My cat, Loki is seven years old now. She went into renal failure when she was 4, so we’ve been managing her health for the last 3 years. To look at her, aside from being on the thin side, you’d never know that she has undersized kidneys which function less and less as time goes on. She’s happy, demanding, playful and has a beautiful, sleek coat. But the reality is that unless I can call down a miracle, her health will continue to deteriorate. Her BUN and Creatinine numbers continue to climb and her red blood cell numbers have now fallen dangerously low.
In the last six months, alone, we’ve had to increase her subcutaneous fluids from 125ml 3 times a week all the way up to 100ml every other day, and 150 on the alternate days. She has frequent UTI’s (that’s urinary tract infections) because her kidneys aren’t filtering enough into her urine to give it the oomph to kill bacteria. She gets pepsid daily to keep the stomach acids down, an appetite stimulant every three days, and potassium as well as a phosporous binder twice a day. We will soon be adding injections to stimulate the bone marrow to produce more red blood cells since her kidneys are no longer doing the job.
Today, my vet even suggested a kidney transplant, but between the strong possibility of complications and the $50K price tag, I don’t consider it an option. Sometimes, she’ll come to me asking for some healing, but mostly, I think she just trusts me to do my best, and, when the time comes, to let her go peacefully. She knew when she saw me at Petco that I was willing to go to extremes to ensure a healthy, happy life for her, but that I also understood that there are limits and that when you reach them, you know that your furry friend and child would not appreciate your continuing to keep them alive past the point where their life has any quality.
Enter my 16 year old Calico, Patches. She started urinating on the floor in front of me this week, and a trip to the vet revealed a serious UTI for her as well, though in her case, not from a chronic condition. Her age and the severity of the infection landed her in the hospital for a couple of days, which is especially traumatic for a cat who prefers to spend most of her day hiding, and who has never been away from home aside from the regular vet visits. I spent about a half hour with her today, giving her cuddles and just talking to her so she knew I wasn’t abandoning her. The vet techs recognized fairly quickly that putting her in a small, upper cage was upsetting her, so they moved her to a larger, bottom cage and put a blanket over the door to give her the feeling of having her hidey hole. Thankfully, she’s responding well to the treatment and should be home in a couple of days, but between the two of them, the vet bills mount. Yet, I can do no more than care for them to the best of my ability. I send her visuals of smacking Dylan and Toby around to teach them manners, and of snuggling with Munchkin on the bed again to help her see herself as healthy and my “takes no crap” old girl again.
Interestingly, as I drove her to the vet last night, I felt no fear or worry about her. I knew she’d be in good hands and that she’d be healthy again soon, just as I know that every day I have with Loki is a precious gift. She came into my life for a reason, and she gives me so much. Her heart is enormous and her capacity to love is endless. She’s never met a stranger and is completely convinced that humans have one purpose, to take care of and pay attention to her!
Despite Patches’ tendency to hide a lot, her absence is definitely affecting the other cats. Scooby stayed in the back of my closet until after 10:00 when he came out to eat and, at first, wouldn’t let me near him! After I reassured him that Patches would be home soon and that she just needed to go to the vet for a couple of days because she was very sick, he came to me and let me pet him. I hadn’t realized he had bonded with her like that! I did expect, and have, in fact, seen Munchkin behaving rather off, but Patches has tended to mother her a bit since she joined the family, so she probably has the strongest bond.
For now, I am sending lots of pictures of healthiness and comfort to everyone, in hopes that we can all keep our stress levels low and refrain from filling either Patches or Loki with feelings of worry and distress. Thankfully, my Familiar, Dylan, remains calm and supportive.
I’m apparently not handling the stress of my sick kids as well as I’d like a I feel a migraine starting, but I will still close with my gratitudes.
1. I am grateful that I changed vets, even though it meant a longer drive, as this one has someone there, monitoring Patches 24/7.
2. I am grateful for Loki’s positive attitude and spunk, and the joy she brings to my life every day.
3. I am grateful for Dylan’s mellow, stable influence as it keeps us all on a more even keel.
4. I am grateful that I have the ability to weather the increased vet bills so I can do my best to keep everyone healthy.
5. I am grateful for the support of Heather and Mathom who are intimately involved in the health of all of my animals as well as their own.
Love and light.