Last Updated: 8/4/12
There is a video of Dude on my video page!
Photos are listed from newest to oldest.
I regret that I have so few photos of Dude. This is probably because she spent most of her life hiding or running away.
I took these photos the day before she died as she lay in a kennel on 7/5/12. Her grumpy
expression (look in her eyes and ears back) shows that she was not happy; however, this was
not an unusual expression for her.
Doodally on an air mattress on 7/18/11.
Doodally on my bed on 7/3/10.
Doodally on my bed on 7/3/10.
Dude on 10/6/07.
Dude under the Christmas tree on 1/1/07.
Doodally on 2/19/05.
Doodally in April of 2003, very sleepy!
Polky on 8/20/97.
Polky was better known as Dude, Doodally, Poopene, or Poopette. Doodally was all white with three gray dots on her head (thus Polky from polka dot) with medium-length, soft hair. She was born around 9/2/96. I picked her from her brothers at a local vet clinic on 10/11/96 when she was still too young. The first time I saw her, the week before, at only five weeks old, she sat in a pie pan full of litter with her eyes a quarter open and a piece of clay litter on her head. I fell in love instantly. I thought I could replace some of the love Bootsy gave me but this cat was totally unlike her. She only purred and cuddled occasionally (like when I was too ill to respond). She bit, clawed, ran, jumped, and generally acted like a crazy beast most of the time. As a kitten, Dude loved to have fights with little stuffed animals and hauled them all over the house. She also took the bath drain and sink plugs out and loved to play with running water. She tore up and ate wall paper, curtains, and rugs until she was three years old. Although she was destructive, she was cute while she did it! As of July 1998, she began coming to me purring while I was on my bed but as soon as I touched her, she was off galloping around the house to eat more curtains. She ate at least 100 square feet of curtains before we got new ones (without wool in them). Needless to say, she had enough fibre in her diet! Dude only ate dry cat food. We got new curtains in the fall of 1999 which she had not bothered since they were not to her liking I guess! She did like eating the plastic table cloth cover though so we put up one of those motion sensors that squeals when she got on the table. It seemed to work but we let it lapse after the batteries kept dying.
I did not keep records here about Dude when she was young as my web site was small and just getting started then.
Dude had her yearly checkup on 3/23/00. She was 8.2 pounds. As she got older, Doodally had become more affectionate as long as Gino was not around. He attacked her every chance he got. When she tried to be affectionate with me, he thwarted her by leaping on top of her.
Her checkup was again without incidence in 2001, 2002, and 3/27/03. As of 2/14/04, I could say that Doodally did like cuddle sessions but only if she was tired. She was much less active but could still bounce around the house with Gino in pursuit at times.
Dude had her yearly checkup on 3/16/04. There was nothing to report except she was 8.6 pounds. She was 9.7 pounds on 3/27/03 so I cannot imagine she lost that much. Dude was sometimes grumpy and sometimes sweet.
I had Doodally microchipped on 3/13/05 at a clinic.
On 3/15/05, Doodally had her yearly checkup. She put up a nice fight. She was up to 9.0 pounds. She got her exam and distemper shot. I also had a baseline body function blood test done since she was almost 9-years-old. It showed a dozen values that were border line or slightly over (the vet did not say what). He did say that the creatinine was 2.5 (normal is up to 2.4). I hoped she was not going to have kidney failure soon too! For then, she was okay.
On 3/17/06, Dude had her yearly checkup. I had decided not to have yearly distemper shots anymore. There is too much literature now showing they do more harm than good. For some of my cats, I may still have them done every three years. Dude got a high fever after every shot so I would only get her the rabies shots from now on. So, this day, she just had an exam. The vet could not find a thing wrong with her. She was down to 8.5 pounds but she did fluctuate a bit, or the vet scale was no good!
Since Gino was on special food, the only dry out during the day was his food. Dude only ate dry her whole life although the canned food was always available. At night, I locked her up separate with her regular natural dry food. On 3/25/06, for the first time ever, I saw her tentatively eating some canned food. I guess she was desperate. It would be better for her. She had always had issues where she wanted to consume too much fiber, starting with when she was a baby and literally ate the wool curtains until we got new curtains. In a short time, Dude came to be eating Gino's vet diet (as do the other cats) but I wished she (and they) would not!
On 3/21/07, Dude had her yearly checkup. I thought she was heavier but the vet said she was 9.7 pounds down from 10.9 on 11/1/06 when she got a rabies shot (I guess I forgot to add that on this page!). Doodally had a lot of fat rolls under her belly. Dude had a Grade 2 heart murmur. The vet said it was noted before but I did not note it here (I try to write everything down here for a record). They worked on Dude in the back as she put up a fight. I assumed she was properly examined but did not know. I had a geriatric blood panel run, and everything was fine. Her cholesterol was a little high and her platelets a little low (but they were clumped). Her T4 was normal. So, she seemed fine.
Doodally had her yearly check up on 3/24/08. She was down to 9.2 pounds. They found nothing wrong and did not mention the heart murmur (I forgot to ask). Her blood test results were similar to last year with only a slightly high cholesterol and the rest normal.
Dude had a senior exam on 2/18/09. She was up to 9.5 pounds. The vet could not find a heart murmur. I had blood and urine taken. The only thing off was that high cholesterol again. Her T4, kidney values, counts, etc. were all normal.
Dude had another senior exam on 8/26/09. She was up to 9.7 pounds. This vet (a different one) did not hear a heart murmur. The vet said she needed to have some of her back molars removed as they were too dirty to clean. Her back gums were red (gum disease). He tried to take blood from her, stabbing her in three locations at least but she put up a fight, and they did not get enough to test. He said they could do a quick test while she was knocked out on the day of a potential future dental cleaning. It really is surgery since with animals (unlike humans), they completely knock you out. Since Dude almost died after being spayed, I was scared to put her through this. If I do not though, bacteria could spread from her gum disease and kill her eventually.
Doodally had dental surgery on 10/13/09. The vet did a quick blood work test to be sure her kidney values were normal. I am not sure which things he tested. Dude got IV fluids with sedation. The vet removed two molars and cleaned the rest of the teeth. The tech said after the plaque was removed, the roots were exposed. Her weight was 9.6 pounds. She also got a rabies shot while there. I was given six doses of Buprenex to give her every 12 hours for the pain. There was worry that she would not want to eat but she wolfed down some tuna the next morning.
Dude had a senior exam on 2/24/10. The vet said she was just dandy and did not need her blood work done at this time. Her weight was down to 9.3 pounds.
Dude had a senior exam on 8/17/10. Her weight was up to 9.5 pounds. The vet found nothing wrong. Her blood work was normal except for the T4 which was 5.4. Less than 4.0 is normal. Elvisina had hyperthyroidism first confirmed with a T4 of 14 so I was not too worried about Doodally who was showing no obvious signs of the illness. I sure hoped she would not progress in to it as pilling her would be very difficult. I doubt I would get the iodine treatment done again after it destroyed Elvi's thyroid, and she was on pills for hypothyroidism for the rest of her life.
Polky had her blood tested for T4 again on 11/30/10. Her weight was down to 8.8 pounds which was troubling. I got the results on 12/2/10, and her T4 was up to 6.6 from 5.4. The vet says she has feline hyperthyroidism. My cat, Elvisina, had that too. The options were medication twice a day forever (about $1000 a year with monthly blood tests), surgery (which my vet does not do), and radioactive iodine (was $1300 in 2005, who knows now). Elvi went to Radiocat but the radiation killed her entire thyroid and gave her hypothyrodism. She ended up with twice daily pills anyway and kidney failure. So, I did not trust Radiocat with Dude. The problem with the pills was that Dude was so aloof and ran off when she saw any person or cat. Sometimes she would come to me but then ran off most of the time when I tried to make contact. I could imagine trying to catch her twice a day especially once she learned it was so I can jam a pill down her throat. Also, the pills made Elvi stop eating completely and could hurt Dude more than help. I picked the pills up 12/3/10, and I would try to give them to her and see what happens.
The prescribing vet who I do not know said to give half of a 5 mg pill of methimazole twice a day. When I picked it up, the vet I know was there, and she said it would be okay to try to see if she was okay on once a day. I had a plan. It worked the first night. I put the pill in a pill pocket and left it for her at night when she was in the basement alone. She actually ate it in front of me. As a test, I tried to catch her all the next day whenever I saw her and never did. Hopefully, once a day will do for now. As I type this, she actually just walked by!
On 12/8/10, I cut up a bunch of methimazole pills in to quarters and put a quarter in to each pill pocket. Dude really liked the pockets, and I was trying to get her to take one twice a day. This dose was half what the vet suggested but those on the Yahoo feline hyperthyroidism group said that cats are often given too much methimazole to start. Since Dude's T4 was not that much above normal, I would try the lower dose and see how that turned out.
Doodally went to the vet on 1/3/11 to recheck her T4. Her weight was up to 9.1 from 8.8 pounds so that was good. Her T4 value came back as 1.5 which was perfect! We were keeping her on a quarter of a pill twice a day with a re-test in a few months.
Dude had a recheck on 3/1/11. Her weight was up to 9.3 pounds I think (they told me but did not record it on her record!). I got some methimazole in gel form (12.5 mg methimazole per mL of gel; 0.1 mL per dose) for her ear to give her when she did not eat her pill pockets with the pills. That had happened up to that point about 10 times but less so leading up to this appointment. I would try the gel a few times just to know how to use it when/if it is needed. I also got some eye drops because her left eye had been goopy but not very much. The drops were 0.3% gentamicin sulfate. The vet did not hear her murmur but could not really properly exam Dude as she started to swipe, hiss, and lunge to bite (she had had enough torture). We were waiting on blood results from a feline hyperthyroidism monitoring panel (T4, BUN, creatinine, 3 liver enzymes, CBC but no glucose). The results came back with a T4 of 1.8 and all other values normal. The vet left a message so I did not know the actual values which would really be nice to know! Anyway, her current methimazole dose was working.
Polky had a recheck on 8/16/11. Her weight was down to 8.2 pounds from 9.1 pounds on 1/3/11. The vet could also hear her heart murmur and was not able to the few times before. These things would indicate that her hyperthyrodism was not under control which I knew. She only took her pill pocket in the evening. In the morning, about 5% of the time, she took a pill, about 35% of the time I got the ear meds on her ears, and the rest of the time, she got nothing (she hides)! Her exam was otherwise normal. I mentioned that she seemed to be having wheezing/asthma attacks more often but that treatment would be futile since she would not let me put medication in her mouth; really I could not catch her most of the time! Blood work showed all was normal except platelets low at 192 10^3/uL(normal 200 to 500), and T4 was up to 4.5 ug/dL (normal 0.8 to 4.0). I had them actually e-mail me a scan of the report this time and would now request those so I could see the actual numbers that I was paying megabucks for! I have increased her nightly pill dose from a quarter pill to a half of a pill. When I can get ear meds on her in the morning, I would do that too.
The vet suggested weighing her. Her first weight at home was 9.0 pounds on 8/20/11. It was a different scale than the vet's; I did not know which one was more accurate. On 8/27/11, the scale said she was only 8.0 pounds! Hopefully, it was just a bad scale! I was using the scale for human weight and holding her to get a total weight and subtracting my weight. I could not catch her the next week but, on 9/10/11, her weight was only 7.5 pounds! She was dying, and there was nothing I can do. My mother would not allow her to do the radioactive iodine, and Dude would not take her medication in the morning. She just got a half pill at night. Her other blood work was normal so it did not make sense why she was going downhill so fast. She was still pretty active. On 9/17/11, Dude weighed 7.5 pounds.
I finally got a weight on 10/18/11. It was still 7.5 pounds so at least she was not losing more weight but she was definitely smaller. She was still 7.5 pounds on 10/30/11.
Polky went to the vet on 11/29/11. Her weight was 7.4 pounds. Her blood results were normal except for a T4 of 5.1 ug/dL (normal is 0.8 to 4.0 ug/dL), platelets of 115 (normal is 200 to 500 10^3/uL; but they clumped so the result was not accurate), and lymphocytes of 816 (normal is 1200 to 8000). The vet called on 12/3/11 to discuss the results. She suggested upping her dose from half a pill to three quarters of a pill. This would be more work making up the pills. Since I could not get three quarters in a pill pocket without her starting to realize there was a pill in there, I thought I would do her usual half pill around 6 pm and then put a pill pocket with a quarter pill in her dish overnight. Most nights, she was by herself in the basement and would eat a pill pocket from the dish (on nights when I missed the ~6 pm pill). On nights when another cat ends up in the basement, I would have to skip the extra quarter pill but that was not often, maybe once a week. She totally refused to eat one in the morning. I have no idea why. At least this way, the medication would be spread over a few hours.
Dude went to the vet on 2/28/12. Her weight was down to 7.0 pounds. Her blood test results were all within normal ranges including the T4 which was 2.9 ug/dL. Since her previous pill was almost 24 hours earlier, this would be the high T4 of the day so that was within range. Assuming that she did not go too low soon after a pill, then these were good results! Her BUN was 36 mg/dL (normal is 14 to 36) so her kidneys may be showing the first signs of a problem. Her creatinine was 2.1 mg/dL (normal is 0.6 to 2.4).
Doodally had a check up on 6/13/12. She was down to 6.1 pounds. She did not take her pill pocket with medication on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday nights. On 6/13/12, I caught her and was able to give her a dose of ear medication. The next day, she also did not take her pill, and I also was able to catch her for the ear medication. What do you do when your cat will not take her medication on her own, and she runs away from you when she sees you, and, if you do catch her, half the time, she is biting and scratching? I discussed this with the vet. I could either confine her to a little cage for the rest of her life so that I could give her medication twice a day, or I could just let her free in the house, and she probably would not be properly medicated. She may live say an extra 6 months in a cage but we both think she would be miserable to be confined all the time. The vet gave me a free sample of a new vet food with low iodine for treating feline hypothyrodism. Before, they had said not to use it since Dude would have access to other foods during the day. But, since she was normally alone in the basement overnight, I was putting the new vet food out for her over the night. She ate some the first night. At least something was better than nothing. While she was losing weight, and her coat was a mess (she no longer groomed herself, and she attacked when I tried to cut the knots off let alone brush her), she was still very active. Luckily, she also had not had potty issues. When that time came,, then I would probably confine her at some point to help with clean up. She did vomit quite a bit but mostly in the basement which was her domain (she was confined in there just at night). Her blood work came back normal except for her T4 which was high at 7.1. She had been eating the new food so I hoped it helped.
I noticed on the morning of 7/4/12 that Doodally had not eaten her new food. She had been eating a little each night. She was also laying around but still ran away from me when I wanted to check on her. I finally caught her, and she was really just skin, bones, and fur. The next morning, I could tell that she had taken that turn to death. She was slow; she had fluid from her mouth; she peed on the floor which she never does; and she had that look in her eyes that I have seen too often. In order to control the situation, I put her in the large dog kennel with bed, litter, food, and water. She fell in the litter pan but made it back to bed to sleep. Her breathing was shallow, and I expect that she would only live a few days. I was finally able to give her the ear medication but I did not think it would help at this point. I wanted her to live but was glad that it seemed that she went downhill fast as opposed to cats that I have had who went mental or disabled for a long time before dying. I love my little Poo.
On 7/6/12, Dude was alive when we left for a day at the doctors around 9:30 am. She was gone when we returned at 4:30 pm and had been dead probably since soon after we left. We buried my baby in 95 degree F heat. Just a few days ago, she was running away from me. It is hard to believe that she died so fast. All that is left to do is order a grave marker and put her web page in the past tense (accomplished on 7/11/12).
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