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405614 tn?1329147714

I'm sad, almost depressed; Fluffy's losing more weight...

We were sitting on the couch last night; actually, I was sitting, he was lying with his back against my thigh.  I lightly laid my arm along his length to scratch under his chin and could feel his hip bones pushing against my arm.  I knew he was getting thinner, but that shocked me.  I haven't had a scale to weigh him since I moved into my apartment.

I drove to Target and bought a new digital scale today (I've been losing weight, too; for me it's a good thing).  I weighed myself, picked him up and weighed myself again, then subtracted the first number from the second.

Nov. 16 '09, he weighed 16 pounds

March 9, 2010 he weighed 14 pounds

March 15, he weighed 13.4 pounds

Today, April 28, he weighs 12.2 pounds.

He's lost almost a quarter of himself in five months.

He's only able to eat a few pieces of dry food a day.  I'm on my fifth day of using the same 6 oz. can of cat food; I've started supplementing it with chicken baby food. because he just won't eat much cat food.  He loves the baby food.  He also likes bits of the rice cakes I eat, and even some dry cheerios-type cereal, a couple of pieces at a time.

I figure I'll feed him what he'll eat; I'm going to go buy some chicken breast and try poaching it and chopping it up; see if he can eat that without flaring up his inflammatory bowel disease and losing it all through diarrhea.

He still drinks plenty of water.  He doesn't have much energy.  He comes out of the closet to be petted, loved, and fed, then snuggles up next to me, or lays on the floor or couch, then goes back into the closet.  Now he's in his bed in his tent beside the couch.  He'll probably stay there until I'm ready for bed, then he'll go ask to be put on the bed.  All he has to do is look at it, and I lift him up.  If I sit up in bed eating rice cakes, he'll jump up on the box and then the bed.  At least losing weight has made it easier for him to jump up some, I guess.

I cancelled my trip out of town; I had vertigo, and I didn't want to leave Fluffy.  I go to my yoga class on Saturday, I do some shopping, I've been baking yummy breads, spending time with my best friend, driving to do some shopping, taking a few walks.

I feel so low.  I spend way too much time watching TV or lying on my bed reading.  Today I found myself near tears several times, for no apparent reason.  At least in the last few weeks my tears would be called up by sad TV shows or happy newspaper stories.  Maybe the whole Fluffy weight-loss/end of life thing is wearing me down.  It's been almost 7 weeks since I found out he has cancer; feels like much longer.

I saw my primary care doctor yesterday and didn't say anything about feeling so low.  I told her about Fluffy and me needing to go in for a new brain MRI and my eye doc saying I have an irregularity that may be an early sign of a cataract, not enough to cause the blurred vision I'm dealing with (follow up with him in a year), but I think she accepted that my sadness was proportionate to my life experiences.  

Sorry if I'm rambling on; I know that several of you probably understand what I'm going through.  I hope you don't mind my sharing all this with you.



13 Responses
215234 tn?1305146561
Hi FluffysMom,

I'm sorry I don't know you, so don't know what your own health problems are, but from my own experience I know nursing a Cat so very ill & at the end of its life, can have a massive effect & cause flare ups of our own health problems, I've seen it with My Mum too, she has MS, & now they have a treatable diagnosis & have seen improvements in their own Cats health, rather than the threatened Feline Lukeamia, my Mums health has picked up massively, but the months leading up to it, she was very ill & constantly tearful,

My own dear old girl had to be put to sleep 2 days before Xmas, so I really do feel for you, & know exactly how you feel.......even though my Polly had reached  the grand old age of 20 it was hard to bare........she also lost a lot of weight & was then diagnosed with Hyperthyroid, & did pick up with treatment & put on weight again, then suddenly had a relapse, where she was again losing even more weight, went from her usual  huge hefty dog sized to light as a feather in such a short space of time, she was so old the Vet didn't want to put her through the trauma of opening her up to see what else was going on, she wouldn't of survived, but they were pretty sure she too had Cancer.....

in the end she took to vomiting everything she was given, & we knew the time had come to let her go, it was heartbreaking for all of us, more heartbreaking still to see the effect it had on my 7 year old Daughter, & those months in the run up to her passing had me dealing with the worst flare ups of my own health problems than I had since learning what I was dealing with, & how to pace myself, & like you constantly felt on the verge of tears, it was an awful time, & you dread the end.............I'm tearful now just thinking of it

but you know what, when the end finally came it was actually a HUGE relief, because I knew my baby was no longer ill & hurting & we could stop fearing for that end to come don;t get me wrong, I still miss her & always will, but it was her time & now its all over my own health improved a lot too.

For me the idea of going out & getting a new Cat so soon was too hard to bare, I felt way to disloyal, but my Daughter was heartbroken, & I had to do something for her sake, especially so close to Xmas, so we borrowed our friends 2 Kittens over Xmas itself, which helped put a smile back on her face, & they were so much fun it helped all of us......

as soon as Xmas was over we went to a Cat sanctuary & adopted a new 1 yr old rescue Cat, after all she had been abandoned & needed a home, so that helped me feel less disloyal to Polly, & our new Cat Roxi seemed to know where she was needed, & made our Daughters day by claiming the space next to her, on her high sleeper bed as her own, something our grand old lady could never do due to her age....Roxi still takes our Daughter to bed every night, & has made herself a big part of the family already.........

though we will never forget Polly, our Daughter has her little rememberance ritual of writing her name & hearts in the steam on a certain window near where she liked to sit, so Roxi has not replaced her, she never will, but she given us all something else to think about, a little bit of joy to replace the sadness.


so like you say, how you feel is perfectly normal, & I don't doubt its having a bad effect on your health, Cancer really does suck, its the cruelest of things, but your Boy is obviously very much loved, comfort yourself with that, & when the time comes to let him go, cry as you need to but don't be surprised nor guilty at the relief you will feel, it is after all his time, & what is best for him.

my heart goes out to you ((hug))
874521 tn?1424120397
COMMUNITY LEADER
Oh what can I add to the beautiful post from rockinghippy...she covered all the same feelings I went through as well.
I'm sure all the worry over fluffy is wearing you down the expected loss of a loved one is always in you're mind its hard not to be.
She is going slowly, giving you time to come to the acceptance of her leaving, in some ways thats kinder than a sudden passing...but its also hard to watch them slowly deteriorating before our eyes, we want so badly to keep them as long as we can.
the baby food is an 'excellent' idea, give her what ever she enjoys. try to keep you're spirits up K.
we all love you both and are here for you.

Rocking.....that was a lovely story of Polly and Roxi...its hard to learn to love another when the one we've lost was so precious, as you say Roxi needed a home and I think you both needed her too!!
740516 tn?1360946086
You both are in my prayers, dear :-(
996946 tn?1503252712
First, I would like to say what a beautiful, compassionate and helpful post for anyone finding themselves going through this sad but inevitalbe grief-filled process.  What she said was very comforting and I, like Opus, appreciate her sharing her personal story of Polly and Roxi. I hadn't seen anything lately from you Fluffysmom and I had feared the worst.  I've gone through this also with my 16 1/2 yr old Big Tom, the pain does ease over time.  it's been about 12 yrs now but I will always remember him with so many wonderful memories. Please take care of yourself through all this and know that all of us here on the cat forum are here for you.
405614 tn?1329147714
rockinhippy (love the screen name!),

Thank you so much for your compassion and sharing. I also have MS. I cried reading about your Polly.  I'm glad you adopted Roxi.  You do so understand how I feel, and have made me feel better and a little less guilty for wishing for relief for both Fluffy and myself. I love him so deeply, as I did his mom before him.  

His mom was hit by a car when he was two, and I still have a picture of her on the bookcase next to my couch. That was so sudden; we both kept thinking Ginger would show up; he'd meow for her under dressers, in closets, looking for her.

I know I'll still talk to him when he's gone, say "mommy's home, Fluffy" when I come in, or just expect him to come out of the closet with his unique three-legged walk.

This watching him slowly fade away is torture; getting on the floor, trying to coax him to eat. Last night I ate some rice cakes in bed after midnight just to get him to eat something.  He came out of the closet when I got home from yoga this morning and he was moving really slow. He's been dragging more litter out of the litter box with him; I just vacuum it up, or pick it up with the dust-pan.

He has new lumps on his tail; I wonder if they're squamous cell carcinoma, too, or just some benign lump like he's had in the past.

I went to the social gathering after yoga today, one of the organizers asked about Fluffy in private, and one of the women kept me engaged in conversation in the group.  She also ran into me shopping (the yoga class is upstairs in a health food store), and told me to go ahead and get some chocolate covered ginger, it would be good for me.  I laughed, bought a few pieces, and enjoyed them totally.

Opus, Apple, Linda,

I need to remember to socialize and enjoy life; my grief and my illness are just parts of my life, not the whole.  Thank you all for being here for me, caing and being so supportive.  You are all so wonderful to share your kindness while dealing with your own lives; your ups and down, wonders and sadness, illness and joy.  

I'll come visit more often.  You all are good for me, and I like sharing with the rest of the forum, trying to help answer questions or give support.  

Hugs,

Kathy



405614 tn?1329147714
Fluffy has started having awful sneezing fits.  At first it was mostly after he had been eating or drinking, and would only be a few smallish sneezes.  Last night he sneezed several times after dinner stronger sneezes.

Several times during the night and wee hours of this morning his sneezing woke me up.  Once he was meowing, I woke up, and he started sneezing.

They were truly awful; his whole head jolted back and rapidly side to side, like he was shaking something off but it was from the force of the sneeze.  He would do it several times, then pause with his mouth open, doing the kind of ah-ah like humans do before a big ahchoo!, and then it would start again, maybe for a full minute of sneezing.  He would pause, then start again.  He would wipe his nose with his paw but he would still sneeze some more.

The sneezes were so powerful that I was afraid he would hurt himself.   I tried to comfort him, but he would pull away.  When I finally got him settled down around 5 am, I was lying there trying to go back to sleep, and I felt him raise his head to look at me.  I looked him in the eye until he sunk back down onto his Hello Kitty blanket with a kind of sighing exhalation, and slept soundly until a maintainance worker was hammering out in the hall around  7:30 am.

I'm sleep deprived and I'll bet Fluffy has a headache at the very least.  I have a whole list of things to get accomplished, including picking up Fluffy's records and his Methimazole prescription refill.  I guess some of the list will wait for tomorrow.

Any ideas on what to do for a sneezing cat?  It's most likely from his tumor in one way or another.



242912 tn?1402547092
COMMUNITY LEADER
Hi Kathy, I'm afraid I don't have any idea what to do.  I'm sure it's his tumor though, like you said.  Due to the location, it might be tickling his nasal cavity.  Some of it Might be from allergies if Fluffy's prone to them and while pills seem to be out of the question at this point, I wonder if some sort of injection would help him?  A full minute is a long time to sneeze especially with the force you describe.  Can you ask a quick question of your vet when you go get the records?  Why are you getting the records?  You may have said in your other thread, but my memory is terrible, please forgive me.  

I can imagine how exhausted you are, Kathy, not only from lack of sleep, but watching our beloved pet suffer is...traumatizing to say the least.  I am picturing what your life must be like and my heart hearts for you.  
874521 tn?1424120397
COMMUNITY LEADER
I agree with Jade something is irritating her nasal cavity.
My Bailey passed away 8 yrs ago with a nasal tumor..she did have sneezes tho not as traumatic as Fluffy's...at one point she did sneeze up a blood clot and sprayed blood all over. As with Fluffy she too was in distress and stopped eating about that same time because she could no longer 'smell' her food.

this is traumatizing on you as well we want so badly to help and feel so powerless at this critical time. ...I feel so sad for you both, its hard!!!

love to you and Fluffy
242912 tn?1402547092
COMMUNITY LEADER
Of course, that meant to read "my heart hurts for you."  :(

Prayers and Hugs...♥
405614 tn?1329147714
Thanks, my friends.  

As the tumor has grown, it does seem to be pushing on his nose as well as his eye.

I'm getting his records because I'm going to leave him with my catsitter for a week and she wouldn't be able to transport him to my vet's if needed.  She has a local vet, as well as the Dove Lewis Animal Hospital being not too many blocks from this apartment building.  I just want her to be prepared.  I've been keeping her up to date on what's needed to get him to eat, bought some baby food, etc.

I've had a trip to Colorado Springs planned for months, and decided not to cancel it like I did the last one up by Seattle.  I don't want to leave my baby, but I need to take a break and get some sleep and fresh air and beautiful scenery to restore my soul a little.

My catsitter/friend/neighbor will take good care of him, and she can call me on my cell phone any time.  She live down the hall, and Fluffy will get to stay in this apartment.  She'll visit at least a couple of times a day, and spend time with him as well as feed him and give him his thyroid meds, scoop his litter, etc.  

I'll be away from May 21 - 27.  My best friend has a conference to go to at a posh resort, and I'm tagging along.  I had a free flight, and her company pays for the room which is large enough for two.  I plan on sleeping a lot, then taking walks out in the fresh air.  When she's not attending sessions, we'll go check out the surrounding area.

I have lots of pictures of Fluffy on my phone to keep me company, and of course his fur is always with me, ha ha.  We'll all just have to pray that he'll do OK while I'm gone.  His weight is pretty stable; I weighed him this morning; 12 pounds.  I'll make sure and feed him really well up until I leave.

exhausted hugs to you and yours
405614 tn?1329147714
I forgot to say that I will mention the sneezing to the vet.  I sent an e-mail to the office on the fourth, and got a reply that same day.  Mostly they suggested more expensive imaging and such, but did agree to send me my records; said they would fax or send them immediately.  I wrote back and told them I could pick them up.

If I don't feel up to driving today ('m that tired), I'll go tomorrow.  

A little amusing tale;  Fluffy's been a little constipated and has spent a fair amount of time just sitting in the litter box (he's urinating just fine).  Yesterday he passed a little hard poo.  I congratulated him.  An hour or so later he came zooming out of the litter box, ran all the way into the kitchen, and back into the living room.  I went and checked, and he had made a successful and good-sized poo.  I was happy to see his old form of celebration!
242912 tn?1402547092
COMMUNITY LEADER
Hahaha...good going, Fluffy.  Literally.  He probably felt so much better, he had to run and celebrate.  Sounds like he's still got his energy.  Good days and bad days, I'm sure.

I'm glad you decided to go on a trip, Kathy. You need it.  Not only do you have your own health to watch out for, but being a caregiver, be it for pet or human, is draining and anyone doing such a job needs a break to revitialize and refresh.  Sounds like Fluffy will be in good hands when you're gone.  

Update before you go, okay? :)






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