Can’t Catch a Break (it seems)!

(k this is the promised entry, now super late!)

starting with July

i had just started my “dream job” the beginning of July shortly before everything came tumbling down.  Over the holiday 7/4 weekend, i managed to get myself to the ER, in some serious pain, only to have my galbladder taken out a day or two later.  upon arriving home, and passing out for 16 hours, i woke to a very hungry fur crew and what would turn out to be one very sick kitten that i had taken in just the day before I started the job.

and here iam in the hospital, 07/14. can't believe i'm posting this!

and here iam in the hospital, 07/14. can’t believe i’m posting this!

while still in recovery myself, i managed to get the little dude into see a vet who dewormed him but nothing else, and so he returned a day or so later to be diagnosed with giardia; a very nasty intestinal bug.

Sterling Forrest

Sterling Forrest

i returned to work the following week-and actually probably should have waited another week but couldn’t afford it.  by wednesday, i was back at the ER being checked for whatever was causing my new discomfort.  fortunately it just turned out to be that i had way overdone it the day before.  i returned to work the following day, only to be told that the person i had replaced had called for her job back and the management had decided to give it back to her; in short i now had no job!  the sent me packing with a small severance check.

so there i was without a job, a sick kitten, and 5 other cats and one dog to feed with no idea how a roof was going to be kept over all our heads because unemployment had run out just before i had started the new job, and there was no recourse,. no savings, no unemplyment or anything to fall back on.

somehow, i managed, last minute, to land a job with a local retailer.  i had worked for them before, and so i was a shoe in for rehire.  i had sent out resumes right and left, but wasn’t having any luck, and as it was,  i needed to find something fast as what little money i had was disappearing.  ironically, tho, it took almost a month for the background check to come back before i could actually start work.  during that time, not only did little Sterling NOT get better, but the giarrdia bacteria had spread to all the other cats as well.  now not only did i have one sick kitty, but 5 more on top of it!

we tried liquid meds, we changed to pill form.  nothing was conquering it af first.  if i wasn’t shooting meds down a cat’s throat, i was calling the company that was hired to run the background check on me trying to get the issues that arose with it straightened out!

by august 20th, everything had FINALLY been cleared up where my background check was concerned, and i was able to start work.  we had finally been given the all clear on the giarrdia.  everyone seemed happy and fine.  well…so it seemed.  …suddenly a black spot appeared on my cat Bethany’s face.

spot on Bethany's nose

spot on Bethany’s nose

Bethany is an albino kitty, a real albino, (and also the present day mascot of Planet Kitty).  she’s of Siamese descent, the albino gene runs in siamese DNA, and came to me because no one else would adopt her as she could never be an outside kitty. Bethany had never really had any health problems whatsoever.  it wasn’t long after the first black spot appeared, that more followed, and pretty soon there were great big black patches on her ears.  along with it, came a huge drop in Bethany’s energy levels.  not only was she sleeping alot, but her usual bouts of play as well as interest in play disappeared.

Bethany is not a senior kitty, she’s only about 6 years old, and for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what was going on.  initially i thought it was a ringworm outbreak.  but when over the counter medication, which usually takes care of the problem, wasn’t working.  i knew that a trip to the vet was the only answer.

a pic of her first major sore  which later would turn partially black and spread on her ears and face.

a pic of her first major sore which later would turn partially black and spread on her ears and face.

opinions from two different vets later, Bethany was sick, her ears covered in crusty/black masses, running low fevers and showing not much interest in anything. the 2nd vet’s diagnosis was a bit more reasonable and taking things step by step compared to the first.  Bethany was preliminarily diagnosed with an auto immune problem which can occur in the true albino cat.

the vet put her on antibiotics. long term.  the antibiotics killed the low fever and started to clear up the spots, but the battle was with trying to get the pills down Bethany.  doses would go missed from her hiding from me, not wanting to take the med.  i continued my attempts with medication, and would manage to get pills down her only to miss other doses.  it was extremely frustrating!

meanwhile, Sterling again was exhibiting  runny diarrhea despite everyone else having gotten over the giarrdia.  between him and Bethany AND starting a new job that had me on my feet about 100% more then what i was used to was exhausting!

i finally decided to try switching food where Sterling was concerned to see if that would help with his diarrhea.  a couple of brands were tried, but overall success was found with the colorado made, “I and Love and You” chicken mix nude food!  the exciting part was not only did it rid Sterling of his diarrhea, but it also led to Bethany’s clearing up of her deep pyrodermas (crusty/black patches on ears, face, etc.) AND a tremendous reduction in my senior Ashley’s stomatitis symptoms!  I was elated!!  (more on the food changes in a future entry).

Bethers after the worst of the infection had passed and was starting to clear up after change in diet.

“Bethers” after the worst of the infection had passed and was starting to clear up after change in diet.

just when things had started to settle into a routine and calm down as far as the fur crew, i received a call on my  phone november 30. i was still asleep and let it go to voicemail.  i took my time waking up and calling back my sister, from whom the voicemail was from.  she informed me that our father had passed away earlier at about 2am from pretty much a common stomach flu.  my father had been in hospice, and had been deteriorating for some time.  he could no longer walk or control alot of his basic bodily functions.  emphysema. arthritis and other ailments had taken a toll on his body, and we knew that this was inevitably coming, but it was still a shock to hear.

i tried to go into work that day, but found i couldn’t.  a week later we held the memorial service for him, which i found quite helpful, but it all would still take time to fully process and i still find tears coming to my eyes talking about him.  what was truly amazing was the number of people who showed up at his service from the care facility where he lived out his remaining days.  he was a tremendous favorite of the staff, and it never ceased to amaze he how agreeable he was with them and yet barking at me about not wanting to do something, while agreeing to do the same thing for a staff member lol.

needless to say he did love animals, and altho he might now admit to it, loved cats too. of him and mom, he really took to caring for Pickles the therapy cat that took up residence in her room.  they provided him with her food so he could feed her and she slept with both him and mom as well. and if anything, he over attended to her needs as Pickles had a bit of a weight problem.

it’s true what they say about only remembering the best of your parents when they go, altho i feel that it’s been that way for me for quite some time now.  i had put to rest my issues with my dad and had accepted him as he was.

my dad..cowboying it up even when he could no longer walk.

my dad..cowboying it up even when he could no longer walk.

and of course things didn’t settle down…i wound up back at the ER beginning of December with more pain in the same area where my gallbladder used to be.  they ran all sorts of tests but couldn’t find anything substantial.  i would wind up there a second time with more pain, dizziness, nausea and at times almost fainting in february 2015.  this time i was referred to a GI specialist and finally got in to see the last week.  of course they still aren’t sure what’s going on.  it could be a number of things from bacterial to stomach acid creating ulcers in upper intestinal track or even colon cancer or ovarian cancer.  I’m being “scoped”, both ends on April 14.  i sincerely doubt that it’s any kind of cancer as well.

and that catches us up to now.  everything is going pretty well with the fur crew, and my plans are for it to stay that way!

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