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      Wednesday, August 02, 2023

08:25 AM - 08/02/2023

The topic: And a very happy August to you

I don't think I mentioned Charlie sliding downhill.  Kidneys. We took him in last May when he was drinking a lot of water and always seemed hungry.  Tests were run. And he was in the beginning stages of kidney failure. His mouth had problems (which we can't do anything about because of the kidneys) and he was slightly anemic.

We were supposed to give him fluids once a week, but Charlie isn't the kind of cat you pick up and carry, let alone push a needle in his back. But he was eating and drinking. Until this past couple of weeks. Yes, it's probably the kidneys getting worse. And he's started to refuse food. Brian has been the one to feed him for the most part and I could tell he was getting frustrated because Charlie wasn't eating hardly anything. Yesterday, I took the time to feed him and I stood there and watched him eat. His problem right now is his mouth.

I pureed a can of Fancy Feast with a fair amount of water and he lapped that right up, eating almost the entire can over a few hours. He ate a tiny bit of chicken breast, but it was obvious he was having problems chewing it. This morning I mixed some A/D with water and he ate every bit I gave him. He was hungry.

We also gave him fluids this morning and I was really surprised how well he took them. Hoping to see some improvement in the next few hours.

And we have a hot water pipe that's leaking. Brian is fixing it now. It was after nine last night when he noticed it, it's in the hallway closet that's a catchall for stuff. I took the jackets outside and hung them on the clothesline, not a lot of light that time of night, the full moon helped. He started working on it this morning and he found the leak. There wasn't a lot of damage (as far as I can tell). One little USB speaker seemed pretty wet, as was the foot massager. Both are outside, upside down, and with any luck, they'll dry out and still work.  Gee, maybe there's an upside to this heat.

And now I have the chance to get rid of most of those board games I got a long time ago for the pet sitter. The one that didn't do her job and we lost both Wally and Lisaviolet in the same week. ("I don't pay attention to the cats when I'm here!" She actually told me that. I told her to "get out" after paying her.) And go through the box with all the cables and connections from way back when I was setting up the audio/video electronics throughout the house. I'll be glad to see them go.

Anyway, time to get started on something. Not sure what, there's a lot to do.

house maintenance    charlie    catstuff   

      Tuesday, August 15, 2023

11:32 AM - 08/15/2023

The topic: Back from the vet with Charlie.

It's been a busy couple of weeks here at the cathouse. We had the hot water leak over the hallway closet, took a day to get it fixed (one of those things where when you do it yourself, you keep realizing that you don't have something you need to take care of it), then a week to dry it out. Damp Rid, dehumidifier, fan, keeping the door open a crack for air circulation...

All of the stuff in there was put on the clothesline the night we noticed it (that sure came in handy) and I washed all of the hanging jackets after they'd dried out. Mom's minks didn't fare so well, hopefully, they'll still be useable for wildlife rehab.

I washed my wash towels and the front loader's filter was plugged and that had to be taken care of because the machine wouldn't run. Something that's supposed to be done every two months, well, it's probably been two years, and the plug didn't want to come out, and then, when it was taken out and the filter cleaned, it didn't go back tight enough and it leaked. Under the machine. Boo. That one load of laundry took over five hours to finish. And since I do laundry on the weekend because of cheap electricity until two in the afternoon, I didn't get as much done as I'd hoped to.

Then my laptop was getting slower and slower, I was spending more time getting it running than actually getting any work done on it, so there's another week gone (new laptop is arriving today).
And then there's Charlie. Last May he was diagnosed with kidney failure and problem teeth. The vet didn't seem really concerned at the time about the teeth.

Brian feeds the cats in the morning. Since Charlie has taken up residence in the laundry room on top of the washer or dryer, Brian feeds him at night, as well. In the past month or so, I've heard Brian's frustration with Charlie's reluctance to eat, no matter what it was.

Well, a week ago last Sunday, I watched Charlie eat. Mouth problem, a definite mouth problem. To try to get him to eat something (he was avoiding all food), I started putting baby food on his front legs and paws and he would lick it off. That worked.

And we started giving him 100cc of lactated ringers every night because he was dehydrated. That helped a lot.

All of last week I tried to get him to eat this or that (well over two hundred bucks worth of food and smooshy treats). And what he would eat was Hill's A/D and turkey or chicken Gerber's baby food.
The other food won't go to waste, there's always some cat who's willing to eat it.

Anyway, we started to smell a horrible, nasty smell in the laundry room. Brian thought it was the baby food on Charlie's paws that he hadn't cleaned off. I thought maybe it was residual from the water from the filter. It only took a couple of days to realize it was coming from Charlie. Charlie's mouth to be precise.

And Sunday, I noticed his right cheek was puffy and he was drooling. My first thought was a tooth abscess. My second thought was cancer. We've dealt with both. Katie (cancer) and Richie (bad teeth). I didn't remember Katie stinking, but I did remember the vet calling Richie's breath "blood breath".

Anyway, we're home with Clavamox, twice a day for two weeks. If we're lucky, that should take care of the problem. If it doesn't, we're most likely looking at cancer. But the vet believes it's an abscess and the antibiotics should help.

And now, I wait for my new laptop to arrive.

Charlie found a new spot, the boxes from yesterday's Costco trip, still on the kitchen floor. Taken a few minutes ago.

new laptop    charlie   

      Thursday, August 17, 2023

06:28 AM - 08/17/2023

The topic: Science, medication, amazing!

I am amazed that the meds for Charlie are working so quickly. Usually, it takes over three days to show improvement, but he ate a full can of A/D yesterday and a jar of baby food.

This morning he actually ate a few treats (I didn't give him too many because I didn't want him to hurt his mouth worse). I like when cats who've quit eating start to anticipate food.

The puffiness in his face is down, he's not drooling, his legs are getting cleaner (since he's not drooling and he is grooming) and he doesn't stink.

Twelve days of meds (Clavamox) to go!

charlie    catstuff   

      Wednesday, August 30, 2023

02:16 PM - 08/30/2023

The topic: Latest Charlie news

Charlie had some sort of episode this past weekend. Most likely Saturday night/Sunday morning. He wasn't in his regular spot Sunday morning and there were places in the house that looked like some kitty was trying to climb (things knocked over).

He finally came out and looked like he always did. I was a little concerned, but not overly. Monday was a whole 'nother kettle of fish. I couldn't find him for hours in the morning, and when I did, he was all over the place. Pacing, nervous, even a little disoriented. His breathing was double what it should have been, his ears were on fire and have been very sensitive, as were his paw pads.

He settled down in the living room and I kept checking on him. At one point he was in the litter box, lying on his side (images of Chloe flew through my mind). I picked him out of there, set him down, and he quickly walked away. I followed him.

He tried to jump up onto the sofas and couldn't. I helped him up and he actually cuddled up next to me. He has never done this the entire time we've had him. When I'd try to move him, his body just vibrated. That's the only word I can think of that fits.

Very concerned at this point, I called the vet. There was only one doctor in and he was booked but would fit us in just to see if it was enough of an emergency to take him to an ER. Or we could do a drop-off the next day (Tuesday). We decided on the drop-off (which we hate doing) with the owner of the clinic. He WAS still eating and drinking, with no mouth breathing. Positive signs. If things got worse, then we would have headed off to the emergency clinic.

I got one of the cold packs we have for muscle problems, wrapped a towel around it, and placed it next to me on the sofa when he gave me enough room. I wiped him down with a wet cloth to help him cool down. He would stay there for a while, then move.

I stayed with him overnight (this hot weather certainly didn't help).

Tuesday morning, he was doing much better. His ears and pads were no longer hot and his breathing was normal. I called the vet to cancel the drop-off and asked to make an appointment. The receptionist said his vet (the clinic owner) was booked, but maybe they could do something for us. And yes, an appointment was made for this morning at ten.

He did have a fair-sized poop and as many of us know, texture and hardness mean something. Of course, I had to squeeze. The first little pebble was hard, but then things got better. I think he may have a problem with constipation. Another thing I mentioned to the vet.

When they took Charlie into the back for bloodwork, we heard horrible cat screams. It was heartbreaking. Then it happened a second time and Brian put his head in his hands and I thought he was going to cry.
Then a few minutes later they brought Charlie back into the examining room.

Something was said about the screaming. "Oh, that wasn't Charlie, he was no trouble at all. He was really sweet. We have two other cats who won't let us take them out of the cage. They've attacked a few of us.

"We haven't even touched them.

Talk about a wave of relief washing over us.

Bloodwork was done, and most of his values had gotten a tiny bit better since May. There was no problem with his ears (she cleaned them just in case), but she was concerned with the possibility that he may have a problem with blood clotting in the future. So, Brian just left to pick up a blood thinner (as a preventative measure). She felt that his bloodwork showed that this wouldn't be a problem for him.

So, still on the phosphate binder (the only value that went up, we'd stopped that when he quit eating). Lactulose for the stool issue. Since he's eating again, we can cut back on the subQs to twice a week instead of every day. And the blood thinner.

Oh, and he gained almost a pound (6.3 to 7.2) in the two weeks since we took him in for his teeth. She was really happy with that.

So, how has your week been?

charlie    catstuff    blood thinner   

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lisaviolet is seventy 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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