Smoky scared us very badly yesterday. He’d been having a so-so week. After his pretty much triumphant return from having his ablation and then release back into general population he’d been getting along pretty well. He eventually started to dislike his pill pockets and so pilling him became a twice daily ritual of tracking him down and shooting pills down his throat with a pill popper.
As you may imagine that was no fun for any of us involved, least of all him.
We were at our wit’s end. We were running low on funds and he was hiding from us. We went to the local compounding pharmacy which, as it so happens, is right down the street. They whipped up his meds in a stinky fish smelling solution, what we call his “fishy noms,” and he started showing up for his meds like clockwork. He actually started waking Geoff up early in the morning demanding food and medication.
Progress? Yes, but also tiring.
So this last week was not a good sign. Smoky made it clear that he didn’t like Snoopy at all. The one time Snoopy tried to play with him Smoky was not happy and may or may not have popped Snoopy upside the head a few times. Snoopy was cool with it, he was still trying to figure out what cats were. Smoky decided that he was going to spend the rest of Snoopy’s visit downstairs in our bedroom. He came upstairs to eat and use the litter box and that was it.
At the same time he also decided that he wasn’t interested in his fishy noms. Or his meals. As one of Smoky’s meds is to treat him for congestive heart failure this was a bad thing. By yesterday afternoon he was having labored breathing. He wasn’t panting, yet, but he wasn’t far away. I had visions of another Thyroid Storm in our future and I knew that he wouldn’t live through another one. I also knew that he was profoundly unhappy.
Geoff and I were supposed to go to a friend’s play last night. That wasn’t going to happen. We stayed home called the vet and plied him with anything we could think of to get him to eat. I also managed to get a full day’s dose of Lasix into him. The vet tech who I talked to while crying suggested trying baby food to get him to eat. Geoff immediately went out and got some.
Lo and behold, he liked the chicken and gravy baby food. Once he’d eaten about a third of the jar I carried him upstairs to let him know that Snoopy had gone back home. He stayed upstairs and his breathing got better. Then he started eating. After a few hours he was wandering around and picking different favorite places to sleep. He’d been having such trouble breathing that he’d been having trouble sleeping, a weird problem for a cat to have, they can usually sleep anywhere on anything.
We got more food and another dose of medication into him before bed and at 4:00am this morning he was harassing Geoff for breakfast and medication. Just now he was peeing in the litter box and he covered it up, something he patently does not do when he’s not feeling well.
When I tearfully talked to the vet tech yesterday she’d made an appointment for us for Monday at 3:30. It was to be Smoky’s final appointment. (I have an interview at 1:00pm that day. Monday was going to be a long day.) Geoff and I had agreed before I called that if he was going to continue that way through the weekend that we were not going to make him continue living like that. It wasn’t fair to him and you could tell just by looking at him that he was unhappy and really uncomfortable.
I just called and cancelled the appointment. I don’t know how much longer it will be before that appointment actually happens, but I will cherish every day I have with him until then. The doctors told me when he was 3 that he could die at any time from his heart condition. He’s made it over a decade since then. He’s a tough little kitty and I love him.