This was a week with some painful lows but still some happy moments. I went to see my mom, we had family visit, we celebrated Christopher’s birthday, my mom’s immigration process finally had movement, and I completed my first race (well, it was a walk) since restarting my daily strolls. I also took Kotoko to the vet, some tests were done, and the results were not good.
Because of those test results, I want to warn you that this post will discuss pet illness and impending (though not immediate) loss. Because it’ll come right away, under the Monday summary, there is no cut: if you keep reading, it’ll be after the “soot” photo. So please be aware of that. Anyway, let’s get on with the summary.
🌈 Monday 🌈
Let’s start Monday with something utterly delightful. Remember the soots from last week? The blue soot at this employee’s desk has been graced with a tiny hat!
I love the idea of someone possibly purposely bringing this hat to work for this soot. It’s so cute.
💞 Pet Illness/Loss CW Starts Here 💞
Now, with much regret, I must move on to a more somber topic. You might recall I mentioned on my last post that I planned to take Kotoko to the vet on Monday. Her projectile vomiting is somewhat controlled by occasional Cerenia, but with no specific cause, I wanted to try the vet near our house and see if anything else had developed that our usual, beloved and trusted vet, Dr. Pisano, had not seen at the time. It was also time for a new blood test.
Kotoko was quite noisy as everything was done to her –check-up, x-rays, blood work. She was in discomfort, her tummy tense, and the x-rays would show other motives too. Here she is attentively listening to the vet talk about her:
After the x-rays were done, the vet took me to the back to show them to me. In this first one, if you know what you are looking at, you will catch a few things: the first being the spacing between her last few vertebrae, where an irreversible degeneration is occurring. This is painful for Kotoko, and probably made the x-rays more uncomfortable too.
The more important one is the thickening, or potential mass, in her stomach:
Because of her long-standing other symptoms, there isn’t exactly a multitude of possibilities here. It is almost certainly IBS or lymphoma, or IBS that became lymphoma. Kotoko’s blood tests also came back, and they showed the first stage of kidney failure. So as you can see, she is dealing with a lot.
The prognosis is not good. Kidney situation aside, this is a fast-acting disease, and Kotoko is 15 years old. We could do an ultrasound, and possibly need a biopsy to boot ($1,300 at a minimum if both are needed) but all this would tell us is how little time we have left. The course of action would not change.
We have decided to not subject her to any more diagnostics. Instead, we will use our funds for the best prescription foods, for daily medications that will substantially improve her comfort, and in paying for the service that will allow us to say a comfortable goodbye at home when the time does come (this is very expensive, hundreds of dollars).
And really, it could be fast. It could be two months. We could get unlucky, and it could be less, or we could get lucky, and it could be longer. We are going to do all we can to enjoy whatever time is left with her. We might just get lucky in how much time that is. Why not think positive? But even if we don’t, I know I’ll take a lot of comfort in the fact that, at 15, Kotoko has had such a long and happy life. She could have hardly had more loving or dedicated pet parents, if I do say so myself. She also had kitty friends, and many human friends to boot.
You might have seen me mention something very vague on Mastodon. It was about this. I didn’t want to go into detail, because even someone who understands pet loss may not realize why this loss will be so major to us. We’ve experienced severe heartbreak over pet loss before –this will be of a different magnitude. We will be okay. But because this isn’t a normal pet loss situation (I don’t think I could properly explain why) it will be a while until we are.
But I also want to concentrate in the here and now: with daily Cerenia, Kotoko already is showing a big improvement. No more vomiting, much bigger appetite. She just looks more lively. She’s a sturdy cat, and as long as she is here, we will love her and be grateful for her. Later we will have time to grieve. Before that time comes, I am also doing some things like a cute little cast of her paw, and a stamped imprint of it as well. I might do more things if I can think of them.
Something interesting that you can see in this other x-ray is that Kotoko has an extra rib, like some people or animals have an extra toe:
Let me close this part with a little more positivity. I really liked this vet, which is walking distance from us. They also have some chill office cats, three of them. Here’s a photo of one of them:
💞 Pet Illness/Loss CW Ends Here 💞
Monday evening I completed the Snoopy Run, 13.1 miles! I walked it, though.
My medal should be here by the weekend.
🌈 Tuesday 🌈
The most significant event that happened on this day is that my mom’s immigration case entered the last stage on USCIS. She should have her residence soon… I hope!
A funny thing happened too. Tomoyo has a tendency to fling her toys high in the air when she plays. Well, while I was having lunch, this landed on my plate:
It actually landed ON my food (gross) but I moved it off right away. Meanwhile, she was just innocently waiting for me to return it to her:
Here’s a random photo of our sweet old lady:
In the evening I got dropped off at my mom’s. She gave Christopher his birthday present before he and our partner left. Then we had snacks, and wine, played Generala, and talked about a million things.
For dinner we had a baked potato:
🌈 Wednesday 🌈
Wednesday was a calm day. Here’s Sweeney being very cute:
In the afternoon my mom made really delicious egg bites, and we watched TV together.
Later I lay down a while and played more Legends: Arceus.
Not long after, our partner picked me up. Once we got back home, I made the guys dinner, then tea, and just did my best to keep Christopher cheerful. Between the bad news this week and his back hurting so much without a break, it’s been really rough for him.
🌈 Thursday 🌈
Thursday was Christopher’s birthday. I prepared his presents on his desk before he woke up:
I also hid one in his book bag so he’d have something to open at work. He liked most of them. 😊 In the evening, we had dinner at Blue Ginger to celebrate. It was really good!
On this day I finished reading another book. Though it was comics, it was really long, as it was an omnibus of all the Muppet Babies comics, plus the comic in which they first appear (The Muppets Take Manhattan). That marks the seventh book I’ve read this year. With it being March already, this may not sound like much, but “It” was well over 1,100 pages… so that took a while.
The Muppet Babies Omnibus was delightful. Some frames made me do a double take! 😳
Baby Rowlf was adorable…
There were a lot of funny fourth wall breaking moments. This one was particularly amusing!
Next, I’m going to finish The Last Days of the Dinosaurs by Riley Black.
I decided to move one of the cat stairs to the porch to make it easier for Kotoko to access the chairs, particularly in light of her spine degeneration. She uses it, but right now, mostly sleeps on the bigger step rather than the chair, I guess because it became “new” again. Elliot sleeps on the chair.
It’s been so much fun to feed the birds and squirrels at the front of the house. Here’s a photo I took on this day:
Down the road, I would like to buy a bench and a birdbath, so I can enjoy seeing them up close while I’m outside reading a book.
🌈 Friday 🌈
Let’s start Friday off with this photo of Tomoyo lounging on my chest. Really, she’s just waiting to be fed.
It was cage cleaning day, so here’s a couple of photos of a cutie:
🌈 Saturday 🌈
Saturday morning we went to look at garage sales, a favorite activity when family visits. You never know what you’ll find!
For lunch we went to Chili’s. I had Palmito in my backpack so I took photos of him on this day:
You very likely have never seen Palmito, Robito or Rosemary (the skunk, not the cat). These little plushies were the first I ever took places with me back in the heyday of Toyvoyagers.
Though the website is still accessible on the date of me making this post, and the odd Travelog still updates, Toyvoyagers are sadly very much defunct. The idea was that you bought a little metal tag with a unique number for your toy, and left it places, and hoped someone would update its Travelog. It did happen! Alternatively, you could send your toy to one person elsewhere in the world, and then they would come back. Or you could have it join a “round robin” of locations.
All of my Toyvoyagers went places and brought me back souvenirs. It’s nice to be taking them out again.
When we got back from lunch, I found my latest medal in the mailbox. It’s really pretty!
I also have the t-shirt (though I won’t make a habit of ordering those) and the race bib with my number, which I’ll probably use for a scrapbooking page.
Christopher gave me $5 and I got some goodies while out garage saling:
This book is for dungeon masters but really cool and inspiring nonetheless!
And I couldn’t leave this little guy behind:
I’ve washed and disinfected him, so he’s ready for cuddling!
For Christopher’s birthday dinner, we went to Buca Di Beppo. We had chicken parmigiana, stuffed shells, meatballs, and garlic bread. We had a coupon for a free dessert for Christopher that was big enough for the five of us!
It’s really nice to be taking Palmito out for photos again. It’s been many years.
After we got home, we hung out at the house watching Christopher play GTA 5 (always fun) and then our friend Jessie came over, so we watched the two of them and our partner play the Stick Fight game on Steam. It was a really nice and chill evening.
🌈 Sunday 🌈
I went on my usual five mile walk, and stopped by Target. I hadn’t been to Target all year. They had a new version of their Sesame Street figures that was really cute:
Christopher made a really good pasta with zucchini for dinner. It looked far too healthy to be so delicious, I was pleasantly surprised. Can’t wait to have it again.
I usually only sleep with Grover, but on this night I wanted to cuddle my new triceratops friend too. Grover didn’t mind sharing!
Before we know it, March will be over… the rainy season will come, with it the humid and oppressive heat, and then hurricane season. Time is flying, but I’m trying to make the best of it, and I hope you all are too. Let’s make this coming week a wonderful one!