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Friday, October 6, 2017

And then there were 12: R.I.P Spunky

Clarissa is letting me take over her blog once again. It seems that I am always the bearer of sad news. I said farewell to my big, sweet, doofus boy Spunky on Wednesday. Unlike Johnny's passing, which was expected, Spunky's passing came out of the blue.

All of my kitties have the feline herpes virus. Some have respiratory issues when it flares. Others have eye issues when it flares. Spunky was one of my kitties that would have eye issues. A few months ago I noticed that his right eye was "winky" and it had some of that stringy goop. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. I took him to the vet, got some ointment, and the eye started looking better. But it never totally cleared up.

Back to the vet for an oral antibiotic (liquid). Spunky, although a big goofball and love bug, would turn into a fighter whenever it was time for his meds. He got them, but not on a set schedule. It was very hit and miss. He would see me coming and run under the bed. If I did manage to wrangle him. sometimes he would get away from me and run under the bed. On Tuesday night, I found him on my bed. His eye was swollen shut, and there was tiny bit of blood coming from it. I made an immediate trip to the emergency vet. Lily's eye specialist is located there, although I knew at that hour she would be gone. It wasn't clear if Spunky's eye had ruptured or not. He was given pain meds and another liquid/oral antibiotic. I took him home and isolated him in a spare room. He hated it and he cried to be out.

After a week on the antibiotic and pain meds there was no change. His eye continued to bleed. On Tuesday (Oct. 3) I called the animal ophthalmologist who sees Lily. She had no openings, but I was told I could drop him off the next morning and she would work him in.

Dr. T. called me after she saw him. She was 99% certain that Spunky had a tumor and that it was cancerous. They only way to be 100% sure would be to surgically remove his eye and have tissue sent to the lab. If it was cancer, the chances of it coming back were high.

It was with a heavy heart that I decided to let him go. It was not a decision that I made lightly. I had just spent close to $700 on Johnny for lab work, medicine, and finally, helping him cross the Bridge and his cremation. I had spent close to $300 on Spunky's ER visit, and another $100 to board him. I feel horrible that economics had to be a factor in my decision. Spunky's age was also another factor. He was 15. He was in pain. Even if I had brought him home for hospice care, he would have been kept in a closed room so he would be able to get his pain meds and not hide on me. He would have been miserable. I ask that you not judge me harshly for the decision I made.

I will always miss that sweet boy. I lost his sister, Panda, to kidney disease when she was only 9. I worry about his other sister, Ginger, and if she will cope with his passing. They were a bonded pair and cuddled together a lot. She still has her buddy, Batman, to snuggle with.

Several people have asked me if I will get another cat or two to "replace" Johnny and Spunky. I don't think they intended to sound cold or uncaring. I don't think it was meant to be that way. Those boys can never be replaced. The wounds of losing to furbabies in two weeks will take time to heal. I have 12 senior cats to take care of. I can't even consider bringing another kitty into my home at this time.

Fly free my sweet goofy boy. I will always love you.
Spunky
2002-2017









Thursday, September 21, 2017

Thank You

The kitties and I want to send a heartfelt THANK YOU for the kind words left regarding Johnny's passing. It means so very much to us. Johnny was a sweet boy (most of the time!) and he will be missed. His brother, Cash, gave me extra loving on Tuesday night...until he was distracted by a housefly.

I've included the last pictures I took of Johnny. These were taken on Sunday evening. His face is thin, and you can see how thin he is in the last picture.





Tuesday, September 19, 2017

And then there were 13...

Good morning my friends! I'm at my Bridge mansion and I'm about ready to start exploring the place. I apologize for surprising you all with this news.

I've been very, very sick. I don't know if you all will remember this, but back at the end of December and into January I lost a lot of weight. I had a UTI, but the big issue was with my liver. I went on two types of antibiotics and a liver supplement. The UTI cleared up and I started gaining weight. Soon I went from 9 lbs. back to my regular weight of 13 lbs.

I was doing very well until a few weeks ago. I started losing weight and I was back down to 9 lbs. A full blood panel was done, and it showed that my liver was acting up again, but this time it was worse. I spent last week taking those two antibiotics again, but they weren't helping me at all. I spent most of my time either sleeping on the foot of the bed, or hiding under the bed. I stopped eating. I stopped drinking water. I didn't want to cuddle with mom either.

Mom made an appointment with my vet for 8:30 this morning. Last night I came into the living room and jumped onto the foot of the recliner. I laid across mom's legs and told her I was ready to go. Mom still wasn't 100% sure until she took me in to see Dr. Green this morning. I had lost more weight, and the whites of my eyes had a slight yellow tint. The lining of my ears were also yellow. Mom knew then that I was right.

Dr. Green gave me a shot of medicine so I would relax. Mom held me, and talked to me, and she cried into my fur. When Dr. Green came back, she helped me across the Bridge. Mom stroked my head and whispered how much she loved me.

Once I'm settled into my Mansion, I want to have the biggest party ever!

Purrs,
Johnny Cat



Mom Malinda here. It is never easy when we have to say farewell to one of our furbabies. I was truly hoping that Dr. Green and I could pull Johnny through this again. His liver had other ideas. I honestly thought I was going to lose him back in early January. Johnny was seen by the vet that was filling in for Dr. Green while she was out for the Christmas holiday. Johnny had blood work done and the vet said everything looked fine in the lab results. Johnny continued to lose weight so I took him back in to see Dr. Green. I told her the substitute vet said all was fine with his lab work. Dr. Green looked over the results and said it wasn't fine! The numbers showed that something was off with his liver function! I was furious; not with Dr. Green, but with the incompetent substitute vet! A secondary lab was ran and it confirmed the results of the first lab. Johnny pulled through that scare and I am so grateful that he was with me for another 9 months.

I don't think Johnny was in any pain, but his quality of life was slipping away. He still had enough strength to jump onto my bed, or walk into another room. But he was losing his ability/drive to be social. He never growled or hissed, but he spent the last couple of weeks wanting to sleep at on the foot of my bed, or hide under one of the beds. He had stopped eating and drinking. I gave him water with a syringe, and tried to syringe feed him with baby food.

Johnny and his brother were being surrendered because their guardians had lost their home. I happened to be at the right place at the right time, so they came home with me. It was an easy transition for them, but not for some of my other cats. Eventually the other cats learned to tolerate them, with the exception of Memphis Meezer. He wanted nothing to do with them.

My heart is heavy, but I know Johnny is at peace.

Friday, June 9, 2017

We are in Mousebreath Magazine today!!!!!

We are so excited!!! Our interview is in Mousebreath Magazine today!!! The link is below!!!



 




Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Tabby Cuteness

You may recall that our Aunty Jennifer (Velvet's meowmie) was taking care of a mom cat and her kittens. They kept visiting her yard and she eventually trapped all of them on the same day. Babymomma, now named Khaleesi, moved in with Aunty Jennifer. She also kept one of the black kittens, now named Maggie.  Mom took the other black boy kitten to her friend in South Carolina. That kitten is now named Smudge. Maggie and Smudge look just like their mom.

There were also three tabby kittens in that litter. One went into foster care by itself. That kitten wasn't as friendly as the others and needed to be socialized. We don't know if that tabby was a boy or girl. The other two tabby kittens, which are girls, went to a home together. Aunty Jennifer sent our mom a recent picture of them. They are growing up to be lovely ladies and they look like their papacat. He is a handsome silver tabby with blue eyes.

We don't know the names of the sisters, but they sure are beautiful.


Purrs,
Clarissa

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

This and That Tuesday

Good morning! It's a beautiful, bright, and sunny morning. The outside temperature is 60F and their is no humidity. Mom said it is the perfect morning to be outside...except she is inside at work. I wanted to give some updates on a few things I've recently written about.

Lily is being a real trooper about getting all of her eye drops. Mom does give her a couple of crunchy treats between each set of drops. Mom wanted to associate the drops with some positive reinforcement. So far that seems to work. Mom doesn't seen a big difference in Lily's eyes, but they don't appear to be getting worse.

Mom's cataract surgery on her right eye has been scheduled for May 31st. She had lasik surgery way back in 2002 and that corrected her nearsightedness and her astigmatism. The eye surgeon is going to replacement mom's cloudy lens with a toric lens. That will take care of the astigmatism like the lasick surgery did. Many people have told mom that the surgery is easy peasy. She hopes so because having her eyeball cut on is a scary thing.

More mom news. You know humans aren't graceful, right? Well mom does pretty well most of the time. But those times when she isn't graceful she does it up big time. "Go big or go home" defines mom! MOL.  Well she fell on Saturday night. She was participating in a small belly dance show at a local tattoo parlor that has a nice gallery space on the first floor. The main floor is where the show was taking place. On that same floor there is one step up that leads to the back where the restrooms are. She forgot about that one step. Yeppers, she missed it and splatted herself flat out on the hardwood floor. She received a little "floor burn" on her elbow and knee, but otherwise seemed to be okay. As the adrenaline from the fall wore off, mom noticed that her pinky finger on her right hand was sore. She didn't think much about it. She danced later, did fine, had a great time, and headed home after the show was over. When she woke up on Sunday morning her pinky finger was swollen and sticking out from her other fingers, like when we spread our toesies. Except one toesie doesn't go back. Well that's how mom's finger looked. It was also very bruised at the base.

She went to the immediate care center. X-rays were taken, and although they couldn't see anything unusual, they splinted her hand and told her to keep it splinted until a radiologist could look at the x-rays. Mom heard back yesterday that nothing was broken. That was great news. She left the splint on over night and took it off this morning. Her the bruising is mostly along the inside of her finger and across the middle joint. She guesses she must have hit it there when she landed. She can bend the finger, although it is stiff and hurts. But it could have been a lot worse.

I hate to end this post with very sad news. Our friend kitty friend Velvet crossed the Bridge on Saturday afternoon. She is the kitty that had a fast growing cancer in her stomach. Aunty Jen said that Velvet had stopped eating and drinking, and she could no longer control her bladder. Aunty Jen gave her the bestest gift she could. She helped her cross the Bridge with dignity. Velvet was only 7 years old. Fly free sweet girl. You earned your wings.

Purrs,
Clarissa

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Eyes Have It

Yes, today's post is about eyes. Specifically, Lily's eyes and mom's eyes. I'll start with Lily since she is more important. She is a cat after all!

For those who don't know, Lily is blind and also has glaucoma. She developed cataracts about two years ago. She could have had surgery to remove the cataracts, but at 14 the eye specialist said she wouldn't recommend it. Lily has adjusted well to her blindness and gets around the house with few problems. Once in awhile she will bump her nose into the wall. She doesn't jump up onto the cat tree any more, but she will jump onto the kitchen stool so she can steal Sable's prescription food!

Lily sees the ophthalmologist about every three months. The doctor checks her eye pressure and looks for any changes. Lily has been getting daily eye drops since she was diagnosed with glaucoma. She has done quite well on them and her dosage was eventually lowered from twice a day to once a day. Eventually a second type of eye drop was added to her treatment.

On May 6th, mom noticed that Lily's left eye looked "off".  Mom called the vet's office and talked to the technician. The tech relayed the information to Lily's doctor. It was determined that since Lily wasn't rubbing at her eye and there was no discharge, Lily could wait until May 17th when she had her next appointment.

It was determined this morning that Lily is developing an ulcer on her left eye. She has paralysis on the left side of her face due to nerve damage. The nerve damaged occurred when Lily had surgery to clean out the deformed bones in her left ear (she kept getting abscesses from bacteria growth). Mom knew that the nerve damage was a strong possibility but the surgery was necessary. Unfortunately, Lily's left eye no longer blinks properly. Since the eyelid doesn't blink, her eye dries out, and the dry eye is causing the ulcer to form.

$300 later, mom and Lily left the office with two additional eye drops and an eye gel. Lily isn't hard to handle while getting her drops, but mom feels bad because she is afraid that Lily will start avoiding her. It's a lot of eye drops for a little old lady cat to deal with.

This is what Lily will now get on a daily basis:

Azopt Solution - 1 drop in each eye once a day.
Idoxuridine Solution - 1 drop in each eye twice a day.
Ofloxacin Solution - 1 drop in left eye three times a day.
Sodium Chloride Solution - 1 drop in each eye three times a day. (The vet said this one stings a bit).
OptixCare Gel - small amount in left eye 4-6 times daily.

Mom is hoping that once the ulcer is healed Lily may not need all of the newly added meds. She will probably need the gel for the rest of her earthly days. Also, mom is hoping to go to North Carolina for a week in July. She has already made arrangements to board Lily while she is away. She said it is too much to ask her friend(s) to come over three times a day to take care of Lily. She has a friend who will stop by once a day to pill Johnny and me (I get predisone every other day).

Now, depending on what happens regarding mom and her upcoming EYE SURGERY, her trip to North Carolina may not happen. Like Lily, mom has developed cataracts. It's been going on for several years. Last June mom had an eye exam, got new glasses, and by the end of the year she couldn't see well with them at night. She saw her ophthalmologist in February and he said her cataracts were worse and it wouldn't do any good to change her glasses, however he didn't recommend surgery yet. He wanted to see her again in May. Her appointment was yesterday. Her vision (especially night vision) is worse and he said surgery could be done. Now mom is waiting to hear from the office to schedule cataract surgery for her right eye. Once her right eye has healed, she will have the left eye done.

Mom said the crazy thing is she can read without her glasses unless the print is teeny tiny. But when driving, she can't read signage even with her glasses. She does fine during the day, but the glare from the headlights on other cars is bad. Also, she has "halos" around those same lights. The only real driving she does at night now is picking her brother up at work. It's not too far from our house. And when it rains at night she doesn't want to drive at all.

Mom said, "I'm too young for cataracts." She'll be 57 this summer. We meowed at her to be quiet and be glad she can have something done about it!

I'll keep you posted on further developments.

Purrs,
Clarissa