Two years ago today, Jay and I took Steve to the Humane Society to have her amputation sutures removed and we signed her adoption papers ending her term as our foster kitty and beginning her life as our furever kitty!!
Today, Jay and I picked Steve up from the specialist’s office after megacolon surgery. Two major surgeries in two years!! Goodness, Steve! That’s enough of that!!!
The technician that did Steve’s discharge told us how pawsome Steve was during her hospital stay. She said that usually, cats like to hide in the backs of their cages and are very anti-social. Not my Stevie girl!! Steve was right at the front of her cage asking for attention and watching everybody! They said that she watched other surgeries so closely it was almost creepy!! HAHAHA!!! Oh that’s my Steve! Just like her mommy, loves to watch the gross stuff! I can’t get enough of that on TV!
Steve will be recovering in the “foster closet” for two weeks, so no foster kittens for that time period. I lined the whole bottom of the closet with painter’s plastic, then put a flat sheet down over that. I bought Steve a new (cheap) bed that she can ruin while her insides sort themselves out. Everything is either easily washable or disposable. She can paint the closet brown for all I care!!
So Hoppy 2nd Adoptiversary Steve!!! I think this is a special one because there was a chance (a small chance, but still a chance) you weren’t going to make it! I love you so much pretty girl!!!
I’m sorry I didn’t update last night! I had a CRAZY day yesterday! I started bright and early when Jay got up for work (ugh, I forgot what 7am looked like!) so I could get the kittens to the humane society for their spay/neuter surgeries. Of course, it wasn’t just dropping the kittens off. I saw things that needed to be done and I did them because I never stop volunteering! After that I had to run to a pet sit real quick before barely making it on time to an appointment with my neurologist. Then of course the rest of my work day proceeded. When I got home, I finally got around to fully cleaning the bathroom from Steve’s week spent in there on enemas. I also started cleaning the kitten closet because I’ll be recovering Steve in there when she comes home. Next, I headed over to my parents’ house to spend time with my sister and her kids. When I got home last night I had to call a client who wanted to talk about something. Sadly, that something was rehoming her dog. She wants my help to find a better home for her dog who has not handled the death of the client’s mom well. Oh and I had a sit at the end of my night, too. PHEW!
SO! I did talk to the specialist’s office yesterday morning. They said that Steve had a good night. They said that she was being friendly and sweet – so normal Steve! The thing that surprised me a little, but the more I thought about it, the less it surprised me – Steve ate overnight! Steve LOVES to eat, so I guess I can’t really expect her to let major abdominal surgery keep her from missing dinner! She was probably really ticked off when they didn’t feed her breakfast! “Ummm…excuse me… breakfast? Can I have breakfast? I see that the other patients have had breakfast but you seem to have forgotten to feed me breakfast…”
They said she would need to spend another night, but I’m expecting her to spend a few more. Dr Glennon said that if something is going to go wrong in the healing process it will happen in days 3-4, so I imagine they would want her in their care through that time. When I talked to Dr Glennon immediately following surgery he did reiterate the 3-5 day healing period.
I definitely miss her. Saxon and Spyder miss her. They call out for her. It’s pretty sad. I’m really excited for her to come home and to be all healed and back to her old self. I’m hopeful that she can go back to a normal diet. It will be nice to not have to chase 3 cats down to make sure they’re eating their own food!
With the assumption that Steve will be there tomorrow on her Adoptiversary, I’m going to find out if I can visit her. She spent her Ampuversary in the hospital, and now she’s spending her Adoptiversary in the hospital. My poor girl 🙁
Steve and I met the surgeon today. He was just as nice and knowledgeable as everyone said he would be! When he walked in the room, I saw that he was wearing a tie with starfish on it and I felt like everything was going to be ok!
(A brief version of the starfish story if you don’t know it:
A young boy is seen walking along the beach, picking up starfish that have been washed ashore and tossing them back into the ocean. When asked why, he says that he is saving their lives. The guest says surely the boy knows that he cannot possibly save all of the starfish; how does he expect to save them?. The boy picks up another starfish, tosses it into the ocean, and replies,
“I saved that one.”
It’s very popular in the world of rescue!)
Steve is spending the night at the surgeon’s facility and will have her surgery tomorrow. They offered to call before she goes under and then again when she’s done, but I asked them not to call me before. I’d rather just focus on work and not worry because I know she’s in surgery. It will be a nice surprise to get the “all done” phone call!
I will update tomorrow night after Steve’s surgery! I’m not sure if I’ll go visit her post-op. I guess it depends on how long she’ll be in the hospital for recovery. I really miss her. Things are really weird around here without her throwing herself around.
Steve is home from the hospital for the night. Tomorrow we have an appointment with the specialist who is performing her surgery. The receptionist I made her appointment with said that her surgery will probably be Wednesday. She had x rays and bloodwork done today to prep her for surgery. One of the technicians said that she was good for her bloodwork but was having none of the x rays!
I’ve heard from a lot of the staff how sweet and awesome Steve is. They all really love her and I think they’ve been spoiling her a little extra! The overnight tech last night sent me a picture of her!
I’m still a little scared but I’m trying not to get overwhelmed. I’m just taking it all one step (or hop) at a time. I picked her up from the hospital this afternoon and got discharge instructions for tonight and tomorrow morning. Tomorrow we go to the specialist and ask all of the questions we have on our minds. Maybe Steve comes home after that. Maybe not, but we’ll go from there.
At the end of the week, Saturday, is Steve’s 2nd Gotcha Day. I’m looking forward to that. I hope she doesn’t have to celebrate it in the hospital, but really, I’ll just be grateful that she gets to celebrate it at all!
Steve and I were at the vet first thing this morning. The plan was for Dr Sarah and I to remove a chunk of poop that was stuck down low in Steve’s colon. Dr Sarah gloved up and went in. She felt the same thing I felt and tried like I did to remove it with no luck. She decided that she wanted to give Steve a pain med injection before proceeding any further and to take and X Ray to make sure that we were actually dealing with what we thought we were dealing with.
Steve has megacolon. Her entire colon is filled with more poo than I’ve ever seen. I felt myself deflate and the tears well up. I’ve feared this for 2 years. Dr Sarah started talking and I don’t know how much of it I actually caught and processed. Then I realized that I needed to straighten up and make a plan for Steve. This wasn’t a death sentence. Dr Sarah was talking about things step by step. First, she’ll take Steve for the day and work on emptying her colon. Then, she’ll see where her colon’s elasticity is. Is it actually megacolon, or just a lot of backed up poop? She’ll get in touch with the surgeon who handles megacolon surgeries. She’ll send him the X Ray and get his opinion. Maybe Steve will spend the night while they work on emptying her out some more. If it is megacolon, we’ll talk post op prognosis with the surgeon. Is Steve going to live a happy life after surgery? Is she going to continue to be at risk for this again? Is it worth putting Steve through surgery?
I’ve cried a lot in the last 3 hours. I’ve accepted my cat’s mortality many times. I’ve prepared myself to say goodbye to her many times. I’ve also set up a youcaring page for her because Jay and I can’t afford surgery. I won’t link it here because I’m pretty sure that’s breaking the rules, but it isn’t private and it is searchable if you are interested in helping out. If we do not go through with the surgery, any funds raised beyond Steve’s current vet bill will be donated to the Guardian Angel Fund at Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, which paid for Steve’s amputation surgery.
I’ve had a lot of support from family, friends, and total strangers. I’m eternally grateful for that. Please remain positive for me that Steve will get to celebrate her 2 year adoptiversary on Saturday, even if it’s in surgical recovery.
I’ve been missing from the blogs for how long? Over the past few days while the blogs have moved to a new server, I’ve wanted nothing more than to blog. Steve has not been doing well and I’ve needed to vent or to beg for support or pity from you all or something…I don’t really know.
As mentioned in my last post, Steve’s constipation troubles have flared up again. The doctor she saw last Friday had recommended Royal Canin’s fiber response diet. I’m not a big fan of Royal Canin, so I did a little research. I looked for success stories on the internet and asked my sister’s sister in law (who just graduated from vet school) what she thought about the food. She said she’s a fan and that one of her co-workers is having a lot of success with it with his cat. Finally, I asked Steve’s regular doctor. She wanted to go a no fiber route and recommended a fresh frozen diet. Steve wanted NOTHING to do with it. Even Saxon and Spyder turned their noses up at it.
To add insult to injury, after coming home from boarding, Steve’s appetite was in the toilet and she still wasn’t pooping. I found myself back at the vet on Wednesday afternoon seeing the doctor that had administered two enemas to Steve over the weekend. We talked diet again. She also recommended the fiber response, so I was sold. She ran bloodwork on Steve to check her electrolytes, then administered an enema and sent her home. I was told to expect poop by Thursday afternoon. That night, I ran out to Petsmart and picked up Steve’s new and VERY expensive ($44 for an 8.8 pound bag) prescription food as well as some new options of wet food to give her her Miralax in since she was obviously getting burned out on what she had been eating. She had no appetite for dinner, so I syringe fed her 25 mL of beef broth with her Miralax mixed in on doctor’s orders.
Thursday, in the middle of my walks (ie. my workday), I stopped home to take Yorrick out to pee and to check on Steve, who was locked in the bathroom. No poop, but she did eat REALLY well. I called the vet with the good and bad news. She was hopeful that Steve was eating. We made a plan for me to keep monitoring for poop and to pick up supplies to administer a warm soapy water enema at home on Friday if there was no poop by Thursday night or Friday morning.
So here we are on Friday. Steve continues to eat well. Her attitude is…meh. She’s not 100% my Stevie girl, but she’s also not the “I feel like crap” cat that I saw Tuesday night which led me to make Wednesday’s appointment. Still no poop, so Jay just helped me administer her soapy water enema. It’s working a little already.
I miss my cat. I can’t wait for her to be normal again so she can snuggle with me on the sofa or lounge on the floor wherever and whenever she pleases. I hate leaving her in the bathroom all day and night. I just want her to get better.
As I said in my last post, Saturday was Steve’s 2 year Ampuversary, and Jay and I were on a mini vacation for the weekend.
Jay took Friday off to leave for the Jersey shore early. He slept in a little, but was still awake earlier than I was (one of the perks of being a dog walker is the late morning start). I got up and wasn’t one foot out of the bedroom when he told me to watch where I stepped because someone had puked everywhere. He wasn’t kidding. It was EVERYWHERE! Part of me cursed him for not cleaning it up, part of me was happy he had left it so I could see what it consisted of and if it was something to be concerned about. Oh man, was it something to be concerned about!! I must have cleaned up 20something piles of puke. I traced it all back to Steve because she was the most lethargic and ….well….she had puke in her beard. I felt her belly for hard stool and didn’t feel anything, so I hoped it was just a case of the kitty pukes. I fed everyone and let her eat breakfast next to me. She ate a little then called it quits which I blamed on her recent pukes. I went to work and hoped that Jay would keep me posted before he left.
Jay texted me around noon that Steve was still puking. CRAP! I was able to swing by home an hour later and found she had puked up breakfast. Double CRAP! I had been fearing it all day. All signs pointed to constipated. I felt her belly again and still didn’t feel anything. I finished my day and kept trying to talk myself out of Steve being constipated, but when I finished and got home I took another feel – a good feel – and there it was. Triple CRAP! I called the vet. They could see me in an hour. Instead of dinner and a shower before packing and driving down the shore, I shoved half a sandwich in my face and packed myself, Jay, and Steve for weekends away (with the intention of Steve staying the weekend at the vet for monitoring).
The vet tech that started our appointment was nice, also a Tripawd owner, but was skeptical. She thought I was probably just looking for hard stool in Steve’s belly and felt something else. I told her that was fine and if Steve just needed a quick Cerenia shot, I would be totally ok with that!! The doctor – one we’ve never seen before – felt the same way. She brought in a different tech to restrain Steve for the feel. This tech, Laura, knew me and laughed about how the tech who took Steve’s vitals at her annual appointment on Monday never noticed that she only had 3 legs. Laura assured her that she knew Steve, has seen plenty of pictures on Facebook, and that Steve definitely only has 3 legs!! Anyways, the doctor felt hard stool. Bummer. Steve was spending the weekend and her ampuversary in the hospital getting enemas. The good news was that they were not going to charge me for hospitalization, just for medical boarding. Phew!!
So Steve made it almost a year and a half with no poop troubles. The doctor wasn’t entirely surprised. She wants to continue with the laxative/wet food plan, and switch Steve’s dry food to a high fiber prescription diet. I’m hoping it doesn’t dig too much into my pockets because I was going to change Yorrick to a rabbit diet. Steve’s diet is more important, though, so Yorrick can wait!
I have been absent a really long time! The reason is good news, if you ask me. I have been incredibly busy with my pet sitting and dog walking business!!
I thought I should check in, though, since this month is Steve’s ampuversary and adoptiversary and today is my vertigo-versary!! I’ve been one year “free” of vertigo!! I put free in quotation marks because I technically still have vertigo. If I stop taking Benadryl, the spins come right back.
Steve continues to be a foster big sister!! I organized my foster animal pictures and counted them all a couple of litters ago. At that point we were in the high 30s. I lost count, but we’re now somewhere in the 50s for how many animals we have fostered in the past 6 years. We have kept two (Spyder and Steve) and 4 have died (2 died several summers ago – 1 from an antibiotic toxicity and 1 from a virus outbreak – and 2 died in the last litter we had, possibly from distemper, possibly from a survival of the fittest type of situation). I think we’re doing pretty good!! Steve camps out at the bedroom door every day, waiting for the kittens to be released to “gen pop!” The distemper litter was kept in quarantine extra long and only got to come out for 3 days before going in for spay and neuter, but those 3 days were incredibly fun! They were so ready to explore anything beyond the closet and Steve, Spyder, and Saxon couldn’t keep up with them!!
Nebula JUST got adopted last week!! Can you believe it?! She was the longest we’ve ever fostered anything! She ended up going to an adoption center at the nearby PetSmart where she lived for just over a week before getting adopted.
Jay had a class with Esteban’s mom so we got to check in on him briefly. He’s doing great and loving life with his one eyed brother!
Steve’s Ampuversary is on the 15th. Jay and I will be on vacation down the Jersey shore, but I’ll try to remember to post to at least the Facebook page! Her Adoptiversary is two weeks later (remember, we signed her adoption papers when we went to have her sutures removed) so I need to make time to come back and post for that! Two whole years!! WOOHOO!!!! (and no more pooping troubles!)