You may vaguely recall me mentioning during the years how her back legs would go out. I'm sure you've probably had this happen to you sometime during your years, how you're standing there and a knee just gives out. For no reason. Then it's okay.
Well, DaNiece's knees had done that for years. I'd see her walking down the hall and her back end would just drop. Then she'd just get up and go on her way. I broached this with the vet back in June.
The past couple of weeks, she'd eat kibble, puke it up almost immediately. Then eat it. I gave the cats chicken earlier this week and she did the same thing to that. There was something going on in her throat. The thyroid problem had her with a huge growth that covered almost all of her neck. Was that why she had a hard time eating? It had slowly been getting worse, even though she was getting her thyroid meds.
So, after her visit at the end of October, she was given some new meds that seemed to work wonders for her. Her appetite was great, she was actually jumping onto the coffee table, instead of walking up the stairs that Brian had brought in. She couldn't get enough to eat. I was loving it.
But the prednisolone was only a short time prescription (2x a day for three days, then 1x a day for three days, then every other day until gone) and once it started to wear off, she got worse. And she lost her appetite. Even though she wanted that egg every morning and we made her that egg every morning, she ate less and less. So, yesterday morning, I called the vet about an appetite stimulant and the stool softener. I thought that maybe her stools had gotten hard again and that might be one of the reasons she was walking so weird. Maybe she pulled a muscle or something trying to push the feces out. Because she was having a most definite problem walking. Both of her back legs were weak.
And this really concerned me. When I picked up the meds, I mentioned this and was given another script for pred. When I got home, I gave her the appetite stimulant and she was eating within a half hour. Yay! Then I gave her the pred.
And her walking got worse. She was having a really hard time keeping balanced. It wasn't the drugs, although that did enter my mind. Both of her back feet were warm, so there was blood flow. No clotting. But she'd walk a little ways, then stop and just cry. My mind started racing. This reminded me so much of Potter's last night. When I picked her up, and held her, with her legs over my arm and her feet hanging there, I could just flop them like a piece of material. There was no response or give. No resistance at all. In either of them.
It's Friday afternoon. It's after three o'clock. My vet's office is closed on the weekends. What if something really bad happened, or this didn't resolve? Did we really want to take her to the emergency clinic, in case this was something that could be resolved? Have them keep her for testing? Have her gone for the weekend, only to be told there's nothing that can be done?
I called our vet's office to see if we could get her in. We could. At 4:15. About an hour away. For the next forty-five minutes Brian and I sat with her on the sofa. She was scared. She was confused. She didn't understand why she couldn't move from her to there. Why she had such a hard time standing up and turning around to get comfortable, like cats like to do. She finally settled down about five minutes before we were due to leave.
I honestly thought we'd be bringing her home. I didn't take my phone.
In the examining room, we set the carrier on the floor and let her roam. I sat on the floor with her. She had a hard time of it. She went back into the carrier and just lay there. When the vet came in, she coaxed her out of the carrier and watched her. We talked about how she'd been doing, what she'd been doing and answered the vet's questions.
The vet put her on the table. Listened to her, felt her, squeezed parts of her back. She felt the paws, she squeezed between the paws. There was a little movement, but not much. She wasn't sure what the problem was, but she was pretty sure there was nothing they could give her to make it better. Her guess was the spine was deteriorating and the message just wasn't getting through from the brain to the legs. She brought up the seizures that DaNiece had had. It's was possible that the brain was somehow involved. She really didn't hold up much hope for recovery. She mentioned quality of life.
We made the decision to give her relief from what has been going on since the beginning of the summer. We said goodbye.
I woke up this morning and the sun was up. First time in months. It was after six. I slept in. I went into the kitchen and there was no DaNiece waiting for the egg she wouldn't eat.
Last night I told Brian "we have one cat getting one med a day now". DaNiece had been getting the thyroid meds twice a day for years.
Her med schedule as of yesterday morning:
- Subcutaneous fluids twice a day
- Methimazole twice a day
- Lactalose twice a day
- Calcitriol once a day
- Phenobarbitol once a day
- Prednisolone every other day
And now, just Rocky.
When we got home, I took the stairs outside. I moved the coffee table back away from the sofa. I took the blanket off of it. Last night, I had the sofa to myself. It was weird to just stretch out. DaNiece used to sleep in the middle
We have five girls left. Lorelei and her daughter, Rory. Little Bit's daughters, Rachel, Monica and Phoebe. Two of DaNiece's siblings are still with us. From a litter of six, we have Sammy and Opie.
It's been a rough year. I hope this is it for a while. My heart is worn out.