When our Pets are ill

When my pets are ill, it makes me sick with worry.  Recently it has been difficult to concentrate enough to write anything decent.  They are a huge part of life and my recovery and I thought it would be nice to introduce them.

This is one of my Cats Missy.  She has just had an operation, hence the scabby look!! Image

I watched Missy being born 14 years ago.  Her mother, “Elsie”, was a stray that I took pity on one cold and snowy March 1999.  A few days later, she gave birth to two tiny kittens.  Missy was so poorly, the mother immediately rejected her.  Against the vets’ advice, I made the decision to hand rear.  When the kittens were barely 6 weeks old, mother Elsie moved into my neighbours, leaving me to hold the “babies”.

Five months later, I had my very first mental breakdown.  I can honestly say that the kittens were my only connection to life.  Being in a massive dissociative mode, my only responsibility dragged me out of bed every day to care for them.  In all this time, my mental health has ravaged any trace of the person I used to be but my pets have remained consistent (consistently demanding!!).  Subsequently, we have had a very close – sometimes-intense – relationship and have never been apart for more than a few hours.  Surprisingly, she has always been a very independent cat and once enjoyed a full and active life visiting many neighbours in the street.  She always came home at night.

Sadly, Missy developed a secondary condition as a result of the operation.  Basically, the calcium in her blood is too low, which is making her very poorly. It is a life threatening condition, but we seem to have it under control.  The vet insists it is best for me to nurse at home with meds.

This is my little fella Jack, a 5-year old Jack Russell. Image

He came to live with me when he was just 3 months.  He doesn’t bark and loves everyone, most of all, children.  We are used to walking 2-3 hours every day.  He loves life!  A few months after he arrived, I had another major breakdown and wee Jack really did drag from the brink of suicide.  There are no days off where Jack is concerned and life is rather tiresome if he doesn’t get ALL of his outdoor time.  Sometimes, that daily walk forces me into a small connection with life.  His friendly disposition brings me in contact with many people every single day and we always feel the better of some regular exercise.

Suddenly, one day about 10 weeks ago, we were out walking and it was as if someone had removed his batteries.  He stopped dead in his tracks and refused to walk another inch for the following 4-6 weeks.

To cut a very long story short, finally the vet arrived at a diagnosis, but a very uncertain one.  The dread suffocates any relief.  Poor wee Jack has a problem with his liver.  It is not functioning properly.  He’s been through tests to rule out many conditions.  There are only two possibilities left.  The first I don’t understand and looks unlikely, the second is a tumour.

I am struggling to keep my head and mood above water and thankful that I’m not really a person for dwelling on the “what if’s”. No matter how I look at it, his life is about to change and maybe not all for the better.

Last – but certainly not least – is Missy’s brother Oscar.  A very laid back and extremely affectionate BIG cat.  Unfortunately, he doesn’t get along with people very well, but he adores me and is always the one to seek me out whenever my mood is low.

Thankfully, there is absolutely nothing wrong with him Image

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18 thoughts on “When our Pets are ill

  1. Bourbon

    Aww wow… what a wonderful read. I am so glad you have had your animals there for you when you have really needed it. What deep connections you have with them all. I feel immediately closer to you now that I know you are also a very intuitive animal lover!! p.s. I wish Jack would have a word with Raggy… Raggy has become a bit of a yapper but only when he plays or thinks someone is coming in the house. I don’t mind it so much but I think it sends my housemate up the wall a little bit lol. I’m sorry you have to deal with poorly animals 😦 I am wishing them, and you, well xox

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  2. Cate Reddell

    Thanks for introducing us to your animal family. It is an honour to meet them. I know how much our animals contribute to our lives, and how much it hurts to see them unwell. Thinking of you and your family right now.

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  3. releasing lunacy

    Oh!! They’re wonderful!!! I know it’s terrifying when something is wrong with them. But you give them your love and they feel it. It’s important to remember what a wonderful life you’ve given them and continue to give them -just as you’ve recalled how critical to your survival they have been. I’m sending healing thoughts to Missy and Jack, and a big sloppy human hug for Oscar… lol he can spend the next few hours trying to get the icky hooman smell off himself! Take care!

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  4. Ashana M

    She does rather look like Oscar, especially since they both seem to like to hide their eyes. But mine is actually a very small cat. She’s about 3 and half kilos right now. (And shrinking, it seems.)

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  5. survivor55

    I had my Max for 12 years and he literally saved my life on one occasion. He kept me going more often than I can count.

    I will keep these wonderful members of your family in my prayers and thoughts!!

    Sincerely,
    Kathy

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    1. Cat Post author

      That’s very kind, Kathy, thank you. Tomorrow morning I am taking Jack to see a vet I have more confidence in. I cannot accept he has liver disease. My gut instinct tells me we can turn this around with the right care.
      I think , when we live alone with our pets, there is a greater bond.
      Did you get any more pets after Max?

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      1. survivor55

        No, I never did. At first I couldn’t even contemplate another dog because Max was literally an answer to a prayer. He was given to me by God to be my lifesaver, my companion, my friend, my baby and to love me unconditionally. When I had to sell my home because I had to quit my job (doctor’s orders) we had to move into apartments. Instead of just opening the backdoor to let Max outside to our backyard, I now had to get dressed and take him outside. Teaching him to go to the bathroom on the leash was difficult for both of us, but we made it through that and many other things. He made me get outside 5-6 times a day whether I wanted to or not because I had to take him out. This also made me associate with other dog owners at the apartments. I enjoyed meeting the other dogs and talking with the other animal lovers, but it always drained me and I was more than ready to get back inside, lock the door behind us, feel the safety settle around me, peel off my clothes and go back to bed because at that particular time I simply couldn’t function. Max was SO good because even if he wanted to play and I couldn’t, he’d accept it and lie down beside me. I made certain he always had food and water in his bowls at that time and had to teach him it was okay to leave me and go eat and/or drink when he needed to.

        It took me years before I could contemplate getting another dog, but by that time I could no longer afford the food, the groomer, the monthly heartworm pills that are necessary in my part of the country, and the trips to vet for yearly exams, shots, etc. Now I might be able to afford it — haven’t tried to calculate it — but physically I can’t even take care of myself, and I wouldn’t want to commit to someone who would become family to me if I knew I couldn’t take care of him. And it would have to be a “him” because I don’t think I could live with another woman in the house!! HA!! 😀

        I’m glad you’re getting a second opinion and I pray you both find the answers you need to get Jack feeling better for as long as possible!!

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  6. Lauren

    Oscar looks a lot like my cat Lucy (or vice versa ;)). It’s amazing how these furkids can get us to do things we don’t want to, and we’re better for it. sometimes I don’t want to get out of bed, let alone leave the house, but Sam needs to go out and what else am I going to do? I’m so sorry to hear Jack’s diagnosis, and I’m still keeping you both in my thoughts. whatever happens, we’ll all be here for you.

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    1. Cat Post author

      Thanks Lauren. I have an appointment to see a different vet this morning. I have more confidence in her. He doesn’t seem to be as ill as they are making out and, at this stage, I do not think they can be so certain about Jack having liver disease. Yes, his liver is not functioning, but that can mean some other (recoverable/manageable) things. Anyway, fingers crossed

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