Sunday was not a very nice day for us. I had to take Boots to an emergency Vet early in the afternoon. My Mother and I were in the living room watching a movie when I heard Boots throwing up at the top of the stairs. Not unusual and no cause for alarm. I paused the movie and went to clean it up. It was just white foamy bile, which was worrying, and I also found some brown splotches next to it that I thought were mud. I had been outside that morning filling up the bird feeders. I cleaned it up and, as is my habit with my pets, sniffed it for any weird order. I was surprised to find the brown splotches were poop.
Boots had already gone into the living room and was standing in the “going to the bathroom” half squat position. She pooped through the living room, the dining room, the kitchen, and finally lay down in the hallway and messed herself. Boots has never done such a thing. She’s never had an accident. I cleaned up after her and saw a reddish brownish tinge to the leavings that I feared was blood. I googled a Vet that was open, Banfield inside the Petsmart, and called them up. They said to bring her in and I quickly cleaned her up a little and took her in.
I brought samples of the poop with me and they did a round of blood tests. They couldn’t find anything. No parasites and no blood in the poop. (After some thought, I supposed the reddish brownish tinge I saw was in fact leftovers from her food, which is that color.) The blood tests all came back normal except her kidney levels were a bit high. They gave me a “prescription” for a special dietary food (which, wonders to wonders, Boots actually likes) and I took her home. The Vet said that for her age, Boots will be 18 years in April, Boots was doing surprisingly fine. He thinks it was a combination of age and possible constipation that caused her accident.
Perhaps she simply didn’t find the litter box to her liking? I had neglected to clean it this week. Bad Patricia! But, Boots is old and we thought it probably time to move the litter box up out of the basement to the first floor. The only place we can put it is the foyer. I’ll have to buy a box with high sides or a lid or else she’ll throw the litter all over the place. I wish she could speak. I wish she could tell me that she doesn’t feel good or something hurts. But I have to wait for a symptom or change in behavior to know if she’s ill. I don’t trust my parents to notice if something is wrong with her. I worry about my last baby getting sick like Little Bit.
The kitty in question, Boots.
I don’t mind my pets dying. She’s old. She’s going to die sooner rather than later. I do mind if my kitty gets sick or is in pain. Death is supposed to come easy, where you simply don’t wake up one day. I’m okay with Boots dying but I don’t want to have to put her to sleep like Little Bit. I called the house a little while ago and my Mother said she seemed to be doing fine. I’ll have to wait until I can get home tonight to check to see if she’s pooped since last night or if her butt still looks puffy. Hopefully, this is something we can put behind us and Boots can live for a few more healthy years.
Grief is a funny thing. It’s been three weeks since Little Bit died and it still seems to have not sunk in. It’s like I’m waiting for her to return. I have constant thoughts of having not seen her in a while and maybe I should go find her. She always had a habit of hiding, even when she was healthy. Little Bit was always crawling under the sofa or tucking herself away in a corner for a nap. She’d come out when she was ready or when I felt like looking for her. It feels like that now. I hear a bell and think ‘Oh, there she is.’ Of course, it’s Boots and I end up feel silly for a moment. But it’s weird.
I’ve experienced death before. My Grandfather died in 2002 and my Grandmother died in 2007. I didn’t cry. I felt sad but I didn’t cry like I did when we learned Little Bit was sick with something we couldn’t cure. Grandfather was sick for most of my life. He’s been sick ever since I was young, before my teenage years. I don’t have any memories from when he was relatively healthy, just pictures as proof he used to sit at the table with us during holidays instead of remaining in his room because making the trip down the hallway to the dinning room was too much strain. When he was in the hospital for the last few months of his life I knew he was dying and was wondering why everyone was trying to keep him alive. He’d been dead for years in my opinion and I didn’t understand why he kept breathing pretending to be a person. Sorry. That was harsh. But that’s how I felt.
Grandmother never lived. She was Grandfather’s wife. Clyde’s wife. That was kind of it. She wrote a lot. Mostly poems and short bits of flotsam. We went through boxes and boxes of notebooks and scrap paper with scribbles on them when we cleaned out the house but that seemed to be her only feature. I was surprised that she kept on going when Grandfather died. I almost assumed she’d simply stop when he died, like some kind of windup doll without the key. She died suddenly. Spoke with my Uncle the morning of New Years and when he couldn’t reach her that afternoon he went over to the house to find her lying in the hallway. And that was it. Five years of waiting to die.
Does that seem harsh? That I think that life should be for the living? Mostly people just seem to be walking around and breathing out of habit more than anything. The death of Little Bit was the first death that really affected me. Does that mean I loved my cat more than my Grandparents? Possibly. Probably. I’m not exactly impressed with most people and at least Little Bit purred for me. But I actively miss Little Bit. Grief is an odd thing and I’ve never really felt it before now. I know I have weird views on death because of my Pagan background. I see death as just the next stage and probably a better one than what we have here on Earth. Death and going on is kind of the reward you get for dealing with all the shit we have now.
I know my Grandparents are in better place, even if that place is complete oblivion. Little Bit is the same. Wherever she is, my baby is no longer in pain. No more trouble breathing or loss of appetite. I hope they know how much she likes vanilla ice cream.
Filed under cats, pictures
Little Bit was sixteen years old when she died on September 24, 2010 due to feline peritonitis, a disease that caused fluid to gather in her chest and then attacked her organs. She had difficulty breathing and had lost half her weight in the two weeks the disease aggressively attacked her body. It was something she had since birth, given to her by her parents, and old age and a weaker immune system finally allowed it to take hold of her. There was nothing we could have done except spare her the pain.
My family recused Little Bit when she was just a kitten. A driver for my Mom’s work place had found Little Bit wandering around a truck stop, about to be squished at any moment. The driver brought the tiny grey kitten back to my Mom’s office where all the office girls cooed over her. They named her Smokey and tried to decide if they should take her to the human society or if someone at the office could adopt her. We still had the kitten cage from our first cat, Boots, so we volunteered to take her. My brother drove up to Mom’s office and brought her home the same afternoon. We set her up in my bedroom, where we discovered she was so tiny that she could fit between the bars of the kitten cage. Renaming her was an accident but Little Bit stuck.
A very interesting bath followed. We found that our new cat wasn’t simply grey but a dilute tortishell, with tans and browns swirling around her grey fur. She had six toes, meaning she was polydactyl or a Hemingway cat. She looked like a grey cotton ball with a head and huge paws. She was sweet and loving and purred if you so much as looked at her. Little Bit loved to curl up in your lap and just be petted. I miss her terribly.
Filed under cats, pictures
I waited all day Monday for Boots’ test results to come in but they didn’t. Which left me with another night of restless sleep while I wondered if I would always have the specter of feline peritonitis hanging over my last cat. I called the Vet again today around 11am and finally got an answer. The test was negative. Boots does not have feline peritonitis. I was so relieved. That last thing I ever want to have to do again is put another animal to sleep. If my pets must die, and I know they must, then let it be peaceful and in their sleep.
I ran out during my lunch to grab Boots and take her to the Vet for the vaccination for FIP. It had to go up the nose. Poor Boots. She was not happy. All the Vet had to do was put a few drops into her nostrils but Boots hates to be messed with (even grooming her has to be done on her terms). She hissed and snapped but she got the vaccination. Then I took her back home and released her from the pet carrier to sulk. We were in the Vet’s office for all of five minutes but it still took me an hour to drive back home, pick up Boots, drive to the Vet’s office, back home, and then back to work again. I did three day’s worth of driving today. Ugh, kills my gas budget.
Unfortunately, we did end up having Little Bit put to sleep on Friday. Worst day of my life and the only time I’ve ever cried for the death of another being. My poor kitty. I’m so sorry you had to end your life like that. Be at peace. Nothing can hurt you now.
Little Bit had feline peritonitis, a condition that causes fluid to gather in the chest and around the lungs. This is what made the Vet think she had pneumonia at first. It then attacks other organs and things go downhill from there. She probably had it since birth and old age allowed it to finally grab ahold of her. She was 16 years old. A good age, I should think. On Friday it had been two weeks since we noticed something was wrong with her and she was weak and ill. It was too weeks from healthy to little kitty skeleton.
It is contagious and there is a chance my other cat, Boots, also has it. They’ve lived their whole lives together. I took Boots up to the Vet on Saturday morning for blood tests and we’ll know the results sometime today. If it’s negative, she’ll get the vaccine and should be fine. If it’s positive, we’ll do x-rays and see what her chest can tell us. It could take years before it manifests or it could never do so. We don’t know.
It is my greatest wish that all things die in peace. Nothing should have to end their life like that.
I spilt the kitty medicine bottle this morning. Not all of it, but about half of the remaining liquid dumped on the table. I had just given Little Bit her eyedropper full of medicine and went to grab the bottle when it slid right out from between my fingers and tipped over. Crap. There is probably another five doses left. I’ll have to head up to the Vet after work and get another bottle. Double crap. Another $40 gone. Triple crap.
Little Bit ate breakfast on Tuesday but had no interest in dinner. So, I took a suggestion from a fellow cat owner friend and got out some chicken broth and my own eyedropper. I mixed the broth with water and feed it to her. She took it better than she takes the neon orange medicine. I had to get down on the floor and fold my legs around her or else she would squirm away from me but she let me feed her. I’m really worried about her. I was hoping she’d eat something, not just lick up the juice from the food pouch. I’ll mention it to the Vet this evening and see if he thinks she needs to come back. Poor kitty. Please get better.
Happy Mabon, everyone! Or for you non-Pagan people who stumbled across this: Happy First Day of Autumn! Merry Autumnal Equinox! It’s 90 degrees out and humid as all hell. Well, a cool front is coming through the Midwest right now and it’s raining. Saturday is supposed to be nice with sunny skies and 79 degrees. I’m hoping to convince a friend to go out and do something with me this weekend. Bored. There is a new flea market that opened last weekend that I want to check out. Even if I can’t get anyone to go with me I’ll still head over by myself. My brother went last weekend and said it was much better than the Wentzville flea market, which is nothing but garage now. I’ll take my camera.
Little Bit ate dinner last night! I don’t care if she just licked up the juice from the food pouch; she actually ate something of her own accord. Hallelujah! I was ready to get out some chicken broth and an eye dropper I was so worried about her. We were approaching five days without Little Bit eating anything and only taking water. I know she’s lost another pound or two since the Saturday Vet visit. I can feel her hip bones when I pick her up. Poor kitty is like a little skeleton. I gave her her fourth dose of antibiotic this morning and then another pouch of food. She ate that too and even tried to chew some of the morsels. I’m just so happy! [I think I will stop off at the store and pick up some chicken broth and a new eye dropper. She needs more calories.]
Oh, Snyder’s of Hanover Butter Snaps Pretzels how I love thee. Where have you been all my life? How did I not know of your buttery salty sweet goodness? Nom nom nom.
Gods, I’m bored. All my friends have either just had a baby, are actually pregnant, or in another fucking state for school. I’m going crackers here. It’s going to be 79 degrees this Saturday and I have no one to do anything with. Anybody want to go out with me? There’s lots to do. Please? I’m so, so bored.
Filed under cats, friends
Little Bit has pneumonia! I’m so relieved! That’s wonderful! [notices everyone staring at her in horror] Hell, people, at least it’s something treatable! Do you know how long I spent last week worried she had kidney or liver failure? I was scared half to death it would be something she wouldn’t recover from! My poor baby kitty is sixteen years old and the older the cats get the more I worry about their health. They’ve always been very healthy cats but I just dread them getting sick. Please, please Gods, if you must take my kitties then please let it be peaceful and in their sleep.
Little Bit did lose weight, about three pounds. She’s only seven pounds now. The Vet did think he felt a mass in her lower intestine while he was punching on her tummy (and you all should have seen the look Little Bit was giving me while he was doing this. She knew who’s fault it was she was there.) but when we did x-rays it turned out to be one of her kidneys bigger than the other. He said it wasn’t a problem. He noticed something funny on the tummy x-ray and did a chest x-ray. He found that her left lung was filled with fluid and expanded, pressing up on her esophagus and making it very hard for her to eat comfortably. It’s pneumonia. Some neon orange antibiotics and she should be fine.
Hallelujah! She’s had three doses of the antibiotic now but still hasn’t eaten anything. If she doesn’t by Tuesday night, it will mean another trip to the Vet. I felt so bad for her that I left my bedroom door open last night so she could curl up with me. (I’m a light sleeper and I move around a lot. Having her in bed with me means I’m always conscious of her being there and I don’t sleep very well.) Hopefully, we can tempt her with some food tonight.
The kitty in question.
But, just to prove that the universe is a complete Bitch, I got sick on Saturday night. I ate dinner and was sitting down at the computer afterward when I went to stand and had horrible cramps in my abdomen. Good gods, it hurt. And don’t tell me PMS cramps because my period was a whole week ago and I have never gotten cramps like that. If I sat still, I was fine but if I so much as breathed deeply I had sharp pains all through my stomach and my lower back. I took some anti-gas pills and then some laxatives, thinking that I was just constipated. Then I spent a very unrestful Saturday night up and down to the bathroom. I mostly peed but when I finally did poop early on Sunday morning it was more liquid than solid matter. (Grossed out yet? I love you all too.)
I spent Sunday in bed watching movies with my equally sick cat. (Percy Jackson & The Lightening Thief and The Brothers Bloom. Plus the last few episodes of Soul Eater [it’s an anime].) I’m slightly better. At least enough to be at work. I can stand and move around without too much pain. Although, I did have to crawl around on the floor looking for Little Bit this morning to give her her medicine. (She had fled downstairs in the early morning. She knew something was up. I wish she wouldn’t hide like that. I never have a problem finding Boots. Ugh!) I think I have the stomach flu but I’d have to take my temperature to be sure. Nah, I want to go home!
It’s my Mother’s birthday today. So, happy 61st birthday Mommy! Who would have thought you’d survive this long! Damn it…
We have a sick kitty at home. I have two cats, Boots and Little Bit. Little Bit was rescued from a truck stop as a kitten, wandering around about to be squished. She was undersized and is still on the small side for an adult cat. She’s sixteen years old. My poor baby, when did you get so old!
Anyway, about a month ago she began to cough and hack without bringing anything up. No food or furballs. It took a few trips to the vet and a whole bottle of some neon pink kitty penicillin-wannabe but she got over it. Well, about Sunday or Monday she began to do the same thing again. Only this time, she brings up a greenish white bile. She stopped eating but is drinking water still. It seems like she’s lost weight quickly too. So, kitty is in quarantine right now and has a vet appointment for in the morning.
When I left for work this morning I put a clean litter box and some water and food in my bedroom and shut her in there. I want to see how much she’s peeing and I also want to take a poo sample to the vet tomorrow. If she poops. She may not. It’s been a few days since I’ve seen her take any food. She still comes when called for dinner but no matter what we give them she just goes back to my parent’s bedroom and crawls under their bed. Not even tuna could tempt her.
Both cats have always been in good health. They’re just getting old. I hope it’s not something serious, like liver or kidney failure. I hope she’s okay.
(On another note, everyone I’ve told this to said that quarantining her was a good idea and they never would have thought to do that themselves. Why not? I own two cats and they use the same bathroom facilities. I’d have to separate them to figure out who was doing what. Are you just…that stupid? Gods, I hate people.)