December 21st


Jackson on his day bed in front of the fire


Here is Jackson sitting on his day bed in front of the log burner!  We wrestled with the tablets and syringes yesterday.  We put him in a cool bag that has a zip around the top and left just his head poking out.  John holds him through the bag and I administer the medicines. It is not ideal but we do manage to get most of the liquids into his mouth and pop the pills down his throat.  I then give him a tiny piece of cheese as a reward for being a good boy.  He has not regurgitated at all but is tossing his head and moving his mouth like he did before. He seems bright enough in himself and did ambush Slip last night but he tires quickly.  Slip is in big trouble – she has been eating all the food we put out for the birds – curry, roast potatoes, rice, bread, tomatoes – anything and everything!!


Rowan Magazine #49


I got a shock yesterday – Rowan Magazine #49 arrived!  I was not expecting it until mid January.  I like quite a lot of the designs especially the Kidsilk Haze ones but I shan’t be knitting them!  No more Kidsilk for me!

We still have snow and I cannot get my car out of the drive and so John takes me to the shops in the Land Rover.  It is not ideal as I have to hurry as I feel he is waiting outside the shop for me.  I wish the snow would go away, it makes everything so much more difficult – hard to get the washing dry, hard to pack the yarn, hard to take Slip for a walk – I wish I was on a flight to Jamaica right now!!

Off to the shops now – John has just driven in having been to see to his pheasants!  Back later.


December 19th Update

We have just given Jackson his evening dose.  We wrapped him up in a blanket and John held him down whilst I gave the syringes and 2 pills.  He struggled like a tiger but we managed it.  I am going to send for the Klaw Kontrol bag – thank you for pointing me to it, Joan. We can’t go on this way – struggling and grappling.  We dar not pin him down with much force because of his tummy wound and so he can escape easily!  More tomorrow!

December 19th


Jackson asleep on his cat tree this morning


Jackson has proved to be a very difficult customer when it comes to medicines.  This morning we put him in a strong cloth bag with a drawstring and just left his head out.  I managed to get one syringe full down his throat and then he kicked and struggled and ripped the bag open.  We then tried putting him in one of the Royal Mail sacks that I put my parcels in.  I got the second syringe full down his throat and then he ripped that bag open too.  We are going to buy a canvas duffle bag and see if we can contain him in that.  It is all very stressful and horrid.  I wish there was an easier way to do this.  We have to do it three times a day – I dread it each time.  He has not regurgitated and is eating well but feels very thin.


My yarn sheds in the snow!


We had a lot of snow yesterday and it is bitterly cold.  Luckily John has his winter tyres on the Land Rover and so we can get out of our steep drive. We went for a drink last night and were the only ones in the pub! Then we collected an Indian meal on the way home.


Lacy Socks


I have abandoned my scarf in Kidsilk Aura – I hate knitting with it.  I have a job to see what is yarn and what is fuzz – ugh! I am not a Kidsilk lover and have ripped it off the needles.  I have started the socks in the photo – easy to make and small to take about!

I am cooking Hungarian Goulash for lunch followed by Apple Strudel. All football is cancelled and so we won’t be watching that!  My brother and sister-in-law are coming on lunch  on January 3rd ( weather permitting ) and so I have plenty of time to think what to cook. Now I am off to roast some potatoes to have with the Goulash.  Back tomorrow.

December 17th Update

We collected Jackson and Joel told me that he had prescribed two additional drugs for him.  One is something which will speed up the transition time for his food so that it gets deeper into his tummy more quickly and the other is an anti-inflammatory to try to calm the stricture down.  So he has two sorts of tablets and two liquids medicines that I have to administer 3 times a day.  I came away loaded with bottles and syringes.

He said it was a bit worrying that Jackson has lost 350g of weight ( 7 balls of Felted Tweed ) since they first saw him in November.  He said there is no need to be over concerned but I am to weigh him every third day.

Jackson is delighted to be home – he is purring and siting by the fire and making a fuss of Slip.  He looks fine – you would never know that there was anything wrong apart from his coat looking a bit rough.  Joel  is going home to Portugal tomorrow but I can call another vet if I am worried.

So, I shall have to take it one day at a time and see how we go.


Socks in Kaffe Fassett Sock Yarn


Here is a pic of my socks – they are lovely and warm.  I have now started Kim Hargreaves Aura scarf from Precious and am battling with the Kidsilk Aura.  I am using Walnut as I thought it was a nice dark brown that will go with most things.

Now I must get – I seem to have lost a lot of time today.   Back tomorrow


December 17th

It is 11.30 here and Joel has just telephoned to say that they have ballooned Jackson and he is coming round from the anaesthetic. He said that they could see the stricture and it is raw and bleeding.  They are going to give him some steroids to try to shrink it.  We can collect him at 3.30pm.  I have had to telephone the post office and tell them I will leave my sacks of parcels in the greenhouse for collection as we shall not be back by 4.0pm when they collect.

Jackson is insured but only up to $6,000.- in any year.  I have studied the policy carefully and I see that once a new year starts, the $6,000 is available again, even for the same condition and so that is some help.   The operation ate up a lot of the money, if further treatments are only ballooning or drug related, I may be able to manage.

Thank you to everyone who has emailed me – your support means a lot.  I will write again when we have Jackson home and I have heard exactly what they are  proposing to do next.

December 16th Update

Joel telephoned a few minutes ago.  They have performed the Fluoroscopy and the good news is that the hernia has not re-occured – his stomach has not pushed through his diaphragm again.  The bad news is that the stricture has grown and so his throat is narrowed. They are going to balloon him tomorrow morning.  Joel told me that they can balloon him 3 or 4 more times before we have to admit defeat.  He said it often takes lots of balloonings. As I see it, the crux of the problem is that Jackson has a faulty valve at the base of his oesophagus which allows acid to rise up from his stomach and burn his throat and cause scar tissue which thickens the throat.  Joel did say that in theory he could be ballooned once or twice a month for the duration of his life but it was not really a good idea.  Plus there is the cost – it is $460 a time!  I have already spent over $6,000 since we started these treatments.  But aside from the money, I do not think it fair to put him through this every month.

I need time to think this through – I will write more tomorrow after the ballooning.

December 16th

It is half past two here . We took Jackson at 11.30 and had to wait an hour to see Joel as there had been an emergency.  The plan is to give Jackson some food with the dye it and perform a fluoroscopy at 4.0pm and balloon him.  He will telephone me and tell me what the fluoroscopy shows.  They will be able to see if the scar tissue in his throat is more extensive.  All this is providing he eats the food!  He was good in the car – no crying at all.  So now I have to play the waiting game!  I will post again as soon as Joel has telephoned.