A Cat is a Cat is a Cat

No More Robots
I've been getting comments which bear no relationship to the content of this blog. Which is a monument to my cat Madison. I OK'ed a couple but no more. On Topic or In Bin.
Posted by MerkleDad at
12/24/2010 3:43 PM | View Comments (0) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
RIP Madison 26th June 2009, age 14
From little acorns ...

It has been a while, I know. But he has had a stormy medical history since the inception of his diabetes, some ups, some downs.

The Up: Apparently, cats are the only mammals known to be able to recover from Diabetes. After about 6 weeks of insulin injections coupled with a switch from a largely dry food diet high in carbohydrates to a strictly canned meat diet high in protein (cats are, after all, obligate carnivores), his blood sugar and insulin production renormalized and we were able to cease treatment. His recovery was permanent, we never had to repeat this one.

The Downs:
Last year he suddenly came down with kidney failure. Diagnosed as toxic shock with subsequent infection. Over-all he spent two long weekends in ICU and two days in a specialist vetinary hospital. Needless to say this all exacerbated his phobia of getting into a car as, true to his expectations, it was to take him to a nasty place that stuck big needles in him and left them there for days. For about 9 months we managed this condition - fatal in days without treatment - and successfully brought him to stability in blood workup, if not normality, with daily regimen of Clavamox, pepcid, and 100ml subcutaneous fluids with vitamin B fortification. The pepcid? he would periodically suffer projectile vomiting of stupendous proportions.

But "stability" does not mean perfect health. His weight and muscle tone steadily declined. From 22lbs he went down to 16lbs. His personality lost much of his perkiness. From a roughly circular cross-section middle he went to an 'A' frame shape. This is not good news in a cat.

Then about a month ago he started a rapid decline, but one without any kidney relapse indications. A puzzle. Finally last week he was diagnosed with advanced and rapid onset cancer of the lymph nodes, the ones that drain his intestines. He was be now in constant pain, almost totally withdrawn and unresponsive. On Wednesday night he unexpectedly dragged himself upstairs to our couch potato spot, gave me a little attention, and went back to his withdrawn self having used up all his energy. I believe he was saying goodbye to me then. Given his ongoing kidney issues, his loss of weight, and immune system challenges, we realized he could not survive extreme measures such as surgery or chemo. The vet agreed, and ot 10am on Friday morning she visited us at home and we all sat with him as she administered the euthanasia. He went peacefully and, I (have to) believe, with some relief.

It is not just us as proud cat staff. The vet - who must have know thousands of cats - frequently commented on how different he was, and how special. I do not think she was just humoring us. After all, we had three cats, and have two mnore in our history, and Madison stood out on oh so many levels. He taught me how to read the cat tail, his most expressive organ, and how to interpret his many different vocalizations alonmg with it. He taught me how a devoted feline is the best soporific if one is having sleep problems. It could even be that over the years I spent more time with him in couch potato mode than I did with my wife!

RIP, Madison, you are sorely missed.
Posted by MerkleDad at
6/29/2009 9:18 PM | View Comments (2) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)
He Is
So, instead of a Friday Cat blog elsewhere, I decided to get him his own blog. This is definitely a special cat, speaking as one who has been more or less continually owned by members of the species for nigh on 40 years now. He has been known to zone out, gazing upside-down into my eyes, for tens of inutes at a time. He carries red things, making a special cry depending on which red thing, when he loses track of where I am. And he is four cats to the square paw. Which really tells when he stands on my chest.

The stats: your basic B&W short-haired domestic, but with extras. The pirates ring in his nose. 22 lbs, 14" tall at the shoulders, about 36" nose to tail. That is a full-size hanging folder box he is sitting on, on the logo picture. He is a BIG cat. Even when very young he showed his future in his unusual shape (rat face, extremely long tail). He walks like a racoon, shoulders higher than the back of his head, unlike normal cats who walk with a horizontal back. We have a normal cat too (Cassini) who typically seems to still be a kitten to us. His relative size makes him seem small, but he is actually a sturdy 10 lb male. Both are about 10 years old, both latched on to us at young ages. At some point I'll figure out how to attach or embed pictures.
Posted by MerkleDad at
8/8/2006 11:15 PM | View Comments (3) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (0)