The Feline Patient


Luna was napping her life away, as a cat should do.

Luna sleeping in sunbeam on floor with nose and feet facing camera

The sunbeam was all she needed.

Well, that, and the occasional trip to the litter box.

Luna in sunbeam resting chin on paw looking to right

However, today was different.  Today, something didn’t feel right.

She was having a hard time peeing in the litter box.  She’d sit in the litter box for up to 20 minutes at a time, just trying to get the littlest amount out, and often it’d be colored red.  She started to try peeing in other places.  I was following after her with all-purpose cleaner and a roll of paper towels.

Luna peeking out of bathtub

This was one of her choices that was easier to clean up, but I had to hide all rugs, which she opted for given a chance.

Eventually, Luna and I had to talk.

Luna on lap in front of keyboard with legs to side

Luna explained to me that something was very wrong.

I quickly delivered a sample of pee to her vet, at Dickin Memorial Animal Hospital (in Johnson City, NY), and we had to wait to see what the problem was.

Meanwhile, Luna’s behavior started to change.  I would try to touch her, and she would lash out at me

I even tried to get her her own chair…

Luna on one of two leather chairs

Not good enough.

I found her bathing in another sunbeam near the stairs…

Luna on floor in sunbeam near vase

… but she was looking at me with suspicion!

I tried to pet her!

Ow!  Luna 😦

I could tell she was suffering, by the way she slept.

Luna curled on bed with nose tucked next to tail

She just wasn’t her usual self.  So much effort trying to pee.

She was outright exhausted.

Luna sleeping with chin resting on side of bed

The test results came in.  Luna had a nasty bacterial urinary tract infection.  I rushed to the vet to get antibiotic pills for Luna.

The vet tech at Dickin Memorial even taught me how to “pill” a cat, demonstrating with one of the cats that reside at the animal hospital.

Luna was much less accepting, however.  I had to be creative in how I fed the pills to Luna.  In the past, Luna had taken the same pills when she had problems peeing, but that turned out to be related to “struvite crystals”, not an infection, and was easily cleared up by changing the brand of her food.  With the infection, Luna’s normally ravenous appetite waned.

This is the saddest picture I’ve ever taken of the Little Chomper.

Luna sleeping rather than eating food

She was not only not eating, but she was also vomiting, a lot.  She normally would sleepwalk over to eat any food within paw’s reach, but now, I was having nightmares about how bad this could get for Luna.

Since Luna wasn’t eating much at all, it was difficult to get her to eat pills with her food.

But if you know anything about me from my blog, you’d know I can be creative.  She still was eating her “Greenies” cat treats.  I would at least get her to start eating her food by inserting one Greenie in each small portion of food.

Cat food pastry

A little hors d’oeuvre.  It worked.  When Luna loses focus on food, I can point at the food on her dish and she’ll resume eating, like a parent telling a child to eat their dinner.  It’s cute.

But to sneak a pill in that little portion?  I was using these “pill pockets”, which are a salmon-flavored chewy substance that wraps around the pill… but she certainly wasn’t in the mood for that now.  She would lick and moisten the encased pill, but leave it on the plate.

I tried crushing a crunchy treat and rolling the chewy pill pocket in it, making a “greenie truffle”.  Didn’t work.

I tried cutting the crunchy Greenie in half and carving out a hole inside, then “gluing” the halves back together, with the pill inside, using some of the chewy pill pocket, making a “Franken-greenie”.  Didn’t work but she probably would have crunched through the pill anyway, exposing its bitterness and destroying it at the same time.

Luna did not want anymore food!

Luna on bed with head behind foot and paw covering face

But I persisted, slipping the pill at different places in Luna’s food, frequently.  I managed to get her to eat two, but after a conversation with the vet, again, I learned of a seemingly perfect solution.

There’s an injection Luna could get instead.  Just one shot, instead of the 28 pills over two weeks.  I remarked that it sounded awfully convenient, and the vet tech replied, “That’s why it’s named ‘Convenia’!”

I changed into skeptic-mode.  Why wasn’t this recommended first?  What’s the catch?  Is it less safe?  I was told the one main problem… If Luna has a reaction to it, it’s too late to get it out of her.

I googled, “convenia side effects” and saw endless reviews like this:

He said that he could give him a shot that would last 2 weeks. Wow that’s convenient !!! Well 24 h later he was dead.

I saw similar reviews for another medication I used, “Frontline Plus”.  Would a vet recommended by the local humane society be prescribing medication that’s so deadly?  I had a feeling that competing companies were regularly putting up false reviews to scare people away from the leading products.  After consulting with another veterinarian online, who used the same injection hundreds of times without a problem, I was feeling better about the injection and scheduled an appointment.

While waiting, I flipped on the movie “Hotel Transylvania”.  Luna seems to be back into affectionate mode.  She especially loves when I’m lying on the sofa.  She’ll lie down directly on my trachea.

Luna laying across torso tucked under chin

Tracheas are comfy!  But cats so not settle for one position before going comatose.

Lots of purring, and then… THIS!

Luna lying across torso with head and forepaw angled to rest on arm

And she stayed like that for the rest of the movie.  I have a stoic expression on because it requires a lot of concentration to frame this picture right without dropping my phone on Luna.

But eventually, the movie ended, and it was time to go to the vet.

Luna about to go to the vet

Luna… I said it was time to go to the vet.  Get in the cat carrier.

Luna about to go to the vet climbing into carrier

Better.

So soon Luna was on her way.

Luna in cat carrier looking through screen

And after we arrived, she was hoisted on the table in her favorite vet’s office.

Luna in cat carrier on vet table

Luna was sitting very calmly and quietly, but I knew better.  I knew she was just saving her energy for evilness.

I knew, by this point, that my precious little Luna wanted to kill everyone, and everything.  She wanted you dead as well.  Sorry.  Luna was just about the most evil creature that ever lived, and ever will live.  I was going to offer to pull her out with my unprotected arms (in short sleeves) and put her on the table, but then I thought better of it.  I knew they had a nice pair of thick work gloves, so I asked for them.

Luna, the Little Chomper, chomped the vet technician during her last visit, while she was wearing the work gloves.  While the technician said it was fine, perhaps it wasn’t, or the doctor wanted to avoid the chance of it being worse next time.  She suggested we leave Luna in the carrier and put a towel over her while holding her in place.  While the injection is normally inserted in the scruff of the neck, just like last time, Luna would get a shot in her butt.  I’m convinced that Luna likes it that way.

So it happened, just like that, and Luna gave me the stare of death, never looking away, the whole drive back.  Then, when we got home, she begrudgingly accepted her two “apology treats” and I opened the window for her to look at birds.

Sure enough, Luna was going to stay grumpy for a while.

Man, I’m getting tired of this domestic shorthair violence.

After a grumpy while, Luna meowed at me and got her dinner.  Her appetite appeared fine, as she ate her usual portion fairly quickly.  I fed it to her half at a time, just to help ensure she kept it down.  When she went to pee, while it was still a small amount, it was fairly quick, which probably means she’s feeling less discomfort.  Maybe those first three pills were having an effect already.

She disappeared into a box, but then stretched, jumped onto my computer desk, nuzzled me repeatedly until I stopped writing this story, and collapsed onto her computer desk cat bed.  As you can see, she’s no longer murderous.

It looks like Luna is doing fine now, and I’m convinced she’ll only get better from here.  It looks like my little Luna never had any other plans in mind.

A great sign… she just finished playing a round of The Game of Treats!  And as you can see from this post, she has also resumed activities related to her modeling career.  She may be nearly back to her old self.

The End

————–

Update from the Little Chomper!

luna_with_glasses

Meow folks!  Sorry to worry you guys about this.  It’s not been the best weekend for me, but I’m ever thankful to Dickin Memorial Animal Hospital, for taking great care of me.  And not to worry.  I enjoyed getting another shot in my butt!  Purr!

Also, my book is FINISHED!  It should be on Amazon some time this week!  There will be another post about it soon, but here’s the cover!

Little Chomper book cover

MeOW!!  I look stunning!  100 pages of full color me!  With five action-packed funny stories!  Purr!

And!

I got a “Dear Luna” email from one of my fans!  It looks like I should answer these questions at once.

Deepthi Amarasuriya writes:

When you look so contemplative, what exactly is going through your mind?  Are you thinking of your grand purpose in the universe?  Are you thinking of new places to explore?  Are you thinking of new ways of looking cute, and getting your own way?  Or are you thinking of how unfair it is that your daddy and mommy don’t share more of their food with you?

Dear Deepthi,

When I’m contemplative, I’m not thinking about food, as rare as it is.  I’m not thinking about sleep either.  My eyes would certainly not look “contemplative” in that case.  No, I’m usually thinking about the nuances of French culture.  It’s something I’ve always been interested in, ever since I was a kitten.  Or I might be looking for birds and insects.  Or reciting holy passages from the teachings of the Sun God, but that’s only when I’m on my way to the vet.

I hope that answered your question.  I’d have written more, but I’m sleepy.  Good night.

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Categories: Actually HappenedTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

29 comments

  1. I’m glad Luna’s better!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Luna, I hope you are feeing completely better soon. My little stripy Jenny had huge UTI problems when she was young but it cleared up as she got older. And yes, Convenia is wonderful stuff. I have unpillable cats, and have been so glad to have it available.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh, and “domestic shorthair violence” is a totally brilliant phrase..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What timeframe does her vet assess to cure her up fully? Reading this post I guess, things are going in right direction.
    and needless to say- yes, she’s stunning at the coverpage 😎

    Liked by 2 people

    • The antibiotics are supposed to last two weeks, and then after that, if any symptoms return after that, well, she’s probably going to need to be tested again, which unfortunately would involve sedation (which makes me nervous). But I’m betting she’ll be fine. I’d say she’s completely out of the woods three weeks from now, but life is pretty sunny for her right now.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I worried about Luna very much. I congratulate a recovery. It’s difficult to make a cat take medicine.(>.<" It was embedded in the snack which likes in case of Koharu. When deteriorating, the symptom is an injection or an intravenous drip, isn't it? I'm worried about a harmful effect of a medicine for certain. I was relieved at a physical condition recovery of Luna. It was good! We believe Luna of recovery.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am so glad Luna is feeling more like herself. It’s very worrisome when your pets become ill. Please tell her I am happy to see she is feeling better!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’m so glad Luna is doing better! My Toby has had that antibiotic shot before and he did well with it – I agreed to such a massive dose because he had a raging mystery infection and had not eaten for 3 days, lost several pounds and lethargic-comatose. Normally I choose pills but when it’s bad, you have to try anything. Keep us posted on Luna’s progress!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Your pictures of Luna sick tugged my heart strings. I have three cats. Been there done that with UTIs. They go for rugs because they are soft and hurt less when they are trying to pee, but it’s no fun for us humans, huh? I’ve used the injection two or three times on different cats in my family. It is a life saver when you have a cat that won’t take pills or is too grumpy to handle. If it makes you feel any better, Smokey, the reigning queen in our household, and 13 years old, has gotten to the point of refusing to be handled at the vet – period. They either have to wrap a towel around her or slightly sedate her, no matter why we are there. I learned she had become this way the hard way 18 months ago when I took her to the vet. I offered my hand as a comfort, as I’ve always done before, only this time it was not wanted as in the past. She grabbed it and bit it twice before she realized, “Oh crap! it’s Mom!” She did have the decency to look ashamed, at least. haha Her appointment was $50. Mine? Including doctor and meds – $250 – because the day after she bit me my hand was swollen and I had red streaks up my arm. Smokey really hates for me to bring up that moment anymore. She is quite embarrassed. Glad your Luna is okay!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Swollen? Oh no… that sounds awful. At the vet’s office, a cat has no friends. Luna has grown accustomed to scowling at me when she needs to… the vet certainly would have preferred her sedated, but the towel worked out fine. I learned that when my Luna does bite me, not to pull away. I often get away with no damage at all that way. If I pull away when she’s still biting, well… out comes the Neosporin 😦

      Either way, it was really heartbreaking seeing Luna suffer so much, having no idea what was happening to her. She’s still not peeing full-throttle, but it’s a lot more than before, and, more importantly, it’s quick. What a relief.

      Like

  9. Got back to my familiar computer and just saw this. So sad to see Luna in pain. Glad she’s better now.

    I wasn’t aware of Luna’s interest in French culture. All that Manet, Monet, Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, Proust, Debussy … a lot of food for thought.

    Speaking of food … that too is a very important part of French culture. I’m sure lots of French philosophers and writers have made profound remarks about food, which to them would be French food.

    “In nine lifetimes, you’ll never know as much about your cat as your cat knows about you.”

    Michel de Montaigne

    Like

  10. I hope Luna is continuing to feel better!

    Liked by 1 person

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