"This testimonial is a blast from the past. I helped Simon and his mom Gigi long before I started Fundamentally Feline or became certified in cat behavior. It is nice to know that I was making a difference so long ago. Clearly, Simon's life turned out for the better through my efforts to help him and educate his mom! Thrilled to have this to share with everyone." ~Ingrid~
Simon and I moved from Dallas, Texas to Atlanta, Georgia in July, 2001. We, I was excited about moving in with a new partner complete with new pets; Simon did not share the enthusiasm. Simon is a large (20lbs), polydactyl, tuxedo male; he was born in September of 1996 (almost 18 years old). He had always been a little aggressive, but it was just with me and I felt I could recognize when it was going to happen. Due to his size and extra claws he was rather foreboding when agitated. When we arrived at our new home the trouble began quickly. He began marking corners of the house and attacking the other pets as well as their owner! It began to create problems with my human relationship and I didn't know where to turn other than moving out to my own place.
I researched veterinarians and decided to visit the Cat Clinic of Roswell. I am so glad we did because that is where we met Ingrid! The first visit we had, the behaviorist was encouraging. After his initial exam (nail trims, all 23 of them!), Ingrid came out to the waiting room. She looked at me and said, "First off, he is a very handsome cat! I trimmed all his nails and am asking you to please not give up on him." She started off asking for an interior map of my home indicating where the food and water bowls were as well as the litter boxes. She wanted to know where counters, windows and cat trees were too. I followed Ingrid's lead and once she had examined our layout gave us some suggestions. Food and water bowls need to be separated, more litter boxes, no lids on litter boxes and more perches. Behavior problems improved, except for the marking; Ingrid suggested we may need to use medication temporarily. He was given a prescription for Elavil and the marking stopped! Eventually, we did move out and get our own place and the aggression began to fade.
Fast forward to 2010, Simon is diagnosed with fibrosarcoma and needs a very aggressive surgery. His vet, Dr. Lisa Hillier, told our family that the surgery would be all he needed, no chemo, but it may buy him 6 months to a year and the tumor will most likely come back and will be fast growing. Simon was also identified with kidney disease, but did not need fluid therapy, yet. Simon is now about to turn 18 years old and he is 4 years out from his cancer! He began fluid therapy 14 months ago and is a champ. It is a rewarding (FOOD!) experience and has improved the quality and comfort of his life. Simon also receives a B12 shot, Adequan and because of the kidney disease has treatable hypertension. As I write this I think of Ingrid telling me to "...not give up." Simon is that one special pet that all animal lovers with pets get to have. He has been with me through the end of relationships, the beginning of new ones, the death of my parents and the celebration of new nieces; he sleeps on my pillow every night and has truly been the perfect gentleman or, gentle cat.