Friday, March 10, 2006

Heartbreak


I have mentioned Devlin many times. He is the kitten that I have had since the day he was born. I fed him every 4 hours, stimulated his senses, cuddled him and, yes, even burped him. When I would take him in to the vet and set him on the exam table, he would creep across the table towards me on scent only (not only are kittens blind the first month, they are also deaf), mine was the first face he saw, the first voice he heard. He is my baby, no matter what cat comes after him - this is the one that I have bonded with like no other animal I have owned. He was born with a parasite that robbed him of three weeks of nutrition - he was only getting enough to stay alive, but not to grow. He did not gain an ounce in those three weeks - he wasn't thriving. I medicated and medicated and prayed and prayed. he made it through that illness and I thought we were home free. I had noticed little episodes (hard to explain) on and off - not frequently, once every month or so, nothing to be concerned about. This morning was different. It lasted longer. It starts with a weird rippling of the muscles down his back, then he starts biting and licking his tail and back area, followed by frantic running around the house and ending with panting. I took him to the vet. First, he had a fever - which the doctor said could have been caused by the seizure - yes, seizure. Not epileptic but a sort (the name I don't remember) that sometimes appears in cats. She showed me a description in a vet's manual and he had all of the classic symptoms. She took blood. I took him back home while we waited for the results - meanwhile the seizures continued - 6 in almost 6 hours. The doctor called close to 7:00 (she's great). Devlin's white blood count was way up. She suspects a feline form of meningitis (not contagious) but we can't know for sure unless I were to take Devy to a specialist and have a spinal tap done. Can't afford it. She has started him on an animal form of Cipro (yes, she waited for me to come on up there and get the medication) called Baytril. The seizures are escalating - 11 now in 8 hours. The Baytril might alleviate the seizures, if not we will have to start him on phenobarbitol. This, hopefully, will only be on a temporary basis until the seizures are controlled. If none of this helps we will probably have to have him put down. I am so scared. And my heart is slowly breaking - this is my baby. Please think about us in the next few days - we're going to need all of the prayers and good wishes we can get. And I could use a few cyber hugs too.

Updates in comment section - Thanks for all of the prayers and support.

69 comments:

butterflylane said...

((((((((((Hugs))))))))))
I wish I had something helpful to say- I'm so sorry that you have to go through this. I'll think healthy, positive thoughts his way.

Bailey Stewart said...

Thank you - I'm crying now - just having to watch him have these seizures is heartbreaking.

Brandy said...

Oh, Eve. Oh, poor baby. My heart is hurting for you. I know what it's like to raise a kitten like that. They are like your child. I am praying for Devlin. And for you. Major HUGS your way!

Diane said...

((((((((((EVE))))))))))

I'm thinking of you, honey.

Bailey Stewart said...

Thanks. I don't know if he just switched rooms or if he finally quit having them, but the last one I have written down is 12:38a.m. Yeah, I have to keep track of them. I am so tired - thank goodness I start my 4 hours on Saturday shift today. I know I couldn't make it 8 hours.

I need to go find the coffee.

Michele said...

Hi Eve!
Brandy alerted me about Devlin.
I found some words to share:

An Old Russian Prayer.....

Hear our prayer, Lord, for all animals,
May they be well-fed and well-trained and happy;
Protect them from hunger and fear and suffering;
And, we pray, protect specially, dear Lord,
The little cat who is the companion of our home,
Keep her safe as she goes abroad,
And bring her back to comfort us.

..........Author Unknown

A Prayer For All Animals.....

Hear our humble prayer, O God,
for our friends the animals, especially for animals who are suffering; for any that are hunted or lost or deserted or frightened or hungry; for all that must be put to death. We entreat for them all Thy mercy and pity, and for all those who deal with them we ask a heart of compassion and gentle hands and kindly words. Make us, ourselves, to be true friends to animals and so to share the blessings of the merciful.

..........Albert Schweitzer


There are more: Here's the link

Cat Support

Bailey Stewart said...

Thank you Michele - and a thanks to Brandy for the alert.

I'm a little wuzzy headed right now from lack of sleep (no nap yesterday), but I'll go look after work.

I'm going to stop at the vets this morning on my way to work and get the phenobarbital started - I can't go through another night like last night. During the seizures they run around the room and I was on the running track - its hard not to notice him when he's running across you every 15 minutes or so. Shutting my door isn't an option because I have to hear mom - and there are no rooms available to shut him into. We'll have to see how the pheno goes. I might not have to give it to him - he hasn't had a seizure in the hour and 1/2 I've been awake - but I don't want him to start up later today and then have to deal with this all weekend.

Sandy J said...

I am so sorry! I am crying with you. Hugs and Prayers to you both. Please keep us informed.

Peggy said...

Here's lots of hugs, Eve. I went through an illness with a favoured cat once and ended up giving the "go ahead". Very, very tough to do. Hang in there.

Bailey Stewart said...

Thank you. It's really hard to make that decision Peggy - I wish I could say I've never had to make it before.

Kate H said...

oh, Eve - I'm SO sorry - know where you're coming from because I had to make that decision for my old Sal last summer. Thinking of you lots and sending you cyberhugs.

Rene said...

Oh Eve, that is awful. I'm so sorry to hear about it. You are in my thoughts as well as your kitty.

Jill said...

Oh, no! I'm so so so sorry you're going through this, it's not fair, you've been through so much already. HUGS. Thinking of you ...

Joely Sue Burkhart said...

Oh, Eve! *weeps* Huge cyber hugs coming your way, and prayers for you and Devlin. I hope the seizures come under control soon!
(((((((hugs))))))

Tori Lennox said...

*hugs* Eve. I'm so sorry. I hope the medication works its magic on Devlin.

Susan said...

Sending lots of hugs and prayers your way. Hopefully the hour and 1/2 without a seizure is a good sign.

glenice said...

((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))

Poor Dev, I bet he is tired too! Such a sweet baby he is :)

((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))

christa said...

I'm sure Devlin knows he's loved. Sending you and Devy cyberhugs and prayers.

Toni Anderson said...

(((((Eve))))) I feel for you!! This is what Meretta's puppy had (or similar). They had to put her down :( I hope you have a better outcome. What a beautiful cat.

Melissa Marsh said...

Oh, Eve, I'm so very sorry to read this. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers.

Siobhan said...

Oh Eve, I'm absolutely devastated for you. I know what you are going through. Before we got Charlie (Charles II) we had another black and white tom called Charlie (Charles I) who got cancer. It was awful. These pets of ours become such a part of our lives and we love them like our children. I hope the medication works. Don't lose heart. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you so much for your visit and kind comments. Cyber hugs ((((()))))

raine said...

{{{{{{{{{{Eve}}}}}}}}}}.
Half of those hugs are for your baby.

Will keep you in my hopes and prayers, and visualize Devlin as healthy and well.
Take care of yourself, sweetie.

Dennie McDonald said...

oh hun!! ((((((HUGS)))))

Amie Stuart said...

(((((((Eve and Devlin))))))) You're both in my prayers hon!!!

Bailey Stewart said...

Thank you everyone. I think all of those good vibes are helping. Devlin is much more peaceful this morning. The phenobarbitol seems to be doing its job, just hope that the antibiotic is working too. He had one seizure last night, but so far none this morning. His breathing seems to be better too. At one point yesterday his breathing was very rapid and you could see his body trembling with each breath. Of course, with the pheno he isn't too active, but since that is temporary I'm not too worried - and of course the poor baby is exhausted too. And if he has to be on the pheno for the rest of his life, his body will adjust to it and the drunken, lathargic side effects will go away. Keep up the good thoughts, he's far from out of the woods right now. Thanks again, your support has meant the world to me.

Siobhan said...

I'm keeping you and Devlin in my thoughts and prayers.

Brandy said...

We'll keep praying for him? Doc still has no idea what could have caused this? Hey, even asked DH to say a prayer for you both!

Bailey Stewart said...

Thanks Siobhan and Brandy. Much appreciated.

Lis said...

(((((Eve & Devlin)))))
Prayers and angels on their way to you both.
I don't think there's any more helpless feeling then watching your beloved pet like that.
Hope the meds do the trick :)

Bailey Stewart said...

Thank you Lis.

Olga said...

Eve,
I'm so sorry. I know you're suffering right there with your poor baby. Major hugs.

Bailey Stewart said...

Thank you Olga.

ruby55 said...

I'm sending you as many hugs as you can stand. I'm feeling with you. I've never had a pet like this but I adored our Ivanhoe, a honey-colored German shepherd--even though I didn't see him often.
I can feel your pain and I will certainly say my prayers for both of you. It's harder to see someone else suffer, especially someone who can't really let you know what it feels like, than suffering yourself. I'm crying too. I must see if I sent you one particular picture: the little boy and the dog at the bedside. If not, I'll send it to you right away. God cares for the animals too and will certainly listen to prayers for them. How old is Devlin now? You've always been his mother and he your baby. I hope he can be cured. I pray that God will do so. But sometimes He does what is best for the patient. Let us hope that He performs a miracle for I know that he can and does.

Lots and lots of hugs for you and Devlin.

I haven't been on blogs for a couple of days. I haven't felt too well myself. I'm glad I managed to have a look today. I hope the care, hugs and prayers continue to bless both Devy and you.

Bailey Stewart said...

Thank you Ruby. I'm sorry you haven't been well.

Devlin will be 1 year old April 6.

Toni Anderson said...

Eve--hope you & Devlin have another good night.

Bailey Stewart said...

He's completely zonked right now - I hate to wake him up at 9:30, but that's when he has to take the antibiotic. But his breathing is normal for once.

Brandy said...

Eve, even your comments sound tired, poor thing. Is the medicine helping? I sure hope so. I am still praying for you and for Devlin.

Shirley said...

((((((Eve & Devlin))))))
Oh, Eve, poor you. Diane alerted me so I've been thinking about you but couldn't get onto your blog (or mine) for some reason.
I do hope Devlin will pull through. He sounds such a brave little fighter.
You're both in my thoughts.

Bailey Stewart said...

Thanks Shirley. We're both doing better today although Devy had a minor seizure this morning, it's the first one he's had since Saturday night, but I'm not going to go into panic mode unless he does it again. He's sticking pretty close to me - not playing or anything, but that could be the pheno.

butterflylane said...

I'm so glad he's doing better!

Peggy said...

So glad kitty is feeling better, Eve. Here's hoping he has another good day.

Shirley said...

So glad he's doing better, Eve. Hope you both have a good day.

Amie Stuart said...

Eve the boys wanted you to know they're sending get well wishes to Devlin.....

Bailey Stewart said...

Brandy, Butterfly and Peggy - Thanks.

Shirley - we're still keeping an eye on him. I DID NOT like the seizure this morning, no matter how minor - with the pheno he shouldn't be having any at all.

Cece - tell the boys thanks. No get well wishes from the possum? *g*

Jill said...

Hope things are better today!!!

Susie said...

I am so sad and sorry to hear that Dev is not well. I'm right with you, my heart is heavy, he is such a joy. I'll give you a call this evening to give you a flesh and blood hug, but here's a cyber hug until then. (((((hugs)))))

Susie said...

I just read through the comments and it sounds like Dev is progressing. I'll keep you both in my thoughts and prayers through out the day then check with you this evening.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble.

Kate H said...

Sounds from the updates as if Dev is on the mend - that's good - take care of yourself too. Big hugs.

raine said...

Eve, glad to hear the baby is better.
Hang in there! (((hug))).

Susan said...

I'm still sending good vibes your way and hoping there will be no more seizures. Hugs

Bailey Stewart said...

Oh y'all, he just had another small one. He'd been doing so well - not a one since Saturday night and now two this morning. BUT his breathing is still better - not so labored. I just hope this doesn't mean his fever is going back up. The doctor said to give the pheno a few days, but it's just disheartening to have him do better and then regress a bit.

Susie - I'll take that hug!

Siobhan said...

It's Monday evening here. I just got back from work and checked your blog, keeping my fingers crossed that the news would be good. Sounds as if it might be. Let's hope that this morning's episode is just a blip and that Devlin continues to make good progress. Cyber hugs ((())) to you both.

Bailey Stewart said...

I admit it - I'm scared. Sunday I had settled down, but now I'm back to scared again. And tired. And a bit punch drunk, which doesn't bode well for blogs :O

Glenice said...

Oh sweetie...that does not sound good! I just want you know you both are in my thoughts!!!!!!!!!!

((((((((((HUGS))))))))))

Bailey Stewart said...

Thanks Glenice!

Toni Anderson said...

Oh Eve--I hope he improves.

Bailey Stewart said...

I think he and I are going to cuddle down for a nap. Kids next door are in school, so they won't be out playing in their yard and keeping me from napping. Yes folks, no naps this weekend to catch up on my sleep because it was a beautiful weekend and the kids thought they had the right to go screaming around in their backyard (near my window). How dare they! *g*

Maybe I'll feel a little better after a snooze.

Lis said...

Hope he's doing better now.
I know how scary the seizures can be. When I had a dog, he had two really odd seizures that lasted almost a day straight both times but he came out of them fine. Hoping the same for your little guy :o)

Jordan Summers said...

(((Hugs))) I'm so sorry. Hang in there...both of you.

Bailey Stewart said...

So far no more seizures and I forgot about the pre-schooler. How can one little tiny boy be so loud?

Toni Anderson said...

Snort.

Bailey Stewart said...

He.has.drums. On the patio!!!

ruby55 said...

Oh, Eve, I'm so sorry that things aren't going as well as we all hoped and prayed. It sounds as if you didn't get a good nap either. I feel with you and for you. I seem to need an awful lot of sleep myself. I know that the stress you're under both requires sleep and robs you of it.

I hope you get a chance to really snuggle with Devy and that God may calm both of you in the ways you each need. Right now I can feel how important it is to have someone loving and living close to you. So I'm sending love, hugs and prayers to both of you. And continuing prayers to God.

Remember that He does care for all of us living beings. Claim His strength as your own.

Bailey Stewart said...

Thank you Ruby. It's not that I need sleep, it's just that I have never caught up on the two nights (Thursday and Friday) that I had lousy sleeps, so I just can't seem to catch up - feel sluggish. And I really need to sit down and balance the checkbook and pay some bills since I haven't paid any this month.

Brandy said...

Eve, sorry to hear about the 2 minor seizures. How is he doing this evening and has the vet said anything else? Still sending prayers your way.

Bailey Stewart said...

Had a nice visit with Susie and got my hug. Thanks Suze!

The vet actually called tonight. She said that a couple of seizures as he is adjusting to the phenobarbitol is not unexpected. If they should escalate, then there's a problem. He is actually up tonight AND his body isn't hot. Before, his ears were burning - and the heat was just emanating from him in waves - but he's cool tonight. Yay!!!!!!

Brandy said...

Yay! FInger and toes crossed. Well, not the toes, but you get where I'm going! Still praying though!

Bailey Stewart said...

Crossing toes can cause cramps. And that can hurt.

Lady M said...

Oh. This is just so touching.

I'm a cat lover with a substitute dog with the heart of a cat.

Animals are more lovely than humans.

Best wishes and thoughts.

Lady M