Monday, July 23, 2012

Disruptions In A Kitty's Life

Yesterday as my closet was being torn to shreds due to a broken water pipe, I had my kitties held up in the living room with the door closed. Or at least I thought I did. It was a stressful day here at my home, for everyone. In my almost 100 year old house of course nothing went as it should with these repairs. I’d thought Lacey was locked up in the living room with Finnegan but to my surprise after almost seven hours, after all were gone and I was left to clean up the mess, Finnegan found her hiding behind the stove in the kitchen. She’d never done that before and I had no idea whatsoever she’d been there all day. I felt so awful because she was slightly dehydrated, scared, hadn’t gone to the bathroom, eaten or drank all day. It took several hours for Lacey to calm down last night and get back to normal, and she’s a healthy kitty. Today did not go well either due to more plumbing issues but this time Lacey was locked away in the proper room with her food, water and litter box and is doing just fine.

This brings me back to the day that Alex had her feeding tube inserted. We’d had men here for almost two weeks blowing insulation into the walls. It was loud, highly disruptive and especially scary for her. All went well at the vets that day. I was so happy and felt something had finally gone right with her. Things usually went wrong; she’d either have rare side effects that called for a trip to the ER or her medications weren’t working. I was in the car on my way home when my mom called to tell me there was an “incident” in my living room and I needed to leave her downstairs with them. That was a huge understatement as I came home to find my living room COVERED in insulation. My walls were covered, my ceiling, carpets, my brand new furniture, everything. It even exploded into the kitchen there was so much of it! Apparently the outside wall leading into my living room gave way and this was the result. They had no idea this was happening and just kept going. Of all days for this to happen! Oh why that day, why did it have to be that day? I had to leave a poor drugged up Alex downstairs in her carrier for a bit while the guys stayed to help me clean it up as best as we could. They felt horrible about it and stayed an extra two hours.

Halfway through cleaning I brought her upstairs and put her on a blanket in my bedroom closet to get her more comfortable. Besides all of this, she was due for her first feeding and not only was I not ready for it, it was the first time I’d ever done it. We were all so exhausted, I was extremely upset and trying hard not to show it in front of her; she was already stressed out enough. The workers were not done for almost another week and the strain did not help her recovery at all. It was a tough situation that could not be helped but I know it hurt my girl’s chances for a full recovery. The very loud and constant drilling into the side of the house, the hammering and pounding, the strange men walking in and out, the dust, etc.; none of that did her or myself any good. Any small disruption to even a healthy kitty’s life is difficult. But this kind of jolt to a severely sick kitty’s life can be, and was, catastrophic.

Alex seemed fine for another couple of weeks after they were gone so her death came as a complete shock to everyone. She seemed to be healing well, even the vet thought so. But I do think the stress was too much for her. I’ll never know for sure if this had anything to do with her sudden passing but I do know it didn’t help. After my experience with her I will never put a sick kitty through that again. If you have a sick pet it may be best to bring them somewhere else more quiet and comfortable while any work is being done to your home; maybe a relative or a friend’s home that has no other pets and is nice and quiet. That in itself will be disruptive to their schedule and comfort level but it’ll be less so than having them terrified because of loud noises and strange people. Or if possible, seclude them in a part of your home that is far from the noise and indoor traffic. Just make sure keeping them calm is a priority.

Life throws us many a curve ball, some we can’t do anything about. But you’ve got to be prepared when you have a sick furbaby because things are bound to happen and unfortunately, they usually do. It’s just too easy for them to have setbacks as they are more fragile creatures than we ever thought they were. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012


As I’m approaching the 4th anniversary of Alex’s passing, July 10th, I’m reflective of my time with her. What she went through, all the ups and downs and how we all thought for sure she would make it. It’s wonderful to see the advancements that have been made since then but bittersweet all the same. I still wonder why she had to be the poster kitty for this awful disease and all of its extended conditions. I still get angry, even after all this time. I don’t know if it will ever completely go away. I don’t harp on it and I certainly don’t think about it all the time. Not even ¼ of the amount I used to think about it. But it still hurts and probably always will. I wish I knew then what I know now about some of the treatments, foods, medications, B12, etc. I’m thrilled and more than happy that so many others are not only surviving IBD but thriving in spite of it. But again, it’s bittersweet.

It took everything I had to start IBDKitties. I forced myself like I never have before in my life and with every page I wrote that contained information related to her and her conditions, I truly believed I would be physically ill. I relived it all in the hopes that the information would help others and I can honestly say that I know it’s helped a tremendous amount of people with their cats. I’m thankful for that. IBDKitties is a known name now and the amount of return visitors I get is equal to the amount of new visitors; telling me that it’s doing its job, continuing to educate.

I will admit I’m at a crossroads at this point in my mission. The word is out about food and how grains do not belong in their diet. Things are changing, people are pushing for what they want now. And more than ever people are reverting to a proper feline carnivore diet; most of the time with amazing results. Of course now many of us are trying to educate about the new “bad ingredients” in pet food. Pet food companies are just so brazen and keep spewing our own outrage right back in our faces. It’s discouraging and disgusting and that’s what they count on. That we get tired of trying. I have news for them; “not gonna happen”. We’re not going away and that’s all there is to it.

That being said I truly don’t know what path I am to put my foot down on next. I’m standing here in the middle of nowhere wondering what to do with IBDKitties next. How can I continue the mission and find that road I am to bring my passion down? I have some fundraising ideas for research I’ve been thinking of but even those need money to bring to fruition. Money I do not have. I've made the connections I need and they're all ready and excited for any ideas I may have; except the light bulb over my head is burnt out and so far I can’t find a replacement. I’ve asked Alex to help guide me but I guess she’s taking a little break herself. It must be exhausting being an angel and flying all over the world, finding the sick ones and guiding them to me and the site.

I picture her so much stronger than she ever was here. Poor thing never had a stable life until she found me and then our time together was way too short. I miss her so much. She was the kind of soul every pet parent dreams of having in their life. I was so blessed to have her love and devotion. I think she probably hung on as long as she did for me more than for herself. But when I think of the night she died and how it happened, it just isn’t fair. It was horrible and not at all the way I would have wanted to let her go. It was too sudden and shocking and traumatized me. But some endings are what they are and there’s not always a warning or any time to say goodbye. I say it every year at this time. I say goodbye again and tell her that no matter what, I’ll keep doing what she wants me to do, as long as I’m needed. I just wish I knew what I’m needed for next.

I hope my girl speaks to me again soon and lets me know what our next step is. In the meantime I’ll celebrate her life and mourn her death all over again. I’ll remember every little thing I loved about her, which was just about everything. I miss you sweetheart; you were, still are, and always will be the love of my life. Until we meet again.