My sweet kitty Princess has been with me for about 12 of her nearly 14 years, and until about a year ago, was very low maintenance. Each morning I would make certain her food dish was filled with dry cat food, and that her water bowl had fresh water, and she was set for the day.
Now she always liked and got lots of attention from me; petting, scratching, brushing, playing with string toys chief among them. And one must never forget the evening tour of our home with her carried high so she could sniff and look at all the things too difficult for her to normally see.
Almost without warning, all that changed last year. We had just moved into a new apartment, when her behavior changed. She started losing a bit of weight, which given her size, wasn’t too bad. She also seemed a bit less friendly, and more secretive, which I attributed to the long hours I was working, and our new home.
One night when I came home from work, she didn’t greet me at the door with yells. Instead, after a long frantic search, I found her hiding under my bed. Within about 24 hours she was very sick, and I rushed her to a wonderful vet in my new town. The vet — and all her staff — kept their clinic open for us hours after they normally close.
Things were touch-and-go for a few days, and Princess made multiple trips back to the vet for further tests, check-ups, and treatments. It turned out that her immediate health problem, the one making her so visibly sick, was a urinary infection (very common in cats). The UTI was pretty easy to treat, and she began seeming more like her old self . But underneath that UTI were a whole host of “older cat” health problems, and with the vet’s help, we worked out a whole new routine for Princess.
I’ve had to drop the easy dry food diet, and now give Princess only canned food. This means multiple feedings during the day. I also have to mix one set of meds with her food in the morning, and another set in the evening. And then there’s the blood pressure pills. She actually gets human blood pressure pills. They’re tiny already, but I have to cut them into four pieces. Fortunately, she loves these little “pill pocket” treats, so I just tuck one inside and she’s delirious.
After nearly a year on this routine, we still struggle at times, but her weight is holding steady, and Princess is still incredibly active. She continues to play with a whole host of toys, and likes to get in some quality “chase the string” time each evening. Although she can definitely try my patience at times, I’m grateful for every happy, active day that Princess has.