I thought I’d update the blog with Kitten Girl’s status, as so many of you have been kind enough to ask about her in the past few weeks and I’ve received such generous assistance in getting her the care she needs.
I can say with confidence that Kitten Girl has recovered from the crisis she was in at the beginning of the month, though it has been a slow recovery. Getting her to eat much of anything was a challenge (insert here a mental picture of my refrigerator filled with dozens of cans of barely touched cat and baby foods in plastic baggies). The “smorgasbord” syndrome they call it, which is ironic because there’s a whole lot of food but very little actual dining.
And I thought she was finicky before!
Her diagnoses at this point are common ones for senior felines: hyperthyroid (getting harder to control but manageable for the moment with medication), a touch of feline dementia (thank you Feliway for quelling the nighttime yowling!), moderate arthritis (just started Adequan injections) and kidney insufficiency. Which is a nice way of saying that her kidneys have begun a decline that can be slowed but not reversed. And yes, that means what I’m afraid to say out loud what it means.
Under the guidance of my excellent vet Dr. A., Kitten Girl is on a regimen of daily at home sub-cutaneous fluids (never thought I could deal with needles — amazing what you do for your kids), a stomach acid reducer (pretty sure this is why she wasn’t eating), ear gel (the easiest “give”) for thyroid, a couple of different medications for nausea (hello needles!) and arthritis (just one needle a week, phew). Oh, and there’s some tasty treats that have a protective medicine for the kidneys in them too.
It all sounds very complicated — and by now my old girl has her own medicine cabinet — but it honestly isn’t. The routine is the routine. She’s back to loving her walks in the hall and supervising the ladies who hang in the lobby, she retains the ability to leap chairs and the bed in a single bound, and has begun approaching me with purrs again.
I sure missed those purrs!
I have to groom her now (brushes and baby wipes) — which is fine. There’s much less of her than there used to be, though she still cracks the ten pound mark. Every bit of TLC I give her feeds me too. Not everyone is lucky enough to have their cat as many years as I’ve had mine; there are many who would have loved more years with their own but didn’t get them. Ours are the problems of a lucky human and cat, really. I am by turns grateful and greedy for more days, thrilled to see the light in her eyes again but haunted by the knowledge that there are far fewer days ahead of her than behind. It’s a cliche because it’s true: they never ever really do live long enough, do they?
Kitten Girl is teaching me patience, humility, and how to puree precisely the foods she likes in a blender. I suppose I had to learn these things eventually :).