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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Prayers for Drive By (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Prayers for Drive By
Noemon
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I'm glad she's eating, Tatiana. I'll be continuing to think of her. You wouldn't happen to have any pictures of her posted anywhere, would you?
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Tatiana
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I have many pictures of her! I will post some now and link you. That's a great idea!

Here is a small one that I have used as an avatar. The problem with recent Drive By pics (taken on my cell phone camera) is that she pretty much shows up as a black hole in those. I have some earlier ones that I took on Bernard's real camera, though.

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Tatiana
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She likes to sit on top of warm things.

Especially the monitor but also her heating pad on the bed. She's very affectionate and likes to lick my hand and face.

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King of Men
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About the title : Perhaps you'd better not tell the cat it's being prayed for, that apparently makes things worse.
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Tatiana
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KoM, go away from this thread, please.
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Tatiana
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She stands like a kangaroo sometimes because of the crooked paw, but also enjoys curling up by herself or with a friend.
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calaban
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[Smile] She's a cutie. I'm glad Drive By doing better and I hope she defies the doctors diagnosis.
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Tatiana
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Alas, the pictures don't convey her cuteness very well, because she is leery of anything unusual, including cameras. So mostly her expression says "What the...? Keep that thing away from me!" when you take her picture. [Smile]

Alas, last night she had diarrhea (first time in her life) and lost her appetite. She barely ate from the last feeding I gave her before bedtime. Now this morning she hasn't shown any interest at all in the first feeding of the day. I'm going to give her another hour or so, and at that point I'll have to decide whether to start forcing it down her. [Frown]

calaban, how is Kit?

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calaban
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Kit is very lethargic. Because I live in a canyon, he is a kitty that has been used to going outside. It was a rare week that we didn't find some half eaten morsel of a mouse or bird left on our doorstep for sharing. Now all he has the energy to do is sit on the porch in the sun.

We are giving him eye drops and antibiotics for his sinus cold, and continue to hydrate him with an IV. When he eats he vomits within a few hours.

It seems like the only time he has some fight in him is when we try and give him his medication. But as long as he has that fight I'm of the opinion he wants to stick around for a while.

The diagnosis is implied cancer of the lymph nodes, because there is no specific growth, nothing wrong with him except an inability to keep the little food he eats down, and a skewed red blood to white blood cell count.

Realistically, we will most likely have to make a decision to euthanise him at some point. I fear that most of the things were doing now are just to extend his life more or less unaturally.

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Tatiana
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I hope that Kit becomes able to eat, soon, and that his body conquers the cancer. I agree that the fight means they still want to live.

Drive By began eating again this morning, though a bit less than yesterday. She quit having the diarrhea, so I hope what she does eat is being absorbed. She still seems to be acting fairly normally, if not very active. But she's licking herself, purring and head-bumping me, and jumping down to go to the bathroom whenever she needs to. I put her food right up beside where she usually lies, so as to tempt her to eat as much as possible, and she's still going over and eating it every little while. So I still have hope that there's a chance she's going to be able to recover, but we shall see. It depends on a number of things over which we have little control. At least I'm not going to give up on her too early.

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Tatiana
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This afternoon, she's had more diarrhea, and her appetite seems to have left her, so it's not looking too good now. [Cry]
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calaban
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[Frown]
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breyerchic04
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Tatiana, cherish every moment you have with her, she's lived a long happy life thanks to you.

Rainbow Bridge

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Tatiana
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The tips of her ears are curling forward. I've never seen that before. I wonder what it means.

She perked up and ate a good bit tonight, so I'm not giving up on her yet. [Smile]

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Grisha
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yay!
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BGgurl
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Wow, she has some very expressive eyes.

Prayers for her [Smile]

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Tatiana
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Thanks, everyone! She's rallied again last night and this morning. Her appetite came back and she ate almost a whole 3 oz. can of catfood since 1 am, and so far it's stayed down. I gave her another one of a similar type this morning, so let's hope she keeps on the mend.
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Tatiana
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BGurl, she's got the crossed eye that is genetically prevalent among Siamese type cats. That and the crooked paw, and the fact that she's all black, must contribute to her magicalness. [Smile]

As you can see from the pictures, she also has the wedge shaped head, the small, lithe body, and the short hair. Her voice is like a Siamese as well. If Siamese in general are as lively, affectionate, intelligent, and bossy as her, then I can understand why they are so popular. She has so much personality! She's just a delight to have around. [Smile]

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Noemon
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[Smile] She seems like such a great cat, Tatiana; you can see that she's brimming with personality in those pictures. There is something about the shape of her head that makes me think of meerkats, somehow.

I'm continuing to think about her.

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Tatiana
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Thanks, Noemon! She had diarrhea again tonight. [Frown] I fed her some of the A/D catfood which is supposed to be really easy on their stomachs, and she seemed hungry for it despite the diarrhea. She's got to absorb this food, though, and not just eat it. She's not out of the woods yet.

Dr. George comes back tomorrow from being gone. I wonder if he can suggest something to help the diarrhea.

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Tatiana
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Dr. George and I exchanged lengthy messages today and I wanted to share something he said.

He said it's quite remarkable how well she is doing, and there is no medical reason for her to be doing as well as she is.

I didn't explain that all our hatrack prayers and well-wishes are the reason, but I expect that's what it is. Thanks again to everyone for listening, for caring, and for your thoughts and prayers. They make a real difference. I know they do for me, and I believe they do for her as well. [Smile]

Her appetite remains strong. Dr. George explained better to me why we need to give her amoxicillan, so I'm going to attempt that today. Wish me luck! I have to squirt two droppersful of this pink bubblegum tasting stuff (that cats loathe) down her throat and get her to swallow it. I expect we will manage to get most of it all over ourselves instead, and lose much of the goodwill and rapport that we currently have. But he convinced me that it's important so I suppose I'll try. Wish me luck! [Smile]

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Stray
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Good luck! Drive By sounds like a wonderful cat, I hope she pulls through this and you have many more wonderful years together.

I had to give amoxycillin to my foster kittens when they were only five days old, for a sinus infection. I expect that was much easier than a full-grown cat would have been, since they were too little to bite or scratch. Their mama wasn't too happy with me though, since three times a day I'd barge in there and make her babies cry (they start squalling whenever they're separated from the kitten pile for more than a second or two). But the last dose was on Saturday morning, so I hope they've all forgiven me now.

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Uprooted
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Good luck. That feeding cats medicine thing is definitely a learned art. My mother is really good at it; she has learned to get pills and liquid medicine down a cat without getting bitten or scratched or having it spit back out. Although sometimes when the cat fights her, it swallows down air or else the liquid goes down the wrong pipe and there's a lot of coughing or burping for a while.

Every time I see her do it, I think "I could never do that." So good for you for trying, and let us know how it goes!

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Tatiana
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First dose went down far too easily! Either she's lost some of her spunk or else I took her by surprise. I bet she gets less cooperative as time goes by, before hopefully settling down to accepting it. I'm supposed to keep it up for at least three weeks and possibly six. So I suppose we'll have time to get good at it, both of us! [Smile]

Uprooted, I believe what you say about the learned art. It's learned both by the cat and the human, I think. Kitty had to take a pill every day of her life, after age 12, and it was totally no big deal for either of us for most of that time (she lived to be 20). I would show her the pill and say "open" with my hands on either side of her mouth, then when she was ready she would open and I would pop it in and she'd swallow it. Brando, too, got really good at taking pills. Drive By hasn't had to yet, and she's particularly wild and stubborn, but I have no doubt that we can learn to get good at it in time. [Smile]

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Grisha
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I'm so glad to see she is doing well. She is still in my prayers, my mom even asks me occassionally how she's doing (though mom usually says Drive Thru).
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Tatiana
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Drive Thru [Smile] Tell your mom thanks for thinking of her! Your mother is so nice.

Grisha, she's doing much better, but she seems to have lost her excellent appetite she had for a while. This morning for first breakfast (we're on hobbit mealnames now) she barely touched her food. Similarly for the last four meals (supper, tea, dinner, and elevenses) yesterday.

On the other hand, she's perkier and more energetic than she has been. Right now she's drinking water, which is great but she should be eating first breakfast too. [Frown]

[ April 06, 2006, 06:05 AM: Message edited by: Tatiana ]

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Tatiana
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I wonder if the amoxicillan is what killed her appetite. Her loss of appetite seems to coincide pretty well with when I started giving her the amoxidrops. Dr. George seems sure that it should help the diarrhea instead of making things worse (and she hasn't had any diarrhea in a bit) but I know when I take oral antibiotics I usually get tummy upset.

Dr. George is so good, his impressions are probably far more accurate than mine, and he's treated a lot more very sick kitties than I have. On the other hand, I get exposed to more of the raw data (in the form of watching her day to day, interacting with her, etc.)

My feeling is that I need to trust him, contrary to what my own instincts are telling me. Decisions like this are so hard, when you know that the consequences of making less than optimum choices will likely mean she won't make it. I pray for guidance, for myself, Dr. George, and Drive By.

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Tatiana
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She didn't have much appetite all day long. [Frown]
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The Rabbit
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Anne Kate, It seems like a really good possibility that the amoxicillan killed her appetite. I would ask Dr. George about this specifically. Tell him that as soon as you restarted the anti-biotics, Drive By stopped eating again.

It's possible that the antibiotics are wiping out her healthy intestinal bacteria. I know this happens with humans. With human people, eating yogurt can help but I have know idea if cats have acidophillis as part of their healthy bacteria. They could, considering how much they like milk.

Maybe if you could coax her into eating some plain yogurt it would help.

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The Rabbit
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Buttermilk with live cultures can work too if Drive By doesn't like yogurt.
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Tatiana
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Okay, I will ask him.
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Tatiana
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I skipped her dose last night, and her appetite had returned this morning. Dr. George convinced me that we need to be giving her something, though. So I'll try it again. He did say that her eating is more important than anything right now, so that we will have to give her some antibiotics by injection if this amoxi becomes a problem.

She ate great this morning but now at lunchtime she isn't eating at all, and she looks like she feels worse too. [Frown]

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ClaudiaTherese
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Oh, Tatiana. [Frown]
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ludosti
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[Frown] I'm so sorry.

You've probably thought of this already, but have you asked Dr. George about a different antibiotic? Most of the antibiotics I've given my cats over the years have been that nasty bubblegum stuff, but last year when Bo had a tumor removed they had me give him an antibiotic that was not icky bubblegum antibiotic. I don't remember what kind it was (I'll see if I can find the paperwork from that surgery) but he took it without any problems!! I could give it to him by myself and didn't even need to hold him or pry his mouth open (he'd lick the dropper as I would slowly squeeze out the medicine for him).

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Noemon
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[Frown]

Hopefully she'll be back to where she was this morning soon. It'll probably help that you'll be home for the next few days, and will be able to devote more time to her (I know it would for Cat Friend, anyway, and she and Drive By seems to be fairly similar in temperament).

It's funny that Grisha's mom has a different name for her. My mom suggested Kitt'n Run as an alternate name, but hasn't taken to calling her that when she asks about her.

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Tatiana
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ludosti, if you can find out the name of that antibiotic, I will ask Dr. George about it.

The amoxicillan is the bubblegum stuff. Apparently that flavor is something human children like, but cats seem to find it particularly vile.

I think part of the problem comes from the fact that I'm having to force it down her. Because she's such a wild child, this has a lot worse effect on her than it has on any of my other cats. To her it's sort of like mom turning into her enemy and violently assaulting her twice a day. The others were tame enough that they approached it sort of as a child would, as something unpleasant that mom makes us do. I think the spiritual boost of knowing mom loves you and is on your side (and I try like mad to be sure she realizes that between doses) is of similar importance to the physical boost of not having a staph infection. If we could find a way to get both boosts at once, this might make all the difference.

I want to thank you all again for caring and for listening. It gives both of us a lot of heart for the struggle, knowing you are rooting for us. [Smile] <3 hatrack

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ClaudiaTherese
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The injection form of an antibiotic seems like an ideal solution.
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peterh
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Keep on, Keeping on Drive By!!!
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Tatiana
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Now she's off sitting in the niche of a cold hard bookshelf instead of on her warm comfortable bed. She went over there after I gave her her tonight's pill.

Please, God, tell her that I'm doing it to make her better! That I'm not wanting to scare or hurt her! [Cry]

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Tatiana
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Almost as soon as I posted that, she jumped down and came over and nuzzled me. I gave her the amoxicillan again just now, because Dr. George said her wound has some staph infection in it (the wound that appeared from nowhere on her side that will not heal) and that her immune system is shut down from malnutrition (or from the cushings, that wasn't clear).

And still last night and this morning she will not eat. She licked briefly at two spots on her food just now, probably getting less than 1cc. Just enough to determine the taste, actually. I may have to begin force feeding her today, if I judge that is the right thing to do. [Frown]

I wish I knew the optimum thing to do.

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ClaudiaTherese
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What a terribly difficult time for you,Tatiana. [Frown]
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Tatiana
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CT, you know how it is. She's my baby and I don't want to lose her if I can help it.

This morning as I awoke I had a vision of a large white cat (like 2 1/2 feet tall) standing on the bed beside Drive By and me. It was not frightening or ominous. It was just standing there quietly, watching us with understanding and intelligence. Perhaps it's her guardian angel cat, here to look after her. Or maybe I've been reading too much magical realism.

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ClaudiaTherese
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You know, if it hadn't been for you, I wouldn't have believed that I could learn to give and deal with giving daily insulin shots to my Minx. I was sure she'd never understand why I assaulted her and stuck pins in her, and it was agony to think of how I would let her down by not learning how to keep her alive.

Thank you very much for helping me. I think that if there is any great feline supernatural force, you are very beloved by it.

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Tatiana
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Yes, CT, we're stuck both ways. Either we betray them by assaulting them and forcing this medicine on them twice a day, or else we betray what we know to be true, by being too chicken to do what it takes to really help them. Either way it's hard to live with ourselves.

The first time I had to give a shot, my hands shook so hard and my knees got all weak and I had to go and lie down for an hour after I managed to do it. I was so scared! Luckily the cats learn and we learn and soon it's totally no big deal at all. Brando didn't even act like he felt the needle most of the time. I used those ultra fine needles. Later on when I took insulin myself for a couple of months, I found out it was true for me too that most of the time I couldn't even feel it. The insulin itself can make sore spots under your skin, especially if you don't vary up the injection site much, but the needle is so fine (and I got the finest ones they made) that you almost don't feel it a bit.

I'm so glad that eventually cats do understand that you're doing it because you love them, and they get used to it and accept it. Even Drive By.

I'm going to put some more food out for her right now. Pray for me that she feels hungry and eats some. [Smile]

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Tatiana
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On the other hand, this time, with Drive By, it seems like we've done the wrong thing too often, or else the right things we did had bad side effects. She had to have steriods for both her asthma and for her inflammatory bowel, and that either induced the cushings, or made it worse. Of course, she most likely would have died without it, so there's no telling.

Then, because of the cushings, her wound healing subsystems and her immune system aren't effective. So our theory is that this wound in her side may have come from the time that I gave her subcutaneous fluids back 8 or 10 weeks ago. Dr. George said sometimes they get a small sore from it that goes away quickly, but in her case it's just getting worse and not healing. The reason I gave her fluids is that she wasn't coming out of the anaesthesia that we gave her so that Dr. George could draw blood and find out what was wrong with her. He ended up not finding anything, so that whole traumatic day for her was not helpful, and we put her through that for no reason. [Frown]

Sometimes I wonder if my takeaway lesson from all this is supposed to be to leave them alone more. I just don't know.

She ate a little of that food, and I just gave her more but she hasn't touched the new stuff yet.

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ClaudiaTherese
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One of the things I had to come to terms with in dealing with my mother's last months was that there was no "good" way to do it. That is, in that case, regardless of what I did, the outcome was going to be pretty bad. I did my best to pick better options rather than worse, of course, but the dread of the inevitably worse to come really sucked the soul out of me.

I think it must be how parents feel when their children get really sick. And she is as your child, so of course the helplessness aches.

Poor kitty. Poor Tatiana! [Frown]

For what it's worth, my Minx also was quite blase about the shots. I'd distract her with some Fancy Feast and slide the ultrafine into her ruff. Not even a flinch! And we became much closer, as I wanted to be sure she didn't primarily associate my touch with bad things. We had a wonderful two extra years. [Smile]

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Tatiana
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Yes, you're right. There aren't necessarily any good choices. But circumstances have conspired to give me heart, whatever happens. I'll just do the best I can by her, and hope she will forgive me for my mistakes. She's such a dear cat!
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calaban
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quote:
Originally posted by Tatiana:
He ended up not finding anything, so that whole traumatic day for her was not helpful, and we put her through that for no reason.

Not finding anything eliminated many possibilities like FIV and leukemia and other nasties. So I hope you can feel at ease about doing what was good for the kitty in spite of what is easy for the kitty.

I certainly hope her appetite has picked up today. Although he is eating a little more and is just a little more energetic, Kit is treading water still. He is not loosing weight anymore but my sisters grim speculation is literally has no more weight to loose. [Frown]

Giving him medicine is heartbreaking. I have a hand that is continually scabbed up from his struggles and I always am afraid that his weak muscles will allow somthing to pop out of joint. I have also been afraid he will run from the mere sound of my footsteps because my busy schedule leads to some days interaction with him being only the "bad guy stuff."

Sometimes he just has this piteous "why me?" resigned look that just tears me up. However we believe he is not in any real pain, and he certainly enjoys our company. So I am glad we have the options to assist him to a little longer life.

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Tatiana
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Poor Kit! I'm glad he's hanging in there.

Drive By's appetite still isn't what it should be, but she's eating right now. There are a few flavors she seems to like best, so I'm just going to concentrate on those for her and see if she will eat enough of them to get by. Brando survived a similar crisis thanks to Sliced Tender Beef Feast, several years ago. Maybe Grilled Tender Beef Feast will save Drive By. She seems to like that one best.

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ClaudiaTherese
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Yay, Drive By!

Keep eating, honey.

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