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.

 

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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. ❤

Funtes heart scan

I am grateful for having amazing Siamese cats in my life, they made it so much better.
But I never thought that I will experience so much heartache as a breeder and owner.

Me and my husband always wanted to own and breed healthy cats. Which breeder doesn’t?

I deeply believed that Siamese and Orientals are a healthy race. And it is and it should be. But we have to do more. How much do we check? Can we possibly check for all? No. Only for the things we know may be an issue.

I tested for PRA, as soon as knowledge about it become available, before it was obligatory. I was lucky that my cats and kittens I bred did not have double set of faulty chromosomes and would never get blind. I tested liver, kidneys, viruses. All I knew or heard could go wrong or was recommended.

Years ago I’ve only heard remotely about TF (tritrichomonas foetus) and giardia (it always happened to someone else, you know, in some other country…) when we got TF! I was open with our struggles here on my blog and, while I had support from the most, I’ve actually also had potential buyers saying – oh, great you are open, I appreciate that, but then they went to buy kittens from people who had TF in their catteries, gave it to others while knowing that they might, sold the kittens with TF  and did not care to say that!

Our kitten buyers trust us what we say. If we are silent, they still trust us that we sell them healthy cats. They cannot know about all that can be wrong.

Well, that war on TF we won. Got all clear. A new page, clean cattery, healthy cats, my new import, he and all others scanned four-five times for parasites, healthy, no viruses, nothing. Picture perfect.

Last December I had a young cat who died in a total heart failure. Heard only whispers about cats dying, but no – no heart disease in our race. Pretty cats winning the shows; some have TF, some get put to sleep for heart issues, kidneys or something, it is all silenced down. Now you see them, now you don’t.

A fellow Oriental cat owner had her heart broken recently when her cat died from heart failure. Another one got the sister cat from the first one scanned last week – the same, genetic issue. I really hope that the parents, siblings, half siblings etc get scanned.

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I took my Funtes to an ultrasound specialist today, after learning more and more about the heart issues in our race. The issues I did not think were a problem at all. Maybe minor thing, here and there.

And Funtes beautiful heart, sounds amazingly well – picture perfect health, but then, on the screen – just this little thing (I cannot see it, I have no clue how to interpret ultrasound of the heart) – a tiny little thicker tissue, or was it – a thread. Almost nonexistent. No, no stenosis, but it is there! It is there. Almost perfect, but not.

He will never get worse, he will never get sick or unwell, he will never need medicines. He will always be perfectly healthy heart wise. He does not have HCM, or any cardiomyopathy he has a little extra something that will not get worse. That is his diagnose.

But – according to the ultrasound specialist, it is a common thing on Siamese and Oriental, and it is genetic, and it can be worse than in his case. Can I breed on him!? The veterinary was hesitating. No definite no. But no yes either. He would probably not breed on him if he was his cat. It depends on who Funtes is mated with. We talked about how we should scan our race more, breed away the defects! Not be silent about it, raise the awareness!

But we have a litter in Claire’s belly where Funtes is father that is due in 3,5 weeks. I talked to the veterinary and we will take them all to him for a complete heart scan when they are 12 weeks old. You can see already then if they have something or not!

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Funtes and Claire are expecting kittens.

If we are lucky, they will not have anything and if healthy otherwise, can be used in breeding. If not, I hope the little fault is as little as on their father and can be a long lived pets with no influence on their lives.

We should heart scan our breeding Siamese and Orientals. We do not have HCM in our race, it is almost non-existing on Siamese and Orientals, but dilated cardiomyopathy that my fellow Siamese/Oriental owners had on their cats is common, and what Funtes has is common. If one in the litter has something, and we know it, we should scan the siblings, offspring, parents, used in breeding. It should become a practice.

And we should always select on health before type. Ethical breeding – we are responsible for the health of our animals and their offspring. We do not know all, but as soon as we learn about the possible problems, it is unacceptable to just close our eyes.

This on Funtes is no one’s fault! And luckily it will not influence his life or health. But it made me more aware of the possible heart problems in our race.

When you know there is something in the lines, or in your cattery – an infection, a virus, a parasite, a disease and you breed on that without curing the cats, or scanning them and just close your eyes and continue – it becomes your fault.

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.

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. 🙂

One week to go

Jossan is sleeping and resting a lot. She is big and the babies are playing football in her belly. We see them moving almost all the time. Sometimes you see clearly that it is a small cat there inside moving.

But, Jossan still likes to play, so we do it carefully, while she is resting. She does not have to jump around, just catch the toy with her mouth and the front paws.

Jossan’s weight is fine

We spent some serious time investigating Jossan’s 2,9 kg of weight. She is muscular, lean and not skinny. The vet said Jossan has a good size and proportions (and that is a veterinary that also breeds Siamese and Orientals, so she is quite familiar with the race). Still, 2,9 kg does not sound like much!

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A healthy grown up Siamese cat usually weighs: male 4-6,5 kg (9-14 pounds); female 2,7-4,8 kg (6-10 pounds). Also, this article I found was interesting (Siamese cats are just mentioned):

Some healthy adult female Siamese cats weigh as little as 5 lb (2,26 kg) though some male Siamese can reach 20 lb (9 kg). Some Siamese breeding lines give smaller, more “fragile-looking” cats than others and the old-style Siamese cats are more robust than the rather skinny modern version of this breed.

The source: “FELINE MEDICAL CURIOSITIES: DWARF CATS, GIANT CATS, FAT CATS” written by Sarah Hartwell.

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I guess that Jossan’s lean look is more of “a skinny modern” one, although her mum is more robust. Jossan is her daddy’s little copy.

Here is an interesting read about the history of Siamese cats and the descriptions of two different types of Siamese – the more round version, similar to the original Thai one, that was imported from Siam (Thailand), and more elongated, modern version of the race. From the article:

It is important to raise that several breeders believed that there were two types (morphologies) of Siamese. Mrs. Veley would have written herself that its cat (Pho) had a rather thin line and that its second cat (Mia) was rather robust and round. Thereafter, Mrs. Carew Cox, a judge of cat-show and founder of the first Siamese club, would have also noted, to see two types of lines : one compact, with a short body, short legs and a round head, while the other with a body and a semi-long, nimble and sinuous head.

Edited May 29, 2010:

Jossan, that weighs so ‘little’, 2,9kg, gave a birth to her first litter of seven healthy big kittens (86-102 gr at birth) when she was 2,5 years old.

So, her weight is absolutely fine, and she gave a fine and healthy offspring. Jossan eats both dry food and raw meet (beef) and egg yolk. Sometimes I add butter and/or sour cream to the raw meet/cat milk mix, especially during her pregnancy and while she was breast-feeding kittens. Also, she eats tuna and chicken meet, but not very often.