Kitty Status

I wasn't trying to freak anybody out with the way I ended the previous post; my real intention was to keep the cat posting separate--I know there are people who, nice as they are, just don't care to read about cats or pets or whatever. (I hope they're not here to read about my dating life.)

So, on to the cat update:

Tuesday night, I got home and smelled the sick everywhere. She got what I call "scary sick" for the first time in about a month and a half. Worse than that, she was lying in one of her "I don't feel well" spots, a new one pictured below. Basically, I had sealed off the air conditioner for the winter, and come Spring the chintzy frame had come off with the tarp I'd taped to it. The Cat thinks it's her hideout because I have a towel on the floor over a trash bag to soak up the leaks when it rains.
(Yeah, I have got to clean this place up so I can demand that whole mess can get fixed.)

I know. She looks so sad.

Anyway, there she was, lying on the towel, drooling and whimpering. Yeah, I was terrified. I started to clean up the mess (bedspread, living room rug) and tried to get her to take a little water off my fingertip (which usually works). She refused, so I went back to cleaning up. She moved over to the other "I don't feel well" spot, which is a purr pad I have on the floor in the adjacent corner of the living room near her perch by the patio door. She looked miserable.

I figured there was no point in rushing her to the animal hospital; that would just upset her even more. So I settled in on the sofa and watched the repeat of the night's White Collar (because the usual time is during trivia). I fell asleep for a few minutes towards the end, so when I woke up I decided I just had to get ready for bed. She was still in the same spot and still did not look good. Well, actually, she looked just fine, beautiful and fluffy, except for the fact that she was flat as a pancake. She didn't come in the bathroom and sit on the toilet while I got ready as per our usual routine. She did not come to bed--neither in the bed nor in her bed on top of my dresser--when I started to settle in. That made me cry like crazy.

So after going through a ton of tissues, I made a deal with myself that if I didn't fall asleep after an hour, I would go sleep in the living room. An hour later, I put a pillow and a blanket on the living room floor, talked to The Cat, and put my head down with my hand near her. She responded by moving to the far end of the purr pad, so I took the hint to let her be and got up. But I just couldn't leave her, so I slept on the sofa. After a few fitful hours of sleep, I woke up and saw she was still there, so I convinced myself it was O.K. to go to bed and sleep a little more.

Wednesday morning, I woke up and realized The Cat did not get me up for breakfast. I'm having a hard time recalling exactly where she was, but I think she had moved back to her hideout by the AC. It was 8:45 and I was convinced the vet wasn't open yet, but I figured I'd call anyway to get the hours from the recorded greeting on answering machine. To my surprise, the receptionist answered, so I told her the situation. The doctor was in an appointment; did I want to bring The Cat in or wait for a return call. I said I'd rather see what he thinks before hauling her in--if it was even worth hauling her in. So I waited around and picked at my breakfast for a few hours. I called Mom and cried a bit.

It was 1:00 and I was half-dressed when the vet called me. I explained what happened, and we reopened the case for the steroid shot option I had panned on Monday's visit, where I'd brought her in because she wasn't eating and refused to take her meds. (After a shot of fluids and a shot to calm her stomach, she did eat when she got home Monday--and then went right back to baseline Tuesday morning.) He pretty much confirmed my thought that the steroids were what had been keeping her "plumbing" stabilized, and added that she might have been having a reaction to going off them so abruptly.

So I brought her in--she complained really loudly the whole way there, so she definitely did not feel well--and she got the steroid shot and another shot of fluids, after which the vet tech brought her back to me in the carrier with the advisement, "She's a little grumpy." O rly? I did find that putting the Oldies station on the radio in the car seemed to make her calmer on the ride home.
The vet also recommended that I try a higher protein brand of cat food like Evo that might be easier on her digestion. Failing that, if she's really not eating, then I might need to give her the appetite stimulant again, even though it made her absolutely bonkers last time (see #1 here). I didn't talk about it, but she did get whacked out, like, very meow-y and restless.

Thursday, she woke me for breakfast. What a relief. Which was short-lived, because she took a couple licks and walked away from the plate. And let me tell you, it really depressed me when she had absolutely no response to the bacon I made yesterday afternoon. She did not move at all from her AC fort, not when I had raw bacon out (which usually gets her up on the counter and all insulted when I shove her right off). I crumbled a little into a saucer and left it in her usual eating place in the kitchen, but when I got home from a last-minute haircut appointment, I found the plate untouched.
Still, she snuggled with me on the sofa last night, and she got ready for bed with me in the bathroom, and slept on "her side" of the bed. That made me feel a little better. She was purring and nuzzling me, a bit restlessly, though, so I read aloud to her from the book I've been reading to distract myself, 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson. Coincidentally, I was at a point where the main character sees a lady in Rome feed all these cats at the Coliseum! I think The Cat enjoyed it.

Today, The Cat did not get me up for breakfast. Bummer. (Also a little scary because I'm a little worried I'm going to find her somewhere. . . you know.) However, she greeted me with a "Chirrup" when I walked into the living room. The weird thing is, she asks for food, but she licks a tiny bit and walks away. I convince myself that it counts as eating nonetheless. Even weirder was that at one point as I'm getting more coffee, she followed me into the kitchen, and I'm thinking, How can you beg me for food when your breakfast is right there? I'm out of cat food flavors you want to eat!
Don't ask me how the brainstorm hit, but I thought I would try the turkey lunchmeat again. She got up on the counter and devoured pieces. I noticed she was a little unsteady on her feet and I don't like that, but at least she was eating.

She proceeded to eat the bacon crumbles off the saucer on the counter. I had forgotten to toss them last night before I went to bed! I'm sure my mouth was hanging open in shock.

Obviously, I'm not crazy about giving her high-sodium people food, but at least she ate something. And she did take a few licks of turkey flavor cat food later, so maybe that evened things out.

That said, she's had another unsteady-on-her-feet moment when she tried to jump up on the counter again, and her back legs seemed to go out from under her and she fell. She was so embarrassed she crawled inside an empty box I had on the floor. Now she's sleeping in her safe spot, the cabinet with the pots and pans, so maybe that will make her forget all about that.

This was yesterday, but you get the idea. Also: GRUMPY.

I just got off the phone with the vet, and they are thinking the unsteadiness could be the steroids kicking in again, and advised me to keep an eye on her. The doctor who usually treats her will not be in until Monday, so I am figuring on just continuing to monitor her this weekend.

This afternoon, I am going to see about the food and also get her a non-glass water dish for the bathroom. The vet said that cats usually do not like having water near their food, and that I should have another water bowl somewhere else in any event. (Not an easy feat when I have wall-to-wall carpet everywhere and not by choice. Some days I really hate where I live.)

Well, whaddya know. The Cat just came out from the cabinet, yawned, and then got up on the counter to get to her sleeping spot on the fridge.

I haven't seen her up there in days.

I think it's because I put the Oldies station on the stereo.

(If you are still reading this long post, you must really love cats. Or like me. Thank you.)


Rob said…
About that last line: Both. :) Glad she's doing better. Get well soon, Cat.
Sara said…
Yep, read the whole thing, mostly wide-eyed because it was sounding so scarily familiar, but thankfully you got the ending that I didn't. Go kitty!

I forgot about lunchmeat. Didn't think of it, but I don't know if it would have made any difference with Bonnie since she basically couldn't smell anything.

I am very glad to hear that she's getting back to herself. :)
Dave E. said…
I love the idea of a cat that likes the Oldies station.

Hang in there on that roller coaster. She's lucky to have someone who cares so much.
ccr in MA said…
Both, of course. I hope things take a turn for the better. Does she like to be sung to? She might find it flattering that you take an interest in her interests, so to speak.

Good luck!
Kate P said…
Rob--well, thank you for both.

Sara--aww. I know eventually the other ending will be there, I just don't know when. Until then, I'd just like to try to keep her comfortable.
And I don't know about the smell thing; like I said, I made bacon yesterday without getting a single reaction. Odd.

Dave--yeah, it kind of came out of nowhere. I'm a little hooked now, too. I think it's more upbeat or something. And you are so right about a roller coaster!

CCR--thank you. She's not too into my singing; I guess there can be only one diva in the house. :)
Anonymous said…
You and cats are both awesome.
Kate P said…
Christine--thank you, and yes, cats are awesome. I mean, I like dogs, too, but I prefer the poetry of cats to the prose of dogs, as someone once put it.
Annie Coe said…
Kate, I read the whole thing because I like you and I really love cats. I feel for you and her because I have been there and it is no fun. Have you tried babyfood?
That was a no fail food with both my sick kitties. Get the chicken or turkey and make sure to get the kind without onions! Also tuna works. Sending big hugs to you both. xoxo
Anonymous said…
Oh poor, poor kitty :( And poor, poor Kate! It is so hard seeing your pet sick and not really being able to do anything to make her better. I really hope she's reached a turning point and has a much better week!
Kate P said…
Annie--aw, thank you for the hugs. She was just not into food at all, even tuna or bacon. I think she had a lot of nausea, actually. She is eating a bit better now (knock on wood).

Angela--thanks so much; you said it--it was hard! She is doing better, thank the Lord. She actually slipped out the door when I got home from book club and took a run down the hallway tonight! (So glad no one was around.) Definitely more like her usual self. :)
Kristina said…
You and your sweet girl are in my prayers. Your story is so familiar to what I went through last fall with my kitty. My heart is breaking for you.

I do have to second Annie's baby food suggestion. My cat did eat it more than any other food. (I think because it was so thin and didn't require as much energy to process.) Plus, it gave me the feeling that she was getting some fluids from it, since she wasn't drinking much water.

You know what's best for your girl, but please know I'm thinking of you.
Kate P said…
Kristina--Hi and thank you for stopping by and for the prayers! I am so sorry to hear about your kitty.
I will definitely keep the baby food in mind if she starts getting worse.
Right now, though, she's eating pretty well. The independent pet supply store suggested QUAIL (by the Before Grain label) and she loved it so much that everything else seems to pale in comparison. Gotta buy more, but I am SO not complaining!

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