Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Nimbus Memorial Post - Emergency after Emergency

TSB: I will be taking back over a bit now but Nim will be chipping in a lot too.
Before we start, I want to show you a pic of a young Boo I think I forgot...

Wasn't he so long even as a kitten?
 Yep, LOOONGGG cat!

 This extended leg is what the hoomins refer to as "chicken leg" - any clue why?
 The last thing the OTRB mice sees... *giggle* (and a lot of bugs before I got here!)
Yesh, we were a happy family... But this closeness almost NEVER happened (unless forced...)
Forced entry, obviously not forced staying. Our family portrait!
The move really did the boy good I think. He was much calmer, a lot more mellow... but entirely way too serious. He was truly transforming into the Good Cat that he would soon become famous for. He loved the windowsils when we first moved because they were so much wider, but they required him to jump to get there and once he got over about 15lb he didn't seem to think he was able to and shortly after that he didn't care to be up there at all. He seemed content to leave BirdTV up to the twins, especially Jadzia. Even at his heavy weights though he was ninja quiet, and no matter the weight, giving him a bath was always one of the most strenuous tasks because of his strength and size. The only way for a small human to bathe such a big cat is to get in with them so you can fully leverage your size and weight to contain the wet and probably slippery cat! But a couple times he did get loose (which is another reason I bathed them in the tub - I can easily trap them with the bathroom door shut - a trick I have used with all the cats).
He continued to wrestle with the twins, but for the most part he was more than content to watch the twins go after each other from a safe perch up high and/or next to a human! He did take after both of them though, liking string but he wasn't much for gnawing through them. He much preferred chewing on other things: wood sticks, brush handles, belts, etc. He especially liked his wire brush handle as it was rubber gripped. He did love his "whip" though - basically a felt string attached to a plastic pole - and for a long while he'd take me on a "walk" if I let him! But that was his first toy, actually bought before he was born for the twins! We still have it and it is definitely showing its age (partly because Curzon chewed a piece or two off).
(Can I talk now? Yes?!? Kthxbai!)
I always loved my hoomins, especially Mr. Cat. We hung out a lot early on in my life and introduced me to a lot of music. With the new home came a bigger kitchen and the opportunity for me to work my charms more. He always shared his nommy food with me (not always on purpose), and I'd weave between his feet and follow him everywhere. I did it to TSB too but not as much. My favorite noms were french fries, pasta sauce, cheese, and lettuce. Unfortunately she had no idea at that time that my love for pasta sauce could (and might've partly) kill me.
As I got older my role in the family changed. I went from a marathon THoE runner to laughing at Curzon chasing Mom and ghost mice. I got more and more picky about the litterbox, laying in front of it and staring at TSB until she got the point (which I had started before we moved but had to slightly modify my tactics after) and laying in front of the box while Curzon was in it, not because I had to go but because he was (and is) so stinky I HAD to bury it since he wouldn't (and that won me many a kiss from TSB). I also took over most of the policeman cat duties, from breaking up fights to overnight guard duty. I completely mastered the art of stealth (the grey fur was a tremendous help).
TSB always made sure to at give us wet food once a week or so. It was our special treat and it helped keep Jadzia from getting constipated (and me too later on), but one day many years ago (just before the pet food mass recall), I was suddenly lethargic. I wouldn't eat or drink and I would go into the box but couldn't leave anything in there. TSB at first thought I was constipated, and the massive hairball that I pulled up that day (6"+ - still a house record) had her thinking she was right for a bit. But by the evening it was apparent that she was wrong.
TSB sliding in here. I really did think that at first but nothing helped the poor boy. Mr. Cat came straight home and as I was going through the phone book trying to find a place that was open, Mr. Cat had the boy on the bed talking to him. The boy grabbed onto his arm and held on tight, and at that point Mr. Cat knew it was an emergency situation. I finally found a vet hospital a half-hour's drive away and after telling them what was wrong, we got him in his carrier and started the drive. He wailed and threw a fit the first half of the trip, but he started to calm down. We rushed him in and they quickly took him away to find out what was wrong. They came out about 15 minutes later and delivered the bad news: he had a crystaline blockage at the tip of his weenie and was in full renal failure. They weren't sure if he'd make it he was in such bad straights. And then came the worse news: they discovered a murmur, and because of that, they had to slow his treatment so as not to stress his heart more, which could kill him. I was devastated, nearly falling to my knees. Mr. Cat kept a hold of me while he told the tech to do whatever they had to do to save his life. That was Monday night. By the time we got home it was near midnight, but I could barely sleep. I called every day to check oln him and to get the heart diagnosis on Wednesday - mid-grade hypertrophic cardiomyapthy. One of the walls in the left ventricle of his heart was weak is how they explained it to me. Thursday evening he came home with restrictions and heart medicine - and a couple THOUSAND fewer dollars in the bank. THANK COD Mr. Cat can squirrel away money as good as he makes it.

Nimbus taking back over.
Adjusting to my new life was easier than one would expect. It didn't take me long to realize the daily pilling I was getting was making me feel better. Once I had recovered fully from my ordeal I realized when I overexherted myself I didn't feel as good so I learned to pace myself.
The twins weren't so happy with me. Curzon was mad at me for a month or so, especially the first week or so. Jadzia, however was FURIOUS, and she never did fully get over it. I tried to explain to them I didn't mean to get so sick, but she didn't want to hear it. Poor TSB took it worst, because she felt bad that she didn't see the correlation between my rare panting and something being wrong. But she did everything she could once she knew and if it wasn't for her I wouldn't have lived as long as I did.
The next couple years were pretty uneventful for us cats, except TSB couldn't get my medication renewed without another cardiologist exam and trip. After the emergency and first checkup, along with the economic downturn, the funds just weren't there for another exam. Luckily I got through it just fine until I started coughing / wheezing. I wasn't being able to breathe very easily and well, I'm sure you know how TSB was handling it: worrying like crazy. She went to a nearby vet knowing I had an upper respiratory infection, but the vet just didn't want to listen. She was convinced it was "seasonal allergies" so, hoping she was right, TSB gave it a try. Then one night, while she was on the phone, I went into a fit. But instead of a cough I just stopped breathing and collapsed right in front of her. She threw the phone and tried to wake me and when I didn't respond she gave me mouth-to-nozzle recussitation which I responded to. But after that, she knew she had to do something quick. Luckily our tech geek neighbor is also an animal guy and told her about a vet he'd just dealt with. He said they cared and listened and that's what she needed to hear. She set up the appointment the next morning. Unlike every other vet appointment, however, Mr. Cat joined TSB in the exam room. They dumped every last thing they saw on the poor vet - including a critical observation: thirst! The vet lady was very sweet and immediately agreed on the URI and prescribed antibiotics. But the thirst symptom concerned her so she asked permission to steal some of my blood. TSB agreed because she needed to know and no one ever took any. The vet lady's hunch was right; I was diabetic and SEVERELY at that. Normal glucose range for cats is about the same as it is for humans (60-120ish was her comfy range for me) but at my worst I was near or above 500! My poor dear TSB was so scared and also so amazed that once again I defied the Bridge! One thing that helped me... well two things: TSB is neurotic about doing things right and knowing just what to do, something humans call intuition. TSB was making good progress with my numbers but one day she needed to talk to my vet but she wasn't there but another vet was who had just returned from a conference on feline diabetes. She told TSB of the new insulin, Lantus, and warned her of the sticker shock. But it was a better insulin either way. TSB was convinced and I became the vet's first patient on the new insulin. I made sure to throw as many curve balls as possible too! And I was still fighting off all the infection inside me which wasn't helping (and diabetic kitties are MUCH more suceptible to infections than normal ones). But soon enough I was under control to the point we were able to shift to controlling my weight (as I had lost a lot of weight but the food had put it back on me). As the vet discovered the diet food was actually better for me than the diabetes food was! The transition was extremely slow however because a sudden change could've caused my sugar to crash. The sweet ladyvet also was nice enough to give TSB a "pill shooter" to protect her tiny little finger from my teeth! I didn't mean to bite her I promise! It was a reflex!

Play is impurrtant exercise for a big kitty, especially a big diabetic kitteh!
Nimbus waiting on his poke and shot where we always met for it!
Risky play (for TSB's hand)
The generations-old, generations-nommed flea comb handle!

 Good behavior should always be awarded, in this case, by nomming the handle of his brush! (It's rubber, no harm!)

We had a very difficult time getting the infection gone that started everything so TSB thought she'd get a second opinion - what a costly mistake. The only thing she got was different antibiotics - which my vet woulda given us - but aren't safe long-term. 

Cell pics from the Petsmart vet appointment.

I loved my mommeh always... but had to keep my distance sometimes!!!

No such inhibitions with Curzon!

so rare...
Bath time

what a paw!

About to pounce

Hope everyone enjoyed. This will probably be the only post this week. The anniversary coming up and going down memory lane is taking it's toll emotionally on TSB. So I will be back next week - although I'm never really far!

Crown Prince Joseph A Nimbus of Iowa


Brian Frum said...

Thank you for posting this and we here will always love that Nimbus.  Hey Nim, I feel you watching over me pal, love ya!

Ray, Chase & Tipper said...

Thank you for sharing the memories of Nimbus with us.   He was a great kitty who was loved by all.  Hugzzzzzzzzzzzz .... RAY, CHASE & TIPPER -- @DaneRay

mariodacat said...

Great tribute to Nimbus.   You have some fantastic pictures - thanks for sharing them with us.   HUGS for TSB.