Last Updated: 7/27/16
Photos and Videos
The photos are from oldest to newest.
These photos are from the day we got him on 10/14/08.
Barney in his bed. He was pretty unresponsive.
Barney in his bed.
Barney being tummy rubbed by my mother.
Barney - close-up of his head while on his back. You can see his bad eye.
Barney smelling catnip.
Barney in the grass. My mother thought some fresh air would perk him up. He is an indoor only cat.
Barney on 10/18/08.
Barney on 10/22/08.
These photos are from 10/31/08 (Halloween) when Barney was in the laundry room playing with
Barney on 11/1/08 on his first day out in the house.
These photos from 11/27/08 show Barney and Tinkie playing together.
Tinkie and Barney
Tinkie and Barney
Tinkie and Barney laying together.
Tinkie and Barney laying together.
Tinkie and Barney a few minutes later, asleep.
I had to take this photo of Gino, Barney, and Tinkie all on my bed on 1/6/09:
Gino, Barney, and Tinkie
The kittens were sleeping together and grooming each other on 4/26/09. I missed a photo of the
kissing but they were still holding hands.
Barney and Tinkie
Barney and Tinkie - close-up
These two photos are of Tinkie and Barney on 7/4/09:
Barney and Tinkie
Barney and Tinkie
Barney in my empty 50 gallon Rubbermaid stock tank (indoor tub pond) on 8/11/09:
It's a catfish!
Gino, Tinkie, and Barney on 9/6/09.
Gino, Tinkie, and Barney on 9/6/09, left to right.
I set up the 50 gallon Rubbermaid tub basement pond on 10/20/09. Tinkie and Barney were
Basement tub pond with their assistants.
Barney and Tinkie on 5/26/10.
Barney on 5/26/10.
Barney on 7/3/10.
Barney on 7/3/10. You can see the eye goop in his right eye which he gets often (I cleaned it soon after the photo).
Roaches - 1063 KB, mpg movie. Barney can be seen at the end. He was watching them too. The video was taken on 11/14/10.
Barney made himself at home on the recliner on 1/3/12:
Here are three photos of Gino (on the right) and Barney (on the left) together on 4/10/12.
Gino and Barney
Gino and Barney
Gino and Barney - Barney is yawning in this one
On 10/15/12, I was playing with all four indoor cats (although I did not get photos of Tinkie with
the others who was standing nearby).
Barney, Gino, and Emmy
Video of Barney, Emmy, Gino, and Tinkerbelle playing on 10/15/12.
From 5/17/13 when Barney was rolling on his back:
Barney on 7/27/13.
Emmy, Barney, and Tinkie
Emmy, Barney, and Tinkie - Barney is yawning.
Emmy, Barney, and Tinkie - Emmy is stretching.
Barney, Tinkie, and Emmy from left to right on 6/7/14 playing with a laser toy.
Barney and Tutty in the cat tree; they both have "evil" green eyes, on 8/20/14.
Barney after his surgery on 8/23/14. Warning: Graphic photo of Barney's opened abscess.
Three cats on 10/22/15; from left to right, Barney, Emmy, and Tinkie.
Barney on 12/25/15.
Barney sitting like a person on the couch
Barney roaring like the stuffed tiger behind him
After I found out that my angel Barney was dying, I took a bunch of photos.
These photos are from 7/1/16:
Barney on 7/2/16.
On 10/9/08, my mother called me at work. She asked me if I wanted another kitten. We had five cats including 10-month-old Tinkerbelle. A year ago, she told me I could get a kitten. I wanted a longhaired calico. We could not find one so we got Tinkerbelle. I figured that meant no more cats but she said I could still get that longhaired calico. I looked for a while until my mother said absolutely no more cats. Then, she called me at work about a kitten at the farm where she buys organic chicken feed. The farmer said the kitten's head had been squished in a door which was why its head was crooked. The kitten also had a goopy closed eye. I told my mother not to get the sick kitten (I figured its neck was broken, and it was contagious), and she did not. Of course, if I had been there, I would have wanted to rescue all 30 some neglected farm cats. Barney was most likely the sole survivor of his litter as no other kittens were around. Other family members were vehemently opposed to the idea of any new cat. But, my mother could not stop thinking and talking about him until I agreed we should rescue him under the condition that he go to the vet before home to be tested for contagious diseases and parasites. I was worried that he had a contagious fatal virus (goopy closed eyes are often the result). A few years ago, I took five feral kittens to the vet, gave them $100, and asked them to do their best. Their eyes were swollen shut and some had ruptured. They had a highly contagious virus. They actually got better but the vet eventually killed them when the virus returned. I did not want to go through that or ever expose my cats to it. On 10/13/08, my mother dropped Barney at the vet around 3 pm. They confirmed he was a boy after my mother looked but were too busy for an appointment. I called in the morning, and he had been seen late that night.
On 10/14/08, I got the following report. Barney's head was tilted to the left (they got that wrong; it is tilted to the right as you can see in the above photo). He had conjuctivitis in his right eye pretty bad. Both of his third eye lids were up (common in sick cats). He had a severe ear mite infection with a lot of debris. They cleaned it out and put in a one time use ear mite killer (milbemite). The vet thinks his head tilt is from the ear mites and not being squished in a door. He was 1.9 pounds. His feline leukemia and feline AIDS tests were negative (some good news!). His fecal float showed roundworms and coccidia. He is about seven weeks old. I assigned him the birth date of 8/25/08. Due to his poor condition, they said to bring him back in a week for a recheck and first shots.
My mother and I picked him up around 11 am 10/14/08. When I first saw him, my first thought was that he was much worse off than I thought. They had said he was active and fine (aside from those tons of parasites and problems!). Barney is a short-haired orange tabby with some white on his feet and neck. He got Pyrantel suspension to be given on 10/28/08 as a second dose for the roundworms. He got Albon liquid for the coccidia to be given once a day. He got neomycin and polymyxin B sulfate and bacitracin zinc ophthalmic ointment (BNP ointment for short) for his eye to be used three times a day.
I brought him home and set him up in the bathroom for at least a two week quarantine. He could barely walk or stand up all day. I was worried that he would not make it. He purred a lot (not always a good sign as cats in pain purr constantly). His belly was round from the roundworms. I syringe fed him second step KMR and water since he would not eat on his own. Due to his fragile state, I could not yet bathe him but was told I could start cleaning his ears the next day which I did. He has poop on his fur that I cannot get off. He had diarrhea from the coccidia. Luckily, he does not have fleas.
The next day, he seemed a little better and the next day still. He began to eat more on his own. His feces became less and less liquidy. On 10/17/08, he showed his first interest in playing, gently with a ball. It was not until 10/18/08 that he would get out of bed for reasons other than the necessities. He showed interest in life outside of the bathroom for the first time (which will make keeping him in harder). His head tilt is still really bad as you can see in his photo. Otherwise, he seems to be on his way to eventually being a normal kitten. He is very sweet. I call him Barnster.
Barney took a turn for the worse. He had been doing better. The morning of 10/19/08, he had not eaten anything and would not do anything. He was super lethargic. His urine seemed brown. His ears did not feel hot to my but my mother said he felt hot. When I saw him make a pee in front of me that was blood red, I said we have to take him now to the emergency vet. I was shocked when they said his temperature was 106 degrees F! They used ice packs to bring it down. For almost $200, they churned out blood test results in about half an hour. His white blood cell count (WBC) was super high as were other counts indicating infection. His blood glucose was high at 160 mg/dL. His WBC was 47.94 K/uL (normal 5.5 to 19.5), NEU 40.25 K/uL (normal 2.5 to 12.5), MONO 1.97 K/uL (normal 0.15 to 1.70), EOS 1.53 L/uL (normal 0.14 to 1.50, indicative of parasites?), BASO 0.36 K/uL (normal 0 to 0.10), and platelets low at 119 K/uL (normal 175 to 600). All other results were within normal ranges including his kidney and liver enzymes. The vet on duty said he likely has a urinary tract infection because of the blood in the urine. They gave him 50 mL of lactated ringers subcutaneously and later another 30 mL. They started him on Clavamox antibiotic. They gave him some Metacam too (which can be dangerous for cats). They fed him a mix of KMR and Hills A/D canned food (love that pig lard!). He was eating it. By 5 pm, his fever was down to 103 degrees F, and we brought him home. He wanted to really play for the first time ever; I kept telling him to rest! The total cost for the emergency vet was $441.75 but Barney is priceless.
On 10/20/08, my father took over a urine and a fecal sample to the vet. He had a 6 pm appointment (rescheduled to a double booking to get him in faster).
At the vet on 10/20/08, I talked with the vet for a long time. Barney's temperature was still 103.3 degrees F. First, his fecal came back negative. So, if it tests negative again next week, he may not need a course with a different drug for coccidia. His urine showed blood, white blood cells, and some bacteria as expected. Because the emergency vet had seen fleas, this vet put on a dose of Advantage which had the advantage of also killing any remaining ear mites or worms. This vet did not see any fleas and neither have I. They cleaned his ear in deeper with saline. The vet said if he does have a ruptured ear drum, only saline can be used for cleaning. Barney's ears are too small for the vet to tell if the ear drum has ruptured on one side but he may be able to tell when he is older. If the head tilt is from a ruptured ear drum, it would be permanent. The vet was worried about his really high white blood cell count. If he just had a urinary tract infection, he said it should not be that high. The vet was worried it might be FeLV (the in-vet test is apparently not as accurate as the lab). They drew blood to re-test Barney's blood counts and also for an infectious disease panel (the FeLV again as well as toxoplasmosis and some others). The disease panel all came back negative so the vet says the odds that Barney has feline leukemia (FeLV) are a million to one. Barney's WBC was down to 25 so either the emergency vet value was improperly high and/or Barney is getting better. His blood work also showed he was a little anemic. While at the vet, Barney was running around, the most active I had ever seen him. He continues to improve and started getting in to the bathtub on 10/21/08. If his next fecal on 10/28/08 is negative, he will be out of quarantine. He should get his first shot then too.
I finally gave Barney a quick shower (not really a bath) on 10/23/08. He finally smelled pretty good. I have a lot of hugs and kisses to make up for now that I can really touch him.
On 10/28/08, Barney went back for his checkup. His fecal was again negative. His weight was 2.7 pounds. His temperature was 102.2 degrees F but from 10/24/08 to 10/27/08, I had been testing his temperature with a new IR cat ear thermometer. His temperature was consistently 103 to 103.8 degrees F. He seems better now though. The vet was ready to give Barney his first distemper combo with protects against distemper and other viruses. My mother said no, not yet. So, I made an appointment for 11/3/08 for his first shot. In the mean time, he is not supposed to be free in the house only because of GK who goes outside because Barney is not vaccinated and could get something from her. I really want to get Barney out of the bathtub so I can use it for my aquariums on Saturday! Plus, I want him to have fun; he is bored. Tinkie has spent a tiny bit of time near him now. She is interested in him but hisses if he gets too close. Barney is done with all his medications. He got his second de-wormer dose and last Clavamox dose after I got home from the vet.
On 11/1/08, I let Barney out in to the house. He had a lot of fun and little sleep investigating everything and playing with Tinkerbelle.
Barney went back to the vet on 11/3/08 to finally get his distemper combination vaccine. His weight was 2.9 pounds. His temperature was 101.9 degrees F. Luckily, he did not become lethargic or get a fever from the vaccine (my cat Doodally does get a fever every time).
On 12/5/08, Barney got his next distemper shot and his first rabies shot. He does not need any more shots for a year. Next up is his neuter in a few months. I am sure he will be thrilled. He is thriving.
Barney was neutered on 2/18/09. He was 7.2 pounds. He also was microchipped. When he came home, Barney was hyper and loopy. The vet said it was the ketamine.
Barney went in for his checkup on 10/13/09. I asked about his hard fat rolls, missing tips of his two bottom incisors/fangs (broke off?), slightly gunky eyes, and slightly waxy ears. The vet did not have a clue and did not think any were reason for concern. She pulled out vaccines which confused me because he was not due until 12/5/09 for his shots. But, she had already loaded them. After she assured me that it would not hurt to give them to him two months early, Barney got his rabies and distemper boosters. Barn is up to 15.7 pounds!! He is so heavy!
Nicknames for Barney include Barn, Barn-Stable (from mom), Stable Head (from me), and Mr. Head (from me).
Barney had his yearly checkup on 10/12/10. He is up to 17.6 pounds, so heavy! There was nothing new of note. He got a distemper shot.
Barney had his yearly checkup on 10/19/11. He is 19.4 pounds, way past my previous heaviest cat! The vet said to limit his food but how do I do that in a house with four cats, two of whom are underweight? Barney got a distemper shot. The vet found that one of his teeth had lost the enamel, was red at the gum, and bled when he touched it. He recommended having it removed. My mother said as long as Barney was still eating and not showing that it bothered him, she would not allow him to be operated upon. Of course, cats hide their pain. They cannot talk.
Barney had his checkup on 10/16/12. He was up to 20.8 pounds but I thought he was more than that. He got his rabies shot but I am now having his distemper shots moved to every three years. The tooth that was red last year appears to have fallen out. Now, the equivalent one on the other side was bleeding. It does not seem bad enough for surgery though. This vet (different than the one last year) agreed. Not only would my mother be against it but I have no income now so we are all living off limited savings. Barney meowed from the moment he went in the carrier and most of the time until we got home. This would not be unusual except he never meows otherwise! He just squeaks.
Barney had his check up on 10/18/13. He made his yearly meows since he never talks at home. He is up to 22.1 pounds! Aside from infrequent asthma attacks and teeth he lost a long time ago, his health checked out fine.
On 8/23/14, I pet Barney along the back in the morning and found a huge lump! I knew right away that it was an abscess. I knew that the "new" cat King Tut must have bit him. Barney is so sweet that he wants to make friends with Tutty even though Tutty is still learning to be a normal cat as he was feral. Barney kept saddling up to Tutty and trying to make contact. I had to rush Barney to the vet. He had emergency surgery to lance, drain, and clean the abscess. The vet left two holes in his back, one about the size of a large silver dollar and a smaller one an inch lower, near his tail that is about the size of a nickel. I have to put a warm compress on it and clean the area a little a few times a day. It was still bleeding when I first brought him home and then mostly switched to seroma-like fluid coming out. I confined Barney for the rest of the day as I do not want the other cats to pester him, hiss at him, etc. Plus, I need to know where he is and give him pain medication in the morning. He got a shot of convenia for the antibiotic and 6 mg of onsior for the pain medication (given that day and the next two mornings). They also gave him some IV fluids. He had a fever of 104 degrees F when we got to the vet. The vet also gave me a 10 minute speech on his obesity even though I now notice that he was down to 21 pounds from 22.1 pounds. I still cannot figure out how to give Tinkie and Tutty the food that they need while restricting the food for Barney and Emmy who weigh too much.
The morning of 8/25/14, I watched as Tutty walked up without any reason or warning and bit Barney's tail hard while he was eating treats. With supervised time together, I watched Tutty attack Barney with all nails and teeth like he meant to kill him on 8/30/14 and never let Tutty near Barney again. Tutty was put outside on 9/1/14 due to continued aggression towards all three indoor cats.
On 9/9/14, Barney had a recheck at the vet. She pulled off his two scabs (ew!!) so he started to bleed again. She said they were itching him (as if she would know). She decreed his injuried back "beautiful."
Barney had his yearly checkup on 11/17/14. The vet shaved off his scab! He had just grown his hair back and now he has a shaved area with a bloody wound again! The vet called in the vet who had operated on him before who agreed the wound should have been more healed over by then but she also said it looked "beautiful" again. He was 22.2 pounds. He got a distemper shot.
I discovered a lump on Barney's forehead around 5/9/15 and took him to the vet on 5/14/15. The vet did a needle aspiration of the lump and sent it out to the lab. She claimed he was up to 24.3 pounds. I weighed him the next night, and I got 23.5 pounds! So, I have changed how I feed the cats. They get small amounts of dry for 10 minutes three times a day but the dry food is not out all the time. Since all three do not really like canned food which is better for them, I leave out canned food all day, one 6 oz can and one 3 oz can of another brand and flavor. Normally, the next day, only about a third to half is eaten which then goes to the outdoor cats. I sure hope Barney can lose some weight! I also ordered an exercise wheel.
So, I got the results of Barney's needle biopsy late on 5/18/15. The results are inconclusive. There were a lot of lymphocytes on the slide. This can either me that he has skin cancer (lymphoma), or he is just having a localized reaction to something like a bug bite. So, what to do? Well, a punch biopsy could be done under local anaesthetic for about $350 which would probably then result in them saying to remove it. A removal operation would cost about $850 she says so probably more, and she would have to cauterize the opening as it is right about his left eye, and there is no extra skin there. Plus, there would be no guarantee that she would get it all or that she could even spread the cancer which is what happened when Gino had a cancerous tumor removed. On top of that, she says she will not operate on him at his current weight. So, that means we wait. She said to put cortizone on his boo boo for a week or so to see if that helps. I will try to measure his bump and record his weight. There is hope that both will go down. If the lump grows, then I may have to consider surgery. I hate to spend so much money but, if it saves his life, it would be worth it. There are no guarantees. I am lucky that I can afford the surgery if need be. This whole thing just sucks. Barney seems okay behaviorly, and his wheel is in the mail. So, Barney's bump size on 5/19/15 was about 0.4 cm high and about 1.2 cm in diameter.
I weighed Barney on 5/22/15 after a week on a controlled diet. He was 24 pounds! What, he's heavier?! How? He is definitely eating less. I am really confused. On 6/2/15, he was 24.5 pounds! He just keeps getting fatter! On 6/7/15, he was 23 pounds. Did he finally lose weight or what?
I thought Barney's lump was getting smaller so I measured it on 6/10/15 and got 0.9 cm high and 1.5 cm wide which is bigger than before! It sure feels smaller though. I hope I am not imagining it. On 6/13/15, Barney was 23 pounds. At least he is not fatter since the last weighing! Ok, he was up to 23.5 pounds on 6/21/15. Ahhh!!!!!!!!!!!! On the plus side, the lump on his head is almost completely gone! I weighed Barney on 7/10/15. You guessed it; he was 23 pounds. On 9/14/15, Barney weighed in at 24 pounds. He truly is not eating a ton, not more than Emmy. His metabolism is just shot so free feeding or twice a day like it is now makes no difference. The lump he had went away completely.
Barney had his yearly checkup and a rabies shot on 11/17/15. His weight was at 23.9 pounds according to their scale. The vet admitted he must have a metabolic disorder since I no longer free feed. She said he cannot tolerate any carbohydrates and that he should only get canned food. The dry food I feed though is all natural with meat; it is not a carbohydrate-based food. I will try to reduce dry and move more towards canned but he really does not have much interest in it. I also asked about his wound from 15 months ago. I still scabs and then bleeds when the scab falls off. She said that the fatty tissue under there is harboring bacteria which will not allow it to heal. I will try putting on Neosporin daily for a few weeks to see if that helps. He cannot lick himself there (or much anywhere else for that matter).
In June of 2016, Barney started eating less dry food and more canned food. I thought, "Good, he'll lose some weight." The vet had wanted him to change. But, then around 6/26/16, I knew something was wrong. On the morning of 6/28/16, when he stood over the dry food bowl with treats and did nothing but look at it and me, and then went to drink water, and he was flicking his tongue in and out, I knew something was wrong in his mouth. I made an emergency appointment for that night. He had a huge abscess over his right canine tooth. The vet was leaving from seeing us to go on a week long vacation! So, she gave Barney a shot of Convenia to head off the infection and an injection of Onsior for the pain. She gave me three Onsior pain pills for three days. The FDA does not allow use to last longer than that. By then, the antibiotic shot should have reduced the swelling and pain. They also took blood (required before surgery). He is having surgery the morning of 7/5/16. It will include removing anywhere from three to five bad teeth and a cleaning. They do digital x-rays before starting to tell which teeth are bad. The total cost will be about a month's pay for me but I cannot not do it. He is an angel. His weight was down to 22.3 pounds (from this problem mostly). The vet will also cut out where King Tut bit Barney on the back two years ago. The scab will just not heal. She says it needs new flesh/skin. Since he has not been eating dry food, I am now cold stopping dry food for him. Emmy and Tinkie may get some on the side but I am changing to all canned food even though it means a few more dollars a day.
Shock. I was in shock when the vet called on 7/1/16 with his pre-op blood work. Barney was in acute kidney failure. The normal maximum for creatinine in cats is 2.0. His was 17. The highest maximum for BUN in cats is 36. His was 216. For comparison, I have had three other cats with chronic renal failure, and these are their worst results: Samantha creatinine 4.6, BUN 77; Elvisina creatinine 7.4, BUN 123; and Tootsy BUN 61. Barney's results were so high that he should not be alive. His ALT (liver) was also above the maximum of 100 at 188.
I took Barney to the vet on 7/2/16. They tested his BUN and creatinine in house. The results were above the limits of the machine. His hematocrit was also retested, and it was okay. He lost enough weight that she could feel his kidneys which were twice normal size. There is no doubt. He has kidney lymphoma. She said he will not live more than three months and could die at any time. We are going to try to keep him comfortable. She gave him subcutaneous fluids which I will be doing daily now for the remainder of his life. I will do 150 to 200 mL a day depending on how things go. She also gave me some liquid prednisolone which may help with appetite and inflammation. He gets half a milliliter twice a day. He cannot have pain meds; they are all counter indicated for cats in kidney failure. Go figure. He will get a Convenia antibiotic shot every two weeks to control his mouth infection. The high BUN has made him uremic which causes severe gingivitis and is why his teeth are bleeding and abscessing. He is eating only small amounts of food as his mouth hurts, and his body is being poisoned since his kidneys are not functioning. His attitude though is still "I am so sweet and nice; look at how cute I am!" He does not act like he is dying. I also ordered some homeopathic cat cancer support solution. It probably will not do much but why not try. He is not yet eight years old. He is the least aggressive cat I have ever met. He has never once bitten me or another animal. He has never once tried to hit me with his claws or tried to scratch me accept by accident when jumping away. He does not hiss or growl at the other cats even when they do. He has never hissed or growled at me. He is not a cat; he is an angel.
Barney seems to be doing well. He has peed next to the litter pan a few times. I do not know if he did not get in the pan as it was hard for him, or if he was in but his rear hung over. I replaced the litter pan mat with a piddle pad to collect any pee. I gave him a dose of the magic cancer medicine, and he hated it. He salivated all over, flicking his head, running, and trying to get the stuff out of his mouth. I am not going to give it to him if he hates it that much. He acted like it was poison.
On 7/11/16, the living room smelled strongly of urine. Since he is dying, Barney's urine smells much stronger than a regular cat's. The problem is that I cannot find where he peed. I used a flashlight looking for liquid during the day, and a black light at night trying to find it. He pooped under the piano. So, the next morning, I pulled out a plastic tray originally sold for under Christmas trees but I had used it under plants. I put a piddle pad in it and then just a sprinkling of cat litter. I put him in there, and he peed right away; however, he didn't squat, so most of it went on the rug. So, I put piddle pads all around the thing. Tinkie likes to dig to China so she came over and dug around. It is making a mess but better than pee and poop all over the place. Barney is still using the stairs so I do not know if he has trouble getting over the side of the regular litter pans (about 3 inches high), or he is just confused and too sick to bother. I cannot be mad at him. When I gave him his water on 7/11/16, he also tried to bite me for the first time ever. He kind of stopped mid bite. Personality changes come at the end but I will still love him.
Barney went back to the vet on 7/12/16. He has noticeably lost weight. He was down to 20.3 pounds. He got a Convenia antibiotic shot. They re-tested his BUN, creatinine, hematocrit, and total protein. The BUN and creatinine were down to 67 and 6.5 from 216 and 17 which is great. Fluids did that. His PCV was 29 so he is becoming anemic. The total protein as 7.4. She said his phosphorus may be high but we have not tested for that. There are phosphorus binders but they require him to eat food to which they are added.
Barney went to the vet on 7/26/16. His weight was up to 20.4 pounds. I told her that he is doing too well to have lymphoma. She thought so too. They took blood and urine, and I am waiting for results. She also did two x-rays. Unfortunately, they showed his huge kidneys and a few other minor possible lymph growths both of which support the diagnosis.
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