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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A new eruption

Maggie still gets frantic when I fall asleep. I’ve noticed that, in addition to meowing in my face, pacing the bed, and climbing all over me, she also lightly but quickly taps my shoulder. It’d actually be really cute, if she wasn’t doing it because she was upset.

She’s had another small eruption on her face, just above the corner of her lip on the right side of her face. It bled a little bit this morning. I think this is just something we’re going to have to accept and manage. It doesn’t appear to cause her pain or distress.

A new eruption
The new eruption just above the corner of her lip.

Last night, she swallowed another piece of tube. We’re no longer using the tubing on the syringe. We’re just sucking it up and trying to get the food in with the nozzle as it is.

She was OK this morning being fed, but she still gets quite feisty. We periodically give her a break, and she settles down by the window and looks forlorn. Whenever I feed her and Mum helps rather than Dad, I get her to hold Maggie afterwards so I can give her face a real thorough clean. I think I did a pretty good job this morning, and she almost went to sleep with me gently wiping the left side of her face with a warm face cloth.

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“Oh, woe is me…”

I’m always really proud when I’ve cleaned her face well, especially when she’s been calm about it (which is most of the time). Dad doesn’t really do it thoroughly enough for my liking; I’m not quite a germophobe, but I feel soooo much comfier when her face is super clean, including her eye and nose. It’s very satisfying for me, but it must also be more comfortable for her.

A clean little bubbie cuddling with Mummy
A clean little bubbie cuddling with Mummy

We’re going to try and get her in to both the normal vet, and VSG early next week. I have a list of things we need to bring up:

  • The new eruption on her face. We were told that treating it with the antiseptic ointment would do no good since it wouldn’t permeate past the surface, but I want to know if it would help to stop bugs getting in in the first place (rather than kill the tumour). Dad also wants to confirm that these lesions aren’t causing her much, if any, pain.
  • This new behaviour of panicking when I fall asleep at night. I don’t know what has caused it. If we have some possible reasons to it, we might be able to manage or fix it to limit her distress. Nothing bad has ever happened while I’ve been asleep at night.
  • An X-Ray or ultrasound to check where the two pieces of tube are. I don’t know, but this also may help to check how full her bowel is.
  • Her protruding anus. I want to make sure this is OK and not indicative of constipation or obstipation (which would be a medical emergency). She may need a stool softener, which I want to ask about.
  • I also want to see if there’s a topical pain relief we can be given to put on her lesions and nose. The nose in particular must get sore, as we’re forever fiddling with it and cleaning it. You know what it’s like when you have a persistently runny nose and have to blow your nose several times a day and the tissues start to feel like sandpaper.
  • We need to have her weighed and general condition assessed.

I can’t think of anything else right now that I’d like to find out, but if I do, I’ll write it down.

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Not too bad

I went home with Mum this afternoon to feed Maggie her lunch.

When we got home, she was behind the TV in the window, which has become reasonably normal for her. She wasn’t distressed, and it looked like she’d just had a drink because the fur around her mouth was wet (too much and the liquid was too thin to be drool).

We fed her and she didn’t take it well. She ate probably 1.5 syringes of food before becoming too stressed. I washed her face, eye and nose this time, and I washed them well. I brushed her face and forehead with the shedding brush, which she loves, and then set her down on Dad’s seat. She looked so content. Perhaps she only frets at night.

I had a look at Maggie’s bum (hard not to when she practically thrusts it in my face), and her anus is a bit protrusile, so I’m wondering whether her bowel is totally full and she hasn’t got the energy to defecate. She might need a stool softener. It’s not inflamed, red or prolapsed, just a bit sticky-outy. She doesn’t poo very often now, but she eats every day (albeit not on her own). That’s another thing I will bring up with the vet next week.

Poor D’arcy is a bit under the weather. He’s been vomiting a bit and had accidentally left some poos on the carpet. I caught him trying to either poo on the carpet, or drop a poo on the carpet that was stuck to his bum. Hopefully he recovers from that soon or we’ll have to take him to the vet too.

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Got through the weekend

We’ve had a mixed weekend. We still have to check in with the vet, and I think Mum’s going to do that later today.

Maggie still sleeps with me most of the night. I think she gets up periodically to have a big drink, but I always wake up with her on my bed.

She didn’t have a bad sleep last night. She slept for about an hour under the covers with me with her little head out. She got really comfy and stretched her arm out and turned her head upside down for a short time. She was very quiet; no snuffling or snorting.

We had another cuddle this morning before breakfast. In all honesty, she was terrible to try and feed this morning. She really resisted and we had to re-wrap her twice. She just spat and sprayed the food all over the place.

I went home with Dad to feed her her lunch just before. When we got in, Dad looked behind the TV and she wasn’t there, so he said she was probably in my room. He was right. As soon as I got to my bedroom door, Maggie got up and got off the bed. I thought she was going to gap it initially because she’s gotten to knowing what is coming next, but she didn’t. She came to the door and waited. I gave her a pat and her tail stood up and she looked at me lovingly. She tried to clean her nose with her paw (all by herself!) then turned around and jumped back on the bed and started chattering away to me. I got on the bed and lifted the blanket and she went underneath. She had a quiet rest for around 15 minutes until Dad was ready with her food.

Again, she was even more terrible to feed. We had to re-wrap her twice, and she growled the whole time. We did manage to get a bit of food into her though. I’m actually really surprised at how much energy and strength she has, considering she’s a very sick cat that weighs just over a third of what she should weigh (last weigh in weighed her at 2.92kg; a 30g loss). None of us believed it when the nurse at VSG said this to us, but I can safely say that she has earned the title of ‘ferocious’.

After feeding, I put her back on my bed under the covers, and she settled down. She was comfy, though miffed.

Her face has closed up nicely. It’s not weeping or bleeding, and doesn’t seem to be causing her as much pain as it was a couple of days ago. I do still think it’d be beneficial for her to have some kind of topical pain relief for that area and her nose, but I’m not a vet so it may be that the risks aren’t worth it, or there may not be any topical pain relief that’s suitable for wounds. I don’t know.

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Not looking as terrible as it did.

I have found a few little lumps around her neck and face that are just over the size of a pea each. They don’t seem to be causing her any discomfort, but we know it’s not a good sign.

Oh. And Maggie did big poos in the dirtbox. She hasn’t done that in a while, so we were pretty excited.

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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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Busy!

Sorry I haven’t had a chance to post lately… I’ve been so busy!

I had a graduation ceremony for my second bachelors degree (commerce to add to the fine arts!) and then took a well-deserved trip to the Central-ish North Island with Oli, my best friend Priya and her husband Therushen while they’re over from South Africa.

When we got back to Auckland after our trip, naturally we went back to Priya’s mother’s house for curry. Priya then dropped Oli and me back at my parents’ and stopped in to see Maggie.

Maggie was so happy! She loves having visitors, and absolutely loves Priya. She’s probably well aware that, although Priya loves her to pieces, she is also allergic to cats. The visit perked Maggie right up. She was doing the rounds, making sure she got pats from everyone there. She’s started to become attached to Oliver too. She hasn’t known him as long as Priya, but has taken to him reasonably well. Still though, Priya is the favourite.

Once it was bed time, I felt really guilty about being  busy and away for so long so I let Maggie sleep in with me. Good thing I did too, because the day after I got back was the coldest day of the year so far. I think it got down to around 5 degrees Celsius overnight. It’s since climbed back up again. Poor Maggie. She was so incredibly cuddly and clingy.

A couple of days ago, she started eating again! She’s not eating enough to allow that to be her only source of food, so we’re still syringe feeding her, but at least she has an interest. She eats a bit from one plate, then moves along the plates until she’s had a bit of everything. Then she goes around the corner to have a drink of Pims (water). All of the cats seem to like that particular bowl of water for some reason. D’arcy had to learn yesterday to wait his turn. He didn’t do a great job at that.

With us still syringe feeding her, it means we can easily give her her anti-nausea and her anti-inflammatory medication.

She’s due for her next chemo in a week or two.

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