Friday, March 18, 2011

The cat who won't stop giving

So, Elsie's really flaring. For those who have not followed this saga, Elsie Penelope is my 13-year-old cat who was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease a few years ago. The vet informed my mom and I that basically, she would flare periodically, and each time it would be worse until one time she would starve. So. Not much to look foward to.

I thought it was it two flares ago. She stopped eating and drinking for 3 days. We took her to the ER, and they gave her Pepcid and fluids and sent her home. The vet switched her from prednisone injections to oral steroid medication. We also switched her to super-high-quality, organic, chicken-free, gluten-free, corn-free food (it's made of green pea and duck, in case you wonder what's left to feed a cat). She got better.

I really thought the last time was it (October 2010). She began to throw up everything she ate. Everything. At some point, testing different foods, I found out that dry food caused her to throw up, while her wet food did not. Easy (though expensive) switch. Also, we temporarily increased her prednisone from 0.3 mL/every other day to 0.5 mL/day. Again, she got better.

Until Thursday. I came home to what looked a human had done in terms of vomiting. Well, quantity, anyway. There were about 50 separate little puddles, ALL over my living room carpet. Clean up? Oh, so over that. No big deal. In fact, I left the throw up, tip-toed around it, and held my kitty. She threw up again Friday, though not as much. I didn't feed her this morning, and she still threw up. She also has diarrhea, and she is hardly drinking. Oh, and she keeps getting vomit on herself and is too exhausted to get it off, and I don't have the heart to put her through a wet rag, so icky she will be. I love her and kiss her anyway.

Basically, at this point, all the stops are pulled out. Back up on the prednisone. Giving her Pepcid AC at home (not an easy cat to pill). Got some CatSip (unfortified milk with lactase added so that cats can digest it). Feeding her this every hour and will continue to do that all night, all day, until she can eat again. Tomorrow, we will get the dollar-an-once CatSure, a milkshake designed for older cats who can't or won't eat. All I can say is, at that price, let's just hope and pray that it's successful. The CatSip is good for being something, anything she can take in, but it's not fortified and is therefore not meant as a long-term supplement.

Miss Never-Leaves-My-Side; Miss I'll Just Sit Here and Stare At You, Mom; Miss Squeak... is hiding under the doll cradle. She's lost over a pound in 2 days. I'm so thankful for the purposeful extra half-pound I put on her in the past month or two in preparation for the next time this happened. I will take a barely-chubby cat most of the time rather than a deathly thin one occasionally.

But even in all of this, she never stops. Never. The other night, I was having a major melt down, and when I called my mom, she told me to get a shower. I resisted but finally complied. However, I continued to bawl my eyes out in the shower. Elsie came into the bathroom (she usually waits and meows some while I'm in the shower) and began to cry, cry, cry. When I opened the curtain, she quite literally tried to climb into the shower with me, she was so concerned. I used a wet hand to guide her back out. You know how cats are with water, right? Elsie's no different... unless her mama is upset, apparently.

Since I've started writing this she's thrown up another 4 or 5 times. I'm guessing a total of two or three ounces of CatSip have stayed down. When she throws up, I know it hurts her, because she lets out these long, horrible meows, and her eyes get huge. I just so wish it could be me.

Please, God, not my baby. Not yet.


  1. I'm sorry Elsie's not feeling good. She's so lucky to have you care for her like she cares for you and even though she's feeling sick she's still a loyal kitty keeping track of you. I hope she feels better soon.

  2. I'm so sorry Elsie (and you) is/are going through this. She is a very special cat. You are such a good mom to her and I'm sure she finds your love as comforting as hers has been to you all these years.

  3. I am also so sorry to hear that Elsie is not doing well. The first cat that I had as an adult was sick for the last couple of years of his life and saying goodbye to him was very hard. I am sure that she knows you love her and are doing everything you can for her.