I just arrived home with Jasper. He promptly proceeded to pee in his carrier the moment we got in the car, so he’s downstairs taking what is his first bath in several days, I’m sure. You know how fastidious cats are and H and I had to listen to him complain bitterly about the wet factor on the ride home. Every cry was music (though shrill!) to my ears. The best news of all, for now, is that his paralysis has disappeared, his right leg seems to be functioning normally, the color of his pads looks good, and he’s currently in no danger of losing that leg anymore. Glory hallelujah! Go, Big Boy J!
Unfortunately, the doctor said the long-term prognosis is not good. Many cats who throw one clot go on to throw others that can cause kidney failure, rear leg paralysis, heart failure and so on. Of course, we don’t know that that is going to happen, but I think the doctor was preparing me for the fact that although he made it past this crisis, the underlying heart disease is still there and that means he is susceptible to damaging or fatal blod clots. He’s on two medications that I will have to struggle to give him, although he took the pill from me this afternoon just fine (the doctor looked exasperated when she said “he is NOT an easy cat to treat!”). Let’s hope that keeps up! The techs were glad he was recovering, but said they were sorry to see him leave because he’s one of the more fun (and communicative) cats they’ve had in a while. One of them looked at me and told me she had looked forward the past two days to arriving at work because the first thing she heard was Jasper talking to her telling her to feed him. That’s my boy! He goes back next week for another follow-up and x-ray.
I’ve been so disoriented the past few days without him here. No one begging to go out on the front porch in the morning, no one complaining about not feeding him fast enough, no one I have to look out for on the stairs before I go down them. I want all those things to matter and tonight I’m certainly glad that they do matter once again.
How can I begin to thank everyone for all the prayers and heartfelt wishes that were sent his way? There is no doubt in my mind that prayer works for all beings and the doctor admitted his recovery this quickly is remarkable. All that loving energy, I know, helped him and continues to help him even now. Bless every one of you.
We went to the hospital last night to visit Jasper. He was much calmer and was glad to see us. We held him for a while (he likes being cradled like a baby) and just closed his eyes and tucked himself into my chest as Harald scratched his head. He was drinking up the attention. He really doesn’t like the IV in his one good paw and his right front leg still doesn’t look like it’s getting much, if any, circulation. The echocardiogram showed that he has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a common heart problem for cats. He has a large blood clot in his heart and we are hoping the Heparin therapy begins to dissolve that. I’ve been trying to envision whole teams of little kitty angels going in and helping that drug work better and I’ve been doing visualizations watching the blod clot safely dissolve and healthy tissue and movement restored. That’s the image I’m clinging onto. I’ll go see Jasper again tonight after work and may or may not know more about his condition then. The doctor originally told me there was about a 50-50 change of him making a full recovery from the thromboembolism in his leg – some cats recover completely and some don’t. I am praying he is one that does.
The good doctor just called. They’ve given Jasper a mild sedative, as promised, to reduce his distress. They put in an IV and have started Heparin to try to dissolve the clot and save his leg. His chest x-ray shows fluid on the lungs and a “very large heart”, a sign of underlying heart disease as the doctor suspected. He’s starting heart medication immediately and medicine to clear up his lungs. He is, the doctor said, “very concerned about why his one good front leg has an IV in it”, but it didn’t stop him from eating all the food they put down for him. It was good to hear that he has settled down comfortably and was eating. They will do the echocardiogram on him later today and he will be in hospital until at least Friday. But I can go see him tonight up till 8:00, so the realtor has made plans to meet us at H’s place at 5:00 to do all the paperwork so we can get to see Jasper before they close. I know I will feel better after I get a chance to visit him myself tonight. We still don’t know whether the clot will resolve and the right leg paralysis go away. It seems that only the tincture of time holds that answer.
I wish I had something more cheerful to write about in my first blog entry in months. But I don’t think I am quite up to repeating this several times over, at least not today.
Jasper was his normal talking and frisky self this morning when I woke up and opened the bedroom door. He came running upstairs like he always does and put his two front paws up on the chair to tell me loudly to get downstairs and feed him (this is our routine). However, a few minutes later when I did get downstairs and put his food out, I thought I saw him limping and after watching him for a few minutes, realized he was dragging his right front paw. He began to talk even more loudly that unusual and it was plain he was in distress. His pupils were very dilated (unevenly) and he began to pant heavily. A quick call to the vet’s office then the after-hours emergency vet line and H and I decided to be at my vet’s office when they opened at 8:30. We got there at 8:31 and when I walked in with Jasper in my arms, they knew something was wrong and rushed us into the first available waiting room. God bless Dr. Schulman, she is such a compassionate doctor. Vets really are a special breed, aren’t they? They suspect several things. First, a blood clot as a result of underlying heart disease. The prognosis would be uncertain, but they are almost positive this has happened based on the exam. They have hospitalized him and will do all sorts of tests today. I had broke down crying badly while waiting for Harald to arrive (why does it always seem like an eternity when it’s an emergency?), but I really lost it when the good doctor took Jasper out of the room and had to take a few minutes to gather myself together. Even the *thought* of something bad happening to Jasper just breaks my heart into. As much as I loved Miss Boots, Jasper is the best cat I’ve ever had and I would be lost without him and very, very sad. I hope they don’t have to amputate his leg, which is one possibility. I had H drop me off at work because I need the distraction of work to keep me from (temporarily) losing my mind. All you animals lovers, another “prayer flung up toward heaven” would be much appreciated. And maybe a little one for the owner who seems equally distraught.