ELDERLY PETS

My cat, Pippy, turns 16 this April. It’s crazy to think that she’s so old because, besides her sleeping so much, she acts like she’s half her age. Every time we take her to the vet, we hear about how great she looks to be *gulp* elderly...and that makes me proud. Cats have such an easy life, but aside from her having a life like that, I have poured my love into her for the past sixteen years of my life. She has been the one constant friend, the constant source of love and comfort, through everything that I've ever faced in life.


When I was healing from my nervous breakdown and finding out I had so many stomach ulcers, she never left my side. Even more recently, when I was sick with the flu, she stayed right beside me. So, of course when we took her to the vet this past November for a check up, and they suggested drawing some blood just to check what’s going on with her (she had started throwing up several times a day and wouldn’t stop)...my heart broke when I got a phone call the next day that said her tests showed she had onset kidney disease. Not anything quite as scary as full blown renal failure (yet), or cancer...but still the fact that my baby was sick and I hadn’t known. I went through all the things I imagine a person with *real* children do. Wondering why I didn’t see it sooner? Why hadn’t I asked for tests earlier? Was there anything I could do to prevent it?


But she had shown no signs until about a month before we took her to the vet, she never gave me or the vets reasons to test her blood. And there wasn’t any way to prevent it. After we got the news, hubby immediately read up on what was going on with her. Luckily, she’s at the beginning of it, so it's not like she's going to die tomorrow. We learned about what kinds of things to look for in cat foods/treats that tend to speed up kidney failure (and, thankfully, the food we’d been feeding her for the past few years was one of the “safe” ones!). We took her to the vet that afternoon, they talked to us a little more about it, and then we started our journey of caring for an elderly pet.


When Pippy was diagnosed with onset kidney failure, I cried - hard. But after we went to the vet and learned that the best course of medicine for her was just doing a fluid treatment once a week, I realized that it didn’t sound so scary anymore. Basically, what we’re doing is giving her at Cat IV. Once a week we have to stick a tiny needle into the scruff of her neck that’s connected to a bag that has a saline solution in it and basically, for lack of a better word, “force” water through her system. The vet said that this is the best way to make sure her kidney’s stay flushed because her kidneys are starting to be a little sluggish in their job, so we have to help them along. Of course, Pippy lets us know LOUDLY that she does NOT like being held down while we do her treatment, but it doesn’t hurt her, and for the remainder of the week you can really see the difference that it makes in her energy from having that extra helping of water.


After that scary day, we went to the pet store and bought her “safe” treats and new toys. We realized that not only would it be good for her to get her treatments and eat food/treats that were safe for a cat like her, but mentally and physically upping her playtime would be great too. We got all kinds of balls for her to chase and “kill,” a new scratchboard for her claws (which she uses...A TON), and this nifty ball that you put food in and she has to roll around until she gets her reward. We thought for sure she would think herself above it (she is a queen, after all) but we bought it anyway...and she LOVES it. She can’t get enough of it and we love that she loves playing with it because, not only is she being mentally stimulated, she’s also eating (which we noticed she’d stopped doing before we found out what was wrong).


Besides her weekly fluid treatment and maintaining her playtime, all that we’re really “required” to do for her at this point is, after we empty each bag, take her in for a checkup and get a new bag to continue. The vet said that at some point in the future, we might need to up treatment from once a week to multiple times a week. But when we went in for her first checkup since her diagnosis and treatment, the results were her numbers had gone down a little - not a lot - but enough to reflect what we’re doing now is working. As long as my old girl is feeling pretty good, so am I. I will do anything to make sure the rest of her cat years are comfortable and full of love!

PS: I have a hashtag on Instagram for her - #misspippymeyer. Follow along!

Comments

  1. She's so lucky to have an owner that takes such good care of her! As a fellow Disney lover (my mister and I are going to WDW in April!!) I'm nominating you for a Liebster Award!! Check it out here!

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    1. i sure hope she knows how much she is loved! :) glad to meet a fellow disney lover - have so much fun in WDW. you’ll be there during my FAVORITE time of year...flower and garden festival! and thank you! i am honored. :D

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