Summer days

We had a vacation and it is over, we are both back to work from Monday, but I hope for more sunny days in our garden on weekends and after work.

I do not notice any change in Jossan’s condition, appetite or behaviour. She goes sometimes out to eat grass, sit in the sun and accompany me in my gardening. She and Miii like that, especially Miii. They always stay next to me when outside.

Here is my love Jossan enjoying the sun, the grass and all the scents in our garden two days ago.

(Our cats do not touch lilies when outside.  Lillies are toxic to cats. Instinct, I guess. And I never keep the lillies inside. Only roses in vases, and orchids, saintpaulia, cat grass and aloe vera in pots. Also hoyas and pellargonium. The kitties chew on their grass. 🙂 The other plants they leave alone. But when we had kittens, we removed all the plants out of their reach. Kittens are a different story…)

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We wait

We don’t know more after the x-ray today. The veterinary was not sure if what she sees is blood vessels, age-related normal changes, or – metastases. Uh!!! I asked her to compare it with the x-ray they took last year in August at the same clinic when the radiologist said no metastases were visible. The veterinary checked it and still was not sure. She said we must ask the radiologist, but the radiologist is not there every day of the week, so we will have to wait…. for a week. Maybe less.

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Joakim and I held Jossan in the x-ray room. She is cool and comfortable in new environments. And curious. 🙂

I sent a FB message to Jossan’s oncologist Patricio and the vet said she will also mail him the pics promptly, but still, the best expert is the radiologist. Patricio answered fast, sent us his hugs, and said we wait for the radiologist. He thought it is probably age related changes, but still, the radiologist is the ultimate expert. We wait.
We need to remove the growths asap, if the lungs are clean. We will be able to get “fast track” operation, if the answer is that the lungs do not have visible metastases. Now we wait. Uh.
In my heart I feel it is not metastases they see, but it is just a feeling, or my wishes. If I could heal her with sheer willpower, I would. But we wait for a week and see what happens.

That tiny little bad thing

Jossan’s teeth extraction was a walk in the park. She will be happier now without the last bits of inflammation in her mouth.

After her operation last year (after we discovered that the cancer was back and the new growths were removed), I felt a tiny little hard lump where one of the tumors was removed directly after the swelling went down; in one arm hole, next to the rib cage. It was actually the only of the places where the pathologist said in his rapport that not all of the cancer cells seemed to be removed and the risk of metastases from there or local recurrence existed.

So I followed it and also the vet checked it out, but her teeth were more urgent to fix. Also, it did not seem to grow, that little thing. But I have checked it regularly. It could have been a scar tissue, or not.

Now I am sure that the lump is growing. I messaged Jossan’s oncologist this morning. He moved to another city, but is kind and said I can call him or PM him via Facebook about my baby whenever. ❤ That is a veterinary that really cares about his patients!

I just know it is a recurrence. It is that place, same feeling like the ones removed, tough still smaller than the ones removed before.
Since Jossan is feeling super top great, the plan is to x-ray her and then if there are no metastases to the lungs, operate and remove the growth, in order to minimize the risk for spreading. She will be continually on her COX-2 inhibitor medicine to slow down the cancer also. It would be a tiny cut and operation, maybe 1-2 cm long, not deep at all, the lumps (I think it is one, maybe two, one like a couple of mm in length, the bigger one maybe like max 7 mm in diameter) are directly under her skin, and she will have a fast recovery time.

Me and Jossan at one of our veterinary visits.

During the course of Jossan’s cancer, there was never any doubt in my mind what is the right thing to do. Jossan has such a lust for life and feels good, and her blood values are great. We will do anything in our power that veterinaries think is worth doing to help her live as good life and as long life as possible. I have a special connection with her and love her so much. And I would do that for any of my cats.

We got the time for x-ray in two days, on Wednesday afternoon. Hope there are no metastases yet, I hope so much.

 

Oh, Albert

This evening my adorable Foreign White baby Albert decided to turn to a chocolate smoke Oriental van, after playing with and breaking two of my brown powder shadows.

“Oh, fab, they can fly from the shelf with just a tiny little push of a helpful paw, like da bomb making a BANG when they land!
And see how they glitter after falling into pieces in the bathtub, let me smear that a bit and dance on the shiny pearly miniature stardust…
Oh, my paws, look how lovely and chocolatey they are and my nose, am I not a star?
Oh dear, Mom is coming, I will run like the wind and keep on dancing all over the house, landing in one of the off-white sofas, rolling in it back and forth to press all the cacao coloured dust deeper into my once upon a time snow-white fur”.

OH, ALBERT…

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Happy New Year!

We wish you all Happy New 2017! Much health to you and your dear ones, and peace. ❤

We celebrated Jossan’s and Miii’s ninth birthday on 27th of December, and we are grateful for Jossan’s good heath now and that our cats are with us.

Here is a card I made this year (the colours of some of the cats are not from our fur babies, but from a cats that belong to a friend of mine). 201612merryxmas1a1Also, here are two videos of our Leroy. The first one shows how clever he is when solving a puzzle level A for dogs (he can solve almost anything, that cat!)

And one video of Leroy kneading the blanket. Happy New Year and many hugs from us!

 

Leroy turns 10

Today we are celebrating Leroy turning 10 years old! It is hard to believe that our little baby is 10 years old already, feels like yesterday we got him home to Stockholm, from Forshaga, Joakim driving through icy dark landscapes, me holding 12 weeks old Leroy in my lap on the backseat (he yelled and cried in the cage, but the moment I let him come out and sit in my lap he calmed down).

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10 years and many memories. He was always there for us, to help bring up the kittens, to console us when sick or sad, to play with us, our visitors, grown ups and small ones, check and patrol our home. Leroy is the best Siamese ever.

Last week they removed 4 of his teeth (back ones, upper jaw). He had FORL in one of them, the other ones ached. Now we hope he will have no pain at all there! Our veterinary ran a complete health check on him recently, all is perfect, including kidneys. We hope for many more years with our precious Leroy!!!

About our other fur babies – so far so good with Jossan, no new tumours we could feel, we were at the control 9 days ago, seemingly all is okay. We do not know how and when it will go from here, but we are enjoying her being her with us and feeling great.

No kittens for us this year – Electra had a phantom pregnancy. 😦 We hope for better luck next year.

Not what we hoped for

Last Friday we got back the results from Jossan’s operation, and it was very bad. All three small tumours they removed were malign, two seemed to be removed in total, one not. And that one was in lymph nodes, which means that the cancer has metastasised. The tumor was very fast growing, also.

I felt completely shattered. It was Friday morning and I headed back to work after meeting the oncologist, Patricio Rivera, and getting the bad news, Jocke took Jossan back home. She was just happy and as usual.

She has no symptoms, since the cancer did not spread yet to her lungs or inner organs (well, not according to the recent x-ray, anyway). When it spreads there and grows, when she gets symptoms maybe like coughing and being tired and not her usual self, that when it starts getting bad, and that is when I will have to let her go, before she starts to suffer. Not now. But my baby will never suffer. I own her that final grace. But I will not think about that now. We will get her regular checkups to see how it progresses and hope for the best.

My working day was not great, I cried and worked, cried and worked. I was so sad. We did not get or asked for any prognoses, since no one can tell really what will happen now. She will not get chemo, since there is no chemo that can preserve her good life quality, and cure her. Only maybe prolong her life a little, but worsen life quality. Still, she will get this COX2 inhibitor, an anti-inflammatory medicine, Metacam, which is good for her, and can stop or slow down the progress of cancer. She will also get special food for cancer patients – a lot of fat and good protein, minimal carbs. One of the dry food that are best in that composition is Royal Canin Intestinal, according to Patricio, we got her that. I’ve also ordered wet food of same kind, and she also eats Bozita and Sheba chicken file and egg yolk at times. We will not give carbs to the cancer!!!

(Yes, she gets food served in bed. Leroy is helping her)

I woke up very late at Saturday, but I was not as sad anymore, I was determined to spend this time we have left together the best we can. Jossan is my big love. We may have weeks or months or years left together, I do not know. No one knows. And you actually never know for anyone how much you have left. We live now, in present and I am happy to have her in my life. I love her so much. ❤

Happy Easter

Happy Easter and greetings from us and our cat family!

The spring is almost here (we had some snow last week in Stockholm). All the cats are healthy, and we hope that this year we will have some kittens during the summer. Nothing yet, but we have the plans. That will be so exciting, we did not have kittens since winter 2013/2014.

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Jossan is eating some of the cat grass we grow for our furry friends in the flower pot, and then kindly poses for her yearly ‘cat with an Easter hat’ picture, with a half of one Easter egg-shaped metal candy box acting as a hat.

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Happy Easter!

 

 

Two weeks later

Last two and a half weeks went both fast and slow, part like a dream, part like a nightmare. At moments it was very painful, sometimes I felt sedated by chemicals produced by my own body. We have capabilities to both hurt and heal.

Our focus shifted from primarily grieving to taking care of Jossan. After her second operation she got complications – a part of her cut would not heal, and close. The infection she got was cured by antibiotics she got, but the edges of the cut healed each for itself, and did not meet here and there.

I feel that she was not sewn that carefully after the operation, the upper part of her chest was sewn so-so; I tried to tighten the knots after a week, and managed with a lot of patience and work. Jossan trusts us 110% and was calm and waited for me to untie and then tie again the problematic knots of her stitches. That helped, the cut healed, but not everywhere. We went to the vet twice again, and they booked a surgery (the third one!) acutely in case the hole does not close, on 30th of December.
The hole did not close, partly because of the too eager nurse who cut of about 1-1,5cm from the thread ends on our second visit, in spite of my objections (“It is plastic, it irritates her skin”, she said.” Yes, but it will get untied”, I said, “there is a reason that surgeons leave them that long!”). She cut them of anyway, and the stitches went off in the evening and Jossan got to have a surgery.

On her revision surgery they trimmed the edges of her skin that did not close and pulled them together and sewed them again. My poor cat got to recover for two weeks longer than we expected at the first place.

The biggest problem in her recovery was not the hole that would not close; it was that she got depressed and would not eat, LillMupp’s death made her very sad, he was closest to her of all the cats. So, I fed her, carried her around on me, lied next to her during the days and nights. She was so sad, we were sad. It all was dark.

Yesterday, finally, the hole (that was not sewed properly again, IMO, and I tightened it, again!), closed and Jossan started eating more and more. I see it finally turning for the better and the future looking brighter.

The good news is also that they did not find any cancer on her other side. The tumour she had there was benign. That and the fact that all was discovered early and removed early, gives her relatively good prognoses, for a cancer type that usually has medium to very poor prognoses.

I hope she will heal fast now, when she started eating on her own (I do not have to feed her for hand all the time anymore) and the cut is closing. The most important is that she got stronger than her sorrow. She is very tough.

I still am very sad and grieving. It will take time to think about it less, but feelings of love and pain and loss will always be there. They will move more to the background with time.

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Jossan, January 2016, recovering

My ever rational brain figured out one thing while I was half-asleep two nights ago; after LillMupp died, I felt like swimming in dark cold waters under a night sky without stars all the time. That night in my bed my mind understood which is the straw I’ll be grabbing.

My straw was Jossan and her little warm body next to me, in the bed. There is so much beauty in love between her and me, that gives me physical feeling of energy and light and warmth in my heart. I love my husband and my other cats very much, but right then it was Jossan and her loving me, and her needing me and me helping her and loving her and nourishing her back to health that became my straw and the source of love and beauty I felt in my heart again, in the middle of all the sadness and darkness.

Heartbreak

Last Monday we lost our beloved LillMupp (SE*La Voix Dexter), Jossans grandchild, Claire’s only kitten. He was only 2 years old. Joakim and I feel broken.

LillMupp <3

LillMupp ❤

LillMupp had an amazing personality and was very beautiful. All cats loved him and he loved them. He had a happy childhood and was adored and loved whole of his life.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas with LillMupp 2013, 2 years ago

He liked all humans and greeted everyone that came to our house.

LillMupp December 2014

LillMupp, December 2014

LillMupp went down in weight recently, about three weeks ago, or four. He ate and drank water, seemed otherwise ok. We took him to the veterinary, he listened to his heart and lungs, all sounded normal. He ran blood tests and saw signs of an ongoing infection and anaemia. LillMupp was tested negative against the usual FeLV/FIV, viruses, parasites etc and we repeated the tests for viruses there. Negative. Sent in tests for different kinds of bacteria (mycoplasma) to a bigger lab, and gave him medicines immediately as if he had mycoplasma hemofelis (that can give that clinical picture). Ronaxane and also he got Prednisolone. Where could he get that from? He was not exhibited, did not go outside, and no other cats were sick. He did date three otherwise healthy girls, tested for all he was as well. He had no symptoms of anything, but that low weight. He was actually a bit constipated that day, but went on the litterbox just before we went to the vet.

He got better on medications. He went dramatically up in weight and we were happy. The results came back negative for the lab, no mycoplasma of any kind, but it could have been some other bacteria or a virus. The important thing was he was getting up in weight. He played and all. Then last Sunday, a week ago, almost 2 weeks after the first veterinary visit, he started breathing oddly. Why, we wondered. He did not want to eat himself that evening, so I fed him. He liked to eat from my hand, he was brought up as a single kitten and very attached to us.
On Monday morning I did not think he seemed better, so Joakim took him to the vet, acutely. Jossan followed. I thought that they should take a look at her cut after her other surgery, I did not think it looked as it should, too much discharge was coming out of it, but she seemed otherwise fine. I did not go with them, since I was pretty sick with flu or something like that and in bed, could barely speak.

The agony began when Joakim called me and said that they saw some liquid in LillMupp’s abdomen on x-rays. After that he was taken to the ultrasound examination to a cardiologist. And then Joakim called me and said that they can not save LillMupp, that his abdomen is filled with fluid, that his lungs are filled with fluid, that his heart is not working, that he has a both sided heart failure and that even if he was in intensive care for a long time, the chances to save his life were almost non existing, and even if they would succeed, he would never have a good live afterwards, since his heart could not be fixed.

I jumped in the taxi I called and cried my eyes out on the way to the hospital to say farewell to LillMupp The cab driver was trying to be sympathetic and when he understood through my sobbing why I was crying he said – well, you can get another cat. I just cried and cried.

Joakim, Jossan and LillMupp were in a room made for the final farewell. It was pretty dark with electrical candles giving some light. I collected myself and was silent as much as I could before I went in so I would not give more anxiety to LillMupp and Jossan. Talked to a veterinary myself. I could not believe he could not be saved. He could not. I did not want him to suffer. I have an enormous respect for life. When I was small I killed a fly by mistake with my pen and cried for hours, my mom was annoyed, my dad consoled me. A life is precious. And my cats’ lives, I would do anything to save them. There is no money that would be too much for that. But he suffered so much, he was in pain, he could not breath properly, he was purring, to diminish pain, and happy to see me.

We arranged so that his beloved grandmother Jossan would lie next to him and Joakim held his head and kissed him and I held his paws and body and kissed him, and Jossan licked him, and the veterinary gave him sedative and painkiller and we were there in a long hugging and kissing moment for a while.

Then when we were ready, we moved Jossan from there back to her travelling cage, to spare her from the shock or fear or anxiety of the departure to come. Then the veterinary came back in and gave him the final injection that stopped his precious, big, warm, and ill heart. I was not sure when it stopped, he showed no signs of pain, it was just like he fell asleep. Jossan howled in the middle of it all, it was a sound she never made before, it was like a wolf howling at the moon, an ancient, very primitive kind of scream, pulling the strength from the bottom of her abdomen and lungs. We think that is when his soul departed from his body. Joakim was thinking – was it that he stopped breathing, and she reacted to that, what was it. We do not know. Some things we might never understand.

He will be cremated and we will get his ashes home in a few weeks. We will have our pets ashes buried with us one day. I will think more about that later. His ashes will be in the house with us until then.

The veterinary thought that it could be that his heart just got weaker and weaker with time and then he compensated for it until it was too late. Some infection might or might not have contributed to that. Probably not, but it did not matter anymore. He did not have any offspring.

The pain after his death was physical. I would wake up every few hours after I managed to get asleep, with chests burning from pressure and pain. Cried until half of my eyelashes fell of, and I was dehydrated. Tried to find answers online after a day or two, why it hurts so much, what to do, I felt I will never manage to go on. I found one good site that helped me understand that others who love and have lost their pets feel like I do. ‘Pet’… he was a family member! Our cats are our children, our friends. It is a good site, please read here.

I am trying to understand my grief and understand who I am; grief for atheists and theists is the same in pain, but the consolation is different. I am brought up by Christian parents (dad was an atheist as younger), but I thought that I am an atheist – there is no better place and rainbow bridge after death in my world. Sometimes I feel that being an atheist is a form of masochism. And being a theist is lying to yourself.

I am neither. I KNOW that energy cannot be destroyed or made. That is a fact.

LillMupp is still with us, he has just changed his form. He also lives in our memories, in our hearts.

My dad told me once (not to me directly, but about his views. It was before he denounced his atheism and went back to being Christian) – “do not bring flowers to my grave and visit it often after I die. I won’t care. Be nice to me while I am alive”. That was one of those sentences that influenced who I am today. I want to love and be nice to my beloved ones while they are here with me. I love my husband and my cats and try to make the most of it every day. Flowers on the grave are not meaningless though – they are for the living left behind, we have to live with our sorrows and grief. But I do believe that there are things we do not know, and that it all makes some more sense than a big nothingness and oblivion afterwards.

Energy cannot be created or destroyed, but it can be transformed from one form to another. LillMupp will always be with us. My love for him is forever. But his loss hurts so much, I am crying through the whole text I have typed here. I did not want to write about this on my blog before, and I could not. This happened only a few days before Christmas and I did not want to spread the sorrow and pain we feel. I love LillMupp forever.

Jossan’s further recovery

Jossan has recovered after the first surgery without an infection or complications. We just had to keep an extra eye on her not to get out of her protective body. She was a little Houdini, she, as soon as she was off her painkiller that was also a bit sedating, she would somehow take off her body-sock!
This collar did not help a bit:

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The soft collar that Jossan could take off in 3 seconds; rotate, hold with one paw, pull out the head, using her other paw. :/

I had to put on a plastic collar on her, and then one day when I came back from job this is what waited for me:

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“Yes Mom, I took the body off, and the collar is still on!” HOW?! My Houdini!

So, I had to work some from home and take care of Jossan. She was very calm and not trying anything as long as we watched her. Clever lady.

The stitches were removed 2 weeks after the surgery and all was fine, but she still had to be watched for some time. Now she has healed completely. She did go down i weight though, in spite of all the nutritious food. Body takes a lot when healing.

Last Thursday we had an appointment with an animal oncologist in a big animal hospital. We got referred there because Jossan’s veterinary who operated her went on a longer sick leave and we had to get another surgeon and someone to talk to.

It was good to meed an oncologist. She told me that cats can have at the same time different types of cancer. We will see what she has on her other side when it is removed, the next operation is scheduled for 15th of December. Usually the oncologist we met does not recommend to remove all of the mammary glands (different veterinaries think differently), just the one and one more maybe where the tumors were found. Jossan is in a good condition and took the surgery well, which is not always the case, and that is one of the reasons why she does not recommend it – it is a tough surgery with a very long cut.

I will post some pictures of Jossan’s cut. They are taken with my mobile and not very sharp, but you can see the extension of the cut. It is a very long cut. DO NOT LOOK at the pictures if you are sensitive. There is no blood, but bruises and stitches. The pictures are linked here:

Pictures after the surgery

Also, the kind of tumour that they found so far, on the side that is removed is as I knew, not that aggressive, and actually can be kept down with a medication that is anti-inflammatory (Metacam), not a citostatic, if needed, or a new one appears! That is very good news. But we have to see what kind she has on her other side. And we hope that they remove all of it.

I was away from Friday afternoon to Monday afternoon, went to Norway with Leroy and Albert, to a cat exhibition that we booked a long time before we found Jossan’s tumours. That was supposed to be our first exhibition abroad and I thought to try to get one more certificate each and see if the boys can become International Premiers within FIFe. The hotel and trains were booked, and I went there with a friend that had also some rough time with one of her cats and kitten recently. It was our mini-vacation. Joakim took care of our cats at home, and Jossan.

The exhibition went great, above my expectations, many happy moments,and very happy Leroy (he loves cat shows). Yesterday I came back home and to my beloved cat, with her dad and son and all the medals and bows and we cuddled so much, I was happy. In two weeks, we have a new operation before us, and after that some more recovery to do. And then I hope Jossan will be healthy for many more years to come.

Jossan’s results

We have already received the results from the pathologist. To sum it up – it is the least bad kind of bad news.

Jossan has cancer, as we expected, and we seem to have detected it early, as we hoped. It is also not a very aggressive tumor (at this point), and is of type that gives the best prognoses. It also did not seem to have spread to the surrounding lymph nodes.

In about 5 weeks she will undergo another operation where her other chain of mammary glands will be removed. After that we will check her regularly and hope for the best. If we detect another lump somewhere, we’ll take it from there. The aim and hope is that all the bad cells will be removed and that she will live a long and healthy life after that. ❤

I have attached the report if one is interested (click to enlarge).

Report after the first operation

Report from the first operation

More to read about mammary gland cancer can be found here:
http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rfoster/repropath/mammary/Mam_fel/Mam_cat.html
and here (breast cancer):

http://pathology.jhu.edu/breast/grade.php

Mammary glands cancer in cats has similarities to breast cancer in humans. I did not understand all I read in the report at first, but I have looked it up, understood it all, and got a bit relieved. Talked to the veterinary later, she confirmed what I already interpreted from the report. She also told me that it is almost never this good bad report they get back from the pathologist, usually the tumours are faster dividing and the grade is higher. They progress fast, it is easy to miss them, and they are detected later that one could hope for.

We will take care of our dear girl, and hope she will get cancer-free soon! Today I found another lump on her other side that will be operated in December. Mammary gland cancer tends to be bilateral in cats. I am very nervous, but I cannot rush anything. They cannot operate two sides at a same time, and also, after the first operation, she has to heal and the skin should not bee too stretched so it could burst after the next operation.

Jossan and Leroy

Jossan (closer) and Leroy (farther). Yes, she is similar to her dad in her looks, only slender and feminine 🙂

I have many mixed emotions, and sometimes I cry, sometimes I am optimistic, all in all I am pretty shaky. But above all I am happy that I have her and that she is recovering well from the first operation.

Jossan is at home, after the operation

We’ve just came home with Jossan and put her in her bed, in front of the warm radiator. She is in half dark, in a calm and safe environment. She is still tired and painkillers make her calm and a bit sedated. She got a lot of IV fluids today, after the operation, and a medicine against sickness, they said she was a bit sick and threw up after the operation.

The operation went well, I talked to the veterinary after Jossan woke up from anaesthesia. Jossan is a fit and slender cat, small to medium in size (she weighs 3,4 kg), but very long; the veterinary said that she had a lot of mammary glands mass in one row they removed (t was a unilateral operation, they removed the whole chain of mammary glands on one side). The veterinary found one more small lump besides the ones I found, high up towards her armpit, she removed all she could from the surrounding tissue. It is sent for analysis, the results will be in two weeks.

Jossan has gotten body-sock, like a baby, in order to protect the cut that is very long. She has a lot of stitches. The veterinary thought the body might work better for Jossan than a cone (Elizabethan collar). We will try and see.

Jossan ion her body-sock

She will get painkillers in her mouth with every 7 or more hours between the doses. We got them with us from the clinic.

painkillers

painkillers

She can eat little, when she is ready for that, soon, we hope, small portions at time, not to irritate her tummy.

Recovery food

Recovery food

I bought a/d, it is good for her and it is tasty; it is food for recovering patients, and it is high in nutrients. I will be at home with Jossan, and check on the wound regularly for a few days, and then remove compress that she has on, after two-three days.

Jossan is resting in low light, covered with blankets and in front of the radiator, to keep her warm.

Jossan is resting in low light, covered with blankets and in front of the radiator, to keep her warm.

I know it will be malignant tumors she’s got, but the question is which kind and what more can be done. The surgery as it is done, plus removal of the glands on the other side in a second surgery gives the best prognosis. But we take one step at a time.

Jossan does not have any family history of mammary gland cancer, but she was not neutered young, and she was on contraceptive pills at times. She was not often on them, but even little increases the risks. And she is a Siamese; Orientals and Siamese are for some reason more prone to mammary gland tumors than other cat races. You go around and hit your head against the wall and ask yourself – why, why, why? But then, it is bad luck and accident; that is why.

I read that the tumor size is the single most important prognostic factor, and hers were very small, about a size of pepper corn, but a few of them:

“Cats with tumors larger than 3 cm in diameter have a median survival time of 4 to 6 months; cats with tumors 2 to 3 cm in diameter have a median survival time of about 2 years, and cats with tumors less than a 2 cm in diameter tumor have a median survival time of over 3 years.” I read more here.

But then, there is statistics, and there is life.
I love Jossan.

Jossan is having a surgery

Jossan is my cat, I adore her. She is one person’s cat, and I was lucky to be that person. She chose me.

Jossan is turning 8 years in December, and she was always healthy, more or less; she had a food allergy once, some teeth problems that were all fixed latest this June.

She also had an idiopathic cystitis once, when I closed the door to our bedroom for about a week at nights and she could not sleep in my bed. I was just operated and no one could sleep close to me, because of my cut healing. She was crying in front of the door at nights. Joakim tried to cuddle with her and calm her down, but it would not last. I cuddled her, it was ok, I would crawl back to bed (it was hard for me to move), and she was upset and crying again. I guess I smelled like hospital still or she smelled I am not entirely well yet. She was examined and got noninflammatory medicine that helped her symptoms, but basically  she got well when I got well.

She and I are very close, Joakim says we have a telepathic connection. Sometimes it feels like that, it is true. She gave birth to her kittens in my lap. Only one, Eleonora was born in our bed, without me being there at the begining of her giving birth.

She was in her top form this summer, and was even exhibited and got many appraisals.

Jossan, September 2015

Jossan, September 2015

But that all changed recently, she started picking her fur, I though – allergy again? What now? I started changing food to what I knew she never reacted to. Not better. I brushed her teeth, she got Stomodine gel in her mouth (she is prone to gingivitis). She did not get better. She eats well, she is as happy and cuddly as always, but something is not right. What, what?!

I examined her and felt a cluster of small knots in one of her mammary glands. I froze. I just felt I was falling down into nothing. The mammary gland tumors in cats are often not benign, they are almost always bad.That was late Sunday night, and I was on the phone to the veterinary Monday morning (this happened 10 days ago) when the veterinary clinic just opened. We got the appointment the same evening.

And, what we found out, after 2 hours of examinations there – the blood works is fine, but the tumors must go away soon. She will be operated tomorrow. They did an x-ray on Jossan, since those kind of tumors may be aggressive and spread fast, often to lungs. Her lungs and other organs looked good! That felt a bit better, but I still was sitting there, crying.

Jossan’s fur picking seems not to be an allergy, but an over reactive immune system. She has what it looks like a beginning of stomatitis in her mouth, so it could be that that causes the pain which makes he pick her fur. It can be managed sometimes with cortisone (prednisolone), or in different ways, even extracting all teeth in some cases. They are not sure yet what will work for her.

We are taking one step at a time. First Jossan got Prednisolone to get down the itch and inflammation in her mouth. We started with a high dose that we went down with, before the operation, since taking cortisone may slow the healing process after the operation. We started with that immediately after last Monday’s veterinary visit. Prednisolone worked well, she stopped itching, and is not pulling her fur anymore. We went down in dose now, she is still well. That is good!

Tomorrow she is having her first surgery, they will remove the whole one side of her mammary glands, then analyze it and we will take it from there. I will work from home on Friday and take care of her.

I am very nervous and on a verge of tears often. She is my baby. I hope so much we caught all this in time. She had no tumors I could feel in August and September and she had dental check in June and all fine after that.

I promised her she will be well, and pain free and run around in our garden next spring and summer again.

Albert is a dark genius and a great artist

A beheaded pig greets us as we enter our home. A Yule goat from the upper floor, dragged all over the house and pushed down the stairs, is lying lifelessly in the corridor.

A cow has met its end by drowning in a bowl in the kitchen.

Under the Christmas tree devoid of half of its decorations sits Albert and stares at us. We have been away. The whole day. He worked on his latest performance and is happy to present it for us.

The crown of his creation meets us when I throw my tired bottom on the sofa, landing it midst of a pile of wet mice and fluffy white hearts; all the red ribbons that they hung by meticulously pulled out and left aside

Albert

Albert

The Fat Siamese strikes back

Leroy, The King (Lilac point Siamese)

Leroy, The King

#1 Leroy’s Diary, March 2013

One Sunday after lunch, a very secret location somewhere in Sweden

“Can he go from the chair in the corner slowly diagonally over the floor to the left edge of the table and stretch his left, no, wait – his right paw, slowly and lift it here in the air, put it against the table and turn his head towards the camera? Like this?”, said the guy with a funny hat. He was talking about me and asking Mom and Dad.

Of course I could do that. But why should I?

“Ahm, no…”, Mom answered. She and Dad exchanged nervous looks.

“Mauuu”, I said.

“But, Nisse*, Leroy is a family pet, not a circus cat. He cannot do tricks”, said a lady with long hair.

Of course I could do tricks. But, why should I?

“No, he cannot do tricks. But he can do anything if he wants to, and if he gets candy”, Mom said.

Of course I could do anything, but why should I? Wait, did Mom just mention candy?

“Maaaaauuuu”, I said.

Everyone was looking at me, a whole bunch of people I’ve met for the first time today. Dad got out a bag of Dreamies and showed me the candy. Everyone got excited and stared at me.

Let me tell you something – if you already haven’t figured that out yourselves – I love being the center of attention. I deserve everyone’s attention. What I do not necessarily like is to do as I am told. So I jumped from Mom’s lap and ran towards the closest tunnel and crawled in. Ha, humans, eat your candy yourselves!

There is a whole world of new 1000sqm I have to explore. I see you when I see you!

***

Three hours and two shooting sessions later. Take #3.

I think that we are clear on who is the King now. Give me that candy, and I’ll do the walk better than Nisse could ever dream of.  Just because I want that.

Heidi Klum, watch and learn, this is how you do it!

Humans are an inferior species.

#2 Mom’s diary, March 2013.

Sunday evening

We came back from the photo session about an hour ago. We did not take any photos ourselves, everything was sort of secret. New IKEA kitchen, six different ones, the adds will be out in June, I think they said. If they do not photoshop away Leroy, he’ll be a star!!!

Leroy was really cool in an enormously big studio with many new smells. The crew did one photo session at first during which we did not get him to do what we wanted, or go where we decided. No amount of candy or petting helped. The photographer decided that we all should take a break, and let the star rest a bit. She seemed nice, and worked with animals before. Cats are the hardest to film or capture on pictures in arranged situations, they do as they want. 🙂 And Siamese and Orientals even more so than others.

The second shot got much better, Leroy started exploring the main set, not only all the tunnels and the dark parts of the studio. We got to rest for 30 more minutes.

Leroy was completely relaxed during he third attempt. He went everywhere we wanted, looked for candy and was as cool as he is at home. He is not a trained cat that knows tricks and so, but he is a very clever and stable cat with a lot of charisma. The crew was happy with his body language and we wrapped the shoot. It took us half a day! It is not easy becoming a star.

Jocke and I were happy with “Leroy’s” new kitchen. It was elegant, a bit Japanese in style, minimalistic and the colors matched our Leroy perfectly (or the other way round).

Leroy is not a tiny Siamese, but maybe that is why he was cast? Who wants a skinny cat in a kitchen commercial?! 🙂 I hope that they got some good photo today, and that they do not remove him completely from the photo. The ad’s working name is called ‘Minimalisten; walk in kitchen’.

Leroy, the King!

Leroy, the cutest King ever!

#3 Leroy, May 2013

Mom is leaving the Green Room open all the time now during the summer. Sometimes I get to follow with her outside, and run around with her and Miii and Maven. I do not want to run, but I have to, there are butterflies and grass and flowers, and bushes in the backyard.

Mom and Dad are vicious people. Just when I thought that torturing me with Da Bird is the worst that could happen, they let me follow outside. I feel how the outside world is draining my energy with all it has to offer. My body is getting smaller every day. I am disappearing. I’ll melt before the autumn comes.

#4 Leroy, June 2013

Mom and Dad are ridiculous. They called me a star, got home a picture of me from IKEA for their personal use, they were happy. The picture of me that is online, in some commercial.

Leroy, ego surfing

Leroy, ego surfing

I like IKEA. They make good mouse toys. I like the white ones the most.

Other Siamese owners must be envious of Mom and Dad. Well, it is their fault they have strong characters and no heart and starve their cats. Mom and Dad are easily broken, and why would IKEA ever hire a skinny Siamese for the kitchen commercial. Hello? Of course it had to be me.

IKEA took over the world and stayed on top for many decades. They know a star when they see one. The next stop – Hollywood!

Again, Heidi Klum, watch and learn; here I come!

P.S. I wonder if Mom got paid and what did she do with all that money. If she bought more Tasteless Mud for it, I’ll stare at her until she starts crying. Bad Mom. Where is my Tasty Crap?! My star tummy needs its Tasty Crap!!! Humans are impossible to teach and train! Arrrgh.

P.P.S. Nisse* is not called Nisse, I forgot his real name.

***

Leroy’s picture online at Ikea’s site can be seen here:

IKEA, kök

Previous parts of Leroy’s diary can be found here:

The fat Siamese diary – week #1

The fat Siamese diary – part #2

The fat Siamese diary – part #3 (Exhibition)

Summer on the balcony

Image

Claire: “Mini pelargoniums! Let’s go for the red one, it looks juicy.”

"No, that is so main stream. I say we go for this one."

Albert: “No, red pelargoniums are so mainstream. I say we go for this one.”

Yes, our Albert is a cat with a discerning palate. Let’s have a close up of what he is trying to eat:

Albert is a gourmet

Albert is a gourmet

A cactus? Yes, a cactus!

Luckily, no cat or plant was hurt during this photo session!

Did Albert learn something today? I hope he did! He did not bleed or seemed hurt, but he looked very surprised after gently trying to taste the little cactus.

The True Jungle King (or Mr Sung if you prefer)

We got a few pictures of Sung (Alessandro), Albert’s blue brother from the A-litter who lives in Malmö with his humans and Skeletor. He and his furry friend spend the days in the sun on their balcony.

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Skeletor and Sung, May 2013

And look how stylish he is. Who is tougher? Mr Phantom or Mr Sung? The answer is kind of obvious if you only count how many little skulls each of them wears.

phantomSkull

Mr Phantom

plenty of skulls

Mr Sung

20130504Sung2

The True Jungle King

 

In memoriam – Affe

We are not the same species, but our souls are made of the same matter.

There are both animals and humans I loved that are not among us anymore and I miss them greatly. I believe they did not just disappear into nothingness. I believe the soul is eternal. I am an atheist, but that has nothing to do with my beliefs.

I miss them so much, those beautiful souls, that loved unconditionally and were loved back.

♥  I love you, Affe, and I know that your Mom you chose yourself loved you enormously. You lived a life way too short, but you were loved from its start to its end more than many that walked this Earth. Love you, always. We will meet again. ♥ 

Love and care for your dear ones every day, you never know how much time we have left together on this Earth.

Alfred, Albert’s and Claire’s brother from A-litter died February 4th. He was born May 23, 2010. He was an emotional, generous, expressive, loving cat with opinions and when his future Mom came to us and met all the seven kittens, he went to her and sat in her lap. He chose her (he never did that to anyone else that came to visit us during their first three months of life). There was a connection and affection between his Mom and him from the moment they met. We are glad that he got to spend all the time he had in his short life with her, her little daughter and his sister Ada, also from the first litter.

Affe and Ada, summer 2011

It took me almost two weeks to gather strength to write that he died. I cried every night and during the days. The worst part is that I know how much Alfred was loved by his family and how much he will be missed. He lived way too short life, but it was a good life, filled with much love.

He was let go on the operating table, where the veterinaries tried to operate a rare form of abdominal cancer that progressed fast, that no one of the cats behind him in recent generations had and that he had no other risks for (FeLV or FIV virus). There is no known genetic component to that awful disease, but Siamese may be more prone to it than other races. It was too late, and he could not be saved, nor his life prolonged more than days. He was let go, and never woke up.

Affe will always be loved and never forgotten. ♥ He brought so much joy and love to people around him, and that is how he will be remembered.

A few pictures of Affe, when he was a kitten, taken 2,5 years ago.

Alfred, 11 weeks

Alfred, 11 weeks, August 2010

Alfred, 11 weeks

Alfred, 11 weeks, August 2010

Alfred, 11 weeks

Alfred, 11 weeks, August 2010

A painting of Jossan

I am done with a small painting of Jossan. I cannot take a good picture of it though; it looks better IRL, the dreaded orange heart is coral actually and everything is a bit different. I used a silver pigment on the painting which makes it hard to take a good photo of it, especially with flash (this picture is taken without flash).
I think it looks like Jossan. 🙂

Josephine Brown

Josephine Brown

Edited:

Here is a better photo of the painting, taken in the daylight. 🙂 The colors are more correct. The painting has more depth in reality.

Jossan daylight

Jossan daylight

And one more with Leroy, interested in my work. 🙂

Leroy

Leroy and a painting of his daughter

Merry Christmas!

MerryXmas2012a2

The cats, Joakim and I wish you a merry Christmas! I like to draw/make my own Christmas cards, and this one is a combination of the one I drew in real life, and then fixed it a bit in Gimp. I am not that good with image editing and photoshopping, but I am happy with the result.

This one is unedited. Look, our little White Squirrel is back! Albert is having fun in the Christmas tree. Every morning the branches are bending towards the floor, and some of the ornaments are missing. The fluffy ones (look at that heart! It is from Ikea :)) can be found here and there in the house, often in our bed. Presents! 🙂

20121220AlbertSquirell1

The return of The White Squirrel

Claire opens hunting season

A hunt? On what? TOYS! Except that those are not toys, but Christmas ornaments! Or, well, that depends – if you are a cat the world is your playground and all the items lying around (or arranged in a silly manner by humans) are certainly left there for your pleasure and entertainment.

I was strategically placing our beloved figurines of bearded tomtar (pl from tomte) on the highest shelves so that the cats cannot get them (oh, those lovelly beards made of wool from sheep from Öland, nom nom!) when Claire started running around with a little angel doll I got from Jocke’s mom!

"Look what I found! A toy!"

“Look what I found! A toy!”

She did not destroy it, she just carried it all over the house, but it was hard to get it back from her. “MINE!”. First she teased Albert who got to follow her around, but no, he did not get to touch the angel doll.

"Albert, won't you come and see what I have here?"

“Albert, won’t you come and see what I have here?”

"Look, it is so pretty!"

“Look, it is so pretty!”

"Don't touch! Only I can touch it."

“Don’t touch! Only I may touch it.”

Jocke took a few pictures and then I rescued the lovely angel doll from Claire who was NOT HAPPY! That little cat is so cute and cuddly, but very obstinate. A cat; obstinate? No! 😉

Rescued angel doll

Rescued angel doll