Wednesday, March 3, 2010

house calls are great, unless you're a cat

After realizing last Friday that there was no way that I could traumatize Guinness with his daily thiamine injection, and his fabulous vet offering to come to the house to do it, we now have daily house calls.

When she arrived on Saturday, Guinness was shocked and looked at us as if to say, “you told her where we live?” Poor baby. He took his shot like a champ and just let out a small whimper. Nothing like the previous day’s biting, scratching, and screaming fit. His vet said that it was very helpful to see him at home, as he was walking around and acting “normal”, something they’ve never seen at the university.

Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday’s house calls were a little bit more complicated than Saturday’s. Now Guinness knows what it means when the doorbell rings at night and he runs up the stairs as fast as his little legs will carry him. One of us has to carry his wiggly little body downstairs, fluffed out tail and all. Our brave boy is doing so well with his injection that he doesn’t make a peep anymore. My husband distracts and helps to hold him, the vet holds him and injects, and I talk to him and tell him what a big, brave boy he is. Hey, it works. As soon as he’s released, he runs back up the stairs and hides under the covers on our bed. For his bravery, he’s rewarded with small bits of baked chicken, which he loves.

Unfortunately a diagnosis is still up in the air. His blood was sent to a lab in the U.K. last Monday for the thiamine test, though they claim to have just received it on Friday. His MR images have been sent to more specialists to see if they agree with the thiamine deficiency diagnosis, or possibly have a more plausible diagnosis.

Guinness’ wonderful vet from our private clinic called yesterday to check on him. I felt terrible that nobody had kept her updated (it’s been over 3 weeks since our referral to UCD). We talked for almost an hour and I emailed her Guinness’ MRI report, summary from UCD, and video of an episode. She has a colleague in New Zealand (where she’s from) that sees the most difficult cases there, so she’s going to forward all of the information and get her opinion. Thank you S!!!

For now we wait, but I’m happy to report that there has been a bit of improvement. He still has episodes with his legs and the shaking is a bit more pronounced. However he is eating fairly well, going up and down the stairs, and has used the litter box. He seeks out affection and likes to snuggle. He runs to the kitchen when he knows that it’s snack time and has been sleeping in bed with me at night, often snuggling on my chest while I read.

I know he hates his thiamine injection, but I’m so very grateful to his vet, B, for coming to the house every day to give it to him. This saves me from being the one that hurts him, she gets to see him interact and get around at home, and it saves us the trip to UCD every afternoon, which always stressed him out and brought on an episode.

I’ll keep you updated as test results come back. I can’t say enough about the excellent care he’s receiving.

A very good sign. He came upstairs to help me make the bed on Sunday night. One of his favorite things to do.

The fur on the back of his head is growing back!

A picture from five minutes ago. Bella is no longer hissing and growling at him.


  1. Awww, how super-cute!!! I heard a few months ago that cats only have a 3-minute memory, which must have been determined by a scientist who never owned a cat in their whole life. Well, Guiness has refuted that, now, hasn't he? By running up the stairs with a puffy tail when the doorbell rings. Poor kitty.

    Glad he's acting somewhat better, and, once again, what cute pics!!! :)

  2. That's really good news my friend, maybe the injections are really helping. I have to bring the kittens for the boost and I wonder if as a UCD staff I can use the clinic on campus or if I need a referral anyway. I'll call tomorrow. I'm a bit worried for Patches...I think he's breathing he has a cold, and his boos injection was due on monday but to do them both at the same time I'll go in on friday. I really hope he's not sick...I know you can understand! Much love, Fran

  3. Goodness, he really is beautiful. Glad to hear that he's maintaining his cuddliness and spunk. :)

    - Julie (HH)

  4. So glad he is a bit better at least more comfy at home. I sure hope they figure out what is going on huh? I love that he makes the bed with you and what a great sign that he is back to helping. Just precious little Guinness, did you tell him how many people out here are loving him too? Tell him so he knows.

  5. Wishing, yes, he knows :) When he cuddles on my lap, I read the newest comments to him. Every night I tell him that people all over the world are thinking of him and praying for him. Hoping to have a diagnosis soon. Thanks so much for your support. Lots of love to your kitties too.