My vet (well, former vet, she’s retired now, much to my disappointment) told me that most black cats actually will have a stray white hair or 2 somewhere at least – having a completely solid black cat with absolutely no white somewhere is extremely rare, they were mostly bred out (or destroyed) due to the negative stigma of black cats.
It’s late, not sure if any of the “regulars” will see this, but please don’t get sucked into responding directly to the happy trolls who have decided to pay a visit – it’s what they want, to stir up trouble, and to bring in as much negativity as they can. I know it’s difficult to ignore them, oh, how I know, but to keep our sanity I think we must. Having our positive, cat/fun pictures/life updates-themed comments section without all the vitriol and negativity is precisely why this (Ten Cats comics) is literally the ONLY place on the ENTIRE internet that I can and do read the comments section anymore. I know those of you who have become part of this Ten Cats/Graham Harrop community feel the same about this comments section. Anyone else is free to move on.
I’ve been feeding my cats a strictly carnivore diet since they were kittens after researching the same things. I have to make it myself, but once we got the hang of it, it’s not that bad, and it actually works out cheaper than the high-end carnivore foods they’ve been coming out with the past few years (ie. blue, wellness core, etc), which, by the way, still have strange ingredients for cats (blueberries??, carrots, peas….). Our “recipe”, which a vet developed, only has animal products & vitamins/minerals in it- chicken (with the bones), eggs, liver, fish oil, taurine, vitamin e, vitamin b complex, iodized salt, water. & all the ingredients are human-grade since we buy them & make it, so if push came to shove, even we could eat it, not that I’d want to – lol. No matter how hard I’ve tried over the years, I never could handle liver…heehee.
Dennis in Seattle – No, actually it’s true – if you clean the litter box daily, and your cats aren’t prone to frequent vomiting (frequent fur-brushing helps with this…), your residence will not take on the dreaded “pet smell”. It’s especially true with our cats, as the food they eat (a homemade semi-raw diet whose main ingredient is chicken) keeps their poo from being super-stinky. Whenever they get commercial food, though – eeks, stinky poo. But again, the daily litter cleaning helps with that. If you believe that I’m saying this just because we’ve become immune to the smell, nope. I was once gone for 10 weeks (plenty of time to be re-sensitized to any odors), and could not smell anything upon coming into our home. And I frequently request “smell checks” from friends & family when they visit, as I want to make sure our house never gets to the “pet smell” stage.
OH!! and I almost forgot the OTHER good thing that made me happy this week – I went to the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit at the AGO this past Monday. Actually seeing her works in person, it was phenomenal, pictures truly don’t do them justice. She’s always been one of my favorite artists. And I re-established in my mind that her earlier works (from the 1920’s-1930’s) are still the ones that speak to me the most, particularly her more abstract works. I spent over 2 hours wandering around the exhibit, and it was only about 80-90 of her works & some Alfred Stieglitz/Ansel Adams photos – I just kept going back to re-look at some of them.
As we were her POAs for not only her medical care, but also her finances, we had set aside some of her money to cover her funeral expenses (for whenever they would be needed), so luckily we had that portion covered. But a few days after her funeral, suddenly our garage door opener decided to quit working. Makes sense, it’s over 30 years old. And the garage door is older, possibly original to the house (so over 50 years old), and just wood panels, that are gouged and broken. So rather than trying to fix any of it, we decided it’s best to just replace them. $2,000 for a steel door & opener. Plus another $2,000 to bring the electrical up to code (and fix a few random electrical things around the house that would be cheaper to throw in now rather than bring back an electrician later – back yard light is against code, too, sigh). So all in all, the past 6 weeks haven’t been the best. BUT, this morning, I got to watch a baby cedar waxwing on my veranda, trying to learn how to fly! It made me so happy! Thank you for “listening”. :)
By Wednesday, the brief improvement we had seen was gone, she was extremely agitated and moaning and crying out, and they had increased her oxygen. They ordered another chest xray, and the respiratory therapist told us it didn’t look good at all. During all the past couple of days, my mother in law would keep telling us she was thirsty, and hungry (during her more lucid moments), and it was so heartbreaking to keep denying her even a small drink of water, because she was at great risk of it going into her lungs instead of her swallowing it properly. My husband could only handle being in the room for short periods of time, it was so hard to see her like that, agitated/twitching and groaning, crying out, and almost begging for a drink of water. We’d moisten her mouth with a sponge, and some biotene gel, but it didn’t help much. The doctor finally provided a more regular sedative to calm her down a bit, but on Thursday morning (2 weeks ago), she passed away at about 9 am. Her wishes had been to have no resuscitation, no dialysis, no type of life support, nothing to prolong her life. Trying to explain that to my husband’s siblings (who hadn’t been much involved in her life for several years now) was difficult. Strangely, they were the ones who seem to have really taken her death the hardest – I think because my husband and I had spent so much time with her, we understood her wishes, and understood that she is now in a better place, so while we are grieving, we don’t seem to be as devastated as they seem to be. For those of you who of a spiritual nature, my husband says that God is making it easier for us, because of the care we tried to give to her over the years (she lived with us for about 7-8 years prior to going into long-term care, and we paid for her care – whatever her government benefits didn’t cover – which was about half or more of her total expenses).
The next day, they called AGAIN, this time to tell us she was no longer urinating, so they had to put in a catheter (keeping in mind, she regularly takes a diuretic, and she was at that point on a higher dose than normal to try to get rid of excess fluid, so typically she had to use the washroom at least once an hour). That was on a Thursday. On Friday, they called to tell us the catheter wasn’t working, still no urine was coming out, they were worried her kidneys were failing, so they had to send her to the hospital. So we go there that night – and were SHOCKED at her condition. 2 days prior to that, she was conversing normally, understood everything around her. When we got to the hospital, I honestly thought they had her doped up or something – she was groaning and twitching/jerking, her tongue was swollen, even her eyes seemed to be bulging out slightly, and she was completely incoherent. The facility hadn’t mentioned any of this to us – the emergency room told us that as how she arrived to them (we found out later that prior to being transported to the hospital, she was still talking to the nurses, even asking them if she was going to die, because she felt fine, so they were as shocked as we were when we told them her condition, so somehow the transportation to the hospital triggered her condition to get worse). They started treating her for a urinary tract infection, as that’s what they thought was causing her kidneys to shut down. She started responding to that, the catheter started to do its job, and by Tuesday she was starting to be more coherent, but now her lungs were filling with fluid. My husband and I spent every day at the hospital with her. We are her POA’s, but my husband wasn’t up to making any decisions about her, or dealing with his siblings, so he kept telling everyone I was the sole POA, so all decisions were up to me.
Then the next week, my mother-in-law got a lung infection, some sort of viral thing, (I suspect she was the last hold-out from a respiratory outbreak that had occurred in her long-term care facility) and had to be on oxygen for a week or so, and got really weak. During that time, she started retaining fluid again (possibly an indication that she was suffering from another episode of congestive heart failure). She was recovering fairly well from the viral infection, and was starting to walk around again and being her feisty self, but then she started getting really weak again, to the point where they started having to take her to meals in a transport wheelchair. For the fluid retention, they started increasing her diuretic, but then they started calling us to tell us she kept falling down, and seemed confused – but she knew how to turn her bed alarm off, and it annoyed her, so she kept turning it off, which is why she kept falling down – she’d try to get up by herself and they wouldn’t know she had gotten up. The second fall she had, she bruised her whole side, and was on the floor for about 2 hours before they found her (it was the middle of the night, she had woken up, and thought someone was calling to her from the doorway, so tried to get up to go to the door – again, had turned off her alarm and she liked to have her door closed, so they only realized she had woken up & gotten up/fallen when they went on their rounds). Then they called again a week later, telling us she had fallen a 3rd time, this time hitting the back of her head. Keep in mind, my husband and I visit her regularly, at a minimum once a week, and my husband calls her daily, so we’ve been aware of her declining abilities, but every phone call was terrifying. The day she hit the back of her head (again, early morning, around 2:30 am), my husband visited her that night – and she was aware of what had happened to her, and was conversing with him normally.
So I don’t typically comment often, mostly because it’s quite late in the day before I get a chance to even read the comics, AND anymore, I only get to read them about once a week, so have LOTS to catch up on. But today I feel like sharing. It’s been a trying past few weeks. First, I had an outpatient laparoscopic surgery, so just 2 small incisions – found out that unlike the one I had 13 years ago, now my body HATES anesthetic, I kept vomiting for the rest of the day once I regained consciousness. Such fun, as I was left sitting in a transport wheelchair by the reception desk in the hallway for AN HOUR waiting for a porter to wheel me down after they sent my husband out to pull the to the front of the hospital. Holding my little vomit-catching kidney-shaped bowl, trying to “not vomit so strongly, as it could damage my incisions”…. (thanks for the advice, recovery nurse, and thanks for sending my husband down so soon & leaving me sitting in the hallway). And 5 and a half weeks later, one incision STILL hasn’t healed and is still bleeding – so much for a “fast recovery”. It also got infected. Woohoo!