The Milkweed Diaries

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Frankie

I suddenly realized today that I hadn't posted anything for the whole month of January. It's been an extraordinarily full month, teaching, working, setting up the hoophouse--and then the going got really rough in the past week:

Frankie (shown here healthy and happy last summer) has kidney failure, suddenly. She's not an elderly cat (we estimate eight or nine) and she's always been healthy until recently. This week Frankie's been in and out of the animal hospital, and now is home with us, woozy and frail. The vet says it's very unlikely she'll recover.

I can't help but hope for a miracle cure--partly because I'm in denial, partly because I seem constitutionally unable to not hope even when hope defies logic, partly because I don't trust authority, and partly because I always want to believe there's a way to fix problems, find solutions, make it right.

Of course have been frantically researching all kinds of herbal, homeopathic, and nutritional approaches to feline renal failure, and reading accounts of people who have nursed their cats through kidney failure, some claiming to have seen full recoveries. Maybe we'll have time to try some of these remedies -- stinging nettle seeds, fish oils, various raw meat concoctions -- or maybe not. In the meantime, I'm hoping that the touch, affection, sunlight slanting across the floor, warmth of the woodstove, and other comforts of home are providing some healing, or at least some peace.

I know we all die someday. And cats' lifespans are short compared to ours. My friend KT says it's a design flaw. But I sure do wish Frankie could stay a while longer. I love the heck out of her, and it's hard to imagine this household without her in it. Please send her your love, dear readers.



7 comments:

el said...

Do you know what kind of failure it is, Milkweed? Is it chronic renal failure or acute renal failure? I nursed my poor cat Athena through 4 years of the former one and ended up euthanizing her for basic old age. I'm pretty sure there's no cure. But if Frankie has CRF, and is an easy-going kind of cat, she can have a regular kind of life with sub-Q fluid therapy. (If she's not terribly easy-going, it might stress her out too much.) It will take a fair bit of commitment from you, too; some people just aren't up to it. Email me if you have any questions; it's a tough diagnosis in an 8 year old cat!

Jordana said...

Hey sweets, you, topher and frankie are in my thoughts and prayers. We went through this Jade, it came out of nowhere, just like with Frankie. I'm sure that you are doing all you can for her and that she knows that. I'll keep sending my love.

Aimee said...

I'm so sorry. Some cats are extra special. Best of luck, whatever the outcome.

Dana said...

I am sorry for Frankie's illness. If anyone can provide stellar palliative care for Frankie (love, good pats, sunlight, warmth, peacefulness) it is you two. I hope you all are cozy and enjoying each other's company during this here current snow situation. Love.

Milkweed said...

Oh thank you Dana, Jordana, and Aimee. I'm so grateful for you kind words. El, I'm emailing you now.

Reading this post again, I realized "maybe we'll have time to try some of these remedies" might have sounded like "maybe we'll have time if we're not too busy" when in fact what I meant was "maybe we'll have time unless she dies before we have a chance to try them." Ugh. She's still breathing, eating, and stretching her toes in a relaxed and happy sort of way. Topher gave her some catnip, which we're thinking of as a sort of medical marijuana situation.

Still holding out hope...

John B said...

Have you looked at the possibility of antifreeze poisoning if the cat is allowed outside?

Milkweed said...

Hi John B,
The leading theory of the moment is an infection. We did wonder at first about toxins -- antifreeze, poisoned mouse, etc, but now it is seeming that it's likely infectious.