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Once again I go to the "blogosphere" to console my feelings. Please forgive any sloppiness on my part as my poor cat Bozo is dying before my very eyes.

I haven't written much here in the past yet, dKos is part of my daily routine. Now that you know this, I wish to thank the community here for existing. Despite the wealth of bad news, this community gives me some glimmer of hope... most of the time.

A little background on my buddy should come first:

 A number of years ago(Bozo is now 11), I used to stay at my mother trailer to help her with housework and wrapping up her office's weekly business. I got to spend time with mom, her menagerie of animals, and get a small bit of cash while I was at it. Sure, I could have taken no pay for my time but, mom insisted and it was only a small bit (40-50 bucks, sometimes less). My mom was the type of person that animals gravitated to and I could write an entire book on the tales of my mom and the animals in her life.

One weekend I stayed at mom's the neighbors purebreed Tonkinese decided that she would have her kittens at my mom's place rather than at the neighbors. This was not uncommon but again, that is another tale in itself. The mother of the 6 kittens gave birth and died mysteriously 5 days later. We never found out the cause and quietly informed the neighbor who promptly buried the poor mother. That same night two of the litter of 6 died, partly due to what we guessed was asphyxiation because they were positioned under the dead mother. The neighbor asked about the remaining kittens and my mom assured him we would nurture them to adulthood.

I was only visiting my mom for 2-3 days of each week but, jumped right into the care of these little bundles. They all seemed normal young kittens to me and I took great joy seeing them open their eyes and take on normal weight gain, except for one little guy. He was obviously the runt of the bunch and not afraid to let us know he existed. Every night I spent at mom's, the little guy would crawl onto the sofa with me and worm his way into my covers near my legs and crotch. Needless to say, the little guy would often get smashed a bit and begin hollering for me to wake up! I would wake up to rescue him from his plight, talk to him, and then place him back in his cat bed with his other brothers and sisters.

Several weeks went by and the litter was looking healthy and normal. After leaving mom's on Sunday night as usual, I get this call during the week, "When are you coming to pick up your cat?" I stammered a bit and then realized, I wanted this little guy. After all, he obviously took a liking to me despite the fact that he gave me hell while trying to feed him as a tiny toddler. That weekend visit I walked out the door with my buddy of over 11 years.

Bozo the cat was his name or just Bozo for short. I named him this because of the brown spot on his nose which somehow reminded me of my younger days of watching Bozo the Clown on TV for the cartoons. We have been steadfast buddies for these 11 years. He used to run around crazy in my first apartment chasing things and retrieving them for me throw again. We even developed a game involving plastic soda bottle caps where I would bounce them off the walls. He would then punish the naughty cap for jumping around like that and then he would pick it up and bring back to my feet for another toss.

Mind you, Bozo has always been one of those cats who commands attention when he wants it and when he doesn't want it, don't mess with him! It took years just for me to be able to pick him up on demand with minimal fuss. Typically, picking him up meant a scratched neck and back as he crawled up and over you to get away. Despite this weird issue with closeness, Bozo always, always, ALWAYS demanded his place in my bed every night. His niche was just below my crotch or propped up against one leg like an over-sized kitty pillow. Good thing he is a small cat and even still, his presence there was slightly uncomfortable on those hot New Orleans days.

And now... my buddy is dying and I am helpless to do anything. Without going into great detail, my life has been a shambles for the last 5-6 years. Problems with work, corrupt law enforcement, Katrina, untreated depression, finances... it's a mess. To top this off, my buddy Bozo was considered by me an extension of my mother who passed a year after Katrina. Not only did Bozo and I cuddle to soothe my worries but, I also felt I was touching my mother's spirit by speaking to him. And now... that part of my life is dying.

You are probably curious why he is dying well, here is the list of symptoms that have developed over the last 2-3 months:

Lethargy and excessive sleeping. Even to the point where he would forget to join me in the bed :/

Vomiting food, foamy liquids, and clear liquids. These seemed to be at random and with no particular cause.

Horrible bad breath. My research says it should smell like ammonia but, it smells more to me like rotten fish.

Rapid weight loss and emaciation. On his small frame this is particularly scary.

Dehydration. Constantly drinking excessive amounts of water.

Unusual peeing in random spots. He got behind my computer monitor yesterday and peed on a plastic bag that was stashed there. I was upset and raised my voice some but, I knew I can't cause him further duress. The pee was not even like real pee. It was just body temperature water with no urine smell whatsoever.

Foamy urination. I have been monitoring his bathroom habits as best as I can. I have been having to bring him to the litter box a number of times as he thought it was too much effort to go two rooms away to relieve himself. This sort of behavior NEVER occurred up until now. He has been the neatest cat I have ever owned or seen in my life.

He longer wants to sleep with me. He decided sitting on top of my computer tower was the best spot for him. He has fallen off several times now because he is getting clumsier with each passing day. He doesn't even take the great pleasure of sunning himself in the window each day even if I place him on the ledge. He stays for a brief period and then works his way back to my computer tower perch.

Drooling. Considering his current perch of choice, this is getting messy for my computer tower.

And finally, the real nail in the proverbial coffin... He has stopped eating. He has refused to eat anything for 3 days now, counting today.

Most of his symptoms only hit in the last two to three weeks and their onset has been fast and furious. I have been desperately seeking a diagnosis from web research and it seems that my buddy is suffering from renal failure. Before any of you ask why I have yet to bring him to a vet, please consider this. If I could afford to do it, don't you think I would have?! My finances are a wreck and I am currently jobless. My attempts to seek help have been met with stonewall of indifference to my finances. When you consider how the state of Medical care is for humans, please consider how much worse it is for poor pet owners. The only thing offered to me was the SPCA said they could maybe take him in and hope someone adopted him. There is NO WAY I could do separate us like that! Is that selfish?

My only reason for posting here is to hopefully relieve some of the pain that I feel as I watch my buddy of so many years helplessly drool on the side of my tower. He scares me with his occasional pronouncements which says to me he is in pain. I have been trying to snuggle and soothe his wounded body with love but, he is distant and only seems to desire the consolation of perching on top of my computer tower. I wish that just for a little while he could talk to me and I could talk back. I want him to know he has been one of the great joys of my life and I cannot possibly replace him.

Sadly, I lost all my pictures of him during Katrina but, I have a friend bringing his digital camera over in a few hours. I shall post the pictures here as soon as I am able, I promise. There is so much more I want to say, wish I could say but...

my heart is breaking...Updated by CentristandProud at Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 02:42 PM PDT

My friend brought over his camera and he saw how wrecked I was by this. He stated that if Bozo was still around by morning, we would make a trip to a vet clinic where a friend works on his dime. I do not dare to hope for too much but, it made me cry even more to know that this friend was so touched by my grief that he wants to do this for me and and most importantly, for Bozo. Also, I should have a few pics posted tomorrow.

Updated by CentristandProud at Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 10:43 PM PDT

Was unable to get the test strips tonight because of transportation difficulties. I think it will be a long night for me because he is acting oddly and keeps looking for places to hide. At least he still looks for water to drink.. Here is hoping the vet can provide some good news tomorrow or worst case, end his suffering. Thank you everyone for your concerns... It really touches my heart in a huge way.

Updated by CentristandProud at Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 03:05 PM PDT

HE'S GONE !   I have been too upset to post anything sooner and I am still sorting getting these pictures transferred so I can post them. For now, I am too upset to post anything more... Will post soon as I am able.

Uploaded with ImageShack.usUpdated by CentristandProud at Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 05:33 PM PDT

I finally got the pictures on my computer and uploaded what I think is the best of the bunch. Please realize this is not Bozo in his prime. In fact, he was not his usual happy self when in a window.

I loved this friend dearly and I find myself weeping uncontrollably whenever I think he is gone. At least he is no longer suffering.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Can the SPCA euthanize him for you? (7+ / 0-)

      A lot of times they'll do it for a marginal fee, and he seems to be pretty far gone.

      I don't think there's any method of "do it yourself" euthanasia I'd suggest.

      There's not really anything I can say that'll make the experience any easier.  In the end, all of us have to walk this road with our pets sooner or later.

      •  That is what they were hinting at (7+ / 0-)

        when I called and they suggested maybe taking him for adoption. They said he would be given basic medical care and then they would try to adopt if he was eligible.

        I did not ask what it meant if he wasn't eligible and I know they are unable to adopt out known sick animals. I believe it was inferred that he would be put down if he was not eligible.

        Two things struck me here:

        1) They only said maybe take him in.

        2) The idea of separating from him. The stress on him and myself would kill us both I think.

        As for do-it yourself euthanasia, I am aware of one method that is relatively painless and cheap. I assure you it is non-violent and only works on already sickly cats. A friend who took me in following Katrina had a very sick cat that I put down using this method. He had severe kidney failure as well. It does take about 20-24 hours to take effect and I stayed awake with their cat until he passed. According to their wishes, I had buried him and marked his grave before they got home from work. It was painful and I cried for many hours but, it did save my friends almost 200 dollars and they simply could not spare it. Besides that, the cat was able to be buried at home since the clinic that puts down the animal is unable to release it to the owners for burial.

        I think people should be allowed to do anything they want. We haven't tried that for a while. Maybe this time it'll work. -George Carlin

        by CentristandProud on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 02:38:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I have to second this. (6+ / 0-)

        Time to make some phone calls, I think. Sounds like Bozo's in pain -- if the SPCA is willing to handle things, then... You don't say where you are, someone here might have some numbers/connections...

        (you might ask if they'll let you stay with him, if euthanasia is what's needed, though -- it'll make him more comfortable. Most likely the staff/volunteers are animal lovers themselves.)

        It's hard, yes. I've been through it (as an adult) twice -- and no matter how much treatment you're able to give, eventually it's not enough. And when your cat is in pain, when it's not able to enjoy its cat-titude and nothing can be done but to limit the discomfort... that needle's a better choice.  

        •  I posted an update (10+ / 0-)

          telling how a friend will help cover a vet visit tomorrow. I just do not dare to hope for much considering the number of symptoms he is displaying.

          I am currently in Metairie, LA .

          I think people should be allowed to do anything they want. We haven't tried that for a while. Maybe this time it'll work. -George Carlin

          by CentristandProud on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 03:13:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Saw that, eventually. (4+ / 0-)

            Sometimes hoping for comfort has to be enough...

            Meanwhile, if he's dehydrated, if you can get any fluids into him he'll feel better -- bits of water at a time, or maybe the water from a can of tuna?  & if that's successful, the entire can of tuna blended (mashed) with about a liter of water is what my vet recommends for sick, finicky kitties. Again, small amounts at a time -- you probably don't have a feeding syringe, but a small spoon or a straw might work -- you played with moving water around with a straw as a kid, right? But don't force it. Even just your using your fingers (or dripping a bit onto his paw, if he's still up to grooming)  might be worth a try.

          •  I'm so sorry to hear this (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ana Thema, liz dexic, Mr Robert

            I know how devastating it is to have a precious pet fall so ill.  I've been through all the symptoms you're experiencing.

            Very likely it's renal failure.  Feline kidney disease.  The smell is most likely from his kidneys not clearing the urea from his system.   My cat's smell wasn't like ammonia, either.  It was awful and made me feel so much worse for him.

            We were (still are) broke and unemployed (2 years now), so the expense of caring for our feline family member was a heavy blow.  But we had to do it.  What else could we do?  $2,000 in diagnostic tests and hopeful return-vet-visits later, we knew he was very seriously ill with renal failure (and heart disease, alas).  

            But we fought as hard for his life as we could.  I'm not sure that our vet, as competent as she is, didn't give us continual false hope that caused/enabled us to prolong our kitty's life longer than we should have.  He was suffering, no matter what we could do to help him (daily subq fluid infusions and pills).

            Finally, he gave us a look one day that said, "Please, I just can't do it anymore."  So we scheduled the vet to stay after office closing when no one would be there.  We had already obtained sedatives to give our pet so he would not be stressed and fearful during the ride to the vet.  We held him while she administered the serum, and then our baby stopped breathing.

            Yes, it's heart-wrenching, I know.  We still haven't gotten another pet because we're just not ready yet.  We still miss him dearly.  

            But looking back on all that happened, I would now choose to humanely put him down sooner than we did.  He was so ill.  

            Please don't make our mistake.  Let go sooner than later.

            I hope all works out for you.   The pet-lover community here at DKos helped me immeasurably during our sad ordeal.   Stay in touch.  

            May Goddess bless...

          •  Please continue to keep us updated. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ana Thema

            I will keep the two of you in my thoughts and hope that your sweet boy's illness can be treated. I don't have a lot to spare right now but I can chip in $20 for medicine, etc.

  •  {{{{{CandP}}}}} (12+ / 0-)

    so sorry...just heartbreaking. our pets are our family too

    "We struck down evil with the mighty sword of teamwork and the hammer of not bickering!" - The Shoveler

    by Pandoras Box on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 02:10:01 PM PDT

  •  ((((centristandproud)))) (10+ / 0-)

    I lost zozo just a while back, and I'm still not over it.

    So very sorry for you and bozo.  


    by potatohead on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 02:29:37 PM PDT

  •  I couldn't believe how heartless (13+ / 0-)

    my husband was when he adopted two kitties from a high kill shelter the day after Sprinkles died.

    I've never been happier - and he saved two wonderful, funny and affectionate lives who live to enrich ours.

    If you love cats, you are obligated -


    "won't you help to sing these songs of freedom?"

    by Sprinkles on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 02:41:46 PM PDT

    •  If you could have met my mom (12+ / 0-)

      you would understand how I equally love all pets able to return affection and even some that do not. While for some folks they have their place, I do not consider critters like snakes to be pets in the truest sense. Bozo was always there for me when I got home. He came running to the door for attention and often singing out loud to me if I ignored him for too long after my arrival.

      He has these piercing eyes and always sensed when I was sick or upset. Keeping in mind his oddness about being close when he did not desire it, this showed me how capable cats are of empathy to the lives of their owners.

      As for taking on a new pet at this time, it is unthinkable and simply unaffordable. My situation is far too unstable. The fact that Bozo was with me during these rough years with minimal freaking out on his part is another testament to his empathy. He somehow saw how upset these changes made me and we worked through them together.

      I think people should be allowed to do anything they want. We haven't tried that for a while. Maybe this time it'll work. -George Carlin

      by CentristandProud on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 02:55:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm sorry for your suffering. (8+ / 0-)

    It sounds like you've given Bozo a wonderful life and, he has immeasurably benefited yours.

  •  I'm so very sorry. (9+ / 0-)

    I have grieved over many furry companions in my life. Sounds like you and Bozo have been good friends for a long time. Kidney issues in cats are never easy to resolve so don't beat yourself up too bad over not being able to afford a vet - you may have just ended up spending a boatload of money and still losing him in the end.

    Again, I'm sorry and I grieve with you.

  •  (((Centristandproud))) (7+ / 0-)

    I am so very sorry.  It is truly heartbreaking to know you are losing such a close friend.  Sometimes the best we can do is to hold them and reasssure them of our love and guide them gently towards the next step on their journey.  It is of small comfort, but Bozo knows how much he/she is loved and would probably want to be in your arms and nowhere else.

    In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves. " - Buddha Shakyamuni

    by Actbriniel on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 03:16:06 PM PDT

  •  My heart goes out to you. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Margd, Mr Robert, sockpuppet, liz dexic

    Unfortunately, because cats are so small, when they have health issues, they often aren't around for long.

    I am so sorry for you and Bozo.  How comforting it must have been to have him with you all these years, and to have that connection through him with your mom.

    Liars begin by imposing upon others, but end deceiving themselves. ~unknown

    by Ana Thema on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 03:21:04 PM PDT

  •  So sorry ... (7+ / 0-)

    I'm glad Bozo will have access to a vet tomorrow.  Please don't try DIY euthanasia, just try to keep him as comfy as you can tonight.

    This morning I had to put my 15YOMine Coon kitty down.  It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.  They really do become our friends, and part of the family.  (((hugs)))

    " ...the political narative has been captured by loosers. Liberals. Dems. The left. What ever you want to call them, they are loosers." -- some wingnut blogger

    by SteelerGrrl on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 03:25:53 PM PDT

  •  Bozo isn't failing, so much as... (7+ / 0-)

    ...he is completing. His time narrows, as a new cat awaits, just out of sight, around the corner.

    Bozo looks to you, as the loving human in his life, to release him from physical bondage when the time comes.
    And that time is coming.

    Make your farewells, let your voice saying his name be the final notes in the song of this kitty's life.

    There are more who need you, more whom you'll love. Bozo will send one along; just you wait and see. A new cat will patiently climb your legs and lap and chest to press his chin to you, to whisper in silent catspeak: "Bozo sent me."

    I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

    by labradog on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 03:30:54 PM PDT

    •  this is so true (5+ / 0-)

      and can be so comforting.  I lost my beloved greyhound about a year ago, and still miss him every day, but lately I'm starting to know that there is another one who is looking for me.  Soon we will find each other, and I know Dusty will be so happy for me as he waits at the Bridge.  I know this diarist will feel the same way, maybe not right away, but before long.
      We never have them in our lives long matter how long it is.  They leave indelible paw prints on our hearts.

      I will sing you a song no one sang to me, you can be anybody that you want to be

      by two moms in Az on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 03:44:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Lovely comment, (5+ / 0-)

      and I agree.

      Bozo deserves release from his pain and that's your job, now.

      You can pay your friend back when you can.

      The vet will allow you to hold him until it's over. Stay
      with him, even if you are bawling your  eyes out. The vet
      is used to it. Don't be embarrassed. Just stay with your friend till the end.

      Bozo deserves no less.

      Proud Obama cheerleader since 2008.

      by kpardue on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 03:51:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  thank you for this (7+ / 0-)

      Over the years, I was always the one who went to the vet to put down mom's many animals. Me and my brothers would bury them but, it was always me going to the vet. I need some strength to make sure I do what is best for my buddy, even if it means pain for me for a short time.

      I think people should be allowed to do anything they want. We haven't tried that for a while. Maybe this time it'll work. -George Carlin

      by CentristandProud on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 03:58:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You banished all of Bozo's loneliness... (5+ / 0-) you can end all his pain.

        I have little hummocks near my house. One under the big pin oak, one by the berry bushes, another next to the garden. They are the remains. A beautiful, big golden retriever girl, gone at the age of seventeen, after being adopted at seven; a quiet, clever yellow lab, one of two littermates I had - his chocolate bro' took the wolf's way out, disappearing into the night, two months later; a stout, giggly wiggly old black Lab, whose merriment still suffuses our home, years gone. Just three of a dozen animal pals.

        But those mounds cling to no sadness, as now a sweet young black Lab female gallops through them. When I look to try to sense the exact location of an old pal, a wee bastard of a terrier bounding over that hummock now dispels any toehold sorrow attempts.

        With a splat that Lab arrives to grin up at me "Let's go! Fun is afoot!" and the scampering terrier comes skidding in seconding that emotion. No sorrow. Ten fine dogs I once knew stand before me. And when the terrier is curled under my arm, and the Lab lies between Mrs.Labradog and I, ten more sleep the sleep of the beloved.

        As long as I keep the continued company of dogs, I lose none of them.

        I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

        by labradog on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 04:59:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It hurts so much.... (9+ / 0-)

    when we lose animal friends.  My heart goes out to you.  I am still recovering from the loss of my 14 year old ginger tabby and my 18 year old is on borrowed time with renal disease.  Your diary brought tears to my eyes.  

    Having those pictures will be really important to you.  I treasure the out of focus images I have of my cat.  I also found that by writing constantly about him while I still had him, I could go back and reread and feel reconnected.

    Having financial problems at the same time makes this heartbreak even worse.  In the end, my vet let me write post dated checks so my old tabby could be euthanized before his suffering got too great.  I could never thank her enough.

    I will be thinking of you and hoping you find some peace.  

  •  While I cannot stop the tears (6+ / 0-)

    from seeing the empathy from total strangers, I also realize that this will hopefully help me deal with this in time. The added pain here is losing that contact with mom. So little of her belongings survived post Katrina. Every time I spoke with mom after taking Bozo home and especially after I moved away in the aftermath of Katrina, mom asked how Bozo was doing.

    I think people should be allowed to do anything they want. We haven't tried that for a while. Maybe this time it'll work. -George Carlin

    by CentristandProud on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 03:54:16 PM PDT

  •  I'm not a vet, but I think there's a good chance (5+ / 0-)

    that Bozo has diabetes.

    I've been a type 1 diabetic for over 40 years and I know for certain that his symptoms are exactly what one would expect if he has diabetes.

    The symptoms for feline diabetes are listed in this wikipedia article.

    You can easily confirm this yourself by testing his urine for glucose. Call a pharmacy and ask them if they have test strips for checking glucose in the urine. Call first because not all pharmacies carry them any more.

    All you have to do is dip a test strip in his urine to find out if he has diabetes. If he does, you can start him on insulin and he will have a rapid recovery.

    The amount of insulin should be prescribed by a vet. If you can't afford to take him to a vet, then I may be able to help. Cats and humans use the same insulin and it's cheap.

    Let me know what you find out. But you must do this now. If you can afford it take him to a vet NOW. If not, then test him yourself because you can save his life. Otherwise, he could well die within the next few hours.

    Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

    by Mr Robert on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 03:54:53 PM PDT

    •  FYI, These test strips cost about $20 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sockpuppet, Ana Thema, SteelerGrrl

      but you might find them for less.

      Alternatively, you can check a drop of Bozo's blood using a glucose meter like diabetics use. These are probably about the same amount of money as the test strips.

      A blood test would be the best way to confirm this an all pharmacies sell inexpensive meters. Look for one that comes with a few test strips. Don't buy one where you have to spend another $50 on strips.

      Regular insulin can be purchased at Wal-Mart without a prescription and in most states you can also purchase syringes w/o a prescription although you will need to sign for them.

      Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

      by Mr Robert on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 04:04:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  his urine is not even like normal urine (6+ / 0-)

      It is more like warm water with absolutely no urea smell at all. I didn't see that as a symptom in my research. Am I wrong in this?

      I will see if I can get some test strips tonight but, going to a vet tonight is simply not possible. 9am tomorrow morning we will be on the way should he survive the night. I cannot possibly go any sooner as it is now late and I have almost no cash to pay for any services.

      This hurts me very much but, I will not receive any help without some assurance of payment.

      I think people should be allowed to do anything they want. We haven't tried that for a while. Maybe this time it'll work. -George Carlin

      by CentristandProud on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 04:04:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The reason his urine is almost like water (4+ / 0-)

        is because his kidneys are doing their best to rid his blood of the excess glucose. That's exactly the same way with humans.

        Believe me I'm almost certain Bozo has diabetes and regular shots of insulin will restore him to health. You can easily administer the shots yourself and it won't hurt him at all. The vet will show you how to do it.

        If I'm right he is in what is called ketoacidosisand is very close to death. I've been there myself as have many type 1 diabetics so I know of what I speak.

        Good luck. I'm rooting for you and Bozo. If I can help, just let me know and I'll try.

        Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

        by Mr Robert on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 04:12:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Soon as my roomie gets home (4+ / 0-)

          it will be off to the drugstore to look for these. Thank you for the advice. I did look over many sites regarding his symptoms and did my best to diagnose. Obviously, I have no training for a proper diagnosis.

          I think people should be allowed to do anything they want. We haven't tried that for a while. Maybe this time it'll work. -George Carlin

          by CentristandProud on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 04:16:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Call the pharmacy first to make sure they have (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ana Thema

            the strips. My local WalMart doesn't have them, but the local CVS pharmacy does.

            Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

            by Mr Robert on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 04:20:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  You really don't need any special (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ana Thema

            training to determine if he is diabetic.

            Just dip a test strip in the urine and if it changes color then he is definitely diabetic.

            Better yet test a drop of Bozo's blood. Here's a web site operated by the owner of a diabetic cat that explains how to test a cat's blood glucose.

            Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

            by Mr Robert on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 04:26:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It sounds like diabetes (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ana Thema, Mr Robert

              I had a diabetic cat for years. His first symptoms were weight loss, excessive peeing  and bad breath.  He was easily regulated on insulin for years.  I would inject him while he ate twice a day.  It was way easier than giving him a pill!   Your buddy sounds like he may have gone into diabetic ketoacidosis which is an extreme diabetic episode.  He may need to be stabilized at a vet.  

              If you can't afford it, there are a number of places that help with vet care.  You don't want him to go without eating as cats get a condition where their liver starts attacking itself.  It's important that he has food even if he ends up being tube fed until he's healthy.  Good luck.  I hope it is something easily treated.  

              •  There's a great online resource (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Ana Thema, Mr Robert, liz dexic

                for feline diabetes.
                They have resources for low cost insulin and the message boards are incredibly helpful.  There are a lot of volunteers and there are probably some in your area.  They are wonderful about helping people with diabetic kitties.

                “It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare say things that no one else will say."—Howard Zinn

                by musiclady on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 07:40:35 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thank you so much for the link (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  liz dexic

                  As an insulin dependent diabetic I'm her to look out for any critter that has diabetes. If any person or critter needs my help, just let me know.

                  Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

                  by Mr Robert on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 09:01:25 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I just checked out the link (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  liz dexic

                  and if I happened to be a diabetic dogie or kitty I'd definitely want my owner to spend a lot of time on that web site.

                  Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

                  by Mr Robert on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 09:50:50 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Check the section on diet (0+ / 0-)

                    That website has a great section on diet.  Just like people, diabetic cats should eat a high protein, grain free diet.  There are some pages with comparisons of commercial cat food and a page listing all of the Fancy Feast varieties that are totally grain free.  Some people have been able to get their diabetic cats "off the juice" by controlling their diet.  My kitty was on 7 cc's of insulin twice a day and controlling his diet caused him to only need 3 cc's which saved a lot of money!

                    “It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare say things that no one else will say."—Howard Zinn

                    by musiclady on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 06:40:05 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Halleujah! (0+ / 0-)

                It's wonderful to here from someone who has been down this road before.

                Since I've had Type 1 diabetes for well over four decades I'm nearly certain that Bozo is diabetic and I really want to see a diagnosis and to see him on insulin. Once that happens he can live out a nearly normal life.

                Once Bozo is in Ketoacidosis his body basically starts consuming itself. If the body can't metabolize carbohydrates it starts to cannabalize the organs and muscles.

                In the event that the diagnosis is diabetes, I think that its also important to check his blood glucose before administering the insulin that will keep him alive. It's easy to do with a glucose meter that costs less than $20. Many pet owners do this for their friends and I posted a link to a site that explains how do do it with a diabetic cat a little earlier in this diary.

                I'm also hoping that it is something that is easily treated. If it wasn't for the contribution that animals made in the development of insulin I wouldn't be alive. In fact, I would have been dead decades ago.

                Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

                by Mr Robert on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 08:59:00 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Left something out... (0+ / 0-)

                  When a diabetic animal (dog, cat, or human) isn't getting enough insulin it starts consuming it's fat resources which is known as ketoacidosis.

                  It's no fun believe me because I've been there. I had a UTI and I ended up in intensive care because I didn't recognize the symptoms and didn't act until it was too late.

                  Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

                  by Mr Robert on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 09:26:57 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  I am so sorry (6+ / 0-)

    He sounds very sick, and judging by your list of symptoms, he may have diabetes, hyperthyroidism, IBS or urinary tract problems--or some combination of these, as IBS and UT issues can be caused by either of the first two.

    While all of these condition are treatable or manageable if caught early enough, I don't know what a vet could do for him at this stage, if he is as bad as you say he is, but I would strongly urge you to take him to a vet ASAP. Please. Even if you cannot afford aggressive treatment and that euthanasia is likely your only option. He shouldn't have to suffer.

    •  I too think he has diabetes (4+ / 0-)

      and if that's the case it is easily treated by daily shots. The Relion insulin from WalMart is fairly inexpensive and the shots are simple to administer. In fact, my former vet had a diabetic cat that had the run of his office.

      I'm diabetic and I'd bet dollars to donuts that he has diabetes in which case he is very sick indeed.

      Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

      by Mr Robert on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 04:18:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You are going to have to put aside your feelings (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    liz dexic

    and decide whats best for him.  Is he comfortable?  Can you afford to get him help? Is it too late to get help for him as it is? You need to put consideration for his comfort ahead of your pain. I know it seem harsh for me to say, but I have seen too much pet suffering because an owner would not make a decision, much less do the right thing.

    Do you really want to watch him suffer through the night just so you don't have to make a decision?

  •  My heart is breaking for you (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert, Ana Thema, liz dexic

    I hope against hope that the vet will be able to help Bozo tomorrow.

    The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion. Molly Ivins

    by MufsMom on Mon Apr 04, 2011 at 07:00:38 PM PDT

  •  Tomorow (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    liz dexic

    First of all, I want to say that I hope the trip tomorrow morning will be good news and that the visit will put Bozo on the road to recovery.

    In this situation you are Bozo's health advocate and at the same time you need to recognize your own strengths and weaknesses.

    Given the history I assume that you have a limited budget in which case I suggest that you let the vet know that right up front. That's especially true in respect to any testing that the vet might want to do.

    While an inexpensive in-office blood test will determine whether or not Bozo is diabetic, that won't stop the vet from suggesting a full range of blood tests. Only you can draw the line and don't be afraid to do it.

    Well, if you have tons of money then fine, agree to the tests. If not, I recommend that you insist that the vet zero in on the most likely possibility because that can save you a LOT of money. And, the money that's left over can go to Bozo's other expenses.

    Anyway, I'll be thinking about you and I really hope to get positive news from you tomorrow.

    Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

    by Mr Robert on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 12:10:41 AM PDT

  •  Still waiting (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    klompendanser, liz dexic, Mr Robert

    for my friend to arrive but, Bozo did survive the night and is looking rather haggard. His temp seems normal still and the drool is getting a bit out of control. Otherwise, no worse than yesterday.

    I think people should be allowed to do anything they want. We haven't tried that for a while. Maybe this time it'll work. -George Carlin

    by CentristandProud on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 07:39:32 AM PDT

  •  Had him put to sleep... (4+ / 0-)

    Will give more details when I am not so upset.

    I think people should be allowed to do anything they want. We haven't tried that for a while. Maybe this time it'll work. -George Carlin

    by CentristandProud on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 03:06:02 PM PDT

  •  The crying is far from over but... (6+ / 0-)

    I owe yall a few details. Bozo was looking very haggard this morning and his dehydration was very extreme. The drooling seemed unstoppable and he was constantly looking for places to hide.

    Got him to the vet and the bloodwork showed no glucose issues. His kidney testing was off the scales though. He was suffering total kidney failure ...

    The vet gave me the option of aggressive kidney treatment which includes dialysis or to put him to sleep. I took the obvious and painful course. Following the sedative injection I held Bozo in my arms as he went limp. I placed him back on the table for the final injection. Immediately after the injection I picked him up and felt his little heart stop beating. I cried so much I was dripping on the stethoscope the vet was trying to check Bozo's heartbeat with.

    Luckily, the vet let me take him home with me since he was a small animal. I buried him after I got a break in the tears.

    Goodbye my friend. I loved you very much. I promise a new diary commemorating his life as soon as I can think a little clearer. Sleep has been eluding me a lot lately due to much stress and the added worry for my lil buddy's life.

    I think people should be allowed to do anything they want. We haven't tried that for a while. Maybe this time it'll work. -George Carlin

    by CentristandProud on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 06:18:28 PM PDT

    •  You did the right thing for your little buddy (5+ / 0-)

      Back in 2006 when I lost my Buddy dog I was really having a hard time and I called the Pet Loss Hotline that was operated by UC Davis Medical Center. It was well after midnight and I got a recording, but the message said that they would call me back shortly if I left a message.

      So I left a message and within just a few minutes--it was probably 2am in the morning--a veterinary student called me back.

      Well, I was in really bad shape and I spent over an hour on the phone talking to a person who I felt understood what I was going through. I was crying and choking up, but they understood and you can't believe how much better I felt after letting it all go with that young woman on the phone.

      Unfortunately, the UC Davis Hotline has been shut down due to budget cutbacks, but there are still a number that are operational.

      If you google "Pet Loss Hotline" you will find that there are still veterinary schools that operate hotlines and I strongly recommend that you call them.

      It doesn't cost anything and in the case of UC Davis it was an 800 number. So please check out this list of sites that I came up with in a google search.

      Some of the hotlines might ask for a donation and I think you should pass them up. The veterinary schools won't ask for a dime and they have caring students who will understand.

      Again, I am so sorry for your loss and I understand how devastated you must feel.

      Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. Kin Hubbard

      by Mr Robert on Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 08:05:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Woke up several times (4+ / 0-)

    looking for him... This hurts so much...

    I think people should be allowed to do anything they want. We haven't tried that for a while. Maybe this time it'll work. -George Carlin

    by CentristandProud on Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 09:10:29 AM PDT

    •  I am so sorry...and I agree (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SteelerGrrl, merrinc, Mr Robert

      that it is the expecting to see the furry face just around the corner that the hardest thing.

      Bozo was a beautiful boy ... he looks like a brother to my Raymond who went over the rainbow bridge nearly two years ago, so now I'm crying right along with you. Bozo is in a better place and while still living in your heart.


      You go to war with the TROLLS you have, not the TROLLS you might want or wish to have at a later time.

      by klompendanser on Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 10:34:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Checked in to see... (0+ / 0-)

    what happened and was so sorry to hear about Bozo.  There really are no words to describe this pain.  I had such hopes he would pull through.  My thoughts are with you.  

    I lost one of my guys in December.  I still cry about it.

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