Monday, September 01, 2008

The ZsaZsaBlog III

After I wrote this morning's blog post, Zsa Zsa got even worse. It seemed to happen after I fed her; she nibbled at her food a bit, then climbed under the couch and twitched and rocked and purred. It seemed like she could barely walk. I immediately started canvassing friends for rides to the emergency vet clinic.

By the time Jenn W. arrived, Zsa Zsa was considerably better and had shown a real desire to go outside, where she chowed down on grass. We took her to the vet -- who turned out to be the same lady who'd squeezed the gunk out of her head last year -- and after examining Zsa Zsa and checking her reflexes she suggested three possible diagnoses: kidney failure, liver failure, or diabetes. Whatever it is, it has caused her to lose muscle tone -- she's skinny as a bone but her stomach is round -- and is putting her strangely off-balance. I'm to get her to my regular vet as soon as possible -- like NOW, because she's having a real crisis -- and have her blood and fluids checked.

Throughout the day Zsa Zsa has mostly been sitting in two "distress areas," either under my couch or beside my drag suitcase. She sits in an extremely odd way; this morning she was only squatting, but now she plops her butt down in an abrupt way that frightens me. I managed to coax her out onto the balcony, where she conked out for an hour or so. In the afternoon I finally got a few more hours of sleep and in the meantime she peed on the basement floor again.

Tonight she roused herself and started meowing at the front door, so I took her outside prepared for the usual "sit and watch the cat" routine...but instead she wanted to EXPLORE. She has NEVER wanted to explore before. We walked all the way down to the end of the block -- FAR beyond the front yard where she's spent most of her life -- and only came home because I finally picked her up and carried her back. You know how fun it is to walk a cat? But it wasn't like I was going to refuse her, and she seemed more lively than she's been all week.

I imagine that SOME of her strange behaviour is due to my increased surveillance and solicitude...maybe her urge to explore was prompted in a change in ME. But I think she's become sort of dozy at the same time, and therefore more liable to do things she wouldn't otherwise consider.

Hopefully I can get her to the vet tomorrow for a full checkup. What an incredibly crappy day. Endless thanks to Jenn, who responded instantly to my plea for help!


Kimber said...

Oh the poor puss, and poor you too. It's no fun watching pets in pain, is it? I know what you mean about wishing they could talk - although sometimes I'm glad Neko can't tell me what she thinks of me (e.g. after I've tied her to a tree for getting me up in the middle of the night just so she can go and eat old corncobs out of the dung pile). I really hope your vet can get to the bottom of Zsa Zsa's troubles. There is a good chance that if you've caught Zsa Zsa's kidney trouble early it can be successfully treated. Hang in there.

Eli McIlveen said...

Poor Zsa Zsa - it sounds like a hell of a time. Keep us posted.

Adam Thornton said...

Thanks both for your well-wishes! This morning I gave her dry food -- instead of the soft food I've been giving her out of sympathy -- and for the first time in three days she didn't immediately retreat under the couch...instead she hopped up on my lap and behaved like she used to.

So I hope I'm not dealing with a "poisoned cat food" situation. But she wasn't so healthy before the soft food, anyway.

Still waiting for a response from the vet...

Anonymous said...

Hope that both you and Zsa Zsa are on the mend. The cat wanting to eat grass may point to digestive problems (I have read that animals that don't usually nibble on grass do so when they have a GI problem).

Hang in there; hopefully you will both get through this with your sanity intact. And Zsa Zsa will know that you are a top-notch "cat-vocate."

Adam Thornton said...

My sanity's pretty perilous this morning. I had to leave her at the vet's this morning so they can get a better urine test, and though I'll be picking her up again on the way home from work I can't help thinking of her in a cage...poor girl!

Fortunately they all seem to love her, so I bet she'll make friends.

Syd said...

Keep us updated on her. I went through a similar experience with my old cat. She'll tell you when she's direly ill. Kidney failure led to my cats end, but.. when she was ZsaZsa's age, she had a bout of pancreatitis. She was "crawl off and die" sick and everyone else said it was the end, but a few antibiotic pills stuck in bits of tuna cured her, and she was fine for several more years! So it's worth a few vets visits and some optimism.

AFAIK soft food is good for their kidneys, you didn't do anything wrong. The only drawback is getting their teeth cleaned every few years. Dry food = clean teeth, but is rough on kidneys in old age.

Hope ZsaZsa feels better!