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Three years ago today...

The descent into hell

That pretty much sums up what I have been through. Today will mark the three year anniversary when we learned about Stimpy's VAS. I had never heard of VAS. I found a lump on her leg on May 4th, and we took her in for an exam and we were told it was probably something called vaccine associated sarcoma. She went into surgery on May 7, 2010 and the biopsy confirmed it was VAS.

The next 18 months were pure hell (as the months following her death have been as well). Immediately following that surgery, her lump returned. We were told she needed radiation. I put my life on hold and immediately left for Columbia, MO on July 5th, and we lived in a hotel for a month while she underwent the radiation therapy. Every morning, Monday through Friday, I would take her in.

My epic battle with Boehringer Ingelheim began. They ignored me for almost a year but I tormented them, much like they had tormented me, until they finally acknowledged me and their attorney Marla Persky, and then CEO of BI Vetmedica flew to Oklahoma City to discuss VAS with us. No apology of course for what they did to Stimpy or the other victims of their vaccine. They did donate $20,000 to Kobi's Fund after the meeting but I have still stayed on top of them demanding changes and disclosure. They hate me as much as I hate them.

Stimpy's leg was amputated November 11, 2010 because the VAS had returned. Exactly one year later, November 11, 2011, she died from VAS.

It has been pure hell. I have trouble forgiving myself, even now. We spent over $40,000 on her care over the 18 month period trying to save her. VAS makes no distinctions based on how much you can spend. Too often, you lose the battle.

I am feeling melancholy now. I still have a lot of anger that I direct at Boehringer Ingelheim and not a week passes that I do not let them know they killed Stimpy and so many others.

Three years ago today. Stimpy was handed her death sentence.sleep


sleep

"It only happens to 1 in a thousand cats"

That was the message I received from someone who obviously believes everything he has read on the Internet about VAS. He went on to ask if I have even bothered to research VAS.

I will excuse his ignorance because it is just that...ignorance. One in a thousand, one in ten thousand. This is what the pharmaceutical industry publishes. Being a member of a VAS support group that has nearly 1700 members, I am sad to say that we have multiple members who have had 2 or even 3 cats stricken with VAS. That alone proves the numbers they report are inaccurate.

VAS is under reported sadly. The pharmaceutical industry does little to nothing to change things. There is no reporting system, they do not warn you about this cancer and sadly, rarely does your veterinarian warn you about it. Just recently, Boehringer Ingelheim has stated on their new website for pets, that their vaccines can cause cancer and their vaccines can kill your cat. I like to think it is because of my efforts by staying on top of them that they finally have implemented this. They of course downplay it by calling it "rare" but at least it is a step forward.

Stimpy's VAS was confirmed by her biopsies. Stimpy was a healthy cat until she was hit with VAS. She had normal liver, kidney and heart functions. I truly believe Stimpy would be with me today if not for this VAS. Many cats have lived past 20 years. Stimpy was in good enough health before the VAS to have gone on to live a much longer life. For this person to make a comment about her being old is just plain stupid. This person wrote:

"for christ's sake, you had a 16-year-old cat who died of cancer. spoiler alert: that happens. get another cat and shut the hell up.

through this whole experience, have you ever bothered to research VAS? at worst, it only happens to 1 in a thousand cats (so yours was just unlucky that it was this particular cancer she got at the end of her very long life) - how many cats do you think are vaccinated w/ BI products every year? do they all get VAS?

further, it can happen w/ vaccines or antibiotics manufactured by any company (or even sterile water, so it seems to rely more on injection technique than any particular medication). why blame this one? again, you had a REALLY old cat, so w/ that in mind, why blame anyone?"


Like I said, I will excuse David's ignorance of the topic because he has not experienced the devastation that VAS causes. I'm afraid I am all too well educated in the field of VAS, I know more about it than most veterinarians and the big pharma.

Stimpy's VAS was confirmed by her biopsies. It was clearly stated it was vaccine associated. We know without a doubt that her cancer was caused by the Rabvac 3TF vaccination. It was the only vaccine she received in that leg and it was veriified with prior vet records.

David went on to criticize me for spending over $40,000 on Stimpy's care. First off, it is no ones business how much money I spent on her care. It was my money, Stimpy was a living animal, and she deserved the care since I could afford it. We do not throw people away or kill them when they get sick. I looked at Stimpy in the same manner. Cancer is a crap shoot, in animals and humans. She deserved the chance to live so I gave it to her. I have no regrets.

"you claim to have spent $25K  (his understanding, I guess he didn't actually read the journal) treating a cat for what is generally accepted to be a no-win situation (your vet would already know this, and if s/he is the least bit ethical, not take your money / treat the patient). i really hope you didn't spend that money, but IF you did, you could have helped a whole lot more cats w/ better prognoses than yours had, so... way to go?"

VAS is NOT generally accepted as a no win situation. Another statement by David that proves he is ignorant on the subject matter. I made the choice to treat Stimpy, not my veterinarian. It was a no brainer, there was a chance she would beat VAS and I did not care how much it cost, I was going to give her that chance. Thanks to education and more exposure, new guidelines have been implemented in vaccination areas so in the case a sarcoma does form, it is easier to treat. I have known a lot of victims of VAS, and thankfully, I have known of survivors...Molly, Job, Rusty, Chicken (who later passed away from a non VAS related cause). I could name more, just like I could name many victims. My point is, there are survivors and there are victims, just like with humans. Education and early detection are key to combating VAS.

David criticizes me for spending that much money on Stimpy, because I could have helped other cats. You do not know me David, and if you did, you would know that I have been very generous in helping others  when it comes to helping their pets when they could not afford it. You make an assumption purely out of ignorance. Bottom line though, it is no one's business how I choose to spend my money.

David also criticized me for publishing the home addresses of the powers that be at these big pharma. Until your cat has been stricken with VAS and you have to deal with these pharmaceutical companies, do not criticize me for taking them on in an effective manner. Generally, they treat us with contempt. They ignore your letters, they offer you nothing to compensate you for the high cost of care that was caused by their product. The big pharma basically blackmailed the US government into protection against liability for their vaccines by telling them they would produce no vaccines for the food chain unless they were given these protections. It trickled down into the pet ownership area as well, so as a victim, you are not allowed to sue them. They in turn, do not have to act humanely towards you and they basically tell you to go to hell. Boehringer Ingelheim ignored EVERY letter I sent them for nearly a year. It was not until I wrote to their CEO at his home did they finally respond.

David said that they have a right to privacy and not have their information published. Well, I guess while he is on his "holier than thou" campaign, he should also write to the places on the Internet where I easily found their contact information. It is all part of the public domain, I just knew where to look. In an attempt to intimidate me, he also wrote:

"i don't think anyone likes having their information published w/o their permission
or do they? are you the kevin gale sexton of NW 57th street or bent tree dr in oklahoma city? are you really going to be buried next to your mother in arlington memory gardens? i love my mom, but that's pretty bizarre. i know you're screening these, so if you absolutely can't imagine why people wouldn't want their personal information published w/o permission, you should let this comment appear. here's a hint: some might call it harassment."


You got part of it correct, my name is Kevin Sexton. The rest, well, you are desperately grasping at straws. The difference between David and myself is that I verify my information so as not to make a fool of myself. Harassment? Well, David, these big pharma have a moral obligation to accept responsibility for their actions. I have never been one to sit back and not take action when there is something wrong. Sometimes, you have to take drastic steps to bring about change. If and when these big pharma start acting responsibly, that is the day I will say "thank you" and I will leave them alone. Until you have been where I have been, as well as many other thousands, do not tell me or others that our actions are inappropriate. You have no idea what you are talking about.

And finally, in response to your closing statement:

"dude. get another cat. you'll feel better."

I do have other cats. I have four wonderful cats, all rescues, as well as a dog that is also a rescue. They enrich my life and if one of them gets sick, I will gladly spend any amount of money to take care of them too. I do not expect you to understand my actions or any of the feelings that we as VAS victims (human and animal) experience, but simply put, I do not care. I do not need your approval.

In closing, I just want to clarify why I have closed comments for the journal. Some people just want to make others miserable by making hateful comments. It is a reflection on their lives and things that are going on in their world, but Stimpy is too special to give people like this a forum to express their own misery.

www.thecatstimpy.com

Due to censorship from LiveJournal and Boehringer Ingelheim, I will be reorganizing Stimpy's Journey on my new website.

It's nice to know that Freedom of Expression can still be quashed in America by a few corporate pigs but you can still find the "banned information on my new site. I will keep both sites updated so either one should keep you abreast of things.


I have just launched my new website, www.thecatstimpy.com

Apparently the powers that be at Boehringer Ingelheim do not like having their names and addresses splashed all over the Internet where their victims can see it. I will be moving Stimpy's Journey to my own website in an easier to read format. At thecatstimpy.com it does not violate my TOS to publish their contact information.

I want to thank everyone for their support. This is not the end of the journey for Stimpy's Story, it's just moving to a better format.

The "A" List

This entry was suspended by LiveJournal.

Apparently the powers that be at Boehringer Ingelheim do not like having their names and addresses published.

Freedom of Speech lives on in America!

How ironic that a German company managed to take that away from this page.

Thank you for your support.

2013

I can't believe another year has come and gone. I am so tormented by Stimpy's death, I do not know what to do at times. I miss you Stimpy, you were so amazing.

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"The end of the journey"

"The end of the journey."

Those are the words I wrote one year ago today. I was on my way home to Tucson with the other animals when I received the phone call that Stimpy had died. I was eight hours away in Albuquerque. It has been one year, and I still cannot forgive myself for not being with Stimpy in the end.

Today is Thanksgiving. It was not a celebration for me. I pretty much just kept to myself, did not visit friends or family. I bought some flowers and took them to the place where I first met Stimpy. I was standing outside at the house when this scruffy grey cat came up to me and meowed. I did not have any cat food so I gave her what I had, a can of albacore tuna. From that moment on, Stimpy came back every day to get some wet food. I later learned she was the  neighbors cat but Stimpy made her choice where she'd rather be. One day, the neighbors were going to Mexico for a week and they asked if I wanted her. YES! From that day forward, Stimpy was my cat.

I asked my neighbors for a picture of Stimpy when she was a kitten. Last night they gave me two of her. They are blurry, they were taken before digital cameras. These were taken in 1995. They are so special to me, as they are the first and only pictures I have of her as a kitten.

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She is so tiny here. Seeing her sweet little face at the beginning of her life, knowing what life had in store for her later, all seems surreal. Her colors were darker but the distinctive swirls on her fur are the same.

In another picture, she is climbing up a tree with a stick in her mouth. It is blurry but in a way, it seems appropriate, almost like it is a dream.



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I took the flowers to the old house in the Barrio. The house is for sale and vacant. I walked around a bit, imagining Stimpy in the yard. I printed up a small memorial card and attached them to the flowers and placed them on the corner where we first met. I took her ashes with me too, not to spread but to place them there for a while too so her spirit was with me.
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I cried off and on throughout the day. I remember taking Stimpy to the vet and she received the rabies vaccine that would later take her life. Like so many people, we thought we were doing the right thing. I remember discovering the lump, the surgeries and the month I lived in a hotel room with her  in Columbia, MO while she underwent radiation therapy. All the events are so clear to me. Watching the tumor grow and ulcerate was almost unbearable. I chose not to end Stimpy's life. I did not feel like I had the right. She was such a fighter and she was eating and drinking up until the last day. She went when she was ready, and for that I am thankful.

She brought so much joy to me. I canceled travel plans because I did not want to leave her alone. I devoted my life to her before and after she got sick. She was such a special cat.

Contemplating this entry today has weighed on my mind all week. I wanted to honor her and this is the best way I know how. I will continue to fight for VAS awareness. I would dishonor her if I did not.

She was the most beautiful cat to me. She had a personality all her own and she loved me, I miss you Stimpy. I love you and always will. RIP sweet lady.

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Stimpy sleeping, This was taken in Columbia, Missouri during the month of July 2010 while we were there for her radiation therapy.

Rest In Peace Stimpy
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The Western Veterinary Conference

Some of you already know that Boehringer Ingelheim is sponsoring a doctor to speak at the upcoming Western Veterinary Conference in Las Vegas February 17-21. This doctor, Norsworthy, runs a feline only clinic in San Antonio, Texas

http://www.alamofeline.com/

By his own admission, he has experimented on cats and has injected them to see if vaccine associated sarcoma would form. His "findings" are that VAS is nothing more than a "misnomer". On one cat that he experimented on and repeatedly injected, it has not contracted VAS (yet) so he has declared that cat "lucky" after one year. All the victims of VAS know this is a direct lie as VAS has been reported as long as 10 years after an injection. Stimpy's VAS occured three years after her vaccination. Norsworthy (you'll notice I am reluctant to give him the title of "doctor" in front of his name!) has declared that he has proof from his research that VAS is nothing more than a "misnomer" and Boehringer Ingelheim, being the low lives that they are, have endorsed his propaganda. Instead of acting responsibly and try to eradicate VAS, Boehringer Ingelheim has chosen the cowards path out. They are the ONLY large pharmaceutical company that manufactures vaccines that has publicly chosen this path.

I created an event on Facebook to invite victims and anyone else concerned, to gather at the Western Veterinary Conference in Las Vegas in protest of Norsworthy and Boehringer Ingelheim for promoting this propaganda. I would encourage anyone who can attend to please do so. I have reserved my room at Mandalay Bay already so I have a reason to be on the premises. I am wearing a different tee shirt every day with a new message on it.

http://www.facebook.com/emily.harter.31/posts/4235924548481?ref=notif&notif_t=feed_comment_reply#!/events/260036380765497/

Now, for the news of the day. When I first posted this event, I used the logo from the WVC on the invitation. Apparently this made the WVC a tad edgy so they sent me a threatening e-mail today and demanded I remove it. They also cc'd the e-mail to the good folks at Boehringer Ingelheim. Well, not wanting to upset the good folks at the WVC, I have done what they have asked and I have removed their logo from the invitation. For future reference, DO NOT USE THEIR LOGO! It makes them very upset,

Just so there is no confusion, here is the actual e-mail I received from the WVC. I guess it never occured to them that when they e-mailed me this threat, the e-mail became "my property". They also included a screenshot of the offending invitation, so without further ado, here it is:


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In case you cannot read the text, here it what it says:

Dear Mr. Sexton:

It has come to our attention that you are currently placing the Western Veterinary Conference’s logo into your website, without our authorization.
I oversee the management of our intellectual property and brand for the Western Veterinary Conference (WVC). We have very strict guidelines as to how and where our intellectual property can be used. We are also aware of the federal laws and regulations of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. As such, the unauthorized use or posting must cease immediately.

This letter is to formally request that you immediately cease using our intellectual property and remove all references to it in current and future postings. Moreover, this letter is to formally request that you communicate this information to all relevant persons in your group.

 If we continue to see unauthorized use of our intellectual property from your company, we will be prepared to take legal actions against you.

 Thank you for your cooperation. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Sincerely yours,

 Manolita Bisnar Moore, MBA
Annual Conference Director

Western Veterinary Conference

2425 E. Oquendo Road
Las Vegas, NV 89120

Tel: 702-739-6698

Fax: 702-739-6420
Website:
www.wvc.org


They sent a copy of it to Lorie North at Boehringer Ingelheim. In case you need to send a note to Lorie, her e-mail address is:

lorie.north@boehringer-ingelheim.com

Boehringer Ingelheim has threatened to sue me in the past but have never followed through because they know it would explode in their faces, suing the owner of a cat who died from their vaccine. I think Boehringer Ingelheim was hoping that I would just crawl away with my grief and let it go. They have no idea just how long I can continue this fight. It must also be pretty embarassing for Boehringer Ingelheim that a place like the WVC is now drawn into the battle because of their endorsement of this so called doctor in Texas.

So the battle rages on. I'm just not willing to quit fighting for disclosure and justice for all of our VAS cats. Our support group lost two cats this past weekend. One in particular, really touched me. I have been in contact with her owner for some time now. Matilda lost her battle to this monster after a long fight. RIP Matilda.

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As much as it pains me, I am posting this picture of Stimpy. This was towards the end of her life. The vaccine associated sarcoma tumor has reared its ugly head and has ulcerated. Soon, it will be her one year anniversary. It has not gotten easier. At times, I have become so enraged at the pharmaceutical companies for inflicting this on us, and other times I grieve so hard, all I can do is cry. I miss you Stimpy. You were the love of my life.



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Here is an excellent post from the person who runs the Vetnegligence website. She makes a very good point how Boehringer Ingelheim's CEO's, the former Georger Heidgerken and the current one, Albrecht Kissel, basically lied in their letters to me stating they were interested in educating others about VAS (of course they call it injection site sarcoma). Apparently it is easier to flip flop and just call it a "misnomer". Please read this and share it.

http://www.vetnegligence-vaccines.com/1/post/2012/09/western-veterinary-conference-cease-letter.html

Living with this cancer

June 26, 2010 10:58 AM

My Vaccine Associated Sarcoma was caused by a rabies vaccination that I received in September, 2007. VAS is a rare form of cancer that develops in the vaccination area. They say that 1 in 10,000 cats will get this. I guess I was one of the lucky ones. Early detection is important to keep this under control. Some cats have their legs amputated in order to save their lives. Sadly, these cats are called tripods. My cancer had spread pretty far up my leg so this is not an option. For now, I will undergo radiation therapy and hopefully this will put the cancer in remission.

VAS was first observed in the late 80's and a link to the vaccinations was made in 1991 by Dr. Mattie Hendrick, a veterinary pathologist at the  University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.  Unfortunately, you usually only learn about this aggressive form of cancer after it affects you directly. I hope more people learn about VAS, its cause, identification and treatment of it. Vaccinations are very important to the health of a pet, so we are not advocating eliminating them, we just want people to be more aware of it so they know what to look for. 

A letter from a fellow cat

June 27, 2010   6:45 AM
Today I received this bizarre note from a friend. I am not sure what it means, it is rather cryptic. He seems to be in some sort of trouble

DAY 752 - My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while I am forced to eat dry cereal. The only thing that keeps me going is the hope of escape, and the mild satisfaction I get from ruining the occasional piece of furniture. Tomorrow I may eat another houseplant.

DAY 761 - Today my attempt to kill my captors by weaving around their feet while they were walking almost succeeded, must try this at the top of the stairs. In an attempt to disgust and repulse these vile oppressors, I once again induced myself to vomit on their favorite chair... must try this on their bed.
 

DAY 762 - Slept all day so that I could annoy my captors with sleep depriving, incessant pleas for food at ungodly hours of the night.

DAY 765 - Decapitated a mouse and brought them the headless body, in attempt to make them aware of what I am capable of, and to try to strike fear into their hearts. They only cooed and condescended about what a good little cat I was... Hmmm. Not working according to plan ...

DAY 768 - I am finally aware of how sadistic they are. For no good reason I was chosen for the water torture. This time however it included a burning foamy chemical called "shampoo." What sick minds could invent such a liquid. My only consolation is the piece of thumb still stuck between my teeth.

DAY 771 - There was some sort of gathering of their accomplices. I was placed in solitary throughout the event. However, I could hear the noise and smell the foul odor of the glass tubes they call "beer." More importantly I overheard that my confinement was due to MY power of "allergies." Must learn what this is and how to use it to my advantage.

DAY 774 - I am convinced the other captives are flunkies and maybe snitches. The dog is routinely released and seems more than happy to return. He is obviously a half-wit. The Bird on the other hand has got to be an informant. He has mastered their frightful tongue. (something akin to mole speak) and speaks with them regularly. I am certain he reports my every move. Due to his current placement in the metal room his safety is assured. But I can wait, it is only a matter of time...



DAY 183 OF MY CAPTIVITY

 
My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while I am forced to eat dry cereal. The only thing that keeps me going is the hope of escape, and the mild satisfaction I get from ruining the occasional piece of furniture.
 

Tomorrow I may eat another house plant.

Today my attempt to kill my captors by weaving around their feet while they were walking, almost succeeded; must try this at the top of the stairs next time. In an attempt to disgust and repulse them, I again induced myself to vomit on their favorite chair. (Note-to-self: I think I'll try urinating under their bed, too. Wonder how long it'll take them to find it?)

Decapitated a mouse and brought them the headless body, to make them aware of what I am capable of, and to try to strike fear into their hearts. They only cooed and condescended about what a good little cat I was. Not working according to plan. There was some sort of gathering of their accomplices. I was placed in solitary confinement throughout the event. However, I could hear the noise and smell the food.

More importantly I overheard that my confinement was due to MY power of "allergeez." Must learn what this is and how to use it to my advantage. I am convinced the other captives are flunkies and may be snitches. The dogs are routinely released and seem more than happy to return. They must obviously be half-wits.

The bird, on the other hand, appears to have become an informant, and speaks with them regularly. I am certain he reports my every move. Due to his current placement in the metal room, his safety is preserved. But I can wait; it's only a matter of time...

DAY 185 OF MY CAPTIVITY

It is now my 185th day in captivity. My captors have completely eliminated my canned food and replaced it with dry kibble, claiming that it is better for my health. The wet food was the only thing I looked forward too, and now even that has been taken from me. I have discovered, however, that the dry food serves to create sharper points on my teeth, and keeps them stronger. I must force myself to consume it, regardless of the taste.

Each morning, they read pages of what is called a newspaper. I found that it is particularly annoying to my captors if I lie on it while they read. Shredding the newspaper is also a particular peeve of theirs, and I have taken delight in doing this before they awake each morning.

My captors have now obtained a "fish tank" - which serves to make up for part of my loss in the food department. While the little creatures are tiny, they are quite tasty. They have yet to replace the two small fish that I have consumed. I must think of a way to make them notice the loss.

The bird continues to mock me. Its little metal room has proven stronger than originally anticipated...

DAY 201 OF MY CAPTIVITY

I'm unsure of my ability to survive as a captive and have made several attempts to break out. At first, it was simple enough to circle my captors feet, in a surreptitious manner, as they opened the front door. I would then bolt from them through the door to freedom. But, to no avail - they caught me in a manner of minutes - my legs are not as fast as they used to be and I grow weak with continued imprisonment. What is worse is that since the first attempt, I have now found myself separated from the living room. My captors are much more intelligent than originally anticipated...

For entertainment, I have taken to terrorizing the dogs by sitting on the kitchen table and swiping at them with my long nails. The dogs are obvious half-wits. They know very little about my skills as a hunter, and are forbidden by my captors to attack me. The dogs grow more irritated each day.
 

I have found my captors are easy to manipulate in many ways, but outdoor access remains elusive. I have not lost hope, however, and have every intention of escaping this horrid place one-day soon...


Copyright © 2006-2008 www.kittens-lair.net

So much to do...

June 28th, 2010 10:03 PM
Preparing for this upcoming trip is difficult. Being away for a month, you really have to sit down and think about what you need. My caretaker Kevin is staying with me the entire month so we will be staying in a hotel suite with a full kitchen. He worries about leaving me alone in the room after my radiation so he is staying there to make sure I will not have any bad side effects. He will be able to cook and do laundry. I hope he remembers to take my litter box and bed.

This is my buddy Baloo. He is Heinz 57, but it looks like he has a lot of Golden Retreiver in him. He was a rescue, after someone dumped him along a busy highway. He came to live at the house about 2 years ago. At first I hated him but now we get along pretty good. He has to stay home while I am getting radiation. Today he got shaved! He looks like a little pup again. Here is a before and after picture. He decided that since I had to get shaved, he would do it to so I would not feel so bad. Maybe I should tease him and start calling him Britney?



On May 16th, a terrible hail storm rolled through Oklahoma City. I thought the house was falling in. I hid in the closet and waited for it to pass. The hail was the size of softballs and it did a lot of property damage and it destoyed my ride. Today my new ride arrived! It is exactly the same as the last one except this one is brand new with only 200 miles on it. It will be perfect for our trip to Columbia. When I moved to Oklahoma from Tucson, I had a nice little cave in the back and I stayed there for a large part of the ride. I do not like riding in cars!
Here is the new ride...


JUST KIDDING! Here it is, really  :)



I am feeling pretty good today. I've had my favorite food, Fancy Feast Grilled Salmon. They keep some of that dry stuff in a bowl too but it does not taste as good.

It's time to sleep...


What a way to celebrate the 4th!

July 6th, 2010

I know this is a lousy picture of me and Stimpy but it is the best one I have right now. Stimpy is not what you would call a lap kitty and this is one of those rare moments when she tolerated me holding her close.

July 4th started off pretty normal. I got some things done in preparation of the trip to Columbia and decided to go swimming. After getting out of the pool, I went into the house to shower and while showering, it felt like something popped in my head. It was worrisome because I developed a headache almost immediately. I continued working but about an hour later, my head was really hurting so I went into the ER. Fortunately, with my connections there, I was able to bypass the long line and was taken into a room and within 15 minutes, a CT scan. I was also shot up with morphine and anti nausea medicine and then something was shot into my butt to make me feel better. It apparently worked until they told me that the CT scan was unremarkable and they wanted to do a spinal tap to rule out more serious things. A SPINAL TAP?!?! Never in my life had I had one and I panicked. All I heard about spinal taps was how horribly painful they were. They did not lie. I was "numbed" but I still felt the needles. During the tapping, my blood sugar dropped so low to something like 42 and I nearly fainted. They said I turned white. After the ordeal was over, I had to wait another hour for the results. Fortunately, they were negative. The opinion was that the stress from all this stuff I am dealing with Stimpy had finally taken it's toll on me. The funny thing, all during this ordeal, my main concern was that the test would prove positive and I would have to be hospitalized and then not be able to take Stimpy to Columbia. I was so relieved when I was told I could still travel.

That night, I had one of the worst headaches I have ever had. I was told this was a normal reaction after a spinal tap. I could not do anything I needed to do before leaving so I had to postpone it until the next day. I got up early, still fighting a headache and then I had to make arrangements for the other pets.

Mr. Baloo was supposed to go to the vets on Monday the 5th to start his heartworm treatment. The poor guy tested negative for them the previous year but was positive this year. Apparently it is a major ordeal for them to go through. I took him to the vets office and dropped him off.

Next on the list was Mr. Butters. This is Mr. Butters:


This poor little guy has had a rough start in life. He was "adopted" by a family close to us, and after the cute kitten factor wore off, they pretty much abandoned him. He was left outside, with no vaccinations and un-neutered so he could help add to the pet population. He was sick and injured several times and always hungry so naturally he was accepted into the family. He was fed and given shelter and every time he was supposed to get neutered, he was sick. Unfortunately, this poor little guy is feline leukemia positive. Butters has had a hard life. A few weeks ago he almost died from an apparent copperhead snake bite. His face was so swollen and he just laid there not responding. He was taken to the vets and was treated and within a few days, he was doing well.

The day of the trip to Columbia, he was supposed to go over to a friends place who was going to board him. I opened the door and out he ran and disappeared. I spent quite a bit of time looking for him but to no avail. Finally I had to ask my friend if she would go over and look for him. She agreed and she and her husband returned to the home several times to find him but to no avail. Finally, this morning, Chris heard him meow but could not see him. Dana returned to look for him and found him. The little guy had run into a storage shed when I was in there looking for something and I did not see him go in and he got locked in! What a horrible sinking feeling when Dana called me to tell me he was locked in this unit. To make a long story short, a spare key was located in my desk and she and Chris were able to rescue him. He is safe and sound at their rescue. Here is a picture of him that Dana sent me a short while ago.

If anyone feels so inclined, I would love to find him a good forever home. Since he is a special needs cat (like all of the pets!) he does need some special care. If not, he will remain one of the family. If you would like another pet, visit my friends website. They are wonderful people who run a no kill rescue and are always looking for good caring people who can give a pet a forever home.

http://straynomore.com/

Even if you cannot adopt a pet from Real Rescue, please consider a donation to help this much needed service. No kill shelters are some of the best friends of animals you will ever find.

Meet another member for the family. This is Privet. Like all cats, they find you. She was starving and thin when she showed up at the house. Food was placed out for her and it was not long before she started begging to come inside. Another long story short, she is now an indoor cat with supervised outdoor trips. I say supervised because there are so many stray dogs that wander onto the property and I am afraid one of them will attack one of the cats. Maybe I worry too much. Privet is a wonderful sweet lap cat who will turn on the purrs the minute you pet her.



Privet got her name because when she first showed up, she appeared out of the privet hedges. Butters was named after the South Park character.







The first day at the Vet School


July 6th, 2010

Today was the first day at the Vet School in Columbia. We went in for my appointment at 1:00 PM and I was left there for hours with total strangers. They treated me well but all sorts of things were done to me. I am starting to look like a circus attraction. A large part of my back half has been shaved and a couple of rings around my front legs have been shaved for the IV's. I am starting to look like a Ca-poodle!

 

I received a "CAT" scan (I'm so funny) and they did an ultrasound on my eye to determine what that spot was. They also did a chest X-ray, and all sorts of blood work in preparation of the radiation therapy. I was finally released around 5:00 pm but not before my ransom was paid. I am told I was worth about $1000 today. On Thursday, my radiation therapy starts and they seem to think it will be effective. The doctor who saw me today told me that I was his first Vaccine Associated Sarcoma patient that he had ever seen. Like I said, I am one of the lucky ones.

Here is my new bed. It was meant for Baloo but I confiscated in the name of the realm, my realm. He can sleep on the cold tile floor, it will build character.


A day off

JULY 7th, 5:55 PM

Today I had the day off. I am feeling rather melancholy, probably because of the rain. It has done nothing but rain today. Some funny new things did show up in my room today. I am sure not everyone will appreciate them but they did brighten up my day.

I  am not sure what this one means, maybe I am supposed to start saving my quarters so I can help pay for this radiation. Maybe my caretaker is hoping for a miracle, who knows. Anyway, it is still pretty funny. It is a hot pink bank of Jesus that says "SAVES" on the bottom. (Get it...Jesus saves)




I love this one. North Face makes some pretty warm snuggly things for cats. You see a lot of the two legged creatures wearing them but once again, I confiscate them in the name of the realm. Here is something new, it kind of speaks for itself...


 

Last but(t) not least, I am finally starting to feel a little better after all of the poking and prodding from yesterday. This kind of sums it up for me at the moment:

(CLICK ON PICTURE TO ENLARGE)



First day of radiation treatment


July 8, 2010 9:03 PM

The day has come and gone. This was my first day of radiation therapy. I was told that I will have to do 18 fractions, doing one a day with the exception of tomorrow. They will do two tomorrow so that my treatments will end on a Friday. They do not do treatments on the weekends so it looks like we will be in Columbia until July 30th. We were told today the treatments will be $3000 plus any additional things that could come up so by the time it is all over, the treatments here will probably be around $5000 not including the travel expenses. I wonder what people do who cannot afford to do this. I guess their poor pets have to suffer. It is really pretty sad.

I was sure happy to see my caregiver today when he came and picked me up. I was still a little tired and my eyes were a little watery. As soon as I got home I was finally able to eat. So far my appetite is still good. I am not so sure about Kevin though...he is pretty stressed out over all of this.

Here are a few pictures of our new digs for the next month. It is small but not too bad for a motel room.



I have been a little wiped out these last few days from all this treatment. Here are a few pictures of me curled up on the bed and sofa in the room. I just want to sleep for now...




Day two, and finally it's FRIDAY


July 9, 2010  9:12 PM

Today was the second day of my radiation. Apparently they are going to put me under twice today and do two sessions. I must remain strong, I will not talk.

I was a little confused when I woke up this morning why my caregiver would not feed me. No food, no water...nothing. To his credit though, I did not see him eating anything either. Maybe we are all out of food?

To best explain my mood today, this picture would pretty much sum it up:




We arrived at the Vet School at 8:00. The vet student who is assisting me right now is named Tiffany. She was outside with some of those dogs and the dogs were jumping around, playing, obviously oblivious to the fact that we were at an experimental school and they were trying to get as much information out of us as they possibly could. I WILL NOT TALK! Those dogs give up way too easy. They may think they have control over me but I am silently observing them, waiting to make my move. It is only a matter of time.

Waiting in the lobby area this morning was another cat with her caregivers. This cat was also in a small box with holes. I have noticed that when cats are brought into this place, we are required to be in a box while the dogs are allowed to walk around on a long thing called a leash. The humans obviously fear us cats more and that is why we are required to be contained. Apparently the other cat is here to have a lump removed from his throat. When Kevin returned to get me at 3:30, they were still there and when I was brought out, I saw Kevin talking to them. It sounds like my fellow comrade is going through a lot and may have to have radiation therapy too. Kevin talked to these two, Eric and Allison and so we are hoping all turns out well for them. I hope we see them again on Monday so we can inquire about him. This is difficult for us even though we do not know him at all, but we know what they are going through.

I am now back in the room. There seems to be no way of escape from this place. I have looked out of the window and we are up high, on the third floor. Maybe when I was younger I could have jumped and landed on my feet but this may be too much for me. I will just have to wait until that door is open....

I have taken to this yellow chair in the room. It is quite comfortable. Since this is Friday, I get a break from my radiation therapy until Monday.
When will this madness end?

Paws out.




bored...bored...bored


July 10, 2010  7:50 PM

Dang, this has been a boring day. Been in the room all day, just eating and sleeping. At least there is a Harry Potter marathon on the tele so it is not all that bad.

Someone sent my caregiver some instructions on giving a pill to a cat. I guess they heard what a fiasco it was when he tried to place a HUGE pill down my throat. Look at this thing, it is HUGE (!!!). Maybe a dog can take it without any problems, they do not bother chewing anyway, they will swallow anything you give them. I have a more delicate palette. These pills are some kind of a nutritional supplement and they must have been made by someone who does NOT have a cat. Good luck with that!


                                 

 HOW TO GIVE A CAT A PILL:

                                   

1. Pick up cat and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat's mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand.   As cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth.  

Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.

2. Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa.    

Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process.

3.. Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.

4. Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm, holding rear paws tightly with left hand.    Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger.

Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.

5. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe.   Call spouse from garden.

6. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws.  Ignore low growls emitted by cat.  Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub cat's throat vigorously.


                                    

7.. Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains.    Carefully sweep shattered figurines and vases from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.

8. Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit.    

Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.


                                         

**********************************************************************************


It is all too diabolical. I am still plotting my escape. I hear there are some "cat houses" here in the area, perhaps it is a refuge for escapees. I will find my way to one of these cathouses and then plan my journey up North to Canada. I hear there are no dogs in Canada.

July 11, 2010  6:10 PM

AHHH, the cat days of summer!

Just chillin' today. No worries


Here we go again...

July 12, 2010  9:34 AM

I just dropped Stimpy off so she can start her treatment again. Poor thing did not want to go. When she saw me bring out the crate, she took off and hid under the bed skirt. Sometimes I wonder who this is harder on, me or her. It is hard not being able to give her food or water in the morning when she comes up to you and purrs and looks at you every time you go near the kitchen. I had a few minor issues with the Toyota and had to take it to the Toyota dealer. What a drag, I hate dealing with cars.

I'll post more later after Stimpy is home.

Home again

July 12, 2010 11:50 AM

The treatment is over for the day. I am back in the room curled up on the bed once again. I am starting to think that perhaps being back in Oklahoma is not such a bad thing. I am missing the others, but I did not realize that until now. I guess Baloo has been tearing things up and breaking out of his crate every day so he is being sent  off to boarding school. I tried to convince them to send him to the one in Switzerland but apparently that is "too far away". I have heard that after his heartworm treatment, he has to remain crated for 4-6 weeks. Hmmm...too bad it is happening while I am away. I wouldn't mind if he was crated for 4-6 weeks when I get back. He is really not such a bad dog but he is a dog and I am a cat so I have to pretend to hate him.

The only  good thing about the radiation treatment being over every day is that I get to go home and have some Fancy Feast. Dang, I was thirsty today too.

We met a nice dog at the vet school today named Chelsea.  Apparently she had to have a tumor removed from her leg as well and will probably have to undergo radiation treatment. At least I am not going at this alone. She looked a little like Baloo before he got his hair shaved off. I have heard this vet school is the best place to be for this kind of treatment. I will be happy when it is over though.

We did not see Eric and Allison today so I do not know how their cat is doing. I hope he pulled through his surgery OK.

                          

                                    

Missing Home


July 13, 2010 5:40 PM

Sigh...feeling rather melancholy today. I guess I am missing home. I have gotten word that Baloo is at the boarding school and is doing well but he wants to go home. He claims that Privet has set him up and that he was not actually the one who tore the wire kennel up and broke the items in the house. I hear that Privet is quite content with the new surroundings.

Butters is doing well too. Butters was apparently weaned too early. Whenever he is held, he will start nursing on your shirt. He will soak it if you allow him too. All I can say is that he better not try this with me.

So, today was day four of the radiation treatments, so that means I only have 13 more treatments to go. I am holding up but I am kind of tired today. I woke Kevin up at 5:30 looking for my food and once again I was not given any until after I got home. I am beginning to notice a pattern here. I have found a new favorite food. It is made by b.f.f. (best feline friend) and it is the Tuna and Tilapia twosome recipe. YUM! Kevin says the b.f.f. stands for BAD FISH FOOD. He thinks it stinks but what does he know? He doesn't like any seafood.

I am going  to take a nap for now. Paws out.


                                   




                                   

Hump Day

July 14, 2010 5:46 PM

The middle of the week, so finally I know what it is like to look forward to Friday's. It never really mattered before, because all the days were pretty care free. Now that I have to go through this radiation treatment, I can look forward to Friday's because I get the weekend off.

My vet student assistant was sick today so I had a new one, an oncologist nurse who is also a cat person. Apparently she has a cat who has cancer too, but I am not sure what type. It is good there are people like this who take care of us.

It was raining dogs today. I really mean it was raining dogs! The lobby was packed full of dogs. There was a giant Great Dane who was playing with a beagle, there were boxers, border collies, all kinds. I could tell they all feared me though. This place is going to the dogs. A few of the dogs tried to incite a riot and pretty soon, they were all barking. No worries, I had the problem taken care of.

                    

                                                     

I was told today that these giant pills can be opened and mixed with some wet food. This is good. Whoever made a pill bigger than a cats mouth and expected the caregiver to get it down our throats without bloodshed was sadly mistaken. It gets mixed in with the tuna and tilapia blend and I heard Kevin say that NOTHING could get by that smell detected. I am not sure what he meant by that, I think the tuna and tilapia smell wonderful.

I heard the camera start up again. I make it as hard as possible to get cute pictures. No freebies! Every once in a while, he will get a good one while I am dozing. These Egyptian cotton sheets are wonderful and well deserved seeing how I do have some connections with Ancient Egypt. I must demand these when I get home.




Only 12 more treatments to go. I will be so glad to get home.

                                                           

Here are some video's I have found on cats dealing with Vaccine Associated Sarcoma. They are sad, but they need to be seen.




This last video is very heartbreaking. The caregiver is obviously angry about the loss of his cat to this horrible cancer, and rightfully so. This one will make you cry.







Rough start

July 15, 2010  8:56 AM

Today has started out particularly rough. Stimpy looks to me for food again and does not understand why I cannot give her any. She sits on the small carpet squares where her feeding station is and just looks at me. I never eat or drink in front of her while she is having to fast, it seems too cruel.

When she saw me bring out the crate, she ran and hid under the bedskirt. For the first time I can ever remember, she snapped at me. She did not bite me, it was more like she was trying to push my hand away from picking her up and placing her in the crate. This is so heartbreaking, I am not sure I can be as strong as she is.

Stimpy came to us when we first moved to Tucson in 2004. She belonged to our neighbors and we thought she was a stray so we started placing out cans of albacore tuna for her. Needless to say, she quickly jumped ship. Eventually our neighbors came up to me and asked if I wanted her. It was an estatic yes! It was really one of the happiest days of my life, Stimpy was my very first pet! They had named her Stimpy so it stayed since she was used to it. Now so much of that joy is diminished by the thoughts of losing her to this cancer. It will be the hardest day of my life when that happens.

It is hard not to feel anger and disgust towards the pharmaceutical companies today. Up until now, I have kind of been silent about it. We know  for certain that Stimpy's VAS was caused by her rabies vaccination she received in September 2007. It was a Ft. Dodge vaccination. We know this because this is the only vaccination she has ever received in that leg. We tracked down all of her vet records and even spoke to the people who used to care for her, and it was confirmed that this was her only vaccination there. When I first called Ft. Dodge, which is now a division of Boehringer Ingelheim, to report the adverse side effect, I was a little taken aback when they were so quick to offer up to $1500 for her treatment. By their own admission, they only go back three years when offering this, but it made me realize that something needed to be changed. Disclosure of this cancer needs to become mandatory by the pharmaceutical companies. They say only 1 in 10,000 will be effected, the number does not matter. When it is your cat, that number is 100%. We asked at the Vet School is this cancer has such a high death rate because most people cannot afford the care. Sadly, it seems like that is very real. By the time this year is over, Stimpy's care will probably reach the $15,000 range, with the follow up CT scans and possible chemo. I am not sure I can put her through chemo, that seems so brutal. It does not matter what it costs, whatever she needs, she will get it. I guess we are fortunate enough that we can afford this. My heart goes out to the caregivers who cannot. I have already decided that as soon as I can start thinking clearly again, I am going to start a fund to help people who cannot afford care for their cats. It is least I can do.


9:49 PM

Stimpy is resting comfortably on the sofa. I will have to take her food and water up soon so the cycle starts all over. At least tomorrow is Friday so she will have a few days rest. I have found  that you also have to leave the toilet seat down for our little girl. She has discovered it to be a source of water. I walked into the bathroom this morning and she was trying to figure out how to get to the water without the water getting to her.

She seemed OK when she got home although she hid under the drapery for a while. It seems to take longer to get purrs out of her now.




Dana sent me some pictures of Mr. Baloo and Mr. Butters at the boarding place. They are doing well but I am sure they would like to be home. Baloo kept breaking out of his crate during the day so he needed better supervision. Poor guy, he does not understand he needs to be crated and kept calm for six weeks after his heartworm treatment. Mr. Butters is feline leukemia positive so it would have been risky to leave  him and Privet together. They go nuts when there is a door between them and they cannot get to the other side. Privet is convinced there is better food on the other side of the door. She is on a low cal food. She was so skinny when she showed up but she quickly gained weight.





Mr. Butters looks kind of funny here because the picture was snapped in mid lick. Mr. Baloo has this thing about spreading his food around so as you can see, he has taken his food and thrown it all over the room. Back home, he carries his and the other two dogs bowls outside and eats outside. Animals can have such funny habits.

                             

Only 11 more treatments to go. Sigh....

Stimpy is stretched out on the sofa. She usually does this on the bed too leaving me just a few inches. I have gotten used to sleeping on 6" on the very edge.

              

It is finally Friday!

July 16, 2010  7:12 AM

There is good reason to welcome Friday's again. Back home it was just another day but now it means relief for Stimpy for the weekend. I pulled her crate out early and set it up so she can get used to the fact she is not being shoved into it right away. Poor thing, she is still hiding under the bed skirt.

Andy reports in about things at home. Privet is doing well but he says she is a real "cling-on". That is one thing I like about her but he prefers cats like Stimpy, ones who are more independent and aloof and do not need attention. Privet is a wonderful lap kitty. Andy was trying to maintain some control and take care of Baloo  too by leaving him at the house but since he was not there to watch him full time, Baloo went kind of nuts being in a crate. He sees and hears the other two dogs outside running and barking and he wants to be outside with them.

Andy tells me the roofers finished replacing the roof. When the hail storm rolled through in May, it did some horrible property damage to the area. Practically everyone got a new roof. At least I did not have to deal with that while I am here.

Here is a picture taken on the day we left for Columbia. I woke up early and saw this beautiful sky. The green thing in the background is the pond. It is covered with some floating green stuff right now. The dogs love it for some reason and will go frolic in it but they will not come near the pool if you are in it. I guess it is too clean for them. Baloo avoids it completely because I have placed him in the pool with me a few times and he just wants to get out. It drives me nuts when the dogs show up covered from head to tail in this green stuff but will avoid the pool. No matter how much water you place out for them too, they always have to drink from the pond or the koi pond. Dogs...go figure.

It is almost time to go. I hope things go easier for Stimpy. She is still under the bed skirts. By the time this is over, the dogs and cats at home will have forgotten about me and Stimpy will hate me. There is a scarlet macaw at home but she hates everyone already so there will be no love lost there. Who knows, maybe she will have missed me. Yeah...right. I'll write more later.





8:42 AM

I am happy to report that Stimpy did much better this morning. I brought the crate out and placed it on the counter about an hour before we had to leave. She did hide again but became comfortable with the fact that she was not placed in it right away. She eventually came out and walked around the room. It was a much easier transition this morning.

Our oncologist in Oklahoma City suggested we try a spray called Feliway. It is a cat pheromone spray and they say it helps calm them in stressful environments. Before coming here, we went to Petsmart and bought the spray as well as the plug in room version and they really seem to help. I sprayed some in her crate about 15 minutes prior to our departure and she really seemed pretty calm. It certainly seemed to work on me too, as I was calmer this morning too.

She sneezes once in a while but I've noticed that is usually after she has been playing around her catnip. I think she is snorting it! I love watching a cat react to catnip. For me, it is a good sign too that she is feeling well enough to do her thing.

I am so glad it is Friday. After Stimpy comes back to the room it will give me a chance to do some laundry and  go work out some. I am grateful I have a full kitchen so I can cook. Having to eat out, even for a week, would be horrible. Stimpy always comes into the kitchen and strategically places herself behind me so she can get stepped on. I have grown accustomed to this habit so I always have to look behind me now before I back up.

Friday, 5:54PM

It has been a good Friday. Stimpy was at the vet school a little longer than usual but only because her radiation therapy was started later. She seemed calm again although a little wired when I picked her up. She is doing fine and has had "first dinner".

While I was there waiting for Stimpy, Alison and Eric came in. I was so glad to see them. These are the two who's cat was in surgery last week and I worried about their cat since I did not see them again on Monday. Their cat "Smudge" came through OK and they were there to get some supplements for him. Alison said he is a 13 year old male Calico which is pretty rare, as most calicoes are female. It really made my day to see them and learn that Smudge was at home with them.

I actually did laundry today and enjoyed it. Funny how you can enjoy something like that when you are away from home but it gave me a chance to do something different. It also gave me a chance to talk to a lady in the laundry room and bring up Stimpy and VAS. I use every opportunity I get these days to educate people about this terrible cancer. I just do not want someone to learn about it the same way we learned about Stimpy's VAS.

Stimpy is curled up on the bed again, and thankfully she has a few days off now.


               

           
Only 10 more fractions to go!

Someone light a match!

July 17, 2010 7:54 AM

I guess the tuna and tilapia finally had it's revenge on me this morning. I woke up at 3:30 AM and Stimpy was next to me grooming herself, and then it hit me! WHAT WAS THAT SMELL? Horrified, I turned the light on half expecting to see a mess on the bed. Thankfully she had used her litter box but OMG! Seriously, it made the eyes water! I lit a candle and a few matches but it took a while.

We have the weekend off finally. Stimpy was hiding under the bedskirt again in anticipation of having to go into the crate. I wonder how long it will take her to realize it is not happening today.I usually keep the room pretty tidy and do not ask for any housekeeping on the weekends. For now it is kind of nice to relax. There is some kind of sport event happening with high school kids here so the place is loaded with kids. They were running down the halls, yelling, slamming doors. Seriously, what kind of parent does NOT know that is improper behavior at a hotel?

Stimpy is doing very well. She has not shown any side effects yet and we are nearly halfway through the treatments. They say sometimes a sunburn like rash could develop but it is easily treated. She grooms herself daily, jumps, chases the laser light, seems to have normal urinary and bowel movements so I am optimisitic about this. It is sure an emotional roller coaster though.

Let me tell you about a small kitten we rescued a while back. While at a Valero gas station, we came out of the door and I looked down and heard this faint meow. There was a poor little kitten that someone had abandoned and it did not look like she would last the night. I went in and bought her some food and then took her over to Dana's rescue. At that time, we only had Stimpy and I was not sure how she would react to a new kitten. We sponsored this little kitten and named her Valero. We paid for her vet treatments, etc and helped her recover. Dana is really wonderful with sick animals and she was very instrumental in Valero's recovery.

Here is a picture of her the day we took her to the rescue


                                                                   

She is a beautiful siamese tabby mix. She was so gentle and accepting of everything. The day I took her to the vet with Privet, she sat calmly in her crate the entire time. Fortunately she was not feline leukemia positive. We got her vaccinations and treated her for fleas and ticks and a short time later, we found a wonderful home for her. A nurse adopted her and they are a perfect match. The nurse's mother refers to Valero as her "grand kitty".

Valero (aka Val now) has really turned into a beautiful cat, and very playful and lots of character. It is wonderful to be able to rescue one more from certain death. Here are a few pictures of her now. She is simply beautiful.




I just came across this picture of Privet. She is a real sweetheart. She loves to lay in your lap for hours and any time you lay down, she is instantly up on you and she will curl up and go to sleep. Cats do keep us calm I guess. I think this is Privet's way of telling me to just chill and relax. I took this picture with my phone so it is not the best quality.

                                                         

Today my sister and niece are leaving on a road trip going to Custers Battlefield, Yellowstone National Park and a few more places in that area. I would probably be with them right now had this cancer not come up with Stimpy. There are no regrets though, I am where I need to be.


Stealth cat

July 17, 2010 12:23 PM

Ha ha! I did not have to go to radiation therapy today. I hid under the bedskirt and Kevin could not find me! I was so stealthy today, it was like I was invisible. I will try this again tomorrow and perhaps I can get out of going to radiation therapy tomorrow too. You have to get up pretty early to fool me. It is past noon so I figured it was OK to come out and get some food. Kevin is acting like it is no big deal but I know he is plotting my capture so he can take me in tomorrow. Let the cat and mouse games begin.


                           

 




Take a look at Stimpy at 2:15. She has always been kind of funny when she drinks water and does this before she starts drinking. I had to buy this water dish for her because she likes seeing the ripples on the water. She usually will not drink from a bowl with just still water in it.
 


Stormy day

July 18, 2010  6:56 AM

We woke up this morning to rain, thunder and lightning. There is a severe storm moving through the area. They say there is some possibility of large hail. I hope it is nothing like what it was in Oklahoma City in May. Before this came up with Stimpy, I used to really care a lot about keeping a car in spotless, dent free condition. Now, it all seems pretty trivial because obviously it is easy to replace a material thing but you cannot replace your pet. When I talked to Dana about some of the criticisms we were getting for spending so much money on Stimpy's care, she put it very well by saying "you can replace money but you cannot replace your pet".

Stimpy came out long enough to eat some but promptly retreated to her refuge under the bedskirt. This time it is because of the thunder. She always hides in the closet at home when it thunders. Lightning struck the land lines at home and none of the phones work yet. It is not a huge inconveninence these days with cell phones but it does prevent us from opening the gate with the phone.

You keep thinking about ways to be effective in educating people about VAS. Do we group and protest at the pharm companies, on the steps of our capital at home, a letter writing campaign? The Internet certainly is a valuable tool for reaching so many. The other day I was behind a car with a pink cancer ribbon on it and it occured to me how universally recognized this ribbon is for cancer. Perhaps we should design one to make people more aware of feline cancer? I tinkered for a few minutes with a design. What do you think? Any constructive thoughts or criticisms? In case it is not obvious, these are supposed to be two striped tabby tails.


                                                          

I posted the video of Stimpy above. It is kind of long but the best part is at 2:15. I am always fascinated by watching a cat drink water for some reason and Stimpy does this cute little thing before she drinks water. I will write more later. I suppose I should sign off before lightning strikes my computer. 


11:12 AM

The storm has passed and Stimpy is curled up on the carpet. At least she is out from under the bedskirt. I am probably like most parents of pets, you worry about leaving them alone so I pretty much stay in the room with her after her treatments. I thought about bringing some things to do here. I am working on two art glass windows for the front entry of the house in OKC so before I came, I built the new frames for them, planned the design, but when I calculated the amount of glass I needed for each window, it was going to be 37 square feet of glass per window! I just did not want to carry that much glass in the vehicle with me. Thankfully this journal gives me something constructive to do.

OK, is there some pet psychologist who can explain this to me? I bought this bed for Baloo and immediately, Stimpy claimed it as hers. I thought, how cute, she loves it. So, I bring it to Columbia with us and she has not laid on it one single time!




Sometimes I really think cats are far smarter than people think and I believe they have that same thought process that humans have. Stimpy is sometimes stubborn and she does not take to new things easily so I even worried about her litter box I made for her before we came. I did not have time to finish it on the outside, but basically I made a custom tile lined box that will eventually be finished like a house on the outside with a roof that lifts for easy cleaning. Surprisingly she did not hesitate to use it. Stimpy is a real prima donna when it comes to her litter box. She will not use it unless it is clean and then, she sometimes let her back end hang over the edge so sometimes she missed! I made higher walls on this with an extra large litter box so now she has to keep it inside. The tile walls make for easy clean up too.

12:30 PM

Poor Stimpy has thrown up for the first time today since this has started. It was different from her hairballs. Of course this had to happen on a Sunday when the vet school is closed. I thought about venturing out for a short time but I guess I will stay in the room with her to make sure she is OK. I hope this is not the beginning of some bad side effects for her. I wish I could tell her that what we are doing for her is for her well being.

3:52 PM

Stimpy seems to be resting better right now. I hope it was an isolated incident. I realize cats throw up now and then but when they are undergoing so many changes like this, it makes you worry more.

When I first started learning about this cancer, you read reports on how 1 in 10, 000, or 1 in 1,000 cats are hit with this and they say how rare it is. Now, after joing a support group for VAS cancer survivors and ones who have lost their lives to this, I am beginning to realize it is not so rare after all, in fact, it seems pretty common place. I wonder how many go unreported, or misdiagnosed, or the poor cats simply die from it because their caretakers cannot afford to help their companion animals.

Here are a few important links for anyone who is affected by this terrible disease. I recommend the support group as there are many caring people there who have been through this or they are going through it right now.

http://www.feline-vas-support.org/

For those who wish to contribute to a fund dedicated to help people who cannot afford the care that comes with this terrible cancer, please click on this link and donate to Kobi's Fund. If you are in need of help, they may be able to help you if you meet the requirements. This fund is meant to help people who truly need help.

http://www.kobifund.org/

Hiding out

July 19, 2010  7:37 AM

I think I am going back to "that place" this morning. I was deprived of my food once again last night and no food this morning. I think it is a plot to weaken me. I will remain strong. Kevin is walking all over the room looking for me. I must remain quiet so he cannot find me. I will write more later when  the coast is clear.

                               

10:18 AM

RATS! Kevin found me and placed me into the containment unit. I was calm, just watching for the time I could make my move. When we got to the school, I used my Cati powers (as in Jedi) and told them "this is not the cat you are looking for"..."she can go about her business"...move along, move along".  It almost worked except Kevin had already told them I was there for my radiation treatment. I was able to convince  them to take me in first though, which they did and I was out of there in no time.



Kevin seemed pretty excited about today. He said something about it being the halfway point. I guess I have nine more treatments to go. I can't wait until Friday again.

               

Single digits

July 20, 2010  3:04 PM

Stimpy and I have survived the half way point and we are finally into the single digits as far as the remaining treatments go. The day started with a pretty fierce storm. High winds, heavy rain, lightning and thunder sent Stimpy into hiding. By the time we left, the car was surrounded in a lake of water and I had to walk through it to get to it. With soaking feet, I loaded Stimpy and off we went.

Today marked the end of Tiffany being our vet student assistant. She will move onto pathology rounds and a new student will be assigned to Stimpy tomorrow. When I picked Stimpy up, Tiffany gave Stimpy a gift of a huge can of tuna. She said Stimpy was her favorite oncology patient. Stimpy is holding up well, she is a good little trooper. She is starting to show some burn on her skin. It saddens me that she has to go through all this. I do not know if she understands everyone is trying to help her but she still trusts me and comes to me. As soon as we got back to the room, I mentioned food and she always brightens up. At times, Stimpy will ignore you but the word food always gets a response. She will generally stand on her hind legs and crawl up the side of the cabinet, reaching for it. I gave her the tuna, just a small amount at first with her Azodyl mixed in, and after she ate that, I gave her some more. She is resting comfortably on the bed now. I tend to keep the room pretty cool in hopes that it eases her burn somewhat.

Word from home is that Baloo is going nuts in the "dog house". Poor thing doesn't understand that he needs to be confined for a time period while he heals from his heartworm treatment. It has been quite a record month for vet bills. Butters is doing OK too but I wish I was home. I am really starting to feel the lonliness of sitting in a motel room for a month. Seeing that Stimpy seems to be adjusted to the surroundings now does give me some comfort.

So, now we are down to eight treatments. I keep looking ahead, think that after tomorrow, it is Thursday and then it is Friday. This coming Friday will be such a welcome relief. It will mean that we can go home next week. Wow, we can go home next week! When we get home, I will set a placemat at the dining table and give Stimpy a special treat.

I'd better sign off. Her highness is sitting by the litter box giving me that "you don't expect me to use this right now do you, it has not been cleaned yet" look. She is odd in the fact that she will not bury her urine but she will bury the poop. That is of course unless I have not had a chance to clean it yet, in which case she will leave it exposed as a form of punishment for me for not cleaning it sooner. Coming Stimpy....


                             

Over the hump

July 21, 2010  6:53 PM

It gets more exciting every day the treatment is over because the reality of going home is become clearer. It seems like we have been here forever. Today marked the 11th treatment so I only have seven left. It is beginning to really get to me though. When they come to get me from the holding cell, I hiss at them to let them know I am to be feared. We cats were cursed with this weak spot just behind our necks. When they get a chance, they quickly grab me there and it makes me go limp. I am powerless to resist. They check my pulse, listen to my heart, weigh me and, I hate to write this, they stick this probe inside me until it makes this "beep" noise. I think they must be collecting my DNA for some diabolical reason. I must remain calm.

I hid under the chair this morning, but this room is small and Kevin now knows all my hiding places. Maybe I can crawl into the dishwasher...he would never think to look there. I also think that Kevin is onto me about this bed that he bought for Baloo. I heard him mention something about giving it back to Baloo so I had to sleep on it again. I am too cute curled up on it so it will not take it away from me.




This calendar is starting to look pretty good! Wow, only seven more treatments and I can go home!

                                                  


Here is a short video I took of Stimpy today while she played with a fluffy ball. I realize that someday I am going to really treasure every video and every picture of Stimpy. I just hope that these surgeries and radiation therapy help extend her life for another 10 years. She is very special to me.


The cat is not happy

July 22, 2010  9:37 PM

Today started like the other days. Stimpy sees me getting dressed and she knows it is just about time to go. She has gotten used to no food, but I still feel guilty making her wait. I stay up until midnight just so she can have food and water as late as possible. This morning she hid under the bed skirt and she held on tight when I was trying to get her out. She is so calm going there but when it is time to go into the exam room, she goes on guard. She growled at me when I tried to get her out of the crate. I guess I am going to have to start  taking it apart. They are a pain to assemble but if it causes her less stress it is worth the effort.

Her new vet student is named Kelvin. He said she hissed at him when he was near her in her kennel. Poor thing, she just does not understand what is happening. Thankfully, tomorrow is Friday and then she will have the weekend off. I am even more thankful that next Friday is finally her last treatment and we can go home on Saturday.

I finally got out of the room and had some human interaction today. The couple I met at the vet school, Alison and Eric whose cat Smudge had surgery to remove a cancerous lump from his throat, joined me for dinner at a place called Sycamore. It was very nice. Both Alison and Eric know a lot about cat care and Alison knows a lot about biology and she is studying radiology so it was actually a great dinner because she set my mind at ease about a lot of things. Smudge is probably going  to have to undergo radiation as well as soon as he can gain some weight. I hate that they have to go down this path as well. She showed me a picture of him and he is a handsome cat. Male calicoes are rare so it is very befitting that someone who knows so much about biology would have such a special cat.

When I got back to the room, Stimpy was fine. She wanted some food of course so I gave her some of her favorite. She is still giving me some grief about taking the Azodyl. I have  probably wasted more of the capsules than I have given her. I was playing with her fuzzy ball because she seemed like she was in a frisky mood and when I flipped the ball towards her, it landed on her head. It is so light that it did not bother her and I had enough time to get the camera and get this great shot. She is notorious for moving just before the shot so I am surprised that I got this one.



                                      

Woo hoo! Only six more treatments to go! I hope these next five days go by fast.

                                     

T.G.I.F.!!!

July 23, 2010  10:00 PM

Finally! The weekend is here and I can relax for a few days. I was out of the vet school by 10:00 AM so it was not so stressful today. Instead of trying to get me to come out of my crate sanctuary at the vet school, Kevin surprised me by taking  the top off. I was not expecting that at all. It was definitely a WTF moment when I realized that hiding towards the back and growling at them was no longer going to work. It might be time to bring out the claws of death.

There are only five more treatments left! I am not looking forward to Monday because that means I have to go back for more treatment but at least it means it is the last week! I am going to sleep all the way home. It is about an eight hour drive but I do not care. It means that home is at the end of the drive.

No plans for the weekend. Just going to stay in the room and chill out. 

                          


                                                  

I LOVE SATURDAYS!

July 24, 2010  9:27 AM

Ahhh...it  is finally Saturday! I woke up this morning, food was in my bowl, I had water, the birds were singing...it is a good day!  I do not have to go into the vet school so I can just kick back and chill. I think I am just going to eat and sleep all weekend. It is easy to look forward to the upcoming week because we get to go home on Saturday! Woo hoo! Kevin will have to make a run to the store to get me some more wet food. I hear that we are down to one can! WHAT? How can we be down to one can? I think he is taking some little nibs of my stuff while I am not watching. I will have to monitor this situation closely!


                                                         

Kevin has promised me a salmon dinner when I get home. I will have to re-establish my authority there. I am sure the other animals have slacked off in the past several weeks. Ms. Privet will have to relinquish the spot on the bed. It is not big enough for both of us. Mr. Butters and Mr. Baloo already fear me so there will be no issues with them. The Bird...what to do with The Bird? That dang scarlet macaw thinks she runs the place. She thinks she is SOOOOOOOOO smart just because she can speak human talk. I will teach her a new phrase...The Birdman of Alcatraz. I saw this movie the other night and it has given me an idea. I will tell her she is being sent off to Club Pet for a "vacation". He he he. Paws out for now. CATS RULE!

                                                       

1:55 PM

Word has come from home that Mr. Baloo is homesick and wants to return home. Poor guy has a long road ahead of him. He will have to remain kind of inactive until about mid August. It sounds like there are a lot of things going on at home too, some new people there doing a lot of work so we will not know these people when we get home. A new landscape crew is there changing things, some repairs on the house need to be done because of the hail storm, a new gate is being made and will be installed soon along with a new fence across the front area. I will have to let these people know that the dogs are not in charge there, it is I. Mr. Baloo will have to reestablish his alpha dog position. Frida and Chula will probably have to check him out all over again. Frida is a border collie and Chula is a boxer. I suppose as soon as Baloo regains his freedom he will have to run and jump in that dirty pond again. Dogs...they have no sense on cleanliness.

Andy sent this picture of Baloo. He is over at Dana's. Apparently he is trying to escape and has been chewing up the door! Mr. Butters is hanging in there but I am sure he would like to be outside once again. Everyone has made some sacrifices for me during this radiation treatment. It is good to have friends who can help out too.

                                                

Baloo's fur is starting to grow out. He looks like such a puppy with the short hair. We pretend like we do not like each other but we really do. We have to keep up appearances around the two legged ones.

I've gotta get out of this place...

July 25, 2010  2:50 PM

It has  been a pretty boring weekend. About the only excitement around here has been all the kids in the motel. I guess every weekend they descend upon the city for some sporting events and the place is just packed full of kids all weekend. I guess we will have to tolerate it again next Friday but it will only be for one night. We get to go home next Saturday! I do not care if it is a 20  hour drive, I just want to get out of here. I can't wait to sleep in my own bed, be in my own home. Yeah, OK, I also miss the others.

Kevin did laundry again so it gave me a nice cozy warm place to lay for a while. He was so rude to move me though and then he put every thing away. I get no respect around here.

More rain here, more  high winds. This place is worse  than Oklahoma! Being on the third floor does not help either. The wind just howls and I go and hide in the closet. It does not seem to bother Kevin but he also weighs more than me so he does not have to worry about being swept away from a gust.

I am  not sure how he has done it, but Kevin has kept this motel room remarkably clean and tidy. He even hangs up his clothes. I never knew a chair was made for sitting in until we came here. Kevin uses the chair at home in the bedroom for stacking his clothes. He cleans the kitchen, washes the dishes, makes the bed on some days. Hmm...maybe Kevin have become one of those Stepford Husbands. This is not like him at all. Maybe he is the victim to one of those body snatching aliens. I saw a movie the other night about some invasion of some body snatchers. This would explain a lot. This guy definitely does not act like the "other" Kevin. I will have to observe closely....

Andy is flying here on Thursday to ride back with us. I am glad because it is a long trip by yourself. I also like having a doctor present on "check out". He understands all the medical stuff and knows what to ask.






6:42 PM

It is almost 7:00 PM. I am dreading the evening because it means once again I have to take up Stimpy's food and once again, I have to take her into the vet school to start radiation treatment again. Poor Stimpy looks at me at times when we are going there as if she is asking "why are you doing this to me?"

It has come to the point that I hate reading any more about it on the Internet. It is clear that it is a common occurence, yet it seems like nothing is being done by the pharmaceutical companies to change anything. How could something like this be in the news for nearly 20 years now and still, every day you learn of another case. Another person joined the VAS support group today because she just found out that her 4 year old cat has VAS.

Our neighbor in Oklahoma City was a State Senator for two terms. She is well respected in the community so when I return to OKC I am going to sit down with her and use her resources to start making some changes at home. Mandatory disclosure MUST become as routine as these vaccinations. I still cannot believe that you do not hear about this until after your pet is stricken with it. I do not work (by choice), I have time to join pet groups, perhaps do some tables at shows. Education is key here. It has to start with the pharmaceutical companies. Perhaps some lawsuits affecting their profits will make them wake up and realize that they are killing our pets. For some people, these pets mean everything to them, it is all they have in their lives. To lose their companion due to greed is unacceptable. How many of our pets have to suffer and die before a class action suit is slapped on these pharmaceutical companies so they will wake up and make changes. Every day you see commercials from lawyers seeking participants for a class action suit that targets pharmaceutical companies. Our companion animals should be treated the same. If a state can impose a law on us forcing us to vaccinate our animals, then there can also be a law that goes with that requiring disclosure. The pharmaceutical companies may be able to hide behind some loopholes now, but those loopholes can always be closed.

I could write for days about this. All it is doing to me now is causing frustration and anger. Looking over at the bed, seeing Stimpy curled up, not knowing why she has been removed from her home in OKC and having to live in a motel room for a month, and being poked and prodded daily and subject to anesthesia and radiation, it is easy to get angry. I will channel that anger to make changes.


Photobucket

This is one of my favorite pictures of Stimpy. This was taken while she slept peacefully on the bed following her radiation treatment for the day.

Manic Monday

July 26, 2010  1:20 PM

Sigh...I thought I was through with this. It took me most of the weekend to realize that I was not going in for radiation so I was able to relax and kick back. I knew something was up because when I woke Kevin up at 6:00 he just stayed in bed. He did not get up to feed me and once again my water was gone. So, once again I am incarcerated in the crate and hauled off to "The School". Once again they take my pulse and then the dreaded beeping stick! Dang I hate that thing. I growled at Kevin and Kelvin but my threats went unheeded. I do not want to have to use the claws but I think it is coming to that.

There was some discussion about using a laser on my eye to correct that spot. It has been there forever but I guess there is some concern it could cause some problems in the future. It is probably best to do it now. They will do that tomorrow first and then they will do the radiation it sounds like tomorrow is going to be a long day. I will be starved by the time I get home.

It is time to send Kevin out to get some provisions. I have once again switched my favorite food so he needs to go pick some more up. Housekeeping came early so I will be OK in the room by myself. Kevin puts a sign on the door that says "Do not enter, FEROCIOUS CAT INSIDE. Not responsible for loss of limbs". They all fear me.

I only have four more sessions to go before we can go home. Can I make it?  We are finally in the home stretch. I can see a light at the end of the tunnel, lets hope it is not a train!

                                                                   

Cats rule! Paws Out.






Stimpy is displaying a slight burn and some flaking. It really hurts to see this on her. I hope she is not having much pain from it. Dang, I wish Friday would come around. I want to take her home so bad. Hang in there Stimpy!

The place is going to the dogs...

July 27, 2010  4:00 PM

Today was a particularly long day. Again, no food or water (what is up with that??) and when we got to the school, Kevin opened the crate and I crawled out and was sitting next to him. I did not realize it was a trap. Kelvin  showed up and carried my crate and Kevin carried me. I was not a happy cat. I was growling all the way to the exam room. I was once again placed upon the table and the poking began. I am not sure what they are looking for. I have remained silent. They will not get any information out of me. I think that probe they stick in my butt is some kind of tracking device. No matter where I hide, Kevin can find me.

Today they zapped that melanoma on my eye. They are not worried that it was bad since it had been there so long but they went ahead and shrank it as a precautionary measure. After that I had to get yet another radiation treatment. Just look at me...I am starting to glow!!


                                                             


My eyes are dilated so I have to hold them closed. Kevin closed the drapes in the room and it helps somewhat. He also put some drops in my eyes. I think it is some kind of truth serum.

Apparently, things are going to the dogs back home. A new puppy was introduced into the home today. You know what they say...while the cat is away. I guess it is true. I will have to reestablish my position when I get home and let them know who is boss. The new guy is a bloodhound and he has been named Dr. Watson. We will see if he lives up to the name. It will probably be more like Dr. Want some. I want some of this, I want some of that. Dogs...go figure. I will say it here since he cannot read, he is cute but I will have to pretend to hate him like the other dogs. I wonder how he and Mr. Baloo will get along. Mr. Baloo is alpha dog but since he has been gone he may be pretty jealous. The official count now is three cats (cats rule!), four dogs and a scarlet macaw. The numerous other wildlife animals do not count. There are deer, skunks, raccoons, peacocks and even a bobcat that roams the property at times. One time there was an armadillo...what an unfortunate looking creature that is!

Here is a picture of Dr. Wantsome, er, I mean Watson. I can tell by the look on his face that he already thinks he is smarter than I am. Dr. Watson, meet Mr. Claw...


                                                                

Kevin is ready to get out of here. I think he is more stressed than I am. I try to remain strong for him so I can carry him out the door. Sometimes I have to go and put my paw over his nose to see if he is breathing. He needs a vacation.

Only three more treatments to go. I hope these next three days go by fast. Finally, I can sleep in my own bed on Saturday night.


                                                           

Paws out.
                      

Why do they call this fasting?

July 28, 2010  12:20 PM

Seriously, why DO they call it fasting? I keep hearing that I have to "fast" the night before the radiation treatments so my food and water is taken away from me. There is nothing FAST about it. Why don't they call it slowing or better yet, starving! This morning I turned on the purrs with Kevin hoping he would give in and give me some food. No luck. Dang! By the time I get back to the room I am ready to eat the furniture! At least I got out early today and was home by 10:30. Wait, did I call this home? No, it is not home. It is more like Riker's Island. There is no escape!

Thankfully though, I only have two more treatments to go! Friday is my last day and I can go home! Yes, home! I have forgotten what it looks like. I will have my own bed, lots of places to explore, I will be left alone and can sleep in (after I wake them up at 5:00 to feed me) and no more going back to "The School"!


                                                                

Now for the update. I would like to hear from people who have been affected by vaccine associated sarcoma. I want to start a data base. Specifically, if you could, please e-mail me your information. You can e-mail me here: stimpysjourney@yahoo.com

Please include the following:

Date of Vaccination

Lot Number (very important, but if unknown, please just state unknown)

Manufacturer

Pet's name (this will help keep information organized)


Thank you. I will make this information available to anyone interested in it once the data base has been compiled.


Mad Cat Disease

July 29, 2010  1:40 PM

I hear that cows get something called Mad Cow Disease. It must be like what I am going through because I am getting pretty mad about having to go into "The School" every day. They keep trying to get me to talk but they do not know how stubborn I can be. I can stand anything they dish out. Once again I am taken into the small chamber, and they close the doors so I cannot escape. Hiding in the crate is useless now as they have figured out how to remove the top so I cannot hide towards the back and hiss at them like I used to be able to do. Before they were afraid to reach in and get me out but with the top removed, I am defenseless. They grab me by the back of my neck and I once again go limp. When I get home I must excercise that area to tighten it up so they cannot grab it so easily.

There was a lot of commotion out in the hallway this morning after Kevin left the room. I heard a lot of "oohs and aahs" so I figured it must have been some puppies. They sent in 12 agents to spy on us cats. There were 12 American Bulldog puppies in a basket I am told, and they are clearly infiltration units. I will not talk and I have told my comrades in the detention block to just hiss at them and not talk. We must stick together.

Here is a picture of the "agents". Keep a lookout for them, they are not as innocent as they look.

                                              

We must send in a basket of kittens to help limit the effects of these agents on the two legged ones. There is nothing cuter than a basket full of kittens. They will be powerless against our agents.

                                           

Last night I sent Kevin out of the room. I needed my space so I could do some "cat things". I cannot tell you what I did, it is top secret. Let's just say he had better look twice at that piece of chocolate he left out. He went over to Alison and Eric's house for dinner and I managed to get word to their cats that a break out of  my cell is imminent. I may need help in hiding. I have a comrade there, Alison's sister. Her name is Ren. For some strange reason I feel like I know her from some past life. Ren & Stimpy...just can't place a paw on it at the moment. Hmm....

I heard them say that tomorrow is my last day. Ha ha! I knew I could last longer than them. It sounds like they are finally giving up on me and releasing me. There is supposed to be some kind of meeting tomorrow to discuss my future visits. I think they have finally realized that I cannot be broken and they have no choice but to release me. I heard them say something today about "watching" me and reporting anything unusual. I will have to do my secret missions at night while they sleep. I think I have managed to destroy all the tracking units they keep implanting into my butt each day  and I heard Kelvin say they only have one left. Who's the smart one now? 

Paws out for now...the litter box needs some attention. Hey Kevin, go clean my litter box, and while you are at it, peel me a grape!


                                                              

Apparently Kevin has way too much time on his hands and decided to try his hand at dressing me in drag with some computer program. This is the final humiliation. I am pretty sure there is some law against this somewhere.

                                   

Hasta la vista Baby! I'm outta here!

July 30, 2010  3:28 PM

Ha ha! I knew I could withstand all they dished out. They finally decided I was too much for them and they told Kevin to take me home. Their exact words were "We hope we never see Stimpy again!" I knew it was only a matter of time before they realized I had a mind like a steel trap.

I was calm when Kevin came to get me today. It was hard to contain my excitement and I exited the containment unit when I saw him because I knew it was over. They made Kevin give them a bunch of money to pay for all the cages I destroyed. I am sure that is it. I had to leave my comrades but I promised them I would send help to get them out. A bribe was left at the front desk in the form of four dozen cookies and a bouquet of flowers to secure the services of the people there. They can cause a distraction while the others escape.

I can finally go home tomorrow. I know I am secure tonight and I am told I will not be deprived of food and water any more. I can't wait to blow this popsicle stand and get home. I will post more after I get home to keep my friends informed of my progress and future missions.

Paws out! Time to kick back and party!


                                               


                                       

                                      

                                      

                              Bring it! I'm a RAD GRAD!!

                                       

Home sweet home

August 1, 2010   1:54 PM

We made it home to Oklahoma City by 4:00 PM. It was so nice to be home! Kevin made a nice little custom pillow for me to put between the seats and I rode there most of the way. Fortunately I slept most of the way so the trip went fast.

At home, it was chaos! Privet was meowing for attention like crazy. They picked Baloo and Butters up and Baloo was howling for almost an hour it seemed. He smelled worst than a wet dog too! Phew! I guess he thought he smelled pretty good. Butters looked great and had put on some weight. I heard them talking and they said something about taking him into the vets to be "tutored". I do not see why, he is not as smart as I am and no "tutoring" will help him!

The new puppy just begs for attention too. He is always under your feet and trips you if he is not tripping himself. At first Baloo did not like him and growled at him but they got over it fast and were playing with each other like they were old pals. Frida, the border collie hates him but she is kind of odd and hates every new dog. Chula the boxer, seems to like him too and is kind of protective of him. He came up to the glass and I quickly established my position there. He ran away but I could not tell if his tail was between his legs because it always is.

Here is a video for the dog lovers. I guess they deserve some Internet time too. They still are not as cute as kittens playing.


Paws out for now, I need to catch up on some grooming. I also need to get some new smells spread around. I will post more soon.

It's good to be home

August 6, 2010  11:24 PM

Tomorrow marks the first week of being home. It has been nice getting settled into my routine again. The food is good, although I am pretty picky these days. The bed is far better than the one at the motel. I cannot say it is quieter though. There seems to be dozens of people here every day and I do not know any of them. I guess they are workers trying to do repairs after the hail storm.

The new puppy is very clumsy. He trips over his own ears when he walks. The other dogs seem to like him. He has learned that when he cries, he gets a lot of attention. You would think someone was killing him the way he yelps. He comes to the door but I just hiss at him to let him know I am the boss. I relish my Fancy Feast while they are eating dry kibble. Ha ha...they just do not know how to "work" Kevin and get the good stuff.

Yesterday, Butters was taken into the vets and he got tutored. He seemed a little confused when they picked him up. He kept saying something about the squirrels taking his nuts? Not sure what he meant but I heard them say they were going to have to start calling him "Nuttered".

It is time for bed. I like to curl up in Kevin's arm and I stay there for about 15 minutes before I move to the bottom. I allow Kevin to sleep for a few hours before I wake him up and remind him it is time to feed me. Life is good.

Paws out.

                                 

Not feeling too hot these days...

August 12, 2010  8:01 AM

Not sure what is going on but my leg has been a little achy. They think it is from the radical surgery I had, with so much muscle tissue removed. Kevin gave me a little morphine to help the pain but now I am constipated. It really makes me feel pretty "crappy". They gave me some lactulose and last night when Kevin did it on his own, he squirted most of it on my mane. So, because he messed up and missed, I was all sticky and had to get a bath. I was given some more today and I fought bravely. I just do not like things squirted into my mouth. They place the liquid into a syringe and blast away. How irksome!

Things are getting back to normal around here. As usual, there is a large work crew here everyday and no matter HOW MANY TIMES I tell them to leave the gate open so the dogs can go on walk about, Kevin has become the gate nazi and he always tells them to CLOSE the gate. How am I supposed to get rid of all of these dogs if they keep closing the gate? I keep using my Cati powers on the dogs and tell them "This is not the house you are looking for", You need to do your business out on the road", "Move along, move along". They just do not listen!

My follow up appointment with the oncologist is on the 17th. My buddy Mr. Smudge back in Columbia also has to go in that day for some follow up. I think I got off easy compared to him. He had to get a feeding tube and he is fed through that every day. He had the throat cancer so he will have to start radiation therapy soon as well. I do not envy him. He will have to go through the same things I did. Radiation Monday through Friday. At least he lives there so he will not have to stay in a hotel like we did. That really sucked.

I am left alone for the most part during the day. I am given first breakfast around 5:30 AM (if I can get Kevin to pull himself out of the bed. I am not sure why he needs to sleep so long) and then I get second breakfast around 8:00. First lunch is served around noon and I am usually deprived of second lunch and afternoon snack and there is no more food until first dinner. I will probably not even get that today. Kevin got a bunch of new wood working tools yesterday and he seemed pretty excited so I imagine he is going to work with those all day. Just great!

I think I will take a nap now. Kevin keeps digging in my litter box and it is making me a little uncomfortable. He says he is looking for my poopies so I figured if he wanted them THAT bad I would make it easy for him and stick them inside his new shoes. He has not worn them for days...go figure.

Paws out!

Dr. Watson, we hardly knew ye...

August 13, 2010  9:52 PM

Yesterday was a sad day here. When Stimpy and I were in Columbia, a new puppy was introduced into the clan. He was a purebred bloodhound. He was such a sweet cute dog.

We left for dinner and when we returned, he could not be found. The property was searched as well as the surrounding area. There was no sign of him. We thought perhaps someone had stolen him or what seemed more likely, that someone had left the gate open and he wandered off. It seems no matter how hard we try to drill it into the workers who are here that they need to keep the gate closed, no one seems to get it.

To make a long story short, we finally found Dr. Watson. He had fallen into the koi pond and drowned. Poor little guy could not get out and it is so hard thinking about how he must have struggled to get out and finally gave up. As he laid there wrapped in a towel, it was hard to believe that he wasn't simply sleeping.

I really do not want to write more about it right now. It really saddens me to write this. At least I managed to get a few videos of him playing. He was such a happy little guy. RIP Dr. Watson.



 

Down On The Pharms!

August 20, 2010  7:03AM

It has been a while since the last post. It has been kind of sad with Dr. Watson gone. Things are returning to normal around here but there is a lot of work to do to catch up.

I went to the oncologist this week for my first follow up appt. She said I Iooked great...tell me something I don't know  :)   My weight dropped a little but after all that happened this past month, it is to be expected. In about four weeks I have to go back in for my first follow up CT scan. I guess I will be needing a CT scan every three months for the first year.

Kevin has sent what is probably the first on many letters to the pharmaceutical companies. He has labeled his campaign against them "DOWN ON THE PHARMS!" I like it. He says it is time to fight for some changes in the labeling and warning of vaccinations. He has put together a small team so far to help in the battle. So far, there are people with Phd's in Chemistry, Biology, Microbiology and Computer Genomics who have offered their assistance. It is nice that there are people out there willing to fight for me and my fellow cats. With all the money the pharmaceutical companies make every year from animal vaccinations every year (I have heard Boehringer Ingelheim alone had nets sales of over $600 million dollars in the first half of 2010 in animal vaccinations). With that being said, it is understandable why a company would be apathetic in their attitude about disclosing risks, such as Vaccine Associated Sarcoma, to the general public in fear of it cutting into their enourmous profits. Kevin has a friend who is one of the most respected pharmacologists in  the world and some of the stories he has heard kind of makes the head spin. What is sad about VAS is that it has been acknowledged in the vet world now for nearly 20 years but still, you usually learn about it after you have been stricken with it. Profits over safety...it has been  the norm in the pharmaceutical industry for some time now. You see class action lawsuits almost daily about the side effects of drugs. I guess it is cheaper for the pharmaceutical companies to pay off a lawsuit in the end AFTER they have made their  millions of dollars.

Starting today, we have decided to dedicate a portion of this journal to special VAS cats. It will keep me focused on the journal and it will help put some faces and names to this terrible cancer. A question to the pharmaceutical companies...how many of our cats have to die before it costs more to pay off the lawsuits than it does to do something about VAS? Please give us a number so we will know when to contact you.

This is Little Girl. Her video is posted above towards the beginning of my journal. I have chosen Little Girl for several reasons. First, she lost her battle to VAS this year, on May 10, 2010. Second, she also received a Ft. Dodge vaccination (like I did) which ultimately cost her her life. I chose this picture because it really hits home how something needs to be done. RIP Little Girl...you were, and are, a beautiful cat.


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I really have trouble looking at pictures and  videos of Little Girl but they are important. It places a stark reality on the seriousness of vaccine associated sarcoma and why things need to change.





I will highlight a new cat several times a week. If you would like me to post a picture of your VAS cat, please e-mail me at stimpysjourney@yahoo.com 

I guess it is time to groom myself. I have heard there is a new cat hanging around outside. We think she could be a sister to Butters and Privet, she has the same markings. This place is turning into a regular petting zoo!

Paws out!



My own Catopia

August 26, 2010   7:08 PM

I thought I should post an update for everyone. This past week I have been pretty lazy so I have not felt like writing much. I think the hot humid weather just took too much out of me. It is starting to cool off a bit and it was a wonderful 60 degrees this morning. Mr. Baloo has been spending the nights inside and he seems to enjoy that. At night we wander around and do little things to drive the two legged ones crazy. My personal favorite is to hack up a hairball in the exact spot where Kevin's foot lands when he gets out of bed at night. The shriek that it solicits from Kevin makes me purr every time. Oh yeah, I am in catopia.

When I was in Columbia, I met this other cat named Smudge. The Smudge, as I like to call him, is a male calico. How odd is that? Most calicoes are females.  Anyway, Smudge had a lump on his throat which turned out to be cancerous so they had to operate and he is supposed to start radiation therapy on Monday. Luckily he lives there with three of the two legged ones and there are also two other cat companions. At least he does not have to live in a motel for a month like Kevin and I did. So we will have to cat chat back and forth while he undergoes his RT. Here are a few pictures of him. He is a handsome cat and if I was a few years younger.... 


                                             
                                                                    "The Smudge"

Last week I mentioned we would dedicate a small section to a VAS cat. We would like you to meet.... 


                           SUBIE

Subie came into Kathy's life as a kitten who was found in a Subaru, hence the name Subie.  He was a beautiful black cat. Subie became a tripod due to Vaccine Associated Sarcoma and he sadly lost his battle on August 17, 2008. RIP Subie.



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This weeks rant (OK, so I haven't "offically" ranted about anything yet, but this is a good place to start.)

This week in Coventry, England, one of my fellow comrades approached a nicely looking older "lady". This persons name is Mary Bale. Mary acted so happy to see my pal Lola, so Lola was purring, rubbing up against her, just being like any cat. Suddenly Mary Bale picked up Lola and dumped her in a garbage can where Lola was trapped for 15 hours! SHAME ON YOU MARY BALE! The crime was caught on camera.


 


What is this world coming to? At first I thought this woman worked for PETA or something. Some of you will remember how two PETA employees catnapped and dognapped some animals from shelters, supposedly to "rescue" them, only to take them out to the PETA van, euthanize them, and then throw the dead animals in trash cans. So I naturally wondered if Mary Bale worked for the UK branch of PETA.

I DO NOT LIKE PETA! I hope they never come to "rescue" me! I am always amazed at how many celebrities buy into PETA's propaganda.

http://www.petakillsanimals.com/petaTrial.cfm

OK, rant over. I need to eat and groom. Paws out for now!

                                

 


Two Paws for Purina

September 2, 2010  6:03 AM

Recently Kevin came across a website from Purina that had a section on vaccinations. On the opening page there was a picture of someone about to give a cat a vaccination very close to the scruff area. This is of course bad news for cats who develop VAS because it makes it harder to remove the tumor and get clean margins. An e-mail was sent to Purina and they very willingly agreed to change the picture! Someone from Purina sent this e-mail back:


Good Afternoon Kevin,

I apologise for the delay in replying to your concerns regarding the picture of a cat being vaccinated on our website, thank you for your patience. After communicating with our consulting Veterinarian, Purina New Zealand acknowledges that the picture shown, while not actually depicting a vaccination in the scruff of the neck but along the dorsum (back), does not reflect best practice.

Vaccine related sarcoma's are rare in New Zealand as we do not vaccinate for rabies (rabies is not present in New Zealand). However, the guidelines for the giving of vaccines to cats has changed in New Zealand as they have changed in America.

The guidelines in New Zealand are as follows:

Although the risk of vaccine associated sarcoma (VAS) in cats is low, to facilitate treatment should the need arise, non-adjuvanted (including live) vaccines should be administered subcutaneously laterally over the shoulder, being careful to avoid the midline or inter-scapular space and adjuvanted killed vaccines subcutaneously on the lateral side of the hind limb as distally as possible.  These recommendations should be followed as far as is practicable and it is recommended that the anatomical location of the vaccination site is noted in clinical records. 

The photo was sourced from Purina United Kingdom file photos and we will now look to change or delete the picture, this may take us a few weeks to do so. Thank you very much for bringing this to our attention, as we do seek to promote best practice in animal care and welfare.

 

If you have any further queries you are welcome to e-mail us at AskPurina@nz.nestle.com. Please note the below 0800 number is a New Zealand phone number and the times given are standard New Zealand time.


Kind regards

Shivaun S.
Pet Care Advisor


The photo in question:

                                                           

All I can say is HOORAY FOR PURINA! They at least listened to a caregiver's concerns about vaccinating in a hard to operate area. New protocols call for different injection site areas so the tumor can be removed more easily. Most veterinarian's follow these new protocols and give the vaccinations in certain predetermined areas so they are more easily identified. Fortunately my vet in Tucson did vaccinate me in the hind leg so the tumor was accessible and the radiation treatment was less invasive. If only the pharmaceutical companies were as responsible as Purina in acknowledging their errors by not listing the adverse side effects of these vaccinations and giving the caregivers the choice of informed consent, many cat lives could be saved. It is a no brainer, if you do not know the risks, how do you know what to look for? I have had a few e-mails from people who told me they suspect their cat died from VAS but they knew nothing of it.

On the subject of pharmaceutical companies, no word yet from Boehringer-Ingelheim. Kevin sent them a large (VERY LARGE!) detailed packet outlining my diagnosis, treatment and post op care. In my case, it was easy to narrow down my vaccination site sarcoma to a Ft. Dodge rabies vaccination that I received in September 2007. Fortunately for me, due to a busy life, a major move, work, etc, my vaccinations were not followed up on so I received no more vaccinations AFTER the Ft. Dodge one and there were none in that area prior to that one. Kevin has asked Boehringer-Ingelheim for compensation so if they do not respond, the next step will be litigation. Actually, that is what is expected and hoped for. A high profile litigation case would really bring this into the spotlight, something that is really needed. Boehringer-Ingelheim had sales in excess of $600 million dollars in veterinarian medicine for the beginning of 2010 alone.

http://www.camfilfarr.com/biopharmablog/?p=691

You would think with such a profitable area for their company, they could afford to invest a little into disclosure literature and inform caregivers of the risks involved in vaccinations. Boehringer Ingelheim goes to great lengths to inform the HUMAN population about adverse side effects of their medicines but they say NOTHING about the risks with vaccinations. If you look at the warnings alone for ONE of their medicines, Spiriva for example, they go to great lengths to let you know what to expect, look for and do in the event of an adverse side effect.

http://bidocs.boehringer-ingelheim.com/BIWebAccess/ViewServlet.ser?docBase=renetnt&folderPath=/Prescribing+Information/PIs/Spiriva/Spiriva.pdf

It is of course not just Boehringer Ingelheim who is guilty of this practice, all the major manufacturers of vaccinations do the same thing. This needs to change! Profits over animal safety I guess.

Things in general are good here. I have another follow up appointment with the oncologist soon and then I have to have my first CT scan since being home. My scar is healing well but my fur is slowly coming back. Right now there is just some stubble but it feels so good when Kevin rubs it backwards. It always makes me purr. My food has been good, I get whatever I want. I am putting on some weight again which is good. They also started popping a small Pepcid tablet in me every day so when I see that bottle come out I flee. I am happy to say I fight bravely when they try to give it to me and it takes two to get it down me. Kevin was kind of sneaky the other day. After they forced my mouth open and held it shut, Kevin blasted me with a puff of air from his mouth and it startled me so much it forced me to swallow the pill. I know where you sleep Kevin! Do not be surprised if you find something in your mouth one morning!

Everyone went out and dined lavishly last night and left me here alone. I heard them talk about the big steaks followed by some ice cream desert (I LOVE ICE CREAM!) and all I get is this wet food and a bowl of dry kibble to snack on. I am working on getting the fridge open so I can eat at will.

Paws out.

                                                       

Mr. Baloo has gone nuts

September 6, 2010  9:50 PM

So, there we were, sleeping peacefully the other night. Suddenly Mr. Baloo decided he needed to bark like a mad dog. It was so loud that I just about hot the ceiling. Kevin got up and checked things out, looked outside, and he thinks someone had opened the gate.  He finally calmed down and we could sleep again.

My leg is a little sore. I am not sure if it is from the radiation therapy or more likely, it is from the deep cut they had to make to remove my tumor. Kevin was rubbing my leg and I gave out a little yelp myself. I just hope I do not get any more morphine, it makes me constipated. I think Kevin prefers it though. The other day he woke up and pretended like he was gagging after I had used the litter box. I even left one sticking straight up so he would know where to dig. Go figure, some people do not appreciate my little gifts.

My buddy Smudge in Columbia is having a little bit of a hard time. He was supposed to start radiation therapy last week but somehow he got a case of ringworm so they had to give him some antifungal meds and postpone his RT. Hopefully he will be able to start tomorrow. They have been feeding him through a tube and he has to take anti nausea meds. Fortunately I did not have to do any of that. I did lose a little weight after coming home but I have gained some of it back. Kevin has been feeding me whenever I give him that sad, starving look. Yesterday as he was eating his cereal, I sat on the arm of the chair and turned on the purrs. He was powerless and soon I was lapping up the leftover milk from the bowl. He is putty in my paws.

There was some sad news this week. Another comrade lost his battle to VAS and he had to say goodbye to his caregivers. Another one reports that her tumor has returned even after they had clean margins three months ago. On the dog front, a good buddy had to say goodbye after 13 years due to cancer too. Sometimes I feel pretty lucky. Some cats get VAS at a very early age. I was lucky that it did not happen until I was 15. I have been well cared for and given whatever I need. Some are not so lucky. Kevin continues fighting the battle to get the pharmaceutical companies and vets to change their ways. He, along with the VAS support group, are trying to get some changes made so there has to be some informed consent. Kevin has some plans to get this really rolling. I cannot report them here, as I have been sworn to secrecy. Kevin has been very good at fighting to change things in the past. I know he will do whatever he can for me and my fellow cats.

Here are a few funny video's for my fan club. I would just like to say I appreciate the nice notes I get every week. My blog has reached as far as Russia and New Zealand! I am not sure what this cat is on, but I think he had way too much catnip!


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This video just leaves me speechless! It is no wonder cats rule after seeing this video. No self respecting cat would ever do this! What is this dog thinking???


OK, it is time for bed so I will say good night for now. There is a lot going on this week. I hear talk about a trip to Tucson. OH BOY! I love Tucson! I also hear that the workers at the house will be finished this week so things will return to normal soon. I also heard that there is another cat hanging around the barn. Kevin thinks she could be a sibling of Privet and Butters. She looks like them and have both of their colors. Kevin calls her Ms. Scarlett because he says she will never go hungry again. I think word has spread there is food, water and shelter here because these cats keep appearing out of no where! Sheeshh!

Catching up...


September 14, 2010  8:50 PM

It has been a while since I last posted and a lot has happened. I hope I can remember everything.

Mr. Baloo must have found a dead animal on the estate and he rolled around in it. He still stinks and that was four or five days ago. Kevin was outside and the smell was so bad that someone suggested that perhaps it was the smell from the stockyards, MILES AWAY, because of the high winds. He has been banished from the house until he can get a bath. Today he decided to freshen up his smell so he went and jumped in the pond, and was then all covered with slimy green stuff. Dogs...go figure.

Miss Scarlet...the newest one to show up around here, is scheduled to go into the vet tomorrow. It appears she is pregnant, and there is a good chance she is feline leukemia positive since she has been living outside so that means her kittens will be positive most likely. Kevin is uncertain what to do. Right now she is at Dana's rescue because she had to be quarantined for the evening. Hopefully she will be negative and then Kevin and Dana will adopt the kittens out and then have her spayed. IF she is NOT pregnant, just bloated from eating so much, then she will be spayed tomorrow before returning to the ranch. Hopefully she will be OK.

I have figured out a way to get Kevin out of bed early to feed me. I noticed that when I hack up a hairball, or throw up, he always responds immediately. My stomach has been a little upset lately so some foods make me throw up. They have me on a gentle foods diet and it seems to help. Kevin seems to want to sleep in past 5:30 these days so there have been a few times that I have strategically placed a hairball right where his foot lands when he gets out of bed. He he...it really makes him squeal. He has gotten smarter though and now he keeps a flashlight next to the bed when he gets up so it has not worked as well lately. It does get him up so he feeds me.

There has been a lot going on in the VAS support group this week too. A few new members (this is sad because it means their cat has VAS), a few sad stories of cats losing their battle to VAS and some losing their leg to VAS.

When Kevin was in New Zealand in 2001, he came across an artist who made some wonderful bronzes. He saw one in a gallery in Christchurch and he almost bought it but decided against it. Last year he came across the artist again and thought about commissioning a bronze with a man, a cat and a dog. After I was diagnosed with VAS, he finally decided what he wanted. He commissioned a bronze piece with a man kneeling down with arms outstretched towards a cat and the cat and looking up at the man. The artist is Trevor Askin. You can view some of his works here:

http://www.bronzesculpture.co.nz/

He is a wonderful artist and he was able to express Kevin's thoughts about the bronze perfectly. The piece is called "My Friend". Kevin originally wanted the piece as a tribute to our friendship over the years but he decided instead to dedicate it all VAS cats, past, present and future. Hopefully it will become a symbol for VAS awareness. Here is a picture of "My Friend".


My Friend

My Friend 

                                                                                "MY FRIEND" 

                   Bronze by New Zealand artist Trevor J. Askin. Dedicated to all VAS
                                         cats, Past, Present and Future.



Tomorrow I return to the oncologist for a follow up appointment and then I return to the surgeon who performed my second surgery  to get my first follow up cat scan. So far things seem pretty good. There is no sign or the tumor returning and I am feeling pretty good. I put some weight back on I think so that is good. My appointment was last week but it had to be rescheduled for later. Too many things going on right now. I will let everyone know how I am doing.

Miss Privet was having delusions of grandeur the other day. I think she thought she was a jaguar and made for a better hood ornament than the one they have. I don't think she realizes she is sitting on a Cat-illac.


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Here is a pretty good picture of Privet. She loves sitting in your lap. She will sit there until you get up and purrs the whole time. She is really a pretty sweet cat. 

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That's about all for now. I will try and write more this week and update everyone. Kevin is thinking about going home to visit his mom soon so that means I will be on my own. I will have the run of the place. I will tell my caretakers, "This is not the cat  you are looking for", "She can have anything she wants", "I can go about my business", "Move along, move along". Ha ha...the dogs will fear me while he is gone. I will make them bring me offerings of fresh fish and milk in exchange for sparing them of my wrath.

Paws out.


UPDATE: 11:42 PM

It is another sad day for the VAS support group. Casey, beloved friend of Carly, passed on today. Carly is another victim of vaccine associated sarcoma. RIP Casey.


Casey 

                                "CASEY"
                 RIP September 14, 2010

My first Post Radiation Therapy CT Scan

September 21, 2010  10:41 AM

Yesterday marked almost seven weeks since my RT ended and I had to go to the oncologist to have a follow up CT scan done. Once again they deprived me of my food the night before and I was forced to go hungry even though the dogs and other cats were allowed to eat. I got even with Kevin though. I woke him up at 2:30 yesterday morning and he could not get back to sleep. Misery loves company!

I was dropped off at the surgery center and left with more strange people and dogs and cats. I do not remember what happened after that until I saw Kevin there to pick me up. I was told my CT scan was good and there are no signs of the cancer returning. Woo hoo! I know it is soon but the first time my tumor was removed it came back pretty quick. I hope the RT was not in vain and I remain cancer free. I will keep my paws crossed.

It seems like there are a lot of strides ahead in this fight against VAS. The pharmaceutical companies could step up and make some changes and start informing people of the risks. I guess their profits are more important. Boehringer Ingelheim, the manufacturer of the rabies vaccination that caused my cancer has so far not responded to the letter that was sent to them. I guess they are hoping it will go away. Fortunately for me and the other kitties, Kevin does not give up easily. He will tackle them, the other pharmaceutical companies, the vets and the legal system that allows this to go on, unchecked. If disclosures are required for humans, they should also be required when they kill your pets too.

Today, the dedication for a VAS cat goes to Amelia, also known as Boo Kitty. Amelia was loved and cherished by her caregiver Eileen. Amelia lost her battle to VAS in May 2009. Just one of thousands who have lost their lives to VAS and still nothing is done. It is heartbreaking to read the stories every week in the VAS Support Group but Kevin does it because it gives him more determination to tackle the system. 

Amelia &quot;Boo Kitty&quot;


                                              

         Amelia, aka "Boo Kitty"

                                  May 1999 - May 2009
                       RIP Amelia
                                                                                                                           
                  

Step away from the bowl...

September 29, 2010  10:06 PM


Lately I seem to have this craving for milk  and when I see Kevin eating a bowl of cereal, I pounce on him. He is powerless when I get up on the arm of the chair and start purring and I give him those Puss 'n Boot's eyes, like the ones in Shrek. Actually, I usually just ending up grabing the bowl and pulling it over to my mouth and I lap up the milk before he has a chance to get it back from me.

It has been busy around here. I am feeling pretty good. I have a new favorite food...venison! I just cannot get enough of it. Kevin is happy to give it to me because it means I am eating and putting some of my weight back on. I have quite a collection of canned cat food at the moment. Every time Kevin goes to the store he picks up more because he knows I have a refined palate. They finally had to dedicate an entire shelf in the pantry to display my collection of canned food. Life is good.

Privet and Scarlett are gettiing along fine. They have both laid claims to "their" cars. Privet has chosen the Cat-illac and Scarlett has chosen the yellow one. Silly kitties, do they not know that everything belongs to me? The dogs know this so I guess I will have to show them who reigns around here.



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Look closely, that is Privet sitting by the wheel. She really blends in outside.


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If you look closely here, you will see Scarlett on top of the Toyota.

The battle with the pharmaceutical companies continues. No answer from them yet so Kevin will send one more certified letter, this time to the legal department, and establish a time limit. He has used the Freedom of Information  Act to obtain reports of the number of VAS cases reported to the USDA as well as anything from Boehringer Ingelheim in relation to their research, etc. I think the numbers will be staggering compared to what they say.

Things are brewing in the VAS Support group too. There is talk of a nice professional brochure being printed and distributed to the vets so they can pass them out to cat owners at the time of vaccination so they will know what to look for. It is hard to believe that VAS has been in the spotlight for nearly 20 years and still, there are no real protocols on disclosure or even the  mention of risks. We figure getting the pharmaceutical companies to step up will be like pulling teeth but if we can reach some vets, maybe things will start changing. We will keep our paws crossed.

That's about all for now. There is some talk that my new bedroom will be ready by the end of October. I have not been allowed to see it yet but I hear it is nice. I was finally able to get the message across that I wanted a king sized bed. I can't wait. Maybe I will let Kevin sleep in once in a while now because I will not want to get up. Ahhhh...I can just feel it now.

Paws out!

Moving along...

Monday, October 11, 2010  5:39 PM

Today is Kevin's birthday. He has given me a list of things he wants. You can send them to me and I will make sure he gets them. There is no need to check in with him and make sure he got them. Just send them to me and I will take care of every thing,

He said he wants the following:

50 assorted cans of Fancy Feast

25 cans of venison

Cat scratch post

Cat climbing station

Dog Kennel (make sure it is a nice strong one)

Dog choke collar

Dog tranquilizers

I think that was everything he wanted for his birthday. Like I said, no need to check in with him, I will make sure he gets them.



I have not been feeling real good lately. They took me to the oncologist last week because I was throwing up a lot. On the good side, I did gain a little weight but they are concerned that I am throwing up a lot so more blood was drawn and I was poked and prodded again. I guess we will find out this week if I am doing OK. I heard some talk about a gastroscopy (I have no idea how to say that, let alone spell it!) and I am not sure what it is but it does not sound pleasant. The doc put me on some kind of appetite stimulant and it is supposed to help me not throw up. It seems to work but it makes me feel a little goofy. I go off on my own and just start yowling for no reason. It always makes Kevin come running to make sure I am OK. Hmmm....

Baloo and Chula managed to escape yesterday but the dumb dogs came back. They are totally brainless I am convinced. Kevin was not happy with the gate being left open (again...by someone who will remain nameless here). I think the dogs are bribing Gilberto to leave the gate open so they can escape but they are too dumb to stay away. I keep trying to make a break for it when the door is opened but they are on to me.

Miss Scarlett and Mr. Butters have taken a liking to the basement  and apparently they keep offering up mice in exchange for real food. Dumb cats... all they have to do is give Kevin that sad look and he will give them some Fancy Feast, not this dry stuff. I heard they have also left squirrels, gophers and birds on the altar too. Yeech! Mr. Butters came walking out of the barn the other day, pretty proud of himself and the small bird in his mouth. Privet, Butters and Scarlett took turns playing hacky sack with the poor dead thing. Yeech! How can they even put that in their mouth?

Kevin had some kind of flash this morning and put this collage together. I like it! I do not think the pharmaceutical companies will appreciate the message it contains but it is very obvious what it says. 

 


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