Late last week my five year old cat went outside about nine at night and didn’t return when I called him through the next few hours. It was a cold night, probably in the mid-twenties, and I hated leaving him outside. When I got up in the morning, about seven, he didn’t come to the dining room door as he usually does, so I went downstairs to my Sun Room to see if he was on the back patio. I saw him curled up on the wood box – when he saw me he slowly got down and walked into the house. He found the closest sofa and curled up again.
Each year, for the last four winters, I have worried about this feline as he seems to deteriorate in health each time the thermometer dips. Here we were, beginning the same winter routine! The last vet he saw, for antibiotics to get over an infection from a wound two winters ago, asked many questions about his health as he examined him. Bottom line: he is probably already diabetic, may have some underlying organ problems that exacerbate a weakened immune system. The stress of testing for each of these concerns would place great anxiety on the cat, so no testing was advised. I have investigated some of the issues and determined to do what I can to help his health: namely, wet food during the winter months when he is not able to hunt on his own to supplement his diet with his own protein sources. He seems to like this perk during the winter, but for the first two days after his night-time escapade, he didn’t want to eat or drink and didn’t respond to my caresses. Scary!
I would bring him to his food & water, then bring him back to the place he chose to sleep. As I was home alone, I kept my bedroom door open and let him sleep with me if he wanted, so I could pay closer attention to him. Once he rounded the second full day, he seemed to gain a bit of himself and began to eat and drink without my coaxing.
He still has some pain in his back, a small wound on his right hip is healing fine, but I can see no other issue and he lets me touch him without apparent pain. Could he also have arthritis? I began to give him glucosamine to help this, will have to see how if it works. He resents car rides and hates the vet, which won’t help his blood sugar at all if it is out of whack. With the vet’s words still whispering to me, I will wait to take him in until I know I am without further ideas to care for him. His fur is back to its glossy sheen, but the dandruff is still noticeable. He jumps on the furniture, including some fairly high chairs and my bed, which all seem to be good indicators of progress.
But the best indicator, was his begging to be let into the shower after my husband finished this morning as he loves to drink water from the shower stall. When he arrived and begged, we knew he was feeling much better. As I write, he is at my feet, purring and being his adorable self. It is so good to see him perky and happy again.