Tag: Kiesha

Good night, Squeakitty

I stayed home with Kiesha on Monday. After Sunday evening, I was worried about her. She still was not eating, although she did lap up liquid from some wet food. My regular vet was unavailable, so I made an appointment for 10:00 on Tuesday morning. I did take her in for fluids on Monday afternoon because she had been throwing up so much. She was a little dehydrated, so the fluids helped her stay comfortable.

She looked so small and uncomfortable Monday evening. I gave her some wet food with gravy in a bowl on the bed. When I checked on her a little while later, she had curled up with her rump in the wet food bowl. She had never done anything like that before. On Monday night, she slept at my feet instead of under the covers. My poor kitty. I could feel the bumps along her spine under my fingers when I petted her. She purred a little, but mostly she would move away when she started coughing.

I wanted desperately to cuddle with her over night because I knew what was going to happen when we went to the vet’s in the morning. She squirmed and complained if I picked her up, so I let her sleep where she wanted to instead of pulling her up next to me. I loved on her in the morning and stayed in bed with her as long as I could.

She went into the cat carrier without too much fuss. Curled up and was quiet during the entire drive. We had had an ice storm the night before, so the drive out took longer than expected. I talked to Squeaky on the way out, in part to keep myself from crying.

I kept telling myself that Kiesha was going in just for an “evaluation,” to see where we were with the tumor’s progress and what it meant for her outlook. Except I knew that I was not going to be bringing my kitty home with me.

There comes a point when you have to let a kitty go, and today was that day. She was so good and purred when I cuddled with her. The vet couldn’t get over how much the tumor had grown and also commented on how Kiesha’s coat, muscle, and overall demeanor had gone downhill. The tumor in Kiesha’s abdomen had also grown in size. From it’s location the vet thought it might be attached to Kiesha’s intestines (which could have interfered with digestion). The tumor under her chin was interfering with vocal chords, swallowing, eating, and would eventually interfere with her breathing.

Kiesha, last day
Kiesha, last day

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The hard thing about Kiesha’s cancer is that it was only going to get worse as time went on. She wasn’t going to heal. There weren’t any treatment options. She was already uncomfortable and hurting. I couldn’t keep her here for me when she was going to be in pain. The only choice I had was to let her go.

I stayed with her until she took her last breath. My poor little Squeaky. She was gone even before the vet had finished administering the dose.

Here’s to my sweet Kiesha, the aggressive cuddle cat and last of my four kitties.

Time to say goodbye?

For the third day in a row, Kiesha has been dry heaving and making those strange up-chuck then hoarse quack-squeak, with her stomach heaving up and nothing coming out. She hasn’t been looking good. Her coat quality has deteriorated. She is drinking water and using the litter box.

She hasn’t touched the dry food in a couple of days. I emptied it and put fresh food in there, but there still doesn’t seem to be anything eaten from it. The last time I saw her nose around in the food, she threw up two pieces of the dry food. It’s like she can’t swallow it so it comes back up. I think the tumor has gotten large enough that it has started interfering with her eating.

When I gave her wet food today, she immediately started licking it. She is so hungry and she can’t seem to eat anything. She licked t the food enthusiastically. She even took a few bites of the wet food. Even small bites of the pate caused problems for her. She would take a little bite and then stop, cough, half gag, lick her lips, and then lick the pate again.

When I was out running errands today, I tried to find types of wet cat food that would have a lot of gravy or juice that Kiesha can lick up and have some nourishment. I found two types of wet food (Iams and Friskies wet food in a pouch). The Iams is okay for ingredient quality. The Friskies isn’t any where near as nutritious as what she is used to. The idea is just to get some calories into her.

She eagerly licked at both bowls, lapped up the gravy. I felt very relieved that maybe I’d found something to help her. Except she started heaving again and nothing came up. Her breathing was labored, like she had a hard time catching her breath after the dry heaves.

Kiesha, 2 Mar 2014
Kiesha, 2 Mar 2014

She saw me come into the room and tried to purr. It is a pale echo of her loud, out-board-engine purr. It’s a whisper of a purr with a heavy rasp, like someone trying to purr but has smoked cigarettes for far too many years.

Instead of sleeping with me, she has been sleeping in hidey-holes. She sleeps in the closet, behind the closet door, next to the wall behind the book case, even under the bench at the end of the bed. This is all new behavior. Usually she sleeps with me and purrs. This morning and yesterday she wasn’t with me for most of the night.

I talked to Kiesha’s vet today. She said that as the tumor gets larger, it may interfere with breathing and eating. Tonight, Kiesha looked pretty miserable for the first time. I’ve known for the past week that something had changed for her. She’d hit the tipping point and we were going to have to do something soon.

Today she was so uncomfortable. I curled up next to her, loved on her, and cried. We’re going to the vet’s tomorrow for an evaluation. In my heart, I know it’s time but I don’t want it to be.

Morning sounds

I woke up this morning to the sound of Kiesha trying to up-chuck right next to my ear. She was heaving and licking her lips but nothing was coming up. I put her on a floor and then put a paper towel under her, in case she did throw up something. Nothing came up. She made a gargling noise, coughed with a strange after noise that sounded like a hoarse duck.

She continued to heave, with the strange noises. I sat next to her, petted her, and tried to do what I could to help her. She moved away from me when I tried to pet her. The tumor under her chin now is the width of her chin.

I feel so powerless to do anything to help her. She will still gently headbutt my hand when I hold it near her head. She likes it when I pet behind her shoulders, but not her head, and only when she is laying down. When she is walking, she moves away from any contact.

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Squeaky has been with me for 17 or 18 years. It’s so hard to watch her gradually deteriorate. She is such a sweet little kitty. When I pet her, I can feel more of her ribs and spine along her back. Her dry food hasn’t been touched today, but she seems to be eating the wet food.

She has the same slightly hollow look in her eyes that Basette, Stella, and Ambush all had in their last days. It breaks my heart to see her like this. I keep hoping she’ll get better, but I know she won’t.

Check-in with the Squeakitty

The mass under Kiesha’s chin has continued to grow. She doesn’t come downstairs to greet me any more. In fact, she’s only been coming downstairs once or twice per week. She purrs hesitantly when she see me, like an engine with a rough idle.

Kiesha, 16 Feb 2014
Kiesha, 16 Feb 2014

It’s hard to listen to her purr. She is having a harder time, but mostly seems okay. I keep watching for the day when she isn’t quite right, when she doesn’t seem happy or comfortable. I keep hoping we’ll have more time, but at the rate the tumor is growing under her chin, I’m afraid.

Blood test result for Kiesha

Some good news at least. Kiesha’s blood tests showed that all of her organs are functioning normally. Her thyroid levels are at the same range they were last time she was tested. So we’re all good there. That’s a bit of a relief. Next step will be the ultrasound. It’s quite expensive. I’m not sure what else I can do to help her, though. I’m not sure if there is time to put off doing the ultra sound a few weeks so the payment for it comes out of next month instead of this month.

You want to do everything you can but it’s a balancing act between trying to do enough to help and making sure there is food to eat, too.

Bad news for the Squeakitty

I took Kiesha to the vet Friday afternoon. She was so good for the exam and the blood draw. I had this dreadful feeling that something was wrong with Kiesha. You know some times you get a gut feeling that this is your last year with a pet. I find myself watching Kiesha’s sides to make sure she’s still breathing when I find her asleep on the bed.
Kiesha asleep on my lap
The vet’s exam confirmed that the tumor on Kiesha’s thyroid had probably turned malignant because it had significantly increased in size since her last visit. The bad news was that the vet had also found a second mass about the size of a golf ball in Kiesha’s abdomen (towards the back).

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Right now we suspect that Kiesha has cancer. She isn’t a candidate for surgery. I wouldn’t put her through that, certainly not at 17 years old. My goal has always been quality of life with her. We’re going to keep an eye on Kiesha and see what happens. (No, we don’t have a prognosis of how much time she has left. It’s a wait and see and do what we can to make her comfortable.)

The vet took a blood panel and we’ll see how that looks on Monday. It will tell us how her organs are functioning as well as her thyroid levels. We can also do an ultrasound of her abdomen to learn more about the other mass. Treatment options might vary depending upon where the mass is — and if it is close to any organs or interfering with anything.

I think I’ve been in shock all weekend from this. She’s my last kitty of a set of four. I’ve had her since she was about six months old. She’s the sweetest kitty.

Kiesha and the lumpy bump

Kiesha has had hyperthyroid problems for the past several years. She developed a lump on her thyroid under her chin a while back. The vet said most likely it was benign and not unheard of in a cat with hyperthyroid issues. She’s on a half tablet of methimazole twice per day. Her thyroid levels have tested about the same level for a few years.

On Monday morning, Kiesha sat on my chest purring. Her purr sounded like someone talking who was recovering from laryngitis. She purred for a few seconds and then got off of my chest. She made noises like she was going to cough up a hairball, and then stopped. I petted her again, thinking I’d comfort her, and she started purring loudly, that compressed hoarse purr. She again coughed and made hacking noises. I felt under her throat. The tumor on her thyroid was much larger than I remembered. It was larger than my thumb.

She has been eating and drinking okay but has looked like she’s lost weight. She’s been sleeping more and playing less. She doesn’t seem to be distressed or uncomfortable. She’s sitting on the couch next to me right now purring. Her purr is subdued. I pet her enough to have her purr, and then pause until the rumble subsides. And then pet her again. She’s been in my lap for most of the evening.

I’ve made an appointment on Friday afternoon with Kiesha to do a blood test for her thyroid levels and see what might be going on. I have a really bad feeling about this.

Kiesha eating finally

She’s eating more today. It seems to help that I’m home. If I pet her then she actually started eating her dry kibbles. She completely went off of her regular dry food and instead has been eating Purina One. It’s surprising that she is keeping it down considering that it’s so different from her regular no preservatives, no fillers Now Senior food.

A friend at work said that he used to get his older kitty to eat by petting her. She wouldn’t eat unless she was being adored. Couldn’t hurt to that that to… I petted her at least once an hour with the food bowl in front of her and she ate kibbles almost every time. This afternoon vet prescribed an appetite stimulant for Kiesha, so she had that with her regular hyperthyroid medicine tonight along with the NutriCal, a calorie and vitamin supplement.

After three days of being off of her wet food, she ate half of a can of wet food tonight. First time she has done that (amazing since she had turned her nose up at tuna fish for two days).

Major improvements! She even drank a little water. I kept remembering how Stella walked and looked during her last days and was afraid that it’s getting close to Kiesha’s time. It still could be. She’ll have the best days I can give her.

Wobbly Kiesha

Kiesha noted when I woke up and walked over to me. Her hind quarters were wobbly and she almost fell to the side several times. At that point, I forgot about Stephanie and was focused on Squeaky. I watched her closely, and she repeated the same type of movement every time I asked her to move. She purred and was happy to be loved on. She licked her lips a lot, swallowed — almost like she was going to have a hairball.

When I went into the kitchen to fix her food, she wandered/wobbled in and was very vocal for wanting food. She drank up her medicine and licked the bowl clean. She had a good appetite. She licked at her wet food. She seemed to lick up the juice from the wet food but anytime she had a piece of the chicken she stopped for a second, seemed to have some trouble chewing, and then went back to licking after a few seconds. After maybe five minutes of licking at her food, she wobbled over to her hidey-hole in the cat tree. She wasn’t interested in food after that, even when I opened a different flavor.

I’m not sure if she is having trouble swallowing, something with her teeth, or what. Makes me wonder if she has heart burn.

Kiesha is at the vet’s this morning for observation. I’m not sure that they will be able to do anything. I didn’t want to leave Kiesha alone in the house like that.

Kiesha is eating again

I’ve found two brands of food that she really seems to like: Tiki Cat and Weruva. She loves the chicken flavors and some of the tuna fish ones. She’s also eating Now Senior kitty food very well. She’s started following me around room to room again. She is being more demanding about eating.

All very good signs. She’s on the mend. I wonder how much she weighs now? Hopefully she’s regained some of the weight she lost. Funny how it’s only when you see they are feeling better that you realize how bad they were.

Kiesha kinda eating, kinda not

Kiesha (also known as the Squeakitty or Squeaky) is not doing very well. After the vet visit on July 8, the vet suggested feeding her only one type of food: EVO 95% beef wet food. Saturday evening, Kiesha ate the wet food like it was ambrosia. All of it scarfed without any pukage. Great, I thought. We’re set for the next few days.

Except, like many picky eaters, Kiesha got tired of the same flavor after two meals. She quit eating the EVO by Sunday afternoon. Even mixing the food with tuna fish juice didn’t help much. She was also tired of her dry food, Merrick’s Chicken dry food.

She is hungry and asking for food but then not eating what I put down for her. We’re going to have to try additional flavors or something. She did eat the tuna fish I put down and she’ll drink the Cat-Sip milk for cats when I put that out (she’s getting her meds in the Cat-Sip).

I have some additional dry food (Now Senior) that I’m going to try mixing in with the Merrick. She seems to be eating it pretty well, although she’s picking out the Now kibbles and leaving the Merrick. She likes it well enough — except she puked that first day I had the dry food out.

We’re going back to the vet this Saturday to see if I can change what she is getting for wet food.

Squeaky visits the vet

Kiesha has mostly stopped throwing up — at least she has stopped throwing up solid food. I was cleaning the office carpet this morning and noticed a lot of new puke spots of bile. Called the vet. Kiesha hasn’t been acting right, she doesn’t feel well, and she’s been throwing up for a few days.

The vet did a blood panel on Kiesha. The good news is that her organ functions all look good (so no hidden kidney issues to worry about). We can’t test her thyroid function until she has been on a stead dose of the methimazole for at least two weeks. Her electrolytes and potassium were a little low. She also had two responses that could indicate some kind of allergic reaction.

After talking with the vet, we are going to try changing only one thing and see what happens. We tried changing Kiesha’s wet food off of the Merrick and only on the EVO wet food (95% beef flavor). Over the next week, I’m to give Kiesha only this flavor of food, 5cc of Nutri-Cal (vitamin supplement), and her methimazole. She was also given some sub-cutaneous fluids.

Kiesha ate the EVO beef like it was ambrosia. She was definitely feeling better: she played and romped around the house. Something she hasn’t done in two weeks or more. It was an eye opening contrast to how she has been for the past few weeks.

We will see if she continues to like the EVO flavor for more than a few days. I’ve always swapped her food around between 2-3 brands because after a few days of one flavor, she would get tired of it and then refuse to eat.

Bad kitty mommy

I am a bad kitty mommy. I let Kiesha’s meds run out over the weekend and she was off of them for three days. I picked up her methimazole for her hyperthyroid disease yesterday along with some of her favorite kitty food (Merrick’s Grammys Pot Pie and Thanksgiving Dinner). Kiesha had her first dose on yesterday evening blended in with the juice from the kitty food. She scarfed the juice. Drank every last drop, and then promptly threw it up about 20 minutes later.

This morning she repeated the process. That’s two doses, partially taken, with food she’s been on for years. I don’t know if it’s the food or the meds upsetting her stomach… I’ll give it a few more days and then call the vet.

One thousand posts and counting

This post is the 1000th entry on Y Ceffyl Du. It’s only taken seven years to get here. I’ve blogged the tales and tribulations of four cats, five horses, and major events in my life. Here’s to Isis, Basette, Stella, and Ambush, who have passed and are missed. Their antics and memories are chronicled here.

Here’s to Rajiyyah, Logan, Kasane, and Prize, two still in my life and two with other people who love them dearly. And Kiesha, the only furrball left of the original four.

It’s amazing to think that I’ve stuck with this blog enough time to last seven years and 1000 posts.

Pretty neat.