Six Toes

Six Toes
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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Six Toes Improving

Well, it's been a week and a half or so since Six Toes started taking more of his medicine and focused on being as healthy as he can be.  He sleeps a bit more with the new regimen, since his meds make him tired.  Once rested, however, he's still the same old Six Toes, energetic and wrestling with his brother.  From time to time he plays with our rabbit, Isabelle, whom he hasn't quite figured out yet as an animal. He knows she's not a cat, but he can't figure out what she is or if she's playing when she hops away or thumps her feet. 

He was a little stressed out when we had some construction and several strange men walking around his house.  He watched them with interest for a while and then decided after all the strange noises and shouting he'd hide under the bed.  There he remained until the workmen left.

Other than that day, he's been one relaxed and laid back kitty.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Six Toes Gets His Diagnosis

Today Six Toes visited the cardiologist.  I know, it's hard to believe that such things are possible.  Anyhow, away we went to the vet.  Six Toes loved the doctor, who saw right off the bat he had personality plus.  He listened to his heart and then looked up at me. 

"That's loud," he said.  "Maybe we should do an ultrasound so I can see what's going on."

Six Toes did NOT like the ultrasound.  He cried from the time they took him away until the time the brought him back.  I think he was afraid they weren't going to bring him back.

"Well, I can tell you what's wrong with Six Toes," the doc said.  "He's got HCM."

HCM is short for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.  It's a disease of the muscle in the heart in which the muscle gets progressively thicker until the heart can no longer work properly.  Because Six Toes is a mutant, it's appropriate that HCM is a genetic disorder.  It's not something they can cure, but they can give him medicine to help his heart work better, such as the Atenolol he's been on. It's rare to have HCM show up in a young cat, which makes Six Toes even more special.

The doc wants to see Six Toes back every six months, just to make sure he's doing ok.

Six Toes cried all the way home, but he sure was happy to come back.  The first thing he did was to curl p in his favorite chair and go to sleep.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

We're Goin' To See The Cardiologist....

Well, after a loooong delay...too long actually....Six Toes has his appointment with the cardiologist in September!  I had no idea there was such a thing-cat cardiologists-until I did a little research.  Here's what I found out:

For many states you can count on one hand the number of board certified ACVIM (American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine) cardiologists.  Some states like California have quite a few vets around who have this specialty and you can find a list of cardiologists for each state here. Cardiovascular diseases are often found in cats, with the most common killer being myocardial disorders.  Cats can also have Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM), Feline Restrictive Cardiomyopathy (RCM) and dilated cardiomyopathy, just to name a few.  For some conditions only medication is indicated, however, in more severe cases surgery might be the only option open to an owner.  Just like humans, cats can have pacemakers and even coronary bypass surgery although it's extremely rare that such procedures are done!  It's amazing what's possible with today's veterinary skills combined with technology, even at this rudimentary stage surgically.

I don't know what the cardiologist will tell us about Six Toes, but I'm so hopeful that he'll be ok on just medicine.

I'll let you know how he fairs next blog entry.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Six Toes' Good Life

Right now, Six Toes is a very happy kitty!  He feels special now that he gets a special treat every day to help him stay healthy, along with his medicine.  He's gotten a lot of attention and I swear his purrs are louder than ever!  It's great to see him so content, with his glossy fur and cute as a button smile.

We haven't seen the cardiologist yet, but the appointment is coming up.  I sure hope there's something they can do to help Six Toes stick around for several more years.  He's a great cat and so full of love.  I'm glad we rescued him and his brother!

He's enjoying the weather right's a little cool, but just right.  He's lying on a a comfy blanket near the window, dozing.  What an awesome life my little guy has!

Life is good!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Happy Birthday, Six Toes

It's official...tomorrow is the first birthday of Six Toes!  I can't believe he's made it this far, despite his heart problem.  To celebrate, I'm giving him a can of his favorite cat food Natural Balance Salmon, laced with a L-lysine HCI supplement to help him stay healthy and happy (Viralys).

Here's a little treat for all you Six Toes fans out there:

We're still a few weeks away from the visit with the cardiologist.  Cross your fingers we can find a way to help Six Toes!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Six Toes Nearly Does Himself In....

There's one thing you need to know about cats...they're sneaky.  Too sneaky.  Around here it's been hot, with temps in the high 90's and super-high humidity.  Not good weather for us humans and certainly sucky if you happen to be a cat.  Even worse if you're a cat with a bad heart. 

Yesterday, Six Toes decided to be man enough to go outside without us knowing about it.  Somehow, he snuck outside while we were doing something else and we didn't realize he was gone.  We heard him crying as he does when he gets himself stuck somewhere in the house...usually our cupboards in the kitchen.  So we started looking for him.  We searched and searched and couldn't figure out where he was....until we got to the front door.  There on the deck was Six Toes and he was breathing extremely hard.  It was clear he was way overheated. 

We grabbed him and quickly got him to the basement (it's cooler there) with a fan on him.  We gave him water.  We got wet towels to cool his neck and face.  All the while, he was panting, tongue way out, his breathing fast and shallow. 

My god.  He could have died from heatstroke or caused himself a heart attack!!!!

Sometimes, being too clever as a cat can kill.  I should have noticed he was gone way before he started crying.

Thank god he's okay today.  But it sure was scary.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Six Toes Vet Woes

It was time to take Six Toes to the vet for a check-up on all his problems, so I got him a new carrier for the occasion.  He seemed to like it, going in and sitting in the box...not much stresses him out in our home.  When he gets into a moving car, suddenly all bets are off and he's terrified.  All the way to the vet there were little cries of fear...he doesn't like being driven anywhere.  We tried to keep him calm so he wouldn't hurt himself or cause himself a heart attack.  Heck, I even gave him a small piece of crisp bacon (his favorite) just to distract him, but it did nothing to alleviate his transportation nightmare.

Once there, we let him out and he explored the office, crying just a little and trying to spray everything (he can't do it because he's fixed).  Nerves, I guess.  Of course he came up to me more than once, head-butting me and rubbing on my legs just to let me know he belongs to me and to remind me to bring him back home.  The assistant came in and wrapped him in a warm towel so they could draw his blood.  I waited and then they brought him back, still chipper and alert.  "We'll have the results back in a couple of days."  So we left and I drove him home, where he happily got out and promptly laid down for a cat nap.

Transition to today:  I get the call.  "Well, we got back Six Toes test results....overall they look pretty good BUT there's some odd things going on with his blood platelets that we'd like to have checked out...."  The next thing I know, we're given the number to a cat cardiologist to schedule an appointment and told to pick up a supplement....a kind of protect his immune system.  The vet said that it might be necessary to put him on Plavix, which is something humans take to prevent blood clots for those at risk of heart disease and stroke.  Poor Six Toes.

I suppose some folks out there are thinking "My gosh!  If it's that bad maybe you should put him down.  After all, he's just a cat."  But he isn't just a cat....he's Six Toes.  He's the little fella that greets me every day and always asks for a treat with those sparkle-filled eyes, full of mischief.  He knocks things down and gets into trouble racing around with his friends playing.  How can I say no?

So I guess I'll be on the phone tomorrow scheduling an appointment.  He just celebrated his first birthday....he's made it a year so far.  We keep hoping and praying to have him in our lives just a little longer...he's so darn cute.

Pray for Six Toes.  He needs it.