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20 February 2014 @ 04:15 pm
Quick Update  
Sorry I haven't been posting much lately. It's been a bad 6-7 weeks, with HalfshellHusband's health news and losing the Whale. I hope to be around a little more now, and also to get more writing done. I've spent weeks in an Online 3-D Mahjjong haze of reality-avoidance.

We still don't have any real news on HSH's condition, though he's been put on stronger meds and seems to be out of breath less often. He still hasn't had the MRI of his heart, which should give us more information.

As for the Whale...apparently, he had not been doing well for some time, and we hadn't noticed it. His personality was the same, and he had the same energy/etc. He started rejecting his food about 3 weeks before he got really sick, but the vendor had changed formulas and a lot of cats hated it. So we bought a different kind, which he liked slightly better, and we thought things were good.

Let me just say that if you have an enormously heavy cat (18 pounds), you are a lot less likely to notice him becoming a less heavy cat— especially if he still looks and feels about the same size.

The Whale started acting very sick on a Friday, and we got him to the vet who diagnosed end-stage kidney failure. What a horrible shock. We took the Whale home and kept him warm and gave him IV fluids, but he wasn't able to recover. He was rigid and very still for days (I think he might have been in pain, the vet thought extreme nausea). Then he started drooling, and then the drool became pink and smelly, and he had trouble breathing.

There is always the point where you have to give up hope, and then you regret how much longer you've put your pet through misery because you couldn't be sure. We prepared the kids, and then had the Whale put to sleep. It felt almost as if he'd just been stolen out of our lives. We just didn't see this coming.

For most cats, after they're about 18 months old they enter the "Adult" stage, and then they seem to hang out there for many long years until they suddenly start showing signs of being elderly. It took Tigger until age 16 to show those signs, and she lived two more years. We never got there with the Whale. He was 11 1/2, which is somewhere around age 64 in human terms, but that isn't what it looked like. We thought we'd have at least another 4-5 years with him, and that the kids would be safely off on college when we lost him.

I'm not as heartbroken over this as I was last week, but it still seems unreal.

We loved that cat to pieces, even when he was irritating (demanding and talkative, being half-Siamese and showing it). He was well and truly adored, and I think he knew it. We sure miss him.

Tags: ,
bleodsweanbleodswean on February 21st, 2014 01:09 am (UTC)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 21st, 2014 07:17 am (UTC)
Thank you. *hugs back*
Desireex_disturbed_x on February 21st, 2014 01:35 am (UTC)
*hugs also* :(
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 21st, 2014 07:17 am (UTC)
Poor kitty. He was such a special guy.
(Anonymous) on February 21st, 2014 02:57 am (UTC)
Totally random person who came here for fic...so sorry for your loss. It sounds like you really loved your guy and gave him a good life.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 21st, 2014 07:19 am (UTC)
Thank you so much. He was a wonderfully bizarre and fun cat, who had personal friendships with the mailman and the elderly woman next door-- he'd lurk and wait for them to appear. We'll sure miss him.
(Deleted comment)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 21st, 2014 07:19 am (UTC)
Thank you, Mandy. *hugs*
cindy: chocolate mousetsuki_no_bara on February 21st, 2014 04:05 am (UTC)
i was so sorry to read about the whale. you know he had a good life with you but that doesn't make it easier. *hugs*
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 21st, 2014 07:21 am (UTC)
It was so horribly unexpected, mostly because he seemed very healthy until he suddenly wasn't. This was his fourth major health incident, and he just didn't make it. Those other times, we were incredibly lucky. ♥
Swedish for "Smith": SPN Bobby carcolls on February 21st, 2014 03:32 pm (UTC)
Losing a pet is so hard and painful. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss.
I hope the news about your husband is hopeful/good.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 21st, 2014 07:46 pm (UTC)
I hope we get some better news about my husband. We never thought it would take so long to get the MRI scheduled, especially since the cause of his problem is not yet known. It's been 7 weeks!

We really didn't expect to lose the Whale so soon, and it hasn't even been a year since we lost the other cat (who was 18). How can such a large, muscular animal succumb to health problems so soon? :(
Maz (or foxxy!): Brotherly hugtuesdaeschild on February 21st, 2014 03:57 pm (UTC)
I'm pleased to hear HRH's medication seems to be helping him with the breathlessness. Fingers crossed for the MRI now.

And I'm sure The Whale knew he was adored because, while you didn't have all the years you wanted to show him that he was, I think you were in his life long enough that he got it.

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 21st, 2014 07:48 pm (UTC)
Our poor Fat Baby. The hardest thing at the end was that we didn't seem to be able to comfort him. He couldn't relax, and I don't think we got him to purr. Hard to know, because his purr was always very quiet compared to his really loud voice, but it didn't seem like we were getting through to him. We miss him terribly, but it's been a little easier letting him go just knowing how bad things were at the end. Poor guy. :(
Maz (or foxxy!): Brotherly hugtuesdaeschild on February 23rd, 2014 10:21 am (UTC)
*hugs you*
adoptedwriteradoptedwriter on February 21st, 2014 04:05 pm (UTC)
I am sooo sorry! Hugs! Siamese (mix) kitties are awesome! Mine had kidney failure too. Is it a Siamese thing? I wonder.
Again, so sorry.....
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 21st, 2014 07:51 pm (UTC)
I knew kidney failure was really common in cats (it's like heart failure for people, almost), and 11 1/2 still seems awfully young. But Siamese cats are one of the breeds that are more susceptible, and it looks as if that half of him might have won out.

This was a tuxedo cat that was about the size of a Main Coon, and his father clearly was some kind of mutt-kitty... but how many mutt-kitties THAT size are wandering around? Underneath the tuxedo exterior, the Whale was all Siamese, for good or bad. Smart, vocal, demanding, companionable, and entertainingly weird. :)
alien_writings: Reader Girlalien_writings on February 21st, 2014 11:47 pm (UTC)
*hugs* I'm so sorry. :( *hugs*

*more hugs*
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 22nd, 2014 12:09 am (UTC)
Thank you so much. He was such a wonderful kitty. *sigh*
nodressrehersalnodressrehersal on February 22nd, 2014 02:48 am (UTC)
I'm sorry to hear the sad news about your cat - what a fabulous cat name, Whale.

Why haven't they done an MRI yet, if that will help with diagnosis? I hope answers come soon for you all. It was a CT scan that finally diagnosed my dad's breathing problems back in November. He has congestive heart failure, but it's not as alarming as with your hubby, since my dad is 92. Turned out he had 2 liters of fluid in his chest cavity squishing his lungs. Once they extracted it, he was better, and hardly uses his oxygen anymore.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 22nd, 2014 08:41 am (UTC)
The Whale once had a real name, but he got a little chubby when fully grown (and was just huge to begin with). His tuxedo markings were also very similar to Orca markings, and the kids would not let us rename him Shamu. ;)

I think the MRI delay is that it isn't always scheduled far in advance, and the cardiologist seems to have been on vacation a lot. Fortunately, my husband was assigned a cardio care nurse late last week, and she is fierce. She wants that MRI done yesterday. I have the feeling he might see some movement on that front!
a rearranger of the proverbial bookshelf: Book loveembroiderama on February 22nd, 2014 07:01 pm (UTC)
I'm very sorry to hear about the Whale. *hugs* I know what you mean about the sneaky way cats age--my oldest cat Flash was 3-4 when I got him ten years ago, and he didn't seem to age at all until the last couple of years. He's still plenty active though so I hope he's doing okay.

I also hope that things improve with HSH. *more hugs*
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 23rd, 2014 06:38 am (UTC)
Thank you. *hugs back*
angels3angels3 on February 23rd, 2014 12:24 am (UTC)
Is that scheduled soon? Cause the stress of not knowing can't be good for any of you.

I was very sorry to hear about your cat. I have Buckwheat whose 14 and then my daughter found a cat at her school that wasn't in good shape and we brought her home and the doctor said she was about 9. Took some time and a bunch of money but she's doing much better. The rest of ours are three and under. They leave a huge gap in your life when they're not there it's hard.

I hope things start looking brighter soon on all fronts.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 23rd, 2014 07:49 am (UTC)
The MRI still isn't scheduled. The doctor has been out of town a lot, and she has to request it (I do not know why she hasn't already done that-- she doesn't have to be present when they run it). They they call when appointments are available. For this, they don't schedule you far in advance. But right now, the result is still "not at all."

It sounds as if you have a big gap between your cat's ages. Those middle years are great-- no tearing up the house, and still energetic enough to move around and be sociable. I really thought we'd have that extra time with the Whale, and it's so sad that we didn't.

angels3angels3 on February 25th, 2014 11:58 pm (UTC)
That's a little ridiculous if she can't do it then she should have it done by another doctor. There's no reason to put off a persons health because you have something else to do.

There is quite a bit in between, all of them get along except the one my daughter found at the school, they bully her for some reason. She stays out in general population till I get home and then she comes in the room with me now. It's the only way I know she gets a shot at the food and water dish and she gets some peace.

I want to pop them on the head like little bunny Fu Fu. I don't understand why they want to pick on her.
Port: all the gin jointsdesertport on March 1st, 2014 11:24 pm (UTC)
Oh, K! I am so sorry to hear about the Whale. He feels familiar to me through your blogging about him over the years, and I know how much your family loved her. All my good thoughts to you guys. *hugs*

I am also keeping HSH in my prayers. Hope he feels better soon.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 2nd, 2014 03:02 am (UTC)
Thank you so much, on both counts. I just can't believe the Whale is gone-- he had such an enormous personality to go with his big body, and we really feel the loss of him. :(

The meds are making HSH feel a bit better, though his doctor's talk of a defibrillator implant is not. She'll make a ruling after his next echocardiogram-- we really hope his numbers have improved from taking the meds. *hugs*