Treacle & Custard

December 1997 - September 2010

Treacle and Custard

Treacle and Custard

Our two daft cats

Treacle, Custard and Lindsay

Treacle, Custard and Lindsay

Treacle and Custard are brothers and were six months old when we adopted them from our local branch of The Blue Cross. It was the 13th December 1997, the last day before they closed for Christmas. It was upsetting seeing the cats of all ages looking for homes and Lindsay wanted to leave, she couldn’t choose. Derek knew better, a little silver tabby had already picked him. Every time Derek went near the pen the little cat would rub up against the bars purring, it was Treacle. Derek was sold :-), we weren’t leaving alone. There were four other cats in the pen with Treacle, as we wanted to offer a home to two cats we had the difficult job of picking another one. Our first choice was not actually Custard, the cat we chose would not come out from behind the cat loo! Custard was peering innocently out of the cat bed, so the poor little chap was grabbed and stuck in the cat box beside Treacle.

Treacle and Custard are very sweet little chaps, if a little demanding at times. Both of them insist on harassing us until they are picked up, they do enjoy being carried around. Luckily Treacle and Custard leave our other little animal friends alone, preferring to sleep rather than pay attention to the antics of the rest of the family.

Custard has been unwell

Our lovely cat Custard snuggling on the bedOur funny little Custard gave us a very big upset over Christmas. We had noticed he wasn’t very happy going to the toilet and had been keeping an eye on him. Then the week before Christmas he became very unhappy, whining and grumbling not knowing what to do with himself. We took him straight to the vet and they admitted him, it was very difficult leaving Custard behind not knowing what was wrong with him. Later that day the vet phoned to say Custard had bladder stones and they had given him a catheter and would keep him in for a few days to see how he was going.

It was a long three days without Custard following us around the house and we were very relieved to finally bring him home. After a few days we realised that even with his special medicine Custard was still having problems. We took him straight back to the vets, who told us the best thing for him was an operation, which would end his problems once and for all.

Christmas Eve Custard had his operation, we were very relieved to get the phone call telling us he was okay. Because it was such a serious procedure Custard had to stay at the vets for the rest of the week. Custard is a big baby and the the nurses at the veterinary surgery were very taken with him. Custard was very happy when we brought him home, though he wasn’t very impressed with not being allowed out of the cat flap. We were pleased to have him back safe and sound, Christmas just hadn’t been the same knowing he was on his own. After a few days Custard was back to his old self having made a full recovery, showing what a special little cat he is and when he was finally allowed out of the house he only went as far as the bottom of the garden, funny Custard.

Treacle and Custard home safe and well

Treacle and Custard home safe and well

Custard is missing

Our two cats being silly at an open windowOur beautiful cheeky little Custard has disappeared! It’s been two months since we last saw him, we’ve asked around our local area and searched woodland near our home, but have found no trace of him. At the moment we are still hopeful that he will come home, but the horrible thought that we may never see him again is starting to creep in.

Custard is such a happy little cat with a funny meow, that he used to announce himself when he comes home. We have had a magical six years with Custard in our lives and we really are missing him. Treacle is still happy and healthy and keeping Custards memory alive.

Until we know what has happened to our silly little cat we will always have hope that he may come home, but for now we shall look at his photos and enjoy our memories.

Yippee, Custard has come home

We had just finished tea and were in the kitchen loading the dishwasher when a familiar face appeared at the cat flap, it was Custard!

I admit it took us a few minuets to process the sight of our wayward cat, and once we had we were worried he’d disappear before we’d had a chance to hold him. Rather than go crazy at the sight of him, we stayed calm until he came in, then scooped him up in a big relieved hug. Custard was very pleased to see us too, and loved all the attention he was getting.

Our wayward cat

Our wayward cat

Of course he’ll never be able to tell us where he was or why, but we are just so happy to see him it is no longer important. We are guessing it was something to do with the unusually hot summer we’d had, he was probably living in the woods behind our home and not thinking about how much we’d miss him.

We've moved house!

Our cats, Custard and Treacle sitting on a windowsillWe uprooted our family and moved from Cambridge to Ipswich. Treacle and Custard were not very impressed when we first put our house up for sale and people kept coming round to view it. Then when we started packing up our belongings their mood did not improve. Most of the time Custard was amusing, wrapping himself in bubble wrap or just sitting on whatever we were trying to pack. Treacle was another story, he would wander around the house crying and there were several times we found him standing on top of the stack of boxes. Due to all the disruption we decided to put the cats in our local cattery sooner rather than later. They spent four days away from home before the move, we did miss them but it made life a lot easier not tripping over them all the time.

On day of the move the morning was spent hanging around while the removals men finished loading the van. Lindsay had the job of collecting the cats, her car is a bit more practical than Derek’s. So with three rats in a carry box on the passenger seat, two gerbils in their tank on the back seat she went to pick up the cats. Treacle and Custard were not very impressed with being in the cat box and were already crying by the time they got out to the car. Lindsay had to drive for over an hour with a car full of animals and Treacle and Custard crying in the boot. To say her nerves were a little frayed when they arrived in Ipswich was and understatement.

The house may have changed, but the beds as comfortable as ever

The house may have changed, but the beds as comfortable as ever

Once at our new house we had to stash the cats somewhere while the removal men unloaded the van, so we shut them in the bathroom and let them out of their cat box. Being responsible cat owners we had the cat loo ready in the car, so with some food and a bowl of water the cats had everything they could need. No the cats were still not very impressed, the wanted us in there with them. And every time Custard heard us moving about outside the bathroom door he began crying again.

Once the removal men where gone we let the cats out of the bathroom. Custard was thrilled to see us and followed us around the house. Treacle was not so thrilled, to begin with he did not want to leave the bathroom. When he plucked up the courage to leave the bathroom, he went into one of the bedrooms and hid behind a box. Moving their food to the kitchen, soon persuaded Treacle to explore the rest of the house.

After a few days of exploring the house we let the cats outside. Again Treacle was not very happy and went charging back inside, hiding under the bed. The next day was a bit more successful and the cats left the garden. Unfortunately for us all was not plain sailing. We had planned to fit a cat flap to the back door, as this is what the cats are used to. When we came to examine the back door we found it was made of metal and there is no way Derek would be able to saw out a hole to fit the cat flap through. At the moment we are considering many options, from getting a new back door to fitting the cat flap through an external wall of the house. For now Lindsay is having to let the cats in and out, we have built up a routine and for the moment the cats are happy. We are sure as the hot weather arrives things will change and the cats won’t be quite so agreeable.

Treacle and Custard in the new garden

Yay! We have a cat flap

We finally got a cat flap fitted, we’d had a chap out to do some work on the garden for us, Derek mentioned the cat flap problem to him and he said he’s see what he could do. Several weeks passed and the chap phoned us to say he’d found a special saw that would cut through the metal door skin. It took him a very noisy hour to hack through the door, but I’m pleased to say he did it and the cat flap fitted perfectly. We were both so happy all we had to do was get the cats to use it, no problems there. Custard who was already in the garden came up to the new cat flap bumped it a few times to test it out and then just came in. Treacle was just as easy, he wandered up to the back door to be let out saw the new flap and left. As far as the cats are concerned our home is now complete.

The boys enjoying the our new improved garden

The boys enjoying our new improved garden

Our cuddly Custard had died

Our cat, Custard relaxing on our bedIt would have been the 11th anniversary of us getting our cats tomorrow, but sadly our sweet guy won’t be here to share it with us.

About a week ago we noticed Custard was moping round the house a bit and was off his food and generally not looking very happy. We took him straight to the vets who couldn’t find anything obviously wrong with him, other than being dehydrated. He gave Custard an injection to help settle his tummy, and some sachets for us to mix into Custard’s drinking water to help rehydrate him.

As Custard wasn’t interested in drinking, I had to syringe the fluids into his mouth. He wasn’t very interested in eating either, even when we tried to feed him fancy cat food. It was very difficult to see him like that, as Custard was normally such a greedy little cat who would happily eat his brothers share of any food going.

Lindsay and Custard in happier times

Lindsay and Custard in happier times

We took him back to the vets two days later and while the fluids I was getting into him were doing him some good he still wouldn’t eat. The vet had a good feel of Custard’s tummy and was concerned he could feel some thickening in his intestine. We were given some more things to try in order to get Custard eating again, including some yucky green paste that was designed to line Custard’s stomach and help with any tummy upset he may have.

Sadly when we went for our final check up custard had lost more weight, and he was still only drinking what I syringed into him. Custard’s weight loss meant the vet could get a better feel of Custard’s insides and a better feel of the mass he had felt before.

It was a very difficult decision to let Custard go, but we talked it though with our vet and he advised us it was the best thing for our sweet cat. We’re both kind of numb right now and I have no idea what a home without Custard is going to be like.

Bad cat breath

Our cat, Treacle relaxing in the gardenOh my goodness, Treacle did have bad stinky breath! It was not pleasant, so we took him down the vet and booked him a dental.

He had his dental a week ago yesterday and came through fine. He was a bit wobbly and spaced out from the anaesthetic when we got him home, but it wore off by the next morning. Fortunately he didn’t need any teeth removing, but he did have some inflamed gums. He’s been on a course of antibiotics to help with that.

The most important thing is his breath no longer honks and he is much happier. I feel really bad that I let it go on so long, but the smell kind of snuck up on us and I’ve been a bit focused on my rats. I know I have been a very bad kitty mum, and I’m very sorry, but I think Treacle has forgiven me.

Our little old cat is looking forward to the summer now, and is already spending more time sleeping in the garden.

We still miss our tubby guy, Custard. Over a year later and I can’t believe he’s gone, but Treacle is still in good health so we are very grateful for that – especially now his breath doesn’t smell.

Farewell to our sweet kitty, Treacle

Lindsay and Treacle

Lindsay and Treacle

I’m very sad to say that our little cat Treacle passed away yesterday. A couple of weeks ago there was a drastic change in his behaviour, he didn’t want to leave the house and also began sleeping in strange places.

Throughout the summer Treacle had been happily sleeping in the garden, popping in for his food. As the summer came to an end he began coming in earlier and sleeping in the house, which is normal for many cats. Then one day he came in and refused to go out again.

Our first real indication that something was seriously wrong was Treacle actually went to the toilet in our bunny Fawn’s bowl of hay. This was completely out of character for Treacle, he has always been really good with all our bunnies and has never gone into their rooms before, never mind done something like this. I told Treacle off, but even then his reaction to me wasn’t quite right.

The next day he started using the bath as a toilet, so we got his cat loo out from the loft and set it up for him and Treacle took to using it straight away. This was very unusual for Treacle too, he has always preferred to go to the toilet outside, even when it was really cold during winter he chose to go outside rather than use his cat toilet.

Treacle also took to sleeping in Fawn’s room. We didn’t stop him doing this, Fawn didn’t mind, in fact I think our little bunny thought it was quite exciting. I don’t know whether Fawn started pestering Treacle while he slept or he just wanted to move, but after a few days of sleeping in Fawn’s room, Treacle began sleeping in the bath.

Our cat, Treacle enjoying some fussWhile this was going on he was eating and drinking fine, but he obviously wasn’t happy. Derek and I also noticed that Treacle was not responding to us as normal, sometimes even looking at us like he had no idea who we were.

We took Treacle to the vets, who took a blood sample. From his symptoms the vet told us it was likely to be something serious, the question was whether his illness was treatable. Derek and I were devastated, and we had to wait several days for the results of his tests. During this time Treacle moved from sleeping in the bath to our shower cubical, while it was still wet! I had to keep picking him out and he would be sopping wet.

The results of Treacle’s blood test confirmed our worst fears, Treacle had chronic kidney failure. While kidney failure is not treatable in cats, if caught soon enough it can be managed, with medication and a special diet. Sadly for our little cat he was too poorly for any kind of treatment and our vet recommended we have him put to sleep, which we did.

It is still very hard to accept he has gone. I can’t say life with Treacle was perfect; he could be a little pest when he wanted, but he was our cat and we loved him very much.

Our beautiful boys

Our beautiful boys