blank'/> The Libe ob Don Estorbo de la Bodega Dominicana: October 2014

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

My news


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

My Thorsday nigh'

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?


Manhattan Breedge.

Biew to Brookleen Breedge.

Larng pausa.

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.

Forgheen' cabs.

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?

Here I go again...

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.

My libe.

Dayeen, day forgheen' oud.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Leebeen' wage y bedhair worgh carndeetions

Seeck? I was nard seeck!? I was arn Strighe!

When a cad strighes, he strighes.

Now thad my deman's hab been med (toogh a larng forgheen' time - managemen' ees berber' stobborn, also stupeed), the Wooman  taghe to hor bed. Whad ees orp weeeth thad?

Y where are my treads?

Pee ess: I HADE EGGS!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

I'm steell standeen'...

...Sì, Sì, Sì!

Por those ob you lookeen' porwar' to the gran' funeral weeth the seex fad rads draggeen' my carriage eens stade down 5th Abenue, you hab to waid.

Arn Sonday the Wooman though' I was goeen' to die. Sonday nigh' she deed a lard ob readeen' arn the carmpudehair. Also, I theenk she pray to hor ancestor (porque deed she waid???).

Arn Mornday the Wooman started to feed me the KAKA potassium gel, TumilK. She biolade my rides by force-injecteen' eento my mouth. Three times a day! Ad fors I bide hor, har', then I realize eef I yos swallow queeck, eed is ober.

Arn Tuesday I star to ead un pequeno mas. Also my terreeble leemp is geddeen' bedhair.

Arn Wednesday I ead a leedle more, mucho raw cheecken leeber, by han', como siempre.

Arn the Thorsday my leemp ees garn y I star' to ead some Tiki Cheecken y Wile Salmon. Frarm a bowl! Y two portions of cheecken leeber (before was maybe one worn a day, manymany tiny pieces).

Arn Friday, hole' arnto your hads, I made YOMPA arnto the bed y woghe the Wooman orp. I ead beeg deesh of raw steagh (teell now, muy kaka), feeneesh my Tiki y star' my Nature's Eensteenct Benison. Also, now my glucose rise' y I ged forgheen' Eensuleen shart por fors' time in larng-larng time.

Today, Satorday, I maghe yompa arnto the bed again, Waghe orp! Feed me! So far I ead two cans ob food. Que rico.

My coad ees lookeen goo', I yam feelleen' good. The Wooman y the Frenchman (they are crazy) wonder eef eed ees "too good to be true." Stupeed humans. Also, they cancel my ved appoinmen' por yesserday because they say they wan' me to ged more strong before I go - the stress ees bad por me.

So I go neghs weegh por blord tes'. Forgh.

The Wooman tell me e-e-e-e-eberbardy ees theenkeen' abou' me.

Gracias a todos.

I yam steell here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

State of the Feline Speech


This is not the cat. It is the Wooman. I haven't felt able to write because there has been no good news, but in the last two days he has been doing better.

These five weeks have been a rough roller coaster with the kitty. I know the date precisely because his health took a downward swing on September 6th, the day after a dinner party on the terrace. He was there with us, that night, begging for bits of lamb from friends, very happy. Later, walking through the dark bedroom on my way to bed, I collided with him accidentally, kicking him. He is black. I didn't see him. The next day (after some earlier warning signs) his litter box habits changed, and he stopped eating.

I reported that to the vet when we took him, but on examination they found no correlation between his condition and my kick. But I remember. On that vet visit he was X-rayed, sonogrammed and his blood was drawn, and based on tests a diagnosis of diabetes was given. We returned for a re-examination, diabetes lecture and instructions, and insulin was started.

The litter tray was a perplexing mix and match of painful constipation and diarrhea. Fun.

Really, really not fun.

I'll skip the excruciating detail of the inbetween bits of some weeks, where his glucose levels went from vaguely elevated to normal to super-high, where he was on-insulin, off-insulin, and fast forward to now, where he has not had it for a week, and glucose is fine.

As far as I can tell, his occasional diabetes is just a symptom of something else. True to form, Estorbo has something special.

What ails him may be related to the enlarged adrenal gland, and perhaps his low potassium levels (hypokalemia) are more causative than I realized - that last alone has a list of symptoms which fit Estorbo quite well. But initially we were all focused on diabetes. I guess you have to start somewhere.

He was rallying until a week ago, voluntarily eating canned food well (two small, 3oz cans a day! seems like years ago), and putting on some of the weight he lost. Then last week he stopped eating again, and turned wobbly on his legs after a few days. The most he would eat at the worst times would be 15 treats (only 1-2 calories each; somebody needs to develop a super-calorie treat for very ill cats).

I actually said goodbye to him a few nights ago. I thanked him for being such an excellent cat, and felt we could not go on like this. I realized how terrible it is to watch a creature suffer. Or perhaps, how terrible it is to feel helpless. I am a fixer, a doer, and when everything you do is not good enough and doesn't fix it, you feel despair.

I thought we would lose him. But I kept waking him up every few hours to feed him one treat, or one sliver of liver. I brushed him very gently, and that always made him purr. When he started to get up then, and and rub against furniture, I knew things were improving.

The last two days have been much better. He has woken me to help him get on the bed, then has put his nose in my face and has pawed me till I got up, with exaggerated purring. What has changed is that I have found I can give him his Tumil K - a potassium gel supplement - by syringe, in the mouth. He hates it, but I wish I had thought of this earlier; till then he'd have none of it. "Palatable," my foot. Or his foot. I had been rubbing it on his feet and he would just leave it there. Poor cat. He would not even wash it off.

Perhaps the supplement is helping. His appetite is returning, his coat is looking good for the first time in months. He blinks at us slowly and lovingly. He looks up, instead of at the floor, glassily, or lies stretched out, rather than hunching on the balls of his feet with his shoulder blades sticking out.

Chicken liver, piece by piece

Most of his meals are still fed by hand. One piece at a time. Chicken liver is tops. Fillet mignon is kaka. Ditto ground beef. Ditto every kind of top notch canned food imaginable. Today he ate some Hill's pellets, on his own (rejected Wellness: super-kaka). Frankly, right now we don't care what he eats as long as he eats. If he wanted buttery snails in their shells he'd get buttery snails in their shells.

He is seeing Dr Slade on Friday, for more blood tests. I have no idea what they can tell us.

This cat has been through so much (so have we! and you!). The broken jaw, before I adopted him; the urethral blockages and kidney issues (till I figured out that his pellets should be fed to him IN water - canned food did not help; the mysterious, obsessive licking where he made patches his arms bald and had to wear shirts (as well as some..uh, other interesting outfits); then the hyperthyroidism and the radiation, and now, this new...thing. It took us by surprise.

Forgive the long cat story.  He is my friend. And I love him. And I know some of you care about him very much, too.

It is pouring with rain as I write. It has been very dry, for very long.

Surely that is good sign.