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A tale of cat illness: the Kitten


We are going through (are still going through) a hard time with one of our cats– the one named “the Kitten.”  On Friday morning, Mary told me that Kitten was acting very lethargic.  She wasn’t moving around at all.  When I looked at her she seemed to be asleep and didn’t want to wake up.  She growled faintly when I petted her.  She wouldn’t get up or walk.

Mary could pick her up and carry her around but she growled faintly.  We put her on a red cushion on the bed and watched her for a while.  She just wouldn’t wake up.  After a few hours, I was able to wake her up by putting smelly food (smoked salmon) under her nose and she licked my fingers. We looked around on Google and called a regular vet.  They were booked up but they suggested a newish vet, so we called them and made an appointment for the next morning (Mary had an appt to have her eyes examined, which turned out to be a good thing, see below.)When we saw the vet the next morning, they did a blood count and the usual tests, blood sugar, creatinine, liver function, feline leukemia virus, and two other viruses I don’t remember. 

They wanted to do an Xray but I declined because I was sure she didn’t have any broken bones and I couldn’t feel any lumps in her stomach (neither could the vet.)  The vet said her teeth were badly decayed (probably from eating canned food all the time, although he refused to confirm my contention that it was canned food.)  So he gave her clindamycin for the teeth infection (assuming she had a tooth abscess) and a prescription-only flea medicine, topical, which supposedly lasts twelve weeks.  He also gave her a subcutaneous fluid injection (250 cc) although she had accepted fluids from a dropper; I OK’d this because she hadn’t peed in 24 hr at least.  Finally, he gave her an antibiotic shot whose name escapes me just now.  The whole thing costed $501.00. So we took her home but she didn’t get better.  I was hesitant to give her the clindamycin because I remember how it gave me a terrible stomach-ache when I took it on an empty stomach.  This was mentioned in the pamphlet that came with the med as an “occasional” side effect.  Mary gave her a half-dose every twelve hours instead of 2cc every 24 hours and it didn’t seem to bother her.  She called the vet that evening to say she wasn’t getting better, and they said to watch her overnight. 

Mary gave her some smoked salmon, which she ate.  Then she gave her tuna, which she ate enthusiastically, even standing up to eat.  Later she gave her some roast beef, mostly the liquid, from a can, which she also scarfed down. Mary gave her droppersful of water every couple of hours because I was afraid she would get dehydrated.  She peed a couple of times during the night, not getting up but just peeing on the bed.  Luckily, we had a towel under her which kept the bed from getting wet. The vet’s receptionist called us back at nine this morning to ask about Kittten, and I told her that she ate and peed. This morning we brought in a litter box to the bedroom and stood her in it so she’d know it was there.  She stood there for a minute, then stepped up and stumbled as she climbed out.  This was at noon.   Since the vet had asked us to call back at noon, I did and told the receptionist about the stumbling.  She asked the vet, but he didn’t have any bright ideas as to why she would be ataxic. 

He again recommended an Xray.  I said we’d bring the Kitten in tomorrow, assuming she didn’t get better. Now, first of all I’m glad we didn’t take her to any of the “emergency” vet offices because all the google reviews said they charge like $3000 or more.  This was “only $500 and they were very nice and showed that they cared about the cat (which the google reviews complained that the emergency places didn’t)

What shocked me was that about 25 years ago, we had a cat that was hit by a car and we took him in to an emergency place (it was eight at night) They seemed very nice and they treated his dislocated hip with a heavy tape-cast like thing; I think it was less than a thousand dollars, but that was 25 years ago…  Anyway, the google reviews (of which there were a hundred or more) mostly complained about the cost, thousands of dollars, and the lack of concern, and the long waiting times (several hours, just to be seen.)  So I guess everything has gone downhill over the years.

But the Kitten is still sick; I think she has some kind of neurological disease.  We will take her back to the vet tomorrow.

Mary thinks it’s the heat.

The heat, oh the heat.  The forecast is for 108 degrees tomorrow.  It has been a hundred or more every day since mid-June.  But “it’s a dry heat.”  That’s why I get up at five every morning and go for a long walk right around sunrise; it’s usually around 70 then, sometimes less.  This morning it was 73 and humid.

The dogs get to come inside every day around noon, and I don’t kick them out until after 8 PM.  They sleep very comfortably all afternoon.

(cat photo from my personal collection)

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