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By the time I took Felix in to the vet this morning I was a sniffly, sobbing mess. What happened with Alcide kept playing over and over in my mind, along with the mantra that “simple” colds and infections can easily kill FIV+ cats. That’s what happened with Alcide: a simple stomach bug that an FIV- cat would have fought off in a couple of days ran rampant through his system, eventually attacking his pancreas and kidneys. He would have died from a combination of fever, dehydration, and organ failure had we not been merciful and euthanized him. And, seeing how quickly Felix went downhill between yesterday morning when he simply had a gooey eye, to 1:00am this morning when he was wheezing, sniffly, and very lethargic, was scary. FIV+ cats get sick FAST and HARD, which is why it is so important to keep a super-close eye on them and get them to a veterinarian.
Anyway, Felix’s story has a much happier ending. Because he is FIV+, a run-of-the-mill bacterial upper respiratory infection quickly and mercilessly spread to his left eye and left ear. He is now on a regimen of antibiotics: oral antibiotic twice a day for the next six weeks, eye drops three times a day for the next two weeks, and ear drops once per day for the next two weeks. Additionally, I will be giving him a Lysine supplement twice per day, and when he is not dealing with an active “outbreak” (illness), he — and Titanium — will get it once per day. Since we usually give all six cats canned food just once a week, it looks like we’ll need to stock up so we always have something to mix the Lysine powder into.
While we were at the vet’s office they took blood (to check on kidney and liver function, as well as white blood cell count – the results will be ready by Tuesday) and a sample from his bladder. I guess having his bladder mauled is all it took for him to let loose: he peed in the carrier he was somewhat crammed into (in my defense, he’s a BIG cat!), and once we got home he peed on our bed. But it’s okay – I was going to wash the duvet anyway, since there was crusted up ear/eye discharge on it from Felix sleeping there last night. So I bathed him, wrapped him up tight in a pre-warmed towel, and then Dan and I medicated him: pills just in case he has fleas or worms (we didn’t see any fleas on him, but there is what we suspect might be tapeworm residue near the base of his tail), and the three antibiotics listed above. Finally, once the bed was stripped and re-made, I wrapped him in my hoodie and laid him on top of me, and after a few minutes of purring and kneading, he settled down and went to sleep – and so did I. ♥
Felix is very sick, and due to being FIV+ this means he may not be able to recover. I’m taking him to the vet in less than an hour, so before I leave I want to dedicate this week’s Friday Favorites to my big Thor kitty, lover of lovey rubs, Cheese Whiz, meatballs, and pepperoni. ♥ Please cross your fingers that he can be treated, and I come home with a cat and a bag of antibiotics, and not a receipt for euthanasia and cremation.
It’s official: I am a hoarder. Of food, that is. I think two and a half years of financial stress and instability (and dare I admit it: a few occasions where we had to wait a day or two to purchase additional dairy products or cereal) have led to a mindset of BUY & STOCKPILE ALL THE FOODS. This also extends to paper products (there may or may not be 20+ rolls of paper towels stuffed into various places in our kitchen), laundry detergent (I currently have enough to wash four loads of laundry every single day for two years), cat food, and cat litter. But with food it’s especially apparent:
- We routinely stalk Target for discounted meat, which we promptly buy up, bring home, vacuum seal, and freeze.
- We discovered 50 pound bags of flour and sugar for just $20 (as opposed to buying a four pound bag of sugar for no less than $2.29, and five pound bags of flour for $3) at a restaurant store, so guess whose kitchen had a 50 pound bag of sugar sitting in it until we re-purposed empty 30-lb cat litter tubs (thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, of course, since until they were emptied of litter they sat on bathroom floors)?
- At least twice a month we hit up an Amish-owned discount grocery store. Amazing routine finds include: $3 for 2-lb tubs of local fresh sliced American cheese; $1 for 1-lb bags of carrots; 50¢ for 5-lb bags of potatoes (we bought 20 pounds which Dan cut into fries, then bagged & froze in family-sized portions); $1 for non-expired full-sized bottles of Citrical (calcium citrate); and $1 for various well-known brands of bread, hot dog, and hamburger rolls.
- Stalk the local Petco at least twice per month for marked-down cat food; make friends with the nice cashiers who know you as the Cat Rescuers and thus put aside food coupons for you (we average two pounds per cat per month – so currently about 12 pounds of food per month)
- FIND AND CLIP ALL OF THE COUPONS – and combine manufacturer + store coupons at Target, while hunting for sales, clearance, and Cartwheel finds.
- Two words: product reviews
I won’t lie: it can be a bit tedious and stressful to plan out shopping trips, and sometimes we have to drop planned purchases (such as vitamins or cleaning products) in favor of OMG!CHEAP!MEAT!, but hey, you do what you have to in order to feed your family, right?
Alyssa and Ryan have been spending time at Grandmom’s. While my mom isn’t really able to cook and clean, my brothers have been pitching in, and Alyssa can cook and is a big help all around. Anyway, Ryan came home last night, after being gone for a week! That’s the longest he has ever been away from us, and while the peace and quiet was nice, having a kid-free house for several days (Alyssa joined him last Wednesday) was weird.
So we brought a happy but tired Bean home last night, and after he and Dan played Minecraft for several hours, he went to bed…only to wake up sometime around 2am from a bad dream. So guess who spent the rest of the night in the middle of our bed? I don’t mind the opportunity to cuddle my quickly-growing-up boy, but he has a tendency to turn into an octopus when he is in bed with us. What I mean by that is that he doesn’t just take up space: he also sprawls out, and his limbs seem to multiply. It’s not uncommon for me to wake up to what feels like five arms and three legs thrown over me. If it weren’t for our bed being a queen and me losing half of my body weight, someone would be sleeping on the floor! As it is, with the addition of at least one or two cats and often the Pug, there isn’t a lot of room to spare.
But the crappy sleep is worth it, because one day not too far in the future Ryan will have no interest in hanging with me when he’s conscious, let alone unconscious.