Perhaps the title is a slight exaggeration. However, my unfriendly cat has been costly of late.
Last week I took a half day from work to shuttle her to the veterinarian, as she was experiencing some alarming symptoms. I believed the end to be near for the old gal, and it’s certainly not inconceivable that an 18.5 year old kitty can only look back at her better days wistfully.
Back legs stiffened from arthritis, and on both heart and thyroid medications, Z is not a happy camper. She is unable to groom herself properly, so the fur on her belly is well matted; she will not allow us to perform substitute grooming services, so we can only brush her until she becomes cross and stressed.
The vet practice staffs two doctors, and both are committed to their professions. My husband and I are both sympathetic souls, particularly as relates to animals, and are quickly caught up in the possibilities of restoring some of Z’s quality of life. Last week’s examination resulted in recommendations for some blood work to check thyroid function, and urinalysis. While we were onsite, the technicians shaved as much of Z’s matted belly as they could without causing the old girl undue stress, and clipped her long claws.
This week we received preliminary results of the lab tests: thyroid is perfect, and urinalysis inconclusive. A second urinalysis, this one to grow a culture, was requested, and the vet suggested an x-ray as well due to the cat’s obvious locomotive difficulties. The x-rays did reveal some arthritis in the spine, and chiropractic was recommended.
Today the results are in: she has a bladder infection. After 14 days of twice-daily medication, she will then return for a follow-up urinalysis.
All this for what? A cat who growled at the vet during the entire appointment.
Like the crazy old lady who leaves her teeth soaking in a coffee mug on the bathroom counter, Z is annoying but nonetheless a part of the family. She is quirky and lazy, and will one moment be purring lovingly while the next turning around to sink her teeth into the fleshy part of your hand. She is bitter and so sweet, in the words of Joni Mitchell. And we love her against all reason.