BW at approximately 10 years of age
Health: Neutered, vaccinated, tooth extractions to treat feline stomatitis
We think BW’s name was initially Bronson, because he would come from a house across the creek and sit at the bottom of the hill on a log and watch the activities in our yard. We sometimes heard a woman calling for “Bronson” and he would slowly stroll back from where he came.
It wasn’t long before he was visiting our yard and finding a place by a friendly cat for a good meal. BW’s disposition seemed to be the “over-seer” of all things “KAT” from the start. Sometimes when we would be looking for and calling another cat, BW would show us where we could find him. At first we thought this was a coincident, but when these type incidents began to happen on a regular basis, we couldn’t declare it as a coincident any longer. He was another fine example of “cats helping cats.” He assertively helped us rescue 5 kittens and their mother who had been thrown from a moving car to fend for themselves in an approaching snow storm. More about that later…
BW became a non-roaming fixture at our place. He did run into some trouble with something for a brief period. Whatever it was would attack his feet and cause him to have difficulty walking. I took him to the vet to have his feet checked and took the opportunity to also get him vaccinated and neutered. The vet had a very difficult time handling BW and said, “This one knows how to climb walls.”
After the surgery, BW’s problem with his attacker vanished and he became a very calm and docile member of our “small” colony, until he developed stomatitis. Before that, he was the one you would find very gracefully, slowly and calmly strolling around the property while never roaming from home. You would find him tagging along behind me when walking nearby trails and sitting in my lap when I lazed in the Adirondack beneath the dogwood tree.
The sights and sounds of the great indoors terrified BW. We couldn’t even get him interested in the temperature controlled shelter we added in our back yard, until the stomatitis set in. He much preferred a very small heated shelter next to the front door during winter and a fresh pile of wheat or pine straw for bedding in summer.
So, BW became a bit of a special needs cat in that he had chronic stomatitis, for which there is no cure aside from pulling all teeth. The vet says the cause of this condition is an allergic reaction to the bacteria that builds tooth plaque. Since BW had absolutely great teeth initially, we avoided this as long as possible, but it meant he would have to have a dental cleaning and a cortisone shot every six months. This turned out to be a very temporary solution.
Fast forward to September 2012
BW’s issue with stomatitis had gradually worsened. He was in such pain that he began hiding, acting fearful of us and having great difficulty eating. It took us days, but we were finally able to capture him and get him to the vet where he had to have tissue trimmed from his gums. He was treated with antibiotics and we put him up in the shelter for the winter since he had lost a lot of weight from not being able to eat properly. Thankfully, he adapted to life in the shelter. We would need to get him back to the vet after getting his weight up; so being in the shelter made it easier to get him back to the vet.
BW seemed to improve his eating habits over the next few months but by spring he had begun to constantly drool. Back to the vet it was, at which point it was decided it would be necessary to go ahead and remove some teeth. Since he had gained 2 pounds, we scheduled his oral surgery and BW underwent a long surgery to have 6 teeth removed on one side of his mouth. The first couple of weeks after surgery were hard on him. He was afraid and had to learn how to eat with some of his teeth missing, but he made great improvement. After a couple of weeks of eating nothing but wet cat food, he was eager to get back to his dry/wet food mix. When he started stealing the dry food mix from the other cats, we re-adjusted his feeding and he gained more weight. He loved his dry food mix and was finally grooming again. He finally started looking like his happy self again. He would need to eventually have more teeth pulled, but for the time being, we were happy to see that he was feeling much better.
March 2013 came and BW had to have his remaining teeth removed with the exception of his canines. He adjusted quickly after the surgery this time. After a couple of weeks he began to gain weight quickly and was back to his well groomed self in no time. We finally began to let him have short periods out of the 8×10 building, but he quickly got to the point where he much preferred the great outdoors again. So he was out of the kennel most of the summer, but was a fairly easy catch to re-shelter during winter months of 2013 -2014. During this time, we realized it was time to keep him contained as he reverted back to being a hard one to handle. Through 2015 BW was a happy camper and did great.
In March 2016 BW had a flare-up with the painful gums. Antibiotics corrected the issue but we continued to watch him and hoped we could avoid having his canines pulled. We did avoid pulling the canines; however, we lost BW in May 2017 after he suddenly collapsed.