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Thursday, 01/06/2005 - 10:18 AM PDT
The topic: It seems like it's been longer than a week

Thursday, January 6, 2005 My first entry of the new year. It really seems like my last entry was longer than a week ago. It hasn't been the funnest week of my life, I know that for sure.

In my last entry, I mentioned I was concerned about Annie. And rightly so. She wasn't any better Friday morning and I called my vet's office to see if I could get her in. "Well, why do you want to bring her in?" I reply "she's sick".

"Sorry, we're not seeing any sick animals today."

I thought she was kidding. She wasn't. It was a half day for them (New Year's Eve) and the vet didn't want any animals that might cut into their off time. So, no sick animals. Okay, what could I do? Since it had only been about twenty four hours that I was seriously concerned about her, I figured I'd give her another day. And if she wasn't better by Saturday morning, I'd take her to the same place we took Marco. I watched her closely all day Friday and although she drank a lot of water, she didn't eat. And nothing I put under her nose interested her. Nothing. Not junk cat food. Not people tuna. Not baby food, turkey or veal. Nothing. And her stool was really, really bad. Looked like water (not colored) and had chunks of pinky stuff that looked like bloody tissue. Really, really scary.

At 7:30 on New Year's Day, I took her to the emergency hospital (but they also have regular vet service during the day, it's only considered emergency after hours and on holidays, but there is always a vet on premises; they started this last November). When the vet came in (a very young looking woman, looked to be about fifteen, seriously) she checked Annie over. She couldn't find anything immediately wrong and Annie had a normal temperature. Annie was dehydrated, even though I'd been giving her subQ fluids for a couple of days. The vet advised that it would probably be best to let them keep Annie for a couple of days and get her rehydrated (using IV) and run at least one blood panel and do a urine test. The possible problems were liver (although there was no yellowing of Annie's tissues), kidneys and cancer (because of Annie's age, she's seventeen now) or some sort of bowel problem. Since it was a holiday, the blood wouldn't get sent out Saturday, but would be picked up on Sunday and the results should be back Monday. I watched her being carried out of the room, my heart breaking and the worry starting to grow, in the vet's arms. I made the deposit payment and left, on my way home to start the waiting.

I called each day, a couple of times to see if there was any improvement. While she hadn't vomited or had diarrhea since she was there, she still wasn't eating. There was a possibility that they might have to introduce nutrients into her IV line.

During this wait, Saturday afternoon, I watched Mystie in the litter box and her stool was almost identical to Annie's, except not so runny. Great. And Georgie started getting worse, having explosive bouts of diarrhea, nasty, brown and extremely messy. He had them in front of litter boxes. The laundry room, the hallway, the office, even Brian's bathroom. There had to be something going on here. Was it something that they got from things that washed into the yard from the recent rains? Mold spores? Just a plain old insididious cat flu virus? Was I going to have the same problem with the other cats? Would they all be hit as hard as Annie? And what about the kittens? Or DeeJay? I was hating it.

Well, Mystie was considerably better on Sunday. Not Georgie, but he did still show some appetite, so I figured I'd just see how it progressed with him. And on Monday, the vet called. Annie had started to eat. And the test results were in. Annie didn't have any sort of organ damage, she was in great shape. Especially for a cat her age. But there still could be cancer in her intestines, something the bloodwork didn't show. The vet suggested that Annie have an ultrasound, which most likely could be done that day. She put me on hold, checked the schedule and let me know it was doable that day. I said "okay". What could I say? If it was cancer, I wanted to know. The sooner we knew, the sooner we could take action. The vet would call me later in the day with results.

More waiting. I'm not good at waiting. I'm even worse at anticipating bad news. It sucks me dry. It wears me out. It emotionally drains me. I can't function. I try to keep busy, but I'm not always successful at drowning out my little head voice. The day drags on. Finally, in the early evening, I get the call. Annie is fine, no signs of anything bad. And the vet felt that Annie would probably be able to come home on Tuesday, if she kept eating and didn't vomit or have diarrhea. The vet got to the office at ten (there are multiple vets who work there) and she would call me after she'd evaluated Annie.

Finally, a little before noon, unable to wait any longer, I called. Annie was ready to come home. I was out the door. It took about forty-five minutes to get the bill settled up (seven hundred and seventy six dollars and change) and I was able to see Annie again. She was so small in the carrier. She cried all the way home. I think she was a little disoriented when I let her out. I had to do some running around with Brian and I hated leaving her so soon. I got home a couple of hours later and couldn't find her. She responded to my calling her, though, and she was behind the monitor. Her safe place from the other cats. They were all over her, curious about her ordeal, I guess.

Yesterday, I finally got smart and put a heating pad under her towel and bed. She's happy there, now, doing a lot more sleeping than she had Tuesday. She's warm and comfy and with any luck, this thing will be out of her system before too long.

Another thing that happened while I was gone Tuesday was not pleasant. When I walked into the door after running the errands with Brian, my olfactory senses were assaulted, and badly. It smelled like the litter boxes hadn't been cleaned in about two months. It was horrible. I tracked down the problem area and it was the kitchen. There was diarrhea all over the floor and more in the laundry room. I cleaned it up and washed both floors. And I looked to Georgie, thinking that it had to have been him. This wasn't good. This wasn't good at all. But whatever was going on with him, must have been expelled during that time, because he hasn't had stool like that since.

So, I'm hoping we're over the worst of it.

And then, to make my life just a little more interesting, I found the yarn that I had holding the cat door to the garage open, was on the floor. And about a foot of it is missing. I checked all of the cats, no one seemed any worse for the wear. Then I called my vet and asked what I should look for. If there was going to be a problem, I'd most likely have known it by then. There would be much vomiting. So, I guess I'm safe there, now all I have to do is hope everything passes like it should. And maybe the yarn is somewhere else and not in a cat.

I'll be so glad when Brian goes back to work on a regular basis. His routine is all messed up right now. Last month, his brother got sick, so didn't come to work for a couple of days. Then it was the holidays. Then, the transmission in his work truck broke (same one that broke last year, less than four thousand miles on the "new" one Ford installed) and that's out of commission. So, that's in the shop.

Then the weather. I don't remember the last time we had so much rain in such a short amount of time. We had all of that rain in October, now we're getting hit again. Don't get me wrong, I like the rain. But it's hard for Brian to work in it, since he works with glass.

He wanted to take advantage of the damp earth up at the property and do some disking last weekend. When I took Annie to the vet last Saturday, Brian left to go to the property. He was home early afternoon. He had a very bad day. He couldn't get the tractor started at all. And the wind had blown the trailer over about two feet, bending the jacks that kept it level. He brought it home. Sunday, he took it to his work shop so he could work on it out of the rain. He needs to fix more than the jacks. Since the Pines fire a couple of years ago, he's had a major mice problem. Before the fire, he'd brought it home and did some major insulating on the bottom, plugging up all of the entries that the mice were using. And he didn't have a mice problem until the fire went through and burned under the trailer, burning out all of the insulation. So, he had to get that fixed. And the door never was repaired (the fire burned out all of the insulation in that. And the furnace quit working last year. His clubhouse needs lots of work before he brings it back. He's hoping to get that done this coming weekend.

Right now, it's sunny outside with some high clouds. And the rains are supposed to be back tomorrow. And they're supposed to be around until sometime next week. There is much I want to get done today, and since I'm not worried about the cats, I should be able to get most of it done.


Then, when the rains come, I can sit in my rocking chair, read and watch the rain. Doesn't that sound restful?

Replies: 2 comments

I'm sorry the fur babies are sick, hope they all get better! At least you don't have to shovel rain :D I spent all day clearing our driveway and sidewalks, loads of fun :crazy:

Posted by Donna @ 01/06/2005 07:51 PM PDT

That is the saddest thing I have read in a long time. I so enjoy your diary, but my heart just broke with this entry. I don't know how you do it. I truly don't. I have 2 cats, and I am very lucky in that they are both young and healthy. I could not bear the worry that 19 cats much bring.

I pray that nobody tried to eat the yarn. I lost a cat once who swallowed a thread-wrapped rubber band. She passed the rubber. The thread killed her.


Posted by Charlotte Bridges @ 01/07/2005 10:16 AM PDT

lisaviolet is fifty 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.

January 2005

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