Thursday, October 6, 2011
Message from the Woman
I know that there are some Estorbo readers and friends out there who care about the kitty a lot. So here's an update.
He has been drinking excessively and demanding (howling for, in the bath) water over the last few weeks. He pees a lot more. He seems hungrier. If that is possible.
He and I went to the vet on Wednesday. I took a urine sample, which he had given me obligingly, by peeing into the saucer I held under his tail (!). They were suitably impressed. At the vet's they drew blood. That was fun. A lot of screaming. He hates vets.
As I was walking up Lexington Avenue this evening, dragging my weekend suitcase, my phone rang. I was on my way to meet Ellen and Michael on the Upper East Side to drive out to their house in the Pennsylvanian woods for the weekend. Vince would join us tomorrow. Estorbo would be fed by the feeder for two nights. On the phone was Dr Young, a vet I had not met before, from the Cobble Hill Animal Clinic. The test results were in and she wanted to talk.
In short: the blood test showed acute hyperthyroidism. That caught me off guard. I had been expecting a kidney issue, based on his history (now 'cured' for years, with water added to his pellets).
She said that a normal level is 4 and that his is 19. Off the charts. I was walking fast, not wanting be late - cabs and traffic streaming by in the dark, me listening to these bad things about my cat. She started by telling me that radiation was a good option. I was shocked. I comprehended dollar signs and death. Then she said that if that is not an option there is a daily medication, lifelong, that is not a cure, but manages the disease well.
I got to my friends, cried briefly, thought for two minutes and abruptly bailed out of our long-anticipated weekend. Ellen and and Michael are cat people whose own cats, Sisko and Seven, travel out with them in their two baskets every weekend. I felt terrible deserting them with no notice but I knew that I had to get home and see the cat and Vince and start planning.
Tomorrow morning I will find another vet for a second opinion ( I trust ours, but it seems common sense for a diagnosis like this). And I will read more. The little I have read tonight makes radiation sound more desirable than I could have imagined, as it boasts a 95% cure. Medication (pill, twice a day, till the end of his life) is not a cure. But I have no idea what it costs, I can just imagine. Thousands. The pills cost $30 a month, and he takes pills well (from me). It may sound awful to be talking money, but we simply are not awash in it. We will find out, and we will think. Things could be much worse.
The good thing is that this is manageable...unless he has a really rare form. But that is premature.
Perhaps this explains a lot. Perhaps he has been afflicted for much of his life. This has always been an irascible cat. Short of temper. Bitey. A hungry, demanding, and recently vocal cat. It used to be just 'eep' but now it's a whole lot more. All symptoms of hyerthyroidism (Vince says these are symptoms of being a cat). But also a purring, very funny, endearing, eccentric and very loved cat. A cat who likes to sit upside down and have his claws clipped. I mean, that's just weird.
Last night he jumped onto the bed for the first time in at least 6 months, and washed, and purred, and then slept. He looks good, weighs just under 17lbs, his fur is sleek. That surprised this vet who was not the one who examined him. She said cats like this tend be emaciated.
We will take care of him, but we need to find out more, first. Your good thoughts are appreciated. I am a small wreck.
Estorbo, of course, may dine out on this. He might say that since he is dying he deserves better food. More roast chicken for example. And now that he has typhoid disease, full fat milk in the morning, not that low fat kaka sheet.
But all in his own time.