Juggling life through a bi-polar lens. Sometimes up, sometimes down. Mostly trying to tread water in the middle. Creating a likeness to a normal life. Whatever "normal" is...

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Two weeks on

Two weeks ago we thought we were definitely losing Scooter.
But after a definite dip downwards, he has been improving and doing well.

THANK YOU all so much for all the support. I have received so many messages from wellwishers, it has been amazing. I am *SURE* that all the purrs, purrayers, prayers, good thoughts and healing vibes sent out for Scooter and his be'ans have helped in no small way in his recovery. They have also helped give me a little mental boost when I've felt utterly exhausted and empty of anything more to give. Please, if you can, continue to will your support for Scooter.

Today was the first little setback we've seen- he had about half an hour of tense head nodding, twitching and sudden jerky movements in his front legs and down his back. I sat with him, talking gently to him, and keeping my hand next to his head so that he could lean onit now and then. Eventually he tucked my hand under his paw and then under his breastbone. He ended up falling asleep on me there. He's spent the day in his 'cave box', asleep on his pillow with a hot water bottle and his 'flat mouse' (no filling in 'flat mouse', hence name). He has eaten a whole tin of Hills A/D (a special convelescant mush, high taste and high calorie).

I don't want his cyber-beans and furrends to be disheartened though. This is the first sign of an 'after shock' from the bad seizures he had two weeks ago. He really has been doing so well, and his eye is a lot better and the lump on his face is much smaller.

Over the last 6 days he-
  • jumped up to the windowsill again
  • re-found his bench in the garden, and got up onto it with no problems
  • got back into using the catflap
  • saw off an intruder cat that dared to sit on his fence
  • ran (yes I said RAN) at a flock of birds that were sitting on his lawn, culminating in a mini jump and a 'high 5' with one forepaw (I don't know who was more amazed: us, him, or the birds!)

Please keep your purrayers going and send some healing thoughts out to him. He is such a fighter, and such a gorgeous wee man-cat. I am so thankful that he is able to stay a little longer.

**** *** **** *** **** ***
Love, thanks,
tea & cake,  

I will try to get to the blog of everyone who left messages as I need to update everyone that he is doing well. 
I'm sorry if I haven't got round to writing to you individually yet; 
I am quite sleep-deprived and sometimes my head needs to stop thinking and just go blank for a wee while, it is so depleted! 

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Scooter in the sun today

THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR LOVING MESSAGES......I'll try to do some answers to them........
We are keeping close to Scooter and passing on all your love and scritches........

Well Kate came back and said that they can order in one anti-fungal for cats, but the one that is best for neurological symptoms isn't actually licensed for cats- we'd have to order a human version and use that with their supervision re the dose. BUT! She said we can't use anything for the moment, as the long lasting anti-biotic jab he had last Monday clashes with anti-fungals in a bad way. She said that the jab, Convenia, last 2 weeks, but I have read on the drug sheet that it can take 65 days to clear the body :(

So we are now in a 'wait and see and spoil him rotten' situation.

Since the anti-b. jab the lump seems to have moved, changed a bit. It's now more around his eye. He just about lets me bathe and clean his nose and eye. But he is a boy so puts his paw up at me when he has had "nuff!".

He is breathing more clearly, and only ocassionally 'snorts'. But there is no raspiness or snoring now.

At the supermarket last night I noticed lots of fruit boxes with the Union Flag on them that were being stacked to be thrown out. I brought one home and put it in the garden. He is now in it, stretched out (it is just his lenghth) and asleep in the sun.

He was up hunting mice in the night, and sat on the stairs this morning waiting for Luvbug to come down- school has broken up now so of course Luvbug didn't come down for quite a while, but he remembers his routine.

I am still sleeping downstairs to be near him. I want him to know he won't ever be alone. Even when we have to nip out, mum cat sits ;)

**** *** **** *** **** ***
Love, tea & cake, Helena

Monday, 23 July 2012

Scooter news

Thank you all for all the kind messages for Scooter, which have helped us so much.
I've told him he has friends all over the world sending him purrs and under-chin scrunchies.

I am going to list what has happened since last week, because I know people will want to know how he is doing, and also, there is something new and again, I wonder if any cat people out there recognise any of this........

Well, the vet that came out last week has now gone on holiday for two weeks :( I didn't know he was going, or I'd have called him on Friday.... poo.

I spoke to Kate, one of his colleagues, today.
Luvbug and me have been looking at the possibility that Scooby's trouble might be a fungal infection, not a bacterial one.

We looked up something called CRYPTPCOCCOSIS.
Scooter has all but one of the 10 symptoms listed.
The most common source of the yeast that causes this is present in bird droppings, and of course, we have bird feeders all over the garden......

Even seizures can be caused by this :(

I wish we had known this sooner!

Anyway, there is an anti-fungal called FLUCONAZOLE that is good for this infection where seizures are present. Kate has gone off to see if they have any in stock. She is calling me back later.

  • his back legs seem stronger than they've been in weeks. He is walking properly, albeit slowly, not on his haunches and up on his front toes. 
  • he is using the cat flap again!!
  • he is using his patch in the garden, and even manages a little jump off the patch.
  • until today, he has been eating well.

  • Here's the not so good stuff...
  • Since mid-yesterday, the hard lump on the bridge of his nose has softened and spread across his eyebrow (I guess that might rule out tumour, though....?)
  • His left eye is being pushed closed and the lids, upper and lower, are swollen, though not red.
  • He has a nose bleed- he was sneezing yesterday, and maybe he burst a little blood vessel- least I hope that's all it is.
  • Overnight, he was snoring and raspy much of the time.
  • He won't let me touch his nose, so he has dried blood sticking all round his nostril.
  • He took his meds today, in some ham, but refuses any other food I bring him.

Please keep the good thoughts, healing vibes, prayers, purrrayers and cyber-scrunches coming.....

Today it is very warm and sunny. He has lots of blankies out in the garden and he is laying with his bottom end in the sun and his head in the shade. He is breathing ok. I will keep trying to get him to eat and drink now and then, but I'm also leaving him to sleep peacefully as I'm sure he needs it. I gave him a little extra of his pain meds this morning and I'm hoping he has a nice day in the sun. One day at a time...........

You would not believe how much we have cried :(

**** *** **** *** **** ***
Love, tea & cake,

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Preparing for Goodbye***UPDATED***

***Please scroll to the end for update***

Although Scooter has beaten the odds in so many ways, living with Feline Aids and Hyperthyroidism for years, and still today his liver and kidneys work ok, and his coat is shiny.... yet he is losing the battle this time.

He had another seizure on Sunday, and a bad one yesterday morning. Yesterday's was different- for the first time his back legs thrashed out and he cried out. I had always hoped that he wasn't aware of things during a seizure, but his crying told me that he did, and he was afraid.

He had mini seizures, tics and twitching throughout most of the day, and episodes of strange behaviour.

I rang and spoke to a vet, not my normal one. He offered to come to the house. I was SO grateful. I have become so used to vets not doing this I wasn't even going to ask.

Scooter's seizure had begun at 5.30am but the vet couldn't get to us till the afternoon. By that time Scooter was sound asleep. 

Scoot was so good, he put his head out of the box to see who it was and when the vet gave him injections he was fine with it. He was far more interested in watching him, and trying to investigate what was in his bag.

The vet said that the other vet was probably right in thinking that the lump on Scooter's face (between the side of the nose and the eye) was a growth of some kind. BUT, he said, maybe it's an infection that's got blocked, unable to drain away? So he gave Scooter a three-day steroid jab to take down the swelling, and a long term anti biotic.

Today, the seizures have stopped. Not a twitch- so far.


his back legs are so, so weak. He can't climb onto his favourite cushion, or step into the litter tray, or manage the little step into the next room. He walks only slowly, thoughtfully, with haunches down.

I put newspapers on the floor and put the litter on that, but he still has his pride. Rather than use it he walked, painfully slowly, to his poo patch at the end of the garden, for a wee. When he got back he flacked out and slept for a little while. 
(If you're saying "Cruel woman! Why didn't you carry him?", don't! He hates being picked up and previously I've found it can even bring on a seizure to be carried.)

He cries  :(
He doesn't understand why his back legs aren't following his front ones. 
Then out of the blue he hauled himself up onto a chair! I think he was showing me that he could. But he couldn't get down, as the back steering didn't work, so I had to gently lift his rear end down.

He also hasn't had a poo- maybe muscle weakness 'below the waist' is the reason for this too. Poor thing may be bursting, but can't push?

His legs weren't like this yesterday.
Last evening he was slow, but managed to walk ok. He walked round the garden with me and Luvbug.

We've all been upset and not sure when to 'call time'.
I told myself this this morning-  is he better than he was 24 hours ago? I suppose so. He isn't fitting and thrashing, and he is eating and drinking ok.

I have seen video's of cats after a stroke and they are weak and wobbly in the back legs. I wonder if it comes back ok.

I think we need to see if it's a case of aftershock from the last few days, and see if his legs come back.

If he stays the same as he is now, or gets worse, then I think it might be kinder to let him go now. 

I hope I'm not saying that because I'm so tired. Maybe I just want it to be over? Surely not. I keep asking myself, when? When will I know when? I was thinking this and Scooter put both front paws on my hand.

This morning at 5am he and I were in the garden and I 'saw' his sister Figs, the big black and white cat with soft fur and chortly purrs. She died in 2005. Just for a couple of seconds she sat on the decking at looked at us. Either she has come to help him, or to collect him. Or else I am just far more sleep deprived than even I think I am.

Luvbug has been in tears. He has never had a cat before.

**** *** **** *** **** ***



He is sleeping curled up, whereas he had been sleeping flat out, straight, like a stiff board.
He is walking more confidently, though still VERY slowly and methodically- he isn't on his wrists and haunches *quite so much*.
He managed a poo!!!
He is eating and drinking fine.
He is purring and enjoying a scrunch round the neck.
He is able to get on his cushion.
He walked to his patch in the garden and back.

he is still sticking to his box,
sleeping most of the time,
been out of his box just once today......... but then, he has been through so much this week....poor wee thing, it has drained him....

I am too scared to draw breath, as deep down I know this is borrowed time and when we wake up tomorrow he could be near The Bridge again, and I know he can have a seizure without warning any time, and I know that after all the bad ones he had this week, he will be getting 'ripples', aftershocks from them....

Please keep things crossed for him, I have a gut feeling this is a gift, not long term, and I daren't look ahead...............will keep this updated........

**** *** **** *** **** ***
Love, tea & cake,  

Saturday, 14 July 2012

I have cut and pasted this from my post on Facebook because I know some of my cat-owning friends won't be able to read it there. I wondered if anyone had come across FHS, and/or if anyone has advice.

It's been an awful day! I thought we were doing so well. Thank you for reading......


Scooter had another seizure. I was there when it started, at 12.40 It lasted a long time. He wasn't really alert and up and about till after 4pm. He's eaten very little. He ate little yesterday too, and he was out in the sun. I wonder if he got dehydrated and the knock on effect was a seizure.

HOWEVER I've been reading about something called Feline Hyperasthesia.

One of the features of this is hypersensitivity around the tail/hips. He definitely has this, but I always put it down to his spondylitis. 
BUT- right before the weird seizing, today, he turned and bit and attacked the base of his tail. Something he does now and then. I didn't think anything of it, but it's in the list of symptoms- along with glassy eyes, enlarged pupils, etc.

What it doesn't mention is the twitching. Maybe it is a combination of both. The FHS and seizure too.

I think either way it's down to the tumour or polyp the vet thinks is in his forehead. He's too old for a scan to look into this growth, whatever it is.

I'm shocked to read though, that there are anti-seizure treatments for cats. He's been having them a year now and the vet has said nothing about them. I've seen different vets at the same practice, nothing. The one I usually see is the head of the business.

Time to go to another vet practice, I think. I'm going to email the other one I know of- it's the same sort of distance away...... 

I know Scoot's 19 and I know it's reasonable to assume this is his last summer, but I want to know what's going on, and whether he's in pain or distress..... also, I've thought for a long time that mistakes were made in Fluffy's treatment in the months up to her death. THIS time I need to listen to my gut, and my gut says something isn't being done for Scooter...



**** *** **** *** **** ***
Love, tea & cake,  

Friday, 6 July 2012

Scooter news

  Remember Scooter's tent?

 Well he has forsaken it for the all new improved SCOOTER CAVE-

 Of course, the roof has a shower-proofing app-

 When he's right inside you can barely see him-

 Ah! There he is! (with toy mousie)

 He did try to make a roof patio but slid off after a while...

We built a new bench for the far corner, as this gets the sun the longest. Hmmm guess who claimed it?

He always meows to greet Luvbug home from work...


The other night I was stretched out on the sofa. When I looked over the edge, this is what I saw-


Still likes the windowsill, and his Bear-

 Last week, Mum had a bad tummy bug.
She rang me at 1a.m., she was being sick.
We raced down there, cleaned her up, remade the bed, etc.
I stayed over then brought her to our place next morning.
Well Scooter just seemed to know that his Granny had been ill, and as she rested on the sofa he lay next to her. She fell asleep stroking him-


He stayed with her for THREE HOURS till she was brighter, and sitting up, drinking tea.

Isn't he a gorgeous pusscat???

V hard to get him to eat at the moment, and he has gone terribly thin, with hollows where his thighs and haunches were...... I am trying to get thyroid meds into him again. He hasn't taken them for a few weeks, and the vet nurse said this is why he is a bid anorexic now :(  I thought he was doing better without them- certainly his runny pooes stopped when he came off it!!!

Managed to get a pill into him Thursday. Will really keep trying with this. And I'm hand feeding him too, to try to encourage him..... I know he's 19 but I'm not ready for him to leave us yet.....

His latest sleepy place is on one of the outdoor chairs... one with a cushion, of course...

Love, tea and cake,

Sunday, 1 July 2012

A little visit

Mum and I had just been saying that we haven't seen any butterflies this year, when three of these wee fellas came by to visit:

We weren't sure what type they were, so I fetched a chart to check. Soon, one of our visitors took an interest in it;

After a while we left the chart on the ground to see where they would land;

They were Red Admirals, by the way, and yes, they did sit on their own portrait for a while! Maybe they were looking for girlfriends :)

This went on for a good half hour, then they all flew off. We haven't seen any others since. Strange! But beautiful, magical....

**** *** **** *** **** ***
Love, tea & cake,