Krista's Care

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tarasgirl06

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All my previous objections to bringing Krista down to the vet at the first sign of trouble seem foolish and reckless now. I wonder how much time I may have had for her if I wasn't so stubborn about not wanting to stress her out. Or myself. I don't like vet bills, worrying about findings and results, and cleaning up after a stressed cat. But none of that seems to matter if I could have caught something earlier, before it became a big enough deal to punch through my anxiety and stubbornness. I'm not saying that's what's going on here with you and Tarifa. I'm just musing for myself. If I wasn't so vet averse myself, maybe Krista could have achieved remission earlier, could have seen a specialist about her treatment, could have gone on IV fluids before it was too late, could have, maybe, perhaps... 😿
Maybe. The harsh truth is we will never know, about much of anything, actually, except perhaps mathematics, which is described as a perfect discipline, although...
What I hope you do remind yourself about, though, is all that you DID do for Krista, which I hope you'll feel, as I do, got her more quality time than she would otherwise have had. And though no one lives on this earth forever (who'd want to? IMHO, it's not really all that. But anyway.), she had unconditional loyalty and love -- she gave it, and she got it from you, all the way along. How many living beings of any species get that? She had so much of excellent quality. You gave that to her. She knows that!
I didn't know you were "vet averse" -- I could never have ascertained that from all of the care you did get for Krista. I've gone both ways, and when I was with my ex, who made good money, we got a lot of care for anyone needing it. Now I have to be extremely careful financially; and also, as with my own health care, I know no one gets out alive, and that if preventive care is maintained, stress is lessened as much as possible, and love is given, we have the ability to maintain our own health. Tar's been with me from 11 months; she'll be 18 next month. She's always been perfectly healthy. Never a problem at all. That's a pretty good record. So, we'll see what the vet says. And does.
 

lavishsqualor

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I was catching up on your thread and just read about Krista's death. I can't tell you how sorry I am. There are so many wonderful custodians on this site but your level of devotion has always stood out to me. All of us on this thread would readily agree that Krista couldn't have had a better caretaker. Please don't beat yourself up with "What Ifs." You don't deserve that, not at all. Try to take comfort in the fact that you gave Krista an astonishing level of care that most cats can only dream about. I hope that in time you'll be able to focus that same care and affection on another cat. Not that you'll ever forget Krista because I know that will never happen. But because there's another cat out there, somewhere, in dire circumstances whose life you could immeasurably change. And in exchange for your devotion that cat will change your life, just as Krista did.
 

daftcat75

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Now we are in the same club -- the club no one wants to be in. I made a post at the Bridge thread.
No, truly no-one ever wants to be in this club. When you said you could empathize, this was not what I was expecting. I'm so sorry for your loss. May her memory be a blessing!
 

daftcat75

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Krista's cutout for Dodger Stadium has been approved. They tell me it takes about two weeks from approval to when she'll be seated in the stands. Then I have to hope they get their cutout site up soon where they will take pictures of the cutouts in the stands and post them to the site so those of us with cutouts don't have to watch every minute of every home game looking for our cutout. You can be sure that as soon as I see a picture of her in the stands, I'll bring it back here or to one of her media albums.
 

daftcat75

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I wasn’t always the best cat dad. This is something I have to come to peace with.

This was a stupid and frustrating time in our lives. Several months before her thirteenth birthday, she started peeing the mirror and the walls. It got bad enough for me to tarp the mirror and walls.
F512D1C3-6CAA-4B47-8381-AA78E123340F.jpeg
E66AB007-958C-41C3-AF5F-E7F3D9232C04.jpeg
But not bad enough for me to take her to the vet apparently. I think I was still vet-shocked. Besides her initial checkup when I adopted her, the last time I went to a vet was to put down my cat before her. Ten years earlier!

The city caught up to me and forced my hand. I had moved and Krista became a fugitive with expired vaccines and tags.

I mentioned the peeing to the new vet (I wasn’t going back to the one who put my prior cat to sleep. It wasn’t his fault but I wasn’t done blaming him to heal my pain.) The new vet had his suspicion. He popped open her mouth and said, “thought so! She’s peeing the walls to get your attention. Her teeth are going bad.”

We addressed the teeth. I signed her up for pet insurance. And this became the start of providing her with the care she deserved. It was shortly after this visit that her IBD troubles became apparent. And then two vets later, her pancreatitis. And more teeth issues. It was that third vet of hers that turned my opinion around on vets. We would go through four or six more vets before the end. That third one was my favorite. I wish she hadn’t switched her practice to an impractical location.

The morals of the story:
1. Don’t put off vet visits.
2. Always rule out health issues before tackling behavior.
3. I have anxiety around vets (not all of it rational) that has frequently delayed Krista’s care. If you were an eagle eye reader of my thread, you would have noticed there was often a week or much longer between, “I should take her to the vet,” to when she actually went down to the vet.

I will never know the difference these delays made. Would she have lived longer and avoided lymphoma if we started steroids in 2018 when they were first suggested? Would she have achieved a faster remission if we had tried transdermal pred sooner? Would she have gotten so weak and lost so much weight if I had taken her to an internal medicine specialist and got better guidance on steroids use? Would we have been able to manage this better and for longer had I taken her down for regular rechecks?

I know I wasn’t perfect to her. But I did what I felt was the best I could do within my own hang ups, anxiety, and limitations. And I know that’s still above and beyond. And I have to make peace with the difference between ideal and reality. That’s the bargaining stage of grief. The what-ifs and if-onlys that will haunt me for a long time.

But I also have memories of making her food and driving her to the dentist just a couple miles outside a wildfire evacuation zone. Or taking her with me to a Christmas Eve hotel staycation last year. Or driving her to the ER late one June night when she couldn’t walk right.

These last few years since I tarped up the walls, I grew, we grew together, in ways I never would have imagined. I am eternally grateful for all the extra time. She was worth every effort.
 

tarasgirl06

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I wasn’t always the best cat dad. This is something I have to come to peace with.

This was a stupid and frustrating time in our lives. Several months before her thirteenth birthday, she started peeing the mirror and the walls. It got bad enough for me to tarp the mirror and walls.
View attachment 347577
View attachment 347578
But not bad enough for me to take her to the vet apparently. I think I was still vet-shocked. Besides her initial checkup when I adopted her, the last time I went to a vet was to put down my cat before her. Ten years earlier!

The city caught up to me and forced my hand. I had moved and Krista became a fugitive with expired vaccines and tags.

I mentioned the peeing to the new vet (I wasn’t going back to the one who put my prior cat to sleep. It wasn’t his fault but I wasn’t done blaming him to heal my pain.) The new vet had his suspicion. He popped open her mouth and said, “thought so! She’s peeing the walls to get your attention. Her teeth are going bad.”

We addressed the teeth. I signed her up for pet insurance. And this became the start of providing her with the care she deserved. It was shortly after this visit that her IBD troubles became apparent. And then two vets later, her pancreatitis. And more teeth issues. It was that third vet of hers that turned my opinion around on vets. We would go through four or six more vets before the end. That third one was my favorite. I wish she hadn’t switched her practice to an impractical location.

The morals of the story:
1. Don’t put off vet visits.
2. Always rule out health issues before tackling behavior.
3. I have anxiety around vets (not all of it rational) that has frequently delayed Krista’s care. If you were an eagle eye reader of my thread, you would have noticed there was often a week or much longer between, “I should take her to the vet,” to when she actually went down to the vet.

I will never know the difference these delays made. Would she have lived longer and avoided lymphoma if we started steroids in 2018 when they were first suggested? Would she have achieved a faster remission if we had tried transdermal pred sooner? Would she have gotten so weak and lost so much weight if I had taken her to an internal medicine specialist and got better guidance on steroids use? Would we have been able to manage this better and for longer had I taken her down for regular rechecks?

I know I wasn’t perfect to her. But I did what I felt was the best I could do within my own hang ups, anxiety, and limitations. And I know that’s still above and beyond. And I have to make peace with the difference between ideal and reality. That’s the bargaining stage of grief. The what-ifs and if-onlys that will haunt me for a long time.

But I also have memories of making her food and driving her to the dentist just a couple miles outside a wildfire evacuation zone. Or taking her with me to a Christmas Eve hotel staycation last year. Or driving her to the ER late one June night when she couldn’t walk right.

These last few years since I tarped up the walls, I grew, we grew together, in ways I never would have imagined. I am eternally grateful for all the extra time. She was worth every effort.
This is how life is. If you ever meet a perfect person, please let me be the next to know. I'd really love to know that.
In my case, not only do I come from a family who mistrusted allopathy and all who practiced it, for what I consider to be excellent reasons, but I am also having to weigh everything I do financially. So throw both of those in the mix and you have our lives.

Bottom line, no one gets out "alive" and allopathic doctors whether for humans or cats, treat symptoms. In some cases, yes, I admit, cures happen. Mostly, though, symptoms are treated but life remains fraught with imperfection, stress, yadda yadda yadda. I still prefer my way of good preventive care and lifestyle, and in the main, my cats have been healthy and long-lived.
But age comes with sicknesses that eventually make the body wear out and break down. I am a stickler about my own oral care, but I also say that cats in their natural pre-human-companion state did not go to dentists. Their diets were and are different, of course, and most cats do not live as long in the wild as they do in our homes. I'm not a proponent of long life for long life's sake, from physical, mental, personal or any other standpoint. I am illogical when it comes to wanting to share every moment of quality life with cats. Yes, I want them with me "always" and I can't handle being parted from them.
We want to do our best for those we love. In reality, we're perverse human beings and we don't always do that, whether out of ignorance, lack of finances, or just plain bloody-mindedness.
Bottom line, I empathize with your confessions. I have plenty of those myself. When all's said and done, though, I know I love my cats with my whole heart and soul, and they know that. You do too, and Krista knows that. I don't know if we ever absolve ourselves of the less-than-perfect things we do/have done for/about those we love; but I do know you love Krista dearly and she loves you always.
I know the same for Tarifa and me.
 

MissClouseau

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I wasn’t always the best cat dad. This is something I have to come to peace with.

This was a stupid and frustrating time in our lives. Several months before her thirteenth birthday, she started peeing the mirror and the walls. It got bad enough for me to tarp the mirror and walls.
View attachment 347577
View attachment 347578
But not bad enough for me to take her to the vet apparently. I think I was still vet-shocked. Besides her initial checkup when I adopted her, the last time I went to a vet was to put down my cat before her. Ten years earlier!

The city caught up to me and forced my hand. I had moved and Krista became a fugitive with expired vaccines and tags.

I mentioned the peeing to the new vet (I wasn’t going back to the one who put my prior cat to sleep. It wasn’t his fault but I wasn’t done blaming him to heal my pain.) The new vet had his suspicion. He popped open her mouth and said, “thought so! She’s peeing the walls to get your attention. Her teeth are going bad.”

We addressed the teeth. I signed her up for pet insurance. And this became the start of providing her with the care she deserved. It was shortly after this visit that her IBD troubles became apparent. And then two vets later, her pancreatitis. And more teeth issues. It was that third vet of hers that turned my opinion around on vets. We would go through four or six more vets before the end. That third one was my favorite. I wish she hadn’t switched her practice to an impractical location.

The morals of the story:
1. Don’t put off vet visits.
2. Always rule out health issues before tackling behavior.
3. I have anxiety around vets (not all of it rational) that has frequently delayed Krista’s care. If you were an eagle eye reader of my thread, you would have noticed there was often a week or much longer between, “I should take her to the vet,” to when she actually went down to the vet.

I will never know the difference these delays made. Would she have lived longer and avoided lymphoma if we started steroids in 2018 when they were first suggested? Would she have achieved a faster remission if we had tried transdermal pred sooner? Would she have gotten so weak and lost so much weight if I had taken her to an internal medicine specialist and got better guidance on steroids use? Would we have been able to manage this better and for longer had I taken her down for regular rechecks?

I know I wasn’t perfect to her. But I did what I felt was the best I could do within my own hang ups, anxiety, and limitations. And I know that’s still above and beyond. And I have to make peace with the difference between ideal and reality. That’s the bargaining stage of grief. The what-ifs and if-onlys that will haunt me for a long time.

But I also have memories of making her food and driving her to the dentist just a couple miles outside a wildfire evacuation zone. Or taking her with me to a Christmas Eve hotel staycation last year. Or driving her to the ER late one June night when she couldn’t walk right.

These last few years since I tarped up the walls, I grew, we grew together, in ways I never would have imagined. I am eternally grateful for all the extra time. She was worth every effort.
I have always had dogs before my Hima. Some were aggressive at the vet. Some were loud. Still... Taking a cat to the vet is a whole different game. The pros-cons calculation is real and not always easy.
 

daftcat75

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I have always had dogs before my Hima. Some were aggressive at the vet. Some were loud. Still... Taking a cat to the vet is a whole different game. The pros-cons calculation is real and not always easy.
She used to be good at the vet’s.
0A90AD12-A0B2-49EF-86C9-DB462872BF44.jpeg
10C3971A-70B6-4061-A7A1-1A54D3A76F6E.jpeg

But then this happened. I don’t think she was ever as relaxed at vets after her hospitalization. I think she was loosening up some towards the end though. It probably helped that we switched a cat only practice this year
D3C60836-1442-47B8-BB51-2318564A9ACD.jpeg
I know this was a tough time for both of us. But seeing how well she recovered from this, I like having my goofy-eyed drooling pictures of her. Reminds me of what we’ve been through and how tough she was. I sure hope I’m half as tough as her when I get to her age.
 

tarasgirl06

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She used to be good at the vet’s.
View attachment 347582
View attachment 347581

But then this happened. I don’t think she was ever as relaxed at vets after her hospitalization. I think she was loosening up some towards the end though. It probably helped that we switched a cat only practice this year
View attachment 347583
I know this was a tough time for both of us. But seeing how well she recovered from this, I like having my goofy-eyed drooling pictures of her. Reminds me of what we’ve been through and how tough she was. I sure hope I’m half as tough as her when I get to her age.
Yeah! I mean, can you blame her? I really relate to the cats-only practice and WISH we had one close to us that we could afford. There are two, fairly far away in either direction, both expensive. "Our" vet is very close by, and I like him personally. He is as affordable as affordable gets in this city. But the times I've been there have been very stressful for me -- not sure about my cats -- as EVERY SINGLE OTHER PERSON in the waiting room was there with dog(s) and I do not like dogs. I don't like to be in the same room as one. A whole room full of them, plus their insufferable people? I can't wait to get out of there. Yesterday there was even one in the SAME exam room as we were. I just about went ballistic, but I was so concerned for Tar that I just went with it. I couldn't believe it, though -- that has never happened before at any vet I have ever been to.
Those are precious photos. She was so relaxed, it seems!
 

daftcat75

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Yeah! I mean, can you blame her? I really relate to the cats-only practice and WISH we had one close to us that we could afford. There are two, fairly far away in either direction, both expensive. "Our" vet is very close by, and I like him personally. He is as affordable as affordable gets in this city. But the times I've been there have been very stressful for me -- not sure about my cats -- as EVERY SINGLE OTHER PERSON in the waiting room was there with dog(s) and I do not like dogs. I don't like to be in the same room as one. A whole room full of them, plus their insufferable people? I can't wait to get out of there. Yesterday there was even one in the SAME exam room as we were. I just about went ballistic, but I was so concerned for Tar that I just went with it. I couldn't believe it, though -- that has never happened before at any vet I have ever been to.
Those are precious photos. She was so relaxed, it seems!
Up until her hospitalization, the worst she experienced was waking up with fewer teeth, less pain, and the occasional odd shaved spot like ultrasound belly. But then she was admitted to the hospital and it seemed like every day was worse than the last. At least the first few days. Hooked up to IVs, poked, and denied necessary dental care. Then she got her dental care but not enough pain relief. Then she got a gabapentin reaction with her buprenorphine and she had nystagmus. Then her eardrum got poked through and she had Horners. And finally she got a feeding tube inserted because we weren’t sure if her appetite would recover among all of this. But through this all, she was getting good care from our favorite vet. It wasn’t until later that spring that that doc left for another impractical location. Try as we might, we never liked another doc in that practice as much. When they totally let us down when she most needed them—“we didnt perform the dental you requested because we weren’t going to perform any work it showed necessary”, e.g. the “take her to a dentist!” breaking point—I think that was the last time I ever took her there.
 

tarasgirl06

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Up until her hospitalization, the worst she experienced was waking up with fewer teeth, less pain, and the occasional odd shaved spot like ultrasound belly. But then she was admitted to the hospital and it seemed like every day was worse than the last. At least the first few days. Hooked up to IVs, poked, and denied necessary dental care. Then she got her dental care but not enough pain relief. Then she got a gabapentin reaction with her buprenorphine and she had nystagmus. Then her eardrum got poked through and she had Horners. And finally she got a feeding tube inserted because we weren’t sure if her appetite would recover among all of this. But through this all, she was getting good care from our favorite vet. It wasn’t until later that spring that that doc left for another impractical location. Try as we might, we never liked another doc in that practice as much. When they totally let us down when she most needed them—“we didnt perform the dental you requested because we weren’t going to perform any work it showed necessary”, e.g. the “take her to a dentist!” breaking point—I think that was the last time I ever took her there.
Don't blame you. I would have been extremely frustrated, not to say furious. Again, allopathy.
Believe it or not, I'm basically a hopeful person (I won't say "happy" but I do always try to see the best when I can and make things the best when I'm able) but we both know the realities of life, for most living beings.
I'm pretty sure Krista wouldn't have wanted all that poking and prodding if she could have avoided it, but she was undoubtedly very, very aware of your doing this because you loved her and because you wanted her to be well and comfortable. Cats may not understand all of the complexities of human society -- I don't either! -- but she felt and knew the love was always there.
So many living beings never know one moment of that in their entire lives. I think that counts for MUCH. And certainly if you could, you would have taken all of those pokings and proddings and discomfort away from her, just to know she was well and comfortable.
Some living beings seem to go through life without much in the way of health problems. Not so for most.
 

daftcat75

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Some more pics from her hospital stay. Even though it seemed like they were beating her up in the back, they never beat her down. The techs would bring her in connected to her walking IVs and set her on the exam table per my request. Because she always got up and made her way into my lap whether she got help or not. So I used this opportunity each morning to see how she was moving and getting on.
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There are so many more selfies of her than me. If I had a FaceID phone, it would be her face that opened it. 🤦🏼‍♂️😻
 

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I am so sorry to hear about Krista. I've been quiet, but I've read through most of this thread, and I mean you've done everything you could. Krista reminds me so much of my Kayla, who passed away back in October. Always a fighter, such a fighter, but so sweet with her people.

I know you go back and think of everything you could have done, and all the times you were less than perfect, but try not to dwell on it too much. This is what happens, and it does get easier, eventually. After a month or two I was able to laugh about Kayla, but of course, I'm now 10 months out and I can still cry about her, easily.

I also had to see Kayla quite infirm at the end, the last day in particular she could not stand, her eyes could not focus on me, and eventually in the hour or two before her appointment they were rolling around in her head, she lost control of her bodily functions. It was killing me for the first two weeks or so that all my memories of her were ones where she was so sick, but those DO fade away. Now, when I think of her, I think of her in her favorite places: on the couch, sitting up like a little person, sitting between my boyfriend and I (never on the side of one of us, ALWAYS right in the middle), by my head in bed, taking my seat in my computer chair. Those happier images will take the place of the hard ones, it'll just take a little time for your head to orient itself.

It took me a while to clean up my apartment. I didn't do anything with her things for about a week (although we did take her box out!). I felt like by taking her things away, I was erasing her. After a month I was able to pack up most of her stuff, and gave some of the toys she never liked much to someone with a cat. If you need to do the same, that's okay. If having her stuff out makes things worse for you, it's okay to put it away as well.

When you're ready to open yourself up again, I highly recommend getting two. Kayla was the first cat I've lost where I didn't have another one at home, and it was definitely harder. And personally, I swung the opposite way when I got another six months later. I had gotten Kayla as a two year old, so I went out and got a completely different looking male kitten, so I couldn't spend my time comparing the new one to her.
I kept a lot of Kayla's stuff, but I haven't been able to use much of it. Kayla hated other cats, and I can't imagine her being happy with me sharing her things with another cat, so her stuff is sitting in the basement. I did use her carrier to pick up my new kitten, and he destroyed it, it's really not usable now. But I can't bring myself to throw it out, even 10 months later, so it's sitting downstairs too. I don't know if I'll ever be able to get rid of it, but that's okay. However you want to handle it, it's okay. It does get better, and there will come a time when you find yourself thinking about getting another because you'd like to get to know a new cat, not because you're looking to fill the hole you have now. And nobody will ever be the same as her, but you'll love the next one in their own way. She knew you loved her, and she knew what you did for her.

I know you don't know me, but feel free to reach out if you need anything. And know there's someone out there whose thinking of you and of her, and will be for a while. Hoping for peace for you ❤
 
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