Tuesday, December 16, 2014

We're All Gonna DIE!!!!

Have I mentioned that I tend to be a bit of a hypochondriac?

I know it's just how I deal with anxiety, but it does make it difficult to discern when there's really something to worry about and when there's not.

So a few weeks ago I read yet another article claiming that prolonged use of either cell phones or cordless phones can significantly increase the risk of brain cancer. This is especially true when the transmitting device is right up against your head.

CatMan thinks these studies are bunk and has said so numerous times but, you know, I tend to worry, so since I spend about 3-4 hours per day on the phone, I decided that perhaps it would be better to shelve my beloved cordless headset phone and go back to using a headset that plugs into the receiver keeping the transmission source away from my head.

So I went back to using the old fashioned headset and within a few weeks I started noticing strange black flakes in and around my ears. At first I dismissed it, but it just kept happening. The only thing I could think of was that perhaps I was bleeding inside of my ears and the dried blood was flaking off.

Soon, I became convinced that I had some sort of terrible black ear disease and started combing the interwebs looking for a diagnosis.

Then one day I was waiting for CatMan to call and I happened to glance at the headset whereupon I noticed that the black plastic covering was flaking off of the ear pieces. Saved from the dreaded black ear disease!

Of course, my relief didn't last long. Because soon afterwards I stumbled upon an article quoting some scientist by the name of Guy McPherson. Dr. McPherson believes that the earth's climate has entered a series of rapidly escalating feedback loops and that the human species will be extinct before mid-century.

Holy Moly! This guy makes me and my black ear disease look like a rosy-eyed optimist!

Anyhow, I spent a few days in a funk about the imminent demise of humanity until CatMan found a number of reputable scientists who basically say that McPherson is full of cow pucky. It's not that there aren't climatic feedback loops, but they're not escalating at anywhere near the rate McPherson claims and there's absolutely no evidence to suggest that humans will be gonners in the next 20-30 years. Saved again!

Then I got a call from an old family friend. Her father died back in January after a long battle with cancer, and she was calling to let me know that her step-mother had passed suddenly and unexpectedly - and would I be willing to sing at the funeral. I, of course said I would and it gave me a good excuse to pull out my guitar, which I haven't done in a while.

It did get me to contemplating mortality again though. So at Thanksgiving I was telling my family about her sudden passing and how she had dropped dead in the checkout lane at Whole Foods from a massive coronary. My dad, without missing a beat, responded: "Geez... maybe it was the prices!" Well, we couldn't keep the grim reaper at bay on that one, but at least we could laugh in his face.

But then... after giving the raw food a try for about 6 months, I decided that it was time to bring Princess to the vet and see if it had helped her teeth or not. Turns out they were beyond the point where enzymes could help, so I made an appointment to have a cleaning and potentially remove the worse offenders.

But... the pre-surgery bloodwork came back and it turns out that my sweet little Princess is suffering from late stage kidney disease.

Truth be told I've been concerned about the fact that she drinks a lot ever since I rescued her 4 years ago - but her blood tests had always come up good before, so I had concluded that I was just being a hypochondriac again and that it wasn't something to be concerned about.

Anyhow, there's some hope that it might not be as bad as the numbers imply, and she's scheduled for some IV fluid treatment tomorrow through Friday to see if flushing out her system will help. Of course, the vet also discovered a heart murmur which hadn't been there before, so there's some possibility that she's suffering from heart failure, and that makes giving fluids a not altogether risk free proposition. But the vet feels it's worth the risk and he's promised to monitor her closely throughout the procedure.

It's gonna be a looooong next few days for me though as I try not to worry too much.

I'm trying to remain positive and not get all fatalistic about it. I mean, it's sort of a miracle that Princess is alive at all. It took me 6 months through a VERY cold winter to coax her inside, and the foxes and coyotes were seriously starting to circle the area... and then it was sort of miraculous that she ended up free from Feline Leukemia since she'd had several run-in's with a big feral tomcat who later had to be put down because he had it.

I guess I have to look at it this way - if Princess gets to die warm, and loved and cared for - of an old age disease like kidney or heart failure, that really is a win - because she was slated for a much earlier and less kind ending. But it still doesn't make it any easier.

So we're back in sick kitty land, and I'm just concentrating on filling her up with as much love as I can and hoping that we can stave off the old reaper for as long as possible. But I know it's only a matter of time 'cause after all, we're all gonna die.


  1. Darling, the raw diet may be what is making her numbers look high. In any event, if she does have compromised kidneys, stick with the raw and switch her to pork.

    I was told Larry the cat was in kidney failure and then told to feed her Science Diet. I declined. I switched her to pork.

    She lived another six years to the ripe age of 18. We think she either had cancer that we couldn't find or just succumbed to old age. At the end, her blood work was perfect.

    I hope your kitty doesn't have CRF, however a raw diet can help her keep her kidneys going if she's not at the very end stages.

    Pork has the closest protein profile to mouse. It is also quite good tasting to them. So don't give up on raw. You can always mix additional water into the food you are making along with some extra B vitamins. If you haven't read Anitra Frasier's "The New Natural Cat," I suggest you do so. Good luck!

    1. Thanks so much Alex. I need to go re-read Anitra's chapter on kidney disease. It's just soooo frustrating because everywhere you turn you get completely different advice on diet.

      Anyhow, are you saying that feeding a raw diet can artificially inflate BUN and Creatinine levels? What's interesting about her bloodwork is that her phosphorous levels are completely normal - plus, she's eating like a horse. This makes it hard for me to believe that she's on her last legs as the vet suggests, but she has lost a non-trivial amount of weight, so I'm just not sure what to make of it all.

      I guess I'll just try to take it one step at a time. I wish these guys came with instruction manuals. Seriously, it would be sooo much easier if I could just paw through her log files and figure out what's going on!

  2. As always, I love your pictures! The camel and Spiderman especially :)

    I'm so sorry to hear about Princess struggling. Hopefully you'll get some answers (and good news!) soon. I'm sending her snuggles :)

    1. Thanks Amanda - I'm hoping for the best and just trying to do the best I can for her.

  3. I hope things go as well for Princess as they did for Alex M's cat.

    1. Thanks - at the moment she certainly seems to be happy and eating well, so I think that bodes well.

  4. Oh dear, am so sorry to hear about your cat. It is so, so hard when they are ill. And she is such a little beauty. Especially as you had to work so hard to win her trust. Hope the suggestions your friend made might help. Maybe the vet is just spelling out the worst scenario? Hope so.

    Also very happy to hear you are not suffering from black ear disease!!

    1. Yes, well it was a close call with black ear, but I seem to have survived it. My experience with vets in general is that they tend to err on the worst case scenario side of things. When my cat Sputnik got sick they told me he had only a few weeks but he lived for over a year. So I think there's every reason to be hopeful.

  5. Princess is gorgeous. Darn cats, make ya fall in love with them and then comes worry. Hope things go well.

    1. Thanks Kris. Princess is quite the sweet pea. Well, she sailed through day one of her fluid therapy with no problems, so my fingers are crossed.

  6. I've been thinking about your dear princess so much, and hoping she is okay. Also, your story about the black ear fungus had me laughing so hard! Thanks for all of your wonderful posts, and I hope your holidays are happy.

    1. Thanks so much Eliza. At the moment Princess is sitting in my lap purring, so I'm very grateful for that. Merry Christmas to you and yours!


I welcome your thoughts so please leave me a comment and I promise I will respond.

On older posts I've had to enable comment moderation to prevent spammers, so don't worry if your comment doesn't show up right away - unless you're just commenting for the sake of embedding a link, in which case I really wish you wouldn't waste your time or mine because I'll just delete it.

Thanks, and have a fabulous day!