Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER
Cranberry

Pet(s): Photos & Discussion

Recommended Posts

On 1/9/2020 at 8:11 PM, slf said:

I just want to start by saying thank you for all the good advice you've previously given me. It started getting harder this past week to get Amber to eat but I remembered the advice you gave me a few years ago when my cat Bella was experiencing kidney failure. Among other things you recommended baby food and that was the only thing that would tempt Amber to eat for a few days. I'm so sorry to hear your parents' cat has been going through a similar situation and will keep them all in my thoughts.

It warms my heart to learn my advice lived on to help another cat, and it does more than that to have you keep my family in your thoughts at such an emotional time in your own life.  Thank you for your empathy.

You and Amber were on my mind all day Friday.  I hope the end was peaceful for both of you, and I hope this weekend gave you a chance to rest emotionally.

Last week was Amber's; I wanted to wait until now to expand on Chester's situation.  He's my parents' cat with IBD (he's had it since they adopted him at age eight [an owner surrender at the shelter]) that progressed to small cell lymphoma.  Unfortunately, it has not responded to treatment (steroid and chemo regimen) as we'd hoped -- he still has a good (often great) appetite, his stool is mostly normal, and, most importantly, he's his usual happy self, but the cancer is stealing the nutrients rather than them being properly absorbed by his body and he can't even maintain his weight, let alone put any on. 

He's emaciated (five pounds, with no meat on his bones, so their house is kept ridiculously warm), and his already-low lymphocyte level had plummeted dramatically at his November check-up -- the poor cat is going to die of malnutrition, even though he's eating well.  I remember when my great aunt died of cancer, how much it hurt my aunt - who'd been taking care of her - to see "malnutrition" on the death certificate.  It does feel like negligence for a beat before you remind yourself of the circumstances.

Anyway, his quality of life is still very good; he looks terrible, but he acts not one bit differently.  The rest of his organs started from a point of great health - at 14, he has the kidneys of a cat ten years younger - so for now he's hanging in very well despite the ravages of the disease.  But it's not sustainable; at some point organ failure will set in, and that will be it.  I'd love it if his heart gave out first, and he just didn't wake up from a nap one day, but it's more likely he will become ill from systemic organ failure.  Knowing there's no fixing it, as soon as it kicks in and drops his quality of life down near the deciding line, that will be the time, before it gets truly bad.

On 1/10/2020 at 1:19 PM, tiftgirl said:

But, then again, at least we had them.

As I always say, it's the ultimate testament to how rewarding it is for pet people to share our lives with animals, because their lifespans mean we know we are signing up for eventual heartbreak every time we adopt a new one, but we do it over and over again.

  • Like 2
  • Sad 12

Share this post


Link to post

1 hour ago, Bastet said:

I'd love it if his heart gave out first, and he just didn't wake up from a nap one day

Everything I have is crossed that this is the way it happens for Chester.  

1 hour ago, Bastet said:

we do it over and over again.

I feel bad, and defective, because while I think about adopting another cat(s) and in my head I know I'm a good cat mamma and would make a good home and take care of them, I just wind up being sad and thinking that I want my babies. 

And I don't know that I ever said it, but, I am grateful to you and everyone who offered advice and encouragement and hugs when my girls were sick and after they passed.  It truly did help and meant more than I can say.  There were days that knowing yall understood and were holding me up in your thoughts/prayers was the only thing that got me through.

  • Like 12

Share this post


Link to post

Kitty Gunderson has returned from her three day get away at our local VCA. Her kidney disease has progressed, and we are starting her on daily fluids (please pray for me, it’s going to be a challenge). I have mixed feelings about the fluids, and how long we will keep her on them. As soon as it is a quality of life issue, we will make the difficult decision to let her go. She is just shy of 19 1/2, and she has had a very good life. Right now, she seems happy to be home and a little out of it. 
 

And thank everyone who recommended the Breeze system! Kitty was a little confused at first, but seems to not hate it. I think it helps that her litter box at the VCA was filled with some type of pellet, so it wasn’t as big of a change.

  • Like 6
  • Sad 9

Share this post


Link to post
1 minute ago, tiftgirl said:

@MargeGunderson prayers and hugs for both of you, for ease with fluid treatment and for it working.

Thank you, from me and Kitty. And, I know what you mean about thinking of other cats but just wanting the ones you had. You were an excellent pet parent, but it sounds like you just aren’t ready for more. You may be at some point, and I think if you are, you will know. 

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post

I'm so sorry to hear about Chester's situation, @Bastet. It's heartbreaking to watch a beloved pet decline despite our (and their) best effort. Thankfully his quality of life is still good and he's still himself. No doubt Chester's resilience and strength comes in part from how well cared for and how loved he is. I'll continue to keep him, your parents, and yourself in my thoughts and I truly do hope that Chester is able to pass away peacefully at home in his sleep.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post

1 hour ago, MargeGunderson said:

Kitty Gunderson has returned from her three day get away at our local VCA. Her kidney disease has progressed, and we are starting her on daily fluids (please pray for me, it’s going to be a challenge). I have mixed feelings about the fluids, and how long we will keep her on them.

Kitty Gunderson ought to have a chat with her travel agent, explaining she wanted the Four Seasons, not VCA.

There are exceptions, of course, but most cats and owners get into a good routine with fluids.  You'll be very nervous as first, she'll pick up on that, there may be some false starts, but keep at it and see if it becomes just a quick part of each day.  If it's more stress than it's worth, though, don't beat yourself up -- she's had a long, wonderful life.  But if she can indeed roll with it as a minor annoyance in her life, subQ fluids can extend that life.

Some advice:

- Warm the fluid, by submerging it in hot water, as that feels more comfortable to the cat as it goes in (room temperature is a good deal lower than their body temperature, so you're looking to warm it up to body temp).  I use a small roasting pan, but whatever you can submerge the bag (minus the port) and the line (minus the needle - basically, keep connection points out of the water just in case) in.  The time will depend on how full the bag is; a fuller bag takes longer to warm through.  But we're talking 10-minute range.

- If your vet's office, as most do, gave you 18-gauge Monoject needles, I strongly recommend replacing those (called "kitty harpoons" among owners) with Terumo brand 20-gauge ultra thin-wall -- they are beveled and honed in a way that goes through the skin MUCH smoother, and the design is such that even though it's a smaller needle (which is good for the obvious reason, and that the resulting smaller hole in the skin closes back up very quickly, virtually eliminating leakage concerns even if your cat rolls over on her fluid bubble), it hardly takes any longer to deliver the fluid.

- The higher up you can get the bag, the better - gravity is the name of the game in getting fluids in quickly.

- Consider giving treats or baby food during fluid administration; it can distract her, and possibly even make fluids something she comes to look forward to because of it.  If she's too annoyed during to enjoy a treat, give her one afterward as a reward.

- If your cat seems uncomfortable afterward, she may need a smaller dose of fluids; keep an eye out for that.

If you need any clarification on the basic technique - making a "tent" out of the skin, inserting the needle with the hole facing up, stopping/starting the drip, pinching off the hole when removing - the vet techs should be happy to walk you through it again over the phone, or check back in here and those of us who've been there and done that can also help.

Good luck!

  • Like 9
  • Useful 1

Share this post


Link to post
6 hours ago, tiftgirl said:

I feel bad, and defective, because while I think about adopting another cat(s) and in my head I know I'm a good cat mamma and would make a good home and take care of them, I just wind up being sad and thinking that I want my babies. 

Everyone is ready in their own time, and, while it's uncommon, sometimes that time is never.

When Baxter died (at 13), about six months later I felt ready, but there were a few factors that led me to decide Maddie (then somewhere around 15-16) would be happier living out the rest of her life as an only child, even though that meant I'd be cat-less when she died.

When Maddie died nearly two years later, I indeed hated the cat-less house (so much I didn't even know what to do with myself sometimes), and while I wouldn't have been a bad owner by any stretch had I done it sooner, it was best to wait until my primary emotion was the longing for a new cat instead of missing the ones who were gone.  And nine months is how long it took me.

Some people take far less time.  Some take far more.  It's very individual, and none of it is wrong -- those who are ready quickly are not callously "replacing" their dead pet and those who aren't ready for a long time aren't crazy or stuck in the past.

 

  • Like 11

Share this post


Link to post

@MargeGunderson, I had to give my beloved Bear fluids toward the end of his life and just to give you a benchmark: I jabbed myself with the needle the first time. Also the second.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
20 hours ago, tiftgirl said:

I feel bad, and defective, because while I think about adopting another cat(s) and in my head I know I'm a good cat mamma and would make a good home and take care of them, I just wind up being sad and thinking that I want my babies. 

 

13 hours ago, Bastet said:

Some people take far less time.  Some take far more.  It's very individual, and none of it is wrong -- those who are ready quickly are not callously "replacing" their dead pet and those who aren't ready for a long time aren't crazy or stuck in the past.

I just wanted to add that your next kitty may not be ready for you. I'm a pretty firm believer that kitties make their way to us, not the other way around. Even if it's picking up a kitty from the shelter, or finding one on Petfinder, that kittys spirit will guide you to where you need to be when you need to be there.

If you are missing purrs you could volunteer at a shelter or rescue (if you can handle it - I can't. I bawled my eyes out at Best Friends when I was picking up a trap for a TNR)

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

@MargeGunderson I hope thing went well for both you and Kitty Gunderson with the fluids today.

@Bastet it's the longing and not missing point that I'm not at yet.  What I don't want is to give a cat a good home and care but subconsciously hold myself back from committing my heart to them.  That just doesn't seem fair to them.  

2 hours ago, theredhead77 said:

 I'm a pretty firm believer that kitties make their way to us, not the other way around. 

 This @theredhead77!  I had never even thought about having a cat and then Shana literally showed up meowing at my second floor apartment door.  (And walked in like she owned the place 🙂 ) There was not a speck of dirt on her pure white coat, so, wherever she came from, she'd not been gone from there long.  That plus the fact she was pregnant and as it turned out full of infection and wound up needing an emergency c-section and while they revived 3 of the 4 kittens they were premature.  I had just gotten out of the hospital with major depression and had to quit my job because of it. I've always said we were meant to be a family and save each other because that is what we did.

And no, I couldn't handle volunteering - I'd be just like you.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post

Kitty Gunderson was an absolute champ, and I was a complete failure. It took me 4 tries to get the needle in (I went in and back out 3 times). Then I gave her twice as much as I was supposed to because I couldn’t see the numbers clearly and it ran out so much faster than I expected. I frantically called the VCA and they said she should be fine, but skip tomorrow (this will not be a problem). Now Kitty Gunderson has a huge lump of fluid. She was so good and didn’t hiss or try to move around at all. She got a treat and has settled on my lap. In contrast, I’m an absolute bawling mess. 
 

Thank you everyone for you kind thoughts and words, they really mean a lot. @Bastet, thank you so much for all of your tips. I was talking through them out loud as I was getting ready. I think I might have hung the bag a little too high (from the shower rod, Kitty was in a box with blankets in the tub).....

Edited by MargeGunderson
  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post

18 hours ago, MargeGunderson said:

I think I might have hung the bag a little too high (from the shower rod, Kitty was in a box with blankets in the tub).....

No, that's good -- the shower rod is very common, as is a hanger at the top of a door frame.*  So you're right at an ideal height.  Now that you know it doesn't take long, you just need to position the bag and yourself so you can see when it's time to stop the flow -- I drew a line with a black marker each time where I wanted the fluid to stop, because I could see that easier than the blue lines/numbers on the bag.  (Sorry, I should have included that in my list of tips!)

It sounds like it'll be smooth sailing in no time -- Kitty Gunderson is already a champ, and now we just need her mom to stop crying.  Which you'll do when you see that it's easier the second time, and easier still the third time, etc.  I know you call it a total failure, but the fact is you did well for your first try.  Believe me, pretty much everyone's poor cat has been stabbed multiple times in one subQ session; it will become pretty much automatic for you, but at first you are indeed going to pull the needle too far back out and have to start over.  She has probably forgotten all about it by now!

*When I gave Maddie fluids, I did it on her "perch" - a cat tree that put her about level with my stomach.  I have a sloped ceiling in that room, so I put a nail in a beam and hung it from there in order to have it at a good height relative to where she was.  I had to stand on a chair to hang it, so Maddie knew it was fluid time when she saw me go through that routine.  She certainly didn't come hop up on the perch and say "let's go", but she didn't run away, either.

Edited by Bastet
  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post

Kitty Gunderson seems to be unscathed this morning, and her giant lump of fluid is almost gone. I "slept" on the couch with her all night, as she just wants to sit on my lap. She was bright-eyed when she got up, and wanted her breakfast pronto. As payback for the fluids, she peed on the floor three times - fair enough, Kitty Gunderson! Unfortunately I had to go in to work today (worked from home the last two) so no one is with her, but she seems to be doing better. 

@Bastet, thank you so much for your reassurance!  

  • Like 15

Share this post


Link to post

The kitties went to the vet yesterday. I am worried about Squeaky. She went from 13 lbs down to 7.5. Blood was drawn to do testing, but she was very uncooperative. I’m hoping it’s as simple as a thyroid condition that can be treated easily with medication. 

Good news for Big Boy. He is finally starting to lose weight, but needs teeth cleaning. 

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, Mindthinkr said:

The kitties went to the vet yesterday. I am worried about Squeaky. She went from 13 lbs down to 7.5. Blood was drawn to do testing, but she was very uncooperative. I’m hoping it’s as simple as a thyroid condition that can be treated easily with medication. 

Good news for Big Boy. He is finally starting to lose weight, but needs teeth cleaning. 

Fingers crossed for Squeaky.  Hope you hear soon and it is something simple/treatable.  I take it Big Boy needed to trim down some, so, good for him!

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
9 hours ago, Mindthinkr said:

The kitties went to the vet yesterday. I am worried about Squeaky. She went from 13 lbs down to 7.5. Blood was drawn to do testing, but she was very uncooperative. I’m hoping it’s as simple as a thyroid condition that can be treated easily with medication. 

Good news for Big Boy. He is finally starting to lose weight, but needs teeth cleaning. 

Yay for Big Boy; sometimes, no matter what you do, it takes a while for weight loss to kick in.  I'm glad you're finally seeing progress, and hope his blood tests give him the A-OK for teeth cleaning (as removing that bacteria from the bloodstream is a good thing for overall health).

And I hope even more that Squeaky's blood tests reveal a benign and easily-managed cause of her weight loss.  There are a lot of them, and more the older they get - plus perhaps she's being affected by your attempts to get some weight off Big Boy? - so odds are this is no big deal, but that's a significant percentage of body weight loss, so I understand your fear it's not for a healthy reason.  But, again, odds are in her/your favor! Try not to borrow trouble, and let us know what you find out.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post

File this one under “silly pet parent”: I had been away for a week, and got home and noticed Lily’s coat was looking rough. I started wondering if something metabolic could be wrong with her, until I figured out that because I had been gone, the cats had been sleeping curled up together, and it’s winter in New England. Lily had a bad case of static electricity bed head, all over.

  • Like 1
  • Laugh 17

Share this post


Link to post

We said goodbye to Kitty Gunderson today. She let us know it was her time. I wish we had been able to keep her at home, but our VCA could not have been more compassionate.  Thank you to everyone for your advice and well wishes, it meant a lot. It’s very weird to be in our house without cats, for the first time since 1996.

  • Sad 24

Share this post


Link to post

Oh @MargeGunderson I am so very sorry.  Kitty had a wonderful and much loved life.  I know Kitty the Elder is showing her the ropes up in heaven.

It is very odd to be catless after so long.

I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers in the days ahead as you navigate your way through both of these changes.

You know we are here for you.  Virtual hugs.

  • Like 11

Share this post


Link to post

I'm so sorry to hear about the death of Kitty Gunderson.  She had a long life, and, more importantly, a wonderful one - loving and being loved by people who did everything they could for her, including letting her go when it was time - but it's a devastating loss for you.  And I know it's incredibly weird to be in a cat-less house after so long with at least one feline about.  Riley will get extra cuddles and treats tonight in honor of Kitty's memory, and you will be in my thoughts.

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post

MargeGunderson, I'm so sorry. I'm glad you were able to recognize she was ready and you were strong enough to let her go and that it was peaceful. It's the hardest part of loving a pet.

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post

I am so sorry for your loss, @MargeGunderson.  Losing a beloved pet is heartbreaking; when it's your last remaining one it is devastating.  Please remember to take care of yourself in this time of sorrow, and know my thoughts are with you and Kitty Gunderson.

  • Like 11
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post

@MargeGunderson I'm so sorry for your loss. I know Kitty Gunderson was a deeply loved and cared for kitty. She couldn't have asked for a better cat mom. You're both in my thoughts.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post

Thank you, everyone! It’s been hard, but we are adjusting to our new normal. Today we dropped off the unopened cat food and litter at our local Petco, which donates it to people who need it. We also picked up Kitty Gunderson’s ashes and paw print. The VCA was nice enough to take our leftover and unused medical supplies as well. Mr Gunderson is already talking about getting more cats, but there are a few things we need to do around the house first (refinishing the floors), and we’d like to take a vacation. Until then, I look forward to seeing everyone’s pet pictures and hearing about their antics!

  • Like 18

Share this post


Link to post

 I’ve been thinking about the dog we had years ago. This is Ginger, and one of my grandsons. I can’t believe this was 9 years ago already. 
 

6EE3268B-A1FC-473F-BDF5-02F0446AC3B7.jpeg

Edited by ginger90 · Reason: Forgot to add the picture. 🤷🏼‍♀️
  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
On 1/25/2020 at 12:23 PM, MargeGunderson said:

Until then, I look forward to seeing everyone’s pet pictures and hearing about their antics!

Since this past Christmas will almost certainly turn out to be Chester's (my parents' polydactyl cat with small cell lymphoma in the intestines that isn't responding to treatment) last, we decided to make a paw print impression (with a hole at the top to string a ribbon through if we want to make it an ornament) of him while he's alive, rather than just waiting for the one you get from the crematorium.  And then we did one of Bandit, who was not as cooperative a hand model as his brother.  And I later did one of Riley - and that was the most fun, just me, handling a cat who loathes being held unless we're lying down.

I don't have pictures of the boys' imprints, but here is Riley's (which I took with it turned slightly instead of head-on and was too lazy to photograph again once I realized).  Because I didn't have anyone to help me, the left-most toe didn't come out all that well and I cheated with a Q-tip.  But how perfectly tiny and symmetrically cute is this little paw, I ask you?!

 

Riley's pawprint.JPG

  • Like 14

Share this post


Link to post

And here's my little goober with a yawn that would make a lion proud (yes, she'll get her teeth cleaned this year):

 

Riley big yawn.JPG

Edited by Bastet
  • Like 18

Share this post


Link to post

@Bastet, your little one looks like Kitty Gunderson the Younger! Same patter and coloring. I swear when she yawned I thought she might unhinge her jaw. She had a  dark spot right in the middle of her tongue, which was on full displayed when she yawned.

Edited by MargeGunderson
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Brought over from commercials:
 

Quote

 

Yep, it's $67.64 a year, for something that is not actually any better for your pet.  I definitely ain't wasting my money like that.  I feed my adult cat IAMS Urinary Health formula, which is actually less than the equivalent Purina formula at Walmart (his brother had issues, so they both got that), and the new kitten gets Purina Kitten Chow because the person who rescued her gave me a big bag.  Eventually the kitten will get the IAMS stuff too if my vet says it's okay for her.

The mere fact that the commercials have to contain that disclaimer tells me Blue Buffalo isn't worth it.

 

My last cat was allergic to food, so she had to have the hypoallergenic.  That was quite pricey.  The only saving grace was that she didn't like canned food, so I didn't have to buy any of the real expensive stuff, and she hardly ate anything.  I legit don't know how she stayed alive so long.  She ate about 1/4 cup of food a day on days she was superhungry.

  • Like 1
  • Surprise 1

Share this post


Link to post
3 minutes ago, Katy M said:

Brought over from commercials:
 

My last cat was allergic to food, so she had to have the hypoallergenic.  That was quite pricey.  The only saving grace was that she didn't like canned food, so I didn't have to buy any of the real expensive stuff, and she hardly ate anything.  I legit don't know how she stayed alive so long.  She ate about 1/4 cup of food a day on days she was superhungry.

I dread ever having to feed one of my cat special diet stuff again.  One of my previous kitties had hyperthyroidism for the last few years of her life, and the food for that was expensive.  Not that I wouldn't pay that again, it was worth it for the time we got together.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
On 1/30/2020 at 9:33 PM, MargeGunderson said:

@Bastet, your little one looks like Kitty Gunderson the Younger! Same patter and coloring. I swear when she yawned I thought she might unhinge her jaw. She had a  dark spot right in the middle of her tongue, which was on full displayed when she yawned.

Oh, do I relate - I usually say "big yawn for a little girl" to Riley, but it's also frequently "one day, you're going to unhinge your jaw" because so many of them are serious yawns, and the dark spots on the inside of her lips and roof of her mouth to this day sometimes strikes me at a different angle and give me a moment of "Shit,  What is that?!" before I remember it's okay.

Every morning when I get up and "commute" down the hall to my office, this is what my bed looks like until I can finally make it several hours later when she wanders out for food:

 

 

Riley staying in bed.JPG

Edited by Bastet
  • Like 17

Share this post


Link to post

4 hours ago, Bastet said:

Oh, do I relate - I usually say "big yawn for a little girl" to Riley, but it's also frequently "one day, you're going to unhinge your jaw" because so many of them are serious yawns, and the dark spots on the inside of her lips and roof of her mouth to this day sometimes strikes me at a different angle and give me a moment of "Shit,  What is that?!" before I remember it's okay.

Every morning when I get up and "commute" down the hall to my office, this is what my bed looks like until I can finally make it several hours later when she wanders out for food:

 

 

Riley staying in bed.JPG

How do you not smoosh your face directly into that fresh croissant?!?

  • Like 7
  • Laugh 2

Share this post


Link to post
18 hours ago, AgentRXS said:

If you ever need a PSA  on keeping your pet's microchip information current:  4 years ago, a man had his dog stolen from him during a break-in at his apartment. This week, I picked up the dog off the street and reunited the two of them because the information was current. He never gave up on her after all this time! She was in rough shape but he is slowly nursing her back to health. Miracles can happen!

The poor baby! So glad she's back with her hooman!

That reminds me, I need to update to my new address.

It took me until I moved out of state to update the cat-cat's info. I thought it was updated to my place in CA when I adopted him but it turns out it was still tied to the asshats who abandoned him! The process to update was a little stressful since the company that manages the chips said the asshats would have to approve the swap. Well I told the chip company I had moved out of state so if they somehow wanted him back I'd disappear, with him. I called the shelter and got the proof of adoption as well as the paper trail of efforts they made to contact the asshats. Chip updated and hopefully will never have to be used.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
On 2/1/2020 at 5:12 PM, ABay said:

When Girl Cat yawns big I usually exclaim "The Gaping Maw!"

Ha!  My dog Knox lets out the cutest squeak. “What an audible yawn!” I exclaim!

Great story @AgentRXS!  I can’t imagine for that owner how awesome getting that notification was.  Thankful for heroes like you. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

When Lily yawns, she crosses her eyes and sticks all her whiskers out straight forward, and looks completely ridiculous, and I giggle.  When Snip yawns, I'm afraid I'm going to fall in, and I call her "O Ye of the Infinitely Expandable Head". 

  • Laugh 3

Share this post


Link to post

“Maybe if you hadn’t brought that hairy yellow monster into this home I wouldn’t need jump on the counter to hide from him.”

 

874D6BAE-386E-4BD8-AFE7-BE0E027909B4.jpeg

  • Like 12
  • Laugh 9

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Customize font-size