Feline Friday: Another medical update (or two)

Mr. RomeoMr. Romeo welcomes you, somewhat belatedly, to the second Feline Friday of 2014. Unfortunately, due to scheduling problems, it isn’t being delivered until Saturday morning.

There’s been good news and bad news in our feline family. First, news of Ms. Kili, then back to Romeo’s update.

Ms. Kili was not feeling well and was suddenly was drinking unusual amounts of water. This isn’t a good sign. The increased water consumption in older cats is often a sign of kidney failure, fatal if it’s progressed very far. So it was off the vet for a bunch of tests.

Here’s where the good news and bad news come in. The good news is that her kidneys are functioning relatively well. The bad news is that the tests show she has also developed diabetes at age 16, and joins Duke in the twice a day insulin regimen. Luckily, we’ve now had several years experience with this, and we’re just moved her into the daily routine.

She’s been started at one-half of the calculated dose based on her weight, and we have to test her glucose levels and adjust the dosage as her body adjusts to the insulin. So we’re settling in to the long process. And Ms. Kili has responded well so far, so we are quite optimistic.

And here’s your update on Mr. Romeo. After developing a partial urinary blockage, he’s now off his medications, and has successfully transitioned to special foods designed to prevent urinary crystals from forming. Given how fussy cats can be, making that transition is hugely important.

Romeo is still under “house arrest.” I’m not letting him back outside because his immediate instinct is to search out one of the black cats from next door and pick a fight. A series of injuries and trips to the vet finally put an end to his boundary patrols.

So last week I went to Petco and bought a kitty harness. One of our first cats, back when we lived in a Kahala townhouse, learned to walk on a leash. She loved to see the leash come out of the closet because she knew it meant a walk around the building. I figured Romeo is a smart cat and would respond the same way.

So I stared at the instructions, figured out how the contraption works, and strapped him in. He didn’t freak out or anything, but…as we say, he went Gandhi on us. He just lay down and refused to move. We’ve had three sessions this past week. Pretty much the same result each time. I put the harness on. Romeo drops in place. I carry him out to some nice spot, into a patch of sun on the deck, or into the yard. I put him down. I encourage him with petting and attenion. He acts like his is suddenly paralyzed and his legs can’t carry his weight.

I have tried bribes (raw fresh fish, Temptation cat treats), placing them just out of reach. He won’t take even a step or two towards them. There was what I thought was going to be a breakthrough when he took four steps down the stairs from our back deck to the yard. But then he realized that thing was still on, and he stopped and started shuffling backwards trying to escape its grasp. I carried him the rest of the way down to the grass. It didn’t help. He again became a poster boy for passive resistance and disobedience to authority.

So it goes in our little world of cats.

–> See all of today’s Feline Friday fotos!

8 responses to “Feline Friday: Another medical update (or two)

  1. With your vet fees you could probably support a small village or a dozen homeless. Pet care needs social medical reform. Yes, affordable treatment law and access to pet medicine over the counter.

  2. Your description of how Romeo behaved when harnessed brought back memories of what would happen when I harnessed my cat, JoJo. I must admit to laughing a LOT and though I realize some might think that mean, you had to know the cat.

    Here was this big, bad, bruiser of a cat and put his harness on him and he’d drop like a ROCK. lol

    There was on thing just as tantalizingly funny…he hated going to the vet and would his and scream and slash. This was more than 20 years ago, but we’d take him to Jennifer Brundage in Kailua who was just slightly over 5 feet tall. The carrier would go on the table and we’d open the door then Doc Brundage would try coaxing and JoJo would hiss and slash. After about the third time Doc would yell, “JoJo, get out here now”.

    Miracle, he would amble out as if nothing happened…lol…maybe yelling at Romeo would work?

  3. Had a big Persian Cat that my wife tried a harness on. Still have video of her dragging down the hall.

  4. “he went Gandhi on us”…You just won today’s laugh of the day. Thanks!

  5. Michael in Waikiki


    I am allergic to cats–their hair and dander–when around cats for more than 10 minutes I begin to sneeze and my eyes water up and get puffy. Just saying.

    But I enjoy your dog pictures.

  6. Whenever I tried to train one of my cats to walk on a harness, my experience was the same. They just drop in their tracks, lay down, and won’t move!

    On another front, my 10 year old cat who was diagnosed with diabetes last spring isn’t doing as well as we would like. He gets insulin twice per day and is now up to 6 units am and pm. Still not stable and the vet is beginning to suspect that he could be insulin resistant. We’ll keep working with the vet and kitty to try and get him healthy.

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