In May of 1994, Whitey came into my life as a couple-day-old kitten, who still had her umbilical cord and whose mom didn’t seem to know what to do with kittens. Whitey was one of three in the litter and all had eye infections. I took to feeding the litter with an eyedropper and hoped for the best; Whitey was the only one of the three that survived. At the same time, I rescued one month-old Shadow from another litter as the mother was killing the kittens one at a time.
We lost Shadow to cancer just before her 17th birthday and worried how Whitey would do as an only cat. Thankfully, she took to being the center of attention very easily. Several years ago, she was diagnosed with cataracts, significant bilateral iris atrophy, retinal degeneration, and an arthritic elbow; none of which seemed to slow her down. Unfortunately, 2012 turned into a rough year as Whitey’s age caught up with her. 2012 brought frequent constipation and a diagnosis of mega colon. The later part of the year included panicked trips to the vet and a couple trips to the emergency room as her mega colon and constipation was now accompanied by life-threatening electrolyte imbalances (extremely low potassium or high sodium), high blood pressure, fluid retention, an irregular heartbeat, and arthritic sacral vertebrae. We weren’t sure how long she had left or if we should consider putting her down. The Animal Emergency Room and our regular vet referred us to Kentwood Cat Clinic and Dr. Tammy.
Over several months of appointments, hard work by Dr. Tammy and staff, and medication and treatment implementations and changes, Whitey came back from the grave. She is again a happy, chatty, and busy “little old lady.” Keeping her healthy now involves subcutaneous fluids every other day, medications for high blood pressure and heart disease, Miralax and a probiotic in her canned food, prescription kibble, and a potassium gel supplement. The regimen may be disliked by Whitey and time-consuming for the household, but it’s worth it when I wake up to six pounds of fur snoring next to me in bed.
Whitey’s favorite activities are napping in a warm blanket, lounging in a sunbeam, watching television shows about animals (she’s partial to shows about birds or cats), splashing in her water bowl until she’s dripping wet, stalking the neighborhood bunny and birds from the window, playing with her stuffed ducky, and cuddling with whomever will hold her. Her favorite canned food flavors are the most expensive ones that I’m willing to buy.
Thanks Dr. Tammy and staff for giving Whitey a chance at reaching the healthy old age of 20 and beyond. The house would be far too quiet without her Siamese vocal repertoire or chirps, chatters, snorts, meows, yowls, and squeaks.
(As I write this, all I see sticking out of the blanket are four paws and the tip of a tail.)