Friday, October 17, 2014

Mutual Cat Adoration Society

It's been a while since I wrote about my Favorite Furry Felines. It is not that I am without material (or cat hair). Our black, furry friends continue to weave themselves (and their cat hair) further and further into our days (and carpet).

Senior Cat has not been his (new) usual self for quite a spell now. I honestly thought it was a natural progression of whatever it is that is ailing him. I was assuming the worst. 

He has been losing weight. His meower doesn't work very well any more. He rests a lot. He doesn't tolerate a lot of touching. It as been a slow and gradual decline.

Last week, we took him to our friendly, neighborhood vet. I'm sad to say that the vet that we bonded with during the time his lung condition was diagnosed and treated is on maternity leave. I'm sadder to say that his back-up vet (who we saw at his annual check-up) was not available. We saw a new-to-the-clinic-vet who knows our cat by his file only.

She tried. Oh, how she tried to know everything there was to know about our kitty by scanning his (thick) file. 

She took abstract thoughts and ideas and placed a firm diagnoses on them. What I understood to possibly be cancer or a tumor or asthma was translated to a definite "asthma" diagnoses. Asthma is good, I suppose. But one word does not encapsulate the entirety of our Senior Cat.

It has been close to a year since our cat has been taking prednisone for his breathing. It worked like a charm for months on end. I thought that he probably needed his dosage adjusted. I thought our trip to the vet would confirm that and we would be on our way. I thought a lot of things. A lot of things I think are based on instinct. Not knowledge. 

Our newest vet wanted to base her prescription on knowledge, not (my) instincts. So she ran some blood work on our poor, unsuspecting kitty.

The poor guy. I thought taking blood would be akin to his annual booster shots. How naive I was. My first clue should have been when she took him out of the room. The second clue - the length of time he was gone. The third? The meows. His meower does work under duress.

I called for the results of his blood work this week. Once again, it is all a lot of guess work. He is anemic. His phosphorus levels were off. Our vet described all the findings and her best guess is that he is in the early stages of renal failure. The good news is that his liver is tolerating his medication well.

So, Senior is on a new diet of Renal Health cat food. We once had a cat that survived renal failure and this magical cat food allowed him to live many, many more years. So this new diagnoses doesn't frighten me. Especially when I see just how much he seems to like his new diet. 

It has only been two days. There has been little change so far. It is simply good to see his appetite being appeased by food that is helping him be the best he can be.

I picked up a cat 'water fountain' for our kitties as well. Encouraging him to drink as much water as possible is just as important as his new food. The combination will hopefully be enough to help him gain back his lost pound (he is a small cat, so that pound is very noticeable).

In the meantime, Junior Cat is loving the new and improved watering hole. He loves moving water. So much so, that we had to buy a water dish he could not move across the kitchen floor and tip it over when no one was looking.    

Junior has been reaping small benefits all along the way as we have been nursing Senior's health. Every time I give Senior a pill, he gets a cat treat. How can you give one cat a treat and not the other? Junior Cat assumes his position on the mat by the back door and waits for his treat. Always by the back door. I don't remember how it started (I probably wanted him separate and apart from Senior's food), but now each and every time we give Junior a treat, he runs (with it in his mouth) and eats it on the mat by the back door.

Junior has had little to no interest in Senior's new food so I put a little bit of food in Senior's cat dish before I went to bed last night.

Junior snuck up to the bowl and sniffed it. He nudged it around with his nose for a while before he latched onto one kibble and then he immediately ran off with it (to the back door mat). He skulked back for one more bit and immediately 'snuck off' with it again. 

My Son and I just laughed. He came back for a third, but it wasn't worth the work. And he was off to chase a hairball ...

Junior is reaping a few benefits from Senior's failing health. He brings us such joy with his kitten-like antics. Senior continues to be the best he can be. There is a state of kitty-contentment within our home. Each of our cats being the 'best that they can be'. Each of them adored, loved and loving us back in return. 

We will just keep doing what we are doing and savor the moments. It is really all we can ever do. Any day, with anyone. I'm simply grateful for my Cat Weights that keep me grounded (or couched, whatever the case may be)...

These guys bring a smile to my face, joy to my heart and strengthen the bond I have with my Youngest Son who loves and adores them as much as I do. 

Our mutual Cat Love Society is a four way street. Life just doesn't get any better than this. To be loved by a cat is a gift beyond words. 

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