Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Bonkie: Things to be remembered.

Bonk was born with 4 other siblings (Laurel [Fatty -- our name], Hardy [Freckle-Nose -- our name], Blackie, & Chicken Head) on August 27, 2001 in our basement.  We rescued Tia from the pound nearly a year earlier after Mercedes died.  She was curious why this Little Black Kitty was in our basement and what the little squirmy things were in the box with her.  Little Black Kitty's protective instinct kind of kicked in and she chased Tia away from the box full of her babies.  I say "kind of" because Bonk was still feeding when she jumped up and he fell off and hit the concrete floor!  After keeping a close eye on him to make sure he was okay, we determined that the event warranted his name.  Laurel & Hardy went to live with Shannon's aunt (who gave them their decidedly better names), Blackie stayed with us because I told him we would keep him, Bonk stayed with us because we thought he might be brain damaged, and Chicken Head stayed with us because he's Chicken Head (a Denis Leary reference)!

I remember being excited to watch the distinct personalities emerge from these squeaky little babies, and, boy, did they!

Although Bonk was his name; Bonkie, BoBo, Bonkie-Baby, Bonkie-Belly, Bubba-Bonkie, and probably others, were just fine with him.  (From Destination Truth, Shannon would sometimes call him Fangala-Bobo.)

I don't know when it happened, but Bonk became MY cat.  I love all of them, but he and I had some kind of special bond.  He would often sit at the back door and watch me leave and show real excitement when I would come home. If I was gone too long, he would show definite concern.

Sometimes, while sitting on the love seat in the living room, he would crawl up and sit on my chest so that I would have to support him with my arm.  It made him so happy.  It also made him happy to make me move my laptop over and over again.

He would follow me to the bathroom and "guard" me.

He would ALWAYS pull at the water dish, often spilling it.  We had even put it in a larger brownie/cake dish to try and curb this behavior.  Never got what that was all about.

If he didn't get his way, he would give a little "shnoof".  It was almost worth annoying him just to get that.

All three boys that stayed with us have some sort of weird fetch/toy thing.  Blackie likes water bottle lids, hair scrunchies, straws, (and since Bonk left us) a glove(?).  He will bring them, drop them at your feet, and wait for you to throw them and he'll fetch them and be ready for another go.  Chicken Head used to do this with a specific, mostly pink water bottle paper wrapper, but that bottled water no longer exists and he seems excited to see the labels wadded up, but won't really chase them anymore.  Chicken Head likes to go into the basement and find Shannon's clean underwear and yowls with a pair in his mouth all the way upstairs and into the living room or bed room. (Yeah, I don't know either).  Bonk never did any of this.  If he found a roll of paper towels he would shred it like it threatened to take his shrimp.  And, I don't remember how we found this out, but, he LOVED packing straps.  The plastic kind that come on big packages that you can tear into strips.  I must have brought something home from the store with one on it.  I remember when I was pulling it off, he got the big eyes and sassy whiskers, so I gave it to him.  He yowled and carried that thing around and would bring it to be thrown, and would prance around and jump on it, and wave it above his head, it was crazy.

I could pick him up and carry him, belly-up, like a little baby.  The other cats won't really tolerate it.

He would jump up and "follow" in front of me when the TV in the living room was turned off because that meant it was finally bedtime.  He would usually sleep near my head or with my arm around him, and when he was feeling particularly needy, he would paw at my chest because I wasn't positioned just right for him to snuggle up.

He loved treats, and soft food, but, God did he LOVE shrimp!

I'm sure there will be more, but I needed to write some of these down.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Don't know if I should post this.

My last post was toward the end of March.  That was the last time I went to the endocrinologist because the every-other-month blood tests went from costing zero out-of-pocket to $170.  I haven't felt like it has helped me much and I'm thinking of switching to a different doctor.  Although I started posting to this blog regularly as a personal health update, my primary concern since October has been Bonk, one of our five cats, and the one who has personally assigned me as HIS person.

Some people (maybe most) won't/don't understand this.  This posting is not for you.

I'm not sure how much I want to go into.  Please be warned, if you love animals, or are easy-to-cry, this will probably be 'one of those'.

We noticed Bonk acting pretty lethargic one night in October.  The next day he seemed worse, so the hated trip to the vet ensued.  His RBC (red blood count) was in the single digits, so we took him to Hawthorne Animal Hospital in Glen Carbon and the nice people there gave him his first blood transfusion.  After a blood draw the next day, he stumbled a bit and since his count was so low, they put him on oxygen and we rushed him to VSS in Manchester, MO.  He spent about a week and a half there and got five more blood transfusions and a bone marrow aspiration to try to find the cause of the trouble.  He was diagnosed with IMHA, or Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia.  He was negative for Feline Leukemia, Feline AIDS, and inconclusive for cancer.  So, no idea what caused it.  Just so you know, ONE blood transfusion is supposed to last for 30 to 40 days.  He went through SIX in a ten days.  Needless to say we were out of our minds with fear of the worst and the doctors really didn't think he had much of a chance.  Our miracle kitty rallied and that sixth transfusion held.  We took him home and had to run him up to the vet for a blood count every couple of days, then got to the point where we were supposed to wait a month.  He was producing his own blood cells again!

Friday, November 25th he was feeling bad again, so, at 6AM we ran him back out to Manchester and his RBC was 18 (cats should normally be in the mid- to high 30s -- but we had been happy to see anything in the mid-20s, if it was stable).  Sunday his counts were all down again at the local vet, so we ran him back to Manchester for an overnight stay and transfusion #7.  Monday night, he came home with an appointment for this morning (Wednesday, November 30th) for a full bone marrow biopsy.  They tried to get one before but were unsuccessful.

November 30th

So, now, he's spending the night in Manchester again waiting for transfusion #8.  If that works out, he goes under for the biopsy tomorrow.  We're hoping and praying that he makes it through that.  It's not a certainty.
If it's cancer, he'll have 2 months, at best, to share with us, or so says the prognosis.  If it's not cancer, we'll try changing up his medications and hope for the best.  He's a strong little guy and bucked the odds making it this far, so I hope to God that he can fight it out and stick around for YEARS.

But, I'm so scared.  I love him so much.

PS Friday, December 2nd is the 11th anniversary of Mercedes's death.  I'm not doing very well.


December 7th

Biopsy results came back last night.  All of his cell lines are gone.  All cells are being replaced with macrophages.  He's not in pain, but he's so exhausted.  He's holding on for us as long as he can.

We brought our bright-eyed, talkative boy home today.  We've both taken a nap with him and given him lots of petting, love, kisses, and praise for being such a great kitty.  He's enjoyed multiple shrimps.  Shannon's doing a tremendous job of barely holding it together because I can't.  I'm out of my mind with grief.  How someone deals with a sick kid, I'll never know.  I am so heartbroken; he has been my best buddy for so long now and soon he'll be gone.

December 8th @3:25 PM

He hasn't eaten or had anything to drink since last night.  He seems so worn out.  He keeps showing the sick eyes, but he's still alert and he's still Bonkie.  We have an appointment at 5.  Chicken Head is trying to make sure I'm alright.

10:52 PM

We were there when he was born and we were there when he died and we will never stop loving him.  I miss him so much and he's not here to cheer me up. I don't know what else to say.

We're still planning on having the Christmas party at the store from 4-8 on Saturday in celebration of Bonk's magnificence.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Health, Store, the Usual

After emailing my list of "must-haves" to the landlord for the possibility of the move mentioned in the last post, the silence is deafening.  So I guess the answer is "NO."  Like I said, didn't seem too likely.

Had some kind of virus the last week or so.  Fever got up to 102ish and I took super-antibiotics to prevent another trip to the hospital with pneumonia.  I was happy to take the pills!

Went to the endocrinologist Friday to get an update on hormone, sugar, and cholesterol levels.  Triglycerides were up a bit: Get to double up on the fish oil.  Woo!

Working on plans for Free Comic Book Day and all of the comic related movies - it going to be a very busy summer!

That's all I can think of for now.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My Car, Shannon's Cough, & 800 less square feet

The worst case scenario of $2700 turned out to be $3224.76, but I have my car back.

After about two weeks of us thinking that Shannon was trying really hard to continue my pneumonia ordeal herself, she found out yesterday that she ONLY had "a lung infection".  She's still coughing her head off.

Got a call from the landlord today.  He wanted to offer me the super-super deal of moving to the "prominent middle of the plaza" over by the pool table store.  I only have to move 2400 sq. ft. of stuff into 1600 sq. ft. of space, repaint, let EVERYONE know we've moved, figure out how to fit 30+ Magic players into less space, and still only get a break on the rent because the space is smaller.  Doesn't seem too likely...

There's my much-needed update, friendly readers.  Until next time.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Driving Rings Around Saturn

My car was acting weird the other night.  Never had a problem with it.  I bought the Saturn Vue in 2004 because it was the most comfortable vehicle I had ever driven and it had enough room in the back to lug comics around.

You know how when you feel sick, you start checking symptoms on WebMD or some similar site and your conclusions always lead you to believe that your "flu-like symptoms" will result in your imminent death from some horrible disease with 7 days?  Well, Shannon checked online, and the Vues from 2002-2005 pretty much all have really crappy transmissions and they cost $6000 to replace.  There was, of course, a class-action lawsuit that OLD GM settled, but NEW GM didn't want to honor.  They ended up extending the warranty (with ran out in 2009).

I took the car to Dobb's, and guess what?  It's the transmission.  Independent mechanics are not touching the Vues with the bad transmissions, so Shannon and I had a mini-parade (I could only do about 20-25 mph) over the the GM dealer.  New GM will pay half, so worst-case-scenario is about $3000 and about a week without the car.

Grrr.  Not automotive Ebola, but certainly a mild case of Lyme disease...

So, spend, dear customers, spend!


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I'm 40!

Thanks for all the Happy-Birthdays and I'm glad everybody had a good time this Sunday.  Alyssa did a great job planning the festivities and getting prizes from various places.  Drew also did well taking care of the food and cake.  I really appreciated it, guys!

Check out this week's newsletter (in your inbox or posted on my Facebook page) for some coupons this week to help you celebrate.