Answers?

Azzy last winter playing

well…at least i think an answer.  i looked  at Aslan, and upon closer inspection there appears to be something like a lump growing under his right shoulder blade.  you have to look really closely and use some gentle touching to assess, but it makes sense since at his initial vet visit to try and determine what was causing his neurological issues, the vet gave an intelligent guess that she thought the problem was something going on in the nerves that cross over at the shoulder blades, and then branch out to all the different areas of the body.  so i am thinking that my vet’s intelligent guess is correct.  however, after reassessing today, i’m not 100% certain, and it’s very frustrating.

after this unsure discovery, i have been observing Aslan more closely over the last few days, and his behavior has a few more changes.  he’s not coming and seeing me to get pet like he was previously, and it’s also apparent that there’s some discomfort, if not pain, when he’s trying to lay down, or i should say achieve a restful position because it seems that laying down and really getting comfortable isn’t possible for him anymore.

aslan with his two siblings pannd and eli. they were what i called the three amigos!

with the job that i now work, i have learned that generally the developmentally disabled audiences don’t have the kind of life span many of the rest of us have; that they’re disabilities generally lead to the developments of other health issues in life.  Aslan, was notorious for holding his bladder for long periods of time.  this is also a common occurrence in the human developmentally disabled populations as well; my theory is the less control they feel they have over everything about them, the more they try to exert control over whatever they can.  because of his bladder holding, Aslan has severe bladder infectiosn and also litter box issues from the time he was a little kitten.  his slowness in development becamse apparent later when kittens were doing things he couldn’t do here in the house.  he did manage to eventually catch up however.

Azzy could be silly when he played but in order to get him to play, all attention had to be focused on him, and he never got really wild and crazy like other cats do

because of my background, a part of me can logically assess Azzy’s current situation as a natural part of his life cycle due to his disabilities.  but then there’s the other part that involves my heart.  a big part, and it just absolutely crushes me.

i have been thru so much with him, and his issues, especially the litterbox one, hasn’t been easy.  he is in part the reason why i put new floors in my house, and to this day, i’m sure there is some “cat odor” in my house directly due to his bladder issues.  yet, despite all this, i can’t have imagined my life without him.  for a time, based on the vet’s recommendation, we were looking at rehoming him and my other cat Pannda who has had his share of bladder issues, but no one ever showed interest or the ability to care for them as they needed, and I wound up making the decision of keeping them-even if it meant 8 cats and me and dogs in a 38 ft 5th wheeler-rather than surrendering them to a rescue where most likely they would never of been adopted, and would have spent alot of time in the smaller cages.  the change for the two would have been so shocking, i just couldnt’ do it.

on the other hand, he still has an appetite and lets me know when he wants to eat.  he will even come and get me, but then after eating, he becomes sedontary again, and struggles to bathe, but doesn’t acomplish much.

my thoughts on what to do concerning Aslan, change on a daily basis right now-probably because i’m home this week to work on the house and try and get things somewhat back in order.  one day i feel that i’m letting him suffer, the next day i see something in him that tells me not yet.  it’s very frustrating, and i feel like both he and i are just hanging in limbo.

years ago when i finally put my dog Keehta to sleep, it was a huge relief because it was very apparent in the end that she was suffering.  that experience forever imprinted on me, and i have always been determined not to let that happen again with any other pets.

Aslan in his younger days. so handsome. to look at him you would never guess he had his issues.

this last february i let Greta my greyhound go, and felt it was the right time as well, and that i had kept her from experiencing any tremendous suffering with the choice that i made.  i felt very comforted in that knowledge, but with Azzy right now, it just isn’t clear.  i watch him get up and down slowly, and i wonder if the time to do something to end his suffering is now, and then later in the day, he comes find me to let me know he wants to eat, and follows me to bathroom where he is secluded to eat on his own.

is this sign of motivation to still eat enuff?  i don’t know.  he still isn’t grooming, and he does not play or really even go sit in a window anymore to watch the goings on outside.  a week or two ago, he was at least still doing that as well.  he is coming to see me again, as he came to visit me last night for a long pet and purred tremendously, but animals can be so stoic when it comes to discomfort and pain.

it just leaves me hanging.  i dont’ want him to be in pain, but yet it doesn’t seem he as of yet has quite given up the fight, and so i have decided to use his determination to eat as a measurement as to when it’s time to let him go.  it’s truly heartbreaking.

this time last year, he was in great health and i was trying to determine what was to become of his future.  now, once again permanently ensconced in my home, i have no idea how many days are left in Azzy’s future.  life is truly full of some very cruel ironies.  😦

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He looks like Hell

Aslan’s not grooming himself, but he’s still eating, and getting around very slowly. he is also able to get down off a box as well, but he seems dazed, takes things very slowly…..and looks like hell.
i’m actually considering having him shaved. i also am considering taking him with to the vet this saturday morning at 11am along with ashley who has her regular checkup, and has been loosing weight recently-another concern with another cat, just to see what they say and to see where he’s at with his weight.

i just don’t know what to think when it comes to Azzy. he does still come and see me usually in the evenings when i’m kickin’ back. he still loves a good scratch on his back and around his neck.
i thought about taking the shears to him, with as messy as his fur has gotten lately. i figure if nothing else, maybe i’ll at least make him feel a bit better and maybe just a smidge cooler.
he sleeps an awful lot. pretty much all day especially when i have him isolated. i try to keep him balanced between being in his room alone and being with the rest of us. he seems to enjoy his time with us, but it’s become imparative to have time where he’s alone to make sure he eats and drinks, otherwise the other kits eat his food as he takes it slow, intermittently thru out the day.
all of this is very frustrating, heartbreaking, and like walking thru the unknown. it’s hard to tell what, if anything, makes him more comfy and happy. it’s all just a guessing game, and i worry about if i’m letting it drag out much to his discomfort.
what i would really like right now, are some easy answers, and none are forthcoming.

Welll…..just when we thought we were out of the woods!

elliot and timber enjoying a cool evening by the window


and able to list Elliot for adoption, he started having regirgitation problems and so now he’s been taken back off the adoption block. we don’t know if this is the start of something new, or the continuation of something having to do with his rectal problems, and so it’s been decided to make him a permanent resident of Planet Kitty. In the area where we’re located, it’s very unlikely that anyone would consider adopting him with all of of is issues, and so it’s either keep him or ask a rescue like Best Friends to take him.
However, we will continue to have his issues checked out and monitored to see what develops!
i dunno if this is all frustrating for little Elliot but it sure is for me!! or maybe it’s more that i just feel frustrated for him and the fact that there are more issues with the little guy. it’s hard to tell if he’s uncomfortable with his predictament as he goes on about his day, playing and sleeping and eating, and so far there doesn’t seem to be any weight loss, which is good, but i also wonder if since he’s a bit older than the other fosters i have, if he shouldn’t be a bit bigger than his current size, but it’s all really hard to tell especially if he were the runt of the litter, for example.
altho different from other kitties, he sure is a sweet little guy! (he’s done his work at making me the smitten kitten!) one look into those big blue eyes, and that’s it! ur heart melts!!
so…we are back to one day at a time again with little Elliot. …..sigh

Aslan

whatever it is, it is progressive.

i woke this morning and the first thing i did was go and check in on Azzy.  i am really sad because he is now having problems with his right front foot now, and he is weaker.  i had really hoped that this was just a one time thing.  something that was not progressive, and that he would get better.  at this point, it doesn’t look this way.

i hate the fact that he’s in a room isolated from the rest of us, but i’m not sure that he would be able to get to his food or the litterbox if he’s not.  i also hate the fact that my time visiting with him is limited because he’s not out here with us, but overall, i think it is for the best.  i may put Pannda in with him or Eli, whom he’s both close with.

i hate this.  absolutely hate this!!

it just seems so damn unfair.  Azzy has overcome so much in his short life, and then to have it end prematurely seems even more unfair and it just really pisses me off!  i figured that he would be with me alot longer than this, especially with the recommendation to rehome him and having him listed and looking for a year and half and nothing coming up.  it seemed that the rest of his life was to be spent shared with mine, but then again, maybe it was because fate knew it was going to be short.  He is just so much like the rest of us: wanting to be loved and that’s how he is when u walk in the room.

it’s apparent that he can’t really groom himself anymore, and so i pet him all i can and give him his favorite scratches!

but seeing that right foot now knuckling this morning, really  hit me hard.

i know if i put Eli in with him, they will cuddle and groom each other, and i think right now, that that will bring Azzy alot more joy than anything i can give him.

i think about taking his picture or shooting a video of him to show u and others, but the thought of having what’s going on replicated in a foto or video is just to much for me to handle.  i can’t bare the image of it, and so i don’t.  it seems like it would be disrespectful.

at this point, i am wondering how much more time we have with him, and that it doesn’t seem at least that he’s in any pain.  i guess the real limit will be how much i can take verses Azzy.

this all just tooo hard dammit!!  i can’t write anymore….it’s so damn UNFAIR!!!

Hard Decisions and even Harder Lessons

returning home from work earlier this week, I noticed that my special needs cat Aslan was in the exact same spot as when I left for work that morning.  this, is not a good sign.  Azzy, as I call him, is a very different cat.  he was a later bloomer when it came to kitty social skills and abilities and he has always had issues with the litterbox and bladder infections.  he’s seven and a  half now, so i have learned how to manage him over the years, but he still can have behavioral flairups and issues, and i had a feeling that that was what was going on that night i found him in the exact same place.

i rushed Azzy to the vet first thing the next morning, which was friday.  he was not happy AT ALL about the trip, much less being in the crate, and he left three small holes in my shirt so that i would know he was mad.  i was very concerned that my boy had gone into kidney failure and so this was the reason for my concern and being rushed to the vet.

Azzy last winter when he was feeling alot better

at the vet, Azzy was not happy either.  he would not pee so that they could get a urine sample, and it eventually resulted in them having to use a needle to get some from his bladder.  (OUCH!)  he was also given fluids which eventually made him pee more later in the night, but initially it was apparent to me that he wasn’t really eating or drinking and that he pretty much felt pretty miserable.

the blood panel came back showing everything good, and the urine testing showed another good case of sterile cystitis (basically a sterile bladder infection).  saturday morning, he was given another round of fluids and also given an appetite stimulant, which they also sent home with me, because he’s not eating or really drinking much, and since being home, it’s apparent he still isn’t.

Azzy is a lover, not a fighter and loves being bathed and giving baths. he is also part of the three amigos, made up of him, Pannda and Eli

the vet recommended peace and quiet and to isolate him from others, which is what i did.  he’s not the happiest about that, but he feels so crappy, he isn’t fighting it much other.  it’s also obvious that his bladder is still bothering him as he’s walking funny and doesn’t lift his tail, nor has eaten much or used the litterbox.  poor Azzy!  it’s breaks my hear to see him this way!

I know all the things that stresses Azzy, such as major change, like the moving in and out of all my stuff.  he likes his comfort zones and doesn’t tolerate change well at all. major changes, such as me going back to work after being home constantly after a year and a half is another stresser, as well as having new faces in the house.  even kitten faces that are kept for the mostpart, seperate from  him in the nursey most of the time.  i do however let them out to run and to get more exercise, and it also helps with socialization too!

however, the impact the ten kittens and all the other changes going on here are having on Azzy are just too much, and because of that I had to make some hard decisions.  however, i also realized that i need to do what’s fair and in the best interests of both Azzy and my foster kittens.

Azzy playing with string and being a good sport for the camera

caring for ten foster kittens AND caring for my own pets, is alot of work.  ALOT.  and it dawned on me yesterday that taking on sooo much has compromised things to the point where it’s not only not fair for my pets, but not fair to the foster kittens either.  response to adoptions down here, hasn’t been the greatest, and unfortunately part of this is because of the economy, i realize, but the rest of it is just plain old ignorrance, which really gets me going.  you would NOT believe some of the phone calls I have gotten!

Anyways.  Azzy’s predictament lead me to a very hard decision.  i picked up the phone and called a local rescue organization to see if they could help me out.  Colorado Animal Rescue is a fairly large rescue organization located upvalley.  they have a really good record with cats and kittens, and not only do homechecks and screenings when it comes to adoptions, but their fees are well set in place to help discourage anyone who half heartedly would adopt a kitten!  i like this about them!  after a discussion as to my predictament and the kittens in my care, CARe has pleasantly offered to help me out and take six of the kittens here into their organization.  in their facility, kittens find good homes quickly and so i feel that moving six from here to there, is not only in the best interests of Azzy’s current and future health, but in the best interests of the kittens as well.  here we just aren’t getting anywhere in getting them good homes as quickly as I would like.  up there, it’s a much different story.

Dorothy

and so come tuesday morning, dorothy, rose, elton, elvis, aidan and alban, which all be transferred to CARe.  initially i was very concerned about the change and how it would impact them,how they are going to feel uncertain and scared, and while i hate HATE them feeling that way, i also know it will only be temporary and that this is really for the best for them and my kitty Azzy.  homes are certain for them in just a matter of a few weeks, which is really good considering they have been here a month and a half and nothing even remotely acceptable has developed for them.    the other four staying with me, will be elliot, finn, and the two feral kittens i’m working with, jett and brigid.

Alban

this has been a hard lesson for me.  altho i know it’s not really failure, a part of me still feels like it was because of Azzy’s predictament.  i knew his triggers, and yet i completely forgot them.  on the other hand, i know that had i not stepped in and taken in this kittens, who knows what would have  happend to them?  at least i know that Colorado Animal Rescue will do a fab job of screening and finding them awesome permanent homes!

little finn who despite being tossed from a car window into a ditch, still has a tremendous capacity to love humans, and who may just have a new home!

on a side note, i did just get a call that sounds very promising, and may turn out to be a great home for Finn!!  this little guy is very special to me because his predictament happend before my eyes.  he was tossed out of a window into a ditch along side the highway as i was heading home from my parents one night.  GRRR!!! amazingly, he suffered no major injuries, and despite suffering this bit of evil, he is still very affectionate and loving!  i will keep u updated on his story!

Finally Finally!!

some good news on Elliot’s case!!  Yeah!

it started with compilcations.  the surgery didn’t work as planned.  the intent of the surgery was to place a “purse string” stitch in his little bum to kind of hold everything together and help it go back to normal.  unfortunately the stitch only managed to irritate, and little Elliot was straining too much against it to go poop, so dr. smith removed the stitch and then began treating Elliot with steroids to try and get the swelling down and Elliot’s bum to return to normal.  this is the slippery slope dr. smith was talking about when prolapsed rectums go on for too long.

that was friday.  TODAY, however, he is responding to the treatment really well!  dr. smith also threw in some antibiotics incase there was any kind of infection going on too, and i just got off the phone with the dr, and he said that Elliot is feeling better!  that he’s alot more animated, eating well, playful, and the dr. thinks we’re finally gaining ground with the whole prolapse.  YEAH!!  i needed this news!  i’m sure you did too!  the dr. is doing everything he can to watch costs, and is donating alot of his time.  Elliot will be staying with dr. smith until thursday/friday.  He’s not charging us for theadditional procedure or boarding, just the anesthesia,  antibiotics and steroids.  that puts the final balance for Elliot at just shy of $300.  the only thing that would change is if Elliot’s situation for some reason drastically changed and he needed major life saving surgery but dr. smith doesn’t see that happening with as well as he’s doing!  YEAH!!

i will change the balance of the chipin later for donations.  right now, i just want to bask in this good news.  yeah!!

Second Update on Elliot

UGH!  frustrating.  that is what i’m feeling right now.  UGH!  my eyeballs should be popping out of my head or something with as frustrated as i feel.  anything that is not considered an emergency, my vet wants full payment up front.  no extra time, not even a few days to do put something together to get them the money.  i am not happy about this, and while i understand that the economy has forced her to instate this policy-i have literally seen people argue with them in the office about it-it still can be frustrating.  especially when you’re dealing with a kitten who’s problem you would like to resolve as quickly as possible in order to make them feel more comfortable.  well…maybe to make me feel more comfortable since Elliot IS running around playing, eating, and pooping and seems to be feeling fine for the most part.  it could be just me that is wiggling over any possible discomfort and a few days won’t make that much of a difference.  However,  the concern is that his stools are so hard, that it’s forcing him to have to strain to poop and therfore the swelling in his little bum, is not going down like i had hoped.

 

 

they are suggesting a stool softener, but before they can prescribe it, they want to see him, and to see him, the estimate is about $100.  UGH!  GRRRR!!!  now once again, i must state that i can understand about being paid up front.  i would want the same.  specially in these times when everyone is being pushed to their limit.  i know i am.  it’s just so frustrating when you don’t have the cash.

his current appointment is set for tomorrow afternoon at 3:30.  if i don’t have the funds by then, then there is a second scheduled for monday, so he would have to go the weekend before being seen.

i am wondering if there’s an over the counter, gentle stool softener that would do that same.  i am also wondering if the other vet in town would see him and be cheaper.  most likely.  he’s a solid vet and does a fine job.  i just don’t have the “comfort zone” that i have with mine.  but for me, getting Elliot seen is of the essence and if they will work with me, i’ll go there.

it’s just…very frustrating.  my schedule today was to cocnetrate on getting out there and doing some networking, applying for a job, and checking up on another one.  there are also the needs of my own pets, and the other foster kitties too.  it’s a huge balancing act, and just went i think we’ve got a routine, another monkey wrench gets thrown into the picture, so i feel frustation over that complication, and also over my sensitivity to little Elliot’s bum.  as the vet pointed out, his little bum probably bugs me more, than it does Elliot since he’s eating, playing and pooping just fine.  i still worry.  what if it gets worse between now and monday (if i can come up with the funds until then) and he has to have surgery, or something else??!!!

deep breath…stay calm…this was the advice i gave someone just last night assisting them with a crisis they were dealing with their own pet.  and so it goes.  i can only do what i can do, no matter how frustrating it is.  no matter how worried i am an anxious to get little Elliot to the vet.  it doesn’t work.  logic applied here doesn’t work.  i am stll not happy, and won’t be until i get him to a vet.

*footnote:  there is another vet about 16 miles up the road from me in a smaller town who would have helped this weekend but he was out of town and couldn’t.  however, his willingess to work with me was apparent and so i just called him.  i have a good feeling about this.  keep u posted!  yeah!