A very sad day…

Maggie May went to VSG this morning for her chemo, but unfortunately didn’t survive the anaesthetic.

Apparently it all happened very early on in the procedure, and very quickly; the vets didn’t even get a chance to take her blood to test or give her a proper physical examination. It was just too much for the poor little baby.

When we picked her up from VSG, she looked so peaceful and comfy. Because she died under the anaesthetic, she wouldn’t have been in any pain. Prior to going under, the vet said that she had been quite smoochie and cuddly with all the staff there, so they had given her a bit of a cuddle. I think Maggie knew.

The vet said that she’d had a look inside Maggie’s mouth, and the tumors had grown and locked her jaw semi-shut, which is why we were having so much trouble feeding her. She said that if Maggie had survived, we would have had major issues with that very soon.

On the way home with her, I kept looking in her cage, expecting her to move or snuffle, but deep down I knew that wasn’t going to happen. We’ve brought her home and left her in a place away from the other two cats until we get home from work where we will give them a chance to see her. She will be cremated tomorrow.

I’ve told Oliver, all of my close friends, and one of my aunts (the other one couldn’t care less, I’m sure), but with Priya being in South Africa she won’t have checked her phone yet. I feel really terrible that that may be the first thing she wakes up to on her phone. She loved Maggie dearly, although she was allergic.

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Maggie with Priya.

She was so good last night. She woke me up a few times, but she got really cuddly. She cuddled in nice and close. She spent most of the night cuddled up on my right upper arm, while my left arm cradled her. These are the last photos I have of her alive this morning. She was so comfy in bed. It was such a shame we had to disrupt her. Over the last few days she’s been yelly, discovered her love for the toilet and shower, given Dad and I loves, been quite good with her food (we changed the type of syringe we were using), has been outside on her own, demanded to go out on the deck with D’arcy, and has gotten really cuddly with me at night time. She’d had a really good night and a great last few days.

I thought I’d leave with some of my favourite photos of her. She was, and still is, our littlest bubbie girl.

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Trip to VSG

Maggie went to VSG today for a check up. She was reasonably subdued on the way there and back. She actually went to sleep in the consulting room while the vet was going to fetch something for us.

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Sleepy wee baby… who falls asleep at the vet?!

The vet weighed her and she was 2.64kg. She always reads a little less at VSG, but that still isn’t the best regardless. Maggie’s temperature was good.

We fed her this morning, so the vet wasn’t keen to sedate her. She took Mags away to try and get some blood to check if she was still a good candidate for the chemo, but Maggie got too ‘wiggly’ so we have to go back tomorrow after she’s fasted overnight.

The vet was extremely surprised at how well she’s doing. None of us are under any illusion that she’s fine and going to rebound from this – she won’t – but she’s ‘a trooper’ nonetheless.

We brought up about the lesions on the side of Maggie’s face, and the vet said she thought that they would have caused her a little pain before they erupted, but now that they have, she doesn’t think they’re causing her any pain at all. Tomorrow, she will clean them and have a look while Maggie is sedated for her chemo.

We haven’t given Maggie her anti-nausea pills for a while as we haven’t been able to get them. The vet gave us a prescription so we could get them from a human pharmacy if we needed to, but luckily, our vet called to say that they had received the ones sent from VSG, so Dad will pick them up after work today.

I’ve been away in Warkworth, around 76km from where I live, at a wedding over the weekend. I was concerned that, while I was gone, Maggie might fret. She wasn’t too bad in that respect, but she’s apparently been really good in others. She has developed a fascination with the toilet. She loves to go in there and yell because the acoustics in there amplify her voice. If anyone goes to the toilet, she will follow us in there and give us loves around our legs while we’re doing our business. She also loves the toilet being flushed. Nothing’s sacred in our household.

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“HEY! GUYS! GUYS! I’M IN THE TOILET! HEY! I’M IN THE TOILET!”

She managed to wake Mum and Dad up at 5am on Saturday yelling in the toilet. They decided to stay up after that to watch the America’s Cup.

She’s also been going in my room and yelling, trying to look for me. She’s been very affectionate, and even made a trip outside on her own and got her feet all mucky in the mud.

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“I’m here! Give me cuddles plz!”

When I got home yesterday afternoon, I gave her big cuddles in bed (not complaining – I was KNACKERED). She loved that and actually got way closer to me than she has done in recent times, and cuddled right up. However… she did wake me up periodically through the night last night. Last night she wasn’t panicked – it was more like she was wanting attention (see below video and imagine that, but every 5 minutes during the night). She went down the end of my bed at one stage and started to yell. It reminded me of one of our old cats Sara Renee. She ended up quite senile, and she was deaf, so she used to go into the hall at 4am and yell, not knowing where anyone was. In talking to the vet today, we wondered whether Maggie was losing her hearing, and the vet said that was quite likely.

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Our old cat, Sara Renee, when she was a kitten.

This morning, she was still cuddled up with me. She seems a lot happier and more comfortable now, which is good. I’ll update after her appointment at VSG tomorrow.

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Cuddly girl with a dirty wee eye in the morning.

I mentioned before that D’arcy was under the weather. Apparently, he came in from outside on the weekend with his back feet folded under him. Mum and Dad were scared something had happened to his legs or spine, so they took him to the vet. It turned out that he was severely constipated. A bit of stool softener and a vet’s finger up his bum, and he’s a-OK now.

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Owwie…

Remember how I noticed yesterday that Maggie had some gunk sticking her fur together on the right side of her face? She’s literally just scratched it open.

There must be a scab of some kind on her cheek that she’s opened, because her actual scar is fine. The problem is lower than that. We’ve rinsed that side of her face with warm water and a soft cloth, dried it, and put some antiseptic ointment on the area. It probably looks worse than it actually is, but we’re going to get her into the vet as soon as we can regardless.

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Poor wee baby!

Thankfully, she tolerated having her face washed and the ointment put on relatively well, and she’s now bundled up in bed with me fast asleep.

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Fast asleep after her ordeal.
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Slowly downhill

I went home with Dad at lunch time to feed Maggie today, and she wasn’t very good with it. Mum used to help Dad to feed Maggie, but one day Mum had a family meeting and we discovered that Maggie tolerates me a little more, so now that’s my job. We gave her three tubes of food, but I think she probably only swallowed about two tubes. She spat the rest of it out.

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Grouchy! Feeding time before I got involved.

In general, she seems cold and uncomfortable, except when she’s cuddled up with me on my bed. I make sure that she’s with me all the time that I’m home. Because of that, she’s happy and comfy a majority of the time. I’m not complaining; I get to stay in bed in the warm.

Excuse all the snotty, dribbly patches on the sheets and walls… I’ve decided not to worry about it. Maggie can’t help it, and most of those marks are made when she’s at her comfiest.

I’ve discovered a patch on her right cheek (the bad side) where the fur has been matted together with blood or some other secretion. I’m not sure what the stuff is, or what’s happening on the skin beneath the fur, and it’s a bit hard for me to see. I showed it to Dad last night and he brushed it off, but I showed it to him again at feeding time today and now he wants to have the vet take a look at it. I’m not sure when that will be.

Both Maggie and D’arcy have been more sociable. D’arcy, in particular, has been very sooky. He waits on the arm of the couch every day for Mum to come home. He licks her and purrs and cuddles right up to her. This is not entirely usual for him. She takes a photo of him almost every night. This gallery shows the sheer number of nights Mum has sent me a photo of D’arcy cuddled up to her on the couch.

Rosie has also been a bit more cuddly. She’s cuddled up next to Mum on the couch, and enjoys cuddling up near D’arcy on Mum’s bed. She usually keeps to herself and is quite a loner, but since Maggie has taken a turn for the worse, she’s needed more affection and support.

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Hunger strike again

Maggie’s stopped eating on her own entirely again. She still drinks plenty of water on her own, but we’re syringe feeding her. She’s dropped down to 2.95kg despite this, so we’ve increased the frequency from twice daily to four times a day. She gets a little sulky after her feeds, but it doesn’t last very long.

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Sulking

The other night, she swallowed the tube off the end of the syringe. We’re a bit concerned about it, but we’ve taken her to the vet and the vet said that if she tries to pass it and if it’s going to be a problem, Maggie will let us know. So far, we haven’t had any issues but we’ve been super careful feeding her now.

She also gets quite cold, so we’ve been having all the heaters in the house on for her – one in the lounge, and one in my bedroom. I’ve started wearing my onesie when I take her for feeding too.

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All cuddly in the warm.

She was having sneezing fits for a while, but that seems to have stopped so I think the tumour has further progressed.

I tried bringing her teepee up into my room and sticking my heater behind it. I encouraged her to go in there and she did go in and sit down, but she looked at me like I’d insulted her ancestors then promptly got out and jumped back on my bed and demanded to go under the covers.

She likes having me there with her, even if she’s not under the covers with me, especially with my body heat. I think it gives her a bit of security. Last night she must have been dreaming, or was asleep and forgot where she was and woke up with a wall in her face and got an almighty fright. Luckily I was there to give her pats and calm her down, and she purred.

Her scar got a bit raw a few days ago, so we had to get her some antiseptic ointment. The ointment was red and almost bloody and wasn’t a great look for her. It seems to have calmed the scar down now though, although she’s lost a wee bit of fluff just on the right side of the scar between the scar and the bridge of her nose.

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Owwie…

One positive though, is that on Saturday she did go outside in the sun. She hasn’t done this in at least a month. Dad let her stay out for a little bit, then brought her inside and opened the doors to the front deck so she could go out.

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OUTSIDE!

Poor D’arcy still gets a little down. I’ve made sure I give him plenty of cuddles and loves. He spends most of his time on my bed until I go to bed, and then I think he goes in with Mum.

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Poor little boy…

We don’t actually see Rosie all that much, although she’s been sleeping on Mum’s bed or on a chair in Mum’s room a bit more lately. She sleeps with Mum at night. The other night Maggie got quite upset during her feeding time and was yowling, and poor Rosie was so concerned she came out to see that Maggie was alright.

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Going downhill again

We’re on the downward slide again. Maggie has stopped eating again even with the anti-nausea pill, so we’re going to start syringe-feeding her. She’s snorting again and her lymph nodes are quite inflamed. Either that, or she’s growing another tumour in her neck. This seems to be making mouth-breathing slightly difficult and she’s also finding it hard to get comfy to sleep. She gets a lot of discharge out of her nose and Dad has to clean it several times a day. I brought her up to sleep in with me the other night (little shit decided the middle of my single bed was the perfect spot for her) and she did relax and stop snorting after a while. We’re going to take her to the vet tomorrow, and then to VSG for her chemo. Hopefully things perk up a little bit a few days after her next chemo.

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Weeks or Days Left :(

Sorry for the lapse in posts. I’ve been super busy with work, family stuff, and of course, taking care of Maggie.

Here’s what you’ve missed.

And of course, several vet visits and weigh-ins.

Maggie has started snuffling. We noticed it around the end of March, and it’s gotten progressively worse. We were scared a fistula might have formed somewhere. We took her to one of her usually scheduled vet appointments and asked for their advice, which was to take her over to VSG. We managed to make her an appointment to go over on the 4th, and were told that it was unlikely a fistula had formed, as she didn’t meet the criteria for it. Things to look out for are:

  1. Loss of appetite; at that stage, she was eating less, but not much less
  2. A high temperature; Maggie’s temperature was within the healthy range
  3. Foul-smelling discharge from the nose; although Maggie did have a lot of nasal discharge, it was her breath that smelt fouler

We went away happy that it was likely not a fistula causing the issue, but also none the wiser as to what was causing the issue. We ended up taking her back to VSG a few days later. We couldn’t see our usual vets so we saw another one. We left her at VSG so she could have a CT scan and some blood work done.

We had to leave her overnight as it wasn’t until after 4pm that she could get in to have the scan done. We went to collect her the following morning. At the appointment, the vet showed us the scan. The tumour has been resistant to the Palladia with Maggie, has come back, and has invaded her nasal cavity, and part of the left side of her face (the good side). She’s currently breathing through a tube around 5% of what she should be breathing through. That’s why she’s been snorting. It’s also why she’s stopped eating; when Mum puts food out every morning, she runs into the kitchen, takes a sniff of the food, and walks away. She can’t smell. We’ve been syringe feeding her. When we take her to her vet appointments now, they’ve also been syringe feeding her. She has cancer cachexia, so regardless of how much she was eating prior to this, she’s lost a lot of weight. As of today, she’s 3.31kg which is 70g above her lowest.

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She’s also been put on a different chemo drug. We’ve been told that this is pretty much the last option for her. The particular drug is harsh on her kidneys and attacks both cancer and white blood cells, so VSG has to administer it once every 3 weeks to allow time for the white blood cells to regenerate. Maggie has kidney failure, so it really is a last ditch effort. There is another drug that could have been tried, but if this one doesn’t work, the earliest she could safely be given it is 10 days after the dose of the one she’s currently on. It’s excreted in urine and faeces, so we have to segregate her from the other two cats for the first two days after it’s administered with a separate dirtbox. None of the cats have enjoyed that. D’arcy cries during the night, and Rosie has been incredibly worried whenever we have to feed her, as Maggie doesn’t tolerate it well.

Mum has been sleeping on the floor with her in the lounge at night, and Dad lies on the floor in the kitchen trying to coax her to eat on her own.

The most heartbreaking thing about it is that, although she’s struggling and is incredibly uncomfortable, she still seems happy. Maybe ‘happy’ isn’t the right word… perhaps ‘loyal’ would be more apt. She still purrs as loud (and snuffly) as ever. She loves brushies and face scratchies. When Dad sits down, she runs to him to give him loves. She gives us so much affection. I was home from work yesterday and I set myself up on the lounge floor with my duvet and laptop, and I put the TV on for us, and she spent the day sitting with me on the floor. She cried whenever I left her to go down the hallway to get something. She knows we’re upset and I feel like she’s trying to be extra affectionate to try and comfort us. She doesn’t like us being upset as much as we don’t like her being uncomfortable.

The vet said that if the drug is going to work, we should see very quickly. Unfortunately, we’re not seeing those changes. I’m afraid she has weeks or even days left.

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