Wednesday, September 29, 2010

We Thought She Was a Goner

The cat came back from death's door, and it took longer than the very next day. Our cat Boots is only just now starting to seem like her old self after nearly dying from acute renal failure. The vet does not know how or why she got sick (that would take even more money to find out!). Perhaps she got into some antifreeze (not everyone is careful); perhaps poison (yes, some people do that); perhaps she had a kidney infection.

Renal failure (the link is to a site devoted to extensive information about feline chronic renal failure, but briefly discusses the acute type, as well) is quite common in cats.

Boots is thirteen, a bitty little thing - under nine pounds soaking wet - and is not a big eater. She heads out in the morning and deigns to come in around dusk (mostly). When she stayed in her bed two mornings in a row and didn't even ask to go out, I realized that something was up. For two days, she did not eat or drink, was very lethargic and seeming to go down hill quickly.
Off to the vet where she was diagnosed with renal failure - the numbers from her blood work were extremely worrying. They kept her for IV hydration, but her prognosis was not good. 

Smart vet we have! He started her on antibiotics in addition to the IV fluids, and she responded well enough to come home. But for four days, she hardly ate anything. She would eat three or four nuggets of food from my hand a few times a day. I give her the liquid form of the antibiotic twice a day - neither of us likes it very much.

It's been an emotional roller-coaster: she's eating; she's not eating; she seems better, then worse.

Fortunately, she has been drinking on her own and, finally, has started to eat her regular amount by herself. She loudly demands to go out several times a day and has started hanging out with the other two cats again.

It is impossible to know how long she will be with us; there is kidney damage, and she's no spring chicken. Still, we have her for now, and that's really all anyone can say about any life. These times remind us to appreciate and love what we have.  

12 comments:

P. M. Doolan said...

Well, that is one life gone. Hopefully, she has another eight left. She looks beautiful!

We have a new kitten who we brought home three weeks ago. Unfortunately she terrorizes our four and a half year old cat who until now had the territory to herself. We feel so bad for doing this to her. She disappears for hours at a stretch and we are afraid she will not return some day. Any hints - how to you get an older cat and a sprightly young one to adapt to each other?

askcherlock said...

Our pets are a natural part of our families. We fret about them, cuddle with them and they ask for so little in return. I empathize with your emotional roller coaster. We went through that last year with our 23 year old Maltese dog. She, too, had gone into renal failure, but the Vet said it was her age. Understandable, but still it was heart-breaking. My hopes are with you that your precious little one recovers. It's sad, I know.

lifeshighway said...

Boots is a beautiful girl and I hope she recovered well enough to be around for a long time.

ChrisJ said...

Paul,

We had the same situation five years ago - introducing a young cat to two older cats. The older one was quite upset, so I tried to spend extra time with her and give her some special treats.

ChrisJ said...

Cher,

I remember you writing about your dog. Yes, it is sad; they wiggle their way into our hearts.

ChrisJ said...

Cheri,

Thank you. I do hope she is around for a long time to come.

Ciss B said...

Our friends are very good friends, AND close family members aren't they? I know that personally because I have two of the best dogs in the world and one is twelve and I worry about losing her since she's been sick lately.

ChrisJ said...

Christi,

It is so hard when our friends and family members are sick; I feel so helpless.

My husband and I were remarking that it actually is better that we generally outlive our pets, but that it doesn't make it any easier emotionally.

Good luck with your dog.

Judie said...

It is just too bad that our pets can't live as long as we do. It is so hard to lose one! Precious will be 14 this year, and the vet tells us she has no longer than a year at best.

It's hard to let go!

Trulyfool said...

Chris,

We lost our cat Phoebe two years ago to some sudden brain/nervous ailment that took her in a matter of 2 days.

Our cats are children to us. No getting around the emotional link.

May Boots recover and flourish!

TFool

ChrisJ said...

Judie,

It is very hard to let go, best to love them as much as we can.

ChrisJ said...

Trulyfool,

It must have been hard to lose your Phoebe that way. I'm sorry.

I think it's good that we don't know all the things that can happen.