June of 2013 Bubba started changing. He usually sat on my lap every night and he quit doing that. My once lovable kitty started acting more aloof. He also had an ear hematoma which required an operation. Since then he has had one flopped ear.
Bubba was a wonderful cat. So much so I did a whole art show of just him. We called it BubbaPalooza. He even had his own Facebook page www.facebook.com/BubbaDumm and comic book. People love him. As a matter of fact, we loved Bubba’s superior attitude. That was his personality.
Then in January of this year he started picking on Bogart. We usually could stop the fights but in February there was a really bad one. It was the middle of the night and it was like Bubba wanted to kill Bogart. It was very violent to the point where Bogart peed himself from fear. The funny thing, though, Bubba never did any damage, never a bite.
Then in March, again in the middle of the night we had another fight. We also noticed that occasionally Bub would spray the wall, something he never did. He would also try to mount our spayed female cat Luna.
His behaviour started getting worse and his temper got shorter. He also looked like he was bulking up although at the time I didn't give that much thought. I asked the vet about it and he said I should take Bubba to a behaviour specialist.
In April we knew we had to watch Bubba with the other cats. As long as we were watching Bub would be OK but if we left the room there could be a fight. I was getting concerned and wondered what was happening to my lovable Bubba. There were a few more horrible fights with Bogart.
I also had a blood test done on him because I thought it could be a thyroid problem. His results came back that he had the blood of a two year old kitten.
I bought a calming collar and calming spray along with the Feliway diffusers. They didn't work.
I also started thinking our house was haunted or Bub was possessed. I cleansed the house, talked to the spirits and told them to leave, even bought crystals that I wore around my neck. That also didn't work.
In May there was a horrible fight between Bogart and Bubba that I tried to break up and ended up getting bitten. This sent me to the urgent care where they had to report the bite to the city. Bubba had a record. He also needed to be quarantined for 10 days and proof of a rabies shot needed to be send to the warden.
I was so upset that we decided to take him to the behaviour clinic.
The Behaviour clinic appointment was 2 hours long. The doctor suggested clicker training and drugs (Prozac). We went home with all kinds of stuff and drugs for both Bubba and Bogart. They also suggested we keep them separated. We did and it worked for a while.
The more Bubba was on Prozac the worse he got. I told this to the Behaviour specialist doctor and she said I had to wait till he got "fully loaded" on the Prozac. I waited 6 weeks. The only change was he didn't care who he beat up. He was getting progressively worse. I kept telling the behaviour clinic this wasn't working and they kept telling me to give it more time.
I was thinking of anything, did Bubba have arthritis? Was he in physical pain? I was sure it was physical, my gut told me so. I told the behaviour specialist what I thought and she changed his medication to Gabapentin, the first day he was drugged out, the second he was a bigger monster that before. I stopped the drug right away because I was not going through 6 more weeks of this.
Bubba was scary, he was spraying, and he was fighting with anything that moved. He was miserable and making all of us miserable along with him.
I found out that there was a vet that all my rescue friends love that just opened his own clinic. I called and made an appointment for Bubba. I figured I would get a third opinion.
We took Bub to see Dr. Bob at Tremont Animal Clinic and at first glance the doctor said: "If I didn't know Bubba was fixed I would say he was an intact male, can I do a testosterone test on him?"
He explained it could be an undescended testicle or a tumour on his pituitary or thyroid gland producing testosterone. That day he took blood and sent it off to the only clinic that does that testing, it would take a week.
He was also amazed by how Bubba looked. He was getting those shields on the side of his face like tom cats get and his chest was broad. All signs of an intact male.
Nine days later I got a call from the doctor. A neutered male should have a testosterone level of .5, Bubbas was 7.6!!!!
Finally the answer. Now on to the cure. This was in August.
The doctor wanted to do exploratory surgery so we booked the next Tuesday. I got a call at noon saying Bubba's problem was a botched neuter and part of his testicle was left inside him, smaller than your little fingernail but enough to produce all that testosterone!! The doctor removed the remaining testicle and Bubba came home.
Now the doc said it takes 4-6 weeks for the testosterone to level off. We still kept everybody separated and Bubba still spent the nights in my studio with the door closed.
3 ½ weeks later and Bubba seems back to normal. No more spraying, no more fighting, the house seemed happy again. I started letting him out at night. Sorry to say we had one more fight. He never did like Mr. Grey (our old grey cat) who we usually kept separate from Bubba anyway. I got too confident and let my guard down.
Bubba attacked Mr Grey in the middle of the night and I scooped Mr Grey up to take him away and Bubba bit me again. He also scratched Mr Grey pretty good. We both were on antibiotics for a week. Cat bites are very, very bad.
Now it’s September, it’s been 7 weeks and Bubba is 100% back to his sweet self, that is: he sits on my lap, purrs, chatters and is a joy to be around.
Addition to original story. It is now October and Bubba loves eating, sleeping on the couch and an occasional walk around the house. We have caught him playing with toys now and then but mostly he is a couch potato! And I am OK with that.
You can see Laura's great cartoons here: