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July 16th, 2013

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10:33 am - Improvements
Sonya and I realized last night that we were both eulogizing one who had not yet fully passed. This gave the cat the great opportunity to make liars out of all of us. (He's like a little Mark Twain. Perhaps I need to tell him that Halley's Comet has yet to return.)

We had a travelling vet named Jake stop by this morning to look him over. We were all very worried that it would end with an injection and a soft goodbye. Instead Abbie got up, walked around, eyes wide open, alert and awake. He allowed Jake to check his eyes, his heart, and even his teeth. Jake was much more optimistic than we had been yesterday. Abbie was more optimistic than he had been yesterday. While he wasn't exactly dancing around, he was moving and that was more than I'd seen.

Jake confirmed that Abbie was in no pain, that his listlessness and all yesterday could very well have been delayed medicine processing and/or hospital shell shock. (This is another reason why I was loath to cart him 30 minutes north to Woburn.) Jake gave the cat an injection of not-saline electrolytes and explained the situation. The prognosis is not good, but until we have a firmer diagnosis from the oncology reports we can't do much.

Our marching orders are to put out a buffet of foods, including water, pedialyte and plain chicken broth, and see if his appetite returns enough for him to have a go. Tracy set out some tuna and the cat took it happily. This is a good sign. Remember all those bad signs I was talking about yesterday? This one is not bad. If you know of any foods Abbie might like, you're welcome to stop by and offer. (Just call first or something so we can put pants on. It's hot today.) Spicy and overly seasoned foods are right out, but apparently people food is back in. We have also been given a solution which is, in effect, cat Advil. I had hoped he'd get an appetite booster, but what with the tuna, it's best now just to see what he'll choose to eat on his own.

Simply put: Buddy's going to live through this today. He is ill, very very ill, but not quite at death's door as we feared. But his chest will continue to fill with fluid and at some time--a month, a few weeks--it will have to be drained again. Jake said he could perform the procedure at the house, which is a tremendous relief. Between now and then, at least, we will have to consider The Decision, but we did not have to make it today and for that I am extremely grateful. This house is now a cat hospice, and Abbie is still the king. He is not out of the woods. He will probably never make it out of the woods, whatever those are. But we're going to make sure that as long as he wishes to stay around, he's going to be very comfortable at it.

Thank you for your words and wishes and thoughts and songs. You are all so very, very kind. Even though I tell him he's got quite the posse, it often doesn't fully hit home until there's an outpouring. Thank you again.

(32 comments | Leave a comment)


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[User Picture]
Date:July 16th, 2013 03:08 pm (UTC)
I know it's not invalid food, but every cat of my acquaintance goes crazy for the cheesy flavours of Doritos and other chips.
[User Picture]
Date:July 16th, 2013 03:12 pm (UTC)
I had seen Sonya's entry pointing to your last entry, which I read, and I was just preparing to write a reply when I thought, Oh, but first I will friend derspatchel, and then when that was done, I found this entry, and so realized that Abbie had rallied.

I hope these last days (or weeks) are good ones for Abbie and for you.
[User Picture]
Date:July 16th, 2013 03:31 pm (UTC)
*hugs* for abbie, a most excellent cat. *sniffle*
[User Picture]
Date:July 16th, 2013 03:37 pm (UTC)
i don't have any clever food ideas, as tuna is the only people food my cat has any interest in, but i'd happily bring him some tuna or anything else anyone wants to suggest.
[User Picture]
Date:July 16th, 2013 03:32 pm (UTC)
My very infrequent visits to LJ are rewarded with news like this. Still sad, but a small gift of time. And I must add I love the idea of songs for Abbie. I imagine folk ballads and jaunty raps.
[User Picture]
From:Jim Sullivan
Date:July 16th, 2013 03:38 pm (UTC)

Wonderful News

Does Abbie have any weird little treats that he likes? What I mean is does he, perhaps, enjoy watermelon, as a great cat I once had did? Whatever it might be, get him some. And YAY!
[User Picture]
Date:July 16th, 2013 04:14 pm (UTC)

Re: Wonderful News

I don't think we've ever tried watermelon, but that sounds like a great idea. Thank you!
[User Picture]
Date:July 16th, 2013 03:52 pm (UTC)
Tell him to hold on 'til August and I'll bring him sushi.
[User Picture]
Date:July 16th, 2013 04:13 pm (UTC)
Hooray for Jake the vet! Hooray for Abbie's return and resilience! Reprieve is a wonderful thing.
[User Picture]
Date:July 16th, 2013 04:47 pm (UTC)
I saw the previous post and this one almost simultaneously, so I figured I would skip straight to responding here -- I am so glad Abbie is still with us for now. Give him a headrub from me, please, and I hope he stays comfortable for some time yet.

And *HUGS* to you in this emotional time. I'm glad you've got good people with you.
[User Picture]
Date:July 16th, 2013 04:54 pm (UTC)
"But we're going to make sure that as long as he wishes to stay around, he's going to be very comfortable at it."

Abbie the Cat has a Buddy, too.
[User Picture]
Date:July 16th, 2013 04:59 pm (UTC)
I can't bring food around, so I will virtually bestow a nice pile of dark meat chicken, sans bones. I don't know if Abbie appreciates chicken, but my Rose will toss furniture out of the way to get near whoever is eating chicken.
[User Picture]
Date:July 16th, 2013 05:45 pm (UTC)
John Barleycorn got up again!

I am so very glad. If he will accept the homage, please skritch him for me.

[User Picture]
Date:July 16th, 2013 06:17 pm (UTC)
Oof, it's most difficult and draining. I'm glad Abbie has rallied. I hope the test results come in soon and give guidance.

My cats love chicken breast lightly poached in (low salt) chicken stock, and served shredded in one bowl and the stock in another.
[User Picture]
Date:July 16th, 2013 07:42 pm (UTC)
I'm very glad to hear he's rallying; I hope your life isn't too upended by caring for him. I've been there, too, with two ailing elderly cats at the same time.
[User Picture]
Date:July 16th, 2013 11:07 pm (UTC)
I'm glad to hear that a most excellent cat is going to continue hang around and make lives awesome for a while. :)
[User Picture]
Date:July 17th, 2013 01:05 am (UTC)
O Abbie!

My cats have liked any cooked chicken or fish, waiting at my feet while it was grilled. My most recent cat liked crunchy things, like corn chips or anything contained in a chips bag that crinkled!</p>

Glad to read he's rallied. Hail stubborn cats who are not in pain today!

*house hug*, too.

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