Monday, April 30, 2007

time for another update

Well Em's weight went on to beyond 10lbs. got her up to 10lbs 10 oz.. i was over the freakin moon. Unfortunately in one night it dropped to 10lbs 1 oz. I don't know why, and I can't get it back up. I had gotten more dewormer for her to give to her today, but when it dropped I gave it to her then.

I am getting a little lax on her thyroid medication. She was doing so well and gaining so well, I thought it wasn't necessary. Im still not convinced it is, but Im back on making sure I give it to her morning AND night.

Her BGs are driving me batty! back under 100 this morning .. 54 I believe was the number, while tonight it was just about 400. *sigh* Not going to worry about that... just going to treat and be happy that I can.

*knock wood* we haven't had a nose bleed since a week ago Sunday. I've seen blood around, but no bleeding episodes. I cut back on her pred to 1 tab this morning. I might fluxuate from 1 to 1.5 every other day to see if she holds steady, then cut back to just 1.

Muffin is driving me to the end of my rope. twice last night she 'broke in' to Em's room (where Em's special food is - since Em won't eat the food everyone else gets) Made me get up in the middle of the freakin night to "smack her little tushie". the first time she made me chase her all around the house, the second time she KNEW to head straight for the basement (aka punishment) I ignored her all morning too. Sometimes the cold shoulder treatment works, sometimes not. Depends on how stubborn she's being... and suprisingly she can be as stubborn as I am!

I went into the shelter on Saturday to see if there were any kittens. There weren't. Probably a good thing. After I left I got a call saying some came in. a barely pregnant cat, and a pack of sickly 3 week old kittens. Now I'm probably going to be blasted, but it upsets me that the shelter wastes resources, and the mom cat's time being in foster care when it could be spayed and put out to be adopted. I love kittens as much as the next person, probably more, but why put the mom cat through a pregnancy if she's just barely pregnant.. *sigh* Very far along I understand.. I called back about the sickly kittens. I am scared to bring anything in the house, but I am jonesing for kittens kinda bad. Well I waited till the morning.. and by doing so, I missed one of them as they died. Again, probably a good thing that I didn't get them in my house.. I don't know if I could handle that right now..

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Holding Steady

we did go out and buy a video camera. was a little awkward when the sales clerk asked us what we wanted to use it for. we said 'stuff'... didn't want to say ' to take videos of my dying cat'.. I am sure he thinks we wanted it to make sex tapes..

Took the first video on Monday. Em wanted to go visit the neighbors again, but I stopped her since they were home. we were out there for 25 minutes, and I'm sure she'd sit out there all day if we'd let her.

Her weight is holding steady at 10lbs.

her nose is getting goopy.. more green and clear discharge. so far it isn't impeeding her breathing, and the only annoyance is when I try to clear it off.

This blog has become so sad. I'm sorry for that.. but no kittens and dying kitty makes for a sad blog. Hopefully we'll have happy news soon.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

no storm this time

Started out this morning with a little clear colored discharge, then it became green.. now it is a bloody green. She's laying on the bed having a hard time breathing, keeping her nose pointed to the ceiling - either cause it feels better that way, or because she doesn't want me cleaning off her nose. There were quite a few drops of blood in the hallway this morning too. They were dried, so Im not 100% sure when they occured.

We did go for a nice walk around the house yesterday. I ended up brining her in, I don't know if it was because she was too tired to go in, or if she just didn't want to :) She hasn't really asked to go out today, but tomorrow is supposed to be really nice, we'll probably take her out again then... that is if she wants to.

I did stop by the shelter on Friday to see if they had any kittens. The shelter was pretty empty of cats in general. Which is nice to see on some level, but I was jonsing for some kittens.. probably a very good thing there weren't any.


Friday, April 20, 2007

what now?

There is a lesson to be learned in Em's health issues.. But darned if Im not too close to the situation to figure it out. Patience, acceptance? something..

Last night I got home from work and Em was STARVING. haven't eaten all day if not since yesterday STARVING MOM.. PLEASE!! So I grabbed a can of food for her and went into her room to give it to her. Both her breakfast plate and the timmed feeder were licked dishwasher clean. I wondered if Muffin hadn't snuck - wait.. I was out of the house, so she wouldn't have snuck, she would have walked right in.. and eaten all of the left overs. I gave Em the entire can. A few minutes later she was out of the room. I assumed she had a few bites and walked out, but she had eaten the entire thing! She also left blood droplets around the rim of the plate and on the floor near by, but not a drop was on her.

hun? what?

So when DH came home, he fed her again. She ate it all up, but at least she seemed sasiated. That is till midnight, when she was begging me for more food.. so I opened up her timed feeder, and waited for her to beg for more. and she didn't. I also tested her at that time, and her BG was 100ish. Good since her preshot BG was in the 300s. the AM BG was in the 300s, so I guess we have some sort of regulation going on..

This morning she was slow to wake up. Sometimes she just sleeps really hard. She ate, then went back to sleep. I don't like that so much.. but hopefully she's just processing all the food.

then again her weight this morning was 10lbs 1.5 oz.. so how much food could she have left inside her?


Every day it is something new...

Thursday, April 19, 2007


I have been reluctant to put this down in my 'official blog' for fear that I was hoping the trend would prove true.. no wait.. that line doesn't make any sence.. I feared that once I wrote it down that it would disappear.

Since the deworming, Em has put on weight.

The morning of the exam, at home, she weighed 9lbs 10 oz
at the exam, 9lbs 8 oz - dewormed
that night after finishing breakfast and lunch - 9lbs 15 oz
next night 10lbs 3 oz.
Next morning 9 lbs 15 oz
this morning 10 lbs.

So I am now a firm believer in if your elderly kitty is losing weight deworm it. it can't hurt, and it might just help. I think if she gets up to 10.5 I'll wean her off the thyroid meds and see what happens. although I'll probably talk to my vet before then and will listen to his advise.

Her nose is holding steady. there was a little blood on the right side this morning. She has been bleeding out of the left. I don't know if this is a good thing - that the pred is making the tumor shrink a little so it is bleeding out of the right, or if it is a bad thing, the tumor is rupturing on the right side or doing damage on the right side.

I just need to remind myself not to dwell on the specifics. I can't make decisions because there is a little blood in a different nostril. I can only make decisions on her over all health and disposition.. which at this point is on the good side of bad, and holding steady...

My other cats are holding steady. Nothing major going on with any of them. Jack is freaklingly adorable. He's taken over Em's job of holding me down in bed for as long as possible in the morning. He's so sweet, and so cute, and so wants my attention. the other day I was getting ready for work, and he wanted attention. so his way of getting it was to snuggle with my tush as I bent over to pull up my pants. :) Muffin has taken over Em's job of telling me I'm the best mommy EVA! I love when she does this. A lot of the time she is seeking attention for her own gain.. but sometimes I swear she's seeking attention to make me feel loved and appreciated. Last night Ollie wanted some attention, and refused to take "but its BED TIME" for an answer. He started out on top of my chest, then when I kicked him off and rolled over he snuggled my hands asking for more attention. Fortunately he's not an all day of attention kind of guy. He just wants to make sure he can get it, then he wanders off. Eli has been around more since talking with the animal communicator. I think he knows I don't want to hurt him now, and I do my best not to check on his ears when I am able to pat him. Tweedle is still her adorable self. I have the impression she's grown up a little since the talk with the AC. I don't like it... but I suppose she can't be a kitten forever (WHY NOT??)

I will be glad for my motley crew when Em's time comes. They do bring me a lot of joy.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

tails from the second opinion

Well this is fun. I am with out internet access at home. I typed out this post previously in an email, but it is stuck in my outbox on a computer with out a floppy and all I have are writable CDs. I'm not going to waste an entire CD just to get this post off my computer, so I'll write it again.

Yesterday started out interestingly enough. We were in the middle of yet ANOTHER storm. wind and rain. didn't sound that bad till you turned on the news and realized that streets were being flooded out. they didn't mention anything around me, so I packed up Em, and headed off to work.

Since the appointment was at 11:30, I figured she could hang out at the office till 11 when I had to leave (I start work at 9). she LOVED being at the office. She was making goo-goo eyes at everyone, begging for treats, exploring all the nooks and crannies. I swear.. it is either "old kitty disease' or this tumor is totally messing with her mind. I've said this before, as a kitten and young cat, no one ever saw her but us. She'd run and hide from EVERYTHING. If you walked into a room too fast, if you opened up a plastic bag... sometimes even if you sneezed you startled her. I remember my mother talking about Smokey - my cat from childhood. when he got older, he no longer cared about things that used to freak him out like the dreaded vacuum. toward the end, he would continue to sleep in the only chair he was allowed on, and mom even vacuumed him..

well at 11, I packed her up and off I went. I got 90% of the way to the appointment when I got hampered by every route forward being blocked by flooding. so i had to turn around, go back 10-15 miles, jump on the highway, and finally I made it. I was 20-30 minutes late, but all their other clients were canceling, so they could and did see me.

i explained Em's symptoms. the dr immediately jumped on the words "brain tumor" and said she didn't think it was in the brain but in the sinuses. She asked if my vet had taken xrays, and he had said that since it was all soft tissue, it wouldn't show much. She agreed if she thought it was in the brain, but since she thought it was in the sinus cavity, she thought an xray would show something, and if perchance it was low enough in the sinuses, that it might be near the nose, we might be able to biopsy it. x-rays showed a mass in her right sinus. to my untrained eye, it seems to take up the entire right side. there is a bone that runs down the middle of the head, and it does seem to be protruding through that bone, or what ever technical terms work, I'm not sure. but the bone on the xray stops before it should. The dr thought it was interesting that she's been bleeding on the left side, since the tumor is on the right, but thinking about it afterwards if it grew from the right side, then started pressing in and destroying the left side, then there would be more room for the blood to flow on that side, hence the bleeding... since it is so far back, it would also explain to me why I think she's swallowing a lot more blood than I'm seeing, and why she might be aspirating some of it into her lungs as well.

She also wondered if the weight loss wasn't independent of the tumor. there is a phenomenon that she gave it a nice pretty name, but I don't remember it. when kittens are born almost all of them are infected with round worms by a matter of course. You deworm them to kill the active ones, then deworm in a few weeks to get the ones that were dormant and became active after the first treatment. well sometimes there are even more dormant ones that become active many many years later, and she couldn't help but wonder if this was the case with Em. - I told the DH this, and he jumped right on it, cause he's thought back at the beginning that it might be worms - anyway, on the off chance this was the case, we dewormed her. At the time of the vet appointment - with only half a breakfast in her and a couple of handfuls of treats, she weighed 9 lbs 8 oz. This morning before breakfast she was 9lbs 15 oz.. which is VERY encouraging, but not conclusive that my DH and the vet were right. Hopeful yes, and so I'll be constantly weighing her over the next couple of days / weeks and I so hope I have encouraging news on that front.

I asked what else MIGHT be done. She said there is a specialist in the city she highly recommends, who is wonderfully talented, who we could see about possible surgery. Unfortunately just to talk to him he'd want a catscan. There are so many risks with surgery and further tests, that I don't think the risks outweigh the 'rewards' why risk her immediate death during anthestisia for a possible chance at a year or two maybe three. And what quality would that life be? if everything goes perfectly, she's still going to have a lot of recovery to go through, and it would be so hard on her. Yes, money is an issue too, but I think even if everything was free, I don't think I'd put her through it. Maybe if it were smaller, maybe if... well lets not go there.. what ifs can kill you...

So the x-rays were beyond cool, as she has a digital xray machine. they immediately went to her computer instead of film. so she can email them to my vet. I doubt anything is going to change in the course of her treatment, but it is nice to know a little more. If she did have worms, then food should become less and less of an issue. The thyroid meds can probably go, and I won't feel the need to supplement her with dry, which means her insulin needs should drop. A vet tech on a board I frequent said that cancer eats glucose (ok that isn't exactly what she said) so if I can keep her BGs lower, maybe we can slow this a little (yes I am being hopefully optimistic with out a shred of evidence)

if I can get some weight on her, I won't be so certain she's going to die this month. If she stops bleeding as much, I can be hopeful that she'll make it through May.. I might even allow myself the hope that she'll make it through another Christmas..


Sunday, April 15, 2007


Well Em is still depressed this morning. Fortunately her nose didn't run all that much last night. I pilled her, and offered her a treat which she ate willingly. AMBG was 210 - same as yesterday AM. Breakfast came and she didn't want to get up. We put it in front of her, and she ate some, took it away and it took her a few minutes to get up.

I'm hoping this will clear soon.

I have an appointment tomorrow with someone who specializes in cats only. I'm not expecting anything new, but I just need/want more info. we'll see.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Houston, we have a pattern

Em bleed on the 5th during the begining of a big storm. 7 days later, she bled right before a big storm. Tonight, on the eve of a big storm, we have bleeding.

It started out as panting and her being in a kind of 'out of it' stage. Her PMBG was 210, so for the fun of it I took her BG and it was in the 300s (kinda odd since she hadn't really eaten) With some love and comfort, she seemed to pull out of it, and was excited at the prospect of getting baby food as a treat... and ate quite a bit - well for her anyway.

20-30 minutes later, blood.

How bizarre.. how bizarre.

Friday, April 13, 2007


I just tested Em's BGs again.. after two cans of food.. and a few high carb treats..


it is the not knowing

When I brought Em in, and the Dr. said Brain Tumor, he asked if I wanted to do all sorts of diagnostics. He said his cat just went through this, and he didn't do any tests. Seemed silly at the time to do it, it was pretty obvious, it still is, but after watching her continually bleed, I felt I had to do SOMETHING if I could just know something...

I called the vet. More info comes at a very high price. $600-$800 to do a scope, and $1500 for a catscan. X-rays don't help, ultrasound isn't recommended.. so that is what Im left with. And again, why put her through this if really knowing more isn't going to change anything.

At least knowing this, is some solice. Doesn't really help, but now there isnt that possiblity of really knowing any more.

Is less hope a good thing, or a bad thing?

Don't think it really matters, because there are just as many tears...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Bad morning

What is it with Em and 4am? on thursdays? during snow issues?? (not snowing yet, but it is coming)

Since this is what happened last week, only worse, I have to wonder what kind of cycle she's on.

The blood was dripping out of her nose. I've gone through five or six tissues already, and it does finally seem to be stopping.

Her blood sugar was 261 - lowest I've seen in a while, but I've stopped feeding her dry again. She wasn't as interested in food recently, so I am letting her eat what she wants.

If the trend dictates, she won't eat again today. I gave her a good dose of pred - ok'd by doctor. He's not thrilled with the idea, but Im not thrilled with the flow of blood, so I figure I'll try to stop that (the pred worked last time) and worry about the auto-immune issues later.

I gave her all her meds. Fortunately the pred and the methimazole fit in the cosequin, so it was just that and the baytril she's on for the bordatella - which seems to have completely cleared up at this point, just finishing out the round of antibiotics. Although as I type this, I wonder if I shouldn't give her some pepcid for the blood that I am sure is in her stomach..

Yes, I'm rambling.

I left her with some Temptations (thank you Vic for that idea a while back. its the only treat that she seems not to be able to refuse)

Fortunately (or macably unfortunately depending on how you look at it) she seems happy. Frustrated with the nose issues, and I can tell she just wants that to go away, but she doesn't look all that sick. We went out side again last night. Short trip to the porch.. but it was cold and wet, so that was ok with me. I absolutely don't want her to suffer, and I'd think a brain tumor pressing on things causing nose bleeds would err on the side of suffer, but nope.. she's still my Em.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Not that kind... See, with Em's blood sugars all over the map, I need to buy more test strips. I get them off ebay.. the more you buy, the cheaper you can get it..

The question for me is, how much am I willing to invest in her future?

when I worked at the grocery store as a cashier, I knew this nice old woman who used to joke with me about not buying green bananas..

i feel a lot like that.

I know I could always sell any leftovers on Ebay if perchance I stocked up and they outlasted her, but I can't help but wonder if I bought a ton, if I would be jinxing myself...

*sigh* Anyone have any freestyle test strips laying around they want to donate to the cause?

Em, the good, the bad and the WTH!!

It has been an interesting few days around here. I suffered through a huge snow storm (yes, in April) that knocked out my power from Wednesday night till Saturday around noon time. One one side of the major side road that is well used that I live on, a power line pole fell down in the middle of the road and they didn't take care of it until late Saturday night / early Sunday morning. It was VERY frustrating.

Anyway.. Thursday morning, Em woke me up sneezing and coughing. It was 5:30 AM and there was no light. I sent my DH out to find me some, and by the time he got back there were many drops of blood all over the sheets, my pillows and myself. NOT fun. Her breathing was hard, and she seemed to be hurting. Killed me that I couldn't even properly clean off her face since I had no water - let alone hot water. (on a well) I called the vet, and he suggested some steroids, which I put her on. Wednesday she suffered. Thursday seemed better, and Friday she actually seemed fixed. No congestion, no runny nose, no blood - nothing. I kept up the antibiotics, but I weaned her off the steroids. Then the bloody nose and the congestion started back up. I started her on a half dose of steroids, but it didn't seem to help. Yesterday I put her back on the full dose - hopefully, after today, she'll be better. I hate the steroids - as it messes with her blood sugars, but I'd rather her be able to breathe. I am a fan of her breathing.

Monday we had a MAJOR scare with her. I was sitting on the floor talking on the phone with a friend about the crazy psycho vet I used to work for, and how he is FINALLY getting his due.. or at least they are starting to give it to him - he is under investigation.. for what at this point I'm still not sure. But that's okay. After the phone call was over, I had Em, Jack and Ollie sitting near me. I tried to gracefully get up in the small space I was sharing with three cats, and sadly I started to step on Em's tail. She freaked so Jack freaked. That made Em freak out even more.. I tried to make everyone calm down, but they all ran into the bedroom and went under the bed, where the growling continued, and they wouldn't listen to me. I called for DH and we got them to separate and come out from under the bed. Em was staggering. She was panting and looked as if she was in shock. I picked her up and tried to soothe her.. her back legs wouldn't contract, they stuck out rigid. I laid her down on a pillow, and she was pretty unresponsive for a few minutes. I cooed at her, and stroked her, and she started breathing normally and came out of it. She wasn't interested in moving till I got out a bag of treats. That perked her right up. It would have been funny if I wasn't so freaked out. Poor Jack had NO idea what happened and was so confused and sad. I offered him some treats too, but he was confused. I tried to calm him too, and he came over and he and Em made nice. I then brought Em out into the other room to cuddle with her, but she wasn't all that interested. Jack came too, and he walked up to her again and they made nice again. when there are treats involved, all is forgiven :)

And then, because of the snow, she hasn't been able to go back outside again. Well, that's not true. She's been going regardless. Standing around in the snow and rain and getting all wet.. she didn't care. I do.. so I would bring her back in. Yesterday we went for a walk around the house. She loved it. I brought out my camera and took some video of it.. She's now down to 10 lbs. I am in the process of losing her, I know it, and I am so not ready..

her walking to the back of the house
her walking to the front of the house

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Friday, April 6, 2007

Emmy's bad day

Well this should have been posted yesterday, but I have been covered under a blanket of 8+ inches of snow that took out the power to my office and my home.. *argh* but at least by waiting we have a good outcome to report.

The power went out Wednesday night at around 11 pm. Thursday morning at 5:30ish Em woke me up sneezing. It sounded very wet, so I made my DH get up and get some light. she had another bloody nose, and was sneezing bloody discharge out all over my sheets, and all over me. Probably not as bad as it sounds, as there were 20-30 small droplets, but still scary enough.

The culture and sensitivity on the discharge had come back and she has bordetella. She's on baytril for that, started her third day this morning. Anyway.. after she stopped sneezing, we got her cleaned up the best we could without water(as I am on a well), and she seemed okay, but breathing was very hard on her. It was as if she had two areas of congestion - her chest and her nasal passages. I called the vet, and he recommended prednisolone. I gave her a dose that morning - along with her baytril, her cosequin, and her 2 thyroid pills.

Mid day it seemed to be subsiding, but it was still hard on her. With nothing to do all day, we all climbed into bed. She sat on one side of wheezing, and Tweedle sat on the other and snored.

She was off her food - but was eating treats. After the hard night, I wasn't horribly worried.

she started wheezing again so I gave her 1/2 of a dose of the pred..

This morning she had eaten all her dinner and was hungry for breakfast, and at all her breakfast. She was doing the teeth grinding thing (to her it means she's got an upset stomach) pretty fierce last night and again this morning, so I added some pepcid into her pill cocktail - it is a darn good thing I'm good at pilling her, cause there were so many of them this morning!! But at this point, she's back to being bright-eyed and bushy-tailed - if not a little cold since the temp in the house is 50 degrees. I have hope that the power will be on soon though, as I FINALLY saw the power guys drive by and they had a pole with them (one of the poles fell into the middle of the road and they had left it there for over 24 hours!!!)

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Emmy has lost her marbles

Either that or she shipped them to Timbuktu for the fun of it. But more on that after a brief update on her general health.

The culture and sensitivity came back, and she's got bordetella, so we have her on baytril to try to clear up the nasal discharge. I asked B if he was still thinking brain tumor, and he said he was, the infection isn't enough to cause all of the other symptoms. So one step at a time, I'll be thrilled if we can get her nose to stop running and bleeding.

Since I took Em out, it has been raining. Well, she didn't care. Monday I opened up the door, and she went out and sat on the porch, then after a few moments she walked down the stairs and sat in the rain!!! completely oblivious to how cold the ground was and how wet she was getting. I called her a silly kitty and told her to get back in the house and she came.

Then we had a repairman in the house. Now when Em was in her prime, she HATED house guests. This time she went right up to him and wanted to know what was going on.. very interested in the activity..

It is sad, but it is also very amusing. I choose to look at the fun side of this.. Cause I'm sure all too soon it will get very dark.

I also have to wonder if the Animal Communicator didn't get some mixed messages. That maybe it isn't Jack that wants to go out, but Em. I tried to take Jack out, and he panicked.. And it isn't Ollie with urinary issues, but Jack - as he has been doing the pee pee dance more lately. I still have some of his herbs, so I am going to put him back on them for a while and see if it stops. If not I might take him in to see the vet and test his urine.

On a personal note, I was invited to participate in the planning of this years kitten shower, the fundraiser the shelter does to get supplies for the foster kitten program. Apparently, they are going to make it more child orientated with carnival games and prizes.. Sounds interesting. I was glad they invited me but internally conflicted about participating, since in the past I have, and I wasn't really considered - my ideas, my suggestions and most of all my schedule. Several of us have to work during the day and they schedule meetings for the most inconvenient times, 10 AM or 4 PM. Yes, it works for them, but if they really want volunteers helping out you'd think they'd schedule them at more convenient times for us.

Well, I got an email late last night that they decided that their first meeting was going to be today at 10 AM. If I hadn't been out of work due to a theft at work, I might have felt comfortable asking for the time off, but I haven't been able to do my job for two days, so it was a little hard for me to consider asking. I'm sure she wouldn't have minded in the least, but I would have. Not to mention that once again they aren't taking those of us that want to help out into consideration. The excuse for the last minute scheduling was one of the staff members is leaving due to accepting another job, and they wanted her in on the first meeting.

Excuse me while I say a few not so kind words in my head.

Okay. much better.

This is why I'm so reluctant to continue to help. I want to with all my heart and soul, but I hate being treated like my input is beyond not important.

I did sneak into the shelter on Monday (since I was out of work anyway) and found a set of kittens. 4-5 weeks old.. so cute.. little balls of fur and hiss and vinegar. They were so scared. I just wanted to smuggle them out in my coat :)

I am such a sucker for a kitten.. and don't even get me started talking about kitten fever - cause I so can not afford to come down with it

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Em's great adventure

I took Em outside again today. I was going to bring Jack, but he out grew the harness I have, and frankly he really didn't want to go.

Em sniffed around out front yard for a while, then went to visit the neighbor's yard. We stood by the house and let her go off - wondering how far she'd get before she turned back, but she was either totally brave or totally off her rocker, cause she made it all the way to the neighbor's house. I went and got her and she wanted to continue to investigate their house, so I had to pick her up and brought her home.

She then went into our back yard, and sat around for a while. Then she found a spot she really liked the smell of, so she sniffed, chewed and rubbed all over it.

This is the first time in her entire life where she is actually active outside during the daylight hours.. Its really bizarre. But she totally enjoys it, so we'll keep bringing her out.

I'll try to get some video of it next time.
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