An Update on Homer

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So we just got Homer's blood-test results back.  According to the numbers, he should be dead already.  At the very least, he should be so close to death that he doesn't have the energy to eat or move.  The doctor told me that she has no medical explanation for how a cat in Homer's condition held off three people yesterday until he was sedated.
 
 
 
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It may not be medical, but I have an explanation: My little boy is tough as nails.  Twice as tough as the toughest cat that ever lived.  Always has been.  There are people who meet Homer, and see how playful he is, and how little, and how blind, and they don't believe that this skinny, friendly, blind little cat once chased a full-grown man right out of my apartment when he broke in in the middle of the night.  But now, by God, there are at least three people who work at our veterinary hospital who'd swear on a stack of bibles that they believe it--wholeheartedly.
 
Right now, as I write this, Homer is chasing one of his favorite toys around the living room, having just polished off half a chicken breast I brought home for lunch--and LOUDLY demanding more.  Normally the vet would want to hospitalize him, see if they can stabilize him, and run some more tests.  We still don't know exactly what's wrong with him--he might have liver disease or colon/intestinal-tract growths or cancer, or some combination of all three, or something else altogether.  But they don't think they can hospitalize him, because they don't think (and I agree) that he would let them treat him.  They can't keep him sedated all the time.
 
The one thing we do know is that he's having liver issues, so they're giving me some medication for his liver, and we'll see where that takes us.  "It's available in a liquid or chewable tablet," the vet told me.  "Which would you prefer?  And what flavors does he like?"
 
"I'll take the liquid and the chewables," I answered.  "And I want them in every flavor they make.  We're going to keep going until we find something this cat likes."
 
I have always loved and admired this cat.  I've always loved and admired him so much that I didn't think I was physically capable of loving or admiring anyone or anything more.  And yet, right now in this moment, my love and admiration of him have increased tenfold.  That, perhaps, is the greatest gift Homer has brought into my life--just when I think I know what my limits are, he helps me find greater heights and deeper strength.
 
I may be the author of Homer's life story, but this cat is determined to be the author of his own fate.  His clock's not running out until he wants it to.  And whether that's tomorrow or next month or five years from now, I'll be with him fighting by his side every inch of the way.  I won't keep him here one second longer than he wants to be, but I'm not giving up on him either until he lets me know that he's ready to go.  On his own time, and on his own terms.
 
It is my honor, it is my extraordinary privilege, to be the human he chose.

 

Comments

  • Teri and the cats of Curlz and Swirlz Saturday, 08 December 2012

    Purring that the meds help Homer feel better and give the two of you some extra treasured days together...

  • Janiss Saturday, 08 December 2012

    A Miracle Kitty

    Homer is the most amazing cat, and you are indeed lucky he chose you to share his life. I too am in awe of his spirit and his character... actually I have been ever since I read your book! He has such a huge lesson for us all, about being the masters of our fate, and I hope he keeps teaching it for a long time to come.

  • Vickie S. Saturday, 08 December 2012

    Gwen, I'm typing this through tears, partly happy tears and partly through sad tears. Homer is such an inspiration. You are such an inspiration. Isabel and I will contitnue to keep you and your extra special family in our thoughts and prayers. Please keep us posted.

  • Father Tom Saturday, 08 December 2012

    HOMER: My Hero

    Homer, you rock the cat world, let me tell you! I admire your spunk and courage, my furriend and yes, if I can, I'd like to be like you, along with the holy stuff.

    Julie M.: Homer and Gwen~I have to echo what Tom says. There are times when a kitty comes along to inspire not only his peers, but all humans. In this whiney, woe is me world we live in, we like to see the kind of spirit it takes to stand tall, strong and inspire. We love you!

  • Véronique Guillemin Colomb Saturday, 08 December 2012

    Keep fighting Homer

    Dear Gwen and Homer,
    I'm so sad but I wish you will stand by your mom as long as possible. I read your story and was very touched by the love between you. I know how it must be hard for you and your mom all the more that I'm living the same situation with my oldest cat girl. She suffered emobolism in the night of October 5th the very day of her 14th birthday, she was crying and was losing her balance. I rushed her to the hospital at 3.00 am. I thought it was her last moments. the vet kept her during two days but not more because she was fading far from me. She came back home and recovered very quickly. Thanks to X rays the vet could diagnosed she was suffering from her kidney. Two weeks ago, he could removed her right kidney. Unfortunately it's a cancer but not a lymphoma. But my Obi, it's her name, is fighting hard now and Gwen like you with Homer I will fight by her side. She's a strong girl.
    Yes Gwen it's a so great honour to be loved by our little companions. They do so much for us and our soul.
    Love from me and my two girl cats Obi and Plume
    Véronique from France Europa

  • Shirley Wells Saturday, 08 December 2012

    Homer is truly blessed to have you in his life and by the same token, you're very blessed as well to have him in yours. I love your book and I look forward to reading the next one. I hope that you'll consider writting a sequel to Homer's first book as he's such a courageous and strong boy! I love reading his going-on's on facebook and I wish you and the family all the best on this new odyssey that you're taking with Homer o Merry Christmas to you all!

  • Mary O'malley Saturday, 08 December 2012

    Auguri micio!

    I with you and your mom the best! Get well soon! Spero che tu guarisca presto!
    Un bacio

  • Ishkarah Saturday, 08 December 2012

    Prayers to you

    Gwen, I am holding you and Homer in the healing light of Spirit. I know how hard it is to not be able to heal your baby and the length we will go through to help them. You brought tears to my eyes in your post and I will keep Homer in prayer. Give him a kiss for me.

  • Meryl Rizzotti Saturday, 08 December 2012

    Wishing a full and speedy recovery

    Homer is so very special and so are you Gwen. I loved the book and hearing about his latest exploits.

  • Agnes Newcomer Saturday, 08 December 2012

    Lab results

    Gwen, I'm not sure about Homer's lab results, except that his liver has a problem. As I recall you said that he had been falling. My Sophie lived to 18 yrs, but I almost lost her at 15. Sophie tried to get up one evening, but would tumble every time. She had just been diagnosed with renal failure, but was doing well on subcutaneous fluids twice a week. I rushed her to the ER, but x-rays and lab were normal, except for her renal problem. After seeing her vet, and then a internist, no one could pin it down, and Sophie could just barely lick food from my finger 24 hr later. I researched her symptoms on the web, and discovered that low potassium can cause neurological symptoms similar to Sophie's symptoms. Her labwork showed her potassium was within the normal range, but at the very low end. Since twe vets couldn't diagnose her, and she looked like she was dying, I decided to try potassium. I researched the dose, and gave her half that dose, and she seemed to be a bit better, so I gave he a bit more. The next day she was more alert, but still couldn't stand. She had an appointment with the regular internist who had been out of town, and he too, couldn't diagnose her symptoms. He doubted that potassium was needed because her level was just within normal age; but he said small amounts wouldn't hurt her. On the third day she was wobbly, but able to walk a bit, and she recovered soon after. A couple of months later I changed vets, and the new vet said that potassium should always be given to cats that had renal failure, because the extra water that the cats needed washed out minerals.
    This might not be Homer's problem; but you might want to check his potassium levels to see if they are the low end of the scale. If so, your vet might give Homer a potassium supplement. If not, and if you choose to try it on your own, you can use the human supplement, potassium gluconate, but a smaller dose. Here is a link that has information on the dosage. http://www.felinecrf.org/potassium.htm#dosage
    I am very happy to know that Homer is active again, and do hope that he is back to his playful self very soon.

  • Jeanne Saturday, 08 December 2012

    Blessings

    Makarios esoio! (Blessings on you!) Figured a cat named Homer deserves an ancient Greek blessing. His courage and sheer love of life really has been a joy to read, both in the book and on his Facebook page. Sending many good thoughts his way (and for the rest of the family, too).

  • Cassie Raymond Sunday, 09 December 2012

    Dear Homer!

    There are already tears just thinking about what's coming, but those of us who love and live with cats know what that pain is like. However, it would never stop any of us from being grateful that our cats share their lives with us. I could never imagine a life without a kitty to share my bed! Homer is indeed unique and strong and ready to prove us all wrong! He's shown us just what a blind cat is capable of--above and beyond what a lot of sighted cats could do! You rock, Homer! And you've allowed so many of us humans to realize that our home could be shared with a blind cat just as easily as a sighted cat. It's an experience that I will always be grateful for to you and Gwen. My blind cat, Beanie, brings me joy on a daily basis. God bless you all. Sending prayers for all.

  • Debbie Moore Sunday, 09 December 2012

    Debbie M.

    Homer, you are such an inspiration to all....I love you forever, sweet boy. Purring hard for you!

  • Doris Nash Sunday, 09 December 2012

    Hanukkah miracles!

    Sending tons of love, support, prayers, and good thoughts your way. Stay fierce, and make every moment count! I just alarmed my cats by crawling under the table where they're sleeping to give them tear-stained kisses. Cat parents everywhere are with you!

  • Claudia Sunday, 09 December 2012

    Prayers and best wishes for you and Homer. The two of you have been so important in each other's lives for so long, I simply cannot imagine one without the other. God Bless and Keep you both.

  • June and Sienna Sunday, 09 December 2012

    Loving thoughts

    I just read the blog update and am so sad to hear about Homer's illness. But as long as he is eating well and wants to play, he is not ready to give up. Homer and his mom and family are such an inspiration. Just savor the time that you have left and know that Homer came into all of our lives for a special purpose. With much love...

  • Kim Cabrera Sunday, 09 December 2012

    Hugs and Prayers for you and Homer

    You and Homer and in my prayers. We are all pulling for you, Homer! You show them! You are a strong kitty. WE love you!

  • Bernadette Sunday, 09 December 2012

    Update on Homer

    Those cats who outlived life-threatening situations in early life laugh at them late in life. I'm glad he's still laughing, and though we know he can't live forever I'm hoping you'll find the liver medication that he'll readily take.

  • Cokie the Cat: Hollywood Insider Sunday, 09 December 2012

    My Man!

    Dear Homer. You're a mancat after my own heart. I'm going on 19, wear manpants (5 years now) because of nerve damage resulting from a long ago fall from an 80' palm tree that eventually left me (mostly) incontinent, hyperthyroid, weight 9 of my original 16 pounds, am as loving and docile a ragdoll cat as you'd hope to meet - BUT no vet can touch me. I'm scrappy and strong and I turn into a wild jungle tiger cat in the company of ANYONE who remotely smells like a vet, at their office or even at home. Mom gives me subq fluids cause I get so dehydrated, even though I eat and drink all the time. My 9 lives are up but I still chase string and insist on going out on the balcony, eat, drink, demand table scraps and lie at Mom's feet when she blogs for me. My vet treats me now via Facebook. ;) She says my scrappiness is what keeps me alive.

    We're made of the same stuff, you and I, bro. And we'll go when we're good and ready. On our own terms.

    Much love to you, my tiger brother.
    Cokie the Cat
    =^..^=

  • Gina Ysunza Sunday, 09 December 2012

    Tenacity!

    ...........the one word that comes to mind as you describe him! Homer is one amazing being. He certainly won't be conformed to what everyone thinks he should be, but that was set from day one of his life! It's a privilege that we as readers get to share in his life. Thanks Homer for always reminding us to keep fighting. And thanks Gwen, for all you do for Homer. Keeping him in prayer.

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