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Not out of the woods

Mistress Meow, aka Fräulein Feline, aka Athena Cat is a pathetic little animal right now.

She came home on Saturday morning, and the vet made it very clear that she's not out of the woods yet. She'd pretty much slept the entire time she was at the vet's office, but they let us know that she'd eaten a little, with encouragement, while she was there. She'd been well rehydrated, having been on the IV for about 36 hours, but we needed to take her home. She's been off the antibiotics, and the vet thought that if they were going to kill the infection, they already would have by now. It's very likely that the antibiotics made her sick to her stomach in the first place. The vet told us that we could go back and learn how to administer subcutaneous fluids by injecting saline under her skin at home if the hydration issue comes back. We came home with two kinds of prescription cat food and some potassium pills. Still, she looked a little more alert than when we'd left her there.

We've gave her a room of her own. Fresh kitty litter in her box. Bowls of food and water on the ground, so she doesn't have to jump up. Graham even brought the scent diffuser from the other room into her room, so her area smelled nice. I opened one of the cans of cat food for her, and spooned out a little bit for her to eat.

She explored her room a little when we got home, and she checked out the litter box. And then she went to sleep. We weren't really expecting much from her, because this was a ridiculously stressful situation for her. Still, it was distressing to see that she's still a sick little kitty cat. She's so skinny now, when she used to be what Graham described "a nerf ball on stilts." Both arms got shaved at the vet's office, and you can really see how skinny she is. Her meow is a pathetic little sound that barely gets out. I assume it's because her throat is so dry and because she's so weak.

At any rate, we left her alone for a few hours so we could do the art car parade.

When we got home, she was under the coffee table, which is her new favorite place to hang out. I think she finds it to be relatively safe. She hadn't touched the food we left for her, and I was beginning to get worried.

We went to an art-car after party for a few hours.

Athena still hadn't touched her food, and I started searching the internet for recommendations on encouraging a cat to eat. I ended up going to the grocery store for some baby food, and I prepared her dishes of baby food, tuna fish juice, and two kinds of prescription cat food. Finally, after sending me into a near panic, she nibbled on the second variety of prescription cat food. She also drank some water.

Yesterday, Athena and I settled into a routine. I'd essentially force feed her a bit of the prescription cat food that she'd liked, and she'd decide to eat a little of it after having a bite or two. We did this three or four times over the course of the day, and I think she ate a little over a teaspoon total. It's not much, but she's not really capable of eating that much. Still, I'm hopeful that she'll get some of her energy back, and this particular cat food is the a/d food from Science Diet. It's supposed to be "for the Nutritional Management of Pets Recovering From Serious Illness, Accidents and Surgery." It's high calorie, and hopefully, she'll respond well to it over the next few days.

This morning, I found her next to a water bowl, and it looked like she'd been drinking quite a bit. I haven't seen any signs of her not being able to hold down her food. Athena and I went through our feeding ritual again. She wasn't particularly happy to see me, and I'm not too thrilled with the way we're having to do things now, but she ate a full half-teaspoon of food this morning. I think we'll be able to get her to eat a little more than she did yesterday.

Still, it breaks my heart that she can barely meow. It's hard to see her like this, when usually, she's wandering around, talking up a storm. She bugs Graham all the time, insisting on getting as much attention as possible from him, especially when he's on the computer.

We'll see. I suspect we'll know one way or another in a few days.

In other, "not out of the woods" news, I pulled something on Friday. Graham and I went to help out with the art car, and I chose the task that I thought was the least strenuous: stapling a cloth around the piano to make it look purty. I guess that was too much, because on the way home, I felt a twinge in my side that I hadn't felt in a few days. It persisted throughout the parade on Saturday and most of yesterday. I can still feel it today.

I think my healing will a lot easier than Athena's.


( 10 comments — Say something )
May. 11th, 2009 04:03 pm (UTC)
I think I've read or hear that when cats (maybe all animals) don't eat for awhile, their appetite will shut down. Maybe if she continues to at least take a few morsels, her appetite will start to kick in and she'll eat more and with more willingness?

*hugs* I hope she picks up soon.
May. 11th, 2009 04:16 pm (UTC)
I'm hoping that's the case. I've certainly noticed that if she has a bite or two "forced" on her in the same manner that I'd give her medicine, she readily chews and swallows. After that she sniffs around the food a bit and eats a little on her own.

I'm hoping that the combo of turning on her digestive system again and getting the little energy that she is getting through eating will jump start recovery.
May. 11th, 2009 04:28 pm (UTC)
Poor Athena! Sending good thoughts to all. It's so awful when a pet is sick.

May. 11th, 2009 04:36 pm (UTC)
poor sweet girl -- i hope she starts doing better very soon.

have you tried giving her Greenies or something from "We Pity the Kitties" (http://www.tdbstore.com/items/cat-treats/list.htm) -- i've found that even my pickiest kitties will devour them. plus, you can break them up to be pretty small if you need to. it just might be something good to pique her interest in food again.
May. 11th, 2009 05:15 pm (UTC)
I hope Athena recovers and soon at that.

I over did it a little yesterday, just being out for too long of a stretch at once. And also learned that these two singers who are brothers have this habit of lightly punching you in the stomach as a goodbye. Oops. Luckily, I should be fully recovered by the next time I see them. ;) Hopefully your pulled pain will be gone shortly.
May. 11th, 2009 05:48 pm (UTC)
There's a product that's essentially "Ensure" for cats, that we used to give Leo. It's fish-flavored protein/vitamin milk; you could ask your vet about that if she's drinking a lot. You can also get appetite stimulant pills for cats from your vet, those made a difference for Leo before the cancer got to him.

Full-fat yogurt mixed with tuna was another thing we could get him to eat sometimes.

Giving SubQ fluids isn't all that hard with two people, but it's not particularly fun, either.

I hope your kitty gets better.
May. 11th, 2009 06:03 pm (UTC)
I've done solo sub-Q and it is actually not that difficult. the hardest part is getting yourself over the idea that you are sticking your cat with a scary looking needle. but it can REALLY help.

I would say definitely keep feeding her as much as you can. several times a day is a good approach. cats become anorexic when they've lost too much weight too quickly and you definitely need to get her eating on her own.

I didn't catch the back story on this so I don't know what the original problem was, but about a year ago my Ninji stopped eating and I had to force-feed her (as in, all the nutrition she got was shoved into her mouth, she would not take even a bite) for about a month. every time, I would first offer her the food, and if she didn't eat I'd feed her. I was using super high quality canned food from Innova, fortified with a protein powder made from dried egg yolks - I would stir in as much of that stuff as the canned food would absorb, so that every bite I got into her counted. (she also would not eat treats - which don't really help anyway since they are usually designed to be low-calorie. greenies are only 2 calories each.)

one day, she sniffed at the food with more interest and ate a few bites. the next day she was eating again, and now she is sleek and plush, and you would never know to look at her that we almost lost her.

good luck with your little one! let me know if you want me to look up the name of the supplement, or anything.
May. 11th, 2009 06:12 pm (UTC)
May. 11th, 2009 06:13 pm (UTC)
*fierce hugs*

Cats soemtimes don't do well wtih being alone when they're sick; they just sort of shut down. Keeping her away from the dogs but making sure she has several hours a day of people time is a good idea, and if she's used tosleeping with Graham, letting her sleep with him would be good.

Lots of tinymeals like you're doing is a good idea. Try to do it often enough that she's getting 1/4-1/2 cup a day broken up into spoonfuls. When Mousebait was sick I gavehim food every hour.

If she's drinking a lot but not eating much solids, watering down the food (with something like kitty ensure if you can get some) helps, because it's easier to eat and liquid.

Other good foods that we tempt sick kitties with are raw organic egg yolks (the kind from a farm, not the factory organic ones), mixed with minced fish or meat (sometimes very stinky helps). Even plain egg yolk (only the yolk, no white, and not cooked) is good -- it's a complete protein and has lots of calories and nutrients.

We do chicken, tuna, salmon, turkey, and beef, and just keeping trying things til something tempts whoever is sick.

Her demanding attention and singing is a good sign, though. When she stops doing that ands tarts hiding is a time to worry and talk to the vet ASAP.

May. 12th, 2009 04:40 am (UTC)
Poor baby kitty! *hugs* *ear skritches* (one is for you and Graham, the other is for Athena... you pick!)
( 10 comments — Say something )


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