Sibling (un-)rivalry

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.

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“In my sister’s snotty teepee”

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.

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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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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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Separation anxiety

After this morning, I’ve decided I think Maggie is suffering from a weird kind of separation anxiety.

She managed to get me to get up at 5:00AM this morning. I cleaned her nose and she seemed OK. I couldn’t get back to sleep, so I sat with the light on, on my phone reading the news.

I put my phone down just before 6:30AM and decided to shut my eyes until 7. As soon as I’d gotten to sleep, Maggie was frantically trying to wake me up again, meowing deeply, pacing, getting up in my face, and climbing all over my pillow and me.

Mum got up and told me that Maggie had done the same to her at 2AM. When Mum got up to go to the toilet, Maggie followed her. Even when I went to the kitchen this morning to check that Maggie’s feeding things were set up, Maggie followed me down there.

It’s almost as if Maggie was trying to resuscitate me. Does she suddenly, for some reason, think that when I’m asleep I’m actually dead? Her eye widens and she panics. She’s almost like Simba after Mufasa dies.

I’m not sure if it’s that, or if she’s feeling more crappy than usual and therefore more vulnerable and feels she needs me to be alert. The weather wasn’t great; it was windy and that may have unsettled her, though there was a day last week that was worse. D’arcy was so unsettled I left my TV audio on for him during the day, but Maggie wasn’t fazed so I don’t know why she would be now. Perhaps a tumour is placing pressure on the part(s) of her brain that control anxiety… I don’t know. We’ll make an appointment for her to see the vet early next week. I don’t think she’s in pain – I think it is anxiety – but it would be good to have someone validate or challenge that belief and also check her weight and general condition relative to last visit.

I’ve left the audio of my TV on for her today, and she has D’arcy keeping her company on the bed. Hopefully that’s enough.

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Big brother looking after Maggie.
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TIIIIIIRED…

It’s 5:09AM… Maggie has just spent the last 15 minutes (for the fifth time) urgently trying to get me up to attend to a large piece of snot on her nose that had obviously got a strand of my hair stuck to it. Now that that’s fixed, I can’t get back to sleep. I have 2 hours before I need to actually wake up… *sigh*

*sigh* what am I going to do with you, Mag Wheels…?
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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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