Wednesday, November 19, 2008

One-Track Zsa Zsa Blog

Most things in my life are being crowded out by Zsa Zsa's health at the moment, so I do apologize for my absenteeism and obsession.

The vet said that Zsa Zsa's urine showed signs of infection, so she gave me antibiotics, but she was most concerned that Zsa Zsa had started losing her appetite and had lost about two pounds; really, she's skinnier than ever, and she's spending more and more time just curled up and sleeping. I didn't want to be alarmist in my last post because I didn't want to sound like a hysterial mom -- and I was trying to be positive about it instead of doing my usual "SHE'S DYING!" drama -- but unless things improve this week I think that her time is coming.

She's always been weird about water -- preferring oil-slicked mud puddles and toilets to any source of fresh water -- but her pickiness seems to have turned into dehydration. I'm watching her like a hawk to find out what I can do to get her to drink more, and I'm breaking all the taboos: repeatedly flushing the toilet, running water in the bathtub, leaving bowls of water around. She's drinking a bit but only if I constantly refresh the source, and even then she'll only drink for a few seconds before turning up her nose. Her kitty water-fountain doesn't seem to interest her much.

Far more frightening is her aversion to her low-protein food. Maybe she decided after thirty cans that she just didn't like it anymore. Last night, in total desperation, I emptied a can of her old forbidden Purina brand onto the plate with her new food, and she gobbled up the Purina...then finished off the new stuff too.

That was last night and I tried it again today, but it didn't seem to work as well; I gave her a few pieces of chicken and she ate them with gusto, then curled up and buried her head in the pillows. So I wonder if she's simply getting sick when she eats, and slowly deciding not to eat anymore, even the stuff she loves. I bought a can of tuna as a last resort, but I haven't decided to try it yet.

She's still bright-eyed and alert, but she mostly just sleeps, usually on top of me. She isn't showing any outward signs of pain but her strange posture awkward way of sitting that first started three months ago when these troubles began.

I've looked online and there are other pet owners who have reported similar things -- urinary infections, loss of appetite, weird posture, no more drinking -- and they always seem to involve kidney problems, potential strokes, and vets with no answers. Some cats seem to recover...I'm hoping that once Zsa Zsa's antibiotics kick in she'll show some improvement.

I'm in that awful spot between hoping she'll recover and not wanting to prolong any potential suffering. How do you know when enough is enough? In the past I'd decided that if she stopped eating I'd take that as "a sign," but we've reached that point and she still seems...well, "happy," in a really sleepy sort of way. She lies in my lap and purrs (like she's doing right now), she wakes me up in the morning to meow for food she never eats, she isn't crying or collapsing.

But I'm constantly wondering: does she hurt? I don't know! I want to spare her unnecessary pain but I don't want to "write her off" either.


Jenn said...

Oh, poor Zsa Zsa, and poor you. It sucks to have to go through any of this, I know.

How do you know when enough is enough? I think a pet owner relatively in tune with their pet, like you seem to be with Zsa Zsa, will just KNOW. I know it sounds corny, but I think it's true. She will let you know, in whatever way, and you will know when it's time. We agonized over that decision with Trifle; do we, don't we, how much, how long...and then one day, the answer came in a split second, we just KNEW.

With Trifle, we tried all we could, and knew it would be just a matter of days. I called my vet's office and put them 'on notice'. Said to put it in my file that when I call for that appointment, I wanted to be in as soon as they could get me, and that I didn't want to rehash her whole history with someone. (I don't know if your clinic has more than one doc, ours does, so not every doc was up to speed on Trifle's case, and I wasn't about to stand there wasting time filling them in.)

Woo. Long comment, sorry. I know it's rough, I really do, and I don't envy you. I'm thinking of you both.

Anonymous said...

Has she had a blood test done? It may be time for a "wellness panel" -- this should provide clues if there is anything going internalorgan-wise.

Kimber said...

It really is heartbreaking to watch a pet go through something like this. If only they could talk!

Have you considered a referral to the Guelph veterinary college? I took my dog Henry there when he was having severe skin troubles, and they were truly amazing. It might be a bit costly though - but they seem to have answers when other vets don't. Just a thought.

Eli McIlveen said...

The poor dear.

We're going through a bit of cat-stress at the moment after moving house, but it's pretty minor by comparison. Thinking of you and Zsa Zsa...

Anonymous said...

I don't profess to be a diagnostic "Dr. House" for cats, but...could it be more than one thing is wrong with Zsa Zsa?

I have no clue about the water, but it's curious that her appetite comes in spurts, and that's a key puzzlement. If it really were her time, she might not eat at all.

Perhaps something intestinal AND urinary, combining to present as a weird complex of symptoms?

At least she's still eating. As the British maxim goes, when one tires of cat food (or was that London?), one tires of life.

Best wishes for the kitty's komeback!

Syd said...

Hopefully she will weather this storm.. I knew my cat was gone when she couldn't eat the chicken from my TV dinner.

Zsa Zsa just needs lots of TLC and care for her kidneys. The thirst is a funny thing.. you may have to inject water into her sometimes, ask a vet how, to get her through the bad times.

Good luck with your kitty!