Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Djuna: my little girl

My resolution to write at least one blog posting per week has not exactly been kept: I only got 3 written last month. That’s not bad, but I can do better. With that thought in mind, I figured it would be a good time to talk about my little girl, Djuna.

As most of you know, Djuna is a Devon Rex cat who is 13 years old. About 4 years ago, she was diagnosed with Kidney Failure, but then proceeded to surprise everybody (the vet included) by doing just fine, thank you very much. I even dared hope they were wrong and she was going to live forever.

Sadly I was being overly optimistic.

About two weeks ago, she got really sick again and had to spend four days in the hospital at Pet Emergency Treatment. Those people are so nice; they immediately fell in love with Djuna (as they should) and took such good care of her. I saw continued improvement each time I went to visit her, so that by the time I got to take her home again her blood work showed amazing progress!

When they do blood work on a cat (well, on anybody, actually) with the purpose of checking their kidney functions, they look for three things: the Blood Urine Nitrogen (BUN) levels, the Creatinine (CREA) levels, and the Phosphorous (PHOS) levels.

For a cat:
Normal BUN should be from 16 to 36
Normal CREA should be from .08 to .24
Normal PHOS should be from 3.1 to 7.5

When I originally took her to the hospital on the 16th:
Her BUN was at 211
Her CREA was 7.0
Her PHOS was at 19.5

When I brought her home on the 19th:
Her BUN had come down to 85
Her CREA was down to 4.8
For some reason they didn’t look at the PHOS

When I took her to the vet’s on the 29th:
Her BUN was at 61
Her CREA was at 4.1
Her PHOS was at 7.0

Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is that she will not last much longer. When pressed for a prediction, the vet said it was a matter of months, not years. I am helping to prolong her life by giving her a bi-weekly treatment of IV fluids with several other medications injected into the bag while she’s hooked up to it.

She hates her treatments, by the way, and so do I. I can’t do them without help, and Bryan has been wonderful in being there to hold her while I administer her treatments. Unfortunately Bryan is going away for a month, so I have had to scramble to find somebody else willing to help me; Lauren would gladly help out but does not handle needles well at all, so thankfully my neighbor across the way has agreed to help.

I will keep a close eye on her to insure “quality of life” is as good as it can be, and will not let her suffer unduly – but am very grateful that I get some more time with her as she is a sweetie pie.


  1. Anonymous4:18 AM

    I am so so sorry to hear this. Give my love to her.


  2. Anonymous7:25 AM

    My heart goes out to you. Even though we had 2 cats and a dog It was Jan who took care of them. She was heart broken for days for each of them as she had to be the one that took them to the vet to be put down. God bless you for loving and caring so much.

  3. Anonymous7:26 AM

    I am sorry, Ruth. I know what you are going thru. When you feel that it is time to let go, the vet from the Valley was wonderful. I was glad we were able to say goodbye to our baby at home, didn't make it easier but at least she died at home in my arms. Just make sure you have someone with you. I would offer my help but I think it's too close to my own experience and I would be the opposite of helpful and supportive.

  4. Anonymous7:27 AM

    Hi Ruth, so sorry she is failing. I am amazed you could get her lab work so improved. She is such a very sweet little thing. I was so privileged to meet her. You are taking such good care with her. She loves you back! When I lost Mocha last October it was terrible. Still hard to be without. Am leaving for a couple weeks in Mexico tomorrow. Let me know how she is. Take care of you, too.
    Zoo Volunteer

  5. Anonymous11:29 AM

    I'm so sorry to hear about this. You're such a wonderful cat mom and I know she'll be happy to be with you as long as she can.

  6. Anonymous10:09 AM

    My heart is with you!