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lapislzi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:31 AM
Original message
For Django, and for my DU friends who love animals
I know that's most of you. My big boy cat Django is fighting for his life this morning. Any healing thoughts you can send his way will be appreciated. But that's not why I'm posting.

The first time a cat adopted me, I was thrilled. As time passed, I acquired more animals--cats and dogs. When you're young and stupid, as I was, it's easy to forget that an animal means a commitment of around 15 years, more if you're lucky. It means a financial commitment. You are responsible for another life, more so even than a child, because the animal depends on you for its entire life span. I didn't always handle these responsibilities as well as I could or should have. I did not always do right by my animals, sometimes because of circumstances, and sometimes out of sheer stupidity. I couldn't always afford vet care. My (now) ex-husband threw me out of the house. I had nowhere to go with my kitties, and had to give them to shelters.

I like to think I know better now. But, you never know.

I am lucky enough to have the financial means to obtain good veterinary care for my kitties. The vet made it clear that if I didn't authorize the diagnostics and treatment, Django wouldn't make it through today. He still might not, even after I've thrown a couple of thousand dollars at him. But: what if I couldn't afford him? When I adopted him and his sister, I thought long and hard: can I afford to keep these animals for 15 years? Can I afford medical treatment for them, both routine and emergency? What if something happens to me? As it was, the vet scolded me for not bringing the kitties in for their annual last year. I skipped it because money was tight. Bad. We find money for what's important.

Animals are heartbreaks waiting to happen. They are also one of life's greatest joys. I cannot imagine my life without them.

Please, animal lovers. Take your responsibilities seriously. I know I'm probably preaching to the choir, but one reads enough in the news about gross neglect, and irresponsible pet "owners," that I don't think it can be said often enough. Cherish your babies.

Thank you for reading.

I hope everyone who wants to share their life with an animal asks the same questions.
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Obamanaut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:38 AM
Response to Original message
1. This was a very nice OP. I usually get up earlier than Miz O, and after making
coffee I'll go in and check on her. She will be snuggled under the blanket surrounded by five furkids.

We have discussed who will take care of the furkids if we predecease any/all of them, and recently told their aunt (our oldest daughter) she'll have the job. She has agreed to this.

What a nice daughter.
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niyad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:41 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. you indeed have a nice daughter.
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Botany Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:38 AM
Response to Original message
2. I wish you well and your pet well
before you spend the money have a talk about the quality and the length of life your buddy will have
afterwards.
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lapislzi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:47 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. I will.
They can't figure out what's wrong, and that's what's so worrying. He has jaundice and symptoms of acute diabetes, but he's only 4. The vet thinks something else is going on, so that's why the tests.

I had to say "goodbye" to a darling little Gizmo many years ago because the vet shook his head and said, "this cat will never be healthy. His life will be short, and full of suffering." I never forgot that. And, when it's time to say goodbye, I hold them in my arms until the very end.
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Botany Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:53 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. always remember you can give them the best gift of all
.... you can make their pain and suffering stop.

I am sure your vet already knows this but have them pull some blood and look
for problems w/ the liver and kidneys ...... is your cat still eating and making
waste?
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lapislzi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Not eating. Dehydrated.
They got a pee sample and blood from him earlier and his numbers are all over the map. Hence, the tests.

I will not make him suffer needlessly. Especially not for my own selfishness. If it's time to say goodbye, I will prepare.
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Botany Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:00 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. Sounds like you know what to do.
i wish you well.
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:32 AM
Response to Reply #9
16. If you need a consultation about the lab tests and any proposed definitive
treatment, feel free to PM me.

Dr. kestrel91316
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lapislzi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #16
26. Thank you, Dr.K
He is in good hands at the hospital. They tell me it will be several days and even then he may not make it. The diagnosis is diabetes with possible complications. They're treating him aggressively with fluids, insulin, and antibiotics. I am ready to let go if that is what the gods have planned, although he is very dear to my heart and I fought tooth and claw (no pun intended) to keep him when my ex-partner didn't want him (he was part of an abandoned litter...nobody wanted the boy cat).
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:38 PM
Response to Reply #26
37. If he's at a 24-hr facility with an internist on staff who knows a lot about managing
critical diabetics, GO FOR IT. These cats can turn around and never look back.
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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 06:50 PM
Response to Reply #16
29. Wow, that's a great kindness!
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #7
27. you have my love for this. I had to let go of my little Robby on Jan.
24th. He looked at me and I knew it was the end. He had bladder cancer. He had survived a pre-cancerous prostate, thyroid cancer, an operation to restore his funtion below his waist from paralysis, cysts and finally bladder cancer. He was my hero. I had to let him go.

I know what you mean about the process you go through to understand the meaning of animals and how they make you better by their unconditional love. I have had dogs and cats for my whole life. My last five dogs, all of them raised together are down to two. Andrew lost an eye and had one removed. He fell and died in my arms. I still cry about him. Tippy fell and died four days later from a broken vessel. He's in my sig. Tim and Pip are still with me. Tim is 17, nearly blind and deaf and arthritic. He has forgotten more grace than I will ever know. Pip is nearly blind, deaf and has a heart condition and teeth that will probably kill him. (Dachshunds have bad teeth) He can't survive another cleaning.

Love your baby. Remember them always. Do what you can. Always be mindful. They are the most unconditional love and devotion you will ever get. I hug you today.
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niyad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:40 AM
Response to Original message
3. healing thoughts and comfort for you and your furbabies from me and mine. may lady bast hold django
in her loving embrace.

and thank you for that very thoughtful, heartfelt post.

know that your DU family is here for you--and please keep us posted.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:42 AM
Response to Original message
5. i know how you feel. my old boy sport went through cancer treatments.
it wasn't easy -- but i had 4 more wonderful years with him.
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:46 AM
Response to Original message
6. Yes, and as a society, we have a responsibility to care for those
members of the society who cannot pay for their own care. That's another responsibility we don't take seriously enough. I hope kitty pulls through this.
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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:56 AM
Response to Original message
10. k&r
This animal lover fully agrees with you. They look to us for love, care and to make the tough decisions for them. Don't take on more than you can handle and know beforehand what you are prepared to do with regard to paying for it's health issues. We do have a regular budget for pets each month set aside (not for food and essentials, but for their vet care). We have had to use on several occasions and have never regretted it, but I know where our personal line is drawn and have had to make those tough decisions to let go before. It's not easy but it is any owner's responsibility. We don't take on more animals than we can provide care for and that goes way beyond food and shots.
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notesdev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:57 AM
Response to Original message
11. I know it hurts
but don't let people take advantage of you to get thousands of dollars out of you.

Death comes for us all, and how we deal with that immutable fact of existence makes much of who we are during the temporary period of time that we draw the breath of life.

A 15-year-old cat in poor health is ready to go. Let him pass in his sleep, at home, where he is comfortable, rather than in the unknown and unsettling cage in an animal hospital.
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lapislzi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. Heck no, he's only 4!
That's why this is so alarming, and so puzzling. Sudden onset of severe illness in a young animal is never a good sign. I trust my vet with my animal's life. She is the kindest, gentlest soul you could imagine. I have never known a better cat doctor. She would never fleece me, and if she thought treatment would be futile, she'd say so.
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notesdev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #14
18. oops
somehow I read that as being 15... a 4-year-old is a young cat that should have many years ahead of it. Good luck from a fellow kitty lover!
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lapislzi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #18
25. I meant...you need 15 years to put into it.
I'm only 5 years in! That cat owes me! Thanks for your good wishes.
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tblue37 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #25
32. My old lady cat Lila was 18 in November, and my cat Gabby had to be put
Edited on Mon Apr-04-11 07:39 PM by tblue37
to sleep in 2005 at age 19 when she developed a very nasty, fast-growing jaw cancer. When she went in to have her teeth cleaned, they found some hard tissue, which they had biopsied. It grew so fast that 3 weeks later I had to let her go!

Anyway, when planning for the elngth of one's commitment, people should keep in mind that cats may well live even more than 15 years, especially with good care. I know that Lila is probably in her last year, though she's doing well for now, and of course I hope for more time with her.

But 18-20 is not all that unusual for a healthy well cared for cat these days!

I will be sending good vibes for your little friend. I have a 5-year-old kitty who is suffering from some sort of intestinal issue right now. Her diarrhea and appetite loss just started, so I will give her a couple of days to see if it is something temporary, but if she takes a turn for the worse or if she doesn't get better within the next two days, she's going to see the vet!

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knowbody0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:59 AM
Response to Original message
12. my Kali, 21 years old
has serious dimentia but can still jump up on the counter and climb up and down the ladder to her kitty door. problem lately is she started peeing on anything left on the floor. (shoes, a wet towel, clothes that miss the laundry hamper)...........she "catches and kills" the dog's stuffed animals and viciously attempts to rip them to pieces. she yells to be fed, smells her food then walks away. approximately four times a day, she will ravenously eat the whole bowel full and then immediately beg for more. she's stopped grooming herself, refuses to be brushed. all I can do is attempt to cut the matted fur now and again. she no longer wants to be pet or to sit on my lap. every night I get a warm towel from the dryer and bring her to my bed. when I come home she runs down the ladder to great me and walks with me through the front door.

we've been friends so very long and I truly love my girl, but my friggin family is buggin to put her down. I say she's earned the right to be a great pain in the ass for as long as she wants. so there.
we were just at the vet who said she's just really sensitive now and my grooming her prolly hurts, so just keep trimming the mats and wiping her with warm cloth.

healing thoughts for Django, who is really lucky to be loved by you
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lapislzi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:21 AM
Response to Reply #12
15. Every family's different.
Only you and the kitty know when the time is right. Bless you and your old girl. I've had a couple of old ladies myself, and it was hard to let them go.
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:34 AM
Response to Reply #12
17. If she's arthritic, Prescription Diet J/D works well in some kitties, as does
a glucosamine supplement.

I've had a few patients turn into new cats per their owners with these.
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niyad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #12
19. and your girl is lucky to have you as her human. healing thoughts for her and you, as well.
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a la izquierda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #12
21. My dog had dementia...
we waited way too long to put him out of what I know was a life of misery. I will never forgive myself for that. Poor guy didn't know where anything was, couldn't see well, was incontinent (and thus would walk through poo during the night and get it all over himself and everything else), was crabby with our other dogs, didn't realize we were home for about an hour after we'd arrived, lost weight, and couldn't walk well. It was a nightmare for him, for us, and for our other dogs. He'd have suffered immensely in the heat of the summer. Dementia doesn't hurt animals physically, but he was no longer our dog. And we finally decided it was time for him to rest. It sucked.
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knowbody0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 12:00 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. I know what you're saying
and I weigh the pros and cons daily. she still gets around well, does not leak, has a full tummy, so that's my measure. we had a talk last night, I found a kool box with a lid for shoes at the front door, and everyone's careful about the hamper. the thing is, our house has had some heavy trauma lately and I think she's affected by our stress and worrying and that may be why she was marking stuff with pee.

I really hope she just passes in her sleep, but if it gets painful I will help her cross over.
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a la izquierda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #23
33. I'm sorry you're going through this.
We prayed nightly for him to pass on his own. I am not a religious person, but I didn't think I could do it. Even my vet bawled his eyes out. Our dog was one of his first patients.
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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #12
30. It is really hard to know when the right time is
I had a senile poodle that was blind and nearly deaf and had to be hand fed wet dog food but he still knew me and didn't seem to be suffering. I finally did call a vet to come to my house and euthanize him - I didn't want his last moments to be scary. I held him while he died. To this day, I wonder if I waited too long or did it too early.
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Tikki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 11:14 AM
Response to Original message
20. Strong and sweet vibes for your beloved friend....
We know of what you speak.
Tikki (the dog) is our last fur baby. We are in the age group where a puppy most likely would
out-live us and certainly out do our strength.
Doesn't mean we won't make ourselves available to critter sit or visit homes with pets.
We have had 2 forever dogs...not bad for us in our 60's.

Thank you for this post and the gentle reminders that our pets are living and loving.

The Tikkis
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snagglepuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 11:51 AM
Response to Original message
22. Healing thoughts for your beloved Django.
:hug:
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lapislzi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 01:36 PM
Response to Original message
24. Update: Django is still very sick
And may not make it, despite the best care. He has been diagnosed with diabetes and will be in the hospital for several days until his condition stabilizes. I signed a DNR and asked the staff to call me if they felt that treatment was ineffective or that DJ was suffering needlessly. Can you put a price on a life?

Thank you to my DU family for your kind thoughts. DJ, Kate, and I appreciate them.

:grouphug:
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alstephenson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #24
28. I'm so sorry. I just went through this myself.
After about four months of illness, we lost our precious Shadow a couple of weeks ago. He was 17 years old. I am thankful for the extra time we had together those last few months. It was evident when it was time to let him go, but it still broke my heart. You will know what's best for Django.

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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #24
31. May the Goddess give you and your Django kitty the strength for whatever comes.
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niyad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 08:46 PM
Response to Reply #24
35. will say extra prayers tonight for your brave boy and you. we are here for you.
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Evolve_Already Donating Member (154 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 08:12 PM
Response to Original message
34. All critter huggers
go through this, but man oh man, each and every time we lose one of our best friends or go through suffering with them, it gets no easier.

We had a chihuahua who was the sassiest little sass on the planet who died on my lap several years ago. She woke up one day unable to breathe easily, took her to the vet the next morning who did tests of all sorts. Afternoon came, the vet called to tell me they found nothing wrong with her. They were told little Pie-Pies body had left us an hour before.

Little pie-pie is always with us, as well as the "new" Pie-Pie.

No critter-less humans are to be trusted. ;)
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niyad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:35 PM
Response to Reply #34
36. I certainly have my doubts about humans who don't like critters.
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Evolve_Already Donating Member (154 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 06:37 AM
Response to Reply #36
38. or plants.
Have known several in my day, they were the most narcissitic, unempathetic folks ever!

Didn't even want to be within a mile of them. Bad karma, bad juju.
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niyad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 09:15 AM
Response to Reply #38
39. you have that right. I am dealing with such a person right now. ughhh
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lapislzi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 07:44 AM
Response to Original message
40. Update: DJangokitty is mending
Thank you to all my wonderful DU family who sent healing wishes.

The ketones are receding and he may be able to come home tomorrow. The specialist also indicated that there's a reasonable expectation that the diabetes may resolve entirely in time.

Blessings to all.
:loveya:
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niyad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:31 AM
Response to Reply #40
41. what excellent news!!!!! such a great way to start this day.
will continue to send loving, healing energies for this precious boy.
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