Update on Harold

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Harree is doing okay. Not great, but okay. I’ve been putting off this post because I don’t really like talking about it at the moment. It breaks my heart that I can’t be there with him right now, and I begin to tear up every time someone asks about him.

As you probably read, Harree went into a renal crisis right before we closed on our new home. He first developed kidney disease in 2009, so we’ve been down this road before. He’s been struggling with it since then, but doing okay. We knew we were looking at a shorter lifespan but we didn’t anticipate things to take such a sharp downward trend since he has been doing so well for years.

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After 5 vet appointments, 2 solid days at the vet receiving fluids, 2.5 days of ER stays, Harree is now on a treatment plan that is helping but not quite enough. Some of his values are still creeping in the bad direction. Other values have improved. And, most importantly, he is obviously feeling a lot better.

He’s lost a few pounds, and it has been a challenge to get him interested in eating do to his nausea. However, his eating habits are continuing to improve and during his last appointment the vet was pleased on that front. And his weight has seemed to stabilize a bit.

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Right now, he’s on daily fluids (as much as Jimmy can manage to give him by himsel; it’s become more challenging since he is feeling better) and a quarter tablet of Pepcid twice a day (for his nausea). This week he may also receive a new prescription to help lower his phosphorus. However, the vet needed to do research on dosage and how to order it, so we’re waiting for a call back.

Besides the above, Jimmy weighs him weekly, and spends a lot of time encouraging him to eat and drink. We have a wide variety of low-protein wet food options we switch between. We also have a wide variety of different water bowls for him to choose from (including one that we modified the height on, since he’s a tall cat). Harree is a very well-behaved cat, so even if he isn’t interested in food, he’ll try to take a few bites if you prompt him to. He likes to keep us happy.

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His personality is back. Jimmy reports that he is active and is interacting with the other cats more. He seems more like his old self. His happiness and comfort is what we are striving for, so this alone is the most important measure.

Kidney disease is incurable and progressive. All we can do is keep him comfortable and happy, and to try to slow down the progression.

I adore all my cats and love them each with all my heart. But I consider Harree and I to have a very special bond. I am closest to my Harold. He grooms me all the time, lays on me at every opportunity, watches me in the kitchen and follows me around the house. He sleeps on my chest at night. Harree loves to cuddle, loves to nuzzle and bump heads, and gives kisses when I ask. He attempts to protect me from non-existent dangers (he sometimes needs to be removed from the room when I cut Lefty’s nails…Lefty growls because he doesn’t like his feet being touched, and Harree will jump in to defend me…even though Lefty would never attack me). Every day I hope even more that I can move down to Virginia as soon as possible so I can maximize our time left together.

And to lighten the mood…here’s the Dixee…(no one put her in the crate…she wasn’t even going to the vet)…

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