Good and bad kitty news

The worst news: it’s not good when the nurse says “oh my gosh” when tallying up your bill! This vet visit set me back way more Benjamins than I ever wanted to spend on a pet. X-rays, lab tests, prescriptions, IVs, and 2 days of “hospitalization” aren’t cheap.

The best news: Amelia is home:

And everything in between: Ameila has a reasonable shot at recovery. The lab tests and X-rays didn’t find anything startling except markers typical of a cat whose liver isn’t working right. The blood test suggested somewhere around 20% liver function, and the X-ray didn’t find that her liver extended past her ribcage boundary, which is what the vet wanted to see.

Amelia is on oral antibiotics and Denosyl for several more days.

Here’s what her ear looks like:

Lovely yellow tint. The vet says this will stick around for at least 2 weeks because it doesn’t immediately flush out.

She seems a little off kilter: sleeping more and unsteady on her feet. Hopefully she’ll return to her normal geriatric (12 year old) self soon.

1 more year! 1 more year!

Last night, I was unanimously* elected to a third term as president of Lake Park Estates Neighborhood Association, Inc.

That quarterly meeting went well: I did little talking. I had people lined up for each of these tasks:

  • Community policing representative from our local police substation (arranged by our crime watch chair)
  • Discussion of Volunteers In Patrol program initiative by our crime watch chair
  • Discussion of a nascent crime camera committee by its chair
  • Report on our membership drive by our treasurer (we’re at 33% of the neighborhood, the highest I have ever seen it since I lived here!)
  • Running the election (two people I appointed at the last minute)
  • Room arrangements made by our VP
  • Snacks arranged by our Welcome Committee chairwoman

It was a well oiled machine for a small neighborhood association.

I know that the “textbook answer” to leadership is to help people be motivated to take on projects. However, when talking about small volunteer organizations, translating that into practice is an art. Small nonprofits have scarce resources and limited zones of success (too many parties to please), and we compete for volunteer attention. In other words, you have to provide an unusual amount of motivation and direction to achieve success.

I wrote “art” because leadership techniques vary wildly depending on personalities, the organization’s mission, community support, etc.

I really appreciate people who are given direction and take off with it. At the meeting, I recognized three people who did a fantastic job:

  • A lady who started a pet watch program from scratch.
  • A lady who revived a defunct welcome committee.
  • Our treasurer who provided exceptional support for our membership drive.

The award is sincere but has a farscial title: YOU WILL RESPECT MY AUTHORITY. Here’s what it looked like:

The reference is from a South Park episode named Chickenlover. I did a bad imitation of Cartman’s “authority” line, making a fool of myself. The attendees enjoyed it even though most didn’t get it.

*One person wrote in Cartman for president but scratched it out and voted for me. Oh, and in the spirit of full disclosure, I was the only nominee for president.

Sick cat update

Just got a call from the vet. The bloodwork shows that Amelia probably has hepatic lipidosis. Fortunately, FIV and FeLV are ruled out.

Since the liver is screwed up, she has a lot of toxins in her blood, including but not limited to bilirubin. In addition to antibiotics, the vet is also administering a drug to help work that junk out of her blood.

Amelia’s biggest problem is a lack of appetite. Unless she starts eating soon, there will be no other available options besides unacceptably expensive interventions like tube feeding directly into the stomach.

The vet was not able to change the 50/50 prognosis yet since he does not have a firm diagnosis.

Sick kitty

I took Amelia, our 12 year old Himalayan cat, to the vet today for her annual checkup. This is her:

Her inner ears are normally this healthy pink-tinged color:

Today that skin was yellow. This apparently means her liver is not filtering normal red blood cell breakdown products.

She also lost 2 lbs since her last checkup.

The vet said there’s a 50% chance this can be fixed. The problem could range from a treatable infection to terminal illnesses like FIV.

Shortly after the vet found the problem, he whisked her to get a blood sample and put her on an IV.

Alec is a little upset that we had to leave Amelia at the vet’s office. She’s the only kitty that gets along with him.

I should find out more on Friday.