May 12th 2009 6:19 pm
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My sisfur Pixie and I both saw a heart speshulist doctor vet today. I didn't like it much. He and the tech lady purrson were nice, but they put a muzzle on me and held me tight for a furry long time while they rubbed stinky stuff on me, and attached clippy things to me, and pressed things against my chest and tummy.
I growled and whimpered, but they just kept saying I was a good boy. What? I did NOT want to be a good boy! If that is what a good boy acts like, next time I'll have to scratch 'em!
They said I have something called Hokum, which means Hypertrophic CardioMyopathy, which means I have a thick heart muscle. Apparently this is not a good thing. They gave Mama some beta blocker medicine that I have to take efurry day. The speshulist doctor vet said that if I'm lucky, that will make the heart muscle shrink back to normal thickness and I'll have a nice normal life. Or, it could just stay the way it is, which is a mild to moderate heart condition. Or, it could not help at all, and I'd need more medicine to help me breathe properly. :(
I don't feel bad, so I don't know why they say I have a bad heart. I don't want to have a bad heart! I want to have a nice happy snuggly heart that works just fine and isn't too thick or too thin or too anything.
Pixie has the same exact condition as me, and the same exact meds but a different dose because she's littler than I am. She's also older than I am. So now Mama has to check both of us regularly to make sure we're breathing okay - not too fast, and not too hard.
I hope that both of our hearts go back to normal thickness with the medicine, and that we both keep feeling fine, and that I get to live a good long healthy life. And I hope my good furriend Sam LLoyd, who also has a heart murmur, gets to live a good long healthy life too.
March 20th 2008 1:24 pm
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First of all - this is very exciting - Mama took me for a walk outside today.
Can you imagine that? Big ol' bad ol' formerly feral ol' me on a harness and lead? I know, I can't either.
Actually this was my second walk. Mama knew I was going bonkers having to stay inside all the time, so she bought me the harness and lead on Sunday, but by the time she got it fitted on me Sunday night I didn't want any parts of it. Monday she was busy and didn't have time to take me out with it, and she promised me a walk on Tuesday. Then she was really really really sick on Tuesday, so she asked Daddy to take me out instead when he got home from work, and he did.
But that was nighttime, and this was daytime, so it was like two completely different walks!
It was very windy out today, so that got me all excited. I sniffed things, and marked some of my spots, then tried to go through the gate next door but Mama wouldn't let me, so instead I sat on my bench with Mama. Then Lady came over to investigate us and stalk some birdies, and that got me all excited too. I finished up by sitting on my pickanick table for awhile. Then Mama brought me inside, and I was all feisty and didn't cooperate much with her taking off the harness and putting the e-collar back on me. I also promptly cornered and terrorized Leo, so Mama put me out on my porch to work off a little steam.
I am proud of the fact that I have worked hard on not always being a good or cooperative patient, as the vet staff seem to think I am. Hey, people - don't you know that if I'm THAT good, I have to be -really- sick?
Item 1) The paper litter the vet wants me to use? Ain't happenin'. Nor do I want anything to do with Exquisicat or other silica-gel litter. I insist on using Cat Attract and other clay litter only, so Mama or Daddy have to escort me to the litterbox regularly and supervise so that I don't get it stuck on me. Hee hee!
Item 2) Since Mama and Daddy won't leave clay litter on my porch for me, I have taken to peeing overnight in a variety of locations, so they can play hunt-down-the-puddle every morning. This drives Daddy pretty bonkers, which is fun. Mama says she'll cope with it until I'm healed - it's better than me not peeing! - and then she'll work on solving this problem behavior. We'll see about that. But for now, she's doing lots of laundry and using lots of Nature's Miracle cat odor remover.
Item 3) I think plain Royal Canin SO or Hills CD prescription canned food is pretty yucky, because that's what Dr. Luetke wants me to eat. What I really want is my dry CD, and he says some of that is okay but he wants me on a mostly-wet diet. So Mama is trying out a variety of things she can mix the SO or CD with to make it more attractive to me. So far I really like it mixed with Friskies Special Diet Salmon. The Friskies Special Diet Beef and Liver is okay straight, but I don't like it mixed with the prescription food. And of course if Mama mixes some cat tuna in with the prescription food that's yummy, but it's not really ideal for my tendency to crystal formation, so she's trying not to do that. She hasn't tried the Trader J0e's regular canned cat food yet, but she said when I'm done with the current can of Friskies she'll try that and see if I like it. She also says tomorrow she's going to Superior Pet and picking up some Wellness or other holistic canned food to see if I might like that, because it will be better for me than the cat tuna or other nonprescription food. I don't know. What I do know is, there are about 35 cans of food in the cupboard, all for me! I say that's a well-provided larder, and just how it should be!
Also in the area of food, I have decided room-temperature food is MUCH better than refrigerated, so whenever she mixes up already-opened food for me she microwaves it for 10 seconds or so and then stirs it up again. I really have her wrapped around my paw!
Item 4) I have of course learned how to remove my e-collar. Mama bought a new one on Sunday because the old one was getting tattered - but the tattiness was also allowing her to tighten it more, and making it more difficult for me to slip. The new one? Piece of cake! So much that she put the old one back on me this morning. She warned me that if I keep slipping it, I might have to go with a hard plastic collar that will not be as comfortable. Hmmm. I still think it's my duty to make her job as my nurse challenging! (And expensive - the Tyvek e-collars cost $22 each.) She called the vet today to ask him if he wanted to make sure my stitches were still okay since I slipped it a few times overnight and she doesn't know to what extent I was grooming, but he said as long as I'm not bleeding and I'm still peeing, I'm okay for now.
Lest you think I am always difficult for Mama, I will point out that I gave her a bit of a break on Tuesday when she was sick. I only slipped the collar once - overnight - and I took care of her by sitting on the couch with her. I wanted to sit on her lap, but for some reason that made her feel worse not better, so I curled up behind her legs instead. I know how to be a good nurse cat too!
So that's been my life. Hangin' out, eating a variety of catered meals, getting all sorts of new stuff bought for me, making sure my displeasure with the inadequacy of my bathroom facilities is known, and hangin' out. I go back to the vet for a recheck on Monday, and maybe he'll say I can use my clay litter again, or I don't have to wear this silly collar anymore. I sure hope so. That's also when I should be finished with that foul banana-flavored antibiotic. Bananas? What do I look like, a baboon?
Also, Mama says the fur on my legs is growing back nicely, so hopefully the fur on my body is only a week or so behind, and I'll have a nice coat again in a little while, instead of having my pink and black skin show through and look all patchy and weird. I'll tell you, it was purrty cold outside today in that wind, with only half a fur coat on! (Mama said she might try to "trim" my coat a little with the haircutting gadget she used to use for the Boy when he was little, just to "even up" my fur a little. AHEM. Mama, I may have on this silly aprony collar, but I am NOT your barbershop client! And you are NOT a barber!)
March 13th 2008 9:20 pm
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Actually I've been home fur a day now, but Mama's been sick and she's terribly behind on Catster and hasn't even been able to help me with my Thank Mew notes.
I feel purrty good. I'm not allowed outside, which is annoying, and I am being locked out of the basement except when Mama follows me, which is also annoying. But I have chased Leo a couple of times, and I have scratched on my scratchy mats, and I have napped on the cat tree and on the couch on top of Mama, and I have also spent a lot of time looking out my window. I have a ridiculous blue daisy thing around my neck, so I can't see or reach the bottom of me, but Mama gives me scritches so that's not too bad. And I can lick the end of my tail, and my paws, so at least I can stay a little clean.
I wish I could sleep on Mama and Daddy's bed, but they say "Not Yet". Something about needing to keep me in a room with a litterbox that no other cats can use. Phooey.
Anyway, I sure am glad to be home. And I want to STAY HERE now.
March 10th 2008 1:36 pm
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Mama just talked to the animal hospital, and they said my surgery went well, I came through it with no problems, and I am now awake and sitting up. So that's all good news! Mama can't visit me tonight, but she said she would come in tomorrow to see me. I might go home tomorrow night, but I might have to stay a little longer, depending on how I'm doing and what Dr. Luetke thinks about my recuperation. I don't really mind resting here, to tell you the truth. It's nice and warm, and I have a comfy blanket, and no other cats are yelling at me here! Although I do miss Mama and Daddy, and the nice comfy blankets at home.
I feel sleepy now, so I'm going to ... zzzzzzzzz
March 10th 2008 9:27 am
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Well, I had another bad weekend. *cries*
It started out okay ... I was feeling frisky Saturday morning. Mama and Daddy gave me my medicines, and then Mama had to leave to go pick up the Boy at Syracuse for spring break. She told me she'd see me later that night and would give me lots of snuggles then.
When she got home it was really late, and she knew I needed my medicine, so she looked for me. I was in my cozy Igloo on my Porch. But I didn't want to come out to see her. She put her things away, got a drink, and then came out to see me again. This time I was scratching in the litterbox. I knocked a lot of litter onto the floor, but she didn't see any fresh pee. And then I got up on my Papasan and tried to pee there - but I didn't.
She decided to forget about my medicine for the moment, and instead asked Daddy how I'd spent my day and when had he last seen me pee. He said I was out playing in the early evening, between thunderstorms, and then Dougal and I settled on the Porch during the last thunderstorm, and that was when I retreated to my Igloo. He had seen me squatting outside during the day, but no he hadn't actually seen me pee. Which meant the last time she KNEW I'd peed was sometime in the morning, before she left for Syracuse.
By the time she finished talking to Daddy I was back in my Igloo, and she tried to pet me but I didn't respond. She put a catnip mousie in with me, but I wasn't interested in that either. So she picked up the whole igloo, carried it inside, sat down in a chair and put it on her lap with me in it, so she could snuggle me through the quilty walls. Then she called the Veterinary Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania and told them she needed to bring me in as a veterinary emergency.
We got there a little before one in the morning, and there were just a few other emergency patients - a kitty who had fallen out a window but seemed okay, just scared; a hammie that was bleeding; and a doggie that was breathing funny. They triaged me as needing immediate care, and had me unblocked within 20 minutes or so. That was quite a relief! But then they talked to Mama for awhile longer. They wanted to do lots of tests like an ultrasound and more x-rays, but Mama explained that I'd just had x-rays when I was in the hospital the previous week and no stones had shown up. She asked them to hold off on the ultrasound until she had a chance to talk Dr. Luetke, the vet who had been taking care of me last week. She figured he, or one of the other vets in the practice, would be in at 10 am anyway. The vets at Penn also suggested a perineal urethrostomy (PUS), which she'd already been thinking, because she and Dr. Luetke had discussed it as a plausible scenario if I blocked again. So I was transferred out of Emergency and into the Internal Medicine department at Penn, where I spent the night with an IV and a catheter.
Yesterday morning Mama talked to Dr. Luetke, and he said he'd like to have me transferred over to Springfield that afternoon, and he didn't think the ultrasound was necessary. He said he'd do more x-rays before he performed surgery. In the meantime my new doctor in Internal Medicine at Penn also called, and agreed that an ultrasound probably was not indicated because I'm young and not showing symptoms of anything more complicated than crystals. So Mama arranged to transfer me, and picked me up around 1 pm. I got a really nice report card from Penn! They said I was bright and comfortable and an excellent patient.
So I was checked in at Springfield by 2 pm, and Mama talked to Dr. Luetke again, and he said he could do the surgery today. He explained it in great detail to her, and said he's done quite a few of these surgeries including several this year, and only one involved complications or post-operative infection, and that cat had presented anatomical irregularities during surgery. He said he takes his time with these surgeries so he gets the critical incisions and sutures right, since it's delicate work on a small and intricate system. So Mama feels like I'm in pretty good hands today. But she knows this is major surgery (Dr. Luetke called it "radical") so I'm going to need post-op care for quite awhile. I'll need special paper litter, and an E-collar, and regular supervision. In fact I'll probably be a hotel patron at Springfield next weekend, because she has to take the Boy back to university, and Daddy will be out of town, and she can't leave me alone that long when I'm recuperating.
I know I'm losing some interesting parts of me, but really I'm less worried about that than I am relieved at the prospect of not having to go through these blockages anymore. So right now I'm just hoping the surgery is successful and I wind up with a wide, clear urethra!
I dictated all this to Mama all this before she left me yesterday afternoon, of course. Right now I'm not thinking or hoping much of anything, because I am deep under anesthesia! Mama will call and see how I am later today. She might not be able to visit me tonight, because she has to take Lady to our "regular" vet for shots - and also talk to him about me! - but I know she's purring for me in her human way, and will visit me tomorrow as soon as she can.
Thanks to all of you for your purrs and notes and gifts. I can feel the positive energy all around me! And I know it's going to help me. I love all my kitty and doggie furriends, and I can't wait to feel better so I can play with you again.
March 1st 2008 9:08 pm
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Whew! Four days in the hospital is exhausting!
But now I'm home, with my peoples and my blankets and my furnitures and my other cats. They didn't even seem too upset to see me, although I know I smelled like the hospital. One of the very first things I did was sit down and have a good bath.
Everything's working more or less as it should. I still have to take medicine though, for the next 10 days. And it's not going to be in cat tuna either. Yuck. Instead I have that new food I was given in the hospital to eat. Mama and Daddy said I have to eat only canned food now. I like canned food, but I like crunchies too! And I like tuna, and sometimes I even like a lick or two of Mama's food when I can get it! But it seems I won't be getting that for awhile.
I also appurrently am going to be kept inside and "restricted" for a couple of days so they can monitor how I'm peeing. How repressive!
But still. I'm HOME!
I want to thank everycat who was purring for me or who sent me messages or gifts. I know they helped me get better faster. I hope to thank everycat individually, but for now please know that I sure do appurrciate your thoughtfulness.
I'm very tired now, and I need some Mama-and-Daddy snuggling, so I'm going to say goodnight.
February 28th 2008 9:41 pm
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Mama came to visit me in hospital tonight. She snuggled me, and scritched my nose, and told me efurrybody at home missed me. Then she watched while I attended to some grooming details.
I have two tooby things stuck to me - one in my front leg, and one going all the way up my tail. So my tail is all wrapped up, and moreover it's purrty heavy and I can't hold it up like a flag, which is annoying. Even more annoying is the goofy springy thing around my neck that prevents me from seeing or reaching most of my body! The tech lady knows I don't like it, and I gave her a good glare when she fussed with it while Mama was there.
But other than all that, I feel purrty good. Mama says my eyes are bright, and the vet tech said I was eating and drinking and making a lot of pee and being a furry nice patient. Apparently most cats who come in with blockages are furry cranky. I should remember this! And I should get treats for being so pleasant, don't you think?
Dr. Luetke says I have to stay in hospital fur another couple of days, because I am still a sick boy. My bladder is injured and needs to rest and recover, and my pee is still bloody, and he's a little worried about my kidneys whatever they are. He says my BUN level isn't going down enough. I guess I have to start working out my BUN!
Mama said she'd call and see how I am tomorrow, and try to come see me again. So that's something to look furward too.
I am in a little steel room of my own, but there are lots of other dogs and cats near me. I can hear 'em, and smell 'em, and there's a goofy cat in a steel room below me that Mama said was trying to grab my food from where the tech set it aside, so it wouldn't be in the way while Mama was snuggling me. The nerve! I get a brand new kind of food that's supposed to be just for me, and some other urchin's already trying to steal it!
Well, I'm pretty sleepy now, so I'm going to curl up on my towel and say goodnight. Zzzz.
February 27th 2008 10:35 am
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Last night was miserable.
I slept in one of the litterboxes, but couldn't pee in it.
I also got sick - both ends - on the basement floor.
Mama tried late last night by herself, and then early this morning with Daddy's help, to give me my Phenoxybenzamine. It's a capsule that can't be opened because the contents are really bitter, so she had to try to use the pill gun, but I wasn't having any of it. I got really mad at them this morning, so Mama said it was okay, they'd just leave me alone for a little while - which was all I really wanted in the first place..
I didn't want to eat the food with the Valium in it this morning, either.
So Mama took me back to the hospital again, and a different vet from the one I saw yesterday said that now I really am blocked. So I'm supposed to stay for a couple of days, and they'll unblock me and do tests and try to make me comfortable.
But even though I was already C-dated with a catheter in me, I heard Mama and that vet talking about Surgery. The last time I had Surgery I got my pockets picked, but this sounds a lot more serious. I don't want Surgery!
I just want to be able to pee when I need to, and not feel like I always have to pee when I really don't. Is that too much for a Cow!Cat to ask?
I'm scared. I don't like being scared.
February 26th 2008 7:31 pm
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Mama noticed last night that I was spending a lot of time trying to use the litterbox, as well as acting like I was going to go in places she doesn't want me to go in, like plants and the floor and on her dresser. So today she called the vet again.
My regular vet is out of town for the week, so I had to go see another vet. The office is further away, and I sang a long song on the drive over to let Mama know I wasn't really happy about the long ride. Dr. Omar was furry nice though. He did some rude things to me, but he said I was a nice boy. He told Mama to feed me wet food not dry, had his techs give me sub-q fluids, and prescribed me Valium and Phenoxybenzamine to try to reduce the frequency/urgency I feel the need to go. The meds made me a little sleepy, so Mama and I napped all afternoon. Mama also put a litterbox in the downstairs bathroom, so that I have one closer than the basement if I feel the sudden need to go. She thinks maybe if I'm feeling urgency, I just look for someplace closer to where I am than the basement.
I sure hope this helps. Mama says I've been her problem child lately, and I don't want to be a problem child! I want to be healthy, and comfy, and not make messes. Please wish me luck with this!
February 14th 2008 7:20 am
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I learned something furry important this past week. It's something I should have learned earlier, but I guess it's better late than never.
You should never, EVER, bite your Mama. In addition to hurting her hand so she can't do stuff like brush you and pick you up for a few days, it makes you sick!
See, Tuesday night last week I was stalking Leo, and Mama told me NO, and I didn't want to pay attention, and she reached over and scruffed me without her Cow!Cat Taming Gloves(tm) on. I put up with that for a few seconds, then decided I'd had enough and twisted around and bit her hand. Again. *is mortified*
She didn't think it was so bad, so she washed it and patched it up with Neosporin and a big band-aid, and just dealt with having a sore hand through Wednesday. But by Thursday her hand was red and swelling, so she went to see her vet, and he gave her some pills to take and told her that when a cat bites a purrson they should always, ALWAYS go to their vet, because the wound WILL get infected. No "wait and see". No "it doesn't look so bad". Just. Do. It!
But what he didn't tell her was, the cat has to go to its own vet, too, because BITING MAMAS MAKES CATS SICK!
See, that same Thursday my eye started being runny and goopy again, and Daddy started cleaning up my face with tissues and warm water. By Saturday I was feeling pretty punky, just laying around the house most of the day, not interested in eating, and my eye looked all mucusy and sore - Mama says it's the worst she's ever seen it. She also thought I felt too warm, and by Sunday night I was even drooling a little. Mama was very solicitous of me all weekend, making me tuna soup like she does for Thomas to try to get some fluids in me. That was a nice bonus.
Monday she called the vet, and then she took me there, and he did AWFUL things to me against my will, and decided I had to stay because I had a fever and he wanted to do bloodwork and examine my eye more closely to see if there was any "foreign object" in it, or an old injury that hadn't healed, or anything else that might be causing the recurrent goopiness. So it was another couple of days in hospital for the Cow!Cat. I had a bath, and slept a good deal, and ate food, and was told I was a very very well-behaved boy. I also got a basically clean bill of health - no problems with my bloodwork, no infected battle scars or anything like that, just conjunctivitis and "salivation and fever of unspecified origin". Well, ha! I know the origin! It's because I was bad and bit Mama and got infection from her!
Now I'm home with eye drops, which are horrible and I don't like them and I shut my eyes tight against them; and antibiotic drops, which I like a great deal more because, as you know if you've done your back reading, antibiotic drops means TUNA TWICE A DAY. Yum! I also have a muzzle that Mama puts on me, so I don't rip off her or Daddy's arm while he holds me and she tries to get the drops in my eyes.
But I think maybe I've learned my lesson about that. I should never, EVER bite Mama. Obviously it's very unhealthy - for both her and me!
I really, really hope I remember that. I think Mama hopes the same.
(Note from Mama: Cow!Cat's vet bills for the past year are more than the other 4 cats' combined. Sigh.)
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