Friday, April 30, 2010


First of all I would like to thank all of you very much for all the purrs and prayers that you are sending me and my Mom. It really touched Mom that so many of you care about us to much.

Team Tabby gave me this great award over a month ago. Thank you so very much. I really appreciate it. According to the rules, I am supposed to tell you seven new things about myself. Well, the new things about me are pretty depressing, so I am going to cheat and tell you seven things that I have done recently instead.

1. I forgot to tell you what happened when Mom made me chicken livers. I goofed when I said that Victor Tabbycat told me about chicken livers. He told me about turkey giblets. It was Da Fambly Cats who told Mom how to make me chicken livers. Mom cooked them up and they smelled great. I kept walking into the kitchen and smelling the air and meowing. When they were ready, Mom chopped them up very small and put them in my dish while they were still warm, but not hot. I really checked them out, then walked away. A couple of hours later, when they had gotten all cold and dry and looked more like kibble, Mom walked over to them to give them to the ravens and I trotted up and started eating them. I ate about a third of them and left the rest for the ravens.

2. I let Mom pill me yesterday because I was feeling pretty rotten, what with the vet visit and getting a shot of Vitamin B with anti-poop-puddle and all. Today I felt a lot better and things were different. I gave Mom a battle royal all around the living room before she finally got those nasty pills in me. She won't try that again in a hurry.

Karen Jo: I recently found out that you have a reputation at the vet's for being difficult to medicate. I learned that you hadn't been getting Interferon before because you wouldn't let your foster Mom give it to you and that pilling you was out of the question. I feel honored that you have let me give you your medicine with so few problems so far. I will find a way to get those pills in you, don't you worry.

3. Tonight I found out what one of those ways might be. Mom crushed my pills and put them a tiny bit of water and syringed me. Let me tell you that was nasty. Those things taste horrible. Kitties, take my advice and never get poop puddles so bad that you have to take this stuff. Luckily Mom gave me a treat right afterward to take away the taste. I wouldn't even take the treat at first for scraping my tongue against my teeth trying to make the taste go away.

Karen Jo: Sorry, Herman. I only used water this time because I wanted to make sure that I got all the crushed pill I could into the syringe. I needed to see that the pill powder at least suspended in the water, if not dissolved. If I find that this is the best way to go, I will use something tastier as the liquid, like watered down baby food.

4. Mom finally Furminated me. It worked really well, except that I am so bony now that the broad rake kept catching on bones. Mom has gone back to the brush, which I like better anyway. The vet got rid of my new mat and Mom hasn't seen any new ones forming.

5.There is a little blue pillow on the couch that I like to nap on and I have discovered that it is really nice to cuddle up to. I even rest my head on it sometimes.

6. I was really hungry this morning. Mom got up a little earlier than usual and I really meowed loudly for food. Mom gave me my Medley and went ahead and put my pro-biotic in it as I seemed so hungry and might eat it all. Did I ever! I ate up every bit of it at one go and even licked my dish clean. Mom gave me some Stinky Goodness and I ate some, but not much, of that, too. I got unmedicated Medley and more Stinky Goodness for elevenses and I ate about half of the Medley and a tiny bit of the Stinky Goodness. I got fresh food before Mom went to work and I ate about half the Medley yet again. Tonight I ate up my Medley with my fiber in it and some Stinky Goodness and told Mom I wanted some fresh food a little while ago. I have eaten some of both so far. I also ate more than usual of my kibble. This is more than I have eaten in one day in weeks.

7. Last night I came in very soon after Mom went to bed. I have been waiting until Mom was asleep already lately and mostly sleeping on her feet. Last night I snuggled right up next to her like I used to and we had a nice long petting and cuddling session before she went to sleep. We both enjoyed that very much.

I would like to pass this award along to:

Mickey, Georgia and Tillie
Mr. Hendrix
Angel and Kirby
Junior and Orion
Ayla and Iza
All the cats at Brian's Home

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Really Bad News

This is my new favorite place to nap. Mom put soft blankets on both the couches for me since I don't seem to want to use my bed any more. Mom washed my bed for me and maybe I will go back to it some times, but I really enjoy napping here in the sun. Mom wants to tell you about my vet visit.

Karen Jo: The news from the vet is mostly bad. Herman has lost another pound and is down to 8.6 pounds. He should weigh about 12. He is in the terminal stage of feline leukemia. The vet and I are now aggressively treating his diarrhea, as stopping it can buy him some time. The vet lady was reluctant to use the strong anti-diarrhea medicines before, as, if I understood everything correctly, they can be hard on a leukemia kitty's system and contain an antibiotic, which can kill good gut flora as well as bad. It was important to get Herman's good gut flora in as good a shape as possible before trying these medicines. He will be taking Metronidazole and Centrine three times a day for ten days to see if they will work for him. If not, we will switch to Sulphasalazine. It may be that the leukemia has taken such a hold on his gut that nothing will stop the diarrhea. The leukemia is now also attacking his bone marrow, making him anemic. He also has a loose incisor, which means that the leukemia is all through his body now.

There is some good news. Herman has been excused from his rabies booster, which he was supposed to get next week. The vet lady checked him over thoroughly and there is no sign of intestinal lymphoma or lung involvement. This is actually very good news. If Herman keeps on as he is, he will just slowly fade away, without pain, other than the discomfort that the diarrhea gives him. If we can stop the diarrhea, he will regain a bit of quality of life, at least for a little while. I am not going to take any heroic steps, like blood transfusion or force feeding, to try to keep Herman alive. It wouldn't buy him much time and he would hate every minute of the treatment. I am just going to try to keep him as happy and comfortable as I can for the time he has left, which could be a few weeks or even a few months. The other good news is that Herman is letting me pill him. He doesn't like it, but he isn't fighting me very hard. I also remembered a trick from a long time ago. I roll the pills in margarine and then stick them as far to the back of his throat as I can. Luckily, he is taking pill halves and they are small to begin with, so I can do both medicines at once.

I am going to catch up with Herman's awards and try to keep this blog on a fairly upbeat note. I will probably go back to doing some Kitty Limericks, as I won't blog about Herman unless there is something funny or amusing or good to report. I am not going to turn his blog into a wallow of bad news and depression.

Monday, April 26, 2010


There isn't much to report on Herman. He is just about the same, not feeling good, not much interested in anything. He is going back to the vet this week and I will let you know what happens there. I am going to get him caught up on his awards. Cheysuli gave Herman this award quite some time ago. Thank you so much, Cheysuli. The only rule seems to be that you pass the award on to five more bloggers. Herman would like to pass this award along to:

Cory because reading her blog is so much fun.
Tygana because she does so much for the Cat Blogosphere.
Faith Boomerang for taking care of the huge cockroach.
Sammy and Andy because they are such faithful commenters.
Simba because he keeps coming back and commenting, though I hardly ever visit him.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Just Getting Along

Here's a picture of me from last week getting a drink of water. I haven't been cooperating for the camera lately. Every time Mom points it at me, I walk right up to it and sniff it. Not much has changed since we blogged last. Sorry it's been so long.

Karen Jo: I have been coming home from work really tired and just go to bed.

I have been sleeping up on the couch or on a chair lately, rather than in my bed. It's warmer and we get an open window almost every day now. I am mostly eating my food with my medicine in it, though I didn't eat my pro-biotic today. Mom is threatening to syringe it into me before she goes to bed. Ha! The last time she tried to syringe my fiber into me it didn't work well at all. I am still making pudding poop and getting it all over my litter box and over the edge.

Karen Jo: I got the idea of putting puppy pads all around your box and that is working out quite well.

Sometimes I pee on the puppy pad instead of in the box, but Mom doesn't seem to mind.

Karen Jo: That's OK, Herman. It's what they are for, actually. I think you need all new litter. I'll get you some tomorrow.

I haven't gotten furminated yet. Things keep happening to keep Mom busy when she is supposed to be taking care of me.

Karen Jo: I am still taking good care of you, Herman. You get fed, medicated, petted and brushed. I just haven't had the time to furminate you yet. Maybe tomorrow.

I am a bit more interested in food sometimes. I got Mom up at four in the morning to feed me again. I haven't done that in a long time.

Karen Jo: I was glad to do it. You had eaten up all your fiber food and part of your Stinky Goodness. That made me very happy. I just wish I could get enough food into you for you to gain some weight. I can still feel your backbone when I pet you.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Doing Better

Here I am on the kitchen floor. Mom was following me around the other day, taking a bunch of pictures. Mom needs to wash the kitchen floor something awful.

Karen Jo: Yes, I do. I am afraid that housecleaning has been the last thing on my mind lately. I was following you around taking pictures because you had gotten out of your bed at last and were taking more interest in things around you. I think you are feeling better.

I am. I think it's a good thing that you are making sure that I take all my medicines, no matter what I think about it. Mom forgot to close the window today before she went to work, so I got fresh air all the time she was gone. I really liked that.

Karen Jo: It's a good thing that it didn't get too cold tonight. We were both in a really good mood today. You even played with my pajama string for a few seconds tonight. You ate up all your pro-biotic while I was gone, too. You even made a good start on your fiber tonight. I expect to find it all gone by morning.

Maybe, maybe not. I do know that I will get it one way or the other, though. You brought home something that smelled really good.

Karen Jo: I bought a package of chicken livers. I am going to boil you up a couple with celery like Victor Tabbycat suggested to see if you will eat them. I get the rest of them. I don't understand why you get all excited when I get the chicken out of the refrigerator and meow all the time that I am warming it up, then don't want it when it is ready.

I just like to keep you guessing. At least you know that there is nothing wrong with my sense of smell. I came trotting in from the living room as soon as you got the chicken out and there is no way that I could have seen you getting it out. Are you going to stay home with me all day tomorrow? I want more attention than you have been giving me lately.

Karen Jo: I have some errands to run, but I will be home with you most of the day. I haven't been giving you as much attention lately because you have been walking away from me when I try to pet you or you have been sound asleep in your bed and I didn't want to disturb you. I am glad to see you more active now.

I am enjoying the warmer weather and open window. Seeing you feel happy makes me happier, too.

Karen Jo: I will try to remember that and not let things get me down any more. I saw one of the ladies from the vet office today and she told me that you are probably getting mats so quickly now because you are shedding part of your undercoat. I am thinking about Furminating you tomorrow.

I hope it feels as good as brushing.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Not Much Change

This is the PTU that Mom bought me at first. It's too small for me, as you can see. Well, you can't really see it too well, but I have my head at the back of the PTU eating my treats and both back legs outside the PTU. When I don't eat my Temptations right away, Mom puts them in here for me to enjoy later. She also puts some Party Mix in here for me every day. I eventually eat all of it. Mom wants to take over the blog now.

Karen Jo: Thank you, Herman. Herman is putting me through a real emotional roller coaster ride and it is leaving me drained and tired. That's why we haven't been blogging or visiting. I have become good friends with Herman's foster Mom and she tells me not to ride the roller coaster with him, but I can't seem to help it. I love him so much and he seems like he is miserable at times and I am sure that he is. Sometimes he eats quite a bit and at others he hardly eats at all. He didn't eat more than half of his Benefiber two days in a row and his poop got really watery again, so today I bit the bullet and mixed up a dose of Benefiber in water and syringed it into his mouth. He didn't enjoy it, but he didn't fight it, either, other than dribbling some of it out of the corner of his mouth. I think I got at least half of it down him, which would make up for the half he didn't eat last night. This afternoon, he was back to making pudding poop. He did eat all of his pro-biotic food.

Another thing that has been making me worried and tired is my Mother's income tax. The IRS wants a form with really confusing directions. I think I finally figured out what they want and filled everything out and mailed it in today. I feel relieved and less stressed already. Herman has been sleeping a lot, but he is not what I would call lethargic. I had the living room window open this afternoon, as it was windy, but warm. Early this evening, Herman suddenly ran across the living room and started looking up out the window by his platform. After a short while, he leaped straight up on his platform, which is 33 inches off the floor. He usually hops up on the armchair, then onto the platform. He ignores the ramps up altogether. He sat on the platform looking intently out the window and meowing a bit for quite a while. He even jumped down on the narrow windowsill next to the open window for a while. I didn't get up to see what had caught his interest so, because I didn't want to scare it off. I could hear and see the usual birds at the feeder, but nothing unusual. I was so happy to see him display such interest in something. I hadn't seen him run in weeks. He doesn't watch TV with me any more.

I was just in the kitchen and Herman has eaten almost all of his Benefiber food. Maybe he has decided that he would rather eat it than get it syringed in. This is great because he hasn't eaten much since midday. I will not be feeding him the pouch food with the gravy any more because I had run out of it today and I just gave him his medicine food and his usual Stinky Goodness. He ate much more of his nutritious food without the gravy to distract him. I have another problem. The pudding poop is an improvement over the watery kind, but it is stickier. Herman has dirty back feet and sometimes bottom most of the time. He doesn't step in it, but it dribbles on him. I think he would feel much better if I sponged it off him, but he hates for me to wash him. I am weighing up the pros of having him cleaner and feeling better against the stress he feels when I wash him. I gave him a quick wipe with a warm wash cloth today and he let me know how much he hated it with a loud warning meow. I think I'll give him a quick swipe with a really wet warm wash cloth once or twice a day and see how it goes. If I stress him too much, he'll just get sicker. I'm going to bed now. I am too exhausted to visit. Maybe tomorrow.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Eat, Herman, Eat!

Here I am in bed again. I am spending a lot of time here. It's so comfy and warm. It's right in front of the heat vent. I was a good boy today. I finally ate my Benefiber food early this morning -- Mom gave it to me very late last night. I ate almost all of my pro-biotic food, too. Mom gave me some Medley without any medicine in it before she went to work and I ate that all up, too. I am also nibbling at my crunchies. Tonight when Mom got home she put out a whole lot of fresh food for me and I ate some Stinky Goodness and some Medley with Benefiber in it. She has started giving me this pouch food with gravy and I usually lick up all the gravy. Sometimes I still look at all my food and meow at Mom like I want something different.

Karen Jo: I don't know what that could possibly be. You have four kinds of crunchies and three kinds of wet food out all the time. Tonight I brought you a roasted turkey breast and cut some up very small for you and you didn't want it. It was still nice and warm, too.

It smelled good. I really checked it out, but I didn't feel like eating it.

Karen Jo: I am glad that you ate more today than you did yesterday. You are still not eating enough, though. You were eating a can and a half of Stinky Goodness plus crunchies when you were gaining weight after you got settled in here. Today you have eaten about 3/4 of a can, plus some nibbles of crunchies. If I can get you back up to one can a day, I think your weight will at least stabilize. That's about what you were eating when you gained back a little after your first weight loss. One of the things that really scared me was that you were asking me for Temptations, then not eating them. Tonight you ate up the ones that you didn't eat earlier and asked for some more, which you also ate. I don't really want you filling up on Temptations, but any food I can get in you is good at this point.

I had one watery poop today, but made some more pudding poop. Mom thinks that may be because I didn't eat all my Benefiber until early this morning. I'm not giving Mom any trouble about the Interferon or the Pred and I even enjoyed my brushing this evening.

Karen Jo: That was bothering me, too. You walked away from your brushing last night and this morning and you usually love it. Maybe you were remembering that I hurt you once when I hit the mat with the brush and you weren't sure whether or not it would hurt again; or maybe you just weren't feeling good enough to enjoy it.

I am really glad that the nasty mats are gone. I just wish I felt more hungry. It's like I want to eat, but then I decide that I don't really. Then I go get another drink of water.

Karen Jo: I am very glad that you are still drinking so much water. It's good for you and keeps you from getting dehydrated. I feel much better tonight and I do know, really, that I am doing everything that I can to help you get better. Now, go eat some more, Herman.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Good News, Bad News

This is an older picture of me, but this is where I spent the day after going to the vet. I got weighed and had my mats shaved off. She got the big one near my hip and another smaller one by my elbow. My traitor Mom petted a D-O-G while we were there and I really told her off about it. When the vet was done with me, I showed my displeasure by making a poop puddle on the couch where the people are supposed to sit while talking to the vet. Everybody seemed happy that it was a pudding poop and not a watery poop. That kind of took the shine off being naughty by pooping on the couch. I didn't want to make them happy. The good news is that all my poops are pudding poops now and I got a new pro-biotic called Fortiflora that I seem to like better. When we got home, Mom opened a new can of Elegant Medleys and I hopped up on the counter and started eating it before she even finished mixing the Fortiflora in. I ate most of it right on the counter and I finished it off shortly after Mom put it on the floor where I usually eat. The bad news is that I haven't eaten much since. The really bad news is that I am losing weight.

Karen Jo: I'll say you are losing weight. You have lost two pounds in the last three weeks. You weigh less now than you did when I adopted you. I did notice that you were preferring your Elegant Medleys to your regular Stinky Goodness, but I thought that you were getting enough to eat. The vet lady did say that your big mat was really close to the skin and that it was probably hurting you, so I am hoping that you will feel better now. You now have a buffet out that most cats would envy and I even bought a roast chicken just for you. I hope that you will feel like eating some of it very soon. At least you still scratch for treats from time to time. I am also hoping that wolfing down your new pro-biotic like that just upset your tummy a little and that you will go back to eating more before the night is over. Your weight loss is really scaring me. I am very happy that we seem to be winning the poop war. The vet lady said that the change to pudding poop was a very good sign and that I should just keep on doing what I have been doing. She also said that I was taking very good care of you. That made me feel bad because I feel that if I were taking such good care of you, you shouldn't be losing so much weight. You got a new prescription for Prednisol and the vet lady mentioned that sometimes it helps to stimulate appetite. I am to get the pro-biotic in you any way that I can and that if you don't eat it all up, I am to dissolve it in watered down baby food and squirt it into your mouth.

I don't think I would like that much.

Karen Jo: I don't want to have to do it to you, but I will if I have to. I want you to get better so much that I will even "torture" you to make it happen.

Update at 12:45 am: Herman just ate some of his crunchies, so maybe he is feeling a little better and will eat more. I will put out fresh food for him before I go to bed and keep hoping that he will eat more.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Photo Tag

I got tagged by Elin a long time ago for the 10th photo game and my lazy Mom is just now getting around to doing it. The way you play is to go to your first photo folder and post the 10th picture and tell the story behind it, then tag five more players. Mom has lots of folders, but since I was the one tagged, this picture is from my folder. I was happily watching the birdies at the bird feeder when I heard Mom come up behind me, so naturally I turned to see what she was doing. It was the first time in ages that we'd gotten some decent sunshine, so I was really enjoying myself. It is really hard to remember who has gotten this tag and who hasn't, so I am going to invite anyone who wants to play along to just go ahead and do it.

I am happy to report that there has been some progress on the poop deck. Since Saturday, which is a week after I started eating most of my pro-biotic and all of my Benefiber, almost all of my poop has been of the thicker variety. No sign of solid poop yet, but this is the most progress that Mom has seen since this all started. Before I would have one thicker poop, then go back to the watery kind. Mom is very hopeful that things will continue to get better for me. I have been a bit naughty, though. The last two days I have eaten only half of my pro-biotic.

Karen Jo: And that may be why I found watery poop again this morning. I am going to try putting your pro-biotic in turkey baby food in the morning to see if I can get you to eat all of it again. You are going to the vet again on Thursday and we'll see what she thinks about getting the pro-biotic into you. I am very glad that you have made this much progress, though. I think you might be feeling just a tiny bit better, as you are getting a bit feisty about taking your Interferon. You actually sniffed a toy this morning, too. I don't get why you are spending so much time under the coffee table, though.

The wind is blowing hard and it makes strange noises. I feel safer under the table. Besides, my treats are in the table drawer and I like to be near them.

Karen Jo: I can understand that. You have been scratching for treats quite a bit. The vet has already said that the treats are fine, so I don't mind giving them to you.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Ha! Mom couldn't find any bunny ears for me, so I get a normal picture, just lying around and taking it easy. Sun spots were kind of hard to find today.

Mom used an old picture of one of her stuffies for her Easter picture. In case you can't quite tell, it's a duckling wearing bunny ears. Happy Easter, Passover, Spring Equinox, everybody!

Karen Jo: It amused me so much that I bought it for my Mom for Easter a few years ago. Mom liked seasonal stuffies very much.

I might be feeling just a little better today. After Mom ate her lunch I complained to her that I didn't like what I had on offer to eat. I sniffed at my Medley, then my Friskies, then my Stinky Goodness, then my I/D dry, but didn't eat any of them. I looked at Mom and made my complain meow. Mom got my extra food bowl and gave me some Purina Complete and I ate some of that. I was just being picky. By the time Mom got home I had eaten most of my Stinky Goodness and all of my Medley with my pro-biotic in it. I also made a big deal out of starving to death so she would feed me again right away. I didn't even want to wait for her to take her coat off. I haven't been so insistent about being fed right away for a few days.

Karen Jo: As odd as it seems, I was glad to see your picky behavior. You haven't seemed to care as much about your food lately. You haven't been waking me up for breakfast like you used to. It's as if you don't much care when you get breakfast these days.

Are you telling me that you miss being woken up before dawn to feed me?

Karen Jo: Yes, Herman. I never minded getting up to feed you. The only thing I minded was that when I did get up and fed you and you kept waking me up every hour afterward because you didn't like what I gave you.

I still meow at you to hurry up and get into the kitchen when you do get up.

Karen Jo: Yes, but you don't show much hustle going down the hall.

Not always, but I do hustle on some days. I sense that you might be planning on taking me back to the vet.

Karen Jo: You are almost out of your prednisol and I don't know if the vet wants to see you before deciding to prescribe you more or not. You also have a very bad mat on your right flank. It hurts you when I try to brush it out. I'll call the vet Monday morning and find out if you need to go in again.

I don't want any more fur stolen. I'm cold enough as it is with an almost bare chest.

Karen Jo: I'm sorry, Herman. I don't know how I missed this mat forming and I have been brushing you twice a day. I'll have to feel your fur more carefully and not just brush you and assume that it's taking care of preventing mat formation.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Taking My Medicine

Here I am enjoying a great sun spot in a picture my Mom took days ago. Lazy Mom hasn't been blogging for me in almost a week.

Karen Jo: Lazy Mom has been exhausted, slightly discouraged and SOOO tired of cold and snow. The day before yesterday it was finally warm enough to open the window for a little while. Yesterday a freezing wind came howling down from the higher mountains and this morning I woke up to below freezing temperature and got snow blown in my face as I walked to work.

Mom finally found something that I will eat with the Benefiber in it. It is Fancy Feast Elegant Medleys. She has been putting the pro-biotic in it, too, as I stopped eating the baby food. At least I wouldn't eat more than half of the baby food.

Karen Jo: This is where the slightly discouraged part comes in. I have been getting both your pro-biotic and Benefiber in you for almost a week and you show no improvement at all. If anything, you are acting like you feel even worse. You have been sitting around in meatloaf position a lot and you act like you feel cold. You found a new napping spot where I put a box in front of the heat register in your old safe room, so some of the heat is reflected back.

It makes a great mancat cave. The weather has been awful, so I want a warm spot to nap. I have pawed at my nip ball a couple of times.

Karen Jo: Yes, and I find that encouraging. However, you have also been walking around with your tail at half-mast a bit, too.

I never do that for long. Mostly I do it when I discover that there is nothing new in my food bowl or my treat dish and when I want you to pay attention to me. The tail goes right back up when you give me some petting.

Karen Jo: That's true. It's just that you never used to have your tail at half-mast, except when you walked to the door to see if it was me coming home. The tail always went up when you recognized me. Now sometimes the tail doesn't go up again until I pick up your food dish to feed you. At least I can be thankful that you always make your poop puddles in your litter box. I am also thankful that you eat most of your regular food and your new food with your medicines in it. I'll give it another week and if the poop puddles don't improve, it's back to the vet. What bugs me is that sometimes your poop will get just a little bit thicker, then go right back to being watery. It is sooo frustrating.