Details on Legume's last months.

Legume's Passing

I could see him getting more uncomfy as the afternoon went on.
I saw he was having trouble walking with both left legs, not just the front. He was having troubl eating. that flicking gesture with his head kept kicking in, sending the food everywhere. So after a while, he just stopped trying to eat.
I could see by the way he walked that he hurt. I tried, and failed, to drain his bladder. Altho large amounts of that awful bloody mucus were coming from around the catheter, his bladder was huge.
I knew that making him wait was cruel. I snuggled him. I played with him, as much as he wanted which was a little.
A friend took us to the clinic. I had called ahead. The tech who met us hadn't heard the news, but hugged me as soon as I told her. I said I wanted to hold him, and that was fine.
They put a catheter in his arm, then brought him to me.
The vet was very kind, she had seen 'Gumie several times.
I cradled him and kissed his head. I kept my face close to his. The vet explained that what the shot was was essentially an overdose of anesthesia. As she gave him the shot, he turned and licked my nose. Then he was gone.

I cat'n see the screen very well as I"m typing even knowing this moment would come does not make it easy.
In the past 24hours I have been to the emergency vet 3 times with Legume. I had hoped that switching his antibiotics would make enough of a difference, but what i have learned in the last visit, combined with how he has done this weekend, convinces me otherwise.
As I sit here watching him, i can hardly belive I"ve made this decision. For the moment he is content, I only wish he could stay that way.
There is so much mucus & debris in his bladder that the catheter won't drian. he can urinate around it, but that is all. the vet drained his bladder with a needle early this morning (the 3rd trip). I have been told repeatedly that his bladder walls had thickend. but no one hinted at just how thick they were. The vet told me that they are at least a half inch thick. He had no interest in eating yesterday evening , no matter what i put in front of him. I also found out that in the past week he has lost a pound and a half. Iknew he had lost some weight, but I didn't realize how much. He has that tiered, pinched, look of an old worn out cat. two days ago he didn't have that look. He has had some good spells this weekend, he is in one now. they start when we get home from the vet (and his bladder is compeltey empty) and last for a few hours. Then he becomes listless.
He still smiles at me, and that makes this so much harder.
I think he will smile up until the very end.
I have left a message on my vet's machine. I am taking him in first thing in the morning.
I gave him a Serene-Um tablet (mild sedative) to make him comfy today. And altho I know I hav done everything possible fo rhim I still feel I have failed him somehow.
If only he would stop smiling at me.
I wish the vet could give me a shot along with him.

I hope i have the strength to take him in and do what i know is hte best thing, but I fear the morning. I far th entire day. I am surrounded by other felines, but it doens' tmatter. I think little 'Gumie ment more to me than all the others together. gods help me let him go.
I feel like I am killing my best friend.

Legume has had a rough week. He has needed fluids every day, and had 2 enemas (on on sunday one on friday). His WBC was increasing so on friday we changed his antibiotics to Baytril and Cephalexin.
He has periods of feeling well and being happy, and periods of being very tierd.
Had to take him to get hsi catheter put back in today. He is down to 4.5 pounds. He was 6 pounds. He is getting Nurtri-cal mixed with the UR canned, pedialtye & as much water as it takes to make it a slurry fed to him via syringe.
I hope he turns a corner on this soon. It isnt' the first time he has needed syring feeding. His urine pH is way too high (8.5!) and there is a lot of mucus. The emergecny vet today recommended another ultrasound of his bladder.
I the Baytril helps at all it might be worth another "bladder scrape" surgery - where they removed all the inflammatory tissue. However, if the infection does not respond at all to the Baytril & Cephalexin I can't see putting him through more surgery & more meds that *might* or might not work.
Without an effective antibiotic after the surgery, it woudl be rather pointless.
I will continue to fight for him as always. He purrs and washes my face when I hold him.

As of 3/7/02 7:00 pm

Legume has defied death, and baffled vets yet again.
We finally got the sensitivity results back.
The current infection is responsive to both sulpha drugs AND cephelexin! His sulfa dose will be increased, he had just started Cepha-drops a few days ago in hopes it would do something. Previously, it had been resistant to Cephalexin. Infections are not supposed to do this, but apparenlty his has. I am so glad I decided to keep giving him a chance.

As of 3/5/02 7:00 pm

He is tierd from the anesthesia, no wonder since he's been under twice in a week! They did get a larger catheter in, so he won't leak so much. That will let his skin heal.
The vet flushed out several small stones :( and tons of mucus. Mom is going to use a 20guage needle to drain the catheter instead of the 22, the 22 got clogged last night. Scary news about the urine culture. it is growing already. Usually it takes 2 - 3 days to start growing, this has been just 1 day.
He is eating and wandering around a little. not zoomy, but not mopey and not in pain and that is important.
Mom will still take care of 'Gumie just as she has been, no letting up. His chances are slim, but that doesn't mean we'll give up on him! And, if the results come back as "resistant to everything" we will say goodbye to him. If he should suddenly have a sharp downturn before the results are in, then we will say goodbye then.
Mom wants to hold him when he goes, she has never had the opportunity to be there when one of her furkids has been sent across before.

As of 3/3/03 4:00 pm

Saturday, about 4am, Leguem woke mom screaming. She rushed him to the specialty clinic. She was fairly certian he had a fecal blocakge again, and that did turn out to be the problem. He had an enema and came home saturday afternoon.
Legume was doing well yesterday afternoon. So mom went over to a friend's house to watch some movies & relax. She got home and went to drain Legume's catheter. It was clogged with mucus, took her about 10 minutes to clear it, got tons of mucus and blood. He was leaking around the catether, too.
This has happened once before. Mom knew he needed either frequent SQ fluids or to be on IV fluids for at least 24hrs to flush things out & protect his kidneys as well as a urinalysis. She also knows she is very very stressed right now and did not want to try the fluids at home. So back to the speciality clinic they went.
The vet called sometime (9ish?) to say that Legume's urine specific gravity was low, this means he isn't concentrating it well. It does happen with animals on fluids therapy but can also be a sign of kidney trouble. Mom gave the ok to do a kidney panel. Turned out the little guy needed another enema too.
Mom called the vet when she was awake(11ish) to get an update. Vet wants to keep him until either later tonite or tomorrow am. Mom said tomorrow am would be better for her. 'Gumie is a bit dehydrated, he frequently is when he has constipation trouble. His potassium is a bit high, which the vet said can be caused by a fecal blockage. Mom is confident that monday am Legume will be in much better shape, and so will she.

As of 2/26/03 9:00 am

Legume has not had diarreah for 36 hours! He hasn't had any kind of bowel movement, but hopefully things are calming down in there. He loves his chicken, and ignores the rice. The other cats finish that off for him. His urine is dark yellow, and the pH has gone up to 7. Since his gut is doing well I gave him some dry UR. He does love his crunchies. Hopefully this will get his pH back on track. We can't afford to let that go up! He cannot take Methigel, because even in small amounts it gives him neurological side effects.
He is quite happy, affectionate, and playful this morning.

As of 2/25/02 3:15 pm

Legume's catheter came out late yesterday afternoon. It was replaced at the Greenboro clinic. When mom picked him up, they did not tell her that anything was wrong.
Mom called the local vet today to update them. The local vet had received a fax from the Greensboro clinic. The PU opening has gotten smaller and they had to use a smaller catheter. It looks like the opening will have to be redone. We are looking into getting it done before it becomes an emergecny.
On the upside, his urine has returned to a normal color. It was dark red this morning, but pale yellow this afternoon. Legume is his usual cheery self.

As of 2/24/02 11:00 am

Legume is still having diarreah. He will be starting on a plain chicken, yogurt, and rice diet today to try and calm things down. Pumpkin, kaopectate, & yogurt are not clearing it up. He is no longer having the horrible stomach noises, so that is some progress.
After having a week of normal colored urine, it is now very bloody. His urine pH remains around 6, too high for the formaldehyde drug. In spite of this, he is running, playing, and chasing the other cats around.

As of 2/20/02 11:00 am

Legume is still having stomach problems. Very loud stomach noises, and very uncomfortable Legume. So I am giving him Tagamet again. It does help quite a bit. He is still having the runs, too. I realized he had not had his canned UR in awhile. It has a lot of rice in it so might help. He got some this morning. Yesterday his urine was cranberry colored again but this morning it has cleared up quite a bit. It is dark yellow. He definitly wants to be out and about, and not just moping in a cage, so that is a good sign!

As of 2/19/02 11:00 am

Spoke with the vet about the results of last week's urine culture. The resistant bacteria is GONE thanks to the antibiotic that was given as an IM injection. Thre are 2 bacteria remaining. They are both senstivie to the sulpha drug that he was on, so he is back on that for 2 weeks.
He still has diarhhea (i give up on how to spell that word). He gets pumpkin and yogurt and a little kaopectate twice daily. We took a stool sample in for a fecal in case he had some kind of parasite. He didn't. Vet suggested metriniazol for 3-5 days, quarter tablet. she said if it clears in 3 days to stop then. So that was started today.
His urine was bloody again this morning, yesterday it had been normal colored. This seems to happen from time to time over the past couple weeks. At least some of the time it is yellow.

As of 2/16/02 11:00 am

Legume continues to do well. He is eating fine and very active. This morning when I drained his catheter I flushed it several times with saline until all that came out was clear. There was a lot of what my vet calls "junk" which is mostly mucus and some small blood clots. After being re-catheterized he often has more bleeding in his bladder. Overall his urine was a nice, normal, yellow.
He is feeling well enough to protest being dressed in the morning, but that isn't optional as long as he has that catheter.

As of 2/15/02 11:00 pm

After a record of two weeks with no emergencies or smaller disasters, Legume managed to pull out his catheter overnight. However, unlike the last time he had the catheter re-placed, he did not have any problems with the anesthesia. He was up and walking around in an hour after it wore off.
There are still no results from the urine culture as far as bacteria growth. Protein levels are normal, there is still some blood but much less! His urine is no longer cranberry red but instead a yellow orange.
We have had some trouble with runny stool but lots of pumpkin and yogurt has corrected that. I hope we have another uneventful 2 weeks!

As of 2/12/02 3:30pm

Legume had a urine culture drawn yesterday. It takes a few days to get the results. His pH is 6.25, still too high for the new med. I've increased his methigel a little.
He is doing great! His urine is only slightly bloody now and we haven't had any trouble with the catheter getting pulled out! He is very active, zooming all over. Then he suddenly flops over and goes to sleep. Nice, normal, kitten behavior.

As of 2/9/02 7 pm

Legume has had a great week. This morning, however he was vomiting and his stomach was making very loud gurgling noises. There was a stomach bug that went through the other cats, ending about a week ago. I think this is what Legume has. The vet gave me some Tagamet for him and it helped tons. I also gave him fluids. He has been eating small amounts of baby food chicken and I/D during the day. Around 4pm he decided he felt well enough to go eat some dry food. I also am giving him chicken broth. Currently he is sitting in the cloth cube smiling at me.

As of 2/6/02 7 pm

Legume had his catheter replaced on Friday. It is a soft cathater again. He had a hard time recovering from the anesthesia, even tho it was only isoflorane gas. If he has to have a catheter replaced again, they will try valium.
He was very lethargic on Saturday and needed 40cc of fluids in the afternoon. That and some pedialyte perked him up. Sunday morning he was back to himself. He is spending most of his time by the woodstove. But is eating well and is active.
The latest catheter is being kept in place by a combination of: tape, suture, super glue, tissue glue, a covering of guaze & vetwrap (or a premie sized diaper) and then he wears his body suit over it all. So far it is still in!
His catheter did block on Monday, but just needed a good flushing. His bowel movements are slow but they are happening. Overall he is doing well and is very happy.
He will be going to a CAT SHOW on Feb 23rd. It is a fundraiser for an animal rescue group in a nearbye county. They have a category called 'best handicapped.' I have every reason to think he'll win! I have e-mailed with the group to make sure I understand what will go on and they understand his problems and won't be icked by my draining his catheter.

As of 2/1/02 6:00 pm

Legume's catheter fell out yesterday afternoon. I took him to the vet and they suggested replacing it with a softer catheter. We agreed to wait until today to do it since he had a hard time with the anesthesia. She said that the next time the catheter comes out, she will try just giving him some valium.
Legume is home now. He did wake up very slowly but did not vomit as much. The vet secured the catheter with tape, glue, and sutures. Then made him some very cute vet-wrap pants. I put his body suit on over all this.
I put him in a large crate when we got home, but after only a few minutes he was demanding to be out. He is walking slowly but not wobbly. He was very hungry and thirsty. His eyes are bright and he is happily wandering around.
Yesterday he started on a new antibiotic that he will be on for seven days. It is given as an IM injection every 8 hours and one vial is only good for 24 hours. 3 Days after we finish this course he will have another urinalysis to see if any of the infection remains.

As of 1/30/02 9:45 pm

Legume came home around 5pm. This catheter is much stiffer than the others and he more uncomfortable with it. I can't drain it with a syringe. Instead, I take the cap off and gently squeeze him. It does not take much pressure. He is very tired, but did walk around a bit, played a little with his favorite toys and ate some.
Tomorrow we will start a new antibiotic, injectable. The specialty clinic also told my vet about another drug that is inert when given but is excreted in urine as formaldehyde. It should kill anything growing in there. The down side is that we have to get his urine pH down to 5. Right now it is 7. My vet said that the infection can cause the pH to go up, so hopefully a course of this next antibiotic will help. If not, I have Methigel.
She ran bloodwork on him because he was very shaky as he woke up. All the counts were normal, including his WBC. That was 15.
On the one hand I don't want him to have to undergo surgery again anytime soon. On the other, I hope this catheter doesn't irritate him to the point where he doesn't want to do anything.

As of 1/30/02 11:15 am

Legume is getting yet another catheter placed today. He blocked overnight so he definitly can't go long without one. I am taking the advice of some of my internet friends who have had similar troubles and will be using even more elaborate catheter protection. I plan to put a guaze pad over the catheter, hold that in place with vetwrap, then put his body suit on over all of that. Hopefully it will not only protect it from being rubbed on things, but will not allow him to mess with it through the body suit. He is still as happy as ever and was sunning himself in the window when I opened the carrier for him. As always, he saw the carrier door open and walked on in.

As of 1/29/02 4:30 pm

I went to drain Legume's urine via his catheter, like I have many times, and found that he had torn out the catheter AGAIN. He is in a body suit, the entire thing is covered, he can't get to it. HOW did he managed to tear it out? It isn't like his body just pushed it out. all the sutures and the plastic thingy that helped hold it in were torn out.
So we ran off to the vet. Kinda pointless to put it back in. She showed me how to cath him myself in case he blocks again, which it is likely he will. I don't know if I can do it on my own, he was very unhappy about it. But I said I'd try.
She is going to talk with the specialty surgeon to see if there is anything else to be done.
But that isn't all.
The urine culture showed 2 bacteria growing in his bladder. Only one is senstivie to what he is currently on. The other is mildly senstive to Clavamox - which makes him vomit and gives him diarhhea. The other possible med is given by IM injection. Vet didn't know how much it cost exactly, but said it was very expensive.

As of 1/27/02 8:00 pm

I woke up this morning to find Legume's catheter hanging from his belly. So back to Greensboro we went! I had thought it was broken, but it wasn't. He had pulled it out. They said probably his foot tugged on it while he was playing. The infant shirt I had on him protected most of it but apparantly not all.
He had to be sedated and recatheterized. While they did this I went out looking for lunch. I stopped and got him soem premie sized body suits. They snap shut at the bottom and have leg and arm holes. I cut a little hole for his tailnub. They actually fit fairly well. Now his entire catheter is protected. The neck is loose, I have to thread a collar in the back to hold it up.
His chest is left uncovered, which gives him something besides his legs to groom. I can reach under the suit from the neck hole and get to the port there, so I don't have to undress him to drain his bladder.
His urine has been mostly free from visible blood for two days now. He is averaging about 6ml/hour which is much higher than the surgeon had said to expect!
He is energetic and happy and running all over, eating great, playing with everything and acting like a normal 8 month old kitten should!

As of 1/23/02 7:30pm

Legume is home!
And he is very very happy to be here.
I went to visit him and found out he was set to come home. He has a catheter in that is very long and has a port on the end. The port is used to drain his bladder. The catheter is stitched to his skin in a couple places to hold it in place. Currently he is wearing a shirt and his old diaper to protect it. I will be working on better clothing for him so I don't constantly fret about the catheter getting pulled.
He did NOT want the vet to show me his catheter while we were at the clinic. However, once home he just rolled on his back and let me do whatever I wanted. Draining his bladder was one of the easiest things I've ever done.
I did let him run around a bit, with close supervision. He was very hungry and inhaled dry & canned food. He was purring and smiley clearly happy to be home! Right now he is napping on his heating pad, with a big smile on his face, belly up, head upsidedown.

As of 1/23/02 10 am

I am going to visit Legume at 1:30 today. I left a msg for the surgeon saying that I wanted to take her up on the offer of learning to catheterize Legume. I was very surprised when she first mentioned it, but I think it would be better for him if I could do this at home, when needed.

As of 1/22/02 3:45 pm

Slight setback last night, but nothing he can't bounce back from!
I got home late last night and found he was totally clean....
That means he wasn't peeing. Felt his bladder and it was huge - I usually can't feel it at all. He was uncomfy and complained a little, so I know it was hurting him. Off to the Greensboro clinic we went! They said his bladder was the size of a baseball. They catheterized him and flushed tons of mucous out of his bladder and sent him home w/instructions to keep an extra close eye on him.
This morning (well, noon) I got up and checked him and he was blocked again. He had peed some overnight, but his bladder was getting big. He seemed oblivious that anything was wrong and wanted me to stop squeezing his belly and let him play. After a few phone calls, off to Greensboro we went again. The surgeon said that she would probalby put a catheter in him to stay until the infection cleared up. She also said the histology on the tissue sample from inside his bladder came back as just inflamatory tissue. That is definitly good news.
They will call me later to let me know how the surgery went and when I can pick him up.

As of 1/20/02 7:30pm

Mom has been a little worried cuz our little bean hasn't pooped much in 4 days. He HAS, however, been climbing the cat tree, jumping and zooming around. So she hasn't worried too much. He saw the chiropractor yesterday and she said he was much better than she'd expected. His hips were a bit out of line, there were some minor adjustments in his lumbar spine, but from the shoulders up he was fine.
Got home, gave him 40cc SQ fluids to try and get his bowels to move. But there was nothing in the morning. So mom spent a half hour massaging his hind end this morning, she REALLY did not want to give him an enema if there was any other way.
Well, it worked. He started poopoing, and then just kept on going all on his own. It was very runny after the first bit, and still is. Every few minutes more would ooze out, and she'd clean him off & his bedding. for a little while his intestines were gurgling very loudly and he didn't look happy at all. Very frowny. But that only lasted about an hour.
It has slowed down now, the gurgling has not come back, and he is his smilie self again. Mom gave him some canned i/d to help settle things down in there.
Our vet has said, back on Wednesday, that if the diarrhea didn't clear up in a couple days to cut back on the antibiotic & only give it once a day. He certainly won't complain!
After much fuss with him foaming out his liquid antibiotic, and therefore not getting the dose he should, we have switched to a pill form. If he even SEES a syringe now he starts shaking his head and making sounds like he is trying to spit something out. poor little guy.

As of 1/15/02 4 pm

Legume is doing wonderfully. He is eating well, active, playful and happy! His incision is healing nicely, it isn't even red or pink! He has no visible blood in his urine or stool, altho he still has clear mucus mixed with his urine. He has diahrrea, possibly from the anitibiotic and possibly from the stress of surgery.
Last night he was hopping up on top of low things, like the one story cat condo. He doesn't seem to know that he just had major surgery! He tolerates his freqent baths well and is loving all the attention.

As of 1/11/02 4:45pm

Mom called about visiting Legume today, she was told he was ready to go home! He surprised everyone at the clinic with another amazing recovery. He was wanting to be active, "a totally different cat" they said. We are all thrilled!
Mom went to pick him up and the tech was having a hard time holdig him, he was so wiggly! Mom hugged him and put him in the crate. He was walking around so much the crate was wobbling & rocking constantly.
We had a good play session when they got home..
He has been put on sulfa drugs for the infection, and taken off the other 3 antibiotics. He looks very happy and very bald! His whole underside is bald, the insides of his hind legs, and the foreleg portion of all 4 legs.
He has stitches that will come out in 2 weeks, he is being very good and not bothering them so he can be collar-less the vet says.
He gets his belly rinsed & hydrotherapy (mom is getting a sprayer) every few hours until he is all healed up. This probably keeps the stitches from becoming irritated, so he doesn't feel he needs to clean them. His belly skin looks great. He gets tierd after running around, then curls up and snoozes for awhile. He even brought mom the toy he wanted to play with.

As of 1/11/02 7pm

Mom talked with the surgeon yesterday, he had his surgery around 5pm.
What they found confused a lot of people. There were two small stones inside his bladder. What they had thought was a huge stone was something else entirely. The surgeon said she hadn't seen anything like it before. It was a large blob of mucosal tissue adhered to the bladder wall. She said it was NOT coming off on its own. The entire bladder wall looked 'wierd' (her word), she thinks it could be an extreme inflammatory reaction. The bladder wall was also very thick (we knew this already). They sent a sample of tissue to hystology - don't know how long that will take.
The lab processing the urine culture seems to not be able to decide what is growing in there. The vet office received 3 different reports. One said no growth, another said e-coli, and another said strept! Our vet told them to get it together and figure out what this was!
However, the sensitivity results ARE in. It is senstive to three things. Mom says she has never heard of any of them and can't prounounce them an doesn't remember them.
The one he will most likely be treated with requires that mom wear gloves when giving it to him! Apparenlty some people (not cats, just people) have a reaction to it when it gets on their skin!!

As of 1/09/02 8:00pm

I spent an hour and a half with my Legume this evening.
They brought him out, he was alert and perky and wanting to walk around. So I let him (we were in a room to ourselves). He walked and walked and walked and walked, then he walked some more. He scratched on their magazine basket a little, thought about jumping on a chair - put his front feet up on it- the walked some more.
Then I picked him up. He suddenly realized who I was, his eyes got huge and bright and he held my face between his paws and washed and washed and washed and washed, then washed some more.
I think I still have skin on my nose...
He was happy and smilie.
I dragged the strap of my purse for him to swat at, he wasn't up to actually chasing. I had brought him another of his fleece blankets and some toys, since he will be there for awhile. I wish I'd brought his leather string! I also brought some chicken baby food which he was VERY happy with. I put him back on the table so I could get a good look at him and scritch him and give him his terat. They also brought in a bowl of water for him.
He started to wind down after about 45 minutes. I trimmed his fur some, got rid of some mats (his chest fur always gets mats) and cleaned him a little. He asked for head rubs, belly rubs, side rubs, nose rubs, anykindofrubs.
He had loose, bloody stool that smelled ghastly, quite a change from being constipated and producing rocklike stool with almost no smell.
I feel much better about him undergoing surgery now, he is much stronger than he was on Monday. Certainly not all better, but much improved.

As of 1/08/02 6:00pm

Talked with the vet around 6ish.
The ultrasound showed a very large stone in his bladder 1.5cm, no way it will pass but it is also not blocking him. It will require surgery to remove.
I decided that before putting him through another surgery, we will wait for his culture results. They should be in by Thursday, which is the earliest they could do the surgery anyway.
The culture results will tell us if this infection is susceptible to any antibiotics. There is no point putting him through major surgery if the infection cannot be treated. If the culture comes back saying that the infection is resistant to everything, I will have to put him down. If it is treatable, I want to treat it at high doses, even knowing that there are associated risks.
Legume, even if he is treated, is not going to be a long lived kitty. If he hadn't had this series of nasty infections, life would have been better. But I don't spend much time on past "what if such and such happened". Even if we get rid of this infection, the chances are high another will return and eventually it will be resistant to everything.
I told the vet that even if I could just give him a couple months that would be a good thing. If it is treatable, we treat it and do the surgery. If it is not, there is no point putting him through surgery, life in a cage on an IV is not a life I would wish on my Legume.
If he is treatable, I will see about getting the surgery done locally, which will be cheaper than at the specialty clinic. They gave me an estimate of $1500-$1700 for the surgery there.
So, we wait until Thursday and see what the results say. HOPEFULLY the results will be in on Thursday, they make take longer.
The vet did say that he was up and giving people head bonks and asking for attention. So at least he is more or less ok on supportive therapy.
I will visit him tomorrow, and we shall see what happens after that.

As of 1/07/02 10:30pm

I picked him up from our usual vet and came home to wait for a friend who was going to drive us to the specialty clinic in Greensboro. Did not seem a good idea to drive 30+ miles in my state of mind. I wrapped Legume in his fleece & some extra towels as I waited. The vet said that just before I arrived he suddenly sat up and looked around. When I let him out of his carrier at home he wanted to walk, but he kept staggering and falling over. He looked tired, his eyes were tired, but would brighten when I talked to him.

So I was holding him and I suddenly realized he'd never gotten to see the fish tank. So I took him over the fish tank and waved my hand in front of the glass to make them move. His ears perked up and he followed them with his head. I was glad to see him interested in something, showing a little life.

I really like the clinic. The staff were very nice, asked me a zillion questions and listened to the answers. They had no problem with my saying that I wanted to try whatever was possible, anything that might have a chance. They said it was entirely up to me to decide if his quality of life was good or not.

After they got him set up in back they invited me back to see their facility and to say goodnight to him. I feel very good about leaving him there. The estimate was less than I had guessed - only about $500 (only?! well I was thinking $800), but I won't be surprised if it goes up.

He seemed very comfy when I left him, I told him he had all his fans pulling for him and gave him lots of snuggles and kisses goodnight.

Tomorrow, after the imaging studies are done they will call me.

I really hope he has another miracle coming. But I just have to wait and see.

As of 1/07/02 2pm

Spoke with vet around 1pm. His bladder had filled with bloody mucus. He is awake and alert, but just lying on his side not wanting to move. The vet is calling a nearbye speciality clinic to see if anything else can be done to help him. If not, I will have to put him down.

Legume had such a good weekend. he was so happy.

I got back late from the shelter, and checked on him around 10pm. He looked miserable :( passing bloody mucus from his bladder :( I gave him fluids, I coudln't find the Peidalyte so i gave him gatorade. That did perk him up some. he was cold, so I snuggled up with him while he was on his heating pad. he purred and wrapped his paws around my arm.

He looked a little better this am, was at least wanting out of his cage and walking around. He staggered some when he walked. I took him to the vet first thing, didn't even have coffee until I got back.

He has a large bladder stone, vet does NOT want to do surgery on him, says she thinks it can pass - it isn't causing any kind of blockage and he is urinating fine.

His WBC is back up to 31, so she is increasing his Baytril dose. They took X-rays (and he is constipated again) and she said his stomach looks like it might have calcifications on it, or it could just be folds, she isnt' sure. They gave him an enema which will hopefully take care of the constipation.

As of 1/04/02 8 pm

The results of the vet visit:
His WBC is 19.7, a little high but not outragious. His RBC has dropped a little (dont' remember the value), so we'll be giving him some iron suppliments. can't give much cuz they cause constipation.

but the really good news is ...
He had almost NO CRYSTALS in his urine!!!!!!!! And the pH was 6.25 (which the vet says is where she wants it). His kidney funtions were also normal.

He still won't jump, he'll pounce horizontally but won't jump. Don't know why. He is very playful and had a great day today mostly sunning himself and bringing me toys to play with. He sees his chiropracter next Saturday, maybe he will be jumping after that.

He will get his blood counts rechecked in two weeks.

As of 1/04/02 10 am

Legume appears to be doing well. Active, running & pouncing after string. He doesn't like the dry S/D as well as the C/D-S but he does eat it. Co-operative about taking his many meds. He gets his blood counts rechecked this afternoon.

As of 1/02/02 9:00 pm

Legume is HOME!
I picked him up around noon today. He had another enema this morning. Passed a lot of stool for several hours after that. He is still looking uncomfy, not wanting to climb or jump and sits kind of funny. Last time a visit to the kitty chiropractor fixed this, so I will be calling her again!

He is on a whole host of meds. Three antibiotics: Baytril, Cephadrops, and Zithromax! And his stool softener, and his 'make the intestines work better' med (Propulsid). His skin is looking better. The two infected scabs have been removed & cleaned and are healing. The rest of the skin is its normal color again. He is now on Hill's s/d for the struvite crystals. He has had a lot of thick discharge in his urine, and I am cleaning him every few hours to keep him clean and make sure his PU site doesn't get blocked! He is urinating just fine. His appetite seems fine also and he is drinking.

I am letting have time to run around outside his cage. it is easiest to monitor his elimination functions when he stays in his cage, but I want him to be happy too! Also, excersize is good to keep the bowels moving. He is happy to run and pounce on toys and play with the other cats. He is very purry and affectionate.

As of 9:15am 12/31/01:

Now we know why our poor little 'Gumie was so sick! He passed some kidney stones this morning! Vet is going to switch his food and give more SQ fluids, do another CBC and panel to check his kidney values. However, he is doing MUCH better. Eating on his own and still quite active. Passing stool just fine. She is saving the stones in case we need to get them analyzed, she is fairly sure they are struvite stones.

as of noonish 12/29/01:

This morning's bloodwork showed that his WBC has doubled since yesterday. That strange mucousy slimelike infection is being very stubborn. And now apparently it doesn't care about Baytril. Rather than risk the side effects of Baytril at higher doses (blindness and impeded cartlidge formation), the vet is switching him to Zithromax. I had asked her about using that drug a couple days ago, after reading about it on for resistant infections. The urine sensitivity tests did show this thing responds to E-mycin & its kin, so hopefully the Zithromax will do the trick!
In the meantime he is up and active and demanding attention. He is eating a little on his own, so is getting force fed some, and has been changed from an IV drip to SQ fluids. The vet is taking him home with her afterhours to keep an eye on him rather than having to transfer him somewhere else. He lives in her bathroom while he is there.

As of 10:00am 12/29/01:

Legume is getting to spend nights at the vet's house, living in her bathroom. He has some wierd bladder thing going on - thick mucousy stuff coming out along with the urine. but his blood counts are much better, the rbc is back where it belongs. the wbc is fine. Today he was back to a normal temperature, too. They have taken him off the IV drip and are just doing SQ fluids to keep the bladder flushed.

As of 9:30 am 12/28/01:

Spoke with vet around 9am. Legume was off fluids all night and did fine. He is eating a little of his Triumph low-magnesium canned food. He yowled the vet awake 3 times during the night to alert her to the fact that he needed attention. The vet tech said that yesterday was the most amazing thing she had ever seen. It was as if he suddenly woke up and said "I'm back!" and started walking around. He has even been playing with his toys.

As of 8:00pm 12/27/01:

Spoke with vet again. She said that Legume was doing great. Was meowing and being somewhat fiesty. She didn't feel he needed to be transferred to the emergency clinic tonite. She did get in touch with the poison control center, who said that Zinc poisoning usually starts with lots of vomiting - which our 'gumie did not have. So, that again opens the quesiton of what caused this. I suggested we stay away from the zinc oxide ointment just in case. The biggest thing to watch with potential zinc poisoning is hemolytic anemia. So he will be getting blood counts every 12 hours for the next 2 days just in case.

She said Legume hadn't needed anything except for fluids since this morning. She did give him a steriod injection but that was it. Yet she didn't like the idea of him being at the clinic all night She wanted to know if she could TAKE HIM HOME WITH HER!!! Of course I said yes. I will talk with her again in the morning.

As of 2:15 pm 12/27/01:

Legume is WALKING around and MEOWING for attention!!!

He isn't eating on his own, so they force fed some A/D food. Hopefully he'll start eating on his own shortly!! The vet expressed his bladder and said it had some mucous in wth the urine. She is calling the poison control center in IL to see if that is related to the Zinc poisoning. There IS a drug that will help get rid of the zinc, but it has some possible kidney side effects so they only give it if they are absolutely positive it is necessary.

She said he is NOT showing any signs of brain damage or sight problems now. Mom talked with her about alternatives to the Baytril, if he begins to have problems wiht that drug. Mom has read about Zithromax being used for resistant UTIsand asked if it was included in the sensitivity tests of his urine culture. The vet looked it up in his chart, and it had not been tested the first time, but was the second tested as sensitive to it. So there is an alternative if we need it.

While much of the miracle belongs to Legume, a lot belongs to the vet too. She has called around to different clinics including the specialty clinics to find out how to best treat Our little 'Gumie.

We are, however, thiking of the nickname Forsythia or Wysteria cuz he just keeps coming back!

As of 11:15am 12/27/01

Legume is being boarded at his vet while Mom is away for the holiday. On 12/27/01 Legume was found nearly dead in his cage in the early morning. He was not blinking, and not breathing. Thanks to the wonderful vet, he was sitting up and responsive as of 11am when Mom talked with her.

The vet feels this was zinc poisoning. He had some of the zinc oxide cream on the tops of his hind feet, where he could reach it even with his collar on. Because of this, we will no longer use the zinc oxide on his skin!

He is recovering, to everyone's amazement. There is a chance of brain damage from him being so close to death. As long as he can interact with the other critters, and people, and is happy, Mom will continue to give him a chance. We will not know if there is any damage until he has recovered more. The vet will call Mom later today with a Legume update.