Home. For a Short While.

Bob came home yesterday at 12:30pm.

By 7:30pm he began vomiting. He's been sick all night long. He can't keep his food or meds down. He kept water down, that was it. I haven't had much sleep. I am also sick-with worry. Bob needs to get stablized and I just don't think that any of the Vet's who have treated him really know what is going on. I still wonder if he is blocked.

All I know is I can't afford to help him much longer and that scares me more than anything.

Please think good thoughts for Bob today. He needs all the help he can get.

Different in a Perfect Way


Lilly has Cerebellar Hypoplasia or CH. She was either exposed to Distemper in utero or within two weeks of her birth. Her first mama, an elderly lady named Grace, always carried little Lilly, instead of encouraging her to use her legs. At eight months old, Lilly's mama passed away and was adopted by our Tuckers Mom. Little Lilly, was re-named, Lilly Grace, in honor of her first mom and as a way to mark the beginning of her life with her new family.

I've never heard of CH, but once I saw the photos and heard more about Lilly, I was astonished that how much spunk and drive this lovely lady has. What a zest for life! Jennifer (aka Tuckers Mom) calls Lilly, "specially abled" instead of disabled. Lilly lives differently than other cats, but that doesn't mean her quality of life isn't just as fantastic as able-bodied cats.

Jennifer, gave me permission to post this letter regarding Lilly Grace.

I would not know what to write about Lilly Grace. She's just a beautiful sweet cat that would have made anyone an amazing companion. But so many people can't overlook her disability. To me and Ron, she is specially-abled.

She can do anything. She can get anywhere, she just goes about it differently. There are days when she's a little tired so I hold her up when she eats. But she's tired because she just explored the house. What can take Tucker or Sam a minute will take Lilly Grace a half hour to explore.

She's a determined young lady. Yesterday Ron put her in the window seat, she loves fresh air. But she loves Ron more. She got off the window seat, which means lowering herself down a level on the cat tree and then down a level to the floor. Then climbing around a set of cat stairs and then flopping her way to the door to the hall. She proceeded to go into the bathroom and try to get in the tub while Ron was showering...

Home is Where the Bob Is


I just got the call from the Vet at Cheshire. Bob kept his food down last night. So far, so good. Keep your fingers crossed.


The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

Potentially good news for Bob.

The best news-NO CANCER!


Bob has a localized swelling of his pancreas and stomach. It may be the vomiting is making it worse, as well. What caused it, they don't know. Bob's old and has FIV, so that's enough right there. They suggest a course of steroids, which we all know can lead to diabetes and leaves a cat wide open to other infection. With Bob's compromised immune system, I'm going to have to be careful with his environment. This may mean I'll have to stop fostering kittens for awhile. I hope that's not the case, but I have to do what's best for Bob.

Tomorrow, they're hoping to release Bob. He's got to keep his food down, first, then he can come home. If the steroids don't help him keep food down...then...we'll have to see. It should help him feel comfortable fast.

I feel like I can start to breathe a bit, just a bit. Bob's not out of the woods, but things look much better for him right now.

My Sweet Bob

photo by Deb

This is a shot from yesterday. Bob's in a new cage at a different hospital, on a new IV. The IV he's been given really helped perk him up. Yesterday, when I brought him home, he seemed so much better. He smacked Spencer for sniffing him, he purred like his old self, and rubbed his head all over my ankles and on many of the scent marking areas around the house. He is the King and he was back, better than ever.

It lasted about five hours. Bob had been very hungry at 3pm, when I brought him home. Up to that point, he'd only gotten to keep down about a tablespoon of food since Tuesday. I gave him another spoonful he greedily lapped up. I didn't want to overdo it, so I offered him pets, instead of more food. I also had to leave him and get back to the chore of cleaning up my Mother's estate. I need to put it on the market and see if I can get it sold. It's the last big hurdle of this mess since she died. On top of the flood of emotions I felt worrying about Bob, I also had the added difficulty of seeing my brother and being in my childhood home, packing up cherished trinkets and throwing others away. Without my Mother there, so many things lost their meaning. They were just old junky bits. I had to let go. My house is already overloaded. I can't add more.

When I got home a few hours later, I gave Bob another spoonful of food. He had a great appetite. I was so happy for him. By 7pm, almost an hour later from his feeding, he vomited. Not just the spoonful of food, but what appeared to be ALL the food he had been given that day. It didn't look like it had been digested at all. Bob continued to vomit until he was empty. I raced to the phone and called Dr. Larry. It was Saturday night, after closing hours, so I knew I'd need to take him to a facility that was open 24/7. I had to wait to hear back from Dr. Larry and while I waited, I cried. I cried and petted Bob. Bob, who seemed so strong and frankly, just fine. Bob who was purring loudly and rubbing his head against my hand. Bob only just joined our family and in the short time, he's become a beacon of joy. Everyone who meets him radiates. He is a special boy.

There are a few places open to me to take Bob. One is in Norwalk. They have a very nice facility and are VERY expensive, but it always felt like they had the best. They also have the longest wait time and most filled waiting room. On top of the hour drive to get there, it would be a long wait and it was approaching 9pm by the time I could talk to Dr. Larry and get things sorted out...

18 May 2008. Bob.

I'll write more later today, but I wanted to post something about Bob now that I'm sort of functioning.

Bob came home yesterday, but only for a few hours. He began vomiting again, so I needed to call Dr. Larry, then we made arrangements for me to transport Bob to a Hospital that has 24/7 hours and can possibly help determine why Bob can't keep any food down.

I'm hearing phrases like, "Inflammatory Bowel Disease" and "Cancer of the intestine-Lymphoma" and "we need to wait until we can do an ultrasound which won't happen until Monday."

I'm in a bad place. Exhausted. Haven't slept much since Thursday. Stressed. Wobbly. My heart hurts. I feel all right for a few minutes, then I realize Bob's not here and I get punched in the gut again. I miss him so much.

He's stable and comfortable. He really seemed great when he was home yesterday. I hope he continues to be strong and I hope we can find a way to help him be back to his old self soon.

4:04 PM EST

Bob is stable and continues to be on an IV. Dr. Larry wants him to stay overnight, continue with IV fluid therapy and just rest. Obviously, Bob's had a rough few days and the rest and additional fluids should be beneficial to him.

The blood test results were not overly impressive. His white blood cell count is normal, as are most of his other levels. His ALT is higher than it was in the past, at 551 now, and was at 416 eight months ago. Everything else was fine. This is basically good news, but why Bob can't keep food down, is the big question. He won't be fed until tomorrow morning. That will be the true test. After a nice long rest, will he be able to finally eat?


Debbie's great!

She just emailed me a photo of Bob while he's on his IV.

My poor baby!!!!! He looks so sad. I want him to come home soon!


9:51 AM EST

A terrible night.

I gave Bob some food around 3:00 AM. Just simple chicken in broth. He licked at it a bit, but wasn't interested in it. It's not his favorite food, so perhaps that was the only reason. It didn't matter that he barely ate because an hour later, he vomited it all back up.

Bob kept vomiting almost exactly every hour until 7:30 AM. There was nothing but a scant bit of foam left to purge. I felt so bad for him. I could see he was miserable and I shared his misery. I kept trying to sleep. Just a bit of a nap while on the sofa. I wanted to be close to Bob and even coaxed him to lay next to me. He jumped up, purred, "made muffins," but didn't stay. A short while later, he vomited again.

I got about 30 minutes of sleep, during which time I had a nightmare. I dreamt that Sam and I were at a hotel or something that was connected to a mall. We had all our cats in Sam's car, but the car was too small and was a convertible so everything was exposed. Somehow Spencer got mauled and Bob was already sick. The other cats got out of the car and were running around loose. I wanted to get Spencer and Bob to Shoreline, which is a Vet hospital here in CT. I looked up and saw these people dressed in dark suits, wearing sunglasses. They were in a line prodding the ground with some sort of pole. I knew they were trouble. Suddenly, we were surrounded by them and they wanted to know what we were doing. I told them we needed to leave and they said they would take care of it. I knew they were going to kill Bob and Spencer and I knew I had to get out of there. They left for a moment and I told Sam to just grab whatever cats he could and that we needed to get out. If we left some behind, we would deal with it, but right now we needed to get Bob and Spencer to the hospital. Then, I woke up.

At 8:00 AM I called my Vet and spoke with Debbie. She's the only one I wanted to speak with, so I was relieved when she answered the phone. Deb doesn't let me fall apart. She'll crack a joke to keep me sane. I told her what was going on and she told me to "get my ass in here" and "to bring some coffee, will ya?" It helped me calm down enough to be able to wash my face, get dressed and get Bob to the Vet.

Bob was silent and still on the drive to Southbury. Just as I pulled into the parking space, Bob cried. He was curled back in the carrier, quite miserable. I thought he was going to vomit, but didn't. I got him into the Clinic and said good bye to him. I'm glad Debbie is there. She loves big red Maine Coon cats and is so great with Bob. She promised me they would not put Bob down. I want to believe that.

I know Bob's in good hands. I know we'll all do our best for him, but I also know there are limitations to what can be done and that is what I fear most—the limitations, the "I'm sorry we can't do anything more but keep him comfortable until he dies." I can't bear the thought of it.

Please, let Bob be all right.


It's 4am. I can't sleep. I'm angry. I'm scared. I'm upset. I'm crying. All of this could have been avoided with a simple thing—get a cat neutered. That's it. If it had been taken care of in good order, I would not be up tonight, worried with a tight gut, thinking my cat, Bob, is on a slippery slope facing the end of his life.

I got Bob on August 15, 2006. The day my Mother died. Even though I already had six cats at the time and I didn't want to take in any more, I ended up being Bob's caregiver. It started out as a temporary situation, that quickly grew into giving Bob a permanent home. Bob was simply too sick to be adopted out, plus he was the last link to my Mother—good or bad, and I wanted the best for him.

Think Good Thoughts for Bob

My Mother did not believe in taking her cat to the Vet. She let one of her cats die when his urinary tract blocked up. I stopped talking to her when I found out. It was 3 or 4 months before I said a word to her, I was so furious. We constantly battled over whether or not it was right to Vet the cats. She blamed me of being cruel to the cat. They were "free", after all. Free to live their life they way they wanted. Bob could come and go as he pleased. He wasn't neutered. He never got a rabies shot. He got fed, crappy food and she brushed him. That was it.

Me. I will do whatever it takes to help my cats. I know I have to draw the line, too, but I know how vital it is to properly Vet your cat and I know it saves so much grief, in the long run, to do preventative things for your cat.

I finally made a deal with my Vet to trade services. I would help him with some computer training and he would do a FREE neuter for Bob. My Mother accused me of stressing Bob out and she refused to have any part of his surgery, but she couldn't say no to FREE, so I arranged everything. Why did I feel guilty for helping out this poor cat? It caused unending rifts, but I didn't care. I wanted Bob to have a better life, but after the surgery, there was nothing more I could do, other than get him an update to his rabies shot, which was, by law, needed to be done. My Vet looked at Bob's teeth and they were in bad shape, but I couldn't have yet another fight with my mother about it. She wouldn't spend the money and made me feel like shit for wanting to help him. I had to sit back and not say any more about taking Bob to get his dental done or I'd lose my Mother, too.

Once my Mother died, Bob went right to the Vet, first thing. There was no way I could endanger my cats health by bringing Bob here. At the Vet they determined that Bob was FIV+. Of course. Years of being an intact male-what did we expect? Bob had to have SIX teeth removed, too. He also had to be shaved down. Bob's health improved a lot after he recovered from the teeth extraction and getting onto a better diet. Bob is not a young cat. He is at least over 10 years old. Probably more like 15. I know I won't have Bob with me forever, but he has fit in perfectly with my cat-family and I love him dearly.

Two days ago Bob started vomiting. I thought it was a hairball, at first, but yesterday afternoon he vomited again. Each time it was a large quantity of food. Then Bob would go back and eat, then vomit again. I got him to the Vet and they pulled blood, did some x-rays and gave him sub-q fluids. I already know that Bob has FIV+, diabetes (that I manage with his diet), a liver that is not doing too well (he is on denamarin to help support his liver function) and his lungs sound like Hell. Up until two days ago, he was basically doing just fine. Now he can't keep any food down. Not even a bite.

I don't know what's in store for Bob. I hope we can turn him around and help him to feel better very soon. Just the idea that Bob may be on his final days with me makes me so sick and horrified. I don't want to lose him. I'm scared to find out about his blood test results. I want to run and hide and pretend this is not happening, but that won't help Bob and I need to find some way to be strong. I also have to find a way to deal with the anger I feel over my own Mother's treatment of this magnificent creature. How could she do this? How could she turn her back on him like that?


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