Tommy, from orphan kitten to guardian angel

It is with great sorrow that we share with you the news that our Senior rescue Tommy crossed the Rainbow Bridge today, June 24, 2015, around 7pm, at 13 years of age.

After a 2 month battle, trying to defeat death, his brave little heart just couldn’t fight any longer. Over the last couple of days he suffered a major setback. He wanted to eat but he couldnt, he wanted to walk but he couldn’t, he lost a lot of weight and strenght. Towards the end he was in distress even at rest.

He fought with all he had until the very end to stay with us but his heart was severely damaged and organs were gradually unable to perform their vital functions. It was time to let him go.

Tommy died peacefully and with the dignity he deserved, all wrapped up in love and tender care.

Tommy was an orphan kitten rescued 13 years ago, at only 6 weeks old. He was unique in every single way. It was an honor and a privilage to have him in our lives. Tommy was and will always be the heart and soul of our cat shelter project. He was our mentor, the reason why we devoted ourselves to saving precious lives. He will live on in each and every one of our rescues, but today our home is unusually quiet after our hearts have shattered into a million pieces. An unbearable pain that no words can express. We are absolutely devastated.

Thank you all for your continued prayers, loving thoughts and kind donations to see us through at such difficult time of our lives.

Urn with cremation ashes will be kept as a foundation stone of our future cat shelter. Rest in peace beautiful boy. You’ll live for ever and for always in our hearts.

Last UPDATE July 24th, 2015.

Today, it’s been a month without our beloved Tommy, probably the longest month of our lives. This week, we were given his remains in a little handcrafted clay keepsake cremation urn; pure and simply beautiful, just as he was. We placed him among his favourite soft toys and a photo of Paul with him, taken in 2012.

Tommy’s cremation was performed at a local animal shelter that offers pet cremation services to get financial support for their dog rescue. We are so proud of our beautiful boy whose existence changed the fate of so many other kitties and the fact that until his very last minute on Earth he’s helped other animals in need.

Despite our great sorrow, today we rejoice in feeling that somehow Tommy is back home with us again for ever and for always.

2015_10446 Jun. 09

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Previous Updates
Tommy’s X-rays show that his lungs are about a 10 -15% less congested than a month ago and lympth node size is back to normal, no longer pushing up his trachea. His lung infection is slowly responding to antibiotics however his pneumonia has resulted in scarring of his lungs so he’ll probably never be able to breathe at a normal rate again but even so he could still lead a rather normal life. Bad news is that this aggresive approach to treat his pneumonia has greatly affected his heart condition causing a significant drop of his heart rate (bradycardia) which is at times lower than 90 beats per minute (normal rate in cats is between 120-140 bpm) On top of that, the fact that he’s been injected with antibiotics and cortisone quite a few times, has made him feel extremely weak and although he wants to be active and keep up with his daily routines he gets easily exhausted. After a re-evaluation of his condition, vet cardiologist has decided to increase the dosage of Tetrabuline to help boost Tommy’s heart rate. Additionally, we are incorporating a homeopathic alternative: Anima Strath Thyme which is a natural effective antitussive, expectorant, antispasmodic and antibacterial nutritional supplement that eases breathing while it stimulates the immune system, increases vitality and stamina, and enhances overall metabolism. We must have Tommy closely monitored and give weekly reports to his vets. Next vet cardiologist appointment is in 4 weeks. We’ll keep you all posted on his condition.
Ultrasound, X-rays, and heart meds are quite expensive and our funds are falling short. Small donations add up so if you feel it in your heart you can give Tommy just a little something, please do! You can also help us by sharing this page to get the word out there. Thank you all for your love & support.
UPDATE JUNE 2015
Tommy has been to the vet twice this week. On Wednesday he went for a followup ultrsound and vet cardiologist confirmed that the blood clot found in his right side of the heart (it was the most scary thing for us!) has disolved and that part of the heart is less swollen which means that he’s responding well to treatment . Nevertheless, he must keep on taking Clopidogrel to keep blood flowing smoothly and prevent more clots from forming. Besides his heart failure treatment he continues taking Benefortin to reduce blood pressure and Terbutaline to treat lung infection. Yesterday, he went for a booster shot of antibiotics + cortisone. Vets say that although his heart disease will remain due to his age, we now have better chances of beating his pneumonia. We now have to buy him a home nebulizer to help him breathe with ease until hopefully infection is gone. New X-rays will be needed to confirm that. He’s on a special diet Hill’s Prescription Diet K/D Feline which is low in sodium and protects vital kidney & heart function plus it boosts his body energy. Good news is he’s feeling slightly better and he’s no longer letargic although he’s still breathing with difficulty and gets tired very quickly even with slight physical exertion. Despite his condition, he keeps up with his daily routine: grooming, eating, walking around a bit and sunbathing whenever possible. Unless something unexpected comes up, next vet cardiologist appointment is in 2 weeks! Hopefully we could have better news then.
Thank you all for your love & support!
UPDATE MAY 2015
Last Wednesday, Tommy’s heart ultrasound revealed he’s got a blood clot in the right side of his heart that is causing severe lung failure and as a result his pneumonia (which is already being treated) His ultrasound was carried out by a vet cardiology specialist and he said that although his condition is highly risky it is somewhat treatable so we are giving it our best shot. More meds were prescribed, one to treat his lungs and the others to treat his heart condition. Vets have warned us that a blood clot can be very serious matter as it could suddently travel to the brain causing a stroke and be fatal. However, he’s now taking Clopidogrel which is an antiplatelet drug that helps keep blood flowing smoothly. It is used to prevent heart attacks and strokes. Vets hope clot can disolve before it can cause more damage. Additionally, he’s taking Benefortin to reduce blood pressure and Terbutaline to treat his shortness of breath and chronic bronchitis. His breathing rate (awake) is at 60 per minute. and it lowers to 48 per minute at rest —- that’s double cats’ normal rate—– Terbutaline works by relaxing and opening the airways, making it easier fro him to breathe. Hopefully some signs of improvement could be seen within the next 48 hours.
Thracheal wash has been ruled out as he would not be able to survive any procedure that requires anesthesia right now.Some of our dearest followers have contacted us expressing their concern about his quality of life and asking wheteher or not we should keep up the fight. We want you all to know that he’s being very brave and he’s showing a very strong will to live. So we are doing everything in our power to provide him with as much care & comfort as needed right now. He’s at home, he’s eating well and although he gets very tired easily he’s doing as much part of his daily routine as possible. Tommy means the world to us, we could not imagine our new cat shelter without him but the pain of losing him would be secondary if his quality of life were at some point utterly compromised. We deeply hope that day will not come anytime soon!Last but not least, we’d like to thank everyone who’s been sending us messages of deep concern regarding Tommy’s health condition.
UPDATE MAY 2015
On Friday, Tommy went for yet another urgent vet check-up. New X-rays show that his condition is not improving but rather getting worse. Infection is spreading up his lungs and a very swollen lymph node is putting pressure on his trachea, making it even harder for him to breathe. The antibiotics he was taking orally were not working so vets decided on a more “aggressive” approach. Tommy was injected 2 antibiotics that should help him put up a better fight for the next 15 days. One of them is a “third generation antibiotic” : These are used in the treatment of serious infections caused by bacteria that developed resistance against earlier generations of penicillins. He was also injected cortisone to help him breathe a bit better until more tests can be performed. No favorable prognosis can be made for now. Next week, a heart ultrasound will be carried out to determine his heart condition and whether he could survive a tracheal wash which is a very invasive procedure that requires the use of anesthesia. It’s going to be a hard week for us all. Please keep Tommy in your thoughts and prayers for a positive heart ultrasound outcome.
UPDATE APRIL 2015
After 4 days of oxygen therapy Tommy is breathing a little bit better however what’s causing his pneumonia is still unclear and a his possibilities of making a full recovery are uncertain at this point. Feces test was negative meaning his pneumonia is not caused by lung worms. There are a few other casues to rule out: bacteria, heart desease or a flat tumor in the lungs. Thoracic X-rays of the chest shows extremely congested lungs and his abnormally enlarged heart is a matter of deep concern. A veterinary cardiology specialist reviewed his X-rays and requested a thoracic ultrasound for a more accurate diagnosis though vets suggested to wait until he hopefully shows some signs of improvement with current antibiotic treatment. Right now, any more stress or sedation could be life-threatening considering his poor health conditions. He’s home now getting a lot of rest & TLC. He’s on 2 antibiotics to treat his pneumonia: Veraflox & Doxycycline Oral Suspension. He’s also taking Benefortin 1 tablet/day to help control heart failure & kidney failure. Hopefully we´ll be able to see some positive signs of recovery soon.
UPDATE APRIL 2015
On Monday 04/27, Tommy suffered a serious setback and he had to be hospitalized with fluid & oxigen therapy while further tests are  carried out.
Tommy is still fighting for his life. He’s been hospitalized since Monday afternoon. Additionally to antibiotic treatment, he’s been given supportive care including intravenous fluids and nebulization to keep his airways moist. Thoracic X-rays of the chest and lungs have been performed to confirm previous diagnosis of pneumonia. No fluid is present in the lungs however X-rays show large damaged areas of the lungs and that his heart is abnormally enlarged. Further tests are to be performed to determine the cause of his pneumonia and how it should be treated.
NEWS
Last Friday (04/24) we had to rush our senior cat Tommy (13) to the vet when he started breathing with abdominal effort showing alarming signs of oxygen deficiency.Tommy has suffered from chronic bronchitis  since very young but this time the breathing difficulties were totally out of the ordinary; Tommy was making deep in and out belly motions even at rest. He has been diagnosed with pneumonia. He was given an antibiotic & anti-inflamatory shot and he was on a 5 day antibiotic treatment. During the following 48 hours his condition seemed to be stable although he kept breathing with great difficulty.

Tommy will be needing special vet care:

·         Thoracic X-rays

·         Oxygen therapy (nebulization) & corticosteroids

·         Blood Chemistry Screen

·         CBC (Complete Blood Count)

·         Feces test (for parasites)

.          Thoracic ultrasound

·         Tracheal wash to gather fluids & cells (for bacteria)

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