Nurse Luanne and the Potty Cam

All week I have been dealing with Felix’s illness. He seems to have feline interstitial cystitis which is very similar to the interstitial cystitis my daughter was unfortunately diagnosed with last year. She is having difficulty getting hers under control. It has greatly affected her life.

Now that I am taking charge of Felix’s health, I am getting an idea of what my daughter is going through!

Two biggest changes that need to be made for IC: stress reduction and diet change.

I have accomplished the food change (to Hill’s CD stress chicken and veggie canned and Hill’s CD ocean fish canned), although I am having to give him fish half the time, which I don’t like to feed as it isn’t healthy for cats. I will work on this issue.

Stress is more difficult in a six cat household. Perry has had to sleep by himself in the guestroom because he’s the worst offender. Poor Perry can’t understand why he hasn’t been getting all the attention lately.

Then Felix needs subq fluids for now, given in shots under the skin. And syringes of water because he won’t drink any water at all.

Bladder meds. Pain meds. Anti-nausea meds.

We took Felix to the ER twice since his hospitalization because the IC causes him so much distress that he acts as if he is blocked even when he isn’t. And the reality is he could block again, especially so close to the original blockage.

I am exhausted because this summer has been exhausting anyway.

Yesterday we spent all afternoon installing a potty cam (pet monitor) over the main litterboxes (we have 2 in the laundry room) so that I can watch for signs of Felix being agitated and running to the litterbox repeatedly when we are not home. Now I get notified when the cats walk into the boxes!

In this photo you can see that the pain meds allow him comfort.

57 Comments

Filed under #writerlife, #writerslife, Cats and Other Animals, Memoir, Nonfiction

57 responses to “Nurse Luanne and the Potty Cam

  1. Wow! So sorry to hear about both Felix and your daughter.
    When our old lady cat was alive I had to give her the subQ fluid for her kidneys–she threw up all the time afterward. The vets said there was no medical reason why this would happen. Toward the end, I just stopped giving them to her, as she was so skinny and her skin was so fragile. I wish all the best for you and your feline and human families.
    (It’s been a stressful summer here, too!).

    • You are inspirational! I was all set to give the subq myself, and then I realized that with the size of the needle, Felix’s general muscularity, and my super wimpy assistant, the gardener (aka worthless), that it was too risky for Felix. So instead of him getting them every day, I have been taking him up the street to our vet (very close) for the tech to give them to him. It’s been much better. On Wednesday we’ll see if he still needs them or not. Maybe it was the stress from the whole thing makes your sweet little old lady sick. I understand about the skinniness and the fragile skin!!! My Pear is pretty fragile now. And Tiger, too, who is way too skinny. I’m sorry you’ve had a stressful summer. In some ways this is the worst one I’ve had only in that I am too overworked and stressed from all that. I mean, we are all ok, but I can’t handle my life this summer. Lots of business issues.

      • Poor Tasha is long gone now, but I think it must have been stressful for her.
        It’s been rough emotionally and financially dealing with my mom this summer–and a book deadline, work, etc. I hope things ease up for you.

        • I figured that your mom was part of what you were talking about. It’s got to be so hard. Add all the other stuff to it, and ugh. Poor Tasha. Those fluids, though, can be a godsend for younger cats. My friend’s young cat had kidney disease, probably caused by starvation when she lived on the streets. She “cured” her with the fluids!!! Over time she didn’t need them any more–and the vet thought she would die at one point.

  2. Poor Felix! Poor daughter! Poor Luanne! I hope they get better soon so you can relax a little. This is so stressful!

  3. I had a friend with that and it’s chronic. Never goes away, at least her’s did not. Never heard of it in a cat. Poor Felix. They don’t understand. Poor Perry. I love the idea of a poop cam. Tracking bathroom action is exciting! I’m hoping that it stabilizes and he’s comfortable. This certainly cranks up your life a notch!

    • I laughed at your comment! Hahaha, it is pretty exciting! Only another cat mom could understand that!
      It’s definitely chronic, and for my daughter it’s very difficult. She still hasn’t reached the point where she 100% accepts that she has a chronic disease. She keeps hoping.

      • My friend was diagnosed in 1990. She had had it for a while but they couldn’t pinpoint what it was. I hope for your daughter’s sake that the diagnosis and treatment has come a long way.

  4. I’m so sorry to hear about your beautiful daughter, Luanne. Have a chronic health issue at a young age is tough. Felix is lucky to have you in his corner.

    • Thank you, Jill! I feel so bad for my daughter. It’s had a crummy effect on her life style. She’s in pain all the time. At least her boyfriend is very understanding. He collected recipes for her special to IC and bought her a memoir by a woman with IC.

  5. What a brilliant idea to install a “potty-cam”. I feel for you and your daughter. So stressful for all.

    • I know, right? I’m feeling pretty proud of myself since it was idea ;). I love the notifications. Then I pull up the videos and see who went. So much better than the mystery of looking in the box and saying, “Oh, that’s a Felix poo. That’s a pee from one of the little cats.” hahaha
      Thank you on behalf of my daughter. It just sucks, let me tell you.

  6. There is such difficulty in caring for chronically and/or critically ill animals. They just can’t give us enough information about their problems. You have had a challenging year, my friend. Need better days.

    • You have done that, so you know. The state of veterinary medicine is not that of human medicine because it’s all about money, of course. And then cats and dogs don’t understand what is wrong or when they will feel better (or not). Or what helps. At least Felix is a very good patient because he’s a patient little soul.

  7. I can only pray Felix improves and you keep your strength.

  8. It’s excruciating for pet carers to watch their fur babies suffer. I hope all in your household find some comfort soon!

  9. Oh, dear. So sorry to hear about her daughter’s struggles with IC and now Felix. Knowing you, he’s getting the best care possible. Sending him lots virtual scratches under the chin and sending you lots hugs ❤️❤️❤️

    • Thanks, Marie. I will take the hugs!!! and give him the scratches for you haha! We are taking good care of him, but I sure hope I can keep it up being so tired. This potty cam is so cool though. It takes away a bit of stress because I don’t have that uncomfortable feeling of not knowing. This afternoon Felix went and peed normally again, and I have it all on tape!
      Thank you for my daughter. It really does suck that she has to go through this. She’s in pain all the time, and has to change her whole life around.

      • I’m so glad the potty cam is working. I definitely understand your stress. It’s one thing to tell apart each cat’s poo, but near impossible when it comes to pee 😬 That is so sad about your daughter. I hope her condition can be resolved soon. Sending her some hugs too. Constant pain is exhausting no matter your age.

        • Thank you re my daughter. It is so sad. I feel bad she’s going through all this and went through it for years without understanding what was happening. For a long time she thought she was having one UTI after another and would go to urgent care and ask for antibiotics. UGH UGH UGH. Haha re the pee. I know, but Pear pees a ton because she drinks a lot and her peeds are a certain angular shape. Then there’s Felix’s perfect circles with a dot in the middle when he’s up to speed. You get the idea ;). hahaha

          • Indeed your poor daughter! Not knowing “why” makes pain so much harder to cope with. I hear you on the peeing 😉 I can usually tell the cats’ pee apart because of their size and behavior. Maxine never ever covers anything up so she’s easy 😏

  10. Luanne, I’m so sorry! I hope your daughter, Felix and you get comfort very soon ❤

  11. I do hope both pet and daughter get some relief

  12. My daughter too, although I had no idea how prevalent it seems to be. My little Jack and Olive are pulling for Felix. Do hope some good rest comes your way, Luanne.

    • Oh, I’m so sorry, Marilee! How long ago did your daughter get diagnosed? Was she sick a long time before diagnosis or was it quick? Tell Jack and Olive Felix and I thank them so much! And I thank you for the “good rest”!!!

      • Hers, in the mid-2000s in her 20s, but hidden under CRPS-II. She was All-State NY Soccer in High School and played for Syracuse – and my sweet, stoic, optimistic and productive daughter who had to forfeit Vet Med is the best stay at home Mommy evair. She hurts, but is blessed with a wonderful life. I love the way you address such issues.

        • Oh my gosh! I am glad she’s got a great life, but so sorry she goes through that and it messed up her dreams. My daughter, too. She is a talented singer, actor, dancer, a working performer, then suddenly she was missing auditions and callbacks, stuck on the toilet, running to the urgent care, thinking it was yet another UTI and getting antibiotics, etc. So she moved to our city and has been focusing on her health for now.

          • She is smart to concentrate on health now, in order to understand her illness in depth. Then she will be her own best advocate – informed and reasonable, while insisting on timely, best practice care – too often those in this type of pain get brushed off as cranky. I bet she had a hard time making the decision to put that wonderful career on hold. But she did; there is no better attitude than “I want to be well” and pursue it. You must be so proud! Luanne, I know how hard it is to see ours thwarted and pray she improves quickly to resume it.

            • My daughter had a difficult afternoon yesterday. She wants to please other people unfortunately, and since other people do not understand chronic illness if they don’t have one, they are insensitive and then she feels guilty as if she questions herself and her own feelings. But her overall attitude is very good. it was just a down day.

              • Many don’t understand that a good day with chronic illness is just a better day than a bad one. Even with best attitude of putting one’s energy toward getting to the good day, many from wellness times will flee for uninterrupted sunny sky. Let them slide by, to free up time for the health push. She will always be an interesting talent and a good person, such that some few true friends will be nourished as much as they nourish her. Amazingly, the others will return, when everything seems more stable. Well then, on her terms, for she will know the meaning of friend.

              • Well, put, Marilee! She will know the meaning of friend–for certain!

  13. As I just told Marie, if kitty ain’t happy ain’t nobody happy! Sorry to hear about Felix’s ongoing struggles. And of course your daughter’s. How awful as moms to feel mostly helpless when we just want our babies (human and feline) to be healthy and happy. We’ve all been there. It doesn’t feel good. I’m sending all kinds of health and relief wishes your way. And here’s to Autumn!

  14. Poor baby. Thoughts an prayers heading y’alls way.

  15. I’m sorry to hear about your cat. We feel so helpless when we can’t help them or don’t know what they are going through. Our poor little dog has diabetes and she gets shot twice a day and hates it. She also has to wear diapers because she can’t control her bladder all the time. She dribbles even when she’s napping sometimes. And the cataracs on her eyes have made her almost totally blind. It’s so hard when you can’t explain why you are shooting them and making them wear silly diapers. I feel for you and your little one and hope he gets better soon.

    • Oh, Deborah, I’m so sorry to hear that about your little sweetheart. So much humiliation and suffering put on her. And yet I’m sure she still wants to keep on plugging away and is so bless to have you (and knows it). Felix is still dealing with more. Ugh.

  16. I’m sorry for everything Felix and you are going through, Luanne. Sending a hug for you and a head rub for Felix. Our daughter’s cat has had a rough spring and summer too.
    p.s. Would you believe the name of the beautiful new fox in Myrtle Makes a New Friend is “Felix”?

  17. I’m so sorry to hear that Felix is suffering. Wishing that he gets better soon.

  18. Gosh that’s terrible. I’m glad you have the potty cam. I’m so sorry all y’all are dealing with this. Poor lil guy. 😦

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