Thursday, May 30, 2013

Kitty Update

Hello all. This is going to be kind of lengthy, so if you want to just pass it by, it's OK.  This post is more for me - to document my Maize's illness; specifically, the last two days and today.  I've been on an emotional roller coaster with my kitty - I posted about her a couple weeks ago.  She was diagnosed diabetic, but unfortunately, that was a symptom of her ailment, and not the ailment itself.

Tuesday night I came home to find her under my futon, completely unmoving.  I was able to just reach her to drag her out by her scruff, and still, no fighting, no resistance.  She hadn't eaten, she had lost almost 2 pounds in 3 weeks - she only weighed 10 1/2 pounds to begin with, so basically 20% of her body weight (for a 150 lb person, that would equal to 10 lbs a week - NOT good).  I was just at my wits end.  I rushed her to an animal hospital nearby, because my vet's office was closed.  Looking back, I am SO grateful that they were closed.  I think this situation would have turned out differently if I had taken her there.

Tuesday night, about 7:30pm. 
This is her.  She is not laying down looking at me this way because she was being cute - she literally did not have enough energy to lift her head.  I was just in tears...

About 11:30 pm, I went home - they had admitted her and were running a battery of tests. 

Wednesday, about 9:00 am.
I received a call from another vet at the clinic.  They were very concerned with her, and needed my approval to run an ultrasound.  I immediately said yes, do what you need to do.

Wednesday, 12:15 pm.
I received an update call.  She wasn't diabetic because of an anomaly with her pancreas, she was in a very advanced stage of feline pancreatitis (which I later realized meant she is critical, and may not make it).  She wouldn't eat, drink, she was lethargic, and the vet told me I could be looking at a feeding tube for her for at least a month, with feedings that need to take place every 4-6 hours.  There were a variety of other things that she would also need, and they would be pretty costly.  She suggested I start thinking about what I felt I could manage, and that euthanizing her was a scenario that may have to be addressed.  I was devastated.  She is not even 7 years old, and this little girl has been with me through a lot of bad (and some good) times.  I am as attached to her as she is to me. Needless to say, I was a mess the rest of the day, just waiting for the time when I could leave work to visit her.

Wednesday 6:15 pm. 
Visiting time.  She was hooked up to a couple of IV lines - a constant insulin drip, and another for glucose, potassium, calcium, and a few other things that were depleted in her so-severely-devastated system.

The vet came in while I was visiting with her...and apologized!  She was sorry about the phone call in the morning; about the "doom and gloom" discussion we had.  Seems that this feisty little girl started to eat, started to drink, and was becoming more alert throughout the day.  In fact, the technicians were laughing at how hearty her appetite was - she ate everything that got near her.  Her mineral levels were up, her glucose levels down, and she was recovering at a shockingly fast rate.  None of the vets could believe it.  At this point she is by no means well, but both vets I had dealt with told me they initially weren't sure she would make it.  Now, one of them told me it's patients like her that makes her feel like a God. 

Thursday 3:15 pm
Another visit, but they needed me to make it a short one.  They noticed a low fever, and some crustiness around her nose.  They think it's just a cold, but they need to keep her on a lot of fluids just to keep her hydrated - that meant she couldn't be away from her cage very long. So I had 10 short minutes with her.

This is the same girl. Alert, feisty, PURRING (which she hasn't done in quite a while), and unwilling to sit still for more than a second or two.  I literally took about 25 pictures of her on my phone, and there are only two that weren't a huge blur of fur.   I am beyond thrilled.  She will need insulin shots, at least for the time being.  The thought is that once her pancreas is back to healthy, the diabetes may disappear.  HOLY SHIT!!  Two days ago, I was preparing myself to put her to sleep, and here she is, getting back to herself.  I cringe every time my mind wanders to the thought of 'what if I hadn't taken her right when I did - what if I had waited?' 

I am just awed at the modern medicine advancements, and the ability of animals to heal and recover so quickly. Too bad humans don't rebound this fast.  Now, this all came at a price - a pretty substantial one - but this time around I was able to afford it.  If she hadn't started eating on her own and a feeding tube would have been needed, I don't know that I would have made the same decision that I did for her now.  Her quality of life would have been questionable, and it would trouble me to see her in any kind of pain just so I could keep her around.  But fortunately, for now, that is not an option I even need to think about. 

She is not completely out of the woods, but the vet told me that there is a lot of daylight.

Still another day in the hospital, but to see that face again - AT HOME - is worth it.

If you made all the way through, I thank you for letting me share this.



  1. I am so, so happy things turned out well. Almost three years ago, I lost my darling girl to pancreatic cancer and her story was much like the start of I know exactly how you felt and I'm so glad you sweetie is doing better!

    1. Thanks, and I'm sorry you lost your girl. We still have a little battle, but it's nothing compared to the last few days.

  2. I'm so happy for you and your baby girl. What a roller coaster ride. I'm so sorry you guys went through it. I'm so grateful you're both out of the woods.

    Hugs to Maize. And to you! :) <3

  3. I am so happy for your cat and I did enjoy reading your post, very much. I have such a soft spot for animals, they do so much for us for little in return. I have lost two dogs that I love very much so I know the pain and I have a cat right now that is the world to me so I empathize with your fear of losing her. Thank goodness she is doing well, and thanks for sharing!