The Dog Doesn’t Die

Book reviews & random thoughts

Cat Health

This has been a rough week for cats in my circle. Bushey, a cat whose owners I know from a feline diabetes website, suffered from organ failure a few days ago and has gone on to the Rainbow Bridge. Poor little Bushey had been abused by his previous owner but had responded to the love that Mary and Derek lavished on him. I wish they’d had more time together.

And a friend is wrestling with a hard decision about her cat, who has a seemingly undiagnosable ailment and isn’t eating. As someone who has tube fed a cat around the clock for several weeks, I can say that it’s harder than you imagine until you’ve done it yourself. Eventually, you end up asking yourself hard questions and feeling guilty about it. But it’s not that we’re suddenly playing God. We play God with our pets from the moment we adopt them. My mom rescued a badly abused cat once. She couldn’t stand hearing about what happened with that cat anymore, so she went into the owners’ yard and took the cat, named Lucy. There were some nasty words exchanged, but those people knew they were wrong, and my mom kept Lucy. About 10-12 years later, living in a new neighborhood, Mom accidentally hit Lucy with her car, and Lucy died. Now, the whole issue of indoor/outdoor cats aside (mine live indoors), the fact is that Lucy wouldn’t have lived that long without Mom’s intervention, and she certainly wouldn’t have lived the good, happy life that she deserved and that she had with my parents. I think this is a vivid example of how we play God with our pets. In most cases, it’s more subtle, but it’s essentially the same thing. Anyway, I am worried about my friend and her cat, but I will support whatever decision she feels she must make, because she’s given her cat a comfortable life full of love for a long time. And she adopted her from a shelter, so who knows what would have happened otherwise?

And for the third cat story, about my Eddie, see the first comment below.


February 7, 2008 - Posted by | cats, pets | , ,


  1. Tuesday morning started off normally, but between the time I started brushing my teeth and the time I finished, Eddie went into an apparent crisis. Eddie is a 13-year-old short-haired black male whom I adopted when he was about a year old. According to his records, my home was his sixth if you include an animal shelter and a pet store. I think that’s really sad.

    Eddie is also diabetic, and in April and May 2005, I had to tube-feed him due to a crisis with ketones and fatty liver disease. Fortunately, I work from home a lot and could manage this, although eventually we had to wean him off of it and persuade him to eat on his own. It was a nightmare, but he made a full recovery and has been in remission or only borderline with the diabetes ever since.

    Anyway, on Tuesday, he started howling like he was in his death throes or something. When I touched him, he cried. Because I had some difficulty with the local emergency vet clinic when he had his ketones crisis, I decided we were better off waiting to see our regular vet, which we did shortly after noon. To make a very long story short, I spent several hours and $452.46 finding out that he had apparently suffered food poisoning and had gas, a sore tummy, and diarrhea. Of course, I already knew he had gas, a sore tummy, and diarrhea, so I guess I spent the $452.46 on diagnostic tests to rule out a serious illness, bowel obstruction, or other major issue. At one point, I called Dave from a nearby fast food restaurant and had to struggle not to cry. So I’m incredibly grateful for the good results, and thankful to our amazing veterinarian.

    Priscilla, my 19-year-old medium-haired calico female who also goes by the descriptive name “Prissy,” did some of my detective work for me by rejecting a certain flavor of cat food she normally loves. I believe she identified the problem for us, confirming our vet’s suspicion of food poisoning. I’m taking the remaining cans back to the store for a refund and to make sure this gets reported.

    The good news is that Eddie seems to be back to normal today. Yesterday he slept a lot and ate very little. He also fought me pretty hard on the first pill I had to give him. However, I have always maintained that I can pill any cat that will let me pet it, and subsequent pillings have shown that my winning streak continues! I am the cat pilling queen. Or diva. Or expert. Or whatever. In any case, I’m good at it.

    Again, however, my heart goes out to Mary and Derek in Wales, and to my friend who still has to make a decision. I don’t feel guilty being the lucky one of the three, but I do wish luck were something we could share.

    Comment by esheley | February 7, 2008 | Reply

  2. . . . Queen? No. Expert? Absolutely!


    Comment by The King | February 8, 2008 | Reply

  3. […] Paradise Pharmaceuticals added an interesting post today (Cat Health).Here’s a little bit of it:Bushey, a cat whose owners I know from a feline diabetes website, suffered from organ failure a few days ago and has gone on to the Rainbow… […]

    Pingback by cat tablets web log » Blog Archive » Cat Health | February 28, 2008 | Reply

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