In Loving Memory :: Frog

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It was a cool damp day in April of 98 when Frog and his 3 siblings were born. As we watched these kittens grow and play, we became particularly fond of one. The "brave one" we called him, he was the most curious, always the first to explore new sights and sounds, and when the others became scared and darted off, he stayed behind to check it out. As he played he would run and hop over his siblings... this action along with his round face and big round eyes earned him his name "Frog". He soon became as fond as us as we were of him. This led to him joining us in the house. He would lay in the sunbeam all day, play with the other cats, eat dinner with us by jumping up onto the chair then the table, he would wait for us at the bedroom door to go to bed at night and climb up onto the bed and position himself just so. He had his own routine/ritual going on and this was very amusing to us. At 3 1/2 months old we began noticing Frog was losing his balance easily and his head would bob while eating or drinking. So the vet visits began:


1st visit- to our regular vet, a brief exam and his diagnosis was cerebellar hypoplasia... and his advice was to put him to sleep for he would only get worse and live up to 6 months.

(We went home and looked up as much info as we could and decided a 2nd opinion was needed). 2nd visit- to a vet out of town, she confirmed this CH diagnosis but had better advice, she said he would not get worse and could live a long normal life. (We went home happy this time to have found a gentle caring knowledgeable vet. This was Frog's vet for life). 3rd visit- shots, checkup,....concerned Frog was not gaining weight...

4th visit- Frog began to gag at times and grind his teeth, while climbing up onto his favorite chair he seemed to get stuck, unable to move for a few seconds....made an appt... Frog's original vet was off, saw another one...he assessed Frog was having seizures and that something more was going on and said Frog was probably dying, gave us valium and sent us home....(we were not pleased with this and were brokenhearted... went home and searched the net for days looking for feline diseases and others who would know...this is how I found Bette).

5th visit- Took Frog to our first regular vet to see what he would say... he said heartburn or sour stomach, gave us tagament which seemed to do the trick. 6th visit- Back to Frog's vet...he was not doing as well as usual, seemed weak and doing less for himself, trouble using litter so we began using towels. The vet discovered Frog was losing weight and not growing and teeth not coming in. She suggested special food A/D Prescription and bloodwork to see what was going on and perhaps seeing a specialist. Bloodwork results didn't look good: CBC's were not normal, slightly increased kidney enzymes showed damage to kidney, liver enzymes were high which were puzzling... this is when CH was ruled out and another disease was suggested, called mannosidosis, a rare disease she said...no cure...but let's see what the specialist says.


So off to Ohio State University we went which made this Frog's 7th visit. An assessment was made and bloodwork taken and we were sent home still not knowing too much... except those words again..."he doesn't have much time to live"..... Frog was 11 months old at this time and still able to stand some and walk with assistance. Then the phone call came - it was most certainly mannosidosis and also toxoplasma. Both these conditions create the same type of symptoms and problems (and CH). Medication was prescribed for the toxoplasma and we were told to continue to do what we were doing...which was loving our beloved little Frog... He responded well to the meds, seemed to pep him up a little. When we would take Frog places (vets, friends) we carried him in a handled wicker basket with nice soft blankets inside. People would stop us to see and ask about him. So many people would instantly fall in love with him and just had to touch and pet him which he loved and alot of times we would hear the words "poor little thing".


By the time Frog was 13 months he was no longer able to walk around or stand up... he would pull himself around on the floor, he always knew where he was going. We would help him to the "towel", prop him up to feed him with a syringe, give him drinks, make comfy beds for him and lay him in the sun, window or in front of the tv...I run a home day care and we also have 13 other cats. The children were very respectful of Frog and knew to be careful, I would always say "watch where you walk, you never know where Frog is".... and was this so true, he would get himself under furniture, in corners or just be in the middle of the floor or in front of the door. We made beds for him and tucked him in each night. He loved watching tv, being outside with us laying on grass, or just watching us.... Frog had us on his schedule, we did not leave him home alone for very long at one time. And just like he never complained of his disability we never complained of our time he took.

By the time Frog was going on 15 months we noticed even more of a change... he wasn't moving around as much...not attempting to get to the towel...we blamed it on the hot weather. He was sleeping more, not eating as much as usual...we called the vets a few times to talk about this...we learned some of these things was to be expected...the grinding and gagging returned...we were worried. On July 16th we knew he wasn't feeling well but we were in denial, he wasn't going anywhere. On July 18 we knew something was going to happen...we took turns holding and talking to him all day...it was as if he knew and was waiting for us to know and to be ready...(we were not ready). I called the vet, she said sounds like he was leaving us, did we want to come over? A few hours later, Frog was laying heavy on my chest, kneading me the best he could like he would do each morning, and was dribbling on me...seemed comfortable but would cry out once in awhile... We decided to go on over to the vets...we didn't want him to have any pain. Half way there a big rain storm hit...it was hard to see...Frog's ears flicked and he seemed to be trying to crawl inside my chest and then he just laid still, eyes kinda rolled...looked very peaceful....I held his face up into mine, "No, no," I said..."I love you..", and no lie the rain stopped and the sun shining once again...we pulled over and held him a few moments and went on to the vets......she is one of the kindest people I have ever met. She pet him and kissed him. We also weighed him...1.9 lbs.


The trip home was long and quiet, I held him and played with his paws like I always would. We discussed what to do next. The university wanted his body for research but we said no... he was too special. I wanted him somewhere we could always visit... So at dark we took Frog, a shovel, a blanket, flowers and did the deed...I sat there and held him up to my face and talked to him then I had to hand him over and our goodbyes were said.....his body is laying at my dad's feet but we know his soul is up over the Rainbow Bridge running, hopping, climbing and joining other members of our cat family. I know he looks down on us sometimes to see how we are doing, to see how many kittens running around now and I bet he even checks to see what is on tv....

Frog brought a special kind of love to this house and gave it to everyone he met. The other cats looked for him, the children still talk about him and so do we...we even still talk to him...

So if you have a CH kitty please learn as much about this disease as you can. If your cat's symptoms differ than what you have learned, get tests done.....don't let vets get away with saying best to put him down or he has a short time to live...Frog didn't live long but longer than they all said... We believe his insides continued to grow while his body did not and his heart just got too big for his body...We still have questions that we will never have answers to... Maybe someday we will know...


We still have 13 cats, have alost a few and gained a few.... Amoung these cats are Frog's parents and brother: Black Kid, Evol, Squeak. Others: Little Joe, Pretty Girl, Brother, Warbel, Crazy Nut, Gorden, Buddy, Noname and The Baby...

No matter how many cats come and go they are all loved as much but there was something very special about Frog no other cat or person has...

(We have declared July a bad month for us...in the month of July in the past 3 years we have lost both our fathers, house flooded, loss of cat, and this year loss of Frog........)

Remember, learn learn learn as much as you can about your cat's condition... It could make a difference between life and death....

All animals deserve the best they can have... It's up to humans to see animals get this................

ęcopyright Anne Stillion



 
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