Friday, July 20, 2012

Bad News in 3s

After a very busy Spring filled with school activities and more,  we had a pretty tough few weeks in May. 

First Wally, our sweet little black girl kitty, became suddenly severely anemic overnight and by the time we rushed her to the vet in the morning, she couldn't even lift her head.  After two blood transfusions at the hospital, she seemed to be recovering while they tested for the underlying cause.  Just as quickly, her kidneys began to fail due to the severity of her anemia, and when they pushed fluids in her to help her kidneys recover, her heart began to fail.  We got a call early in the morning 4 days after she got sick and I had to put my first pet to sleep.  It was heartbreaking beyond words.  It's hard to believe how much we had all come to love this sweet black furry girl- full of love and understanding.  Paul brought Isabelle to say goodbye to Wally, and poor Isabelle admitted being scared to kiss her goodbye in case she "caught what Wally had and died too."  Amazingly while Paul, Isabelle, and I visited her together, Wally purred the entire time.  The moment they left, she never purred again.  Right before the doctor came back to check if I was ready, Wally gave me some last kisses.  This picture was at the hospital a day before her death.

We continue to grieve Wally's loss.  I cried daily for quite a while, finding reminders of her everywhere.  Part of the grief comes from how short our time really was with her- only 2 years of her short life, as well as how young she was and how much life she had ahead of her.  We learned a week later that she had a parasite that may have caused the anemia, but her vet also believed she may have also had another underlying cause. 

A week after Wally's death, Isabelle fell in our living room  (tripped on a toy and landed on a Little People house) and broke both bones in her arm (the radius and ulna).  This was pretty traumatic for all as Isabelle was in a huge amount of pain but kept trying to talk us out of taking her to the hospital, as she had just seen Wally die in a hospital.  :(  We rushed her to the new Swedish ER where she did not stop screaming in pain until the moment they put her arm in a splint and immobilized it.  Poor thing. :(  They were amazing there and even gave her a little pink "baby unicorn" as Isabelle calls her to cheer her up.

Isabelle bravely faced 6+ weeks in a long-arm cast from her hand up to her shoulder on her right arm.  We faced a scary period where one of the bones popped out of place inside the cast (due to swelling going down) as the doctors debated if she needed surgery.  There is still some small risk she won't have normal motion in her hand but her doctors were optimistic she'll recover well.  She continues to wear a removable brace to support her arm when she's active, as the risk of refracture is 3 months.

Amazingly Isabelle began to write, draw, color,
feed herself, etc. with her left hand as well if not better than she'd been doing with her right hand!  We wondered if she truly is a lefty- or simply ambidextrous.  Time will tell on this one I suppose, but we were sure proud of her bravery and good spirits this summer while she had to miss out on so much typical summer fun (no playgrounds, no bikes, no swimming or beaches).

A few weeks after Wally's death we took Uintah in to see if he might have the same parasite as Wally.  Poor Uintah at 16 now has officially been labeled a "special needs kitty" by his vet.  He is now completely blind due to neurological issues that continue to progress (a likely brain tumor is suspected).  He has high blood pressure that is being managed with medication.  But the scariest news is that he now has kidney disease and will face the inevitable decline into kidney failure.  We know that he's lived a long healthy life, but it is so hard to see him struggling in so many ways and it is excruciating to face losing both our pets in such a short time.  Luckily he continues to seem happy as he purrs like crazy whenever we pet or brush him or even just come sit with him.

We are ready for our bad news to end!  Good news coming up next.... :)  We just booked a trip to Maui for the end of August/ early September and are busy ironing out all the plans.

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