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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 10, 2010
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    50

    Default The senior cat, my parents, and me

    I need some perspective, I think...

    My parents have a cat, Calliope. She used to be my cat; when I finally got an apartment in college, we all mutually decided that it was best for her if she stayed put. She's always been a bit of a worrier, and she was 12 at the time; it seemed unkind to move her.

    She's also always been fat. Just this year - at 16 years old - her age is finally larger than her weight in pounds for the first time since she was a tiny kitten. She is not built to be 15 pounds; she looks like a freaking butterball turkey when she sits down. I lovingly refer to her now and then as Sumo Kitty. The vet and my parents have done their best and run all sorts of tests, all of which came back normal; short of a starvation diet, this cat has never and will never be a reasonable weight.

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, she has arthritis. We have reached the point where she's on a daily pill for it, and it still... I only see this cat once a week, and it hurts to watch her walk. It's like she has to stop, think, and rev up the engine before she moves each foot; I've seen dead lame horses that looked more comfortable than this cat does. She doesn't cry out or anything - she just... gimps across rooms now and then.

    She's also reached the point where she is probably at least partially blind - her vision's always been screwy, because she's cross-eyed, but it's worse now. She may also be going deaf; we've gone from Typical Siamese Meow (she was listed as 'Siamese X' when we adopted her) to something significantly louder and much harsher, something she puts a lot of effort behind. It's like she's yelling. She also doesn't respond to certain sounds any more - like her name.

    And now she's having regular issues reaching the litter box - or maybe she just forgets where it is; her behavior has changed enough the last few years that we suspect she's gone a bit senile. And she barfs up her food regularly. The vet's looked at all of this too, and gave us a diagnosis of sensitive bowels; she's on a special food and he says she's perfectly healthy otherwise, but my folks left town Monday and I've already had to clean up a deposit from each end.

    Now, here's my issue. My folks say she still has good days and seem to think everything's fine - particularly my mother. My dad's a bit more realistic about it, but I think my mother hasn't ever forgiven 9-year-old me for being mad at her for putting the last cat down without me, and I think she's decided I'll do the same thing with Calliope. The vet says the cat is fine for a cat her age. But... I look at all of this, and I think to myself, "Maybe it's time to put her to sleep before the meds stop working."

    Am I overreacting?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2007
    Posts
    1,107

    Default

    It's not your cat anymore. Don't nag your mother. She will know when it's time.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
    Location
    Fort Collins, CO
    Posts
    16,184

    Default

    I don't think you're over reacting--she sounds like she's miserable

    I think there are a couple ways to play it, though. How about working to get some weight off? Has she ever been screened for diabetes? With the vision issues, that's definitely the first thing that popped into my mind. If she's leaner, she might really feel better. I thought this was an excellent run down of how to manage an obese cat.

    Alternatively...euthanasia. It sounds like she's has a good life, and that she's definitely declined recently. When you see a critter every day, though, gradual decline can be really difficult to see. Can you sit down with your parents and look through old pictures of Calliope, and talk about what she was like when she was younger, and then segue that into how she is now? Perhaps if they really think about how she was and how she is now, it will be easier to let her go.

    Good luck, and I'm sorry you have to face this



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 10, 2010
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    50

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BabyGreen View Post
    It's not your cat anymore. Don't nag your mother. She will know when it's time.
    I wouldn't dream of nagging her; it's a sure-fire way to end up in another round of arguments, and I'm trying very hard to avoid that particular competitive sport. But it has come up several times over the last year or so, and her comments on the subject don't entirely agree with what I'm seeing, which is why I'm so concerned.

    Quote Originally Posted by Simkie View Post
    I think there are a couple ways to play it, though. How about working to get some weight off? Has she ever been screened for diabetes? With the vision issues, that's definitely the first thing that popped into my mind. If she's leaner, she might really feel better. I thought this was an excellent run down of how to manage an obese cat.
    I know she's clear on thyroid issues, as I asked that one specifically recently; I think my mom said she's clear on the diabetes front, too.

    On the food front... She's never been free-choice fed - she gobbles it up, pukes, and gobbles up more, so we've always had to have a close eye on her diet. While I was still living at home, we tried wet foods, dry foods, diet foods, prescription diet foods... most of the time, she either continued to gain weight. A few of them worked to get her to either maintain or actually lose weight, but those tended to either stop working even though we followed the vet-advised plan or start upsetting her stomach after a while.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 10, 2006
    Location
    Middle of Nowhere, take a right, FL
    Posts
    4,419

    Default

    I'd just leave it alone. The cat doesn't sound like she is suffering terribly. She may not be 100% but she's OLD. Old sucks! But it seems her issues are more troubling to the people than to her. Plus as someone pointed out, she's not yours. All you can be is supportive. What arthritis med is she on? Adequan can be used in cats.
    Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

    Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.



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