Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year's Eve!

On this last day of 2009, like many of you we here at The Kitty Krew want to stop and reflect on our year.

We just started blogging in early June, and have had a great time. We've met so many wonderful friends all over the world. The cat community is so large in number, and yet so small at heart when it comes to offering help and support as soon as it's needed to anyone anywhere. Well, we have large hearts but we're like a small village. Y'all know what we mean. It's been a true pleasure to become a part of that community.

Even better, we learned about lots of new toys and treats and food and stuff that we, sweet-talked The Mommy into getting for us! She looks around the house and says that we have more stuff than she does. Teehee!

We added two new kitties to the Krew just before Halloween, when Gypsy and Ziggy were adopted from a shelter; and sadly, we lost one a week before Christmas when Callie got ill suddenly in early December and then didn't make it after surgery a week or so later. But our new friends were there with compassionate words of caring in post comments, emails, cards and more, just as we were there for others when their kitties were ill or lost, in either sense of the word. Woofies too, even though we don't visit woofie blogs that often or have many woofie visitors; we still hate to hear of anything bad happening to them.

It's mostly been a good year, it just happened to end on a real downer. Here's to a really good 2010, for us all.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tuesday Toysday

Sooo....remember the box?

This is what came out of the box:

And lookit!! Look look looky looky looooook!!! (We're channeling our inner Buddah Pest, brother of Max the Psychokitty. MOL) All those pieces turned into THIS!!!!

Our very own cat condo hangout thingy-ma-bob!! It's got multiple levels and dark red and tan carpet and two sisal scratching posts on the bottom and a hole in the middle level that we can climb through, and Ziggy's already discovered that from the top level, he can jump all the way over to the top of the entertainment center! (The Mommy sez: And I fear for the knickknacks on the wall behind the kitty condo, too....)

All of us but Gypsy have at least checked it out a little, though only Ziggy and Sassy have really napped on it any yet that the Mommy knows of...but it's only been put together for a day so she's not too worried.

Santa Claws was *really really really* good to us for Chrismouse this year!!

PS - for those who wondered, the pink puff bed came from Drs. Foster Smith, according to Santa. He got the idea from our friends, Four Crazy Cats, who posted about their purple puff bed a few weeks ago and mentioned having gotten it from there.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

T'was the Day After Chrismouse...

We hope all you kids out there had a great Chrismouse. Ours was quite awesome; Santa Claws was pretty darn good to us. He was even good to The Mommy. But since this blog is all about us and not her, let's get to the good stuff.

Look at all that!! You might wanna bigify to see better. The lower left photo shows all of it, and the other photos show each thing. There's a stocking filled with balls and mousies and other nifty toys. And two soft fuzzy cushions/beds. And a soft fuzzy throw thingy (it's folded in that photo so looks small, but it's bigger than that). And a really great big fuzzy hairy bed (the material on it feels like the great hairy blankies that Miss Peggy makes!). And new cardboard for the scratchers! (Pixie's already trying that out in the lower left photo. MOL) And the lower right photo....ah, that's a mystery. It's a big box. It hasn't been opened yet, The Mommy says there's 'sembly required and maybe she'll do it this weekend if we stay good. WHAT? We have to stay good past Chrissymouse day?? Sheesh. As Alfie and Milo would say, 'snot fair.

Although that new big bright pink bed looks comfy, none of us has actually tried it out for napping. But we've sniffed around and done some biscuit making on it, testing it out, kicking the tires as it were. The Mommy figures one or the other of us will give it a shot eventually, probably Sassy or Pixie. She thinks Callie would have loved it.

The two gray leopard print cushion/beds went onto the window perches in the den, to give them more support and warmth this winter. We like that idea, and Sassy has given it her nap of approval. Lookit at that top left photo out the window over the cushion, we actually had snow here on Christmas Eve! That's some of what was left in the backyard on Christmas morning, but the sun was out all day and it was melted by mid-day even though it was still cold. The gray stone-pattern throw went on the wicker-seat bar stool that Gypsy sleeps on half the time; The Mommy did have a fleece throw on there to keep Gypsy comfy but this new one seems softer and comfier, and Gypsy appears to like it just fine!

And just when we thought Chrissymouse was mostly over (other than that box...), The Mommy brought in the mail from Christmas Eve that she hadn't gotten yet, and there was a surprise package from Baby Patches and her mommy with a sweet condolence card about Callie. In the package, they included two of their catnip candy canes! Whoa, that's some strong catnip in those canes, too, The Mommy could smell it almost before even opening the package. Even Gypsy came into the den from the dining room, her usual hangout, to check things out!

Thank you so much, Miss Baby Patches and your family, for both the card and the candy canes. A big thank you also to the Kool Kittie Krew for the card they mailed, as well as to the Island Cats, Fin, Sam and Andy, and JB's crew for the special Christmas Day messages you sent us in support and remembrance of Callie, and to all our dear friends who have been supporting us through comments, posts, emails and mail since we lost Callie last week. It has all been so very appreciated, The Mommy gets leaky almost as much from all the kind words and support as she does from the loss itself. We wuv all you guys!

Okay, enuff of that, we need a nap to recover from Chrissymouse now...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday Salute - Remembering Callie

*Sigh* I still can't believe my sweet Callie girl is gone. All things considered, it all happened so fast -- about 12 days from noticing she wasn't acting quite right until we lost her -- and it's just been such a shock. I'm not really sure it's even sunk in yet that she's gone for good, since she was away from home several of those days but then came back for a few days. Surely she'll be back home again in a couple of days, right? But no. Well, at least only her cremated remains will be. I ordered the urn yesterday, a rock-looking urn with a nameplate just like Tigger and Felix have. Right now, I keep them inside, but maybe eventually I'll start a memorial garden outside and put them all out there to oversee things (part of why I got a rock-looking thing originally for Felix and then Tigger...just never have done anything garden-y about it since then; I have black thumbs, not green!).

I want to thank everyone who has offered support during this tough time, through all the long days of her illness and not knowing what was wrong and her not eating, offering suggestions to get her to eat, etc., and of course since we lost her. You cats and woofies and gals and guys are the absolute best, and every comment and email and post has been so very greatly appreciated. It's amazing to see how much Callie was loved in the bloggie-sphere.

Of course, I knew what a special and sweet kitty she was. I've had her since she was an itty bitty kitty. Although she was about 2 months old before she, along with Bugsy and Sassy, became a permanent indoor kitten with me and my ex, we had some contact with her before that as well; her feral momma (who she looked just like) birthed her and the others in our garage. We were able to catch the kittens a few times, but momma would always move them again. At that point, we hadn't particularly planned on adopting and keeping them but as winter crept up, we decided to; thus, their December 1 Gotcha Day.

For 6 years, Callie has been a wonderful kitty; never mean, always wanting to spend time in my lap or curled up next to me on the couch. While not aggressive towards any of the other cats, she was always ready to hold her own in a fight if needed, especially against Pixie the Pest. She'd get tired of him picking on her after awhile, though, and would often go hide in the bedroom in the evenings with Sassy (who hides for the same reason). Mostly I think they were just hoping to get to stay in the room overnight, which I rarely allow (too many cats in the house means no sleep for The Mommy if I let them in the bedroom at night!). But, she did get to sleep in with me on her last night in the house and a couple of other nights last week too, so I feel good about letting her do that.

She loved boxes, I've left this one box on the floor with a layer of bubble wrap in it that she adored sleeping in. She also just couldn't get enough of Peggy's hairy blankies, she was on those all the time. She would go outside when we had our outside evenings (a carefully snoopervised hour or so when it's not too hot and not too cold and not raining and so on), but it would usually take her a bit before she'd be brave enough to go, and she'd jump at every noise in the neighborhood -- but then she'd get really brave and get nearly to the street or across the driveway exploring!I had to keep a close eye on her. She was my picky picky eater; she didn't much like canned stinky goodness and rarely would eat it when offered as a special treat. And when I changed their dry food over the summer from 'regular' food found in basic stores to more healthy dry food, I had to go through several kinds to find some she would eat along with everyone else.

She had such beautiful colors, and when caught just right in the sun, she could be truly breathtaking. I'd never had a tortoiseshell or calico kitty before -- thus her rather unimaginative name "Callie" because we thought her coloring was what a calico was! Funny comment, when I took her to Dr. Surgeon Vet on Friday morning, when he walked in the door, he said, "Callie, huh? I take it she's a calico?" And I had to laugh and tell him the story about how stupid I was, not knowing which coloring was a tortie and which was a calico.

I have quite a few photos of her that were in the 'images to use' folder that just hadn't been gotten to yet, and more from the last couple of weeks as well. Don't worry, I won't post them all at once or even individually; I put together several collages. But just so you know that there will be some more memories of Callie coming up in the next few weeks, so don't be confused.

For now, I'll leave you with this one collage of photos from her last few days. At the second upper left, she's in her box of bubble wrap that she loved so much. All the ones on the right side are from her last night at home. And the big photo in the lower right is the very last photo taken of her. (You may want to biggify to see them better.)

Goodbye, my sweet Callie Boo, you will be greatly missed.

PS - We still may not get around to visit much, or post much, this week between this, The Mommy's work, and the holidays. In case we don't see you before then, please have a safe and very happy holiday, and a very Meowy Chrismouse from our house to yours!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Callie's gone

We lost Callie about 2pm Central this afternoon.

They resuscitated her a couple of times, but things finally proved to just be too much for my poor baby and she didn't make it.

Thank you all so much for all the purrs and purrayers and hugs. I can't tell you how much it means to me.

Goodbye, sweet Callie.

Callie's Friday Noos - UPDATED


Today's a big day for Callie. I didn't want to 'ruin' Pixie's Gotcha Day yesterday by adding this as a new post for the day when holding off until today didn't seem to make much difference, but yesterday was kind of a bittersweet day. Happy because of Pixie, sad because of Callie.

She wasn't doing very well at all, still not really eating Wednesday night or yesterday morning, plus she had an incision that opened up on her right arm where she'd been shaved for her IVs and stuff, so I decided to drop her back off at Dr. Vet's yesterday morning; since they're closed half the day on Fridays, I thought it would be best to do it Thursday when she could be there with them there the full day if needed. Well, Dr. Vet himself called me just a couple of hours later and said that she was doing so not well, that if it was okay with me, he was calling Dr. Surgeon Vet's office to see how soon they could fit her in, as he felt that was really the best thing for her at this point. Of course, I said absolutely. Good news is, they could fit her in today (Friday).

I just got back to the office after taking Callie in and talking with Dr. Surgeon Vet. He agreed that based on all the information he had available to him, surgery seems the best solution. What exactly will be done is -- say it with me, kitties! -- up in the air. It just depends on what they see once they get in there, and whether the "easy" ("easy" being relative) fix works or whether they have to move to Plan B. But they'll know while they're in there if Plan A will appear to be the right option, so it wouldn't be a case of trying Plan A, close her up, see if it works and if not, go back in later for Plan B. Risks and complications are possible with either option, blah blah blah yadda yadda yadda.

So Miss Callie Boo will be having surgery today.

I'm being Pollyanna today and I know there will be no risks and no complications and everything will go just great and she'll be good as new in no time! Cross your paws that I'm right, hey?

UPDATE 12:30pm

Just talked with Dr. Surgeon Vet. Please please please ramp up those emergency purrs. Callie went through 1-1/2 hours of surgery, they had to go to Plan B. Her biliary tract was bloated 4 times as big as it should be due to the blockage, they don't know if it's infection-related or cancer/tumor and won't be able to tell until they get test results back (not something they can determine by eye), so they had to re-route her gallbladder directly to another portion of the drainage system, essentially. There are other risks associated with that. Her liver was bright yellow due to jaundice, not a good thing. And they may have to give her blood to keep her going, which apparently is very rare in cat surgery. And they had no 'known-to-be-clean' blood on hand. He has his own personal cat there today and is willing to get some from his cat for her if it turns out to be needed.

She's very sick, very unstable. The next few hours are critical.

UPDATE 1:00pm

Talked to Dr. Surgeon Vet again. Callie definitely needed blood, but they found some 'clean' blood at one of the other clinics in their building so are giving her that now. He said that his gut feeling (um, no pun intended), based on how she's acting/reacting, is that the blockage is going to end up being due to cancer, but that's just his feeling, no test results are back this quick (and he didn't say and I didn't think to ask how long it takes to get them back, I don't think they do that onsite). But I also didn't bother asking yet what we do if it is. It's too soon right now to ask 'what if' in that case -- just keeping herself alive the next 2-3 hours is taking everything she has right now to worry about anything else.

They've done all they can. It's up to her body to do what it needs to do this afternoon to keep going. Come on, baby, you can do it!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Pixie's Gotcha Day!

It's Pixie's 3rd Gotcha Day today! It's hard to believe that just 3 years ago, he was being brought home as a bitty kitten, about 6 weeks old at the time. Here's his very first photo, a couple of days after he got home:

He immediately showed how fearless he was, attacking those scary plastic bags that were trying to escape the pantry.

And he quickly learned that crawling up in The Mommy's lap and curling up against her arm was a primo napping position, a place he still enjoys when he can.

Of course, any napping place is a good place, except when the flashy box thing intrudes...

With everything going on with Callie right now, we're just going to have a quiet celebration with The Krew rather than a big Blogosphere party; we hope you all understand. Besides, we're still cleaning up after the big bash for Bugsy, Sassy and Callie a couple of weeks ago, you kitties and woofies really helped us trash this place! We're finding bits of ham and chick-hen everywhere and it's really starting to smell...ewwwww....

Happy Gotcha Day to our dear Pixie!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What's Callie Up To?

I know it's been a long time since I posted anything about Callie, so I thought I'd bring you all up to speed. (Is that sarcasm, or wry humor? It's so hard to tell... )

Thank you for all the additional suggestions on things I could try for getting Callie to eat. I decided to check with Dr. Vet when I called to update them on her status yesterday, and though he wasn't there, the assistants said that in general most of the ideas sounded good to try, although they vetoed the chicken broth on the thought that it would have too much sodium (that might be unique for Callie's particular situation; for another cat, it might be an okay option). So I went by PetSmart and got some kitten milk, both pre-mixed and dry, and was going to get NutriCal but they were out so I got something similar whose brand name I don't recall offhand. Then it was off to Wal-Mart for some baby food and also some plain Fancy Feast flavors, despite her general reluctance to eat stinky goodness normally. I'm desperate and clutching at straws here, figuring even if she'd lap at gravy, that would be *something*.

So, after getting home and wolfing down a little dinner first myself, I took her off into the closed bedroom so all the other cats wouldn't be bothering us. First up was the pre-mixed kitten milk. She sniffed at it and walked away, so I smeared a little on her mouth. She decided it wasn't so bad after all, and proceeded to drink a little from the bowl after that. A small victory! Then it was on to the turkey baby food; a little on her mouth, and she consented to lick off two small smears from my finger, but that was it. The ham baby food, no interest whatsoever. The chicken - ding ding ding! We had a winner. Even after she decided she would eat some, she would only lick it off my finger, she wouldn't eat it off the spoon or a dish, so it's hard to gauge exactly how much she ate; but it still wasn't much more than maybe half a plastic spoonful or so. After that, she drank a little more kitten milk, and then she was done. I didn't even try with anything else, she made it clear she wanted nothing else to eat. A smear of the Nutri-Cal substitute was not greeted with joy, either.

So maybe half a spoonful of baby food, and perhaps 2-3ml of kitten milk. Not nearly enough to keep a cat alive for long. But better than nothing, I guess.

This morning, I was short on time so thought I'd just go with the proven kitten milk and chicken baby food rather than trying something new, but she had no interest in either one despite repeated attempts to smear some on her mouth to stimulate appetite or interest. She was Not Amused or Interested. It's not looking too good here, and I'm guessing we'll be ending up with more of a forced-feeding thing soon. I'll call Dr. Vet later and see how long they want to give it before we make the next decision.

In the meantime, I know we've been the All Callie Noos Channel here on the bloggie for the past week, for obvious reasons, but I wanted to reassure everyone that the other kitties are all doing fine and are getting plenty of love and attention even with all that's going on with her. Sassy continues to get daily warnings that just because her littermates Bugsy and Callie have had and/or are having major health issues, she does not get to have her own somewhere down the road. She has to stay healthy forever. The rest of them get general warnings to the same effect, even if they're not littermates.

I'm sorry we haven't been around to visit much lately, it's just seemed a bit overwhelming to keep up right now. We do very much appreciate all your support, though, and hope to get caught up sometime soon.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Callie's home...but...

This update brought to you by The Callie Noos Station! All Callie, All the Time!

So, Callie is home now. Which is a good thing! I missed her terribly. But oh my poor baby...she's not looking so hot. She's not quite skin and bones, but she's noticeably skinnier. And she lost a lot of furs on one arm, one leg and her belleh because of the various IVs and for the ultrasounds. The poor dear is just looking a little pitiful right now.

As for the 'but' least so far, after one evening and one morning, the intensely-hoped-for appetite increase hasn't happened. She's had a little milk and a little water and that's it, no interest in food whatsoever. She's never much cared for stinky goodness (I hear you kitties gasping in horror) and she's extremely picky with her dry food too, which is why I hoped having her home with her regular familiar food would be helpful. But no go. Mr. Hendrix in a comment yesterday suggested baby food; I'm willing to try anything so I'll go by the store on the way home tonight and get some.

I've got a better idea of what's going on, sort of, but not really in a way that I can explain it. It really is a lot up in the air as to exactly what the problem is and how to fix it. It's pretty clear that it's a blockage of sorts in the gallbladder/biliary tract, but exactly what and why isn't known. It's possible that it could clear on its own (Dr. Vet has seen that happen) or surgery may be needed. If surgery is needed, it may be that draining the blockage will be enough or it could be that a re-routing of tubes will be necessary (or something like that). And even if the draining or the re-routing surgery is done, the problem could come back, or there's a real 50/50 chance she won't survive the surgery. This is a pretty serious thing. And that's assuming she doesn't get too weak from lack of food/nutrients before surgery can even be attempted.

And, as much as I hate to even mention it, there's the expense involved. Don't get me wrong, I'll do everything I can do to get her well. But after spending several thousand on Bugsy since the summer with his medical issues, and nearly a thousand just for this past week on Callie with the tests and meds and all, looking at potentially a few thousand more for surgery makes the ol' savings account squeak loudly. (That's not a request for help, just a comment.)

For now, we'll have Callie home for at least a couple of days, trying to get her to eat, giving her a couple of meds twice a day, and seeing if we can love her back to health. I'm looking for a genuine Christmas miracle here...

Monday, December 14, 2009

New Callie Noos

"Dear Diary:

Today is my 6th day of captivity. But there's good news! This morning, I heard Dr. Vet tell somebody that The Mommy can come take me home tonight..."

Yes, Miss Callie is coming home tonight. Of course, it's a 'good news / bad news' scenario. She's still not eating, and Dr. Vet hopes that being home in familiar surroundings might help. I haven't talked with him today, just one of the assistants, and other than knowing she's not eating, it's really too early yet this morning to know anything different from Saturday (no new test results or anything like that). But I called to offer to take some of her regular food up there this afternoon to see if she'd eat, and they checked with Dr. Vet and called back to say he thought she might eat better at home. That doesn't mean she's well, though. And I don't know how long she'll be at home.

So I'll leave work early to go get her and to talk to Dr. Vet and see if they know anything for sure yet by then. Have I mentioned that I really hate the 'not knowing what's wrong with her' part?

That's all for now...

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