Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Month of May

I planned to take a little blogging break after finishing the A to Z Challenge in April, I just didn’t plan to take a break for almost the entire month of May. I’m still not sure how it went by so quickly.

We did some projects around the house and yard. I uprooted two bushes in the front yard that I didn’t like. Have you ever uprooted an entire bush? If you haven’t I can’t say that I recommend trying it. If you have, why didn’t you tell me not to?!? Nick took down blinds that needed to be replaced and put up a curtain rod and curtains. It looks nice. We planted quite a few more things in the yard. Nothing terribly exciting, but all things that needed to be done.

She seems to like it here.
On the pet front, we foster failed and adopted Cookie. Dot never warmed up to us, and seemed very happy to leave us once the renovations at the shelter were finished. Cookie, on the other hand, seemed to like our particular brand of craziness.

We thought long and hard about adding a fifth cat to our household. We decided to foster her for a while longer to make sure she did alright with the other cats before adopting her. She fits in well enough, and seems happy here, so we made it official and adopted her last week. 

On paper, adding a fifth cat to our household, and a senior cat at that, probably isn’t considered a great decision, but it’s one we felt very good about. With kitten season upon us, we were really afraid that Cookie would be overlooked at the shelter. She’s gorgeous, sweet, and has a great personality, but the truth of the matter is that older cats seem to be practically invisible next to all of the kittens. We couldn’t let that happen, especially when Cookie seemed like such a great fit at our house.

I feel like I spent a huge part of May at various vet’s offices. Emma had some recurring health issues that popped back up. She had blood work that was way off, and just wasn’t acting quite right. Repeated blood tests showed that the problem was only getting worse, so our regular vet referred us to the specialist group.
Patiently waiting in between blood draws.

We went to the specialist group last year with similar issues and didn’t really get any results. I didn’t care for the vet we saw then, so I was a little nervous about going back there. We ended up with a different vet this time; one that one of my co-workers credits with saving her dog’s life, and who our regular vet says has a good reputation.

I immediately liked her better! She was better with Emma, spent more time with her, and seemed to listen more to what we had to say about Emma’s symptoms. She suggested pursuing advanced testing for Cushing’s Disease, which we did, and it turns out that Emma does have Cushing’s Disease.

You can read more about it here, but the short version is basically that Emma has the pituitary dependent kind, meaning that she has a tiny benign tumor in her pituitary gland that causes her body to basically overdose itself on steroids. Left untreated it can cause liver damage and other issues. The treatment for it is medication to regulate the production.

You can read more about the medication here, but the short version is that it takes a while to get the right dose. Too little doesn’t adequately treat it. Too much causes other, potentially very serious, problems. There’s a fair amount of blood tests involved in the beginning to help determine the right dose. We go on Wednesday for her first round of blood tests since starting the medication. My gut feeling is that her dose will have to be raised a little bit; there’s some definite improvement in her symptoms, but still room for a lot more improvement. We’ll see.

If I let myself think about it too much I get totally freaked out over the fact that Emma technically has a very small brain tumor. She’s been a huge part of my life for the past 12 years, and I hate to think about anything being seriously wrong with her. When reason returns, I’m grateful for the fact that it wasn’t some of the other, much worse things it could have been. And I’m glad it’s a problem with a medical, not surgical, treatment, since that seems like a better choice at her age. She seems happy and seems to be feeling better, which is wonderful.

So what about you? How has the month of May been for you?


  1. Thank you for visiting this a.m. I see we both are animal lovers! We have 6 indoor rescue cats and our 14 yr old dachshund passed away recently. Bless you for giving Cookie a forever home. I hope the meds work for your precious doggie. Wishing you a nice Sunday.

  2. Seems like a good fit with Cookie in your household. Certainly an adventure I would imagine with five cats (and I'm thinking lots of cat hair if they shed a lot?) I am glad you had a better experience with the vet this go around with the new one and that she seems to be addressing Emma's health problems. Its so interesting how animals can get the same diseases we do and be treated at times with the same medicine that humans can. I hope the adjustment of meds goes relatively easy and you can get her on a dose that makes her comfortable.


  3. Blessings upon you for adopting Cookie. This is why I could never foster - seriously, they would never leave! I'm so sorry about Emma, but so glad you finally have a diagnosis and that it's treatable. Caring for senior animals certainly takes an emotional (and financial) toll. I'm slowly learning to accept the fact that chronic illness is just part and parcel of the whole deal. I am becoming a wizard at pilling cats though! :-)

    Oh, and you have my deepest sympathies on the bush removal thing. I dug out a volunteer elm tree earlier this spring and I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy! We've had uncharacteristically wet weather of late though, and I seized the opportunity to uproot some of the smaller volunteer elms and chokecherries - it was significantly easier with soft wet soil!

  4. Yeah, time can fly, especially when taking a blog break.

    Sounds like Cookie belongs in your household.

  5. I'm so sorry to hear about Emma's problems and do hope you can get to the right adjustment soon. Cookie certainly looks happy - I miss having animals, but can't do so for various reasons living in an apartment.

  6. I hope that all continues to improve with Emma, and I salute you - Cookie looks very content!

  7. It's so nice to see you again, and to hear what's been up with you. Thank you for adopting Cookie! We love the thinking behind your decision. :)

    Sorry to hear about Emma's health issues, but it sounds like you at least know what you're dealing with now. Purrs that the meds will do what they're supposed to do.


  8. Bushes are a piece of cake. Trees, on the other hand take me a day to take down and a day to recover. :)

    I'm sorry to hear about Emma but I'm glad you found a better vet. That is so important. We were floundering between vets, none of them up to par for what we wanted, but I think we finally found one that clicked with us.

  9. Hi Danielle - glad you've adopted Cookie .. and that Emma is getting help .. pets deserve as much as we are able to give them.

    Pulling up rose bushes - that I wouldn't recommend! Well done for persevering ... and enjoy the new garden, and new decorated home .. cheers Hilary

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