Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Not at all a WELL cat.

This poor cat. She's only seven-and-a-half years old, but she has the body of a thirteen-year-old cat. In fact, when I brought her in last week, the vet, after a quick examination, assumed Elly was a teenager. I had brought her in because she'd been peeing around the house, had diarrhea and she'd been vomitting on a daily (sometimes twice-daily) basis.

When I'd brought her in this past February, she had lost a full pound from six months earlier and was down to 5 lb. 1 oz. -- that is a skinny cat! Since then, I've worked hard to fatten her up, and she has gained six ounces -- all of which threatened to disappear if we couldn't stop the tummy trouble.

We left the vet's office a few dollars lighter with a bag of pills, food, and complicated instructions. So complicated that I made up a table.

We are currently on week one. Week four shows what the new status quo will be.
It includes transition from her kidney diet (K/D) to the hypoallergenic diet, and medications for hypertension (Aventi), arthritis (glucosamine), kidney trouble (Fortekor), reflux or ulcer (Pepcid), and a urinary tract infection (Clavaseptin). (I've written about her ailments before, but some of these are new.)

So far, it seems to be working: no evidence of gastric upset this week. (Knock on wood.)

I cannot imagine my parents' generation spending this kind of money and effort on a cat, a pet. The first 45 seconds of this Monty Python sketch illustrate the attitude I grew up with.

Okay, perhaps my parents weren't quite that heartless ("Quite right. Nothing worse than coming home to a dead cat."), but my parents came of age during the Great Depression, and spending hundreds of dollars on an animal (other than livestock) would have made them scoff.

Steve and I discussed the financial implications of owning a pet before we adopted Kane, particularly as we knew we were approaching retirement. We've long agreed that we won't go to "heroic measures" -- no exploratory surgery, expensive diagnostics, etc. -- but Elly's chronic health concerns fall into a different category.

The unspoken alternative would be to euthanize her. To be honest, I was afraid that that was what we might be facing this time.

I am nowhere near ready to consider that. (Is one ever?) She is still mobile and loving and loved. And we will keep her that way as long as possible.

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