...I had to say goodbye to one of the best friends I had in the world.

Jazz came to me and my ex-husband in November of 1996 when she was about 2 years old. The branch manager at the job I was at at the time wanted to re-home her before the birth of his child, thinking she would be too much of a bother after the birth, so he asked around the branch to see if there might be any takers before bringing her back to a shelter. I jumped at the chance--we wanted a kitty Really Bad, and our landlady said we could have one whenever we were ready to adopt one.

Jazz stayed with me when me and the ex split up (we had three cats at the time--Jazz, Maddie, and Smudge; I kept Jazz and Smudge because they were so tightly bonded). She comforted me then, as she'd comforted me through the death of my father and then again with the death of my mother. She helped me celebrate good times, too, always there for me no matter what, loving on me when I needed her most, amusing me to no end with her little quirks (she loved laps, sleeping under the covers with me, and "spanks" from J), and generally being A Very Good Cat.

Saying goodbye to her was bittersweet, even at 19 years old and knowing she was in discomfort that we would not be able to rid her of. She was the closest thing to a child I've had up to this point and the longest I've ever been owned by any other animal in my life. Even a year and a day out, I still miss her so...

Here's a picture of her in much younger years, in her bed at my former flat. She loved that bed, and after she died, Ra took it over for himself at long last...

Jazz in her bed at my old flat

Rest well, Jazz kitty. You are still very much missed and very much loved...
As per usual, this came from www.lady-curmudgeon.livejournal.com and if you can't see it over here, please go there!

Jazz Urn

I had to put the urn on the dining room table to get the best picture of it for you, but her final resting place is on top of my bookshelf in the living room next to Diva, who's next to Smudge. As a final touch, J put Jazz's orange sparkle ball in the emptyish spot by the cat's tummy after he placed her on top of my bookshelf.

It never gets "easier", does it? :(
lady_curmudgeon: (Jazz)
( Dec. 18th, 2013 03:01 pm)
Got the call at around 1300 that her ashes were at the cat clinic. I was in the middle of running errands and had some frozen stuff that needed to get home and in the freezer, so I didn't get to the clinic to pick her up until around 1400...

Her temporary urn is in a sealed box that came in a dark blue velvet bag that has "Until we meet again "The Rainbow Bridge"" embroidered on it with yellow thread. It also has a card with it. All will be opened later, once J and I are both home, probably after bowling tonight.

While I'm incredibly relieved and glad that she's back home where she belongs, I also have an immense sad right now. Been fighting back tears since they called me to tell me she was back from the crematory. This is NOT how I wanted to bring my baby home, but I take comfort that her spirit is somewhere out there in The Great Beyond, over The Rainbow Bridge, watching over us til we meet again. She's a good Guardian Angel, as are her "sisters" Smudge and Diva and her countless cousins whom I'm sure she's gotten to know by now and is trying to be her quiet alpha self among them all...

Sigh. My poor, sweet girl. Finally home...
lady_curmudgeon: (Jazz)
( Dec. 13th, 2013 12:54 pm)
Got a message from Perfect Memorials--the urn has been shipped, will be delivered by Fed Ex. The tracking number is still too new to work in Fed Ex's system just yet so I don't know where it is, but I've got a tracking # at the very least so I can track the package's travels if I want to. I'm not worried about it, much; it's just the urn and not Jazz's cremains with it, so...

I have yet to hear from the vet's office as to if they've received her cremains; I don't expect to til next week, honestly. They said it would take about two weeks, and next Monday marks two weeks to the day for her passing. It alternatively feels like longer and as if it were just yesterday still. From my past experiences with cat loss I know I'll be feeling this way for awhile to come. It just sucks that it's during the holidays this time, that's all. Still struggling to get into the holiday spirit, which also sucks.

This morning I woke around 0530 again...so frustrating...and I stumbled into the office and found Ra in her bed and for a split second I thought it was her. This made me have a sad for awhile. Sigh. I don't "see" her out of the corners of my eyes when I'm nattering around the house, at least not so far. That is A Good Thing, as it would only deepen my sadness, which is remaining pretty deep. Sigh.
I finally made my decision regarding Jazz's final resting place...This is the one I chose. Thanks to botia for pointing me directly to the seller, who not only had a better price than amazon, but also offered engraving personalization, which I also took advantage of. Her engraving is Jazz on the top line, with "always in our hearts" for the first and only sentiment line. Instead of the paws in the the example picture on the sides of the engraving, I opted for hearts. Her collar had red hearts on it, so I thought that was most appropriate. I kept it simple. I tried to think of things we sang to her or said to her, but nothing was quite right save for "always in our hearts". Because that's definitely where she will be...

While I'd prefer a brass urn over cold cast resin, I think this was the best choice for my baby. J liked it best of all the choices I was pondering, and his opinion in this is very important, too. It was also "most popular" in the user poll I put on all the various social media accounts I use, so that helped sway my decision as well.

While hers was a cloth basket and not a woven basket, Jazz spent copious amounts of time sleeping in her basket. It suits her memory. I'm pleased with my final decision.

I just hope it gets here before her ashes do...but if not, that'll be okay, too.
lady_curmudgeon: (Jazz)
( Dec. 10th, 2013 08:13 am)

For some odd reason, we made this into Jazz's song when it first came out. It was pretty easy to do. We simply changed up the lyrics for whenever they said "Junk" we changed it to Jazz. The "Joker of the heart" lyric became the "Jazzer of the heart", and the chorus always stayed the same "I wanna make Jazz happy! I wanna make Jazz feel alive! Let me make Jazz happy" etc and so forth.

Yep, iTunes coughed this song up this AM. I now has a sad. I really miss my sweet girl... :(
If the pic doesn't show here, please go to http://www.lady-curmudgeon.livejournal.com to view it!

Jazz in her bed at my old flat

This picture is an example of why I'm fond of the first urn in my last post. When Jazz came to live with me in 1996 she came with the cat bed she's relaxing in in the picture. Her previous owners advised me she never used this bed, but once she was settled in at my place she took to the bed to chill out and relax quite often. I think it helped that I kept the bed underneath the heating vent in a quiet area of the living room, that she felt comfortable and safe there.

Once I moved down to Bolingbrook, her bed (and she a good chunk of the time) took up residence in the office, where J and I spend a great deal of time playing on our respective computers. The bed is located right inside the span of the door next to the door way, which seems like a counter intuitive place to want to hang out with all the activity going in and out of the door, but she still loved hanging out in her bed with her blanket nonetheless. As she aged, she spent more and more time in that bed...

Right now I've pretty much eliminated the Rainbow Bridge themed urn and the black urn with the cat etched into it. It's between the cat in the cat bed urn and the simple purple brass urn with the paw prints on the lid now. J seems fond of the cat in the cat bed urn, largely because it reminds him of Jazz hanging out in her bed. I tend to agree, but man, do I love that beautiful purple urn, too!

Decisions, decisions...At least I've narrowed it down to two from four! That's progress...
I went to amazon.com this afternoon and started looking for urns for Jazz and quickly became a little bit more than overwhelmed by all the wonderful choices. I haven't come close to looking at all of them yet, either...I've come up with four choices out of the ones I've looked at.

This one is the first one that caught my eye. It reminds me of her laying in her little bed. Drawback--it's pretty expensive for a non-brass urn.

The second one is a Rainbow Bridge themed one made of crushed marble and hand painted. Beautiful. But pricey!

The third one is very purple and suits my tastes being as though I love all things purple, but does it suit Jazz?

The fourth one is brass, which I like, and very pretty and unique. But it looks a bit too big for my baby. I'm also wary that there are no reviews for it, and of the $12 shipping and handling.

So what do you guys think? Which one(s) do you like? So far the first three are the ones that I'm really struggling between. The fourth one catches my eye but not as much for the reasons I stated. Do you have any other ideas to throw into the mix to overload me further? ;) Any and all bits of input are more than welcome!!
lady_curmudgeon: (feel the love)
( Dec. 4th, 2013 07:50 pm)
...to all of you who've read all my natterings about my sweet Jazz kitty over the last week or so, who kept us in their thoughts and cheered us on, to those who mourn with us, J and I offer a belated but very heart felt Thank You for your concern and caring. Your friendship means the world to us, especially during this difficult time.

(((((big big loving hugs)))))) to each and every one of you!

*ever so grateful*
If it doesn't show up on dreamwidth for some reason, please go to my journal at http://www.lady-curmudgeon.livejournal.com to see it!


This picture was taken by J when I first moved down to live with him in Bolingbrook sometime in winter of 2007. She would've been 13 years old at the time, well before the chronic renal failure hit in March of 2009. She was quite healthy at the time, around about eleven-ish pounds. Almost a bit heavy for a cat of her frame. Still, I love this picture because she's healthy and happy, hanging out on the cat quilt. So very content...
Once J got home around 1235ish we sat down for a talk. I told him what was going on with Jazz and what Dr. Bajwa's recommendations were. We pondered bringing Jazz home for one more night with us, but decided she was in too bad of shape to risk bringing her home only to have her life end at an emergency vet in the middle of the night like Diva's did.

We got to the clinic around 1310 or so. Dr. B showed us the x-rays he'd taken earlier, explained where the fluid was congregating at and what he thought it probably meant--some sort of cancer. We told him we thought Jazz should be taken out of her misery. He agreed we were making the right choice. He asked if we wanted to take her home for one last time, but explained how she very well might crash at any time. We thought about it, looked at each other, and shook our heads no at the same time.

Dr. B brought Jazz to us in one of the exam rooms so we could take some time to sit with her and give her pettins and lovins. We loved on her as much as we could, taking turns holding her on our laps snuggled in her blankie from her cat bed from home. She purred a lot, but was so very tired looking and her breathing labored. Around 1405 we summoned Dr. B into the room--we were ready to send her over The Bridge...It was a two-tiered process: first a strong sedative to relax her and attempt to put her into unconsciousness, then the final shot that would stop her heart. He gave her the sedative and left us to say our final goodbyes. We stroked her and told her how very much we loved her, to go to sleep and that she'd feel better later. Stubborn ol' broad fought the sedative and tried to sit up! We were amazed because before that she's seemed so weak and unsure of herself sitting up. About 20 minutes later, Dr. B came in with the final shot; shaving a spot on her hind leg to make sure he got a good vein. It only took a minute or two for her to be still. He confirmed what we already knew--she was gone.

She goes over The Rainbow Bridge to meet up with her sisters Smudge and Diva, and countless "cousins" from when I was growing up. No doubt pets you've sent over the Bridge will have met her by now and she's got a slew of new friends. She's healthy and whole again, able to run free and watch over us until we meet again...

Our Jazz was a fighter. Chronic renal disease barely slowed her down most of the time--she fought it since March of 09. She would've kept trying to fight had we let her, but we both knew she was too tired to go on...Her body gave up on her, but her spirit never did. That makes me smile through my tears...

Rest well, Jazz baby. Mama and Daddy love you, so do your brothers Ra and Lars. You're leaving a vast gaping hole in our hearts that nothing or no other cat will ever refill. You are loved more than we can express. Be free, honey...be free...
Took Jazz into the vet at 1130. Exam done, situation explained. Dr. B says he could distinctly hear fluids in her abdomen again, and possibly in her chest cavity as well. The only things that could be causing this to occur is severe heart failure and/or a malignancy in her body somewhere. Because of these factors, it was a question of how many more times should we put Jazz through removing the exess fluids collecting in her body, as it is such a stress for them to do that.

The time has come for J and I to discuss humanely ending her life with us. After I collected myself at the vet's office I went right out to my car and sat there and called J to ask him to try to come home as soon as possible, that things were Very Bad, that euthanasia needed to be discussed and decided. He's in the process of getting things buttoned up quickly at work so he can be with me/us.

I made it the 20 minute drive home without a tear, but broke down as soon as I started writing about it in my various social media accounts. I'm teary as I write this to you. I can't bear the thought of her not being here with me in my life, alive and breathing. My heart is shattered.

She's been with me since she was 18 months old, came to live with me the week before Thanksgiving of 1996. She'll likely be leaving me a few days after Thanksgiving 17 years later. We've had an incredible 17 years together, been through so much together, both good and bad and in between. She's always been my rock, my go-to when things got to be too much--be they good times or especially the bad ones. There will be a void I daresay will be nigh impossible to fill once she's gone from this Earthly plane. She'll always be a part of my heart, but life will never again be the same. She's my heart, people! I'm losing a HUGE chunk of my heart, probably later today...I am shattered...
She was with us on the bed most of the night, I think. Gave her the AM meds and once off the table she sneaked off and hid on us. Took us about 15 minutes to finally find her hiding under the cover on the living room futon. She has since relocated several times in more open areas like hers and Lars' beds.

Hiding behaviors are not the best sign, and I was going to call the vet anyway based on how she was eating and how she's not had hardly any output over the course of the weekend. Managed to get us in at 1130 with Dr. B. I don't know what he's going to be able to do for us, but...yeah.

If you're the praying/chanting/healing energy sending sort of person, do send some of your positive energy our way. I think we're going to need every single bit of positive energy we can get right now...
lady_curmudgeon: (Jazz)
( Dec. 1st, 2013 08:16 pm)
Today has not been the best of days. She's eating very little without a lot of coaxing. We've tried different flavors of fancy feast gravy lovers. We've tried shredded turkey. No love. She'll lick at it enthusiastically for a minute or two, then walk away. This is with the cyproheptadine appetite stimulant on board, too. Sigh.

She's been very tired and sleepy most of the day again. We thought perhaps she might be feeling a bit uncomfortable this afternoon so we tried the ketaprofen pain med at half the prescribed dose. She seemed to perk up a bit--spent part of her afternoon sunning herself in the den, then retired to her bed in the office rather than retreat to the master bedroom to lay half-asleep in the darkened room with me. I should've been at the Humane Haven cattery with J tending to the homeless kitties for our regular Sunday shift, but I decided to stay home with the intent of keeping an eye on Jazz while J was gone. Instead, because I was depressed and not feeling good, I fell asleep for most of the time he was gone tending to the homeless kitties. :/ Whoops.

So far today we've tried shredded turkey twice, once with minimal success this morning, the second time this evening with better success. Tried the ocean whitefish gravy lovers, but she might've licked it once before letting Lars push her out of the way of her bowl so he could snarf it down while I was out of the room for a minute fetching something else. He's currently in a "Time Out" in the safe room for that trick. He's just being a hungry cat, I know, but he needs to know he can't bully any other cat in this house out of their food! I then tried beef gravy lovers and took it to her in the master bedroom (yeah, she's back in there; daddy's reading in there and she likes his lap to lay on) to eat and she ate a bit more of that, though not much.

In addition she's not drinking much, so she's not been going to the bathroom at all, either duty. I fear she's shutting down. She still looks pretty alert and is getting around alright, but she won't get off the kitchen table after she gets her meds by herself any more--we have to pick her up and put her on the floor and then she goes on her way.

I just don't know what to do! I guess I'll be calling the vet tomorrow morning first thing and seek out their guidance. There's always that different, stronger appetite stimulant pill to try. I haven't tried bringing out the tuna/tuna juice to supplement on her food again. J thinks I should go to PetSmart again tomorrow and ask the staff to steer me to what they think is the most appealing and stinky/smelly of all their gushy foods to try to see if she'll eat that. So there are options. I daresay, though, that I don't think they're going to work. I think I'm losing my baby. And this thought is breaking my heart into tiny bite-sized pieces... :(
She spent most of the night last night with me on the bed. I can tell because if she's on the bed because I contort around her as to not disturb her in my sleep and my legs and lower back were all sorts of sore this morning, which is usually a good way to know I've been contorted most of the night. ;)

We gave her her usual morning meds including the cyproheptadine for appetite, but she only ate the gravy and a few meaty bits of her chicken flavored gravy lovers fancy feast this morning. She then went and laid on my side of the bed and stayed there resting quietly most of the day. I joined her for awhile and she snuggled with me some of the time, but was mostly content to be tucked behind my knees while I was curled up on my side. She was breathing a bit harder again today while we were laying there, so I had J come check her respirations--she was at around 40 breaths per minute, which is a smidge too fast, but nothing to be totally concerned about just yet.

Still, she's been unusually quiet. She's barely left the bed since late this morning near as I can tell. I brought her bowl to her around 1400 to see if she'd eat--she did nom down a bit more of the leftover meaty bits from breakfast, so that's good, but didn't finish the little bit that was there. We had some errands to run and stopped for a bite to eat at a mom-n-pop burger joint and were gone for a couple of hours. When we got back home I noticed a few more meaty bits were gone from her bowl and Lars' leftover meaty bits were gone from his bowl. I think Jazz got up and nommed while we were gone because Lars is not one to go back and eat his leftover meaty bits out of his bowl, but Jazz loves them. So hopefully it was her that ate them...

She was back on the bed in nearly the same spot she was when we left, head down, half asleep. I keep telling myself she went through two fairly substantial procedures this week both with sedation plus a quick bath last night because she shat and pissed herself in the carrier on the way home from the vet last night, so she should be this tired from all that action. But she's eerily quiet, and it's a bit disconcerting. :/ I gave her the PM dose of cyproheptadine about a half hour ago and will try to feed her a bit of a different gravy lovers flavor in a little while and see what happens. If she doesn't really eat that, then I'll give her some of the leftover turkey. I continue to be ever so worried about my sweet, sweet girl...
Dr. B was in the office when we went to pick up Jazz, so we talked to him at length about Jazz's condition. While he does think she's somewhat in the supportive care realm, his opinion differs with Dr. Choy and Dr. Lehal on how we should go about treating Jazz going forward.

Interestingly, he wants Jazz back on a minimal amount of sub-qs, 50ml a day if she's not in respiratory distress, starting again in a few days. That's substantially less than the 75ml twice daily that she was getting, so he think that little bit of fluids won't cause any problems for her fluid retention wise as long as she's on the lasix. His dosing regimen for the lasix is a bit different than Dr. Choy's--he says 12.5mg every other day while she said 12.5mg every day. His reasoning is that he doesn't want to see dehydration become a factor, or depletion in potassium, so he doesn't want to go too aggressive with it unless she's starts showing signs of respiratory distress again. He's also of the mind that we should stick with the cyproheptadine appetite stimulant rather than go with the newer and stronger one that Dr. Choy suggested. He thinks Jazz is merely tired of her prescription food and that we should experiment with non-prescription foods to get her to eat more again. This is borne out by the fact that while she barely touched her kibble or her a/d food yesterday she all but took off my fingertips when I fed her turkey breast last night.

It's all very dizzying. Of all three doctors that we've dealt with, we obviously know Dr. B the best of all three and he's kept Jazz alive with CRF since March of 09, so we trust his judgement a little bit better than the rest. His is only a slight bit more aggressive regimen than Dr. Choy or Dr. Lehal would be, so it's not outlandish what he's suggesting. So we're going to follow what Dr. B is suggesting and see how things go for awhile. He says he's now back in the office full time starting next week, so that's a good thing...

So we're not out of the woods by any means, just not as far into them as we had thought. Tonight we tried Jazz on Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers chicken flavor and she not only ate the food, she about tried to eat her bowl as well. ;) Same thing happened when we fed her more when we got back from the laundromat. And she's kept it down so far, so that's even better! :) Yay? :) It's the small victories, and we'll take every one we can get right now.
As posted from Facebook a few minutes ago...

Jazz had an abdominal ultrasound this morning to check for masses in her abdomen and to verify what her kidneys are looking like in relation to her chronic kidney disease. I am happy to report there were no masses found anywhere, which is a good thing. Abdomen and liver are clear and fine. Her kidneys are another story, though; her right is 2.9cm big and left is 2.4cm. Normal kidneys in a cat are supposed to be around 4cm or slighly larger for a cat her size. Because there were no masses to be found, this indicates that Jazz is in fairly substantial chronic kidney disease/failure. No surprise there, but still, pretty bad.

A mid-sized amount of free fluid was found floating around in the abdomen. It's unknown if this is related to the fluid that was in the chest cavity on Monday or not. Regardless, most of it was removed to make her more comfortable and also in hopes that more comfortable = better appetite. A small amount of fluid still remains in her chest cavity, but not enough to really worry about compared to the trauma/stress it would cause to remove same. She's likely to have to go back in again sometime in the future if it continues to build up and her breathing becomes laboured again. When and if that happens, Dr. Choy wants to send a sample of the removed chest cavity fluids into the lab to test for microscopic cancer cells. I don't know why this is so bloody important--we won't treat any cancer in Jazz anyway, but Dr. Choy says it's important to know as far as the rest of her palliative care is concerned. Whatever, as long as the test doesn't cost an arm and a leg...I know that sounds uncaring, but I still have to afford the daily care for Jazz and since we wouldn't be actively treating a cancer anyway...yeah...

Because we can't do much for her kidneys without risking more fluid retention and stress on her lungs, heart and body, we are now in what Dr. Choy refers to as supportive care or making sure Jazz is comfortable for the remainder of her life, rather than in the more aggressive active treatment care mode she was getting before which included sub-cutaneous fluids and special diet. She'll still get her benazepril pill to help treat blood pressure issues related to the kidney failure. Lasix was re-added to her meds to control fluid retention in her chest cavity and abdomen. A new, stronger appetite stimulant is on order and will be in on Monday for us to try to see if we can't stimulate her appetite enough to get her to eat more again. A pain med was also added to help keep her comfortable because Jazz's hunched posture when sitting and moving around is a clear indicator to Dr. Choy that Jazz very well may be in discomfort. She's also to continue taking pepcid for stomach acid control and her constipation prevention meds.

As for food, we're to try to get her to eat whatever the hell it is she'll eat that she'll keep down. She's largely rejected her daily A/D prescription food lately, so off we'll go to PetSmart and see what tasty kinds of wet foods they might have that she might eat that we can try for her. She's still more than amenable to small amounts of K/D (renal failure food) kibble, so we'll keep giving her that. If it ends up coming down to it, I'll go back to feeding her cooked chicken (either boil it or bake it, whichever she'll eat.) if I have to. The key is to make sure she continues to eat enough so her liver doesn't start to give out on us as well.

Sigh. Sounds a lot like we're done actively treating the kidney disease for the most part. No ideas on how long Jazz will be able to live without said treatments, but I would guess her kidney disease will progress more without out the more aggressive care. Time to start preparing myself for the Final Journey, methinks...and this makes me oh-so-very sad, indeed...
She's still a bit slow and a bit unsteady on her feet when she gets around. She's still not eating great, though she *is* eating when I feed her. She's still breathing a bit fast and shallow, though definitely not anywhere near as labored as she was on Monday pre-procedure. Her heart's so loud it largely drowns out her breath sounds when J tries to get her respiration with the stethoscope, so we've had to try to rely on observational breath counts when she's resting. Last night's respiration count was 32--not fabulous, but not bad, either.

I'm so distracted and stressed I didn't notice that BOTH of her sides are shaved in the rib cage area until late last night when I picked her up for her night meds. Stands to reason since they had to remove fluids from both sides of her chest. They must've had trouble sticking her for the IV catheter, too, because both her forelegs have shavey marks as well, not just her right like I'd originally thought. She's looking a hot mess, that's for sure. I still can't believe I didn't notice all the shavey spots right away...:/

I believe she spent most of the night on the bed either behind my knees or at my feet; no coming under the covers with me as I slept on my side. That's unusual for her when it's cold not to come under with me. I suspect with her breathing still being off that it's uncomfortable for her to breathe under the covers. Because she's not sleeping under the covers with me we've turned the thermostat up a tad bit for her to be comfortable around the house sans covers or warm laps.

That's the other thing--she's become a bit aloof compared to her normal self, which tells me she's definitely still not feeling well. She definitely looks like she's feeling a bit under the weather, which is to be expected after what she went through on Monday morning. She sort of hid on us when she realized we were getting up and it was time for her meds. I looked everywhere for her and couldn't find her! J finally looked under the hope chest in the master bedroom by the heat vent and there she was--duh! That's her go-to hidey hole when she's cold. Again, stress clouding my brain...

That being said, she did come by me when I was resting on the master bed this afternoon and slept behind my knees for awhile. I petted her and she purred and her breathing became labored and I panicked a bit before I remembered that cats breathe a little harder when they purr most of the time. I'm just on pins and needles waiting for the fluids to re-collect in her chest cavity now that it's happened once...Only time with it not happening again will chill me out on that one.

So very stressed out about all this...Hopefully we'll know more answers on Friday morning when Dr. Choy sees her...
...and doing relatively okay. She was still pretty stoned when we brought her home, which made getting around the house tough for her. She was a bit restless, too, which didn't help matters. She'd stagger around, sit for a few minutes seeming to clear her head, then try moving again. She managed to make it to the litter box in the hallway twice to do her business, so she was enough with it to do that. Then she'd stagger back to the bedroom where we were, likely looking for reassurance, though she didn't really want to be near us very much. We'd been hoping she would settle on the bed with us and let the sedation wear off by resting with us, but...She was not having much of that, though; she finally settled herself on the couch in the living room for awhile.

She did finally settled down on daddy's lap on the bed in the master bedroom for awhile not long after spending time in the living room, mainly I think for warmth's sake. Around 1845 we decided she was un-stoned enough to leave the house and go do necessary grocery shopping for the impending holiday. By the time we got home around 2000 she was getting around the house just fine and the sedation seems to be completely out of her system now. She's eaten a bit of food, though not enough in my estimation, but she's at least showing interest in her food so that's good. She's had a bit of water to drink as well, so that's also a good thing.

She's still breathing pretty fast, but not as labored as this morning, so the removal of the pleural effusion helped her quite a bit. We're to monitor her breathing here at home; normal resting respiration for a cat her age is just under 30 breaths per minute. If she goes over 40-44 we're to give one of the vets a call to see what next steps are as it could be a sign she's collecting fluids in her chest cavity again...Gonna be an interesting time of it in the coming days...

As I think I've posted before this, we're not to give her any sub-cutaneous fluids until told otherwise. All other meds are to continue as prescribed. We'll give her her famotidine and her benazepril tonight, but no enulose--don't want to take a chance on her aspirating any of it if she's still got any of the sedative in her system. Will resume that again tomorrow night.

Poor dear looks a sight--she's shaved on her right side on the rib cage area where they did the procedure (with a little red pin prick visible where the needle went in) and a shaved bit on her right front foreleg where the catheter was for the IV they gave her for the fluids to sedate her. I'd post a pic of her but I don't want to embarrass her. ;) I'm sure she'll likely be seeking me out for warmth tonight when it's bedtime. I love having her under the covers with me.

Tomorrow I should be getting a call with blood panel results. I hope her kidneys are relatively stable since we'll be going into an unknown length of time being unable to give her the sub-cutaneous fluids. We'll be in consultation with both Dr. Lehal and Dr. Bajwa together to decide what steps to take next. It's a bitch working between two different vets, but we want Dr. B to have input as well since he's her regular vet and has back history of her care. Dr. Lehal is also willing to work with him to get him up to speed so he can re-take over her care once he's back in the office.

I'm ever so glad that Brookville Animal Hospital was able to take Jazz in today for us. The folks at Humane Haven Animal Shelter are so right--he is a top-notch veterinarian. We even got a 10 percent discount off the bill for being volunteers at the shelter! :) That was an immense help, as it was a pretty steep bill considering all they did for her today. Thank Bast for an almost empty Visa card balance. She's worth every penny, though. My sweet, sweet girl.
Approximately 250ccs of fluids were removed from Jazz's chest cavity during the procedure! HOLY HANNAH!! :( That's a lot of fluid to be stuck in the chest cavity of a smallish, very elderly cat!! :( Don't know precisely what caused the fluids to build up just yet, as we have yet to sit down with Dr. Lehal and really discuss things, but I would suspect she's not absorbing her twice daily sub-cutaneous fluids as efficiently any more and the excess fluid is building up in her chest cavity now...This postulation is borne out from Dr. Lehal telling me when he called that we're not to administer any sub-cutaneous fluids for at least a few days once we get her home. The sub-qs are integral to her treatment for the chronic renal failure...so any time off of them could be detrimental to her kidneys. That being said, if she's not absorbing them properly any more it could damage her lungs and heart, so...Yeah, kind of at an impasse right now. The blood work will tell us more, too; we get those results back tomorrow.

Just got off the phone with their office--Jazz is being kept warm, resting comfortably and doing much better since the excess fluids have been removed. We can go pick her up in about another hour, as they want to keep an eye on her for a little bit longer...I say take as much time to watch her as you need to--want to make sure she's relatively stable before we bring her back home!

Sigh. I thought she had been doing pretty well, too, dammit! :( She was just ticking along, eating well, downloading well, all that good stuff. Then this happens and everything's topsy turvy again. If we have to curtail or stop the sub-qs because of fluid build up, we just might not have her for very much longer...I pray that's not the case, but I've got a bad feeling again about her future. I know, I know--I've had this feeling before and she's come through it just fine, but...this time it's different. Her demeanor is different. She seems more tired. I hope she's not trying to tell me she's too tired and wants go to meet her sister cats on the other side of The Bridge just yet. J and I are both praying we can keep her going with relative good health through the impending holidays...I hope we're not wishing for too much...