Friday, August 30, 2013

I haz a sad

When he came to live with us, Ratbane was in pretty bad shape.  No whiskers at all, no outer fur, just a guard coat, skin and bones, and his tail was freshly broken and raw.  Our owners at the time, The Bright Huntress and Fluffy Lovey, had little to no tolerance at all for tomcats, but he was in such bad condition they probably figured he wouldn't last, so what harm could a little charity do?

For the first month or so he was with us, he did little more than sleep and eat --  yes, I know! -- and sleeping so soundly at that, that when Mrs. Drang came home from work, she thought he had died while we were both gone.

I guess we were providing a pretty good home for a wounded guy.

Later, when the 81st Brigade of the Washington National Guard deployed to Iraq, he would go to the armory up the road from us and do his part for Homeland Security by hunting Al Qaeda rats, thus his nom de Internet.  We had no real problem with that, although we certainly would have preferred for him to have kept his trophys outside.  (Stupid cat flap in the stupid patio door!  Sure seemed like a good idea at the time.  We started sealing it at dusk...)

His aggresiveness won him many trips to the vet, including enough late-night and weekend  visits to the Emergency Animal Clinic that they knew him by name.  Somewhere along the line the vet there reassured us that "At least all the wounds are on the front, so you know he's winning the fights."
No, you may NOT borrow the shotgun!
Thanks, doc.

Giving him Amoxicillin  oral suspension anti-biotics, AKA "pink stuff", became so routine that he could recognize the body language that said it was time for more, and fight it harder and harder.

Eventually, Sparrowbane walked in through the back door, and shortly after that, both Bright Huntress and Fluffy Lovey died of cancer. Sparrowbane was all ears and tail and very young, so Ratbane had no problem handling him.  Eventually, Sparrowbane grew up, and Ratbane started slowing down.  Tensions were getting higher, and Mrs. Drang decreed we needed a female cat "to keep the boys in line", so Princess showed up, and did seem to do a bit to bring a little more peace and quiet to the household.
Sparrowbane claims the roof of Mrs. Drang's car.
Princess is comfy on the hood. 
Ratbane says "I'm outta here, it's too crowded!"
No room for other cats here.  Still warm, too!

Please play with the toys elsewhere, so we can make the bed...
And now my buddy is sick.  He has the Feline calicivirus.  ("kuh-LEE-see").  It causes "stomatitis", which is inflammation of the mouth and throat, which means he cannot eat.  Like herpes, the virus cannot be cured, although it may go dormant.  It is uncommon enough that the test for it is expensive and is not normally performed unless there is specific reason to think it might be needed.

Anti-biotics are of little use, although anti-inflammatories can relieve the symptoms, for a while.  Unfortunately, the shortest interval between anti-inflammatories is two weeks, and they seem to wear off in as little as a week now.   We were given some high-protein prescription diet food, and started out mixing a tablespoon of it with a teaspoon of warm water to help him get it down.  By a couple of weeks ago, even right after the anti-inflammatory took effect, we started having to mix it 50/50. 

And he keeps losing weight.

The heart breaking thing is that, other than the weight loss and the fact that the pain in his mouth will cause him to startle and snarl for no apparent reason, he is alert and active.  He is more affectionate than ever, and he really wants to go outside, and we really want him to stay in, because, if he goes out, he may be out for days.

And he doesn't have days.

We have decided, in view of the fact that he isn't getting any better, that this afternoon, after I pick Mrs. Drang up from work, Ratbane will be paying his Last Visit to the vet.

Having typed that, I spent the last half hour doing other stuff.  Looking at photos.  Messing with laundry.  Cuddling Ratbane...

 I'm sorry we couldn't do anything for you, buddy.  We'll miss you.
The Clue Meter: Ratbane's Manifesto
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The Clue Meter: Weather Update, Updated
The Clue Meter: LOLness Abounds
The Clue Meter: It Followed Me Home!


Davidwhitewolf said...

So sorry for your loss.

it never gets easier.

Drang said...

Thank you.

Scott said...

Nope it never gets easier and it sucks to have to be the one who calls time but it comes with their adopting us. I hope the sad eases soon.

DaddyBear said...

I'm so sorry Drang. Sounds like he was a great companion for many years.