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please give sketch some mojo | Main | dreamed i saw a desert rose

February 01, 2005

wandering star

I just got home from the vet.

The whole drive down there, we sat in some of the worst LA traffic I've seen in years (at least it felt that way . . . my perception was obviously skewed by grief and worry) and Sketch howled and panted the entire way, so I scritched his little fang face, and told him how so many kitties and monkeys were pulling for him, and how we were getting closer to the doctor who would take care of him and help him feel better. The truthis, I was trying to convince myself more than him. By the time we got there, he was breathing so hard he wasn't even holding his head up, and I was convinced that he was going to die before I could get him into the waiting room.

As soon as we walked in, a tech came over and put him into an oxygen cage to help him calm down and breathe, while Anne and I waited to talk with the doctor.

After a few tense minutes, the vet came in, and told us that Sketch has congestive heart failure, and that's why his lungs are filling up with fluid. He said that this is a common condition in Maine Coon cats, and he's treated it many times before. It was very reassuring to hear so much confidence from the vet. At least now we have an idea of how to proceed.

We still don't know what brought it on, and until we perform the cardiac ultrasound, we won't know for sure, or how to treat it. The vet told us that he can drain Sketch's lungs with Lasix, and when Sketch calms down, he'll be able to do the ultrasound. He's pretty sure it's hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, though, and he told us that he just saw a kitty this morning who he treated a year ago, who looked just like Sketch when she came in. I don't want to have false hope, but Anne keeps saying, "I just don't think it's Sketch's time to go," and I desperately want to believe her.

The really sad news is that, even after his lungs are cleared out, we won't ever be able to reverse the damage to his heart, and he will eventually die from it. If we *are* able to drain his lungs and figure out what's wrong with his heart, he should have good quality of life, though he'll spend the rest of it on medication.

The really encouraging news is that the vet knew right away what was wrong, and how to get Sketch comfortable and stabilized. He told us that once a cat is stabilized from this sort of thing, it's very rare for them to worsen or die. So we're hopeful, but prepared for the worst, as well.

You know that saying, "Prepare for the worst, hope for the best"? When you're actually doing it, it's a lot harder than it sounds.

The doctor wants to take things slowly with Sketch, so he doesn't stress him out and make things worse, so right now we're just focused on making him comfortable and getting his lungs clear. Once that's done, we'll do the ultrasound, and then we'll get a better picture of what comes next. I doubt we'll know anything for at least 24 hours.

I want to thank everyone who has kept Anne, me, and Sketch in your thoughts. Your comments and e-mails have meant a great deal to us (even Sketch, who only reads at a first grade level.)

I'll post more when I know more.

Posted by wil at February 1, 2005 12:27 PM
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» Shades of Gray from The Blog - eddiejennings.net
If some of this seems incoherent, my apologizes ahead of time. I'm pretty tired, so I'm bound to go off on a tangent. There are some days where I'm more sad than others. I think we've all experienced such days.... [Read More]

Tracked on February 1, 2005 08:28 PM

Wil - Great news to hear such confidence from the vet. Sketch is lucky to have such caring friends... should we all be so blessed! I'll be keeping my fingers crossed.


Posted by: t_knotts [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 01:14 PM

That sounds encouraging Wil. I'm glad to hear that it's treatable. Viva Sketch!

Posted by: shane [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 01:22 PM

Wil that is awesome. I have been checking all day to find out how things turned out. I agree with Anne. Its not his time yet. Hearing your good news makes me want to go home and hug all my furry babies and thank the powers that be that I have them in my life. Thank you and thank Sketch and family for reminding me of just how lucky I am to have pets.

My thoughts are with you in the coming days but I just know everything will be okay:)

Posted by: Sudden [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 01:23 PM

Looks like most of the WWdN posters were right Wil. I'm glad you are able to have some more time with Sketch.

Posted by: techy [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 01:28 PM

Sketch will be in my thoughts. I've just been through this (with my kitty), I know how awful waiting can be. Be strong, as you usually are :)

Posted by: Sunflower [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 01:32 PM

Wil -

*mojo for Sketch*

I work for a medical device company called Guidant. We make pacemakers and implantable defibrillators for use in humans.

We also make devices used to treat conjestive heart failure. It resynchronizes the two sides of the heart so that they pump equal amounts of blood. I doubt you would be able to find one that could be used on a cat, but I just wanted to let you know one of the treatment options. I don't know how much the doctor has told you, but basically the lungs fill up with fluid because the left side of the heart isn't pumping as much blood out of the lungs as the right side is pumping into the lungs.

This disease is all too common in humans, so I would imagine that quite a bit of research has been done. Good luck to you and to Sketch!

Posted by: dreamriver [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 01:33 PM

Go Sketch Go!!! What wonderful news! Good luck, my happy thoughts are with you all.

I know this sounds really stupid, but don't forget to explain things to your other pets. They are probably very concerned about Sketch as well and will need some reassurance. (okay, I watch too much pet psychic)

Posted by: Dogonets [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 01:37 PM

Somebody up there likes you, Wil. I'm glad to hear that things are looking up a bit. I know you like quotes; I'm fond of them myself. Two for you and the family:

"Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your best when things are worst...." - From the movie "Starman"

"There is still hope." - Arwen, "The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers"

I'll keep up the mojo and ask The Boss to keep an eye on the Fat Boy.

Keeping the Ol' Scepter of Justice on the charger, just in case,

The Goddess of Justice and Vengeance

Posted by: Aylaleia [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 01:38 PM

(Cautiously) good news, wil. Still sending the mojo from myself and Monkey (a cat. not a monkey. once had a vet when I told them the name of my cat say "so it's a monkey?")

Hopefully looking forward to pictures of a re-energized and well Sketch sometime in the near future.

Posted by: Jason (xtra-rant.com) [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 01:42 PM

Went through the same thing with my Beandog a few years ago. Well, sort of. Life threatening. Big, scary C-word. Waiting. Specialists. In the end they had to remove his ear. I'm just happy he's healthy.

It will be the same for Sketch.

Well, except he'll still have directional hearing... But you get my point. Maybe.

Posted by: sarcastrix [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 01:44 PM

Go Sketch! Feel better soon.

Posted by: evalucent [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 01:51 PM

I am SO glad your cat is doing well... I really hope things are ok for you and Sketch. Take care, and hope you have a good day (considering)

Aaron the Cluka

Posted by: Aaron the Cluka [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 01:52 PM

Sounds like a good vet bud. he'll be fine I'd say. Just make sure when he comes home that he stays in doors for a bit. Im a chemist and work for pharmaceutical company (animal and helathcare products).

Two common causes for it in animals are a hypertyroid or a lack of taurin (an amino acid)from the diet.

If its only from a hyperthyroid, then he might return fully to normal without a need for medication once the lungs are cleared.

If its not due to a hyper tyroid, then ask vet if the following human drugs can be of use for animals if the dosage is reduced.

Frusemide 80mg
Spironalactone 100mg
Ramipril 10mg
Carvedilol 37.5mg
Warfarin 3 or 4mg
Thyroxine 25mcg
Thiamine 100mg
Multi-Vits 1 tablet
Fluoxetine 20mg
Lansoprazole 30mg

The treatment will prolong his life by about 3 years. I'd say he'll be ok buddy. Any pic of what the cat looks like by the way? (just curious cos i luv cats)

Posted by: Noel Burke [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 01:55 PM

Very good news. I think Sketch will become a very old cat. I'm sure he gets well soon.

Posted by: Annie [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 01:59 PM

My cat Baine was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy over 4 years ago. At that time the vet said he had six months to a year. He does not at this point have any symptoms or any change in lifestyles.

I wish Sketch and your whole family much health

Posted by: anathemad [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 02:12 PM

While CHF isn't curable, it is very treatable, in both cats & humans. One of my aunts lived nearly 20 years after she was diagnosed, because she was very careful to take her meds every morning & evening. I hope Sketch is a good pilltaker!

Posted by: Beth [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 02:13 PM

Oh, man. I am so sending good kitty mojo your direction.

We're in a similar fix here; my partner's 18-year-old cat, Licorice, is showing signs of decline and he and his family are pretty ripped up about What To Do.

Thinking good thunks, dude.

Posted by: Griff Sanford [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 02:13 PM

Continued mojo for the fellow.

Posted by: Jamasiel [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 02:16 PM

Good to hear. Cautiously optimistic for you all.

Hang in there. :-)

Posted by: Craig Steffen [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 02:20 PM

Thats great news. I had to take my cat Nermal (yeah blame the ex-husband) to the vet today for wheezing and coughing. She's a pure breed Russian Blue and the vet told me to quit smoking. That will keep her from getting worse. I was planning on it now I really am for her health and saftey.

Your in my prayers

Posted by: KatieB [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 02:22 PM

I'm sorry, I hope Sketch gets better! Give him some mojo for me! You're in my thoughts.

Posted by: Shelley [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 02:24 PM

Good luck with Sketch. Sounds like a great fuzzball.
*ear skritch for Sketch*

Posted by: ressick [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 02:29 PM

Sending good thoughts your way, and Sketch's way, of course. Let us know when you know something definite.

Fingers crossed.

Posted by: sonjaag [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 02:31 PM

Thank you, everyone.

I just got off the phone with Sketch's doctor. He told me that Sketch was resting comfortably, and had calmed down considerably since we brought him in this morning. He said that they got his IV catheter into his paw without any difficulty, and they are going to take Xrays in about an hour or so.

I have to leave for the rest of the evening, so I won't be able to offer any more updates. If I'm not too tired when I get home tonight, I'll share whatever I know then.

Thank you all again for your support and kindness.

Posted by: Wil [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 02:33 PM

Sketch and Wil,

Still sending major positive mojo your way, (cautiously optimistic!) Take care all.

Tim from Nor Cal (and Ping, Copper, Mr. Bojangles, Domino & their staff)

Posted by: TimCalif [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 02:38 PM

Focus on the positive...a good quality of life, even on meds., And you'll get VERY good at shoving pills down his throat, not having to rely in sticking them in food.

Once they have him on the lasix, if they send him home with a scrip, pay real close attention to how much he drinks and pees. While it's wonderful for pushing the fluid out, if the dose is too high (initially it might be, just to get that fluid out) it can wind up damaging the kidneys. That happened to our cat; luckily the damage wasn't bad enough to cause long term problems, but it's still something you want to pay close attention to since he won't be able to say "Hey, I'm fricking thirsty and my litter box just flooded."

I know it probably doesn't help much to have a chorus of BTDT, but it seems like a lot of us have had the same problem with our kitties. And those kitties so totally own us...

Posted by: Thumper [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 02:39 PM

We've got a 21 year old with kidney disease and a tumor in her bladder. She's going to die at some point. The doctor wasn't able to give us an estimate. We just give her meds to keep her comfy. She's still bouncing around and purring and cuddling as much as she ever has. She's such a lap kitty. We will be sad to see her go, but it's hard to believe that as active and how long she has lived she's really gonna be gone at some point.

I guess you know they won't be around forever but she's always defied the odds. When she was diagnosed with kidney disease 3-4 years ago, the doctors didn't expect her to recover. We were desperate to try to get her feeling better so we didn't have to euthanize her and we found an feline accupuncturist in the area we were living in. The changes were night and day. The next week, she was a hundred times better looking than she had been, and she had started eating again. She even gained weight! Her kidney values went back into the green. It was miraculous. Now she has the tumor thing, eventually her bladder will be completely closed off. There's nothing we can do about it except keep her happy.

We also have a 12 year old we found abandoned last year. When we got her, she was a complete wreck. She has a thyroid condition, heart murmur, arthritis. The doctor was surprised she didn't have fluid in her lungs when we took her in. We've been on a rollercoaster with this one at the vet now. We call her the walking vet bill, but she's nearly completely stabilized. We plan to try to do this radioactive treatment to see if we can get rid of her thyroid condition permanently. *crosses fingers*

I hope that you can prolong Sketch's quality of life for as long as you can. With modern meds it's very possible. Never give up hope. We're rootin for yah.

Posted by: Grimicus [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 02:39 PM

Glad to hear that the vet was able to see what was going on. Having congestive heart failure myself, I can understand how poor Sketch must have been feeling with all that buildup in his lungs.

Hopefully the damage to his heart isn't too severe, and the Lasix will help tremendously with the fluid buildup. Still thinking good thoughts and sending good kitty-mojo down to L.A. for you all. Keep us updated!

Posted by: Lisana [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 02:44 PM

Hey, just had one of my cats in at the vet cardiologist as well. Diagnosis: congenital heart defect, he has a tiny hole between his ventricles which results in slight pulmonary overcirulation, and slight aortic deficiency. (A little extra blood goes to his lungs again instead of going into the aorta like it should). Nothing really at all to do except monitor the guy, but the pumping sends blood through that tiny hole at high velocity (and therefore pressure) and so... poor guy. But he seems happy and healthy otherwise and the vet also said he should live a fairly normal life, which is good.

Just treasure what you've got while you've got it, eh?

Posted by: Sam [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 02:45 PM

You're in our thoughts and prayers. Lots of mojo to you, Sketch, and your whole family.

Posted by: FailedSuccess [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 02:49 PM

I'm glad to know that the vet knows whats wrong with Sketch. Hang in there. Things are tough right not but at least you know what's going on.

To get to where you are going you have to know where you are to start. I'm sure he'll be up and clawing around your place in no time. :)

Posted by: Jason [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 02:50 PM

i'm keeping sketch in my thoughts!

Posted by: arifa [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 02:54 PM

hey wil, glad to hear that Sketch is a little better and that you at least know what it is. Still sending the mojo across the pond for Sketch and the family!


take care, love rach

Posted by: rach [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 03:03 PM

that really does sound promising

so any idea why my cat keeps sneezing up brown snot...he's been doing it for a couple years...and seems fine otherwise. maybe kittie sinus infection? is he allergic to his humans?

if anyone has any serious comments about this, email me at [email protected] as i don't know if i'll remember to check this comment thread

Posted by: dakabn [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 03:09 PM

Great news, what a relief. My cat Squeak and I will keep the mojo coming, though!

If it's worth anything, it's good that you at least realized you might have to make The Decision. With my first cat, I think I was psychologically so afraid of having to face that decision that I didn't even realize a decision had to be made. He was sick, and I didn't even consider that he wouldn't make it through. That's something I've always regretted, even though he went quickly (a matter of days).

Posted by: svenden [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 03:10 PM

I do hope your little kitty is okay. I have a dog who just turned 16, and it's hard knowing she doesn't have much time left.

Posted by: Daymare01 [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 03:39 PM

*sends mojo to the sicky kitty* Poor thing. Wil, you tell Sketch that Bethy's hoping for him. (yes, i use my cutesy name around the sick and children). Poor little kitty.

Posted by: Beth [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 03:40 PM

Dear Sketch,

You are a lucky cat to have such great owners. They obviously care for you a whole lot. So you better pay attention and do something good with all this mojo that's being sent your way, cause we want a healthy Sketch around to keep Mr. Wil happy, a'ight?


Posted by: Clay [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 03:42 PM

You have as much mojo as I and my main coon Friday can send your way.

Posted by: Prodigal [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 03:54 PM

Wil, cats are tuff little things. My cat (pumpkin)was on deaths doorway when i took her in, now 5 years later shes 14 and doing fine.
as i hope Sketch shall be as well.
Good mojo to you and yours from me and mine!!!


Posted by: carthies [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 04:00 PM

Hey, good luck at the vet. Hope it all turns out for you and Sketch.

Posted by: StudioGlyphic [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 04:07 PM

Glad to hear that Sketch is calm and comfy. Sending mojo that he gets good treatment!

Please pass on headscritches from me.

Posted by: Toni [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 04:17 PM

I hope Sketch gets better man. It sounds like the news you got from the vet was good though. I'll keep a good thought for you all.

Posted by: Sean W [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 04:20 PM

Sending good thoughts for Sketch. I've had pets all my life, with all the various health problems that they develop. We know we're not going to outlive them from the minute we get them--it doesn't make it any easier.

On something of a tangent. If you got Sketch from a Maine Coon breeder and still have contact info for them, letting them know that he developed cardiomyopathy would be good. Unfortunately, it shows up a lot in the breed and there's no way for them to know which cats carry it until their kittens go out into the world and start getting sick. Letting them know that a particular line carries this problem can help them weed it out, so later kittens are less likely to carry the gene and their owners won't have that particular brand of heartache.

Posted by: lyahdan [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 04:27 PM

Sending some mojo your way, Wil, Sketch, and fam...

Posted by: robreed [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 04:28 PM

We're pulling for Sketch. My dog Paris is sending some good pet mojo Sketch's way!!!

Posted by: drdrew [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 04:36 PM

Dear Wil,

I hope I did this TypeKey thing correctly... I didn't have it before, but you simply forced me to register because I just had to leave you a comment about your kitty, Sketch. Me and my two feline friends desperately want you to know that we are sending vast amounts of mojo over to your kitty friend and his family and friends. Specifically, we are targeting his heart and lungs. My cat Mergatroid just showed her solidarity with your cause by batting my glasses off of an endtable and into the trash, sort of metaphorically saying, "I don't want to have to *see* any more kittens feeling sad."

If there's anything else we can do, let us know! Say hi to Kris and the boys for us.

Posted by: IanMcKellen [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 04:39 PM

It has been said that animals are incredible mirrors of the truth of what is going on inside of us, that they will speak/show the truth that we are not willing or able to see inside because we are so used to wearing masks, that some time we become the masks. I know for my self, I have had to really step into emotional honesty around my animals as their pack leader. Maybe that is only true for me though.

Take heart dear one, they KNOW how much you care. with my black lab, I said to her that as long as she would try, so would I and we really pulled out the stops. Then one day she just stopped. We might have bought her six more months but the quality of her life would have been so awful - ~ I couldnt make her go though that - and I KNOW she would have for me.

Then we have the Foxie girl - diagnosed with insulinoma 18 months ago. Only a $5,000 surgery had any chance - the vet thought we were crazy but was willing to try if we were. I remember we told her everything that was going to happen, how, we would come to visit her, sent her mental pictures of us petting her and holding her. And told her that she got to chose, but if she wanted to stay around, we really wanted her to stay. She did, not only that but she walked again against all odds after only a month. (We were prepared to care for her as a handicapped dog). Last October, she went down again, so we did it again, telling her she got to chose but how much she was wanted and reminding her all the things she would miss - (g). She came back again and is like a puppy (at 12 years).

My point is that if you listen to them, talk to them, they will let you know in your gut - trust your relationship with them! Our prayers are with you all as well.

Posted by: Kirimaku [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 04:39 PM

I'm so glad that y'all have a good vet. That really can make all the difference. Sounds like you're all in good hands.

I know it's hard, sweetie, but please try to get some rest. Kitties pick up on our upset and make it their own. Your furbaby doesn't need that... nor do you. Trying to stay positive is good for everyone.

PK sends purrs and lots of loose fur. It's that time of year, after all. ;^) You and your family are still every much in our thoughts, love.

* hugs *

Posted by: Cookie [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 04:45 PM

My heart goes out to you.

I had a very old kitty that passed away in about May. She was 19, so it was her time to go.

Sketch is in my thoughts.

Posted by: Anathema Device [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 04:48 PM

wil, i'm wishing the best for sketch, anne and you. i hope everything works out. i know how much i love my cats, and i feel for you. best of luck.

Posted by: piewackett [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 04:52 PM

Still sending lots of good mojo from myself, Cody, and Midnight (both cats).

Midnight is a very special cat. I found him as a stray almost two years ago. He was tiny and wouldn't let anyone get near him. After a few months of feeding him, he finally moved in. He's now a real lap cat and won't let me out of his sight.

Posted by: mike3k [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 04:53 PM

I have three cats myself: Chicken, Gremlin, and Monkey. We're all sending our good thoughts to Sketch and you and Anne. I'm so glad that the vet was able to diagnose your boy so quickly. I don't know what I'd do without my boys, so I can definitely sympathize. Take care and *ooooooommmmm* good thoughts to Sketch!

Posted by: kellygyrl [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 04:57 PM

Oh good! I'm so glad to hear that his condition is treatable. I think he'll live a good long time. I'll keep sending out the good strong-heart mojo to Sketch.

Posted by: Eco-Emancipator [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 04:57 PM


I am glad to know Sketch is doing fine with everything that is going on right now. Glad also to know he's resting comfortably and is in very good care with the vet.

You're all in my heart and prayers. Keeping my fingers crossed for you here in Arizona :)

~April (ArizonaGeekette)

Posted by: ArizonaGeekette [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 05:07 PM

I wish all the best for Sketch. We have a Maine Coon as well, and he is such a beautiful, gentle and loving creature (most of the time). Picture here: Ringo

Posted by: dkgoodman [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 05:23 PM

Hope everything works out and Sketch gets better! I know how hard it is, we found out last year that our cat is diabetic, now she has to have two insulin shots a day.

Posted by: Riika [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 05:25 PM

I completely understand what you are going through.

Back in 88' a new kitten was allowed us to stay in waht became his house. Every winter we would play catch with snowballs... well he would bat them out of the air and smoosh them to smitherinees. He also became my shadow and my closest (and only) friend. In 99 I moved out, and took him with me. A few months later he started developing a uninary block. I didn't know it at the time, I jsut knew he was very sick.

When I came to the vet with him cradled in my arm they knew exactly what was wrong, and it would cost $500 to treat him. I didn't have the money, and I had to make the hardest decision in my life to let him go. As i left he looked me in the Eye, and I like to think we both knew it was goodbye.

Sketch is one lucky cat to have caring and loving humans like you Wil. Who would do anything to keep them around. Be rest assured, that I, Skeeters human, along with my departed best freind skeeter have you in our thoughts

Russ "Kinnison" Kludy
Souz-chef of the Army of dorkness

Posted by: Kinnison [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 06:16 PM

I just heard about sketch today. I am very happy to hear that you got incouraging news from the vet. Sketch will be in my thoughts and I will send all the best mojo I can.
I to have a cat that I would worry and do anything for. So I know where you are coming from. All the best.

Posted by: cilesmom [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 06:36 PM


Sorry to hear that your fuzzy child isn't feeling well but I am glad that things seem to be looking up for him! The entire fuzzy family here sends all their Cat Mojo up to Sketch from Moof, Foom, Oomf, and Clyde.. You can also add Siberian Husky Mojo to that from Blue, Karitza and Anastasia, Jack Russell Terrier Mojo (very very strong.. you'd know if you had one) from Achilles, and Doberman Mojo from Maximillian!

Hope you (as a pet owner i know how emotionally and physically draining it is when one of your kids gets sick) and your family get to feeling better soon!


Posted by: Wink_martindale [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 06:42 PM

Sounds fun!

Posted by: nathalie [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 07:05 PM

oh my gosh I am so sorry about your cat.
I am glad you guys know what is wrong and that the vet was able to provide some answers.
My prayers are with your cat. I really hope your cat will pull through.
*send more prayers to your kitty and the family*

Posted by: JenniferB [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 07:06 PM

Glad to read your cat is surviving.

Posted by: Eddie [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 07:16 PM

Sorry to hear this Wil. Hope Sketch gets better soon, man.

Posted by: Autolycus [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 07:21 PM

Blessings on your family and pets, I know how much it would kill me if my cat Murphy had to go through this.

On a tangent note, I think your use of the word "scritch" kind of cements your stature in the annals of geekdom. I always thought there was only one breed of internet geek that used that term. =)


Posted by: Matthew Ebel [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 07:22 PM

Kitty mojo/prayers/thoughts coming to your family and your precious kitty.

Posted by: mistytsim [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 07:28 PM

Dear Will,

I wish Sketch all the best. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is well known in cats, in part because humans get it too. Like, um, me!

Here is a very technical article on it: http://www.newmanveterinary.com/felhcm.html

and here is a link to the HCMA's web site for people: http://www.4hcm.org

If Sketch responds to medication and the hypertrophy isn't too thick, he has a good shot at being around for a while.

Best wishes,


Posted by: selenium7 [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 07:32 PM

continued mojo and all manner of good wishes being sent your way from me and my baby cat Dexter. its good to hear that the vet was helpful and confident - i know that helps. you just keep on keepin' on, and here's hoping Sketch will, too. -Jess

Posted by: freyja79 [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 07:54 PM

Here is some "orow" from down under!


Posted by: mark [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 08:09 PM


Tonight when I go to bed and my kitties fight for space around me, I will tell them about Sketch. Myself, Nezumi, Shiro, Pip, and Nip will all be sending him good feline mojo.

Posted by: Toriko [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 08:18 PM

Your having a sad time with your pet. I hope everything is better very soon. Hang in there.


Posted by: FABIAN [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 08:43 PM

Still MORE Kitty Mojo. It's a little known fact that I'm a total cat person, and know exactly what you're going through. Cats are people, no doubt about it. Best Wishes Fat Boy :)

Posted by: Eric in PA [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 10:27 PM

I LOVE YOU SKETCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Jessie [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 10:39 PM

Poor kitty. Squeaker, Sprite, and Shania are all wishing for the best. I think the Farkers may even cease activity just to give Sketch a better chance :)

Posted by: Astra [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 10:48 PM

I just found out about Sketch. Here's hoping for the BEST! I more than anyone knows what it's like. I've had two cats that were VERY sick. It's not easy but there is always hope. I'm typing this while my cat, Blackie, sleeps by my leg. For about 2 years I wasn't sure if he was going to make it. Well, he DID recover and ten years later he's doing great! There is always hope....and positive vibes. Sending much your way, Wil!

Good luck!


Posted by: Scott T [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 11:04 PM

Hi Wil. I'm glad I found your blog! I just wanted to comment on your post. Sorry to hear about your cat. I had to put my cat that I've had for 18 years to sleep the other day. She was nearly 20 years old and died of severe renal failure. When she was about 12 she was dianosed with congestive heart failure and lived several years afterward. It gave her trouble on and off but she had a really good recovery from it.


Posted by: ravesnation [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2005 11:58 PM

Goodl luck with Sketch, Wil. We just lost a wonderful dog to the same problem, her name was Cricket, she was part pit bull and part dachshund I think.

My mom found that, for Cricket at least, a rolled up towel for her to lean against when she was lying down seemed to ease her breathing. I wrote about it on my LJ blog. My heart's with you and Annie, just don't let Sketch get too excited and she could have a decent quality of life for a while, I know the medication helped extend Cricket's.

Posted by: wwphx [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 2, 2005 02:33 AM

Wow that's an amazing vet! I'm glad to hear that you know what's wrong, now with medication Sketch can live a quality life. Charlie_The_Cat and I still have Sketch in our prayers. My cat Charlie is a domestic persian/siamese cat so he's very vocal. He's come along way from when I first got him at one years old. (he was abused by a male human)He's my baby and I don't know what I'd do without him. He's gonna be 15 soon. Just remember that we all are rooting for sketch to get better.


Posted by: morgan [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 2, 2005 05:40 AM

my pyschic prediction: Sketch comes home from the vet, and settles back into the routine. But now, he's the super-extra-deluxe-pasha-inkg and that furry bastid milks it for all its worth. He spends the last decade of his life lolling from cushion to cushion, his merest squeek bringing yet another serving of "meds" (which he now insists be wrapped in various types of sushi) As he sheds his mortal coil, every last drop of lovely life lived, he grins and says: what a fabulous, wonderful, love-filled ride. Can't wait til they let me come back and do it with them again .

Posted by: Katherine [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 2, 2005 06:06 AM

Anyone who has ever had to give their cats medicine knows that it requires kevlar-coated arms and a full face mask. For many of us, our cats are our companions and our kids. When mine get sick, I shift into uber-mommy mode and would do absolutely anything for them to get better.

I wish you and your family strength and peace.

How to give a cat a pill:

1. Pick cat up and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat's mouth
and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding
pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth pop pill
into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.
2. Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process.
3. Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.
4. Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.
5. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from
top of wardrobe. Call spouse from garden.
6. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between
knees, hold front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub cat's throat vigorously.
7. Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep up the shattered figurines and vases and set to side for gluing later.
8. Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.
9. Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans. Drink one beer to take taste away. Apply
Band-Aid to spouse's forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.
10. Retrieve cat from neighbor's shed. Get another pill. Open another beer. Place cat in
cupboard and close door onto neck to leave head
showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon.
Flick pill down throat with elastic band.
11. Fetch screwdriver from garage and put cupboard door back on hinges. Drink beer. Fetch
bottle of scotch. Pour shot; drink. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus shot. Apply whiskey compress to cheek to disinfect. Toss back another shot. Throw T-shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.
12. Call Fire Department to retrieve the cat from tree across the road. Apologize to neighbor who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take last pill from foil wrap.
13. Tie the little kitty's front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table, find heavy duty pruning gloves from shed. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of filet steak. Be rough about it. Hold head vertically and pour two pints of water down throat to wash pill down.
14. Consume remainder of scotch. Get spouse to drive you to the emergency room. Sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye. Call furniture shop on way home to order new table.
15. Call Vet and make appointment to get him to
give the cat the pill!

Posted by: prozac_on_wheels [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 2, 2005 06:49 AM

*kitty mojo being sent*

Hugs, Wil...I know what you're going through. My cat Pepper had a short but painful bout with cancer last year, and we had to put her down. My hopes is that Sketch makes a very full recovery...my mom's cat, Midnight, had a "life-threatening" illness at age ten, and he lived twice that long...so keep up hope.

Posted by: littlenicola [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 2, 2005 07:11 AM

OK, you win...

I really, really wanted to dislike you because of what the writers had done with the character of Wesley Crusher, but I am able to separate the actor from the character (and yes, you did your best with what you were given...).

I'm an expatriate in France right now, and I moved heaven and earth to make sure I could bring my best friend, my cat Shadow, with me.

Now, you're discovering health problems with one of your best friends, your cat Sketch.

I have no idea how the universe really works (despite a successful career as a Physicist), but if it has any justice at all, then I hope all the good thoughts towards your cat help. I'm sending them along with all the others here.

Regardless of all the jokes, cats are great friends, and having lost my best friend (a cat) a decade ago, I can understand your feelings.

All the best to Sketch.

Posted by: Jack Grant [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 2, 2005 07:21 AM

Hi Wil,
I have to leave for work but I just read about Sketch. Your kitty and your whole family are in my thoughts and prayers. I know what it's like to lose an animal you love. I'm sending all the mojo I have to give that you don't have to deal with that. At least, not so soon.

Posted by: Tracey [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 2, 2005 07:44 AM

This hits very close to home Wil. Our sweet 17 year old dog Ginger went into CHF and couldnt be saved. Our furry family sends major mojo Sketch's way. I know how difficult it is but, please try and be sensitive to what Sketch is telling you. If he's telling you he's not having any fun, try not to be selfish, prolonging his suffering. We wish many, many more happy and healthy days for Sketch!!

Posted by: Nutmegger [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 2, 2005 07:46 AM

Obviously, Wil, our thoughts are with Sketch, you, and your family. Best wishes for his speedy recovery and continued good health. Besides, anyone with a soft spot for cats can't be all bad, right? :)

Posted by: GreatScott! [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 2, 2005 07:57 AM

I'm so glad that Sketch will be okay. I have a maine coon named Willie and he is my baby. Often referred to as my fourth child, I don't know what I will do when his time comes. I've had him since I rescued him waying little more than a half a pound, starving to death and maybe a month old, in the spring of 1997.

Take care of yourself and of Sketch.

P.S. I never knew about the congestive heart failure propensity in maine coons. I'll be keeping a close eye on my baby's health from now on.

Posted by: sleepingmommy [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 2, 2005 08:36 AM

When he pulls through, though, he should get quite a bit of XP from this. If it bumps him up a significant level, he should put the point he gets for his stats towards his CON.

Lots of good thoughts going Sketch's way.

Posted by: phraktyl [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 2, 2005 08:50 AM

Hey Wil, I know how you must be feeling.
My cat Milo was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy about two years ago. At first it was terrifying to see my cat gasping for air, but his excellent vet put him on a protocol that worked quickly. It was the exact same prescription that your vet has given Sketch. The Lasix was very helpful in keeping Milo calm and comfortable, considering the advanced stage of the disease. He continued to live a healthy, happy life. His last few weeks were spent being VERY spoiled and he got oodles of attention and love.

Sketch's situation sounds so much like Milo's. It sounds like he's got the best care possible and definitely the best parents. With good care and lots of love, he'll be a very happy kitty, and that's what counts. Lots of positive thoughts to your family and especially to Sketch.

Posted by: Danielle [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 2, 2005 09:00 AM

I'm a huge cat lover myself with two at home (and two pooches). I really feel for you. I've never had to go through a pet passing away and I don't look forward to it. Tell Sketch to hang in there, I know he'll make it!

Posted by: Bobby Lewis [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 2, 2005 09:18 AM

Wil, Anne, & Sketch,

Hang in there! =) I know it's tough, but I agree with Anne. I know it's tough, and it may get a bit tougher. I lost my eldest cat to cancer (after a long battle) this past summer, and this past Christmas we had a "crisis" with Loki and a urinary crystal problem. (I never want to hear him scream again - neither do the vets) The point of me mentioning this is that he made it - even when we thought he might not (near kidney failure). So hang in there - Sketch is one special kitty and he's much loved. That means a lot and goes further than you realise. =) We'll be thinking of you!

Kiri & the paws
(Dante, Loki, & Sacha "the terror of the northwest")

Posted by: Kiri [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 2, 2005 09:19 AM

It definetly sounds like Sketch will pull through to give people like me (allergic to cats, but love them anyway) something to sneeze about. I understand how hard it is to watch someone you love suffering though, so my thoughts are with you.

Posted by: Unearthed Ruminator [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 2, 2005 09:58 AM


Lots of positive thoughts and even a prayer or two coming Sketch's way. I'm a dog and cat person and I don't know what I would do without my beautiful furkid-kitty, Jean-Luc. (Yes, he's named after you-know-who, but not for the reason you might think...another story for another day.) The beautiful thing about dogs and cats is that they KNOW their humans love them. Please give him a warm snuggle for me.

Posted by: VoxyLady [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 2, 2005 10:13 AM

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is very treatable and survivable - a friend of mine has a Russian Blue who was just diagnosed with the same condition a while ago during a routine checkup, and she's just as fat and sassy as ever. Best of wishes for you, Sketch, and the rest of your family.

Posted by: Loree [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 2, 2005 10:35 AM

I've got four cats; Scratchy, Titan, Orion and Mousie (who is currently not alive, but three seems like a wrong number and he's still a big part of my heart) and they would probably be wishing you and Sketch the best of luck and health and all that, except for the fact they are preoccupied with licking their bottoms, fighting each other for fun and (in the case of Mousie) being a fluffly little angel.

So on behalf of myself and my pussos, and (since they're preoccupied with interbreeding and afraid of bright things like monitors, candles, the sun, etc...) from all the people of Carlisle in England:



Posted by: LesFloyd [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 2, 2005 10:44 AM

Sketch, I hope you feel better soon, puddy.

Posted by: crystal [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 2, 2005 08:49 PM

Signed up just to I could let Sketch know that me and my fuzz buddies are pulling for him with every bit of our combined might.

Posted by: noahmotionn [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 9, 2005 11:33 AM
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