A quick note to say that (hopefully) by week end I will move TBC from the wordpress free site to my TBC server so that I can post some of the videos I’ve taken of pack over the years. I’m a non-techie so am crossing my fingers that the xfer goes smoothly, but one never knows. If one day you come to this site and it says we’re not available, just wander over (re-type) http://www.twobigcats.com and you should come to the new site, easey peasey … if something happens and it doesn’t work and you’re concerned, just shoot me an email and I’ll try to square things away.
We are very sad to report that earlier today our beloved Cherry (Berry) passed due to complications of recently-diagnosed squamous cell carcinoma.
Cherry had just turned 10 last month and that same month we celebrated the 4th anniversary of Cherry and Calvin rescuing our household. I intend to write and post a celebration of Cherry’s life on this site over the next week … while we have a limited audience (and I’m fine with that, believe you me 😉 who know Cherry, I’ll post a few things that will likely surprise each of you just a bit.
While we are very sad at losing Cherry’s intimate and loving presence, we are comforted that she is no longer in pain and that she passed peacefully in our arms, hearing our words of love for her.
If you’re interested in seeing pics of Cherry in her kitten, mid life and later years — plus a handful of videos of her in action! — check back in later this week 🙂 In the meantime, here’s a photo of her you can enjoy from this past Christmas.
Things continue at a fairly normal pace and routine.
Managing Cherry’s food & meds for optimal benefit is challenging … foods that were favorites or appealing may no longer apply at the next feeding (as I type this, of course, I realize that variety from meal to meal may be the best approach), while dosing pain meds are something of a mystery: too much and it’s lights out / “did i just see a unicorn?”, too little and she suffers and withdraws from everything … just right / close enough and she eats and wants to be in our company at an almost normal level.
Cherry has always enjoyed being around people, if a little shy at first. Her condition has intensified her shyness, but every now and then, when Ellen, Al or Rockstar Steve visit, she’ll come out to visit with them for a special scritch and words of love and encouragement … for me these are highlights — our friends and loved ones enjoying one another’s company.
So there you have it … life, huh? (sigh) I will continue to post as we move along.
Around the property these days we are now on our second round of finch and dove eggs in the nests / just hatched / fledged. (Speaking of fledged birds, in one of these images you can see there is a recently fledged dove sitting on the fence out by the back garden. Al spotted it while we were sitting under the tree the other night and I took a quick picture.)
A we all know, spring is well underway / almost passed and soon summer will be in full swing. Our gardens are growing nicely (we’ve moved to container gardening to optimize resource usage and maximize production — everything’s doing great and we hope to have LOTS of fresh veggies this year. We have been busy netting the fruit trees and needed to harvest the apricot tree because the fruit was already ripe; Joanne processed those and has already made several cases of apricot jam!
Long update, I’m afraid … thx for stopping by and write when you get work 😉
A quick note to let you know that Cherry is doing well, all things considered. She’s eating, drinking, socializing and sleeping fairly normally these days. She does appear to be losing a little bit of weight, most likely due to slight change in eating and chewing. I modified her diet to soft foods only but her eating is changing somewhat.
Joanne and I want to thank everyone for your kind and supportive words regarding Cherry’s health… They are very much appreciated.
Here are some recent pictures from around the place that we hope you will enjoy.
As some of you are aware, late last week Cherry was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. Unfortunately, her survival will be for a relatively short period of time.
When she was originally diagnosed, I panicked and thought, “We need to put her down immediately to avoid any possibility of her experiencing severe pain.”. But over the weekend as I read more about her illness I began to focus on how to provide a comfortable remainder of life for her by employing a palliative care approach in the hope that she would have a good quality of life and we could enjoy her company for just a bit longer.
So I read up on feline pain issues / display and turned my Cherry pain-awareness up to 11 and have done the following:
* rather than follow Dr’s orders, I reduced / tweaked the amount and frequency of dosing.
* removed the availability of dry food so she would not injure the cancerous tissue when she ate (we put “special goodies” that she LOVES in their dry food!). Joanne suggested putting the special goodies in her bowl, adding water … making a nice bit of mushy goodies and broth for her to ensure she gets food and water in her — she LOVED it!
* we’re serving only soft wet food to her to avoid injury and causing unnecessary pain. She loves the soft stuff so this works out well.
I’m pleased to say that our first round of care is going as well as can be expected: she’s eating and drinking fairly regularly, shows minimal signs of pain (licking, scratching, rubbing are at normal levels now), she’s participating in family pack activities as she always has – last evening we spent 20 minutes on the blankie under the apple tree 🙂
As you can imagine, we are terribly, terribly saddened by the suddeness and severity of her illness … there is no medical treatment for her return to health at this point. But that said, we’re going to do our very best to enjoy our remaining time together … wish us luck!