splodgenoodles: (Default)
Today my Sol (sister-out-law) hit the nail on the head about why being anywhere other than home has been tricky since Tiger Cat died: I don't have a watch-cat.

I was wondering about that. I couldn't quite work out why but I think that's it.

Tiger.

Oct. 27th, 2014 06:14 pm
splodgenoodles: (Default)
That was the most peaceful end I've ever seen.

After a day of lying down, with occasional attempt to totter around, with back legs that weren't working properly, she had come into the bedroom where I was resting, and tried to jump up on the chair beside the bed where she usually sleeps on a jumper and a heated cat mat. I heard her land on the floor, so I picked her up and put her on her chair and patted her until she purred. A short time later the vet arrived, and she administered a subcut sedative first, so Tiger dozed off on her chair while I sat and talked to her and patted her for a few minutes. When I was sure she was well out of it, I called the vet back, picked Tiger up, wrapped in her jumper, and put her on the bed where the vet gave her the euthanasia injection.

The vet thinks the trouble with her back legs was a stroke from the high blood pressure, and that today was definitely the right day. She went quickly and peacefully.

I'm sure the waterworks will start at some point but at the moment I feel both numb and relieved. I feel like she's okay now, and I'm so glad for her.

Thankyou everyone for your good wishes and kind thoughts, you've made it much easier for me.
splodgenoodles: (Default)
The vet is coming today at about 3ish.

I don't want to see Tiger struggling. She's now not even interested in her morning egg and she can barely walk. I had a look online at what can happen in the very last stages of renal failure and while some cats slip away peacefully, many don't. They start having seizures and die of a heart attack, confused and hurt. I think I'd rather ensure a peaceful death than risk her going through that.

Exboi! is here and unilaterally decided to cancel what he was doing today in order to stick around, which was very thoughtful and means I'm being quietly occupied with a DVD (which it wouldn't occur to me to watch if I was alone) and offers of ice cream.

10B came over last night to say goodbye to her, and it was through talking to him that I realised today would be the right day and that my decisions are reasonable. As reasonable as they ever can be.

Sunday.

Oct. 26th, 2014 03:22 pm
splodgenoodles: (Default)
Her Fuzziness seems pretty placid now. Every so often she asks for food and she's really only accepting lightly beaten eggs. Mostly she's just sleeping under the couch, emerging occasionally to totter here or there just to sit somewhere else for a while. She's staring at birds through the screen door at the moment.

She climbed into the (empty) bath yesterday. Twice. She's never done that before, but she seemed to like it in there. I had been having a bath earlier yesterday when she came in and stared at me and I realised she'd not seen me in the bath before. Maybe she finally realised that a bath is a thing to be sat in, and decided to test it out.

I haven't given her the appetite stimulant she usually gets every third day: it makes her jumpy for a few hours and in the past, that seemed like a reasonably price to pay for two and three-quarter days of better appetite and a considerably longer life of good quality. It doesn't now: the last few times she's had it, it has not improved her appetite significantly and I just want her to be comfortable now. There's no long term benefit in giving her that pill. I ...think... that's the right decision.

~~~

I am spending today alternating between playing with pencils and doing light physical stuff.

Tiger.

Oct. 12th, 2014 01:34 pm
splodgenoodles: (Default)
I think she's passed another milestone. Her eating is even more sporadic and she needs much encouragement now. She's bony and not grooming herself. I just surprised here with a bowl of tuna on the couch, and she's tucking in, but she wasn't motivated to go find it herself and she didn't sit up to eat but leaned into the bowl from a lying position.

So I'm now not thinking in terms of many more weeks, probably a couple at most.

Rather selfishly, I'm not happy that her departure may well coincide with my birthday. Such a strange but universal experience: simultaneous impatience for something inevitable, even while you don't want it to happen. One sees the decreased comfort and wants it to cease, but it will only happen by going through a point of no return.

I am reminiscing about happy moments: the joy of being able to carry her around the house while turning off light switches for the night, with her curious about the process and purring: entirely trusting of what I was doing, happy companionship. The time we collected her from a cattery after a holiday, and they told us she'd caught a mouse (a mouse in a cattery? Some kind of kamakazi mouse, I presume). The first time I met her and she raced up to me, hungry and alone (except for the litter of kittens she'd concealed in the backyard, who I was allowed to meet the next day). Dozing with her head atop mine, her purrs sending vibrations right through my head.

We've travelled a long way together. We've developed little routines and intimacies, which have evolved and changed as circumstances change. When she was an outdoors cat, I'd sometimes lie on the grass and she'd climb over me and work her way up my sleeves in order to bite my armpits, and she could never fall asleep, as it was all too exciting to have me there. Aged about ten, she became an indoor cat, and very quickly started sleeping on me, and took to sleeping on my pillow until her old age, combined with my tossing and turning, made it a too precarious proposition. She also quickly discovered how to get my attention by patting me with a paw. Now she sleeps next to the bed, on a chair with a heated mat, but wants a pat a couple of times a night and occasionally jumps aboard to pat me for no apparent reason.

I didn't choose this girl, she chose me. And I'm so glad that she did for she has smoothed the bumps and transitions of life, provided love and comfort in dark times, and made me happy just by being a cat and doing the things that cats will do.

So now we're in that last phase, where I feed her on the couch while she lies next to me, and I won't go far from home so that she won't be without the encouragement she needs to eat, and my hugs and pats carry more emotional weight than they ever did, because they come with the awareness that there aren't too many more of them to be had and it's time to make sure I've said thankyou as much as I can, and soon it will be time for the big last thankyou ... and goodbye.

There's a hole already dug in the yard for when she needs it, which I'll plant with jonquils once she's there.
splodgenoodles: (Default)
Lab tests are back for Tiger: it's basically progression of her renal failure. She possibly has high blood pressure as well, but finding that out might be tricky. My home visiting vet's blood pressure cuff isn't working, so I'd have to take her somewhere and of course, her blood pressure would most likely go up during a test anyway.

She thinks Tiger is pretty much on a knife-edge now, and doesn't expect she'll manage more than 6 months although she'll hopefully manage 3.

She mentioned the option of subcutaneous fluids but we agreed that might not be right for this particular cat and her owner. I feel Tiger would really hate this, I've done it before and while I know I can do it, I'm reluctant to.

So we've agreed to not take action, but simply consider euthanasia when it's obvious she's not enjoying life anymore.

~~~

I feel surprisingly okay about this. I guess the fact that I wasn't expecting more than six months really helps.

~~~

The decision not to do subcut fluids is a hard one to live with: the temptation to engage in heroic measures will always be there. But I would rather just enjoy the time we have and part as friends. But expect plenty of obsessive ponderings about the nature of life in the months ahead. (Unlike the rest of the time).

~~~

Fuzzychops.

Aug. 8th, 2014 10:08 pm
splodgenoodles: (Default)
Fuzzychops got an appetite stimulant yesterday, but she's still not eating. Worse, she is hungry, and keeps prompting me for food. Hopefully it's just a glitch, we've had glitches before.

She is an old cat. )

I do appreciate I've probably said all this before, and I'll probably go through it all again, but this girl and I have been through a lot together so rumination is inevitable.
splodgenoodles: (tiger)
It's only the third day, but already my darling Fuzzychops has become quite set into the routine of a lightly beaten egg between 5 and 6 and will not be distracted by a serve of the regular food. It must be a lightly beaten egg - her sense of anticipation is palpable and her stare...

...omg the stare...

.Must.have.egg.(.lightly. beaten.).

And although eggs are quite healthy for cats (and hey, she's got renal failure so I've been told to just let her eat whatever she wants), according to (vetinary) Dr. Google, they can be a health risk (in the same way they can be to humans - salmonella and e.coli) so I guess from now on, each day between 4 and 5, I'll be doing one lightly scrambled egg and putting it in the fridge to cool.

This started three days ago, when I realised I had more eggs than I could possibly get through. (It seems I am more in the habit of buying eggs than I am of eating them at the moment.) So, looking at all those eggs, it occured to me to try one on the cat in the hopes of at least reducing the number that would go to waste.

And now, I know that not only will I not waste any of them, I won't need to give up my egg buying habit in the foreseeable future. Everyone wins, except for the bit where she's just upped the ante from fresh, small, spoonfuls of briney tuna from the fridge at regular intervals throughout the day, to that plus actual cooking.
splodgenoodles: (Penelope intro)
It's Pill Day! It's Pill Day!

Which means Tiger is both hungry and clingy. I always put off giving her the appetite stimulant if I'm heading out, because she needs to cling and to have the food bowl replenished and watered (she eats a lot, but only if it's got cold water added) and will yowl if unattended.

I might sound like a big old softie, but that's only because I am.

Actually, not really. Truth be told I grumble a lot, and love her so much because she is normally rather self contained and low maintenance. We hang out together and nod in passing. Which means, I guess, that doting on her every third day isn't too big an ask.

~~~

This medication (mirtazipine, an anti depressant) has quite a quick result. She gets hungry within the hour, clingy within two. Her ears get hot for the rest of the day, so I doubt she's comfortable. She doesn't just want a pat and a lap to sit on, she needs to be squeezed tight, and to bury her face in the crook of my arm.
splodgenoodles: (Penelope intro)
Her Fuzziness has gained almost half a kilo since being diagnosed with renal failure. (In fact, more recently than that, but I forgot to ask when the gain started. I'm guessing the appetite stimulant she's been on for the last two months has a lot to do with it).

I'm so pleased. This isn't usually what happens. And it's the best thing that can happen - it's loss of appetite that wipes out cats with renal disease.

She's currently looking a bit miffed about the day's adventure and looking for somewhere new to turn into a cat bed.

Ah.

Jul. 18th, 2013 07:39 pm
splodgenoodles: (Penelope intro)
I may have spoken too soon.

The appetite stimulant worked quickly. But I now have a stressed out, quite demanding kitty who wants to be hugged - quite tightly - and wants to stick her face in the crook of my arm, quite firmly Her ears and paws are hot.

I rang the vet again, and have now been down there to both pick up the food and more of the appetite stimulants, as well as the antidote to the stimulants if she needs it.

I'm to wait and see, and only give her the antidote if I think she's distressed. This is going to be a tough call.

The appetite stimulant is an SSRI, so the reaction to it is serotonin syndrome. The antidote is Periactin.

~~~

I'll be up half the night watching telly, so I'll just hug her hard and see how that goes.

~~~

Today I hugged one of my carers too. She's just had some really awful news(fuck cancer). She started to break down when I asked how she was, so I asked if she wanted a hug and after a moment's professional hesitation, said yes. She is so frightened. I would not say she is an overly emotional person. She's a fully professional carer, but today it got too much.

~~~

The only upside to today was getting a lovely taxi driver for the ride to and from the vet's. He talked about liking cricket because he's from India and it's compulsory ("you say you don't like cricket, they say you are not Indian") but then quietly confessed he might not really be as interested as he makes out. We had a great conversation about matters both serious and silly, he was a genuine, lovely and thoughtful man.

(Oh and [livejournal.com profile] 17catherines, he also noted a comparison between le Tour de France and test cricket).
splodgenoodles: (Lacey's)
I do so wish Tiger would go back to the healthy cat fud.

My reasons are totally selfish - her fishbreath is killing me.
splodgenoodles: (snufkin)
Fuzzychops has found hers and I really wish she had not.

It started with her new insistence on eating tuna, and only tuna, and not tuna that's been left out for more than oooh...say....50 seconds.

Okay, maybe an hour or so, depending on the weather.

She used to be an outside cat, and an outside cat that only ate dried food. Then an inside cat, but still one that only ate dried food. Don't get me wrong, she didn't eat if it had been in the bowl too long, and she frequently would only eat one crunch of each cookie then reject the sizeable crumbs, but it worked okay.

But now it has to be on demand and she has learnt how to demand.

She used to have quiet miaows. She'd look at you, open her mouth, and a little squeak would come out. Now when she miaows, you can feel her working on the timbre of the sound.

She's clearly enjoying the sensations.

And she now employs her newfound voice for non-food related reasons. After only her second unsupervised spell outdoors here, she started telling me when she'd like to go outside please. There also seems to be an issue with me disappearing out to the shed for more than a minute or two (initially I thought maybe there was a teething baby in a neighbouring house. No. It's my cat. Sorry neighbours.)

I have sussed out that she's not deaf (mildly perhaps), and that the tuna can be made acceptable for a bit longer if I put an ice block on it. It seems she likes it not just moist, but chilled as well.

I think some of her non-responsiveness to me in recent weeks was more about general mistrust and unhappiness at being moved again than not being able to hear me. Poor thing. She's still somewhat twitchy. On the plus side, the sunny outside space is cheering her greatly.
splodgenoodles: (gangnamstyle)
My uber-fuzzy, warm blooded friend is happy tonight, because I recently read on a website that a good way to keep cats comfortable in the heat is to keep their little pointy ears damp so I've been doing just that. (Their paws and belly are also good spots, but it's a bit harder to disguise the fact that water is involved and she, like most cats, is quite clear on her fatal allergy to the stuff when applied dermally.)

The ear thing is working so well that she wants to snuggle up next to me.

Alas, a bit of water on my ears isn't enough to have me comfortable with the arrangement. I know because I'm desperate enough to try. It really is too damn hot.

~~~

On the plus side, she's eating like mad now I've got her tinned cat food - there's life in the old girl yet.

~~~

Ooh! And a parcel from [livejournal.com profile] ant_queen. Doing well today!

Oh, And.

Jun. 26th, 2012 06:24 pm
splodgenoodles: (Default)
Just in case anyone was wondering- Fuzzychops has mild renal disease. At this point it's time to switch to kidney diet cat fud, and some fish oil every day.

More on the cat... )
splodgenoodles: (molesworth)
I am being mean to the cat. First, I am sitting in *my* spot, and any spot that is mine defaults to her after 24 hours. Permanently.

That's the rule.

Second, I won't let her sit on my lap because I am leaning forward surfing the web.

Edit: yeah okay, now she's on my lap with her head on my left arm and I'm typing one handed. Cat=1 Splozza=0

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