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      Thursday, June 01, 2006

08:27 AM - 06/01/2006

The topic: Ciara update

I haven’t said much about Ciara lately because there’s not been much to say. There hasn’t been any change.  She started staying in the garage, rarely coming in the house.  I’d take food to her and pet her, but even the once a week administering of the metacam wasn’t helping.

On Monday, May 22, I called the vet’s office to see if there was something more we could do for her.  He wasn’t in and the message was passed on to him. He never called me back.  Earlier this week, I started thinking about Lola, who had two fused disks.  What he prescribed for her was prednisone for the inflammation. I stil had some pred from Ciara’s IBD problem and Tuesday, I started giving her a half a tablet (2.5mg) in the morning. 

I’ve been giving her l-Lysine and bone meal in babyfood in the morning, feeding her Hill’s A/D throughout the day and giving her diluted goat’s milk to help keep her hydrated. At dinner time, I’d put a bowl of food up for her to eat so she didn’t have to jump down from the condo she was resting on.  This week I started spending more time with her, combing her fur, petting her, massaging her back.  Trying to get her to purr for me.  Honestly, I’ve been getting more worried about her, because this is no life.  Constant pain is no way to live.  She doesn’t understand, she just knows she hurts. 

Yesterday morning, I asked Brian to get down a large crate for her.  I was this concerned that the small amount of climbing she was doing was preventing her from getting better.  It was a drastic measure, but I was willing to do it.  I want her to feel better.

I called the vet again on Wednesday and again asked for something else to help her and mentioned the prednisone.  So, Ciara is once again on steroids. She gets a full tablet once a day.  Today was her first full pill.  And she’s not to get any metacam while on the pred, to stop that immediately (it’s not like she was getting very much anyway).

I think she’s feeling better.  She’s wandered through the house at least once, stretched out and scratched on two different cat posts.  She’s back on the sofa and she’s even stretching out a little to sleep. 

I went into the kitchen to refill my coffee and she wasn’t on the sofa.  I looked around for her and found her eating at the feeder in the dining room. It’s been months since she’s done that.  Now, she’s in the office with me.  I’m going to be so happy when she’s well.

I think the prednisone might help her a lot more than the metacam did. The prednisone will reduce the inflammation, the metacam only masked the pain.

Since I started posting this entry, she’s followed me through the yard, come back into the office and is now sleeping on the copy machine.  She still breathes faster than I think she should, but her eyes are all the way closed (instead of kind of open and half awake) and she doesn’t look like she’s uncomfortable.  I think I’ll point the office cam at her.

Come on, little Ciara!

      Saturday, June 03, 2006

07:49 AM - 06/03/2006

The topic: Summer

One of the things I really like about the summer season, are some of the insects.  Not the wasps and the mosquitos, I don’t like those at all.  But I do enjoy the ladybugs and the dragonflies that hang out around the pool.

I’ve gotten some shots of the dragonflies in the past.  It was one of the largish red/brown flies and I got it sitting on the end of a palm frond.  There have also been blue dragonflies and last summer, I actually got one to land on my finger while I was in the pool. Now, that might be pretty high on some peoples’ “ick meter”, but it was pretty high on my “way kewl meter”.  I really wanted to get a picture of it, but by the time I decided this was doable, the dragonflies were gone. 

I kept waiting for them to show up again, but I didn’t see one the rest of the season.

So, imagine my delight when they’re back already.  My first pool day this year was Thursday and the dragons were out.  There are two of them.  And in no time, one of them was landing on my finger. I was so excited. I know that sound really weird, but I was.

Anyway, yesterday, we did the same thing. I know that bugs probably don’t play, but one of them followed me as I walked through the pool and, once I had my hand in the air, was more than happy to land on a finger.  I’d slowly bring down my hand and could see the fly close up (which really wasn’t any help since my nearsighted vision is crap).  Then the fly would fly off, then come back. 

During this play, a ladybug made a crash landing into the pool.  I walked over and scooped it up, then over to the side of the pool.  I opened my hand and stretched my fingers over the concrete, waiting for it to either get onto the surface or fly away.  It didn’t, it started walking up my little finger and up my palm.  At the same time, the dragonfly lighted on my index finger.  Oh, how I wished I’d had the camera.  My two fave summer insects on me at the same time. 

I finally did go into the house to get the camera.  And I got a few shots and even a little movie of the dragonfly.  The movie is on the “more” page, it’s pretty big, 98mb, which is why I didn’t put it here. 


But wait! I'm not done yet!
I've got more to say!

      Monday, June 05, 2006

07:54 AM - 06/05/2006

The topic: The crate

The crate that Brian got down for me last Wednesday now has an occupant.


We had a big scare with her Saturday. After starting her on a full dose of prednisone Thursday, she got a little better each day. Saturday was a horribly hot day and the house was closed up, the attic fans, ceiling fans and air conditioner all set at “on”. I had closed the garage door to outside, hoping to keep it a little cooler in there, but it was a bad idea, better hot air flow, than stifling heat.

I couldn’t find her Saturday afternoon. I called and called, she finally stumbled in from the garage. She was very weak, she had a very hard time standing up and her belly was very damp. She had a very hard time holding her left front paw, it kept curling up by her side. I put her on the sofa, but when she tried to move, she fell over. She wasn’t panting and her temp was in the normal range.

I ran outside and cleaned out the crate, wiped the inside with a towel, then brought it in. I put some towels in it, then put Ciara in it. I used the old 13 x 9 metal cake-pan for a litter box. Brian found a coop cup and filled it with ice water and I filled another with dry food. Then I changed out of my shorts into some jeans and Brian put his shoes on. I was headed to the garage to grab a carrier and he said “maybe we should wait to see if she gets over this”. I was reluctant, I wanted to go, but other than not standing (which seemed to be a pretty big deal to me) she was okay.

I slept on the sofa Saturday night. Sunday morning, around four, I got her to eat a jar of baby food. Around five, I gave her fluids, since she hadn’t been drinking. A little after that I gave her a prednisone and an amoxicillan (antibiotic). Her immune system isn’t the best and I wouldn’t doubt she had something else going on. Then I gave her another jar of baby food, which she lapped right up.

She peed and she pooped in the carrier, the poop not looking too bad, a little on the soft side. She couldn’t seem to get comfortable, but I kept her in the crate for most of the day. The few times she did come out, she went back to the laundry room and used the litter box. She went right back to the crate and settled in on the blanket in the back. As the day progressed, she was using her front paw more and more. Whenever she ate a little, she’d clean. She’d even sit up and put her weight on one front paw and clean her face with the other, then alternate. So, the paw was holding her weight and she had use of it. I was still concerned, though, ready at a minute’s notice to be out the door.

Brian explained his reluctance to take her to emergency. He said ‘they don’t know her history, and they’ll want to run all sorts of needless tests on her. I don’t have a problem with you taking her to our vet, but I just can’t see taking her to emergency.’ This made sense. It would be different if it hadn’t been an ongoing problem, there’d have been no question about taking her in. But we’re working with some history here.

I tried sleeping in bed, but I just couldn’t. I was too restless and I went back to the sofa. Every hour, I was up, checking on her. At three this morning, I gave her another jar of baby food. At four, I let her out of the crate. She came out and sat there. Then she got up, walked over to one of the short scratching posts, and stretched her length out on it, scratching it for a couple of seconds. Then she followed me around for a little.

Before I picked her up and put her back in the crate, I did a little rubbing of her back. And her most sore area is right by her tail. Her tail bone, I guess. Her tail is working properly, but she’s very sore around it. I remember when I had my sciatica, how long it took for me to recover and how very hard it was to get comfortable.

I went into the kitchen and ground up the l-Lysine and bone meal, adding it to another jar of baby food. I gave it to her, then shut off the lights and I laid back down. When I checked later, she’d finished almost all of it.

I gave her her morning meds around six this morning. She’s sleeping now. After a week of the full dose of prednisone, Wednesday, I’m thinking about taking her back to the vet for a recheck. I know that putting her in the crate was a good idea. Brian said we should have done it before. She’s going to stay in it until she’s better. I don’t want any more setbacks.

      Tuesday, June 06, 2006

12:40 PM - 06/06/2006
The current weather is weird, it just rained a little

The topic: To the vet tomorrow

I’m taking Ciara to the vet tomorrow at 11:00.  She’s still improving, but I don’t like how rapid her breathing looks. Maybe she’s just a fast breather, I don’t know but I’ll find out tomorrow. 

She peed in the litter box in the crate and when I was taking the clump out to the litter bucket, I came back in to find she’d pooped.  I took the whole litterbox out to the garage and used a paper towel to squeeze the poop.  It was a little dry when she started, but the rest was okay.  I’m concerned about her fluid intake, although she passed the hydration test, her skin popping back nicely and not tenting at all.

She spent over a half hour this morning cleaning herself and a cat who grooms doesn’t feel really bad. 

She’s eaten a little bit, even got her to nibble on some kibble, which she hasn’t done since she’s been crated. I’ve been adding water to her soft food, hoping to up the fluids she’s getting.

She’s responding to affection, she came out and let me pet her for the longest time.  I went in a little bit ago and she rolled over and gave me her belly so that I could comb it and give her some rubs on it.

I just don’t like her breathing.  It seems too fast.  I keep comparing her to the other cats. Wally is breathing a little fast, but her’s is faster. She’s breathing deeply, it doesn’t seem to bother her, she’s not gasping for air,  it just seems too fast. At one point, when she was purring for me, it seemed like she wanted to sneeze, but nothing happened.  I hope it’s nothing.  I pray it’s nothing.

I want her well.

10:50 PM - 06/06/2006

The topic: ER vet tonight

I would have gone alone.  Really, I would have. Brian didn’t have to go with me.

Earlier today I gave Ciara some goat’s milk.  It was the most she’d lapped up in a week that I knew of.  And shortly after she lapped it up, she started breathing really fast, took a couple of steps, then fell over.  Scared the wee out of me.  I watched her closely after that.  She seemed to do a little betterk, got a little more rested. 

I stupidly didn’t look at the directions for the mail in ballot.  They couldn’t be mailed in today, they had to be hand delivered to a polling place.  I called Brian up earlier and said “you want to take me to dinner?” and told him what I’d (not) done and what I needed to do. He got home around seven, I grabbed my ballot and we were out the door. I dropped the ballot off, we figured we’d go to Taco Bell for dinner, we hadn’t gotten their food in a while.  We got six supreme tacos (three for me) and Brian ordered a green bean burrito and a quesadilla.  I was looking forward to my tacos.  Get to the window to pay and we’re told “sorry, we just ran out of taco shells”.  Can you believe that?  TACO bell runs out of TACO shells?  What’s up with that?

We passed on TACO bell for dinner and tried Arby’s.  We both got market fresh sandwiches, then Brian asked for a large order of potato cakes.  “I’m sorry, we’re out of potato cakes”.  WTF?  We got our sandwiches and came home.  I didn’t finish mine and pulled out a bunch of turkey to share for the kitties.  I gave Handsome a bunch, then gave Ciara a little. Brian had gone back to the office by this time.

Ciara did that weird breathing thing, then the falling over thing.  I wigged out.  I went back to the office and told him “I’m taking her to emergency, she’s dying, I just know it.”  Sometimes, the internet is a bad thing, you read all of these symptoms and start thinking the worst.  At that moment, I was a prime example.

He covered his computer and grabbed his hat and keys and I got Ciara.  He took her out to the car, I fed KittyMeeze and we were off.  We got to the hospital at 8:10, signed in at 8:12, and finally saw a doctor after 9:30.  He listened to her history, then did an examination of her.  Her temp was a “little” high at 104.1. Her respiration, her breathing, was fast.  But her heart and lungs were clear. So, whatever was going on, wasn’t her heart or lungs, she wasn’t going to keel over.  She was in no immediate danger of dying. He felt her back and she was very tender from the middle down to the bottom.  Her fast respiratory rate and temperature could very well be from the pain she’s experiencing in her back.  I’d mentioned having an eleven o’clock appointment with her regular vet tomorrow and he asked what we wanted to do.  He said that he could give her an injection for the pain tonight so she can have a good night’s rest and let our vet do any additional tests, or we could let the ER do the tests, which would be costly.  He assured me that she was in no danger of dying by tomorrow morning. 

We opted for the pain killer.  The total bill was $100.04.

On the way home, I kind of got the feeling that Brian was a little pissed off.  He wasn’t, he understood how this is for my peace of mind.  But then he said “you just go overboard when it comes to the cats, like when you can’t find one; you start getting upset and yelling for the cat, which upsets the cats.”

I can’t explain it.  I don’t know why I do this, it’s not a conscious thing, I just get so frightened and worried about them. When it comes to humans, I can be logical, but with the cats, logic just goes out the window.

Anyway, we’re home now, Brian’s in bed, Ciara’s sleeping and I’m waiting for my Excedrin to take hold. 

I really need some sleep.

      Friday, June 09, 2006

10:13 AM - 06/09/2006

The topic: Ciara news

I took her to the vet Wednesday and he did an examination.  Same thing, lungs and heart are clear.  Respiration is up.  And her temperature was 103.7°.

The vet thinks that putting her on the prednisone suppressed her immune system and her herpes virus came roaring in the door.  Her lower back, the place that had the pinched nerve, showed no discomfort, but her middle back showed quite a bit when he pressed down on it.  He said that it’s probably because of the fever (you know how it is when you’ve got the flu and you’re all achy). The rapid breathing would indicate that she’s trying to throw off the fever, it helps cool her system down.

So, she’s off the prednisone for good.  Her system can’t handle it.  He considered putting her back on the metacam, but he wanted to check her kidney function before he did that, since metacam is bad for the kidneys.  He took blood for that and told me he’d call with the results.

I took her home, put her in the crate and she laid down.  He called about four hours after the examination and said that she can take the metacam. She did have a high white blood cell count, which indicates a system infection. So, she’s to stay on amoxi for a week.  And I could start the metacam that night. 

Yesterday morning, she was looking pretty perky.  Her fever had dropped and I let her out of the crate for a while.  At one point, I couldn’t find her and I searched the house, then the yard.  She was back behind the shop, then in the old catnip patch eating grass.  She came up to me, but she was pretty winded, this was the most she’d walked in months.  She even got to spend time on the sofa.  But all that time out took a toll on her and her temperature was elevated last night.  I put her back in the crate and I won’t let her do as much as I did yesterday until she’s much better.

One of the things the vet mentioned when he called about the test results was the possibility that Ciara might have dry FIP.  This is a very scary disease. Not as bad as the wet form, but still a bad thing. He said that her history of unexplained fevers might be explained by this.  He told me that there is a test for FIP, it’s controversial and very expensive.  It’s a PCR test.  The same kind used for DNA testing.  If we had the test run and she does have dry FIP, we’d treat her the same way as we’re treating her.  It would just let us know for sure if she has FIP or not.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my vet, I respect him very much.  But he did this same thing with Lola so many years ago.  She had recurring fevers and wasn’t able to walk.  He tested her titres for Corona virus, which includes FIP and said he felt she had FIP.  A couple of years later, he took X-rays and found she had two fused disks in her back and that was the reason for the soreness and fevers. It wasn’t FIP. But even when I took her in, right before he found the cancer, he said “FIP” until the test results were back.  Lymphosarcoma.

And I don’t recall Ciara having many fevers of unknown origin.  She’s had bladder infections, IBD, the herpes virus, ear infections, she peed on the bed for months,  but I really don’t know when she had many fevers of unknown origin.  I think he might be thinking of Lola.

So, she rests.  And I watch and wait for her to return to normal.  I’ve spending quite a bit of the day in the family room, on the sofa, watching her sleep. I read or watch television.  And I check on her.  I can’t do that from the office.

10:37 AM - 06/09/2006

The topic: Good news!

The last time we saw Carla was the 22nd of May.  We’d given up on her.  KittyMeeze was spending most of his time over here, the past week. 

Well, I looked outside Wednesday evening and there she was!  KittyMeeze was right behind her, you could tell he was thrilled, he was rubbing against her and keeping close.  Brian fed them both and looked Carla over. She hadn’t lost any weight, she wasn’t limping, she was none the worse for wear.

We’re thinking she might have another home or some other people are trying to keep her, like we did OC so many years ago and she doesn’t want to be kept.  The two weeks she’s gone might indicate being inside while someone is on vacation.

I’d sure like to know the story.  But I’m happy to see her back.

      Saturday, June 10, 2006

10:22 AM - 06/10/2006

The topic: Cheap DVDs


You can only use the code once, the sale is 6/9 through 6/17, so take the week to make your list (sign up with them, then add the disks to your “wish list”), then on the 17th, order those suckers.

The magic code is “SUPERSALE”.

And if you think there’s nothing else you want, order, then remember what you forgot, here’s another magic code: “USATODAY”.

      Thursday, June 15, 2006

08:50 AM - 06/15/2006
We found a penny on our walk this morning

The topic: Auctions

Just a reminder to check out my auctions.  I haven’t put much new up, but I did put up some of Benny Da Kat’s Finest Kind Catnip.  The bidding has started.  I’m getting close to the bottom of the container.  So far, there is none growing here this year.  Brian just got a new rototiller last weekend and once he’s got the earth moved, I’ll plant some more seeds, but this year’s crop isn’t looking good. 

So, if your kitty cat liked Benny’s Nip, there’s not much left.

. http://www.lvdesigns.com/auction/cgi-bin/auction/auction.pl

08:53 AM - 06/15/2006

The topic: DVD sale

Okay, I checked my list twice and am pretty satisfied with the ones I ordered.  One of the sets I got was the first year of Boston Legal.  I love that show.  When I was cruising the site, checking for shows I knew I liked I looked into the Legend of Brisco County. 

That was such a fun show, very entertaining.  It hasn’t been out on video yet and it’s just one of those things, every once in a while I check to see if it’s available yet. Well, it is!  Well, not really out yet, but it’s due for release next month, so I advanced ordered it.  Didn’t get to take advantage of that 20% discount, but so what? 

I did find it online where someone was selling it for $99.00 last month, but that wasn’t the official release, that was just someone selling video that they’d recorded from the television.  I wanted the real thing.

We didn’t watch it when it was first out on Fox, but we caught the reruns on TNT on Saturday mornings. It was so neat to sit there eating our cereal watching a western, it was just like when I was a kid.  Sky King, Roy Rogers, et al.

Woohoo!  Next month!

08:58 AM - 06/15/2006
I'm watching The Skeleton Key

The topic: Ciara update

Ciara is making slow progress.  I took the crate out of the house on Monday, she’s loose in the house.  Although, she’s not running “loose”, she spends most of her time on the bed.  To make it easier for her, I put the little step stool next to it, so she can get down a little easier.  Getting up isn’t so hard for her.

For the first time in over a week, she actually purred for me yesterday and gave me her belly. 

Her back legs are getting stronger, it doesn’t look like she’s fighting so hard to get up.

I just wish she’d start eating on her own, without me putting the food in front of her face.

09:28 AM - 06/15/2006

The topic: Glasses vs contacts

A long time ago, I wore contacts.  I guess I got tired of putting them in or something, but I quit wearing them.  I don’t think it was because they were uncomfortable, I think it was because I got lazy.

My eyesight isn’t all that bad, I can drive without glasses, they just seem to sharpen things up a bit.  I do need reading glasses, there’s no question about that.

Brian and I have appointments Saturday morning at CostCo to get our eyes checked.  He’s never worn glasses so this will be new for him.  He won’t wear contacts, he just wants to see.  *grin*

I keep weighing what I want to wear and what would be more practical for me.  I like the idea of contacts of not having to put glasses on and take them off.  My current glasses work just fine, my eyesight hasn’t really got that bad, except for close up. 

Does anyone who reads this have experience with the bifocal types of contact lenses?  If so, do/did you like them?  Were they hard to get used to?  Pros and cons?


01:06 PM - 06/15/2006

The topic: Ringtone

When we were at CostCo last week, there was a guy whistling a familiar tune.  I stopped and cocked my head to hear him better.

It was my all time favorite Christmas tune! 

As we left the building, I was setting “Sleigh Ride” as my current ringtone, who cares that it’s summer?

      Monday, June 19, 2006

01:44 PM - 06/19/2006

The topic: Long weekend

This entry is gonna be long. Lots of stuff happening, most of it cat related, but some not.

Friday night, on one of the forums I frequent, someone mentioned the FloorMate hard floor cleaner.  I think about mine, it’s been a while since I got it, I bet there’s a new improved model out there.  I do an online search and find one, the H3030 on the Bissell site. It has a special brush for cleaning grout and accessories.  The had two, a blue one and a green one.  Different product numbers.  And I see that they sell it at Home Depot.  I tell Brian, he said we could pick one up Saturday before we went to CostCo for our eye appointments.  Except he had some work to do beforehand, so we went to CostCo first.

I made sure the doctor knew I wanted the bifocal contacts, not the monovision.  I’m wearing a tester pair and I really and truly and honestly believe their monovision.  I would think if they were both bifocal, I’d be able to see equally bad or well out of both eyes at all times.  Not so.  My strong eye can see far away, my other eye, the right eye, is great for reading.  I don’t think I’m happy about this.  I have an appointment next Saturday to see how I adjust to the lenses.  If there’s not some huge improvement, I’ll make sure he knows I’m on to his little ploy.  I find it hard to believe he’d have exactly the prescription I need just waiting for me.  Grrr…...

And Brian didn’t need glasses at all.  His farsight is great without them, he just needs reading glasses. Like you can buy just about anywhere.

So, we leave CostCo, I need sunglasses.  We head over to WalMart, across the street.  We get sunglasses, then head on over to Home Depot.  I get my Bissell H3030 and we go back to CostCo to do our grocery shopping.   When we got home, Brian unpacked the car and I put stuff away.  It was pretty warm, so we kicked back for a while.  I finally got ambitious and opened the box with the FloorMate in it.  I still had the contacts in, reading was great, but I was having a hard time with the fuzziness if I wasn’t reading (still am).  I get everything out of the box and realize there are no attachments.  I get online, recheck the model number.

Duh. The different numbers weren’t for colors, they were for style.  I wanted the H3060, not the H3030.  I do some checking and see that the local Best Buy has the H3060.  I tell Brian.  He tells me to get it back in the box.  Wah, it’s a mess!  I even broke the styrofoam getting it out in the first place. 

Forty-five minutes later, the thing is boxed back up and taped back up.  We go over to Home Depot where he returns the machine and I check to see if maybe they’ve got the H3060.  Nope.  So, we head on over to Best Buy.  We get into the store and can’t find the H3060.  We do see an H3050 and it’s got attachments, this must be the one I want, just a different color.  I tell myself it’s a different number because it’s a different color (see where I’m going with this?).

We get home and Brian tells me that he’s not bringing it in until I research the difference online.  I do.  The H3050 doesn’t have the grout brush.  I want the grout brush.  I search and find the H3060 online at Amazon for $184.99.  Free Shipping.  We just spent $245 and change on the H3050. And it doesn’t have all the stuff I want with it.  So, I order the H3060 from Amazon. And lookee here, there’s a coupon for the weekend or whatever for an additional $25.00 off.  I got the cleaner I wanted for $85.00 less.  We just have to take the other one back.  It’s still in the back of the car.

Ciara has been doing a little better each day.  I’m getting her to eat more by sitting with her the entire time. And just because she covers it up after a couple of bites, doesn’t mean she’s finished. She goes back and eats some more.  And she’s been spending more time outside. She likes it outside.  I like it that she’s getting better.  Sunday morning, when I got up to open the doors for the cats, I grabbed a can of baby food and gave it to Ciara on the bed. She lapped about half and couldn’t reach the other half.  I got up and got a spoon.  When I came back, I tried spoon feeding a little to her and she ate a little more that way, then she was done.  I put the lid on the food and got back in to bed.

WHAM!  Super, major, horrible pain in the middle of my chest, under my sternum.  It was worse than any of the heartburn I’ve had recently.  Scared the crap out of me.  I took my blood pressure and it wasn’t bad, 133 over 85.  Pulse was 73.  So, I’m thinking to myself “not a heart attack”.  The pain got better as the day went on and we think I pulled something getting into bed.  You know how it feels when you’ve had a seriously nasty cold with lots and lots of deep coughing?  How your back and ribs just ache?  That was me yesterday.  I took some Aleve and that helped a bit, so we’re going with the muscle thing.

The pain didn’t subside until late yesterday afternoon (and it was like it had never happened).  I took it easy for the day.  Brian mowed the lawns, doing some edging that hadn’t been done in a month or so and I just kicked back on the sofa, watching movies.  At one point I thought I heard the doorbell and I got up to check.

There was a woman there I’d never seen before. I looked out the door to the driveway and saw a big truck parked there.  She started out by telling me that she was ready to cry.  Then she said she was a friend of Becky’s, that she knew our house from when Becky pet sat for us one time.  She mentioned Becky had needed a ride somewhere.  Anyway, she said she had a couple of cats and a couple of kittens she needed to find homes for, or else she was going to be evicted.  The cats were not hers, she thought they belonged to someone who had moved out.  They left behind this mom cat, kittens and this black neutered male.  Her landlord gave her two weeks to get rid of them. She had two kids, two dogs and two cats and he said that was enough.  She had the kitties in her truck.  I called Brian in, not wanting to take responsibility for this.  We talked to her a little bit, Brian looked reluctant, but she had a good story.  We fell for it, hook, line and sinker.  Brian said it was okay with him, but would I be able to handle it?  Thoughts of Ciara were in the back of my head.  I didn’t know. She said she’d tried to find homes for them, but no one wanted them. She couldn’t take them to the pound. 

We went out to get them.

All four were in one carrier.  When she told me that they were okay with her kitties, I told her to let them out.  She did.  The mom cat is a gorgeous calico.  The little female kitten is also calico.  The little boy is mostly white with spots of red.  And there was the black cat, a stocky round faced boy. We sat and talked for a while and she told us that some of her friends had told her to give them away at WalMart and she said she didn’t want to do that, because she wouldn’t be sure they went to a good home.  After all, you don’t know if they’ll get the kitten or cat home, get tired of it and kick it outside.  She cared that they get good homes.  Mom cat also had five kittens total. She found homes for two of them and was going to keep one. 

After I gave her our phone number, just in case she found a home for any of the kitties she dropped off here, she left.

During the course of the evening, I put temporary names on them. The first was “Ron Howard” for the little boy kitten.  Since he’s almost all white, with red spots and one of those spots could look like a red fringe on a balding scalp.  Then I came up with Lorelai and Rory for the females (a nod to Gilmore Girls). And for the black cat, the one who’d found his way under the bed, the one who nailed my hand when I tried petting him, I called “Captain”.  I wanted to call him “Captain Jack” but we already had a Jackie/Jackson.   Later that evening, Brian said he was okay with the names.

I tried putting Lorelai and the kittens in the big crate, but she was too upset and kept trying to open the door.  So I moved them to the bathroom. There was more room in there and she could get away from her kits, if need be. They’re not newborns, they still have those blue kitten eyes, but they’re eating on their own and using the litterbox.  She wasn’t happy being in the bathroom, but I didn’t want the kittens running loose in the house just yet, not without supervision.  And these cats are nocturnal, they aren’t on the schedule we keep.   She cried a little right after I put her in there, but she quieted down.

This morning around four, I let her out and I looked for Captain. He wasn’t under the bed, I didn’t know where he was.  I thought maybe he’d run outside when I opened the screen door.  I grabbed a jar of baby food for Ciara, let her lap at it, then closed it up when she was done.  I went back to sleep.  When I woke up at five thirty, Ciara walked over to me and she was dragging her back right leg.  It was completely limp.  Crap.  Brian put her on the floor and she was just having a really difficult time of it.  I already had an appointment for Bart (his eye is pretty messed up), so I called to check if it would be possible to bring Ciara in.  Sure, no problem.  I also made an appointment for the other cats for Wednesday.  I’m not sure I’ll get Captain in, but he did let me pet him this morning, when he was in one of the cat condos and not under the bed.  Pretty soft and a sweet kitty.  Just don’t grab him.

I didn’t call Becky yesterday.  I wasn’t going to call her at all, but I figured it might be fun to call her and give her a bad time.  I’m thinking I see her hand in the delivery of the cats to our house.

She knew absolutely nothing about it.  And when I described the kitties to her, boy was she pissed off.  She said the cats weren’t left by any neighbor. They belonged to the woman who brought them here.  We’d been lied to.  As a matter of fact, Becky is pretty sure Lorelai is the kitten she gave the woman last year.  From a litter of feral kittens.  *sigh*  She wanted to call her and give her hell, but I told her to please not do anything to jeopardize the cats new forever home here.  We will take good care of them and that’s all that matters.  We talked about some other stuff and it was time for me to get ready for the vet’s visit.

Ciara was first.  She’s put on weight. Not much, but she is gaining.  She had no fever. None. Normal temperature. Respiration is still high.  Vet checks her over, starts in with the FIP crap (at least I hope it’s crap; I’m still in denial mode) again.  He tests her reflexes of the leg.  None.  He squeezes different parts of it. She strenuously objects.  It hurts, yanno?  He scratches his head.  He can’t figure it out. He took more X-rays of her and they show no change from the last ones he took, back in April.  Everything’s the same.  He said this paralysis could be the FIP taking hold.  My head voice is screaming “SCIATICA!” because of the pinched nerve in her lower back.  He said that he really doesn’t believe that her leg would be like that because of sciatica.  I asked him if he’s ever had it?  Yes, but he had the it really hurts kind, not the kind that it really hurts and you lose all feeling in your leg.  The kind I had years ago.  He remarked on her rapid breathing. I told him she’d been doing that for months, that once she calms down, it slows down. He said “it must be from the pain”. Yeah, that’s kind of what I’ve been thinking for months.

He’s optomistic that she had no fever, her lungs are clear, and she’s gained weight.  He had one last thing he wanted to try.  He gave her a shot.  He said this was just a test, if it worked to let him know tomorrow and we could go from there.  He said if it worked, she’d be feeling much better tomorrow.  I wonder if it was some sort of muscle relaxer.

Ciara done for the day, I put her in the carrier and I got Bart out.  Bart’s eye looks pretty painful. The vet looked at it under a scope and said this was due to the herpes virus (gee, thanks NotWally, for a gift that keeps on giving).  He stained the eye and looked at it under black light.  It was awful.  The vet pulled the haw (third eyelid), showed me how it’s thickened, then had me look at little streaks of blood in Bart’s eye.  He said this was easily treated with steroid eyedrops.  Twice a day for a week, then I take Bart in next week for a recheck and we’ll take it from there.  There’s a chance this will be a lifelong thing with him.  The vet said that this had to be pretty uncomfortable for Bart.

So, we get home, I bring both carriers in and open them.  Ciara went into the garage, then came back inside and went into the carrier/bed I have set up for Lorelai and kittens in the bathroom (they were out while we were gone, she has a pretty safe place in the living room), where she’s been for a couple of hours. I gave her a little to eat, which she scarfed down. Then she made her way back to the office.  She’s not holding her leg as stiffly as she had been earlier and it has more movement.  I hope the shot puts us on the right track for recovery for her.

She’s such a sweet little girl.

Anyway, I think I’ve had enough adventure (???) for the rest of the year.


      Tuesday, June 20, 2006

01:14 PM - 06/20/2006

The topic: Ciara is at the vet

This morning, I called a holistic vet in San Diego, to see if I could get an appointment for Ciara.  On the chance the Ciara doesn’t have FIP, I thought maybe a vet who does acupunture would be able to give her some relief.  The appointment was made for tomorrow at 2:30.  I didn’t like the idea of driving downtown by myself, but I’d do what I had to do for Ciara.

They needed her history to be faxed to them and I was to not let her urinate for three hours and oh, they also needed a stool sample.  Excuse me, but this little girl ain’t walking anywhere, she peed in the carrier this morning (the carrier that I had set up for Lorelai and kittens; Ciara took it over yesterday when we got home from the vet).  After she peed in it, she dragged herself out to the hallway.  At four this morning, I was wiping her off and cleaning the bathroom floor (I think she might have tried getting out of the carrier soon enough, but her legs just couldn’t make it) and changing her bedding.

I called my vet’s office and got it all set up.  I’d pick up the X-rays tomorrow when I take the new kitties in for a checkup.

Well, I hadn’t taken Ciara’s temperature in a couple of days and around 10:30, I took it.  It was 97.7!  Bad.  Real bad.  Can we say “shock”?  I kept taking it for the next half hour and it got up to 98.8, but then dropped back down (I use a PetTemp ear thermometer) to under 98.  I called my vet to see what I should do and one of the girls told me “take her to emergency”.  Apparantly, my vet is sick today.  Then I call the holistic place to see if I could bring her in there.  Uh, no, we close at 1:00 today and he still has some appointments. 

Damn.  I took her temperature again, it was 97.7.  I took the other cats’ temperatures to see if it might be the thermometer.  They were all right under 100.  I grabbed the carrier, grabbed my cell, grabbed my wallet, gently grabbed Ciara and gently stuffed her in the carrier, grabbed my keys and off we went. 

When I got to the

Animal Medical Center, I went up to the walk in area (no appointments) and I was asked about my pet and I told her that Ciara’s temperature had been under 98 for at least forty five minutes and I was afraid she was going to die.

Now, mind you, Ciara was acting fine.  Well, as fine as she could in her condition. She didn’t act like she was ready to keel over, she would stretch her paws at me, smile and kind of roll over so I could see her belly.  But then I’d see her shiver.  What do you do?  Play it safe or take a chance with her life?  I couldn’t take that chance.  I played it safe.

She was taken right back and I heard the receptionist say “we need a doctor, we have an emergency”.

I had gone outside because there were about a thousand dogs of different sizes, colors and yappiness inside. I wasn’t in the mood. Granted, I’m rarely in the mood for dogs, but I very much wasn’t there this morning. I saw the woman who checked us in walking through the building with the carrier and I went inside to see what was up.  Ciara was in the carrier.  Her temperature was stable, 99.1 (still low) and that I could wait to see a doctor.  I said I’d wait.

I pulled out my cell phone and called my buddy, Allyson, up in the L.A. area. She was at work.   I had no idea how long this would take. The last time we took her there, that evening a few weeks ago, we were there for over an hour before we saw a vet, but that was at night, after regular hours. It was nice to have someone to talk to.  I carried the carrier outside and sat it on the bench next to me.   I was telling Allyson about what was going on and we spoke for a while when I realized I couldn’t hear her all that well over the street noise.  Even she could hear it.  I got up and walked inside with Ciara and found a fairly quiet area of the waiting room (it’s humongous).  Before long Ciara and I were taken into a room where Ciara was weighed, then we went into an examining room.  Having hung up when we were taken to a room, I called Allyson back and I didn’t have to wait alone.

I unlatched the top of the carrier, so I wouldn’t have to pull Ciara out, I could just lift her up when the doctor came in.  Then I set the lid back down on it. The doctor came in mid sentence and I said “gotta go” again to Allyson.  I took the lid off of the carrier and lifted Ciara onto the examining table.  The doc did a quick once over and asked me about Ciara. We went over her history, back to when I originally thought she’d hurt herself.  I told him about the x-rays that were taken back in April, about the disks that pinched a nerve in her back (he asked how you can see a pinched nerve on an x-ray?  I dunno, but that was what I was told).  I told him about the originally course of metacam, that helped her. I told him about how she’d gotten worse, how I’d given her prednisone, how she reacted badly to that. I also told him the vet had taken x-rays yesterday, bloodwork a couple of weeks ago and had told me that his feelings were that Ciara had dry FIP. I told him that my head was screaming “No!  Not FIP, she’s got a back problem, she’s got sciatica!”  He asked why my vet felt the problem was FIP and I mentioned the fevers that he said Ciara had (which I don’t recall at all), the globulin count, the white blood cells (which indicate infection, which the antibiotics took care of and that’s why her temperature was normal yesterday), her lameness in her back end.

And I told him again that I thought it was her back.  That my head voices were screaming “sciatica”.  He looked at me, smiled, and said “that’s what my head is screaming, too”.   He then asked me what my schedule was for the day (I don’t have one) and if I would leave Ciara there.  He’d asked about the x-rays taken and asked if there’d been a mylo something or other one taken and I said no.  This is where they inject dye into the spine and take the x-ray after to see exactly where the problem lies. He said something about orthopedics and I said that she hadn’t seen any specialist.

Then he says “well, one of the top orthopedic surgeons in the state is working today, she just happens to be my wife” (she’s the one who put Marco back together).  “And I’d like to take x-rays of Ciara and see how we can help her.”  He went on to say that one of their friends would be coming to town later this week.  This friend is a top neurosurgeon (people), who does many delicate surgeries, stuff like brain surgeries.  And if Ciara needs surgery, he would be there when it’s done.

So, I left Ciara at the vet.  And I’m waiting for the phone to ring.  And I’m glad my thermometer reads low. And I’m glad my vet was sick today. And I’m glad the holistic vet left at one today.  Because I think Ciara is probably in the best hands she could be in right now. And I’m really, really, really glad she most likely does NOT have FIP.

Oh, here’s another link to an article about the animal hospital where she’s being taken care of right now.

05:50 PM - 06/20/2006

The topic: While we wait for news
I'd like to share this little picture I took of Lorelai and her babies a few minutes ago.

      Wednesday, June 21, 2006

11:17 AM - 06/21/2006

The topic: Stumbling home

This morning on our walk, I was paying more attention to what I was saying to what was in the road.  Past the first half of our walk, going down a fairly long steep asphalted hill, I stepped on a rock with my left foot.  Hit it just right.  I was down before I knew what had happened.  Boy, that ankle popped. 

I stood up, Brian supported me. We’re probably a half mile from home. I was able to put weight on my foot and I started walking.  I scraped up my hands a little and I put no holes in my sweatpants.  There was a lady we see on the mornings we walk this route and she came over and asked if we needed help, she had a car and could take us (she saw me go down, how embarrassing).  We thanked her and told her I’d be alright, I mentioned this was an occasional reoccurance of a high school injury (yeah, stepping on rocks, blame it on youth).

I made it home okay, but as the day’s progressed, that puppy is hurting.  I iced it down a little.  And my upper arms aren’t real happy right now either, bad way to start a regimen of push ups, yanno?  The palm of my left hand hurts, too.

Ah, the joys of not watching where you walk.  Of course, I get no sympathy from my DH.

11:23 AM - 06/21/2006

The topic: Ciara stuff
The vet didn't call until after 7:30 last night. I was in the middle of getting the cats in. He apologized, saying that he'd had to go to a meeting, he didn't mean to make me wait (little head voice: yeah, yeah, get on with it). So, there's good news and there's bad news.

But wait! I'm not done yet!
I've got more to say!

12:30 PM - 06/21/2006

The topic: The brat known as Phoebe

So, after all were settled in, Ben and Mystie were indoors, garage door is blocked, it’s time to get the Pheebs inside. 

It took me forty-five minutes.  I was barefoot.  It was dark.  She’d run from this spot, to that.  Brian finally said the hell with it and came inside.  I pursued. Then I’d say the hell with it and come inside.  Then ten minutes later I was back outside trying to catch the little spit.

It finally go to the point where she was wearing out.  She was by the pool and was laying in the cement drain area.  I would pretend I wasn’t looking at her. I’d slide over to get closer to her. And she’d get up and move about three feet away from me.  I’d move, she’d move.  This went on for about ten minutes.  Finally, I was able to get close enough to hold my fingers up to her face. She rubbed them.  And eventually, I was able to get her.  She protested. She squirmed, but I was able to get her inside with minimal blood loss.

It was after ten.

This morning, she’s all over me, ready to be my best buddy.  Silly cat. 

But this is why I want the cats in before the sun goes down.

12:36 PM - 06/21/2006

The topic: Captain

Brian was in bed by the time I got Phoebe in.  I kicked back on the loveseat, looking for something decent to relax to on television, when I saw a black cat jump up on the coffe table, growling.

It was Captain, come from his hiding spot under the loveseat. 

This was the first good look I’ve gotten of him.  A small cat, very nice looking.  But growly.

He came over to me and I petted him, scratching his head and ears.  He spied Chander on the arm of the sofa and went over, gave Chandler a growl, then halfway jumped at him.  Chandler kind of flinched, but didn’t move from his spot on the sofa.  Captain came back over to me. 

I decided to go to bed and turned off the television. Captain followed.  Letting all cats along the path that he was not to be messed with.  He even slapped Lorelai.  When I climbed into bed, he followed. He chased all cats off of the bed and staked out the big pillow at the bottom, where he could see who was coming and going. Then he saw the window and climbed into that.  Growling the entire time. 

Brian was awake and I warned him to watch his head.  Heads aren’t the best landing pads for cats with claws.  I don’t know what finally happened, but it was after eleven when I finally fell asleep.  I don’t know if Captain was still growling.

This morning, he’s back in his spot under the loveseat.  At least he’s starting to make integration progress.

      Thursday, June 22, 2006

09:16 AM - 06/22/2006

The topic: The latest about Ciara

She’s got a healthy appetite and that’s a good thing.  She peed a couple of times in the carrier yesterday, but this morning, her bedding is dry. She did have a small amount of litter on her paws, so I’m thinking she got out of the carrier to pee and probably made it into the litterbox.  There was some urine between the carrier and the litterbox, but her tail wasn’t wet.  I would think if she’d peed out there, her tail would have gotten some of the urine on it.

And the leg that went lame seemed to have a little more motion in it this morning.  Which, of course, could be just wishful thinking on my part.

I haven’t heard from Dr. Johnson yet about the MRI.  And as the hours go by, my thinking is going in a different direction.  I guess it’s because I just hate sitting here, doing nothing to help her.

I called the holistic vet again, made an appointment for tomorrow at 10:30.  If there’s any way possible to get through this without surgery, that’s the way I’d like to take her.  They already have her files from my vet, Elena was on the ball and got them sent over right quick. 

It’s not the money, the money isn’t a problem.  But surgery is a scary thing. 

And I’ve also decided that I’m not going to change vets. I was going over the relationship I have with the clinic and I like the employees, I do like my vet and they know my cats.  They know me.  If I’ve got a sick cat and they are busy, there’s no problem with me just bringing in the cat and leaving it there. Little things like when Opie had feline acne, I didn’t have to bring him in for an examination, I was just given ointment for him.  As for the misdiagnosis, the x-ray view the vet took didn’t show anything.  Other views would have, but at the time, they didn’t seem necessary. 

Cooler heads are prevailing and leaving would have been a knee-jerk reaction.

And now that I know Ciara isn’t in immediate danger of dying, I can relax a little and get a chance to think more clearly.

      Friday, June 23, 2006

08:08 AM - 06/23/2006

The topic: This morning’s Ciara update

Still haven’t heard about the MRI schedule. 

She tried to bite me yesterday when I was stroking her down the side and ran my hand down her leg.  Is this a sign that she’s getting feeling back?  Or was it just that whatever I did, it put pressure above the leg and hurt?  I’d like to think she’s getting the feeling back, but that could be wishful thinking on my part.  I’m doing a lot of that lately. 

She doesn’t always make it to the litterbox, but she does try to get out of the carrier before she goes.  There have been a couple of times she’s peed (I think it’s her, anyway) outside of the carrier on the floor.  And there is the occasional time she doesn’t make it out of the carrier, which is why I check her blanket every couple of hours.  And I say a little prayer of thanks that I bought so many of those cheap fleece blankets last year.  It would be hard to run out.

Brian will be home in time to take us down to the vet this morning. I’m relieved about that.  I was dreading the ride down.  Trying to adjust to these contacts (which I just know are monovision, otherwise my right eye wouldn’t be so blurry when I’m not “seeing” close range and I’m going to let that doctor have it on Tuesday), my ankle is still hurting a little, although the swelling had gone way down, and driving in an area I’m not familiar with at all, well, I was dreading the ride down.  With Brian driving today, when I have to go it alone I won’t also be trying to find the address.

As for donations, if you want to give something towards her care, use one of the donation buttons at the bottom of this page, the PayPal or the Amazon buttons.  And mention when you give that it’s for Ciara.  We don’t really need anything, honestly, but if you want to give, it will go toward Ciara.

And that’s about it for my little furfaced sweet Ciara Vista’s morning update.  I hope the next update will bring happy news.

08:40 AM - 06/23/2006

The topic: Ron Howard

He hurt himself yesterday.  He was fine yesterday morning, but limping around last night.  It was obviously so painful, that he didn’t do any playing.  He made it to the litter box, then limped back to his bed.  *sigh*

I took his temperature and it was normal, so there’s no fever.  He did play a little more this morning with his sister, but he’s still not feeling good.  He wouldn’t eat any of the yummy food I tried tempting him with, so it’s a good thing his mom is here.  He had no problem at all hitting her food distribution area.

So, it would appear that he played just a little too hard at some point and pulled a muscle.  Poor little guy.  I was so ready to take him to the vet, especially after Ciara’s problem, but I think waiting a few days at this point to see if it resolves itself might be the best thing to do.

Right now, Rory is playing with a mousie in the hallway and Lorelei is with her son, grooming him while he gets his breakfast.

08:48 AM - 06/23/2006

The topic: Skinny little Lorelei

I went into the bedroom yesterday afternoon and heard a cat mewing.  I tracked the sound down and it was Lorelei, stuck under Brian’s dresser.  She was trying to get under the front, but it’s way too close to the floor.  Her legs were sticking out behind it.

I slowly pulled it away from the wall and she got turned around and was under the thing entirely.  I went into the kitchen and grabbed the tuna I’d opened the night before to get Phoebe in and put that behind the dresser.  Heh.  She was already out. 

I gave her some tuna anyway.

I hope she doesn’t do that again.  I don’t think Brian appreciated my emergency phone call.

      Wednesday, June 28, 2006

07:44 AM - 06/28/2006

The topic: It’s hot!

It’s hot, it’s hot, it’s hot! 

Two days ago, a little after two in the afternoon, my weather station gave us a heat index reading of over 126°.  It’s been this way since last Saturday.  You’d think we lived in Florida or something.  The humidity is supposed to drop tomorrow and cooler temperatures are expected Friday.

I’m melting, I’m melting.  (And it’s not pleasant.)

07:55 AM - 06/28/2006

The topic: Ciara update

I haven’t written about her since Friday.  Because I don’t exactly know what to say. 

The holistic doctor said she has osteoporosis.  She got two injections, B vitamins and calcium.  She has to get these three times a week.  Today will be her third treatment.

He also prescribed some supplements.  Herbal remedies in Pet-Tinic, vitamin C, taurine and other stuff.  Some drops called “calcionate”.  When I asked about something for her pain, I got another bottle of herbs in Pet-Tinic for bone pain. And amoxicillan drops (which I’ve switched out with tablets, since the drops are so messy, along with all the other drops of stuff she’s getting).

He said I should be “cautiously optimistic”.  He said it will take at least two weeks of treatment to see any progress. 

I watch her.  I’m hopeful.  I see her doing things.  Is this good?  Is this a fluke? Is it….wishful thinking?

I dunno. 

She’s eating well.  She loves her Hill’s A/D.  She’s eating about two cans a day.  Plus other stuff, like baby food or Nutro veal pate (one she’s always liked). She’s not drinking at all.  She did lap up some goat’s milk earlier this week, but hasn’t been interested since.

She’s pooping.  The first couple of days, she didn’t, then Monday night I found she’d gone in the carrier, most of it still stuck to her tail.  I cleaned it off (it wasn’t nasty runny stuff, it was good looking poop) and yesterday morning, she went a whole lot in the litter box.  Of course, I had my hands around her belly supporting her, since she’s not putting weight on her back legs. Her left leg has more strength than her right, which has none at all, but it does have more feeling.  Just gently touch it to find out.  It hurts. I hope (wish/pray) this is a good sign.

The drops are nasty.  The one with the calcionate is sticky.  She gets four droppersful twice a day.  The immune drops, she gets three droppersful three times a day. And the bone pain drops, she gets three droppersful twice a day. This morning, she fought me for the first time. She actually was looking for a way to get out of the carrier (it’s one of those that has plastic things on the side that just pop out so the top comes off; much more convenient than trying to pull her out when I need her….here at home, I’ll put the top on, but I don’t attach it). A good sign?  I dunno.  I hope so.

Monday the vet said that her bones didn’t hurt so much.  He knew this by her reaction when he squeezed one of her front legs.  I think at the joint.

We’ve got an appointment today and I have to make another one for Friday.  I don’t know how it will work next week with the holiday, I’ll ask this morning.

I haven’t heard a word from the vet who was going on about MRIs and surgery.  It’s been over a week.  I don’t care right now.

I took Bart in for the recheck of his eye yesterday and I didn’t say anything about Ciara.  When Bart’s exam was over, the vet asked me about Ciara.  He mentioned the vet who spoke of MRIs and surgery.  He warned me that they like to do all of this expensive testing and in the end, it wasn’t worth a cent.  I told him I hadn’t heard from them and I mentioned the holistic vet.

He said he was all for that, he could get behind that type of treatment.  He asked me some questions about what was being done for her and then told me if I needed any help with her, that he would be there for me.

I hope (wish/pray) that she does show definite improvement by the second week of July.

Because this ain’t no way to treat a cat.

08:15 AM - 06/28/2006

The topic: Babies

Ron Howard got over his little episode in three days.  Yesterday, Rory was showing the same signs. *sigh*

She was in bed with us this morning, cuddled up against my side.  She is eating a little more than Ronnie did when he wasn’t feeling well and she’s drinking water. 

I feel so bad for kitties when they don’t feel well.

02:42 PM - 06/28/2006

The topic: At the vet’s

Ciara weighed in at 6.5 pounds!  That’s good, she’s steadily gaining weight.

She got her injections (I found out today exactly what they are, I was right on the vitamin B and calcium, the third ingredient is magnesium).  The vet said her back left leg is back to normal (which I don’t quite understand, she can’t put weight on it, maybe he means feeling wise; and maybe she can’t put weight on it because the muscles are weak from disuse).  She peed on the table and I wiped it up.

Then the vet tech walked away and I was holding her.  I wasn’t watching the vet and he squeezed one of her legs.  She wasn’t happy about this and she turned her head and bit me.  *lol*  Blood flowed.  But that’s okay, I can understand it and I didn’t and don’t hold it against her.  Honestly, I’m surprised she hasn’t done it sooner.

She goes in again Friday at 10:30, then next Wednesday at 2:00 in the afternoon.  I don’t like the idea of driving in the afternoon, but I am getting a little more used to it at this point.  I have to drive through a city named Santee on my way to route 52 and they are working on an extension of the 52 and traffic is obnoxious.  Bleh.  But that’s the worst part of the trip.

Another hopeful thing.  Ciara seems to have remembered how to sleep.  She slept yesterday and she’s been sleeping ever since we got home.  Her breathing still isn’t wonderful, but it’s not nearly as bad as it had been.

Cautiously optimistic.  That’s me.

      Thursday, June 29, 2006

07:51 AM - 06/29/2006

The topic: Ciara update

It would seem she’s getting feeling back into that leg.  And it hurts!

Last night, after I’d given her the nightly dose of meds, I shut the door.  About a half hour later I checked on her and she was laying in the litterbox. She’d pooped.  She wasn’t there long, I picked her up and put her back in the carrier and cleaned up the stool.  The night before she didn’t make it to the litterbox, she went on the towel.  They’ve all been nice firm stools so they’re easy to clean up, no mess.

But the fact was she made it to the litterbox.

This morning, I thought I’d do something nice for her.  I was thinking about getting the big crate cleaned out and putting some towels in it, then putting it at the side of the house, in the shade, so she could spend some time outdoors.  I also thought maybe I could put the baby gate across the door to my bathroom, where Ciara’s been living since the 20th, so that she could get some fresh air and watch out the door.

The door was open, the baby gate up when I gave her the morning meds.  Brian came along and was talking to her and she started to get restless. She doesn’t like the meds and I have to wrap her in a towel to keep her from getting stuff all over her fur.  I thought that was the problem and I took the towel away as soon as I was finished admining the meds.  She was still restless, twisting this way and that.  I picked her up and put her in the litterbox.  She wanted to go the other way.  It dawned on both Brian and me at the same time that she wanted out of the bathroom.  He quickly removed the baby gate and shut the door.  I put her back in the carrier and placed the lid on the top (with the carrier door removed).

I think because she’s not feeling so funky and depressed, she’s getting restless.  And we can’t take a chance with her reinjuring herself.  So, in the bathroom she stays, with the door shut.


Maybe she’ll be ready next week.

One thing I noticed is that when she settled back into the carrier after I put her there, she was holding her bad leg’s paw at the proper angle, with the toes on the bottom, not dragging it with the top of the paw on the bottom.  Just a fluke?   Or is she actually starting to get some muscle and nerve action back?

I’m cautiously optimistic.

08:06 PM - 06/29/2006

The topic: Barring a miracle

We’ll be saying goodbye to Ciara tomorrow. 

I had such hope.  Even made the appointment for the MRI, for Saturday.

But I just gave her the night meds and she started crashing.  For the first time she peed herself and then pooped.  She’s so tired. She can’t even hold her head up right now.  This is no life for a cat. Whatever is wrong has progressed and it’s not good.

I don’t want to prolong the inevitable.  She has zero quality of life right now.




She’s gone.  Shortly after I’d written the above, I checked on her.  She just looked at me and cried. She tried to get up and couldn’t.  She only looked at me with those eyes and cried.

Brian went in and petted her for a while and he said we’d go. 

We took her down to the same place we took her that set up the MRI for Saturday.  We were taken right into a room and they took her into the back, still in her half carrier, put a catheter in her leg, sedated her, then brought her back to us. 

Shortly after, the vet came in and we said goodbye and Ciara was finally pain free, after so many months of hurting.

Farewell, sweet Ciara.  I’ll miss you “being cute” just for me.  Like you did one last time today.  I can’t even imagine the effort it took for you to do that, but I thank you.

Goodbye, sweetie.  We’ll miss you lots and lots.

Ciara Vista (June 10, 2006)
December 1999 - June 29, 2006

Oh, and Ciara? If you can hear me, and I think you can, give old Acidman hell for me.

Okay? Thanks, honey.


Check out today's Friday Ark #93.

      Friday, June 30, 2006

10:24 AM - 06/30/2006

The topic: A kitten needs help

Well, not really, it would appear the kitten is in great hands, but the owner needs a little help paying for the surgery.

I just made a donation in Ciara’s name.  If you could find it in your hearts and wallets, could you do the same?



03:40 PM - 06/30/2006

The topic: Obladi, oblada

Life goes on....LA! La la how the life goes on.....

And now that the kittens have claimed my footrest as their own, where do I rest my feet?

And I just spied Lorelei under the desk, close by to the kits.

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lisaviolet is sixty something, married with no kids, takes care of lots of cats, likes taking photographs, loves Southern California weather and spends altogether too much time avoiding her responsibilities.

In her spare time, she makes pretty things to sell in her store.

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