cats, I scoop a lot of litterboxes.  It may sound counter-intuitive, but it is so easy to scoop with a small scooper.  It is light-weight, gentle to your wrist, and easy to maneuver corners of the box. 

Most importantly, let’s scoop the litterboxes every day for your beloved kitties!  The litterbox is their precious private space to leave their piece of identity.  Keeping it clean is really makes a difference for them!  They will thank YOU.


Litterbox that Works!

August 9th, 2013


Cats have their own preference as to what type of litterbox they like.  It is a finicky business for cats.  I wish they could talk and tell us what type of litter, litterbox (covered/uncovered), and what shape of the box they prefer.   It seems to be a very personal, sensitive, and even emotional relationship going on between cats and the litterbox. 

In our household, we have used both covered and un-covered (open) litterboxes for our two cats.  Tora seemed to like open litterbox slightly better, but the problem was that he is often a “stand-up pee-er”, so when he stands up peeing, the pee goes over the edge of the open litterbox.  I researched a lot and even took measurements to pet store to check the height of each litterbox.  None was tall enough for Tora’s butt-height.  I decided to go search for covered litterboxes.

It was so difficult to find “the one” which passed all the criteria I was looking for with good quality.  First of all, the bottom of the box has to be completely flat for easy and clean scoops.  Second, litterbox’s top cover part and the bottom part have to be tightly closed when the side clips are down, so that it ensures no leak from between the two loose parts.  A few brands failed my test on the tight closure.  Finally, there has to be an enough space inside the box for a cat to easily turn around and to stand up inside it, and not hitting the head/tip of the ears.

Roomy & Secure!

Well, here it is – this is the litterbox that works! 

It is a Petco brand called, Petco Enclosed Pearl Cat Litter Box “X-large”.  I removed its door for better ventilation and easy access.  It was around $35 when I bought it, but it looks like they have a sale going on right now on their site for $29.99.  I have two of them using inside the house, and one for “stand-by” in the garage. 

Mikan likes to use open-air backyard as her preference of elimination. She uses the litterbox when it rains.  She loves her cat-fenced backyard so much and she is currently enjoying her youthful life by chasing innocent critters in the yard between her bathroom breaks.

"I love a 'nature call' in real nature!"


Tora’s Last Dental Visit Ever – Hopefully…

June 14th, 2013

This Wednesday was a big day for Tora – the second dental surgery this year.  It was arranged to extract the correct tooth since the previous different vet pulled the wrong tooth in March.  It turned out that Tora needed more extensive surgery than just pulling one right tooth.  Tora has had weak teeth and gums since he was a kitten.  Now, he is almost 10 years old and I was told by the dental vet (Dr. Capron) that all of his teeth would eventually be removed surgically within a year or two because all of them show some degrees of resorptive lesions or gingivitis.  I thought, “All teeth…removed?  No teeth left at all?”  That sounded awful, as if it was a death sentence to a finicky cat-Mom’s ears, I’ll bet you all could understand that feeling.  For a second, I had a flash picture of Tora smiling without any teeth. 

"Belly rub, please?"

After reviewing the x-rays with Dr. Capron, we decided to save two front upper canines which were relatively healthiest of all – which means, all the rest should go.  It was a very hard decision for me and my husband.  We had a simple most important criterion – what was in Tora’s best interest.  Although Tora didn’t show us in an obvious way, he must have been in pain for a long time and suffering a lot, and we wanted to stop that.  Also, if it is possible, we wanted to prevent future pain happening and to avoid any harsh stress (mentally and physically) with future dental procedures.  Here is the sad truth: Tora underwent 14 extractions yesterday, including the tiny 9 front incisors!  In addition, there were two “clean-up” works to repair his fractured jaw and to remove a bone fragment left behind in the gum from the March procedure.  Dr. Capron took almost three hours to do the surgery for Tora.  Seeing the before-and-after x-rays, it was clear that Dr. Capron is an excellent, thorough, and caring dental veterinarian.  We are very happy with the result.

Today, a day after surgery, Tora is eating and drinking well.  He is also resting well.  He must know what’s done was right thing for him.  He looks much better in recovery today than the one in March.  He is not hiding in places (signs of discomfort and pain).  He is purring away when I pet him.  Today, his “cone-of-shame” (e-collar) looks like a big blue medal to me, showing how brave he has been going through this ordeal with us.

"Hello? Are you in there? What are you eating?"


Mikan must be a little worried about her brother.  She sometimes parks herself right outside Tora’s retreat room sending good vibes…  Or, is she smelling Tora’s yummy canned food under the door?  Hmmmm.

Tora and Mikan will reunite in a couple of weeks.  I will promise to you all to keep Tora’s e-collar on him for a couple of weeks, and not giving in…  If he scratches his jaw or gums without the collar, our investment to this surgery goes down the drain.   Oh, no.  That won’t be happening.

Tora’s Visit to a Dental Specialist

April 17th, 2013

After being on the waiting list to see a dental specialist, Dr. C., we got a call from his office that there was an immediate opening on Friday morning! My husband, Tora, and I visited Dr. C. for a consultation right away. We must have been lucky to visit him on that day since it was his “off-surgery” day. He spent 1.75 hrs with us going through Tora’s dental x-rays that we brought over, examining his mouth visually, and discussed how we best proceed from here. Frankly, the information he gave us was so overwhelmingly rich and vast (as in quantity), our heads were spinning so fast by the end.

"The left canine on the screen was the healthy one. It should not have been extracted."

He started out with how the dental professionals are all trained to take X-rays in a specific universal direction, so that anyone can see the image in the “right” direction. Obviously, our previous dental vet (or tech) didn’t seem to be aware of the universal rule that all images should follow a certain orientation. In all Tora’s x-ray images, the marker (which shows only one direction – toward a nose) on each image was random in direction – that indicated that either x-ray discs were faults at the manufacturer when they were made, or the previous dental vet (or tech) was ignorant about this universal rule.

Another finding was that when Lower Right two molars extracted and sutured for the second time, the sutures didn’t hold/last. They seem to be healing over, but without the closure. We’re not sure why the sutures didn’t hold, but likely because when closing them, the skin was too tight and the pull too great. It’s also possible that Tora rubbed them and caused them to open. Thankfully at least today’s vet wasn’t worried about them. He said he would have done them differently (and better), but they seem like they will heal fully.

One of the biggest things we found out was about Tora’s canine tooth – the one wrongly extracted – was not sealed properly, yet. The extraction site is somewhat raw down there to the bone. It is trying to heal itself, but it is taking long time because food bits might have gotten in the hole etc. He suggested that It needs to be cleaned up everyday with peroxide soaked Q-tip (twice a day). In this process, “the hole” gets agitated and tightens the area, so that the healthy healing happens quicker. We are doing this once a day – that’s all Tora can tolerate. For the first run, he screamed so much that we felt so bad. It’s a two-persons job. Tora became burrito kitty. Jeffrey and I will be better team with practice, I hope.

From the x-rays, Dr. C. could tell that there were no bone fragments or root left on any extraction sites. That was a good news. He wants to see Tora’s canine tooth heals properly first. So, we will do peroxide-Qtip regimen for 10 days before next appointment. After that, we will visit him for the “correct” canine extraction. Dr. C. can see Tora has periodontal disease on-going, so he might need more extractions in a couple years – warned us it is up to us to make a decision as to extract one by one as Tora feels pain, or to extract all his teeth at once. Any experiences, opinions, anybody?

"Need more rest, thank you."

"Hey, I'm bored. My brother doesn't want to play with me."









We felt very comfortable with Dr.C. moving forward. We all agreed on our priority – that is Tora recovers fully before next “correct” surgery. As I am typing this update, Tora is sleeping in my office. I wonder what he is dreaming about… Tora is not fully back to himself, “play-boy” yet. Mikan is patiently waiting for him to play with her. Healing takes time…

Learning to Deal with Sympathy Pain – Part II – What? Wrong Tooth?

April 9th, 2013

On Friday afternoon, I was taking a cat nap in the living room – it has been an exhausting week to worry about Tora’s “un-improvement” after the dental surgery.  A telephone call from the dental vet woke me up.  First, he asked how Tora’s been doing, so I told him that the recovery is not fast, and in fact, Tora shows signs of pain and discomfort.  He suggested continuing Buprenex (pain killer).  Then, he said, “I’ve been looking over Tora’s dental radiographs… and I am so sorry that I extracted the wrong tooth.”

I couldn’t find the words to respond to what I just heard.  In my head, I was saying, “NO, no, no, no, no, it cannot be true.”  Then, I heard the vet said, “I just don’t know…I don’t know how it happened.”  I couldn’t bear the news.  My nightmare became real.  I was telling my friend a few days after the surgery that looking over the scanned copy of radiographs myself, it seemed like the wrong tooth (Lower-Right canine) was extracted instead of the correct one (Lower-Left canine).  Jeffrey called the office to help us interpret the particular radiograph because it could be our amateur eyes that making mistakes.  Sometimes radiographs’ angles can be tricky to correctly interpret.

"I don't understand...did I do something wrong?"


The office manager tried explaining that what we were seeing was in such a way that appears confusing, but said that the vet did pull the correct tooth.  At some point in our conversation (I was listening in), she realized that the wrong tooth might have been pulled, but immediately after, her logical mind seemed to over-ride her wisdom in judgment.  She reaffirmed that the vet extracted the correct canine.  As we requested, she promised to send us clearer and more detailed radiographs to us.   We didn’t receive the radiographs or a telephone call for three days until the dental vet call to admit his mistake. 

I felt sick in my gut.  What if this was a right-leg amputation done wrong instead of a left-leg?  The cat will lose both legs because of the mistake.  We are not over the emotional pain.  Tora is still on Buprenex.  He, somehow, still suffers from physical pain.  When we stop the medication, he shows the symptoms of pain (hiding in dark places, not eating, sensitive to touch, etc.)

Our original sympathy pain for Tora seemed to be getting worse.  My sister told me to take it easy because the animal’s physical/emotional healing can be amazing.  We are humans who “remember” and “hold on to” thoughts and emotions.

"Go, T.O.R.A. Toraaaa!! I'm the official cheerleader in this house!"


Our household official cheerleader, Mikan, has been an incredible supporter to us.  She is 100% happy with herself 24/7.  It was so lovely to watch Mikan giving Tora five “soothing licks” on his forehead the other day.  Tora usually glooms her.  Until his tongue gets stronger again, I am brushing Mikan every day.  The good news out of this terrible ordeal is that we (humans) are making intimate connection with Mikan.

Learning to Deal with Sympathy Pain – Part I

April 2nd, 2013

Wow, what a week it was!!  One of our cats, 9 yr old Tora, went in for dental cleaning last Monday – that’s what I was hoping to have done on that day – well, it turned out that he had a very painful condition called FORL (Feline Odontoclastic Resorptive Lesion), and he needed to have four teeth extracted.  Now he doesn’t have many teeth left in his mouth.  He even lost his precious lower right canine.  All he has are a set of upper right teeth and a set of lower left teeth.  In other words, there are no matching teeth up and down to chew things.

"Are you kidding? I will tear this cone of shame as soon as I get home", and he almost did.

Unfortunately, Tora was still in so much pain and bleeding from his gums.  He couldn’t eat or drink for three days after the surgery!  I gave him homemade chicken soup everyday using a syringe.  There was something very wrong about his “un-recovery” process.  We brought him back to the vet office on Wednesday.  Apparently, the sutures were loose and the holes were exposed.  AHHHH!  The vet sewed them back again, but he didn’t give us any extra pain medications to bring home, with the reason being that Tora still has his pain medication in his system for a while.

A long story short, as of today, Tora is still not coming back as his usual “play-boy” self.  He is actually getting worse, in fact.  He retreats himself upstairs in our closet, in a dark and quiet corner to rest all day.  He doesn’t come downstairs to see Mikan anymore.  He wants to be alone.  He eats a quarter can of Wellness brand (softest texture I could find on the market) four times a day while struggling to keep it in his mouth.  He drools because his tongue movement is awkward.  However, I am thankful that he still has some appetite. It is so miserable to watch him suffer.

Jeffrey called the vet office first thing this Monday morning to request the pain meds for Tora.  We got them now, and I am little bit relieved to know that Tora is not in a huge pain anymore.  However, something is still bothering him.  According to the vet, he should be back to normal “self” by now.  Well, individual cats experience everything differently.  Cats ARE individuals!!

"I want my brother back. Do you know where he is?"

OK, by now, you can clearly hear my frustrations, anxiety, and fear.  I am slowly learning how to deal with Tora’s pain.  What I mean by that is, I feel like I am in pain too!  I am literally his Mom as far as I’m concerned.  I feel like I gave birth to him.  Unless I let go of my worries and negative feelings, it occupies me 24/7.  That’s not healthy, is it?

I am using flower essence for myself to calm down and worry less.  I made a combination bottle of Walnut (protection from outside influence), Larch (boost self-confidence), and Red Chestnut (relieve specific fear to others – loved ones).  I am totally overdosing flower essences, but there are no worries – it is just flower water after all, and it is OK to overdose.  The most important thing is that it is working subtly but surely.  I also sit quietly near Tora and think of and visualize lots of fun activities that we do together.  Strangely, Tora sometimes starts purring, and I feel much better after that.  Of course, grabbing my favorite drink – a cup of green tea latte at Starbucks also helps.

Do you know any other methods to heal our cat-mom sympathy emotional pain without drugs and alcohol, please share with me!  I will be grateful.