Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I Might Be Loosing Another One

I lost one of my cats, Sadie, in January. She went down quickly with liver failure. It was very quick. One weekend she seemed fine, and then the following weekend she was buried in the backyard. I’m not accustomed to dealing with these sorts of things, so it was tough.

At that time, my other cat, Mortimer, was as healthy as a horse and routinely beating up a big Siamese tom cat on the back porch. He’s no spring chicken, but he was a bruising 15 pounder that roamed the neighborhood and feared nothing. That was just 2 months ago.

Now he is 10 pounds, has a little trouble getting up, and when he does get up, he walks slowly and unsteadily. He eats, but not like he used to. Two months ago if I opened a can of cat food and split it between the 2 cats, he would wolf down his half and then push Sadie out of the way and finish off her portion. Today, he barely managed to eat a quarter of a can and that was over the course of the day.

I first noticed he was walking funny last Wednesday. He’s always climbing trees or fighting, so I didn’t think much of it. Then on Thursday he was walking in the kitchen and caught his back foot on a stool leg. He immediately dropped to the floor and started screaming bloody murder. He was on his side with his leg pulled in and it was shaking badly. I couldn’t figure out what the hell was the matter.

When I went to inspect his foot it was extremely tender. Both of his paws on his right side were. There was no swelling, and he could walk, but it was a slow, awkward walk. I took him to the vet on Monday and there is no infection and no apparent injury. The vet was baffled, other than to say, you know, he’s not a young cat anymore. He’s well over 15 years old. He’s HIV positive. He has a deep ear polyp that causes a reoccurring respiratory infection. He is blind in one eye and missing half of an ear, most likely from fighting before I took him in. He was a feral cat for his first 10 years or so and lived a brutal life. Frankly, its amazing he’s still alive.

Still, just two months ago he was doing fine. Naturally, it is easy to think that he lost his best friend Sadie, and that has affected his health. If the truth be told though, they didn’t really like each other. He was completely indifferent to her, and she was terrified of him. They did not hang out together and never slept in the same room. The only time he paid any attention to her was when he would randomly attack here once or twice a week. And this wasn’t cutesy cat play I’m talking about either. Mort is a pull-no-punches and take-no-prisons kind of cat.

So, I’m not sure what is going on. I refilled his prescription of the respiratory ailment, even though that is not bothering him now. The vet did notice what might be a tumor on his thigh. It is very small. Then today, I noticed a slight lump on the back of his neck. It is extremely shallow, and I’m not sure what it is. If I notice it getting bigger, he’ll go back to the vet. Right now, it’s wait and see.


Jennifer said...

Hope Mortimer is doing better soon! Do you have a heated bed or something you could use to ease the aches of getting old? I've seen this recommended for older dogs... you could make a good heating pad out of feed corn and just microwave it every once in a while. Mine are still spring chickens who seek out the cold floors to sleep on, so I haven't tried it yet, but it might help.

We are in said...

Oh, that sucks. Our "tough guy" cat just up and died one night under the kitchen table a few years ago without ever giving any indication that anything was wrong.

We still miss him and keep accidentally calling his "successor" by his name.

I'm sorry for your recent loss and for your current worries. I'm hoping for the best.

darazzberry said...

I'm really sorry to hear that your buddy Mort is not doing well. Does he still wait on the front porch to come down and greet you when you come home from work?

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to read this. I'm a dog person, but it's the same kind of desperate sadness when they seem to be going downhill. I hope you can figure out the problem or at least keep him as comfortable as possible for the time you have with him.


Sandy said...

Oh no. I am so sorry, Greg. I am hoping he will bet better real soon. Mortimer is a real cool cat.

Kathy from NJ said...

I am so sorry about Mort. I really enjoyed the video of him greeting you when you arrived home from work.

Katherine said...

I am really sorry to hear about Mort. I know that you will handle it well, whatever happens, even if you won't enjoy it.

SmilingJudy said...

:( The "intro to Mort" posts were the first of yours I'd read years ago. Poor Mortimer. Hope he feels better soon.

STAG said...

The sore feet are usually a symptom of kidney would be a form of gout. I presume your vet took a urine sample. Kidney failure is the number one cause of premature death in cats....symptoms include gout, urine crystals and urinary tract blockages.
People figure cats are meat eaters so their kidneys can handle pure meat all the time. Not quite...their poor kidneys have a hard time with a pure meat diet, same as all of us, and when they get elderly, a little less meat, and a little more balanced diet can often do wonders.
Keep him happy, and here's wishing him well.

kingstreetfarm said...

Very sorry to hear about this.

We had some similar experiences with our chocolate lab last year. Have you checked into any anti-inflammatory meds for Mortimer? They definitely helped our Coco in the short term (even though at the time we didn't realize it, but the vet should never have given them to a LAB because it's a known incompatibility). Since Mort isn't a lab, though, it might be worth looking into. Since he has chronic immune issues he probably also has arthritis, and for some reason in animals this is often accompanied by a bulge or lump.

I will keep you in my thoughts. I know you probably feel helpless and very sad for him, but I wish you peace and the ability to keep him comfortable.

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear the latest about Mort. Just remember that you have given him the best years possible. It's always hard.

Greg said...

Thanks for all of the kind words.

Man, 2 cats in as many months. It just sucks.