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Sunday, October 5, 2014

sad cat denouement and my new gym

Sad news first.

Remember me talking about my cat Eddie's awesome dieting success? Well. He kept losing weight despite my going back to feeding him all the treatz, then he stopped eating much of anything though still being sweet and cuddly as all get out (fooling me into thinking he was just fine), and then last weekend he started getting mopey, so I called the vet.  On first examination, it appeared he had some kind of liver problem--his gums were yellow (!) indicating jaundice.  Blood work, however, revealed his real problem was a severe anemia and the jaundice was due to his RBCs breaking down.  The working hypothesis was that he had a parasitic infection causing the anemia. This freaked me out because a.) it's basically what killed my old cat in 2010 (Evil Kitty, RIP) though hers was complicated by a preexisting heart condition and b.) Eddie's never gone outside a day in his life.

The vet talked me down off the ledge that there is NOT some kind of colony of killer ticks living in my basement, waiting to kill any animal I bring into this house, and that viruses are not gonna live free range on my surfaces for the two years in between cats. Etc. But they told me even if we started treating Eddie, he was very sick and had between a 30-50% chance of making it.  I chose to treat. I wasn't going to euthanize poor Eddie if he had a 50% chance of being fine. So they took him back to the vet hospital for IV fluids, IV antibiotics, steroids, and "hand feeding."  I think hand feeding is a code word for squirting food into his mouth with a syringe whether he liked it or not, but whatev.

This was on Wednesday. By Saturday morning, while he was peeing and pooping and keeping down what they fed him, he wasn't eating on his own and he was still very weak. They called for my permission to do more lab work.  Lab results were back this morning and his RBCs had fallen even lower and now his WBCs were affected as well. He wasn't responding to the antibiotics.  They gently suggested that it would be in Eddie's best interests to cease treatment.  They brought him back to my house so D and I could say goodbye and then put him to sleep.

I am very very sad. And no longer pimping out his miracle weight loss plan. Because the working hypothesis now is that it was due to blood cancer.  Or a parasite.  Lab test for that's still pending.

RIP, Eddie. You were an awesome cat and I'm glad we at least got to have you live with us for 2 1/2 years.

Now on to more blog-appropriate and more cheerful topics.

My new gym and my adventures there at 5 am!  I dunno if I mentioned it, but there are a metric fuckload of people working out at that ungodly hour. Which isn't ungodly for me, because that's like 6 pm in my world. But I think the majority of these people are just up, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, at 4 am, for which I should probably hate them.  Most of them are pretty polite, however. They put their plates away. They ask if you're using something before they barge in.  They even put the dumbbells back in numerical order.  The one huge lapse in manners I have observed occurred a couple Fridays ago.  My iPod was't charged and I wasn't wearing anything with pockets big enough to stick my humongous new phone (i.e. my "phablet") into, so I was without music.  I was thus treated to hearing two middle aged dudes discuss how women and teenagers shouldn't be lifting heavy weights because they're not, y'know, men.  But that's not the rude part. The rude part was when another gym buddy of theirs showed up and started inviting them and everyone else in the immediate area to go ziplining in western Mass this weekend. Except me.  I mean, I know I am the new kid on the block and not part of whatever 5 am clique they've got going on there, but this dude even went over to invite some woman on the elliptical that I've never seen him talk to before.  I felt like the only kid in second grade not to get a valentine. Or something.  I mean, don't *I* look like the kind of person who wants to go ziplining with a bunch of strangers??!???!??***  Hmmpphhh.

Other than this little episode, and the fact that this new gym only has squat racks with immovable safeties, not true power racks, plus no steps and risers, just fixed boxes, I have no complaints. I did originally think that they didn't have disinfectant for the benches/machines which kinda grossed me out. But then I figured out the little pop up boxes of what I thought were tissues scattered throughout the gym were in fact wet wipes. Duh. No wonder no one asks me to go ziplining.


***I absolutely do not


  1. Sad for Eddie. You've made him so vivid on the page/screen that I'm grieving for a cat I've never met. (But that's probably why I'm in the animal biz.)
    Handfeeding starts with dabbing a bit of lovely smelly gooshy food on the lips to see if the cat will lick it off. Unless they're very very sick they will, and sometimes this jumpstarts the appetite. If it doesn't, I then put a glob on my finger and poke it in the cat's mouth (using a spatula instead of a finger if the cat is Not Nice, but a finger works better.) Most cats will swallow this. Only if they consistently spit it out do we resort to squirting liquified gooshy food into them.

    Thanks for reminding me that all gyms have flaws. The main flaw in mine being it's too far away now that I'm working a different job, but it's Really Really Cheap. I should get there more often.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  2. Oh damn, SO SORRY about Eddie. Woulda done all the same things myself, including the ceasing treatment when it wasn't helping and letting him go, but if you're anything like me you may still feel crappy about the whole thing and harbor dark suspicions that something could have been done differently, which it couldn't, so don't waste time going there. (I'm hoping you're way more mentally healthy than I am; I felt illogically guilty for months after putting our cat down, both for doing it and not doing it sooner, when in retrospect I would not do a single thing differently now.).

    Anyway, hugs, there's no way around how much grief sucks.

  3. Thanks, guys. Much appreciated. Mary Anne thanks for the explanation of hand feeding. They told me Eddie was "an angel" about it so I guess he was neither spitting nor biting. Crabby, I of course feel guilty that if I haf realized sooner that he was actually sick, maybe something could have been done. Not that the vet agrees with that. But i can't not blame myself, y'know?

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