We don’t spend much on our pets.
We’ve had three, in 43 years, with not much overlap, and they’ve been insanely healthy. And we’re not the sort to overtreat terminal issues just to wring another couple months out of them for our own purposes.
We did indulge my cat (Saint) Larry with an expensive thyroid zap that tacked on a good extra three years as promised before her kidneys started calling in sick.
Boomer came up lame once and we took her to the vet who intoned that of course she would always have painful back issues because she was long for her height. We slipped him a Benjamin and took her home and she vaulted out of the car and bounced her way through the rest of her days like a furry piston. Also? So we could get our money’s worth, we asked why she was scratching so much.
The vet said she was itchy.
Tater cat is a poster of wellness. She is a regular Vat of Vim. She’s been to the vet twice for sneezing, been declared robust as a September hurricane, and returned home cured. We asked why she was sneezing.
The vet said she was sneezy.
Tater’s somewhere north of sixteen and a half now and still occasionally rockets through the house like an electron. But she’s a good five pounds off her record weight (although she had been a bit of a chunk) and has begun to throw up rather often. It’s not hairballs.
Tater didn’t throw up for fifteen years. She has never had a hairball. She cleans herself, but everything slips out of her like a morning dream. Her fur is made of dandelion wishes and belly-button lint from a moth, which is very rare. Bunnies spin it for baby blankies. She’s soft. I looked up Cat Vomit. It wasn’t good. Cancer, thyroid, kidneys. Lots of things we probably wouldn’t treat; would instead monitor her for distress and act accordingly. But just in case there was something kind to be done, we took her and a bag of matching poop to the vet.
We watched as the vet prodded and poked and probed and generally squished the cat like toothpaste, all the while commenting that her fur was remarkably fine and soft, and she was remarkably sweet, and quite possibly the nicest cat she had seen in many a day, and then she whisked Tater away to obtain blood and urine in some way that I did not need to know about, and armed with the complete Innards Kit (including the splendid poop sample from home), she said she’d get back to us after the labs came back. The nice lady at the front desk siphoned $500 from our debit card and we waited at home. $500. I get it. The plumber charges half that just to hitch up his pants before he gets in the car.
The labs came back.
There must have been twenty-five different things tested. Enzymes, blood components, pertinent elements, hostile viruses, messages from the operating system, alien invaders. The vet went through the list. All the way to the end. Bip, bam, boom. Right spang in the center of normal all the way through. “She’s a remarkably healthy cat for her age,” the vet cooed. “And she’s very sweet.”
I waited. I wasn’t sure we’d gotten our $500 worth. Was there something else? Dropsy? Ague? Vapors? Idiopathic nodules or disturbances in the force?
“And she’s very soft,” she concluded.
All righty then.
And a little vomity.
Cats need hobbies. Tater may have taken up regurgitation as a pastime. She could be disemboweling the furniture. Count your lucky stars.
She already disemboweled the furniture. Upholstery stuffing might be the key to her longevity.
What is it she is throwing up? Her food?
Just her food. Just sometimes. Just kibble in more or less original form. We got probiotic powder to sprinkle on the food for a week and I think it helped.
I am glad to hear that…. We have Turtle’s sister still…Jenny Choo… who is a very skinny boney cat who is probably around 15 years old. We took her in twice because she has gotten so skinny… and she is just that…. skinny. Alright everything else. Devery calls her Bones but then Devery renames every animal I ever
I took my brand new shelter cat to the vet as she brought home kennel cough. $245 for antibiotics and vitamins! The first visit was free but would have been another $45. If the vet had done a poop analysis with that visit he would have discovered tapeworms, but since he didn’t I had the distinct pleasure of finding the little buggers myself. Fortunately you can now buy the meds online. I’m with you. Any serious and savings account-draining treatment means nature will take its course, as much as I love my little Ginger girl.
Ya gotta go sometime.
We’ve had Molly’s thyroid zapped and that solved her problem with weight. Now Baxter (11) is on meds to slow down the thyroid. He’s much too anxious a cat to send away for four days to get his thyroid zapped. So far, so good with both of them. Good luck to Tater and his staff.
You know that thyroid business with cat might have something to do with flame-retardants in furniture and carpeting.
Best wishes to you and Tater. I threw the kitchen sink at my Sam when she started falling over when she tried to scratch. I’m pretty sure I just made her last days worse and drained my bank account to no good purpose. It’s hard to know when to stop though when the one you love is in distress and someone offers a lifeline.
You have to weigh it. Figure out how much good life is left. I hope to have the gumption to do that with myself too.
I try to remember one of my favorite quotes from my favorite movie, Fight Club. “On a long enough timeline, everyones survival rate drops to zero.” No one gets out of here alive. And, in reality, immortality without eternal youth is pointless.
I don’t want to live to “a ripe old age,” warehoused in a nursing home. It’s strange how we are willing to grant our pets “a merciful death,” but insist that people MUST live even if they would really rather not. It’s their life and their body. Growing old is like being increasingly penalized for a crime you haven’t committed.
Or, in some cases, committed.
Oh, FFS, Murr! THOSE people NEVER die! Witness Dick Cheney. Donald Trump. They do everything “wrong” but keep on kickin’. They’re like the Evil Energizer Bunny!
Great to hear about your cats’ longevity. They just keep on tickin’
We have, in the past, done everything the wallet would allow to extend the lives of our fur babies. We had a serious talk with ourselves before acquiring the two felines who dominate us now, and swore NOT to do that again. So we now spend $200 a month on the latest mRNA injections science offers to ease the osteoarthritis of our Spongebob Square Cat, who kisses the vet (and everyone else) and believes himself to be a labrador in a catskin. He’s 12 and has congenital hip dysplasia, which is not his fault. He’s also fat, which (ahem) may be my fault, *but* he apparently has a porcine gene somewhere and he begs constantly! You’d understand if you knew him. He still loves his life. That’s what we’ve learned. When the joy in their eyes is replaced by pain it’s time to say goodbye, no matter how much it hurts *us*.
Oh I understand. I couldn’t say No to Larry, who LOVED food, especially chicken. And ice cream. Which, basically, a cat can’t get unless she gets help. So. Yes. My fault. She was such a lovable little football of a tortie.
I am glad to hear Tater is well in spite of the vomiting. Perhaps try feeding him just a little less so his aging stomach doesn’t overload? I wrote a post about adopting my Lola in case you’re interested.
Tater self-regulates. We don’t feed her precise amounts at certain times of day–just fill her bowl. But she doesn’t snarf it all up. She seems better now, after a probiotic powder…
As the mother of two veterinarians, I always have to overthink all treatments. The biggest expense we ever had was putting a pacemaker into our dog after which we we dubbed him the six million dollar Pug. Ironically, we didn’t have to pay for the pacemaker, only the surgery, as veterinary hospitals get the pacemakers from human supply houses when they are not used and their batteries are out of date. Norbert’s pacemaker had a seven year lifetime guarantee. I asked our local vet what do we do in 7 years, and he kinda of laughed and said that this dog was not going to be around in another seven years. ( He was 5 at the time.) So p.s. the dog and the pacemaker lasted another 8 and a half years, 2 years longer than the Vet stayed in practice. I’ve never regretted our choice. He was a wonderful friend.
I like the name (Saint) Larry.
Is it possible that Tater is a bit constipated? My experience has been that puking and constipation are associated.