BB and I had to take our cat, Butchie, to the vet today. For BB this was a grand adventure. For Butchie, it was much less pleasant. Butchie turned 16 last month -- she's been with me since she was 6 weeks old, and she's travelled with me from Oklahoma, to Arizona, to California. She's very dear to me. Here we are a few weeks ago. Cat purring in lap and good book at hand: life doesn't get much better.
I'm sad to say she's not doing very well.
During the last two years, almost all of the energy I had available to worry about the cats was invested in our sweet Socksie, whose tumored leg finally got to be too much to bear in July. While Socksie's condition was worsening, I was aware on one level that Butchie wasn't doing all that well either, and then once Socksie had passed I convinced myself that Butchie was perking up a bit. But I think I was in denial. I kept thinking, "Oh, I should bring her in to the vet, get her a check up, make sure everything is okay." And then another day would go by without a vet visit.
Amazing how time flies. It had been a little more than 2 years since we'd last taken her to the vet. Sigh -- I really hadn't realized it had been so long. During that time she'd lost a lot of weight. She was 12 pounds two years ago. Now she's 7 pounds and pretty frail. She has that bird-bone quality that old cats get. (My parents had two Siamese cats that made it well into the geriatric stage -- one we know for sure was older than 20 when he passed, I want to say 22? The other was likely almost as ancient. So I'm somewhat familiar with elderly felines.) I wanted to think it was just aging, nothing to worry about. But at the same time part of me knew that things didn't seem good.
What finally compelled me to get her seen today was the fact that her right eye had swollen up over the weekend until it was almost closed. Red, oozy, and looking quite painful. Talking over all the symptoms with the vet, the likely diagnosis is kidney failure. She's constantly thirsty, pees a LOT, her fur just feels unhealthy, she's lost all that weight... problems with the kidneys and problems with the teeth are apparently often related, and there may be one or more teeth with problems that are actually causing the eye trouble, or it may be a separate infection in the eye. They gave her an antibiotic injection and sent us home with ointment. They are also doing some bloodwork to see how bad things really are, and we should have the results tomorrow.
We'll take it from there once we know more about what we're dealing with. But I'm feeling sad tonight for my poor boo kitty. It's so hard to see a beloved animal hurting. I think I'm going to grab a book and coax her into my lap, if she'll consent to come down from the spot where she's spent most of the day. And that's probably how I'll spend the rest of the evening.