It’s six weeks ago today that we brough Zoltan into rescue. She settled in quickly and remarkably well. Such a sweet old lady. We knew she had some health issues, she’d been having seizures for some time, but she made herself comfortable and we started to get to know her, to care for her and love her. She made the end of the sofa her main hang out place.
As with every other new arrival, she was off to the vets for a health check in her first week here. Because she’s 18 and had health issues, she had a blood test. That revealed that she had early stages of renal failure. She took to her renal diet pretty well. As her hips weren’t too good we often fed her in her spot at the end of the sofa, and hand fed the renal dry food. Somehow word got around that Z was getting extra treats, and everyone started lining up for them. In return Zoltan noticed that these ‘treats’ were desirable … and became keen to eat them.
Soon her appetite dropped off though and she became quite poorly. She was admitted as an in patient and put on IV fluids for a few days. During this time she was diagnosed with high blood pressure as well as kidney disease, on top of her epilepsy.
Four weeks ago today we picked her up from the vets after her 3 day admission and she was like a new cat. Before I’d got her bandage off (needs to stay on a little while after coming off the drip) she’d pottered out the door and up the garden. It’s all safely cat fenced, so perfect for elderly and vulnerable cats. She headed straight for the cat mint area, accompanied by her friend Rowan. She rolled around in the sunshine and catnip, loving every moment. It was so lovely to see her happy. She’d been quite subdued since she arrived but this was a true moment of being alive and happy.
At that stage Zoltan had only had one seizure whilst with us so hadn’t been started on medication for epilepsy. The vets explained that they wanted us to witness another seizure so that we could have some idea of how frequently she had them …. so then we could know whether the medication, once started, was actually reducing the frequency. She had the second later that week. That was quite a low point. Although I was next to her when she had it, it took me so much by surprise and the thrashing was so violent, that I wasn’t able to stop her from falling from the sofa onto the footstool and then onto the floor. She seemed to recover from it quicker than I did, and was off to get something to eat whilst I was still berating myself for not having caught her.
The upside of this though was that she was able to start medication and so far as we are aware, had no further seizures.
Zoltan went back to the vets for her second vaccination and a blood pressure check 10 days ago and all was well. Blood pressure back to normal and putting a little bit of weight back on. It was Flipper’s birthday that day and Zoltan joined in their special birthday tea.
The weather has been a bit rubbish, but every time it was nice we’d have the door open and as soon as she smelled the fresh air she was off up the garden to the nip.
Last Sunday she went into the garden but on Monday she seemed more unsteady on her feet and it looked like it might be time to introduce the extra step between the footstool and the floor that we’d created for Henderson. Tuesday her appetite wasn’t too great. I thought I was maybe over reacting, but called the vet and booked her in for Thursday. By Wednesday evening she was struggling to stand up but her appetite improved and she was purring to me for the first time since she arrived. Then her tummy started to be upset …. very upset. I stayed up with her so I could carry her to the litter tray and clean her.
We had a little carry around the garden to the catmint on Thursday morning but she didn’t seem interested. The vets admitted her following her appointment. Anaemia was added to her list of diagnoses, her kidneys had deteriorated more and there were some other worrying blood results. She didn’t pick up on fluids like she had done last time. Her tummy continued to be very upset. It became clear that it was more likely that it was whatever was happening in her brain that was causing these issues rather than renal failure. We kept hoping … a little …. and made preparations for her being discharged today. I got all the cleaning done so she wouldn’t be disturbed by it, and had a bit stack of vet bed and puppy pads ready for nursing her. She’d eaten fairly well thus far, but the lunchtime call today said that her appetite had dropped off and she still had a very upset tum. It was clear that she wasn’t going to get better at home if she hadn’t made any improvement at the vets. We were assured that she wasn’t suffering as such, but wasn’t really aware of or interested in anything. It was clear that in reality the choice was between letting her go now or bringing her home to potentially suffer and then face going to the emergency vets or our vets early next week to say goodbye.
Such a rollercoaster six weeks. Such heartbreak seeing her unable to stand and having to “say goodbye” without actually being able to say goodbye … because it’s still not possible to go into the vet surgery. Such joy watching her make renal food into a value treat for the whole family and seeing her rolling around in the catmint with Rowan.