Friday, October 31, 2014

The last post !

Said tongue-in-cheek!

I thought I'd give an update on the state of my cat bite wound. As mentioned in a post earlier this week, I've had to have the first of three anti-rabies injections. I have two more which are packed in my suitcase and which our house doctor will administer for me on Monday and two weeks later, respectively.

Every morning I had my wound dressed  at 8am by John Shoshiwe . On Tuesday because we left very early for Mwanza (Grant's dental appointment), John came in to hospital early and treated my wounds at 5.30am.
Theater Nurse, John Shoshiwe

On Monday, while lying face down on the gurney, lost one of my earring studs. John saw me looking for it after he'd finished treating my wounds,   and said that if he found it, he'd keep it for me. After my dawn treatment on Tuesday he said, "Don't worry Bibi, when I sweep the theater, I'm sure I'll find it." 

That evening after we'd returned from Mwanza, Grant took the driver, Frank home. As he drove past the hospital (not his normal route) an orderly came out of the grounds and flagged him down. He gave Grant a folded tissue and said it was for Bibi. My earring stud! Incredible!

Next day John was on a week's leave and his assistant, Joshua dressed my wounds. Although he wasn't unprofessional, he was a lot rougher and dug deeper when flushing the wounds. I twitched and yelped on frequently while he said "Pole" (sorry) ! 

 My antibiotic injections on Monday morning started as an intravenous application. The stent kept falling out and although Teddy, the day sister next to the dispensary managed to get the meds into my veins, I bled profusely. That night when I visited the women's ward where the sister on duty would medicate me, I begged her (sound dramatic? It was! LOL) to please give the injection intro-muscularly. She warned me that it would be painful and I replied that I had a high pain threshold...

When you're injected by this hospital staff, they talk to you while preparing the syringes, putting you at ease. Then she'll tell you to turn around (I leaned over the bed) and she swabs the area, and as she inserts the needle she says: sindano/injection; as the fluid enters your body she says: dawa/medicine. 

Well, the first injection was a little prick and although I felt the meds flowing into my body, it was painless. When she injected the second and largest antibiotic, I also didn't flinch; then the medicine left the needle and entered this Vintage Bibi,  I clutched the edge of the gurney; I must have yelped out loud,  because the sister said: Pole to which I replied Asante /thank you (this is the norm!) 

This morning was my last two injections. Grant dropped me at the hospital and I entered the women's ward with my medication. All the staff that I pass in the corridors and in and around the wards, ask how the wound is. And I stop to show them: much better! When the sister took me into the ante-room to give me my final injections, she did the smaller, painless one first. Then she administered the largest (but thankfully the LAST) injection. As the dawa flowed under my skin, I came over faint!

I remember coming to in the women's ward, with a phalanx of nurses and sisters (and mothers whose children are in that ward) hovering anxiously around me. As soon as I could stand, the sister helped me along the corridor to the car, where Grant, totally unaware of his wife's predicament, was waiting! At home I lay down for about ten minutes; Regina brought me a glass of iced water. Soon I was up and about again and managed to continue and complete packing for our trip!

All this drama because of a highly-strung Khartoum slums rescue cat! Mmm..

And now for blogger friend, Margaret, Birding for Pleasure I'm adding the first video I took of the pups.

I'm signing off now, packing my Ultrabook in my backpack and getting ready to go! 

You all keep well, safe and happy till we meet again on Blogger. 

Last day with the pups and kitties

Firstly, let me apologize for the wrong setting on my video in yesterday's post. I'm still learning the ropes but I went into settings and managed to change it from private to public.  

Here it is again!

Next, this is the day that we leave for our three-week holiday in South Africa. I'm always loathe to leave as it means three weeks without seeing our cats. But now there's an added sadness to my departure. I have to leave my pups who have filled my every waking hour (and many of my sleeping ones) with great pleasure for the past six weeks.

I know they're in good hands with Michael, Zechariah. Armani, Joshua and Regina caring for them. I know I've made arrangements for their four meals a day. I know that they're as healthy as any pup can be, but more so than any other pup in the country.

On Wednesday Michael and I administered worm meds to Princess and all the pups. This was so much easier than doing cats. I mean, it was because I was giving the cats worms meds last week, and I inadvertently stood on Ginger's tail. He yowled, Shadow attacked him and in trying to restore the peace I was caught in the crossfire. (Many of you know about my week-long treatment at the hospital and the agony of the twice daily double doses of antibiotic injections.)
 The worm medication for Princess (the bigger dog!) and the seven pups. In the center is the pack of worm tablets for our three cats. I asked the vet to send me extra for future use. I have to force the tablets down the cats' throats and this is where the trouble started last week!

The worm tabs arrived with friend, Louise who brought them from SA for me. I placed the  tablet on the rail running around the enclosure fence. The pups were jumping around excitedly; Michael went into the pen and picked up one pup, we fed it the tablet (I licked one, it tastes meaty - says the vegetarian, LOL) then he'd put the pup inside the hut and lock the door. This way we managed to do all the pups without confusion. Princess was easy too; she simply swallowed her meaty treat! 
 One nugget tablet to deworm one pup. Princess' tablet was about four times larger 
Michael holds the worm tablet which the pup chewed and swallowed
 The second pup gets hers, and so on until we'd done all seven

Once we'd done all seven pups, he let them out of the huts and they made a beeline for the water bowl. For the past week the pups have tipped their water over constantly. I brought out an empty ice-cream container, Michael placed a clean stone in it and filled it with water. 
Voila! (the water around the container is because they dribble!) 

On Thursday during our morning play on the lawn, I brought out the puppy, kitten, bird and pet mouse flea powder which I'd used on Princess all year. Michael applied powder to the backs of each pup and Princess avoiding their eyes, ears and mouths. 
The pups relax all around Michael while he applies flea powder!

As I said, the pups are healthy and clean; their meals are lined up in huge bins (the ugali and dog pellets) and on the kitchen shelf: the oats, milk powder and tinned dog meat; blankets and towels are available for night time. yes, the pups are in good hands while Mum Bibi is away from home. 

We're leaving for Mwanza (160kms away) just after lunch. We spend the night at a beautiful hotel on the shores of Lake Victoria. Tomorrow morning early we fly to Dar es Salaam. 

 Our flight between Mwanza on Lake Victoria, and Dar Es Salaam on the Indian Ocean

At 2.45pm we board South African Airways flight to Johannesburg. We sleep over in a beautiful hotel just a few minutes' drive from the airport. On Sunday morning early we catch the domestic flight to Bloemfontein. By 9am we touch down and we're met by our son Angus  his wife, Amanda, our two little grandchildren, Joel and Abbey and friend and house-sitter Rina. 

Till I connect with Blogger again from my home in South Africa I wish you all a wonderful weekend. 

The moon earlier this week over the East African bush

I'm linking to Skywatch Friday here

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Princess' Pups six weeks old

One of the many pups' play sessions on the lawn.

In the video below, Mvulana and Bibi (the pup, not me!) are having a tussle. They are the brother and sister who look like Princess. Bibi, the smooth-haired pup get the upper hand  paw  and  chases Mvulana all over the lawn. Then one of the other little girls  finds of a piece of cloth near the tap. She  chews on it just behind Michael who is playing with another pup and a pod. Princess steals the pod from her own pup and runs off. But Mvulana follows his mama and grabs the pod. What confidence!

What-out Michael, I have big teeff! 
Ergh, why is your boot so tuff?
I'm Msichana Tatu/Girl number three! My yoomen mum, Bibi says I've always looked like a big dog! 
Misichana's Moja na Mbili / Girls number one and two seem to be discussing the merits of their surroundings! 
 Hallo Michael. I'm sneaking up on you...
Nreouw! Gottcha!
Bibi , the smallest pup cuddles up to her namesake, Bibi! 

I hope you're all having a really great Thursday.

Thanks to Margaret from Birding for Pleasure who helped me to upload my video. 

Good Fences Great Mining Town

Waiting to sign out of the mine at the security gate
Re-entering the mine town when you've been "outside"
The two secure entrances to the town

I'm linking my post to Good Fences Thursday hosted by TexWisGirl and which you can visit here

And just one photo of the pups which includes the reed fence around our property. The pups were 40 days / six weeks old yesterday. I will post about this milestone a little later today

Here's wishing you all a peaceful Thursday. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Spotted Thick-knee

On Sunday as we were returning from a bird outing in the bush, Grant spotted a sunbird flitting into several shrubs which had already started flowering. He stopped and I got out. Although I panned back and forth, I just couldn't pick up his sighting.

As I lowered the camera, I focused on a shadowy shape under a bush quite some way off. I zoomed in and saw that it was a Spotted Thick-knee.
 Spotted Thick-knee resting in the shade

The Spotted Thick-knee is a brown plover-like bird with a large head and large yellow eyes. The upper-parts are mottled brown giving a spotted appearance and the underparts are paler and streaked, especially on the breast.

Spotted Thick-knees feed in the morning, in the early evening and at night. They occur in dry rocky scrub and bush country.  During the day they can be found resting in the shade of bushes and trees. 
 Note how well it's camouflaged; I was thrilled to have "spotted" it! 

I'm linking my post to Wild Bird Wednesday hosted by Stewart Monckton here

Here's wishing you all a Happy Wednesday. 


You mean you need this suitcase?

For more Wordless Wednesday, please click here

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Still pending...

Although John Shoshiwe (Theater nurse at the hospital) bas been treating me cat bite injury, yesterday the deepest wound showed signs of serious infection. John spent thirty minutes flushing the poison out with saline and then packing the wound with cotton wool soaked in iodine. He then sent me along to see Dr Leonard for an anti-rabies injection.

When I arrived at Dr Leonard's rooms, he was holding court  having a meeting with the other doctors, technicians and sisters. While I waited on the veranda for him to to see me, I sat in the sun and read. However, before his meeting was over, he called me inside. He said that he'd been telling his staff that I'd been bitten by my own pet cat; I fed and housed this cat, yet it still bit me. So the people offered to come and shoot the cat for me! Although I could see no-one believed me, I told them that the cat hadn't actually meant to bite me. It was having a fight with another cat and I got in the way.They 
asked if the other cat was a stray. And when I said no, both cats were mine, they just shook their collective heads!  (Crazy Mzungu, I could see running through their minds) 

Dr Leonard then told me that John had already given him a full report of the state of especially one of my wounds. He then suggested that I go onto a stronger five-day course of antibiotics, this time administered intravenously. My heart sank. It's only a week since I had to make the trip to the hospital for malaria injections and here I am doing it all over again!

I submitted my prescription in to Prokeria, the pharmacist; then came the next shock: she handed me ten boxes of vials of one injection and a strip containing five ampoules of another injection. She also gave me one box containing the ampoule of anti-rabies injection.  She then sent me to the sister, in an adjacent room. There, Sr Theresa prepared the anti-rabies injection which she then administered into my arm. Then she prepared the two sets of antibiotics. These she injected intravenously. She noted the time of administration and asked me to return to the women's ward in twelve hours' time. So last night at 9.15 Grant took me back for the second injection. 
 Culprits and cause of my present predicament, Shadow and Ginger with the "stash" of meds I have to have administered

Early this morning, I'd arranged with John to be at the hospital where he treated my wounds again. As this post is aired, we'll be on our way to Mwanza; it's time for Grant's bridge to be fitted at the dentist.

And now, something much more pleasant: pups, day 39 update!
 On Monday, Michael had to attend to family business in Shinyanga. Joshua stood in for him. Here he lets the pups out of their enclosure
On Sunday Grant had a chance to play with the pups
 Joshua plays energetically with Princess and the pups
The above scene is not a normal one; in Africa dogs are not normally patted; at best they're ignored, at worst, they're kicked and beaten
 Princess learned quickly how to romp on the lawn with the pups (albeit sometimes a little too roughly)
Oooh mama, that tickles!
The pups have no lack of playmates: mum Jo, Mama Princess and Askari Joshua,  Michael and Zechariah
Mum Jo has many exciting things to play with: her leg bandage...
... her camera lens cap ...
 ... her shorts!
I found a stick but it got stuck in my throat and Mum had to pull it out!
 Giving Joshua a high-five
 To tempt them back into the enclosure, I bring out the food bowls

I'm linking my post to Our World Tuesday which you can visit here


Monday, October 27, 2014

Weekend of 25 26 October 2014

Ambrose gave an account of Shadow biting me and my subsequent trips to the hospital. General Nurse, John Shoshiwe (brother to my night askari Zechariah) cleaned and dressed the wounds on Saturday, and again on Sunday morning. He said they were all healing very well and removed the dressing; he just covered the deepest bite to prevent infection. He also suggested I go to Dr Leonard for an anti-rabies injection. Although all our pets are always up to date on their inoculations, I don't think the anti-rabies will do any harm and it's better to be safe than sorry. I'll be at the hospital again this morning for my final wound treatment and the said injection.

Meanwhile the pups just thrive and grow bigger and healthier on the solid food from Bibi, a little mother's milk from Princess, lots of attention from the humans and their twice a day romp on the lush lawn.
The pups know when it's 11am and 3.30pm; this is their play time on the lawn
As far as I can ascertain, these two times a day, are the only times when Princess allows the pups to suckle
See how  we run, Mum? (Mvulana to the left of the photo)
Bibi and an older pup play on the grass

It's amazing how, by four weeks, the pups began to show their characters. And even more amazing that the first pup to do anything "doggie-like" was the last -born. Bibi is the runt of the litter. A tiny, almost puny female but she is so confident and will try any new experience before her larger, stronger siblings. Mvulana, the second-to-last-born pup, looks like Bibi (and both look like Princess) and is the next in line when it comes to clever tricks and new games. Mvulana is one of the only two males.
 Mvulana enjoys a cuddle on Michael's lap

The other pups all have their own little personalities, and I've posted photos of them doing the cutest things. 
 Nibbling mum's toes! 

I wish you all a wonderful and happy week ahead.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Caught in the Crossfire

Hi Aunty Kay, Lindy and mum's blog readers. Lindy I saw that you're on holiday with your mum and dad. So you probably won't be blogging but enjoy every tail wagging moment.

This week was a bit dramatic in our house. Mum gave me, Ambrose, Unca Shadow and Dad Ginger that awful worm medicine again. She mixes the tablets with warm water, draws it up into a syringe and then she squirts it down our throats. Although it wasn't nice, she says it has to be done.  Dad Ginger jumped off the day bed on the veranda and Mum accidentally stood on his tail. He yowled loudly and Unca Shadow, who is very nervous of Dad Ginger, gave a growl which turned into a scream. They both faced each other snarling and spitting at each other in the lounge;  eventually Mum managed to push Dad Ginger back onto the veranda and close the door. She says usually a short separation helps ease the tension.

Well, as she walked through the dining room. I don't think she knew that Unca Shadow, who was shaking with fear, was under the table. He shot out and latched onto the back of Mum's leg.
Unca Shadow has very sharp teeth and claws 

Although Mum washed the wounds immediately with course salt in hot water, and applied ointment, by Saturday afternoon the wounds were showing signs of infection. Mum phoned the chief doctor who arranged for the doctor on call, Dr Munde,  to be at the hospital at 5pm. She says Dr Munde sent her for a procedure called: Theater Treatment and then prescribed medicine to make sure the infection goes away.  

She says that the General Nurse, John Shoshiwe, told her he normally wouldn't close the wounds. But two of them were very deep, and after he'd cleaned each bite/scratch with saline solution and applied Iodine, he wanted to protect the area overnight. She had to go back to John Shoshiwe this morning for another cleaning and ointment treatment.
Mum says the staff at the hospital are very professional 
John made even her old leg look neat!

While he was cleaning the wounds, John told mum that his brother, Zechariah works as Night Askari at our house. Mum has posted many times about Zechariah who she calls her Night Angel, especially now that he keeps guard over the pups during the night.  
 Dad Ginger relaxes on the table
 Unca Shadow sniffs at mum's birding bag. You won't believe that this is the same cat that hurt our mum the night before! 
I watch everything from my tree-deck

Now mum has asked me to do a pup update to cheer this post up. 

What's cheer, Unca Shadow?  

Uh-oh, Unca Shadow isn't listening... 

Mum says the pups are 38 days old now. And we kitties see them going out onto the lawn in the morning and afternoon. We play in the back garden, as this is safer with Princess around. She is very protective about her babies. 
The pups are very excited when they know they're going out onto the lawn
 Michael, our day askari calls the pups  to play
A pup looks closely at the grass 
 Another pup nibbles mum's toes 
They play with everything they can get their teeth into!
 Princess loves playing with her puppies
Michael cuddles Mvulana
When it was time to go back into their enclosure, two of the pups were too tired to come along...
... so Michael picked them up and carried them home! 

Mum always tells me to say: Have a happy weekend, everyone. Including all the lucky puppies and kitties like us, here at Hedges Kitty Pet Hotel.