Newt’s friend Simon says to “Keep those well wishes coming!”
Thank you for your prayers, your healing energies, your well wishes, and your support and encouragement of Simon and his family as he fights valiantly to recover from his surgery to correct his liver shunt.
Simon is now almost 72 hours post-op, and still having difficulty recovering from the surgery. However, we just got the wonderful news that he stood on his own overnight. Yay, Simon! So keep those good vibes heading his way!
At a mere eight months old, Simon has already had a series of setbacks. His liver shunt, a bout with Toxoplasmosis, (which may have led to his newly-discovered heart disease), and now, a prolonged, post-operative recovery.
A prolonged post-operative recovery process seems to be fairly typical in our shunt cats, from what I’ve seen. In fact, for some cats, the lengthy time to come out of anesthesia from spay/neutering may be the first indicator of an underlying shunt condition. Anecdotally, with the cats we know who have had surgeries after a shunt diagnosis, be it for shunt repair, spay/neutering, dental, etc, the surgeons have been aware of this, and have used special care and types of anesthesia, etc, to help with the process.
But still, knowing it, and living it are two different things.
Seeing your loved one, (regardless of the species), lying unresponsive in the hospital, can just rip out your heart, and make you feel so entirely helpless and hopeless. Even the “normal” day-to-day antics of a shunt kitty can make your heart leap into your throat with every little thing.
Kitty is purring. OMG is that a happy purr or a pre-episodic purr? Is that drool? OMG where’s the Lactulose? And don’t even get me started on the Kitty isn’t in the normal spots, OMG where is kitty??? Is kitty okay? Kitty? KITTY!?! KIIIIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! as you race through the house screaming yourself hoarse, throwing large pieces of furniture over your shoulder, thundering up and down stairs, leaping over large dogs, and ripping closet doors off their hinges in a desperate search, all the while fearing the worst, only to have Cat Daddy calmly point to Newt, gleefully racing along RIGHT BEHIND YOU!
Not that that has ever happened, mind you. Ahem. Nope, not around here. ::whistles innocently::
But, that’s how it is, for me, anyway. And previously, it used to be such a lonely existence. Such an obscure condition, so little information, and no other cat parents with whom I could compare notes. The dog people were wonderful, and such a source of comfort. But still, I remember how indescribable it felt to find a CAT shunt owner. Then another. And another. Those emails were like gold to me. Nuggets of golden Hope. (And you may have noticed that I purposefully capitalize the word on here – because it IS that important.)
That’s why I am so proud of our growing community of shunt cat parents. You are doing such an amazing job of reaching out to one another, encouraging one another, sharing your stories, sharing your Hope. I am truly humbled and awed at the outpouring of love and support I have seen. You are building such a wonderful community, a tremendous resource for those of us now, and for the future cats and kittens who come.
We are no longer alone.
We are NOT alone in our pain and sorrow, sadness and frustration. We are NOT alone in our joy. We are NOT crazy cat people. We are merely trying to do the best we can for our loved ones, whether it is medical maintenance or surgical intervention. Each of us struggles daily with the difficult choices we have to make, to ensure the best quality of life for these special kitties placed under our guardianship.
Our shunt cats come to us for a reason. I can’t speak for everyone, but it seems to me that so many of our shunt cats seem to have touched our souls in ways far beyond the normal reach of our other, beloved companion animals. My opinion is that our helplessness and suffering on their behalf is part of the price that we must pay for sharing that unbridled joy they bring to our hearts and homes.
It is a steep price indeed … but mere pennies in comparison to the untold rewards we reap from their presence in our lives.