Arrival Story: After we lost Winkie to vaccine-associated sarcoma, we wanted to adopt 2 kittens so they could keep each other company. We went to a foster home to look at the kittens available. We took one look at the pretty boy and said "yes" immediately. The foster mother called him "Agate" because one of his markings looks like the stone, but we had already decided to name one of the kittens Rufus in honor of Winkie. We also decided to take his brother who was almost all white. Unfortunately, before they were old enough to be brought home, his brother (who we were calling Yeti) became jaundiced and was PTS.
Bio: In July of 2005, Rufus was diagnosed with GI lymphoma. We have been treating it with chemotherapy. In Spring of 2007, Rufus came out of remission. We are treating him with stronger chemotherapy drugs and still hoping for the best. UPDATE: In November 2007, Rufus started having hind leg weakness and constipation. The vets believe it may be a side effect of the Vincristine (one of his cancer medicines) so we have stopped giving it to him. His symptoms may go away with time. On December 2, Rufus went to the emergency room because he was experiencing pain/discomfort and wasn't eating much. UPDATE: On Friday, December 14, 2007 Rufus was diagnosed with FIP. On Saturday, his oncologist removed 200 CCs of yellow fluid from his abdomen and gave him a different chemo drug. Rufus rallied briefly, but by Sunday, had fallen ill again and was having difficulty breathing. He was able to con the ER vet into sending him home. On Monday, December 17, 2007 his condition grew worse. His onologist and regular vet both had the day off. Momma and Rufus spent the entire day together and finally around 4:30, Rufus let Momma know it was time. A different ER vet determined that Rufus was jaundiced and probably in liver failure. Momma kissed Rufus and told him how much she loved him. She told him about all of his angel friends who would be waiting for him at the Bridge. Then she held him to her heart as the ER vet helped him peacefully cross.
Our sister Briana is in the Critical Care Unit at the animal hospital. It's been a rough 48 hours for her and Momma. This afternoon, Momma found out that Briana has bladder cancer. She talked to our vet and they decided to start her on a new anti-inflammatory medicine on Monday - she has been taking Prednisone, but they need to stop that and give it time to clear her system before they can start the new medicine.
Tonight when Momma got home, she found Briana hadn't piddled all afternoon. Momma gave her a pain medicine and her subQ fluids hoping that would help flush out her system. It didn't work, so they ended up going to the ER. They gave her stronger pain medication to make her comfortable.
The ER vet tried to act unbiased, but he obviously thought euthanasia was the answer. Momma was having none of that foolishness. So they're keeping her overnight. Her REAL vet will be in at 8 in the morning. Momma's hoping to stick to the original plan - keep Briana stable for the weekend and give the new medication a try.
Please, please, PLEASE pray for Briana. We know she's a fighter, but she needs all the help she can get. Thank you.
Sorry to take so long to follow up with all of you, our friends.
First the good news on Briana: The chest X-ray didn't show any evidence of heart failure. Her blood work showed nothing remarkable. She has kidney disease, but her kidney values were actually better than they had been in July. Her thyroid test was normal.
The bad news: She's lost more weight than Momma thought. Apparently the baby scale Momma has wasn't calibrated correctly. Momma thought Briana had lost 3/4 of a pound since July when she actually lost 1 1/2 pounds. She was barely above 6 pounds.
The current thinking is that Briana's teeth are bothering her so badly that she doesn't want to eat. (She's also old which can make cats eat less.) The vet said that Briana's blood work looked good enough that she could have her teeth cleaned, but there's no way in H-E-double-hockey-sticks that Momma's going to put an 18 year old cat with kidney disease and a possible tumor under anesthesia just to have her teeth cleaned. (And she's not about to pay for it either.)
So Briana underwent a course of antibiotics that seem to have helped. Momma had some pain medication for her, that needs to be refilled. And now Briana's meowling so Momma's gotta go.
Please keep up the purrs and prayers and I'll try to keep you updated.