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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.




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