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Aug 19 2008

Good news about Violet

Hi, all. I wanted to update you on the situation with our cat, Violet. Regular readers of this blog will know that we've been having a very scary veterinary situation, with Violet needing to be rushed to the vet emergency hospital last week with what turned out to be bleeding ulcers. We've been having a "bad news/ good news/ bad news/ good news" rollercoaster sort of week with it, but we have some solid information now, and I wanted to let you all know about it.

The bad news is that the ulcers didn't come from nowhere. Violet has inflammatory bowel disease, and the very early stages of cancer.

The good news is that both the cancer and the IBD are very treatable, and we caught the cancer very, very early — early enough that she'll probably have a normal lifespan. (She's recovering really well from the surgery, btw, and seems more like herself every day.)

And the treatment isn't even all that invasive: no surgery, no radiation, nothing like that. She will be on chemo for a while, but that's just going to involve giving her medicine at home. We're going to have a few weeks/months of a somewhat intensive cat pilling regimen (and boy, is that going to be fun); but it doesn't seem like it'll be hard for her to tolerate.

There are no guarantees with cancer, of course. There are no guarantees with anything. But given what we've been going through for the past week, this is an incredibly good outcome. Our lives will be a disrupted for a little while, but we are breathing huge sighs of relief, and are preparing to get back to what passes for normal in our lives. Thanks to all of you for your kind words and support, and I'll be blogging at you soon!

Oh — and Violet sends her love.

Violet_2

16 comments

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  1. 1
    Ebonmuse

    I’m glad to hear some good news. I’ll send all my best wishes and love for Violet. :)
    My family and I recently had to put down our oldest cat, one we’d owned for over ten years. It was a bitter decision, but it had to be done. Even though they’re not people, our animals still give us love and companionship, and it’s in our nature to love them in return. I hope you and Ingrid have many more years together with Violet, but however much time you have, make sure you use it well.

  2. 2
    ssjessiechan

    Eee! So snuggleable! I’m so glad she’ll be okay. And it’s great news that you were able to catch it early! A little urpy now for many years later I hope!

  3. 3
    Elaine

    I just love those mismatched eyes. I hope she recovers swiftly and graces the house for many years go gome.

  4. 4
    Kit

    What a sweetie! Here’s hoping for a thorough recovery.

  5. 5
    Questioneverything

    When I’ve had to pill my kitty, I’ve used a neat trick to make it really easy.
    items:
    1) small peice of tuna, you can use sushi, but canned tuna is more smelly, so will attrack the kitty’s attention better
    2) Cod oil, or olive oil, but my cat loves the cod oil
    3) the pill, or pills
    So what I do is, I dip all the pills needed in the oil and take the peice of tuna and call my cat, who usually comes right over when he smells the tuna.
    I then hold the tuna in one hand, above his head, at about my thigh level, dangling a bit, and the pills in the other. my cat will try to stand on its back legs, or lean on my leg to get to the tuna, and when he does, he opens his mouth to eat the tasty tuna.
    Now when he does this, I drop a pill into his open mouth, which does take a bit of accuracy, but is super effective, because:
    a) he’s primed to swallow the tuna, so his airway is already closed, and his first reaction when the pill hits his throat will be to swallow, and;
    b) the oily pill will slip down his throat almost effortlessly anyway, and if you use cod oil, will taste nice and fishy to him
    I have gotten my cat to take three pills in a row, three times a day with this method. They don’t need to be mashed up (which would adversely affect the dose absorption rate) and I don’t need to hold him down and rub his throat to get him to swallow.
    The best thing, there’s no hard feelings after he takes the pills, because he still gets the tuna, and I didn’t have to force him to do anything, And I’m not bleeding after it’s over. (I don’t de-claw, my kitty needs them to catch tasty critter-morsels)
    It may not work for you, but give it a try and see if she will do it.
    -Q

  6. 6
    arensb

    Oh — and Violet sends her love.

    I can almost imagine a cat sending love to you or Ingrid, since you do feed her and do your pathetic human best to keep her in the style to which she would like to become accustomed.
    But sending love to the rest of us out here? You’re just making stuff up. Either that, or Violet is a dog in cat’s clothing.
    Either way, I hope she recovers and sends you many more years of love.

  7. 7
    David D.G.

    Wow, Violet is pretty! My late cat had mismatched eyes, too, but I think yours is the first mismatched-eyed cat I’ve seen that wasn’t white all over.
    Best of luck to Violet and the humans privileged to care for her!
    ~David D.G.

  8. 8
    the chaplain

    Best wishes for Violet, Ingrid and you. Hoping you all enjoy many more years of companionship.

  9. 9
    Nurse Ingrid

    Wow. I am blown away by everyone’s good wishes. Thanks so much to everyone from me and Greta and Violet and her sister Lydia.
    She really is a beauty, isn’t she? And don’t think she doesn’t know it.
    I am very intrigued by questioneverything’s tuna pilling trick. Our vet suggested buttering the pills, which has worked pretty well so far. But I think we might have to try yours too, just because it’s so clever. I’m not sure my aim is as true as yours, though, so we’ll see…

  10. 10
    Velvetnan

    Violet is lovely. I’m happy that you received good news.
    I’ve been a silent reader for a while now. Thanks for the blog, I truly enjoy it.
    Vel

  11. 11
    Ola

    The best wishes to Violet and you! I hope you won’t get too injured from trying to feed her the pills — with my parents’ cats it takes two people to feed one pill and both end up scratched… So we just grind the pill to powder and mix it with their food.
    Lovely kitty, please give her a kiss on the nose from me!

  12. 12
    Kalia Kliban

    Good news about the fuzzy one. I’m realizing from the comments, though, that I no longer am getting the pictures along with the text, since I didn’t get to see Violet and her mismatched eyes. Anything I can do to fix that? I miss the cool graphics.

  13. 13
    Metro

    My best wishes to you for Violet’s health.
    I cohabitate with two cats. They sort of came with the wife (Who observes that “A nut for a jar of tuna” is a palindrome, by the way).
    Pilling the brown one is simple (do all cat owners verb the word “pill”?).
    The rather-like-Violet-looking one is a complete and utter cow about it, and I thoroughly intend on practising the technique you have offered here in future. Largely because bugger-all else seems to work.
    And I’m sure it will come time soon enough. Because if in no other way, cats at our house are like children in a single sense: One of them is inevitably sick at any given time, so it seems.

  14. 14
    Metro

    Oops–the bit about trying the offered technique was directed to Questioneverything.

  15. 15
    Ender

    Here’s hoping she gets better soon! And she’s a cool looking cat too. Love the eyes!

  16. 16
    Cat Smell

    Sad to hear about your cat, hope it recovers and the cancer doesn’t affect it.
    Also, just found this blog, violet’s eyes look so weird.

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