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Monday, July 03, 2000 I'm worried about Lola. She's eating okay and she really likes her catsip. But first thing for the past two mornings, she threw up. And yesterday morning, her inner eyelid was way up on left eye. She's peeing and pooping okay and this morning she went out back and stretched and scratched on the fence. But that eye bothers me. I called the vet's this morning and I'm taking her in at five. Yesterday morning, she also seemed really chilled. She got on my lap and I put a blanket over her. When I got up, I moved her a little, but kept the blanket on her. She slept for quite a while.

We had a visitor Friday night, at the cat food feeder. I haven't seen a possom in a while, I'm thinking the dogs behind us took care of those. :( Friday night, I looked out after I had fed the out front cats. I saw something eating at the dryfood feeders and I couldn't tell what it was. I got down on my hands and knees and looked out. It was a raccoon!! I'm worried that this raccoon is scaring the cats away. So, I go outside and shoo it away. It ran off. The same thing happened again Saturday night. I figured maybe if I got some dogfood and put it in a bowl at the side of the house, the raccoon would eat that. Nope. Last night, the raccoon was back, eating dry catfood. And it likes to clean itself in the fountain. Always splashes a bunch of water around. My mom said the raccoons won't hurt the cats, unless it feels threatened. I hope not.

Speaking of the outfront cats. I haven't seen Cleo in almost a week. She used to come over at various times during the day. Brian said he saw her Tuesday night. I hope she's okay. She had a little kitten she was bringing with her and I haven't seen it, either. I can only think that something happened to Cleo. I hope not. I really hope not. And Blue never came back. *sigh*

Brian left bright and early Saturday morning for the Sticks. I burned a CD and pretty much didn't do anything. I did lay out in the sun for about an hour and a half, after 3:30 (I find I don't get burned when I go out late). After I had our cats in and fed, I went outside to see if the raccoon was around. While I was out there, Brian's little friend Chuckie yelled out at me. "Where's Brian? Working late?" I didn't want to announce to the neighborhood that Brian was gone and Chuck came over and we stood out front and talked for a while. Chuck hasn't spent much time outside lately and Brian and I kind of joked that he was on restriction (his wife is always yelling at him). We really thought there was trouble in paradise. But Chuck said that they've been really busy with the kids and softball. Next weekend will be the last games of the season. It was after nine and Chuck's wife was still at a game with the kids. I told him about the raccoon and he thought that was pretty neat.

Anyway, when I came inside, Brian had called. The phone rang shortly after I got in the house. It was Brian. I told him that Chuck wasn't in trouble, had just been really busy. I asked Brian what he had for dinner and he said hamburgers on bread and canned peas. Canned peas? Yuck. Maybe with a roast, but definitely not with hamburgers. They had burgers again last night, but canned corn. Why not canned beans? I guess that's one thing he didn't stock. When we talked last night, he said that I might as well not bother coming up today. They haven't gotten as much done as they had planned on and I'm sure that Brian doesn't want to take time out to entertain me. Which is understandable. That's okay, because I am worried about Lola. I'd just as soon stay home with her.

After Brian told me about his dinner, I told him about mine. Saturday I had leftover chicken. The kind I bake with tomato sauce, lemon juice and basil. Serve it with buttered spagetti. I tried thawing it out in the microwave, but the stupid breaker went off. That's something Brian still has to fix. I ended up cooking it in a pot. But last night, last night's dinner was really nice. I had filet mignon and a salad. When we went to CostCo last week, I picked out a package of filets and we also got avocados. They were just ripening yesterday. I didn't have the salad, I had to go buy one. And I got mushrooms and some vinagrette dressing. And sunflower seeds (of course, not in the shell). I got the barbeque out (a little Weber Smokey Joe) and went in search of the briquets. I checked all of the containers and there were none to be found. I finally found a brand new bag at the side of the shop behind the compressor. Real fun. I dragged it out and used our briquet starter. It's a metal column with a little shelf and a wooden handle. You wad up newspaper and put it in the very bottom, then set the charcoal on top of the little shelf. Then, you start the newspaper on fire. It works really well. We haven't used fluid in years. So, when the briquets where going nicely, I dumped them into the grill. Then I got out a piece of meat and put it on and put the lid on the grill. After I had turned it over, I came in and got my salad ready, adding avocado, sunflower seeds and mushrooms. The salad was wonderful. And the meat was really nice and tender. Of course, I shared it with the cats. Lola ate quite a bit of it. I told Brian I thought about him when I was eating. *grin*

Well, Brian and I have one thing in common for this weekend. We both got sunburned. I went out too early and stayed to long at the pool yesterday. Ouch. I'm not going out today, that's for sure.

Later Well, the news wasn't terrible from the vet about Lola's eye. I've just heard so many stories of cancer in the head and my imagination ran with that. But, it turns out she has a scratch. I didn't think she'd had that kind of contact with any of the other cats, but I guess I'm wrong. The doctor once again told me how happy he was with how she took the chemo and how strong she is. He changed the protocol for the chemo treatment. She gets to have her oral treatment this week, which means I won't have to take her back in until the twelfth. I mentioned her throwing up and he wondered if it might be the prednisone. I told him when she gets the pred and when she throws up. There's a nine hour lag, so he said it wasn't the prednisone. All she pukes is bile, but he told me if she continues, to let him know. Now, I have eyedrops that she's to get three times a day. He was glad that I brought her in, because it's something that wouldn't have resolved on its own and she really doesn't need her system trying to fight off more than it is. And I also bought a couple of cans of Hill's A/D. It's supposed to be really tasty. She needs something to perk up her appetite. Her weight was down from last Friday. Not by much, but down. I don't like that.


Wednesday, July 05, 2000 I wonder what it would be like to have a cat with a severe problem that responded the way it *should*? Of course, I'm talking about Lola. Yesterday morning, I noticed that her left ear was really warm to the touch. I felt her right ear and it was fine. Her eye didn't appear to be doing any better. And she threw up bile again. She wasn't eating much and I hadn't seen her poop in a few days, but I had seen her pee. This morning, she peed, then she tried to poop, but nothing. She covered it anyway, because she's so wonderful. Knowing full well that she has less a chance at a full recovery if she doesn't eat, I went to the grocery store before seven this morning and picked up different meat flavors of baby food and got chicken livers and brown rice to cook up for her. She seemed to like the lamb with lamb gravy food, she ate almost two thirds of a jar. And she kept it down. At ten after eight this morning, I called the vet's office and made an appointment. I took her in at 9:30. The vet saw us right away. She had once again lost weight from her last visit (Monday at five). But her temperature was normal, which would indicate no system infection. Becky wrote down all of the symptoms I mentioned. The lack of appetite, the fact that Lola still was throwing up bile in the morning, the hot ear, the funky looking eye, no bowel movement.. So, the vet came in and we started talking. He felt her ears, first thing, because that was my initial question. He wiped stuff out of her ear and looked deeply down into it. She was obviously uncomfortable with this and was vocal about it. He saw nothing wrong. In either ear. He mentioned the fact that her left eye seemed to be droopy and at this point in time, he was feeling that it could be Horner's Syndrome, something to do with the nerves, which would explain the hot ear, the inner eyelid being up and the droopy eye. He said it was usually temporary. He said there's no known cause.

He felt her abdomen, which she didn't care for and said that she was a little constipated. He said there's really nothing terribly wrong with her, not on the examination he did. He gave her sub q fluids, a shot to stimulate her appetite, a shot of vitamin B6, and an anti nausea shot. He also sent me home with some regulin, to stop her nausea here at home. He told me to also start her on amoxicillan, just in case there's some sort of infection starting in her system. I was able to get her to eat some of the turkey baby food just a little while ago. She really seemed to like it, ate a half a jar. She's sleeping comfortably right now. And the vet wants me to call tomorrow to let him know how she's doing. If it's not better, he wants to check her out further. Like taking blood for blood tests. She doesn't like that, so he didn't try it today. And the only thing he charged me for today was the regulin and the sub qs. Every little bit helps, that's for sure.

So, let's see, what else has happened since Monday night? Oh, yeah, I think Ciara has a bladder infection. She's been licking herself pretty often and this morning, she peed on me in bed. That sure got my attention. I didn't yell, though, I just don't have the energy to be angry right now. I said "Ciara, was that you, honey? Why did you pee on me?" and got out of bed and washed my arm off. Luckily, she didn't actually get the bed, but she did get the top sheet which is in the washer right now. When I called in this morning to make Lola's appointment, I asked if I should bring her in or if I could just give her amoxi. Suzanne didn't want to say one way or the other, which I can understand. I just figured I'd ask the vet about it. My main concern was that when Lisa and Maggie have had their infections, they got baytril, which is a stronger antibiotic. The vet said to go ahead and try the amoxi. And if she doesn't get better, bring her in. Females aren't in as much immediate danger from bladder infections as males are.

Oh, yesterday the idiots behind the tree hating neighbor were setting off firecrackers which is illegal here. Now, I don't think this would bother me nearly as much as it does, if it didn't scare Buddy so badly. He actually starts to shiver. What we did last night and what I think we'll continue to do in the event of a thunderstorm or firecrackers, is I blocked off the kitchen into the rest of the house and brought both Buddy and Junior inside. They had food and water and were very well behaved. This way, Buddy can hear us and he knows he's safe. The cats, on the other hand, were astounded and amazed that the dogs were in the house. How dare we? It seemed that one by one, they checked the dogs out. Standing on the counter, they would look at the dogs, then at me, wide-eyed. "Mom, did you know that the dogs are in the house? Did you know that? What are they doing in the house, mom? They don't belong in here at all!! Mom! Mom! Are you listening to me, do you know who's in here?" Then they would look back at the dogs. It was pretty funny.

Brian got home about five thirty. He had called when he was leaving the sticks and dropped the bomb that we were having dinner at his mom's house. His sister is in town from New Mexico. It was late notice for me, I was having a pretty okay little holiday. I didn't want to leave the dogs because of the fireworks and I wanted to keep an eye on Lola. When he came in, he said he had already stopped and visited for about a half hour. He then asked what was for dinner, I said beans and filet. He got the barbeque going and that's what we had. Then he finished the salad that I had bought earlier. He was hongry.


Sunday, July 09, 2000 I've put off writing because I wanted to give you some good news about Lola. Unfortunately, I don't have any. She's still not eating.

Thursday, I had to go to the bank and I was pretty sure she pooped while I was gone. I checked the litter box when I got home and there was a stool in there that fit the constipation problem. Most of it was hard, but the end was soft and unformed. What happens with constipation is the feces starts to dry out in the cat's system. And that's what this was like.

I took her in again on Friday. Friday, when I watched her try to drink water. It was really strange. She's always seemed to have some sort of depth perception problem and she pats at the side of the bowl. Then, she sniffs the water, finally starting to lap. She did this Friday, but when she started to lap, she raised her head, still lapping, not getting any water. I described this to the doctor. I also printed out a sheet on the herb astragalus. Brian was going to pick up a bottle for me on his way back from the chiropractor. The doctor skimmed the sheets and said that it was fine with him. Anything that may help. The doctor ended up taking an x-ray, because there was the possibility that another tumor is growing. He also took blood, and tube fed her in the back. He also gave her fluids. While he was gone, the possibility of another tumor really frightened me. If she had one, she was much too weak to withstand another surgery. It wasn't an option. He came back into the room and her bloodwork wasn't too bad. Her white blood count (WBC) was low. Normal is 5000, her's was 3500. But he said he doesn't get worried about it unless it drops under 1000. He said he was glad that we didn't give her the cytoxin as had been originally planned. Her temperature was normal, he said that probably giving her the amoxi was helping fight off any infection she might have. Then, they brought the x-ray in. He held it up to the light, told Becky to shut the door. My heart dropped. He wanted this to be private. Bad news. But that wasn't it at all, he needed the door shut to make the room dark. *sigh* There was nothing wrong. No tumor. No problem with the surgery. No poop in the chute. He told me that this will be the worst it is. That she'll handle the treatments better as we go along. He said that the peak of the toxicity of the first chemo drug she got was seven day. So, she should start showing improvement. He said that he wanted me to bring her back in Saturday and again on Monday. He only charged me for the blood test, which was really nice.

When we got home, within an hour, she threw up all of the food she had fed. I called, they said to bring her back in Saturday anyway.

I stayed up keeping an eye on Lola for quite a while on Friday night. At around three in the morning, I went to bed. At five, I was rudely awakened by the feel of being urinated on. Ciara. All down my back. I quickly jumped out of bed and ran into the bathroom and grabbed a towel. I peeled back the sheets and mattress pad and put the towel between the mattress pad and the mattress. I'm easily washed, the mattress isn't. I wasn't very happy, to say the least. I went and laid down on the couch, going back to sleep. I had a feeling this wasn't going to be a very good day. Not off to an auspicious start. When I woke up, a little before seven, I gave Lola her morning medication. Brian slept in, still recovering from his overdoing it last weekend. After he finally got up and showered, I took my shower. Then it was time to go back to the vet.

The place wasn't busy. They took Lola into the back and fed her and gave her more fluids, more B6 and an additional shot of the anti-nausea drug. An hour and a half after we were home, she went outside and threw up. Now, I don't know how much they fed her, but I'm thinking that it was more that she lost. I'm hoping that some is staying with her. They also sent home three cans of A/D for me to give her. She spent most of the day stretched out on Brian. Yesterday afternoon, I fed her some with a syringe. I gave her between 12 and 15cc. This time, it was only an hour before she threw up. What I decided to try was to give her small amounts to start with. And gradually increase the amount I give her every two hours. Maybe little portions will stay down better. Last night, I gave her a little Nutrical. After two hours, she hadn't thrown up. I gave her a little more. After one am, I went to bed. At two, I was awakened by the sound of a cat throwing up. I jumped out of bed and raced to the tv room. It was her. And there were a couple of pieces of grass in the vomit, which was mostly bile. I'm hoping this is the reason she threw up. And she had been inside since before eight pm. So, it had taken at least six hours to bring this up. I petted her and reassured her that she was okay, that everything would be alright. She went back to sleep and I went to bed.

So, this morning, I started a log of how much I fed her and at what time. She got 6cc of warmed up A/D at 6:55. It's now 7:52. She's sleeping soundly, it looks like, in a basket under a doubled up towel. I'm praying that she keeps this batch down. She is so darned weak. She walks and is having a hard time standing up. I'm so scared for her. There's no reason, beyond the chemo, for her to be throwing up. If we get past this, I'm sure we'll be doing okay.

One bit of good news. Cleo is back. I saw her Tuesday night. I haven't seen her kitten, though. That's not good. And I don't think the raccoon had been around, either. The last time I know it was here was the morning that the fountain was such a big mess. But the other cats are coming back in full force.


Monday, July 10, 2000 Well, it's after four pm. I have some good Lola news. She's still alive. The bad news is she isn't home. She's at the vet's, where she will be all night. I'm supposed to call tomorrow morning to see if she's okay to come home.

Recall last week I mentioned her problems pooping. That's important here.

After my entry yesterday, I did a little housecleaning and watched Lola closely. She kept her morning food down and at 9:55 I gave her an amoxicillan pill. At 10:55, I gave her 6cc of A/D with 2 drops of astralagus in it. Her inner eyelid was looking much better. She slept quite a bit. At 12:15, she went outside and peed. Then she tried to poop, and in doing so, threw up. Not a good sign. She kept moving around the area, looking for another place to go. She strained again and pushed out another little turd. That was it. At 12:40, I gave her the anti-nausea pill. At 1:05, I gave her 6cc of A/D. She was nervous for the remainder of the day. Going from place to place, sitting down and taking short naps. She'd then get up and start pacing again. At 4:25, she threw up again. I saw part of the pill I had given her. She pooped again, another small turd. The vomit was projectile. She tried continously for the next hour to defecate. At 5:05, I gave her 6cc of water. Because she kept trying to poop, I called the vet at 5:35 and left a message about my concern for the obvious problem she was having. Five minutes later, she was on Brian's lap. At 6:10 I gave her the anti-nausea pill and twenty minutes later, I gave her 20cc of food. It was a mixture of water, A/D and a little cow's milk, to help soften the stool. The vet had never called back.

At 8:45, I gave her the amoxicillan and prednisone. At 10:30, she threw up. And she spent the next couple of hours, trying to defecate. At one point, she was able to pass some very runny stool. Not a good sign at all. This is what I was told about when DeeJay had his megacolon. That sometimes the hard stool will stay inside and very liquid feces pushes around it. At 12:30, I decided I needed to sleep. I had been following Lola around, trying to make her comfortable since 10:45. I gave it over to God (I actually said "you're in God's hands now, I need to sleep") and went to bed. A little after four in the morning there was some sort of feline right of way dispute in the house and woke both Brian and me up. I got up to check on Lola. I couldn't find her anywhere in the normal places where she rests. I turned on the garage light, looking for her. Panicked, I started calling her. Brian called back from the bedroom "I think she's in here". And she was. Sometime during the night, she had gone into the bedroom and crawled under the covers and snuggled up with Brian. She hadn't done that in years. God did good. I went back to bed and the rest of the cats followed. Afraid that they would step on Lola, I went back to sleep on the couch. The cats followed.

Tired, I finally got up a little after six. I decided to let Lola stay where she was, not worry about feeding her or medicating her. She was sleeping and she needs the rest. Brian got out of bed a little before seven and Lola stayed in her spot. For some reason, I had been told to call before I went in. I called about ten and talked to Charlene. I told her what had been going on with Lola and told her I'd be there in twenty minutes. There was very little waiting once I was in the door.

The doctor came in and felt her abdomen. He did a cursory examination of her, remarking on how good her eye looked (the inner eyelid is back where it belongs). And she's constipated. He wanted to keep her there for a couple of hours and give her an enema to remove the stool. I said sure. I asked how much I was supposed to be feeding her, that no one told me. He said 48cc a day. I had only given her about 30cc the day before. But I think that would have just made her problem worse. I was told they would call me when she was done. Not having heard from them by four, I called. Suzanne answered the phone and went to check on Lola. She came back on and told me the doc wanted to talk to me, he'd be right on. I hate the waiting, my imagination runs wild. He came on and said that they had gotten ninety percent of the crap out of her, but she still had one very hard little nugget up high in her. He wants to keep her overnight to make sure that she's hydrated (dehydration can lead to shock, that's why it's so important to watch your cat's water intake). He said that he did a CBC and that everything is up where it belongs (good news). He also said that the stool was in the colon, past the point of her surgery. So, I'm supposed to call tomorrow to see how she did. I can understand the constipation being at the bottom of her not eating, especially when it's as bad as it was.

So, hopefully tonight, I'll be able to sleep better than I have since they found the cancer. And Lola will be home tomorrow, ready to eat and drink once again. Brian hopes that she starts getting better. I can tell that he's thinking of Bobby. I told him I bet she gets alot better, once she's not full of feces. Heck, haven't we all been constipated at one time or another (more often as we get older)? And you know how miserable you feel. Well, imagine Lola, fresh from intestinal surgery, then not being able to clear yourself out? And people keep forcing you to eat? Yeah, I think she'll be doing much better after she's cleaned out.


Tuesday, July 11, 2000 *tears*

Lola is home, but maybe not for long. The vet got her cleaned out and tube fed her. She threw it up. He said he took x-rays and can see nothing, no reason for her to be doing this. His best guess is that the cancer has already spread and that's why she can't keep the food down. She's home and I'll feed her here and medicate her here, but she can't go on if she keeps losing ounces a day. So, barring a miracle, she won't be with us much longer.

I'm going to go be with her now.


Wednesday, July 12, 2000 First, I'd like to share something a little on the light side. When Lola was at the vet's on Monday night, I had a good night's sleep in bed. I didn't wake up too many times. At around four in the morning, both Brian and I were awakened by the sound of something being knocked over, followed by a very, very familiar sound. But I couldn't place it. I asked "what is that?" and Brian said "it's a toilet flushing". The reason I didn't place it was that both of the toilet flushers were in bed at the time. I got up and went into my bathroom. Sure enough, my toilet had been flushed. Now, I'm sure we've all known a cat at one time or another who covered everything stinky. Whether or not the stinky thing came from that cat. Ciara is such a kitty. Now, we always keep our toilet seat lids down. If they weren't meant to be down, why do they come with them? It's just something both Brian and I have always done, even before we knew each other. It was a good habit to have, especially when we have so many cats. I turned on my bathroom light and Ciara was on the floor. I looked at the toilet and some cat had sprayed the toilet tank. I think Miss Ciara got up there, smelled it and started to cover. In her reachings, she grabbed the toilet handle and pulled down. *grin*

Now, onto Lola. She did well last night. She really enjoyed walking around the yard yesterday afternoon. She did poop a little, which was very runny. I'm feeding her 6cc of A/C every two hours. She didn't throw up last night, after two feedings. After I got her inside for the night, she went into the bedroom, up onto the bed and went under the comforter when I held it up for her. That was a little after seven. She stayed there all night. I even got a little purr out of her. Since she was on my side of the bed, I slept on the couch.

I fed her at ten to six this morning and put her back in bed. I fed her again at 7:55. I had put her in bed and she got out. She went outside and pooped a little, then threw up what I had fed her not ten minutes before. She walked down by the pool, trying to poop again. She rubbed her butt on the bark and I know that had to hurt. I brought her in the house and moistened a towel with warm water and wiped her off. Then I gave her the appetite stimulant and the anti-nausea pill. She walked around a little, then went back into the bedroom and under the cover. I gave her another 6cc of A/C at 8:45. It's now 9:22 and she seems to be comfortable.

I can imagine how she feels right now. She has no body fat and was in an air conditioned office for over twenty four hours, much of that with a nasty wet butt from the enema. I can imagine how tired she must be. Not just from the vet's visit, but the past week of not being able to potty. The constant pacing, trying to get comfortable. Well, now she is.

It's a good sign that she's pooping. Since she had been cleaned out yesterday, with no stool in her, what she did last night and this morning is from what I've fed her. That means she is getting some nutrition. I'm worried about her water intake, though. The few times I've given her water, she did throw it back up. As a matter of fact, I gave her a little this morning after I fed her at 7:55, the time she puked. But I don't really feel like that was why she wasn't able to get the food down. I think because she had to both pee and poop, her system was just overloaded.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed. "Hope for the best, prepare for the worst" I guess is my state of mind right now. I can't help but feel that her latest problems stem from the chemo. She was doing so well before that first treatment.

I cut the catnip way back yesterday. Now, it can start growing up again. I hope it flowers again this year. I put all of the stuff I cut into the exercise room. Man, what a smell as you walk by, even though the door is shut. The cats are a little confused about all that shade being gone. But it should be back before too long.

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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.

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