willowisp: (Tired or sad)
For those who haven't heard, Heidi, our oldest kitty, is very sick. She stopped eating and developed fatty liver. She now has a feeding tube through which she gets all of her food and water until (or perhaps if) she begins drinking and eating on her own again. Here's what tube feeding entails:

  • Using a syringe, pump water into her. Also, a dose of anti-nausea medication in her 6am, noon, and 6pm feedings.

  • Using a much larger syringe, inject watered down gooshy food. This has to go very slowly because, despite the anti-nausea meds, she seems to be hyper-prone to getting sick.

  • With a third syringe, flush out the feding tube with water to clean it out for her next round.

There are at least three points of failure to this routine. The first round of water can make her sick, as was the case at midnight last night. The round of food is acutely likely to make her sick, and we need to feed her very small doses with very large pauses to keep the food down. And even if parts one and two go well, the cleansing round of water can tip her over the edge, nausea-wise. Another potential point of failure we discovered last night -- the feeding tube somehow got nicked or punctured.

Along with feeding, we have to change the dressing around where the feeding tube was inserted. It needs to be changed every other day or if it becomes dirty or wet, whichever happens first. This involves a pad with anti-bacterial ointment over the insertion site, a layer or three of cotton bandage, a layer of gauze to make the whole mess adhesive for the final layer, alligator tape. A few small pieces of surgical tape are used to hold the tube upright.

Heidi can and has repeatedly pulled some of the dressing out and even gotten her tube almost completely uncovered. We're not sure if Jenny might not be helping Heidi on this count, although Jenny and Sean for the most part seem to be leaving Heidi alone.

Heidi herself is sending mixed signals. Aside from getting sick easily, she seems to be very lethargic, laying in one spot for 12-16 hours and walking very slowly and perhaps dragging somewhat. On the other hand, she will let us know when she is unhappy, and at night she likes to play one of her oldest roles, that of a cave kitty. She burrows under the covers (her cave) and sleeps there. Since coming home from the vet hospital she's also been pointedly making sure part of her is touching either Andy or me when she's in her cave. She hasn't yet snuggled between us like she used to, though.

Right now we're waiting for a callback from the vet to figure out what to do about her feeding tube. Andy has meanwhile deployed a temporary fix involving plastic wrap and surgical tape which seemed to work for the watering he gave her about half hour ago. If we don't hear back within the next five minutes or so (we left messages at 1:30 am and called in at about 10am, and it's now noon:40), we're going to try to feed her and see if the patch holds up.

Vet Visit

Nov. 5th, 2010 04:56 pm
willowisp: (Default)
Heidi and Sean had their annual exams today. Both have been sneezing and coughing, and Sean was even considerate enough to demonstrate for the vet. The vet thinks they are both suffering from allergies with a secondary bacterial infection, and both have antibiotics with some allergy meds mixed in.

Heidi, who was seriously overweight, has lost two pounds since last year's checkup. She still weighs appreciably more than Sean, but we're going to watch her to make sure her weight isn't plummeting dangerously.

It was Heidi's year for her rabies booster, but I asked the vet if it would be ok to give both rabies shots to get them on the same schedule. They also got distemper shots but not leukemia since they're strictly indoor. Although they get exams annually, they only get shots every three years, on the same schedule as their rabies inoculations, to lower the chances of injection site sarcoma.
willowisp: (Default)
Gail used to love playing with balloons, grabbing the strings in her mouth and directing them up our skylights -- in fact, it even became apparent that she would alternate which skylight she used. It was very cute, but [livejournal.com profile] callicrates and I haven't brought home balloons since she died.

Fast forward to last night. We went out to Red Robin (long story) for dinner, and on the way out I got a pretty green balloon. Unfortunately the string was too short for the kitties to reach easily, but it was fun watching Heidi jump and try to get it.

Overnight the helium wore out and, when I woke up this morning, the balloon was in our room. I pointed this out to Andy, and he said "Aw", and we both went back to sleep. When we got up for real, the balloon was back in the living room. Later in the day I determined that the primary (and perhaps the only) balloon mover is Heidi, who gleefully bats it around.

Her manner of moving it around doesn't surprise me. Sean has taken over as our string kitty, loving to drag things around by means of thin pieces of fabric/plastic. Since neither kitty appears intent upon popping the balloon, I'm still suspecting that Sean will get around to doing some redecorating of his own, hopefully when I can get a picture. Silly little guy has become camera-shy.

And, since I've mentioned three of our kitties in a post, here's a link to pictures of the first one, Thena, who only ever played with bubbles. Or rather, she may have batted around balloons post-helium, but if so I don't have the pictures online.
willowisp: (Serene or contemplative)
I had my first Thena dream since she died. There was some other stuff going on, but the important part started when Andy walked in, holding the Foo. I said "Thena?", and he said "It's a year before she died", then handed her over to me. We both petted her while she thunderpurred. I don't remember why, but I put her down and she scampered off. I went to pick her up again and she was gone. Andy and I (and some other people in the dream whom I knew but whom I don't know while awake) called and called her and even went looking, but she was gone.

When I woke up Heidi (AKA Nose Bandit) was sitting on my legs. As soon as she saw I was awake she came up to me and began licking my nose. She let me cuddle her like a teddy bear, something she doesn't do often, for as long as I let her groom me. Oh, and she too was purring her furry little throat out.


willowisp: (Default)

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