|Bob eating- yea! photo by Kara Hartz|
I’ve been sure that Bob is on death’s door for about 3 years now. He gets sick, I’m sure that this is the end because, well he’s got a broken spine and he’s a thousand years old – how much more can he take, right? But he always pulls through. He is the toughest cat in the history of cats.
The latest episode in this ongoing story: he was eating poorly, and had lost significant weight. I took him with me to work for a bath. That was the only plan. At the hospital I work at we use these disposable cardboard litter pans for cats that are clean and fit well into the kennels without taking up all the space. We don’t put much litter in them so the kennel doesn’t get too messy if the cat kicks the litter around. I leave Bob’s diaper off when I have him at work with me to let his poor bottom air out. When he used his box, it was clear he had significant blood in his urine. (I thought is strange that this didn’t show up in his diapers.)
So began the tests. We got blood and urine samples. I was sure his kidneys must be starting to fail because his last bloodwork showed his kidney values in the ‘grey zone’. In other words, not yet bad enough to diagnose kidney disease, but not quite a good as we’d like. Shocking, for a 19/20 year old cat, his kidney values came back this time just perfect. Like I said, he’s an amazing guy. But he does have a raging bladder infection. He was treated with Convenia injectable antibiotic, which we just learned today from his urine culture that his infection is susceptible to. His attitude has since improved greatly.
I’m wondering if the diaper could be a contributing factor to this development. Might holding the wet diaper near his body encourage bacteria to migrate up into his bladder? I think maybe. We can’t discontinue the diaper for Bob at this stage. He really seems to have almost no control at all of his urine anymore, so I will just need to be extra diligent about changing him if he is even a little wet. Unlike a baby, he doesn’t complain and ask to be changed.
The other strange thing is – he had barely eaten anything in about a week when I took him to work. Then there, he ate three cans of food that day. The next day at home he didn’t want to eat again. So I switched his dish for the paper bowls we use at work (as seen in the photo above) and he started eating again. I thought his dish was somehow difficult for him to eat out of or he decided he didn’t like it. Unfortunately, the paper dish solution has not continued to work. He is back to sporadic eating habits. So I’d love some theories or ideas about how to encourage better eating. I’m thinking of trying a flat dish – if a more open paper bowl was easier than his ceramic bowl, maybe a plate will be even easier? Yes, I’m reaching here, but you would too if you loved this cat.