Sunday evening

It is cosy in front of the fire. Jossan is enjoying the warmth lying between Electra and Leroy ❤

She still has appetite and a strong will to live. It is cold outside and she cannot go out,  but the fireplace in the evenings and sun in the windows during our short days are very popular in our cat pride.

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September

We had the coldest summer in Sweden in last 155 years. But we still had some nice and warm sunny days. And even when it is not sunny, the cats are happy to cuddle at home.
Jossan is as always. But I feel her tumour in one of her armpits grew a lot lately. It was the size of a peppercorn in March and now it is like two almonds. That is the one we wanted to operate, but the veterinaries decided against when we found out she already had metastases at lungs.
She does not seem to notice it or mind it at all.
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I wonder what is going on in her lungs. If that external tumour grew that much, is the end very near? Anxiety is unavoidable, but I do not welcome it and let it stay. I do not have time for sorrow and anxiety now. As long as she is well and lives her life to the fullest, it is good.
Jossan is still getting her COX-2 inhibitor daily and is pampered to bits, dinner in bed, the candy she wants. She goes out when she wants which is only when it is warm and I am at home. She goes to the entrance door and calls me to let her out. She is just staying at our lot, eats the grass out or lies in the sun. Or chases hares or roe deer!!! She chases only big animals. My funny cat. She has a heart and a soul of a lioness.

Our other cats are well. Albert loves to lie in his cat cave and yesterday he really wanted to eat, but was too lazy to go up. And it is so warm and cosy in his little cave. So of course I served his Saturday breakfast there!

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Breakfast in bed, that’s how we roll here  🙂

 

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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June 2017

You never know who will leave first. All we have are assumptions and hopes for long life and health.
Our all cats here at home in Stockholm are well and alive, but some of dear people lost their beloved cats recently and I am very sad for them. But I was also happy to know how those cats were very much loved and had beautiful lives. ❤ We are thinking of you my dear ones ❤
Sorrow and grief are dark companions, and they are with us after loss because we loved someone dearly, making everything dark, but there is also so much love and beauty in the world, too. ❤

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Behind the curtain – Jossan (in the princess bed) and Leroy (on the sheep) in the west window.

My love Jossan shows no symptoms of being ill at all. I give her her cancer slowing medicine every evening after food and she licks it like candy.
She has an excellent apetite and is as happy as usual. We had a lot of rain in Stockholm recently, but when it was warm and dry she followed me to our garden.

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Jossan in the garden

The cats also go to the balcony sometimes.

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Jossan sharpening her claws on the balcony

In two weeks we will have a vacation and spend it here at home with our cats for the most of time. Staycations are good, if we are lucky we will have a fine summer here, do the gardening and relax.

Still no answers

The veterinary called me this morning, and – they still do not know what the x-ray show. The radiologist could not exclude metastases on the lungs, but could not tell that they are that for sure either, so we will go to CT, computed tomography exam. They should call me from the animal clinic tomorrow to book a time for that hopefully on Monday.

If Jossan has metastases, we will not operate. If she does not, we will.

That sounds so simple. It is really a simple decision to make when we know the answers, but it is not easy. It is hard on our hearts.

It takes so much time, all the exams, we are in the limbo. But she does not know, she is fine. ❤

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.

 

Lazy Sunday

A lazy Sunday afternoon, I am reading on the sofa, Jossan is under the blanket. This night and morning she was also under my blanket in the bed. My ❤

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She is feeling well and we hope for spring to come soon so that we can have walks in the garden together.
Next week on Wednesday, a cat dentist will pull out a tooth that seems to be bothering her (FORL). We got okay for that, since all her recent blood tests are good, the cancer is seemingly under control at the moment, and we of course do not want her to have a toothache! Fingers crossed on Wednesday that all goes well with our Queen.
A cat friend’s Siamese girl, with the same bad type of cancer as Jossan has, was put to sleep 10 days ago. 😥 It has spread and took over her lungs with metastases so she was tired and could not breath without problems. She was operated and was on the same medication as Jossan for a few months, which prolonged her life a bit. But then it could not be stopped anymore. So tragic. My heart goes out to my friend.
I hope we will have much more time with Jossan, but I do not think about that much, we chose not to grieve in advance. We take every day as a gift and are grateful for it. And we live in the present. Like cats do. ❤

In November?

Life is full of surprises. We were focused on my darling Jossan and did not expect much from our (slow to become an adult, an eternal junior 🙂 ) boy Funtes.

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Funtes, summer 2016

Yes, both Electra and Claire were in heat (with 2 weeks apart, Electra first) and they both were given privacy with Funtes, but we did not notice a single mating. Well, maybe he prefers to date while his humans are at work.

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Electra, October 2016

Electra, Jossan’s daughter from her last litter, seems to be pregnant. I do not know for sure if it is a phantom pregnancy or a real one, but she should be about 5 weeks pregnant now, and went up about 350-400gr, so this could be for real! In that case, we will expect kittens between Funtes and Electra in the middle of November!

Jossan is perfectly well now on the outside, I am spoiling her to bits. Breakfast in bed and all she wants. She is tolerating her Metacam well, no side effects. I hope it works and that she will be around for many years to come.

We checked Leroy, Albert and Maven’s blood values recently. They also passed their yearly physical exam. They are well, and have no signs of arthritis or kidney failure or something bad. Good! Here are Leroy’s blood chemistry results, Albert and Maven hade similar values. Leroy is ground for our breeding, so I am happy that he is going strong, still. He is turning 10 this December.

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Miii was tested earlier this summer, also all well, but she is a bit overweight and we are struggling with that.

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. ❤

Jossan, a year after

My love Jossan had a great summer, she was healthy and happy and got to go out in our garden, lie in the sun, crawl through the bushes and eat the grass and hunt the flies.

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Jossan outside in our garden, summer 2016

If you remember, we have discovered Jossan’s mammary cancer about a year ago and she underwent a total mastectomy after that. After complications related to the cut not healing well, we have changed the clinic, they revised the cut, got out the material that was irritating her and she healed fast and well after that. All was a total happiness again.

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Jossan, summer 2016

Just about a month ago, her blood values were checked, she was X-rayed and she was considered to be in a remission with no signs of cancer. And then, not even two weeks after the happy news about her being seemingly cancer-free, I was cuddling with her on the sofa before going to sleep, when I felt a little lump in her right front armpit. And one even smaller next to the first one, and one more… there were three of them and they were like a pea, and half a pea and a peppercorn. And so I started getting cold chills and soon a full blown panic attack.

It was back, or we missed it, or it was a microscopic, and grew. Jossan looked at me with her pretty loving eyes wondering why am I worrying. They always feel what we feel.

I called and booked a time at the new clinic the first time next morning. We met a veterinary, and got booked an appointment with an oncologist, for a counseling and deciding what to do.

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Jossan and her daughter Electra, summer 2016

I broke in tears at the oncologist. He was very nice and emphatic, but I was not prepared to talk about feelings and perception of life there. I am tough, I think, when we talk about medicines, studies, possible treatments. Facts and possibilities I can talk about easily, relatively disconnecting my emotions, but I cannot, without being prepared, talk about my love for my cat and what life means for her and how she sees it and why we feel and do the things we do.

Joakim could not join us for our appointment, but we have already talked before about the money issue and other things and decided that we will do whatever it takes, if we can save her, without her suffering (a few days in stitches is fine, that she would forget, and we two are close then, she sleeps on me all the time and cuddles, and that closeness is also good). We will pay for it however much it costs (will probably go over the max sum what insurance covers).

The talk to the oncologist went well, besides that part with me crying a bit (while Jossan was happily jumping around and exploring the oncologist’s office). We have decided to remove what I discovered, look for more and remove what more is found, too, during the surgery. Since she was x-rayed and examined very recently, we knew that the cancer did not spread (visibly at least) yet, so we still could hope for the best after this operation. I am a firm believer in surgery against cancer, that if possible, it is the best treatment. We’ve met before, cancer and my close family, both human and pets (a dog), where surgeries were successful and the cancer was gone after them, for good; in one case after only one operation, in another after an extra surgery. Jossan will also receive Metacam, half a dose, every day, for the rest of her life; it is an anti inflammatory medicine that can inhibit some of the tumor cells.

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My ❤ Jossan

Jossan was operated this morning and the veterinary has called me recently; she is well and the operation went well. they took out those three lumps I found and checked her in detail for more; they found two more 1-3mm big and removed them; one in the middle of her abdomen, another close to the back leg. She has only small cuts and very few stitches. So now I am almost crying from relief that she woke up and she feels well. I cannot wait to see her in a few hours. My heart. ❤

My sunshine Jossan

Jossan resting last afternoon, grooming herself. My love is well and healthy. Happiness! 🙂

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Also, if all goes well, she will become a grandmother (Claire & Funtes will have kittens), in about 5 weeks. After 2,5 and more years we may have kittens in our home. 🙂 Fingers crossed!

Recovery

Yesterday I was so happy I cried.
Jossan has healed and, after months spent in her little body sock, stitches after the cancer operations, infection, complications, depression brought on by the loss of her best friend, she is whole again. Happiness!!!
She is purring and grooming herself her and I am helping (on the pics, she loves to be brushed. Not much hair, but she enjoys it. Leroy is half-napping behind her).

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She is still sleeping curled next to me and is in my lap almost all the time when I sit down at home. My heart is filled with love and I am happy she is well now.

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.

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.

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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.

The first day after the operation

The first day of Jossan’s recovery went well, considering the circumstances. The night was a bit tough. She did not want anyone in the room, beside me, so the other cats had to leave. I hugged her and tried to get her to eat some, and she did. Small portions. She did not get sick or threw up. She was in pain last night, in spite of the opioid analgesic she is getting (Buprenorphine). Today she seems to have less pain. I am giving her the painkillers according to the schedule.

We both were tired today, but I was happy I could help her feel a bit better by being with her, she takes care of me when I am not well, and now I take care of her. It is love. Our other cats are like that, too.

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Today Jossan looks better.

Today it was better, she wanted to be around other cats, so I carried her to the living room. I worked from home, and I sat in the dining room and could see her all the time (we have a big open space kitchen/dining room and living room connected, no doors). Leroy and Miii were allowed to come close and Leroy even was allowed to lick her head a bit. Jossan is the queen, she decides.

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Leroy, Miii and Jossan. It is warm under, the radiator is on. The cats love that place.

Joakim and I changed her bandage in the afternoon. It was soaked with blood (she bled right after the surgery, it is not new blood), but the cut looks good. No infection or something odd. It is very long, about 30cm and a lot of tissue is removed under. I washed it with saline and we put new sterile pads over it, taped a bit, and the body-sock went back on.

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Omnomnom, tasty! Jossan eats when I bring her the food on a small plate.

Jossan is sleeping and dreaming now, ‘talking’ in her sleep as I type. She basically just is resting, does not move much at all, but she ate well, small portions, bigger than last night though, and went to the litter box, which made me very happy. So far her recovery is great. My tough girl. 🙂

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.

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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.

LillMupp is here

Let me introduce you to LillMupp, Claire’s kitten.

He was born via c-section, 31st of October, after a whole day drama. He was the only kitten and Claire was 69 days pregnant with him. The nurse came with him to us after the operation and we had to wipe him and rub him with the towel for half an hour while Claire was waking up. We were scared, he was so fragile and not at all as lively as the kittens we saw before, that were delivered the usual way.

The veterinary came to us with Claire as soon as she was done. She did not know where she was, was still under the influence of the anesthetic, did not understand that it was her baby, or that it was a baby at all. She did not recognize us either. The veterinary helped us milk Claire and get a drop into the kitten’s mouth, and after some time he managed to nurse a bit. It is a reflex. The veterinary told us that he is a very strong boy, although Joakim and I were very skeptical, he looked so small and weak. But he had a good weight. After 8 hours at the hospital we went home with confused Claire and a kitten that I kept warm on our way back.

At home, Claire, still somewhat drugged recognized her mom and got very happy. Albert got confused and failed to identify Claire as her sister, since she smelled like medicine and hospital, so he stood there in the middle of the hall, being confused and worried. When I showed them the kitten, Jossan did not give it any attention; she cared only about Claire, and was trying to lick her clean. Albert still sat, utterly shocked, and Maven and Miii joined him, thinking.

And then Leroy, our rock, came to the kitten, all delighted, and started licking the little one’s bottom, to help him do #1 and #2. Small kittens cannot empty their bladder and colon without their mom or another big cat licking their tummy and bottom (or a human mimicking that gently, with for example a q-tip). I don’t know how Leroy knows that, but he always knew that, since Jossan’s first litter. Instincts. So he took care of the small one, and afterwards he licked Claire.

We went to sleep very late, after being on phone with my friends and dad cat’s owner, who all gave me good advice. We were trying to get Claire to understand that the little one was her ktten, and that it was a kitten at all, and that she should nurse him. Jossan took care of the kitten as well, keeping it warm, after she licked Claire clean. She would not leave them alone, so we had to let her sleep with Claire and the kitten in their rrom. First I, and then Joakim slept on the bed next to their cat house. He slept there almost every night at start.

20131101LillMupp3

LillMupp, 1 day old on Mom’s back

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LillMupp, kept safe between mom Claire and grandmother Jossan

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LillMupp, 1 week old

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LillMupp, 16 days old, showing some attitude

LilMupp is adorable, and very  loved by all of us. Albert has recovered from the initial shock, and understood that it-that-we-brought-from-the-place-that-made-his-sister smell-odd is a kitten. And he loves kittens. 🙂 Claire has recovered fast and without any problems from her c-section, and she adores her kitten.

Jossan was close to her delivery when LillMupp was born, her kittens saw the light of the day 8 days later. I’ll present them next time, when I have more pictures of them. They are all doing well.

56 days

Today is 56 days since Claire was mated. There is about 7-10 days only left until Claire’s kittens arrive, and 10 days after that Jossan’s. We saw movements in both of their bellies. So exciting! We are getting more nervous.

Claire has gained a lot of weight since the mating – 950gr, but that is hard to see. Siamese are very long cats and somehow they manage to distribute all that newly gained weight so that it is not that visible. 🙂 Her tummy was pretty prominent and looked big until about 1-2 weeks ago, when the babies seem to have moved down in a way. Jossans seems to be carrying more kittens than Claire.

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Jossan, resting. About 17-20 days to go

Claire, balancing on the chair

Claire, balancing on the chair, 7-10 days to delivery

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Claire, bombing the picture and stealing the candy from Jossan

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Jossan, geting another candy

Here is also a video of the Siamese from this morning. Sorry about the mess in the background. 😦

Jossan is picking the food and candy from one of her favorite toys, and at the same time Jocke is trying to take a good photo of Leroy. He calls him ‘Tjockis’ which in Swedish means something like ‘fatso’ and Leroy understands the word and gets offended! Look at his tail! He gets really upset when someone calls him ‘tjockis’. Well, who wouldn’t? I sound silly, since my voice gets ridicilous when I talk to cats and I tell Leroy that he is cute and handsome, not a ‘fatso’.

You can also see a bit better how Claire’s and Jossan’s tummies look like!

The cats seem to feel great. They eat more of the Queens RC food which has high fat and protein content which Leroy finds irresistible and he started to put on some extra weight again! :/

About TF, the parasite which I wrote about previously, we have nothing dramatic to say. The cats feel great and if we did not have them tested we would not notice much of a difference now. The smell of their stool is still foul, but the consistency is ok, most of the time. No irritation, no problems at all. They are happy and healthy, eat well and show nothing out of order.

I’ve been reading for days and weeks all I could find and am still reading more about TF, treatments, symptoms, medications and so on. I’ve talked to helpful people whose cats had TF and who cured them. I am optimistic and not too worried. This parasite is less troublesome or damaging than many other things cats can get. It is treatable and often cats can even get rid of it themselves.

Knowledge and science FTW! Only the best care is good enough for our beloved fur babies. And I wish that for all other pets, all of them deserve love and care.

Waiting

If all goes well, in three weeks Claire will get her first litter, and ten days after that Jossan will get her kittens. We are excited, but also a bit worried, hoping that all will go well.

This is Claire’s first litter, and we still do not know if she will be a good mom, if she will have milk for the kittens, if she will have an easy time delivering the kittens…. that is part of the reason why we tried to time Jossan’s kittens close to Claire’s, if something goes wrong, Jossan can help out. Albert and Leroy can of course help with almost everything, but they cannot nurse the kittens if Claire does not have milk, or has problems with it. We would have to do it, but a cat mom is always the best option.

We got to borrow two really gorgeous Siamese boys with exciting pedigrees; their pet names are Sigge and Jack.  Jack is seal point, and Sigge is a seal point tabby (lynx) Siamese.

Jack is actually Sigge’s son.  Sigge dated Jossan, and Jack dated Claire. Bellow are their pictures. And here is one picture from this afternoon; moms to be are resting on a soft blanket, and Albert is also there, cool and loving as always. He will soon be both hands-on uncle and big brother, and we know that he will be so happy about it. There are no better nannies in the world than him and Leroy! See, Claire’s belly is a bit bigger than Jossan’s, since she is 10 days ahead in her pregnancy. She maybe also carries more kittens, we do not know.

Claire, Jossan and Albert, taking a nap

Claire, Jossan and Albert, taking a nap

Here are the pictures of the parents to be:

La Bell Jumping Jack, SIA n

SE*La Voix Claire, SIA w67

Jack & Claire, pedigree on Pawpeds

Sirius Naryschkina*D, SIA n21 (photo by Heide Petersen)

S*Me-Na-Yak Call Me Josephine Brown, SIA c

Sirius & Jossan, pedigree on Pawpeds

On the balcony

The spring is very much here in Stockholm! The weather is lovely and we are planting the flowers and working in the garden and on our balcony when we can.

The cats are helping us (according to them).

Jossan sniffing campanula

Jossan sniffing campanula

But, this is not how it is supposed to be!  Jossan is my angel, she only sniffs at little campanula flowers.

Claire and her salad choice

Claire and her salad choice

Albert eats them as salad! Which is what Claire does with my small pelargonium plants that are ready to be planted in the big pots.

Albert and pelargonium; a view from the inside

Albert and pelargonium; a view from the inside

But, the worst of all – look where Leroy is sitting!

Leroy, Albert and Claire; all doing the things they are not supposed to.

Leroy, Albert and Claire; doing the things they are not supposed to.

The net must go up soon!

Cats are healers

I was sad lately, and, although I think that our cats are very affectionate every day, I noticed a change in intensity, especially with Albert and Jossan.

Jossan is following me as a post stamp follows a letter, from the moment I come home from work to the next morning when I depart to work again. She even talks to me in new ways. Albert comes and takes care of my hair and has cuddling sessions more often than usual. All of our cats are loving and I love them all the same, but Jossan and Albert are a bit special in a way, they don’t care about other humans as much as they care about me.

When Jossan sits in my lap while I write mails or make jewelry, I feel happy and content. I thought about that recently at one point when I became aware of the whole situation and how good I felt, with my little loving cat in my lap – that was happiness in one of its forms, right there, right then.

Jossan, in Jelena's lap

Jossan, focused, in Jelena’s lap

Jossan: "Helping my human"

Jossan: “Helping my human. That pearl does not fit there!”

Jocke got his working corner in our living room recently, where he, in his turn, set up a cuddling corner for our cats. It is mostly Maven and Leroy that sit there while Jocke works on his hobby projects.

Jossan, helping Jelena

Maven, snuggling close to Jocke

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