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.
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.
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.
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.