Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wishing Everyone a Safe and Warm Holiday!

The tree is decorated, the presents are wrapped, the food is laid in, and the family is on their way. It is Christmas Eve for certain!

Everyone is doing ok, and we'll be enjoying the company of family through the holiday as I hope all of you can do as well.

Our Christmas Eve tradition is to enjoy a "cheese and crackers" dinner, however it is more than just cheese and crackers. We always have sliced sausages, smoked kippers, wonderful fruit and many other finger-foods. It is much easier (to fix and clean up from) than trying to fix a full meal, and gives us time to sit around the tree and reminisce about Christmases gone by.

I will wish you all a very happy holiday, and a safe, prosperous and peaceful new year! Merry Christmas!

A Family Photo
(A first, all the kittehs in one photo!)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

If It Isn't One Thing...

Got Treelo to the vet this myself. ESM apparently caught a bit of a bug and spent half the night last night "driving the porcelain bus," if you catch my drift. Not fun at all. She was in no shape/mood this morning to do anything, let alone take a trip to the vet. So, I got elected.

Unfortunately, I did something to my left foot on Thursday night and have been hobbling around ever since. So, here I am, gimpy, trying to haul the carrier to and from the car and the vet. Must have been a sight, for sure! Luckily, it is my left foot, and my car is an automatic, so I could at least drive. Otherwise, no vet visit...which I'm sure would have made Treelo happy! *grin*

Anyway, after her examination, the vet says it's probably Treelo's asthma acting up along with an allergy of some kind, made worse by the dry air. So, they gave me a prescription for an antihistamine with a bronchial dilator. Hopefully that will help her with her cough. She had two bouts with it today after we got back. Poor thing!

We're still running one humidifier...the other one apparently bit it. It leaked all over the carpet, and ESM had to dry up a pretty big puddle. I am planning on taking the broken one in the shower tomorrow and filling it up to see where the leak is. Maybe I can fix it.

I also need to check my furnace filter. I put a good allergen filter in about a week ago, and I've been meaning to go pull it and see how it's doing. Treelo and I have both been suffering, so my guess is we're both allergic to the same things. Like father, like daughter, eh?

BTW, Hubbard is doing well with his medication and insulin. No more accidental needle pokes into humans to report, so we must be getting better! *grin* His appetite is beginning to return, which is good news as well.

Hopefully, no one ELSE will get sick before Christmas! *knock wood*

--Sundown, Out

Pretty, Pretty Princess

Thursday, December 17, 2009

When the cat has more prescriptions than I do...

Well, we had our vet visit for Hubbard today. He now officially takes more drugs than I do.

ESM and I got our training on how to give him his insulin shots, which went very well. We're both pretty confident we can take care of that without any problems. So, we now have a vial of insulin in the fridge, and a needle dispenser/disposal unit on top of the fridge.

We gave Hubbard his first shot tonight and he seems to be tolerating it ok. ESM was a little nervous at first, but she did just fine. We also started him on the steroid for the pancreatitis. We'll see how he does with that as well. The vet tells us it will increase his appetite, so we're going to feed him well for the next 30 days and see if we can put some of the two pounds he lost back on his bones!

Treelo is still having some trouble, but she has NEVER liked taking pills and trying to give her the Benadryl has been no exception. So, the vet suggested today that we start her on Lysine. Since we had a bottle of the powdered Lysine from when we were giving it to Hubbard, we put some in a little dish of tuna for her. We gave Hubbard some tuna as well before we gave him his insulin...and of course the rest of the Horde wanted some too! *grin* I can see our food bill being a bit crazy for a while!

We're basically prepared for the holiday. Almost all the shopping is done (most of it online) and the house is as decorated as it is going to get this year. For some reason we've been a little busy with other things. *grin* We have family coming for Christmas Eve and staying over for Christmas with us. That will be nice to have them here. And I'm looking forward to a few days off from work before my final big push on the one project I need to have done at the end of the year.

I'll post again after Treelo's vet visit on Saturday and give y'all an update on general kitteh health. Give all your loved ones a hug from us!

--Sundown, Out

Our Precious Boy, Hubbard

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Lot Has Happened...

First off, sorry about the delay. Things have been a little crazy, between kitteh health issues, the holidays, my job with two major projects due before the end of the year, ESM's school finals and a smattering of extended family drama thrown in for good measure.

Ok, first thing's first. Kitteh health issues. Everyone is still with us for now, so don't panic. But, we have had a bit of a set-back with Hubbard.

As you may recall, Hubbard is our senior citizen, being somewhere north of 14 years old. After everyone went home from Thanksgiving, the next weekend we had pretty much to ourselves and we sorta let the horde run loose. Well, several of them (including Treelo, who is not normally allowed upstairs) came up and spent time in the master bedroom, which is Hubbard's domain. He apparently didn't like all the attention, and proceeded to make a wet spot on the carpet next to his box...then again later in the bathroom on the rug. This is very out of character for our boy, so it got our attention.

We decided that it must have been him being upset that day, as he has not done it since. But, it did highlight another problem that had apparently been getting steadily worse. We noticed he was drinking a lot more water and using his box more. Not good. So, we quickly scheduled a vet visit.

They decided to run a "geriatric screen" of tests on him. They also recommended looking for pancreatitis as well. We agreed and they ran the tests. We got most of the results back the next day, and it confirmed one of our suspicions. Hubbard is diabetic. That explains the increased box use and increased water consumption. He also has pancreatitis. They are not sure if one causes the other, but they are likely related some way. He had also lost almost two pounds in the two and a half months since he had seen the vet last! That was the scariest thing to hear, for me.

So, he starts insulin shots on Thursday, after we get a little training on how to give them to him safely. I watched my mother and grandmother give her aging cat insulin many times, so the process doesn't worry me much. We'll be fine.

For the pancreatitis, they will start him on a low-dose steroid. This complicates the blood sugar equation a bit, but they tell us between getting the diabetes under control and the steroid, the pancreatitis should clear up just fine. Then all we have to worry about is getting the weight back on him! I'm sure his appetite will come back when he feels better.

Treelo is also having issues. She is either allergic to something in the new house, or her asthma is flaring up. She has been sneezing and coughing quite a bit lately. It's all clear liquid, so we didn't think is was a cold, nasal infection or something like that...and our vet didn't think so either. The vet told us to go buy straight, old Benadryl (with nothing included, just the diphenhydramine 25mg) and give her half a pill once a day. Was that an adventure!

We poked the half a pill down her, but typical of our princess, she wouldn't swallow. And, once she tasted that bitter pill, she began foaming at the mouth like a rabid dog! Holy cow, I didn't know one cat could emit that much foam from any orifice! We had to follow her around the house with a washcloth and a towel, cleaning up after her for 20 minutes! Unbelievable.

The vet suggested that we either coat the pill in butter, or get some empty gel-caps from the pharmacy and put the pill in one of them, then give it to her. We are going to try that this week sometime. We'll see how that goes.

They also suggested it might be aggravated by the dry air around here, so we started our two portable humidifiers on the main floor of the house as well. That did seem to help her, so we're hoping the Benadryl might also help. We're keeping a close eye on her too.

I promise to post more this week on the other dramas that are playing out, but for now just know that things are somewhat more under control and we're all ok. I'll keep you all up to date on Hubbard and Treelo's progress.

"Wait a minute. Huh? What?"