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.


Mrs Mom said...

Miss Nancy, prayers are coming for YOU, right along with the kitty. Take good care up there, and know that we will be thinking of you! Much love to you!!

Lib said...

Hi Nancy,
Will be praying for you and the sweet kitty!
Please take care of yourself!
Hope this wk. goes better for you!
Love,Hugs,Prayers,Blessins to you!

BClark said...

Now you know that we will pray like crazy for you, that has to be so frightening. Sure wish we were closer cause then I could come over and give you a hand. Miss Cookie sure is in good hands, lots of prayers for her also. Please take as good care of yourself as you do of your furbabies.

mommaof3 said...

awww the prayers too you from ya girl

Winifred said...

What an awful time yo're having. Wish I lived near you to help out.

Take care of yourself, I know it's no good saying don't worry because you always do. Can't help it with the kitty kats. Thinking of you and remembering you all in my prayers.

Patty said...

Well remember to take care of yourself in the process of caring for the kitties. They need you.

hippo chick said...

Well, first things first. Sorry I missed your bd. I do remember, now, that it is in April. Also, I certainly hope you are under a doctor's care. kYou need to take care of yourself, girl.

Next, on to the cats. Good news aobut Tammy's cats. I know it's a relief to her. They sure are cute cats. Also, good news about your feral kitty. I really never knew much about ferals. I am really getting a cat education from you.

And last of all, the bathroom tile looks good. Just take it easy. You have me worried.

~hippo hugs~

Susie said...

Hi Nancy,
I can certainly understand why you're feeling stressed about your beloved kitty.
You really must take care of yourself in order to be able to take such good care of them.
I've said a prayer for you.

Jess said...

Prayers for you,,,then the kitty! Love you, and you take know if i lived closer I would be doing litter pans, feeding, and doing meds!

Love you


Midlife Mom said...

Such great news! So glad that they got such a good report and I hope that they will do well for many years to come! Also hope your little feral kitty will do well. I too have never heard of fluid accumulating like that. I guess they get all the things that we get don't they? I hope I can tame my feral like you have yours. There will be lots of activity in the barn all summer and fall with the horses home so hopefully he will get used to us. He needs to be in here with us before next winter!

Nancy you have done a beautiful job on that tile! It looks perfect and yes I see that tail there! lol! He's thinking, what has she done to my floor!!!

You need to take care of yourself! I don't like the sound of all those heart problems!!!! Wish you lived closer so I could help you out with the cats and all. Glad your ex is helping out with transporting.

Hope you had a happy birthday with your family! xoxox

Gramma Ann said...

Dear Nancy,

Please take care of yourself and rest and take it easy. Hoping you will soon be feeling better.

Diane@Diane's Place said...

As most everybody else said, praying for you and Cookie. You need to take care of yourself, Nancy!

Prayers going up, dear heart, and much love to you.


Hootin' Anni said...

I do hope that Ms. Cookie will be okay. And as for you dear take care of yourself too.

Merle said...

Dear Nancy ~~ I am so very sorry your Miss Cookie is so unwell and
hope she can be helped. And you, my girl must take good care of yourself
to be able to take care of your kitties. Have you had a check up or is it not possible? Congratulations on getting on the news. Well done.
Glad you liked the pastor and musical
director and liked your story also
Shall we gather at the river?
Your tiles look wonderful, my friend. My prayers are with you.
Be very careful, Much Love,Merle.

Shauna said...

Hope you have a super weekend!
♥ HUGS ♥