BORROWED TIME – A LIVING Christmas Story of Ornji and Us

12-2-16 Ornji back outside after bouncing back from second chemo round

BREAKING: Ornji Survives Housefire –
‘Fire sprinklers saved house…’ -fire marshall


ORNJI enjoying sunny morning in sunny ‘Bay Window’ November 27














Busy day for Ornji now in on his lounger in outdoor ‘extenion’ Nov 27 enjoying morning sun. Zack hardly cares for this but Ornji going out.



Another shot of Ornji in Bay window in sight of much wildlife viewing


































‘Indoor’ Zack eating grass in sight of ‘outisde’ Ornji lounging in extension


Full view of ‘outdoor’ Ornji and outside garden overlook
























UPDATES CONTINUED (in reverse order)

If you want to start this story from the beginning you can scroll down a bit to the title heading ‘BORROWED TIME…

DECEMBER 1-3, 2016

The emotional roller coaster ride continues… but it’s a GOOD ride, especially now …

Just when you think it might be over -not really knowing what to expect after Ornji stopped eating after his second round of chemotherapy this day-  we got another bonus .  It had been a successful first round of chemo two weeks ago with promises for more weeks if not months.  But when Ornji stopped eating this time -he did better the first time, eating the very night he returned from chemo- my ‘protective’ drive went into effect: ‘Expect the worst but Hope for the Best. ‘

Ornji SEEMED O.K. on the ride home after chemo Wednesday afternoon but when he got home he ran for his room, climbed the cat tree where he would sit for the next 10 hours! I don’t think he even went to the litter box in the same room. After some minor attempts but no ‘heroic efforts’ so as to upset Ornji further, at 5 am I simply went to Ornji’s room, again, looking in and he readily came down off the cat tree to lead me to his cat dish as if nothing had happened. (SEE REAL RESULTS RULE #2 , below).  He didn’t eat a lot – and he was picky, causing me to open 3-5 different cans until Ornji finally had what I thought was suffi cient nutrition to carry him for awhile , plus, I didn’t want to bug him. When Ornji walks away it usually means ‘don’t bug me anymore,’ not that I ever bug him, no. 


One of the great things about Ornji (and a lot of cats, unlike a lot of dogs) is that he will ‘tell ‘ you what he wants by either leading you to the food bowl or the window to go outside, or whatever. Long ago, we had worked out Ornji’s primary and secondary feeding stations, to which Ornji would lead me when hungry. (I don’t leave the food out after he eats because I don’t want Zack to eat it; Zack is 25 pounds, bigger than many dogs, but that’s another story for another time. )  I love it when Ornji will catch my eye and lead me to his feeding station(s). Very cute. It also means he’s usually eating, but for some time Wednesday and Thursday  Ornji wasn’t doing much of the latter. It got to the point that I thought I better use the Mirzapine appetite enhancement pill. Didn’t want to have to – you can only give one per 24 hours – but I crushed it into his Ursadol liquid medicine including new supplement I was testing in small doses. Not sure all the pill got in there but hopefully enough.


I decided to go do some shopping rather than keep prodding Ornji, and, though I was growing less optimistic I was still hoping that maybe after I left for awhile and came back Ornji would me more accepting. Maybe the appetite enhancement would have some effect. OR, Maybe the chemo hadn’t fully kicked in. Not even sure how this works… Anyway, LOTS of ‘Maybes.’  I was looking for some SURE THINGS.  I had already asked the doctor and his assistant TOO MANY questions. But, sure enough, for whatever reasons when I got back from shopping (and discovering a NEW food that would help out) Ornji came running like when he was feeling well, and , sure enough, he was ready to eat – especially the new WELLNESS gravy pouch I had just bought and tired for the first time. I would have to open some other foods , too, to get Ornji to eat enough, but it worked.  My night was made. So what if I missed the movie I was supposed to see.


Next (Friday, Dec 3) Morning Ornji and I met up around 5 am , as usual, as if nothing had happened before, and Ornji ate fine – and again around 7-8 am. Ornji was pretty much like his old self , running  down the hall, but he still wasn’t interested in much else, like going outside in his ‘exttension.’ Well , at least he was eating – and well. Good enough for now! AND JUST AS WE FINISH WRITING THIS UPDATE, HERE COMES ORNJI HEADED TO GO OUTSIDE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN DAYS (SEE VIDEO AT TOP); HE DIDN’T STAY OUT LONG BUT IT WAS A START AND VERY NICE TO SEE – AT LEAST IT MADE THIS GUARDIAN VERY HAPPY AND, HOPEFULLY, ORNJI TOO! 



( I really don’t like to call Ornji ‘sick’ because that has a negative affect on our positive effort to keep Ornji happy and relatively healthy; after all, other than his liver, everything else is working well (how’s that for a positive spin…whatever works…

Which is something we’ve learned over the years that might help others. Not just with pets but with people. Having had many very ill human and furry family members, we’ve learned that perhaps the MOST IMPORTANT thing is to KEEP POSITIVE, even in a seemingly un-positive situation.

After some bad starts and learning, we’ve seen it bring REAL RESULTS.

  1. It’s very important to always hold out/show HOPE both for the caregiver as well as the ‘patient.’  When  her doctor made the mistake (in our opionion) of telling my mother that they had done everything they could for her she turned over in bed and was gone in a couple days, this after a long, courageous fight. Some believe in total ‘transparency’ but, as long as the patient doesn’t demand it, why take away that last degree of hope – and possibly a few more weeks or months of life
  2. Don’t try TOO HARD as I did the first years I had pets. Cats, especially, don’t want too much interference, especially when  they’re not feeling well. There’s a happy medium, knowing just how much effort to give. You can always come back in an hour or two and try again. Just as when I went out shopping and upon return Ornji ran out to greet me , ready to eat as if nothing had happened two hours earlier.
  3.  Work out ‘territories’ or boundaries early on so you can easily ‘read’ the desires or needs of your cat, or dog especially for later times when they might get sick.. This would include eating ‘stations’ , play and sleep areas. Your pets will naturally go there, or lead you there when they want if  you set them up initially. Training should be automatic.
  4.  Be there early and often for your favorite furry friend, especially if there are other pets in the house who could stress out your buddy trying to feel better.  In our case we have perhaps spoiled Ornji to the point he expects us to be there for his meals = and he comes to get us, which we enjoy, like a game.  This way, too, you know he or she is eating , and if not, you are there to try another food or two, rather than missing a valuable period when your pet ‘comes out’ from sleeping or whatever. So far, Ornj has maintained his weight largely because we are there to see that he eats. PLUS, isn’t that what it’s all about, BEING THERE , SAVORING THE VALUABLE MINUTES, HOURS AND DAYS TOGETHER as much as possible as we never know…


entirely-pets enitre-pets-logo













11-23-16 Latest pictures of Ornji (and Zack) having a good pre-Thanksgiving morning here just inside going for the catbird seat, and later, outside just a week after first chemo treatment. Story below



Sleepy Zack on desk with Ornji in window, together on desk for the first time    11-23-16 Pre-Thanksgiving and lots to give thanks for


Ornji enjoying the morning in his outdoor ‘extension’ in reverse pose, giving us a rare frontal exposure facing house


Ornji closeup in window checking out ‘almost Paradise’ backyard wildlife from his catbird seat


25-lb Sleepy Zack squozen into Ornji-size bed meant for a 12 pounder. Will have to get Zack a new, bigger bed since he grew so much in so many ways… Long story but he’s on a diet, supposedly


Ornji back in his normal posture looking for birds, even though it’s hard for him to chase them anymore. Just as well… We did have two birds fly into the house recently. Yes, they got out safely.

Borrowed Time – Ornji and I Savoring The Days – One for Christmas

EDITOR’S NOTE: PLEASE EXCUSE TYPOS and ERRORS as this hasn’t gone thru final editing; we wanted to get it out for Thanksgiving

           Before Ornji’s latest diagnosis, we weren’t REALLY living, I would say. Now we have a great daily routine which   gets us to bed earlier (11 pm)  and wakes us up earlier , like 5 am for ‘First Graze’  when Ornji either comes to get me or hangs out on his Hall Lounger until I get up; then  it’s     outdoors into Ornji’s  famous  ‘extension’ we fashioned for him that allows him to still enjoy the outdoors without going  far . It was fashioned after he became an indoor cat in July out of necessity plus it was time . He’s even been staying out now in the colder weather  before coming back inside to enjoy   indoor grass eating and more food and a little play before going back to bed. Then , after some more REM sleep for both of us we meet up again   around 7-8 am with Ornji  usually awaiting me  on Hall lounger for a return to  Ornji’s room ‘pedistal’ for another flavor of wet food, along with dry at Ornji’s favorite spot (pedistal) ; remember, Ornji is a ‘grazer’ eating only small amounts of food but early and often (isn’t that the healthy way to do it? and he still keeps his figure). Now with the sun coming up Ornji is REALLY ready for the outdoor ‘extension’ that connects from the patio door, where Ornji can transfer to and see a full range of backyard wildlife  from his cat-bird seat (See Picture).  When Ornji finally comes back indoors (like the kid returning from the playground at end of day), which was over an hour later this day, he will often jump up on my desk   and squeeze into the window frame  to take in some more sun and sights – after I open the  still-screened window so as to get the best ‘catbird view’ of the goings on,  on a sunny day like today. Ornji   has it all for now   -the outdoors, the sun ,  the wildlife, food, cat brushing, cat grass and catnip and treats!  And I have it all, too, being able to enjoy MORE DAYS  with Ornji seemingly enjoying himself; it gives me  great happiness seeing him have more GOOD DAYS. We try not to think of the future , just TODAY, and then tomorrow when it comes. This is much better than living in fear and negativity as we enjoy each ‘bonus day’ on borrowed time.


Just back from the the Vet for a consultation with the Oncologist 11-15-16. (Ornji had stopped eating for a day last week and rather than wait I took him right in. Since then, he started eating again on his own with only the one appetite stimulant they gave him. I haven’t had to use any, surprisingly, just   a variety of the good foods he likes. Last week the regular vet had found a re occurrence of Ornji’s liver ‘C’ for which he had been operated on in July. )


Unfortunately, we learned this day that the ‘C ‘ is not only back but appears to have spread widely, we are told, because it was initially in two places and thereby easier to spread. Ornji, by the way, is and has been HIV positive since he came to my house one day, 9-11-12, looking for a h ome (which he got).


So, we are told that surgery would not work this time due to the spread. The only other option for Ornji would be chemotherapy, which doesn’t have a good success rate  with liver ‘c.’ (I use the abbreviation for superstition.


25-lb Zack ‘squozen’ into a Ornji-sized bed. Time to get Zack yet another , bigger bed or maybe he just likes staying in this one



I  hate to call our situation bad, but that’s probably the word that  would appear to most.  But , with a little chemo, TLC, good food and strength maybe we can really savor what time is left for Ornji (and who knows,  something could happen to me, too, any day. )  You can’t be sure of anything.  And, who knows, maybe Ornji can do better than expected, like after last surgery.  Don’t want to get my hopes up but one fo the techs did say the last two pets who had chemo with their liver problems DID WELL, living months rather than days or weeks.  I well remember how Pucky dog was given a whole extra year of live thanks to ‘sub q fluids’ for her kidney problem; that’s how I first discovered Encina Vet when my regular vet said there was nothing he could do , not being ‘set up ‘ to offer  patients to administer  the sub q fluids as only Encina and perhaps a handful of other  local vet clinics did/do.


They say something is better than nothing, so we quickly agreed to give the chemo a shot, even though Ornji has been doing fairly well in the time being. Can’t hurt we say, hopefully not.  After the initial shock of learning that there would be no good option this time, I got to thinking.  At least I  still have Ornji  for some likely quality time together.  It could be a lot worse, like with Dorian cat, as discussed below, who only lived one day after his diagnosis.


So, we learn today , after the diagnosis that it was a ‘low-grade tumor’  that Ornji had – or two of them – which , of course have spread, but it’s still ‘low grade’ which could , maybe, give us even more extra time. Who knows?  Doctors at this visit were, at first, surprised that Ornji was even still eating.  Hopefully, this is a good sign that Ornji’s cancer is not so aggressive.


So, we will be enjoying  what days Ornji and I are still around (don’t want to even presume too much for myself  at the expense of Ornji) . We will savor them as we can. I will be treating Ornji to his favorite foods, even if it means opening a few extra cans he might not like on a particular day.  No limitations for Ornji.  In fact, I just stopped off at Petco and got Ornji a new flavor from the Nutro family, which Ornji especially seems to like.


For me and Ornji this is the time when REAL LIVING kicks in and life begins ‘full throttle.’  This is the only way I can deal with a situation like this.  Sensitive pet person that I am , I could give up and grieve and make us both sad while the days quickly (or slowly) pass without much quality of life, or, we can make the best out of whatever remaining days remain. Nobody knows.   I must remind myself that six months ago, as I awaited the ultrasound then,  I was prepared for the worst, as were the vets, expecting no hope of recovery and a quick demise for Ornji.  Well, what was described as a ‘miracle’ by one of the vet people took  place with enough good liver left for Ornji to have what turned out to be successful surgery. Prior to that Ornji was not eating at all for several days but with ‘sub q fluids,’ which I had learned to (with some difficulty) administer with a syringe to the fatty tissue in Ornji’s neck- and appetite stimulants , and probably Ornji’s own will – Ornji began eating again which made the surgery possible. Since then Ornji became an indoor cat , living first in a big cage in ‘his ‘ room and then in the house which, later, would include our ‘famous’  ‘indoor-outdoor extension’ that allowed Ornji to enjoy the outdoors , which he had come to love, for a good part of the day. (SEE PICTURE and . see earlier posts  )


So,  there’s little wasted time these days when it comes to Ornji and me. What we and others sometimes take for granted is NOT anymore and every day we look for good moments among the sometimes bad ones – and there have been many good times  already squeezed into just the last week since the first chemo session as you can read below.   That Ornji is an HIV positive cat and had been living outdoors until he found me gives less chance for a long life. Perhaps I should have realized this more before. But now I do.


Ornji as an outside cat pre-July used to ‘walk on rocks,’ the path less traveled, rather than the regular path like everyone else. Ornji is just that kind of guy like the rest of us, marching or moving to his own drum. That’s one reason we love him





I also realize that with a more aggressive cancer Ornji could have been gone by now, much like Dorian, our second  (shelter) cat who had to be euthanized the day he suddenly stopped eating , with Infectious Peritonitis ;  It was a quick, unexpected goodbye to Dorian unlike this time, where, with an improved attitude on my part, maybe I can live more without thinking about tomorrow so much as I’ve been.  Ornji is here and doing well for now, which makes me very happy – and I think Ornji is happy , too; fortunately, for them I don’t think animals are aware of the significance of an illness and, hopefully, might might enjoy quality life until their very last days. I will say that Ornji did seem to sleep a lot, sometimes less expressive than one might expect – and he’s yet sleep on my bed, which is somewhat disappointing, but understandable for what he’s been through, plus, all cats are different; even     Zack sleeps in the main room most nights, probably to serve as ‘watch cat’ for all the wildlife activity outside in the big bay window.




So, now with  the realization of what will probably be in the offing we go about LIVING LIFE. In the meantime we will savor each day , taking what comes  after doing the best we  holding out a little hope for another miracle or that things may go along  longer than might have been otherwise expected. Whether the chemo is really helping or not doesn’t matter.  Nor does money, really – whether we have it or not.  We’ll do  what needs to be done.


I’ll be grateful  to have Ornji with me how many more days longer as I will appreciate Ornji and life even more – some of what I had taken more for granted before.  I will not wasted time as much as I sometimes do as Ornji   educates me to the important things in life.


Even the car rides to the vet and back and gone well, not like the torture of taking pets to the old vet. I secretly believe that Ornji may be one of the few cats who actually enjoys riding and looking out from his deluxe ‘see through cabin.’  Even being at the vet is no longer a painful experience for us, what with all the nice people and animals around as well as the excellent care.


Ornji in outdoor days fit nicely on top of his condo, again moving to his own drum, not going inside like the other cats




Thinking back again, some of my best years with my father were the last years when he was sick. Somehow it brought us closer when Dad wasn’t off working and  he came to appreciate perhaps some qualities of mine he hadn’t realized before. Just the same Ornji and I seem to feed off each other in an effort to get the most fulfillment. I think I’ve come to understand Ornji more than when he was more of an aloof, outdoor cat who slept in the basement (some of the time).


With Dad there was always ‘hope.’  He hadn’t really been diagnosed with a life –threatening illness as he awaited a new valve replacement procedure for his heart. When he finally had that procedure done, it game him new hope – even though the procedure didn’t go as well as planned;  it had been a long goal to get that procedure , which did ‘buy’ Dad additional time.


I’ve already done my share of Google for the latest advances in cat liver ‘c’ with limited success though I did  find  a couple supplements that  could perhaps be added to Ornjis regiment. Then again,  occasionally something is developed while a patient waits and a new test drug comes along. These are outside possibilities one must hang onto with hope, too.


One day we will look back at these times, hopefully saying ‘ those weren’t such bad days’ as I’ve done often with my Dad; I was just writing someone today who was recounting the fun time she had while living in the same apartment building with Dad  when he was not well  in his later years.


LIFE-OLD QUESTION: Quality or Quantity

Then, there’s that old question, ‘Would you rather live a short time with relative quality life or many years without quality? ‘  We’ve been handed the first choice so don’t have to think about selecting the second.  I think most people might go with the first choice anyway. So there we are!


As  mentioned, Dad and I packed probably as much time together in his last three years as we’d been together the rest of our lives.  Same might be said with our pets. I’ve gotten down Ornji’s basic routine pretty well    so as to better care for him- though cats will  change that routine sometimes when you least expect it, which makes them the unique,  interesting  individuals that they are.


With April and Weepy, their final cancers came pretty quickly and we didn’t get as much chance to be with them as I hope to have with Ornji. Again, we don’t have any time tables. Maybe that’s better. Yes, that’s definitely better.  May the dice roll as they may.  May the fates do their thing but only  after we’ve done all we can do.



ornji's own room again

Ornji resting comfortably, as possible , following July liver ‘c’ surgery, here in his new ‘digs’ in his own private room… see larger view elsewhere


GREEDY for more TIME?

When we’re younger it’s NOT about time, but more like money. As we get older  it changes as so many who HAVE the money can’t do anything with it do to poor health.

I  guess it would be easy to be greedy and say ‘there’s never enough time’ but, as noted , given a chance for the chemo ‘something over nothing’ I’ll take it.  Perhaps I’ve let these last six months since the initial liver surgery go by too fast without savoring enough.  But, then , you live differently under different conditions  – and I think we’ve pretty much lived appropriately- not over-doing anything like acting too ‘anal’  while making Ornji ‘anal’ . Cats aren’t meant to have people hovering over them ALL the time.

Another point to ponder is that the average feral cat only lives four years.  Not that Ornji is exactly feral, but he has been an outdoor cat most of his roughly six years, so , in that respect he’s already  ahead of the game.  With another few months he will certainly be quickly approaching s  ’senior’ status for cats that starts around seven.  And, I will have had Ornji three more years than I had my first four male cats. So, there’s some more positive rationalization for you, for me. Keeps me going I suppose.



With Ornji the July surgery was, again, considered perhaps a ‘miracle’ with two large tumors being able to be removed. He’s had six good months since then savoring both advantages of being both an indoor and outdoor  cat.  We probably won’t have another six months but we’ll use whatever time we can to enjoy this short life . Life is short for all of us. (I must add here, however, that in our family’s case it was REALLY short for my dear sister and brother, who both lived less than 51 years and four cats who didn’t get past two years old.  I’ve had my own bout with the ‘c’  which has added to my appreciation of life and not wanting to take anything for granted, as I pass  on this philosophy to Ornji, and Zack, too.


For me, it’s been both a blessing and a curse, a good thing and a bad thing. Bad, that I’ve lost my dear family members so young, but good for me that I’m still here and have been able to help , hopefully, ease the others’ transitions.  Meanwhile, it’s given me a greater appreciation for life than most everyone I  know , mostly people who have not shared the depth and number of losses that I have.


Having had the history that I’ve had with my family it’s just nice to have someone or some pet around a little bit longer.  I think that’s also why this situation affects me more than the average person – to the point I’ve even had to stop traveling out of town so as not to be away from my cats.


BONUS DAYS  I call them. And these days with Ornji are definitely bonus days , more than I had with any of my first four cats.  Perhaps we should think of every day as a bonus day. Nobody guaranteed us  a long life. Anybody could step off that curb and be hit  or come down with one of many diseases we see people afflicted with everyday.




Ornji rolling on my desk ., another new activity I’d never seen before, hopefully meaning Ornji feeling better


Ornji back in outdoor extension


Continuing Timeline from Top in reverse order


11-27-16  Post-Thanksgiving



Ornjji enjoying sunny post-Thanksgivng morning in outdoor extension



Another good morning of new adventures.. After late night (seeing new Warren Beatty ‘Rules Don’t Apply’ made woke up early about 6 am about same time Ornji was just coming out of his curfrent sleepijg hole  on bathroom rug near my bed we met at Ornji’s room midway down hall for sumptuous Frskies this time, (we rotate about 6 different brands of wet food and three kinds of dry so it never gets stale or old for Ornji and Zack,. Now , with all Ornji’s new hideouts he’s really moving around and seeming to enjoy himself more than ever… what between his room off the hall, the front patio sun deck extension, the adoining desk/bay window, the kitchen and then back to the back of the house and Ornji’s main serious sleeping quarters either in my bedroom bathroom or closet for real serious , dark sleeping. (Zack tends to favor the opposite side of the house in the front room, which is probably a good thing, giving these two a little space.














Zack watching Ornji and great outdoors from ‘safe’ indoors while eating cat grass





































Next thing I knew Ornji was up  on stacks in new window place in his room looking out in big window at wildlife while he washed up after eating. Still  a bit cold to go outside.. but..


8:30 am Back again as I was stirring from another sleep segment Ornji was ready to go for more food and fun, as we met this time in the kitchen for his meds and more food, this time Nutro and Fancy Feast  wet before Ornji went outside as the sun was just in the  right spot (There’s only a 1-2 hour window for sunlight here before the sun sinks behind the hill- we are down pretty low in the valley). So Ornji spent a good bit of time during that ‘window’ before finally retiring to back room… chasing Zack along the way


MONDAY, November 20

Ornji had yet his best day, staying out in the front of the house almost all morning, going outside in his ‘outdoor home’ three times


Weekend Ornji Breakthrus


It makes me feel so good to see Ornji improving and enjoying himself, even if it will all be short-lived

(I can dream or believe in miracles can’t I?)

Other breakthroughs this weekend:

-Ornji found his new bed in the corner of bedroom where I put it. He’s been sleeping there, which is an upgrade from the closet floor or bathroom floor (even with cushions).  Now we are sleeping in the same room and it’s easier to see him and get up the same time as he doesl. (Call me crazy but I enjoy catering to him, especially now)

-Ornji actually wsent outside Sunday night for the first time in the end of day, and stayed quite a while

-Ornji is back eating all the foods again, which he stopped temporarily after chemo

– Ornji stayed out in the Sun for the longest time this morning,  despite being overcast and cold

I ordered some expensive supplements to consider giving Ornji (I researched online)  after I hear back from one of the doctors who was nice enough to ask her associates   since she was  unfamiliar with them. Of course they didn’t arrive on Sat as promised, but just as well as I haven’t heard back form doctor yet.

Sometimes I think Ornji sleeps too much but its hard to compare. As long as he comes for his meals

3-5 x  a day  and shows some interest

ornji on deck 1


After an early Wednesday, night , it was up again at 5 am (before going back to bed ) to find Ornji on his usual cat lounger/scratcher in the hallway awaiting for me to get up.  I would guess better today as to the right food for Ornji. After snapping the first can, Nutro minced chicken, Ornji was eating right away the first time out.  More than me picking the right food, I think Ornji was feeling better.  EVEN BETTER NEWS is that Ornji would go outside in his ‘indoor –outdoor patio extension cage’ for the first time in weeks. It was a bright sunny morning, which helped. It was sure great to see after thinking our great ‘invention’ would never be used by Ornji again.  Then Ornji would eat yet some more, different food and STAY OUT in the living room on another lounger that was in bright sunlight that he seemed to enjoy.  This was a good morning.  I would even play with him a bit,  the one game he really likes, with the snake charmer going under the newspaper or blanket on which he would pounce when it appeared.


Ornji only stayed in the outdoor cage for a short time , maybe 15 minutes, but you could see him sniffing the various (animal smells?)  the air, head bobbing as it does, looking at the birds at the feeders.  He would then come in and stay on the indoor lounger another  15 minutes or so before retiring to ‘his’ room for a little more food and then go back to his bed on the second level of the cat tree he had just really started to use after six months indoors.




Wednesday, Nov 16

Day after chemo, Ornji was doing ok, up several times during the night, as usual… to bed by midnight (all of us), then up for food  (grazing) at 5 am, 7 am, 9 am and through the day. But, while Ornji was at least getting up he wasn’t really eating much and also being very picky. I would sometimes have to open 4-5 cans of food before I’d find one that Ornji would eat.

I was beginning to wonder if I did the right thing with the chemo as Ornji had been eating better before.  I was hoping that Ornji would feel better and eat better in time.  It was a very depressing day for me in which I felt pretty much alone, thinking too much about impending doom and losing my good buddy instead of thinking positive that I would have more ‘bonus days’ with him. I drug myself to a movie just to get out for a bit, but that was not the uplifting movie that I thought it was but a war movie where  at least the hero didn’t die.


Tuesday I took down the big pet cage that was up in the window that had been there since June when Ornji came home from his surgery and could stay locked in the window during recovery. But, since he hasn’t been in the cage for some time I finally took it down so Ornji COULD jump on the padded bookcase to lay in the window as my previous cats have done . Good to get that cage finally out of there and it may have given Ornji incentive to start using the cat tree which is more readily usable since not blocked at all by the cage.


I never did take down the ‘sub q fluids’ from the bathroom towel rack, which I fashioned while trying to ‘bring back’ Ornji the first time; the sub q ‘s were a critical part, I believe, in Ornji’s ‘miracle’ return in June – I had learned the somewhat difficult procedure  of inserting a syringe in the nape of his neck while adjusting the flow correctly.  Maybe I’ll leave it up forever, but probably not.  I left it up , in part, thinking I may need to use it again.







The bad news was confirmed, that there wasn’t much that could be done for Ornji , what with his new spread of liver cancer. It had been six months until one day early November that Ornji didn’t eat. Only one day but I got him right in to the vet where the blood panel was clear but a subsequent ultra sound would show widespread cancer in the liver.

A follow-up appointment with the oncologist confirmed the first vet’s diagnosis that this time nothing could be done; surgery was not an option this time since the ‘C’ had spread – perhaps due to the fact that it was originally found in two lobes, rather than one, according to the oncologist.  (And look who’s here as I write this, Ornji having his best day since chemo…more on that to come)…

The only option other than let Ornji be is chemotherapy, which they say isn’t very effective for this type o f’ C’ (there’s a reason I use only the ‘C’ word, which I may go into later)… Ornji is still eating well  over a week since I first brought him in. Doctors are surprised with oncologist guessing that it may be because the ‘C’ was considered ‘low grade.’  I would like to attribute it to, at least in part, Ornji’s strength and will to live plus perhaps my effort, if you will, to make Ornji most comfortable with a great ambience, favorite food and attention (I don’t go out much so as to be there for Ornji, plus,  it’s my own desire to savor each day to the fullest. And, already we’ve had some notable days, especially today (now Thursday morning, Nov 17).

So, we went with the chemo option which was administered that very day, Tuesday. It was a long day and I picked Ornji up at five pm to come home. There were no obvious ill effects and Ornji went right to the food dish when home. They said he’d be sleeping a lot but he came out several times to join the festivities , as it were,Tuesday night. But , he mostly slept , which is what cats do.


After the worst feeling of despair after getting the oncologist’s pronouncement, knowing that I would have only weeks or, if lucky, months left with Ornji,  I was able to re-evaluate as my grief went into the next phase  of ‘acceptance’ and even gratefulness, knowing that, at least, I’d have more time with Ornji, and, who knows , maybe another miracle.  I was greatful  also to know that  Ornji was in the hands of a top doctor and that we were doing whatever we could do, within reason.













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