A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

Axel’s Progress

Just wanted to give a little update on Axel, the best kitty ever.

He’s doing fairly well, but has lost even more weight and is very weak. His appetite decreased earlier in the week, so the vet upped his prednisone and he has been eating a little more. I’ve been trying to get him to eat baby food as much as possible in addition to regular cat food. He just eats very little, which has me worried.

He seems to be drinking enough water, both from his bowl and from the bathtub. He’s obsessed with the tub! He jumps out of bed when Pete gets in the shower and waits outside the bathroom door. The second Pete is out, he jumps in and licks up the puddles.

He follows me into the bathroom often and looks up at the tub, so I’ll turn on the shower for a couple seconds to make more puddles. He seems to prefer drinking water this way over his water bowl.

I moved one of the litter boxes to the bathroom so he doesn’t have to go all the way into the basement. I first moved it there a few weeks ago when this all began, but he didn’t use it so I moved it back. Now that he’s markedly weaker, I moved it upstairs again and he has been using it. Luckily Günter still goes downstairs, as his bathroom habits are not as tidy as Axel’s.

I had to start giving him subcutaneous injections of Procrit 3x a week to increase his red blood cell count, which will hopefully start to give him more energy and increase his appetite even more. It took me about an hour to work up the nerve to do it — while he was lying on the couch I was picking at his fur trying to find a decent amount of skin to pull away — he’s so thin that there’s not much to grab, even at his scruff. I finally did it and he didn’t flinch at all. That was a relief. The next dose is tonight.

Since it’s finally starting to get warmer here, I took him outside on his leash yesterday and will do it again today. Whereas last year he would trot down the sidewalk, exploring the neighborhood like a dog, occasionally stopping along the way to eat some grass (he also found catnip in the neighbor’s yard), now he’ll only take a few steps and lie down on the warm sidewalk.

It’s heartwarming to see him happy to be outside, but it’s heartbreaking to see him like this.

His next vet appointment is Monday. I can’t see him getting another dose of chemo right now until he regains some strength. Here’s hoping for a good weekend.


  1. Karen Anne on April 17, 2009 at 3:14 pm


    I would ask the vet if Axel is dehydrated when you take him in. Even with his drinking water, since he’s not eating normally he might be. If he is, Ringers will make him feel better.

    Also, my vet changed my kitty with lymphoma from Prednisone to Dexamethasone, which is a stronger appetite stimulant (and stronger steroid), plus he was on an appetite stimulant (Periactin) as well.

    I think I may have mentioned already that it took my cat several weeks of declining weight after his chemo started before his weight stabilized ans started going back up. I don’t know if that’s typical or not.

    Sending a big hug to Axel.

  2. denise on April 18, 2009 at 9:29 am

    Karen Anne: Thanks so much again for the encouraging words, and especially the different drug options. I will definitely ask her about those on Monday. He’s eating a little better with the bigger dose of Prednisone, but I think he still needs to eat more than he has been.

  3. bungalowbliss on April 20, 2009 at 9:30 am

    I’ve been thinking about you and your little man…glad to hear he’s been out in the springtime sun. You know he has to love that, even if it’s not all he’s done in the past.

    Good luck at the appointment today…please give us an update on how it goes.

  4. Nicole on April 21, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Awww … go Axel! Big hugs to you and the courageous kitty. 🙂

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