Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Bad Night

Every now and again, you have a really bad day as a pet owner.  Or animal's companion, however you want to describe yourself.  Particularly if you know that animal is terminally ill - you're always watching them, looking for signs that they are starting to decline further, and you're hyper-sensitive to any changes in their behavior.

It's that way with me, anyway, with Charlotte.  It all started last night when I gave her a dose of Lasix (.75 ml) and liquified aspirin (1 ml.)  I must have shot them into her mouth in just the wrong way, because after she took the medication, she made a couple of coughing noises like she was trying to dislodge a hairball.

That is the sound that she made that originally cued Jeff and I in to the fact that she was sick to begin with. So Jeff and I stopped what we were doing to go to her and check her out.  Jeff put his ear to her, to see if he could hear her lungs crackling (as if they were full of fluid) but couldn't hear anything.  She stopped making the coughing noise, and went on with her life, so it was most likely a reaction to the dosing.

But then an hour later, she sneezed.  I know, it sounds silly, but we were worried.  She sneezed several times throughout the course of the night, and once this morning.

Sneezing should have nothing to do with her malady - which, to refresh your memory, is congestive heart failure.  And yet.  If she develops a very nasty cold, we might have to take her to the vet, since the state of her heart and lungs is already so shaky.  She's had colds before - common enough in a former shelter cat.  All of our cats have.  They spend two or three days having sneezing fits constantly, then they get better.  So why are we so worried about her?

Now I'm even more watchful about any symptoms that she might or might not have.  Last night, I put her in a basket on top of the radiator in the bedroom, so that I could keep an eye on her.  And then promptly started worrying when she stayed put.  Charlotte is stubborn, and rarely likes to stay where you place her...  and yet it was a nice warm basket on top of a heat source, with a window to look out, so maybe she was just content with it.  I don't know.

Now this morning, everything seems to be normal again.  She was up and about by the time I got out of bed, and was sitting expectantly by her food bowls.  She then followed me downstairs, and proceeded to demand milk, which she got because I'm a pushover.  And now she's back in the kitchenette by her milk saucer BELLOWING as loudly as she can to try to get me to come back in to give her seconds.  These are all of the actions of a healthy cat...

I hope.  Jeff is going to be working from home today, so can keep a close watch on her.  For now, we just need to wait and see.

I think having a terminally ill cat is not for the timid.


  1. Hang in there. Hopefully everything is ok! We are sending good kitty vibes from here to you guys!