Friday, July 31, 2009

July 2009 Round Up

Created using Big Huge Labs Mosaic Maker.
Click mosaic to biggify, or see my July 2009 Project 365 Posts.

What books and/or magazines did I read this month?
None. I was too busy reading online about various liver diseases in cats.

What movies and/or tv shows did I watch this month?
Still watching The Closer, In Plain Sight, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Watched various documentaries on the space program that featured this month due to the 40th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing. They also reran the 8-part miniseries Cronkite Remembers on Discovery. I've managed 6 of the 8 episodes so far, and I have greatly enjoyed it.

Movie theater-wise, we saw Up again at the theater and took Luke. He liked it, but I know he didn't really "get it." We also saw Ice Age 3, which was not quite as good as the original, but infinitely better than the second one (which we did not like at all). May yet take Luke to see that one as well. We'll see.

At home, I didn't do a very good job of tracking what we watched, but I also know we (I) watched a whole lot less TV during the week than I have the past few months. Had other things on my mind. We got The Matrix on Blu-ray and watched that the evening of my birthday. I think Luke watched Disney's Hercules for rest time for at least half of the weekend afternoons this month. Watched Disney's Peter Pan a few times as well. Oh, and he saw Disney's Sleeping Beauty for the first time. That's all I can really think of at the moment.

What special days did I celebrate and how?
DH and I went out just the two of us for dinner and a movie for our anniversary. We even got a little bit dressed up!

My birthday was at the end of the month, but by the time it came, we had spent so much time and money on Tigger that there wasn't much left for my birthday. I got quite a few cards from friends and family, which was great, and an Amazon gift certificate from Annette (thank you!). Tigger gave me the only thing I truly wanted this year: she started eating and feeling better!

What gifts did I give and/or receive?
My parents had my pink Holly Hobby quilt repaired for my birthday. That whole story will be on the blog later. Thank you so much, Mom and Dad! It looks fabulous, especially for being 30+ years old.

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
Besides Tigger going into liver failure for no reason we can figure out? Let's see... I got dreadfully sick in the middle of the month, probably a combination of lack of sleep, stress, lack of humidity, and allergies. Took me most of the month to really kick it, and I can still feel it hanging out a little in my chest. Luke has also been complaining that one of his knees is hurting. We're keeping an eye on it. I think it is a combination of growing and bumping it pretty good several days ago. We'll see how long the complaints of pain last, then decide what to do.

What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?
All sorts of visitors this month, either them coming or us going. I got to see Kelli and Eric again and meet their beautiful son Owen, which was previously recorded on the blog.

I got to see my aunt and cousin from New Mexico, albeit briefly. I wish we could have stayed longer and spent more time with them, but we had so much going on that weekend, and I felt so bad with the respiratory thing I had. Back row: cousin T, Uncle A, his wife L, my dad, DH. Front row: my mom, Aunt D, Luke, Me

We also spent a couple of days at my parents' house, hitting the beach (which was awful) and visiting the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island. The other big event of that weekend took place August 1, so you'll read about it next time.

What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?
I don't think I did. Certainly nothing comes immediately to mind. Too much else to do.

What special or unusual purchases did I make?
A feeding tube for my cat? Definitely the most unusual thing we have "bought" recently. I'm really ready to return it, thankyouverymuch. Hopefully in another week or so.

What were this month's disappointments?
There were so many with Tigger's health, but she seems to be doing well now, so I can't complain. We did find out that our work volumes are not likely to be any better next year than they were this year, which is not a good thing at all. There is no talk of laying off or cutting back hours, yet. Time will tell.

What were my accomplishments this month?
Getting a little behind on the 101 Things list. Twenty-ish percent of the time has passed, but I'm only up to 15%. There are another 9 in progress, though. I did get one done, and it was unexpected.

66. Have my Holly Hobby quilt repaired. I gave this quilt to my parents several years ago, when my dad found out someone he knew repaired quilts. For all sorts of reasons, it never came to be with her, and the quilt stayed at their house. When I made the list, I had decided to get the quilt back at some point and find someone to repair it myself. Unbeknownst to me, they had a plan to get it repaired themselves and surprise me with it. They just gave it to me on our visit at the end of the month. More on that story in a later blog entry. So it's done, and I didn't even have to do it myself. Excellent! LOL

Still doing fine on Project 365. It was a little Tigger heavy this month, but I think that is understandable.

What were Luke's accomplishments this month?

He survived, which may have been its own accomplishment. He was quite tired and whiny this month, which I hope is just due to a growth spurt. There was a lot of "unusualness" and routine disruptions going on this month with visitors and travel and Tigger, which likely didn't help. He finished swimming lessons, and he has come *so* far with that. He is just on the verge of being able to actually swim. I hope he doesn't lose it all between now and the fall when classes start back again at Tech. His teachers at daycare are all very complimentary of his behavior and his progress. They think he will do wonderfully at Pre-K in a week or so.

Anything else noteworthy to record?
It has been a very very mild July so far, temperature wise. Pretty amazing, actually. It has also been quite dry, from a humidity perspective, though. I think that is at least partly what has been bothering my respiratory system lately. The air is just so dry!

Monthly Round Up courtesy of Katie the Scrapbook Lady.

Currently feeling: long month; hope August is a bit calmer

Friday, July 24, 2009

My favorite birthday present

I had been typing some posts and back-dating them, but I got busy this week and could not keep up. I did, however, want to give you an update on Tigger's condition. Hopefully, it will be the last one until if/when we can remove her feeding tube. That's right, she's eating! Is that a great birthday present or what? Allow me to explain:

As mentioned in my previous post, Tigger had her feeding tube put in, and we picked her up on Saturday, July 18. The idea was to give her some food through her feeding tube, which would help her liver recover, which would help her start eating on her own. (Oh, and I think I forgot to mention that her second FIV test came back negative! Our one bit of good news.) We had a follow-up visit with the vet scheduled for Tuesday morning. Sunday, she did fine, though she wasn't eating much, maybe a tablespoon or so. Not to worry, she hadn't even been home for a day. By Monday, she was starting to slow down again, and she was back to not eating at all. When I took her in Tuesday morning, I was terrified that they would say there was nothing more they could do, and we would have a big decision to make. Yes, we could keep her alive by giving her all of her food through her tube, but if she clearly does not feel well, what is the point? I love my cat, I want her to stay with me for many more years, but not if she is in constant pain.

The vet was not at all happy with her progress. She said that she honestly believed that the feeding tube was the answer and that Tigger would be eating well at home by now (she had been eating okay before we picked her up Saturday, maybe 1/2 by mouth and 1/2 by tube). Tigger was once again getting worse, not better. She had lost more weight, and even the jaundice was worse. They took more blood to test her liver values again, and we were told to do everything we could to make sure we got the full amount of food into her (which meant feeding her at least every 2 hours). She again mentioned cancer as a possibility. Did we want to do the painful, invasive, expensive, and possibly dangerous test? DH and I had already discussed it and decided no. We were not going to treat her for cancer if she had it (she's 10 years old, and we felt we had put her though enough in the preceding 2 weeks), so no point in doing the liver aspiration.

Our last option was steroids. Steroids can interfere with the cancer testing, which is why they hadn't been tried to this point (plus everyone genuinely believed the feeding tube would be the fix). Steroids can encourage the body to heal, they can cause weight gain (often considered a negative side effect, but a plus for her right now), and they decrease inflammation, which should help whatever it is that is clearly hurting her stop hurting. Steroids don't treat the cancer, but they can make her feel better even if that is what she has. Steroids can have long term bad side effects, such as affecting the liver (though not nearly to the extent that she is affected now) and causing diabetes. Those are things we will have to balance in the long run. But right now, we just want to *get* to the long run! This was our last chance. Steroids are inexpensive and non-invasive (well, as non-invasive as pilling a cat can be). It was worth a try, so we went for it, though I had very little hope at this point.

I don't know what they put in those steroid pills, but as far as I am concerned, they are magic! After just one *half* of a pill, she started eating. Not a lot, but eating any at all was an improvement at this point. The first day, she ate 1-2 tablespoons. By Friday, she was eating nearly 1/2 a cup of dry food, all by mouth on her own. She only needs 3/4 of a cup per day. If she can get up to that rate and keep it up, they'll take out the feeding tube! I honestly believed when she was looking so bad on Tuesday that come today (Friday, July 24, my birthday), we would be taking her back to the vet in even poorer shape, and they would recommend euthanasia. Instead, she gave me the best birthday present I could ever have hoped for! She was chowing down on her food, and she even head-butted me and meowed at me because I was still in bed at 8 AM. She is also bathing and using her scratching post. It really is like a miracle. After all the disappointment, after so many tries and so many times of believing that "this will work" and it didn't, I really didn't think half a pill (of anything) taken twice a day would make any difference, but wow, am I a believer now!

I would not say that she is 100% yet. Maybe 80%. But that is so much better than she was, I am just blown away. I really hope that she will improve enough that we can have the tube taken out. I hope she can have a few more good years here with us. We know she can't stay with us forever, but 10 years doesn't seem like long enough. DH was there the day she was born. We have quite literally had her for her entire life. She's had a good one so far, I think. I hope it lasts a bit longer.

Currently feeling: so happy my kitty feels better!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Starfish and Cousins and Vets

Today was a terribly busy day, but a good one overall. We started off at Luke's last swimming lesson. I can't believe it's over already. I thought the summer was going to last forever when I heard we would be occupied every weekend for 6 weeks, but here it is, all done. He has made so much progress! He is the only one from his class that she allowed to swim with the marshmallow bar while she was nearly 10 feet away. He was doing it all himself!

Until this week, he had a lot of trouble staying balanced on the kickboard. He had a tendency to roll himself off of it and into the water. But he got it figured out for this last lesson.

He also got to actually "swim" just a tiny bit. She would hold him 5-6 feet from the wall, give him a push, and he had to kick himself over to the wall. His feet didn't reach the bottom of the pool, so he really is propelling himself towards the wall (albeit a little awkwardly). I have to admit, I was impressed. That's farther along towards actual swimming than I expected him to be after only 6 classes. This is video of his very last task to finish off his time as a Starfish swimmer.

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

And as you can see, he is ready to jump right into the "leisure pool" as soon as class is over. I really wish he could jump right into the next class, but it won't be offered until probably September. Even the pool itself is closed for the next 2-3 weeks. And his teacher, who we like so much, is moving away in a few weeks and won't be teaching in the fall. Miss Sabrina, we'll miss you!

After swim, we loaded everyone in the car in a hurry and headed out to lunch with my mom's family. My maternal grandmother and uncle live close by, but my maternal aunt and cousin live out in New Mexico, so we don't get to see them much. But they were in town visiting for a few days, so we made it a point to get out there while they were here, despite Tigger still being in the hospital. We had an appointment to pick her up at 3:30 that afternoon, so instead of the originally planned dinner, we bumped it to lunch. Thank you, everyone, for being so accommodating! We had a great pizza lunch, then went back to my grandmother's for a little while. And did I take a single picture of my aunt and cousin while they were here? NO! What was I thinking? My aunt took a few. Maybe I can get a copy from her.

We had to leave around 2:45 in order to make our 3:30 vet appointment. We also had to get gas. Saying goodbye took longer than expected, and getting gas took longer than expected, and there was much more traffic on I-20 than expected, and I realized we were going to be late for our appointment. I whipped out my cell phone and called the office and told them we would be about 10 minutes late. As we were merging onto I-285, I realized we were running about 5 minutes later than we had indicated, but I didn't think it was worth calling again about 5 more minutes, especially when 285 is usually a good place to make up a little time if you really need to. Then the interstate came into view. And it was NOT moving. At. All. We creeped and crawled, and by 3:50, I was ready to cry.

We had no idea how to get from the next exit to the vet's office. So I did what any girl does: I called my daddy. He pulled out a map and figured out how to get us from where we were to where we needed to be. We arrived just after 4 via some backroads, but we had lost our appointment time, so we had to wait to be worked in, which took nearly an hour. By then, Luke was getting very antsy, which was understandable. He had not had nap or rest time, or even a snack, but then again, we expected to be home by 4:30. The waiting room offers free water and coffee, and I did have my emergency stash of fruit snacks in the car. Luke and DH sat in the waiting room while snack was consumed while they showed me how to feed Tigger with the feeding tube. We packed her up, picked up dinner, and we headed home. By the time we arrived, we had been away from home for about 9.5 straight hours, which is unheard of. Sunday will likely be a bit of a trial, since Luke has a tendency to be grumpy after such hectic days without a rest. Hopefully, he'll be fine and Tigger will keep eating.

Currently feeling: busy busy

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Old friends and new beginnings

Today was a day to remember the past and look forward to the future, in more ways than one. This morning, I had the privilege of meeting Owen Griffis for the first time. Here's Owen:

Such a cutie! I see a lot of his mom Kelli in him, despite the blond curls. Kelli and I have known each other for *almost* 20 years, and she is my "oldest" friend (the one I've known the longest). We met in 1990, in high school freshman English. I'm pretty sure she was in some of my other classes (Geometry, for sure), but Ms. Frazier's class is the one I distinctly remember. I should dig up some old photos of us, but I just don't have the energy right now. (I know I have them, I even know where they are, but I'd have to dismantle 2/3 of a very large closet to get to them at the moment.) But did we ever dream then that 19 years later, we would be sitting in my living room watching our sons play together?

Maybe the thought of our children meeting crossed our minds. Maybe it didn't. I honestly don't recall. (Kelli, care to comment? LOL) Watching it actually happen was both strange and not. I thought it would be weird to see my friends with their kids, but it's not, perhaps because I have one of my own, so it isn't so hard for me to imagine. Most of my friends don't have kids yet, and the few who do, I haven't gotten to meet them yet. So this was really my first experience with it. Kelli being a mom was not strange at all.

But watching small males wearing *our* faces play together? Totally weird! It just blew my mind. To see these two little pieces of ourselves having a grand old time was amazing. I know they didn't get to stay long, as they were only here for a few days and there were lots of people for them to see, but I am so grateful that they were able to fit in some time with us. And I am so sorry that they will likely be moving to Scotland before I get to see them again. I thought California was hard to get to; that will be much worse. Perhaps one day, we shall all meet again. In the meantime, I have these pictures and some amazing memories to hold me over.

But it doesn't end there. Later in the evening, I had another mind-blowing experience: Pre-K Orientation! It is so hard to believe it is time for that already, but here it is, only 25 days away. Most of the information we did not need. It was primarily to review the rules of the center itself and of the Pre-K program. A few tidbits were new, but most were not, the advantage of Luke having been at the center in daycare for nearly 3 years now (wow, can't believe that!). Only one more year, and I'll have an official grade-schooler on my hands. The future's so bright, I've gotta wear shades!

Currently feeling: amazed

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tigger Update: Feeding Tube

My apologized for this becoming the "all Tigger, all the time" blog. It's just what is going on right now with us. There should be some new non-cat stuff to report starting tomorrow with Pre-K Orientation and continuing with Luke's last swim class and an evening with my aunt and cousin from New Mexico on Saturday.

As you can see from the title, the news on Tigger is not good. She didn't eat too much on Monday, but she was at least still showing interest. But yesterday, she just did not want to eat, or drink. It's almost like she forgot how. I got her a drop-off appointment for today, the only one they had left, and they finally got to look at her around 11 AM. She has lost several ounces since Saturday, and she is once again seriously dehydrated. They've started an IV for fluids again, and they will put in a feeding tube this afternoon. That should get her stabilized, and she can come home in 1-2 days. "Some cats only need the support of a feeding tube for a few days before they start eating on their own." Yeah, why am I suspecting that she is not one of those? "But the feeding tube can also stay in for many weeks if need be." I guess that's good. Better than the alternative.

So, either this will get her liver functioning again and she will be fine in a few weeks, or this will get her stable enough to figure out what is really causing the problem. We should also get her FIV results tomorrow. We're really still in limbo as to whether she is truly going to be well again or not. It all depends on her response and what the additional tests show. Please continue to keep your paws crossed for her. We really miss our princess kitty.

Currently feeling: very unhappy

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Tigger is home!

She came home this afternoon. She's not "well," but she is much improved, and we can manage her here from this point forward. We have to monitor her eating, obviously, and she has to take two pills twice a day. Once she starts fighting back about that, I'll know for sure she's going to be fine! LOL She goes back in a week to be retested for both liver function and FIV. We'll discuss the FIV more if the independent test comes back positive as well. Cross your paws for us that it does not. Absolutely must go to bed now. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers! I know they helped.

Currently feeling: so happy to have my kitty home

Friday, July 10, 2009

Tigger Update: She's Eating!

When I got to the vet's office this morning, I told the girl at the front that I had brought some foods for her to try, including the chicken with dried beef that I made for her last night. (I still feel a little silly about that, but if that's what it takes to save her life, then so be it.) She said that she would take it to the back and check on Tigger's status. When she returned, she said that Dr. George wanted to talk with me, and then I could visit with her. My heart just sank to my feet. I just knew that either he was going to ask permission to put in a feeding tube, or tell me that she had deteriorated overnight and things were not looking good.

Imagine my surprise when he opened the door with a huge grin and announced, "she's eating great!" Seriously? He admitted that he really thought he was going to have to put in a feeding tube today, so he too was surprised to arrive for rounds this morning and find out that she was eating well. She ate "quite a bit" of the turkey they got her, then they left her some dry cat food overnight and most of that was gone this morning. (Oh, the irony, since this whole mess was likely caused because she was overweight and pre-diabetic, so we were told to get her *off* the dry food and switch to wet, which she has largely refused to eat.) As long as she continues to eat and her liver numbers continue to improve, she can come home this weekend!!

"We'll bring her in and let you visit with her. She's had her appetite stimulant already this morning, but she hasn't eaten anything. See if she'll eat for you." My presence has never altered her eating before, but I'll give it a try. She looked good, though she is clearly not bathing much (VERY unusual for her), which is something of a concern, but there are bigger things to worry about at the moment. This may sound silly, but she already feels heavier (likely from being rehydrated as much as anything), which is definitely a good thing. "Do you think she would eat something if you gave it to her?" I may have just the magic potion in the bag of foods I brought for her. Bring forth the chicken!

We scooped up about a tablespoon of it. I had chopped the chicken quite small, and there was enough sauce on it to keep it moist but not drown it. She immediately started eating! She even grabbed the glob and tried to run away with it, since she knows that she wouldn't be allowed to eat that much normally. Even the tech was impressed with her gusto. Do I know my cat, or do I know my cat? She only ate that one little scoop, even though we offered her more (I brought about 1/2 a cup with me, and there's more here at home if need be), but they said that was actually a very good amount for now. So, she's doing as well as we could expect at this point in time, she's eating well, and her liver numbers are improving. What more could we ask?

Currently feeling: grateful

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Tigger Update: Not Eating Yet

I will apologize in advance for this being a bit rambly. I am so very tired.

I wanted to give another Tigger update, as much so I can remember what has happened to this point as anything. Dr. George called this afternoon. At that time, Tigger still wasn't interested in eating, but she had only been there 4-5 hours. He had dispatched one of the techs to the Publix across the street to buy some sliced turkey to tempt her appetite. I also recommended bacon bits (the real ones). When he said she could eat anything she wanted as long as she was willing to eat, he wasn't kidding. After we got off the phone, I realized that I should just make her favorite meal. If she won't eat chicken with dried beef, then she won't eat anything! So tonight, after Luke went to bed, I went to the grocery store to buy the ingredients, then came home and made an entire batch of chicken with dried beef just for my cat. I hope it will be the magic bullet instead of her last meal, though it felt a little that way when I was making it. I also got her 2 different kinds of bacon bits and a small can of her favorite kind of chicken. I just hope something works. I'm not sure we'll ever get her to eat cat food again after this kind of spoiling, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Said bridge seems pretty far out on the horizon at the moment.

Anyway, back to the update. Reading between the lines from what he was saying, I think we are headed towards a feeding tube, but he is still confident that we can get her condition under control and then cleared. I trust Dr. George to indicate if he thinks she is not doing well or not going to make it. He's just that kind of guy and that kind of doctor. (My brother brings his dogs all the way to Atlanta to see Dr. George, even though J now lives 3+ hours away. So yeah, we trust him.) We've known him for years, and I can't tell you how relieved we were when he was the one who walked through the door this morning to handle our case (they just squeezed us in where they could, so it could have been one of 6 different docs).


Yes, there is a but, which is not at all what I wanted to hear. They ran several blood tests on her, most of which came back in the 30 minutes that we waited while we were there. One of the tests that takes some time is the FIV test, or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, the cat form of HIV/AIDS. It is routine to run that test when a cat presents with certain unexplained symptoms, including liver failure. Tigger scored a very weak positive. They ran the test twice and got the same result, though whether they ran it on separate samples or two of the same sample (to make sure the test itself wasn't bad), I do not know. I was just too stunned to even think to ask such questions. I don't know that I could have been any more shocked if he's said she was pregnant (she was spayed at 6 months old). How on earth could she have been exposed to it? Bengal went out in the snow after we first moved into this house, but it was only for a few minutes, and he encountered no other cats. Tigger did escape once for several hours when we lived in the apartment, but we moved into this house in 2001, and she had an FIV test run in 2002 when we switched vets, and she came up negative then. Cleo lived "on the streets" until she was nearly a year old, but the adoption agency should have checked her for FIV and disclosed if she were positive before allowing my brother to adopt her in 2000. She had been indoor ever since, and we had her records forwarded to our vet, but we never had our own FIV test run on her since she came to live with us. (I have no idea if one was run when J first took her to the vet. Again, I didn't think of it at the time. I'll ask tomorrow.) So unless the adoption group did not do test her and/or disclose a positive result on Cleo, I have absolutely NO idea how Tigger could have gotten it.

Dr. George did say that for FIV to be the cause of her liver failure, she would have to have an extremely advanced case of it, and she would be showing much more than a weak positive FIV test. He doesn't think that it is related to her current symptoms, but once we get her back to normal from this liver thing, he wants to have all 3 of them tested by an outside independent lab. My brother, the one with the Ph.D. in infectious diseases, said that she can have the antibodies without having the actual virus, and he suspects that the in-house test they ran today at the vet's office was an antibody test. He said that if it works the same for cats as it does for humans, a positive antibody test (faster, cheaper, 99.5% accurate) will prompt a second test from a second sample (in case the first one was tainted somehow) that will look for the actual virus instead of just the antibodies (more sophisticated test, more expensive, so not run unless antibodies are indicated). But as Dr. George said, this is likely the least of our worries right now. Get her stable and get her liver functioning normally, and *then* we'll worry about the possibility of FIV. Still, it was just such a shock to hear him say that. I'm still reeling a little.

And then there was Luke. Per Dr. George, she should be able to come home this weekend, whether with a healthy appetite or with a feeding tube, so when we came home, we didn't bother putting up her carrier. We just left it sitting in the foyer. We didn't know whether to bring up Tigger ourselves or wait and see if he noticed she wasn't here and asked. We decided to wait, and then if he hadn't asked by tomorrow evening (when we'll know more), we would tell him then. But as he came down the stairs from changing into his pajamas, I hear from the landing, "Mommy, why the kitty cage out?" Oh boy, here we go.

Me: You know how we take the kitties to the doctor in the cage, since they don't have a special seat like you?
Luke: Yeah.
Me: Well, Tigger is very sick, and we had to take her to the hospital. [He understands that you go to the hospital if you are hurt or very very sick.] She has to stay there for a few nights.
Luke, very sad: But I love her!
Me, fighting back tears: I know, we all do! That's why we took her to the hospital, so she can get better.
Luke: Oh, she get a shot?
Me: Yes, she's had some shots, and she's getting lots of medicine to make her well. And if she gets well, she can come home.
Luke: Tomorrow?
Me: Well, I don't know about tomorrow, but we hope she can come home in a few days.
Luke: Okay.

End of conversation. I know he doesn't understand the nuances of me saying "if she gets well," instead of "when she gets well," but I don't want to get into what might happen until we know how likely it is that it might happen. Everything I said was true, and I don't think I was misleading, and if she isn't doing well tomorrow, then we'll discuss that she might not come home. But I'd rather wait and she how she's doing tomorrow before we go there. No need to burden him with any more than that right now. Today was a very long day, and I think tomorrow will be equally long. The fewer stressed out people, the better. Thank you all so much for your love, support, prayers, tweets, and Facebook comments, and for just being there to listen. It means so much to me.

And now we wait. I have the chicken with dried beef cooling on the counter right now, so I can package her up a bowl full for tomorrow. (Please please please let her eat some!) I'll drop it by after I take Luke to school. That assumes I am functional come morning. Did I mention that it is now after 11 PM on Thursday, and I have been awake since 8 AM Wednesday morning? That's 39 straight hours with no sleep. Wait, I take it back; I got a 15 minute power nap around 8 AM this morning, between getting back from taking Luke to school and leaving to take her to the vet that opened at 9. I've been running on caffeine and fear. I was really tired around 4 PM this afternoon, but once I pushed through that one, I've been doing quite well, other than being a bit grouchy, and that's as much emotional stress as lack of sleep. I'll probably be up another 30-60 minutes with the food. That would put me at forty straight hours awake. That's a nice round number, right? I just hope I can actually *sleep* once I go to bed. I've had so much caffeine today and been wound so tight, I think it will either be nearly instantaneous, or terribly elusive. Wish me luck! Wish us all luck, especially Tigger. We could certainly use it.

Currently feeling: bleary and hopeful

Tigger Diagnosis: Hepatic Lipidosis

In case anyone missed the updates on Twitter and/or Facebook, they think Tigger will be okay. She's still not out of the woods, and things could still go bad. The next 24 hours are crucial. She has hepatic lipidosis caused by not eating for a few days. Basically, her body went into starvation mode, but it tried to convert so much fat to energy so quickly that it is clogging her liver, causing jaundice and dehydration. She's been on a diet for 6-8 weeks now, so she should have lost 2-3 pounds by now. She'd lost 5! That's 1/3 of her pre-diet body weight. They said she is likely in a fair bit of pain and very very nauseous, which only compounds the problem (not eating). They are "throwing the book at her," as Dr. George put it, pumping her full of fluids, anti-nausea meds, appetite boosters, and anything else they think will help. "We'll do our best to flush her system and give her the munchies," he said. Great, my cat will be high! LOL ("Just a little," says Dr. G.) And she can have anything she wants to eat, as long as she eats! I recommended chicken or bacon. When we left, she had a catheter, an IV, and she was wearing the "cone of shame." (Those who have seen Up are laughing right now.) She was one very unhappy Princess Kitty. Still, better unhappy and alive and likely to recover than the alternative. If we'd waited one more day, it likely would have been too late.

If she starts eating and her liver function improves by morning, they'll send her home either tomorrow evening or sometime Saturday (bless my vet's office for being open 7 days a week). If she's still not eating at all come tomorrow and there is no change in liver function, she'll have to have a feeding tube for several weeks, but again, once her liver function improves and she is eating on her own, it can be removed. It's not a sure thing, and we could still lose her (now, or later if the feeding tube doesn't work), but everyone is cautiously optimistic. Thank you for all the good thoughts! I'll keep you updated.

Currently feeling: missing my Muffin-kitty, and so thankful for Dr. George

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Worried About Tigger

I can't sleep tonight. I'm worrying about Tigger. She just hasn't been acting like herself for a few days. I can't remember if I mentioned it here or not, but at their last vet visit, Bengal and Tigger were diagnosed as pre-diabetic, and all three cats are overweight (which we already knew). We were told that we needed to switch them to a 100% wet food diet for the pre-diabetes, since all dry food is basically cereal and too high in carbs. So we switched, thinking this should be the easiest thing ever. Ha. Cleo loves it and may have even gained some weight since the switch. Both Bengal and Tigger really do not care for the wet food, though Bengal seems to be getting used to it. Tigger, well, sometimes she eats, and sometimes she doesn't. We thought she would start eating more once she realized that this is all she is going to get, but she's really not eating much. Yes, she's lost weight (so has Bengal), but I think she might actually be too thin now.

Then, over the last few days, I haven't seen much of her. Yesterday and today, I hardly saw her at all. I know where she's hiding, I'm just worried about her. She's not bothering me when I use the computer, and she's not jumping into my recliner the instant I get up. She's not even scratching on the stairs or the cardboard boxes. She just isn't acting like herself. I'll call the vet in the morning. For now, all I can do is fret and have flashbacks to Shadow from 2 years ago. So much for sleep tonight.

Currently feeling: concerned

Monday, July 06, 2009

Monday: A Conversation with Luke

This morning's conversation in the car on the way to school. Note there are special activities at school on certain days during the summer.

Luke: We have field trip today?
Me: No, that's on Tuesdays. You'll do that tomorrow.
Luke: Water play today?
Me: No, that's on Thursdays. Today is Monday.
Luke: Monday? What do we do?
Me: Regular school stuff. Monday is just a regular day.
Luke: That's no fun.
Me: No kidding.

Currently feeling: Mondays are boring

Friday, July 03, 2009

New Movie Musings - July 3, 2009

Got three move movie reviews written. Also saw Ice Age 3, which I will review shortly. For now:

Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen
In a Nutshell: Robots pretty! The rest? Eh. Go in with low expectations, and you might be okay. (Read full review.)

A Knight's Tale
In a Nutshell: Cute, fun, not deep, and Heath Ledger. A perfectly brainless movie, which is just what I wanted at the time. (Read full review.)

Night at the Museum
In a Nutshell: It was just there. Not good, not bad, just eh. (Read full review.)

Currently feeling: doing well on films this summer