The cat who lived

I don’t usually post pics of my cats.  Especially not the snapshot variety – it’s like pics from your vacations.  They’re special to you, but no one else wants to see you in your bathing suit.  Today I’ll make an exception, and I’ll tell you why.

Two years ago this cat received a death sentence from not one, but two vets. 

His name is Pouncer, and he’s about 7 years old.  We’re not really sure because we brought him and two other kittens home from a no-kill shelter.  Of the three, one was found under a dumpster behind Lowes, one was found on a university campus, and we’re not sure about the other one.  Although they’re not siblings, they get along quite well.

Two years ago this month Pouncer stopped eating.  We rushed him to the vet in a panic – he had been losing weight for a while but several months earlier the vet said he looked ok and there was nothing visibly wrong.  The vet told us that his kidneys weren’t working, so Pouncer spent the night on an IV in the vet clinic in the hopes that he had eaten something that was poisonous and his kidneys would jump-start back up. 

After 24 hours he wasn’t any better, and the vet sent him home to die, telling us his kidneys were not functioning – Pouncer had CRF, or Cronic Renal Failure.  We got a second opinion.

The second vet kept him on fluids in the clinic for 3 days.  We took him home each night, and I brought him food during the day because he absolutely would not eat for the vet techs.  They even tried to force feed him by squirting food down his throat – the last resort guaranteed to work – and he spit it back up.  After those 3 days, his blood work was actually worse and the junior vet gave him about 8 months to live. 

After that vet ended up shouting at me on another visit (because we didn’t follow his advice and take Pouncer to a research university 4 hours away and leave him) I fired that vet.  We took Pouncer home, determined to make him comfortable and as happy as possible, and if we had to make a hard decision to keep him out of pain, we would do so.

Today, Pouncer is healthy.  He’s on a daily medical routine and will be for the rest of his life, but he’s doing well and doesn’t look ill at all.  He’s fat and sassy.  Every day he gets several pills to keep his nausea down and add probiotics to his system, and he gets 100ml IV fluids every night.  He’s back to eating normal food instead of the nasty prescription stuff that he hated, and he’s eating a lot of it.   

This cat is special, and I hope you don’t mind my sharing his story and pic in an otherwise art/photography blog.  He’s currently guarding my drying cyanotype prints in the window (napping under them,) which is where I shot this pic.  It’s a good life – sleeping in the sun and snuggling on the couch.

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2 thoughts on “The cat who lived

  1. Oh, I loved this story! So happy to see that Mr. Pouncer is happy and healthy again. I have two cats of my own and I can’t imagine how horrific it would be to have them be on the brink of death. Anyone who has ever had a pet has had to see them pass away or make the difficult decision to put them to sleep; it’s wonderful to read a story that ends well. Please do give Pouncer a little pat on the head for me today.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it – snuggles given as directed 🙂 He’s an attention hog anyway, so any excuse for a cuddle is fine with him. The first vet in the story told me that Pouncer is a medical miracle – apparently his kidneys have regenerated enough for him to function. Thanks for reading!

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