Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Spoiling the Spoiled

Ever since Winston was diagnosed with mouth cancer in April we have been spoiling him almost beyond measure. Whatever we eat, he gets some. If he likes it, he gets more, up to a point, but far more then I would ever dream of giving a pet. I also was pretty strict about waiting until the meal was over before he would get table scraps.

So yesterday was Winston's 13th birthday. With the kind of cancer he has, we were told that 3 months would be a good outcome and 6 would be great. He's approaching 5 months since surgery with still no signs of tumor regrowth. Technically he's in remission, at least for the time being. Since it will likely be his last, we wanted to do something really special for him. Two things that will always make him happy are food and catnip.

I was thinking steamed fish for food, since we rarely eat fish at home. We do eat steak and chicken which he gets a small indulgence of about once a week, so we needed something to top that. However, after asking my husband what he thought, and him being the treat/table scrap giver, he said, "sashimi". Nothing but the best for a very special cat. I went to the not so local Mitsuwa market and picked up 3 different types of raw fish and some yellowtail collars. For the humans, we had a Korean style rice bowl called hwe dup bap. It's rice, lettuce, raw fish, seaweed (aka nori) and a spicey/sweet sauce all mixed together. I broiled the yellowtail collars with just some salt and pepper and we dipped it in purchased ponzu sauce. My husband told Winston to have birthdays more often. For dessert Winston got a bit of muffin. When Winston lived with my family, my older sister would try feeding him everything. The two more unusual items he really liked was apple pie and muffins, we already knew about the cantaloupe and salt & vinegar chips.

Winston also got a fresh catnip toy tonight and I think he had a really great birthday. He doesn't know why he was spoiled, but it just makes us happy knowing that his probable last birthday was something really special. We have come to terms that our time is limited with him, and are no longer upset, just thankful he's so far living past what was expected. We took videos of him enjoying his day, but I will abstain from sharing.

In other news, I opened up a small etsy shop. I'm still on a big spinning kick and started dyeing some of my own fibers. I'm not using what I've been spinning, but I'm enjoying dyeing things up and seeing how it turns out. I have also meant to get my stitch markers up for some time, so it was a good kick in the butt combination to get me moving. The store is Simply Basics and I also started a blog for it here.

I wanted to separate my excessive cat talk and personal stuff from shop updates and miscellaneous back story to some of what I do over there. This blog has mostly been ignored the past year, so we'll even see if this blog survives.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Happy Birthday and Bad News :(


I still can't believe it's almost been a year since I got the call that tiny kittens needed a foster bottle mom. I estimated that Sally was about 10-14 days old when I rescued her, so today is the day I've been putting down on her records.

Although she looks tiny in the picture, when standing side by side with Winston she is slightly taller than him but a little bit shorter in length. She was born in the year of the pig, along with my husband and Winston. I'm surrounded by pigs!! Sally is considered a golden pig which apparently means that babies born in that year (happens every 60 years) will have a prosperous and wealthy life. If you can tell by the person's belly then Sally is definitely a golden pig ;)

As to the bad news, almost a month ago we found out that Winston has terminal cancer. My veterinary oncologist sister found a mass under his tongue as he was hissing at her. She had suspected from what I was telling her the week or two before her visit what he probably was suffering from, but it was verified when she came. The cancer is called squamous cell carcinoma and is typically found in older cats under the tongue and normally in lighter colored cats. This cancer manifests itself differently in different species, and in cats its just a bad thing. The cancer won't metastasize but the tumor will continue to grow until the cat won't be able to eat or drink, and this type of cancer does not respond to chemo and radiation.

Winston's tumor was on the big side, about the size of a pea, he was not grooming so well and his eating was getting messier. It was truly kismet how everything came together, from my sister visiting, to her colleague working nearby to the oral surgeon being in. They were able to not only get a biopsy but remove some (not all) of the tumor. Since Winston had not been grooming himself very well, my sister gave him a lion cut and a bath while he was under anesthesia. The first couple days after the surgery were rough, but he is now pretty much back to his old self. He is playing with Sally again, eating well, drinking well and grooming. We don't know how or when the cancer will come back, but we know it's just a matter of time. So Winston will just be a spoiled cat until we know it is his time. This picture was taken a couple days ago and his hair has already started to grow in a little bit.