Although I haven’t mentioned him much in this blog, We have a cat with the historically but not personality-wise accurate name of Socrates. Socrates is not a philosopher-cat, and in retrospect, the proper name for him should have been Francis, as in St. Francis of Assisi, who was known to preach to the birds (and other animals). Socrates (the cat) talks to the birds, making that funny chattering noise that monkeys do.
Not today, though. Yesterday, our old friend of 13 1/2 years started crying and trying to use his litter box at 5:00 AM, and then every 15 minutes or so with no success. Without giving a complete medical history, he’s showing many of the signs of being an senior feline. He’s got a slightly irregular heart-beat, shrinking kidneys, and needs to drink water a great deal. He now only drinks water from the bathtub tap — a lab tech at the vet suggested that this is an instinctual preference for running water because in the wild waterfalls and brooks are usually cleaner and safer, hence more attractive to animals as they age and don’t have the resistance to the microbes in standing water. While I’ve never seen this in print, it makes a heck of a lot of sense. This need for so much water (probably due to not only the kidneys, but some mild diabetes) has an associated problem; when the body can’t get enough water externally, it begins to draw it from internal sources, like the colon. This contributes to (without mincing any words) hard stools. Combine this with less muscle tone, and our poor kitty can’t get his waste out of him. Add to this some swelling back there, and, well, you get the picture. Poor Socrates threw up all of his breakfast, and we took him to the vet about mid-morning. Then, after it wasn’t clear from X-rays what was exactly going on, he was going to need to be sedated for ultrasound, but the vet was closing at 4. On to the animal hospital, where Socrates’s sister Steffi spent her last hours back in 2001 (oh what a great year that was…).
Which brings us to today. He’s still there, and we’re going to visit him from 1 to 3. He’s going to be at the hospital overnight tonight as well, and hopefully ultrasound tomorrow (as well as multiple enemas — poor thing!) will tell us what to do next. I hope that I don’t have to prepare a eulogy for my little friend so soon, but I have to say that I have it in the back of my mind. I’ll stop now before I get more into that.