So, context. You may remember I started having breast ultrasounds a year and a half ago because my doctor found a lump. That was scary. So it turned out, my breast tissue is kinda fucked up, though it’s not exactly abnormal. I have several cysts.
This isn’t uncommon, but not super normal either. One particular cyst/mass was a bit different and all the ultrasounds are to monitor it multiple times a year for two years. So far so good –today was my third. But today I was very scared.
The reason is that two months ago I began having localized pain in one of my breasts. On a very specific spot. It was bothersome and scary. I was prepared to need at a minimum a biopsy… turns out an old cyst decided to start shrinking, and that’s been causing the annoyance.
When I was told all was good today, they told me it’d been two years and I needed no more tests until 40. So when, 15 minutes later, I got a phone call telling me the doctor wanted me to return in six months, I was apprehensive.
Turns out they’d just miscalculated, and it’ll be two years in six months. So basically that’s my boob story. I’m kind of acclimated to the idea of getting some sort of cancer because I think that’s more common the longer humans manage to live. 🤷♀️ So I’m careful and prepared.
(I say coolly, after pissing my pants in fear for days)
🐱 Kitty Ramble 🐱
Look into the void and despair:
She was crying at me because I was leaving the house to go for my ultrasound.
I post a lot about Tomoyo (even though my favorite, my “heart cat” is my little Rosie) because Tomoyo is the worst cat I’ve ever had, in many ways. Her health is, to put it in plain terms, generally “not great”. She almost died as a kitten, I nursed her through a particularly terrible night, lying her on my chest trying to keep her fever managed. She has asthma, and when I call her neurotic I mean that in a clinical, not in a funny way.
She has many destructive compulsions. She is very high strung, almost feral, and responded poorly to the many anxiety meds we tried. Add to her health issues (physical and mental) the fact that giving any medication to this cat is a terrible ordeal. You name it, we’ve tried it. It often ends in blood (ours) and Tomoyo’s emotional distress.
Often, decisions need to be made with our vet in regards to what meds to give and if any, along with how much to feed her (leading to her weight gain) had to be balanced with her behavior: this medicine may improve her life, but is the distress worth it? If we fed her less, she would be healthier, but so destructive that she would have had to be rehomed or put down. They are one and the same, by the way. I’m sure if I tried to rehome her, another person would put her down for serious behavioral issues. And I’ll never allow that to happen. Not unless she’s viciously attacking me, the other cats or herself.
In many ways Tomoyo has made our lives worse and more stressful. My response to this has been to shower her with love. If rehoming her meant SHE can be happier, some of her problems better managed, I’m sure I would. BUT… …it doesn’t. I doubt anyone else would put the time, money and patience we have put into this cat. She won’t even cuddle with you. I think anyone else might put her down. So I’ll never let her go.
I hold onto the good moments instead. Such as, after using the inhaler for a few weeks —an experience that invariable ended with me bleeding and Tomoyo hiding for hours— one day she realized it helped. Now she takes deep breaths and purrs while I do it. (Though she still fights when I grab her to do this, and screams, and scratches me with her back legs… you have to realize this is a mild reaction for Tomoyo. That would give some idea of what a bad reaction might be.)
When she began to relax during the inhaler procedure I could have cried. When she began to fall asleep by my computer, belly-up (this cat that never feels safe enough to relax in that way) I could have, too.
I know I have to love Tomoyo on her own terms. I do my best for her. My closeness with her is directly connected to how difficult she is. But she is also a very loving cat…
The interruption in petting prompted an audible sigh and loud, dog-like “HUFF”
At one point today, she saw her own butt as she left the desk corner. There is a camera pointed behind my monitor where she sleeps. I like watching her while I work. Well, she FREAKED. She thought she saw another cat (and, well, she did!) but by the time she approached the screen, the other black cat was mysteriously “gone”… lol 😅
🌈 Bonus Kotoko 🌈
The old lady surprises us sometimes by climbing the cat tree.
After the relief of my ultrasound, I went to Dollar Tree and Five Below. I got some more things for the upcoming sleepover with my friend Shelly, some more stuff for scrapbooking, and other odds and ends.
While I was at the store Christopher messaged me so I could pick my goodies from the Dinosaur World gift shop (he’s currently at NATIA and managed to get away to do me that huge favor, since going to Dinosaur World is something that I don’t expect to happen again for years). I can’t wait to show those things off when he’s back! He got me a velociraptor lamp and a framed holographic picture.
I always, always treat myself after a scary ultrasound (or blood draw/shot). For my goodies I got some Lisa Frank stickers, some animal/critter “mood” stickers, cute bird and birthday stickers, an InuYasha keychain I’ll turn into a necklace, more crayons, three mini Jurassic Park baby dinos and two greeting cards plus a pack of Alphabet flash cards with Sesame Street characters, for scrapbooking. 😊
I got two more really big coloring books for the sleepover –I guess we have quite enough now, but I won’t post those so I can surprise my friend in case she sees this post. 😁
In the afternoon I finished pressure washing the porch and putting everything back outside. I had to pressure wash the porch while it rained. Because I had all the porch stuff inside and need to clean the house tomorrow, I just had to finish today, there was no way around it. It wasn’t super fun, but it is done now.
I had a wee dinner, but it filled me up. Three little sandwiches and some baked kale chips.
I didn’t get to scrapbook today, but it was an extremely accomplished day all the same. It’s actually been a string of very fruitful days. I also just completed the daily warm-up as I wrap up this post. Time to get ready for bed. Goodnight, everyone!
Tomoyo continues to spend her entire days in my company. She seems to relax more than she in a long time. I think she missed me a lot while we were gone…
Honestly I thought she would give me a lot of trouble going back to her daily inhaler dose but she’s still being a very good girl. Really a wonder considering how violent her reaction used to be –it often ended with me bleeding. Now she breathes the meds in and doesn’t run away scared, hiding for hours afterwards. So maybe I’m doing something right.
Because we were gone for such a long time, we had three different friends care for our pets and house –one came two different days, another was supposed to come just once but came twice a whole bunch of time because our AC had issues that were super annoying to fix, and a third stayed almost an entire week for work-related reasons and in the meantime took excellent care of our pets too.
This last friend, Bert, was also nice enough to send me photos and video. This was a big deal to me because I missed the cats so, so very much. He even sent me video of the snails, but I didn’t include that in this post because it’s just the tank. I wanted to make a post for the rest though.
Here’s three of the kitties (Rosemary, Elliot and Kotoko):
And now for videos… first, Elliot:
Then my beloved Rosie…
Finally, sweet little Satan Tomoyo:
It’s so wonderful to be back home with them. I missed them more than I can put into words!
I’m continuing to try to give Tomoyo as much daily attention as possible. I’ve bought her a cat tree and a giant cardboard scratcher, and several new toys. I’ve also been steaming her in the bathroom when I take my morning shower, and giving her her asthma inhaler daily.
Incredibly, she’s finally grown used to it. When I first did this, it took me and Christopher, I got kicked on the face inside my lip and bled, and she had a terrible time, hiding for hours afterwards. Now, she complains, but has actually PURRED throughout and no longer hides from me after it is done. I think she’s learned that it brings her relief and is over with fast.
There have been many times when we regretted adopting Tomoyo. She is wild, feral, will not really cuddle (though in her own wild way, she is very affectionate), her high fever bout as a kitten (a near-death experience) seems to have melted her brain, she’s destructive, she’s a bully, and she has health issues, asthma being the most serious.
But she’s ours. Rehoming her is not an option; who else would be okay dealing with this? I think this is why she became ours. We do complain, and bitch and moan about her, but we love her, and I in particular love her very deeply, probably in a large part because of the sleepless night I spent on the couch with her laying limply on my chest, when she almost died. It’s so hard now to imagine this hyper-high-strung, neurotic cat being limp or calm at all, and really does make me realize just how close to death she came at the time…
And really, not to pat myself on the back too hard, but I think she would not have survived that night without my constant care, keeping her hydrated, bringing her temp up when needed and down when needed, trying to get watered food down her throat with a syringe. It was quite bad and scary a week, but definitely a terrible night.
As I give her more attention and allow her to be upstairs with me, she seems to be behaving very well. Here she is playing at my desk:
She enjoys lounging near me or just staring out the window:
I will miss her and worry about her while I am gone. I can’t wait to pamper the heck out of her when we return.