WWND ?

Yes: what would Nev do ?

As I believe the sun shines from her fundament, I needed to find this out. So, yesterday I took a taxi over there, and found to my delight that there wasn’t a single client+animal combo in sight. I had arrived with my Visa card to pay for the little memorial I’m having made to hold some of Lui’s ashes, and then Chic and he can be side by side.

There was a moment when the two girls who were manning the desk kind of looked at me in polite disbelief. This was when (yet another confession coming up) Bec told me the total amount due and I fell back, alarmed: “But”, I cried, “I didn’t want an individual cremation – just a bit of his ashes, you know ?” Then the look. Short pause. Bec went into the surgery area to speak to Nev, while Ella looked a bit embarrassed. The penny dropped. The revelation hit me: “Nothing of him could be obtained without an individual cremation !” An expression of intense relief came over Ella’s face, and at the same moment Bec came back with My Heroine.

Having repaired (to an extent) my reputation as a human being with a brain, I was then able to put my question to her: do I—“Yes !” she interrupted me: “you do. I know Lui is irreplaceable, but you must replace him !” – with which wondrous conundrum the decision was made.

There’s a totally admirable woman here in Geelong who has set up Project Meow, and a large effort of the project is run by participating vet practices. Ella’s best friend works at one of these, and she gave her a call right away; then came back to say that they actually have a 2-y-o available right now. Alas ! – it’s a female. I’ve had/known nothing but male cats all my life, and I’m used to them; but it was a conversation-continuer, that little mog. In the end the decision is that I am to obtain through this vet practice, a cat that is

  1. male
  2. a kitten or not older than 12 months
  3. a ginger tabby

If you are thinking “Oh, she believes she’ll simply have Lui 2.0”, you’re not absolutely correct. Remember WWND ? – Nev really likes marmalade tabbies (of whom at least 75% are male – did you know ?), and can see no reason at all why I shouldn’t continue the trend started more than 12½ years ago (Lui would have turned 13 in about three weeks’ time): “they’re almost always lovely cats, with great personalities and nice natures”. So that’s it.

There’s the little creature who brought me nothing but joy for all those years – over there in the side column …

Lui’s vet Nev

Here’s an SMS exchange between me and Nev, starting last evening (Saturday !) at around 7:15 pm.

I lied. I MUST ask you: the underneath of Lui’s paw he can’t leave alone and it’s bloody now. He’s fine except for that, but I don’t think he’ll stop. What should I do, please, Nev ?

Hi I’m sorry I just got your message. Can you bandage at all? Or could we get a plastic cone for him but that doesn’t seems fair. 

That came in at ten to 11, but I was out cold by then.

I apologize, Nev. I’m projecting my emotional response to this awful wound onto Lui, who isn’t really fussed about it. Could I take him in tomorrow for someone to clip the two claws and clean and bandage his paw ?

7:40 am that was, but I knew she’d still be asleep. Just wanted the question asked.

Absolutely. So he’s eating and happy enough otherwise ?

8:50 on a Sunday morning !

He is. It’s extraordinary. I can’t look at his paw though, but I’ll have to in case it’s actually bleeding. Thanks for being there to help with … being there.

Not a problem. I’m actually coming into Geelong for lunch today. I could meet you at the clinic this afternoon if you think it needs attention today ?

Hang on –  I’ll check …

No, dear Nev – it seems to’ve stopped oozing ! You are the best of women. (hug emoji)

Ok. Well we’ll see where it’s at tomorrow. But let me know if any different today. (hug emoji)

Indeed. Why should you have a day off ?!

Such a pity this already grossly-overworked veterinarian is so selfish, eh ?

Oh, hang on: that’d be me.

M-J’s post reminded me …

The BikerChick may not see this until she gets back from her totally undeserved holiday; but it was her post today that recalled to mind the following list of instructions:

How To Give A CAT A Pill

      1. Pick up cat and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat’s mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.
      2. Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process.
      3. Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.
      4. Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm, holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.
      5. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call spouse from garden.
      6. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth Drop pill down ruler and rub cat’s throat vigorously.
      7. Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered figurines and vases from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.
      8. Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.
      9. Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink 1 beer to take taste away. Apply Band-Aid to spouse’s forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.
      10. Retrieve cat from neighbour’s shed. Get another pill. Open another beer. Place cat in cupboard, and close door on to neck, to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with elastic band.
      11. Fetch screwdriver from garage and put cupboard door back on hinges. Drink beer. Fetch bottle of scotch. Pour shot, drink. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus shot. Apply whisky compress to cheek to disinfect. Toss back another shot. Throw away T-shirt and fetch new one from bedroom.
      12. Call fire department to retrieve the damn cat from across the road. Apologize to neighbour who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take last pill from foil wrap.
      13. Tie the little bastard’s front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table, find heavy-duty pruning gloves from shed. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of fillet steak. Be rough about it. Hold head vertically and pour 2 pints of water down throat to wash pill down.
      14. Consume remainder of scotch. Get spouse to drive you to the emergency room, sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye. Call furniture shop on way home to order new table.
      15. Arrange for RSPCA to collect mutant cat from hell and call local pet shop to see if they have any hamsters.

      How To Give A DOG A Pill

      1. Wrap it in bacon.
      2. Toss it in the air.

*************************

I believe I ought add a couple of lines here re my own cat, yes ?

Lui is doing OK. Just fine, actually, considering. His levels of affection have risen noticeably, so that I get all manner of additional cuddling, lucky me !

He does have a worrying tendency to nadge away at the paw with the tumour, and I can’t stop him. It’s even a bit bloody at the tip, under the sole remaining unclipped claw – which I suppose they left because they thought it would hurt him if they tried to clip it.  We have an appointment next Thursday evening; and frankly I don’t think they could do anything about this … or shall I be brave and try to clip the claw off myself ?

:-\

The news is all bad

Nev wasn’t happy with last week’s attempt at a chest X-ray and had another done before performing the biopsy.

She was right: a large dark mass is there on a lung.

No point doing the biopsy: so he won’t have a much more sore paw – for a while, anyway.

The diagnosis is in and the prognosis is obvious.

As always, it’s just a matter of time: it was the same with Chic. And I must couple the two together: each one I have loved with all my heart and then some, regardless of one’s being my husband and lover and the other my cat.

It was Chic who made me understand (eventually) that I should get a cat after he’d gone.

Pain management from now on.

Lung cancer has taken and will take the two beings most deeply imprinted, late, on me.

 

It’s about Lui again

He had an appointment with Nev the vet this-morning, at which I was to show her the videos of his progress (or lack thereof).

The problem has been found: there is not yet a diagnosis.

Under the middle toe of his right foot there is (now ! – but never before) a fairly big, hard-ish swelling. He will no longer let Nev manipulate his right foot; and in fact he hissed at her when she did. So she stopped, and went looking; and there it was.

It’s likely to be a tumour. Has he been coughing lately ? – why, yes … a couple of times in the last week or so: why ? Because there is a form of lung cancer in cats that metastisises – or simply shows itself – in their digits. But there’s also a possibility that it’s a local tumour, in which case we will simply remove that toe.

He’s still there at the vets’, having X-rays of both his right front paw and of his lungs.

Nev will call me in a couple of hours to come and collect him.

Can we, meanwhile, all do as The Doctor’s followers did in that rather super ‘Martha Jones vs  The Master’ episode, and call out “Lui … Lui .. Lui …” ?

It’s about Lui

He was seen, coupla months back, to have developed a very common side effect – so to speak – of feline diabetes: neuropathy in a hind leg (never in a fore-leg, only one at the back). It was his right, and he walked on it like a bear does – flat from the toes to the back of the heel:

whereas a cat normally walks on its toes:

See the diff. ? – and how strange it would be to see a cat walking with an entirely flat back foot ?

Anyway, it was awful; because that right back leg also trembled, and I would cry every time I saw that happening to my once large and fearsome (not really) mog.

But it eventually went away, the neuropathy ! I reckon I was more pleased about that than Lui was.

ANYway.

His diabetes is being managed, with only one interruption when a visit to my new vet resulted in a test’s saying he was in remission and I should radically lower the insulin dose … and the test results were somehow wrong, and he wasn’t in remission and going from 5 units m+n to 3 m+n took him right back to the beginning … Still, now he’s back on being stabbed m+n with 5, and almost back to how he was.

But.

Something is wrong with his right FRONT foot. I shall show you a video, and you’ll see how very wrong it is. In my opinion, at the outset of this, it was as if he had neuropathy in a front foot ! – but it got worse, and now it’s clear that there’s definitely something wrong there. Only trouble is: I’ve taken him back to his vet two more times and on both occasions he has refused to limp and refused to hold his paw up. In other words, he behaves as if there’s nothing wrong with him.

After the second useless visit, Nev suggested I video him. Being a NOT-phone-lover, it hadn’t entered my head. Now I video the little bugger every day; and Nev is going to be bored shitless by having to look at every single one in order to check his progress. Basically, he IS a little better; and he now occasionally puts weight on it when walking. But he still licks the paw, and sits with it pathetically held up …

SHE, the cat’s mother (read: me) is hoping against hope that this, too, will f-f-f-f-fade away …

The very first record of the not walk; and a recent one below.

Definitely winter Downunder

An excuse to put up a couple of shots of Lui – an amazingly cheap new cat basket that my friend J found at Kmart for her inherited mog Sooty and was persuaded to buy another for Lui:

As for why it’s where it is, on a chair that it really don’t fit in … that black chair I bought second-hand for a good price, without thinking. His Maj instantly took to it, so that I have to shroud it in a large green sheet until someone visits. I then whip the sheet off, trying to ensure getting the fur-bespeckled side on the outside when I fold it and almost invariably not succeeding … Hey ho, into the washing-machine again. Does Lui’s fur come off things easily ? Only when someone sits where he’s been … Otherwise the answer is NONONONONO.

Sighh …

Here I am …

The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go and not be questioned.

—Maya Angelou

There have been times – many of them, I think – when I have felt strongly that someone was about to hector me about something. Not Chic: he hectored me on so few occasions that I can no longer remember them. This feeling goes back to my youth – to my home and my school. Why it wraps its hood around me at this stage of my life is pretty weird and says a fair bit about me, alas.

But now …? Now I still experience the daily early morning waking up believing myself not alone, just for a second or two; but the – ahh – haunting hectoring :) has gone. Deo gratias (there had to be some usefulness obtained from my Catholic upbringing !). Just as well: it used to enrage me that a woman of my years could allow herself to shrink from being lectured again, just as she was 60 years and more ago. Seems to me that the greater part of my childhood was spent in having fingers wagged at me. Sighh …

ANYWAY !

The point I’m getting to so obliquely and slowly is that I’m in seventh heaven in my new place. I sit in any one of my recliner chairs with my laptop – once Lui has gone back to bed, this is – with the sun pouring in through the front window and the little side yard that has all my pot-plants in it deriving as much pleasure from this as do I … I put all last night’s dishes into my wonderful little Domain dish-washer and it’s just finished; I’ve had my second coffee for the morning from my totally excellent Breville Dynamic Duo – earlier than usual; I’m amusing myself with inserting all these unpaid ads, sort of; my doted-on handyman is coming this-arvo to hang all my photos and put up towel-rails and hand-towel rails; the MACS handyman has just brought back my rubbish-bins from whatever place they were taken to last evening …

Tomorrow I start taking photos. Be warned.   :)

Ah ! – life is good. La vita è bella, vero. It matters not that I am ancient: there is much joy to be found in the most ordinary, everyday things. I am finally home.