Thomas is one of our three “greys” who hasn’t been formally introduced here yet. He is worrying me a bit today; he didn’t eat much of his dinner last night or his breakfast this morning. That’s a little worrisome with any cat, but Thomas has Chronic Renal Failure (CRF) so not eating worries me more than it would with an otherwise healthy kitty.
Thomas was diagnosed more than two years ago, and completely by accident. He developed a high fever one day –cause unknown. The vet ran blood tests and that was how we discovered he was in the early stages of CRF. He was only 7 at the time, very young for a CRF kitty. Most cats aren’t diagnosed until they are well into the kidney failure, since symptoms are largely invisible until the cat starts losing weight or camping at the water bowl. Because Thomas was diagnosed very early and we can give him subcutaneous fluids at home (kitty dialysis) to support his kidneys, he has been very stable for the last 2+ years. But that will change at some point, and I am always on alert. Is that moment now? Probably not. His blood tests just a month ago were fine. But I worry anyway.
Thomas is one of the more cuddly kitties of our gang of 6. He wraps himself around my legs all the time, and is first to my lap when I sit down. He and his sisters (the other “greys”) came to us through the local Humane Society almost 9 years ago, and I was told that their beginnings were pretty traumatic. One of their siblings didn’t make it. I don’t know the details, and don’t need to. My focus has always been on their present and their future with me, and making sure they have good lives.
Thomas’ illness isn’t the only one in the house. Butterscotch has Cushings. Paris has Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Stripe has heart problems. Our kitchen counter looks like a pharmacy sometimes. It seems as if we are always worried about one or the other of the animals. We know that Stripe will have a heart attack at some point and die within minutes; there is no cure for her condition, just maintenance. Paris and Butterscotch are pretty stable at this point. And Thomas…things will change at some point. Gabby, Lily, Hiro, and Minh are all fine at this point, for which we are grateful.
The challenge is living with the knowledge that some of our furry family members could take a downward turn at any time, but then again, that’s true of all of us, furry or not. So maybe the real challenge is enjoying the fur kids each day instead of living on the edge. I’m always going to pay attention when someone doesn’t eat or does something else that makes me wonder, but everyone seems fine today. And that makes it a good day.