Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

I hope you're having a good holiday. Here are some happy moments in Ollie's day today -- and I'm very thankful for them.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ollie Outdoors

Just inside the patio slider is an extra comfort station dubbed Ollie's campsite.

These photos were taken over the last two weekends, and him with his lowered appetite, too. Today he's almost inhaling his food again. These closely supervised sessions have been something regular in the past, but I'm spoiling him more now.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Ollie is lounging in my lap right now. Something that's been happening more often lately.

I'm reluctant to go to performances or go very far afield for the time being as I spend time with Ollie and monitor his health. Rather than feeling like I'm missing something, I'm enjoying the time with my feline companion of nine years (adopted when he was two), or I should say enjoying the time when nothing bad is happening. There was a late night trip up to the emergency vet in Ellicott City last Tuesday when a particularly bad episode of blockage happened, accompanied by some weird low moaning I'd never heard before. On the gory side, these episodes of straining in the pan with little or no result sometimes trigger a vomiting reflex, and that happened this time, too. All we have to do is get things around the lymphoma tumor in his colon, and he's just fine. Thought he was dying on the way to the emergency vet, but after he was treated they let me see him stretched out so happy and relaxing in the post-treatment cage.

Cancelled chemo in Annapolis for him at the last minute late last week. Discussions with regular vets (no charge -- thanks!). Continuing prednisolone, two pills a day for the time being; switched from pumpkin to Miralax after the emergency vet episode; Lactulose on stand-by in case something extra is needed. (Pumpkin, plain puree, was moving things but turned out to be just another substance to get through around the tumor.) Miralax started working for the first time after about two days.

Ravenous at first about new prescription canned food -- was never allowed canned before because of his chronic IBD. Now his appetite fluctuates but he likes treats and small portions served on a spoon. If I can't get a pred pill into him because I have to crush it in his regular food, vets introduced me to Pill Pockets. Wow! A way to get a whole pill into him without any fuss. Unfortunately, he's crazy about the flavor and has been raiding the kitchen counter and maybe even less enthusiastic about the regular food.

Maintaining about 15 pounds. (17 pounds before, which was overweight.) Fur has not grown back where they shaved his tummy weeks ago to do ultrasounding before the cancer was diagnosed. A taste of chemo after all? (I read that cats don't lose fur during chemo but it can grow back slowly or not at all if shaved for any procedures.)

He still likes to go out on the patio for supervised outdoor time. I'm watching a lot of movies or listening to music, often with Ollie in my lap or on the ottoman -- something that had stopped for a while, so it's good to see that again.

Addendum, Mon., Nov. 21: Made a couple of corrections above. The emergency trip happened one night earlier than I recalled. Today, Miralax worked very well, and Ollie's appetite seems to be back up this evening. I gave him his second pill in a pill pocket any way -- we need to celebrate! (Oh, and they have to be the hypoallergenic Pill Pockets for him.)

Friday, November 11, 2011


I'm sorry, but between edits, Blogger has lost most of this post.

This has been happening recently.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Ollie's Kingdom

I just snapped this shot a few minutes ago. After noticing that he sleeps more than before and doesn't climb around as much, I was happy to find him on an old favorite perch: the back of the sofa, then a shorter CD case help him get to the top of the CD tower. I have not seen him up there for ages.

I made improvements on his "porch" -- the wrap-around corner window in our little sun room -- that allow him to lounge at full length and watch the world outside in more comfort. He's been loving that. If you've seen the shots of him through the window screen on the "Ollie is your host" label, that's his porch. Those pictures were taken the day after Irene blew through. He was already quite ill then, but I didn't know how ill.

More pictures of Ollie might appear here later, but I want to avoid documenting any decline in his health here. I'd rather share more with friends in private forums, and I have some tough decisions coming up, and I don't know how much longer I can share life with Ollie in his present better-than-expected state.

I'm still getting out a little bit, and I hope to go to a concert nearby next weekend, so my notices of music and art might continue. I wish I could bring Ollie with me. He'd love to meet you.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Ollie's biopsy results indicate lymphoma, and there's some debate over whether spots further up his tract are cancerous or just more inflammation. Steroid pills I'm giving him already might help with the cancer, and I'm considering options for further treatment.

We had a comforting and productive chat with the vet at Columbia Animal Hospital this morning, and Ollie was pleased with a visit that was less eventful than recent visits. If you saw him right now, you wouldn't think anything was wrong.

No new pictures on this post, but for convenience of some friends of Ollie who might visit the blog, just click on the "Ollie is your host" label at the bottom of this post. It will pull up more posts with Ollie's photos. (They are thumbnails that you can click on for a larger view.) I might post more photos later, but for now I must take care of him and spend more time with him.

Many thanks to the vets and staff members at Hickory Ridge Columbia Animal Hospital who have taken such wonderful care of Ollie over the years.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Pastel Landscapes at Artists' Gallery, Columbia

The monthly reception is this evening at the Artists' Gallery near Columbia Town Center's Lakefront. Featured works this month are pastel landscapes (many local scenes) by Barbara Steinacker and Deborah Maklowski.

Note that the Gallery has extended its Saturday hours, closing at 3:30pm instead of 12:30.

Maklowski also will be represented in an exhibit along with other artists at Bethesda's Ratner Museum, December 1 - 26.
See for details. (The card I picked up says that Ratner admission is free.)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My little man...

as they started calling him at Columbia Animal Hospital, is at home after spending most of Monday undergoing procedures and tests. Now we wait for the results, but meanwhile Ollie has been extremely playful and affectionate since coming home yesterday evening.

Movie Cake from Touche Touchet Bakery

My movie night didn't happen, but the cake did. It was ordered and bought already, and I was eager to see what Touche Touchet Bakery had achieved with my few suggestions for a theme, so I picked it up at the bakery on Saturday afternoon. I've seen their work before and I was amazed again.

The cake was shared with friends, but I finally had to assume the responsibility of cutting the first slice. Nobody wanted to spoil it. It tasted as good as it looked, and I noticed that it wasn't overwhelmed with sugar.

hocofood@@@ -- I understand that this string will reflect this post in the food section of Hocoblogs. I'm using my restaurants label for now to cover anything to do with food and drink. This bakery does have a cozy area of tables and chairs for dining on coffee and treats, too.