Trouble’s new shirt

Before the weekend I had quite enough of the cone. It was making it impossible for both Trouble and I to sleep. Whenever we took it off Trouble was much happier and she never over-groomed her wound. She would lick over it in the process of cleaning herself but never chewed or licked repeatedly. Flair also never tried to lick it which wasn’t surprising since she’s the one who likes to be groomed. I had seen online people making shirts for their cats to cover spay incisions. Chris agreed to let me make Trouble one for the weekend since she was then 10 days post-surgery. So Friday night I got an old t-shirt and made her stand on it, traced her paws and cut it out. Then took safety pins and pinned it tightly along her back. I then had to take scissors and re-shape the leg holes since they were not loose enough to allow for proper range of motion. The chest was also a bit low. But it fit and she didn’t freak out. Her incision was also completely covered.

We went to bed and I didn’t get hit once in the face! But around 5am she came back to my pillow and I gave her pets and noticed the shirt was gone. I was sleepy and figured she survived that long so ignored it and went back to bed. In the morning she was still on my pillow and we proceeded to get her fed. I looked everywhere for her shirt but it was missing. We ate, and while Chris was showering I found it, on top of my pillow.

Later in the day I made her a new shirt using the old one as a template. This time I made the front longer and trimmed it once she was wearing it. I also cut loops in the top so that we could attach her collar to it. This seems to have worked and she hasn’t wiggled out since.

She is eating ok, very hit and miss. Some feedings she will eat most of her meal off the plate or spoon others the entire thing needs to be syringed. I have gotten way better at syringe feeding her. But the syringe is small so when she refused to eat I have to fill it 3 times.

A Week In

Today is the one week anniversary of Trouble coming home after her surgery. It also marks one week until we can go have her stiches removed and burn the cone of shame. I look forward to that day, I will sleep amazingly from that day forth.

When Trouble was sedated for her x-rays and ultrasound she was pretty messed up. She couldn’t walk, blink, keep her tongue in her mouth. It was sad and sleeping with her was nerve wracking to say the least but compared to the cone it was easy.

She spent the night after surgery at the vet office so we didn’t see her until the following evening. She was wobbly but nothing like sedation. She couldn’t jump up or down due to balance issues and walking didn’t get her far. She was supper cuddly and wanted to be with us but she was uncomfortable. How do you sleep with a cone on? So every night around 4am she wakes up bangs into me and everything in the bedroom, demands pets, sticks the cone in my face and in general is a nuisance. After the first day we decided to take the cone off when we are home and that makes life better. She sleeps and finally was able to clean herself. Her mood improved and she started walking. Of course now I think twice anytime I want to leave. Is it worth leaving if I have to put her back in the cone to be a martini glass again?

Force feeding has been a pain. She will eat if you heat the food up and spoon feed it to her. Once she’s eaten 3/4 of it then she starts licking without actually eating. Then she stops doing even that. We get the last bit into her but not without first frustrating everyone involved. Pill giving has been similar. She is feeling better so her attitude is coming back and since she has been thru so much her patience is waning. We had a really good day where she ate most of her food without to much fuss but then we had to up the amount she eats every day and that has been a setback.

It has been neat seeing little bits of her old self coming back. When we took the cone off she gave me a good head butt. The day I came home and her tail was in its usual straight up position. Then there are her new tricks. Sleeping in the crook of my arm (I think she uses my arm to rest the cone on), and her not so great habit of avoiding the litterbox and preferring the sink. She is also getting quite fond of her cat bed.

It’s been a hard tiring week but I am glad she’s back and with hard work will be well again.

Trouble with Trouble

The last week has been hard. For the last few months we have noticed Trouble losing weight. We had put her on a diet many times and really had no success. When we restricted food Trouble ate her regular share and Flair went without. Flair would then wake us up at 4am hungry. So we got the automatic feeder and slept thru the night. The cats started to lose weight we thought we had found a solution. After awhile Flair stopped losing weight and Troubles dropped more and more. Then food was being left in the bowl. We switched the flavor of food we bought back to their regular stuff, and she seemed much happier. It was now summer, and the temperature got hotter, and they stopped eating as much (which they always do) and Trouble lost more weight. We started talking about taking her to the vet. Her annual visit should be coming up but the card didn’t come in August or September. She then started looking really thin. You could feel her hips but she was happy, cuddly, and playful like a kitten again. But I decided she needed to go in so I made an appointment and then pushed it up to get her in sooner.

The vet could tell something was wrong. She had lost 6lbs. She had gone from from 18lbs to 12 over the summer. During the exam he checked her kidneys which were really painful and immediately ordered a blood and urine test. We went home hopeful a kidney infection was what was causing her to stop eating. The next day we got the news she had a UTI but her liver enzymes were off and that was a concern. We needed to bring her in to get a shot of antibiotics and then later in the week have an ultrasound and xrays. We brought her in to get the antibiotics. She hated it and we could hear her yowling in the back.

A few days later I brought her in for the xrays and ultrasound. I waited all day for news. They weren’t good and added more pieces to the puzzle. From the tests her liver appeared smaller, stomach wall seemed thick and there was a questionable spot on her lymph nodes. Given the other tests it looked like lymph sarcoma, a cancer that causes tumors and often times in the digestive track. In order to know for sure and what all was affected and how bad it was the doctor needed to see the organs. He would then biopsy the questionable stuff, remove anything that was cancer, and then we would do chemo.

I was a mess, a crying, sad, mess. I went and brought her home for the night. She was refusing to eat for the vet and really couldn’t walk she was so sedated. When I got her out of her carrier it was like I had a seal pup. She fought me to walk even though she would fall over and she went straight to the food dish. I was thrilled and after she ate she let me cuddle her while she fought to stay awake. She was lost. She couldn’t walk straight, couldn’t clean herself, and couldn’t remember to keep her tongue in her mouth but come bedtime she refused to do anything other than sleep with us. Or she slept, I watched her, and Chris hung onto the edge of the bed.

The next morning she went in for surgery, I was fine until I drove to work. Then I lost it. I went home early to rest before the official diagnosis. I didn’t get much sleep though since my heart was pounding waiting for the diagnosis.

So here it is. Trouble has hepatic lipidosis or fatty liver disease. As soon as they opened up her abdomen the doctor knew that is what was making her so sick. He didn’t even do biopsies of her other organs. Hepatic lipidosis is a condition unique to cats and I am familiar with it from reading about cats in shelters. When cats stop eating their bodies convert fat deposits to energy but cats livers are not able to process fat so as the fat enters the blood stream it gets filtered by the liver and just stays there. You can’t see this on ultrasounds or x-rays but when you look at the liver it is visible. Honestly this is what I had feared was happening or could be happening when she started losing weight.

So the treatment now is to force feed her and maintain a special diet for the next 7+ weeks. She needs an appetite stimulant, pain killer, and nausea medicine to help her get better.

I am so glad she doesn’t have cancer. I cried. This will be hard work but no chemo, no cancer, it sounds good to me.

Books Lately

The last few years reading has been pretty scarce. I have read a few books here and there but nothing I really liked. There was a few I tried to get into and just couldn’t do it. There was a book club I tried for a while but that seems to have stopped. The books weren’t the best either but at least it got me reading. I read Gone Girl and hated it. Maybe it’s just me, I am contemplating watching the movie just to see if I was missing something, if the awesome just happened to not dawn on me. A chance at redemption for a book so wildly popular.

The book I am reading right now though is awesome. I was reading news articles and came across one about Reese Witherspoon’s latest projects. One was based on a book, I watched the trailer and was hooked. I went home, got on my Kobo and ordered it from the library. They had 11 copies so I got it right away. Love it when that happens.

Wild is about the authors hike along the Pacific Crest Trail. A lot of the book focuses on the decisions, mistakes and events that led up to the decision to hike the PCT. I really hate books that complain where characters make stupid mistakes, it just makes me want to slam my head into the wall, this is not one of those books. The author made very serious mistakes following the death of her mother. These mistakes are never glossed over, she admits them, understands why she made those decisions and how they affected her life. Yet there is no wining, complaining, or pity seeking. This is her life and she’s owning it. I am only part way into the book and while I don’t agree with some of the directions her life has gone, I don’t hate her, I understand her. Was her decision to hike the PCT smartly executed, nope, but it’s perfect. It’s the culmination of 4 years of pain and decisions brought about by pain.

The writing is fantastic. The transitions between past and present flow effortlessly. The descriptions are believable without going over the top. I also don’t feel like the author is trying to make you like her. She’s just putting her story out there as it is, letting it stand for itself. That is admirable, humans are flawed and embracing that is rare. I feel like everyone tries to make the truth more glamorous than it is, that even their life story isn’t good enough. So far I am not getting that vibe from this book. It certainly isn’t another “A Million Little Pieces” if you catch my drift.

It’s so much better than the fluff I read before. I am truly enjoying this book and looking forward to the movie.

I’ll have to do a review when I am finished and then when I get to see the movie.

75th Birthday Party

This weekend we celebrated my grandmas 75th birthday on Sunday.

On Saturday I made the birthday cakes. I made a gluten free angle food cake with a blueberry glaze, devil food cake with raspberry jelly and chocolate icing, and a peach passion fruit vanilla cake with cream cheese icing. My dad and other family members made lasagna and garlic bread.

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Since we had so much of my family in one place I was asked to take a few family photos.IMG_7414IMG_7448Happy Birthday Grandma!!!

Milky Way

This weekend Chris and I went all the way up to Manning Park to see the stars. It was a clear night and the moon was new, the perfect recipe for clear night skies. We got some help setting up the camera and in the end I think I got some good ones.

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After taking photos at the lookout we wanted to take a few with trees so we drove higher up the mountain looking for spots. We found one so we took a few more photos including one hoping for star trails.

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IMG_7104-3The last photo took 11 minutes to take! Probably could have gone longer but it was after 1am so we decided to head on home. By 3:03am we were home and in bed.

Yellowstone – The greatest and oldest

For our two year wedding anniversary in June we drove down to Yellowstone National Park. It took 15ish hours to drive down and we stopped at Trader Joes in Spokane Washington to get our food for the week. When in the USA you gotta go to Trader Joes.IMG_5132

We made it into West Yellowstone early in the morning to a torrential downpour. Nothing we British Columbians aren’t used to but still, late, mice and elk on the road, not the best welcoming. We got our keys and got settled in our Kamping Kabin. I don’t think I have any photos of our accommodations, hmmmm. Well it was nice, kept the rain off, bugs out and with the heater on me warm.IMG_4667 IMG_4750 IMG_4772

We saw Bison right away which was high on my wish list. We saw all the gisers, steam vents, pools, ect. Even watched old faithful erupt twice. We took lots of pictures. We learned pretty quickly that Yellowstone in June is a finicky thing. In the sun and in the car its warm. Then you get out and its windy and cool. So we made sure to bring layers on our other outings.IMG_4942IMG_5129IMG_6282IMG_6305IMG_6351

Two mornings we got up at 3am and drove to Lamar Valley to search for wolves. The first adventure we half arsed and didn’t see any wolves. The second time we were determined, left the car and stoop with all the other wolf enthusiasts and low and behold saw one. Best thing ever.

We saw the Grand Tetons. . . If any American reads this they probably gonna hate me right now, but Icefields Parkway in Alberta is SO MUCH BETTER!!! Sorry, it is. Four hours of driving to see one mountain and a barn. The barn was great but the Mountains just aren’t as impressive as the Canadian Rockies. The story about the parks formation is kinda cool but I found that out after, online. Look up Moulton Barn, cool history.IMG_6193

We saw Pelicans, a Grizzly bear, Porcupine, Pronghorn, Mountain Sheep, Elk, Bison, Sandhill Cranes, Black Bear, American Flickers, Sparrows, Ducks, other stuff.IMG_5057IMG_5030IMG_6516IMG_6862IMG_6788IMG_6632

It was great.

Summer

It seems like forever since I posted, probably because it has been. There are so many things I need to share and so many photos to upload. Procrastination: the more you do it and the longer time passes the easier it gets.

My goal is to catch up sometime this week. Till then some spring photos from the heron reserve and of my dwarf lilac bush.

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PG

This weekend we went up to Prince George for a friends wedding. While they were having photos taken after the ceremony Chris and I drove out to a local park to walk and take photos. We found a train bridge so I took a few photos. It was a good weekend but lots of driving. Still traveling to the Burnaby office everyday so getting quite used to being in the car.
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Salish Pond

Good afternoon. It’s almost the long weekend and I am really ready for a break. I have been working out of town for the last 3 weeks and have really fell behind in my picture taking. One thing I do want to share and preserve forever on the inter webs is an event that happened last weekend.

On Friday we were walking to the grocery store to pick up some things for Chris’s lunch when we decided to go thru the park, earlier in the week he had told me about the Canadian geese and their goslings that were in the park. I really wanted to see them and eventually take photos. Earlier in the week when Chris first saw the geese he saw someone try and grab one of the goslings. It’s sad that some people hate these birds. Sure they hiss and make a mess but they are creatures and have every right to be there. Proving that I married the right person Chris wanted to go deal with the man for trying to hurt the gosling but luckily he didn’t have to since it got away unharmed.

So we walked into the park and looked for the family of geese. We spotted them on the other side of the pond but I could hear peeping coming from nearby. I looked over the pond again and off to the side not to far from us was a duckling in amongst the lily pads. It was all alone and calling out to its momma which was nowhere to be seen. It was heart breaking. Chris assured me that it was fine and that mom would be back for it shortly. It was getting dark fast so we went and got our groceries and took a different way home since you could hear him crying all the way across the street from the park.

Before we went to bed Chris looked up the nearest wildlife rescue organization just in case the duckling was alone in the morning.

The next morning after Chris got ready for training I went out to the pond to take photos and check on the duckling. When I got to the pond everything was quiet and the geese family was out eating grass, I walked over and took a few photos. They walked within a few feet of me and daddy goose didn’t even hiss at me. Then I spotted something in the lily pads, the little duckling was still there and all alone. He was trying to join the other ducks but they just swam away from him or chased him away. I called the wildlife rescue Chris found the night before. They confirmed my fears, duckie was abandoned and in need of rescue. The catch was that they couldn’t come get him, but if I caught him and brought him to them they would take him in. So I headed off to my parents to get a net. I already had food and a box but figured a fishing net was my best bet.

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When I picked up the net my dad told me that you can get arrested for capturing wildlife. I wasn’t to concerned, anyone trying to arrest me would see I am trying to help right? Even so I was all alone and the pond was big, so I called Animal Control. They couldn’t help me but did say they wouldn’t arrest me either. They sent me onto Conservation and a rescue group and wished me luck. The rescue turned out to be OWL a place ~100km from me specializing in raptors. They too couldn’t help but once again assured me I wouldn’t get arrested. Next was conservation which doesn’t deal with birds but the lady on the phone was really pulling for me to catch the little duckling.

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So alone I returned back to the pond with my net. It quickly became apparent this wasn’t going to be easy. It was rainy and cold. My net was only 3 feet long and the duckling stayed away from the edges. I lured the adults in with food (another thing the rescue people advised me to do) but he seemed to be able to read my mind and would swim off if I even thought of moving in for a capture. I met other people at the pond some cheered me on and wished me luck others obviously thought I was crazy. No one helped. The most help I got was from two men who may or may not have lived in or around the park. They told me a sad story. There had been a female with 5 ducklings living in the pond. A few days ago they noticed the ducklings in a corner peeping, they went over and found momma floating upside down lifeless. Now days later there was only one duckling left. Heartbroken for the little duckling I kept trying but after 3 hours I was soaked, and loosing hope. I made a facebook plea and my BFF came out for moral support. While we talked I got the little duck to eat some seed, he also seemed to have found a pair of ducks that didn’t totally hate him. With that we went for lunch and dry shoes.

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After lunch a photography friend of mine, who also happens to volunteer at OWL, came and helped. We tried a few more times and no luck. She didn’t see much chance in us catching him, his survival instinct was strong so maybe he’d make it. At the very least he knew well enough not to go near the edges of the pond.

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Chris called me to see how I was doing. I was ready to give up but he was determined to come help me once he got off work. He came up with a bunch of red neck ways to catch the duckling. He was even willing to go in the pond. The nasty sess-pool, duck poopy pond. Seriously it’s gross. Urban ponds are gross. Honestly if I ever had doubts that we were meant to be it was proven right then (not that I doubt but marriage affirming stuff right there).

I went home and showered, curled up in bed and waited for Chris to get home. When he did we packed up the car with gear and headed to the pond. We got out and for the first time all day the sun was shining. Good sign right? Nope. We couldn’t find him, anywhere. We did find a giant koi in the area he had been frequenting. We looked in all the little ponds, on the paths, bushes, where the ducks were sunning themselves. He was gone.

So we went back to the car and did what anyone would do in our situation, we went and had dinner. At dinner I was resigned to the fact that we were to late. He had died of hypothermia, starvation, the koi got him, or a bird. Even the other ducks could have killed him without momma to protect him. Chris was more optimistic saying he was rescued by someone else, got out of the pond, or was still there and we’d get him after dinner.

We went back after dinner and although there were other ducks I knew instantly the pond was empty. No duckie.

So I spent over 4 hours failing to save a duckling. A duckling who along with its siblings had been in trouble for days. In the end they are all gone, the entire little family. It’s sad, but I try and think that at least maybe he served a purpose. That hopefully he didn’t die alone of hypothermia but maybe was a meal for a hungry koi, hawk, raccoon, something that will help another creature make it another day. That would be ok with me, I just didn’t want him to die alone. I am glad I married someone as crazy as me who thinks spending time saving a duckling is worthwhile, who tries to paint a brighter picture than is the probable reality.

I have been sick the last 5 days and missed 2 days of work. Probably due to the stress of commuting 2.5 hours every day and trying to save a duck in the rain on my days off. The duck was worth it, now to finish my project so I can stop commuting and take more photos!

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