Fighting to save my cat has been like fighting to save my own life. As I struggle to improve my health, he has gotten sick, and I don’t know why he is sick or how he got sick. It could be something small, easy to solve, or it could be an illness that is more complicated, requiring expensive surgery, something that could take his life. So far, in the six years we’ve been together, every little thing I’ve done to save his life has worked. When I rescued him, he rescued me. If I lose him, I will lose everything. I will be gone. He’s my last connection to life. He is my life. He is my baby. He’s all I have. I have no children. I have no boyfriend. I have no steady circle of friends who gather at my doorstep. I only have him. And he keeps me going. He saves my life everyday.
I have been very depressed for many months now. Mr. Snuggles has kept my spirits up a great deal — a very big job for a cat to do! I have digestion problems galore related to the depression. I withdraw from people while I concentrate on getting better, all the while he is at my side, and we drink the same water, share the same bed, play every morning, cuddle every night. Yet could how I feel be killing him?
How can I save my cat? What is wrong with him? I’ve already taken my cat to a vet and have followed her advice. My cat has not been able to poop in many days. It started early in July when I noticed he stopped eating. It’s not like him. Mr. Snuggles loves food as much as he loves water. He likes to eat and drink whenever he sees me eat and drink, so we share our meals together. I don’t give him any of my own food, he has his own, he just follows me, always my shadow, always next to me. So whenever his behavior changes, it’s very obvious, and he “tells” me whenever he’s not feeling well. I knew right away his body wasn’t working right. He vocally alerts me whenever it comes to problems with his litter box routine. Even though this time he still pees regularly, and he’s not in pain, straining to poo is uncomfortable, usually a sign he ate something he can’t pass like my hair or pieces of fabric like string. This time nothing showed up, nothing came out, all a mystery.
Too many days passed, and after a week, we made a visit to the vet for a solution. I didn’t tell anyone how upset I was for fear I would jinx things. I seriously feared for Mr. Snuggles’ life. As we killed time in the waiting room, the people ahead of us had to make the decision to put down their six-month-old puppy because they could not afford the surgery required to save its life. I was too freaked out to go into the room they were in. I waited until another room was free to ease my panic. The next folks to come in were a cute Korean couple with a kitten who could be Mr. Snuggles’ mini-me. Adult black cat and black kitten shared the same golden-green eyes, and Mr. Snuggles cheerfully mewed at the kitten in such a way that had us all laughing. It made me forget about the puppy and gave me hope. ‘Maybe Snuggles needs a little brother or sister,’ I thought as his name was called by the assistant and we made our way to see who would be Mr. Snuggles’ doctor.
As usual, Mr. Snuggles takes the vet appointment in stride, plopping down and making himself home anywhere. He doesn’t even mind it when he’s examined (but if I do it, he squirms and fights me). The vet’s diagnosis was that he was simply constipated, so I felt that the visit was a relief, yet even though I spent a lot a money for it, I’d pay anything to keep my baby happy and healthy. So we took her advice, within two days he did his duty. Not to be too graphic, but his poop was large and full of hair. His last bowel movement was a normal soft brown. But ever since the bad constipation, he’s become anorexic.
I wondered if perhaps he’s afraid of becoming constipated again. He’s active and happy, drinks plenty of water but will not drink or eat on his own, he needs me to encourage him. He became accustomed to me syringing him water and force feeding him. Weening him from this became a pain in the ass. For a little while he started to eat on his own. I walked away and ignored him to get him to eat on his own. It worked. However, I’ve had to water down wet food to get him to eat. He likes to eat soupy food now. Hard food is a thing of the past. It’s of no mind. The wet food is better for his digestion anyway. But he stopped eating altogether again when he stopped pooping once more.
To get him to poop again, I re-started a laxative the vet prescribed that worked before, but after a week and a half, nothing is working. Mr. Snuggles’ backside is greasy and wet. What is going on? I’ve examined his anus, there’s no irritation there or anything coming out of it. I called the vet and tried the laxative as a lubricant (it’s made of cod liver oil and used both orally and analy). Kitty hated me using a Q-tip to get in there. I also used belly massage techniques given to me to help ease his bowels. I don’t know what else to do but go back to the vet, yet I have no more money to keep going back and forth. What do I do? Am I going to lose Mr. Snuggles?
This morning he woke me up, all bright-eyed and extra-loving, and curled up close to my face and neck as if nothing is wrong, as if to tell me everything is going to be okay. He pushes his nose into my cheek and purrs so loud it seems to shake the entire bed. I put my hand over his belly. I feel him shiver a little. I worry that he feels cold, but then I realize I feel cold. It’s supposed to be the tail end of July, one of the hottest weeks of the year, yet it’s 50 degrees out and we live in the shade. It feels like autumn has closed in early. Are we alive here in bed together? Yes. More alive than ever.
We’re more alive together because all we have to live for is each other for as long as we’ve got and for the most of it, the best. And because he is worth it.