Friday, September 09, 2011

The Nine Lives of Cats

My cat has apparently used up another of his nine lives. I thought he was dying. Wynona (wrong name for a male cat, but please don't ask) was 19 last spring, probably in May, so he's had a long and happy life. I've had him since Jamie brought him home at about three months of age. Jamie had found him, a kitten, abandoned on a country road, and kept him all summer. He grew into a beautiful long-haired domestic, with a good touch of Maine coon in him. One friend, a cat lover, called him the world's most gorgeous cat. Beautiful as he was, he also has been a sweet, affectionate creature, craving love--not a mean bone in his body except the time he was enraged at another cat and bit me when I tried to pick him up. I made three long trips to ER from that experience, but it's another story.
Wynona is not in good health. He has kidney disease and a diaphragmatic hernia, which means his intestines are up in his chest cavity, stressing his heart and lungs. Last week, I had to have him shaved--he was covered with mats, some so large and close to his skin that they must have pulled and caused pain. After he was shaved, he looked like one of those skinny old men who needs suspenders to hold up his pants.
I guess it was the shaving that did it, though he seemed all right the first few days. But about three days ago I couldn't find him. He didn't come out to eat, didn't sleep on my bed and demand to be fed at 3 a.m. He didn't eat, and he barely used his litter box. By yesterday, I thought when I came home in the afternoon I'd have to start searching closets for a dead cat. Instead he was by the back door. He still wouldn't eat, and he yowled a bit but then he went back to his hiding place and stayed there.
Last night he slept on my bed again and I woke and took him to eat about two a.m., carrying him on my shoulder, but he ate nothing. This morning he showed some interest in food but again refused to eat. But when Jacob and I came home from school he was sunning himself by the back door, and he ate just a bit. I've been putting food and water by the closet where he hides, and the food disappears. I do have to be watchful to be sure the dogs don't get it, but they haven't.
Wywy has already used up two lives with similar behavior--once when I subjected him to the indignity of a flea dip and, more recently, when I brought the puppy home. I don't suppose he has all six or seven lives left, but I am now waiting to see what happens. Signs are encouraging. I didn't rush to call the vet because in my mind Wywy (his nickname) has signed a DNR or I've signed it for him. One of these times, probably sooner than later, it will be real. But I don't want to make the decision for him. So I'm waiting and watching. Cross your fingers for Wywy--and me, please.

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