Monday, August 26, 2013

A Visit From My Boy

Saturday I wasn't feeling well. I laid around all day and didn't eat much. Mom was worried about me, but that all changed when my boy showed up. Cadence ran off scared when he saw the boy, but I recognized him immediately even though I don't get to see him much anymore. I felt better right away and may have even purred a little.

My boy is in his third year of college now and has Asperger's syndrome. So do I. It was something else we had in common. Other things we have in common are the boy use to follow mom around meowing loudly and pawing at her too. She didn't like this, especially when the boy was in high school  Mom bought a book once that said all cats have Asperger's. We read it every night after the boy was diagnosed.

The boy has his own apartment. Last summer he came home for a few weeks, but not this year. He hardly comes home at all anymore because he has a part time job now. I miss him!

He's been my boy for over eight years now. While he was here he slept in my room and I jumped on the bed and slept with him.  Just like old times. I didn't even mind him picking me up and holding me. I usually don't like to be held, but I made an exception for my boy.

I've got another big red krill oil stain on the side of my face. Mom is using a dropper now instead of a syringe. It works better until I turn my head suddenly, then it ends up all over me and all over the floor. I don't mind licking it off the floor. I don't like the dropper or the syringe. Mom's afraid to put it in my food because then I may not get the entire dose.

This is what I get every day because of the cancer.

1. In the morning I get organic soft food with Nu Pet Granular and a few drops of milk thistle sprinkled over it. Then I get 4 drops of Herbal anti-Inflammatory from Vitality Science mixed in cat milk.

2. Then every other day I get the Palladia pills. Mom doesn't like giving me these, but she's afraid not too. My calcium levels have gone down since taking them. Sometimes she skips and goes two days instead of every other day. On the days she doesn't give me the Palladia she gives me a few drops of Life Gold Cancer Drops from Pet Wellbeing.

3. In the afternoon I get Atenolol and Lasix for my heart. I had developed a heart murmur when all of this started so mom took me to a cardiologist who said I had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. My heart was enlarged and shaped like a valentine heart. Not good. When they finally took me to Auburn, I didn't have a murmur anymore and my heart wasn't enlarged after three months on the meds. I am still on the meds though.

4. In the evening I have another can of organic soft food (one can divided among three cats same as in the morning) sprinkled with Nu Pet Granular and a few drops of milk thistle.

5. Right before bed I get the krill oil and something called Celloquent both from Vitality Science. These are shot right in my mouth with a dropper because the syringe didn't work at all and I don't like either of these things in my soft food. Sometimes I have a little cat milk with a few drops of NHV ES Clear in it.

6. I have bowls of filtered or distilled water and Life's Abundance organic hard food set out for me at all times. I usually eat the hard food around 4 or 5 am. 

Friday I go back to the vet for the blood chemo panel. They will fax the results to Auburn. I hope my calcium is still normal. I am doing much better now than I was in June before I started the holistic meds and the Palladia.

Mom hopes the cancer goes away forever. So do I.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Cat Whisperer Fail!

Since Dad was out of town taking care of his dad last week while his brother and family went on vacation, mom was determined to become some sort of "cat whisperer" and somehow figure out a way to make me bond with Ed before dad came home. Mom couldn't go with dad because she had to stay home and give me my chemo and heart medications and the holistic drops and stuff. I'm high maintenance these days.

Dad would be surprised and pleased when he came home and found all of us getting along, mom thought. Ed was dad's cat before he married mom and Ed is old and declawed and dad doesn't like me going after him and trying to attack him. Cadence and I still have our claws and even though mom clips them, they are still sharp and Ed yelps loudly when I swat him on the butt with them. Dad says mom has the "bad" cats while he has the "good" cat.

She was determined to changed all of that.

First mom got one those diffusers that puts cat pheromones in the air, which is suppose to make us calmer. She hoped that "calmer" meant "getting along".

That didn't work.

Then whenever I would give Ed "the look" are back him in a corner she would rub us both with the same towel trying to get our smells all over each other so we would think we were family.

That didn't work.

Then because I'm always stalking Ed when he tries to go to his litter box (even though I have my own litter box in my room), she got another litter box just for Ed and put it in the bathroom off of his room where he sleeps and hangs out. Opposite of my room and I'm not suppose to ever go in his room.

Didn't work.

All this new litter box did was cause me to have three litter boxes to monitor instead of just two. More work! And now I'm sneaking into Ed's room every chance I get. I just can't help myself.

Last week was a dismal failure for mom.

Ed got whacked in the butt by my paw more times than ever and mom finally gave up and resorted back to dad's punishment of choice for me - the dreaded squirt bottle. By the end of the week, Ed was cowering under his bed, I was hiding under mine soaking wet, and Cadence was a confused mess.

Ed peeping out from the under bed where I chased him
the dreaded water bottle

Cadence even bit mom on the back of the leg when she picked me up to get me out of the bath tub where she put Ed's new litter box. I refused to get out and she didn't have the water bottle nearby. The next time I did that, which wasn't long after the other times, she went for the faucet. I got out fast that time!

I have Cadence brainwashed to do whatever I tell him to do

Then last night the syringe with the krill oil stinky stuff got stuck again, but this time when she forced the liquid out it splattered all over the bed skirt and her hair and face instead of on my pretty fur. My tuxedo was spared. That was one good thing!

All in all it was a very exhausting week! 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


My name is Phantom. I am an 8 year old tuxedo cat originally from Alabama, but now living in Florida.    When I was a kitten, I was adopted by a single mom and her son, who was 12 years old at the time. He immediately became my boy and I will refer to him as the Boy on this blog.

The Boy has a condition called Asperger's Syndrome that is an Autism Spectrum disorder. Now there is a lot known about it and many kids are diagnosed with it, but back then nobody knew about it much and the Boy wasn't even diagnosed with it until he was 13 years old. His mom, who is my mom too now, only knew that something was wrong. He struggled in school and with making friends.

That's where I came in.

She thought that by adopting me it would help the Boy become more social, help with his anxiety and give him something to help take care of.

A friend.

But I did more than that. I made them feel like a family again. Mom was afraid that I was lonely when they were at work and school so she decided to adopt a second kitten to keep me company.

She named him Cadence.

I didn't like Cadence one bit at first. Even now I only tolerate him because he is my brother and he loves me. He's not so bad, but he's still a cry baby. When she first brought Cadence home I attacked him and chased him trying to show him who was boss. Mom was afraid I was going to hurt him so she tried to return him to the humane society, but they wouldn't take him back even though she still had her receipt. They gave her web sites to go to so she could learn how to socialize cats to make us like each other.

We were stuck with Cadence.

Mom got on the web sites and learned how to socialize us a little better and I backed off once Cadence knew who was boss around the house. He really liked me and wanted to snuggle all the time. I allowed it when he was a kitten, but as he got bigger- enough was enough. I can't have that snuggling crap.

Things went along great and then when the Boy was a senior in high school, mom got engaged to the Murph. We sold our house and moved into his house which was fine except he had two cats of his own, Ed and Boo.

They were old cats. Boo could barely see or hear and he liked to play with dolls. I liked him okay and was sad when he passed away last year suddenly. We think he may have had a heart attack. He was fine one minute and the next he was gasping for air. He was gone before mom and the Murph could get him to the emergency vet.

It was very, very sad!

Ed, on the other hand, is a challenge. I don't really like him. I've tried, but I guess since he was the dominate male before I came along and he's a pretty boy, sassy sort, it has just been really hard. I go after him, I get squirted with water, I get put in time out, but I can't stop.

Last April we moved to Florida - Mom, the Murph, me, Cadence and Ed. The Boy is in college now, so I don't get to see him much. That really sucks. I miss him very much. He misses me too!

Things were still going along good despite the Boy not being around and having to deal with Ed until last December.  I started to not feel well. Mom didn't notice it much at first. I threw up some, but all cats do. I always nibble on the Christmas trees and I throw up. She thought this was why I was throwing up, but I continued even in February when no trees were around. Then she noticed I had lost a lot of weight and one day I threw up and then went to lay on the bed for the rest of the day. She knew then that something was wrong. I never do that. I usually feel better and get okay after throwing up.

Something was wrong.

She took me to the vet and they heard a heart murmur that wasn't there 7 months before when I had to go to the vet because I had fleas. My calcium levels were also elevated. The vet put me on lasix to get the fluid out of my lungs and special easy to digest food to help keep me from throwing up. He told mom to take me to a cardiologist. We got an appointment a few weeks later and found out I had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, an enlarged valentine shape heart with thickened walls.

I was put on Atenolol as well as lasix.

Mom thought that was it. She thought the reason I was sick was because of my heart and now that I was on medication I would get better or at the very least not get worse. The vet said we still needed to keep an eye on my calcium levels. I was put on a different food so he thought that may be why it continued to be elevated, but he said it could be thyroid related or even cancer.

We waited a couple of weeks and then took my blood again and was going to send it the Michigan University for testing to see if my thyroid was the problem. They have a more sensitive test at the university that would be able to tell.  I also had another physical and x-rays.

Unfortunately, during the second round of x-rays a tumor was found in my abdomen. Cancer. The worst possible thing!

The tumor had been there before, but the vet thought it was just food going through my intestines. Then they did an ultrasound and saw that the tumor was in and near my liver. No blood was sent to Michigan that day. The vet told my mom that she should just take me home and enjoy our last days together at that point and deal with any new problems as the arose.

She took me home and cried for two whole days! I didn't really understand why. It was very upsetting. I was feeling so sick that I slept most of the time and hid under the bed whenever I could.

Then mom decided I was too young to just let die without trying to save me. She got a referral from my vet in Birmingham, AL and we went to Auburn University Small Animal Hospital. We had to leave really early to get to our appointment on time and the appointment took all day. A cardiologist did an electrocardiogram and said my heart was no longer enlarged. I guess the atenolol had helped. They shaved my neck to take blood, my stomach to do a biopsy of my liver and my leg so they could put in an IV.

They gave me some drug that made me all groggy so I don't remember much of that day. Mom said I was out of it and was purring and stumbling around like a drunk Irishman. ( I won't even say what she calls the Murph after he's had a few beers!)

The news was not good. I have a neuroendocrine tumor in my abdomen and it is difused (or something) in 90% of my liver. They said my prognosis was poor, but they suggested one chemo type drug called Palladia. Surgery and radiation were not an option. This was my only hope.

Mom decided to do the Palladia. Now I get one orange pill and one blue pill every other day. She has to wear plastic gloves whenever she gives it to me. She also decided to give me some holistic stuff to help build my immune system and clear out toxins. She's also called on an energy healer who told her to put me on only organic food and filtered water. No chemicals.

We've been doing this for over a month and now and after 5 weeks. my blood levels are all normal. I no longer have a heart murmur and I am eating and doing generally good.  I have to get my blood checked every 2 - 4 weeks to make sure the Palladia is not doing any bad stuff to my blood and I go back to Auburn in October for the whole round of blood, ultrasounds and xray's, etc. to see how my liver and heart are doing.

This blog is about my day to day life battling this disease, what works, what doesn't and hopefully will be helpful to any other kitties out there who find themselves with cancer and stumble across my blog. I will try to do regular updates as long as mom lets me borrow her computer.