My Name is Leo

An adored cat deals gracefully with a jaw tumor while his owner quietly falls apart.

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Location: Philadelphia area, Northeast, United States

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Day 52

Back on the Clavamox again.

Leo appeared to be having mouth pain yesterday -- he seemed uncomfortable when I rubbed the left side of his jaw -- plus he hadn't been eating very well the past few days, and his breath was becoming even nastier. Chin looked a little puffier too.

All adds up to another infection. So, back to the vet for another round of Clavamox.

When I called for the refill, I mentioned my concern that the Prednisone he was taking was causing the reinfections. Message later relayed from the vet is that the tumor was causing the infections, not the prednisone, and Leo needed to stay on the pred for the rest of his life to make him "more comfortable."

Duh -- I know the steroid itself wasn't making him infected; what I meant was that it was lowering his body's natural resistance and making it easier for infection to reoccur.


After my lovely husband picked up the pills yesterday afternoon, I gave Leo both the prednisone and clavamox at the same time. Bad idea. A short time later I found he had barfed on my bedroom floor. The usual way of discovery -- I stepped in it. (But see, he's a great cat in that he didn't do it in my bed.)

We had a family excursion to PetSmart (my kids have very exciting lives -- Wow! We're going to PetSmart!!) to buy new varieties of Fancy Feast to tempt Leo, some soft cat treats (this guy has never had a cat treat in his life, because he was on a strict urinary tract diet!) and a new catnip toy.

The Friskies (Ocean Whitefish & Tuna) treats went over great (although they smell horrid to me.) But I didn't want to stuff him with junk food, so I just gave him a few.

At his dinnertime, he went right for the Fancy Feast, but didn't eat much.

Afterwards, he looked pretty miserable -- curled up in the tightest ball on our couch. By some miracle, I managed to not become freaked out by this. After nearly 2 months, I was confident he'd be feeling better soon.

And soon came this morning -- he meowed at my door at the lovely hour of 6 AM (you can't blame a cat -- it's light out and his human should be awake.) He was perky and purring and any other good word you can think of that starts with the letter "p."

Chin looked less swollen than yesterday. His breath still is pretty nasty though.

Our hero, this morning

Had only eaten 2/3 of his food from last night, but ate well this morning. I decided to smoosh this morning's Clavamox into a cat treat -- even though I have no trouble pilling him in the chuck-down-the-throat method, I'm hoping maybe having the pill encased in foodstuff will make it less likely to give him nausea.

He's been looking and feeling thin, but his weight on our bathroom scale this morning was 10 pounds -- not bad.

Leo dreams of escaping the house to show those birds what he's made of...


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