Ebony’s Surgery Experience – June 2015!



Ebony had a cyst growing on his neck on the right side.  This started growing several years ago.  We have been monitoring it.  The vet took a sample and it was not cancer. They have drained it on occasion over the last several years. Each time they drained it it would come back even bigger.

Ebony and his cyst

Ebony and his cyst – see the white area on the left

About May, we both felt that the cyst was getting bigger and if they drained it again it would just come back even larger.  So we decided that it needed to come off.

This would be no easy task to remove the cyst from Ebony’s neck.  He is not the bravest cat and when he is traumatized he hides.  I have little cubicle areas for him to retreat to but my biggest concern was that he would end up under the bed and we could not be able to monitor his recovery.

Closer to Ebony's cyst

Closer to Ebony’s cyst – the size of a golf ball

Fortunately, Ebony has been with us now almost six years.  We adopted him and Sneakers in November of 2009.  He has changed and become so much more friendlier. He is still quick to run, but we can pet him more and he asks for us to pet him and feed him. He has come along way from the scared depressed and sick cat that we brought home.


I therefore, I set about planning his surgery experience.

1.  Survey of Vet Hospitals in the Seattle and Shoreline area: I did a survey of the kinds of vet hospitals in the area and what type of services they offered and their costs.  My thought was should he stay overnight at least the first night?  This would keep him safe and quiet.

A new vet hospital would mean bringing him in for a consultation and then returning for the surgery and possibly a follow up.  That means going three times to the vet for this procedure. It is hard enough getting him into the cat carrier to take him to the vet.  So doing this several times would damage all the care and love I have been giving him over the years. He remembers how I grab him.

Some of these vet hospitals required the vet to refer you to them for procedures. Which I could obtain from Cascade Pet if I decided to.

2.  Crate options:  Could we rent or buy a crate to keep him quiet the first night in our home?  I started to look at them online at rental stores like Aurora Rents, and Petsmart for the cost and sizes.

I was talking to my sister about Ebony’s cyst needing to be removed and I asked her about renting a crate or cage because she had done that herself for other cats. She offered a large dog crate she had for me to use and she sent me a picture.

So I decided that the dog crate, although small, might work long enough to keep him quiet the first couple of hours after he returned home.  I made arrangements to get this dog crate.

So I decided against the new vet hospitals because of the number of visits was unacceptable to me.  The cost was also a factor.  The Dog Crate was free and available and I knew in my heart he would not like it.

So the next step was talking to Cascade Pet Hospital about the surgery.

2.  Negotiating with Cascade Pet about the surgery:  I was near Sam’s Club so I went into Cascade Pet Hospital which is on Aurora in north Seattle.  I talked to the receptionist attendant and told her my problems with Ebony.

My goals:

1.  To reduce the time bringing him back and forth to the hospital to a minimum of two times is not just once.  This is very traumatic for him.

a.  No consultation appointment because they had knowledge of the cyst in his medical records.

b. Could they use stitches that dissolve.

c.  So he would only need to be brought in once for the surgery.

2.  How much would the surgery cost?

3.  Time he would need to be at the hospital.

3.  The vet attendant could not answer all my questions, so she said she would talk to the doctor about Ebony and she what they could do and call me back.

So she called back the next day to tell me what the doctor would do:

1.  Ebony would only have to come in once for the surgery.

2.  They needed him to come in early so they could do in-house blood work on him because he is an older cat. To make sure he is okay for anesthetic.

3.  I would bring him home by 4 pm.

4.  Cost would be about $450.00.  Total cost with a senior discount $415. Amazing.

4.  Schedule the surgery for June 25, 2015 and I would bring him in at 8:15 am.

So the plan was to take him in on the day of the surgery in the cat carrier, leave him till 4 pm the same and come and get him.


The 25th of June came quickly and I managed to get Ebony trapped. He was lounging on the Futon.  He was digging in to the Futon with his claws.  With hubby’s help we got him into the cat carrier really quick and with as little trauma as possible.

The day before I brought the carrier and the dog crate into the house.  I wanted them both to be use to the sight of them and smell.

We were a little early with the cat carrier so Ebony YEOWLED and that upset Sneakers who kept going over to the carrier to check on his buddy.

My hubby placed the cat carrier on my lap in the car and we drove to the vet hospital which is not too far from our house.

About 1 pm the vet assistant called to tell me that the surgery was successful and he was done and doing well. I was to come and get him a 4 pm.


I was at Cascade Pet Hospital a little bit before 4 pm.  Paid my bill and talked to the vet assistant who went over the post surgery rules.

Post Surgery rules:

To keep eye on his wound for any infection.  He had been given a 14 day antiobiotic injection.

He could not eat till 6 pm but he could have water and he should resume eating by the next day.  I was to give him food and water in small amounts to prevent nausea.

I was to keep him quiet, calm and restrict his activities for a few days.

Keep and eye on the wound for any problems. Since I did not want a collar I needed to be diligent in watching him and making sure he did not scratch his wound and cause it to tear or bleed.

No Collar:  I did not want a collar put on him although the assistant felt they could use a soft one. I had a bad experience with Ciara my big dog regarding one and didn’t want it at all.

Just remember you can negotiate with the vet about the care of your animal.

Dr. Snyder the new doctor was smart and very intense.  She was concerned about his blood levels indicating kidney issues.  I told her that I had tried prescription food for both cats but they would not eat it and it was costing me a lot of money. She realized I knew about the problem. She told me to have plenty of water and I said we did. Both cats are doing well and have good quality of life.  So I am making a big decision based on their age and health at this time to not use prescription foods.

She also said he has a cyst on his chin, that we are to monitor.


Both cats are heavy, so carrying the cat carrier requires I be very careful and hold it tightly even though it has a handle at the top.

I placed Ebony on the passenger seat and drove us home.  He was complaining all the way.  I could see inside and note that he was groggy.

At home, I opened the cat carrier and he was out in a flash but I had positioned it in from of the dog crate so he went right into the dog crate. WHEW!

An unhappy Ebony in the Dog Crate

An unhappy Ebony in the Dog Crate

I had a small kitty litter container in the crate, a towel for him to lay on and got him some water.  He was YEOWLING the hole time.  He wanted out. He spilled his water and messed the kitty litter around trying to get out.

I sat next to him and Sneakers did too. He kept YEOWLING, let me out! My sitting next to him seemed to calm him some.

Hubby came home about 5:15 and took over trying to calm Ebony down and laying next to the dog crate.

We kept him in the crate from about 4:15 pm to 7 pm and he YEOWLed most of it. I think the 2.5 hours gave him time to wear off the anesthetic.

Hubby opened the door and let him out.  We immediately got the dog crate out of the house and the cat carrier gone.  I was not going to have to take him back for the stitches they were dissolving.  YIPPEE!

He was pretty wired but I think he was happy to be home and able to go to the kitty litter and his hideaways without being to silly from the medicines they used.

I was surprised to see that his surgery site was as large as it was.  The surgery cut was a good 2.5 inches.  Apparently the cyst was bigger than we realized.

Taking pictures of the surgery site has not been easy because he is so dark and he is not cooperating.

About Tuesday following, Cascade Pet called to see how Ebony was doing and I gave a good report.  Ebony was doing great.  He was healing well and not scratching his wound and each time I look at it it is looking better and better.  It was a little puffy in places and I was told that would go away in a few weeks.  I checked this morning and wound was even better.

I am so very proud of my little Ebony. He is asking for food, catnip and petting.  He even likes me again and wants to hang out with me.  I am so glad that is over.

Cats Gym and Cat Scratch Post Overview


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Over the years since I adopted Ebony and Sneakers, who were raised as indoor cats, I have learned how to repair cat scratch posts and gyms.

They are not cheap depending on what you buy and a cat destroys the carpet on them within a relatively short period of time.  I have averaged six months and that is with two cats.  Ebony is the one that digs in and really uses it.  Sneakers is not so good at it and is having claw issues.  We just took him to the vet to have them trimmed because he was catching on the bedspread and futon cover.

With Ebony ripping them to shreds, I have to recover and fix a gym or scratch post rather frequently.

I purchased a cat gym for about $139.00 and I was not going to replace it at that price. I purchased another  for $99.00 but they just didn’t use it so I gave it to my niece after using it for a Xmas tree one year.

I therefore conducted an online survey to find information about how to repair or fix a cat gym or cat scratch post in 2010 but could not find anyone who had blogged or wrote about it.

So I decided to go and repair it and write about it so others could learn and save money.

Here is a summary list of my posts on this subject matter starting with the oldest one and moving forward to the more recent post. Hopefully you will be able to follow along to see how this whole process has evolved.

Cat Tree

Cat Tree the first design which they liked…

Here are the posts:

Cat Jungle Gym, March 3, 2010

Choosing a Cat Tree? March 27, 2010

To Repair or Not to Repair? July 24, 2010

Step 1 Cat Gym Repair: Buying Rug or Sisal? July 25, 2010

Step 2 Cat Gym Repair: Setting up! August 17, 2010

Step 3 Cat Gym Repair: Taking it Apart! August 22, 2010

Step 4 Cat Gym Repair: Removing Ripped Rug! August 25, 2010

Step 5 Repairing a Cat Gym – Reupholstering September 8, 2010

Step 6 Cat Gym Repair: Reassembling! September 20, 2010

About six months later, I had to fix it again.

Recovering a Cat Gym/Tree…Again! February 13, 2011

Redoing the Cat Gym – The Third Time! June 30, 2011

This was about an article where someone else was repairing one:

Another Cat Tree Fixer Upper! September 15, 2011

Cat Scratching Post! How to? November 3, 2011

Cat Gym Repair – That time Again! Feb 6, 2012

Recovering a Cat Gym….AGAIN!!! Yup! April 2, 2013

In the following posts I switched to another design and gave up on the gym which my hubby and I found to be too complicated to fix and put back together.  It was the very long screws that were hard to re-drill into the post.

This design was homemade and didn’t cost me anything, my sister didn’t want it anymore.  In my post I give the dimensions and the pieces and you can see how it comes together.

The refurbished Cat Scratch Post May 2014

The refurbished Cat Scratch Post May 2014 new design

Cat Scratch Post Refinished, a new take on it, May 31, 2014

Time to fix the Cat Scratch Post, January 31, 2015

To find these posts go to the Search box on the right of this blog and put in the information.  The other option is to use the Archives box which is by date.  You can also go to Categories and select “Cat Gym Repair” which should have them listed.

We add this post and you have a list of the posts I have written about this subject.

Cat Gym and Cat Scratch Post Overview..2/28/2015

I hope these have been helpful and it has saved you cat lovers money.

Time to fix the Cat Scratch Post…



Well Ebony had done a job to the cat scratch post and it was time to recover it.  This was easy because I had my hubby cut me a second board so I could just remove the used one and replace it with a new upholstered one. Now I can cover one and keep exchanging the pieces which will speed up the process of fixing the post.

It is essential to have some item for your cats to use to keep their claws in shape.  This particular design is home made by some person years ago and it is very simple.  You use a post for the stand up part and then a flat board for the base, cut an angle board and cover with rug.

This is the post where I introduced this style of cat scratch post.

Cat Scratch Post Refinish, a new take on it,” May 2014.  There are more in depth posts on how to refinish one of these on this blog.

Cat Scratch post all worn out.

Ebony is just about to use his Cat Scratch post which is all worn out.

A little closer so you can see the damage.

A little closer so you can see the damage.

Sneakers is checking on the work.

Sneakers is checking the work on the new fix.

All done and fixed for another six months.

All done and fixed for another six months.

This time it took about 45 minutes to fix up. I just repaired the tilted angled section by removing it, recovering it with rug, and then re-installing.  I had to get out my electric staple gun, flat head screwdriver, pliers, hammer and utility knife to do the project and then clean up the debris after.

I have written about recovering these cat gyms and scratch post in the past so you can go and get more detail from other posts by doing a search.  I have a category on the right of this blog about repairing these.  There are 16 posts about repairing a cat gym.

Happy New Year – 2015



Sneakers and Ebony were introduced to the new year with fireworks courtesy of our neighbors.  Sneakers headed under the bed while Ebony cried wondering where his brother had gone.

I jumped a few times when the fireworks went off.  At least the neighbor didn’t do the really booming fireworks like he has in the past, which rattles the house.  An inspection of our yard may reveal pieces of the celebration…

We had been at a wedding in the Chicago area so we had been gone several days and decided to stay home with the Sneakers and Ebony and have a quiet New Years.  It was quiet except for the noise.

Sneakers and Ebony want to ask you to be kind to the animals in 2015.  It you cannot care for them take them to the Humane society in your area of PAWs or some organization that will care for them. It might take a little effort on your part but then you can have a clear conscience, just don’t abandon them they cannot care for themselves anymore in our society too many dangers.  See my side panel on this blog for ideas.

Go now and hug your pet, whether a dog or cat and you will be rewarded with a waggle and a lick, a rub or a nose to nose greeting.


Sneakers and Ebony  2011

Sneakers and Ebony 2011

Celebrating Five years with Sneakers & Ebony…

Sneakers & Ebony Buddies

Sneakers & Ebony Buddies

Today I reach the 5 year mark with Ebony and Sneakers.  We adopted them in November 2009 and they are still with us today.

They both had their vet visits.  Sneakers on November 6 and Ebony on November 15.  Getting Sneakers to the vet was pretty easy but Ebony was a little more difficult.  I trapped him on the Futon and had to peel him off but got him into the cat carrier a little too early, but having him sit there while we thawed the car out from the frozen state it was in took a little time, so he sat in the carrier about 10 minutes.  Total time for Ebony was about 1.5 hours in the cat carrier, at the vet and home.  So we did good.

Both are doing well.  Sneakers still has kidney issues.  I cannot get him to eat the expensive prescription diet and am just trying to make him happy.  Ebony has an intestinal issue and I am giving him meds for that and hopefully that will get cleared up.

Giving meds to Ebony is not easy, we have considerable trouble holding him and putting them into his mouth so this method is to mix it into the foods.  I have taken the crunches away during the day and only giving them little servings of moist food at a time.  It is slow going because he nibbles his food.  I cover the remaining food and add just a little.  I have to watch him eat his food because Sneakers will eat it and he really should have the meds.  I take the food plate away and cover it to use later.

Ebony likes to get cuddles, petting and brushing from his other human.  Ebony will come up to me and squeak to tell me he wants me to pay attention to him or give him catnip. Ebony is a great flopper and can roll himself down onto the rug so we can petting and rub him. Sneakers is dangerous when you give him catnip, he will swat you, however, likes to cuddle with me when we watch TV together.  He will reach out his paw to get attention.  So both are happy cats and doing well for 15 years old, although I think Sneakers is older.

Oh this is cute, when we corralled Ebony to take him to the vet, Sneakers kept going over to the cat carrier and trying to help Ebony who was yeowling.  He had this puzzled look on his face  and walked around concerned.  He didn’t go hide he kept walking around and going over to the cat carrier.  (I call them brothers even though they really aren’t).

We have been closing down a storage unit so this means we are bringing things home and moving furniture around.  We would go out bring in a load and he would not go into the bedroom, he wanted to see what was happening so every time I returned with a new load he would be sitting right there in the living room watching.  He is so curious. Ebony he went into the bedroom and stayed.

Afterwards, they wandered around sniffing things and rubbing them with their cheeks and curious about what I was up to with rearranging things and putting things away.  It is a good sign when a cat is curious.

My two Gentlemen Kitties are doing well and happy.



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