Friday, July 31, 2009

Thursday, July 30, 2009

07.30.09 [daily photo]

Kaesea's basement obsession continues. This is why he has a dirty nose in all recent photos!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

07.29.09 [daily photo]

Kaesea's video debut

I took this video of Kaesea playing with a fluffy bit I made for my wedding bouquet -- I was packing to leave for our trip and he became verrry interested.

This cracks me up:

I especially love the part where he gets distracted chomping on the piece of that red bag he is lounging on. And then when I question him about it, he just stares at me. As if to say, "Who, me?"

Yes, Kaesea. You.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

07.28.09 [daily photo]

Yes, we are all still here

I know it's been far too long since I have updated this blog. As most of you who read it know, Bill and I got married just over a week ago (Yay!) and we have been traveling for the past two weeks for our wedding and honeymoon.

During that time, after much agonizing, we decided to board Kaesea during the days at his vet and then have our cat sitter call every night to see if he was doing well enough to come home. The good news is that he was! Every night! So Kaesea spent each day at the vet and each night at home.

I called every day we were gone to check on him. There were some ups and downs, but in the end, he came through it like a champ and his weight remained about the same, which is fantastic. He went down to 9.0 lbs the second day there (after not eating for a whole day -- that cat loves to make me worry), but then back up to 9.13, where he basically sat the whole time. I think one day he made it to 9.33, but then back down again.

He was ecstatic to see us. We got back on Sunday and stayed home yesterday (Monday) to recover -- every time I touched him all day, he purred like a motorboat. He's been eating very well since he's been home, which is great. Bill made him Ahi for an after-dinner treat last night, which he inhaled.

We will be taking him in for a checkup later this week. At that time, we will discuss the cancer and what/if we want to do to try to treat it. Or not. I would like for him to gain more weight before putting him on drugs. His doctor's rebuttal to that is that perhaps if we were beating the cancer with drugs, he'd gain more weight. It's difficult to know the right thing to do, especially after his difficulties with the last treatment (the new treatment would not involve predisone of any kind, of course.) So we will keep thinking about it.

Meanwhile, I also have a backlog of photos to post. I will be doing that over the next day or so and will post-date them for the actual day they were taken on, so be sure to scroll down after Wednesday or Thursday and get a look at our boy.

Monday, July 27, 2009

07.27.09 [daily photo]

Our little nutjob.

As far as we can tell, Kaesea spent the entire time we were away trying to jam his nose into the crack of the door leading to the basement. He cannot hide the evidence left on his nose.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

07.26.09 [daily photo]

Taken the day we got home. Contentment all around.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

07.11.09 [daily photo]

Our Flower Girl.

This is actually a "flower" that I made for my wedding bouquet (I'll post a link here when I update my craft blog about it).

Kaesea was so interested in it that we took some time to play while I was packing before our trip. He looooved it.
I also have a video of him going nuts with this toy -- when I have a chance to upload it, I'll put it up here.
Edited to add: I've posted that video here.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

07.07.09 [daily photo]

Say cheese!

(This photo is a bit blurry, but I could not resist posting it. It cracks me up.)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sunday, July 5, 2009

07.05.09 [daily photo]

Mr. Inquisitive

We have never let the cats in the basement of our house. It's unfinished and kind of icky and there are a lot of places for a cat to hide that would be difficult to get them out of. Plus (and this is probably the biggest issue) Biscuit has a habit of chewing anything and everything that he is not supposed to and the idea of "Biscuit-proofing" the basement (basically a huge storage closet) is exhausting. So we just shut the door and keep them upstairs.

For the past several months, Biscuit has been kept in the front of the house and Kaesea in the back -- Biscuit is a fighter (he may be "playing," but Kaesea does not see it that way) so it's been easier on Kaesea to keep them separated. The back of the house is where the basement door is.

Last week, I was careless about closing the basement door all the way behind me and Kaesea made his way down the stairs. Bill and I talked it over and decided it might be a fun little "adventure" for him to have a supervised outing to the basement. Kaesea was all for it! He has always been a very curious cat and this is like a Whole. New. World.

We have let him down there three times now for about 10 minutes each time, just to sniff around and check things out. He is SO excited by this. When we think he's had enough, we scoop him up and take him upstairs. He disagrees with how much is "enough" and we have now created a bit of a monster: Kaesea is jonesing to explore the rest of the basement.

I tried to get a photo of him while he was actually pawing at the bottom of the door, but he got wise to me and quit before I could snap it. Here, however is a one of him simply staring at the door:

"I'm sure I can open this stupid door with the force of my will."

(Good luck with that, Kaesea.)

To me, this is just another sign of Kaesea's strong spirit -- kitties who are ready to check out are not interested in exploring Basement World. But our kitty is.

Oh, Kaesea has a question for you:
"Hey -- will you open this door for me? Huh, huh? C'mon... just a leeettle."

Weekend update: ups and downs

Mostly the usual going on here at Chez Kaesea: trying to get him to eat all of the time, getting excited when he does and disappointed when he does not. Overall, he does seem to be eating more than he has recently, which may be due to the prednisone.

Unfortunately, I suspect that the newest prednisone is bothering his pancreas again -- he seemed to be in a bit of pain this morning, so we gave him a shot of his pain meds. He took that well and ate much better after that, which is what happened when he had pancreatitis before.

This is unfortunate, because he will need some kind of steroid to go along with his chemo if/when we decide to try to treat his cancer. We may have rushed putting him back on the prednisone at this point -- his pancreas might not be fully healed and his weight is still so low. We will see his vet on Tuesday and she will do an ultrasound to see how the pancreas is looking. At that point, we'll decide on the prednisone.

In other news, he coughed up a giant hairball this morning. There was some panic when we heard him vomiting, but relief when we saw what it was. He's been grooming himself so much lately that I am not surprised to see that -- he probably felt a lot better once he got it up.

Soooo... fingers crossed on the pancreas, although the evidence suggests we are going back that way. We should also have results tomorrow on the fluid that they took from his abdomen on Thursday, so I will post that when I know more.

Thank you for all of your good wishes -- I truly appreciate it and I do believe in the power of positive thinking, so thank you for giving us that.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

07.04.09 [daily photo]

"Breakfast in Bed"
As I have mentioned before, we try to get Kaesea to eat wherever he will. This morning, it was in one of the beds of his cat tower. I don't care where it is, as long as he is eating.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Thursday, July 2, 2009

07.02.09 [daily photo]

This is Bill's computer chair. Kaesea has recently decided it's one of his favorite places to curl up. Rather than move him, Bill pulls up a far less comfortable chair and sits next to him. What a sweet dad.

"That never happens!"

Phrases such as "That never happens!" or "I've never seen that before!" or "This only happens in rare cases" are commonplace when the doctors are talking about Kaesea. Usually, whatever they are talking about is something awful. Today, miraculously, it was something good.

When we went in on Tuesday and they discovered the enlarged spleen, Bill asked, "Is it possible that will shrink on its own?" Our vet said, "Well... maybe..." in a way that indicated that it was unlikely. Then he said, "By Thursday?" and she said, "Oh, no. Definitely not."

So we went in today for the risky procedure, but before they did it, they took another quick look at the spleen and see if there were any changes... and there were! The spleen had shrunk and is now normal sized! The internist said, "I have never heard of a spleen healing itself in two days with no intervention." Several other doctors there nodded their heads in agreement.

But that's just what Kaesea's spleen has done. Wow. So we dodged the Scary Procedure bullet. (This time.)

It wasn't all sunshine and roses, though. There has been some fluid mysteriously appearing in Kaesea's abdomen that has ebbed and flowed over time, but seems to be more present now than before. So they took a sample of it today and have sent it out for analysis.

This fluid could be about a million things or nothing much, but if it does turn out to be something, here's hoping that the biggest symptom associated with that thing is "reduced appetite" (oh, and also that it's super easily treatable) because Kaesea continues to not eat enough blasted food and his weight was down again today.

He now weighs 9.19 lbs. Ugh. Of course, he had a big poop yesterday and a bit of vomit this morning and we had to take him off of food after midnight last night for his procedure but... still. He just really does not eat enough. He eats, but not for long and not a large enough quanity. It's all mysterious. Why won't Kaesea eat?

His doctor suggested today that we put him back on a version of prednisone. It's like prednisone but "some cats" find this version easier to metabolize. If there's a small percentage of cats out there doing something, that's ours, so hopefully this will be true for Kaesea.

As faithful readers (are you still here?) will recall, we believe the prednisone contributed to the pancreatitis last time, so I am very nervous about going back on it. However:
- this easier-to-metabolize version might not have the same effect
- he is going on a much lower dose this time
- it may increase his appetite, which we need

So we are going to try it for a few days and see if we notice a difference in appetite, then take another look at the pancreas early next week and see how it's looking. If there is any change, we yank him off of it. Here's hoping he can tolerate this version, since he will need to take something like this if/when he goes back on the chemo drugs at some point.

Thank you to all of the kind words and wishes we have gotten over the past few months and, particularly, the last couple of days. Perhaps it is the power of all of these good thoughts that shrunk Kaesea's spleen. Now let's all think, "Eat, Kaesea, Eat!" Ready? 1, 2, 3: Go!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

07.01.09 [bonus photo]

I am very worried about Kaesea's procedure tomorrow, so I thought I would post this funny photo of our guy tonight. He loves those rubber rings. Loves. Them.

For the rest of the evening, I plan to spend quality time with him, curled up together on the bed. I know that as soon as I publish this post and go lie down in there, he will hop up and do the "Kaesea Thud" against me -- he stands near to me for a moment and then just flops with a big "THUD" sideways into me. It's very sweet and funny and makes us laugh every time. It's something I am grateful for every evening when it happens.

All right. Hitting publish now and then going to feel the loving THUD. Wish us luck tomorrow and I'll keep everyone posted whenever we know the results.

07.01.09 [daily photo]

The hits keeps coming

After foolishly celebrating Kaesea's improved pancreatic condition, we got fresh bad news yesterday. He had been vomiting small amounts this week, so we suspected that perhaps he had an obstruction. So at his appointment, his doctor took him back for an ultrasound.

They were gone for a long time, so I figured it was wasn't good and, of course, it wasn't. No obstruction, but something new and bad: his spleen. Pardon me, but: What. The. HELL. I mean, come ON. Has he not been through enough? Now there is something new going wrong? GRR

So there are two possible things that it could be: an infection, or cancer. It's unlikely that it's an infection, based on Kaesea's attitude. That is, he is not behaving like he is sick with an infection. Or it's splenic cancer, which is "aggressive, but treatable." The way to find out for sure is with a needle biopsy, which is usually a simple procedure. Usually.

With Kaesea, however, there are risks. Of course.

1. Anesthesia. His health plummeted as a result of his last anesthetic encounter. Due to this, they will use the least possible about of anesthesia on him and monitor him very carefully. Also, the procedure is fast.

2. Blood loss. Last time he had surgery, it was followed by mysterious bleeding and the spleen is a bleed-y organ. So it's possible that this procedure could cause Kaesea to start bleeding again and send us back on the blood oxygen roller coaster. This is a prospect that makes me physically ill at the thought.

I am so torn about doing this procedure. I am worried sick about the risks, but then I want to know if it is cancer and, if so, try and treat it. He struggled with the last attempt at cancer treatment, but there are other cancer-fighting options and splenic cancer is treated differently than intestinal cancer. Unfortunately, it's also more aggressive. So if that is what he has and we decide to treat it, we really need to go ahead and start now.

Oh, and in other bad news? He was down another 1/4 of a pound this week. He weighs 9.25lbs now. A new low. Damn.

People say to me, "Perhaps it's time to let him go," but I struggle with that, since he still remains so perky and happy. He purrs, he plays with toys, he jumps up on things, he grooms himself. He eats (although not well). He snuggles. He is fluffy. Sigh. This would be easier if he acted sick.

After careful consideration, we are going to go through with the needle biopsy. It is tomorrow (Thursday) morning. If you read this before then, please think good thoughts for us during that time. I will be spending the day with him at the vet -- they are going to monitor him for several hours after the procedure to see how he comes through it. Fingers and paws crossed.

Thank you.