August 25, 2009


My baby is sick.

I took him to the vet yesterday to get him a sedative, as per the plan. The vet informs me that he has a heart murmur that puts him at risk for a sedative. The vet also says if it were his cat, he'd give him the sedative, but you never know with cats, and it could be just fine but it is always risky, and with the heart murmur, more so.

Then I ask about his weight, and casually mention that Sir used to be, like, 16 pounds so I worry that he weighs too much.

The vet says, oh. Well, in that case, he might have hyperthyroidism, which is common in older cats and could also be the cause of the heart murmur. We'll take blood and call you with results tomorrow. Treatment for this is medication twice a day usually, sometimes once a day. Or a shot, but with a cat this old that seems inefficient (by that they mean my 14 year old cat is a geezer and is likely to keel over at any minute, but I know that cats tend to live to age 21 in this house and I intend to make sure Sir is no exception).

Regardless, Demon that Google is, I go home and look up hyperthyroidism in cats. It isn't a pretty picture. Causes heart problems, kidney failure, excessive vomiting, irritability or skittishness, unhealthy metabolism hikes (the vet used the choice phrase "wither away to nothing" with regard to a cat's ability to eat nonstop and still not gain or maintain weight). Good thing I was already a sobbing wreck. (Also, this sounds far more like Lucy than Sir, if anyone is keeping track.)

So they call today and tell me that he does have elevated levels and needs to be medicated. So I get to take my cat (who, again, hates the cat carrier and the car) back to the vet to test his kidneys to see if there is any damage already and begin the medication. Then in 3 weeks, post moving day, I get to take him to a vet in DC to see how the medication is doing, see if it has any side effects on his kidneys or whatnot. (The vet says this is very common and that if I take him to a different vet with the paperwork, they'll know exactly what is happening and what to look for, and that it's better to start sooner than to wait until I move and find a vet to start there. Are they TRYING to freak me out, or trying to make money, or being serious? Regardless, I'm going in again Thursday. Does anyone know a good vet in the DC area?)

Apparently this happens to a lot of older cats. In my head, I'm thinking, "Jesus, on top of paying for him to live with us and litter and food, I now have to pay for medications and two more vet visits. He's old. Average cat life span is about 15. What happens if I don't treat him? I mean, he may die earlier, but if I hadn't mentioned the weight loss, I wouldn't have known. And what's earlier? A lot of cats don't live to 14 at all, let alone...however long this will expand his life. And if the crazy neighbors at our old house had actually kept track of their cats (or spayed or neutered every once in a while) he wouldn't exist. And if I hadn't beaten him down into loving me, he'd still be wandering around our old neighborhood, presumably with hyperthyroidism, living a happy life." (I have very long thoughts in my head). In my heart, though, I'm thinking, "MY BABY WILL DIE TOMORROW IF I DON'T GIVE HIM THIS PILL AND I DON'T CARE HOW MUCH I HAVE TO PAY FOR IT I'M EFFING DOING IT AND HE IS MOVING WITH ME AND I WILL GRIND THAT PILL AND PUT IT INTO YOGURT AND HE WILL BE FINE FOR TEN MORE YEARS AT LEAST!" (I have very loud thoughts in my heart.) Also, the vet said something about this drastically improving his quality of life, and now that's just mean not to, right?

I mean, I have money saved up, and rent for Sir, as already mentioned, is far less expensive than I anticipated, so a little extra money is worth it, right? I would feel terrible if I just let it go. So shoving pills down my cat's throat is my new M.O. Awesome.

Just as a side note though, BC and I discussed, and Sir will NOT be taking a sedative, so I went to the vet for that one thing that I won't be using and got a ton more than I bargained for.

1 comment:

Molly said...

oh dear. i hope everything works out!