Well it has been a rough couple of weeks. Every time I decide to concentrate on developing my blogging, some crisis comes along and torpedoes it.
Weekend before last we had to take one of our cats to the emergency vet at one o’clock in the morning. She was having trouble breathing. Turns out, she has congestive heart failure. Her heart wasn’t pumping strongly enough and her lungs were filling with fluid.
It was scary. She had to be kept for observation for a while. We dropped a thousand dollars on her care, easy. We were in total shock – sticker shock too. She had seemed perfectly fine the day before! But the vet actually thanked us for allowing her to treat the cat, and not just letting it die. God, do people actually do that?
We had to follow up with a regular vet too. If you live Uptown and need a vet, go see Dr. Biondolillo at Prytania Veterinary. She is amazing. She let us see the cat’s ultrasounds, and even drew us a little picture of the chambers of the cat’s heart and how they were not working. And she called us at home in the evenings to follow up!
Well the cat is on medication now and feeling fine, back to her old self. But she has heart pills, diuretics and mini baby aspirin for blood thinning, and sometimes has to take up to four pills a day.
This is easier said than done.
Giving the cat her medicine has become a Bugs Bunny-like contest of wills. My husband holds her, and I pry her mouth open and use a syringe-like thing called a “pill gun” to shoot them down her gullet. This does not fly. She avoids me, I trick her, she slips through my grasp. I tried to fool her by hiding the pills inside a special hollow kitty treat. This worked exactly once. That evening she was chewing the treats to shear off the “meat” and spitting out the pills. She’s no dummy. She knows exactly what’s going on. I think she even knows she has to take the meds on some level – occasionally she will meekly submit – but she is like a little kid who doesn’t want to take her cough syrup cause it tastes bad.
Oh dear. I am blogging about my cat. I’ve been told, that way lies madness. But it’s stressing me out, man! The cat, too. And the cat is supposed to avoid stress.
I had a fight with my husband about it. “You’re obsessing too much!” he said. “What about her quality of life?”
“If she doesn’t take her PILLS she’ll have NO life AT ALL!”
We have appealed to the vet, who is going to try to figure out some alternate formulation for the heart meds so she doesn’t have to be dosed so much.
It is upsetting. The cat is only six years old. I had three cats when I was a child who lived to be 18, 21, and 24 years old, going out whenever they wanted and eating Friskies cat food their entire lives. Why are the cats of my adulthood dying at six and seven years? I try to be a good cat parent – they are fixed, they get their shots, flea meds … it’s not fair. I can’t take all these dying cats.