This post is a continuation of my series on her treatment and integration into the household. If you haven’t already, I suggest reading my previous posts on her. You can find them on her tag page.
Like the previous posts, this one is in a journal-esque format. I’m covering major/important events and updates, rather than what happens each day.
May 2 (Day 28): We took Athena to get her first post-treatment blood work. Physically, she’s doing great. Her eyes are normal, her gums have healed, and her weight is steady. Now we see how her blood work comes back. Per usual, Athena had blood drawn to run a standard complete blood panel (CBC) and chemistry panel (CHEM).
|Carry over from previous post
|Office call: recheck
|Schirmer Tear Test
May 3 (Day 29): I’m incredibly happy to report that Athena’s results were virtually perfect. She only had one number outside of the normal range, her neutrophils. While this is definitely something worth keeping an eye on, it’s just barely below normal, and could be related to her body getting used to ending treatment.
|Week 15 Results
|Week 11 Results
|Week 8 Results
|Week 4 Results
|28.2 – 52.7
|2.62 – 15.17
|thousands per cubic milliliter
|0.0 – 0.3
|milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL)
|6.3 – 8.8
|grams per deciliter (g/dL)
|2.6 – 3.9
|3.0 – 5.9
|0.5 – 1.2
|27 – 158
|international units per liter
May 5 (Day 31): Unfortunately, Athena’s over-grooming and heavy scratching have worsened. Jim found an interesting post on the FIP Warriors post-treatment support group about “chronically dramatic” cats (see below). But I have a hard time believing Athena is just doing this because she isn’t getting her rage food. She doesn’t complain about not receiving it, no demands right at 9:30 or anything.
Transcription: CW: lighthearted medical issue.
I know a lot of graduate parents have concerns about the future health of their warriors, will they be more susceptible to certain illnesses, are they at risk for others…
While David was in treatment, he got a lickable treat after his shot- lil soup, churu, etc. During observation, he still wanted his treat on schedule, and I was so grateful he had made it through those awful 12 weeks, so it seems harmless.
After he graduated, he still demanded his treat at the same time, every day. He’s a survivor, a miracle, of course I continued to spoil him.
I started a new job over the winter that has me more involved with a team versus my previous position where I was mostly solo where I had more time to respond to interruptions during the day (like David demanding his treat at 10AM on the dot). I’ve been missing or ignoring him. Didn’t think too much of it.
Last month, I noticed a bare patch in his fur, and started finding clumps of fur all over the house. I checked him over to make sure it wasn’t the result of a fight, and he seemed fine. Then I found more hair and his bare patch was getting larger. Check for fleas and ticks, and any sign of an allergic reaction on his skin. I couldn’t find anything, so I made an appointment for the vet.
I started researching reasons why he would be losing hair. One night, I was watching him grooming and he was just…ripping out chunks of fur. Maybe food intolerance and referred pain…then I remembered his box of churus and how we haven’t been going through them as much recently. And the week between making his vet appointment and seeing the vet, I experimented. Set my alarm and made sure when he came into my office, yelling for his treat, he got it.
And during that week he stopped pulling out fur. Last night was his appointment, and after a tip to tail exam, his vet confirmed his diagnosis of chronically dramatic and prescribed him daily churus.
So, indulge your graduate, but beware ever interrupting that treat schedule.
I caught a funny moment on camera. Athena decided to sit up on the back of an armchair in our front room, and Dante was clearly confused.
May 6 (Day 32): Athena tore through her onesie some. It’s not completely destroyed, but it’s clear she was scratching and biting at herself quite a bit last night. We changed it in case she managed to get into something that irritated her skin.
It took me a while to calm her down enough to relax and sleep some, rather than scratching or grooming. We’ve also decided to restart her rage food, just in case.
May 7 (Day 33): Athena practically annihilated her onesie last night. We had to throw it away. After taking it off, I rubbed her down with pet bath alternative wipes and then rubbed in some calming skin spray. It’s meant to help with dry skin. We’ll see if it makes any difference. She certainly enjoyed the fingertip massage.
On the plus side, We’re pretty sure she used the boys’ litter boxes upstairs. Jim said there were some Athena-sized poos when he scooped them last.
May 8 (Day 34): Because she had used the upstairs litter boxes, we tried closing her bathroom door. Everything seemed to be going well until bedtime, when we discovered she had peed on the fluffy blanket on the sofa. *sigh* The blanket isn’t very absorbent, so while it went in the washer, we also had to clean the sofa cushion. Thank goodness Jim picked up some pet urine cleaner a while back. Needless to say, we opened the bathroom door again.
May 9 (Day 35): I’ve realized that, at some point, Athena started spending most of her time in the front room, either on the sofa or one of the armchairs. Unfortunately, I seem to have immediately processed it as a normal part of life, so I’m not sure when she really started doing it.
May 12 (Day 38): I gave her a bath, and it went surprisingly well. I started with just getting her feet wet, figuring that if she freaked out, it would be easy to dry her footsies and I could avoid putting her through too much stress. But, even though she complained a bit at first, she didn’t seem at all scared, just unhappy that she was wet.
Because she’s over groomed so much, she was really easy to dry, we only had to rub her lightly with a towel.
We decided to leave her onesie off to see what would happen. And, fingers crossed, she seems to be itching less.
May 13 (Day 39): Progress! She only had one area that was irritated this morning, which I sprayed with Vetericyn. We’ll keep an eye on her.
May 14 (Day 40): While Athena doesn’t seem to be scratching as much, she is still overgrooming. To help the spot she’s focusing on heal, we put her onsie back on after spraying it with Vetericyn again.
May 16 (Day 42): Athena has changed her favorite hang out spot again. She’s now spending most of her time upstairs with us. She tends to hang out near the dining table, but also sits near the railing overlooking our front room.
May 17 (Day 43): Since she started eating upstairs, Athena’s wanted her food near the stairs. But, today at wet food time, she stood near where the boys eat, wanting her food near them. Dare I hope she’s actually accepting she’s part of the cat family?
May 18 (Day 44): Athena curled up to Jim and started grooming his beard. It was so cute!! Note: I posted the video on Instagram just so I could share it here.
May 19 (Day 45): So, I thought I had a brilliant idea to scoop Athena’s litter box less often in an attempt to convince her to use the boys’ cleaner litter boxes upstairs. That did not go as planned. Today she peed on one of the cat beds. At least it’s washable. And I scooped her litter box.
May 22 (Day 48): Little Miss Whiz-a-Lot peed on the sofa blanket again. But I caught it pretty fast, so there was only the tiniest bit on the sofa. We’re trying to keep a close eye on her. I’m pretty certain the issue is that she gets comfy and thinks that anything semi-absorbent is an acceptable potty. We have to convince her that that isn’t true. She has to get up and use the litter box, it isn’t optional. She can’t just pee and move over like she used to in the flower beds outside.
She also had some eye gunk, which I cleaned up. I don’t know if her eyes are dry again, if it’s an allergy issue (the pollen is EVERYWHERE), or if it’s the start of an eye infection. I’ll keep a close eye on her.
Athena discovered the upstairs heating pad today as well. She loves it. She can look out the sliding glass door, be near us, and be warm all at the same time. She flopped over at one point and looked like a she was dead. I had to give her a little prod just to make sure she was OK. She was. She gave me an evil look for disturbing her and flopped right back down.
May 23 (Day 49): Ha! I caught her as she prepared to pee on a cat bed and took her to the upstairs litter boxes. I plopped her in the one by the corner and closed the door behind me. Once I turned away from her, she started scratching and actually used the box. SUCCESS!! I made sure to praise her a lot and give her treats after so that she will continue to use it.
I gave her a short grooming session later in the day and slowly removed some of the scab on the patch that she over groomed so badly before. I left anything that wouldn’t come off easily, but I’m happy that she has nice, healthy skin underneath.
May 25 (Day 51): This was the first time Athena was out of her bathroom while the cleaners were here. She spent the entire time in Jim’s office on the cushion in front of the window. She didn’t seem particularly bothered. On the one hand, I’m happy she wasn’t freaked out. On the other, I was hoping she’d hide under the bed with Ritz and Dante and bond with them a bit.
May 26 (Day 52): Athena started itching again, so I gave her another bath. She did just as well as last time, and it was just as easy to dry her off. The rest of her scab came off in the bath. Unfortunately, while I left her onesie off so she could dry fully, she started over grooming that one spot again. I put her onesie back on as soon as I could.
She also still has some eye gunk, but it’s no worse. And, she’s now spending most of her day on the upstairs heating pad. Our little girl is lazy.
May 27 (Day 53): We have proof positive that Athena is using the upstairs litter boxes on her own! I heard scratching, and the boys were all visible, so I hurried down the hallway to see Athena clearly using the litter box. I praised her and give her a treat again. I don’t want her to go back to peeing on anything fluffy.
Toward the end of the night, she also joined all the kitties in the bedroom for some bonding and play time with the humans. She still isn’t happy with all of the boys (especially Dante), but she’s getting better.
May 29 (Day 55): We ordered new onesies for Athena which arrived yesterday. I changed her last night since her other onesie was getting dirty. This morning, we came out to the dining room to find her new onesie lying on the floor. She managed to get herself out of it. The material is a bit thinner, so I guess it was stretchy enough for her to pull it off.
Unfortunately, she also scratched at the one patch again. We’re going to try spraying it with Vetericyn more often and see if that helps. I put her just-cleaned onesie on her after spraying and we ordered some more of the ones that stay on.
May 30 (Day 56): She still has her eye gunk, but it’s not any worse, and, at this point, it can wait until she goes to the vet on Friday.
May 31 (Day 57): Dante tried to play with Athena. She did not appreciate that. He needs to learn that lesson quickly, or things could get ugly. Our little goddess won’t back down.
Her next blood work appointment is tomorrow. I’m also eager to ensure her she’s still doing as well as this time last month.
Thanks for reading to the end, I hope you found this update on Athena informative. If you’d like to keep up with her progress, be sure to subscribe to my blog, check her tag page, or follow the AthenaUpdate hashtag on Instagram.