Monday, November 30, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009


As we wrap up a long Thanksgiving weekend here at Chez Kaesea, we are thankful. I am reluctant to write anything about how well Kaesea is doing, for fear of jinxing it. (Remember that post where I celebrated his weight gain? Yeah. The day after that is when he took his recent nose dive. C'mon.)

However, I must report that Kaesea is, in fact, doing well (I say this cautiously. Oh-so-cautiously.) Two weeks ago, I was pretty sure he was ready to check out. Bill kept saying, "You know, maybe he's just taking time to recover." And, fortunately, Bill was right. (Have I mentioned lately that Bill is great? Cause, you know, he is.) Kaesea has been slowly recovering, day by day, ever since that time.

His appetite has been getting better and he's grooming himself regularly -- in fact, he is unusually soft right now. I noticed it a few days ago but thought I was being weird ("Oh, my baby is the softest little woogums..."), but then Bill said yesterday, "Kaesea is so soft!" so it's not just me. I don't know why he is softer than he's ever been before, but we like it. Soft kitty = good for snuggling.

I weighed him at home today and got 9.6 lbs on our scale. That's not vet-exact, but it's up from 9, so I'll take it. As I type this, he is ferociously digging into the kibble bowl, which I have been re-filling more frequently each day.

Thanksgiving was a feast for Kaesea. Not only did he get shrimp, but he got turkey. Turkey = Kaesea's Favorite. We put some in a bowl for him, turned around for a moment, turned back and... Poof! Gone. Bill said, "WOW." I said, "Yeah... Kaesea likes turkey." Understatement of the year.

So things are going pretty well. Next step? We're not sure. Kaesea's doctor has suggested a different form of chemo. I'd like him to gain weight before trying anything new. Of course, her suggestion is that, if the chemo works, it will improve his weight. Sure, I get it. It's hard to know what's best. For now, we'll just keep chugging along without drugs and see how it goes.

Meanwhile, we are so very thankful. Thankful to have him with us still. Thankful to you for reading this blog and keeping up with us and thinking good thoughts for Kaesea and our family. Thank you. So much.

11.29.09 [daily photo]

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Friday, November 27, 2009

11.27.09 [daily photo]

Day after Thanksgiving: still licking his chops.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

11.26.09 [daily photo]

This is how Kaesea spent most of Thanksgiving day -- note Bill's feet in the background as he carves the turkey. While Kaesea supervised. And drooled. (I love how he is really leaning in for the beg there.)

A few years back, I spent Thanksgiving at a friend's house. On the way out, I asked if I could take some turkey home for Kaesea. Someone asked, "Oh, does Kaesea like turkey?" In response, I said, "Kaesea is a cat. Turkey is a bird."

Yes, Kaesea likes turkey. Oh boy does Kaesea ever like turkey.

Hope you all had a marvelous Thanksgiving. More of an update coming soon, but the short version: Ours was wonderful. Kaesea ate turkey.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

11.22.09 [daily photo]

Check out the Fluffitude! (And also cat-nap-itude: I wake for no one.)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

11.21.09 [daily photo]

Us: Where's Kaesea?
Kaesea: Hee hee. They'll never find me here!

Friday, November 20, 2009

11.20.09 [daily photo]

I'm pretty sure we have one of the most handsome cats in the world. What a face!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

11.19.09 [daily photo]

Why bother getting up to eat?

Boring posts

I hate blog posts that basically say, "Yeah... not much going on here." It's a personal peeve. Having said that: Yeah... not much going on here.

I said in an earlier post that I would post right away if something terrible happens. Conversely, if nothing is going on at all, you probably won't hear from me. So if you don't see a post for a few days here, you can assume things are about the same.

Which they are.

Our biggest problem continues to be lack of eating (you would not know that from the daily photos yesterday and today, but don't be fooled. He didn't do that for very long.) He's drinking, playing, purring, peeing, pooping, keeping food down, etc. All good stuff. He's been doing better with the grooming, although he is still not up to Full Fluffitude.

As he has for the past week or so, he is mostly just hanging out. He sleeps peacefully and he seems content most of the time. When he doesn't, a tiny dose of painkiller puts him right back on track. I woke up last night to find him purring and kneading me with his paws, so, to the best of my ability to know these things, he seems happy to be here. And we, of course, are happy to have him.

Now I just wish he would eat more. Grr.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

11.18.09 [daily photo]

We used shrimp to lure him into eating today. (Mmmm... shrimp...)

I told Kaesea's doctor this and she said,"Sometimes, I think Kaesea eats better than I do." Heh.

11.17.09 [daily photo]

Mr. Skinny Pants

Everything is about the same around here -- Kaesea is still hanging out and sleeping a lot. As the post title suggests, he is not eating very much and he has lost weight. I weighed him on our less-accurate-than-the-vet home scale tonight and he came out at around 9 lbs. Such a bummer.

We haven't given him the appetite stimulant for a few days, as we were hoping he would get back into it on his own. But given that it took him 5 months to get back on the Food Wagon last time he fell off, I guess we cannot expect him to be hopping back on it again so soon. So maybe we'll give him a Munchy Pill tonight and see if that helps.

He's pretty much off the subcutaneous fluids, as he is drinking water on his own. I gave him a little bit this afternoon, but I was alone and he was having none of it, so after about 40 mil, he made a break for it and whee! Fluid everywhere! Then he went and drank some water. ("Fine! See? I'm drinking it already!")

As for what next, we're not sure. We'll probably go see his doctor in a few days and see what she has to say. There has been discussion about trying yet another chemo, but I'm torn about the risks associated with that versus the benefits. Which, of course, is always the issue with treating cancer. Mostly we're just waiting to see and crossing that bridge when we come to it.

In other news, I'm not sure how well I'll be able to keep up daily photos and we pitch headlong into the darkness of winter -- yesterday, I went to work in the dark and came home in the dark. Oh, short winter days, you are not this photographer's friend. But I will certainly try.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

11.15.09 [daily photo]

Kaesea's perkiest moment of the day: when he came into the kitchen to beg for turkey sausage.

It's good to know that some things stay the same -- he is still a handsome little beggar.

Again with the same

More of the same -- Kaesea pretty much slept all day today.

He has been drinking a bit more water on his own, so we have not given him subcutaneous fluids today (yet). Other than that, things remain the same. He eats a little, he purrs a little, he rolls around in catnip a little, and he sleeps a lot.

Hard to say how he's doing... is he quietly healing or quietly getting ready to go? Only he knows.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

11.14.09 [daily photo]

More of the same

Not much to report, as things are pretty much the same here. Kaesea is very quiet and sleeps a lot. He has been eating a little bit of kibble, but not much. I'm sure he has lost weight. We are giving him fluids and pain killers and that seems to keep him feeling pretty good.

He drank a bit of water on his own this morning and he pooped for the first time since Tuesday, which were both good things. He also played with a toy and rubbed all over the nip-covered Cat Spa -- very excellent. But mostly, he sleeps. When we pet him, he purrs.

He seems peaceful, so we're just letting him chug along. Either he will recover from this on his own, or he won't. We support him and watch him and love him. Time will tell how that ends up.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Up + Downs = mostly the same

Sometimes I am tempted to update this blog mid-day, to keep things up-to-the-minute, but I am usually glad that I don't, because these days are like roller coasters and I would be posting: "He's down!" "Wait -- he's up!" "Aw... he's down again." all day long. Instead I can say this: Things are about the same. Maybe a little bit better.

Kaesea slept under his "heat lamp" all last night (as seen in this photo) and he freaked me out because he did not move for about 12 hours straight. He just... sat. He ate a small amount of food during that time, but he did not really get up at all. Also, he had a really sad look on his face (I know that sounds weird, but look at today's photo. Seriously.) It was freaky. And bad. Really, really bad. He didn't even want his brush. Bad.

So I came home at lunch today, and he got up! I laid down on the bed and he curled up with me! And he wanted his brush! And he ate some food! And he groomed his chest a little bit! So... better. Only a tiny bit better, but better.

When I came home after work, he still looked like hell, but he was walking around. And then I discovered something very odd: even though he shows signs of dehydration (failing the skin pinch test, no peeing since the morning, not drinking any water), he still has a sack of unabsorbed fluid hanging around under his armpit from his subcutaneous injection yesterday. What the ---? That's just weird.

So I called his doctor, and she agreed it was weird. She asked me a lot of questions about his breathing and some other symptoms that would indicate a heart problem (associated with hydration problems. I'm not going to get into it now -- I'm just going to stick with the issues we know Kaesea has) and we both agreed that's most likely not the problem. So we're stumped. Yay.

Our decided course of action: do not give more sub-q fluids tonight. Instead, try giving Kaesea water orally via syringe. I have been doing that and damned if he does not seem to be doing better since then! So the little spoiled darling won't even drink on his own now? Great. Oh, well. Whatever it takes.

He has been eating increasing amounts of kibble this evening (and some canned food, but Kaesea is really a Kibble Man) and has also been grooming himself. Not a lot, but some. So yay! Not only is that a good sign of health, but he also looks and smells terrible, so could certainly use it.

All this to say that we are far from out of the woods -- we've got the weird sack of fluid, the continued inappetence, the bad looking fur, and the pouty-faced lethargy -- but at least he's walking around, grooming a little, and he purred while being brushed. So I'll take it.

[whispering voice:] Also, he's been vomit-free for 58 hours now and his last anti-nausea dose was 14 hours ago. So, you know, that's good news. (But don't tell Kaesea that -- you know how he loves a good jinx.)

11.12.09 [daily photo]

This was taken at around noon today. What an unhappy looking kitty. He looks a little happier as I write this, but it is dark outside and difficult to take photos.

Here's hoping for more happy kitty photo opportunities in our near future.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Oh, blah, blah, blah

Not much good news to report here, but let's see what we've got:

At the risk of jinxing us, the vomiting seems to have stopped. He has not vomited since noon yesterday and it's 6:00pm now, so that's 30 hours. I'll take it. He did have a small amount of diarrhea at 10pm yesterday, but that has also gone away today.

Also, he does not have a fever. So that's good.


He's not eating. I gave him an appetite stimulant today and that did result in the consumption of some Fancy Feast Flaked Skipjack Tuna Appetizer in a Delicate Broth (nope, not kidding on that one) but he's rejected all of his usual favorites other than that. He ate that this afternoon, but has not eaten anything since. I will continue to give him that medication and hope things get going again with the eating.

And he looks like hell. Which is, as we now know, one of the biggest indicators of Kaesea's health. I always took his fluffiness for granted before he got sick, but I now realize that he works hard on that lovely coiffure. When he's feeling crappy, the 'do is the first thing to go and boy does it look bad today.

This also means that he doesn't smell very good. So, of course, he slept right on my chest last night for the first time since he was a kitten. It was hard for me not to hum a few bars of "Smelly Cat," but he was happy so, of course, I let him stay. That's what showers are for, right?

We went back to the vet this afternoon to get some more fluids in him. He doesn't have a temperature, but he barely peed today and did not drink at all. Also, I can tell from his skin that he's dehydrated. So he's filled up again like a water balloon and they sent a bag of fluids home with me. At this point, we're keeping our fingers and paws crossed that a) he continues to keep everything down, b) he starts eating, and c) the hydration will make him feel generally better.

Right now, he is asleep on my jacket -- I put it on the bed when I came home tonight because he loves to lie on my clothes. As soon as I threw it down, he curled right up on it and passed out. Maybe some rest will help. Maybe he'll want to eat again when he gets up. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

Thank you, as always, for your kind words and support. It was so great having a couple of months of "no news is [basically] good news" posts, but it looks like those are done for now. Thanks for sticking with us.

11.11.09 [daily photo]

I'm not sure if the caption for this photo should be "Caution: Will Bite!" or "Don't fence me in." Either way, this is what Kaesea does almost every time he's in his cat carrier -- he chews on the door.

It's kind of awful: Teeth + Metal = Disturbing.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Another bad day

I need to stop celebrating even the smallest victories -- as I hit "Publish Post" on last night's entry (celebrating the stopping of vomit)... Kaesea vomited. You betcha.

Not only that, but he barfed all night long (technically, all morning long, as it began at 1am and lasted through until 8.) (Hrm. Maybe he's pregnant?) Also, just to spice it up, more diarrhea. Left, conveniently, for me to step in at 3am. (Thank goodness I always wear slippers.) (And yay for rubber soles!) It was a real par-tay at Chez Kaesea, I tell ya.

So back to the vet with us this morning. Cause, you know, we love that place. As usual, Kaesea has everyone stumped... what is causing this mass evacuation? It may have started with a bad reaction to the chemo (lowering the white blood cells) and the become exacerbated by the antibiotics (perhaps the cause of the diarrhea). We just don't know.

If it's a chemo reaction, it's especially vexing, because this is the fourth time he has had this particular chemo. Why this reaction now? Especially when he was doing so particularly well? Arrrggggh.

They did bloodwork again and his white blood cell count was back in the normal range, so we pulled the antibiotics. I left him at the vet this afternoon for IV fluids, anti-nausea drugs, and observation. He barfed again there at around noon and also had some diarrhea in the early afternoon. (He also earned himself a "Caution: WILL BITE" sticker on his chart. Fiesty!) It's 8:30pm now, so here's hoping stuff stays inside of him for the rest of the night.

I have some additional anti-nausea/anti-vomiting drugs to give him at home tonight and for the next few days. He gets no food until tomorrow morning (although, to his credit, he's already been sniffing around the kibble jar since we got home). Fingers and paws crossed that things calm down with his insides and he gets back on track.

Oh, and even more bummer news? He weighed 9.13 lbs today.

Just... yeah.

Let's put this one to bed and hope for a better one tomorrow.

11.10.09 [daily photo]

The light goes away so early now -- hate that. I couldn't get a good daylight shot of Kaesea today, since we got home from the vet long after it was dark out.

Fortunately, one of his favorite items in the world is this lamp, which sheds plenty of light on those crazy whiskers of his.

Monday, November 9, 2009

And here we are again

First, the good news: Kaesea did not vomit today. Also, his Fluffiness Factor was slightly higher, which is always appreciated. Still not really great, but at least he doesn't look like a drowned rat. And, finally, he did eat a little (versus basically nothing at all yesterday).

Now, the not-so-good news: Even though he ate a little, it really wasn't much at all. This feels like we have returned to the months and months that we went on cajoling him to eat, trying different foods, cooking for him, etc. He's been eating so great for the past few weeks, I had almost forgotten how exhausting this game is (almost, but not really -- I've been so grateful that we weren't doing that anymore). I am hoping that he springs back from this a bit faster this time.

Aaand... even though he did not vomit today, [quick sidenote warning here: you are reading a blog about a sick cat. So, um, yeah. Sometimes there is gross biological talk. Sorry.] he did have some rather serious diarrhea tonight, which is pretty disheartening. I am hoping that marks the end of the I-don't-feel-good saga and not the beginning of some sort of guts-falling-out nightmare.

I am trying, trying, trying to stay optimistic -- once the antibiotics really kick in and get that white blood cell count back up, Kaesea will get back on track, right? But it's hard. It's hard to go backwards after all of the progress he has made. Damn it.

11.09.09 [daily photo]

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Followed by a nose dive

Of course, after writing my last post about how great Kaesea is doing, we had to take a nose dive over here, didn't we? Le sigh.

He was fine on Friday after chemo and then he had a hairball yesterday morning, which is normal for him (fluffy = hairball). In the afternoon, however, he vomited food. And then, about an hour later, bile. Additionally, he had stopped eating. So I called his doctor and she recommended an anti-nausea drug we already had on hand but after talking about it further, we decided to take Kaesea in for a quick ultrasound.

Good news on the ultrasound: there was no obstruction; the pancreas, stomach, and intestines all look good; and there is a very minimal amount of fluid in his body cavity. No real explanation of what is causing the vomiting -- speculation that it may be a delayed reaction to his chemo on Thursday. So he got one anti-nausea med there and then one at home. He had an additional two hairball-like barfs last night, but then he slept well. No eating, but I had high hopes for the morning.

He still was not interested in food this morning (Ugh. Flashbacks to the recent months of pushing him to eat all the time. We have been so happy this past month with his increased eating. Going back to this sucks.) At around noon, he vomited again. Not just "hairball-like," but actual vomit. At this point, we were worried about dehydration and we took his temperature. It was 102.7 (normal is 99.5-102.5, but Kaesea runs low normally -- around 100). Coupled with his lethargy, inappetence, and a distinct lack of fluffiness... back to the vet.

Side note: Emergency vet on Sunday afternoon/evening = hell. No one is there for a simple checkup, I assure you.

The vet agreed he was dehydrated, so he got some subcutaneous fluids. They also did bloodwork and found what I had begun to suspect: low white blood cell count. He has had this problem once before with the chemo, but didn't have any outward signs of it. I guess this time he decided to. Whee. So we got some antibiotics and went on home.

He did eat a little bit of shrimp this evening, which was good, but he was really down, which was depressing. After hanging around under the cat tower for awhile, he did hop up on the bed with me and knead his paws and give me some rumbling purrs. Not exactly the Mr. Perky McFluffyPants we've had in recent weeks, but a bit of improvement at the end of an exhausting weekend.

Fingers crossed we'll see some improvements from the antibiotics tomorrow. I'll keep this space updated.

11.08.09 [daily photo]

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Friday, November 6, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

11.05.09 [daily photo]

Awesome news: Weight gain!

Whoopee!! Kaesea weighed in at 9.93 pounds at the vet today! YAY! This is the first significant weight gain he has had since... well, since he got sick in April, really. Almost 1/2 a pound since his last vet visit. If we can keep his eating up, I'm hoping he'll be well into 10+ territory by his next visit.

Today was chemo-at-the-vet day. They're surprised by how feisty (read: pissed off) he is there now, since they were used to Sweet Little Sick Kaesea. When he was sick, he was quiet and subdued, but now that he's putting on his chubby pants, he's got a voice and a swing again. To their credit, everyone there seems happy to see his feisty side, as it means he is getting better.

He gets chemo pills at home next week and, if all goes well, he doesn't go back for a vet treatment for another 3 weeks (the day before US Thanksgiving). Fingers crossed that will hold and that he will gain even more weight during that time.

Gotta go -- time to feed the Kaesea!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

11.02.09 [daily photo]

Love those whiskers!

Sunday, November 1, 2009