Clive had his surgery on February 8, 2011. He recovered very quickly and has taken over the house! You can read his progress reports below, and you can also look for Clive's Story on Facebook where you will find more recent updates and photos of Clive!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Clive's New Friend, Lucky!

Clive has a new friend, and her name is Lucky...

Isn't she precious? Lucky recently had surgery to correct PRAA after her mom, Laurie, read about Clive and saw how well he's doing, and we'd like to share Lucky's amazing story too! Read about Lucky, as told by her mom, and see more photos of her here: Lucky, Baby Kitten with PRAA

Sunday, November 6, 2011

9 Months After Surgery...

Since his surgery almost 9 months ago, Clive has come a long way!

He has now taken over the house and all the cat beds...

and the dog beds, too...

Here he has kicked Buddy out of his bed and has taken it over...

Here is Clive with his Aunt Poppy. She drove 10 hours to see Clive...

and then he took over her bed too...

Clive is now a healthy and normal fellow! 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Little update on Clive...

He went for his follow up barium test last week (they have him eat food with barium mixed in and then take an xray to see how his esophagus looks and if the food goes down). The test showed that his esophagus is still dilated but not as much as before and there is no more obstruction. The surgeon said that it is possible that his esophagus will still get a little less dilated since it can take a few months after surgery for it to shrink but it is likely that he will always have a bigger esophagus than a normal cat would have. She feels it is unlikely that this will cause future problems but it is possible. There is really no way to say 100%. He is eating lots of canned food now and has not thrown up at all since the surgery. He is getting bigger and putting on weight. She said to just try dry food and see how he does. He ate a little bit the other day (because he snuck in a stole it from Buddy) and he did gag after wards but did not actually throw up. I will try mixing just a little at a time in some canned food and see if that helps but the doctor said it is quite possible that he will just never be able to eat dry food but will pretty much be normal other than that. I have noticed that his purr has a slightly odd sound to it, almost like a wheezing which I think might be related to his condition but not sure. I am now starting to look in to options for finding him a permanent home but seeing as he still has a health issue, even though now it is pretty minor, I may not have much luck. The fact that he may develop problems later in life, although unlikely, may scare people off. Even getting totally healthy cats adopted can be hard so we will see....I plan to get him vaccinated later this week since he is now all done with all the surgical stuff.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pic of his tooth and him resting

He is still sleeping this morning...he ate another jar of baby food a little while ago. I am going to try pulverizing some canned cat food in the food processor later on and see if he likes that. If not I will go get more baby food.....

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Headed back to vet

He looks slightly better this morning but not by much so I am off to the emergency room at Carolina Veterinary Specialists to see if they can tell what is going on. Maybe they can get in touch with his surgeon even though it is Saturday and she will know what to do.....

Friday, February 25, 2011

Clive is having a very bad day.....

Scary set back for Clive today....

Last night we noticed that he seemed to be laying in his little bed for a long time but at first didn't think anything of it. After a couple of hours though it really seemed odd since he is normally so highly active and then when it was time to go to bed he didn't seem to want to get up and wouldn't eat anything at all. This morning again he wouldn't eat at all but was walking around a little bit but kind of slowly. After work when we got home though he had gotten much worse and wouldn't move at all. Any time I would touch him he would cry and when he would try to walk he wouldn't put any weight in his one front leg near where his incision is. So we took him to our family vet since it's the closest to our house and they are not really sure what is causing it but he seems to be in extreme pain. The doc didn't feel any broken bones or dislocations but Clive would cry and thrash around when he would feel around his shoulder and arm so there is something bad going on. He got a shot for pain and we are back home now...he also has pain meds to start in the morning and if he is not any better in the morning we will take him back to the doc. Not sure what in the world happened...I am really upset about it because he was doing so well and recovering perfectly. His incision is almost completely healed so I can't figure out what might be happening.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Clive went for a check up today. He is doing really well. Everything looks good and his incision is healing as it should. He is now allowed to "romp and play" normally which is good since he has been doing that for awhile. He has to go back on the 10th for another check up where they will keep him for the day and do another barium x-ray test to see how his esophagus is doing. Yay so far!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Clive is still doing really well. The doc had warned that the surgery might not be an instant fix but it's looking pretty good so far. He has a really good appetite and still hasn't thrown up once since I got him home. He is resting more than before but really is pretty active considering what he has been through. He is even playing a little now.....His incision looks good and he hasn't been licking or scratching it so he isn't having to wear his e-collar which I am sure he is happy about.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Just got Clive home,,,,,,


He seems to be doing pretty well. He ate first thing when he got home and then paced around a lot. He didn't like the ride home in the car at and I think that got him pretty agitated but now he is sleeping on my arm (makes typing rather difficult). He is confused by his e-collar but it's one of the soft ones so it gives a little when he hits stuff with it so that helps a bit. Ty seems confused by his new attire as well. You can't really see his scar that well in the pics but it's really large! He is shaved on both sides of his body and you can really see how underweight he is now. Time to start fattening him up I hope. The surgeon said she was able to pass a large tube down his esophagus into his stomach while he was under anesthesia so that's a good sign. He will be on special medication as I mentioned in an earlier post (in addition to pain meds) but it has to be compounded so I have to pick it up at a special pharmacy in a few days. I am supposed to keep him "quiet" and "calm" for two weeks now which is going to be really hard as active as he likes to be but I will try.....the grand total was $1990. Thanks so much to everyone who donated and everyone who sent such great vibes his way.....

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Update from surgeon

Just talked to the surgeon. She reiterated that the surgery went well. Turns out that Clive had a slightly different type of aortic arch called Aberrant Left Subclavian Artery. All the medical jargon in the articles I have found about it pretty much goes over my head but I am still reading about it. Not finding much about it in cats but I find quite a bit about it in humans. Anyway the result is the same in that his esophagus was being constricted and she has removed the cause of the constriction so now we have to see what happens. His esophagus was very "dilated" when she was in there so the hope is that without the constriction it will regain normal shape and normal function. He will be on a medication for a few weeks that may help with that and he will go back in 2 weeks for another x-ray to see if his esophagus is looking more normal. Also a couple of pics of him getting ready for surgery this morning.....

clive is out of surgery!

Ok so Clive got out of surgery just fine and the surgeon is supposed to call me later to give me some details. The tech who called me said he was waking up on a normal schedule and that the surgery went well. His body temperature dropped a little below what they like and he had been under anesthesia for some time so they didn't end up neutering him. They are going to do that in the morning when he will have had some time to recover and warm up. It's only about a 5-10 minute procedure. He should be ready to come home tomorrow after work so I will post again when I get him home.

surgery day

just dropped clive off for his surgery. good luck clive! i will post again as soon as i have news.g

Saturday, February 5, 2011

CLive & Ty

Clive is having a rough morning today. He had one of his really bad spells early when I tried to feed him breakfast and he hasn't been able to hold much food down yet he is getting some TCL from his "Dad" Ty. I am anxious for Tuesday to get here so he can get some relief.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


This local Charlotte group has come through in a huge way for little Clive and with their help we have now reached our goal!! Clive is so touched that so many people have taken an interest in him and are pulling for him. I really can't say enough about this group and how wonderful it is that they are out there helping people who are unable to pay for expensive procedures for their pets. You can read more about them here and again thank you to them on behalf of Clive:

CC's Heart Fund at Carolina Veterinary Specialists

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Just want to send out a BIG thank you to all who have donated and those who are following Clive's story so far! You guys are awesome. It's really touching to see people taking time out of their days and money out of their budgets to help this little guy out. He really appreciates the concern!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Clive after eating

This video is a little hard to watch but I wanted to give people an idea of what Clive is dealing with. This is what happens to him after he eats and this is what would ultimately end his life prematurely if he didn't get the surgery. This frequent regurgitating causes him to aspirate fluid into his lungs which in turn causes respiratory problems like pneumonia. He has already had pneumonia once and would continue to get infections periodically until eventually his lungs just wouldn't be able to handle the abuse and he would die at a young age. Keep in mind that this is a VERY mild attack for Clive. In the beginning his attacks were much more violent but now with the elevated feedings and him only eating canned food (dry food makes him violently ill almost immediately) and also eating a lot of small meals throughout the day, I manage to keep his attacks short and mild. He is currently eating about 5 times a day. The episodes usually last about 5 minutes - I only taped a small part of it.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Surgery Update...

Clive's surgery is now scheduled for the 8th of February which is less than 2 weeks away. You can read more about Clive and his condition in the post below and on the other pages of this blog.

Clive and his family would really appreciate your contributions to help pay for his surgery. We totally understand that many people are financially unable to make contributions of money, but your contributions of prayers, purrs and pawsitive vibes will also help save Clive's life!

If you would like to make a contribution you can do this by using your PayPal account or credit card and the PayPal button at the right, or you can call Carolina Veterinary Specialist and make a donation with your credit card right over the phone and it will go directly into Clive's account. Just ask for Candy and tell her it's for Clive Watts (his mom's name is Emily). The phone number and address of Carolina Veterinary Specialists is in the right column under the PayPal button, and you can also visit their web site to read about all the good work they do. We will keep you updated on the total amount of the contributions we receive and all contributor's first name will be listed as Clive's Benefactors in the side bar at the right. Every one can also "Follow" Clive to show your support!

Surgery Fees

Clive's surgery will be very expensive. So far the estimate for his surgery is $1800 - $2400. We won't really know the exact amount until the surgery is over. There is a charitable fund connected with Carolina Veterinary Specialists for heart patients, and they are going to help with some of the cost but there will still be a big balance left to pay. Any amount will help, no matter how small.

Anyone can leave comments now, and Clive and his mom would love to hear from you so feel free to leave comments!

Thanks and many purrs from Clive & his family, and keep your paws crossed for Clive to make a speedy recovery!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

This is Clive...

When Clive's foster mom found out about his condition, her choices were
  1. have him euthanized so he wouldn't suffer
  2. take him home, add him to the family, and try to fix him
Well, for Clive's foster mom, having him euthanized wasn't even an option to consider...

Little Clive has a condition called Persistent Right Aortic Arch, which is a congenital vascular abnormality which causes vomiting and anorexia in young animals. The diagram at the left gives you an idea of what's wrong with Clive. Congenital means he was born with it and as he grows the condition will worsen causing more pressure on his esophagus which makes swallowing difficult, and if a kitten keeps vomiting food he won't thrive and will eventually die at a young age. This condition is more often found in fact it is so rare in cats that most of the information you can find about it is about dogs, and aortic arch abnormalities also occur in human babies.

The good news is that Clive can be saved with surgery!

So far Clive has been doing pretty well with the special care and canned food his foster mom is giving him. You can see in the photo at the right how Clive has his food elevated so the gravity will help his food go down. But Clive needs to have this surgery as quickly as possible because as he grows the "arch" will continue to put more pressure on his esophagus and make it harder for him to swallow. Because this condition is so rare in cats, Clive's surgeon is consulting with the veterinary school in Raleigh so we are waiting for that before proceeding to schedule Clive's surgery. We should know what the vet school has to say within the next couple of days.

I'll be posting more information on the cost of Clive's surgery and the contributions we've already received from Clive's friends and benefactors, so stay tuned...

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