Krista's Care

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daftcat75

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I live (and work) alone in a one bedroom apartment. I don't have the luxury of storage. I packed away everyday reminders like her toys, litter boxes, food dishes, and her medicine corner. I packed away the pen I kept her in for two weeks of activity restriction following her ear surgery. But all her trees remain. I don't imagine I'll get rid of any of them except perhaps the stairs by the door which we never used--not as cat stairs anyway. The tree that arrived the same day she passed away is the hardest to look at. It's the worst trade ever! I'd send it back if I could get Krista in return. But I'll keep it because I have a place to store it out of the way. And because the next cat(s) will likely love it. It will be the only one that doesn't smell like Krista. Krista's favorite tree was a hand-me-down. Krista didn't care for other cats and I know the previous occupant of that tree, Edwina, probably would have hated Krista, despite sharing similar tortitudes at times. Honestly, I think it's going to be the Katris that will be most bittersweet. Those I purchased specifically for an aging Krista who wasn't jumping as much as she used to. But more than that, Katris is an anagram of Krista. Silly. But it's going to be in my mind every time a new cat uses them. I'll adopt again. Cats are too special and precious to not open myself to another one. I may even get two next time. Krista had small feet but she leaves very big shoes to fill. I'm not asking the next cat(s) to replace her. But I think it could be good for me (and the next cat) to not place all of that stress and expectation of a new feline relationship on a single cat's shoulders.
 

lavishsqualor

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The tree that arrived the same day she passed away is the hardest to look at. It's the worst trade ever! I'd send it back if I could get Krista in return.
😥😥😥

I need to put some Kleenex by my computer. Every time I log onto this thread I find myself crying.

I'm glad to hear that you're open to adopting again.
 

tarasgirl06

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I live (and work) alone in a one bedroom apartment. I don't have the luxury of storage. I packed away everyday reminders like her toys, litter boxes, food dishes, and her medicine corner. I packed away the pen I kept her in for two weeks of activity restriction following her ear surgery. But all her trees remain. I don't imagine I'll get rid of any of them except perhaps the stairs by the door which we never used--not as cat stairs anyway. The tree that arrived the same day she passed away is the hardest to look at. It's the worst trade ever! I'd send it back if I could get Krista in return. But I'll keep it because I have a place to store it out of the way. And because the next cat(s) will likely love it. It will be the only one that doesn't smell like Krista. Krista's favorite tree was a hand-me-down. Krista didn't care for other cats and I know the previous occupant of that tree, Edwina, probably would have hated Krista, despite sharing similar tortitudes at times. Honestly, I think it's going to be the Katris that will be most bittersweet. Those I purchased specifically for an aging Krista who wasn't jumping as much as she used to. But more than that, Katris is an anagram of Krista. Silly. But it's going to be in my mind every time a new cat uses them. I'll adopt again. Cats are too special and precious to not open myself to another one. I may even get two next time. Krista had small feet but she leaves very big shoes to fill. I'm not asking the next cat(s) to replace her. But I think it could be good for me (and the next cat) to not place all of that stress and expectation of a new feline relationship on a single cat's shoulders.
YES on all of the above. Again, words are trite.
Krista was a unique and precious being in your life and on this earth. She is a unique and precious soul watching over you now until you are reunited. I believe in my heart that she will celebrate your allowing new relationship(s) with beloved cat(s) who are so in need and who will continue to give the unconditional loyalty and love she has, in their own unique ways.
 

daftcat75

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A week ago she left me. 😿

Today she’s providing me a brief smile.

I never left the toilet lid up. My cat before Krista would drink from the toilet if I allowed her. Which I didn’t! But Krista must have caught me at a forgetful moment here... 🤦🏼‍♂️
CD1AC9AD-83F4-4A4E-8BDB-BFC3618BFB67.jpeg
I understand why cats like toilets. If you think about it, the water gets changed more frequently than just about anywhere else in the house.

Towards the end of her life when the steroids made her extra thirsty, I’d pay attention to when she wandered into my bathroom. If she checked the tub or the toilet, I’d change out her water glass and make sure she was informed of the fresh offering.
 
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tarasgirl06

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A week ago she left me. 😿

Today she’s providing me a brief smile.

I never left the toilet lid up. My cat before Krista would drink from the toilet if I allowed her. Which I didn’t! But Krista must have caught me at a forgetful moment here... 🤦🏼‍♂️
View attachment 347743
I understand why cats like toilets. If you think about it, the water gets changed more frequently than just about anywhere else in the house.

Towards the end of her life when the steroids made her extra thirsty, I’d pay attention to when she wandered into my bathroom. If she checked the tub or the toilet, I’d change out her water glass and make sure she was informed of the fresh offering.
A week! It's a blur on one hand, an eternity on the other.
That's a very cute picture of Krista.
 

tarasgirl06

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The state's on fire. The air is unbreathable. Others will forgive us if we don't have dry eyes.
Yeah. Except for the Cali-haters. But we'll ignore them.
Two days for us. I miss this screaming tortle. Her morning and late-thirty yells could wake anyone fortunate enough to be sleeping.
IMG_1447 (1).JPG
 
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daftcat75

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A cat with teeth! Haven't seen one of those in awhile. 🤦‍♂️ 😹

All the smoke in the air from the wildfires yesterday reminds me of our dentist road trip adventure last October. Aside from worrying about whether he could help us and if the evacuation lines would hold (we were staying just down the street from the main evacuation center), that was a fun trip. I wish I could have road tripped with her more. I was looking forward to another Christmas Eve hotel staycation with her again.
 

daftcat75

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Some travel photos.

Armchair Krista watching baseball postseason with me after long drive
700AF102-4326-4996-AB59-A203E7975E76.jpeg

Stretch her legs break. She rides quietly until she doesn’t. Then I prepare a litterbox from the trunk and let her roam the cabin. Sometimes she needs the bathroom break. Sometimes she just wants a break from the carrier and the drive.
3AD1B559-9A7D-43AD-81DA-754F57FE7479.jpeg

She never encountered a hotel fridge she didn’t end up on. Even at 15 1/2 years with arthritis, here she is. AA82C81E-71C8-4472-B01E-18CC66CB1035.jpeg
 
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tarasgirl06

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A cat with teeth! Haven't seen one of those in awhile. 🤦‍♂️ 😹

All the smoke in the air from the wildfires yesterday reminds me of our dentist road trip adventure last October. Aside from worrying about whether he could help us and if the evacuation lines would hold (we were staying just down the street from the main evacuation center), that was a fun trip. I wish I could have road tripped with her more. I was looking forward to another Christmas Eve hotel staycation with her again.
Yeah, teeth. She used to give me love bites. I lived for them! And she'd sleep right beside my head, or at the foot of the bed; then she'd come over and start chewing on my hair.
I remember you posting during that time. I've only ever done a road trip with a cat when my ex and I drove to Best Friends with Timmy, who was admitted there due to our being unable to cure him of a skin ailment. He was a white cat and needed a low-light life. He was adopted by a wonderful woman from BC and lived a wonderful life with her. That was a great trip -- he had a huge carrier called a Furrari that even had space for a small litter box; food and water dishes were clamped to the door grille. He seemed to enjoy the trip, the views, and the motel in St. George.
 

daftcat75

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The dentist was 2.5 hours away. At a good hour. At the hour we had our morning consultation, it made more sense to book a room and drive up the day before. Then just to be flexible, I booked us another night, and we planned to head back the day after her appointment. All this worked in our favor. Because of the wildfire evacuations, the dentist had an afternoon procedure appointment cancellation. Instead of consulting with him in the morning and returning in two weeks for a procedure, he was able to work her in right after the consultation. I brought a toothless cat back to the room and we watched more post-season baseball that night and she got as much tuna as she wanted to eat that night. I treated it like tonsils out: all the ice cream (tuna) that she wanted. In retrospect, all that tuna after her remaining mouth extraction probably accelerated the inflammation that promoted her IBD to lymphoma. Still, I'd do it again for the nine more months or so that procedure provided us. I remember thinking that even if he could help us, I may be driving her back home to get a feeding tube inserted to get us from consultation to procedure when she was only eating a few ounces of homemade each day. We were also still coming off her clostridium. At least one of those hotel rooms I earned that non-refundable pet fee. 🤦‍♂️ We drove back up to the dentist two weeks later for what might have been her easiest vet appointment ever. The dentist sat next to a hissing and growling Krista, stuck his finger in her mouth, and got her to open up long enough for him to see that, "everything looks great! you're free to go!" Her follow-up examination lasted less than a minute. I know he wanted pictures but she wasn't having it.

We stayed in hotels a few other times. Once when she was a lot younger, we had to evacuate while the old apartment complex we lived in sprayed for bed bugs. Another time, I evacuated us to a hotel room for a couple of nights to clean and spray for fleas. I usually check myself into a hotel room for Christmas Eve. If I'm going to be Jewish and alone on Christmas, it's better to wait out that holiday in a hotel room. The year before last, I came back from my staycation to an unhappy Krista with a broken tooth that set off the events chronicled at the start of this thread. Wanting to avoid that grief again and having confirmed on multiple occasions last year that Krista enjoys hotel rooms (and hotel fridges), I decided to take her with me on the Christmas Eve staycation.

I had planned that if we ever got her weight sorted again, we would take more trips together this year (and next?) If I could get insurance weight back on her, I would have reapplied the flea treatment, and we would have resumed harness training. If I had started early enough with her, I could have seen her being a camping cat. Or a glamping cat. I don't "rough it" so much if I don't have to.
 

daftcat75

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Yeah, teeth. She used to give me love bites. I lived for them!
Back when Krista still had her teeth, or enough of them anyway...

Krista used to give me "hurry up!" love bites on my arm during food prep. And then she'd immediately follow them up with an apology lick or two like, "I didn't mean anything by it. I'm excited! Hurry up!" 😻

In fact, any time she would bite me, it was as soft as she could manage, and followed up by an apology lick. "I gave you warning tail slaps but you kept going. You know this biting business hurts me more than it hurts you." 🤦‍♂️ 😹 😻
 

tarasgirl06

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The dentist was 2.5 hours away. At a good hour. At the hour we had our morning consultation, it made more sense to book a room and drive up the day before. Then just to be flexible, I booked us another night, and we planned to head back the day after her appointment. All this worked in our favor. Because of the wildfire evacuations, the dentist had an afternoon procedure appointment cancellation. Instead of consulting with him in the morning and returning in two weeks for a procedure, he was able to work her in right after the consultation. I brought a toothless cat back to the room and we watched more post-season baseball that night and she got as much tuna as she wanted to eat that night. I treated it like tonsils out: all the ice cream (tuna) that she wanted. In retrospect, all that tuna after her remaining mouth extraction probably accelerated the inflammation that promoted her IBD to lymphoma. Still, I'd do it again for the nine more months or so that procedure provided us. I remember thinking that even if he could help us, I may be driving her back home to get a feeding tube inserted to get us from consultation to procedure when she was only eating a few ounces of homemade each day. We were also still coming off her clostridium. At least one of those hotel rooms I earned that non-refundable pet fee. 🤦‍♂️ We drove back up to the dentist two weeks later for what might have been her easiest vet appointment ever. The dentist sat next to a hissing and growling Krista, stuck his finger in her mouth, and got her to open up long enough for him to see that, "everything looks great! you're free to go!" Her follow-up examination lasted less than a minute. I know he wanted pictures but she wasn't having it.

We stayed in hotels a few other times. Once when she was a lot younger, we had to evacuate while the old apartment complex we lived in sprayed for bed bugs. Another time, I evacuated us to a hotel room for a couple of nights to clean and spray for fleas. I usually check myself into a hotel room for Christmas Eve. If I'm going to be Jewish and alone on Christmas, it's better to wait out that holiday in a hotel room. The year before last, I came back from my staycation to an unhappy Krista with a broken tooth that set off the events chronicled at the start of this thread. Wanting to avoid that grief again and having confirmed on multiple occasions last year that Krista enjoys hotel rooms (and hotel fridges), I decided to take her with me on the Christmas Eve staycation.

I had planned that if we ever got her weight sorted again, we would take more trips together this year (and next?) If I could get insurance weight back on her, I would have reapplied the flea treatment, and we would have resumed harness training. If I had started early enough with her, I could have seen her being a camping cat. Or a glamping cat. I don't "rough it" so much if I don't have to.
*What precious pictures in my mind's eye!*
Oh, absolutely on the tuna -- not only for the time, but for her JOY! *A dear friend of mine in the music biz, who was and hopefully still is Jewish, once wondered out loud why 'all Jews love tuna' and I can't speak to that, but I have not met many cats who don't...and Krista would qualify as sort of Mewish, wouldn't she? :hearthrob::kneading: :hearthrob::lolup:
My ex wanted all of our large feline family to experience snow when we were in the Mojave, so he bought a cat harness and leash and I took each of our "house" cats out individually into the snow, from the catio.
I still have the harness and leash. Suffice to say it wasn't a huge hit with anycat. Ditto the "barnies", who had their barn stalls and the run of their compound. "Camping, schmamping!" I'm pretty sure I heard them say. "Give us warm elevated bed cubicles with soft beds, lots of good food and water, and indoor facilities. The snow may be pretty, but we'll enjoy it from in here."
As for Christmas, I used to get a holiday wreath every year from another dear friend, also Jewish and also "with cat" -- which was bizarre as I'm not Christian and not a celebrator. But he liked the company that made the wreaths. I liked the wreaths, too. They smelled nice.
 

daftcat75

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I'm still so angry with myself that I mixed a known irritant, the fish flakes, with her medicine every night for so long. I knew it was an irritant. But I thought the small amount combined with the fact that she was taking anti-inflammatory medicine, well, I called it the "devil's bargain." I think we got the short end of that deal. I'm disappointed and upset in myself that I put her through so much poop (and poop pukes) nonsense and didn't even consider transdermal sooner. I'll always regret that I didn't take her to a specialist for guidance with her IBD/lymphoma. Mostly I'm overwhelmingly saddened and feeling guilty that it didn't have to go down this way. I had a transdermal pred pen even before her ear surgery. I don't know why I abandoned it before I even gave it a real chance. I'm relieved that she did finally achieve remission. For a few weeks anyway, she had solid poops and no barfing. I will always wonder how things might have gone had we been tapering her steroids back in April instead of August. Still. For all the nonsense she's been through, I am proud and relieved that her final poops on this earth were as perfect as they've ever been.
 

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I'm still so angry with myself that I mixed a known irritant, the fish flakes, with her medicine every night for so long. I knew it was an irritant. But I thought the small amount combined with the fact that she was taking anti-inflammatory medicine, well, I called it the "devil's bargain." I think we got the short end of that deal. I'm disappointed and upset in myself that I put her through so much poop (and poop pukes) nonsense and didn't even consider transdermal sooner. I'll always regret that I didn't take her to a specialist for guidance with her IBD/lymphoma. Mostly I'm overwhelmingly saddened and feeling guilty that it didn't have to go down this way. I had a transdermal pred pen even before her ear surgery. I don't know why I abandoned it before I even gave it a real chance. I'm relieved that she did finally achieve remission. For a few weeks anyway, she had solid poops and no barfing. I will always wonder how things might have gone had we been tapering her steroids back in April instead of August. Still. For all the nonsense she's been through, I am proud and relieved that her final poops on this earth were as perfect as they've ever been.
In these times, we have to look for the brightness, even if it is small, even if it is mixed in among much, much darkness.
You gave her the fish flakes because she loved them and would take things she did NOT love with them. My spiritual teachings emphasize intention. Though knowledge should inform our intention, sometimes it does not. And "coulda-woulda-shoulda" is only useful if we learn from it and apply it to any situations in future where it may be useful.
KRISTA does not blame you, nor, I believe, does she have any memory of the less-than-perfect things she went through on this earth. You did it! You did help her achieve stability digestive-wise. That's no small feat, all things considered.
How are you getting along in terms of the day-to-day work and stuff you have to do in life? I feel like a zombie, but I'm forcing myself to work, work out, eat, etc. My best time, as always, is the time I get to spend one-on-one (or two) with Baby Su and Elvis. They are both moping, looking around for Tarifa, and seeming to be extremely sad. They aren't eating as well as they normally do. But they are eating. I tell myself that's all that can be expected right now.
IMG_1824.JPG

Elvis moping under the computer desk
 

Azazel

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I'm still so angry with myself that I mixed a known irritant, the fish flakes, with her medicine every night for so long. I knew it was an irritant. But I thought the small amount combined with the fact that she was taking anti-inflammatory medicine, well, I called it the "devil's bargain." I think we got the short end of that deal. I'm disappointed and upset in myself that I put her through so much poop (and poop pukes) nonsense and didn't even consider transdermal sooner. I'll always regret that I didn't take her to a specialist for guidance with her IBD/lymphoma. Mostly I'm overwhelmingly saddened and feeling guilty that it didn't have to go down this way. I had a transdermal pred pen even before her ear surgery. I don't know why I abandoned it before I even gave it a real chance. I'm relieved that she did finally achieve remission. For a few weeks anyway, she had solid poops and no barfing. I will always wonder how things might have gone had we been tapering her steroids back in April instead of August. Still. For all the nonsense she's been through, I am proud and relieved that her final poops on this earth were as perfect as they've ever been.
I know how you feel. I took care of a sick kitten several years back who unfortunately didn’t make it. I blamed myself for a long time (and still do in many ways). But whenever I catch myself feeling guilty or sad I remind myself that the best thing I can do now is to remember him for all the happy moments and keep his memory a happy one. I don’t want to tarnish his memory with my guilt or negative feelings. Easier said than done, but just know that you did everything you could to help her and that she loved you for it.
 

daftcat75

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Poor Elvis and Baby Su.

I’m doing poorly this week. Just going through the motions at the desk. Taking longer lunch breaks. I “worked” from the taproom the other day. It was mostly just drinking a beer outside, socially distanced, and waiting out a power breaker trip at the office. I’m going through the motions. But my head isn’t in the game. I’m so relieved to be working from home at this time as my desk can get as soggy as it needs to be. I’m mostly reading pages on grief and loss and looking through pictures and videos thinking what I want to add to her Instagram.

I bargain with myself about when I can open my first beer. That used to be around 6:30 after I fed Krista and signed off of work for the night. It was a pandemic treat to help delineate between work and home. I’m still signing off at 6 but that first beer was 3 pm yesterday. I’m not too worried. Beer is a self-limiting problem with me. I’m a lightweight so 1 is good. 2 can be a mistake that comes with a headache, and I’m often done before 2. If I pursued a third, the lesson continues into the next day. I might be one who drinks a beer to soften the edges. But I’ll never be one who drinks his grief away. I’ve been having a beer at 3 and one at 7. That gets me sleepy by 9 or 10. Eventually the beer gut will pull on my back and I’ll commit to moderation again when the course becomes too painful to continue. But I’m barely a week out from my loss. I am allowing some grief-stricken indulgence behavior for now.

I’d like to get back to running again next week. I had an okay run on Monday before the air caught fire.

I need to learn healthier ways to deal with stress, especially pandemic loneliness, and to take off the cat weight—the stress weight I added while Krista was losing her weight. I am making this a precondition before getting the next cat(s.). Especially if I get more than one. I don’t have a frame that can wear double the cat weight.

I plan to spend some time at the tap room with my journal this weekend. I want to come up with some things I haven’t been doing because of caregiver duties. I need to use this between-cats time responsibly. Care for the caregiver.
 

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I don't know if this is feasible for you, but after weeks of not wanting to move after my kitten passed away I was encouraged to volunteer at a cat shelter. It helped me immensely. Sometimes when we lose our cats we need the consolation of other cats, rather than humans.

Also, what a beautiful thing that Krista brought so much light into your life that you are finding solace in thinking about adopting more cats in the future.
 
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