Update on Maggie
Those of you following me on Twitter already know some of this but I’m about to go into a whole heck of a lot more detail about Maggie. She’s been terribly unwell and while I was away, Rob sent me a warning that he thought all we could do at this point was make her comfortable.
I got home and she was basically a skeleton with fur and just hiding in the closet. I called the vet, explaining that she wasn’t eating or drinking. We discussed humane euthanasia, but decided that as long as she was still happy sitting in someone’s lap that we’d let nature take its course.
I was struck by the fact that she kept trying to go to the litter box with no success.
Now, this serves as a warning to everyone that I’m going to be talking about the tail end of a cat’s digestive system.
Seriously, read no further if you don’t want to know about a kitty enema. I’ll let you know right now that she’s much better, but it does involve an enema and a cat.
I mean it.
You’ve been warned.
Don’t say I didn’t tell you.
Right… so, I researched “constipated cat” on the internet and found several different sources that talked about how this was fairly common in older cats, particularly ones on a high meat protein diet. Now the only thing she’d really been eating last week was tuna, so this seemed to qualify. Several of the sites had people commenting that their vets had told them to adminster a glycerin enema for infants.
It was fairly late, but Rob and I talked about it and decided it couldn’t hurt at this point. I trotted off to the pharmacy and came home with a box of them, guaranteed to invoke a bowel movement in 15 minutes to one hour.
The results, shall we say, were astonishing.
I’d read that what would happen to a cat would be that water would leach out of the colon and turn the stool into a “hard, concrete-like object.” Yes. What nothing prepared me for was that the gylcerin greases the system enough so that these hard pellets come out of the cat like projectiles. Thankfully, Rob had the foresight to do this in the bathtub.
Basically, he laid her on her back in his lap on a towel. My job was to scritch her ears. We alternated between saline enemas and glycerine three times. The tube for the actual infant enema seemed awfuly large for a kitty, so Rob inserted it into a narrower tube from the bottle that I use when dying my hair. It’s totally clean enough for use with her, but I’ll be buying a new one for me, thank you very much.
There was nothing wrong with her vocal cords, but she was weak enough that she just let us do this unpleasant thing to her. So, we cleaned out her, um, system and washed her off. She hated us but seemed to be moving better.
Then this morning, a miracle occurred. She jumped onto the bed and demanded to be fed. She’s been eating and drinking normally all day. Now, she’s still feeble and not back to her old self, but the turnaround is so astonishing. I mean we both really thought she was dying.
She might still be, but we’re hoping that we’ve got a reprieve.