Thursday, April 6, 2017

Home Again...

Monday turned out to be long...

Himself and I took a taxi ride to the vets in the afternoon. That was the high point. His relative quiet during our adventure in traffic escalated quickly upon entering the building and having his belly palpated. The vet, very gentle and soft-spoken, looked at me and asked whether he might possibly be defecating in a location other than his box as she felt very little. After reassurances that this was not the case, a side view radiograph confirmed that the boy was indeed full. Another enema was given while he howled in protest and I waited anxiously in another room.

That done, the vet and I went on to discuss his habits, diet, behavior and the contents of the radiograph. He is not a candidate for surgery to remove kidney stones. His water is passed out in copious amounts due to the state of his slowly declining kidneys, leaving little to facilitate transit through his intestine, hence the constipation. Wet food and pain medication were talked about and the vet asked permission to repeat his blood work and other tests to see where things are now versus three months ago. Her efforts were met with such overt hostility from Jacob that she was unable to do anything more and requested that he stay the night so that she could try again in the morning and get the results the next afternoon.

Things were eventually completed but the results did not arrive until the day after originally expected, and by then, my cat had had a somewhat lengthy staycation at Hotel VCA. He was found to have another urinary tract infection, so antibiotic therapy was started as was pain medication. Unfortunately, the compounded pain meds are liquid and even after telling this vet that I cannot shove things in his cheek without risk of injury, no other alternative was suggested.

I pill him with chicken flavored pockets and he has no problem with that. I will try putting the tuna flavored concoction on food or alone in a bowl but given his past track record and my lack of expertise at manipulating his mouth or being able to hold him still when he is annoyed, I hold out no hope of success.

Meanwhile, he still enjoys his food though I can now predict with reasonable certainty that in two to three days, this scenario will be supplanted by sluggishness and relative inappetence due to a full belly. We may once again be wending our way to the vets in search of subcutaneous fluids and the traumatic relief supplied via enema.

I can see that in the longer term these stop gap efforts, provided to assure comfort, will result in nothing but misery for us both, especially as I've not been taught to give fluids with needle and tube at home. My vet did tell me about an animal hospice, a practice that for a fee, sends a veterinarian to an animal's home to either provide limited palliative care or gentle euthanasia. They will also talk with pet guardians about determining the "right" time for the latter, hopefully reducing the fear and anxiety for the animal. I have made preliminary contact with the organization and have been assured by others I know that they are kind and compassionate to both guardian and pet.

For the moment, my precious boy is happy to be home, joyful in my lap and purring away.

16 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

I am so glad that he is home again, joyful and purring.
I am also glad to hear of the animal hospice, and without doubt, when the time comes, he will slip away much more happily at home.
Hugs.

Steve Reed said...

So sorry, E. It's good that you've laid he groundwork, at least, though hopefully you won't need it for a while. Remind us again how old Jacob is?

e said...

He will be sixteen in September, the equivalent of a human octogenarian.

The Happy Whisk said...

Glad to read that he is purring and eating.

Birdie said...

It is so hard. Our cat was 20 when he died. He, like your cat, was such a good friend.

Wisewebwoman said...

It's never easy but staying in the moment is where it's at. I lived it many times, most recently this past September with my beloved Ansa.
Big hugs to both of you and the hospice sounds excellent.

XO
WWW

jenny_o said...

So sorry, e. It's a heartache roller-coaster. When Jacob is having a good day, enjoy every moment. The animal hospice sounds like a good service. One thing our vet receptionist said has stayed with me. She said we would know when it was "time" (for euthanasia) ... and we did. She was right. Your heart will know.

Martha said...

I'm so sorry about all this. I feel my heart squeezed and there are tears in my eyes as I read this. I can only imagine how difficult it is for you. And for him. Hugs to you both. This is a difficult journey.

Anonymous said...

It's difficult to know when to choose euthanasia. It's something you never want to do, but it becomes clear at a certain point. Our cat had a brain tumor. I remember that last week or two. I sat with her in my lap all day long, every day. We finally had to do it. We couldn't stand to see her suffer. I know this is a difficult time for you. So sorry.

the walking man said...

e the hardest part in giving an animal, especially a cat is holding them still. The doing of it is the easy part especially if it sub cutaneous. Anyone nearby who could inject while you hold?

My dog, much younger than you cat, was blocked. Thankfully changing the food and a good walk cleared her out so I feel for you. Putting them down or easing them to their natural end (I have done both) is never easy. The question becomes when has the animal telling you "enough is enough." Only you and the cat can say.

As to your question about me--I am OK. Frustrated with the nation, angry at the situation we find ourselves in but for the most part simply looking for the flame to burn a little hotter. Thank you for asking.

Steve Reed said...

Well, that's a good long life, whatever happens. My cats Howard and Armenia both lived about that long, and Angeles only about half that! Anyway, I'm thinking of you both. Keep us posted.

Jenny Woolf said...

It is reassuring to know that the hospice is there if you need it, but at present I'm glad he is with you, and happy.

The Happy Whisk said...

Stopping back in to see how it's going.

Linda said...

Animals are such good companions and very therapeutic. They become a daily part of our lives and bring us so much joy and love. My heart goes out to you.

Secret Agent Woman said...

Catching up. Quite a ride with that kitty of yours. I hope you are able to enjoy this last bit of time with him. Sounds like he is.

Steve Reed said...

Just checking in, e. How are things with Jacob?