It’s been a week since I last wrote about Lucy’s health. She shows good signs of thriving. I’m cautiously optimistic that she may pull completely out of her current state of ill health and be a normal cat yet again, at least for a while longer. Whether that’s measured in months or years is unknown at this time. All of her troubles have given me a crash course about cats, especially their health and biology. It’s a tough way to learn more than just how to feed and water your animal…
She’s been the beneficiary of some top-notch veterinary science through my local vet (Williamsburg Veterinary Clinic), which is appropriate given how she’s the official ASL Cat Mascot. First that science kept her alive and got her through the worst part of this whole episode. Lucy’s to the point where she’s now reacting to me like she normally did, following me around and giving me meows modulated with her motorboat purrs. She’s not back up to eating full meals in one sitting (she’s almost free-feeding, eating a bit, then resting, then eating more), and that worries me, but I have the following (possible) diagnoses from the vet as to why this may be and what’s really going on.
- Cardiomegaly with no no evidence of congestive heart failure, and
- Cat pancreatitis (ran some panels and waiting for full results).
Based on what I’ve read the pancreatitis makes the most sense and can cause a lot of other problems in cats, including heart (#1 above). She showed the symptoms for #2, and I have to believe this is the problem. Pancreatitis in humans is bad enough, causing great abdominal pain and killing the appetite, but for a little cat it has got to be even worse. I’ve been giving her foods that are pure, or nearly pure, protein, such as the Goya mackerel and Purina’s Beyond Wild Salmon Recipe which is grain free. The problem with the Goya is it’s packed in brine, but I can wash off the excess salt before giving it to her. The key right now for feeding is no carbs, very little fat, just mostly protein. I’m in the process of following up on a suggestion by one of the tech vets to feed her roasted chicken. This is just pure chicken that’s been roasted with the fat cooked out a bit.
So far she’s been pulling through like a trouper. Since getting back home a week ago she’s back to exploring the house. She’s cleaning herself, leaping about her cat tree, scratching on her cat tree posts, and doing all the typical cat-isms you’d expect from a normal healthy cat. Today she was following me around like the old times, talking to me up a storm. She’d follow me to some spot where I’d be working, then sit somewhere nearby while I did some sort of chore. I’d move on and she’d be my little shadow. She’s been leaping up in my lap when I sit, and batting at my hands playfully. It’s the old Lucy that I haven’t seen since December. I didn’t realize how much she’d changed over that short period, and how much I dearly missed that part of her personality.
The problem with owning a pet for many of us is we love it when they’re healthy, but don’t know squat what to do when they become greatly ill. Having a pet is like being married, or having children. You’re committed to them in sickness and health, for better or worse… And so I take care of her needs when she’s ill, just like I’d take care of my wife and my children. As long as I’m able, anyone in my household will always be under my unconditional protection, even the little four-footers.