Today, we take our little Origami cat to the vet to have his belly palpated. By "little", I mean 15 pounds. So he's sort of a big guy.
A few weeks ago, we noticed he was straining in his litter box, and then he started peeing on his little bed, which is NOT like him. He was listless and stopped jumping up on the furniture. When he was found lying underneath the couch and refusing to come out, we knew things were very wrong.
Off to the vet, where they diagnosed a urinary blockage and Origami spent three days being cathed and staying at the Chez de Vet. He is back to normal now, and is eating special prescription food which (hopefully!) will dissolve the stones in his little kitty bladder. He'll then switch to a different prescription food for the rest of his life, which will hopefully prevent stones from reforming.
Man, has this been an education.
I don't believe in doing extraordinary interventions on most animals. Sure, surgery to repair a broken leg, or bladder stone surgery on a 2 year old if their life expectancy is going to be 15-18 years. But bladder surgery on a 13 year old cat when it'll only give him 2-5 more years, and when the vet says the surgery will be pretty major on an old man like this? Nuht uh.
Learning that Origami had a major illness that could kill him, and that might still kill him if this treatment doesn't work, and that surgical options are not wonderful... I was startled at how much that scared me.
Sure, I say I don't like cats. I don't appreciate their hair. The purring constantly is a little odd. The way that Snowbeast wakes me up at night by petting my face is just creepy. And when they walk around talking to me with their little meows, I just don't understand.
But I did learn that I really do like THESE cats. It was so awful to talk with M about when we stop interventions and at what stage we'd decide to let Origami go if he wasn't healing. I don't like knowing that my kitty is hurting.
And now that he's home, I can rub his little head and see how much grey has crept into his fur, and I can struggle to convince them that the all-wet-food diet they've been switched to is really the best for them. I can wonder how anyone could ever give up their senior animal to the shelter (which happens ALL THE TIME when people decide old animals are too much trouble or too painful to care for). And I can hope that his remaining years are pain free and healthy.
I'm not a cat person. But I'm definitely Snowbeast's and Origami's person.
No worries about Snowbeast. He is eating the prescription food too because it's too hard to monitor two separate feedings for a bonded pair. But he's had no issues so far.