March 1st, 2007

rain sidewalk

When it Rains . . . Yeah.

. . . it certainly pours.

Remember Scarlett's vet appointment?

I took her in on Tuesday -- and she was so shook up (poor little thing) that she almost managed to tear her way out of the cardboard cat carrier. (Which is something no other cat I've ever owned has come close to managing, for the record!)

She's lost two pounds since she was last in to the vet in April 2006.

That might not sound much for a person, but she only weighs a little over four pounds right now -- so that's almost half her current body weight!

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And waiting for the results of the test yesterday? Not a good thing. I was told he'd phone me -- but when I hadn't heard anything by 4:30 p.m., I called the office. I was told he'd been in surgery all day (Wednesday is always his surgery day -- has been forever) and that he'd call me in 'the evening.' As we didn't get the actual call until 7:30, I'd say that decidedly the evening!

I'm holding Scarlett on my lap right now, by the way.

Marilyn just phoned to tell me she'd lost her Starbucks card.

No big deal? Well, it's a vintage card that she's had forever and really loves. It can't be replaced, in other words. And she just put $50 on it yesterday, so that's like losing $50 in cash (which we really can't afford to lose). But as she said to me, it's the loss of that special card that has her bummed out...

EDIT: She found it in her bag! Thank heaven!

About work... (sigh)

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We've got ants in the house. In the office and upstairs (my) bathroom. And sometimes in the kitchen. In February. We never have ants in February! I have no idea what gives, but I suppose I need to do something about it soon...

I've got some new health issue going on...

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And I think I'm currently fighting off a cold. I haven't given in at present -- and hope that I'll be able to stay healthy (in spite of what I just described, I mean).

I've been able to ride my bike recently, which is a good thing.

Of course the last few days it's been too cold to do more than go out to feed the birds! Winter is back for now. Brr!

I haven't written anything recently -- but I need to get with it, as our Writing Circle is meeting on Monday night next week! (yikes) So I need 2,000 plus words on our topic done by then...

The last time we met Dick wasn't there -- as he was down in New Orleans with Habitat for Humanity. I'm sure he'll have a lot of stories to tell us about his experience! As Marilyn and I both love New Orleans, we're anxious to know more about the situation on a firsthand basis...

I need to do some actual work now, so I'm finally going to end (aren't you relieved???)... I have that PowerPoint presentation to do, a work-related blog to add to and some emails to send out. (Not to mention housework that needs attending -- but what the hell it can wait! Or not -- as I've got company here Monday night! And we do plan to go in to work one day this weekend...) Best get busy!


Poor Little Scarlett...

If you've been reading my recent entries, then you know that our cat Kittie Scarlett went to the vet this week.

We got the results yesterday evening, which I reported in the entry linked above...

Well, I got another call from Dr. McC. today. He had the final result of her (very expensive) blood test, which shows that Scarlett has been exposed to Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP).

Here's a little of what is known about the disease:

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is the leading infectious cause of cat death. FIP occurs when the cat reacts inappropriately to feline coronavirus (FCoV) infection. Most cats simply become infected, shed FCoV for a month or two, mount an immune response, eliminate the virus and live happily ever after. However, for reasons that we don't yet fully understand, instead of clearing FCoV infection, an unfortunate few cats develop FIP.

The doctor was quick to note that having been exposed to FIP doesn't mean that Scarlett has the disease. Apparently it's hard to determine if a cat has it. I'll quote again:

FIP is a notoriously difficult condition to diagnose, many other conditions present with very similar clinical signs. Definitive diagnosis is only possible at post mortem, or occasionally by biopsy.

Dr. McC. didn't recommend doing a biopsy, which is a good thing, as both Marilyn mistressmarilyn and I are entirely opposed to it. We see no point in putting Scarlett through any more tests.

Frankly, it's obvious she's a very sick little cat. Her coat is 'scruffy' and lacks sheen. She's always had difficulty breathing, ever since we got her. I was excited that she'd eaten well today, only to discover during dinner that she'd thrown it all up -- and right where she'd been sleeping, too. (sigh)

Anyway, we're resigned to the inevitable loss and ready to deal with it. It's going to be hard, but it is what it is. We're glad to have had her all this time (nearly a year now), and believe we gave her a happy home after the trials of her young life.

We always knew she wasn't that healthy, so we're simply not that surprised by this. It hurts, but yes, we will deal. Both Marilyn and I think it's very clear that she has FIP -- and she certainly fits the 'dry' description of the disease.

Hopefully she won't give the disease to Colin, who is as healthy as a horse (and then some). He shows no signs of any illness, thankfully.

In recent months Scarlett has been so attached to Marilyn that it's difficult to even express it properly. When Marilyn is home from work Scarlett wants only to be on her -- sitting in her lap at the computer or lying on her while Marilyn reclines on the sofa to watch TV or to nap. She sleeps under the covers with Marilyn at night now, right up against her. I've never seen a cat show this much love for a person -- and I've seen a lot of cats during my lifetime.

I know it will be very hard on Marilyn to lose Scarlett -- and I'm amazed by how patient Marilyn has been with her on days when she was bordering exhaustion. Somehow Marilyn would put up with Scarlett's demands for attention and affection, even when she was trying to do work from home on the computer -- or when she was dealing with the chronic pain of her shoulder that makes it hard for her to lie in a way for Scarlett to rest comfortably on her.

Marilyn has been wonderful with this sweet little 'rescue cat' that came into our lives, plain and simple.

It's interesting, because originally Scarlett was very much 'my' cat -- just as originally Colin was very much 'Marilyn's' cat.

But Scarlett was determined to be close to Marilyn, who went out of her way to show Scarlett affection so she wouldn't be envious of Colin. They've bonded in a special way and shared the special love that happens between cat and person. It's about quality, rather than quantity, after all.

Our friend Mitch has lost three cats this winter -- one of them (Casper) he'd had for quite a long time. It was hard for him, after losing his dad last year. His cats are his family -- the family he lives with, anyway. He talked to me about it one day and expressed how hard it was not to feel very emotional about the losses. And we discussed the issue of medical expenses, which seem so high when your budget is tight...

I haven't told him yet about Scarlett, but I know he'll understand what we're feeling. He's been there, after all.

Scarlett made a big effort yesterday after being at the vet, by the way. She kept trying to eat -- and even got down a good amount of tuna that she didn't throw up. She spent time in the living room on the back of the sofa where she watched the squirrels and birds in the back yard -- and especially the hummingbirds that we have all the time now. She was even friendlier than usual with Colin. (smile) And very affectionate with both Marilyn and me.

But today was a tough day for her. She spent most of it downstairs, curled up and sleeping. (It's been cold here, and she can't deal well with the cold considering her weight and all.) And as I said before, she threw up much of what she'd eaten.

She did give it another try, though! During dinner she dashed upstairs beside me. While I was fixing more food for us, she got down and really went to eating, fast and furious. (She's starving, after all.) Right now she's settled down for our nighttime nap -- as are Colin and Marilyn. I'm dealing with the inability to lie down on a full stomach (the usual thing going on with me lately) -- plus I wanted to write this all down tonight.

I need to write an email to friend Greta who was the one who 'found' Scarlett in the first place -- and arranged for us to have her. I know she'll be upset, but I'm sure she'll still be glad that Scarlett came into our home.

To those friends reading this, please forgive me for not cutting this entry. I should have, I suppose... And I rambled a lot here, but what the hell...

Anyway, I'd like to get more photos of Scarlett -- and maybe even some more mini-movies, too. She's been a lovely cat and we want to remember her forever.

I guess I'll go down now and have that nap with the cats.

By the way, Marilyn had a rough, rough day at work today. She had to let her seasonal assistant go, for one thing. So I'm delighted that she's taking tomorrow (Friday) off work. We'll go in and work one day this weekend, for sure. But tomorrow we'll do other things -- like be with our cats and write and relax.

You know what? Life is good, no matter what.