I am very sorry to have to tell you that Estorbo is no more.
He was put to sleep on Sunday afternoon, at VERG, in Brooklyn. Vince held him, and Dr Slade administered the injection. Both of them cried.
I have little else to say right now. In Cape Town, where I write, it is an obscenely beautiful day. In Harlem, where Vince has not slept for two nights, it will be very dark when he comes home to an empty house.
For now, I can only thank Estorbo's Amigos for their generous support - from their pockets, and from their hearts. You have made this very painful experience easier.
When I can I will post some happier pictures of the kitty whose presence in our lives belied his size, and his eep.
But for now, please send your thoughts to my husband, who has had to manage these last painful days on his own.
Here ends the story of the libe of a cad. He gave it all he got.
Sunday, November 16, 2014
This was taken a few days ago. Vince sent it to me while I was traveling to Cape Town. Storbie on his new catbed. With the chillier weather we thought he might like to be upgraded from a kikoi folded on his favourite spot on the floor to something a bit more soft. He likes it.
Yesterday, however, Estorbo was taken to VERG and to Dr Slade (his de facto vet, from his hyperthyroidism days, and internal medicine specialist) because his breathing was too laboured. A quarter of a liter of fluid was drained from his lungs, and he was examined by a cardiologist. He is now home, with two additional heart medications in pill form (remember he is an Olympic pill-refuser).
I am very unhappy about him. I am in tears. I am angry. I am not there. I am in Cape Town. I know he is in the (next) best possible hands. I just wish it was all different. I feel so sorry for Vince. Some very painful decisions must be made. Nothing is certain, except that he will not get better.
Thank you to each of you, for your support, your sympathy, your understanding. It's impossible to explain to non-animal owners what they mean in one's life. This cat has been with me through the worst and best times of my life.
I will keep you updated. I wish I had something happier to say.
Update: Storbie at home worsened overnight. Vince was up all night with him. They return to VERG today.
Sunday, November 9, 2014
Satorday morneen', ees when breakfas' por the Diba-Wooman arribe arn a tray, por fabor. Bod also ees arribeen' a pequeno deesh ob treads por me, El Gato Dominicano. So she dreenk carffee con foamy leche y I ged the treads, y then I lie down to res' y maybe I read a leedle, too. I lighe Meester McCarthy, he wrides abou' tortillas y beans.
I yam eadeen' dayeen, dayoud. Thad ees the good news.
The bad news ees eed ees sormtime' nard so easy to cadge my breath y I mos worgh har' por the breatheen'. The Wooman tell me ees because my hear', the lefd bentreecle ees too beeg y the blord goes round een a whorlpool before bein' made to pompa oud.
I as', can I nard hab a small arxygen tanghe y mask?
Bod she yos cry. I say, Lighden' the forgh orp, Wooman, ees nard lighe I yam forgheen' dyeen'.
Also good news: the potassium kaka gel is OBEHAIR! Gracias a dios worn ob my Amigos tole' os about TumilK POWdhair, y now I ead the powdhair sin problema arn my food. Forgh.
She ees planteen' me sorm new cadgrass to ead while she ees garn. I weel as' the Smoothman y John to carry me oud so I can ead. I lorb the grass.
Dayeen, worn forgheen' day ad a time, dayoud.
Pee ess: The Wooman say, Gracias a todos por the frien's ob the gato donations. She weell maghe correspondence weeth ebery person to say gracias.
Saturday, November 1, 2014
The Smoothman eenstall the tweenkly lighds. Orderwise ees too forgheen' dark.
My tormmy is now so fad eed ees hard por me to make yompa. Yesserday I fell arf the whide bed. So embarrasseen'.
Bod I manage arn the badtasde70'sdaybed. So now I yab mas eensuleen so I yam nard so "boracious" as the Wooman say I yam. "Eensatiable" was the order wor' she use een email to Dr Slade. Who ees she tryeen' to eempress? I yam yos HONGRY. When a cad ees hongry, he ees hongry.
Ordhair news, I yab tres fabourite flabors ob food, all Weruba: Pekeen' Dork, Steagh Frites, y Fowl Ball. Righ' now Wile' Salmon ees kaka. Doan' show me northeen' weeth peas. Steell I yam lorbeen' the raw cheecken leeber, y the Wooman ees buildeen' me a bang vaul' een the freezehair paghed weeth many pieces, wrap' eendebeedual.
Ebery time she gebe me the kakapotassium (three time por day, Dios mio) she wash my faze weeth the warm washclarth. Ees pleasan', como bein' ad the spa.
So I yam OK.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Por all the good weeshes, por the donations frarm Los Amigos de Estorbo. From thees fon' the Wooman say she weell draw dineros por the eensuleen', the forgheen' sharp needles, the KAKA potassium gel, the essameenations. Sigh. Dr Slade wan' to see me worn time por mornth. Whad deed I do to deserb thees?
Ees libe, Keeddy, say the Wooman. Sormtime' eed sorghs. Bod you you hab goo' frien's.
Here is esserp' frarm email the Wooman sen' to John, cad-seedhair-deloxe, las' weegh. She has to go to Cape Town to see hor parents, y the Smoothman ees planneen' to go por two weeghs (his only bacation thees year). Bod he say he woan' go eef I yam too seeck.
She doan' wan' to wride thees again, so I carpy y paste weeth my eyes close'. I yam nard readeen'. Bod you read, OK? OK.
Vet trip is over. And we now have a better deal on Zipcars.
Estorbo's potassium levels are now normal. We don't actually know if the TumilK supplement is responsible for his remarkable recovery or not. I am guessing it is.
Dr Slade is conservative but suspects that the culprit is a tumour on the enlarged adrenal gland, producing too much aldosterone. He says that even if that were confirmed the treatment would be the same. And biopsies and blood tests would be complicated and compromised by other factors, see below:
His renal values are less than ideal (oddly, they have been normal till now). His heart has an significantly enlarged left ventricle - a cardiologist at VERG confirmed this. He has been prescribed baby aspirin, for now - every three days, to prevent clots from being thrown out. [He is expert at spitting these out some minutes later.] We have been told quite graphically what a coronary thrombosis looks like in terms of behaviour: loud crying because of much pain, possible hind-leg-dragging, requiring immediate emergency room admission and, probably, euthanasia.
Obviously that is a worst case scenario. Gulp.
I realize I am being very heavy, but it has to be said. I would hate for this cat to go without me, but in no way would I want him to suffer more than he has to, for a final goodbye.
He looks so good now, that I am hoping the goodbye is not very near.
For now Dr Slade has him on 0.15ml of insulin twice a day - though I imagine it will increase. He is still eating very well. He has gained 2 lbs since he was weighed, there, but I'm guessing it's really 3.5lbs, as he lost more weight subsequently. His coat looks much better, he is active, in the sense that he jumps onto beds on his own and walks up the steps to the deck, and spends hours outside if he wants to (he loves this, so I indulge it). His front legs are nice and straight, now.
Whad the Wooman doan' say ees how moch I HADE the kakapotassium gel: eef even worn piece stay arn my for or wheeskers eed turn into hard plasteec an' eed stays porebber. The Wooman had to cort some ob my for arf to clean me. Now she washes my face weeth warm washclarth ebery time she geeb eed to me een forgheen' syringe. I lighe the washeen' - ees como my morder washeen' my face weeth hor raspy torngue.
Where ees my morder?
Theese peectures are frarm the terrace, three days ago. Ebery day I go oud to the terrace y seet arn the deck, or arn the table. Bod por the table the Wooman mos leefd me. I lighe to seed ou'side ad nigh' leessteeneen' to the rads een the garden downstairs.
I yam makeen' good yompa arnto the bed, ebery day I yam brosh many times, y I maghe squeaky noise when I porr. Ees maybe my hear' whad ees nard worgheen' so good no mas.
I yam eadeen' berber' good. Leeber, mead, fancy meat-cadfood cans, treads after the kakapotassiumgel.
Dayeen, day forgheen' oud.
Estorbo suggested that, in addition to the black cat thank you card for every Amigo, we should have a lucky draw for his Amigos, as a small token of gratitude. The cat is right.
So. The name picked out of a hat on January 1st will receive their choice of one of the Smoothman's photos, printed on aluminum sheets by an excellent lab in California - the print size is 12" x 18".
It's a very clean, beautiful look, and is float-mounted, meaning the image stands away from the wall by about a quarter inch.
There are galleries from which to choose: Africa, New York, Vancouver and the always interesting Miscellaneous.
But we will also be compiling links to Estorbo-pictures by the Smoothman in case someone would like le chat nor on their wall (but we realize that is not everyone's speed).
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Me een The Hotel.
My ride to Brooklyn een the red Zeepcar. Storck een traffeec arn 2nd Abenue.
Finally arn FDR, headeen' south - we see the beeg buildeen's.. people leeb orp there? Porquewhy?
Biew to Brookleen Breedge.
I yam ad the ved. While the Wooman waid weeth me, the Smooothman go to Court Street to buy por os por deenhair a speendry' cheecken frarm Union Market, what we all lorb. I meess Brookleen.
They tes' my blord. My pee. They talgh to the Wooman y the Smoothman. Eberyworn loogh berber' serious. I say, Led's ged the forghe oud ob here.
Eed ees nigh time een the rain. Eberytheen' ees blorry een Nuevo York.
Traffeec is bedhair rideen' home.
One honnered twenny seventh streed. Ad las'.
We maghe deenhair. I ead cheecken. Delicioso. I wash the smell of of the ved frarm my ears y my feed. The I ead sorm raw mead. I yam berber' tire.
So ees the Smoothman.
We go to sleeb:
Weell sormworn pleease torn arff the ligh?
Thees peecture was a few days ago. I yam un pequeno mas fadder, now, y also more florffy.
Today I receib bad news.
I yam goeen' bag to the ved. Again. The Smoothman taghe time arff worgh - again - y he weell peeck os orp een Zeepcar y we dribe dribe-dribe all the way to Brookleen. We coul' go een cab bod we hade cabs, also they are more eespenseeb.
Why? I say. Why torture me?? I yam eadeen! Y yam useen' the leeder tray. I yam eemprobeen' my for. I yam assepteen' the kaka potassium gel THREE forgheen' times a day. WHY?
Because your gluose ees sky high cad, y we need to see eef you mos ged higher dose on eensulin, y we need to maghe blord tes' por your potassium to see whad the kaka TumilK gel ees doeen'.
So. Again I mos trable in The Hotel (ees my new name for the Cormfortable Carrying Case - I slepd een eed por a weegh when I was berber' seeck), across Harlem, down FDR, ober the Brookleen Breedge, down Henry Street, pas' our ole' house (I meess my rooftarps, eeeep!) y arnto Warren Street where ees VERG y Dr Slade.
The yoomans are also theenkeen' maybe we mos transfer my papers (ees beeg mountain) to anorder harspeetal een Manhattan. Brooklyn ees berber' far y the yoomans say ees eghstra $100 every time we go. Sheet. I lighe Dr Slade.
Weesh me lorck. I yam tire ob be the preeckeen' y poolleen', y proddeen' y peencheen'.
Ees nard my fauld I yab bad genes. They use' kaka chemicals to clean the floor ob the bodega where my Mamá gabe borth! My Papacito was a trabelleen man!
Also, so embarrass, the Wooman torn me eento Sobway Panhandler: "La-a-a-a-a-dies 'n Gennelmen? My name ees Estorbo! I yam yos a poor hongry blag cad. My house born' down. Y I larst a-a-a-a-a-a-a-ll my keettens. Coul' you spare sorm loose change or a dollar...?"
See, she pud the forgheen Donade bortton arn my blarg.
I read eed y I say, porque eed say "Wile' Edeebles"? I yam nard a wile edeeble! She say, No, no, Cad, I am wile' edeebles, you are Estorbo [I maghe eye roll]. I say, You no spen' my morney! She say, Ob course I spen' your morney: your morney go to your forgheen' ved bells, keetty!!
She say eef I keep leebeen' (WTFORGHE???) I yam goeen' to be berber' esspenseeb. She say $1000 een las' 6 weeghs. Nard counteen' today. F-o-r-g-h-e.
Bod, she say, Doan' worry, Estorbo you are totally forgheen' worth eed.
Dayeen, day forgheen' oud.