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Monday, April 30, 2012

Friday, April 27, 2012

Twygal's last day

Twygal on Wednesday: she didn't like her trip outside
Friday morning Dr. Tammy will be helping Twygal escape her suffering. But I’m afraid she has already left the fold in part.

It has been a difficult week because Twygal has continued to eat, drink, and even play despite the growing lump on her face. However, on Wednesday she stopped eating. On Thursday she became very grumpy, refusing even to be petted. She has always been a very sensitive cat and I’ve had to tread lightly with her emotions and moods but that’s just a part of her wonderful personality.

Thursday evening she started bleeding from her mouth and nose again and she’s having even more difficulty breathing. I’m just comforted that she will still sleep on top of me in bed. That is, as long as I don’t touch her.

I worried about her last moments because she always gets very stressed when I take her to the clinic. I don’t want her passing to be so traumatic for her, though it definitely will be for me. To make her transition a little less stressful I will be giving her a light sedative before leaving home.

Though they were never friends in life perhaps Twygal will join with Bluebird and Rainbow and romp happily in heaven.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Twygal's struggle

 This is a note to the Universe: enough all ready!

Isn’t enough that I just lost Rainbow last week? Hasn’t Twygal suffered enough with her colitis trouble? Do we really need any more?

Twygal’s “lump” has been slowly growing and pushing her face out of whack. Today she won’t eat very much and has been mostly quiet all day. Last night she really got to me when she found Rainbow’s little cubbyhole and hid there for part of the night. Now, just now, she started bleeding from both her mouth and her nose.
When I spoke to her vet on Saturday he gave me a list of things to watch for in order to make “the decision” in other words, euthanasia. One of the things was a decrease in appetite, which is always a bad sign. Another sign is blood from her nose or mouth.

I was hoping for a good night’s sleep tonight but now I’m sure I’ll be awake all night watching Twygal and hoping the bleeding stops. And I’m afraid I’ll be calling the vet first thing in the morning.

Have any of you ever had a cat with a nasal tumor? If so, did you treat it? How did it progress and did you have to make “the decision?”

Please keep Twygal in your thoughts tonight (if you see this before morning).

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Rainbow in the Sky

April 7, 1994 - April 15, 2012

Rainbow and Springtime

Isn’t amazing how things work out? Every spring, no matter what, the lilacs come out and every spring just as the blooms are fading along comes a rain or storm to wipe out the last vestiges of their aroma. Every spring a short window opens when we should be able to find morels, and every spring I struggle to fit into that window.

Every year people look for the robins to proclaim the arrival of spring and sometimes, like this year, they come early. I always thought their travels were related to the sun’s position but now I realize it is more the temperature that brings them north. However, we sometimes, many times, see robins in January. So perhaps we should wait until the redwing blackbirds show up in the highway ditches staking out their territory, and announcing their readiness for mates to welcome spring.
Turkey Vulture gathering - see on the fence posts?

As for me I wait until I see that first black feather friend soaring up above in search of prey to truly count the coming of spring. Turkey vultures are the true harbingers of springtime and all it means to a winter-weary world. Their funky red, wrinkled heads watch for the tiniest movement in the grasses, stoop to clearing the highways of road kill when necessary and dress the skies with their graceful ride upon the air.

Lando Calrissian
Like the elves from Middle Earth, my cats are drawn to the west it seems. Too many times I’ve seen its attraction pull them from my life. First it was Lando who wanted only to go, just go somewhere, anywhere, on his last day on earth. When I set him down outside for a bit of fresh air he headed west. What his eyes saw in that direction I’ll never know but west was the only thing he wanted at that moment.

Pixel, her brain wracked with cancer, alternated between twitching from seizures to circling directionless to heading west in the yard outside the vet school. She’d lost all control of her poor little body yet knew that she wanted to head west. Bluebird, thin and weak from the cancer in her body wandered the house but always ended up at the back door, the western door of the house. She’d never been outside in her life except in a carrier yet she knew she wanted to go west in her last days.

Rainbow as a baby
Now Rainbow, failing kidneys and drug influenced mind, heads west to that door as well. What is it she yearns to reach? What secret world awaits her in the end? Or is it a beginning? Will I see that day; will I see them again someday in the west? Is that how things work out?

I don’t like the phrase “the circle of life” because it includes death. Maybe we should talk instead of the cycle of life; a cycle in which we eventually head west, like the elves, to another world, a better world where we can spend eternity with those we love.

(As I write this Rainbow lies on my lap unable to walk or do much more than lift her head. Tomorrow I may have to help her head west if she doesn’t recover but for now we’re together praying for a miracle.)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Twygal and her "bump"

Twygal's bumpy face
Last night I finally had the pleasure of Twygal’s company on my lap for a bit. For a couple of weeks now she has been avoiding me because she fears that I may be trying to torture her in some way. You see, we are going through another medical “crisis” here.

Twygal started sneezing some weeks ago but it wasn’t severe and I was more concerned at the time with her lack of appetite so we didn’t really pay much attention to her sneezing. A couple of weeks later she had resumed eating but she was still sneezing, though again, not severely and with no discharge. One day, however, I was looking at her as she talked to me (she’s got to have some Siamese in her because she is always telling me about her day) and thought that her left eye looked different. I looked closer and realized that she had some swelling between her eyes that was affecting her left eye and left nostril.

I felt really bad at the time because I’d been concentrating so much on Rainbow’s trouble (see my posts here and here) that I may not have noticed Twygal’s swollen face. I’m sure that’s what was causing her to sneeze. But then it may not have been visible before. I mean, no one else noticed it either.

So, anyway, of the many things it could be infection was the easiest to treat. Dr. Adam suggested that we may need to take X-rays and maybe get an MRI in the future but the swelling and possible infection would only obscure anything else. We started her on a regimen of oral antibiotics and nasal drops. That is why she has been avoiding me. She is getting tired of the struggle we go through to administer those darn nasal drops. At her last visit to see Dr. Adam we decided to discontinue the drops as long as we didn’t see any discharge since it stressed her out so much.

And now, I can finally enjoy Twygal’s company without her being all stressed that I am going to do something unpleasant to her. Unfortunately her swelling has gotten worse. We have continued her oral antibiotic in hopes that the swelling is an infection that is coming to a head.
Twygal showing the blood from her nostril

After I took this picture and enlarged it on my computer I realized that she now has some blood coming from her left nostril. This could be a sign that an abscess is opening and starting to drain but it could also indicate something much worse – a tumor. The only way to determine that is to use an endoscope and look more closely into her nostril. But that would have to be done at Iowa State and I definitely can’t afford it. I really hate knowing that there is something out there but it is out of my reach – that I can’t give Twygal every chance to beat this, whatever it is.

Showing the swelling's effect on her left eye
Please pray with me that Twygal’s condition is not as serious as it appears. And keep her in your thoughts.

Have your cats ever had an infection or tumor of the face? How did it turn out? Also I’d like to hear about your experiences with multiple cats becoming ill at the same time. It really is quite draining to worry about Rainbow and Twygal, as well as Mewdy Blue who has decided he doesn’t like to eat anymore and Meadow who has a UTI! How do you cope?