"I hate waiting."

As you might guess, I'm a bit impatient. I had hoped that picking up a pair of knitting needles would help me learn about the virtue of patience... but it seems I just want my projects to go along as quickly as possible.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


I know most pet people think that their lives revolve around their pets. Feeding them, getting them to potty, petting... catering to their every whim. Now, BEFORE the last couple of weeks, I would have said I was a good, but sort of negligent owner. I was happy to leave out the never ending buffet of kibble, scoop their litter box every day, and feed them stinky goodness at night. Being a grad student, our 'quality time' together consisted of me on the sofa with my laptop where a cat should be, and one cat sprawled out next to me (usually... it was Cosmo. He's perfectly happy to lay against my leg... you know... so long as he's touching the mommy. Of course, sometimes, the cat is better than the laptop.

Obviously, this pic was taken a few weeks ago.

He still is happy to let me use most of my lap.

For the next few weeks, my life is going to revolved around him. He's got an esophogeal tube (e-tube) in his neck, b/c he won't eat. See?

I have to feed him (using a syringe) 4 times per day. Between the feedings and the 8 medications he's on (most of which are administered through the e-tube). This procedure (of warming and mixing his food, preparing his medications, and then giving them to him) takes me about 5 hours per day. For breakfast and dinner, it takes me longer b/c of the meds. At lunch and late night snack, it takes less time b/c all I have to do is the food. But that's ok. I'm so happy to have him home and doing better, that I'm thinking of all this time as our 'quality time.'

We went back to the vet on Friday for a check up. They drew blood, and his blood sugar is still high, but his bilirubin levels have come down considerably. When he was admitted on Monday,3/10, his bilirubin level was 4.0 (it should be around 0.1-0.3 or something). On that following Saturday (3/15), it had skyrocketed up to 16!! On Tuesday of coming home (3/18), it had dropped to 10. On Friday, it was 2.8. All signs point to his liver still actually functioning... What I need him to do now is to show that he can eat on his own. And for his toileting to improve (he gets in, but doesn't turn around. This positioning results in his pee going OUTSIDE of the box. Very unfortunate. Luckily, I went and purchased a bag of wee-wee pads. Invaluable.

Here are some pics of print o the wave. There are kitty action shots (Danger... 'helping')

Here's a pic of a bigger section, where the stole is actually the focus of the picture.

And my sock in progress.

Pattern: Jaywalker by Grumperina, converted to toe up.
Yarn: Socks That Rock: Rare Gems
Needles: 2.5mm Addi Turbos, 100cm (magic loop)

I also have neglected to show off some Stash Acquisitions... from The Woolen Rabbit. I made the Print O The Wave from her laceweight, and about midway through, I was mourning the loss of this yarn in the stash. So... I bought more!

I bought 2 skeins of laceweight (in Raspberry and Thyme, and Blue Lagoon) and 2 skeins of superwash sock (in blue lagoon and some other purty color I can't remember right now).

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Welcome home, Cosmo!!

My baby is home. He's got 9 prescription meds, plus prescription food, but he's home. Let's hope his mommy can learn some patience real quick, b/c feeding him through his e-tube takes quite some time. Tonight's feeding already came back up (bad bad bad) but hopefully I'll take more care tomorrow morning. I have to give him precise amounts of meds through this e-tube, then his food (60 mls per feeding). I think it's like kitty ensure or something.

If anyone has any advice as to how slowly to go, or how to slow down, how to increase the chances of it staying down, I would greatly appreciate. He's always been a vomiter, but it's crucial at this point that he keep his food down.

I'm so happy that he's made it this far. The next 4-6 weeks will show us whether he can kick the fatty liver (hepatic lipidosis).

Thanks, many many thanks, to all of those who have reached out during this very difficult time. I've always talked about how much I love my cats, but you know what? Even I was surprised at exactly how much. Wanna call me crazy cat lady? That's me! And I'm proud of it.

So, for me, please give your furry loved ones an extra hug, pet, and kiss for me.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thankfully, close only counts with hand grenades and horseshoes...

First of all, thanks to all of you for the support, positive vibes, thoughts, prayers, etc etc. for my Cosmo. I was in tears just thinking of all the people pulling for my Cosmo. I tried to reply to everyone, but some of you well-wishers were either lurkers, or sent over by Chris and I didn't have your email addresses stored in my gmail account... so let me publicly thank all of you.

Since I posted Wednesday night, lots has happened...
News update: He did not have the procedure done. His enzyme levels spiked, indicating that something was wrong. They thought he might have an obstructed gall bladder, but the ultrasound showed that his gall bladder has decided NOT to play follow the leader, and is perfectly fine. I'm not sure I could've kept going if his gall bladder was also having problems (um, I'm not sure it would have been up to me, b/c the vet said that the only treatment for obstructed gall bladder is surgery, and he would not have survived). SO. Good news. No obstructed gall bladder. We only have to worry about the liver and the ketones, mostly. (supposedly the pancreatitis will resolve itself as the diabetes and liver are brought under control).

They inserted a feeding tube through his nose instead. They'll see if things improve and he gets strong enough for the other kind of feeding tube on Saturday. His ketone levels have improved considerably (the range is from 0-4. Should be at 0. he was at 4 when admitted. Currently is at 1). Additionally, he purred for me today!! I took a felted woolen mousie and his brush. He purred while I brushed him and gave him scritches, so I am heartily encouraged.

That was all yesterday... Today, his ketones level dropped down to zero, which is the normal, healthy level. YAY! The bad news was that his blood pressure has dropped. However, every visit, he's more alert. Every day, he's moving a bit more. A bit stronger. So the plan is to put the e-tube in tomorrow morning. He'll be able to get more nutrients into his body, which should speed up his rate of recovery.

Meanwhile, I feel like right now, all I ever talk about is my cats. And my cats' toilet habits. I was, of course, mostly worried to death about Cosmo, but began worrying about Danger too, since he decided to stop pooping. My babies are boys, and they usually don't let me forget it. They're regular. Like clockwork. Every day. They produce. Before I left for Chicago, Cosmo was the one who became a bit irregular (they have their own preferred deposit location for their goods. Upper left of the box is Cosmo's spot... right smack dab in the middle of the box is Danger's spot. Wow, that's SO TMI). Since Tuesday, I have not had to scoop. Every morning, I look hopefully for a deposit... as if it was a golden goose egg instead of a stinky stinky. I called the vet this morning, and he recommended some hairball remedy (since it's mostly mineral oil... gets the insides all lubed up) or some bran or metamucil to help with fiber content. I gave him a bit of the hairball remedy this morning, and he's finally left a little pile of love for me. Never thought I'd be so happy to see some poop. Aren't you glad you tuned into the Cosmo and Danger channel of geriatric cathood?

Seriously folks, thanks so much for all the good thoughts for my furbaby Cosmo. He's getting better!

ps. I finished and blocked Print O The Wave. LOVE LOVE LOVE it. Will find some sunlight and take pics. I SWEAR.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Please keep your paws/fingers crossed...

for my Cosmo.

I rushed him to the emergency vet on Monday night and he's been admitted for at least a week. I thought they'd diagnose some cold or something, but he's got DKA (some horrible form of diabetes that's gone untreated). After the first night, they also found that he has a fatty liver (I don't remember the medical name), pancreatitis, and today, a heart murmur. My baby can't catch a break. However, there are some signs of improvement. Now, he's only the D and the K, and he's using the litter box on his own. He's still extremely lethargic though. I'm asking for thoughts, prayers, or whatever positive 'energy' you can send out... they're doing a procedure tomorrow that pretty much determines if he'll actually fully recover.

Needless to say, I've been a hot mess all week. All the guilt and blame game that I can fit in between bouts of crying. Attempting to change my hectic schedule around his visitation hours. Trying really hard not to cry every time I think of him not making it. But his small improvements have me hopeful... b/c I just can't imagine not having my buddy around.

"Me and my mommy. Best buds."

Monday, March 03, 2008

Father Knows Best??

So, I'm not sure if I've ever shared my journey of how I came to be in a doctoral program. While finishing up my master's (also in Counseling), a couple of the professors I had taken many classes with were encouraging me to apply to doc programs. I decided to apply to a handful that year (since I also had to study for the comprehensive exam, and boards, and well, graduate), and thought to myself, "If you don't get in, you can apply again next year!") Lo and behold, I was accepted to 2 of the 4 programs to which I applied.

What I didn't do, during all of this, was share the news with my parents. I told my brother about applying and said, "I don't think I'll tell Mom and Dad, b/c then they'll just ask me why I'm not applying to other types of programs."

Then, when I started getting interviews, I didn't tell them I was interviewing, and said to myself "You can tell Mom and Dad after you get some offers."

Then, after getting offers, we (my brother and I) decided it would be best to just tell them after the fact. Fait accompli, if you will.

The convo went like this:

Me: Hi Mom.
Mom: Cyn-Cyn-a. What's going on?
Me: Well, I just accepted an offer to attend a doctoral program.
Mom: What? A doctoral program? Studying what?
Me: Counseling psychology.
Mom: Where?
Me: Boston College.
Mom: How long will it take for you to finish?
Me: Five years
Mom: (I hear laughing in the background).. hands off phone to my Dad.
Dad: Cyn-Cyn-a. What's this?
Me: I got into a doctoral program for counseling psychology.
Dad: where?
Me: Boston College.
Dad: How long will it take you to get the degree?
Me: Five years.
Dad: Laughing... five years? By then, you could've been a DOCTOR!!!
Me: sigh

Over on Carrie's blog, I found the "What Should You Be?" quiz.

You Should Be a Doctor

You are practical, sharp, and very intuitive.

Optimistic and energetic, you are a problem solver who doesn't get discouraged easily.

You are also quite compassionate and caring. You make people feel hopeful.

You're highly adaptable and capable. You do well with almost any curve ball life throws at you.

You do best when you:

- Are always learning new subjects

- Use your knowledge to solve problems

You would also be a good therapist or detective.