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Posts tagged “feline aids

Farewell Old Friend

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I walked into the living room this morning to make coffee, and noticed that our long time cat, Carl, wasn’t breathing. He was diagnosed with feline AIDS last summer. Many times when a creature dies, if it’s in pain, it will draw its knees in to its chest in the fetal position. Carl was outstretched and looked as if he were merely sleeping, so I know he hadn’t suffered. He ate dinner last night with as much excitement as he always does. Rigor mortis had already set in and his paws were cold, so I know that he died sometime in the night.

I said a quick prayer earlier and thanked God for allowing Carl to be with us for as long as he had been. Still, there’s just no shaking this sadness. Brianna laid him to rest just past these frozen leaves.

Frozen like our hearts.


Hope for Carl

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Carl is resting now. He’s sitting in the sunny window, enjoying Baroque. Vets of traditional medicine tell owners of cats with feline aids that there is little that can be done for them. They’ll tell you that you need to consider having the sick cat put down. I’m not one to always agree with traditional medicine. I believe that “food is life”, and as long as a creature or person has a desire to eat, they still have a desire to live. Carl was vomiting several times per day- he wanted to eat but simply couldn’t keep anything down. He’d lost so much weight, and three days ago, began looking a grey, ashy colour- apart from his very yellow skin and gums from an excessive amount of billirubin, resultling in jaundice. After doing some research, I discovered that vets will prescribe Phenergan to sick cats. Phenergan is also known as promethazine- which is an antihistimine that quells nausea. It also give you a serious case of the munchies: the kind of munchies that lead you to the fridge at 3: a.m., whipping up concoctions like peas, ketchup and Keebler crackers. (etc.) I was prescribed Phenergan months ago because the migraines I suffer cause heavy bouts of nausea. One prescription of Phenergan (30 pills) lasts me in the area of 8 months. It’s heavy stuff! For me anyway, and I can only take 1/2 at any given time. It’ll knock you on your butt. I decided to give Carl a small dose of Phenergan so he would get the munchies and be able to keep his food down. He had stopped drinking liquids altogether and looked as if he wouldn’t last much longer.

The first dose I gave him was very small- three days ago. I mixed it with some milk and a bit of the gravy from his canned soft food. Josh and I administered about 3/4 of a strawful in small increments. Afterwards, we waited. Within the hour, Carl had the munchies, as anticipated- he ate voraciously! Later that night, he wanted to eat again so I gave him some milk instead, which he drank, and then gave him another small portion of soft food. Several hours later, more food. I’m happy to report that Carl is able to keep everything down and hasn’t vomited once. Mission successful!

I’ll continue to give Carl a small dose of the Phenergan mixture every 3 days. He’s put on a bit of weight, albeit slight, but it’s there. A side effect of the Phenergan is drowsiness but he was already so weak from extreme dehydration and vomiting, he can use the rest to recuperate.

In the next few weeks, I’ll buy acidophilus powder, buffered vitamin C, bone meal and a handful of other crucial vitamins, and using a blender, mix up a protein shake for Carl that will restore him to some level of homeostasis and better health. He’ll always have the feline AIDS- but he doesn’t have to die from it. People and animals seldom die from the actual disease that afflicts them: they die from combined system failures- their diets, colon, and vital organs being at the center of it all.

On to other things- I’ve decided to not take “Study Skills” this semester. I’m not loving that my adviser suggested a “filler class” to simply jack up my credit hours to 12+. I mean, I’m happy that she tried to help, but if something doesn’t have meaning, there’s no point.

Study Skills is a class for new Vincennes University students who need to learn new ways and methods of studying but it also familiarizes the student with their new University. My adviser knows this. I’m getting ready to graduate! Why not just take a filler class about clown shoes and circus life? I mean, I’m never going to use that either…

No, it didn’t sit right with me so I’ve decided to substitute my 5th class with something I’ll actually use when I transfer- Spanish II. Yes, it’ll make my semester that much more challenging, but I love to be challenged. If I don’t set challenging goals for myself, then I feel dull and idle. I’ve already knocked out about 6 Spanish assignments last night. My adviser told me that I wouldn’t be able take that class because of its course number- they were all full. Sooooo….I sort of went over her head and emailed the Spanish instructor personally, asking him to squeeze me in- which he did. 🙂 He said that he remembered me (I got an A in his Spanish I class) and that he’d be happy to squeeze me in.

It sure beats the hell out of Study Skills.

Time for Carl’s bath.
Hasta luego…


Kitty AIDS

It’s a sad day here. Perhaps today will be brighter than yesterday.

Carl has “kitty AIDS”: a feline autoimmune deficiency disease. It’s not exactly the AIDS that is the problem as much as the cat’s compromised immune system, which allows other bacteria and viruses to attack its systems. 

Carl  was healthy here:

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Brianna noticed that Carl has been turning yellow on his skin and inside of his ears- jaundice. He came in from a fight recently with a gaping wound on his head, which later became infected. We cleaned it daily with peroxide and eventually applied Neosporin, which helped. It’s looking much better now, but he’s lost a good bit of weight and has developed kitty-bulimia. He’ll overeat, almost always, and regurgitate immediately afterwards. It’s hard to say if this stems from a behavioral or physiological process. Brianna rescued him two or so years ago; he’d had a fairly hard life beforehand, always scrapping for food.

We took him to the vet yesterday and the vet blatantly shared with us that Carl should be taken home, given the best soft food available, and “made comfortable”. I know what that means. When my Dad was dying in the hospital, the doctor was farting around with his words, so I pulled a nurse out into the hallway and asked her to shoot me between the eyes. She told me to take him home and “make him comfortable”. It was her hard stare that solidified the impact: we both knew what she was saying.

Brianna has been crying her heart out. Carl is her best friend! He looks like a total bruiser but really, if you give him a small piece of steak, he won’t just take it from you; he rubs his head on your hand to show his appreciation, then he gently takes it. He’s a gem. 

We were told by Dr. Strong (the vet) that there are a pack of cats in our area that have feline AIDS: it’s transferred through a saliva to blood interaction, or blood to blood, or mating. Often, cats who fight will transfer this deadly virus to other kitties. It doesn’t transmute over to humans, however.

We’ve quarantined Carl; he’s staying in Brianna’s room at the moment. The vet donated a $56 antibiotic shot from her own Angel Fund Foundation- it was hard to hold back the tears on that one. I’m going to make her a thank you card, using Carl’s picture.

Although the prognosis looks fairly grim, as Dr. Strong stated, “There are always miracles…”