Scootin' Along

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back home

February 4th 2009 7:54 pm
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We brought Scooter home late this afternoon and she's sleeping comfortably now, happy to be back in her own home. First she made her way to her favorite chair in the sunny room at the front of our house. It was a wobbly trip, with a few rest stops along the way, but completely under her own power, just as she wanted it. That's been her chosen daytime napping spot recently. Later she moved to her chosen night-time spot, the loveseat in our bedroom. That's one of her heated spots and she's sleeping there right now.

The news is not good, though. The hope that draining the fluid would give her a little more quality time is pretty well gone. Some fluid had already returned by this afternoon.

We'll have a vet here to help her begin her journey to the Bridge -- her Land of the Perpetual Summer of Scooter.

Truthfully, I don't know if it will be tomorrow or Friday. The vet who's coming knows the situation.

When we decided earlier today to bring Scooter home to see if she could recover enough to have some comfortable quality time before starting on her journey, her breathing was okay and she was eating food (baby food, of course) from my finger, while still in the hospital cage. Even the more pessimistic of the vets (perhaps I should say realistic) who were treating her thought that was encouraging enough to let us bring her home and use our judgment about when to make arrangements for her journey.

Before we actually left to bring her home, the other vet ran the ultrasound probe over her chest again and saw some fluid had returned. Not a lot, but it isn't a good sign.

She hasn't eaten anything since we've been home. That's not a good sign, either, since we now know she was not eating because it was just too difficult. The vet estimated that 80% of her lung capacity was gone because of the amount of fluid that was in her chest. He put it that she could either breathe OR eat and she was choosing to breathe. She didn't have enough lung capacity to allow her to stop breathing long enough to take a bite of food. When we took her in on Tuesday, that's what we had noticed was different. She wanted to eat but something was stopping her. It was a little different than the usual nausea or stomach acid signs.

I know she's just worn out right now. We're amazed again by her, that she is getting around as well as she is. Maybe after resting overnight, she'll be able to eat tomorrow. If she still can't eat, we know we need to help her to the Bridge sooner rather than waiting even another day. We don't want her breathing to become so labored that she suffers and that's inevitable unless we help her before that happens.

For Scootie, please focus your purrs for her to be comfortable until then and to have a peaceful journey.

Scootie would want me to tell all of you that she loves you and appreciates every purr, every message and every gift. So do I. I haven't had time to answer messages and don't know that I'll be able to, but I'm reading them and I can feel the support and the understanding. Thank you.

I'll be spending my time with Scooter. I'll update after her journey.

Scooter's mom, Bonnie

 

still on the roller coaster

February 4th 2009 11:30 am
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Scooter is still in the hospital. She was comfortable in the oxygen tent, not struggling to breathe, although her breathing was still a little more rapid than normal this morning.

We left her there so they could take her out of oxygen and monitor her for 3 or 4 hours to see if she can breathe comfortably without oxygen. They'll put her back in oxygen if her breathing becomes labored . . . and that will probably mean we'll help her on her journey to the Bridge this afternoon. It was never my desire for her to begin that journey from a vet's office, but we feel it would be the best for Scooter under these circumstances.

But if she can breathe comfortably, we'll bring her home, see if she'll resume eating and whether she has any quality to her life. We likely wouldn't have a lot more time with her because the fluid will probably return, we just don't know how rapidly it will return. If we bring her home, we'll arrange for her journey to the Bridge to begin from here, before she suffers.

There's one small chance that the fluid is from infection, which could be treated. The fluid is being analyzed, so I think we should wait for those results, if we can, before we make our decision. In the stress of everything, I forgot about those outstanding test results when we were talking to the vet this morning (it was a different vet than yesterday).

We're heading back once again, to see if Scooter is breathing comfortably on her own.

Scooter's mom

 

going to see Scooter

February 4th 2009 7:10 am
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At 5 a.m. when I called about Scooter, they said she slept comfortably all night. The vet tech insisted she was comfortable at the moment, sitting up in her makeshift bed, looking around. THAT had me a little worried, that she wasn't upset, but I worry about everything.

We're leaving now to be there when the vets finish rounds. We hope we can come home with Scooter AND good news.

THANK YOU!

Scooter's mom

 

On oxygen

February 3rd 2009 11:56 pm
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It's been another day of ups and downs, which I said I would no longer write about, but . . . I am. I'll keep it short for now, though.

We were at the hospital with Scooter all day (Tuesday). She had fluid in her chest, presumably from the tumor in her lung. This vet called it a tumor -- her other vets hesitated to call it that. He drained about 200 cc's (nearly a cup!) of fluid from her chest.

Scooter was stable, though still a little "drunk" from the sedative, when we brought her home, and the outlook seemed hopeful, all things considered.

We got home about 6:30 p.m. She was still woozy but soon got onto her loveseat to try to sleep. But her breathing seemed labored to me. Long story short -- at about 9:30 we took her back to the hospital. She wasn't gasping, but we weren't comfortable with the way she was breathing.

She's in oxygen for the night, to be reassessed in the morning (Wed.) when both Internal Medicine vets who've treated her will be on duty.

I called just a few minutes ago and they said she's curled up, sound asleep. That's what we were hoping for.

We'll know more Wednesday morning.

THANK YOU for the purrs, the messages and the gifts. They're comforting to Scooter and to us. That's what we want for Scooter -- comfort.

Scooter's mom

 

Mom goofs BIG time

February 2nd 2009 10:25 pm
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I'm taking over Scooter's diary for a while. She's been sharing almost everything that's happened to her for over 3 1/2 years now, but it's my responsibility to share this unpleasant event. Scooter is napping peacefully right now, but she had a very rough morning because of a near tragedy which I caused.

Scooter quit eating again yesterday. She didn't eat anything overnight (Saturday) and would take only a couple licks of cat food or baby food at a time yesterday. She'd get irritated and leave her napping spot if I persisted too much trying to coax her to eat. She was obviously not feeling well and it seemed to be tummy upset or nausea.

I noticed while she was sleeping yesterday that her breathing was different, more pronounced and faster. You know how sometimes when a cat is asleep, you have to look closely to see if they're breathing? There was no doubt that Scooter was breathing, her sides were moving up and down so greatly. But she didn't seem to be in any distress from it.

For the last day or two, she had also been purring at strange times and in strange ways, for her, and I felt it was a purr to comfort herself in a time of stress, rather than because she was contented or happy.

But she came to bed with us for a while last night, a good sign, we thought. She wasn't isolating herself. She later left the bed to sleep on the loveseat in our bedroom, as usual.

When I awoke at about 4 a.m., I checked on her and found she still hadn't eaten anything, although cat food and baby food were on the loveseat for her. She does most of her eating during the night/early morning and I've started leaving food near her, so she doesn't even need to get up to eat. I tried to tempt her with fresh baby food, but she turned her head away, so I didn't disturb her further.

Frankly, I went back to bed and cried for a while. I'm trying not to let my "anticipatory grief" overwhelm me, but sometimes I don't do a very good job.

We had already discussed taking Scooter to the vet today, but I started worrying about the stress on her, with her being so weak from not eating in the past 24+ hours.

I felt sure Scooter was experiencing nausea or stomach upset, so I thought 1/4 Pepcid would have time to work and we could possibly get her to eat before traipsing her off to the vet. (Her vet has okayed Pepcid.) I don't give it to her often because I have so much trouble getting pills, even that tiny piece, into her. I tried having famotidine (Pepcid) compounded into a transdermal gel but she hated having it rubbed into her ears as much as she hates the pills. Everyone says the liquid is so nasty tasting that we never tried it. Anyway, I only attempt to give her a pill if her stomach upset lasts over a day, which it rarely does.

Around 5 a.m., Scooter started moving around so I decided to give her the Pepcid then. It took 3 attempts before I got the pill down her, but she walked away afterward and I thought she was okay. Soon, though, I heard her gagging. She threw up foam and water, then the pill and more foam and water. She was trying to get to her loveseat, so her dad lifted her onto it, where she threw up more water. She started drooling, then gasping for breath, open-mouthed.

I can't and won't describe how awful it got, but we thought we were losing her. I was saying goodbye to her, trying to comfort her and let her know how much she's loved, while feeling the worst guilt you can ever imagine for giving her that pill.

We were almost ready to go to the emergency clinic (about 30 minutes away) when she started recovering for brief periods. A while later, she recovered to the point she was even cleaning her paws where she had thrown up on them (just water). We ultimately decided not to take her in but to let her continue to rest at home.

Much more happened, but that's the (not quite) short version.

The only good thing to come out of it was that she must have thrown up the acid that was upsetting her tummy so I was able to get her to eat today, mostly from my fingers, but she even ate some directly from the bowl. She is very tired, as you can imagine, but she seems "okay."

We think her gagging and throwing up triggered an asthma attack, or whatever it is that's going on with her breathing.

We're struggling with decisions about Scooter's care and how far to go with it, but I know that struggle is not unique to us. We want good quality of life for her and want her to be comfortable, of course, the same thing everyone wants. That sometimes means medicine, exams and tests -- and there's the rub. We hope we can maintain the right balance for Scooter, but it's difficult, as many of you know.

I also know we're very fortunate to have had Scooter with us for over 20 years. That doesn't make it any easier to let go. We hope we don't have to let go anytime soon, but we're trying to be prepared. Of course, we know we never have to let go of the memories.

I don't mean to be dramatic and don't want to be depressing, either. Scooter is having so many ups and downs lately that it doesn't seem fair (to any readers) to write about them continually, so we won't. There may not be many diary entries after this, but Scooter or I will try to let you know about major changes or events.

We haven't counted Scooter out yet, not after the comeback she made this morning. We're continuing to seek solutions and help for her latest problems, to at least make sure she's comfortable.

Thanks for the concern you've always shown for Scooter . . .
Scooter's mom, Bonnie

 

My Masterpiece

January 29th 2009 10:06 am
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During the night and early this morning I ate TWO servings of food plus my baby food treat with the laxative in it. (I'm a night eater.) It made Mom so happy she took this photo of the empty bowls! The appetite-stimulant effects of the steroid shot must have started working.

Now Mom says we have to start working on getting the food moving on through and O U T. I think that means more laxative, "straight up," today -- no hiding it in baby food. It's not so bad, really, but I just don't like taking any medicine.

When that laxative works, I'll be sure that Mom does not take anymore "masterpiece" photos! :)

gotta scoot . . .
Scooter

 

It's me, Scooter! I'm back!!

January 28th 2009 6:09 pm
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You probably didn’t even know I was gone. I didn’t actually go anywhere, except to the vet again, but I was "lost" for a while, sliding downhill, slipping away . . . I didn’t want to eat . . . I didn’t even want Mom and Dad around . . . I was so tired . . . I only wanted to sleep.

It seemed to happen so fast I couldn’t stop it. I’ve been up and down for a couple of months, getting a little more tired all the time, but always bouncing back. Well, maybe not "bouncing" anymore, but at least getting back to my same old self. But this time I couldn’t find my way back.

I've had "episodes" of sneezing -- that’s what the vets said it was, anyway -- for at least 2 years. Recently, it became worse, both more frequent and more severe. I could hardly move without triggering it and sometimes it started while I was asleep! When I stopped wanting to eat and disconnected myself from Mom and Dad, I earned myself a trip to the vet. That was Saturday evening.

When Mom showed him recent videos of my so-called sneezing, this time he said, "That's coughing." The other vet with him agreed. Whatever it is, it hurts and it's exhausting.

A discussion ended with me being given a shot -- a steroid shot. The vet said if it worked, it would work quickly and the change would be dramatic. If it helps, it could mean it's asthma or something similar; if it doesn't help, it's likely a mass.

It helped! It was quick and dramatic just like he said. I haven't had a coughing spell since the shot. I huffed very slightly a couple of times, but nothing else developed.

It took a couple days of rest for me to start feeling like my old self again, but I’m finally back! I stopped separating myself from Mom and Dad, I like to be held, I give headbonks, I purr in a good way, and I'm talking again.

Until today, I still wasn’t eating enough, though. I knew Mom was ready to start assist-feeding me today, so I ate a big breakfast early this morning and a few more snacks through the day. Phew! I dodged that one.

We don't know how long the steroid shot will help. There may be other, better options for the future, and Mom is talking to the vets about that. I needed to get out of that downward spiral quickly, though, and it seems I did. I dodged that one, too.

I'm not going to listen when the vets say things to Mom and Dad like, "we’re only plugging holes" and "it’s a delicate balancing act" and "have you thought about the big decision?" Nope! I won’t listen! I’ll just enjoy being back.

Life is good again! I’m Scooter again. I’m back!

gotta scoot . . .
Scooter

 

Grammy needs cooking lessons

January 22nd 2009 7:26 pm
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I haven't been eating much lately so Mom and Dad drove all over town a couple days ago, getting different kinds of food for me to try. The Weruva Nine Liver was yummy, as good as their Paw Lickin' Chicken! I ate half the can!

Um... Mom says I should tell you it took me all day to eat half a can. But I ate it!

Um... now she says to tell you it's a 3 oz can. But I ate half of it!

Today Mom tried to get me to eat some Grammy's Pot Pie by Merrick. Yuck! I wouldn't eat any of it. Grammy is as bad a cook as Mom!

Um... wasn't I supposed to tell them that, Mom?

gotta scoot . . .
Scooter


p.s. It was real warm here a couple of days ago and I got to go outside and prove I can still walk the "line" in front of the flower garden. The flowers are brown and dead right now, and I was a little wobbly (NO, I was not nipping!), but it still felt good. Click here for the link to the video, if you want to see it.

 

Winter

January 18th 2009 12:01 pm
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For at least the past 2 or 3 years, it's been a bit of a struggle for me to get through the winters. As the days shorten, my energy and interest seem to wane, too.

I know the days are getting longer now, but my energy and interest level seem to be stuck back there in December with the shortest day of the year. I'm not often interested in anything besides sleeping. Even food and love don't interest me much.

But Mom says if I keep scootin' along, spring will be here soon, then summer! Summer always helps me feel better. It seems so distant and I'm so tired, but Mom says she and Dad will do their best to help me get there, as long as it's what I want. I think I do . . . but, then, sometimes I just want to be left alone.

One thing I know I want is to share a poem my good friend Edgar wrote for me recently. He shared it with The Summer of Scooter group and said I could share it here:

Winter

Now, in the cold of Winter
We think back, with a happy sigh
To the Summer of Scooter
and long fur those days, gone by

We long fur those days in the sun,
When we celebrated Scooter, our furriend
And we all had so furry much fun
And we all wished that it neffur would end!

As we nap through the Winter, we dream
And in sleep it all becomes clear,
That the sun will on all of us beam
And our dear Scooter will always be here.

No matter the middle of Winter,
No matter the waning of light,
We forever and always have Scooter
Because in our hearts, she shines bright.


Thank you, Edgar.

gotta scoot . . .
Scooter

 

as pure as . . .

January 15th 2009 9:13 am
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Just the other day I was telling the Olde Furts that although I didn't have any pure white fur on me, I was as pure as the driven snow. ;) Well, today I have something pure white to wear -- and wear proudly! Icebox bestowed upon me one of this year's honorary "White Star" awards from the Pure White Kitty Club!

Thank you, Icebox, and the Pure White Kitty Club!

You can see all the awards in this thread in the Forums: What I Love About Catster - White Star Whitester Day 2009.

WooHoo!

You can bet I'll nap very happy and proud today!!

gotta scoot . . .
Scooter

 
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