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      Wednesday, September 04, 2019

07:43 AM - 09/04/2019

The topic: The next few days are going to be rough

Ronnie was doing poorly over the weekend. It's been a roller coaster, for sure. One minute it's horrible, the next he's doing something he hadn't done in a while.

He's been having a hard time controlling his bladder. He pees where he lays. I've been doing a lot of laundry the past week or so. The majority of the cat beds where he lays have the bedding covered with pee pads. But at least I'm able to find him. The previous month he'd find another place to lay and I couldn't rest until I laid eyes on him.

The size of his poop has gotten smaller and there's more fecal matter than fur. The licking has, for the most part, stopped. That's a good thing.

There were a couple of times last week I was checking under him for pee, to make sure he wasn't laying in wet, and my fingers hit something else. Yeah, he was pooping where he was laying. So, all of this had me pretty worried. He was seeming more steady on his back legs as the days went on, he wasn't kicking out his right leg like he had been (think of a dog lifting a leg to pee, but it was because he couldn't control it), not quite as wobbly.

I was giving him fluids every other day, but he still was dehydrated. I would see him drinking from the fountain on the patio and from the water bowl in the bedroom, but it wasn't enough. Especially with the weather we've been having. Hot and humid.

And that's another thing. He wants to be outside. In the sun. He's a mostly white cat with mostly white ears and a white face. He's lost a lot of fur. I worry about sunburn. Just like people, cats can get sunburned. So, another thing I've been watching for. Yesterday morning, he went into one of the cathouses in the yard and his body was inside and his head was hanging outside of it, in the sun (he was on the second level of a two level house). Remembering what the old vet said about Richie, when I'd told him about Richie laying with his head hanging over the edge of something, that it indicated a heart problem.

I called the vet and made an appointment to get him checked out. We took him in at 3:30.

During the four hours we had until the appointment, he jumped up into the bedroom window and fell asleep. A few hours later I heard noise in the bedroom, went in to check, he'd jumped onto the bed, off of the bed using the chair or the stool onto the floor and was on the opposite side of the bed, where he pooped. I went to get something to clean it up with, he left the bedroom, went into the office and climbed into one of the litterboxes and pooped some more. This gave me hope.

Anyway, when it was time to leave for the vet's office, I put a pee pad down on the blanket in the carrier, just like I did last week when we took him in. They got us into the examining room right away and he was taken out of the carrier to be weighed. He'd lost almost two pounds in two weeks. After the tech left, we let him roam around (I made sure there was nothing he could get behind). And I pulled out the pee pad.

Whoa! He had peed. Dark orange and red stained the pad. This little boy has a pretty bad bladder infection. The vet said his back legs seemed better than two weeks previous, so that's good, but he's still in pain. His eyes and nose are still runny.

She said she wanted to go with a different antibiotic and pain med (the stuff before just knocked him out). He got a Covenia shot and he's on gabapentin for the pain. To help keep his bladder flushed, especially during this heat, he gets 120cc of fluids daily. I was giving him 60cc every other day, but it wasn't enough to keep him hydrated, even though he was drinking some water during the day.

Last night, he was doing some of the normal things he hadn't been doing. I'd given him 60cc of fluids to get him through the night. He went down to the pool area and found his way over the barrier (the barrier that keeps Mario from the pool). Brian followed, then I went down as well. We sat with our feet in the water and Ronnie came over to both of us.  When we left, I carried him with me back up to the house.

During the rest of the evening, Ronnie was jumping on the chairs under the patio table. He eventually came into the house, and chose one of the baskets to sleep in. But you knew he was in pain because when he wasn't asleep, he was saying "yow.....yow....yow....yow...." for hours. When his vocalization came from, a different area, I'd get up and check on him. At one point, he had peed, but he had moved. The past week, he'd just lay there.

This morning, after some searching, I found him under the corner of the bed. I got two syringes with lactated ringers ready and took him from under the bed and into the bathroom. He freaked out. So much that he emptied his bladder when I put him on the floor. I cleaned it up, calmed him down and gave him the fluids. Then I finger fed him some Fancy Feast (at one point it looked like he was going to eat without help, but no), then gave him his first dose of gabapentin. I opened the bathroom door and he finally walked down the hallway, I could hear him hitting the wall. He made it to the door and sat there for a few minutes, then went outside and got a drink. Then, he made a small poop in the bark by the fountain.

At this time, he's outside in the "television"  bed that we've had for years. You know how sometimes toddlers sleep with their heads down and their butts in the air? That's him right now.

I wouldn't doubt all of the activity yesterday has given him some pain today. I know that it's going to take at least three days to see any improvement and I kind of expect it's going to be a long three days....

ronnie    gabapentin    covenia    catstuff    bladder infection   

      Thursday, September 05, 2019

04:09 PM - 09/05/2019

The topic: Ronnie didn’t get better

He got worse.

We said goodbye to him this afternoon. The vet believes he had some sort of cancer because the meds he was getting should have worked by now. At least have shown some improvement.

This morning, he refused to eat anything and wouldn't let syringe feed him. He couldn't walk, kept falling over. He'd lost even more weight since Tuesday.

The vet thinks it was a type of cutaneous cancer, because of how thin his skin had gotten (remember, he licked all of the fur off the weekend before last).

We had no options, we had no choice.

I emailed the vet with my concerns this morning and she responded saying the medications should have been working. She advised euthanasia. I called and made the appointment.

It was for mid-afternoon and Ronnie had been spending the day in the crate, the first time he actually didn't fuss about being in there (because he was dying). Every once in a while he'd let out a little cry. About an hour and a half before his appointment, I took him outside and watched him, reaffirming our decision. I spent an hour with him on the grass, my legs scissored out and him between them, laying against me. We talked, well, most I talked, but every few minutes he'd reply. Or maybe he was just saying "I hurt so bad".....but my last memories of him will be under the tree, in the grass, stroking his soft fur and having one last conversation. I'll miss him eating my hair and tripping me up in the yard. I'll miss yelling at him when he pulls the bowl of food away from another cat. There's just so much about him that I'll miss. He was one in a million.

We said goodbye.

He was one of my heart cats. I will really, really miss this guy.

ronnie    goodbye    catstuff    cancer   

      Sunday, September 08, 2019

02:27 PM - 09/08/2019

The topic: I’m keeping busy or sleeping

I'm not crying as much today, that's good.

It helps to have something to keep my mind occupied. I pulled paper for more holiday cards (I got started on them a couple of weeks ago) and the stack is here at my work table, the Cameo is out here, but either Spotty or Lorelei are sleeping by it, so I just leave it. I need to get started when they aren't up here. I don't have the heart to disturb them.

Friday,  I'd finally had enough of Brian's tantrums using Horde mail for his company mail. His frustration was well warranted, but the problems he had were nothing I could fix. It was a buggy system. When he sent responses or quotes, he'd have the mail opened while he either looked through his photos for the ones to attach to the mails as examples of what he would supply, or other information and the mail would time out. More often than not, he'd lose everything he'd typed. The auto draft didn't always work. Or it would time out and he'd have to log back in, once again, everything he'd done, gone.

And he'd get upset and aggravated. I'm not exaggerating when I say this would go on for hours, because he had to get these emails out. Without quotes, no orders. So much time wasted with an email program that didn't work right.

If I wasn't in the mood (which I usually wasn't), I'd shut down my PC, get up and leave the room.

And, like I said, Friday I'd had enough. I thought about it and I kinda sorta raised my voice back at him. I was frustrated because any time I tried to get him to use something different, if there was some little bump, he'd just give up and go back to the loathed Horde. And I told him I would like him to try Gmail. I'd set it up, there would be a learning curve, but in the long run, I thought it would be more stable and he'd have less problems with it. He was willing to try.

So far there have been a couple of glitches, but handling them was fairly straightforward. Things like the contact form information wasn't rendering properly, instead of breaks between the input fields, it was all one long paragraph. So, I had to modify the contact form to fix this, but I had to update the software to do that since the version I was running was from 2013. Uploading would not work with that version. Updating the software fixed that. (Then one of the data fields (sender's email) wasn't copying over to the "from" line and it kept giving me an error message that it 'needed a properly formatted email' message before it would upload but through trial and error, I finally got that to work.) Another problem was when he responded to a request for quote email (via that form) in Gmail, a copy was sent to his email as well, not just the sender. Not a major thing, but it was bothersome to me.

Anyway, it looks like most of those things have been resolved. He's sent a couple of quotes and it's been fairly quiet in the office.

I've learned some tricks along the way as well, like having incoming mails sent to their own folders and not the inbox.

It is nice to keep me occupied, though.

horde    gmail    geekstuff   

      Tuesday, September 10, 2019

08:35 AM - 09/10/2019

The topic: Short update

Sammy's eye discharge started turning red again at the end of last week. The liquid Clavamox is only good for ten days, then it's healing power self-destructs. So, Brian picked up another bottle on Friday (I sent an email to the vet this morning asking if we could buy the bottle, measure out x amount, and reconstitute it as we need it and not throw over half of a bottle in the trash). I did some research this weekend, I'm going to change the l-Lysine I've been giving him from the paste to powdered that he will eat right up when mixed with baby food and water. We started that yesterday morning.  I also got some Tomlyn brand eye wash, a few drops helps soothe his eye.

With the fresh antibiotic and beefing up the l-Lysine (doubling the dose from 500mg a day to 1000mg), his eye is looking a lot better this morning. The discharge has gone down a lot. One of the contributing factors to herpes flare ups is stress. And, yeah, I believe the past few weeks with Ronnie have been pretty stressful on all of us.

With Ronnie gone, we're getting that change up in the hierarchy here. One nice thing is Mario is back in the bedroom window. He didn't get up there when Ronnie was ill. Ronnie got up there a few times and Mario just quit. Now, he's back up.

Brian seems to be acclimating to google mail. For two days now, I've not heard him yelling at his monitor. Even though I try to ignore it, at least half the time I go back to see what the problem is this time.

I cut out the cardstock for six more holiday cards yesterday. Watched the assembly tutorial this morning. This file didn't come with a sentiment panel for the back, so I guess I'll make my own.

Still keeping on top of the business paperwork. Last month's bank statement got here yesterday, took fifteen minutes to reconcile the account. You have no idea how nice that is. And this week, I finally did a refund right! All these years I just stumbled through it. Now, I know what to do. Yay!

sammy    ronnie    mario    craftstuff    clavamox    catstuff    cards   

      Tuesday, September 24, 2019

10:38 AM - 09/24/2019

The topic: Just plugging along

We're finally getting more mild days than hot days. That's nice.

Things are getting back to normal, I guess. The cats are still finding their standings in the clowder. Nooby comes when we call him, which is pretty nice. I think the fact that one of us usually has a few treats in hand has helped with this behavior. I do wish he'd lighten up on the smacking the other cats. He doesn't want to fight, but he reminds me of Mario when he first got here. A cat who probably owned his neighborhood and made sure everyone knew he was boss. At least Mario was neutered, Nooby is not.

I'm on my third set of holiday cards and the tutorial left much to be desired. But I have discovered a new tool, cutting dies. I'd never paid much attention to them before, I have a cutting machine, why would I need something like cutting dies, right? Well, let me tell you, when you're making multiples of the same design, it's a lot easier to pull out a little hand cranked machine and just run the paper through it. And there are so many dies available, it's crazy. I bought way too many, finally stopped today. Had a cart full and thought "what am I doing? These will still be around later, I don't need to get them all at once!" and I left the page. Yay, me. I guess I still believe in shopping as therapy.

I've taken some pictures, not many, since there's really nothing new in the card making, but I did take some of the fun things I've done with the dies.

Still keeping up with company work. I'm very proud of myself for this. Getting invoices out right after I print the shipping labels is great for both Brian and the customer. The customer gets a tracking number (they should get one from UPS, but a second one doesn't hurt) and they also get a head's up that their order is on the way. If there's a problem when they get it, Brian doesn't need me to get back in the office and go through a stack of paperwork to find the customer information, since it's already filed. It's amazing how much time this has freed up for me. Who would have thought? And, it came in handy a few weeks ago when I pulled the original paperwork for orders that shipped out that day and noticed paperwork for an order that should have already shipped. It wasn't on Brian's board and he had nothing showing it needed to be made. He got it done the next day and it was only a week or so out of order. We still don't know exactly what happened, but it was placed on the day after my surgery. I'd have found it when I reconciled the bank account, which is probably why I had it in my file, but no idea why Brian couldn't even find where he'd done the quote (he does this when he quotes, then pulls his handwritten quote when the order is placed).

All in all, not much happening, which is really kind of nice. I needed a break.


nooby    craftstuff    catstuff   

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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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