"Hello," I answered.
"Hi, it's Dr. White!" the doctor said cheerfully. "Guess what?"
"What?" I asked.
"Jeffrey's lab results already came back," she said. "He's negative for FIP, though I'm just waiting to hear further on the amyloids. The lab is doing a stain and that will be back Saturday morning."
"Wow," I said. "That's amazing! I can't believe they turned it around so fast!"
"Yup," she continued. "So at this point there's nothing that we're doing here that you can't do at home. You can pick him up and I'll go over what he needs and his paperwork."
"That's great! See?" I bragged. "I knew he was a fighter. Look at his progress!"
"Yes," she said. "Though I have to say, I believe his red blood cell count came up because of the Epogen I was giving him. Whether or not the Marrow Plus helped, I don't know."
"Hey, I don't care if was the epogen or the holistic medicine," I laughed. "I'm just glad Jeffrey's improving!"
Seriously, she could have told me a band of witches came in and did a dance while sprinkling Jeffrey with paprika. I was just deliriously happy to be able to bring Jeffrey home.
So off to the hospital I went. I finally met Dr. White for the first time and I almost hugged her when she emerged from the back with Jeffrey.
We had to put Jeffrey in his carrier, which he was less than thrilled about. Then we met in one of the little rooms to discuss next steps with Jeffrey. After we were done reviewing everything, I snapped a photo of Jeffrey and Dr. White:
I loved how Jeffrey draped his paw over her arm
"Okay, so just call us with any questions and call here on Saturday to get the rest of the lab results," Dr. White said. "If not, I'll be back on Tuesday. And let's make an appointment to do a follow-up next Thursday."
About 15 minutes later Jeffrey and I headed home. When this whole nightmare with Jeffrey first began, I had spent hours obsessively researching his conditions. The most helpful resource I found was Feline CRF Information Center. One thing they stressed was providing the freshest water possible for renal failure cats and they suggested a water fountain. The next day I ordered the CatIt drinking fountain and lo and behold, when I left the house to go get Jeffrey, the package was sitting on my front porch!
It was easy to put together and I actually purchased two so it would be accessible to both the upstairs and downstairs dwellers. The first cat to get into it was Sadie:
I was thrilled because since she's Jeffrey's sister, I'm going to be monitoring her very closely going forward, just in case. Same goes for Billy.
Basically the water's constantly running through a filter system, so it's pure and oxygenated 24/7
I was so excited to have my little muchkin home, but it was a bit tough on him. He's literally acting like his old self again, so that meant he was ready to fall back into the household routine (ie- eat all the regular food and be ready for the morning wet food schedule). The moment I brought him upstairs he bypassed his special Purina NF food and made a beeline for the kittens' food.
"Sorry, Jeffrey," I apologized softly as I took the dishes away from him.
Jeffrey looked up at me for a moment and then wandered back to the office where he laid down under my desk, looking sad. I got down on the floor next to him and coaxed him out. Finally he did emerge, ate a few bites and then retired to his favorite chair for a while:
I ended up petting him until he fell asleep and turned his heating pad up to "medium" so he'd stay nice and toasty:
While Jeffrey napped I wondered what to do about the 6 massive bowls of regular food downstairs. I couldn't very well put them in high places because Ginny and Emersen wouldn't make the jump, plus I can just imagine the spilled food resulting from fights over the confined food areas.
So I opted to put up the baby gate at the top of the stairs. Jeffrey was never into jumping over it in the past, so I figured he wouldn't start now. As I put it into place, I noticed a big dent in it:
My still badly cut up right foot's toes and bruised left knee and shin immediately reminded me how it got there. The morning after I'd checked Jeffrey into the ER I'd received a phone call from Dr. Engmann, the vet who'd been working with him before he was turned over to Dr. White. The call came in at 6:20 a.m. and before I was even fully awake, I knew it was the hospital calling. (They called me at 6:30 a.m. a couple of times to give critical updates when Mia was in the ER last winter.)
The voice mail picks up after 4 rings, so I leaped out of bed and didn't bother with my glasses. Since the bedroom door was shut, I yanked it open and bolted out of the room.
I ran smack into the baby gate. Or rather, through it.
We had had the baby gate up to keep the kittens in our room and I guess Tina closed the bedroom door without taking the gate down when she came to bed the night before. (The bigger cats kept coming in to play with the kittens and step all over us)
So I pretty much went flying through the gate, which then bounced off the giant cat condo in the hallway. I got tangled in the gate, fell on my face, rolled around on the floor for a second, trying to get my pajama pants out of the fence latch. I finally made it to the phone just as the 4th ring started.
"Hello?" I'd asked calmly. That's when I heard Tina laughing.
When I'd hung up the phone, I returned back to the bedroom to find my glasses and inspect my bleeding foot. "Are you laughing at me???" I demanded.
In retrospect, it was pretty funny. At the time I was too freaked out to laugh. (Well, I did laugh a little when Tina said, "No, the best part was after all the crashing, you said, 'hello' as though you'd been awake for over an hour and all calm.'")
I did go over to my regular vet's office to literally pick up a "Renal Buffet" to try and encourage Jeffrey to eat:
They gave me sample packs of all different flavors
So far the only kind Jeffrey really wants is Hill's K/D dry, which is what he ate at the hospital. I'm currently trying to find other varieties.
And there you have it! We're not out of the woods yet, but we've come a long way! I'm waiting to hear from Marie Cargill as to whether or not she can see Jeffrey this evening or tomorrow.
I'm not going home to NY for Christmas because I want to make sure Jeffrey's well taken care of and with the ER only 5 minutes from my house, I just feel a lot safer staying here. I'll miss my family, but right now having Jeffrey home is the best Christmas gift I could possibly ask for.