Friday, September 28, 2018

all is well

Time has been flying and I'm overdue for a post!


Marvin has been doing fantastic!! He's gained back all of the weight he had lost and he's better than ever. He's become quite the cuddle-monster! He's much more engaging now and seems to be enjoying his new pain-free life.


He's even being more generous with his purr. He has a very quiet purr, you really have to listen to notice it and he's typically not been one to use it much, but lately, he's all about the purr!


I'm so thrilled he's doing so well!


This is the view from Mt. Tom, in Woodstock, Vermont. We hiked up there last weekend, it was lovely. I love how pretty Vermont is. Mt. Tom has a long history as a sustainable forest.

Old horse hitching post at the summit of Mt. Tom!


A few weeks ago I traveled to Tennessee for work as I've been doing.

Very beautiful sunsets in Tennessee

Oliver is still every bit the dream. Every day I see him, happy and cozy inside, my heart bursts with gratitude. Dreams do come true.

Pierre gets bolder and bolder! Here he is choosing to share space with me! 

Mr. Fluffy is getting more affectionate and cuddly by the day! I'm a firm believer that one can never have too many cuddle-kitties, especially fluffy ones!

Dreamy comfy Oliver

Pierre enjoying the heated window perch

Rose still firmly believes humans are evil. 
After watching the news this week, I'm starting to think she's right.

Theo's been enjoying a lot of time under blanket forts. If I forget to build him one, he squirms his way under blankets and makes his own. Like Nahum, he continues to practice his affectionate skills.

This weekend is the Tunbridge Wool and Sheep Festival! We plan to go and take in some more fun! Fall is such a lovely time to be back in New England!! Fresh apples, apple cider, cider donuts, and soon stunning foliage! 

Have a lovely cat-filled weekend!

Monday, August 27, 2018

gift bag

Did a little shopping today. Got me some new sox! And got Nahum a little something too.


It's purrfect Nahum size!


Last time we had one of these bags kicking around, Pierre played with it and somehow got his head stuck in the handle part. There he was running around the apartment with a big old paper bag chasing him - he was panicked! Eventually he ripped the handle off the bag, so the bag stopped chasing him and then he just had a handle necklace for awhile! And of course being semi-feral, it's not like he was going to let a human get near enough to rescue him. 

Meanwhile Marvin continues to rally. He keeps eating more and more each day! And he acts like Marvin! That last dip in his health was scary. He's still getting daily fluids to give his kidneys the best chance. 

Marvin, enjoying morning sunshine (with food on his nose!)

Saturday, August 18, 2018

more eating going on

photo courtesy of Laura
Laura has done a fantastic job nursing Marvin all week while I was away. He went to the vet everyday and got juiced and he's been eating more each day. He dropped over a pound since his dental surgery earlier this month and at the last couple of vet visits, his weight was steady (not dropping) - yea!! He's down to about 6 lbs, or a little under, which is progress.


The vet thinks he's doing great, and I agree! He looks so much better than when I left him. His furs are shiny, he's perky, and best of all, he's eating! He might just finish 2 cans of Fancy Feast by the end of the day!  His personalty is back too.

photo courtesy of Laura
Marvs favorite place of all time is Laura's lap and he got lots of lap time this past week. I'm grateful for Laura for taking such amazing care of him! We will be trying to juice him at home - that will be fun with him being to tiny and massively wiggly when he's not getting what he wants.  (not fun!!)


I was working in Tennessee again last week helping some folks work through their trauma. And I got to have some lovely kitty time, thanks to Beyonce, the Onsite kitty!


She's so lovey!


Thursday, August 9, 2018

he eats!

Marvs spent a few hours in the morning sleeping on his all time favorite spot (on top of Laura). That felt like a huge positive sign. This morning he lined up with the other cats for breakfast. He only ate two tiny bites but it was movement in a positive direction.


Laura and I both came home during the day at various times to offer food to him and he refused each time and appeared to regress into stiff, uncomfortable movements. It was so disheartening after the progress he made. I returned to work feeling quite discouraged.

Marvin went back to the vet for his daily sub-q fluids, he was more vocal this time around, so that's a good sign. The vet found a new kind of appetite stimulant for us to try called Entyce. So Marvin got that this time. By the time I came home from work, he was chowing down his dinner! He's eaten most of a small can of wet food! Go Marvs!!


Yah!!!


He's been sleeping a lot, which feels like a good thing, to give his body chance to heal.


I leave tomorrow for a week of working in Tennessee. I'm worried about leaving him in his current tenuous condition. It would be awful if Laura had to let him go by herself. I'm still hoping and praying for a strong rally. 

In other news, we just put an offer on a house. It's not where we wanted to live, but it's a pretty amazing house and with a delightful history. Our offer is considerably lower than the asking price, so it feels like a long shot, but it doesn't hurt to ask. The place does need a lot of work. 

I can't stop thinking about how Willow died on the day we listed our prior house and now we are facing another possible loss as we begin the process of buying our new house. I'm not sure what that is about, but it feels cruel. I'm going to do my best to not worry about all that and instead choose once again to trust God's process.


Thank you everyone for your kind support - it's been a huge blessing to know that many others have experienced this roller coaster too - and therefore we are not alone. I'll do my best to update you on Marvin's condition from afar, but it will be more challenging to do so.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Marvs update 1

I'm exhausted - the energy drain that happens when holding so much heavy grief-laden emotion is enormous. The chronic kidney failure emotional roller coaster is racing down the tracks.

I didn't post anything yesterday, partly because I was too exhausted and mainly because Marvin was doing so poorly, I was afraid to face that fact by writing about it. It still feels like just yesterday that we lost Willow and I'm not ready to lose another member of the family. But sometimes it doesn't matter how ready one is. We thought today's vet visit might be the end of the line the roller coaster. Yesterday, he looked vacant, miserable, in pain. He spent much of his time hunched in his bed, eyes open, starring off into the nothingness. Occasional he would hobble out to the water bowls and drink a small lake's worth of water. He started camping out at the water bowl with his head just above the water. He looked awful. And he had no interest in food.

He's been going in for fluids every day this week. They've given him some anti-nausea medicine as well. This morning he didn't seem much better, so the fear and dread hung over the day like a heavy blanket. I came home from work for lunch to check up on the guy. As I climbed the stairs to the apartment, I steeled myself for what I might see upon entering. To my delight he seemed a bit more perky. He was still going for the water but he was more present and more aware of my presence.


I hung out with him and saw his personality return.


He even stopped to sniff me as he walked by.


He spent time in the windows, soaking up the sun - a very normal Marvin behavior and something that's been absent all week.


Seeing him this way gave me a little hope, although I'll admit, I'm afraid of hope right now. One of the high peaks on the kidney failure roller coaster is called hope and it's always followed by an intense crash.


There was a moment when he was up on the sunny window perch, when he looked me in the eye and I heard him say, "please don't give up on me." Marvs, if there's an option to get you comfortable and feeling good again, we're doing it. I keep watching him closely, looking for that moment when he tells me it's time - but thankfully, that is not this day.


Marvin did well at the vet. He looked like his typical self. He's lost a lot of weight though from not eating and he doesn't have much extra weight to spare. He got more fluids and a bit of appetite stimulant, which sadly didn't have the desired effect.


He's pretty much slept since returning home from the vet, with the occasional trip to the water dish. On his last round, I gave him the chance for some ultra-yummy, not-on-the-kidney-diet-Friskies and he actually sniffed it. I set it by his bed and he sniffed it again and then looked away, then he returned to it, got close and sniffed it once more. He didn't eat anything, but it felt like progress in that direction.  I'm going to try again tonight and get up a few times through out the night to give him more opportunity to eat - hopefully he does.

Still hoping for the rally - go Marvs!

------------------------------------—
4 am update...

Around midnight Marvin ate two bites of Friskies! Then again at 3:30 this morning he ate another couple of bites and then settled in up on Laura's lap (his favorite spot). Yah! 

Monday, August 6, 2018

marvs

I'm overdue for an update on Marvs. He had his risky dental procedure last Wednesday and he did well. Vet extracted 6 teeth and cleaned the others. Said he did well before, during, and after the procedure. He got a pain-killer injection and he came home and slept for a few days. Then over time he became more active but still guarded his mouth, like he was in pain.

August 5, 2018
He was quite the cuddle monster over the weekend. Cuddle, cuddle, cuddle...


We noticed the furs on the back of his ears is starting to grow back! I think the reduced steroid dose has something to do with that. His furs were looking shiny, he was looking good.

August 4, 2018
Sunday, he turned a corner - not a good corner - he started going downhill. Looking miserable and not moving. Laura took him to the vet this morning and they did blood work, found his kidney levels elevated and signs of pancreatitis. He got fluids and some more pain-killer and anti-nausea meds. Now he's back home and looking miserable - that late-stage kidney failure miserable.

We take him back to the vet tomorrow for fluids and further care. I know deep down that the dreaded conversation will happen soon. He's had kidney failure for the three years we've had him and we knew doing the dental work might push him over the edge. I'm hoping and praying Marvs has at least one more rally in him. Please join with me in prayer and purring for him to rally so he can have some time to enjoy a stretch of life without the dental pain. 

Saturday, July 28, 2018

caturday!

My Saturday started as most days do, I got up and went about my morning routine. But then as I was about to pop into the bathroom and get my shower something unexpected happened, Oliver got up on the bed and looked at me. Not just any look, he had a look like he wanted something, an invitational look - he wanted to cuddle. So, not being one to pass up such an invitation, I obliged.

Next thing I knew...


Then a little while later...


And then...


Theo had to come check out the cuddlefest and made himself a little fort on the other side of the bed...


What's missing in these pictures is the sound of the purrs! When Oliver's relaxed, his purr gets super loud.



And then...


Nahum came for a visit too...


Oliver never left his cuddly spot on the bed! I don't remember the last time I spent most of the day cuddling with my precious Oliver. This was certainly the first time since he became an inside cat and it was lovely to not have to worry about him jumping down and peeing on something and I'm sure he enjoyed not having to worry about when he was going to get deported.


Purrfect way to spend a caturday!!

Happy Caturday to you!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Marvin's 3rd Gotcha Day!!

Today marks 3-years of Marvin!! That is so hard to believe considering how many times he's been near death's door. When I first rescued him from the street and was sorting through his medical problems, we all thought he might have 6-months to live - and here he is 3 years later!


His kidney failure continues to worsen each time we get the numbers checked, but he still eats fairly consistently. The Northeast air appears kinder to his asthmatic lungs, as he's been breathing easier since we moved, so we've been able to significantly cut back his steroid dose.


He LOVES this spot in the kitchen window that has the morning sun. Every morning he can be found zonked out in the warm sun. This guy likes it hot, it doesn't matter that it's 90's and crazy humid in the apartment, he wants it hotter!

Marvin recently had a health scare. He had a nose bleed, which I've never heard of in a cat before. I wasn't home at the time, but it scared Laura (understandably) so she took him to emergency. The vet thought it might be a complication from his ongoing dental infection and problems.

When I trapped Marvin he had really rotten teeth, enough so that he couldn't eat. I took him to a low cost vet and requested full dental extraction. That vet took out a few teeth but left the rest (and didn't bother to clean the remaining ones). Marvin's continued to have bad teeth but our regular vet cautioned us about doing anymore dental work because of how frail his kidneys are. Our new vet here has been encouraging us to consider taking the risk and doing the dental work, she notes that the ongoing infection will also strain the kidneys and the chronic dental pain is not good on his quality of life. So, after the nose bleed, we have made the choice to get the extractions done and any remaining teeth will be cleaned. This is very high risk for him as his blood pressure could drop to dangerous levels with the anesthetic and/or it might put his kidneys over the edge. We're going to take him in a few times before for sub-q fluids to try to flush his kidneys before the surgery, which is scheduled for next week.


He's been living free lately and enjoying lots of cuddles. He's certainly our most cuddly kitty right now. The other day when it cooled down I got out the bug toy and he went nuts with it, running around, diving in the packing papers like a kitten. It's fun to see that much energy and spunk in the old guy! He's so unsteady on his feet, but he did ok throwing his body around. Hopefully after the dental work he will be free of pain and can more fully live into life.


Happy Gotcha Day Marvs!!