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HAPPY BIRFDAY [profile] disgruntledgrrl!!



So, the big news for today is (dun dun DUNNNN...) the annual vet trip!

First off, mucho thankies to all who donated funds! There was enough money from that and Mom's direct donation that they all are current on their shots and such, that Minerva has enough insulin to get her to about Christmas, and I have just over $10 left over to apply to Minerva's glucose checks. Because of everything going on with Rocky's and then Minerva's diabetes, there was just...nothing left financially. And now? Now, I was able to afford the latest ampule of insulin and get them to the vet in a timely manner (meaning, about the same time as last year) for them to remain current on shots, which means this year, they finally got a 3-year rabies vaccination instead of just a one-year shot.

If I ever get out of debt and have this thing called "disposable income," I shall pay it forward...

Anyway, back to the vet visit... Rocky is doing well. He's at 22.2 pounds, which, for his size, is a little overweight, but not by as much as it sounds, as he is a Big Cat. And they're okay with him having a little extra weight; if his diabetes flares up and he doesn't eat for a day or two, he'll still be okay, instead of, say, shutting down his liver. Heart, lungs, eyes, teeth, ears... Everything else is excellent! Perfect for a cat in remission. He does have allergies and dry skin, which they can't give him anything for, as he's steroid-allergic, meaning, a steroid would send him into a diabetic spike. But otherwise, he's a big, healthy, happy kitty in diabetic remission, which we'll ride for as long as we can.

Riffy is also doing well for an 11-year-old cat. His ear crusties were gone this morning, but I still mentioned it to Doc McHarg, who had done the original partial ear removal and biopsy. She said that if it went away, resolved on its own, then yeah, it's an inflammation issue and not a skin cancer issue. (For the new people: Riffy is all-white, and two years ago, there were crusty scabs on one ear that looked like the skin cancer which eventually led to the demise of another all-white cat we'd had, GiGi. Doc McHarg (nee' Boone) had just started working up there, and indeed, that was the same day I had to bring YoYo up to help him cross the Rainbow Bridge. After assisting with that, she removed part of Riffy's ear, in case it was cancer, to try to halt its spread. Fortunately, it wasn't any squamous carcinoma; just irritation. And she did a good enough job on the surgery that, for the most part, you can't really tell he'd had part of his ear removed. So anyway, yeah, that issue is resolved. He was at 16.2 pounds, which is what he was at last year, so, he's maintaining his weight, which is another sign of good health. Riffy, overall, is almost as big as Rocky, and a little leaner. Dr. Shlusseil once commented that I tend to have big cats, and said it in a way indicating this was a good thing for the cats. His heart murmur was the same - no better, no worse; just stable. As he's asymptomatic - no panting or rapid breathing - this is relegated to, "Be aware of this, but most likely, it's nothing to worry about." Otherwise, he, too, is in excellent health, especially for an 11-year-old.

So, I have three wonderful, healthy cats, despite diabetes and heart murmurs. I am glad to have all three of them in my life, and I am proud to be their "daddy" and their "hoomin." And I look forward to getting them all to enjoy each others' company when we move.

See, both Rocky and Riffy were out of their carriers at the vet. And yeah, they hissed at each other, and Rocky grumbled. But Riffy was out first, and he stuck his head into Rocky's carrier when I was trying to get Rocky out. They would periodically check each other out, then hiss, then sit next to each other and pointedly ignore each other. But no attacking. No swatting or other dominance issues. They kind of acted how I'd expect "normal" new cats to act during an introduction.



Of course, when I got home, I opened the carriers, they came out, hissed at each other, and Rocky went to get a drink of water while Riffy slinked up the stairs. Rocky then went up, hissed at Riffy, then went down the hallway and sat outside my room while I let Riffy back into Mom and Rich's room.

Right now, the hope is that in the new house, with no established territories, they will all get over themselves, stake out new territories and shared territories, and finally get along. Mom has also said that she and Rich, in addition to getting a new, bigger cage for Yoda, are also planning to get a few cat trees for the cats, including a BIG one for the basement, and maybe a few window perches.

At the vet, they recommended getting some Feliway for when we actually move to help calm them all down a bit.

On an aside... One of the things that is so frustrating is how similar Rocky and Riffy are. In temperament, in helpfulness, in intelligence, in caring, in curiosity... Rocky is a little louder, but Riffy's a "talker," too. As is Minerva, once she warms up to someone. They're all very sweet cats, and I'd love to see them all get along and express that sweetness towards each other by cuddling when it's cold out or tag-teaming caring for one of us when we're sick, and so on. I want them all to not be confined or restricted from each other's part of the house and to instead enjoy the big house we're going to, enjoy each other's company, and have full lives.

Anyway, shortly after I got back from the vet, I had lunch, puttered around for awhile, watched some TV, then ended up taking a nap. Things like this take an emotional toll on me. I napped for a good three and a half hours. But now? Time for dinner, then going dancing for a bit. I kind of need it tonight...

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This may be old news for those of you on Facebook, but... Rocky had a glucose check tonight. 92. It's been a little over a week since he last had an insulin shot. So, his diabetes is gone. Gone!

It was September 7 that I took him in because he hadn't eaten for two days and he wasn't acting himself, and he was in the middle of a metabolic crash and reaction to the steroid he was on. A few more hours, and he might have died. Instead, he's not only lived, but made a full recovery! I am...still processing all this. So, I'm not sure how I feel. Well, I feel happy and relieved, obviously. But the emotional impact of this, along with the passing of TomTom at the beginning of the summer and YoYo at the end of the summer... I oscillate from feeling like a good pet parent to feeling like a really crummy and ineffectual pet parent.

I'm not entirely out of the woods, though. I still owe over $500 for all of Rocky's care. Though... I should maybe see about selling some of that food back. Not sure if I want to try to sell back the insulin and syringes, or maybe just donate them to a local shelter. If the bill was paid, I'd be more insistent on donation.

I'm thinking that, at some point, I should write a thank-you letter to Lantana. The end-of-life care TomTom and YoYo received was excellent, and helping Rocky recover has bordered on miraculous. Though...I'd like to think a contributing factor to Rocky's recovery is that he is generally happy and has a sense of purpose.

Also? Thank YOU for all of your comments and support. It's appreciated. By both me and Rocky. Hopefully, though, we won't need much more for awhile and we can go back to being the supporters and such.

On a final note... His neck is continuing to heal, so, he's discharged. Doesn't need to go back unless there's a problem. Or when he's due for annual shots. As for the allergies and hair pulling? They sent me home with a shampoo for him to reduce skin irritation/itchiness. So at some point, I'll have to at least attempt to give him a bath. It's been wonderful knowing you all...
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Well, Caturday morning, anyway...

Rocky had another glucose check this morning. 109. So, he's still off insulin. He'll have another recheck on Thursday. But, it looks like the diabetes has been resolved.

I asked Dr. Emslie just how close he was... How sick he was when I first brought him in three weeks ago. She said that considering she had to put a feeding tube in him, how jaundiced he was the next day, how aggressive they had to treat him... It was close. As in, a matter of hours would have made the difference. He was pretty sick, and it's kind of amazing at how complete his recovery has been.

I'm...still mourning TomTom. And yes, he was old (almost 16), and he was slammed with a pretty nasty GI disease that was...just a little more than his body could handle. YoYo, at almost 17, just simply slipped away. Though he lived 8 years with a managed UT condition. Rocky isn't even 7 yet, and he's come so far since we first got him. He's learned to trust again, to settle down, and he's actually quite affectionate, and...just wants to play. TomTom was critical to Rocky settling down and reducing his aggression. And Rocky is stepping up to the plate in taking up TomTom's household management duties. TomTom could never be replaced, nor could any cat; but Rocky has taken up the duty, taken over the "chore" of managing the "hoomin." And...it would have really, really sucked if I'd lost him, too, this summer.

Rocky...lost his mentor, TomTom, at the beginning of the summer, then lost YoYo at the end of the summer. Then he had a tumor removed, and then had a severe reaction to the steroid he was on to help his face heal. In the last three weeks, he's been hospitalized, with a feeding tube and IV, been poked and prodded constantly, had to have glucose tests and insulin shots, had liquids shoved down his throat, had sutures replace the feeding tube, and had to have those sutures replaced (several times, because he kept removing them himself)... Yet, he still sits with me on the couch, putting a paw on my hand or leg. He still head-butts me to wake me up. He still purrs and follows me around. Well, he follows me around when he's pretty sure we're not about to go to the vet...

Rocky's a pretty awesome cat now in his own right. I'm just...glad I know him well enough to know that something was Not Right and got him to the vet in time.

Comics )
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First, an acknowledgment of the passing of Neil Armstrong: the first human to set foot on the lunar surface. If the rest of humanity had just half the balls he had, trips to the moon would be commonplace now.

Housework wise... I managed to get the grass cut. It can now rain. Slowly whacking away at other things.

But the biggest point of today was the vet trip. On the bright side, no one had to be euthanized or anything, which is always a plus.

Today's trip consisted of Rocky and Minerva. Rocky, who had managed to get his cone off yesterday while I was at work, was there for a re-check and for suture removal. Minerva was there for annual check-up and shots.

Now, even though I had them secured, both front...


...and back...


...Minerva managed to break out of her carrier. Thing is, she pissed in her carrier. I think she got scared, terrified, and just...let go. And managed to get enough flex around the door to pop it out of its posts and get it open. Fortunately, she ran to the passenger side, where the window motor is dead and the window is thus up, to make her announcement that she was out of her carrier. At which point I put up the driver side window and double checked the sunroof, which was popped open. Fortunately, not enough clearance for her to be able to get through.

Yeah, nothing like traveling at 50mph in Hockessin with soccer moms and spoiled brats trying to run me off the road because I have an older car, and then having an in-flight emergency like that. Thankfully, Cammie was up for it.

So, I got to Lantana, parked the car, shut off the engine, and managed to grab Minerva before opening the door. I took her straight in to the vet, explained why she was not in a carrier and such, and they weighed her and put her in a room while I went to get Rocky. First, though, I dumped the pee out of the carrier and took that and Rocky in to the vet. I asked one of the techs if they had a deep sink or something I could use to clean out the carrier, and the tech just smiled and took the carrier and washed it out for me.

So, Dr. Lon came in and checked Rocky. Basically, his being cone-less wasn't anything to worry about, and all he had managed to do was scratch off some of the scabbing. So, Dr. Lon removed the sutures and, well, Rocky hadn't healed all the way. Dr. Lon removed a small bit of matter that was either inflammation or a small bit of tumor he may have missed, then re-sutured Rocky with a different type of suture, since it seems Rocky may have reacted to the nylon sutures, which are one of the most un-reactive sutures, but, yeah. Rocky, meanwhile, got another cone. Just to be on the safe side. Also, with the cone, and given his size, Dr. Lon lent me a larger carrier for him.

Minerva, meanwhile, got all her shots and is a little overweight, but otherwise healthy. One of the techs (nurses?) took her back and cleaned her up from her mess in the car. They also trimmed her claws and toenails, which Minerva loved. She started kneading, acting like she was at the spa. And purring up a storm.

Obviously, unspoiled and neglected...


Dr. Boon took care of Minerva. She also told me she'd gotten Riffy's biopsy results... Not cancer! Yup, he isn't suffering from the curse of white cats to be prone to skin cancer. At least, not yet. Dr. Boon's supposed to get back to me next week as to whether he should have some sort of sunscreen. But anyway, he's got some sort of aggressive irritation there that could be allergies or could be some sort of auto-immune thing. I was a bit ambivalent at the news, grateful that it wasn't cancer, but feeling like I'd had his ear mutilated for no reason. However, Dr. Boon said that the irritation was such that they would have had to take that part of his ear anyway to (1) figure out what was going on via biopsy and (2) treat that area of irritation. So, I feel less bad about it. Also, since she did a good job with the shaping, he just looks like he has one ear smaller than the other, and once the fur grows back, it should be even less noticeable.

Anyway, other than face drops, ear drops, and recheck appointments, this is the first time in a long while that I haven't been so worried about my furkids.

Oh, and the trip home was uneventful. But Minerva has been hiding, probably exhausted from her shots and from her adventure. Rocky's been a little on the groggy side, what with being anesthetized and such for his sutures. Riffy just doesn't like the coldness of his ear drops, but, he's still pretty good about taking them. I sat with him for a little bit after medicating him tonight and he was rubbing against me. I think that was his way of saying that he knows I still care about him and am trying to be a good kitty father and that he appreciates it.

As far as Riffy, Rocky, and Minerva are concerned, the next thing is getting Riffy and Rocky all treated and suture-free and such. Then maybe try to figure out what they're allergic to. I doubt it's food. Might be a plant or seasonal or maybe we need to change the HVAC filters more often. Once a month even though the filters are rated for three months. Lastly, I want to redouble my efforts to get these guys together, despite the fact that such interaction may be as dangerous as crossing the streams. I...may need to purchase some baby gates as a start to all that. These guys...need to get over themselves and such and allow themselves the company of each other and the resultant full lives like what TomTom and YoYo had that they deserve.

Also... Talked with Dr. Boon a bit about Rocky's aggressive past, and she said that it's sometimes hard to retrain cats that had been through what he'd been through. But given how relaxed and non-bitey he is nowadays, I must have done something right somewhere. He may hiss and growl and complain while I'm putting him in the carrier or taking him off a table or away from somewhere he's not supposed to be, but he doesn't bite. At most, he will nip lightly, but even that is going away.

Watched a little bit of Jackson Galaxy's My Cat From Hell on Animal Planet tonight... I have to say, whenever I feel like I'm not such a good kitty parent, I just have to watch that show, and I see where I'm certainly not the worst one out there.

Eh, it is what it is, I suppose.

Comics )
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