Friday, August 31, 2007


The vet called this morning -- Genji didn't make it. We'll take him to the ranch, where we've buried Ivan (Scott's brother's Golden Retriever), Beast, and Wretch (cats).

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Home Tomorrow?

I haven't been able to see Genji since Saturday. He had an operation late Monday afternoon, and Scott said he looked pretty bad on Tuesday and no better on Wednesday. We were both thinking that this was it -- he's not going to make it after all, but then the vet called this morning and said he was doing better, and that he could go home soon.

This afternoon we went to visit -- since he's no longer hooked up to 2 or 3 IVs and a catheter, we were able to visit with him in an examination room. I didn't get to see him in his little "wife-beater" t-shirt (I hate that term, but they put a little sleeveless t-shirt on him for a couple of days to keep him from getting at the stitches. Scott said he looked so humiliated -- "Here I am a fine tuxedo cat, and they put me in THAT?!")

I said something about when he could go home and the tech said, "He IS going home tomorrow!" The other tech (Brian?) came in to show us how to feed him. Since he's not wanting to eat on his own yet, he has to be fed 4 times a day through a feeding tube. It's actually a bit easier than I anticipated -- the important thing is to make sure the canned cat food and water is well blended so there are no lumps, and then make sure that you aren't pushing the food through the syringe too fast -- else he'll vomit. Then you have to put 5cc of water in another syringe through his feeding tube to flush the food out.

We're hoping that having him home will calm him down so he'll feel more like eating. When we'd take the cats to the ranch, they would often not eat the first day, and eat very little on subsequent days, until we got back home.

Some of his stitches could come out now -- the others will have to wait a few more days. He'll also need to have his pills crushed and dissolved in water and then administered through the feeding tube.

We're turning the cave (our den -- it has two rock walls) into the infirmary. It has a door to the rest of the house, so we can keep the other 2 cats away from him. There are two french doors so he can have a nice view of the back yard, and even get some son if he'd like (and the rest of the room has a couple of dark corners if he prefers that.) He probably won't be able to negotiate the litter box for a while, so we'll line his space with these pads that are made from diaper material. He won't be moving far for a while, so this should be a nice room for his recuperation.

When the vet tech took him back to his cage, he actually looked at us like he knew who we were -- "Halp! Don't want! Taek me home!" (I have mastered cat macro or lolcat language.)

We're keeping our fingers crossed, but he might actually make it -- he's through the worst of it, anyway.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Operation is Over

Well, Genji didn't have much infection in his wounds -- there was some necrotic tissue that needed to be removed. They had to insert another drainage tube. He isn't healing as fast as the vet would like, but we think that could be because he is 10 years old and he's stressed out because there are dogs all over the place! Scott will go see him tomorrow morning, and I'll see him (if I can get away from work in time) in the late afternoon.

Somewhat of a Setback

The 10:00 a.m. report from the vet wasn't so good today. Genji has some infection in his wounds and needs another surgery. Scott called this afternoon, and they started the surgery about 3:00 p.m.

We're crossing our fingers and sending him thoughts of mice and butterflies.

The other cats seem to miss him -- he loves to groom the other two (Saki & Yuki.) Saki is not so fond of Yuki, since he stabbed her a few years ago, and she had an infection that required a trip to the vet. Genji is really the peacemaker among the three.

Well, we hope we have better news with the next update.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

We Are Grumpy Today (Genji)

Saturday visiting hours begin at 9:30 a.m., so we were there bright and early. Genji did his "Meow! Meow!" when we walked in, but seemed rather grumpy. Then we noticed that the 5 drainage tubes that dotted his upper rear leg and lower abdomen were gone -- it's a bit painful to have those removed, so no wonder he wasn't feeling so hot.

I tried to interest him in some food -- he didn't want to eat yet, but both times he actually pushed himself up on his front legs and sat up for a bit. We petted, combed and stroked him and told him what a wonderful cat he was. He seemed pretty tired, so we left after about half an hour. We did take a couple of pictures of him -- the wounds are just horrible, but I felt it was important to document them.

There are no visiting hours on Sunday, so I hope that he's better on Monday. He's got to start eating on his own before he can come home.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Another Genji-cat Report

Today Genji meowed twice when I came to visit. The technicians commented again on his increasing feistiness when they attend to him -- but that is good news, and they didn't seem to mind. He has been on oral pain killers for at least a day, and they were going to switch him off the IV antibiotics onto pills, too. They also said that the 5 drainage tubes in his lower abdomen could come out either today or tomorrow. (This is gross, but when the first vet at the emergency center picked him up so we could see his injury, there was a tube hanging out about the same place his leg had been -- for just a few moments, I thought that it was part of his bone sticking out!)

He was sitting up a little more and was holding his head up longer. I tried to feed him some of the yummy sardines in aspic provided by the critical care center, but that seemed to trigger a hiccuping response. Dr. Armstrong said that he was doing much better, but he would still need at least another week in the hospital. We can visit Saturday morning, but not Sunday.

I scratched under his little chin (kinda hard to do with that big collar around his neck), and he purred for the first time in a week. His eyes are much brighter, too.

Scott came in after I'd been there about ten minutes. He had some quality time with Genji, but then the tattooed technician (I need to find out their names) said that we'd have to leave since an emergency case was coming in.

I left a note for the woman who owns the dogs -- she's been coming by almost every day to check on his progress. She is obviously deeply concerned, and I'm having a hard time reconciling this caring person with the kind of vicious dogs she has. We're really in a quandry, too -- we want compensation for all the vet bills, but we also don't want this dog/these dogs in our neighborhood any more. I would feel just awful if I didn't do anything and the dogs hurt another being -- critter or child. I think the bills are actually now moving out of the realm of small claims court, which complicates things, I'm sure.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Genji-Cat Report

We took Genji to the critical care facility (3 blocks from our house, which is nice) on Monday, where the veterinarian promptly told us in effect, "Most cats with injuries this severe don't survive, in particular, the window between 3 - 5 days is particularly perilous, since that's when the infections start raging. Only about 30% of cats would survive this."

We decided to see how Monday went. We visited him and he meowed a few times, but didn't really get up -- although he tried to jump out of the kennel! On Tuesday he was a little worse, and didn't stay awake very long. I wasn't able to get away from the office on Wednesday, but Scott said he was about the same as Tuesday and he did try to knead Scott's arm a little. They said there was a little fluid in his lungs and some necrotic tissue somewhere.

This morning the vet called around 10 a.m. We were expecting her to say that he'd died during the night, but she said he was slightly better, and she was very guardedly optimistic. He still isn't eating, and she said he'll need at least another week in the hospital (assuming things don't get worse.)

I'm taking off work a bit early today to go visit the little guy -- it seems to cheer him up to see us, and I think it will cheer us up to see him doing better.

Monday, August 20, 2007


(click on the title for a picture of sweet Genji)

About 1 a.m. Saturday morning, Scott heard an awful sound and ran outside to find a guy pulling two dogs off our tuxedo cat, Genji in our yard. Scott rushed him to the vet, and he had to have a rear leg amputated. There didn't seem to be any internal organ damage (thank Bast), but when they did an x-ray Saturday afternoon, they found that his bladder had migrated out of the abdominal cavity (there may have been a tear in the muscle, and when the leg was removed, the pressure keeping the bladder in may have been released, allowing the bladder to move.)

They had to do another operation to fix that (they said it was a relatively simple procedure) and also to do a small repair to the muscle of his remaining rear leg. His tail isn't moving they way they'd like it, but that could just be all the anesthesia, and hopefully not nerve damage.

Scott said the guy with the dogs said they would pay for the vet, (they live on our street, 1 block away) and Saturday morning the woman who owned them came by to apologize and again offered to pay for the vet. She said they are kept in her back yard, but escaped. Scott gave me a description of them, and one of them sounds like this dog who was running loose a few months ago who ran toward me growling and snarling fiercely when I stepped onto our carport -- I had to run back into the yard and close the gate and wait until he ran off -- now I feel dumb for not following up on it, but it was something that I'd forgotten by the end of the day. I need to go see if that is the same dog, because if it is, I think the neighborhood has a problem. Scott said that one of the dogs(the one that looks like the one I saw earlier) growled and snarled at HIM when he was trying to help Genji -- in our own yard.

We moved him to a critical care facility (just a couple of blocks from our home), where we were told that the prognosis for such an injury really isn't very good, but if he can make it through the next 48 - 72 hours, he'll most likely recover. When we saw him during visiting hours, he wasn't very responsive at first, but then he put his head up, and he tried to jump out of the kennel. His eyes looked much better than yesterday, as he didn't have that glazed over look, and it seemed that he knew who we were. He was pretty vocal, and it sounded more like, "Please get me out of here!" than "I'm in horrible pain," although I'm sure he is in awful pain. We'll get an update on his condition in the morning.

Even though the dog owners said they'd pay, we're not going to count on it until it happens. (They may not feel like it when we report the dog -- the Austin code has a provision that a dog that has killed or seriously maimed another pet cannot be kept in the city (unless the injured pet was in violation of the code, which I don't think Genji was.) We really anguished over this, since it's such a lot of money, but I really don't want that dog in the neighborhood where he might get out again to injure another pet or even a child.

When Genji was seriously ill with pancreatitis in 1999, we called him "rent payment" when we got the bill. When we got the bill for Saki's trip to the emergency vet earlier this summer (she's fine, now), we called her "mortgage payment. His new nicknames have been escalating now -- we're on "engagement ring," "small used car,"and we may end up with "house down payment" before we're through with this.