Along for the ride:

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Piling it on

Sparkles had to go in for emergency respiratory support last evening in a sudden and frightening reversal of her great progress to date. She was snuggling in my arms (all seven ounces of her) when her breathing went from a slight wheeze to a seriously labored struggle. It was not a "wait and see" situation. I went straight to the 24-hour vet clinic, where she has been evaluated since we found her.
The reception area was crowded with people picking up pets after routine surgeries, as well as those waiting for their appointments. It is a busy clinic, with multiple vets and support staff.
One thing about Sparkles is that she is an attention magnet. A receptionist immediately called for assistance with a distressed breathing patient and a vet-tech rushed out and ushered us back into their ER.
Sparkles was placed on oxygen in something resembling a small aquarium with a lid and hoses into the side. She was shivering and using all her strength on every breath. I was a wreck from the bad news I'd received about my dog Diva's prognosis that afternoon in another vet's office. I was trying to focus on Sparkles but my mind kept slipping sideways and my nose and eyes kept spilling over. I have recently noticed how vet's offices always have a supply of Kleenex on hand.
I felt lucky to recognize Jennifer, our tech from Sunday's visit. She zoomed over to weigh Sparkles and was pleased she has gained several ounces. She bumped us up to the top of the list and we soon had a vet ministering to us.
Sparkles probably has a viral component adding to her bacterial infection, which had almost cleared up. They felt she was too diminished to take a blood sample. She needs to keep hold of whatever she has for now. We are to extend the course of antibiotics, add nasal droplets and steam treatments. It was decided that her poop-retention was worrisome so Little Sparkles got a free enema, although the hoped for results were not immediate.
Sparkles made it through another night, with a little bathing to clean her up around three this morning. (Thank you Enema and My Goodness Sparkles!). She and I have been huddled together a lot today, with a pan of hot water, beneath a large bath towel to cover both our heads. My skin thinks it has gone to a spa. I keep forgetting to remove my glasses which get fogged up on contact with the warm, moist air we are breathing. It is hot enough here in California already without having my face poached every few hours.
This afternoon her sleep has been more restful and she is feeding like a Tasmanian Devil now that her little tummy has emptied out properly.
No guarantees, but where there's life, there's hope.
Time to go boil some water and feed the beast...


  1. 2nd post in a row where I saw the title, and said "oh Merde" (or something along those lines)

  2. Would that be the French Artist beast, ma chère?

    Good luck with keeping your littlest patient alive and kicking, and Bravo!

  3. If Sparkles pulls through she is going to be one helluva character and have an amazing life. Here's hoping.

  4. This is a cliff-hanger. You're really in the thick of it, but , kitty-wise, your face will thank you for it. Hang in there. You're wonderful.

  5. ER, as Deborah said, you are wonderful.
    I have a little tale of animal rescue myself, I spent most of yesterday and this morning ministering to a hedgehog.

    What's the matter with some people?

  6. Where would Sparkles be if she didn't end up with you caring for her? We are rooting for Sparkle to recover and grow strong in the loving environment provided at your house.

  7. Hope you all get some rest today. Sending much love, and luck, your way.

  8. Sparkles is still here, sleeping peacefully this morning. She had a very good night. I, of course, was worried and up looking at her with a flash light a million times during the night, just in case.

  9. Silliyak, definitely "Oh Merde!" but things are better today, so far.

    Ms. Pliers, No. The moustachioed one has been very supportive. There was French Onion Soup waiting for me when I finally got home from vet visits Friday.

    Steve, The vet techs are working in pairs as Sparkles has a reputation now for fighting them. Her character is the best thing she has going for her. She's a pistol.

    Deborah, my face may be less pleased if I fall asleep in the sun, as I almost did yesterday when I took some R & R by the pool.

    Friko, I have it on good authority that there are no hedgehogs here. My Mum used to put out bowls of bread and milk in our garden and we would see hedgehog mamas with their babies. I look forward to seeing a photo of your foundling. What does Benno think?

    TechnoBabe, There's no going back, for sure. Just my investment in cotton balls makes me want to succeed:)

    Magpie, I know you deal with life and death on a larger scale. This is the micro version. I can rest once we get through this week for both animals.

  10. Oh, my goodness, what next? What a blessing you are to little Sparkles. The more I read this story the more convinced you must not be human, but rather angel....Ok, that may be a bit extreme for you, but I'd let you take care of any of my animals any time....that's about the highest compliment I can ever offer.

    Praying for little Sparkles, Diva, you and yes, The Artist as well who is starting to show come heavenly tendencies himself...soup....y-m-m-m-m.

  11. Jean, That is indeed a high compliment. Thank you. I keep returning to the same quote "doing what we can, where we are with what we have"
    By the way Sparkles has two other "benefactrices" who are sharing vet bills; the mom of the kid that found Sparkles and another neighbor who got involved to drive her to the vet, as she had locked her keys in her car.

  12. It never rains but it pours...

    Hang in there Sparkles !

  13. Seven ounces! so small. Lucky Sparkles having so many good vibes coming her way. Well done you for rising to the challenge. I'm sure so many other kittens are not nearly so lucky. I'm looking forward to seeing pics of her well, and joining the other kitten litter you mentioned before.

    Still not tempted to keep her, after all this?!

  14. Like small children , I suppose , when they become alarmingly ill suddenly and then spring back just as fast , leaving parents shattered.
    I'm glad you're getting help with the vet's bills ! And lots of good soup .
    Have a good day , all of you !

  15. Owen, relatively speaking, there is not usually too much rain in my life, for which I am grateful.

    Joanna, Sparkles' new kitten buddies don't want her until she is proven well and not contagious as they are also bottle babies with low immune protection. She's three weeks old now so, if it takes too long, she will have to make do with human playmates. Last evening she purred for the first time, groomed her tiny front paws and was a little playful, all really good signs. We will see a cat specialist tomorrow for a check-up and to discuss her eye.

    S&S. Boy, she went downhill fast and then, with the right treatment, clawed her way back from death's door.

  16. Our cat was with us for 11 years and never purred once, the s.o.b., and look at this little kitty already purring up a storm for you. Sweet sweet sweet.

  17. Kerry, this one is very endearing. She has time to turn into a monster, yet.