Thursday 27 November 2014

Cat troubles again!

It's certainly been a Annus Horribilis  for my cats, and for my wallet too with all the vet expenses!

After having to put down "Mommy" in March due to a dog attack, and a few days later, "Fluffy" was also attacked by a dog, and then "Twiggy" was attacked by a cat in 
April, this time it's "Baby" who has been very sick.

Baby in 2012

It started in September when she stopped eating from one day to the other. 
I had no idea cats couldn't go without food for long as they get a condition called "Feline Hepatic lipidosis", when the liver converts body fat into energy.

So after 3 days without eating I took her to the vet, who said she was jaundiced, which could be seen in the green tinge to the whites of the eyes and greenish gums.
She took some blood for testing and antibiotics were prescribed.

The tests showed her liver enzymes and bilirubin were highly elevated, indicative of liver disease, and a probable cause was given as "the cat might have eaten something poisoned, or a plant that was toxic, or come into contact with some other toxic". 
I don't use toxic sprays in my garden or around the home because of my cats, I'm quite "green" with my home cleaning products, but I presume she could have gone into the park across the road, or a neighbour...

A day or two later after some stressful syringe feeding she started eating again.

She had lost an enormous amount of weight for a cat - around 800 gr - in a period of about 2 weeks, as she was only eating 1/3 of what she would normally eat. She's just skin and bones now!

I contacted a Naturopathic vet in Perth, who recommended I give "Baby" some milk thistle tablets to help with liver regeneration. This is good for people too, specially for people who take lots of medication or drink heavily.

Baby seemed to recover and for about 2 months she was ok, eating normally, etc.

Then suddenly around the 20th of November, she stopped eating once again!
For 2 or 3 days I syringe fed her, with a special "recovery tinned food" from the vet.
This time it was even more stressful, she would scratch me, she looked scared, her ears were flat, her eyes bulging, ever time I came with the syringe close to her mouth...
I usually needed my husband's help to hold her, while I wore garden gloves so as not to get scratched and had a couple of towels dry and wet to clean her up, as she spit half of the food out.

On Saturday 22nd November I took her back to the vet.
The jaundice was back, and new blood tests revealed the levels were high again.
The vet recommended Baby do a scan, which was booked for Wednesday 19th, so a cause could be found for this problem.

The sonographer brought a portable machine into the vet clinic, the cat was given a mild sedative so she could have her belly shaved, but she was still very alert and not at all happy with the the fact she had to lie on her back with 4 people holding her while the sonographer did the scan.
The scan showed she had a blockage on her bile duct to the liver, the mass could be cancerous I was told, but only a biopsy would be able to confirm it was a lymphoma. 
The vet suggested I could take the cat to a Veterinary Oncologist and get his opinion on what type of chemotherapy could be done.

I'm no medical expert, but I know chemo destroys the bad cells as well as the good cells, so I'm not too keen on that type of treatment, and also I just can't afford to go through the expense of chemo for a cat, plus the stress the animal would endure (as well as stress to me).
I told the vet I was keen to rather try Natural therapies and she agreed I should give it a go.

So after I got home, I researched on the net to see what was available in natural therapies.
I know the Naturopathic vet in Perth has some cancer treatments she describes on her website, but they are expensive. 

A lot of sites recommend the Indian spice "Turmeric"as a cure for cancer, but when someone (or the cat in this instance) has a bile duct blockage it shouldn't be taken! This is because it's a liver supporting herb which encourages bile production, so contra-indicated as the obstruction prevents the bile getting through.

Then I came across a site from a shop in Perth - HAMPL - that sells homeopathic medication for pets and ships all over the world.
I sent them an email describing my cat's ailments and I got a reply suggesting a couple of herbal medications she should be on.
Today I picked up those bottles from their office and I've started Baby on them.
The main one for the cancer is Cat's claw, plus other liquid drops for liver detox and lymph detox. They included a booklet - The Natural Animal Health Guide - which is very informative and has suggestions for a natural pet diet.

Once of the main problems for liver toxicity according to both homeopathic vets I spoke to, is the fact that the dry and the tinned food we feed our animals consist of a whole lot of fillers - such as corn, wheat, sugar, salt, Omega 6 bad oils, and a whole lot of other rubbish.

Apart from the food, we poison our animals with various annual vaccines (not in my case, as they only got their baby vaccines), flea sprays and flea collars (don't use them either). 
All of the above are responsible for a whole lot of problems with our dogs and cats, from - skin allergies, arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney and liver diseases and finally cancer.
Our animals aren't meant to eat carbs, they're mainly meat eaters.

So I'm now slowly changing my cat's diet from tinned food to a raw diet.

Baby stopped eating again yesterday, and today I had to syringe feed her, but I'm hoping the drops will make her feel better again and she gets her appetite back.

Baby - healthy and slightly overweight

Baby resting in bed with a shaved belly

What are your feelings about Chemo for pets? Have you used homeopathic  meds for your cat or dog? Were you happy with the outcome?
I'm really putting my faith in these, as I don't want to lose another cat, but these last months have been a bit stressful...

PS - December 2014

Baby is slowly recovering, the homeopathic medication which at first I felt was actually making her worse, as she just vomited daily (maybe that was the detox process), actually started helping her feel better.
I still syringe fed her for another week or so and eventually one day she just went to the food bowl and started eating a little bit on her own.
She now seems to be hungry all the time, I discovered she loves tinned sardines, and she has put on about 900gr in 3 weeks.
Considering she had lost about 2,2kg in 2 months, she still has a big to go to look like her previous self. Although she doesn't need to put on all the weight she had before, as she was a bit overweight.
I'm glad she is better and happy and my faith in the homeopathic medicine has been rewarded.

Friday 14 November 2014

Perth Christmas Festival - the lighting of the Christmas lights

The Perth Christmas festival started today with the turning of the Christmas lights in the City centre.
So from today until the end of the year, there will be plenty to do around Perth, from Christmas markets, to food markets, to Carols....just pick your favourite event and enjoy yourself!

Tonight was actually a last minute thing - a friend called me at around 5pm to ask if we would like to go and watch the show, she was already in the city and could keep some chairs for us at the venue in Forrest Place

The crowds sitting, standing and on the balconies of the Myer building
Before the lights were turned on

The event started at 6pm, but we got there at around 7pm, having taken the train with my husband, and joined my friend and her group just in time for a kids Christmas play, a speech by the Perth Mayor - the Honourable Lisa Scaffidi- and then at about 8,30, more than 100,000 Christmas lights and decorations were lit by Santa on his sleigh.

The Perth Mayor

The city was full of parents and kids keenly enjoying the show with Santa and his elves, the Christmas Kangaroo (oh yes, he exists in Australia!), the balloons, the silver streamers and fireworks and of course the lights.

Santa departs on his sleigh after switching on the lights

Christmas stars projected on the Australian Bank building

The Myer building all lit up with thousand of lights                      

After the show we all headed to a restaurant for a late night dinner.
By the time we took the train home at around 10pm, the trains were still packed with parents and kids and others who had just gone into the city for some late night shopping.
An enjoyable and different evening!

And I've just realised that it's less than 6 weeks to Christmas and I've got so much to organize still! Hope you're more organized that I am!!

Sunday 9 November 2014

Open House Perth 2014 - Part 3

To end my visit of the Open House Perth, I joined a tour I had booked for 2pm, to visit some of the murals painted during the Form Public Street Art in April this year.

The two guides leading this tour of around 25 people were very enthusiastic, one of them had been involved with this project from the very start, having been the one that had to liaise with local government agencies, owners of suitable walls to paint, and was also the one that contacted some of the artists, who in turn contacted other artists to join this first Public Urban Art festival in Perth.

Although the tour took about one hour and a half, Form organizes "Public Urban Art Walks" every Thursday and Saturday, at a cost of $45, and duration of 3 hours. These tours will be held until end of November, so if you are in Perth you still have some time to join them!
Otherwise you also get a free map from the King Street Arts Centre/FORM gallery and do the tour on your own, for free. The tour gave us some background information about the artists, their painting process, their inspirations, etc.

In April, when the festival was on I wrote 2 posts about it, which you can read  by following these two links: 1) and 2).

This mural in a Murray Street car park was done by LAST CHANCE, a group of artists who had previously worked together, but had gone separate ways in 2010, and came together again for the Form festival. They now have individual projects.

Last Chance

Also in the same car park, this next mural was painted by GAIA, from the USA, at 25 years, the youngest of the artists, but certainly a very talented young man. 
He graduated recently from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. He did a lot of research about Perth's buildings and famous politicians and included a lot of that in his vast mural, called "Dementia" that goes from black and white to colour.

Here you can see the detail of the buildings which include Government house, State Theatre.
Here you can see the whole mural (taken from his web page)

 This was one of the highlights of the show when painted in April. The artist is ROA, a Belgium artist famous for his large animal painted on walls around the world. He usually paints animals that used to inhabit the urban areas and have disappeared due to human expansion.
The mural is also the highest at 24 metres and took 8 days to paint on the side of this public housing building adjoining the Murray St car park. The artist delineated the snake and used cans of paint with nozzles of various dimensions to paint the scales. Hard work!!

This very colourful mural in the car park, was a collaboration by BEASTMAN, from Sydney and VANS THE OMEGA, from Adelaide.


From the Murray Street car park, we then walk to Wolf Lane, which is between Murray str and Hay street, a hip lane full of bars and restaurants, and in a dilapidated garage there is a big collection of murals, some of which I have pictured in my first post about the Street Art Festival in Aprial.
This one above is by PAUL DEEJ,  and reminds me of "Red Riding Hood", but it has something to do with the media, can you see the earphones?

This next one, a pasted mural by JETSTONORAMA, an African American Doctor who works with the Navajo people and has always been interested in street art.

Above is another mural from ROA, (see Snake above), this time a Ringtail Possum (marsupial).

This next one is a futuristic work of art by PIXEL PANCHO from Italy, and it was inspired by his trip to the Pilbara, an area north of Western Australia, where some of the artists were taken to paint, to meet Aboriginal folk and to get inspiration. 
Here the red dry earth on this "Driverless trains" was certainly modeled on the "Mars" red earth of that area. He is very fond of painting robots.

Can you see all the details in this picture? 
 This next one from ALEXIS DIAZ from Puerto Rico, an artist known for his intricate animal designs blended with human forms. Also in Wolf Lane, this mural of a Dragon took 2 weeks to paint and is among the best street art murals of 2014. Apparently he was painting right up to the time he had to leave for the airport...
The details are apparently painted with brushes, no wonder it took so long...

Details of Dragon's tail

By using an app on your mobile, this interactive mural changes colours. By artist and activist JORDAN SEILER, from the USA, founder of the Republiclab projects. This is next to the Secret Garden Cafe in Wolf Lane.

 We ended our tour of Wolf Lane with a STORMIE MILLS mural designed for "selfies". 
Can you see the hands? Here we have my daughter in law who accompanied me during this Open House day.

I really enjoyed the tour, even though I had seen most of these works in April, but I got to know a bit more about the artists and their personalities. Also the fact that it was a free tour was great.
And so ended my first and only day of this year's Open House Perth, hope you enjoyed the tour as well.
Have a great weekend!
Light Box-B

Monday 3 November 2014

Open House Perth 2014 - Part 2

After my visit to 108 St. George's Terrace, it was time for a quick visit to the second location, this time to a small apartment in a building called Rialto Terrace in Palmerston street, in an enviable location within walking distance of the city centre.

The lovely gate with apartments on each side of the walkway

The building was a former clothing factory in the 1920's, later transformed into small apartments - on one side with 3 floors (2 bedrooms) and on the other side 2 floors (1 bedroom).
They are modelled in the New York style loft apartments, with the high ceilings which give the apartments a sense of space and lots of light.
These conversions are becoming quite fashionable in the Fremantle area as well, with the remodelling of old warehouses and factories. 
This particular apartment belongs to a lady who is the national president of the Design Institute of Australia (DIA), and accordingly very artistically decorated as you can see in these photos.

The walkway separating the entrances on the left and right of the building

The walkway - looking up
The little entrance courtyard - just enough for some greenery
The full wall of windows in the lounge looking through to the courtyard
The lounge with double height ceilings and all that light!
Here you can see part of the tiny kitchen and dining room beyond and another small courtyard
The bedroom with build in robes and windows above with the soaring ceiling. There was an en-suite next to it
The tiny courtyard at the rear by the dining room, seen from the bedroom
The tiny rear courtyard

I really loved this tiny apartment, it could be an ideal place for a single person or a young couple who wanted a simpler lifestyle, but I rather prefer having more space, I have too much junk right now...

What do you think? Would you enjoy living in this type of apartment and have the opportunity of living within walking distance to all amenities in the city, or rather live in a bigger house in the suburbs?  

Sunday 2 November 2014

Open House Perth 2014 - Part 1

For the third year, Perth hosts it's "Open House" this weekend,  1st and 2nd of November.
This year the have about 70 public and some private places open to the public, so that we can see behind the scenes.
This year I've only been able to go on Saturday, so we have another event on Sunday, so I've only been able to see a few places that piqued my curiosity and that I hadn't visited last year.

I had planned to visit about 7 destinations, but with booking times for some venues, queues, travel times between venues, etc, I only managed to visit 3 of the chosen places.

I think it was a bit silly of me to take the car, having to find parking, etc, but I had some places to visit that were outside the CBD (central business district), so it made sense at the time, but it was a bit of a time waster, as well as extremely expensive!! 
I can't believe one of the parking garages charges $20 for the first hour on the weekend (cheaper during the week)!!! 
So next year I will be using the train and buses again.

My first visit was to -108 St George's Terrace, in the city centre, previously known as "West bank tower" until 2009 when the bank vacated the 20 floors they occupied.

108 St George's Tce - old and new blend

This high rise (3rd tallest in Perth) built behind an old brick facade that was saved from demolition by public protest, was when completed in 1988 the tallest in Perth.
Only the outside walls and the main foyer now remain in the original brick, and behind it the glass facade rises to 52 floors.

In 1980, when Alan Bond  planned the redevelopment of the site, the council approved it on the condition that "The Palace Hotel" remain in operation (part of the brick building).
This council ruling was later changed to allow the Bank to occupy these premises when they bought part of the investment during building.

The main reception of the building - note the huge painting

The brick house inside the modern rooftop
The glass rooftop over the main entrance to the building

Due to the huge queues waiting to go to the 51st floor, where the views are, we opted to take the tour of the 27th floor, which is occupied by "Savills", a property development and management company.
We weren't allowed to photograph the offices, just the views, but this is actually of their foyer that was on the net.

View of foyer of Savills on the 27th floor
The following 3 photos are of the site before and during construction of the new building.

Of course the views are amazing, probably not as great as the ones on the 51st, but what I wanted to see what an areal view of the "Elizabeth Quay" project (a Youtube video at bottom of post). They had a river view and a back view, and what a massive office kitchen they had! I'm jealous, I wish we had 1/4 of that in my clinic, and of course I wouldn't mind working in such a beautiful environment either...

The works on the new river front development - Elizabeth quays
The Swan Tower and the ferry station to South Perth (across the Swan river)

The BHP Billiton building, the highest in Perth
Can you see the gardens atop these building? Very cool.

More constructions going on in Perth

Part of the brick structure with iron-work balconies and the glass facade behind

Hope you enjoyed this first visit and come back soon to see my other visits from today.

Check this Youtube video about the Elizabeth Quay project

If you follow these links you can read the 5 posts I wrote about my visits to  "Open House"  in 2013.

1 -

2 -

3 -

4 -

5 -