When the cat is sick, everything stops

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pet health

Since January, our little tuxedo cat Shelby hasn't been in the best of health. At first we thought it was only congestion. After going to the vet, we were given some nose drops and sent home. 

Shelby got sicker. And sicker. She stopped playing. She stopped cuddling. She then stopped eating. We we able to convince her to eat some liquid cat treats and sometimes food, but rarely enough. 

We called the vet again. They told us she may have caught a cold and that's why she's no longer eating. The congestion makes it hard for cats to smell, so they don't smell their food, so they don't eat. I picked up a prescription for an antibiotic. 

It didn't help.

She got sicker.

We called the vet back, they offered a different antibiotic. We picked it up.

At first, nothing, but a few days afterward she started to seem like the worst of the cold was passing. She still didn't want to eat. Oral antibiotics for cats, like humans, do awful things to your stomach, and often make it upset. Shelby's stomach must have been particularly bad because she simply didn't want to eat anything. 

We got desperate. Every day was just waiting for the end.

We were both scared we'd loose her. She had lost half of her body weight at this point and barely left her cat bed. Then, my housemate decided to make her a custom batch of home-made cat food. Something very caloricly dense, so even the little Shelby ate would be something. 


It was hard at first. After almost three weeks of the second antibiotic, we stopped giving her any. Again, at first, nothing, but within days she started having an appetite again. 

Shelby still had a very runny nose and eye. This has been a chronic condition to her, but the recent illness and weight loss made it so awful. She was constantly dehydrated from that nose. She was miserable because her face was filthy. Sleeping was hard because she kept having trouble breathing. We were still very scared for her. My housemate came down with a awful case of food poisoning. Shelby was eating, but still not quite enough.

We scheduled another appointment for the vet. We joked that in so doing, she'd suddenly recover, making the trip back meaningless.

Two days before the appointment, she suddenly did seem better. Instead of picking at her food, she started eating much more. Still a lot less compared to last year, but it felt like she rounded a corner.

We took her to the vet anyways.

This time, injectable antibiotics. Also some saline injected for hydration. Also a prescription for a gel to put on her ears to increase her appetite. That also did seem to work. She started eating in amounts that felt better and better. 

Today she's almost back to levels she was at last year. She's still scrawny, but even in photos she seems like she's filling out again. I still spoon feed her food, but she is capable of feeding herself when she wants to. 

All of this is to say, I haven't had any time for projects for months now. Every weekend, every day, has been trying to nurse a sick cat back to health. It's only been the last two weekends that I've started to feel any sense of normalcy.