Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Didi Please Don't Leave Me

Photos from left to right:
Didi at Dining table, Didi Presiding Dinner, Didi & his son Darwin
Didi & Son Darwin, Didi Playing Toy mouse, Didi

Didi is not a Peking University Philosophy Cat, but he does belong to a Beida graduate. He is a most lovable, adorable, and sweet natured Black-Smoke Persian Cat.

I came back from the trip to the Americas on Oct 11th and were anxiously told that my cat Didi refused to eat his food. I picked him up and my heart dropped-he seemed to have only bones left.

Didi had gone through quite a lot. Over three years ago, he nearly died. He had two stones removed from his bladder, cysts treated in his right and dead kidney, enlarged left kidney disinfected, as well as an damaged ureter changed, etc. etc. After all these surgery procedures, I was informed by the vet that it was still not certain how long he would live-maybe a few months, or a few years-as kidney failure can not be reversed or treated. Granted, Persian cats, being very inbred like almost all the pedigree cats and dogs, do have this disease more often due to its genetic make-up. My adorable Blue Persian cat Dunrdunr died two years ago in Beijing also from kidney failure.

I am afraid to think that my worst fear may have come and I was still holding out best hope that Didi was simply fed up with his special stone-prevention food he had been feeding on for the past 3.5 years. However his mood is no longer that playful and besides drinking and peeing a lot (all signs of kidney failire) all he wanted to do is lying in bed, preferably with a human around. It was only a few days before Didi was due for his regular check at the Royal College Vet Hospital's Special Reno Clinic, so I resorted to trying to feed him the normal cat food my other cats eat.

It has been six months since Didi's last regular check but things have spiralled down very fast since then. The blood test showed his kidneys are not good and we need to have him X-rayed and Ultra sound scanned to see if he may also have stones. While I anxiously wait for these more tests, I frantically searched for info on his conditions. I read that low protein diet is actually very controversial and does not necessarily stop the deterioration of kidney. Seeing Didi is now even refusing newly changed brand of food of different flavours and format, I decided to buy him fresh raw meat. In natural conditions, cats are carnivores and they should have the system to digest raw meat. Our tigers are in such superb conditions from eating fresh game.

I was delighted to see Didi eat the organic chicken breast with gusto and hope came back to me. However this was not to last longer then two meals. The next morning, I excitedly bought fresh organic baby chicken, patridges, and giblets to provide calcium hoping a change of food again may interest him. I carefully cut up a patridge into pieces and held in front of his nose, he turned his head away. I sliced some pieces off the poulet for him, but he turned his nose up. I gave him some giblets-chicken liver, heart and neck, he just walked away. I was so disheartened that Didi wouldn't have none of them. Afraid he may loose more weight, I resorted to force-feeding him. I let my husband hold him while I pried his mouth open to push food down his mouth. Despite his resistance, I won a few rounds.

However, seeing him walking with difficulty afterwards scared me. Fearful he may have trouble digesting, I massaged his arms, tummy and back. His condition seemed to be loosing fast so I ended up calling the 24 hour emergency service at the Royal Animal Hospital asking for advice at midnight. The next morning I managed to get Didi's appointment changed to two days earlier.

I took Didi to the Animal Hospital for X-ray and ultrasound scans to check for potential causes such as stones, and discussed with the Vet various possibilities of prolonging his life, in the event of kidney failure. To my great disappointment, it seems all the methods such as applying ACE inhibitors, kidney transplant, or artifacial blood cleaning are either not applicable, or not available. I got results from the X-ray and ultrasound just before I headed to the airport and it broke my heart: Didi's only working kidney is enlarged even more and has lost function, and no stone is causing it. This means if there is no other cause for the enlarged kidney, such as tumor, his kidney has failed on its own and will not be able to live any longer.

Is Didi leaving this world, leaving me? I can't contain this thought. I can't bear not having him bringing me aluminium papers balls to throw for him to chase. I can't bear not having him sitting straight up at the the dining table just like a little person and politely raising his little paw asking to share our snacks. I can't bear not having him demanding me to let him inside my bed cover and sleeping next to me with his furry little head rested on my arm...

With such hopelessness, I got on another plane..

Video: Didi and son Darwin

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

SCT Founders Attended WCN Events

Photos from left to right:
Li & one of her favourite cars the Miata; Pumpkin Harvest 1; Pumpkin Harvest 2; Pumpkin Harvest 3;
Bray and Quan with Dr. Jim Sanderson and Dr. John Hare; Quan & Dr. Douglas Hamilton; Geoffry's Cat on show at Event;
With Dr. John Hare; American Lynx; Quan with Dr. Jane Goodall and Dr. Rodney Jackson;

Oct 2009
Save China's Tigers Founders Li Quan and Stuart Bray attended the annual October fundraising and awareness events of Wildlife Conservation Network in San Francisco at the invitation of its founder Charlie Knowles. During the events, they met with a number of noted conservationists including Dr. Jane Goodall, Dr. Iain Douglas Hamilton of "Save the Elephant", Dr. John Hare of "Saving the Wild Camel", and Dr. Rodney Jackson of "Snow Leopard Conservancy", etc. and discussed future cat conservation projects with Dr. Jim Sanderson of "Small Cats Alliance" and Dr. Laurie Marker of "Cheetah Conservation Funds". Many conservationists applauded Save China's Tigers effort to save the South China Tiger and restore its habitat in China.