This is a blog all just for me. It has no purpose whatsoever except for me to share some of the random nonsense I happen to be thinking about in my day-to-day life. Sometimes it sure is nice not to have a purpose.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pet Psychic!

...or "animal communicator." Years ago, I read the book "Conversations With Animals" and was introduced to the work of Lydia Hiby. We called her when our smallest cat BooBear was having intestinal issues and also out of interest for our biggest cat Koopa. Well, after spending $1100 a couple of weeks ago on saving our third cat Bee-Bee's life, we decided to give Hiby a try.

We were so happy when Bee-Bee survived what looked like was going to be her final hours. The vet hospital we go to has the highest technology out there and so they ran full blood work, an ultrasound and more. The final diagnosis was that she has pancreatitis, although this was accompanied by the inflammation of her other surrounding organs, too. The vet put Bee-Bee on a treatment of pain medication and some antibiotics and we were allowed to bring her home.

Bee-Bee was back to normal as far as sitting and observing the happenings in our house, but she retained the yellow stain of jaundice on her skin and refused to eat. I asked the vet about her failure to eat and he simply made the comment, "Well, if she doesn't start up again, I guess we'll be seeing you back here again." What is that supposed to mean? How much more are they going to charge us just for some simple advice about what we might try next?

So, rather than pay more money to go back to the vet again, I decided that we should give Hiby a call. It's a $40 consultation by phone, but that's cheaper than a vet visit and so I decided it was worth a try. My husband and I sent a check on Saturday and then were anxious to call last night since Hiby's normal phone hours are only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. We got a busy signal for over an hour, but it turns out she was on the phone helping someone in Germany all of that time! Imagine that person's phone bill!

To begin with, all that we told Hiby was our cat's name, that she is a long-haired gray cat, and that she's about 5 years old. We tried not to give away any other information to begin with to see what Hiby would come up with. Almost immediately, Hiby said that Bee-Bee was communicating that she doesn't like the smells of cleaners in our house and that they make her sick. We do use carpet deodorizer, ironically enough because Bee-Bee pees on the carpet and makes them stink! We have also been using vinegar to clean the urine and Hiby explained that vinegar is just as difficult for cats to bear as ammonia. She suggested we try another cleaner like Nature's Miracle and plain baking soda instead of carpet deodorizer.

Hiby said that Bee-Bee has a small bladder and that she does not have accidents on the ground out of spite or to make a statement. She said that they are accidents because she does not make it to the box in time and when she does get there, she is sometimes intimidated by our big orange cat, Koopa. We ended up telling Hiby that Bee-Bee was diagnosed with pancreatitis and she said that this is a disease associated with low self-esteem. In Bee-Bee's case, she thinks we can correct this by allowing her to have some private time during the day (away from Koopa). She suggested keeping her in a closed room with her own private litter box and food. We'll have to give that a try.

Hiby also said that Bee-Bee is very sweet. She does not want to "tattle" on Koopa, because she doesn't want him to go away and she doesn't want to leave our home herself. She's happy being in our home. My husband asked if Bee-Bee is perhaps upset because BooBear has a hurt leg and has been closed up in a dog crate. Hiby said that this doesn't really bother Bee-Bee, and that it's more intimidation from Koopa that bothers her most of all. She also said that Bee-Bee does not mind the children in the house--that they do not bother her, despite the fact that Hiby could easily hear Kaz causing ruckus in the background.

I don't know if Hiby is really psychic or not, but I do think she cares a lot about animals and that she provided us with more helpful suggestions than our vet ever did. She suggested we try feeding her baby food. She said any food should be safe if it is made of chicken or turkey and that we just stay away from fish and beef. She also suggested that we try a Nutri-cal paste if Bee-Bee is not eating so that she gets some nutrients. Hiby explained that Bee-Bee is probably not eating because of the antibiotics that she was prescribed and that she is feeling nauseous. She said that once cats stop eating, it becomes a cycle of not eating rather than of growing hunger.

Hiby also reiterated that we have rights to our vet records and that we should not hesitate to request them to get a second opinion. She recommended a vet that is also in our town who does acupuncture for animals. She's worked with him over the years and so he won't think we're crazy if we mention that we talked with her...a big plus! Oddly enough, Bee-Bee seems to be doing a little better. The jaundice looks less intense and she seems a little perkier. If anything, we're feeling a little more hopeful. Hiby said that the infection she had is gone and she didn't indicate that Bee-Bee was on her death bed. It is always possible that it's false hope, but I'll take anything right now.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Our Sweet Bee-Bee

The past couple of weeks have been horrible for our kitties and our finances. It started off on a Wednesday night when I got home and noticed that our cat BooBear was limping. I discovered a huge gash on her leg was the culprit and so we took her into the emergency vet hospital hours. She ended up getting hospitalized overnight and they had to put her under to fix her leg. For the next few days, we took BooBear in daily to get her leg bandage changed. Interestingly, they packed the wound with sugar to help it heal. I'd never heard of this treatment!

Despite being locked up in Howie's dog crate, BooBear is handling all of this well. She let us know right away that she would not put up with wearing an Elizabethan collar, but even without it, she is being a good girl and not undoing her bandages. Now BooBear is healing and so we only have to take her back to the vet every three days for a bandage change. This whole ordeal with BooBear is easily turning out to cost about $600 or so, but at least she is healing and will be fine in just a matter of weeks.

Unfortunately, our other kitty Bee-Bee is not faring so well. Just as we were dealing with BooBear's leg, Bee-Bee went into an acute state of failure. I got home one day and she was meowing loudly in pain. She was panting and her skin was noticeably yellow. We took her into the vet and she was hopsitalized for a couple of nights. The vet ran a full gamut of tests on her and determined that the main problem is a case of pancreatitis. In addition to this, all of her other internal organs are also very swollen. We were afraid we were going to have to put her down then, but Bee-Bee pulled through and we thought she might be okay. Bee-Bee's ordeal cost over $1100, but we felt it was well worth the financial sacrifice when we saw her sweet face and how she was fighting to stay alive.

Now, though, Bee-Bee has been back home, and even with all of the medicine that we've been giving her, she won't eat and we're uncertain what to do for her next. One option would be to take her back to the vet again, but we don't know what they will do besides run her through the same routine as last time. We hate to say that her life is worth a certain amount of money, but the prospect of dishing out another thousand or thousands of dollars is also not realistic given our tight finances.

So, for the time being, we are spending a mere (in comparison to all of the vet bills) $40 on Bee-Bee by setting up an appointment with animal psychic Lydia Hiby. We used Hiby years ago after I had read her book, and we think she is the real deal when it comes to animal communicators. I don't know what she'll be able to tell us that will help, but I think we have better chances getting some useful information from her than from the vet at this point. We're going to give Hiby a call tomorrow night and so we'll re-evaluate our next steps after that.

I think the thing that has made all of this especially hard for me is that I have guilt over the pets ever since Kaz was born. The animals were always our babies for years before Kaz, but life has been so hectic since he came along and now especially since I've been pregnant for the second time. I believe that our pets are content with their lives, but I know that I have not given them close to the same attention that I did pre-Kaz. As I watch poor Bee-Bee wither away right before my eyes, I have regret that I have not petted her as much as she deserves in the past couple of years. The thing is...animals are amazingly accepting and nonjudgmental. Bee-Bee has obviously never held a grudge over any changes in our household. I was petting her last night and she just closed her eyes in bliss. She, like other animals, live in the moment rather than worry about the past. In these moments that she's sick, all I can do is give her love and know that with each touch I give her, she is at peace.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Letting It All Out

I haven't had the inspiration to write in any of my blogs all summer. A large reason for that is that I'm now 16 weeks pregnant and have spent all summer feeling nauseous and fatigued due to the pregnancy. It worked out that I had this extra long (longer than usual) summer while feeling sick, because now that work is ramping up again, I am grateful that I have more energy and a stronger stomach to handle what's coming at me.

One kind of frustrating, but potentially positive aspect to being pregnant is: hormones! I am quick to cry lately and while being "hormonal" and emotional may seem unprofessional and downright silly to people, maybe it is actually healthier to be able to have such raw emotions. Perhaps we ordinarily bury, suppress, and ignore feelings that we would be better off feeling and expressing.

Just think about young children and how they are so quick to cry. Yes, the crying can be frustrating and the tantrums can be intolerable at times. But, I take a look at my toddler son and can't help but think what a wonderfully Zen little guy he is. When he's happy, I know he's happy. When he's mad, I know he's mad. And when he's sad, I know he's sad. After dealing with "professional" adults all day long, I totally appreciate the honesty with which my son exists. I think that in many ways, my hormones are giving me a taste of being a toddler in the same way. Whatever I'm feeling these days, I'm just letting it all come out. As a correction, I guess it's not so much a matter of "letting" since there's no stopping it. Whatever the case, I must say that I have never slept so soundly and so hard.