Sick Kitty

Although I haven’t men­tioned much in this blog, we have a cat with an 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.

One Reply to “Sick Kitty”

  1. It’s ter­ri­ble to have a cat who’s sick. My best wish­es to Socrates — keep him away from the hem­lock, and I hope he’ll recover.

    When he comes back home, there’s a recy­cled water drink­ing foun­tain you can buy for cats that costs around $25 or so. My cat loves it, and it’s made him much more dili­gent about stay­ing hydrat­ed. You might want to check it out.

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