Monday, September 7, 2009

The summer of 2009 - not the best for Pepper

This past summer Pepper has dropped his energy level drastically. We had hoped that once the temperature cooled he would bounce back, but this seems not to be.

Pepper usually has a 'nap' after breakfast with the other boys while Legolas has some freedom. This morning I took him to tuck him into his big new plush bed he loves, and covered him with a polar fleece blanket that he sometimes loves to use. For some reason, the blanket must have been a problem because I left the room to do something and came back to find him gasping for breath outside the bed. In the past, about five minutes of oxygen would bring Pepper around to normal relaxed breathing in that situation but this morning it didn't work. Eventually I just had to back off fussing with him when he looked a little bit better and left him in peace. An hour or so later he seemed fine and was back in his bed, thank goodness, but what about next time?

This labored breathing is getting to be quite a concern and Pepper doesn't like the oxygen mask so we are talking about creating a 'tent' for him with a box he loves to hide in for hours. This is based upon ideas that have been discussed on the feline heart group. Hopefully whatever we manage to design will make life a little easier for our precious fellow.

I am finding I also have to monitor the interactions between Pepper and Thumper these days as Pepper just doesn't seem to be able to handle much activity. It may have been this type of interaction that caused our experience this morning.

This afternoon I was holding my breath for a time as Pepper was getting very worked up by the squirrels outside the cat run, but what do we do? We could keep him indoors to protect his heart and lower the stress level that way, but would it really lower the stress as Pepper does so love to be out in the cooler air that is easier to breath. We are between a rock and a hard place, and have no positive options for our boy.