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25 January 2011 @ 12:57 am
 
If you're not so much for the kitty stuff, know that I put this behind a cut just for you.

For everyone else, click away for what I like to call, "What up with the fuzzy ones." Actually, I don't like to call it that at all. I just couldn't think of anything else, and I have to get to bed. Still... kitties!


I’m a doting kitty owner.

That should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone who has ever read my LJ. I’m not sure if it’s just that I am a to-the-core animal lover, or if it’s that I’m 792 years old and unlikely to ever have children and have therefore transferred all my affections to critters. Probably the former, but it’s still worth taking the latter into account.

In the past, I may have overreacted to kitty ailments. When we were living in Hawthorne, Jilly developed strange bumps around her neck, which turned out to be (ultimately benign) cysts that required surgical removal and several weeks of an Elizabethan Collar.*


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There was an instance where Esme’s cyborg seeing-into-faerie bad eye gooped up alarmingly enough that I scheduled an appointment. A week’s worth of eye drops later, it was much improved... but still not sure that was necessary.


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Then there was Zinda, who developed an eye irritation that I fussed wasn’t quite right, and which turned out to be the first outward symptom of the FIP that would eat away at her from the inside out.**


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Let's not forget Handsome Tom’s malaise following his snippity-snip, which might have just been post-surgery exhaustion but ended up requiring a round of antibiotics and his own personal air conditioner in the ‘gym’ building he’d claimed as his own.



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So. A few months back, Isabeau went deaf. It was probably a gradual process, but one that came to a head when we noticed she wasn’t coming out at feeding times. We’ve gotten ‘round that by waving her food dish in front of her face. Sure, she gets in her Closet of Solitude and cries a bit until one of us comes and pets her to let her know that yes, we’re here. And yes, she lives in a sort of happy oblivion regarding Handsome Tom and his lurkish, stalky ways... until he sneaks right up to her since she can’t hear him. But is wasn’t so bad... until, a few days ago, I noticed she was lowering her right ear to her head. Eh, thought I, maybe she’s got an itch. Then, yesterday, I notice she’d a bit of crud about that ear.


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Well bugger, thought I. Clearly I’m sod-all at this taking care of kitties thing.


Dr Awesome Vet was able to see her today (and yes, I gave up my own doctor’s appointment to take her in). Looks like she scratched her own ear with a back claw and gave herself an infection. Trouble is, we’re not sure how bad the infection is, or what sort of bacteria are at work. She’s got a culture going for testing, and in the meanwhile I get to dose her with topical antibiotics twice a day for the next week.

Isabeau was a dream at the vet’s office. At first, she curled up on the exam table with her wee head stuck into my jacket, but she relaxed enough that by the time we were done, she wanted belly skritches. And even though she’s lost a bit of weight, it’s not as severe as I’d thought. She’s an old lady by kitty standards - just a few months shy of fifteen - but her skin and coat are in great shape, as are her eyes and teeth and gums.***


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But here’s where the fretting starts. What if this was a problem long in coming? Did this cause her deafness? Was this the one time I should have been hyper-worrisome?

I’ll get the bacterial results in a few days; they’ve got to grow the culture then kill the culture, or something like that. Sounds terribly exciting, if no little bit worrisome. Is this not the start of a classic sci fi horror story?

In the meanwhile, I’ve got an old lady cat who needs some care. I’m sure she’ll thank me for dribbling cold antibiotic ointment into her ear, then mushing it in for good measure. Surely she knows that means, “I love you.”


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And when she cries in her Closet of Solitude for someone to come and pet her and tell her it's okay even though she can't hear the words or the intent, it's her way of telling us she knows we are there for her, and that she loves us, too.











*upon further reflection, I suspect this particular cat clinic not only hoodwinked us as to the seriousness of the problem, but also removed her collar too early, resulting in a reopened incision, another expensive visit to the clinic AND another six weeks of Jilly’s Collar Misery.

**this is one instance where, even now, I beat myself up for not having noticed it sooner. Never mind that there’s no way I could have seen it. Never mind that Zee’s disease was incurable. Still feel as if I failed her.

***residual bit of awful: I feel as if the countdown has started. She’s an old lady cat now, as is her sister Jilly. I’m going to keep them as healthy as I possibly can, but the stupid march of time is on. And even worse than that? I had a moment of looking forward to NOT having our closets giving over to kitties of hidingness, to a normal litter box situation. Yep. I am a terrible person.

 
 
 
Cat: Rivertomincloset on January 25th, 2011 06:12 am (UTC)
Hugs to the kitty, and to you. And I think another geek lunch is in order so I can give you your prezzie. I'll come to your hood this time if you like, just say when.
Kel: pizza booze tellyladyjoust on January 25th, 2011 06:20 am (UTC)
Thanks, love.

Another geek lunch is most definitely in order. If you come to my hood, we can go out OR I can cook for us. Must consult schedule to see what will work.

*smooshes*


on a side note, other than the 10/SJ hug, I have no good Sarah Jane icon. Must remedy!

Edited at 2011-01-25 06:27 am (UTC)
Fjordhopper: Smoochfjordhopper on January 25th, 2011 11:07 am (UTC)
Photos are wonderful!!! (Kitties are so hard to capture on film without blurring! - well, at least I have trouble with them!!)

You're not the only crazy one :) I took Mokey to the vet one time, because he threw up hairballs and had a really pained upset look on his face. Seriously, I took him to the vet based on his facial expression...
La Petite Souris Scientifiquemelebeth on January 25th, 2011 01:05 pm (UTC)
You have no idea how many times I took CC to the vet - once in my PJs. Sometimes it turned out to be Real Problems and sometimes she thought I was insane. We love our kids.

kitmfkitmf on January 25th, 2011 06:00 pm (UTC)
I know how it is. I am currently awaiting the same culture process for Larry - who is my fifteen year old cat. He's got a sinus infection. He's had a sinus infection every three months for the last year. Only once has one of the other cats caught it even though respiratory infections are supposed to be very contagious in cats.

Anyway first possibility is we haven't really been killing the infections, so we're doing this lab thing to figure out the "right" antibiotic and they he gets to have it for a long time.

Note: he is currently on zithromax and is feeling much better. This, he insists, has nothing at all to do with the red stuff I'm forcing him to swallow twice a day. He would like everyone to know the vet admired his muscles.

Second option suggested is that he might have a tooth abscess which is leaking bacteria into his sinus via the roots of the tooth. This sounds expensive and also as if he might be in pain. I hope we don't go here. (guilt guilt fear)
Kelladyjoust on January 27th, 2011 10:56 pm (UTC)
Poor Larry. I still haven't heard from my vet. Any word from yours?

Edited at 2011-01-27 10:57 pm (UTC)
albinomarealbinomare on January 25th, 2011 11:24 pm (UTC)
You did NOT fail Zee. Don't you dare think that way! I'd come chase you with a broomstick if I was closer.
Zoë Tzoethor on January 26th, 2011 01:05 am (UTC)
Oh don't be a sillyface - you are an awesome kitty mommy. It's not easy mothering animals whose very instincts push them to hide their pain and pretend they're always 100% in perfect health. Also, they can't talk, which is very annoying.

You are a wonderful person.