We had not heard from the cat lady about Cabbages for a little while, which was a “no news is good news” situation. Today I had to run errands with my mother, so I sent a quick text to let her know that, if she needed to call us, to please call the land line.
I didn’t even get a chance to tell the rest of the household to keep a handset near them, when I got a call.
So here we have a very encouraging, do we dare say hopeful? update.
Cabbages is still a very sick kitty, but she is not in the hospital anymore. She is back at home with the cat lady and her family.
Cabbages has been eating, though only while being actively fed. If the food is just left with her, she doesn’t eat. She didn’t like the baby food they tried, but she will eat roasted drumsticks that have been chopped fine for her.
She is being given an antibiotic in pill form, once every three hours.
Yes, you read that right. Every three hours. They have alarms set to go off every three hours. The vet even texted her at 2:30 am to make sure Cabbages got her pill!
Her entire family is in on this one. Even her 5 yr old son is spending hours with Cabbages. *melt* This sort of thing is old hat for their oldest, who is right in there with helping with the treatments and feeding. They’ve done this a few times, it seems!
Cabbages is fighting off the pills, which is understandable to begin with, but these are apparently huge pills that have to be shoved down her throat, and they can’t be broken up (they become too bitter).
I was told Cabbages was “still” doing the head pressing thing against their hands; something which is a warning symptom. This surprised me, because Cabbages had never done that at all, when she was still with us.
She is on valerian as a preventative for seizures. She has never had a seizure, but as she became sicker, it was something she became more at-risk for.
A panel of vets got together to talk about her. She is quite the unicorn, and they are all flummoxed by her condition. The notion that she was born with some sort of congenital defect has now been rejected. Other vets thought that she absolutely had to have come in contact with, or ingested, anti-flea substances, but we have never, ever, had anything like that in our household. We don’t do the collars. Fleas aren’t a problem here.
The other vets also brought up the possibility of Cabbages ingesting some sort of narcotic but, again, that’s just not possible. We don’t have the kinds of drugs they were talking about in the household, and even with the prescription drugs, great care is taken to make sure none get dropped, etc. Standard stuff, really.
The other vets actually recommended euthanizing Cabbages, but the vet that’s caring for her said he would work with the client some more. The cat lady is willing to keep trying, as Cabbages is showing signs of improvement.
Cabbages is moving around more, and her balance is getting better. Her vision is also improving. She has even had a bowel movement in the litter box; the first since they’ve had her. With all the medications she’s on, it was a real mess, but it shows her system is still working.
The conclusion remains that this is toxoplasmosis and a related bacterial infection that has crossed into her brain, however they haven’t ruled out that she might have a brain tumor. Her blood tests show no signs of cancer, but with all the meds she’s on, it’s possible that affected the test results. The only way to know 100% is with an MRI. There is only one MRI in the city available for cats, and it costs $3000 to use it, so that’s not going to happen. Especially when that is far less likely to be the cause of her illness.
So they will continue to treat her with these rare antibiotics (now in pill form, rather than IV) that can cross the blood/brain barrier, valerian, etc., and keep hoping. Even as we were talking on the phone, the cat lady mentioned she had drumsticks in the oven to spoon feed Cabbages.
She also mentioned in passing that all this has now cost them $1200 in vet bills. If Cabbages pulls through, she is still looking at months of treatments before she is in the clear. The organization that the cat lady is connected with covers the vet and food bills for cats that are with fosters, all funded by donations, but the vet services they provide is typically for things like vaccinations, deworming, and discounted spay and neutering. They balked at taking in such a severely sick cat and adding more to their vet bills – but they did offer to help cover some of the cost of euthanasia. I understand why they would have to draw the line, but sheesh!!
So the cat lady continues to pay for all this out of pocket.
She is not at all asking for money; in fact, she regaled me with stories of how she has a terrible kitchen because the money intended for renovating it went to treating their own two cats that had gotten so sick, she actually sent them in to be euthanized, but with the help of this vet, they found a way to treat them. There is a reason he gets called “Jesus”! The kitchen renovation money got all used up, but the cats are now recovered and thriving, and her family feels it was worth every bit of it.
As I was thinking about it today, I decided to start a fundraiser for her, as a thank you surprise. With that in mind, I have started a fundraising goal on our ko-fi account for Cdn$1500. It is set to accept as little as Cdn$1.
The final vet bill will probably be more than that goal, but it’s above what she has already spent, and there’s no way to know right now how much it will be.
We will be paying her for getting the other cats fixed, of course, but that is through her, to the organization. This would be completely separate from that. She’s paying out of her and her family’s own personal income, and she is the one that will be the recipient of the fundraiser, not the organization.
With that in mind, if you would like to contribute towards Cabbages’ vet bills the cat lady is paying for out of pocket, you can click on the donation link at the top, right of this post, or click here.