August 18, 2012
The week started off like all weeks do with Sunday. What made this one different was I had to crush Twinkle’s medicine into her water and mix it well. Then I buzzed around and got ready to go to the Women’s Prayer Breakfast at our sister church in the valley. I’d known about the prayer breakfasts before but had never gone. One reason was, it was during the time I was working and Sunday was my day to Get Things Done. Another I didn’t tell anyone, it seemed to me that a prayer breakfast would be a somber time for introspection and reflection. This time, I decided to bite the bullet and go.
On the way there, I stopped by Mother’s grave and discovered the mowers had been at work again. The arrangement was not only destroyed—it had totally disappeared. It was like it was vaporized. When I was getting paid every other week, I could more or less handle investing in multiple decorations for her grave but that isn’t the case any more. I’m calling a halt to giving the mowing people something to aim for. My sisters have let me know they understand and support my decision.
Continuing on to the breakfast (I’d had my OJ and fava beans already) took me down a country road more or less straight through a lush valley. It was a bit frustrating that I was on a mission and couldn’t stop to take pictures.
Getting to the old church school where DS1 was in the first grade, I parked and went in. There were several people I knew and more that I didn’t. It didn’t take long to feel right at home.
After a bit more preparation, the breakfast was ready. One of the ladies was asked to give a health nugget so she had prepared a talk about the nutrition in rice. She had also brought a breakfast casserole with rice, partially blended almonds and raisins topped with banana and baked. There wasn’t much vegan fare there so I ate some of the casserole, a little granola and some frozen fruit. The casserole would have been better, IMHO, with the banana on the side.
Breakfast over, there was a devotional and prayer and then card making started. That turned out to be quite hilarious. You would have had to be there.
Back home, I planted kale in one of the smaller boxes I’d prepared over several days the week before. WHY does it take it so long to germinate? I’ve been hoping the packet was wrong and it’s really supposed to come up sooner than 8-15 days but I guess not.
I had my weekly visit with DD. She said she and merm would be camping this weekend so I don’t know if I’ll talk to her tomorrow or not.
Monday, the vet was supposed to call me. I carried the phone around in my pocket most of the day. That afternoon, I called and said I hadn’t heard anything and wondered why. The girl went looking and found that Twinkle’s chart had been filed back rather than landing on the doctor’s desk like it was supposed to. She’d make sure the doctor called me on Tuesday.
Earlier than I expected on Tuesday, the phone rang and it was the doctor. Just as I suspected, Twinkle is hyperthyroid as in feline Graves’ disease. I’d been googling (of course) and she had 99 44/100% of the symptoms. They include
weight loss, often despite increased appetite
increased thirst and urination
vomiting and diarrhea
always “hot” — seeking cooler temperatures
fast heart rate
Another site has
Unexplained Weight Loss and loss of muscle mass
Irritability or Nervousness
Excessive Thirst (polydipsia)
Yet another site added increased shedding to the list. The amount of hair she sheds could clothe another cat easily. The only symptom she didn’t have that shows up on both lists is diarrhea (thank goodness).
I had my list of questions and got answers to them. She told me I could take Twinkle to Arizona and have her injected with radioactive iodine to the tune of around $800 for the procedure alone. On top of that, there would be the trip out there and back plus having to dispose of her waste in a regulated manner for a period of two to three months. Surgery was out because of the risk of anesthesia. Medication can have disturbing side effects. Though rare, Twinkle would probably have them just because she’s Twinkle. I asked about Prescription Diet y/d. The doctor has several patients on it and she said there have been good results. I went down that afternoon and bought a bag, hoping against hope that Twinkle would like it. Besides that, I also got some more of the medication to mix with her water.
Not having Twinkle with me, I swung by the cemetery where my father is buried and tried to take some pictures. Later, I found that my teeny tiny card had malfunctioned and there was nothing there.
At home, I held my breath and gave Twinkle some of the food. She loved it! I got online and read up on how to feed it to her. For a cat her size she should have 1/4 to 3/8 cup per day split into two feedings. The animal should be allowed to eat for 15-20 minutes at a time. Now, Twinkle has never eaten for that long. She has always had food available all the time. I’d give it the old college try, though.
Next day, I fed her in the morning, carefully measuring out 1/8 cup. She didn’t eat it all so I took up what she had left and determined to not give her any more until the afternoon. She begged and pleaded but I didn’t give in. I felt so sorry for her.
That afternoon, she got another 1/8 cup. She ate most of it and walked off. I put THAT up. Old Softy gave in that evening and gave her what was left of the food she hadn’t eaten during the day.
Thursday, the exercise was repeated. Twinkle wasn’t happy and when Twinkle ain’t happy, Tommie ain’t happy, either. She started searching around for whatever she could find to eat. Anything that looked remotely edible, she tried to eat it.
That afternoon, she started in with the vomiting, crouching and straining. It was like déjà vu all over again. I cleaned up ‘way more messes than I wanted to. She’d climb into her cat box and try with no results. Then she’d do the same thing outside the cat box. Not good. At one point, she surprised me by scooting across the floor on her butt. I’d never seen her do that. I called the vet but she’d left for the day. I was told to bring her in the next morning.
Friday, I got up, drank my water, had my devotions and showered. Then I captured Twinkle and put her in the box. I had a strip of tape handy and taped the box crosswise. The roll was right there, too, but the end of the tape was nowhere to be found. I prayed and God had mercy on me. There it was! I made sure Ms Houdini wouldn’t be able to escape. This time, she was a bit more vocal about being imprisoned.
It was Mother’s birthday. I stopped by the cemetery again. Someone had stuck a tiny arrangement on my grandmother’s grave (I’m sure it had come from someone else’s).
Then it was on to see the vet.
When I got into the waiting room, there was one other person, a woman. Her dog had been having seizures. She was obviously worn out from little sleep the night before. We struck up a conversation and were immediately able to speak the same language—she works at the Mother Ship. We talked about the census, staffing issues, on and on. By and by, a young man came in with his dog then a man with a huge cat in a tiny carrier.
Almost an hour after Twinkle and I got there, we were directed to an exam room. On her best behavior, Twinkle was the model patient. She submitted to having her temperature taken with no objection. She was less enthused, though, when the young woman kept probing with a rectal loop to get a stool sample. Then it was waiting time. I petted Twinkle as she lay on the table and made sure she didn’t try to escape.
Then the doctor came in and began her examination. I explained about the straining and scooting and suggested she might be constipated. Well, the new food would cause smaller, less frequent stools. But the food she’d been on was pretty concentrated, too. I’d mentioned anal glands to the assistant and brought up the scooting to the vet again. Well, it wasn’t likely to be the glands. Cats don’t usually have a problem with them. That’s a dog issue. She’d check, anyway. Surprise! she expressed them and they were quite full (sorry if this is too graphic for your tender sensibilities). Twinkle did mildly balk at that. The vet apologized and said, “Yes, I know. I keep squeezing your butt.”
She suggested I could get a urine sample by having Twinkle use an empty litter box. Yeah, I’m sure that would work. She offered to get a sample using a syringe so that’s what she did. The UA came back with borderline protein but no blood. They’d keep the sample until Monday and, if all is well, they’ll discard it. Otherwise, they’ll send it off for a culture and sensitivity. I hope that isn’t necessary because that would be another $50. I asked about having to feed Twinkle on a schedule. The decision was to have her food available and let her eat the way she has for almost 15 years.
We were sent on our way with a liquid laxative (I didn’t give that to her until tonight) and something to mix with her canned food (I got a case of that) to stop the vomiting. This time, the bill was right at $100. When merm and I did my budget, nothing was allowed for this.
There was a vespers service last night. I’d slept less than three hours night before last so I didn’t go.
I got to church early today which was a feat in itself. I’ve sort of been dragging. Did my stint at the organ and listened to a sermon by a young man who has been a missionary to India. I meant to take a picture of the arrangement in front of the podium but forgot. I’ll do it next week if it’s still there.
This afternoon has been pleasant. I sat on the deck and ate some peach sorbet while I watched the hummingbirds. The Squatter came over, all excited about getting swarmed by some yellow jackets while he was mowing somebody’s lawn (that’s the second time he’s cornered me this week—the other time was when he needed a roll of toilet paper). I’ve been getting lots of figs off my fig tree. Yesterday, I’d picked some and saved most for today. They are getting sparse and smaller but they’re still good.
Genese is trying her best to beat me at Wordscraper but, unless she pulls out a good trick, it isn’t going to work. I play to win.