Sorry I’ve been so absent lately. Life has been a little crazy lately and there hadn’t been much to share. But I think Kender’s days with us are numbered. I realized it all of the sudden on Monday evening (9/22), but then I realized there had been other signs I hadn’t given much thought to.
She started shedding a LOT a couple weeks ago. I chalked it up to the coming change in seasons. Then I noticed her head and upper chest area seemed a little more bony. But her ribs still had lots of meatiness to them and her abdomen was still chubby feeling. So I thought I was imagining things, or she was just slimming down a little (she’s always been a little overweight). Middle of last week she hardly ate any of the tuna I had been giving her at night with her grape seed extract. I thought maybe she was getting burnt out on it. She vomited a couple times a few weeks ago, but it was after eating grass outside so I thought it was just from the grass. This past weekend I noticed her food bowl was staying pretty full. She hasn’t pooped since Saturday night.
I had finally been able to work out a time to consult with Dr. Loops (due to the time difference) last Friday (9/19) and got his package of instructions, homeopathics and cell salts on Monday. I gave her cell salts in a little milk Tuesday morning…she only drank maybe a teaspoon of it. Refused them in tuna juice that night. When I gave Kender her homeopathic remedy last night, she threw up twice a min later…all yellow bile. Her food looked undisturbed this morning and there was only one pee in her litter….there’d always been at least 2 by morning. I called the vet and got an appt for Thursday morning. I debated on taking her at all. But wanted the confirmation that it is actually the cancer causing this (highly likely) and not potentially something else that we could treat (highly unlikely).
I keep going over everything I could have done differently that would have potentially prevented us from being where we are now. What if I’d paid closer attention….what if I’d started her homeopathics sooner. I don’t know why I let myself get caught up in thoughts like that. Nothing positive comes from it. It just saps energy from me that I could be putting to much better use.
The vet appointment didn’t give us anything definitive No obvious masses on the x-rays, but she said lymphoma sometimes causes lots of tiny tumors that you can’t see on x-rays. An ultrasound might be able to see them, but if not then a biopsy would be the only way to know for sure. Kender was pretty dehydrated and jaundiced though. So liver issues are suspected. She was also pretty unhappy about having her abdomen palpated. Her urine was brownish tinged which points to possible kidney issues, but could be from excess bilirubin They gave her some subQ fluids to help with the dehydration.
Waiting for the tech to come in to administer fluids
Kender’s blood work and u/a didn’t look good. Her platelets are pretty low. Her liver enzymes are elevated…not as high as she suspected they would be given her jaundice and bili count, but definitely raised. Her kidney values were awful and phosphorous was high. Urine had blood, protein and epithelial cells in it…likely from the kidney issues.
She hasn’t looked good all day…extremely lethargic. I’ve been feeding her by syringe throughout the day and giving her water that way as well. Every now and then she’ll take some water on her own if I put the dish up to her mouth, but she won’t take food on her own. I considered getting fluids to do subQ at home to try to help. But early yesterday afternoon I noticed her front leg was swollen and kinda puffy in the armpit area. Kender was NOT happy when I tried to feel it. I gave her about 3/4 a dose of Buprenex to try to help (I had discussed this previously with the vet for general comfort measures for Kender). It didn’t make any difference…whenever I put even the lightest pressure on that area, she was very unhappy about it. I spoke with the vet on the phone about it. She said sometimes subQ fluids will gravitate downwards into limbs and cause swelling, but the pain puzzled her and by now all that fluid should have been absorbed with how dehydrated she was. Her now-amputated leg was far more swollen before surgery and she never expressed this level of discomfort. So I decided against fluids for now in case that was the cause. But I’m doubtful. It seems slightly better today.
Her fluid pocket…the rest of the limb is swollen also
It’s horrible seeing her like this. A couple times she tried walking and between the painful front leg, only having 1 back leg and probably general weakness from not eating, she would fall over and just lay there…not lift her head or anything She peed in the litter box a couple times. Then last night she went again, but just laid in the box afterwards until I took her out and cleaned her off. I found her in her soiled litter box again this morning when I got up. Later on, she was back in the litter box, but hadn’t gone. Seeing her try to walk is almost frightening. I don’t know if it’s from weakness, pain or some sort of muscle coordination issue. But she did a better job of walking the first night after her surgery, doped up on meds, than she can do right now. She stumbles face first and just lays there. I just want to make her better, but that’s looking so unlikely right now. I feel so helpless and uncertain.
She’s so out of it today. I was honestly surprised to find her still alive this morning with how bad she looked last night. And today she looks even worse. It all happened so fast…I feel like a deer in the headlights. Do I keep syringe force feeding and watering her in a desperate attempt that she’ll improve? Do I leave her be so that her last moments with me aren’t of me forcing her to eat and drink when she doesn’t want to? I wish I could just ask her and get a real answer from her. Sometimes I look at her face and it seems like she’s not even really in there anymore. But then I see the parts of her that are there…that are her…not just a cat’s body. I think I mentioned in one of her post-amp posts that I knew she was starting to feel better because she was thwapping her tail again. Well she still sits there, all day practically, with her tail tapping. It’s nothing like the thwaps she used to do. But she still has that tiny bit of energy to tap tap tap her tail. That thwapping tail could be so annoying at times while trying to cuddle her before. Now I never want it to stop. I just want my kitty back.
I’m not 100% sure yet, but I really think if she’s still alive and doing this poorly after this weekend, that it’s probably time for us to let her go. I don’t know why this is so much harder on me than in the past. I’ve made the tough decision to euthanize 3 of my ferrets and had 1 die at home. Either way it sucks horribly. I know that if I saw anyone else with an animal like this, I’d think the humane thing to do was end it’s suffering. So I don’t know why it’s so much harder this time. I love her so much and don’t want her gone.
Late last night just before bed