Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What Can Happen In A Day

Yesterday I was so freaked out about Summer's newly diagnosed condition of CRF. I knew I was going to have learn how to give her daily sub-q fluids via an ICKY needle. Today I had an appointment after work with the vet tech to learn how to do it. Cassandra, one of my co-workers, was so kind - she offered good encouragement and brought me an IV pole to borrow as long as I may need it. God Bless Cassandra!!!

Anyway, I went home and got Summer, put her in her cat carrier and rushed off to the vet for my 4:30 appointment. 45 minutes later, I was a newly indoctrinated giver/administrator of sub-q fluids in my kitty! I took to it like a duck to water. An entire day's worth of angst and fear now completely gone. I CAN do this!!!

And Summie seems to be feeling better already. She came home and ate her dinner, and now she's sitting next to me in bed and swishing her tail around like she owns the place. I am so grateful she feels better. It gives me hope that she can have some continued good quality life for quite a while. Joining a list group on yahoo for people that have cats in CRF has helped me a lot too, there is tons of good advice, lots of info and I don't feel so alone.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pet woes

I am reeling from news from my vet today that Summer, my 16 year-old cat, has CRF. That means chronic renal failure - not a good thing for a kitty, or anyone for that matter.

I adopted Summer from a cat rescue group in 1994, a few months after the devastating Northridge earthquake. Summer was born to a feral mom by Dodger stadium and as such has always been a very shy and skittish kitty. It's only been the past 4 years or so that my kitty girl has calmed down and come out of her shell. After Roxanne's passing last September, Summer has been elevated (a self-proclaimed elevation, I might add) to that of alpha pet in my house.

She sleeps in my bed with me, meows and purrs around my feet when it is feeding time, walks all over my head in bed after I've been away from home a few days, and generally makes me laugh and smile on a daily basis.

I thought that Summer would live a really long time, since she's been so healthy all her life and she's an indoor kitty. Now, at 16, she's still a really senior cat, and I guess I should be grateful, but I was hoping she'd make it to 20+, even though, in cat years, she's like, 80 years old today. One can hope and dream.

I just didn't want this kind of news so soon after losing Rox. Well, it is time to buck up and do what needs to be done. The vet wants me to give Summer daily sub-q IV fluids. Every day until the end. She also says Summer might make it 1-2 years. Part of me hopes so, part of me is thinking right now - OMG - am I going to be able to give my cat daily IV fluids, with a needle and the whole thing? What do I do when I have to go out of town? When do I know that it's not working anymore? Will I be able to make those tough decisions when the time comes?

I have an appointment with the vet tomorrow afternoon. I'm going to be taught how to give the IV fluids.