Sunday, 25 January 2015

Grow Your Blog 2015

I am joining in with the Grow Your Blog party again this year which is hosted by the lovely Vicki at 2bags full. If you haven't visited her blog please do and join in meeting and greeting all the lovely bloggers who are participating.
This blog is where it all started for me as a blogger. Initially it was a blog all about welcoming a new boy-kitten called Red coming into our lives and his first year as he made it from a pom-pom with legs and a cute face to an adult cat. It also features Magic who is now an eleven year old Tortoiseshell girl-cat.
Way back in 2009 
Five years along the line it kept rolling and this is now their exclusive home.
The boy - all 'growed' up...
...but still as floofy!
Red is just the sweetest natured cat and a delight to have around. He is very bold around the house and with his favoured humans but is terrified of visitors or loud noises.
He is getting better, though he still bolts when the door is knocked, but will come out for a nosy once his curiosity gets the better of him. We live in Glasgow, Scotland and rarely get any decent snow so it's always an event for the snow lovers here.
Magic is a wise, loving and wonderful soul companion.
She is also having a very tough time right now. She is an insulin dependent diabetic on a very high level of insulin which is having little effect.
This is due to acromegaly from a pituitary tumour and she is awaiting neurosurgery which is scheduled for next month in London. 
Due to her uncontrolled diabetes she is voraciously hungry, constantly and screeches at me to tell me so including overnight which is difficult for all.   
She is such a sweet and loving little cat that she has borne her illness with amazing grace and my heart melts with love for her as she has always been there through some very rough and testing times for me too.
I am planning, where time allows, to blog about her surgery journey as we will be travelling to London which will be a bit of an adventure as I have a knee problem so a lame human and a sick cat is not the ideal combo. The surgery is fairly cutting edge stuff by all accounts as this is not yet a mainstream treatment. I am praying all goes well and this is a success story and so far the odds are that 21 cats have been treated and 18 have survived. However, I will update and share what knowledge I have acquired, come what may.

I will have a giveaway but just haven't planned what to give as yet so will announce it in the next few days. I am thinking something to please the cat in your life and something for their willing human servants. Even if you don't have a cat you wont lose out and it will be open worldwide.

Thank you so much for visiting and please feel free to leave a comment if you'd like. I have another blog over at Gone Beading which the cats allow me to use as my own space and you'll be just as welcome there! I'll look forward to visiting everyone's blogs and saying hello.

You're sticking the thermometer WHERE.....?

I thought I'd share a little nugget of information I picked up from one of our visits at the vet school. Our vet got out a thermometer and as usual I squinted my eyes and looked to the side but she stuck it under Magic's ARMPIT.....!
I can't say it filled me with much confidence when our normally super competent vet didn't appear to know the difference between a cat's elbow and its ahhhh.......bottom!
However, she laughed at my bewilderment and explained that they'd done some research and found that in a cat there is a close enough correlation between axillary temperatures and rectal. Only if the cat is outwith the normal range will they do the more specific rectal reading as this remains the gold standard for an accurate core temp.
Smart cat owners may already know this but it was new to me and I think this is wonderful, as if one of mine were ill, I'd be happy to do this now. I've always drawn the line at sticking a thermometer up a cat's bottom by rationalising that if I think the cat has a high or low temp then it needs a vet. Magic and Red both tend to reverse from unpleasantness and I'd hate to see my thermometer disappear. Not to mention the fact I'd probably bin the thermometer after use- eugh! Now though, I'd happily tuck a wee digital thermometer under a furry armpit to check.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Hello Again

Once again I seem to have fallen down the blogging rabbit hole and almost disappeared. I can't believe its been nearly three months since I last posted. I have also been really bad at commenting on all our friends blogs too, even though I've been catching up on reading them when I can. I've been very saddened to hear of the number of our friends who have been ill, injured or who are no longer with us and my heart is heavy with sadness for their loss.

We've had a fairly intense time recently and I'll try to backtrack and write some proper updates soon to let you know what has been happening.
Our cat news is that beloved Magic does have acromegaly, which is a tumour on her pituitary gland, and this is what is driving her extreme insulin resistance. Her blood sugars have been resolutely high, usually in the mid-twenties, and she is now on 21 units of insulin glargine twice daily. This is an horrendous amount for a little cat, and worse is that managing it this way is simply not working.

So, I feel my hand has been forced, and that the only reasonable route is to take her for neurosurgery. This is scheduled for next month in London as this is the only place in the UK that the surgery is available. Although it is a commonplace treatment option in humans there are only 21 cats who have had this surgery so far with 18 surviving it. These are not ideal odds but she is only going to get sicker. Providing Magic survives the surgery and immediate post-operative period the outlook is that she will return to either not needing insulin or be managed as a 'normal' type two diabetic on small doses of insulin. She has had her pre-operative assessment in Glasgow this week and though she has some liver and renal issues she is as fit as she can be until the root of the problem is dealt with  Obviously I have lots of jumbled feelings about this, and quite a few I am trying to suppress, but I will try to share our journey with you.
Red remains as sweet and gorgeous as ever. He is a little joy even though it is hard for him as Magic is so voraciously hungry all the time that she can be quite aggressive and bullies him terribly him at mealtimes. They now have to be separated for meals and Red had gone off his food which was worrying as he is really a just a light fluffy string bean of a cat. However, I realised it was just some distress and routine disturbance and splashed out on some Applaws sachets to tempt his palate. Thankfully his appetite returned with the taste of some tuna and pacific prawns!

Recently he's been coming up to sleep on my lap when I am watching TV to enjoy a snuggle and he particularly likes his hand held as he goes to sleep. He first did this when Magic was in ITU at the vet hospital last year as he slept at the top of my pillow and wriggled about until I took his proffered paw and only then did he settle and sleep. Funnily enough jumbo fluffy paw holding seems to make me nod off too.
The rollercoaster of life simply hasn't slowed and all we can do is hang onto each other and hope the destination is worth the journey!