I’ve noticed that the cat hasn’t seemed himself over the last few days, particularly in the fact that he’s been drinking more than usual, so when he suddenly developed a weakness in his back legs we booked him into the vets. I was worried that he had developed diabetes – his sister had Type 1 which we treated for years with twice daily injections – so I also requested he have his bloods tested as an extra precaution.
He’s always been skittish, so I warned the vet that he would need sedating for his bloods as he’s always wriggly and uncooperative during tests, smirking to myself when she told me that she was a ‘cat person’ and wouldn’t need it. She took him into another room, I listened to her sing ‘little cat, little cat, little little kiiiitttteeeen’ and the little bugger fell for it and behaved like an angel.
I stood corrected.
The test results came as a bit of a shock – he has chronic kidney disease that will get progressively worse in a short space of time.
As the rest of him is in perfect health, he’s not in a situation where saying goodbye is necessary at this point, so we had a long and difficult discussion as to what to do next. I’ve already watched one cat deteriorate from cancer and another struggle with diabetes, so we made it clear that I wasn’t prepared to put him through anything that wouldn’t enhance his quality of life. In the end, we opted to check him in to the veterinary hospital for the next 48 hours to have his kidneys flushed via an IV drip, and if this improved his kidney function then we would bring him home and spoil him until it is time to let him go.
While I have the upmost respect for vets, especially of the years of study and hard work that they put in and everything that they do, it was even more distressing to say goodbye while simultaneously fighting off all the up-sell of additional tests that they were trying to push on us, as well as avoiding being added to mailing lists as we were paying on our way out. We had just been told that our cat is dying – marketing materials were the last thing we were interested in.
It was hard leaving him behind yesterday. In the 13 years I’ve had him he’s never spent a night away from home, and yesterday was the first time in 17 years that I have been in the house without at least one cat asleep on my lap. The house felt flat and empty, and going to bed last night was strange. He’s always been my little shadow and he follows me everywhere and generally gets in my way. I found myself walking up the stairs in the way I always do, leaning to the left and expecting him to run up past me.
Now is simply a waiting game. Hopefully I’ll be lucky enough to get him back so he can get in my way for a little while longer.