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Archive for the ‘Bengals’ Category

Your support over the past two months has been amazing. Now, I’m asking for your support one more time.

Help fund research into better, more effective treatments for feline lymphoma. Besides being the miserable disease that took sweet Petey, feline lymphoma is one of the most commonly occurring cancer in cats. In fact, lymphoma is more prevalent in cats than in humans or dogs. Learn more about the disease here or here.

Sadly, most of the treatments available are extrapolated from research studies into lymphoma in dogs. And cats are not dogs.

Take the Petey challenge — Make a donation to:

  • Winn Feline Foundation — Winn is a non-profit organization established in 1968 that supports studies about cat health. Projects funded by Winn have provided information that is used every day in veterinary medicine to treat cat diseases.
  • The CSU Animal Cancer Center — The mission of the Robert H. and Mary G. Flint Animal Cancer Center is to improve prevention and treatment of cancer in animals and humans. The Center focuses on the thoughtful, innovative, caring, and careful study of the causes and treatment of the disease in animals.

Be among the first 20 people to donate $5 or more to one of these worthwhile organizations, and you’ll be the first on your block to receive a limited edition  cobalt blue “WWPD” bracelet. After you’ve made a donation, email me at alfagee1@gmail.com. I’ll let you know if you’re among the select few, and ask for your snail mail info.

Remember to ask yourself every day: What Would Petey Do?

(Hint: The answer will usually involve napping, sunshine, mayhem or bacon)

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cytology on the fluids drawn from Petey’s chest last week confirms what we suspected — the lymphoma is back.

But, we’re not giving up yet. Regulan is helping with Petey’s nausea, so he’s eating a little better and has a little bit more of a spark in his eye. Of course, getting the liquid Regulan into him is no treat; I’m wearing almost as much as he’s ingested 🙂

Drs. Petey and Gil consulted with a couple of oncologists, and have come up with another protocol that might work. So, we’re going to try a lomustine (CCNU) protocol. One treatment every 3 weeks for 4 cycles, to start.

It’s a rescue drug with all the rotten side effects you’d expect, but it’s worth trying.  At this point, we’re happy to still be in the fight.

Keep a good thought for my boy.  He’d do the same for you, if he wasn’t a cat!

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Petey is having an OK kind of day. His breathing is good and regular. He’s tired and weak still, but eating on his own (some dry food he only likes when he’s super nauseated, like now) and enjoying frequent snacks of Hillshire Honey Roast Turkey.

So, allow me this moment to be contemplative.

Our journey took a major detour this week, one I wasn’t sure we could recover from. But you all rallied around me and my silly little boy. And that’s what kept me fighting, even when Petey couldn’t seem to fight for himself.

Almost 400 of you came to this blog to support us on Thursday, when we were at our lowest point. Another 100 or so offered support on a message board having nothing to do with cats. And then there were the fine folks from the Feline Lymphoma email group, and the dedicated staff at Dr. Gil’s office who were all pulling for us. And praying for us.

We’ve been purred and head-bonked by cats, like Rascal and Stormie, both of whom are also battling lymphoma; and an assortment of Meezers, Bengals, tabbies, and moggies. We’ve been rallied around by the Cat Blogosphere. And prayed for by a host of humans — many of whom I know only through email lists and message boards; some of whom aren’t even “cat people.”

You’ve come from near (Petey’s Aunt Peg, who lives just around the corner) and far (the lovely Poppy Q from New Zealand), and everywhere in-between.

For the love and prayers you’ve shared, I give you a little Petey in return. This boy belongs to all of us now. I’ll think of you all as I stuff tiny bits of turkey into the most loved cat you’ve never met.  That he lives to fight another day is testament to all of you.

I remain humbled and grateful.

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Petey made it through the night and is home, doing Petey things again.

The e-vet pulled a pretty good quantity of fluid out of his chest, and he rebounded pretty quickly. So, we picked Petey up this morning and sat in Dr. Gil’s parking lot until the office opened.

Dr. Gil did a thorough exam, took some Xrays, and couldn’t find anything other than a slightly enlarged mediastinum. Since that’s where Petey’s cancer originates, it’s obviously a cause for concern.

For now, we’re watching and waiting. We won’t know for sure if the cancer is out of remission until we get lab results on the chest fluid. We have no way of knowing if or when fluid might build up in Petey’s chest again.

So, we’re just cuddling, napping, and eating chicken.

 Thank you all for the kind words, warm thoughts, purrs, and prayers. They’re soothing to me, and I know Petey feels them too.

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From the time Petey was first diagnosed with lymphoma, up until about two weeks ago, pilling him was a fairly straightforward endeavor.

 I’d wait until he was really sleepy (or occasionally, dead-to-the-world), scoop him up, clamp him between my knees, pop the top of his head open and throw a pill down his throat. Just to make sure he swallowed, I’d blow on his nose and rub his throat a little.

For the most part, this worked. About once a week, he’d spit a prednisone for distance. Or, I’d realize I missed his mouth entirely and dropped the pill on the carpet.

But, Petey got healthier 🙂 and stronger. 🙂 A healthy, strong Petey may possibly be the most stubborn animal on the planet.

So, pilling Petey got more complicated. Now it took two of us to corral him. This usually entails chasing him around the living room, gradually decreasing his escape path. Finally, one of us pins him, scoops him and carries him off to the kitchen.

Next, it took two of us to actually pill him: One to hold the thrashing, slippery cat. The other to try to throw the pill far enough into his mouth so he couldn’t spit it out. All while Petey is screaming, and throwing his head around like a bucking bronco.

We tried burrito-wrapping him. We tried a pill shooter. We tried Pill Pockets.

After one particularly disastrous attempt at administering the appetite stimulant (cyproheptadine), Beloved and I were left bleeding; Petey was distraught and foaming at the mouth, with a pill stuck to his head.

I gave up, bursting into tears at the torment I was visiting upon this poor little cat, whose life I only wanted to make better.

And then we learned about compounding pharmacies and transdermal medications. <Cue the chorus of angels.>

Transdermal prednisone has changed our lives. I can now once again just scoop Petey up any time I like, sit him in my lap, and just rub a premeasured amount of pred cream into the inside of his ear. He loves having his ears rubbed, so he never fusses. And, he knows he’ll get a couple of pill-less Pill Pockets when we’re done.

No one bleeds. No one froths. No one cries and mutters “Fine, go ahead and have cancer. See if I care.”

I’ve heard from multiple sources that the quality of the compounded, transdermal meds can vary from prescription to prescription. But, I figure that if Petey is getting even 1/2 as much medication as he’s supposed to, it’s more than he was getting when he wore the pills on his head.

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With the administration of the last dose of doxorubicin he’ll ever have to receive, Petey has reached his first significant chemo milestone. He’s done with weekly treatments. 🙂

Feel free to stand and applaud.

It’s been a long six weeks, and at the same time, it passed in the blink of an eye. Time sure flies when you’re sitting on the kitchen floor, coaxing a reluctant cat to eat something. Anything.

Petey’s weight is holding steady at 10.5 lbs, which is at least 1 lb under where I’d like him to be. But, he’s happy. He’s peppy. He’s bursting with love. And trouble. There’s always trouble when Petey’s in the house.

Chemo continues, of course. But now Little Lord Fussbudget gets a full 13 days to recover from one treatment, before going in for the next. This should give him lots of time to eat and torment the Lilikoi.

It will also give him time to get stronger and feistier — something I’m not so sure the lovely, talented, and compassionate vet techs will really appreciate. They let me know that Petey was an easier patient when he was sick. Now he screams and yanks his paw away when they try to insert the catheter for his IV. Not that I can blame him for that one.

Still, I know they’ll keep a towel handy to drop over Petey’s head when they load him into his cage. Because in Petey-world, if you’re under a towel, no one can see you.  

 I wonder if that trick would fool my boss…

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I’ve Been Had!

The day after I posted about Petey’s digestive woes, he was feeling much better. Lots of energy, lots of play, lots of mischief. Typical Petey stuff.

Of course, he still was being fussy about eating, but I’ve gotten used to that.

 So, I opened can after can of stinky, fishy food; bland chicken food; somewhat more savory beef foods. All with gravy, because gravy seemed to be the only unifying factor on Petey’s menu.  We hit the jackpot, and Petey started eating with gusto.

He took to begging whenever Beloved and I sat down to eat. So, we took to giving him bits of whatever we were eating. In the beginning, the eating roulette game went something like this:

Me: Why are you begging, Petey? You don’t like pastrami.
<drop smidgen of pastrami at Petey’s feet>
<smidgen of pastrami disappears. Petey licks his chops>
Me: Huh, he does like pastrami.

And then it spiralled out of control. In the span of 24 hours, Petey ate:

  • A large can of Mideast Feast
  • A small can of Steak Frites (minus the potatoes, peas and carrots, which he avoided like a 3 year old)
  • Deli turkey
  • Genoa salami
  • Beef Jerky
  • 2 Pill Pockets (minus the pills I tried to hide in there)
  • Bacon
  • Poached chicken
  • 3 pieces of Innova Evo kibble

I would much prefer that Petey eat just his Evo, with a little canned food or people food as a treat. It’s available to him all the time, and it provides better nutrition than anything else he’s eating. I also would prefer that he stop acting like he’s in training to beat that skinny Japanese guy at the Nathan’s hotdog eating competition.

Then Beloved pointed out the obvious, which I just couldn’t see: Petey wasn’t avoiding the Evo because he wasn’t feeling well. He was avoiding the kibble because he’d gotten me trained to keep upping the flavor ante, until he hit the gustatory jackpot. Who needs kibble when you can have a prime rib and seafood buffet?

 Sure enough, I resisted his mournful gaze and his long sighs. I stayed out of the kitchen when he sat forlornly in front of the food bowls. And lo and behold, he polished off an entire bowl of Evo.

I was duped by an 11 lb cat who never learned he can’t swat birds through a closed window. I’m so ashamed.

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