I know, bad blogger. I have a post started with a recap of last weekend (I attended a conference) but my blogging motivation has been sadly lacking this week. I have the blahs, which is a combination of my job stress, Josh’s job stress. the time of year and something else I’ve been dealing with. If you look back at past archives, you’ll see I normally blog about my mom and my grandfather at this date every year. Yesterday was the anniversary of my mom’s death and my grandfather’s funeral (easy to remember when they occur on the same date). I realized that in two years, I’ll have been alive as long without my mom as I was with her. Very odd. But this weekend I’ve been otherwise occupied with something else that’s been difficult.

funny cat pictures & lolcats - My duhpreshun Let me show you it.
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I have three cats at home: Oliver, Trish and Max. Max is the one year old, the cat Josh and Brianna found on Brianna’s birthday. Trish is ten and I got her from a shelter when she was 1 1/2, from a shelter. Oliver is also ten, but I’ve had him since he was a kitten. I even know his date of birth. He’s been with me through college, a number of moves, and 2 marriages. When I was in college, doing internships in another state, I used to take him back and forth with me on the weekends. He’d ride in the back window of my car and because he was so huge (almost 20 lbs) and orange, people would stare at him. It wasn’t uncommon for me to stop at gas stations and have people come up and point at the fat orange thing (much like the lolcat in the picture above) or say they saw us driving on the road.

happycat
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This weekend, we realized Oliver is very ill. He’s been losing weight for awhile now, but we attributed part of that to better food that doesn’t taste as good, so he wasn’t gorging himself. But in the past month, he’s gotten a little skinnier. He’s also started urinating outside the box. That we thought was behavioral because Max is starting to try and establish his dominance. But last night, Oliver collapsed. He couldn’t walk, his back legs were weak. We realized, in retrospect, that he hadn’t been doing any of his bad-habits lately (trying to escape to the open outdoors, jumping on counters and knocking over the trash can to find better food). He wouldn’t eat wet cat food or even small pieces of ham (his favorite). He’s sick. Very sick. My fat man is now under ten pounds.

We took him to the vet today, where he still is, and $1000 later we know…not a lot. He’s dehydrated, he’s got inflamed cells and high white blood cell count. Xrays show something wrong with his intestinal system and that combined with the other things lead the vet to think he’s got an infection, think it might be a feline bowel inflammation. Or it might be cancer. The only way to be “almost” sure is to do exploratory abdominal surgery and take biopsies. For another $1000. And that could still be inconclusive. Unfortunately, my vet does not do payment plans. All payment at the time of treatment. Today’s vet bill is compliments of Mr. Visa but we can’t do another $1000. So instead the vet is (reluctantly) going to try the steroid treatment, hoping we see a big improvement in Oliver. The problem is, they may make him feel better for a few weeks, and then he’ll relapse. At that point, it’s probably cancer. Or the steroids might make him feel totally better and he’ll have to stay on those the rest of his life.

I feel horribly guilty that I can’t say yes to the surgery. But honestly, I tried to explain this to the vet, it’s not an option. Sure, he can do it, but I couldn’t pay him and I’m sure that’s not a happy option for the vet. So Oliver is there getting IV fluids, we’ll pick him up at 5pm and then take him back in the morning for another course of IV fluids. He’s also getting antibiotics, vitamins and a whole host of other stuff to get him on the road to recovery, tempt his appetite and hopefully make him feel better. *sigh* I think Brianna’s Christmas is going to depend on the grandparents this year.

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