Feeling Helpless with a Sick Cat

I published a post recently about taking our sick cat Mickey to the vet.  Since then, we’ve had ups and downs, and this week has been mostly downs.  I wish he could talk to me.  Well, he does talk, but only in meows.  And right now, I can’t translate those into anything I know!!

The vet trip

As a quick recap, we took Mickey to the vet the week of Thanksgiving because he was having diarrhea.  He spent two days there, hooked up to an IV to fill him with fluids because he was severely dehydrated.

We left there with medication and syringes for three month’s worth of Vitamin B12 shots.  We also decided to try canned food as opposed to dry, thinking that would help with the dehydration on an ongoing basis.

After Thanksgiving

Mickey loved the new food and we got him in the habit of eating three times a day.  He would even show up when he was ready to eat.

Tim would feed him in the morning, I’d take lunch and then we’d both be there for dinner.  The biggest problem is his buddy Brutus.  If he thinks Mickey is getting something, then he wants it too.  I swear, he has radar that tells him when Mickey’s eating.  Or maybe he knows what those meows mean?

We have to constantly shoo Brute away from Mickey’s bowl.  I know he doesn’t understand; why should he?  But he’s a huge distraction for Mickey which keeps him from eating.  And unlike Brutus, Mickey doesn’t gobble it all down at once.  Instead, he eats a little at a time.  That doesn’t work when you have Mr. Garbage Disposal breathing down your neck!!

First recheck

We took Mickey back to the vet in early December, so she could see if he’d improved.  We felt he had a little but he was still having loose stools.  And he’d lost more weight.

But she still couldn’t diagnose what was wrong with him.  She gave us something to allow us to gather a urine sample, because he has had kidney issues.  And she prescribed a medicine that would help with his GI issues.

He seemed to be doing a little better but we didn’t get the new medicine until a week later.  It’s in liquid form that we squirt into his mouth once a day.  She also gave us probiotic capsules to open up and add to his food.

The capsules worked for a couple of days and then he stopped eating his food when it contained the probiotic.  So, we stopped giving it to him, figuring it was better for him to eat.  He didn’t like the liquid medicine, but it did seem to be helping his poop.

Last week, he seemed almost like his old self, not a little sick cat.  He was eating well, going to the bathroom fine, jumping up in my chair to cuddle.  We even wondered if we would need the December 17 vet visit.

An unhappy weekend

We had family at our house over the weekend, and due to a cat allergy, we had to shut the boys in our utility room.  It’s where they sleep at night and it’s large enough for them to roam, so it’s usually not a problem.  But Mickey was not happy about it.  (Neither was Brutus, but he’s always yapping about something.)

Mickey didn’t eat much over the weekend, but we were encouraged by his past eating, so we thought we were doing a good job getting his weight back up.

Second recheck

We took Mickey to the vet this past Monday and he was not happy.  Our little Mickey growls like I’ve never heard before.  He’s no longer meek and mild when we take him.  He remembers all the pokes and prods and this visit was no different.  But now he even growls when he’s getting weighed!!

To our surprise, he’d lost more weight.  He’s at about 5.5 pounds now.  He feels and looks like a skeleton with fur.  I’m afraid every time I pick him up that I’ll hurt him.  My poor sick cat.

We had to leave him at the vet for the day (which broke my heart because I know how much he hates it there), so she could get a urine sample.  When we picked him up later that afternoon, his bloodwork didn’t show any improvement but yet we can’t seem to figure out what’s wrong with him.  We left with another medicine – a liquid he takes twice a day – because his white blood count was high indicating some type of infection.

This week

He hasn’t been the same since we brought him home on Monday.  He seems to be adjusting to the three doses of medicine each day, even though he clearly doesn’t like the first one.  It takes both of us to give it to him, so I get up right before Tim leaves for work for the first one, we give him one around dinner time, and then the last one before bed.

I thought the shot would be the worst thing, but after a couple of times, I got it right.  (Thanks, Linda T. for showing me the best way to do it.)  Now that’s a piece of cake and he doesn’t even flinch.  I wish all of this could be cleared up with just a shot.

We’ve cleaned up lots of accidents this week and he’s had two baths.  Tim bears the brunt of it, cleaning up the messes and the litter boxes multiple times a day.  I had to clean up where someone got sick this morning, probably Brutus because he eats too fast.

Mickey talks to me but none of the usual things seem to satisfy him.  Once a treat addict, now he barely eats them.  He just licks his food so it takes a while for him to eat, and we have to move it around the bowl to make it easier for him to get to it.  But he just isn’t eating much.

We put a little bit of chicken broth in his water, hoping he’ll drink more and I think he’s been doing OK with that.  He still likes the dry food and will eat that too.  But as I said before, Brutus makes everything harder.  

We got some cheap canned food at the grocery store, thinking Brutus would eat that and leave Mickey alone.  It works until Mickey decides he wants to try what Brutus is eating.  At first, we let him eat it, assuming any food was better than no food.  However, we think this food might be giving him loose stools again.  We can’t win!!

Mickey’s always been quiet and a loner so it’s difficult to gauge how he feels from his behavior.  He doesn’t run and hide when it’s bedtime anymore.  In fact, he lets me pick him up with no resistance.

He just popped in to see me.  He moves slowly and always looks so sad.  But that could just be my imagination.  Every little whimper makes me feel like crying.

His urine sample was normal so that was good news.  But it doesn’t help us pinpoint what’s wrong.  Our next step may be an ultrasound to see if he has bowel issues or possibly a tumor.  The last thing I want is for him to suffer.  I don’t want to keep doing things he hates if they aren’t going to yield positive results. 

I’ve surprised myself at how tolerant I can be when it comes to cat poop and urine.  I step in it, I clean it up, I wash Mickey.  It’s what you do for love, I guess.  One day at a time.

2 thoughts on “Feeling Helpless with a Sick Cat”

  1. Oh Linda, I just hate that Mickey is struggling. I know that feeling when your pets aren’t well, it just makes you heartsick. It is so hard to know what to do when they can’t tell us. Im praying he perks up and starts recovering back to his old self again!!

    1. Thanks so much. I hate that we can’t figure out how to make him better once and for all. We’ll keep trying!! Appreciate the prayers. ❤️

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