Loki Moment

 

This is rare, all of this. Loki isn’t a window kitty, that was always Tinka Belle’s thing. And Loki is notoriously bad at self cleaning but Tinka Belle was meticulous. They were like ying and yang, two sides of a coin. It seems that Tinka Belle is not only letting her presence still be known, but also SEEN. 

Thank you my little Belle for helping your brother stay clean. We miss her so much, and so her presence is a comfort, especially for him. He’s been kind of lost without her.

On a brighter note, Loki’s medication was cut in half and so far he’s not doing too bad. He’s not cured, he will always have IBS issues, but he’s alive, happy and thriving right now. Our hearts are grateful for every day we get to spend with this silly boy❣

 

 

 

 

Today – Part II – And the Sky Cried

After we went shopping, we drove to pick up Tinka Belles’ ashes in a torrential downpour and Tornado watches were in affect for our area (and still are till 9pm).

But the minute we pulled into the vets parking lot, the rain stopped (the first two pictures). As we walked out with Tinkas’ ashes another downpour hit hard. Lightening, thunder, quickly flooding areas (next two pictures).

I always knew Tinka Belle was a thunderstorm. At one time I even wished I had named her storm (yes after the marvel character)….

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Through the wind, the rain and thunder and lightening, Not to mention tornado watches. Tinka Belle is finally back home with us 

Stafford Veterinary and Abbey Glen Pet Memorial Services did right by us. We forgot to ask if they did a pawprint memorial. Well we have pawprints and fur. I was overwhelmed with emotions and gratitude for the care they gave us and our Tinka 

Today has been 

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Today – Part 1

The day started out with cappucino, misty rain and some peaceful moments by the bay in Beach Haven on Long Beach Island (New Jersey). It was so pretty and so quiet, could have stayed all day just watching the clouds, the seagulls, and the gentle waves. I knew it would be an emotional day, we were heading to pick Tinkas’ ashes up later in the day. I really needed this moment where time just stood still. 

Then we drove out to Medford New Jersey to check out a little boutique called The Mystical Blossoms which had handmade soaps, roll on oils, etc… The street was so pretty there! The shop was cute too. Storm clouds were rolling in though and the sky was getting darker and we knew we had to head to the grocery store before heading to the vet so we didn’t stay long…..

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The Coffee Bouteaque

 

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Inside the coffee shop

 

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Clouds

 

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Sunshine & Shades

 

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Meet the hubby ↗

 

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Farmhouse on Tuckerton Bay

 

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Tuckerton Bay

 

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Tuckerton Bay

 

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Mystical Blossoms
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Medford New Jersey

 

 

 

Loki & Adjusting

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Some updates on Loki and adjusting;
A month later and finally seeing some hair growing back on his belly that they had shaved for his ultrasound. Pore guy will be dealing with IBD symptoms on and off forever. But he’s doing sooooo much better. He still, days later looks for Tinka Belle, he keeps thinking she’s in one of her hiding spots that he’s just never been graceful enough to enter. He sits and stares sometimes and I wonder if he sees her on the other side.
 
The apartment is a lot quieter with only one furbaby here now. I personally have NEVER in my life had less than 3 furkids at a time. I personally have said farewell in one way or another to 13 cats (including a mama cat who was picked up off the street in a blizzard, to have birth at my feet in the car), 3 dogs (two from childhood), 1 parakeet (from childhood), 1 iguana, and 3 angel fish.
 
We want to adopt a puppy, we’ve wanted to for a while now, but a we both agree Loki + puppy while Loki is trying to stabilize from serious chronic IBS is just not healthy for him.
 
Soooo, we decided, for now at least that Loki’s gonna be an only child a while. Loki’s always wanted to be in the spotlight with us. He’s always competed and would get super moody when others got attention.Our middle aged little man, awkward, clumsy, emotional, will now be spoiled rotten, heal and be taken with us on some adventures!
❤️
🐾❤️

xoxoe

©S.Halloran-runningtozen.org

Wild & Free

Tink

Last night we made the very painful decision to let our Tinka Belle cross the rainbow bridge. Her breast cancer had returned with a vengeance. It swiftly and aggressively took hold of her. It moved so fast there was nothing any medicine or treatment could do. Not even to slow it down. It was the hardest decision, but right decisions are not always the easy ones. She was always a proud, dignified and independent girl. Living in a cone and in a cancer riddled body, being forced medications, unable to eat and under supervision on and off every day for almost 2 months, while tumors grew in size and number and seeped blood, was not life for her. She was broken and beaten by a viscous unrelenting disease. CANCER SUCKS!

When we came outside to the car after the vet, this incredible sunset was in front of us. We watched as the sun set and the full moon rose. And I began the missing of her. 

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My heart is broken into a million little pieces again, as it does whenever one of our furbabies transition ahead of us. 

I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH
SPAY and NEUTER your furkids.

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A study at Brown University on spay and neutering reported:
“In males, neutering decreases the chances of developing prostatic disease and hernias, and eliminates the chances of developing testicular cancer. It also reduces problems with territorial and sexual aggression, inappropriate urination (spraying) and other undesirable male behaviors.

 

In Females, spaying decreases the incidence of breast cancer (the rate goes down to almost zero if the spaying is done before the first heat cycle!). It eliminates the chance of developing a serious and potentially fatal infection of the uterus experienced by many mature unspayed animals (pyometra). Spay surgery also eliminates the heat cycle and associated mood swings and undesirable behaviors, messy spotting (in dogs) and the attraction of all available males to your yard.”

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FACTS
Over 90 percent of feline mammary tumors are malignant, meaning they grow in an invasive fashion and spread to distant sites in the body. This is in contrast to dogs, where only about 50 percent of mammary tumors are malignant.
Tumors tend to affect older, unspayed female cats, but all cats, including males, are at risk.
 
The age at which a female cat is neutered plays a role in protecting against tumor development, with the greatest benefit seen for kittens spayed before 6 months of age, who have a 91 percent reduction in risk compared to non-spayed cats. Spaying between six months and one-year results in an 86 percent reduction in risk, spaying between 1-2 years leads to an 11 percent reduction in risk, and spaying after age two does not reduce the risk of mammary cancer development at all.
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Now I try and keep busy the rest of the day. Tonight I’m participating in a Full Moon Release Meditation & Drum Circle. By my heart is broken. I’ve always adopted old, broken, unwanted furbabies and although it fills me with gratitude and a full heart when I do, this is a part of that. The letting go. She needed me to be strong for her, so I was. 
I will forever miss her head boops, her independent & proud nature, and the fact that no matter how long she had lived off the streets she never let us completely tame her. I always knew she was a child of the moon, now she truly is wild and free again, gone but never really gone. 

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Capturing memories 

😻“Mom took my cone off so I could feel normal for a minute and do my water drinking thing. Yeah this is how I drink my water” 😼

Her condition isn’t any better. Still no solid answer. Another vet appointment coming in the next few days since her cocktail of meds (prednisone and basically amoxicillin)to get the infection under control and reduce inflammation are almost done. We now wait to see what our next steps could be to further a diagnosis along.

But her health is failing. She is now noticeably losing weight from not eating much, albeit slowly. She is in a cone almost 24/7 other than moments like this or meds time because she wants to lick for days to get out, stop whatever the lump is. Her lumps get lesions that bleed and hurt. She is cleaned with surgical scrub twice a day and slathered with neosporin. She is miserable. She is a dignified, proud, independent little lady who is now restricted, supervised and just wore down.

Hopefully we can get the skin biopsy done asap now and see where we stand. Keep the thoughts, prayers and healing coming her way. She is a little fighter 😼

 

Tuesday, the day after Monday

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Captains Log: Monday 04/08/2019

I don’t have a photo from the vet visit but they shaved Tinka’s belly, including her scab, taking it off. She still has inflammation and at this point it’s no longer being called a hot spot. She has a serious infection, may or may not be the C word creeping back. There are other things it could be, but with her history? Apparently the wall between the mammary gland that was removed for her mammary cancer removal and the next one was very very thin and cells may have spread. But right now she has too much inflammation to take a skin sample for biopsy to see. Right now all we know is that she has a lump and a couple small lumps that are inflamed and STILL, very itchy. 

She came home with an anti bacterial surgical scrub (she has to be cleaned twice a day). Neosporin after the cleaning as a topical anti bacterial fighter. Clavamox/Amoxicillin pills (antibiotic) that she takes twice a day And she is back on Prednisone (anti-inflammatory steroid), starting twice a day for three days then weening down for about 2 weeks again. Add that to her twice daily Hyperthyroid pills and whew that’s a lot 😓 Plus she is still subjected to wearing her Elizabethan Collar (cone of perpetual shame). 

😉 We are keeping an optimistic outlook though (of course after the couple of hours of anxiety prevailed). She’s home, she’s resting after the trauma of shaving her belly with ZERO sedative. She’s a fighter and we won’t stop fighting for her. 

Suffice to say the though, the day was a wash as far as April challenges go. And I allowed that. My head was spiraling from the vet visit and all my planned April Challenge activities were scheduled for after the vet visit. What I did do was neurotically came home and cleaned. And that can be as therapeutic as exercise and meditation at times. But after being at the vet about an hour talking about infection, scabs and bacteria, cleaning just seemed what I needed to do. 

Before bed the hubby and I had to do our first scrub of her belly and first round of a whole lot of pills to pop down her throat. We fumbled along nicely and got the job done. Now time to let her rest. Goodnight 

 

Captains Log: Tuesday 04/09/2019

It’s early Tuesday morning, about 6ish. Tinka Belle seems to be feeling better, more active this morning. Even more cuddly. I think the razor burn from getting her belly shaved is starting to calm down, and so is she. She seems more herself whatever that means at this given moment. But for now, I’ll take it!

I let my April challenges slide the last two days, one for the sake of fun and one for the sake of, well, just not wanting to do it. But today is Tuesday, a new day. Time to dust off all the negative juju from yesterday that claimed the day and refocus.

Captains Log: Signing off, for now. 

Healing – It’s A Process

So right before I started blogging again BOTH of our feline furkids came down sick. We’ve been going through about a month long treatment plan for both of them. A month in and I wanted to give an update on their progress and get you up to date on our “kids”,  Loki & Tinka Belle.

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Loki

When Loki first found us, we thought he was a she. And “her” name became Faith. On the first vet visit we found out she was a he and thus was named after the trickster Loki. Loki came to us as a stray and was a terrified little guy. He would not walk on the carpeting, he feared it. So he just jumped from piece of furniture to piece of furniture till he made it to wherever he was going. Window ledges were also challenging for him. He just never quite had the cunning feline personality most cats have. He was and still is unique 💙 He no longer has a fear of carpets and can now navigate window ledges but he can still be a bit jumpy. But he is loved so much and he loves back like crazy. This is our lap cat! He’s actually pouting in this photo because I was taking his photo instead of holding him. 

Loki was diagnosed with severe Irritable Bowel Disease last month. He is on high doses of Prednisone and is permanently on a special diet. He occasionally now gets probiotic mixed with his food. He is now doing fabulously thank you! We are nearing the stage where the vets will start reducing the amount of Prednisone he’s taking. But, his disease was so swift and severe he will likely be on medication for life, it’s just seeing what dosage he needs at this point. 

But he’s now a much happier (even if he looks kind of emo in this photo) and healthier these days! He’s about 11 or 12 years young 💙
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Tinka Belle (aka the diva of the house)

Tinka also came to us as a stray. Our neighbor brought both Loki and Tinka to us after finding them on the street. Tinka was found living under our neighbors graandma’s porch. The man that lived next door to grandma was planning to poison her. So instead, she came home to us. She was and can still be a handful. She came to us very feral. She hated humans, did not want to be touched, ever. 

It turned out Tinka had (has) Hyperthyroidism which made her very fearful and feral acting. Made her skittish and un-trusting. But sadly, she was diagnosed with it 10 years after she came to live with us. And during that diagnosis it was also discovered she early stage feline breast cancer.  Our little girl is a fighter though and she survived breast cancer surgery which also included some cancer reoccurring preventative mammary gland removal. She was put on a beta blocker and blood pressure medicine for her Hyperthyroidism and we now have to watch very closely for lumps. But her MRI looked clean. Now about 6 months later, she is off her beta blocker and soon her blood pressure meds will be reduced and perhaps eventually be completely taken off of 💙

Last month somehow she ended up with a hot spot on her belly that grew huge in days. We thought we had some serious food issues because she stopped eating or coming to me. But it turned out she had this large hot spot that she was tearing apart on her belly that was just growing and growing. It was a massive infection on her teet that spread to another teat. Now let me tell you after her surviving breast cancer and her and I going through all the healing from TWO huge incisions down her belly, her teets being infected was a terrifying diagnosis. And it still is because she is still in the healing process and we don’t really have a clue what the infection is or was. But anyway, she was given an antibiotic injection and Predisone to take at home for a vigorous round of treatment and healing. She has slowly been weaning off the Prednisone this week  and her recheck is actually today. Two days ago I thought another hot spot was forming but realized (and the hubby confirmed) it’s actually her HUGE scab starting to pull away from her skin leaving very irritated pink skin underneath that will likely scab up again just smaller. But no lie, her scab is thick and at least an inch long. You can kind of see it in the photo and if you scroll down I outlined the scabby part (it’s next to the black patch of hair on her belly). 

So we shall see where we are at her recheck this afternoon. I’m optimistic that whatever the infection was, was not related to the big C word at all 💙

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It’s a HUGE Hot Spot!

Meet The Furkids

Tinka Belle is a calico kitty and she has never been a friendly girl. She was a feral cat that a neighbor brought to us because she had been living under her grandma’s porch and the neighbor was trying to kill her. But time and patience has proven that even a feral, frightened, angry kitten can turn into an amazingly loving and loyal member of a family!

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She now wants nothing more than to keep a close eye on me. Ever since our chihuahua (Ippo) passed away a year ago she has been by my side and comforted me through difficult moments. Our bond has grown tremendously the last year. She is my rock, even if she can be aloof and anti-human at times. ps…she hate everyone but us!

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Loki name has changed about three times since he came to us. Another hard case, this fella would not walk on carpeting when he first came into the apartment. It took him a week or so to stop just jumping from furniture to furniture and walk on the floor. He’s a bit, “off”. Perhaps a bit autistic maybe. 

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He is a cuddle bug though, but still after over 6 years he is still skittish and temperamental. He was brought to us by the same neighbor. Neither of these babes had microchips and no one ever claimed them. They stayed with us in the beginning because we were pretty sure with all their oddities in behavior, they would have a hard time getting adopted. We still have to work with them daily. Neither are your typical playful sweet cats. They are moody, they can be aloof, but are very loved and love us right back (in their way, in their time and only for as long as they deem appropriate lol).

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Tinka Belle

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She was caught being a “normal” kitty. When we adopted her she was super feral. She was a biter and she scratched and she was even more dangerous because she can move her body like a ferret. She hated being touched and ran if you came in the room. But she never would have survived a shelter even though we weren’t really looking for another cat at the time, we knew she had to stay with us.

She’s changed dramatically with patience and respect for her fears. We’ve shown her we won’t fear her, but we will love her. Over time she’s learned how to live with us humans and the other cat of the house, Loki. Our  move we just did last October was hard for her. She really doesn’t like being picked up and the apartment was nearly empty, she was already skittish and frantic. She ran and ran and ran from us. And when we finally caught her, she was exhausted and had a white flag out saying I give up. But even though the move was painstakingly difficult, it seems to have taught her that even when she is at her lowest, when she is all run out and tired of fighting, we didn’t hurt her. We kept her safe and gave her space after that to adjust to the new surroundings. It was her biggest change for the better as a secure and non feral cat. She trusts us now. And now she doesn’t just act like she lives with us, she acts like she is home and likes it.

Now she comes for nose boops, cuddles and occasionally she just totally lets her guard down and does things like this in the picture. She’s no longer a biter and only would scratch to defend herself now, like any other animal would. Humans are pretty cool now to her. And considering she even questioned the food we would set down for her when she first came to live with us, I’d say we get along just fine now.

 💛🐱💛