Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Here we go again

Minnie, currently our oldest cat, is in the veterinary hospital in critical condition.

I noticed some behavioral changes in her these last few days. I thought she was sulking because we have begun to let Babusz interact with the other cats. For the last two months or so Minnie has been sleeping in bed next to me, curled up near my head. Part of my wake-up ritual involves reaching over and stroking her and wishing her good morning. Yesterday morning I reached out and she wasn't there. That was odd, but not unprecedented, and as a cat she has the prerogative to change her mind about things whenever she wants. I thought it was even odder when I got out of bed and found her curled up on the carpet by the side of my bed.

Last night Minnie was acting even more strangely. She wouldn't jump into bed at all and was lying listlessly on the floor. When I picked her up she was limp like a ragdoll, and her eyes seemed extra-large. She also seemed to have very suddenly lost a lot of weight. She vomited, which is not at all unusual for her - she has always preferred milk to solid food and will sometimes vomit up solid, unchewed, undigested food in a clump shortly after eating it - but she vomited several times more than her norm. We agreed that we would get her to the vet in the morning.

This morning Minnie was again weak and listless, and was not at all interested in the morning bowl of milk that she on any other morning would ask for by name.

My mom ran Minnie up to the vet while I got an extra-late start on the day. When I heard the weather forecast confirming that today would be beautiful while the rest of the week would be rainy, I decided to exercise my "floating holiday" to take the day off to work on the house. As soon as I was out of the shower and dressed I loaded up the car with my painting clothes and headed up to meet my mom at the vet's.

The news was not good, at all. Minnie was severly diabetic, something that came as a surprise to us. Her blood sugar was way high, she was dehydrated, and her kidneys were beginning to fail. The vet checked her in to his hospital and began a rehdyrating IV, but was not completely optimistic about her chances of recovery.

Keep in mind that two days ago Minnie was her normal active self, climbing on top of the enertainment center and knocking things off the top that got in her way. She has always been very aloof, nowhere near as cuddly as Ashes, which may be why we never noticed her weight loss - we never got to hold her or pick her up or do anything else that would have clued us in, since she always ran away as we approached.

So Minnie is getting the best care possible. I threw myself at the task of scraping and repainting the rest of my wrought-iron porch railings, a task I worked on from about 11:00 in the morning until nearly 7:00 at night (which is when I finished washing off the mops I had just used to clean off the filthy porch.) I got everything but the banisters on the steps. I look like I got caught in a tar pit - some of the railings could only be accessed by reaching through other railings, sometimes freshly-painted railings.

I wrapped things up and drove from my "new" house to my "old" house. As I pulled up, filthy, tired, and hungry, I thought: There's no one to give Minnie her bowl of milk tomorrow morning.

And I cried.

Tomorrow it will be six months since Ashes died.


dee said...

Here's hoping everything turns out well for Minnie. It's the little moments that get you, isn't it? Maude always messed up my living room curtains when she went to the window as I drove up. The first time I drove up and the curtains were undisturbed I sat in the driveway and cried like a baby.

Minnie will need insulin. Cats adjust to it very easily. Once you get her home we'll have Diabetes 101.

Your sister Annie said...

I was shocked to hear about Minnie today. Please keep me posted at my work email when you hear something.

My friend Laurie has a diabetic cat that she's been injecting with insulin for years. And Cassidy was in kidney failure at 8 months, but he's just fine now. So there's hope, although there's also reality.

By the way, I found your blog with my new computer, which I set up all by myself! I even set up the Airport Express wireless system. Long live Macs!!!

Nice site...but I still can't read the entries about Hailey-girl.

Betz said...

Harold, knowing you as well as I do I know it took alot to write that last sentence. I cried when I read your blog first thing this morning when I logged on to check and see how Minnie made out. :(

Lorena, Tressa, and Betsy are sending healing thoughts to Minnie and we want you to know we are with you in this.

Camilla H. said...

Awwh, kitty! I'm getting all teary. :( I really, really, really hope everything goes okay.