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Re: [FH] suffering in the heat

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  • Jim Sinclair
    Well, I tried to take Rhapsody to cool off in air conditioning during the hottest part of this afternoon, and I nearly killed him in the process! It was 90F in
    Message 1 of 7 , Jul 19, 2013
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      Well, I tried to take Rhapsody to cool off in air conditioning during
      the hottest part of this afternoon, and I nearly killed him in the
      process!

      It was 90F in my bedroom, according to the thermometer on my atomic
      clock. Rhapsody had eaten breakfast earlier, licked his bowl clean,
      groomed himself, and even briefly played with a ping pong ball. But as
      afternoon wore on and the temperature climbed, he was just lying on
      his side breathing fast (but not open-mouthed).

      I had an errand to do at the university, and the staff there know I
      don't have air conditioning and had invited me to come work in their
      nice cool office for a while. I packed up my laptop and the paperwork
      I had to do, and set off. I thought it would be a good thing to take
      Rhapsody with me, so he could also spend some time in the nice cool
      air conditioned office. It seemed like a good idea at the time!

      But my van doesn't have a working air conditioner either, and I'm sure
      the temperature inside it was at least 120F, possibly even higher.
      Rather than cook Rhapsody in the van just to drive him to an air
      conditioned office, I decided to leave the van in the driveway and go
      to campus (a couple of miles away) in my power wheelchair. I don't use
      the wheelchair inside the house. It stays in my van so I can use it
      when out and about. I didn't even bring Rhapsody into the ovenlike van
      for the few minutes it took to deploy the wheelchair lift and get the
      chair out. I let him stay in the shade of the front porch while I got
      the chair.

      Then off we went. I started out holding Rhapsody on my lap, wearing
      his harness and with the leash looped over the arm of the wheelchair.
      He quickly scrambled to his preferred perch under the wheelchair seat,
      on top of the battery box. (There's no risk of electrocution there.
      The batteries and cables are secured inside the box. The wheel motors
      are also safely contained where no feline body parts can get injured
      on them.)

      About halfway to the university, while crossing through a park, I
      leaned over and peeked under the seat to see how Rhapsody was doing.
      YIKES! He was panting heavily with gaping open mouth. I stopped my
      chair in a shady spot under a tree, got down on the ground, and
      dragged Rhapsody out. In the process I discovered that the space
      between the battery box and the chair seat had trapped a pocket of hot
      air from inside my van. I had left the van home so as not to cook
      Rhapsody on a 5-minute drive from home to campus, and the silly cat
      had cooked himself in a pocket of van-heated air for the much longer
      time it took to travel by wheelchair instead of by van!

      I put Rhapsody on the grass in the shade. He kept trying to go back
      under the chair seat. I wouldn't let him. After a while he was no
      longer gasping, so I held him firmly on my lap and continued on,
      stopping at a drinking fountain to wipe some cool water on his paw
      pads, ears, and tongue.

      The rest of the way to campus I stayed in shade as much as I could,
      and ended up leaning over him to shield him from direct sun when there
      was no shade. Still, he was panting heavily by the time we got there.
      Before arriving at the building that was my destination, I ducked into
      a building next door where there's a food place, and asked for some
      ice water. I took some napkins and again cooled down Rhapsody's paw
      pads, and wiped down his head and back. Black fur really sucks in
      solar heat! We stayed in that building until Rhapsody once again
      stopped panting and was breathing with his mouth closed. During this
      time I called my vet's office for cat-cooling instruction.

      After Rhapsody was breathing better again, I draped some wet napkins
      over his back, stuffed some more under his paws, and went back out
      into the heat to the building I'd been aiming for all along. As soon
      as I wheeled into the office I asked for a towel or a t-shirt soaked
      in cool water. Two people ran and got us more wet paper towels (not
      realizing I already had ice water and napkins), and one person ran to
      get and soak a t-shirt. I put Rhapsody on the floor in the nice cool
      office and wrapped him in the shirt. (Photo at
      https://twitter.com/JimSinclair8/status/358310796645781504/photo/1)

      Thank goodness Rhapsody recovered quickly and was soon breathing
      closed-mouthed and more slowly than he had all day. He shook off the
      t-shirt, groomed himself, and ate a treat I offered him. I called my
      vet's office again and updated them.

      One of the people at the office gave us a ride home in her
      air-conditioned car. I had to leave my wheelchair at the office and
      will need to go back in my van to retrieve it.

      Now Rhapsody has had his weekly vitamin B injection, given with about
      100 ml of subQ fluid (B complex injections sting unless diluted in
      lots of fluid) and has eaten his dinner, and is once again lying on
      his bed breathing fast but not open-mouthed.

      I *tried* to get him some relief from the heat!

      Jim Sinclair jisincla@...
    • karenborga@yahoo.com
      Jim, Oh my gosh! Wow and great job with emergency cooling for Rhapsody. Thank you for sharing your story. Rhapsody is a good kitty to pose for a t-shirt
      Message 2 of 7 , Jul 20, 2013
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        Jim,

        Oh my gosh!
        Wow and great job with emergency cooling for Rhapsody.

        Thank you for sharing your story.
        Rhapsody is a good kitty to pose for a t-shirt cooling photo.

        (( Hugs )) to Rhapsody and you!

        Karen

        *****

        Jim wrote:
        Well, I tried to take Rhapsody to cool off in air conditioning during the hottest part of this afternoon, and I nearly killed him in the process!....


        Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile
      • elfinmyst
        What a day for Rhapsody! I hope he is all settled now and back to normal. It s so scary when they crash like that. My Josh had that this morning at the vets,
        Message 3 of 7 , Jul 20, 2013
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          What a day for Rhapsody! I hope he is all settled now and back to normal.
          It's so scary when they crash like that. My Josh had that this morning at
          the vets, sudden hiss and open mouth breathing. A fan cooled him down and
          he's fine now. Hope you are ok too!

          Lyn:)

          _www.myfurkids.co.uk_ (http://www.myfurkids.co.uk/)

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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