Early 2016 my beloved cat of 15 years in my care began acting very strangely. To be fair, my kitty has always been a bit of a strange one. A very amusing cat at times – especially when she would roar around the house with a crazed look on her face, pouncing and bouncing, leaping, and literally flying at times it would seem! This is what the children and I laughingly called “crack-a-cat” (Not to be confused with Mrs Pumphrey’s Tricki-Woo going “crackerdog” – All Creatures Great and Small) I always put every strangeness about my Chili down to having been a feral cat before joining our family.
She had been alright it seemed, at first. Eating for England and drinking about enough for all as well. She had taken to spending an inordinate amount of time “hiding” under my desk. I took no serious notice of this as she has always been a “hider”….I would get missing her and when I found her she would be curled up in my wardrobe or under my bed. No alarm bells sounding yet.
One day as I were holding her I could tell she was lighter. I sat her on the armrest of a chair to inspect more carefully but she didn’t seem any thinner by sight. All in my mind, I thought. Within a month, she was visibly lighter so I decided the only thing for it was food. Better food, more food, but food was key. No. Oh she ate well enough alright and would eat anything I put before her. Still, the weight never came back. I still didn’t panic…yet.
In late May, early June, my beloved Chili took a serious turn. She could not keep anything down and was wobbling around like a drunken thing. She literally would stumble whilst walking. She wouldn’t eat, probably thinking it was the food making her ill, and panting heavily. Cats do know themselves better than any of us could hope to. I made a frantic call to the Veterinarian’s surgery and got an appointment for Monday (this was all happening on a Friday night – Saturday morning, ask poor Liss who had to comfort me through it all!) As Chili wouldn’t eat I was told to give her plain turkey or chicken baby food with NO additives. That part is very important.
Without going into all the details or this blog would become a book, Chili was given the full range of testing – bloods, urine, and more. Most heartbreakingly was the sight of my gorgeous girl whom once had weighed between 10 and 12 lbs, was now down to a scant 6.5 lbs! I truly felt I had let her down terribly. I had always promised her I would take care of her and this is what she got for her faith in me.
She was diagnosed with feline hypothyroidism. It seemingly is a condition which affects many cats in the elderly stages of their lives but only affecting cats under the age of 12 by 6%. Mind, it can also cover a plethora of other illnesses as well, such as inflammatory bowel disease, intestinal cancer, and chronic kidney failure which have similar symptoms to hypothyroidism. At the very beginning of symptoms, you MUST have your cat seen to by your Veterinarian. Don’t wait as I did because cats are notorious for hiding their Illness from their humans. I suspect they don’t like doctors any more than we do.
I shall be writing more about feline illnesses and behaviours soon. It has become a subject I am well-versed in from the year my Chili and I have had. If this helps any kitty (and their human!) to get onto the road to good health again, then it has been worth all we’ve been through to share with you.
Chili is still overly slender and has had many other things go wrong, but we are putting them right as best we can. She has her good days and her bad. But she has a fire inside and you can see by her face that her quality of life is there and worth the fight. She believes in me and I believe in her. We’ve got this. >^,,^<