Thursday, 21 March 2013
Lotus is the cat on the right.
One of two cats which came with me when I moved, Lotus was both our oldest and newest cat. She'd been owned by the son of a friend of Susan's late father. He booked her into Westhall Kennels and then himself into a hospice. Susan only found out about Lotus after his death, we went to the kennels and brought her home where she quickly settled in. It soon became obvious that she preferred me -Susan thinks it's because I approximately physically resemble her late owner- so it became natural for her to come with me.
Lotus has had arthritis since we got her and I believed it had been getting much worse of late and verified by Louise the vet who gave her a steroid injection. I suspected she wouldn't last out the year.
Yesterday evening she was sitting next to me on the settee when she began to cough, throw back her head and cry out before slumping down. Her breathing increased rapidly then slowed down again. This went on for a couple of hours during which she soiled herself. I stroked and comforted her the whole time. Her pupils had dilated to fill her eyes. I thought at one point that she'd gone blind, though I was wrong about that. I was also convinced that she was having a stroke as had Lucy, the first cat Susan and adopted together.
To say it was distressing to watch is an understatement and I kept whispering to her to go to sleep (and not wake up). After some internal debate, I rang Susan to tell her because I knew that, alive or dead, she want to come with me to the vets next morning.
Eventually and to my surprise, Lotus began to calm down. She slid off the settee so I put a blanket on the floor and made her as comfortable as I could. I also gave her a couple of syringes of water.
I woke up at four, went downstairs and found Lotus actually standing up, albeit very wobbly. She managed to make her way to the water dish, falling over a couple of times in the process. Then I picked her up and nursed her for over half an hour, with her purring the whole time, before I went back to bed. When I got up again a couple of hours later, Lotus had recovered enough strength to go into the kitchen and eat food I put down for her. she'd been sick during the night but not much had come up. Eventually the time came round to put her in the car, collect Susan and go and see Wendy the vet.
I was wrong about the stroke. Wendy believed it was a blood clot which was affecting the nerves in her back end. She cried whenever her hind legs were moved. Lotus was not going to get better and to take her home would just be cruel. Her head slumped down even before the full amount of fluid in the needle got into her system.
Lotus was around sixteen and she'd been with us for the last two years of her life. We think they'd been happy ones for her.