Some of you know that our kooky black and orange kitty has been very sick. A couple of weeks ago I noticed that she wasn't as sociable and playful as usual, but it didn't seem worrisome. Then it become more noticeable, and it occurred to me that I hadn't seen her eat in a long time. When you have three cats, you don't necessarily know who's eating what, or who's using the litter box. (That's the one and only thing that's harder about three cats than three teenagers.) We offered her all kinds of enticing foods, but she was not interested. She's only 4 and had recently had her annual checkup, with no problems.
We called our vet last Tues., who came over on Wed. and checked her out, drew some blood, and gave her some fluids sub-Q (short for sub-cutaneous, meaning under the pelt as opposed to via IV). Thurs. morning he called and said to take her to the veterinary ER immediately. He said her numbers were off the charts in almost every category having to do with renal functioning—for example, her BUN (a measure of what toxins the kidneys are excreting) should have been under 35, and it was 170. He said the renal failure could be due to some structural problem, cancer, exposure to toxin, infection, who knows what.
So we had her admitted. It was really sad. I was sure this was good-bye. The vet there called me that evening to say that they had done an ultrasound and x-ray and saw no signs of structural abnormality or cancer or stones or obstruction or anything else that might be diagnosed visually. Her urine did not show any bacteria, but they were going to wait to see if any grew in a day or two.
Fri. morning she called to say that Violet's blood work showed tiny improvement in all areas. Still well out of the range of normal, but moving down. But she wouldn't eat. They put her on an antibiotic, which can cause nausea and loss of appetite (!), so they also gave her an anti-nausea med and an appetite stimulant.
Sat. morning she said she had gotten Violet to lick some cat food off her finger! Just a small amount, but still. And her numbers had crept down a little more. We went to visit her in the afternoon and she was so happy to see us! She was purring nonstop. But she still wouldn't eat.
Sun. morning, the same: Her numbers were better (though definitely not normal), but she would just barely lick the tiniest amount of food off the vet's finger. I was trying not to think about how long she could go without eating. And then the same again Mon. morning (today). At this point we decided that she was definitely moving in the right direction, and maybe she would be so happy to be home that she'd start eating. So tonight we brought her home, along with all her meds, and our own sub-Q fluid setup. (I am dreading this tomorrow. I had to do it for Mr. Jones a long time ago, and I was not very good at it.)
She went around sniffing everything at home and purring! But she still wouldn't take any food. Then Andy went out to pick up a rotisserie chicken for our own late meal. I pulled off a few shreds and she ate it all! I've never been so happy to see anyone eat chicken in my life. She definitely would've eaten more, but I was too afraid to overdo it. Maybe I will offer her a little more before bed tonight.
So, we have to go back Fri. morning to check her blood again. At this point it seems most likely that she encountered a poison of some sort, because if she had something wrong with her kidneys from birth, she wouldn't be showing improvements. And nothing has shown up in the urine, although the vet said that not all kidney infections show up in the urine, so we are keeping her on the antibiotics. We may never know. And I hasten to add that she is not out of the woods yet. I am just so happy to have her home. I could barely get any work done without my office pal.