Friday, July 31, 2015

The Smartest Kitty I Know...

I finally feel like I can make a post about Kitty's health.
A while back we had a big scare when she quickly dropped a lot of weight and did nothing but lay in the closet or on the heated bed. When she did get up she seemed to struggle and was wobbly. When she was laying down she wouldn't actually go to sleep and was clearly not resting comfortably. A trip to the vet and an antibiotic shot did little to help. She was clearly miserable enough that we really thought that we were going to have to euthanize her. We did a lot of crying, and I did a lot of hand feeding Kitty one piece of food at a time to try to keep her from losing even more weight. The vet seemed fairly sure that it was her heart giving out, since she does have a fairly large murmur. Kitty is old enough to be considered "geriatric" so she's not really a good candidate for heart treatments.
Since we were not seeing improvement a couple of days later we were back at the vet, where we were encouraged to give a cortisone shot a try before considering euthanasia, just in case it was an injury or joint inflammation that was keeping Kitty from moving around. We went for it and after a couple of days Kitty was showing definite improvement! We started to get a bit more hopeful, though the vet did warn us that she thought that the injection would probably need to be repeated in 4-8 weeks, and that she thought it would only buy us 6-9 more months with her.
A couple of days after that we rushed Kitty back to the vet yet again, this time because Paul noticed that she was tensing and straining really hard while laying on the floor, like she was trying to poop but couldn't. It got worse and worse and she was clearly in distress and started vomiting from the constant straining. Once we got her to the vet they examined her as soon as they could fit us in and decided that they would keep her overnight. An enema, some laxative, subcutaneous fluids, and 14 hours later, Kitty was discharged. The week all this was happening was Terrible. But thankfully it did end.
Since then we've been giving Kitty a breakfast of 1/8 tsp Miralax, two capsules of glucosamine joint supplement, and some wet food each morning and she is doing ok. Yesterday marked the 8th week since she got her cortisone shot and she has not shown obvious signs of discomfort. We're hoping at this point that maybe she was doing so badly because she did somehow hurt herself jumping off a bed, or maybe she did have bad joints and the supplement is just helping her that much. Regardless of the reason she does seem to be pretty much back to her old self.
Paul and I are still walking on eggshells because she is old, and if she starts declining again we don't want to miss the signs and leave her in pain. I want to hope that the vet is just wrong about her heart and that she's still got years left in her, but I also don't want to delude myself.
For now Kitty has gotten very entitled. Each morning she comes to the kitchen to supervise me making her breakfast. Occasionally if she doesn't feel like coming to the kitchen to eat dinner she just stays where she is and waits for us to deliver her "room service". We have started allowing her out on the back patio without a leash to encourage her to exercise more. (She doesn't really freak out even when startled and I know I can outrun her.) She luuuuuurves that and has started demanding to be let out whenever the whim strikes her, which as it turns out is most times.
Paul and I are really grateful to have more time with her. We love her so much and it's really hard to imagine life without her.