Our Senior Cat stopped eating last November. Animals don't stop eating abruptly unless something is wrong. My radar went up and I have been watching him ever since.
We cajoled and convinced him to eat soft cat food and he started to maintain his weight and even regained his weight by the time he went for his annual check up and shots in the spring.
Things started to go downhill again as summer started slipping into fall. He has been doctoring ever since.
Antibiotics aren't fixing what is ailing him. He has lost more weight. He was a skinny cat to start with so it is very sad to pet him and feel less flesh and more bone.
Last week we started him on a very low dosage of a steroid medicine. He is five days into this new treatment and we sit back and wait. And watch ...
Yesterday our Senior Cat came up and voluntarily joined our morning. Four children under the age of three and two adults. And he was in the thick of it.
He weaved his way through the crowd and found his way to the New Person that he had not yet met. He greeted her with his monster purr and the drool that goes right along with that purr (he has never been able to swallow his saliva and purr loudly at the same time so the drooling is not a new thing).
After a while he spotted the three-year-old sitting quietly on the couch and snuggled up beside him.
Later on, all of us were nestled into the love seat and enjoying our pre-nap-snuggle-time. There was one triangle of couch left over after one adult and three children filled up the rest of the square footage that was available. Senior Cat sensed that there would be room for him (there is always room when you are a cat) and he filled up the one empty space on the couch.
Enjoying a short afternoon nap
As the kids napped, Junior Cat joined me and his Senior companion. Junior cat is huge. He reminds me of a panther. He weighs at least five pounds more than our Senior Cat and could so easily overpower his elder and rule this domain. But he doesn't.
He hunkers down ... closer and closer to the ground, as Senior Cat has less and less energy. Yesterday, Junior quite literally crawled up to his master, his ears were completely flattened back against his head in a purely submissive way and he nuzzled the chest of His Majesty. Senior Cat is huge on grooming. He has washed the hair of any child that will lay their head down (in the same type of submissive move) for as long as that child will endure (click here ).
Junior Cat relaxed and allowed himself to be groomed and a short little cat tussle ensued. The cat chases still happen, though a little less frequently and of shorter duration. The cat wrestling is shorter and sweeter. Two cats went flying through the hallway as I typed that paragraph ...
Senior Cat has always been a wanderer and has even hunted down a muskrat in his time (click here for that adventure ). He is an escape artist (he sped out the front door into the wilderness of our unfenced front yard two paragraphs ago) and knows exactly how and when to time his moves to sneak out the door within the time it takes for the door to close.
He is beyond ecstatic that he has the run of our fully enclosed back yard these days. He races out the back door in full escape mode as if to make the adventure a little bit more thrilling for him. We don't know if he has simply forgotten that he is allowed in the back yard or if this is just his way of re-enacting the thrill of The Escape. Once back there he revels in the sunshine, the bugs and watching birds fly overhead.
Andre hunts down a bee
We are watching him closely for signs that he isn't tolerating his new medication (so far, so good). More than that, we keep watching for signs that he is feeling a little bit more of his old self. We are savoring every cat chase, every nuzzle, every monster-purr, every indication that our sociable little cat is still alive and well underneath it all.
Every little bit of 'normal' feels a little bit more extraordinary when it isn't taken for granted. Life as we know it can be snatched out from under us without warning. Sometimes we are given notice. Sometimes we aren't.
Enjoy the little things today. Just because ...
Our very own set ofTwin Towers (of the Black Cat variety) as they watch over the entire main floor of our home