For anyone who doesn't know, Cheryl and I have four cats between us. She had two and I had two, and we became some kind of weird Brady bunch when we got married almost (anniversary 7 July) two years ago.
In March we went through a big scare with George (one of my two BLD cats) when the vet determined he had a cancerous tumor that had to be removed that "may or may not" have been malignant. Here is a couple of pictures (taken with cell phone so 'scuse the quality) of George's leg right after we brought him home after surgery.
So far (knock wood, hail Mary and anything else that may cause good health), there hasn't been any more signs that he is suffering - he is as happy and sassy as ever.
Then, last month, Cleo ( one of Cheryl's two SHD 'children) started drooling and throwing up uncontrollably. We took her to the vet, and they gave her meds to dry up the salivating and help with nausea, and the advice that we need to bring her back to the vet if she continues to drool and throw up. She did, and the vet said that her liver might become dysfunctional because of her refusal to eat and inability to hold anything down. Hepatic failure in pudgy cats who for whatever reason won't eat is pretty common, I found out. So the local vet suggested we take her to a cat specialist who is in Lake Charles (about an hour and 20 minute drive) and see what they say.
We took her, and the specialist guy said we needed to put a feeding tube in her and give her strong meds to ensure she doesn't regurgitate anything, and holds some nutrition down. If she didn't she would certainly die of 'fatty liver' - a condition that happens when cats refuse food for long enough for the liver to start trying to metabolize fat straight from the body. So she got put on a feeding tube, which for her involved a tube sticking out of her body about 2 1/2 inches, and getting liquifyed food pumped into it every 3-4 hours. They kept her in the hospital for two days to see if she would take the food, and pass waste sucessfully. THEN, we took her home and continued to feed her on the tube for another week, when we were able to taper down the amount of feeding tube food because she started munching on her own food again. Here's pictures of the poor girl on the day I brought her home with her tube.
We got the tube out, the wound is healing, and Cleo is acting like her old self again. It's a mystery how her ailment started - they say it can be an emotional upset, so my theory is that it was set off by being attacked by Joe and George the day it began (we've since resolved to pretty much keep her segregated with only Dash from now on).
I won't even say how much money all the vet bills were, but there was never any real question raised by me or Cheryl about whether we should try to save them or not. It was kind of just understood. Some might think that crazy, but each person has to decide for themselves how important their own pets are to them, and act accordingly.
Other than that stuff, we're all gettin along wunnerful. I've dropped my retirement paperwork for my approaching (June 2010) retirement from this man's Armed Forces. We're planning to go to New Orleans and celebrate our 2nd anniversary in the French Quarter for a couple days. Just us - no cats.