gothams3rdrobin: (tammie and symba)
It sounds really heartless, but for the last couple of days all that's been going through my mind - when I haven't been thinking about Symmie - is how I can go about preparing my flat for the arrival of new kittens. Obviously that won't actually happen for several months, but there suddenly seems so much to think about!

My flat is full of cables in tucked away places kittens like to go in. Plus there's plenty of surfaces to jump on that I'm going to have to tidy up and organise. I have no clue whatsoever about kitten-proofing. I haven't had to deal with kittens in fifteen years.

I keep googling kittens, and reading all the advice out there - one I looked at today even suggested my preferred brand of cat litter is unsuitable for kittens as they might mistake it for food?? :-/

Rowan asked me when we're going to get the kittens, as thinking about them has been helping him not miss Symmie too much, and I honestly couldn't answer. The flat feels so wrong without him that I would happily say "Right now!", but no. Somehow that feels wrong too, even though I've wanted some new kittens for years. We're also visiting my sister for the weekend at the end of September, and it would be cruel to get my neighbour to catsit for little fuzzballs that have only just arrived in their new home and would be totally confused by the change in carer.

The websites also advise not to get them at a time when there'll be lots going on, like near Christmas - which, of course, is when I also have to deal with Rowan's birthday so while Christmas is a quiet affair in this flat (aside from the appearance of that oh-so-fascinating Christmas tree) there may well be a bunch of eight/nine year olds descending on the flat.

Plus we're hoping to move soon. Argh! *sigh*

Sorry guys, I know this is just verbal diarrhoea. I just... there's no little furball to greet me when I get up in the morning. Or come keep me company when Rowan's in bed. Or tell me to sod off to my own bed when it gets really late.

I haven't wanted to get out of bed the last two mornings, 'cause he wouldn't be there. It hurt enough when he was in the vets. And I have to set the timer on the TV in my room, so I can have some background noise to focus on instead of the constant thoughts of Symba running through my head, or else I know I won't sleep.

Some people would think it ridiculous to feel this way about an animal, but I know at least some of you will understand. I'm going to get past it, I know that, but right now it just hurts too much.
gothams3rdrobin: (tammie and symba)
Even though I knew the end was coming, it somehow didn't seem real till I phoned the PDSA this morning and they told me there absolutely was no chance Symba could recover. So I arranged to go in that afternoon to say goodbye to him properly.

I'd arranged to take the day off work, 'cause I knew I wouldn't be able to cope, but I did pop down to attend the choir rehearsal at lunchtime as I desperately needed an hour's total distraction. I think that's what got me through the rest of the day, to be honest.

Mam and Dad met me afterwards, for moral support, and we made our way down to the PDSA. I let them come in with me to say goodbye to Sym, but asked to be left alone when it was actually time to put him to sleep. Mam was sobbing a little as they both petted him and the vet talked us through what was going on; she kept deferring to Mam and Dad, which was slightly irritating, but it was me who responded to her.

Mam and Dad went back out into the waiting area while I sorted out the paperwork. I then asked if I could pick Sym up - he was sprawled out on a blanket looking completely pathetic with one paw shaven, the other wrapped in gauze to keep the IV in place, and only attempted to get up twice the whole time - and cuddled him close to me as I had wanted to do for about two days. The vet then injected some saline into his IV to check the line was still okay after the position change, before administering the blue vial that would put him to sleep.

His little body relaxed almost instantly, very much like when a pet or a baby falls asleep while tucked into your shoulder. After a minute or so, the vet asked me to lay him back down so she could check his vitals, and confirmed he was gone. He looked for all the world like he was sprawled out in his bed or on the sofa, almost asleep but wanting to keep an eye on what the humans around him were up to incase he needed to move.

Took me quite a while to leave the examining room, as I couldn't stop stroking him. But eventually I did, and Mam and Dad took me into town for something to eat. When I got home, I threw out Symba's litter tray and the cushion from his bed, as I won't be needing them anymore. Everything else of his I'm going to wash and put aside until I'm ready to get another cat.

Told Rowan what had happened once I got him home from camp - he kept nagging me to tell him how Sym was all the way home, but I really didn't want to have that conversation on the walk back to the house. We had a long cuddle on the sofa and talked about how much we loved Symba and would miss him. Hopefully he'll not be thinking too hard about it when he goes back to camp on Tuesday - I'm glad he's got the weekend to process it, and so have I.

Thank you to everyone who sent me hugs and good wishes over the last couple of days. I really appreciated the support. *hugs you all*
gothams3rdrobin: (daffodil)

Symba, 1995-2010

Gonna miss him so much....

Might say more tonight once I've explained to the human ginger rugrat.
gothams3rdrobin: (tammie and symba)
It's been an absolutely horrible day.

Somehow managed to shut my brain off enough to get some sleep last night, but I really didn't want to get out of bed. 'Cause I knew that there was no chance of seeing Symba sitting outside my door waiting for me. He didn't do that every day, but when he didn't you could guarantee with about 95% predictability that he would still pop his head around the bathroom door a few moments later to demand attention and food.

The vet at the PDSA told me last night to give them a call around 10am for an update on him. This was going to be difficult as I start work at 10. Plus I really didn't want to get bad news at work and end up crying at my desk. Not that it made much difference; I barely avoided tearing up when my former opposite-neighbour Stephen asked after the cat as I was sitting down. I gave the smallest response I could, indicating with a gesture that I really didn't want to talk about it.

He tried again an hour or so later, when the rest of my team were on their scheduled coffee break, and I did quietly break down then as I explained the situation to him. Was extremely embarrassed, though, as there was a group of new employees shown around the floor at that point - hate to think what they must have thought, getting shown around the department for the first time only to see one of the staff crying at her desk! *sigh*

After we'd talked for a little, Steve went off and grabbed our manager out of a meeting to tell him what was going on with me. Richard then came over and told me if I needed to go home I could. He lost a family member to cancer just last week so, even though there is some difference, he did understand how I felt. I decided to stay for a bit, though, as I had arranged a rehearsal for the girls in my choir and I didn't want to let down the handful that were likely to turn up. Plus, singing provides endorphins that can get you through times like this, and I know that works for me.

Made it through the entire shift in the end, for which Richard was grateful. Stephen came with me when I went to the chill-out room to call the PDSA around eleven or so; the vet said that Symba had a good night, and had eaten some breakfast, so they were looking to do some tests this afternoon to get an idea of his overall condition. She sounded quite positive, so I allowed that and the rehearsal to boost my spirits till it was time to call them back again at 5. Finished work at my scheduled time for once - not that I'd got all my work done... - and went to Starbucks for a peppermint hot chocolate and a slice of lemon cheesecake, since I hadn't eaten more than an apple and banana all day.

Spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around the shops before heading back home to call the PDSA again. They'd had a few emergencies during the day, so they hadn't completed the ward rounds when I called, so I had to phone them back after 6.15.

Once I'd collected Rowan from camp and done tea, I called them once more. The woman I spoke to explained to me that the tests had shown Symba's kidneys have completely ceased functioning, and he is in a very bad way. She even told me he's depressed, which absolutely broke my heart, to think my little rugrat is in a strange place without me, and completely miserable.

Anyway, the prognosis is that he's not going to recover and it's probably best that he go to sleep. They're keeping him overnight again tonight, and I'm to call them again tomorrow to discuss where we go from here.

I really, really wish he'd just gone to sleep Monday night and not woken up again. The idea of having to put him down is just killing me, even if it is the kindest thing to do.


Aug. 17th, 2010 09:33 pm
gothams3rdrobin: (tammie and symba)
So, got Sym down to the PDSA's PetAid hospital down the docks this evening. I knew it was going to be bad when it wasn't any real struggle to haul the cat carrier around on multiple buses, then under the railway bridge to the hospital. It's scary how much weight the little fuzzball has lost, considering a couple of years ago they wrote in his notes that he was obese....

When I got home to collect him for his appointment, he was still cuddled up on his cat bed where I placed him the night before. He had gotten up out of it a couple of times, 'cause I left his food and water next to it before going to bed, and there was a piece of food on the carpet, plus he got up to eat his breakfast this morning. Only had a few mouthfuls, but he did at least show an interest.

This evening, while I was making sure his carrier was clean, he made his way into the kitchen to his litter tray, so he could have a pee. But then he couldn't seem to get himself back out of it and would have ended up sitting in amongst his soiled litter if I hadn't reached in and lifted him out. He then sat right down where I placed him and didn't move. I went to grab the towel he'd been sleeping on, to line his carrier comfortably, only to find it soaked in urine so I used my old woollen poncho that I'd draped over him to keep him warm last night. Placed Sym inside the box and he just sat there meeping mournfully while I put the lid on it and fastened it up.

So, when we got to the PDSA, the vet examined him, making special note of the condition of his bowel, kidneys and thyroid. There was no obvious blockage in his bowels (which didn't surprise me considering the litter tray over the last few days), and the thyroid didn't seem enlarged, but she thought his kidneys seemed very small too. And the urine sample he unwittingly provided was incredibly dilute. This led to a diagnosis of probable kidney failure, which she didn't think he is likely to recover from.

He was so weak and dehydrated he stayed sat on the examination table and made absolutely no effort to get down. He's usually a good boy for the vet, once you coax him out of the carrier, but I do usually still need to hold him gently to discourage any attempt to leave. But tonight I didn't need to touch him at all, he just lay there.

Anyway, they've kept him in overnight on saline, to see if they can rehydrate him and to do some tests, but they really don't think he's going to get better. I have to call them tomorrow to see how he is, and I expect they're going to tell me I need to come in to say goodbye.

It's breaking my heart just being home without him. It hurts to think that, after fifteen years, he won't be pacing back and forth at my feet first thing in the morning while I try to use the bathroom, begging for a fuss. Nor will he be sitting on the back of the sofa by my head, nagging at me to stop looking at the computer and skritch him already! *sigh*
gothams3rdrobin: (tammie and symba)
I seriously had my doubts Symba would still be with us when I got up this morning...

Last night I heard quiet crying that sounded like it came from outside. I was puzzled, but didn't think anything of it since as far as I knew Sym was dozing under one of my chairs. Then I heard it again and decided to check on Sym, but he wasn't there.

Found him a little while later when I heard another cry coming from Rowan's room; he was trying to snuggle in a corner, and was obviously feeling very sorry for himself. I brought him back out into the main room and he went and snuggled on his cat bed - I got a blanket to cover him with 'cause he felt very cold, and he let me put it over him up to his shoulders. That in itself is unusual for him.

I thought it odd enough on Sunday that he tolerated me cwtching up on the bed with him held close to me, though he didn't stay for more than about ten minutes.

His little meows are quite high and mournful at the moment, and I was very reluctant to go to bed last night.

Right now he's back on his bed again - he's barely moved in the last twelve hours - snuggled under the blanket. I'm trying to get hold of the PDSA to get him checked out, but the number's constantly engaged. Thankfully my manager didn't make a fuss when I called him to say I doubted I'd be at work today - I did say I would try, if I can get a late appointment, but I don't know if I will. He'll probably ask me to work the time back, but that's not too hard right now since Rowan's at camp till five thirty.

*sigh* I wonder if this is it. He's already outlived Tammie by about a year.
gothams3rdrobin: (tammie and symba)
Sym's really not himself lately... *sigh* Over the weekend he started whining mournfully when presented with his bowl of IAMs and, when he deigned to eat some in my presence, continued to grumble as he ate. So I thought maybe he's gone off it, or it's hurting his jaws or something. I did try adding some water to it once or twice, as the packet says you can do that, but he still only ate about a third of the bowl, if that.

Picked up some tins of really soft food in gravy, gently working it into meals since he'd been on IAMs; while he initially attacks it with gusto, after a few minutes he stops and just sits by the bowl like he wants to guard it. He's also kinda vocal if I come near him while he's eating - not in a threatening sense, but worried. He's not really eating this food either, mostly just licking up the gravy, which was why I put him on IAMs in the first place and he's been fine up till now.

Watching him sit down on the floor is kinda worrying too, 'cause it takes him a couple of minutes to settle all his limbs comfortably :-(

His vocalisations have been different as well; he sounds somewhat unhappy, even when getting attention. His purrs have become overlayed with a grumble, even when we're having a cwtch.

And to top all that off? I invited him to come join me on the sofa a little while ago, and when he tried to haul himself up his backlegs didn't have any power in them. First time I've seen that happen to him - he's been getting himself up on the window ledge and my desk chair in stages for some time, but my sofa's quite low.

I'm keeping an eye on him at the moment. I have a week off work coming up soon, right after payday, and I can arrange to take him down the PDSA for a checkup. It's kinda heartbreaking watching him, as he's definitely feeling his age now; I don't recall Tammie getting like this, but then again he died when Rowan was thirteen months old so perhaps my attention was somewhat diverted back then.
gothams3rdrobin: (tammie and symba)
I just had to evict a very pretty, but unfortunately very scared young cat out of my flat.

It was a tuxedo, very much like [ profile] alryssa's Vicky and Zinda, and it quitely padded in and curled into the corner of my TV bench, alongside the patio door. I just sat and watched, as I wanted to see how Symba would react to another cat in the place - particularly a kitten. I figure it must be about teenaged, as it was quite long while obviously still very young.

Sym mostly kept about a yard between him and the kitten (I have no idea of the gender), and peered out the door to see if he could spot the mother. Reminded me of the first time I took Tammie out into the garden as a very small kitten and this black and ginger tom backed himself against a wall when Tamm approached him, just incase his mother came howling! *laughs*

Anyway, while Sym was obviously unsettled by the intruder, he didn't go all "Get out of my territory, rah!", coming to me for reassurance instead. The kitten was fascinated by this, but would hiss anytime Sym looked like he was going to approach.

Eventually I had no choice but to let the kitten know it was time to leave. However, this particular kitten was not about to go quietly! Instead of running out the door at my first approach, he remained curled up and hissed at me. I didn't have a good angle to grab him with the cat towel, so I hoped that some extremely gentle prodding with one of Rowan's long plastic bats would give him the right incentive to leave.

Hoo boy was I wrong!

About half an hour later, I had tried everything I could to push him out from where he'd dug himself behind the TV bench. I did finally manage to pull it out enough and wear him down enough that I was able to grab him with the towel without getting clawed at. I held him for a couple of minutes, gently talking to him about acceptable behaviour when visiting another cat's home, and managed to stroke him without him hissing. Though he was shaking a bit. And he hissed a bit when Rowan approached, but maybe if he'd held his nerve long enough to stroke his head that would have passed.

I deposited him on the wall outside, but he jumped back down onto the patio and made moves to try and come back in. Rowan held the door shut while I stroked and talked to him some more. He was quite friendly outside, and didn't seem to hold my relentless prodding against me! :-)

Rowan was getting quite distressed, thinking that the hissing and spitting indicated I was hurting the poor thing, and he really wanted to keep it. I have no idea if it belongs to anyone, though, plus I'm not sure how Sym would like that - it certainly didn't want to try and fit in with the existing residents.



Apr. 8th, 2009 09:54 pm
gothams3rdrobin: (Default)
Sym's trying valiantly to get some sleep in his kitty basket tonight, despite the fact his cushion is drying on the radiator.

However... )
gothams3rdrobin: (Default)
So...finally managed to get Sym down to the Vee Eee Tee this morning.

Read more... )
gothams3rdrobin: (Default)
I've been watching a few new shows lately which I have really enjoyed. My taste in TV often dismays my friends, but hey! :-)

On Sunday nights there's 'The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency' - based on the books by Alexander McCall Smith, and set in Botswana. It is funny, clever, and stupid cute! I frequently wish Mma Ramotswe (the detective the stories revolve around) would get over herself and accept Rra Matakoni's affections.

And on Tuesday nights there's 'All The Small Things' - set around a Catholic church in rural England, and a woman's efforts to recover from being dumped by her stupid-ass husband for a scheming younger model. Her husband is the choir master at the church, with his slut of a new girlfriend the new 'star' of the group (and, unbeknownst to him, is stalking their new, completely unorthodox minister) - many things occur and the main character gets dragged into directing a ragtag group of musicians; her autistic son, his classmates and some of the disenchanted members of the choir - to the disgust of the husband and his bitch (sorry, I'm supposed to hate her! *grins*) and the miserable stalwarts of the church committee, and the bafflement of the departing minister. The new minister is, of course, all for it, and they're setting the scene for romantic-type stuff between the two characters - I smell much angst, and I know I'm going to love it! *grins*

Another reason why I love it is, predictably for me, completely Who related; the lead is played by Sarah Lancashire, a fantastic actress who played the villain in the first episode of Season Four, with the Adipose (sorry, can't be bothered to google tonight...) The new minister is the guy who played Adam in Torchwood season two, and the main 'villain' from the church committee is the almost-legendary (in the UK) actress who played Margaret Blaine the Slytheen! *chuckles* Margaret and Adam butting heads - I love it!

And this weekend? There's a special set of Red Dwarf episodes on Dave! Can't wait.

Quick Symba update )
gothams3rdrobin: (Default)
Sym's in a bit of a state today...

Cutting so as not to ick anyone )
gothams3rdrobin: (tammie and symba)
There's a cat that lives around here - upstairs, I think - that we see from time to time. I think he'd be described as a 'tuxedo' cat, with his mostly black coat and white chest and feet. First time we saw him was not long after we moved in, when he wandered through the patio door and stretched himself out across the living room carpet like he was lord of the manor. Symba was so unsettled about the move that he merely hovered in the doorway to the hall and did nothing.

Three years on, this same cat decided today that he wanted to get into the building and would be making use of our open windows to achieve his goal. Initially he tried to get into Rowan's room, but Rowan shouted him back out again. So then he decided to use the living room window instead - only to encounter Symba, who'd been dozing on his cushion under the dining table.

Man...the resulting fight was very loud! I don't think I've ever actually witness Symba defend his territory before, though I did hear it at night a couple of times back at Mam's house, with fur all over the hallway carpet as physical evidence. Though he and Tammie had been known to let some of the neighbourhood cats sleep under the dining table from time to time.

I was eventually able to let the cat out through Rowan's bedroom window, since they'd taken the fight in there by the time I'd unlocked the patio door. He was making all sorts of wounded, offended noises, but seemed grateful for the escape route. I later found one of his claws on the living room carpet *winces* It certainly wasn't one of Symba's...

Sym was pretty shook up after - wouldn't you be, getting into a fight when you're fourteen years old? I was oddly proud of him though, defending his home after the way he'd been so meek before, so I went and got him an extra bowl of food and water. He tucked in to it under the dining room table, so he could feel safe, though he was still shaken up enough to be almost frantically trying to hide it any time he wanted to walk away.

He's now curled up by my feet on the sofa, having a snooze. :-)
gothams3rdrobin: (tammie and symba)
I'm not normally anti-Ginger, but is it a genetic thing that both my son and my cat are demanding, irritating little darlings?

Since those many, many trips to the Vee Eee Tee, Sym's been very difficult to deal with at mealtimes. He's back on wet cat food, for the first time since Tammie passed away, and he's quite happy. Trouble is, he's following me around demanding more within minutes of cleaning out his bowl.

I tried putting down one small bowl of dried per day, so he could snack as and when. While this did stop him constantly nagging, it also stopped him eating at all! All he would do is lick the gravy out of his bowl.

So now he's back on three servings a day, and he's driving me mad! He doesn't leave me alone any time I'm on my feet, yelling at me constantly, and he just now ran up to the sofa and reached out with claws extended to pat my arm for attention. He then proceeded to tell me in no uncertain terms just what it is he wants (like he expects me to understand him!) and, when I showed no signs of getting up to tend to his demands, flounced off in a huff.

Le sigh

I haven't forgiven you for falling off the back of the sofa in your sleep and scratching the hell out of my feet, mogg!
gothams3rdrobin: (tammie and symba)
Cutting for feline TMI )

All this meant that I couldn't make it to the team meal in Varsity this afternoon - which was a shame, as it was being paid for through the Team Incentives fund. I would have had to take Rowan with me, as Mam was working this afternoon, but the management were fine with that and kids are allowed in the pubs till about eight or nine in the evening - especially since the smoking ban came into force back in April. Which, frankly, has been a godsend; nights out and team meetings in the pub are now much more pleasant. The only downside is the increase in people crowding in the doorways trying to get their nicotine fix.

I did, however, manage to make it down to the bowling alley. We played two games, and I was pretty poor tonight. Mind you, I'm used to playing with the bumpers up these days! *grins* After that, most of the team headed off, so I wandered down to the cinema in the complex - the one I used to work at - to see if there were any good films on. The next one I wanted to see was not for fifty minutes, so I decided not to bother. I would also have liked to call into the Oriental Garden for some chinese, but I didn't feel like going in Billy-no-mates. So I headed down to the Tesco in Mermaid Quay to pick up Sym's food, taking a stroll down Roald Dahl Plass on the way. It's really nice after dark, and surprisingly quiet. I could hear the pontoons creaking out on the water.

Rowan's staying over his Nan's tonight. As a result I'm somewhat reluctant to go to bed - it's so damn quiet without him in the house, even when he would be in bed asleep.
gothams3rdrobin: (Josh sleepy)
Today was Rowan's last day at Dragon Camp - at least for this year. It's cost me a small fortune, but he's enjoyed himself so I guess it was worth it. I'm certainly not going to miss trekking through the estate every morning; UWIC's Cyncoed Campus is on the opposite side of my district, and there are a lot of little hills around here, so it was exhausting. I'm just glad we managed to find a reasonably short route to take, cutting through a fence at the back of the campus to get to the athletics centre. Otherwise, the alternative route would have taken us an hour and was even more exhausting.

Would have been nice if they hadn't installed extra security half-way though the summer, cutting off my shortcut through the college to the bus stop at the front of the campus. I've had a few close shaves, having to dash around from the back. Since I wasn't able to leave Rowan at camp before 8.45, the only bus I could get to work was at 9.08 - of course, most of the time we got to the camp late anyway.

Sym's continuing to need visits to the vet - his check up seemed to go okay yesterday, but he's not passed any solids since Saturday, maybe Sunday. So they want to see him again tomorrow to monitor him, which is a PITA as I'm supposed to be meeting up with my colleagues for a team meal, followed by bowling. I can still make the bowling, but I'd have to miss the meal to make the appointment. I'm keeping an eye on him, and if he does manage to go, I'll call and reschedule for monday *crosses fingers* The vet said it would be okay to do that, if he does.

Anyone have any good recipes for feeding cats that need a bland diet? Other than baked chicken fillets, Sym's not touched anything I've offered him all week.

*sighs* Rowan's camped out under a duvet on the sofa again, watching Nick Jr Classics....if I ever see another episode of Rainbow it'll be too soon - I stopped liking that show when I was a kid. Kinda amusing to think the poor sod who hosted it is now driving a taxi - though I feel mean about feeling that way.
gothams3rdrobin: (tammie and symba)
Had to take Symba to the vet on Friday morning - the reason is somewhat TMI so I won't elaborate, but there was a reoccurance of a problem and he was noticeably unhappy, so off he went. He's thirteen years old now, with an alleged heart condition, so I take no risks.

It wasn't fun getting him to the PDSA hospital down the Bay on the bus, as he whined most of the way, but he was a lot calmer on the way home. Possibly because he knew the ordeal was nearly over - he got almost frantic once he recognised the area around our flat. Gotta do it all over again after work on Wednesday, for a check-up, but there's a chance I'll be able to get a lift home again with Mam since she'll need to collect Rowan for me.

It turns out the poor love's developed colitis, so he's on meds and a restricted, bland diet. This presents something of a problem for me, as I have to try and work out what to feed him! So far I've given him a very tasty-looking mix of rice, baked haddock and scrambled eggs (though without any milk or butter as he's lactose intolerant) - I had a \O/ moment when he sniffed at it and took several bites! lol! But after a minute or two he started following me around asking where on earth his real food had gone. *chuckles* He's still whining at me right now.

It always amuses me how you can't get them into their travel box for love nor money when you're setting out and yet, when the exam's over, all you need to do is ask them to go back in and they do it straight away! And unlike my beloved Tammie, Symba never sulks after a visit to the Vee Eee Tee - he'll follow me around, rubbing against my legs and talking to me in a normal tone of voice instead of his usual whine. It's like he's saying "I didn't like that, but you really do love me don't you?" Heh.

I make no secret of the fact I loved Tammie more - I had him when I was ten, and we grew up together for the next fifteen years. Symba was brought into the family to keep him company, but at age eight, Tammie was too old really. Sym's also a rescued cat who's not all that emotionally stable, so he's hard work. But regardless of that, and all the hassle he gives me, I genuinely do love him. Always will.


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