None of us can believe just how well Rosie and D’arcy have gotten on after Maggie passed away. Rosie, in particular, loves cuddling up to her brother. I think D’arcy just tolerates it, but it doesn’t seem to bother him in the least. It’s the middle of winter here now and Auckland was 1.3 degrees Celsius (34.3 degrees Fahrenheit) yesterday morning at around 7:30AM, so the fact they will cuddle up is a really good thing. We usually keep the house really warm for them, even during the day, and they have their blankies and windows where they can sit in the sun, but a little more warmth can’t hurt.
All the cuddles, all the time
D’arcy is coping OK now. He still gravitates to places and things Maggie liked. I’m not sure whether that’s to do with him being close to her, or because she was top of the pecking order and now that she’s not here, he’s allowed to use them. His favourite places at the moment are Maggie’s snotty teepee, and the place at the head of my bed where Maggie wet herself when I accidentally shut her in my room for a few hours. I have cleaned it, and it no longer smells to me (unless I put my nose right up to it and have a good sniff, but I’m not gonna do that), but it must smell to him. I finally got around to cleaning the snot marks off my wall by my bed… but the actual wall itself was dirty so I ended up having to clean and disinfect the WHOLE wall so you couldn’t see where I’d cleaned.
Rosie has come out of her shell a lot more too. Maggie and Rose never got along. It’s sad to say it, but it’s like she’s more comfy because she’s moved up a tier in the hierarchy. She’s become pretty demanding of me; if I don’t pay attention to her quick enough, she will promptly sit on my chest and settle down with her bum to me.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Me attempting to be lovely to her.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Me at my Official graduation ceremony with flowers from Oli.
Oli and me and my Maori graduation ceremony.
On the gondola up to the luge. Oli like, “oh gawd, what have I signed up for?”
On the skii lift back up to the luge.
Enjoying Maori Kapahaka and waiata performance at Rotorua.
I-Spy: find the Englishman and the two non-locals.
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.
“PLEASE don’t leave me behind again…”
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.
D’arcy didn’t like being told to ‘wait’ so we had to get another bowl. Note the bowl in the bottom right corner of the photo. Yet, he still wants the one MAGGIE has.
Our hot water cylinder has been leaking for the last few weeks. Last night, the new one was delivered (it’s an old-school type of model so we had to find one and have it shipped from Christchurch). Anyway… the plumbers have been here installing it today. It took around 4 hours. They left a whole heap of stuff on the back deck while they were working and they had to clear out the linen cupboard because the cylinder is in the roof cavity and the entry to the roof is through the ceiling of the linen cupboard. Maggie has been absolutely fascinated with all of the goings on. She actually went outside for the first time in around a month. The plumbers had made a nice tent that she assumed was hers. When she came back inside, she had a look around in the now-empty linen cupboard. It seems today is another moderately good day. She’s also had a few bites to eat of Rosie, D’arcy and her own food (on her own), and took her anti-inflammatories this morning without issue. We also had plenty of cuddles under the covers since I was home from work.
More cuddles under the covers (in my work clothes, no less).
When I got home from work, I could hear Dad talking to one of the cats before I even got in the house. It was so high pitched and loud. Once I got in the house and came up the stairs, I realised why he was so excited; he was giving Maggie a cuddle and she was purring and breathing well. Apparently, he couldn’t see her when he got in but when she heard his voice, she came running out to greet him. When I got in her eyesight, she started yelling at me, which is something she hasn’t done in a long time.
Dad put her on the floor after a while and her body language told me she wanted to go somewhere. She was hunching over like she was getting ready to move off, and kept looking in the direction of the kitchen (immediately to her left). I mentioned that she looked hungry and Mum got her some food, thinking she’d do what she usually does and be interested, sniff, then decide, “that’s not food…” and leave. But……
Maggie ate food on her own for the first time in a week!
Managed to get through half a plate of food in a few minutes.
We decided not to syringe feed her this evening because she’d eaten more than we’d have fed her through syringes.
She also came to me when I called her, which is something she hasn’t done in a while too. She’d usually just sit there and look at me uncomfortably.
We took her to her vet appointment and she’s gained 200g. We found out we’d been overdosing her on her anti-inflammatory drug. The scale on the syringes are in kilograms, not millilitres… We were giving her enough for a 10kg cat! Luckily, the vet wasn’t too concerned, and had a bit of a chuckle. We’re definitely giving her the dose she’s meant to have from now on!
After that, she couldn’t get enough of me and Dad. She kept giving us headbutts and chatted away to us, and at one point nearly gave Dad a love bite on his nose 😂 she even followed him onto the couch when he had his dinner.
Seconds before the near-nose-nip.
“I love my daddy…”
Can’t get away from her!
She’s been sleeping more comfortably and actually gets sleep. When she’s sleeping with me, she sleeps like a baby. Her ears relax completely. She struggles to sleep on her own. I think, because she’s sick, she feels insecure, as if some big animal could come and eat her. It seems that all the deterioration before may have been due to her just being too damn tired.
The old Maggie is back! I guess I really will have to sacrifice my sleep for hers 😂 BRING ON THE RED BULL!
I went to one of my boyfriend’s comedy gigs last night. When I got home, it was 11:45pm and my parents were asleep. I quietly went into the lounge to see how Maggie was and, as expected, she was in the teepee.
I sat and had a bit of a chat to her and she came out of the teepee, so I decided I’d take her up to my room with me so she could cuddle with me under the covers during the night.
I’m glad I did, because she got so comfortable. She eventually curled up, which is something she doesn’t do often, and relaxed. Every now and then her nose would play up and she’d turn her head over and rest her cheek on the bed, but for a majority of the night, this is how she was:
I know she likes to be completely under the covers, but I kept her face free of them and kept the windows open to try and make it easier for her to breathe. She got up at about 5:00am to pee or drink (she doesn’t really poo or eat much, so they’re the only logical conclusions). At around 5:30am she came back in my room, jumped on the bed (by herself!), and demanded to come back under the covers. She stayed there until I had to get up for work at around 8:00am.
While I was getting ready, my parents gave her a feed and then put her back on my bed. She started nuzzling to go under the covers so I let her, and she started ‘digging for China’. When she ‘digs for China’, she goes under the covers and starts scratching the sheets with one paw. This is super normal behaviour for her, and one we haven’t seen her do in a long time. She was also much more alert this morning, and seemed quite happy.
She has an appointment at the vet for a check-up tonight after work, just to weigh her and see how the vet thinks she’s going – whether he thinks she’s in pain or suffering at all or not. I personally don’t think she is, but it’s good to get an expert’s perspective. Unfortunately, she stresses a little bit going to the vet, so I’m concerned his perspective will be marred by that. Luckily I’ve got a record of what she’s like at home.
I’ll probably let her sleep under the covers with me from now on. I just have to make sure I have plenty of Red Bull at hand