Saturday, June 25, 2011
Not a Poetry Post
87º ~ back to our regularly scheduled heat wave, with highs close enough to 100º to count, no rain in sight, grass starting to show signs of stress, crinkly & browning
This is not a poetry post, but a post to explain my absence this week.
As the week began, we learned that Lou-Lou (3 years old, black & white kitty) had a high fever, accelerated heart rate, and anemia. (She had been growing more lethargic with a lessened appetite each day over the course of two - three weeks.) Blood tests showed some infection had "shredded" all of her mature red blood cells. The good news: her blood does contain immature red blood cells, which means her bone marrow is working correctly. She is currently on a steroid and an antibiotic to try to kill the infection and allow her system to rebuild its stores of mature red blood cells. We test her blood again next week to see if the cells are maturing and thriving.
In the midst of this, as we waited for results for Lou-Lou, I thought Libby (7 years old, tabby kitty) was breathing funny. I told myself I was being paranoid. Then, when it didn't go away in 12 hours or so, I took her to the vet. She was in heart failure and will always be in heart failure for the rest of her life. She has hydropthropic cardiomyopathy, a genetic disorder that causes some parts of the heart to continue to grow muscle when it shouldn't. I was able to see her heart on an ultrasound, and the vet showed me the part that was enlarged to twice the normal size. In addition, one wall of her heart is barely contracting at all because it is so thick. This is something that was happening her whole life. On Tuesday night, her heart could no longer keep up and fluids built up on her heart and lungs, causing the breathing difficulty. The vet put her on Lasix & a heart regulating med and sent her to an overnight clinic to stay in an oxygen cage until the meds could get some of the fluid off her heart and lungs. The long and the short of it is that she may only have about a year left with us and she'll need to be on meds for that time. She is responding well to the meds, so we are hopeful.
According to multiple vets, nothing we did caused any of this, and with Libby, there was nothing we could have done to prevent it. With Lou-Lou, we might have caught the infection earlier, but we did catch it in time, we hope.
Today, I've caught up on my sleep and as both cats appear to be stable for the moment, I'm getting back to a sense of normal, trying to come to terms with our new reality. My wise mother reminded me that we always knew that we would outlive our pets, and that is true. Also, we give them lots of love and attention every day and they live a good quality of life here in the Kangaroo house.
I confess, I'm a bit angry with the universe/god/creator/etc. at the moment, as my precious kitties are true innocents, well Libby is anyway...Lou-Lou does have a bit of the trouble-maker in her, but she still doesn't deserve this!