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Oliver’s Fetish

This one.  And his shoe fetish…

Happy Tuesday, my Peeps!

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Rest in Peace Oscar…

I have posted here previously that my last several weeks were some of my hardest lately.  Work was horrible, and required long hours, nights and weekends.  It was really stressful.  On top of that…

A few weeks ago, I came home from an afternoon walk with a girlfriend to be greeted by Oscar in the kitchen, with a strange cry that let me know something was wrong.  When he let me pick him up, I knew it was bad.  Sweet Oscar is semi-feral; he wasn’t socialized as a young kitten and has always been extremely skittish about being picked up.  Not a lap cat…

 

That is not the food you are looking for…

Sunday night, September 17, I took Oscar to the emergency vet, where the vet found a perianal abscess.  She sedated him, lanced the abscess, gave him painkiller and antibiotic injections, and we headed home, thinking things would be looking up.

The next day he wasn’t getting better, so Tuesday morning we headed off to the vet again.  The bad news was almost immediate – he was in acute kidney failure.  There was no way to know if the abscess was caused by his immune system being compromised by kidney failure, or if the kidney failure was caused by the infection.  Maybe it doesn’t matter anyway.

 

Oscar (left) and Coraline (right) taking in some rays

Oscar got hooked up to IV fluids and for the next several days, received his fluids 24 hours a day.  After the first day, he started to perk up, and eat and drink.  He was looking a little healthier.  Unfortunately his blood work kept showing that his kidney levels weren’t improving.  If I pulled him off the IV, he would once again crash.  That’s no kind of life…

On Saturday, September 23, I made the decision to let Oscar cross over the rainbow bridge.  He was only 11 years old.

 

Oscar says, “Don’t Mess with Me…”

During his life, he usually ran away when strangers came over, or at best would watch them from a safe perch under the dining room table or on the stairs.  He liked to play with his toys, but would get nervous when the other cats crowded his space.  He needed a wide bubble, and things were always on his terms.  Over time, he mellowed a lot, and would approach me for pets in the kitchen, or when I was folding the laundry.  He loved to have his chin scratched, but always got nervous if you tried to use two hands.  But in his quirky way, Oscar was an absolute lover, gently nipping your ankle if you stopped petting before he was done.  He was sweet, and I miss him…

 

Oscar Sees Coraline for the First Time

It sucks that he didn’t get to grow old.  It sucks that the only time he ever sat on my lap was in the last moments of his life.  I do hope that he found Martini right away and is enjoying being healthy again.  And I hope that he gets all the pets and chin scratches he wants, even if it is only in the kitchen…

 

Cora Loves Ollie

Oliver is slowing down lately.  He is content just snoozing most of the day away.  And he doesn’t usually have patience for Cora and her antics.  Today she marched over to him and started to give him a bath.  After initially looking really skeptical, he settled down and let her lick him…  I think he even might have liked it…

Oliver Covets

Oliver has kidney disease.  It is relatively mild, and well controlled with his kidney care food.  Who knows whether the kidneys will go, or whether the tumor will return, first.  It could be either, so I watch both.

Unfortunately for me, Oliver is a bigger fan of Oscar’s food than he is of his own.  Which led to me having to babysit meal-time, since Oliver will give Oscar the stare down to try to get him to leave his bowl.  I finally just decided to pay the money and have Oscar eat Oliver’s super-expensive kidney food.  At least it means I won’t have to police dinner!

Happy Thursday everybody!

That is not the food you are looking for…

Oliver’s Tumor Redux

Oliver has had a bit of a rough year.  In January, he was diagnosed with a fibrosarcoma, a cancerous tumor that cats sometimes get at their vaccination site.  There is some disagreement, but there is a body of evidence to suggest that rabies vaccines are the cause, due to over-vaccinating, and the high dose of the vaccine compared to the small size of the cat.  Talk to your vet about this – maybe your cat doesn’t need a rabies vaccine.  I wish I had known…

At any rate, Oliver had a surgery to remove the tumor, and we hoped that it wouldn’t grow back.

It did.

Two weeks ago, Oliver had another surgery, to try to get the tumor that was quickly growing back.  The vet and I had talked it over and decided, given how easily his recovery had been the first time, to go for it.

The tumor, and the surgery, was a lot bigger this time around.  The vet found more growth and spreading, and wanted to be aggressive in trying to get it all.  Clear margins around the tumor are critical to prevent its growing right back.

Oliver at the hospital, the day of his surgery

This time, Oliver had a much rougher time in recovery.  There was a lot more open wound, a lot more swelling and edema, and a lot more bleeding.  Oliver was in a lot of pain for the first 4 days.  My heart broke to hear him cry when his dose of pain medicine was wearing off.  I second-guessed my decision.  He hardly moved at all those first few days.  He didn’t eat much, didn’t drink much and didn’t pee and poop much.  I made his wet cat food into a liquid slurry to get more fluids in him.

He didn’t like his antibiotic pills, his pain medicine made him into a drooling zombie, and he hated when I tried to put shirts on him to prevent his blood from oozing everywhere.  I felt like a big, mean, jerk.

Oliver relaxing, the day after the surgery

 

Oliver two days post-op, swollen, bruised and hurting

 

Oliver 3 days post-op – lots of bruising and oozing…

 

Fortunately on the 5th day after his surgery, he was feeling a bit better.  He is getting back to his old self now.  Two weeks out, he can jump up and get around like normal.  He isn’t in pain.  He got his stitches out yesterday and is healing nicely.

 

Oliver 12 days post-op – getting a drink!

 

Oliver two weeks post-op – much better!

 

Maybe if I hide, she won’t see me. At the vet to get his stitches out.

As for his cancer?  It is unlikely that this will be the last of the tumor – it will probably come back.  Getting old sucks.  When the tumor does come back, there isn’t a whole lot I can do.  Enjoy the time I get with him and love him as much as I always have.

 

Oliver Joins the CIA

The day after Easter, I was still sick, even though I was basically out of commission for the entire weekend.  But, because when it rains, it really pours, fate wasn’t done with me yet.

I went to work Monday, not realizing that at some point in my misery over the weekend or Monday morning, I had gone out the back door and apparently not locked it when I came back in.  I don’t use that door very frequently, and I actually have no recollection of when I had even gone outside.  Because, well, sick…  Blame the illness.  Or the cold medicine…

At any rate, when I got home after work, still feeling miserable and just wanting to crawl back into bed, only two cats greeted me for dinner.  There was a big, orange tabby who was nowhere to be found.  I realized what had happened as soon as I saw the back door, which was not quite all the way closed.  Oliver had joined the CIA and was now out on a secret mission.  Ugh…

He looks like he wouldn’t be any trouble at all.

I live in a neighborhood that is quite woody.  I have my own animal kingdom just steps from the back door.  Deer nap in my yard, and raccoons hang out with regularity.  Even worse, I have seen coyotes in my yard, and I live half a block from the beginning of a park which has infrequent cougar sightings.

A trip around the house shaking the food bag was to no avail.  Oliver was gone.  He had gone deep undercover.  He has snuck out a few times before but I had always managed to see him leave, and once he got out, it was always enough to just reprimand him and he would come quickly slinking back to the open door.  But I had no idea where he had gotten to!

I hoped he would come back that evening, but no dice. I even locked the other two away and left the back door open so he could come back in the way he left.  Nope.  Whatever his secret mission was, it was taking awhile.  So imagine me, still sick, and now worried sick, wandering around the neighborhood in the middle of the night looking for eye shine and quietly shaking the food bag.  Oy.  I got very little sleep that night.  My Fitbit says I lay still for about 4 hours, but I am quite positive I was awake for most of that.  In fact, the only reason that I knew I slept at all was because I had a couple of nightmares.

The next day the search was equally fruitless.  I worked from home, working on emails and phone calls and roaming the neighborhood periodically to find my jerk of a cat.  My mom came over during the day to help look, and my girlfriend helped in the evening.  I talked to a lot of my neighbors.  But no sign of Oliver.  The only good news was that I hadn’t found any piles of orange cat fur and bones…  I was exhausted…

I finally lay down at 10 that night, planning for another middle of the night neighborhood walk.  I had scoured all the internet advice for lost indoor cats.  His litter was outside.  Smelly, heated up tuna was trying to tempt him home.  And, one site had recommended leaving the garage door open six inches, in case my little renegade tried that avenue…  I was pretty pessimistic, I admit.

About 11:30 that night, I heard some rustling around in the garage.  I wasn’t sure what had come in.  A cat, or one of the many raccoons?  I got up and opened the door to the garage, and saw a streak run towards me!  I had just enough time to figure out that the streak was orange before he was upon me like a bolt of lightning into the house.  Apparently he had enough of his secret outdoor mission.

He was dirty, and had sticky sap all over his paws, but was otherwise none the worse for the wear.  After washing him off and pulling off half of his paw fur in the process of trying to get the sap off (he did not like that ONE BIT but it serves him right!), I was finally able to get some sleep…

Who could resist that face?

Hopefully Oliver has had enough of these outdoor excursions, and won’t try to escape again soon.  I don’t think my poor body could take it…