Do you ever just have a moment of clarity - where all the pieces you've been making mental notes about come together and you must take action? Friday night all the little pieces I had been noticing about my cat Rosie added up to the fact that I needed to get her into the vet. Something wasn't right.
She had had a urinary tract infection before the holidays (both cats did, actually). They both did a course of antibiotics and have been on special food since. They were to do 60 days on the food and then we rechecked their urine for all the things they check for. There was something about Rosie's levels that they wanted to look into, but they didn't make it sound urgent. When I got the voicemail, I knew I'd have to call back to schedule them both for their vaccine shots, so I'd get the scoop then.
During the week or so since they called, I noticed that Rosie wasn't coming around, that I'd have to go look for her. Often when I found her she'd be hunched in the bathroom near the register sort of staring into space. I also noticed that she has lost some weight, and in the last week it was to the point where I could noticeably feel her spine and shoulder blades. The litter box yield each morning later this week was less than usual. At the height of the UTI outbreak, I was going through litter like mad. Friday night it all added up and I knew I had to call the vet.
I called and explained everything I'd been noticing, they checked her file, discussed and had me bring her in at 10:00 a.m. They did some blood work and found out she was in kidney failure. Seriously. Her levels were off the chart. And her potassium and electrolytes were way off. The vet said we could put her on IV fluids for 48 hours to see how her kidneys would respond. Some cats respond and bounce back, some don't and require another 48 hours and then the possibility that they'll have normal kidney function is still kind of shaky at best. Being only five years old and having this come on so suddenly was also kind of odd. The vet said they see this in older cats, but her young age and the severe compromise of her kidney function wasn't a good thing.
I had a teary phone call with her dad, R, who raised her since she was a kitten. We went through the options and different scenarios and made the tough decision to put her down. Once I told the vet, she said we were doing her a kindness, that with all the information - her age, the seemingly quick onset and how off the chart her different levels were - that it was very likely that something bigger like cancer could have been driving the kidney failure.
So sad. I was with her when she took her last little kitty breath. I just kept petting her and telling her we were going to help her feel better and that we loved her. She was such a sweetie. She used to climb on my shoulders whenever I'd be working on the laptop and snuggle in like a kitty neck warmer. She'd also do thing thing where she'd put her nose really close to my mouth and I'd gently blow on her. She did it alot, so I hope that means I didn't have horrible breath! It was just this little thing we always did.
Junior and Rosie, fall 2010
RIP Bunny, you're already missed. And Junior misses you too. I hope you're having a ball in kitty heaven, chasing mice, eating endless treats and catnip and generally causing a ruckus with the other kitties.