OK, here\'s the set up. I have been catsitting for my neighbor for years. I LOVE his kitty family, and have watched it sadly taper off from 5 cats to the 2 he has left... Bernard & Stevie. (RIP PeeWee, Stella & Raymond)
Anyway, they called me last week to see if I could cat/housesit for a couple of weeks while they are out of town. No problem, they are right next door & I dont mind doing it one bit. Like I said, I have been doing this for years for them.
So they call me on Friday just to tie up & few loose ends & touch base before they leave on Saturday morning. Half way through the usual chit chat she hits me with this... \'Oh by the way, we thing Bernard is dying. We dont know how much longer he is gonna make it, he\'s definitely on his last legs.\'
Um... pardon me? OK... allow the rant to begin. Now mind you, i LOVE this cat. He\'s been my buddy for a LONG time. 14 or 15 years at least.... AND I just friggin watched my dog suffer for a few weeks & had to have him put to sleep just 3 weeks ago! Now you are going to leave ME responsible for your dying cat? Holy crap.
So yeah... I asked the questions one would think of right off of the top of their head to ask... Have you taken him to the vet? (no) What are his symptoms? (unbalanced, lethargic, hiding) Is he on any meds? (no) Is he eating & using the lutter box? (yes) What if he dies? What do I do then? (they actually asked if I would bury him... i actually said yes)
So this was all before I saw my friend Bernie. I went over last night late, after work. I found Bernie right where they told me he would be. They have one of those big carpeted cat towers, he was hiding in the bottom of it. According to them he hasnt come out of there with the exceptions of eating & going to the bathroom in days.
Now I know I am already well into this post.... but allow me to begin my RANT.
#1. WHY and HOW could you leave your \'dying\' cat? Not me. No way. I just couldnt do it. Perhaps I am overly sensitive... whatever. I would have friggin postponed my wedding had one of my animals need me in that capacity.
#2. WHY wouldnt you take your cat to the vet? Now mind you, he LOVES his cats and has always taken very good care of them... but has never been one to take them to the vet on a regular basis and has never had any of his cats euthanized.... which leads me to -
#3. WHY are you letting this beautiful boy suffer like this?
Regardless, I digress. This was before I saw Bernard. I went in last night & found him. Keep in mind Bernie is completely deaf, he always has been and it has never been a handicap for him at all. He came right out to see me once I made him aware of my presence. He gave me one of his gritty, low meows and then he fell over.
At this point I am choking back the tears, I am still greiving heavily for my dog & I just didnt know if I was ready to see him like this. He got back up, took a few steps & fell over again. He has totally lost his sense of balance.
BUT, and this is a big but... I really dont think this cat is dying. There is quite obviously something very wrong with him. Now I have been a pet owner/lover for a very long time. I have always had pets, all of my life... dogs, cats, fish, and birds. I have a pretty good sense of knowing when something is wrong and when something isnt going to get right. I have also always been pretty good at guessing what these somethings are.
Again, I dont think AT THIS POINT that Bernard is dying. He is however very, very sick & needs medical attention. His lack of balance leads me to believe that it could be something as simple as an inner ear infection... especially being that he is still eating like a pig (although he is sickly thin) and using the litterbox. When I went over this afternoon he had managed to get himself up into the window... so I guess that\'s the first time he\'s come put of the little cat house in weeks. I am sure he was probably just looking for his family... but the point is he came out. It makes me nervous him getting up on the couch or anything being that he has no balance & keeps falling over. I am still trying to figure out how he even did it... but we all know that cats are amazing, resilient creatures.
Forgive the length of this post, it all leads to this... what should I do? What would you do? I have a great relationship with these people, and I adore them. They are good people. I just dont understand it. Would I be crossing the line if I sought medical attention for him when they havent? It is killing me to watch him like this & quite frankly if I had any feline antibiotics on hand, I\'d likely just give them to him. At this point what is the harm? I just dont know what to do.
I will snap some pics of him tomorrow & post them for you all to see. He\'s such a good boy. He doesn\'t deserve this... and honestly (and perhaps a bit selfishly) I dont want to be the one that has to bury him.
Any advice is greatly welcomed. Thanks so much. xoxoxo &hearts