Megaesophagus & the Kitten who has it

Talley fell asleep while exploring on the first day

Talley fell asleep while exploring on the first day

(Input from creative out of the box thinkers and engineer minded people sought!!)
My family has added two new furry members to the crew.

Talley

Talley

GiGi

GiGi

The story:
In October, a church friend had a litter of kittens and one in particular needed a home quickly due to a deformed paw. She was concerned that the little girl wouldn’t be able survive because she couldn’t keep up with the rest of the litter.
I had wished I could snap her up, but I didn’t have a place for her and we already had two older cats and two dogs at home. If I had my own place I would have gotten her in a heartbeat. But, I didn’t, so I didn’t even think about it.
I was following the young woman’s ‘pleas’ for someone to adopt the little girl and told my mom about it in passing one night. How I wished I had my own place so I could get her.
Mom said, “You should get her.”
What? Did I just hear her right?
“What?”
“Tell her you’ll take the kitten. You have to. She’s prefect for you, with all your disability research. You need her.”
“Mom, I don’t have a job yet. If I do get the one I’m interviewing for, I won’t be home four days a week. I have to live at the lady’s house…”
“That’s fine. It won’t be hard to take care of her. She’s healthy right? Just her paw?”
“So she says…”

Talley's little paw

Talley’s little paw

“Get her.”
“You sure?”
“Yes.”
A few minutes later she whispered (Dad was snoring next to her during this whole conversation) “Does she have a fluffy female?”
“umm (Asks her on Facebook) she think’s so.”
“Say we’ll take her.”
“Ooookkkaay.” Rule of thumb, pets get introduced on the sly to this family. All but our first dog were brought home without Dad knowing. Dad’s cat Puddin’ disappeared a few months earlier, so she wanted to get him another cat. He was a bit depressed.
So two weeks later, two little balls of energy were introduced to the family. And Dad finally realized that, when a furry little creature was placed on his lap, that he had a new cat.
My little grey kitten is named Talley, Dad’s little stripped fluffy kitten is GiGi.
Almost as soon as I fed the kittens Talley started to throw up.
We went through numerous different types of food, even tried kitten milk replacement, and Talley would keep throwing it up. A month after getting her, she lost weight and was very lethargic. Thankfully, I had gotten my first paycheck at this point, so I took her to the vet.
Upon taking an x-ray, my little free kitten was diagnosed with Megaesophagus. Somewhat rare for cats, though dogs are more likely to get it.
Imagine that you have a funnel. One side is open wide and it tapers down to a small hole. This is close to what Talley has, except her esophagus doesn’t taper. It just abruptly becomes narrow. So she scarfs food down, then suddenly it stops because it can’t squeeze through this small hole. The vet thinks a vein from her heart wrapped around her esophagus as she was developing. There is no cure, only possibly a 3,000 dollar heart surgery with no promises she would survive it. I love my pets, but I’m still paying off my ankle surgery! There was no way I could do that.
He basically told me to make a decision. Because Talley will eventually get pneumonia and won’t be able to survive. The food will back up into her lungs and you won’t be able to get her to recover from that.
I made the decision to love on her until the last possible moment. She was healthy, we just needed to find a way to keep her food down. The only thing the vet suggest was to try to make her stand on her hind-legs while she ate so that gravity would hopefully help it down.
Yeah…that didn’t work very well.
Thankfully, Mom thought outside of the box. She has to drink protein shakes everyday, so there are a few protein shakers floating around in the cupboards. She put the wet pate cat food in the shaker and added warm water. Shook that little wire ball like crazy. Then the soupy food was given to Talley and the breath was held. She quickly slurped up the food, minutes went by, still more…and no vomiting! It worked!

Talley has now gained over two pounds in a month and a half. She has also gotten her vaccinations. The vet was surprised to see her doing so well.
The question before you:

We know the protein shaker works. But if Talley even gets one little ball of food, she will vomit. As soon as the agitation stops the food starts to sink and cover the bottom of the bowl. If Talley is still hungry, she will eat that ‘bad’ food.
What I need help creating/or finding: 
*Something that can dispense wet food
(With perhaps a screen to keep any solid food away from Talley)
*A way to have water introduced into the food while warm- (basically a can of food to one can of warm water)
*Something to continually agitate the watery food so it can’t separate.

Does anyone have ANY ideas to help me keep my little girl healthy? What scares me is that once I get my internship, there’s going to be about a minimum of probably 12 hours that I cannot be there with my cat to make sure she gets warm soupy shaken food.
Right now she has three people in and out of the house at random times to make sure she can eat, but when I move out, there’s only going to be me.
HELP! (Thank you to anyone who gives me ideas!!)

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6 thoughts on “Megaesophagus & the Kitten who has it

  1. I recommend either a blender or an immersion blender or one of those magic bullet systems. Basically, something where you puree the food with the water so there’s no chunks left.

    Good luck, friend!

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