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

Friday, June 02, 2006

Crying Wolf?

I just caught Leo on the kitchen table lapping up leftover milk from a Barbie cereal bowl.

One might say that this is a good sign. (At least until the lactose gives him diarrhea.)

My last post was pretty ominous, but for whatever reason, Leo seems to have rallied again. After spending yesterday morning under the chair (and bleeding so much that it left a quarter-size spot on the rug) he didn't have any major oral bleeding yesterday afternoon or this morning -- and his chin wasn't even slime covered as it has been all week (although the drool drip remains fairly constant, but somehow it's easier when it's just dripping out the side as opposed to a permanent chin smear.)

In other words, he's looking good enough this morning for a little photo shoot....

Cleaning up after breakfast

Clean and waiting to be lavished with attention...

Just for contrast, the photo below from a few days ago shows the chin mucus-like drool goo we've had to deal with of late (but not today, so far!) Sorry for the gross nature of the photo -- it's here to inform, not to disgust.

When this drool goo happens there is nothing I can do to remove it -- he will not allow me to touch the front of his chin...heaven forbid if I try to get near his face with a tissue or paper towel.

The mucus drool smelled as bad as it looked.

And some clinical tumor photos from this morning...

I've outlined the tumor area -- you can see that it has pushed Leo's mouth off-kilter a bit. Also making it difficult for him to eat, as the food that goes into his mouth can go off to the side and get stuck in the pushed out tumor area.

It's also gotten much more challenging to pill him.

Underneath view of the big old tumor that my sweet kitty has to deal with.


Blogger Merujo said...

That's one tough trooper you've got there, lady. :-)

6/02/2006 11:29 PM  
Blogger Cyn said...

So true, Merujo.

Leo was a very mellow cat pre-illness -- although he's become rather jumpy (but I blame the steroid for that.)

Still, his underlying easy-going temperment has probably helped him adapt to the difficulties the tumor has caused.

Although...come to think of it, he can be pretty demanding -- one of his nicknames is "Meowy" because he's always "talking" to me trying to get me to do his bidding. I guess it's just knowing he's got me as a servant that has made him so content all his life.

Oh, his other nicknames are "Fluffmeister Von Puffball" (my oldest daughter helped me with that one) and lately "Droolmeister de la Kittycat"

6/03/2006 10:19 AM  
Blogger alison said...

I'm so sorry for your cat but this is a great blog. My cat is at about the same stage as yours with SCC and I found your site searching for more information on dealing with the drool situation.

This my second cat that has had SCC. She's currently on clyndamycin as well (her 3rd round) and I'm considering starting her on a steroid. I didn't know about the high-calorie/extra soft food so I will be asking my vet about that. Thanks for the idea.

She also eats fancy feast now. My cat doesn't like cat milk so I often mix it with a feline product called vita-gravy. You may want to try it, I buy it at Petco and it comes in Salmon and Chicken flavors.

Now I just have to figure out a better way to clean the bloody drool out of her "bib"

6/06/2006 11:01 AM  
Blogger Cyn said...

Thanks Alison! I will try out the vita-gravy (I think I've seen it at Petsmart, which is where we shop.)

I don't know about your cat's drool, but Leo's has gotten progressively worse as the tumor has grown. Today he's looking much grosser than the photo in this post, with it all over his chin in front and around the side.

And there is no way to get it off - it's like slime that clings to the fur. If you can find something to remove it (that a cat who doesn't want the front of his chin touched in any way can stand!) please let me know.

On the other hand, he's been a real sweetie today, visiting me for attention and purring away. So he's still a beauty in my eyes.

It seems unfair that this is your second go-round with SCC. I'm sending out good vibes to you and your kitty, for whatever that's worth.

6/06/2006 11:46 AM  

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