feren: Feren in profile (sakuranym_profile)
Today has been a big day! It is official as of this afternoon: big black Ulysses is now my kitty. He passed his "interview week" in our safe room with flying colors, so I signed the paperwork to adopt him. He will never be able to replace my beloved Ra, but Ulysses has a personality as big and loving as his 17 pound self. As if that was not enough, I also signed the papers to make orange cheetoh Harlow officially part of my household. He is a "foster fail," we've been housing him for the animal shelter we volunteer with since September 10th, 2014. I can't imagine my home without him now!


feren: Feren in profile (sakuranym_profile)


Just a photo of my best friend, taken on October 16th, 2011. Today (April 3rd 2015) marks the 3 month anniversary of his passing over the Rainbow Bridge.

Thank you, Ra. Though losing you was devastating, I want to remember you as you were in hale and hearty days.

Thank you for sharing your journey and all of your love with me. Daddy misses you dearly, buddy.
feren: Feren in profile (sakuranym_profile)
... who lost his own beloved black cat today, I share this to the journal to memorialize her passing and try to find some solace of my own.

"A Cat's Prayer"

A Pets Prayer
If it should be, that I grow frail and weak,
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then, you must do what must be done
For this, the last battle, can't be won.
Don't let your grief stay your hand,
For this day more than the rest,
Your love and friendship stand the test.
We've had so many years,
What is to come can hold no fear.
You'd not want me to suffer, so
When the time comes, please let me go.
Take me where my needs they'll tend,
Only, stay with me to the end
And hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.
I know in time you'll see it is a kindness you do for me
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I've been saved.
Don't grieve it should be you who this thing decides to do.
We've been so close, we two, these years,
Don't let your heart hold tears.
SMILE, FOR WE WALKED TOGETHER FOR AWHILE.

-- Author: Unknown

He didn't make this choice; he had no warning. My friend had nothing that could have prepared him for his sweet girl's passage from our world to the next. Bast called her home, and it was very hard. The circumstances are such difficult ones that, if I could, I would take them from him. I want to take his pain, his grief, his anger and his regret away... but I cannot. All I can do is stand beside him and offer to help carry the burden that I've already known.
feren: Feren in profile (sakuranym_profile)
I said farewell to my best friend today at 2:40pm. He'd been part of my life for 16 years. Ra had seen me both at my best and at my worst. I chose him from a rescue in 1999 because he looked like "a little black panther," but there was nothing little about how he lived or how he loved. He filled a hole in my heart that I didn't know I had. I'm so devastated right now.

Be at peace, Ra. You were part of my life for the last 16 years. You are always part of my shadow, now
feren: Feren in profile (sakuranym_profile)
It has been confirmed, Ra is terminal.

Who dares to love forever, when love must die
feren: Feren in profile (sakuranym_profile)
Ra went in for a follow-up of blood work today. The results are increasingly worrisome on top of his results from last week:

  • BUN is higher (Kidney - bad)
  • Anemia is worse (Liver - bad)
  • Bilirubin is higher (Kidney - bad)
  • ALT is down from 1400 to 950, which is better but is still way out of whack (Liver - sorta good)

His creatinine is okay (kidneys) and the level of potassium is normal (finally) but what has me concerned is that this is almost the same thing that hit Diva. She had a "perfect storm" of anemia + kidney failure advancing into the next stage. I'm fearful that this is what is happening with Ra. How do you treat kidney failure? You administer sub-cutaneous fluids. The problem with fluids? You dilute the blood stream and exasperate the anemia.

Our vet is going to re-run the existing blood work and try to get some clarification from the lab as to what type of anemia he has, which can help steer us towards a better treatment plan.

What scares me is that one of the plans involves blood transfusion. Cat. Blood. Transfusion. Because there are just warehouses of feline blood and plasma waiting for situations like this.

All these numbers are joining together and telling a story that's scaring me badly, so badly that I can't even articulate what I'm feeling right now. My productivity for the night is shot, the work I had slated to do for the evening is beyond my level of concentration at this point.

I'm going to wait a bit longer for the air to cool off and then I'm going to go BBQ something and hope that it distracts me. I'll probably end up burning everything because I can't put the right level of focus on it.

But the cat came back, she wouldn't stay away, she was sitting on the porch the very next day.
feren: Feren in profile (sakuranym_profile)
Reposted from this entry by [personal profile] lady_curmudgeon. I have obviously been talking with her every day, but not very much here or on Facebook. I just don't really find myself able to talk about it much in those other settings. I don't know if that's because I'm dealing with it by not dealing with it, or what... but please focus here or Facebook and I'll repost what Mudge shares. Or better yet, you can follow her directly.


We finally got the diagnostic report from Ra's procedures last Monday, as you well know. Last we knew, from Dr. B. was Ra would be on the Chlorambucil (the chemo drug) once/daily for six weeks, then every 72 hours thereafter depending on his clinical response. Dr. B said he would call right away to get the drug ordered and to us so we could start treatment.

Go in on Friday for Ra's first B-12 shot. Ask about the Chlorambucil--he's not gotten ahold of any yet, nor has he ordered any, and will make more calls for it later in the day. Sigh. We really wanted Ra to start this treatment regimen ASAP in order to keep the pre-cancerous cells in check and not have them develop into CANCER! WTF?!!?!

At least, in the good news department, Dr. B gave us six weeks worth of pre-filled syringes of B-12 for Ra for us to administer at home rather than bring him in once a week and get him all riled up with a ride to the vet and a vet encounter (which he hates) when we can do it at home and avoid all that stress on him. It's administered sub-cutaneously, so it'll be easy for J to give to him every Friday...Dr. B even gave us a bit of a deal on the B-12 shots. :)

So I call the Dr. B early yesterday afternoon--Chlorambucil still not ordered, largely because Dr. B left the office early yesterday for a wake for the family member of one of his techs. What the everlasting fuck?!?! Decided we couldn't wait any longer, so I asked the tech to ask Dr. B (who was predictably swamped with Saturday morning patients) if we could at least order some of the med from VCA Aurora, if they had it. He said that would be fine, so we called VCA Aurora and, thank Bast, they had the med in stock. Thank Bast, and for many reasons...

VCA Aurora continues to impress. They didn't have anybody from the internal medicine department or the pharmacy in the clinic because it was the weekend, but Dr. Mac from ER heard what was going on and was willing to personally dispense us at least 6 pills to get us through about two weeks worth of treatment so that we could pick it up right away. Six pills for two weeks? Turns out Dr. B either misspoke or misunderstood the Tx instructions--Ra is to get the Chlorambucil every other day for six weeks, not every day! I read the Tx summary copy we got from Dr. B and yep--says EOD, which is every other day to my understanding...Sigh, now I'm worried about Dr. B's ability to treat Ra for Dr. M over at VCA Aurora! UGH!!

We were able to talk to Dr. Mac when we picked up the med to ask her some basic questions--when to dose, with or without food, potential side-effects to watch out for. She was WONDERFUL!! Turns out she's also an internal medicine doc in addition to being an ER doc, so she was able to give us all the information we needed! :) She explained she was only willing to dispense two weeks worth of the med because she wants us to closely monitor Ra for any negative side effects and didn't want us to pay for too much of the med in case he ends up unable to tolerate it and ends up needing to try another med. It's to be taken in the morning with his 5mg of prednisone, preferably with food, but since he's got a tendency to vomit his feeds if he's fed too soon after medication, we're to try giving him the two meds about an hour before we feed him in the AM.

Because he fights us with the potassium supplement in particular, Dr. Mac suggested we not give Ra that particular med on the mornings we give him the Chlorambucil so he'll be more apt to not fight the Chlorambucil pill on those mornings because it's so important for him to get that med in him with minimal fuss. She also suggested we try compounded liquid version of the potassium so Ra's not taking as many pills at once, to give him a break on so many pills. She initially suggested we try compounding it ourselves by crushing the pills and adding the crushed pills to chicken, tuna, or clam juice, but given that Ra's on a hypoallergenic diet that idea might not be the best one and that we should wait and talk again to internal medicine proper on Monday to order the liquid from the VCA pharmacy...

Side effects we can expect from the Chlorambucil are GI upset, immuno-compromise in the form of bone marrow suppression, lack of appetite, decrease in white and red blood cells. Standard stuff for chemo treatment. They'll build over time as his blood saturation of the drug increases. She emphasized the importance of the monthly CBCs to monitor these things.

I asked about Rx foods--he seems to like the W/D alright so far, but what if he starts to reject it? She said we'd have to work with Dr. M from internal medicine to make the decision, but there are a number of other high fiber/low fat Rx diets that could work for him if needs be. That was good to know, just in case.

We think it's taken Dr. B so long to get us any Chlorambucil because it's pretty pricey--the six pills we got from VCA cost $125! Holy Hannah!! I'm thinking it's a combination of the med not being terribly common and that Dr. B is trying to find us the best deal possible for the med as well--he's a cheap bastard and tries to pass the savings onto his clientele. That being said, getting us SOME of the med should've been a priority and that he thought it was a once/daily med vs. every other day is a bit disconcerting and concerning. I'm starting to think Ra's care should be taken over by Dr. Lehal and associates at Brookville Animal Hospital, which is much closer to home an they seem to have it together a bit better than Aurora Cat Clinic. It's something J and I will have to discuss, definitely. I know we both want Ra to get the best and most competent care possible. Not to say that Dr. B is incompetent in any way, it's just that he's made not made any points lately, especially about being incorrect on the dosing regimen on the Chlorambucil. I just don't know...

Ra got his first dose of the Chlorambucil this morning. He wasn't happy about not being fed right after he got his pills like he normally is, but he managed okay. Waited to feed the other two monsters until Ra ate because, when hungry, Ra has a tendency to scavenge off of Lars' bowl. I though the Young Ones were going to explode, they were SOO HUNGRY!! :/ Whatevs, they managed to wait, so it was all good. Now we wait and see how Ra reacts to the Chlorambucil...
feren: Feren smoking (atomicfiction_ferensmoking)
I don't have it within me to write about today's events or the week that has lead up to them. You may see something written in [personal profile] lady_curmudgeon's journal. All that matters is that today our sweet Jazz has gone across the Rainbow Bridge to join her sisters Smudge and Diva.


Jazz Kersting, December 2nd 2013

Photo December 5, 2007


There are so many things about you that we miss already, beautiful.
feren: Feren in profile (sakuranym_profile)
We fell asleep around 2 this morning, with lots of waking up throughout the night. And, this morning, Jazz is still here with us. [personal profile] lady_curmudgeon and I couldn't be more glad - even if it sometimes feels as if we've exchanged another day of having her with us for another day of dread about when she'll be taken from us. Her eating and bathroom habits, paired with rapid breathing, continue to show that things are very much not right. But there's not really anything we can do but keep watching for signs of distress or pain. Other than those three things she seems alert today, and has already given us loving time in bed, and is moving a bit from place to place in the house.

I can't help but feel like we're prolonging the inevitable, but that's a rather silly belief a we aren't taking extraordinary measures such as force-feeding. It's only her normal schedule of meds and us offering food to her in an attempt to get her to eat. So I think as long as she wants to stay with us, she will. I'm still hoping she'll improve and gain back a bit more of her old self. I miss her carrying her sparkle balls into the hallway, the office or onto the bed. I miss her "Singing the Song of Her People" when she is carrying sparkle balls around. I miss the way she pushes her nose insistently into my hand for petting... so if I saw any of those behaviors come back, I'd be most relieved.

Thank you for all the good wishes and prayers to those who may have seen this last night. We continue to appreciate them as we look forward with worry and a spark of hope to the rest of the week.
feren: Feren in profile (sakuranym_profile)
Jazz has not been right since Thursday, August 29th (read more here and in subsequent posts). Both [personal profile] lady_curmudgeon and I have had a feeling that she's declining significantly. Today Jazz went to the emergency vet because of her lack of appetite or elimination.

Things were looking as if they might be reversing for the better this evening, but just as quickly that took a turn downward. Food remained uneaten and after Jazz laid down in her bed next to the office door, 'mudge noticed that she was breathing very hard and very fast. I did a quick respiration count and came back with 96, more than double the normal respiratory rate for a cat. Classic distress, but for good reason.

Since they are shallow, fast breaths I worry she's struggling for oxygen and that this may be the indication of a final decline. We discussed a return trip to the emergency vet but, given that she's as old as she is and her bloodwork was clean on Friday... we don't think there's any sense in subjecting her to that much more stress. I'm praying very, very hard that this is not the final night we have her sleeping with us on the bed.

Any good wishes you can send are much appreciated.
feren: Feren smoking (atomicfiction_ferensmoking)
Since the mid-April storms, all of the cats and dogs housed at the rescue society have been displaced due to the shelter building flooding with 3 feet of water. The interim solution has been to have volunteers within the organization foster whatever animals they can.

We have been fostering one of the "less adoptable" cats, so labelled because she will soil any bedding around her when she is left unsupervised.

Today [personal profile] lady_curmudgeon found the cat had pooped in her own food bowl.

This cat is sweet and a total love, but she is oh so broken.

Heh...

Apr. 28th, 2012 07:22 pm
feren: Feren smoking (atomicfiction_ferensmoking)
It says something about the state of things in this household when we find that we have stopped worrying about the excessively large pools of urine on the bathroom floor... and are now worried there are not excessively large pools of urine on the bathroom floor.

Diva-chat

Sep. 12th, 2011 04:48 pm
feren: Feren smoking (atomicfiction_ferensmoking)

Diva - November 2007
Diva - November 2007 Shot on Nov 6, 2007 we see Diva being a serious cat. Get better, kitty.

feren: Feren in profile (sakuranym_profile)
We just left the Diva cat at the emergency cat clinic. She is in near-critical condition per the doctor who triaged her at the hospital. She is sev erely dehydrated and, more worrying, she isn't even making 98F on the thermometer - she should be around 102F.

She is getting bloodwork now, we expect a call in about an hour on that. She is getting sub-cutaneous fluids and is resting in an incubator to try to raise her temperature.

Please send healing thoughts her way. Neither Pam nor I want to lose her, not this young and not this way.
feren: I AM THE MAN (ashryn-lurve)
We're back from the emergency vet visit this morning. Curmudgeon summed up everything for the most part with this afternoon's post. Jazz has been diagnosed with CRF (Chronic Renal Failure) and, consequently, anemia as well. There's an astoundingly complete website on feline CRF that I did a lot of reading from yesterday as I built up my list of questions to ask the vet. If you're curious what all this means and how cat kidneys work, go read that.

Jazz's BUN and creatinine levels are dangerously high, and her hematocrit levels are low. This indicates her kidneys are functioning poorly and she's going anemic, a symptom common with CRF. The vet's approach at this time, since we don't know what caused her kidneys to suddenly start failing after a perfectly OK blood work up in August, is three-pronged. 1) In case something bacterial is causing her kidneys to fail, we're giving her 1 mL of antibiotic orally per day for the next two weeks. 2) We're hydrating in an attempt to stabilize her and ease her kidney's load. To that end we're administering 175-220mL of potassium-supplemented Lactated Ringer's solution subcutaneously every day for the next two weeks. 3) We're changing her diet, putting her on Hill's Prescription Diet "k/d." Fortunately she's shown signs of loving the wet food, which will make things easier.

While at the vet's office getting her first subQ treatment, Jazz also received three shots: a shot of potassium, a shot of antibiotic and a shot of vitamin B12 as well. This will hopefully aid in stabilizing her.

The goal is two weeks of the subQ and antibiotics, then go in for another blood work up and see how her levels have adjusted. We may be able to go some time without additional subQ fluids if she responds well, maintaining things with the diet change until she gets older. Or this may become part of my daily routine. Time will tell. I'm not intimidated by this, Ra was taking daily meds for a very long time and Diva will be taking daily medication for the rest of her life, so special-needs cats don't worry me at all. In fact, as of today, we're a 100% special need household as far as our cats are concerned.

I know this condition is, ultimately, terminal. How long she has left with us is a function of how she responds to protocol and how closely we monitor her. Right now I just want to get her better for the moment and we'll figure out everything else going forward.
feren: I AM THE MAN (ashryn-blue-contemplative)
Our 14 year old kitty, Jazz, is sick. [livejournal.com profile] lady_curmudgeon got a voicemail from the vet today after yesterday's visit to the cat clinic. She sums up pretty much everything in her post over here. The short story is that Jazz's blood work, paired with her symptoms, indicates she has a severe kidney disease. I don't know what the blood workup says as I haven't seen it yet, but she's shown increased drinking, increased urination and loss of body weight (She's lost 4 pounds, over 30% of her body weight, in the last few months).

She's so damn sweet and fun. This is scary. I don't want to lose her yet.

All thoughts greatly appreciated.
feren: I AM THE MAN (ashryn-lurve)
Via [livejournal.com profile] asetwoman I give you An Engineer's Guide to Cats:



As an engineer, I endorse this public service announcement.
feren: I AM THE MAN (oCe - Feren_Photography)

Diva - Look Into My Eye
by ~panfah on deviantART

[livejournal.com profile] lady_curmudgeon's cat, Diva, is one of my favorite photography subjects. This shot was an experiment with my 100mm macro lens that had a happy surprise: it showed just how sharp a contrast there is between the color of her coat and the color of her eyes.
feren: I AM THE MAN (oCe - Feren_Photography)

Diva Bathed In Light
Diva Bathed In Light
This is [livejournal.com profile] lady_curmudgeon's girl, Diva. I really lucked out with my flash in this photo -- it created some cool lighting I'd be hard-pressed to recreate if I wanted to.

Profile

feren: I AM THE MAN (Default)
feren

June 2017

S M T W T F S
    123
45678910
1112 1314151617
18192021222324
252627282930 

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Aug. 19th, 2017 06:47 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios