I haven't posted in awhile because things have been pretty solidly status quo with him--mostly good days followed by A Bad Day or two filled with vomiting and diarrhea. Dr. L reckoned it could be because Ra's Leukeran doses were spaced too far apart at every four days, thus making his IBD symptoms flare up. So we went back to every three days right after Christmas and everything seemed to be going pretty well. His Good Days were really good and the Bad Day he had wasn't nearly as bad...

He had a pretty damn good day yesterday, but, come nightfall, things went to shit. Literally. He became quite lethargic mid evening and started drooling as if vomiting was imminent. This went on for at least an hour or so. We finally gave him a dose of his pain med buprenorphine in hopes it would ease his discomfort and perhaps perk him up. No love. He moved slowly from room to room, resting in between wanderings, drooling and making chewing sounds with his mouth. Not long after that he hid under J's desk and it took us awhile to find him to give him his meds and feed him.

Came time for the rest of his meds and attempts to get at least a little something in his belly and right after J gave him his meds he had a diarrhea on the guest bath floor right in front of the litter box. I wasn't in there with them, but based on where it was in the corner of the room, I would surmise that Ra crawled over there from J's lap and couldn't make it the short distance to the litter box...Poor ol' fella.

Cleaned up the mess (and Ra--he stepped in his own mess, of course, and his paws were dirty) and waited a short while before feeding Ra a quarter of a can of A/D, which we knew he would likely inevitably vomit back up, but we went for it in vain attempts to get something in his tummy...We were lucky--he kept it down for about 2 hours before vomiting it back up again.

When he's not attempting to avoid us and the other cats he sits quietly loafed on the tile floors, looking a bit dazed and out of it. I did a spot check around the house for diarrhea accidents or barfs that we didn't hear in the middle of the night first thing this morning and the house is clear--he's not been sick out of either end since late last night, so the Metoclopramide and the Metronidazole must be doing their jobs to keep him comfortable.

J is worried Ra is trying to tell him that he's Had Enough and that it's time to let him go over The Bridge. I am worried that's what he's trying to tell us, too, especially after last night. :( The good days aren't nearly as good, and the bad days are getting worse, even with med adjustments. J's still trying to sleep after being up late with Ra last night, but I've put in a call to Dr. L to see if we should bring Ra in for a looksee or if we should try to keep his demons at bay on our own here at home. So we wait...

Sigh. I know it's so goddamned hard because we love him so, but...Jesus...What a way to start the new year, eh? :/
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( Jan. 3rd, 2015 08:57 pm)
Dr. Lehal did not give us good news when I spoke to him this morning after my last post. Everything that could be done medically for Ra was already being done. There were no "hail Marys" to dig out of the playbook--the playbook was all already in play. There was brief talk of trying to limp Ra through another weekend, but Dr. Lehal was pretty sure we were looking at the end, and very soon...

Wanting to avoid the trauma for all parties involved of going to an emergency vet in the middle of the night over this weekend, J decided that it would be best to send Ra over The Bridge today while Brookville Animal Hospital was still open. While saying our goodbyes at home would've been best, it was not really an option, so we got an appointment for 1340, scheduled near the close of business so we all could take our time saying goodbye with minimal fuss and bother.

We'd been taking Ra to his myriad vet visits in Jazz's old carrier, but J wanted Ra to go out in the carrier he originally came home in so we dug out Ra's old soft-side carrier and its fleece liner. We had Weather today, so the roads were a little greasy from the wintry mix so it took slightly longer for us to get to the animal hospital than normal, and long enough where Ra soiled his carrier with a soft poop that he managed to get all over his right leg. We spent the first ten minutes of our time in the exam room gently cleaning Ra and the fleece liner in the carrier. It was a somewhat welcome distraction from all the barking dogs that were still being looked at. Ra was so out of it the barking dogs didn't even make him flinch. J tried to hold Ra on his lap, but Ra wanted little to nothing to do with either of us. He wanted the cool tile of the floor. Eventually J sat on the floor with Ra, giving much pettins and lovins. I largely left the boys to say their final goodbyes...

Around 1415, Dr. Lehal was done with all his other appointments and could devote his full attention to us. J asked him questions--was there absolutely anything else we could do to keep Ra more comfortable and in better control of his bodily functions. No, everything was being done at its maximum dose already. Would re-adding the correct dose of Atopica make a difference--we'd been giving half the normal dose because we'd run low and the hospital was having trouble getting the liquid name brand Rx of the med for us--no, it would not likely make a difference, and if it did, not for long.

J made the final decision to let Ra go over The Bridge around 1430. Ra's veins were so bad from dehydration and his ongoing renal failure it was decided a port would be installed for his comfort for the impending injections. He officially Went Over The Bridge around 1440. We lingered for about another half hour more after that with Ra, continuing to love and pet him til we were sure his spirit was gone on its way.

Ra and J were best buds for over 14 years, almost 15. He was about 18 months old when Ra picked out J at Strays Halfway House back in '00. J is bereft, devastated and heartbroken and misses his friend dearly. I was a part of Ra's daily life since August of '07 and I, too, am heartbroken and miss my buddy. He was a joy and a frustration, feisty and loving. He was our Buddy Cat. We will miss him so very much...

Rest well, Ra Buddy. You are loved and will be dearly missed...

Ra adjusting daddy's glasses
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