Thursday, January 20, 2022

update on monkey ~ and a little distraction

Thank you all so much for your loving, kind, supportive comments on my previous post about Monkey. He's still hanging in there. I've had some super busy and stressful days with medication problems and making his final arrangements, entailing numerous phone calls and emails. That part seems to be behind me now, so...we wait.

One of the hardest parts is going through all the ups and downs of the day. Prednisolone is keeping him comfortable and I have Gabapentin on standby if he needs it for pain. With this nasal tumor partially obstructing his nose and throat, he breathes through his mouth, as you can see below. He's also started sneezing a lot and making choking sounds, which is horrible to hear. Sometimes he eats all his food, other times he eats only a little bit. I have to sit on the floor over the course of half hour+, coaxing him to eat off a spoon. Sometimes I add chicken or turkey baby food to his wet food to entice him. There's been a couple of scary times where he wouldn't touch his food. That was when he was on a compounded transdermal Prednisolone gel that I was rubbing in his ears. Little did I know it wasn't working very well, so he wasn't feeling good...

Back story: the internal medicine vet who did all the tests on Monkey and diagnosed him with the nasal tumor, sent him home with liquid Prednisolone. It was impossible to give it to him. It was like trying to wrestle a wild tiger. Most of the medication would be on the bathroom walls and floor and my arms were scratched. I called my regular vet who said the compounding pharmacy could make it into a transdermal gel. Problem was - as I later found out from the internal medicine vet - the transdermal gel isn't as strong or effective as the liquid or tablet. Poor Monkey! But I wondered how in the world I'd be able to give him a tablet. The internal medicine vet suggested trying pill pockets. Can you believe I'd never heard of those? My regular vet had never, in all these years of having cats, told me about these. 😠

I found Greenie pet pill pockets for cats at PetCo. They're soft and moldable. All you do is pop the tablet (or capsule) into the middle of the treat and mold it around the pill. The cat will hopefully eat the entire treat in one swallow. Monkey did not. I think it's too big for him to eat with the having the tumor. So now I'm crushing up the tablet and mixing it into his wet food.

Poor Clementine is afraid of Monkey right now. I'm sure she doesn't like the way he sounds and acts. Yesterday when Monkey wasn't feeling well and hiding under the guest room bed, Clem was nearby on the heating vent, just staring over at him. Cats are so intuitive...I wonder if she knows he's dying? 

There's times we see the "old" Monkey and it makes our hearts when he comes into the kitchen when he knows it's feeding time. Or when he crawls up into Brian's lap when he's relaxing on the couch in the evening. Tonight he even jumped up onto the kitchen table when we were eating dinner and tried to get into my food! Normally, I would make him get off the table, but tonight I let him stay up there. 😻

On a totally different note, Brian and I had the chance to escape for a few hours last weekend to a nearby town for some shopping and walking around.

I've mentioned the town of Woodstock (IL) on my blog before. It's listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the town square offers an array of unique shops. But you might recognize it most for the famous gazebo - coming up!

It was bitter cold, so we walked quickly. And then stopped for hot tea at Ethereal Confections. Their chocolate is the best I've ever had. It's bean to bar, sourced from Central and South America and processed and molded in-house. I treat myself to a few truffles each time I'm there (which isn't often) and make them last by savoring just one every few days day.

The historic opera house, where I've seen a few concerts and a play.

OK, here's the famous gazebo. Recognize it? 
It's the gazebo from the movie, Groundhog Day with Bill Murray.

The main reason we went to Woodstock was because Brian had bought me a shirt for Christmas from one of my favorite shops. It didn't fit, so I wanted to exchange it for a different size. Turned out, they didn't have the shirts in stock anymore.

I got a store credit and one of the things I chose was this beautiful handmade Tremundo art journal.

Almost too pretty to use!

Thank you, again for your supportive and gracious comments. I appreciate them all.


  1. Thanks for the update on Monkey. I know you are doing the very best you can for him. You are right, animals are very intuitive, and I have no doubt that Clem knows there is something going on. Woodstock looks like a fun place to spend a weekend. Yes, now, that you pointed it out, I do recognize the gazebo. Groundhog Day is a perpetual favorite movie of ours. I love the art journal. It really is beautiful. Good to hear from you. See you again soon.

  2. Poor, sweet Monkey. It's so hard when they aren't feeling themselves. Jingles breathing was difficult to watch and hear in her last months. Someone had told me about the pill pockets, but wasn't sure if I could find them here. She loved raisins so I would break up her tablets and wrap raisin around it, which only worked once or twice. When she caught on to what I was doing, she'd hiss and smack me. For a kitty who had never had to take medicine, she was not going to be cooperative no matter what. All we can do is make them comfortable as possible and know when the time has come to say goodbye. :( Woodstock looks like a great little town to visit. That journal is beautiful. Take care.

  3. I'm glad that you and Brian could get away for a while and enjoy some time exploring Woodstock. Watching Monkey decline and not feel well has to be so hard and sad. You are doing an admirable job of handling the medications. I do remember using the pill pockets with our dog which was a great help. Love your new journal.

  4. I'm thinking of you both this whole week. Sending so much love your way.

  5. What a beautiful journal! Melanie, I know what you're going through. I am thinking about you and know that I'm here for you. Monkey is so sweet. Saying I'm sorry just isn't enough. It's a horrible pain to bear. You are the best pet mom I know of and I admire all you give to your pet babies. I can't believe the vet didn't tell you about pill pockets! I used the same ones you bought.

  6. It is so hard when. you know the end is coming and you are dreading it but also know it will be the best thing for your pet. The final sacrifice you can make to keep them comfortable. God bless you and poor Monkey. You are in my prayers. xo Diana

  7. I’m so sorry for your precious kitty. And I am sorry for the grief you are already feeling. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Monkey. <3

  8. Big hugs Melanie, I can't imagine how hard this is to watch. That journal is lovely, and a fitting time to get one. Perhaps a little writing can help you through the tough times. xxoo

  9. I'm so sorry about your sweet little cat. They show us so much love and we want to be there for them and make their lives as good as we can. It's specially hard because they cannot tell us where it hurts or how much. Just know that all the love and comfort that you are giving is truly appreciated and felt. Monkey knows that he is loved :)

  10. Melanie, I really hurt for this time you're going through with Monkey, made doubly difficult because of seeing Clementine go through kidney disease. There's just no easy way through it and it hurts like hell but I know both of your babies feel so loved by you and Brian.

    I'm so glad you tried adjusting your settings when I wrote that I wasn't able to get the cursor to click on your comment section. I've had so many tech problems lately that I about give up but was so pleased when I was able to comment once more at Nan's a few minutes ago and now at yours. You have so many beautiful little cities around you to visit and it's nice for me to be able to tag along with you via your blog. It's almost time to watch Groundhog Day once more so I'll watch for the gazebo. Thinking of you and your babies.

  11. It must be so difficult on you both to watch him fading. But obviously you’re making his last days as comfy as possible. Sending virtual kitty love!


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