Friday, March 10, 2006

Hang in there, kiddo

Voodoo, my elderly cat, is approaching the end of his days. He has been losing weight over the past few months and lately he's gotten extremely thin and feeble. Paul took him to the vet earlier this week. She initially suspected liver failure, in which case he would have weeks or months to live. Fortunately the prognosis is not quite so grim. His labwork showed severe dehydration and an unspecified infection, but no liver failure. She prescribed antibiotics and a potassium supplement.

Getting the meds down him has been a real adventure. Sneaking the potassium powder into his favorite canned food was a joke; he left it untouched. I tried mixing it in tuna, which he'll normally wolf down like a starved, feral beast. He turned up his nose at that. I finally resorted to dissolving it in milk and force-feeding it to him in a kitten baby bottle. He's not loving that, but seems to have resigned himself to a couple of minutes of unpleasantness every day.

Voodoo has perked up some but he's not out of the woods yet. Even if he bounces back from this completely, clearly he is of advanced age and in decline. His condition has forced me to confront the idea of losing him. He has lived a long and contented life, but I am not ready to let him go. He is my partner in crime. He has accompanied me at ten different residences, including a relocation to a new state far from everyone and everything I knew. He has actually had eleven homes himself, counting his stay at Mom's after the landlord discovered him and Baby (his "brother", who we lost last year) and banished them from the apartment I shared with my ex-wife. He's been with me through marriage and divorce, career changes and devastating breakups. He has been the only real constant in my life for eighteen years.