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A Reason to Give Thanks

Mendy Smith

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Published: November 28, 2013 at 3:50 AM [UTC]

Over the past several weeks, viola has taken a back-stage in my life for the first time in years.

If you recall, I was diagnosed with arthritis in my left hand and was prescribed a cream that worked wonders for my ability to continue to play viola without pain. What I didn't know was what effect it would have on one of my cats.

Apparently the cream (which has NSAIDs and other medications in it) is potent enough that if a cat licks my hand, even after several hours after applying it, or me petting my cat with it on then getting on her fur and then her grooming it off, can put a cat into in acute kidney failure.

It took several days to narrow down what was causing her ARF (acute renal failure) while we kept Kisha on IV fluids. It took several more days for her blood levels to get back to normal, then we slid back into failure after a day of coming home. Then it was back in for IV fluids, being sent back home on Sub-Q's, and then back on IV fluids again.

Needless to say, I did not practice at all during this time. I took myself off the cream entirely and every spare moment of the day was spent at the veterinary hospital hand-feeding and comforting Kisha. I canceled lessons with my teacher for two weeks in a row. I went to one lesson last week but was so unfocused and worried that it was a disaster of a lesson. My teacher however was thoughtful and kept the lesson simple and suggested exercises I could do to relax and keep my flexibility that didn't take up much time.

Tonight, she had her ump-teenth blood test to check her kidney function. I have lost count on how many she has undergone. Several of the vet-techs, reception personnel, boarding staff and groom staff and I were all staring at the monitors like engineers at a space shuttle launch, including Kisha waiting for her results to come in.

Her kidney function results were finally in the normal range, and she was coming home for Thanksgiving!

I have to give her Sub-Q's for several weeks, and there will be many more blood tests. However, the light at the end of the tunnel is largest it has been in the past month.

What does this mean for my viola playing? I'm not certain yet. After being off the cream for the past several weeks my hand still feels good for the most part unless I over-use it. But what is important is Kisha's health and well-being.

I'm just glad to have her back home and a happy cat.

Posted on November 29, 2013 at 5:43 PM
Happy Thanksgiving to you (one of my favorite bloggers on and Kisha. I hope she recovers completely and that your doctor can find an effective alternative treatment for you.
From Christina C.
Posted on November 29, 2013 at 8:53 PM
Wishing your cat a speedy recovery and wishing you a speedy return to the viola!

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