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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Times They Are a-Changing

The weather is one of those things that make Iowa what it is: unpredictable. This year is a roller-coaster in the weather department. The first part of the week the temperature is in the 50s then in one night it drops to the single digits! Change, change, change – have I said already how much I hate change? Temperatures waxing and waning, waxing and waning, the sun comes and then dips behind a cloud, the sky can’t decide whether it should rain or snow and the winds, the winds they gust enormously then die.

Mewdy Blue in heftier days doing the hula?
Indoors I face changes too. So many of my cats are aging way too rapidly. And when one of them is ill I tend to not write or do anything much except care for them and be with them. Lately it has been Mewdy Blue. He is 15 years old now, almost 16. Two weeks ago our wonderful veterinarian actually used the phrase “we’re losing him” and I nearly fell apart. He stopped eating, became jaundiced (yellowing of the skin and/or sclera) and very depressed. His bloodwork showed that his liver was failing rapidly. His diagnosis, tentative because we didn’t do a biopsy, is cholangiohepatitis or as is now termed, cholangitis.
Looking a little rough in the morning

I loaded up with medications and advice and left the office. I stopped by the grocery store and picked up a duck to cook, hoping it would stimulate his appetite (I am a vegetarian so it really killed my appetite). So for at least a week I gave Mewdy Blue medications several times a day, fluids once a day and pushed the duck and his canned food on him as often as I could.

Gradually he began eating more of his canned food (Hill’s d/d Duck) so I started using the cooked duck as a treat after he took his meds. Then one day he actually lifted his paw to “swat” at a toy (at least it was an attempt to swat) and I prayed it was a sign. Soon his tummy bulged just a little and then his bones started to hide away. He was gaining weight!
Thinking of swatting at my camera handle

Now he is bright-eyed, playful and responsive to attention. And he’s eating without any medical stimulants. Mewdy Blue has started to look and act much more like himself. He’s back to receiving only his heart meds, some famotidine for his stomach and daily fluids to continue to wash away those toxins.

I look into those beautiful green eyes and today I can once again see that ornery little kitten who demanded to be kept. I know he’s getting older and I know that one day I will lose him – BUT NOT TODAY!
Actually swatting!

Have you ever devoted yourself to an aging pet, putting every part of your soul into their care regardless of the prognosis? Do you know what you would do in this situation? I’d love to hear your stories and hope that your pets are doing well.


  1. it is the power of believing and the power of the purr!!! beloved Bobo was diagnosed with an enlarged heart when he was 16. My Vet was fabulous and was able to prolong his life 2 more years....he lived til 18 through the juggling of Lasix. There were many times that I thought were "the end"....Bobo finally let me know on his own when it was time, they always do

    1. How do they do that anyway? They always seem to know and we somehow understand them when they tell us. I have fretted and worried and fretted some more in the past hoping that I wasn't letting a cat go too long, making her suffer. Then that day comes and I realize I had no reason to worry. I would know.

      I'm so sorry about Bobo but thanks for sharing.