cats

Home Now, Last Days in NYC Recap

We’re home safe in Portland and the cats are in tip top shape. As always our cat/house sitter has done a fantastic job. I don’t know what we’re going to do after he moves away.

Saturday we went to Amaluna, the Cirque de Soleil performance currently happening by the Mets stadium. It was beautiful and fantastic and breathtaking. Before that we had infinite tea and scones and tea sandwiches at Alice’s Tea Cup. Breakfast was mueslix by Isaiah and dinner was a little Mexican restaurant that is a haunt of Lisa and John’s and their friends. We played a round of Ascension (fantastic board/card game) then collapsed.

Sunday the four of us went to Butter, Alex Guarnaschelli’s restaurant in Manhattan. Afterwards we went to the Whitney which is moving in 2015 from its current location. There were heart wrenchingly beautiful things, interesting things and things that didn’t touch me at all. Much like any museum I go to. Once done at the Whitney we were looking for dinner and somehow ended up at Chris Santos’ restaurant The Stanton Social in the lower east side. Completely different vibe, equally delicious food. In fact my suggestions on this trip have been good enough that John & Lisa have requested additional recommendations.

Once back at the apartment on Sunday we played more Ascension then went to bed. It was sad to say good bye to Lisa & John. They were fantastic hosts.

This morning we didn’t do much besides pack, boarded a plane at 5:00 and arrived home around 9:30pm. It’s not hot but warm enough that I’ve decided to switch to our summer comforter. Meanwhile I play with the cats and type.

I feel like I want to write more details on the places I ate and the things I saw. I want to do a lot of things. This trip was invigorating. Happy to be home. Head full of ideas.

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Life Continues

We got a new cat, Michael Symon Pegg, who is two years old and a good companion for our “kitten” Pirate who was not doing well with being an only cat.

I’m attempting to join a gym. They want sign off from my surgeon that it is ok for me to begin exercising. A few phone calls, a few hoops to jump through, probably some forms, hopefully some good end results.

Set some goals to write regularly again, exercise, eat well, etc.  Will work on that.

 

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This Weekend

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Humane Society

…..

I don’t really feel like talking too much right now but a few people have asked what happened. Linus has been dealing with diabetes for two years, issues with his digestive track for about a year, and lately been plagued by pain, complications of his two issues combined, and something the vet was unable to pin down. I had to make a choice and I chose to let him sleep.

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Stubborn Cat

Linus hasn’t thrown up for three days. I begin to hope again.

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A few down days

My cat Linus continues to do poorly. We’re giving him more insulin but he still sleeps by his water bowl (one of the top signs of diabetes that Linus displays). Meanwhile his new food is helping his digestive issues even as it makes him stinky and sick. He is still throwing up the first half of every day. I’ll skip kitty litter discussions.

My head cold is finally starting to clear up and I am getting more active post-surgery. I find I lack energy though.

I got Linus in January of 2000. I had been on call for Y2K tech support for New Year’s while working full time and attending community college full time in the evenings.¬† My life was work, homework, school, and a few friendly moments with coworkers. Life was pretty scripted and getting very surreal. I lived alone. I would come home from work where I worked from a script for the phones, go to school where I worked from the script that is a curriculum, and do homework which wasn’t very challenging. I was fading into a script. I needed something by my side that was unscripted.

If I could have, if I had had time, I would have gotten a puppy or a dog. I love dogs. I always had dogs growing up. I knew the responsibility for a dog was beyond me though. I needed something a little more independent: a cat.

A coworker who was a friend drove me out to the humane society and the local pound. I didn’t have a car. She took me there several times. I was determined to get an adult female calico, short hair. The first trip to the humane society she even charmed us into the back room where a new batch of kittens were being deflea’d. They had been left in a box on the side of the highway. I didn’t want a kitten. On my third visit to the humane society I wandered the cat room and finally had to admit the medium haired tabby boy kitten sitting in the windowsill looking out at the pet cemetery was mine. I picked him up and he threw an arm over my heart. He still does this.

He was so loving and quiet and cuddly. I took him to the vet who treated him for a head cold and after he became an utter terror. We worked out our boundaries. I named him Little Linus Larrabee, my own leading man. He kept me sane through college, moved to New York City with me when I graduated, moved home to Oregon with me when that moment came. Likes it when I play video games because he knows I’ll sit still and he can perch on me.

Watching him get sick like this makes me feel so numb to everything else. He’s off his food, a first. I’m off my food. He mopes around the house. I mope around the house. He moves out of range with very little interest or energy and barely a hiss when our three year old cat wants to play. I find I have little interest in playing with my friends. We’re in this tight little circle of two, Linus and I.

His bloodwork came back normal. His blood sugar levels are only moderately high. My husband and I joke that he’s probably allergic to the high fiber food that the vet prescribed. It’s not good for his blood sugar but it seems to be worse than that and yet it fixes some digestive issues that have been plaguing us for the last two years. We really don’t know what’s wrong with him.

It’s kind of weird having a cat with a mystery illness. I am just recovering from having my mystery illness patched. A lot of people with SCDS spend years trying to figure out what is wrong and then years waiting for their quality of life to get so bad that surgery seems worth it. I jumped right into surgery. Quality of life is very important to me. It’s not what I can stand, it’s what I aspire to. I aspire to so much more than being sick.

So here I am getting better while my cat, my Linus, my leading man of fourteen years, gets sick. Yeah. Don’t feel much like talking to people, posting that much on facebook, doing that much of anything really. I wish it was his mood that was broken and not his health. I would pick him up and dance around the room with him singing while he waited for a moment when he could leap out of my arms and escape and wash himself with dignity. Linus is good at dignity.

Anyway, that’s what’s going on with me. Sick cat.

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Quality of Life: Sad Cat

I just finished getting a very expensive surgery to fix my own quality of life. Meanwhile my cat, who I adopted in January 2000, has health issues that are effecting his quality of life. Specifically diabetes and some digestion issues. One requires a low sugar/low fiber diet and the other requires a high fiber diet. Insulin shots (twice a day at meal times) can help with this balancing act but lately he’s gotten worse. He has a vet appointment this afternoon to discuss how to get him feeling better.

My cat sleeps a lot. He doesn’t groom himself. He throws up way too often (from one end or the other) and makes a pitiful meowing noise when he does. He walks stiffly, like he’s in pain, and hisses when someone walks too close to him. Given enough experimentation I can extend his life through medicine. He will have bad days and good days. Lately the bad days have gotten longer and the good days fewer. He still loves me, still purrs when he sits next to me all stinky and crusty.

Part of me feels like an evil scientist experimenting on my cat “for the better good.” I seem to have defined good as his continued life. I don’t know if that is right any more.

With people it is possible to have a sense of how to approach an illness. A little reason can be offered, hope spoken of, pros and cons weighed with great empathy. Linus, my cat, doesn’t know what is happening to him. He recognizes that the shot makes him feel better (or used to) but I can’t explain all the conflicting issues. He feels like he is dying right now. That’s how I interpret his no longer cleaning himself. I don’t know how to tell him that all this suffering I put him through may make life nicer. I don’t know how much suffering counts as fair.

At what point am I torturing my cat to keep him alive?

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