Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Then I adopted a new kitty from my school. His name is Charlie Jasper and he is such a sweetie. No one else wanted him because he's FIV +. Their loss - he is a wonderful kitty.
Then I did my externship for school at Cottonwood Animal Hospital. It was interesting and fun. I liked some of the people there and I loved working on the lab machines.
Then I took my VTNE in June and I finally graduated!!! Hallelujah! And, I actually PASSED the VTNE! Yeah! I am a Certified Veterinary Technician now! Yes!!!
There's my update. I'll be back with more soon!
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Back in October 1990, when I was six years old, I went out into the dog pen in my backyard to find a handsome blue-grey cat with yellow eyes sitting on my fence. He was thin, but had long fur and was handsome. He let me pet him, but stayed sitting on my fence. I ran to tell my mom that there was a stray cat outside. Apparently my sisters had already alerted her to his presence. "Don’t feed him any cat food, or else he’ll stay. Just leave him alone and he’ll leave."
I felt bad for him, worried that he must be hungry, but my mom said not to give him any cat food. So, I gave him dog food instead, which he ate. He stuck around for a week, and I snuck him handfuls of dog food whenever I could. I didn’t need to worry - I now know that my dad and some of my sisters were sneaking him cat food.
After a week, this mystery cat was still hanging around, coming to us to get petted and fed. My mother went and got him and put him in one of our cat carriers. She was carrying him out to the car when my dad asked her, "Where are you taking that cat?" My mother replied that she was taking him to the humane society. At that my dad said, "No you’re not. I like that cat." He was allowed to stay.
Our other two cats, Puddy and Bootsie, were not pleased at this addition. He chased them and picked on them. We were trying to figure out what to name him. I was in first grade at the time, and an avid fan of the musical ‘Cats.’ I said that we should name him Macavity because his coat was dusty from neglect, his whiskers were uncombed, his eyes were sunken in, and when you reached the scene of crime he wasn’t there (he used to pick on the other two cats and then run away when we got there). My sisters said that was stupid, but I guess my parents thought it was cute, so he became Macavity: Our Mystery Cat.
We took him to our vet, had him neutered and declawed, got him vaccinated, and he became part of our family. Our vet told us that he was at least one, maybe two, years old but couldn’t be sure. It didn’t matter - we grew to love him very quickly.
Just a few months after Macavity chose us as his family, my grandma was killed. That was a very difficult time. My sister Carrie remembers taking him and locking herself in her room with him for comfort. That time set precedent for future years - he was never in the foreground much, but he was a very comforting presence.
He loved to play outside. He loved to roll in the dirt, bask in the sun, chase birds, and he was an avid mouser. He even played fetch with us. He put up with homemade kitty roller coasters, playing dress up, many different house remodels. He did not put up with us trying to walk him on a leash. He got along with our other pets very well, having been known to cuddle up with our dog Sadie and groom her. He was a comfort when Puddy was killed, and he loved her successor, Tat, dearly. They were always together. He had a special charm that made people like him. He loved to cuddle, and always drooled when he was really happy. My friends wouldn’t let him sit on them unless they had towels on them to protect them from the buckets of drool. My old friend Ashley often referred to him as "Drool Cat." My good friend Amy was an avid and vocal cat-disliker. I have a great picture that I took of her when she wasn’t looking - she’s affectionately petting Macavity in the picture.
About six or seven years ago he started to slow down. I remember taking him to the vet, and she was trying to coax him to jump up onto a low chair. He finally did jump for her, and she just went, "Oh, that’s pretty pathetic for a cat." The vet said he had arthritis. We tried him on some medications that didn’t work, and we put him on other medications that helped and we got him steroid shots every-so-often to help him when he got really bad. He had worse times in winter than he did in summer. Overall he did fine, but he couldn’t hunt mice anymore. The last mouse he ever caught was when I was eighteen - and I gave it to him. He was very excited.
2008 was a difficult year for Macavity. He stopped using the litterboxes, his arthritis got worse, his appetite decreased. In his prime he weighed more than fifteen pounds - this year he finally dropped to the ten pound range. He started to drink a lot. His kidneys were starting to not work as well, he had a minor heart murmur, and his blood pressure skyrocketed (when we first diagnosed him it was 203/129). We started him on medications and special food. He started having a difficult time in the middle of summer, before it ever got cold, and we knew he would have more problems as it got colder. We got his blood pressure down, but it wasn’t where the Dr. wanted it to be. He started to not retain water as well. He was hospitalized for two days in November because he was dehydrated. I had to start giving him fluids subcutaneously on a regular basis to help him feel better. He was doing better on all his treatments, but he had reached a point that my parents and I had set for ourselves. Finally, my dad said that we were just dragging out the inevitable, and that it was time to let him go. Dr. Maloof put him to sleep today, December 30, 2008, at my house. He died in my arms, and it was really quite peaceful.
Macavity was a wonderful and constant presence that I now realize I took for granted. He saw me through the deaths of two grandparents, elementary school, starting violin lessons, soccer games, middle school, orchestra, many different bouts of bronchitis, choir festivities, drama plays, learning to drive, my first job, my first kiss, and graduating high school. He was a tremendous comfort to me when I was upset after failed relationships. He was there when I started teaching violin myself, when I kept changing majors, and he was a large part of the inspiration for my career choice of Veterinary Technician. He was the constant in the house, having outlived at least twenty-two different pets I’ve had over the past nineteen years (some of the most notable pet deaths being Puddy, Chip, Mozart, Sadie, Tat, Libby, Walker, Jackson, Gus, and Powder). He accepted new pets easily, even if they didn’t accept him right away. His current best bud is Olly (he outlived all the other best buds). He and I were both raised together, and I’ll miss him dearly. Sometimes a pet comes along that really touches your life, even more so than others, and you can never forget him.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
So, just to keep you updated, I'm still working full-time and going to school full-time and I'm exhausted and burned out and ornery. I try to hide it, but I'm not always successful. Bleh. I graduate and take my national exam in about 7 months. Hallelujah!
I've been feeling severe wanderlust lately. It started as wanting to move out, then moving to another clinic, then moving out & switching clinics, and then just doing it all in one fell swoop and moving out of state. I don't know if part of my problem is that I'm really burned out right now or what, but I feel very stuck. Don't get me wrong: I love the people I work with and I love the place I work for (most of the time, anyway). Hopefully I'll feel better when I graduate. I'm so taking a vacation!
I realized that some people may take my comments on facebook and the groups I have joined to mean that I might be gay or something. I'm not. I really like the male gender. A lot. I do, however, love lots of gay people and I was not happy about Prop 8. Since I'm LDS, some people I know tend to have a "Holier-Than-Thou" Syndrome and I feel shunned for my personal opinions because they do not jive with the majority in the area I live. It's sad. They treat me like a bad person for my opinions. I don't think I'm a bad person. Then people who are against Prop 8 look at me and go, "She's a Mormon, she's rude cause she was for it." They don't even ask my opinion. I'm getting crap from both sides. Oh well. They have a problem, it's their problem. I just think people are acting completely ridiculous about the issue, on both sides. The violence and insults are out of control.
My favorite thing in the world right now? I love spending time with my neices and nephews. Especially Oakley and Camden. Cam is so ticklish, it's hilarious, and he has the cutest laugh and smile. I love to play with them and make them laugh. If I'm ever feeling down, I always cross my fingers that my sister will stop by with them or that she'll call me to babysit. Lights up my life. Truly. (Hint, hint, Tricia!)
Anyway, there's the update from me. If I don't get back on here before Thanksgiving, I hope you all have a very Happy and Stuffing Thanksgiving!
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Okay, that rant felt good. I feel slightly better now...
Thursday, August 14, 2008
A couple weeks later my parents and I went to get our flu shots together, and I needed some crickets for my tarantula, so we stopped at Petco on our way home. Lo and behold, the white cat was still there. I liked her instantly (this is no surprise to those who know me) and I urged my parents to bring her home. My mom said no, because we already had three cats. My dad, however went over to take a closer look. It turns out that she was a nine-year-old cat with special needs that had been put up for adoption three months ago after her previous owner got married and gave her up. My dad and I felt bad for her, so we took her home. They reiterated to us that she had special needs and we said that it wouldn't be a problem because two of our other three cats were also special needs. My mom didn't put up a fight about us bringing her home, and actually helped show the new cat our house. Powder had come home.
We got Powder caught up on medical treatment that she needed (she was in dire need of a dental cleaning, and had to have some teeth pulled). She did very well at our house for a year, just having an occassional problem here and there due to her "food allergies" (that was the special need the people told us about). Then, in December 2006, she decided to eat some tinsel off the Christmas Tree and she threw up a lot. I took her with me to work (I had just started working at a veterinary clinic two months before, so that was good timing). We did an ultrasound to see if she had anymore tinsel stuck in her belly. She didn't, but the Dr. said that she did have an abnormally small kidney and some inflammation in the GI tract. She said that it was very likely that her "food allergy" was actually Inflammatory Bowel Disease or possibly cancer. The only way to know for sure was to open her up and take biopsies of the GI tract. I opted for a less invasive approach and got her a special food for cats that have IBD. It may seem strange to some people, going through all this for a cat I'd barely had a year, and hadn't had since she was a kitten, but those of you who know me well know that when I have a pet, I become attached extremely fast and I fall for them hard. Pets are my passion. Also, this happened just a couple weeks after my grandpa died from Alzheimer's disease. I had just lost him, I wasn't going to loose Powder.
Powder did well for a few months on the new food. She and I bonded even more: she would come down to my bedroom at night and lie on me and just purr. She had a very musical purr. It was a loud purr that seemed to have a higher pitched hum with it. It was very pretty. She would also nibble on me, and chase my feet and hands under the cover. During this time I had to put my cat Gus to sleep (his special needs were kidney problems), and Powder cuddled with me. However, this was May 2007, and she was starting to throw up and have diarrhea often. By September 2007 she had lost 1 1/2 pounds, which is a lot for an eleven-year-old cat. She also started hiding a lot and wasn't as playful with me. I was starting to get worried and I knew that something needed to be done quickly.
I took Powder in to my work again. Nothing showed up on bloodwork or x-rays, so there was only one way to know definitively what was going on, and that was doing the surgery that was recommended to me in December. We had a newer veterinarian at this time who wanted more experience doing exploratory surgeries (it's a good thing to know how to do quickly). I talked to Lindsay Yo (one of our best technicians, now our head technician) about assisting in the surgery, and she agreed, so I set up a date for the surgery. Powder was prepped and operated on, and they took six different biopsies from her GI tract. I was a nervous wreck, and poor Powder was very sore and miserable. However, we got the results we needed: Powder had Intestinal Lymphocytic Lymphoma. Yeah, cancer sucks.
So, Dr. Maloof and I started Powder on a chemotherapy regime that wasn't as invasive but had good results in other similar cases. We put her on Prednisolone daily, and she got Chlorambucil for three days every three weeks. It was oral medicine, so I was able to give it at home. She started eating more, and vomiting less. We did a Complete Blood Count on her every month and checked her every month. She became very popular at my work. She started putting on weight again and became playful again. She still had an occasional bout of diarrhea and vomiting, but not as much and not nearly as often. Dr. Maloof took great care of her, and I tried to spoil her. Powder took up permanent residence in my bedroom, with her bed on my bed, and she purred me to sleep every night. I even brought home a new cat (again this was an abandonded adult with special needs) and Powder teased her mercilessly. She was clinically in remission and I was amazed at how well she was doing.
Ten months after being diagnosed and starting treatment, she started to go downhill again, slowly but surely. The diarrhea was starting to come back more often, and she started vomiting a lot and there were some days that she wouldn't leave my bedroom, not even to eat. She was relapsing. Dr. Maloof did research into rescue treatments and gave them to me to research. I considered it, but ultimately knew that it wasn't worth it. She would only get a couple of extra months and it involved intravenous chemotherapy that can be harsh on the body, much harsher than the chemo she was already on. I felt bad, but I decided not to put her through that. She was getting more ornery every time I took her to the vet and poked her, and I couldn't put her (or myself) through that difficult treatment.
Last night, August 13, 2008, I had Dr. Maloof put Powder to sleep. I held her while the injection was given, and I knew right when she was gone, before the dr. was even done giving the shot. It was a difficult decision to make. She was starting to get sick with upper-respiratory problems, and I knew that her immune system wasn't doing so hot. She was vomiting more. She didn't eat for almost two days before I decided. When I weighed her last night she had lost a little bit of weight. The dr. and I agreed that it was the best. Do I think she could have gone on a little longer with a decent quality of life? Sure. But I couldn't stand watching her slowly deteriorate, knowing what pain and suffering was in store for her while she did. I couldn't stand watching her go through that. Maybe that's selfish of me, but I just couldn't do it.
I don't regret for one moment treating her cancer. She and I had an extra ten months of good quality life together. The hardest part was saying goodbye, and going to sleep alone last night. The room was too quiet. I missed her musical purr.
Friday, July 25, 2008
So, yesterday was the 24th of July. Those of you not familiar with Utah or it's history may not know that it is known as Pioneer Day in Utah because it is the day the Pioneers came in to the Salt Lake Valley and decided to stay. It is a state holiday and the city I live in does this fun fair-type thing where they lit off fireworks over the field behind my house. I decided that it would be fun to have my friends from work over for a bbq and then go watch the fireworks. I talked to everyone, got some yesses and nos, and was excited.
So, I went out and got tons of food, because I was expecting quite a few people. Yeah, I spent too much money on food, cause I wanted it to be nice, you know? So, I get the house ready, pull out the lawn furniture by myself (some of it was super heavy, too), get food prepared, singe the hair off my arm when lighting the barbequer, and I'm getting excited. My entire family was out of town and I hate spending holidays alone, so I'm so happy that my friends are going to be coming over. Then the time starts ticking by and no one shows up. Another hour, and no one is there yet. I started texting some of the people who said they would come and they said weren't coming anymore. I mean, I totally understand that some things come up (i.e., last minute family things) and that is totally fine. I'm not bitter (honestly, I'm not). But other people just changed their minds, some people said they were coming later and then didn't show, and I just sat there, waiting. I felt completely pathetic and even lonely, just watching the clock, waiting for someone to show up. Then Andi and her hubby and three of their kids showed up, and Lindsay showed up, and I felt stupid because I had made it out that it was going to be a nice, big thing, and then it fell apart in my face. I felt like an idiot that I had set up for a larger group of people and only a small handful of people came. Actually, only two people came and one of them brought her family. Yeah, awkward. I mean, if you don't feel like coming, don't tell me you're gonna come and then change your mind and not say anything to me. And if you don't want to come, just tell me so in the first place, I won't be mad (this isn't directed and people with the family stuff that came up, btw, cause I know that happens, and it's totally cool).
One nice thing came out of not having a lot of people show up. I have a nextdoor neighbor who is like a grandpa to me, and his wife has been really sick lately, and bedridden. I barbequed him and her some hamburgers and took them fruit and veggies and salad and dessert. He was genuinely happy that I had included him, and had cooked for him. That was probably one of the best parts of the entire day.
I'm not saying we didn't have some fun. Andi's daughters are super funny, Alexander (her son) was funny to watch while we were eating, we chatted, and just relaxed. My best friend Gina showed up just in time for the fireworks, and we went and watched those on the hill, and I rolled down the hill with Andi's daughter Elizabeth (or maybe it was Victoria), and then was totally in stitches watching Andi roll down the hill too (she's my boss, so it was funny for me). Then we went and lit sparklers and I let my pyro-side come out. We did make some nice memories, and then Lindsay, Gina, and me went to the X-Files movie at midnight.
Even though we made some nice memories, I don't think I'll be planning a get together like that again, at least not for a while. I planned one before, and both of them fell apart in my face in certain ways. I'm done with that. It's not fair to me, so I'm done planning fun get-togethers (except Gina's Bridal Shower, and that's different because I'm her maid-of-honor and I know people will actually come to that). I just get lonely sometimes, though, so when I have friends I want to plan time to spend time with them. Crazy, huh?
Anyway, now that I've ranted a little bit about my failed bbq, on to my review of the long-awaited for movie The X-Files: I Want to Believe. Simply put, it was like watching a long episode. It wasn't as blockbuster-ish as the last film they did, and it wasn't quite as good as some of my favorite episodes from the series, but it was still definitely worth the watch. Mulder and Scully were different from how I remember them, but it has been six years since we've had any new material. There were a few things that did surprise me (I won't say what because I don't want to spoil it), and I actually covered my eyes during at least three different parts of the movie - it was kinda freaky; freaky in the same way that season 2 was. I was also excited about the fact that part of the storyline revolved around Acepromezine, because I use it almost daily at my work, and I knew exactly what it was when they mentioned it. I was excited about the Mulder-Scully Romance part of it, but it was slightly different than I am used to. There were some great one-liners. Even though it wasn't as blockbuster-ish as the last movie, it was good. It got back to its roots in a good, freaky way. I was excited. I'll definitely see it again.
Anyway, there is my first real (and very long) blog post for you. Until next time!