Monday, April 27, 2009

Update on Cookie

Miss Cookie
(One happy, contented kitty! And feeling much better, too!)

Just a little update.....I received a call this morning that Miss Cookie had a good night, was breathing well on her own without the oxygen, wasn't eating much at all for them, was hiding under her towel in the oxygen cage, and that she could come home! I have to follow her up with my vet here on Monday, though. What a professional place! I came home with literally pages of printed material about feline heart problems, just so much information!

Well, since I only had 2 hours of sleep last night, I had to take a little nap after the daily A.M. cat care routine was finished. Then I got my shower and got ready to head off to Greenville to bring her home! Again, once I arrived there, I had a long wait. They were so busy with injured and sick animals. One little long-haired chihuahua had gotten into rat poison! He was adorable!!! His name was George and just 2 years old. I don't know why I didn't think to get a picture of him!!! He had the biggest round eyes that actually looked human! Gee, he was soooo cute! Later, much later, when I was leaving with Cookie, I ran into his owner in the parking lot, and she said they had induced vomiting and had brought the poison up but not sure if they got it all. He will be on Vit. K therapy for 14 days and also a good dose of charcoal to absorb any leftover poison in his stomach. I sure hope and pray the little fella pulls through! So many people love their pets and will do anything to save them. This place had technicians everywhere today! One busy place!!!

Anyhow, once they brought Cookie in to me in her carrier, she was one happy little girl! I had to wait for the vet to come in for consult, so I played with her while I waited. She got her tummy rubs, and, oh, how she purred!!! Bless her little heart! She was so happy to see me, and I, her! I could have cried, as she was so happy! I took a few pics of her laying in her carrier...she was so relaxed. Then, finally, the vet came into the exam room. She seems to be certain that Cookie has a heart condition as they detected a heart murmur today, a sure sign in cats. She said the lungs had settled down and were not crackling today, so she got a good listen to her heart. The left ventricle isn't functioning correctly. She said heart problems can be treated in cats with great results for many years sometimes. Our next move is to wait for the cyntology report to come back on the fluid...then an EKG to be done in Greenville one day this week just to see what is going on with her heart. I never anticipated any major health problems in a 3-year-old cat!

She rode in the front seat facing me as I drove home, and we had a non-eventful trip home, except she couldn't wait and wet in her carrier on the beach towel. No big deal! She had quite a time digging away! LOL Anyhow, she was one happy little gal to get back in her own environment! I immediately fed her, and she ate like a little pig! She is now sacked out up on top of the ferret cage. I doubt that she got much sleep at the clinic. She is thin from not eating for the past 3 days, but she will gain it back. She is just the sweetest little kitty, especially for being a feral. So for now, she is back home and doing well at the moment. Thank you, Lord! The other cats growled at her, as they can smell the hospital scent on her. In a couple of days, things should get back to normal as far as them all getting along again.

Well, that's the latest from Nancy's Little Cathouse in 'Dixie' for now!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Miss Cookie's Bad Day

Miss Cookie and Big Boy

These are 2 of the ferals in my office...Miss Cookie on the left and Big boy on the right. They love it up on top of that ferret cage as they look out the window all day. Notice that their left ears were 'tipped' when they were spayed/neutered. This is what they usually do to ferals, so that if they are released back into the wild to their former life and should ever be trapped again, the authorities would know that they have already been fixed. My cats aren't all pretty cats, but do I care? Nope! I love 'em, anyhow!!! They were kittens outside just trying to survive and needed a home, so I gave them a home! I hate to hear people say they only want a 'cute' or 'pretty' kitten or cat...they're all little creatures just wanting someone to love them.

Well, Miss Cookie is the lovingest little thing! She has really been a darling little kitty for being a feral. She has tamed quite well, but a feral will never be like a normal cat. They always have that lack of trust in humans and really don't care to be hugged or restrained in any way. "Pet me, but don't hug me!"

Late Thursday night, I noticed that her breathing was quite labored. Her little sides were sucking way in with every breath. Next morning, I called my vet and took her in, and I was told that she was definitely in respiratory distress. She was placed in oxygen immediately. I was ready to take her on to the specialists in Greenville, but she wasn't stable enough to even make the 30-minute trip without oxygen.

Once she was stabilized a little, X-rays were taken and revealed fluid outside her lungs in the chest cavity. Her heart wasn't even visible nor her lungs. Bloodwork was done along with other tests. The vet phoned me at home later and said they were going to do a chest tap on her to remove some of the fluid to help her breathe better. I was warned that, as stressed as she was, she could die during the procedure. They prepared her a little at a time, such as shaving just one side at a time, and then placing her back in the oxygen, until they finally had her ready for the tap. They drew just one side at a time, placing her back in the oxygen before doing the other side. The vet said she would have died overnight had I not brought her in! I have had cats all my life, but this is my first experience with fluid build-up like this. Well, altogether, they drew off 275 ml/cc off her little chest! I was told that is equal to about 9.5 ounces!!!

My vet phoned me when it was all over with and said that as soon as the last draw was finished, she actually heard the lung 'pop' back into place and the cat took a gasp and started breathing much better after that! She said the kitty did quite well during the procedure...that she kneaded (like kittens do when they nurse their mama) her towel that she was lying on through it all! Not once did she try to bite them, either! With ferals, there is always that danger when they are being restrained like that. They said she was actually very sweet with all they had to put her through. She was kept in oxygen and under observation until 5:30pm when I picked her up and transported her to Greenville to Upstate Veterinary Specialists' Emergency Clinic for the weekend. This place is really a state-of-the-art facility! There are 3 veterinarians on duty all weekend and also during the week all night from 6pm-8am when the regular vets are closed.

Upstate Emergency Clinic
(the stucco entrance on the side)

Under their care, she was immediately placed in an oxygen cubicle and started on IV fluids to hydrate her a little since she hadn't eaten or drank anything all day. She was also started on an antibiotic. Now we have to wait for the lab test to come back on the fluid, hopefully, that will be back on Monday. They still don't know what caused the fluid to build-up like that. The X-rays showed no tumors or anything.

This afternoon, the specialist phoned me to say that they were starting to wean Cookie off the oxygen and would see how she did during that. She is urinating in the litterbox there, so that is a good sign, knowing that her kidneys are still working. I am getting ready to call them when I finish with this post. They were going to give her an appetite stimulant to see if she would eat for them. If not, I may get to bring her home tomorrow as she will be more likely to eat once in her own surroundings. But then Monday will bring another day for her at my vet here. She will have to be watched closely for awhile until they figure out what caused this fluid problem.

I just phoned to get an update on her. She has been off the oxygen since 9:30pm and breathing well, thus far! She has eaten some canned food, too! So I do hope things continue to improve for her.

It has been a stressful couple of days for me, something I really didn't need right now. I had a heart attack 5 years ago the week after my mother passed away. I had another one on April 5th of this year that lasted 15 minutes and another one this week on the night of the 21st that lasted just 5 minutes. I have had a few light ones before these last ones, too. There is no mistaking the was the same as the first one, complete with the jaw pain in my lower jaw, pain between my shoulder blades coming straight through to my chest, the tightness to breathe, the nausea and the sweating. So I have been laying low all week, just trying to rest and take care of myself...and then to have a sick cat! My neighbor unloaded my trunk of cat food and litter yesterday for me. My ex has been coming to take my trash for me, and he drove me to Greenville with Cookie yesterday. And we were there for hours! It was 20 to 10 last night when I finally walked through my front door! Prayers would be appreciated for this dear little kitty...she is only 3 years old.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tile and Pets Update

Just a quick update! I have received several emails from blogger friends asking how the bath redo was coming along. Well, this was taken April 13th, and, since then, I have only laid 2 more tiles! Yes, I know, I am a slow worker, but I have been experiencing some heart problems again so decided to just take it easy for awhile.
Notice Oliver's tail in the pic. He is on special food to help prevent further kidney stone formation, and I feed him in this guest bathroom. He has his own little litterbox in there, too. This is HIS room and HIS only! He loves it in there! It was kind of funny to watch him the first time he walked in there on the new tiles...he kind of "pussy-footed" ever so slowly as he entered!
Every day this week, my ex and I have planned on getting the new saw set up and to do all the special cuts, but the pressure washers have been washing the exteriors of our homes here. For 2 days now, I was told by this guy that he would finish up. I need my front porch to set the saw up on, and it will be wet when he gets done washing out there...I have outdoor carpeting on that porch. (This is an electric saw, and we don't really wish to stand on wet ground while using it!) So we had to cancel the sawing both yesterday and today. And now today, my front was not washed again! So I suppose he will be here tomorrow, but we are planning on doing the sawing then, anyhow! I am tired of delaying it, and I am ready to get this tile job done!!! Do I need to say more? LOL I am anxious to get it grouted and the new baseboard and quarter round molding down.

Now on to my daughter's cats....GREAT NEWS!!!

Sweet Pea and Buster

We had them to Greenville to the specialists' place last week. Sweet Pea is clear of cancer, and she is now 12 months post-radiation!!! Buster also had his ultrasound and chest x-rays done last week, and he is free of all cancer, too!!! The lymph node that was cancerous is not showing up as cancer now at all! This new type of chemo they are using on him is working! It is called cobalt something or other...I can't recall the proper name right now. It does not affect him in any way at all...he has not been sick one minute from it. His ultrasound was clear after just 2 treatments! And since his checkup, he received treatment #3 last Friday...with just 2 more to go! So that was the best news we could have heard!!! So all in all, things are beginning to look up in my neck of the woods here in Dixie! And now temps are to be in the low 80's this weekend, so who could ask for anything more???

I do want to thank you all for the birthday wishes yesterday! My daughter had a birthday dinner for me on Sunday, but I did not get any pictures. Too much talk and chatter, and I totally forgot! Another year older, another year wiser, and another year more forgetful!!! LOL

Wishing you all a wonderful, fun-filled weekend, too!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Guest Bath Update, 206-Pound Dog, and Button Thank You's!

Well, believe it or not, I am back to working on my guest bath! I have been putting it off since I discovered that this new batch of tile I purchased is different from the first batch I got for my foyer. That tile was a two-tone, and this new tile is basically all one color, although it is still textured. Same pattern name, just a different batch! But I finally did get the tile started today! Below is a laser square/level, absolutely the best little tool for laying ceramic tile! If you look closely, you will see the red laser line that gets your tile job started straight and square. It's just getting started that I dread! Once I get started, I could lay tile all day long...but my back can't take the bending all day long! LOL Anyhow, I've got it started, so it's all downhill from here on in! Hooray!!!

I think the hardest part of tile laying is getting the bottom of the casings cut off so that the tile can be slipped under it as shown below. This makes for a much neater job than just nipping it to fit 'around' the casing. And that nipper tool is hard for a woman to use, too!

Below is where I laid out just 4 pieces to make sure it would come out right in the doorway. As you can see, I have cardboard laid over the floor so I can keep my feet clean...ha-ha The floor has been scrubbed with straight bleach, but I still don't like to stand on it in my bare feet! I still have 4 more squares of vinyl to remove yet, too, but still using it to stand on, also. My knees are not much good anymore, so I do all this tile work standing on my feet, bending from the waist.

Below are the first 4 pieces I laid! I did a 5th one before quitting this afternoon, and I plan to work in there some more later tonight yet. I am a fussy worker, so this job will take me awhile to complete. Before setting a tile in the cement adhesive, I square each piece and then level each one. I plan to lay all the full pieces before doing any cutting. I bought one of those electric table ceramic saws that you have to hook a water hose up to, so all the cutting will be done at one time, and one time only! I don't plan to lug that thing out to my patio every time I need to make a custom cut. But at least I've got the tile started!!! LOL Then comes the new baseboard and shoe molding...and then the plumber!!! Woo-Hoo!!!

This past Monday, the 6th, we had to take Buster and Sweet Pea back to the oncologist's for their checkups. On days when they have vet appointments, my daughter puts them both in her bonus room when she leaves for work. Sweet Pea is easy to get into her carrier, but Buster is a hider! We couldn't find him anywhere!!! Finally, I looked behind the computer desk and saw a black mass. I knew the cords wouldn't be solid black like that. Sure enough, it was him! Well, he had gotten himself in and under a shelf back of the desk, and with all the cords, it was impossible to pull him out by his back legs. So the only way we could get him out was by moving the desk out. Talk about heavy! Wow! That thing was really a devil to move! And then Buster was a little devil to get out, too! We finally got on the road but ended up being late for their appointments.

Their reports were very encouraging! Sweet Pea is doing phenomenal! Her lung x-rays were clear! Her liver and kidneys are normal yet, too. She is now one year post-radiation!!! Buster just had to have his regular bloodwork done this week to see how his system was tolerating the chemo...and the report came back that he is doing great! So he is on for Round 3 of chemo next Monday!

When we walked in the door, this is what greeted us! This Great Dane's name is "Marcus." He weighed in at 206 pounds, and his owner said he'd lost a few pounds! He has lymphoma, same as Buster. He is 6 1/2 years old. This lady told us the life span of a Great Dane is between 6 and 8 years. He is just one of three great danes in that household! The others weigh 120 and 160, so Marcus is, by far, the largest of the three. He was a friendly guy despite his scary size! He is also receiving chemo but was there that day to be treated for diarrhea. Notice in the first pic below that he is actually sitting in that chair and that his feet are actually off the floor!

Look at how big his head is compared to his owner's! She said they are fed twice a day....2 cups of dry food and half a can of wet food at each feeding.

And this last pic is my absolute favorite! He really was a great dog! He was as gentle as he was big! God bless you, Marcus.....


And now I need to acknowledge and say "thank you" to these great blogging friends! This first button is from Pea..."Sweet Pea" at Pea's Corner. You are so creative, Pea! You always make such pretty buttons for your readers! Thank you, Pea!

This next button is from Mary at Mary's Writing Nook. This button is adorable and makes me think of you working on your children's stories! Thank you, Mary!

This darling Easter button is from Hootin' Anni. This is just so sweet, just like Anni! She always comes up with cute buttons for all her readers! Thank you, Anni!

And this next one is from Mary of Mary's Writing Nook. You can tell Mary writes children's books, can't you? She is giving us a little of our childhood back when we all believed in the Easter Bunny! Thank you, dear Mary!

And this is the most recent one I received, and it is from Pea at Pea's Corner! Absolutely adorable!!! Thank you, Pea!

And now I would like to wish you all a very Happy Blessed Easter!