Thursday, March 16, 2023

Matters of the Heart

Story 1)

 A while back, I went out on the balcony on the second floor. I rarely do, especially in winter, but I was surprised to see an orange and white tabby cat curled up in a sunny spot. He bolted as soon as I opened the door. 

I set a cardboard box up, stuffing it with two large bed pillows and and a torn flannel sheet. I folded two of the flaps in so that there was a small entrance to it and tucked it in a place where it was protected from the wind. 

I kept a watchful eye out for him, to see if he was a regular. Did he need to be fed? 

A couple weeks later, I saw the cat on facebook. Someone a couple blocks away had posted a picture of him, looking for his owner. He looked as if he'd struggled out there on his own. I commented that I'd seen him down at my place and had set up lodging for him. I said that I was glad to see that someone had taken him because I can't.

And I really can't. I already have a cat.

(Tim would kill me.) 

William and I were walking out to the car a few days back. "Ooooooooohhh," he said. "There's a hurt cat." And there he was. He looked as if he'd been in quite a cat fight. We went back to set out a bowl of food for him. We had a little conversation, and he mewed back in a tired, dispirited way, but he wouldn't come. I don't think it would take much to over come that, though. 

Yesterday, I was by myself, so I snuck upstairs with catfood, both canned and dry. I went out on the balcony to set out food there, right next to the box. I was hopeful that he would recognize it as a safe place to receive food and be warm. rest and heal. 

Today, I see that the catfood has been partially eaten. I hope he was sleeping soundly in the box.  I did not want to open the door and scare him away. I can check later when I refill the dishes. 

He just looked so very miserable, and nisery breaks my heart. It makes me literally feel sick. 

(To be continued, I hope)

Story 2)

Tim's done with his Holter monitor, and boy, was he ever glad about that. He took it off, we boxed the unit up and returned it to the company following their instructions. 

On Pi Day, I heard the phone ring. I was making an apple pie, but Tim got it. The call was short, but I could hear him answering in the other room. He came out when he was done and said, "The monitoring indicated no A-fib. No irregularities."

"That's good," I said. "I kind of thought it wouldn't. You've never had any symptoms before you got so sick. You haven't had any since." I stirred the cinnamon and vanilla into the apple slices. 

Tim cleared his throat. "They talked to me about the implant."

I looked over.

His face got the stubborn look I hadn't seen for awhile. "I told them no. I didn't want it. I'm not doing it."

"What did they say?" 

"They said, 'Okay,' " he said, and walked back out of the room. 

Story 3)

Houdini really does love his boy something fierce. In fact when William goes upstairs to go to bed, Houdini roams around, meowing forlornly. It's gotten to the point where he comes out to the office and sits beside me, patting my chair and meowing with a question. He's begun to allow me to pick him up and will sit on my lap purring while I type. 

He's here right this minute as a matter of fact. 

I know that I'm his second choice and probably always will be, but a lapful of purring cat is a comfort. 

23 comments:

  1. Glad the monitoring turned out a good report. Might want to call the doc who ordered it, or his cardiologist to ask why they are recommending an implant. What kind of implant?. If he needs a pacemaker to make sure his heart rate is stable, that should've been detected on the monitoring. You are so kind to the animals needing care. And what a delight that Houdini is finding comfy spots to be!
    Linda in Kansas

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    1. The neurologist has already discussed this. She feels that the stroke was caused by A-fib. Most strokes are. However, he was very sick. He had c-diff, which left him severely dehydrated, with a blood pressure in the 60/40 range, which led to a pretty serious kidney dysfunction. He had a steroid shot at the walk-in clinic to deal with his 6 weeks of coughing. Any one of those things is linked to episodes of A-fib. We think it is completely sensible to say, his stroke was caused by an episode of A-fib which was was caused by the fact that he was a very sick man. We told the doctor how we felt. She says that it is unlikely that these things caused the A-fib. He never had symptoms of A-fib before. He's had no episodes after. We don't see the need to continue monitoring with a loop monitor implant unless he shows signs of A-fib.

      I find it interesting that you hear the medical profession decrying patients who get their medical degree from 'Google U.' but it is a darn scary thing to be abruptly sent home with a husband who is not himself. Once home, trying to be proactive, when we had questions, there was no help. We weren't even sent home with the correct telephone number for our followup. You do not speak with a doctor if you call the doctor ever. The PCP could not see him for over a month. We did rely on google. We didn't have anything else to go on.

      I made sure of my sources, and I read a lot. We talked a lot.

      This is not to throw mud on the whole medical community. I love my PCP provider, and I think that Tim's got a good one now, as well, but we were left adrift in this situation.

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  2. 2nd choice is better than none. Lulu absolutely ADORES Tam (we are 2nd choice!) Well done on helping that puss-cat in need. Down the years we had many many cats in need come to us at Ynyswen, and we helped every one. More than one cat is ok . . . We always had NINE at Ynyswen. As soon as one (or more when the old cats went close together) another one - or more - would turn up to make up the number. We "only" have 5 here, but Ghengis must be16 or so and the big boys are 13.

    Glad Tim said no to the pointless implant, and that he wanted to help the cat too . . .

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    1. Tim does NOT know about the cat. I will try to help him, and we'll see what happens. Tim wouldn't actually kill me if we had two cats. William was with me when we found him.

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  3. Good news for Tim from the monitor results.
    If I had a lapful of purring cat I would be a hot mess of sneezes, wheezes and puffy eyes!

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  4. Nothing more cosy than a purring cat on one's knee on a chilly day.

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  5. Kind Debby the cat lady. It's good that you care about the feline waifs and strays.

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  6. I agree with you and Tim- an implanted monitor does not sound necessary. HOWEVER, I am certainly not a doctor. At all.
    I have two stray cats that hang out in my yard a lot. I don't feed them. They do not look as if they are hungry and the two cats I already have definitely WOULD kill me if I tried to take them in. I think my husband would be fine with it.

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    1. Neither are we. However, I don't think it's unreasonable to look beyond 'A-fib causes strokes in the vast majority of cases' to 'so what caused the A-fib?' If Tim no longer has the underlying causes of the A-fib, we both are pretty comfortable in waiting to see what happens next.

      Delete
  7. Are you going to be the cat lady of your neighborhood? Ha. I kid. Sounds like good news for Tim. Unless the doctor mandated an implant, I would avoid it as well. I am only speaking from my experience as I have avoided surgery for a deviated septum because I don't want to put under as I have horrible memories of it as a kid from numerous ear surgeries. I know I am not comparing apples to apples but I just wanted to share my perspective. Take care.

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    1. Tim is notoriously resistant to stuff like this. In this case, I happen to agree with him. I don't always, but I really do see our recent experiences with healthcare as having one overlying problem. No one was/is willing to look at the big picture. His GP was looking at a cough without addressing the causes. Now the neurologist is looking at the stroke and unwilling to consider the causes. It's really quite strange,

      Delete
  8. I don't have pets anymore but I have watched a war playing out on Facebook. It is between those owners of pets who want to let their animals out for awhile and those who immediately gather up any pet outside that they see and take them home to post about them on Facebook. The comments on these posts are starting to get heated.

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    1. The owner of this cat replied to the original post. She asked that someone take it because she can't keep it right now. I do have to say if I wind up with another cat, he would not be returned. I think that's fair. In my neck of the woods, the people that I know who are doing the rescues are stepping in because the animals are injured or ill. Everyone seems to know who owns what cat.

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    2. That certainly is an advantage of social media. In days before it, those cats would probably die from exposure but thanks to social media and with your cage, you may have very welled saved one of the cat's nine lives.

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  9. I'm so glad Tim is OK. That is a huge relief!
    You are definitely the Guardian Catwoman.

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  10. I'm a second choice too, but I do the feeding, so I'm creeping up there. :)

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    Replies
    1. I am the feeder as well. You are lucky not to have a boy living under your roof. You would not be creeping up in the popularity poll. :)

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  11. Good news all round on Tim, William and cats 🙂

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  12. I'm glad Houdini has settled in so well, and that Tim's monitor showed no A-fib. What a relief!

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