Those of you who have been following me for a while probably know that my sweet kitty Princess was diagnosed with pretty significant kidney disease back in November.
|Princess with her beautiful blue eyes|
Yes, they're crossed, but no less beautiful!
Anyhow, Princess has been doing fabulously - she's been eating well and gained back almost all of the weight she'd lost.
But in the past day or two I started to notice that she just didn't seem like herself. Yesterday her breathing was really fast, and seemed a bit labored, so I took her in. An x-ray confirmed that her heart is enlarged and she's got fluid in her lungs. Heavy sigh.
I'm not entirely sure how this is gonna pan out. It's complicated because the treatment for heart problems (which involves giving a diuretic) makes kidney disease worse, and likewise, the fluids that help kidney cats do better make the heart problem worse.
At the moment we're taking her off the fluids and putting her on a diuretic and some blood pressure medication. It's been about 24 hours and her breathing is back to normal, so I'm hopeful that she'll be OK - at least in the short term. It's sorta doubtful that there's much of a long term to worry about at this point.
|Princey-Pea enjoying a sunbeam|
I have such mixed feelings about all of this.
I mean, to be completely honest, I never in my wildest dreams expected her to make it this long.
Princess first appeared in my life back in the fall of 2010 when my neighbor asked me if I knew that there was a cat living under the pine tree in my front yard. I'm not sure where she came from - there was a woman down the street who used to feed a colony of feral cats, and I'm guessing that she was attracted by the free food.
But the lady either died or had gone to a nursing home, and the cats all dispersed - so Princess ended up under my tree - that's my theory anyhow. I don't think she was truly feral in the sense of never having had human contact, but she wouldn't let me touch her or get closer than about 10 feet.
|This picture was taken from inside because she |
wouldn't let me get close enough outside.
She looks huge, but that's because she was totally
covered with mats that were about 2 inches thick.
But there was no way I was gonna let a cat starve to death in my front yard, so I brought her food and water and gradually got her to trust me. That winter was long and cold, and I thought for sure that she was gonna freeze to death. I spent the entire winter coming up with crazy contraptions to help keep her warm, and every morning I would hold my breath when I'd go out to feed her, sure I'd find her frozen little body under there.
But Princess was tougher than she looked, and by springtime I finally was able to get her to trust me enough to bring her inside. I took her to the vet for a checkup, and from her teeth it was clear that she was not a young cat. But miraculously she tested negative for FIV and FeLV, so I got to keep her.
|Princess looking a bit shell-shocked a day or two after coming inside. You can't really see from |
this picture, but her whole body had to be shaved to get the mats off.
But then, little Princes either had some reaction to the rabies vaccine or was just totally stressed out by her new environment, and she had several major seizures. I thought for sure she was a gonner, but she managed to pull through.
Then when she was diagnosed with kidney disease I figured it was all over but the shouting, but with a few changes to her diet and feeding routine, along with fluid therapy and some supplements, she was doing great. In fact her bloodwork yesterday showed that her kidney function hasn't deteriorated at all since she was diagnosed, and the vet said her right kidney feels completely normal.
|Stealin' Jasper's spot looking out the back door|
So here we are. Things look fairly dire, but you know, things have looked dire for her many times before, so I'm not gonna count her out until she gives me a pretty clear message that she's done. The vet says we should know in a few days whether the diuretics are helping or not, so for the moment it's just a wait and see game. But the fact that her breathing has returned to normal seems like a good sign.
In the meantime I'm just gonna spoil her as much as I can. She's getting all of her favorite foods and treats - I'm not worrying about ideal kidney diets for the moment, just trying to make her as happy as possible. And she's also getting as much lap time and snuggles as she wants - oh yeah... that means she gets to sleep under the covers with me even if it means I won't sleep a wink.
I feel very sad at the prospect of losing her, but at the same time, I'm so utterly grateful that I got to have 4 and a half wonderful years with her. I mean, I didn't think I'd ever get to even touch her, let alone cuddle her under the covers! All along my goal was just to make her happy and give her as much of a life as I could, and however this turns out, I think we've succeeded in that.
Anyhow, here's a little video that I took of her a few weeks ago doin' her marchey dance. The voice singing is her, BTW, not me! :-)