Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ahi, Now Our Sweet Angel

Update 5/23/10--Stefani's thank you letter. How sweet of her to send it. ************************************************************************** Update 3/23/10--Stefani wrote this final farewell on the FDMB to Ahi.
Thanks to Ahi's FDMB family - Ahi's Service Hello my beloved friends. When Ahi was laid to rest on Saturday, there was a bright orange FDMB bracelet sent by Cheryl and Winnie that was placed in his casket with him; beautiful flowers from our thoughtful Hope (Hope&Baby, who also was so wonderful and sent flowers in remembrance of Toonces as well, who is buried in the same pet cemetery), our friend Larry (Larry and Kitties) who came with his absolutely dear, sweet, wonderful dog (Raggy?) who kept giving me nurturing hugs of concern when I was weeping . . . So the FDMB was very much present, and also so many of you who wrote me and were there in spirit, thinking of Ahi and sending him off with your love. I also put in Ahi's casket a flower from Hope's arrangement, the toy (the one he was playing with in the video) that he liked, some of my hair and his "little brother" Quixote's hair and whisker . . . a note to him, and two poems/prose, one which I found, and one which I wrote for him that morning. Of course he is going into the cemetery as "Ahi Olsen" so I wrote him this poem that I read to him: I Give you My Name I give you my name In death You are not some “unowned” cat Someone’s throw away I give you my name I lay you in a place of honor With the most beloved of my life For in a few short months Your huge spirit earned a place right there I give you my name It is my honor to be associated With the likes of you Funny, smart, determined, loving, resourceful, brave I will never know the stories of your life Save its last chapter Thank you for spending it with me. What a light you were! So many smiles you brought to my face! I am your person, as much as anyone must have been How loved you were! How missed you are! You are written on my heart, forever So I give you my name. The other poem I put in there with him was something I found online: A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam And for a brief moment its glory and beauty belong to our world But then it flies again And though we wish it could have stayed... We feel lucky to have seen it. -- Author Unknown I did briefly think about taking pictures, especially of the flowers, but I took pictures at Toonces funeral and I remember that afterwards, they disturbed me, so I didn't. I really miss Ahi. His new little brother/admirer, Quixote, still looks for him. It is very sad. I did take a few flowers from the arrangements you sent, Hope, just three stems I took, the rest were set at the graves. I will try to take a picture of them in the vase before they wilt. It was wonderful because one arrangement had those beautiful orange gerber daisies which matched the orange feline diabetes bracelet Cheryl sent. Thank you guys. Really. I am so very sorry I wasn't able to give Ahi more time. But I am NOT sorry I got to be with him. He was such a joy, a true complete joy to be with. The hardest part about knowing such a great cat is how much you miss them. I won't forget him.
********************************************************************************* Update 3/3/10--A very sad day. Today we lost Ahi. The loving and lovable Ahi is an angel. A week ago, Ahi was fine. Today, Stefani had to have him euthanized. It was with deep sadness that she made this choice. Thank you Stefani, for giving Ahi a great four months that he otherwise would not have had. And thank you for giving him a family, with cats (some more accepting than others), with which to share his final months. Ahi quickly progressed through blindness into trouble mobilizing to not eating. He saw an opthalmologist yesterday and a neurologist today. The neurologist's best guess is that Ahi had a rapidly progressing pituitary tumor. Stefani made the hardest and kindest decision to end Ahi's confusion and suffering. He passed to the rainbow bridge lying on her chest, on the heart that loved him so. Bless you, Stefani, for taking in the tough ones. I am so very sorry your big heart keeps getting broken. I have lit a candle for the beloved Ahi, finally home at the bridge and sending you in spirit all the love he gave you in body. Ahi's GA post on the FDMB is here. I memorialize here what Sheila said. I wish I had had such profound words.
Today was, unfortunately, already written when you gave him a home, but he could not have found a better place in this world to spend his last months.
***************************************************************** Videos of Ahi Meeting one of Stefani's other cats. Playing with a mouse on a string. ******************************************************************************** Update 1/26/10--Stefani posted on the FDMB. When last I posted, I was overjoyed that Ahi had been diagnosed with eosinophilic granuloma, as opposed to cancer. I started Ahi on 2.5 mg zyrtec twice a day to see if it would help his eosinophilic granuloma (trying to avoid steroids) but it made him puke. A day or so after stopping zyrtec, he stopped puking. I took him in for his follow up visit, and the vet said that the lesion on his tongue is better, and the lesion on his gums is about the same. He has been doing this weird gulping/burping thing that looks a little bit like reflux after he eats, so the vet said to put him on 2.5 mg pepcid ac 1x a day. It seems to have helped some but it hasn't gotton rid of it. We are trying "doing nothing" about his eospinophilic granuloma for now and see if his improved condition causes it to improve. We are also not doing anything about his borderline hyperT for now since the numbers are still low. He has gained nearly a pound! He is now 10 pounds, 13 oz. The shelter vet said that for his frame he could easily go up to 15. I think he would be too chubby! I think 12 or 13 would be good. The vet also removed what appears to be a cyst on his back and sent it for biopsy, but it didn't look like anything bad. So, as far as getting him medically stable is concerned: He still isn't entirely off insulin, but needs only .25u somewhere between twice a day and every three days. Not a regular schedule, but that's the way it is. We are not doing anything about suspected borderline hypert. We are not doing anything about the eosinophilic granuloma right now. Waiting for biopsy of cyst. He is due back in a month for a check up to see if the eosinophilic granuloma gets better as he gains weight. She thinks he's somewhere between 8 and 13 years old or so. He is slightly less anxious about feeding now. (He doesn't quite attack me at feeding time! LOL). He has met all my cats and he is not very aggressive, he pretty much just goes about his business. He is a lovely cat especially as he puts on weight. I don't want a 5th cat, so I am hoping when I finally post "Ahi is ready for adoption" (in a month or so I think) some wonderful person will come forward, because I am besotted with him and letting him go will be super hard but I just keep repeating the mantra: 5 is too many 5 is too many 5 is too many. And for me it is. I have to tell you, I cannot imagine anyone spending time with this handsome, funny, affectionate, communicative big old boy without being totally in love. Really, even though he will come with some issues, he is so very worth it. Truly one of the Great Cats. No Joke. He is unbelievable. So here is some video to show you how lovable he is. The first one is Ahi getting introduced to my cat Miracle on New Year's Eve for the 1st time. So, then this other thing happened: I was sweeping the floor, and noticed Ahi "stalking" the broom. I wondered if he'd go for some play, and don't you know it -- this old boy has some kitten in him yet. He is adorably playful. ******************************************************************** Update 1/4/10--Posted by Stefani on the FDMB.
AHI BIOPSY RESULTS NEGATIVE!!!!! - Eosinophilic granuloma I am so full of glee right now I don't know what to do!!!! Ahi's biopsy results were to everyone's surprise NEGATIVE for cancer!!!!! The pathologist said: "The histological features are consistent with feline eosinophilic granuloma complex." Ahi is acting fine although his mouth bugs him and I will be looking for some ALTERNATIVE to steroids to treat the eosinophilic granuloma complex. (Steroids are the usual treatment for this) If anyone has suggestions on the feline eosinophlic granuloma complex treatments please let me know. He will start treatment (methimizole) for hyperT this week. Vet said he is "not bad" but it is in the range. I hope he tolerates it (Toonces could not). As his general health status improves these lesions may get better. We will see. HAPPY DANCES FOR EVERYONE!!!!
******************************************************************** Update 12/30/09--Posted by Stefani on the FDMB.
Ahi Update, Post Vet Visit and a BIG THANK YOU TO ANGELS! Friends, First I must say how deeply grateful I am to all who have contributed to Ahi's fund through FDMB Cats in Need. He went in for his dental and biopsy on Monday, and it was wicked expensive, your generosity was much much much appreciated because it helped SO MUCH. Unfortunately, the vet (Dr. Chu, Blue Cross Animal Hospital, Fairfax VA -- she was recommended by the rescue vet) got a good look at Ahi's mouth. He has two bloody ulcerated masses, not just the one we saw on his tongue but another one on the other side, on the gums. He also has a small lump (no open wound) on the underside of his tongue. She biopsied to the two ulcerated ones. Although we won't know for sure till the results come back, she said that it looks like oral squamous cell carcinoma. As you guys all know that's not good. The good news at least for now is that it does not look like it's metastacized beyond the oral cavity. For now. But since both she and the rescue vet are saying that there is not much we can do if that's what it is (or rather, not much they'd recommend, as excision would be devastating given their location and given the aggressiveness of that type of cancer, would probably put him through a lot for little payoff), I'm guessing it won't stay localized for long, if that's what it is. Also, the SPCA vet thinks that his bloodwork and weight loss together may indicate that he is borderline hyperthyroid. We are waiting till biopsy results come back to decide what to do about all this. Another small piece of good news: Ahi has not needed any insulin since Christmas Day. And he's perky and affectionate as ever. Keep praying or sending thoughts to our Ahi. Also, if you have any ideas on what to do if this IS oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma, please do tell.
******************************************************* Update 11/25/2009. This update was posted by Stefani on the FDMB. As I think you guys know, I got Ahi last Thursday night. He was very skinny, very hungry and very thirsty. His bg registered "Hi". I started him on Humulin N because it was all I could immediately get my hands on. He needed the N TID, and was ranging 130-400 on it TID. Jess warned me that in his condition, he might need potassium especially when starting insulin, so I started supplementng him with potassium. On Sunday, I took Ahi to see the rescue vet (who works for the MCSPCA, who agreed to "take" custody of Ahi so I could foster him and see her). The rescue vet said that: 1. Ahi is over 10 years old based on his teeth. 2. He has something wrong with his ears -- mites or infection or inflammation or some combination of 1 to all of the above. She gave him Frontline treatment for mites. 3. She saw something in his mouth on his tongue but couldn't quite get a good enough look at what it was. She thought it might be a mass. 4. She felt something in his abdomen, which might also be a mass, or his bladder, or a stone of some kind. 5. His temperature was 104. 6. He needs a dental but not till he's in better condition and his diabetes is under control. 7. He has a URI 8. He is a very nice cat (and yes, he is!) She gave me tresaderm steroidal drops for his ears, but instructed me to use them only every other day and only for a week, because she doesn't want the steroid in them to aggravate his diabetes. She gave me amoxicillin and called in a prescription for lantus. She asked me to take him to the brick and mortar vet clinic that works with the rescue for follow up: Bloodwork Urinanalysis Second opionion physical exam in better lighting (the lighting at the rescue place was not good when she saw him) X-rays BUT --- She very specifically said taht he should not under any circumstances be sedated, because he is not yet stable. He needs to gain some weight and strength. The second vet examined him and: Believes that the thing in his mouth is an ulcer, not a mass Did not feel anything in his abdomen Would not xray him because she refused to do this without sedating him since he was "squirmy" The good news from that exam of course is that this vet doesn't feel or see masses. However, the first vet is someone I know and trust more. I am giving him lysine and will take him back to the first vet for another exam in a week. The bloodwork showed that Ahi's creatinine is 1.7, which is in normal range by the scale. He also had borderline anemia (just barely anemic) and it was regenerative. He had a normal white blood cell count and low eosinophiles. He had blood in his urine, and the second vet who took the urine sample reported it to have been obtained "free catch" (if it had been centesis, it would explain the blood). They didn't allow me to be with him during the exam (although I asked) so I couldn't confirm to the first vet whether this was accurate -- she was doubting whether or not it was truly obtained free catch and was going to ask them again. The plan for now is to keep him on antibiotics and keep feeding him and get him in better condition and follow up in a week. He is probably a "young" teen because of his behavior, which is very very perky in spite of everything. I started him on lantus Monday, 1u BID (thank you Wendy for the pen!). It is going well, I've caught him as low as 160 on the lantus, BUT last night's preshot was mysteriously over 500. Yipes! Today he's been hanging in the 200s all day. I will give it a couple more days and then do a full curve, right now I am doing spot checks about about +3-4 and +8-9 as well as preshot checks. As for Ahi as a ** person ** he is truly a lovely, funny, smart cat. He uses his paws to grab food and put it in his mouth. He can jump from the bed to the dresser which is about 3 1/2 feet, and does so in search of food (it did not take him ANY time at all to figure out that is where I prepare his food). He turns things over up there looking for it. He plays with his water, hitting it repeatedly with his paw before drinking. He has a wonderful, gravelly boy voice and likes to talk. He enjoys being pet, purrs tons, wants to be near you and sometimes touching you but isn't exactly a lap cat. He just wants to be in your vicinity, although he will sometimes lean against you. He follows me around the room and wants OUT of the room to meet the other cats badly. However, this will not be happening until he's no longer scrawny (so he can defend himself) and until he's clear of his URI. He is over 9 pounds, so he isn't a skeleton, but his hip bones are protruding and his spine you can feel. He's lost a lot of muscle mass probably from the untreated diabetes, he probably should weight at least 2 pounds more. He's got a great personality and although he doesn' LIKE the hometesting he's shown no aggression toward me at all even when I have wrestled with his ear to get a drop, although he will shake his head! ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Update 11/18/2009. Ahi has Angels. I can't begin to tell you how happy I am. Ahi will not only live, but he has found one of the softest places to land!! Ahi, who has combo tested negative, is being pulled by a rescue this evening from the Prince Georges (MD) Death Camp and, starting tomorrow night, will take up temporary residence with Stefani (and Toonces), under the sponsorship of the Montgomery County (MD) SPCA. Prince Georges, which is a self-described "holding facility" only, has not and will not test Ahi for diabetes. The suspicion that Ahi is diabetic was made by the facility's vet based on visual exam only. But we all know Stefani wields a mean glucometer. On previous threads some had offered financial support for Ahi. Stefani made this arrangement to foster Ahi through the MCSPCA by promising to pay for all costs at home. That includes insulin, syringes, and test strips should Ahi be diabetic, other meds should his symptoms be caused by something else, as well as the incremental food and litter. If anyone would like to contribute to Ahi's care, either or both with Stefani and a later permanent home, please feel free to contribute on PayPal for that purpose to FDMB Cats in Needs. Credit Card donations go to Balance and checking account transfers go to (Another great piece of news is that depending on Ahi's condition, there is an FDMB member who has offered a permanent home.) I just couldn't be happier. We all have saved another one!! ********************************************************

Got this email yesterday. The title was URGENT! Diabetic cat @ PGAMG--OUT OF TIME!!

Pls spread the word for AHI who is at Prince Georges Animal Management Group. Please contact Joanna if you can help, 301 780-7218 or email ( Transport is available. ID #A324403 This boy is incredible! He is special needs- although blood work still needs to be done, the vet believes that he may have diabetes. He is so worth the effort though! He’s approximately 8 years old (although there is a good chance that he is older), but acts like a kitten. He’s one of the staff favorites here. They named him Ahi since he was trapped using tuna and smelled like it when he came in! He has such personality- when he’s out and about in the cat room he moves from cage to cage swiping his paw inside and trying to grab wet food out!! He will be a WONDERFUL companion for someone and will keep them laughing for sure! He is a silver tuxedo, DMH, very cute.

No comments: