My boy cat has a bunch of names. His original name was even dumber than hers. Ever since the first time he humped my arm he's been "Dirty Little Bastard", or "DLB" for short. I also occasionally referred to him as "Boy" and while that wasn't meant as his actual name, BG started using it and it's stuck. "Boy" it is.
Stelpa and Boy arrived in this world on 28 October, 1998, two very cute but -- according to the Cat Fanciers' Association -- totally un-showable short-haired purebred Persians. Mum shelled out $800 for the pair of 'em. Why the hell she chose the singularly most high-maintenance breed I'll never know, but I'm guessing it was to keep busy, what with retirement boredom and all the kids out of the house.
They helped keep her sane when my father died a few years later when she died did the same for me. I got very attached to them and took them home with me to Germany where they seem to be quite happy.
Stelpa's not long for this world. Her kidneys have been ravaged by feline polycystic kidney disease (PKD). She's been in the hospital here since Sunday midday. Her long-term prognosis is the same as her middle-term prognosis: death. Soon. Her only hope is a kidney transplant, something only done in a few clinics in the US. Finding a donor is hard.
And this is the point where I went all Wile E. Coyote. I had a Great Idea. Boy is healthy. He could donate one. Glub knows how much he pees so they must be strong.
For now, the short-term solution has been serious electrolyte infusion. Stelpa has anæmia and an extremely low hæmatocrit. No surprise, that, not with end stage renal failure. What good was the rehydration and washing out without fixing the blood? Strangely she has type A, very uncommon in Persians. Boy has blood. Boy is her brother. Boy has to have the same type. Boy is going to help his sister.
Off we went to the hospital today so he could be tapped. They asked me about my call to the US clinic yesterday. It was as I was telling them that I'd left voice mail but was thinking of using Boy as the donor that the smoke cleared and Wile E. Canine noticed he was standing a few feet past the edge of the ledge. They're siblings. The disease is genetic. It's caused by a dominant gene.
I had them do full bloodwork on him and check for PKD as well.
Around 2pm I got a phone call. "Hi, Mr Canine, the good news is..." and I knew. I only half-listened as the doc told me how they took 30ml of blood from Boy and gave it to Stelpa and how much better she's doing. I wasn't paying much attention: I knew that would be the case. I also knew that when you start by telling me "The good news is..." that there's bad news to follow. Better news still was the fact that Stelpa's numbers were still improving from the infusions and we should probably let her stay another day (for around €200) as long as improvements could be seen. I agreed and then beat her to the punch.
"But the bad news is that Boy has PKD as well, right?"
Right. But according to his numbers he's still doing well and I could expect a few more years for him. Or I could try to swing two transplants.
There's also his right eye which was always much darker and a little bigger than the left, but it appears to have grown a bit more. Glaucoma? Some other disease? No idea. I have to make an appointment with an animal opthalmologist. The cats aren't done spending my inheritance yet.
Stelpa will most likely be home tomorrow. Half of Boy's stomach was shaved for the ultrasound (they got lots of extra pictures for me) and part of his front leg for the IV. For some strange reason they also shaved a bit of his neck -- maybe they'd considered that for the needle stick. For his ordeal and battle scars he's getting lots of super scratching every time he calls. The little bastard better not get too used to that.
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