Friday, July 29, 2016

Buddy update

Just a quick update on Buddy.  Cardiologist confirmed he has congestive heart failure.  She gave us some meds to help give us a little more time.  Prognosis is about 1-2 months to live,  maybe a little longer if the meds don't cause other problems.  The main treatment is a diuretic which dries out the moisture that's getting into the lungs,  but the dryness will not be helpful to his chronic kidney failure.

I'm grateful to be given a little more time with my Buddy friend. We now get a short window to love him up and say goodbye.

The cardiologist was super amazing.  I had an intense migraine the entire time at the vet office.  While waiting,  I turned off the lights in the exam room and turned on the xray viewer light.  Even that was too much so,  had to wear my sunglasses.  It was Awful. I've met a lot of people who don't get it,  but this doc totally did.  She told me she had a migraine the day before and couldn't come into work.  Her kindness to me was such a git. The tears I cried on the drive home were more about being seen and cared for well by the vet,  than about the prospect of Buddy's upcoming death.

Feeling grateful more than sad right now.  Gonna be loving up the Budster all the way to the end. 

Thank you all for the purrs and prayers.  I feel seen and known by you all,  cuz I know you get what it's like to face the impending death of a beloved furry friend.  You all are a gift.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Buddy needs purrs

I woke up this morning to find Buddy looking very miserable. He was hunkered down in a dark, quiet spot on the bathroom floor and basically didn't move all day. No eating, no nothing - he looked very unwell. Thankfully the vet had an appointment available at 5pm, so I made some adjustments in my schedule to get him in.

The vet (a guy I hadn't had before but actually really liked) found an arrhythmia (irregular heart beat) - something that wasn't there before. So, he did blood work (results were not much different from the last testing in May). X-rays showed a "bronchial pattern" which can indicate heart failure, asthma, or something else. The EKG showed abnormal heart beat emanating from four different areas of his heart. This doesn't sound good.

Vet recommended he see a cardiologist right away and he found the nearby specialty center has an opening for tomorrow (Wednesday) at 4pm - so we're going. The vet will keep Buddy overnight and keep monitoring his heart.

When I got home this afternoon, he perked up a little bit, but still seemed quite out of it.

Theo tries out the PTU

Purrs and prayers for my cuddle Buddy would be much appreciated. I'm quite worried for him. It feels empty in the house tonight not having him here. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

the Marvinator celebrates a year of gotcha-dom!

This day last year was the day Marvin went from being a homeless cat to a rescued cat!

This was a photo from the day before he was trapped (he was in very rough shape):
July 23, 2015
 Thankfully, he went right in the trap like a good boy! 
July 24, 2015
It's been quite the year for him! He got some desperately needed medical care and went from 5 pounds to 7 pounds, a nice healthy weight for him. And in that year, his delightful personality landed him a cushy job! When he's feeling good, he accompanies me to work as my therapy cat - a role he seems to love.

Sadly though, his health continues to struggle, particularly his asthma. I've tried many treatments to get him to take his steroid (pill form, liquid, inhaler with Aerokat, etc.) but he's quite resistant (as in "no way in hell, it ain't gonna happen!") I tried building him a steroid inhaling chamber...

I loaded it with his favorite thing, nip in hopes it would make his time in the box more pleasant.

Even with the nip, he wasn't too thrilled about being in this box.

 After trying it for a number of times, it didn't seem to be making any difference in his asthma attacks.

The vet said we could try Depo-Medrol (long acting steroid injection). I was reluctant because this is really hard on his body, especially his already failing kidneys. But, I think we're in that phase where we are looking at quality of life now, even at the expense of longevity. The first shot did wonders, he was asthma symptom free for about 6-weeks. Then the asthma attacks came back. We tried it again and the second time it barely lasted 2-weeks. Sigh.

Moving on to the next thing, we got the steroid compounded into a cream that I smear in his ear every day. He hates having his ears touched but he tolerates it about a thousands times more than having his mouth touched. So, with a struggle, it's doable. After 10-days of treatment this way, there have only been slight improvements to his asthma attack symptoms. Will keep trying it for now.

Watching him gasp for air and being powerless to help him is a really awful feeling. There have been a few times where I was starting to really freak, gathering up the carrier ready for a frantic run across the alleyway to the 24-hour emergency vet. Thankfully, it hasn't come down to that yet. With him being so symptomatic, he's currently on medical leave from his therapy cat job, but sadly it's not looking promising that he'll be able to return.

Marvin loves to help out whatever you're doing.

Coloring is more fun (and challenging) with Marvin helping!

It's hard to think about losing the guy, he's such a delightful personality. He's the smallest cat I've known (only 7 pounds) but his personality and sound is huge! It's amazing so much personality and sound fits in such a tiny package! Oh, and there's a ton of cutes packed in there too!

As I contemplate Marvin's retirement from the workplace, I'm starting to prep my next therapy cat - Mr. Floofy himself, Nahum!

Nahum's undergoing a rigorous cuddle training regime.  It's hard work training to become a therapy cat, but everyday he gets more and more lovey.

Meanwhile, Marvin's sleeping away his Gotcha Day! 

Join with us in celebrating a wonderful year of gotcha-dom for a super-wonderful kitty - Marvin! He's such a joy and my heart is bursting with gratitude for getting to enjoy this delightful boy for an entire year! Here's to a year with the Marvinator!

Friday, July 8, 2016

another 4th gone by

Another year of fireworks, another of year of terrified Oliver.

I locked Oliver away on the back porch early this year, in middle of afternoon. He wasn't too pleased with that arrangement, but too bad! As the night progressed I think he came to appreciate that decision. He was super scared and desperately wanted to come inside. So, once again, I pitched my sleeping bag on the mudroom floor, so he could cuddle and feel safe.

Oliver purred and purred!

As you can see in the photos, we both suffered significantly by this arrangement! 

We didn't get a lot of sleep while the fireworks were going on, but we got some prize winning cuddle time! I left the mudroom door open so Pierre come join us, but he elected to stay hunkered down between the wall and chest freezer.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Willow being Willow

In case you were wondering...

Willow is still crazy cute!

Maximum cutes in a little furry-soft package!

Enough already!