Thursday, December 06, 2007

Beloved Kitty

Readers may remember that over a year ago my beloved 15 year-old kitty suffered from a rather bizarre blood clot that left him knuckling and unable to use the distal portion of one his rear legs. Readers may also remember that he made an unexpected but remarkable recovery and, approximately 8 months following the clot, he was back to normal.

That's not to say that the time since then has been smooth sailing. Since then he has been diagnosed with heart disease and hypertension. Medication and medication. He developed a lump on his leg that concerned his vet very much until it just fell off. No kidding. One day there, the next day gone. Bizarre. He next developed a similar lump on his chest that grew and grew and now appears to have stopped growing but bleeds ever so slightly, leaving a quarter-size blood stain if kitty lies in one place for a period of time (thank goodness for Nature's Miracle!). More medication in the hope that it was infection or inflammation. No such luck.

Now, new problems have started. About two weeks ago he stopped using his litter box for defecation. He just poops at will, all over the house. Now this obviously is not all that desirable but when you love your furry little guy as much as I do, you simply cope with it -- and watch where you are stepping. Nothing had changed in his environment, so I chalked it up to old age and figured that someday I'll probably reach the same stage and won't I be thankful that someone will pick up after me without making a big deal out of it?

Last night things got to the point where they can no longer go without medical attention. Beloved kitty jumped into my lap the moment that I sat down (completely normal behaviour) and proceeded to purr and kneed his paws into me (again, completely normal behaviour). Without missing a beat he next proceeded to urinate all over me (thank goodness for Nature's Miracle!). It happened again at bed time -- the joys of changing sheets and cleaning up urine (thank goodness for Nature's Miracle!) at 11:30 at night simply cannot be expressed with the written word alone.

The poor little guy seems to have lost control of his body's functions.

This morning I called the best veterinarian on the planet and he agrees that this is really odd. He asked whether beloved kitty even appeared aware that he was urinating and the answer was "nope, he went right on purring". This, combined with the inappropriate defecation, makes a UTI quite unlikely. The best veterinarian on the planet thinks that beloved kitty is suffering a nervous system problem and wants me to bring kitty in for a system check.

Hence it will come to be on Saturday morning that beloved kitty will be taken to the vet to have things poked up his anus to check for sphincter tone, will have his bladder expressed manually and likely will be zapped with some x-rays.

The poor little guy.

I've told him many times that he must live forever but apparently he is ignoring me, one medical problem at a time.

It's really all quite heart breaking.


Pieces of Mind said...

Yes, it is heartbreaking. :(

I think it's one of the joys and sorrows of having a geriatric pet. We're deeply attached to them because they've been part of our lives for so long, but we know that eventually the health problems are going to pile up.

My kitty and I hope for the best for you on Saturday.

Cathy said...

Dr. K., Im so sorry for kitty. I look at my cat (Gary) and I know exactly how you must be feeling. I will hope that all goes well for him on Saturday.

We had spent some time with my family in Fla. for Thanksgiving. My brother and his wife had 2 cats and just a year ago they lost Boomer. he was 18.5 years old and he had cancer. He also had a thyroid problem that just the year before received radiation treatments for.

I saw some things at their house that meant something to me and maybe they will you also. They have a picture frame on the wall with things of boomers in it. There are a few pictures of him there, his tags with his name on them and the one thing that really impressed me was they had taken a bit of joint compound, the same stuff you use to repair walls, and used enough to make a circle that was about 4 in. in diameter. They then got boomers paw prints in the putty before it began to set up. Sister-in-law then engraved his name at the top. She got this idea from the VET who does this with all his patients. There is special putty you can buy at the pet store but it is really the same stuff, according to their vet. They only have a tiny bit of the putty on their paw afterwards and she just washed it right away with a bit of soap and water.

Been thinking about you and hope all is well with you.

Elaine said...


what else can I say?

the little medic said...

this post made me so sad :(

Dr. K said...

Pieces and Pieces' kitty: we both thank you for your warm wishes. We knew that we could count on you for support. :)

Cathy: Thank you so much for taking the time to share that brilliant idea. I would love to have kitty's paw prints and will check with my local pet store to see if they have that stuff. Thank you (and it's nice to hear from you -- I miss your regular blogging).

Elaine: aw, thanks so much. Hugs can often mean much more than words. Yours meant a lot.

Little Medic: I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make anyone sad. :( And it's not all bad ... other than his problems outlined in the post, he's a very happy and healthy kitty for his age. He purrs a lot, he eats and drinks well and he does a really great typical "crazy cat attack" from time to time. So I take the bad and balance it against the good and have to conclude that he really does still have a good quality of life.

I will update you all after the visit to the vet tomorrow. Thank you so very much for your comments. They help.