feline fine

effie // movita beaucoup

I have been doing everything and nothing, feeling up and feeling down. To be honest, I haven’t felt very motivated to blog. Or bathe. Or to get rid of that cobweb I noticed by the basement door three weeks ago.

Both Effie and Niles have been under the weather. When you have two geriatric cats, you make so many trips to the vet’s office that the car basically drives itself there. We’ve dropped about a million bucks on vet bills since October. And I’ve dropped about 10 pounds thanks to the worry and heartache that come with watching your favourite friends feeling not-so-hot.

defending champs // movita beaucoup

Let me tell you a little about the past week. Last Monday, Effie began a hunger strike. She’s been on a special diet for her thyroid for months and months, and all of a sudden she stopped eating. And why wouldn’t she? It’s not like that food WAS KEEPING HER ALIVE. Off to the vet we went. She was clearly feeling badly, was losing weight rapidly, and though hungry, unable to eat. After a couple of trips to the vet, multiple tests, and piles of money spent, it turns out she just wanted to eat regular food. And what do you say to a kitty that’s pushing 14, terribly ill, and dropping weight fast? Eat whatever you want, kitty. You deserve it. So, we now have a plan established with our vet to keep her as happy and comfortable as we can for her remaining time on this planet.

After a few incredibly stressful days, everything was back on track. Effie was eating again (poison, but whatever), and the knot in my stomach released.

defending champs // movita beaucoup

Then Niles stopped eating. Like, the day Effie started eating, he stopped. But Niles took it to a whole new level. He didn’t eat for almost five days. We tried everything. Medication. Injections. Subcutaneous fluids. New and exciting foods. Pleading. Crying. More pleading. Anything to get him to eat something. Anything to stop him from starving to death in front of our eyes.

Yesterday, I took him to the vet for the fourth time, and we ran every test known to man. I sat on the waiting room bench, teary eyed and utterly exhausted. After about 20 minutes, our vet emerged from the back room, holding Niles’ massive file, sat beside me on the bench, and told me HE HAS NO DEADLY DISEASES. None that are detectable with regular testing anyway. Goddamnit, Niles.

Our best guess is that he was feeling badly (he has a little condition that we treat every few months), which turned him off his food. Once nauseated, it spiralled quickly out of control. The less he ate, the less he wanted to eat. Then, he was so sick that he couldn’t eat. Apparently, this is something cats do. Dogs, for example, will usually give in and end their hunger strikes. Cats won’t. Cats will take it to the limit, baby.

So, more medication to boost his appetite. More subcutaneous fluids. And force feeding (which sounds horrible, but is really just squirting tasty food into his mouth with a jumbo syringe). Also, yet another new kibble. Which he’s been eating like a champ for a day now.

To sum, we’ve spent a butt load of money to learn that our cats are assholes.

niles // movita beaucoup

Sidenote: when Effie was on her special thyroid food, Niles’ food was kept up high so she couldn’t eat it. Niles learned to come for us when he was hungry, or to sit in his spot under the bowl so we’d know he wanted a snack. Once Effie was placed on her Go-Out-With-A-Bang-Diet, we put Niles’ food on the floor full time. Turns out this was confusing for him. He would sit and stare at the bowls full of tasty kibble, waiting for his food to be put on the floor. Even with his new kibble, he stares at the bowl until we PRETEND TO GET IT OFF THE SHELF FOR HIM. We have to utilize some top-notch acting skills, saying, “Are you hungry, buddy? Let me get that food down for you,” as we pick the food up off the floor and then put it down again in front of him.

Loveable assholes, they are.

19 Responses to feline fine

  1. emma May 18, 2016 at 10:12 am #

    Aww, kitties. My kitty is 14, really hard for me to believe as she still acts so young most of the time.

    • movita beaucoup May 18, 2016 at 10:32 am #

      Our Niles has never grown up. Still very kitten-esque. Yet, old enough to plan and execute a hunger strike…

  2. Mellissa @ ibreatheimhungry May 18, 2016 at 10:17 am #

    So sorry your kitties haven’t been feeling well! We have lived through the stress of beloved sick pets and it’s just awful! Here’s hoping that they will even out for awhile and that you won’t have to take out a second mortgage! ????

    • movita beaucoup May 18, 2016 at 10:31 am #

      It really is awful. Especially when they are doing it TO THEMSELVES. We’ll probably have to move into a box soon…

  3. DogsDontPurr May 18, 2016 at 11:16 am #

    Big hugs to you. My cat lived to be an amazing 22. But that was because we did the sub~fluids and blood pressure meds for about the last 5 or so years of her lfe. I always wonder if she would have lived longer if we had known to start treatment sooner.

    But I truly know how hard this is. And bless you for figuring out the food charade! I love that. Cats and their quirks…that’s how they control us! ((Big Hugs))

    • movita beaucoup May 18, 2016 at 11:27 am #

      22! My goodness! What a champ! Two lovely vet techs taught me how to do the force feeding yesterday, and summed it up perfectly: cats will always confuse you, and are confused themselves by the simplest of changes, but it’s their uniqueness that makes them irresistible and completely loveable.

  4. Liz Berg May 18, 2016 at 8:10 pm #

    Awwww….poor kitties! So hard to see your babies off kilter. xoxo

    • movita beaucoup May 19, 2016 at 7:42 am #

      Right? But I guess this is what loving those furballs is all about. It’s EASY when they are cute, healthy kittens. The real work begins when they need you to navigate them through the last stage of their life!

  5. Dana Staves May 18, 2016 at 9:07 pm #

    Oh my goodness – you poor thing! Kitty worries are no fun at all.

    • movita beaucoup May 19, 2016 at 7:43 am #

      So true. Of course, soon you’ll have a wee human to worry about, which seems way harder in my mind! Tiny packages = big love!

      • Dana Staves May 19, 2016 at 8:05 am #

        True! My kitty continues to tear at my heart though – even when he’s a colossal jerk. (So, you know, daily.)

  6. Karen @ Karen's Kitchen Stories May 18, 2016 at 11:18 pm #

    Aww. I have one that looks just like Effie. She’s about 15 and hasn’t been feeling well either. We did the same thing when she went on a hunger strike. You want tuna? You can have tuna. Rotisserie chicken? Barbecue or lemon flavor? Okay! I’ll be right back. =)

    I’m so sorry you’ve been going through this.

    • movita beaucoup May 19, 2016 at 7:45 am #

      Thanks, Karen! I guess this is what good parents do, right? We help our furry friends enjoy their last stage of life in any way we can. It’s hard, but also rewarding. Think of all the people and animals who don’t have anyone to get them rotisserie chicken… ????

  7. Stephbo May 19, 2016 at 12:48 am #

    I totally feel your pain. Up until last year, I had 4 geriatric babies–2 cats, 2 dogs. The “why aren’t you eating?!?” angst is terrible.

    Like you, I had to do a similar acting job with my dog, Sarah. She stopped accepting the wet dog food balls with her medicine hidden inside, and I couldn’t force the pills down due to her mouth issues (really bad ulcers, hence, the medicine). I ended up having to use cat food balls, which she wouldn’t accept from me either. I had to put it in a bowl and make a big show of putting it in the bathroom (where she used to steal it from the cat) and telling her not to go in the bathroom all the while she would give me her best, “Oh no, Mom. I’m a GOOD dog. I KNOW I’m not supposed to eat cat food” look. I would then “accidentally forget” to shut the door all the way. As soon as I was out of sight, she’d rush in to gobble up all of the illicit cat food while I giggled to myself. Man, I really miss that nut. Funniest dog I’ve ever known.

    • movita beaucoup May 19, 2016 at 7:46 am #

      How is it that our pets can be so smart and simultaneously dumb? I’m sorry you don’t have Sarah anymore. She sounds like my kind of dog…

      • Stephbo May 19, 2016 at 5:48 pm #

        She was hilarious. You two would have gotten along just fine. I hope you have much more time and happy memories with Effie the Cat and Niles!

  8. Stacy May 23, 2016 at 9:44 am #

    My furry helper turns nine today, which doesn’t sound old until one knows that a normal Boxer lifespan is 10-12 years. He had serious health issues as a pup and we almost lost him once. He’s in good health right now, aside from having his own assholey moments, but I am already dreading being without him. Caring for sick loved ones, pets or otherwise, is trying but it’s also an honor in a way. It’s how we reimburse them for adding value to our lives. You are a good mama cat!

    • movita beaucoup May 24, 2016 at 8:13 am #

      True words! This is where the real pet parenting begins. It’s hard work, but absolutely the right thing to do…

  9. lady tofu June 30, 2016 at 12:08 am #

    Baahaha and tears! Cats ARE assholes ( i have one). I sometimes think maybe they are some weird kind of alien in disguise…just google standing cats. Conspiracy theories aside I am glad there has been a plateau to your cat care. As always I love your writing!!!

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