July 8, 2006

Cat patient

The little manToday I took the little man (aka Jasper) to the vet. He eats and eats and eats and doesn’t gain weight, but looks skinnier and skinnier. He’s lost 10 more ounces since October, and my once 11-lb. kitty now weighs a scrawny 8.4 pounds. The vet said he’s not just skinny. He’s bony. And older cats tend to gain weight more than they lose it (Jasper’s 14 years old). I thought for sure he had a hyperactive thyroid. I wish that was the problem. He’s got a couple of other issues instead.

For one, his heart murmur is worse. His breathing is irregular, and the vet fears he may have cardiomyopathy. This could possibly be treated with meds, but we’ll need to do an ultrasound to find out more of the story. This makes me sad. And scared.

But the possible cardiac disease is not why he’s so skinny. There’s something else wrong. One of his kidneys is huge. So we’re doing an ultrasound on that too, along with some other lab tests. Depending on what they find, it may be treatable with meds. That is my hope. I will force pills down Jasper’s throat for the rest of his life if I have to. I don’t care. I would daily hand-feed him caviar from a sterling silver spoon from Tiffany’s, if that would help. We are talking about my little man here. He was my family when I was homesick in Kentucky and breaking up with my boyfriend, and Jasper made the flight back to CA in his carrier at my feet. He’s seen me through ups and downs of the last 12 years, and he has me wrapped around his little paw, getting me up at 6:30 every morning to feed him smelly canned cat food.

While we waited in the room for them to bring him out after preliminary x-rays, I didn’t want to discuss Jasper’s health with Matte. Instead, we “awwed” at the 2 kitten sisters across from us, Gina and Sophia (named after Lolabrigida and Loren). It wasn’t until I got into the comfort of our home and set Jasper free from his carrier that I broke down and cried. The uncertainty and helplessness is what’s getting me. I don’t want to think the worst, and I know I should wait until the results of Monday’s ultrasound, but I can’t help it. Just knowing something serious is wrong with my little man breaks my heart.

So for those of you who have kitties, or doggies, or rabbits, or any pets, give them some extra attention today.