Catsitting a dying kitty! I NEED ADVICE PLEASE! (long post)

Missy SmithMissy Smith ErieMember Posts: 1,536
edited 3 August, 2006 in Plus Informational
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
«1

Comments

  • SterlingAndTheSTeamSterlingAndTheSTeam Mount OliveMember Posts: 41,262 ✭✭✭
    edited 24 July, 2006
    Personally, I would take him to the vet. If nothing else, to give Bernie something to make him more comfortable. Your friends sound as if they don't want the responsibility of making a decision.
  • Giniene RaymondGiniene Raymond FultonvilleMember Posts: 673
    edited 24 July, 2006
    I would definitely bring Bernie to the vet, Stuie. It seems like his owner is just selfish and it's not fair for Bernie to suffer. If owner doesn't like it, even though owner is your friend, then owner isn't worthy of your friendship. Good luck!
  • Mary SchmitzMary Schmitz MuskegoMember Posts: 744
    edited 24 July, 2006
    Meow, Take the kitty to the vet. Us cats depend on humans to take care of us. If I were Bernie I'd be thanking you for helping me find out what is wrong and helping me get better or at least making me more comfortable. Colleen
  • Beastie_and_the_BoysBeastie_and_the_Boys Marquette, MI / ChicagoMember Posts: 17,806 ✭✭✭
    edited 24 July, 2006
    I agree--take him to the vet. His human asked you to be responsible for him and that's the responsible thing to do. He himself might not have been responsible enough to do it, but tough--he put you in charge. He's just going to have to go along with your decision. We'll be purring for Bernard!!!
  • Denise GraysonDenise Grayson BothellMember Posts: 2,468
    edited 24 July, 2006
    I agree with the rest of the kitties that you should take bernie to the vet. How old is Bernie? It could be that his owners are in some sort of denial. You said that they think that he is on his last legs. Well maybe with loosing three other cats they are afraid if they take him into the vet, the vet will want to put him down. I know that it sounds weird especially since they told you that they think he is dying. But sometimes people want to hold on as long as they can to the pet and in a backwards way think they are by not getting it care. My mom went through this with a cat her boyfriend had. She could tell the cat was very sick and when she could finally convince him to take the cat in found it had liver problems because of its age. It took a lot more convincing before he was ready to let her go to rainbow bridge. I say to do the best thing for the kitty and have him checked out.
  • BruceTheBossBruceTheBoss Winslow, BuckinghamshireMember Posts: 37,079 ✭✭✭
    edited 24 July, 2006
    We also agree with the others. Take the poor boy to vet as soon as you can. We cant believe you have been put in this very difficult position. Please keep us posted Stuie. We are all praying for him (and you). Purrssss Bruce & Family

    Bruce The Boss

  • BruceTheBossBruceTheBoss Winslow, BuckinghamshireMember Posts: 37,079 ✭✭✭
    edited 25 July, 2006
    We also agree with the others. Take the poor boy to vet as soon as you can. We cant believe you have been put in this very difficult position. Please keep us posted Stuie. We are all praying for him (and you). Purrssss Bruce & Family

    Bruce The Boss

  • AshPoGusAshPoGus AlbuquerqueMember Posts: 7,041 ✭✭✭
    edited 24 July, 2006
    I absolutely agree -- they left YOU in charge, so you should do what you feel is best for Bernie. I don\'t mean to get too personal, but are you ready and able to pay the vet bills? It sounds like these people don\'t believe in spending much on vet care for their cats. A simple vet visit would not be too costly, but since no vet is familiar with Bernie, it could mean blood tests, perhaps x-rays, and who knows what else to diagnose Bernie\'s illness -- you know how it can run into hundreds of dollars quickly. Follow-up treatment and medication might be needed. Will your neighbors do that? Maybe I\'m being too pessimistic, but I think you need to be prepared to be responsible for the bill, and to lose your neighbor\'s friendship. I\'m sure you\'ve thought of that, though. Still, I agree you should get Bernie to a vet right away. If necessary, some of the smart kitties here on Catster can help you figure out a way to pay the bill (online fundraising? or organizations that help -- there\'s already a thread on that) and some of us not-so-smart ones can chip in!
  • Missy SmithMissy Smith ErieMember Posts: 1,536
    edited 24 July, 2006
    Bernie is going in to see my vet at 11:45. I am more than willing to foot the bill. I just couldnt live with myself if I didnt do anything at all. I'll check back in when we get back. Wish me luck! xoxoxo &hearts
  • Alice RamseyAlice Ramsey Piney Flats/Johnson CityMember Posts: 1,241
    edited 24 July, 2006
    Good for you, I am so glad you are taking him to the vet. I would have done the same thing. I hope it goes well and it is nothing major. My family will be thinking of you and your sweet friend.
  • Dolores LenzDolores Lenz MissionMember Posts: 341
    edited 24 July, 2006
    I have my paws crossed that Bernie will be ok. Please let us all know how it goes at the vet. You are a very good person to help Bernie! Thank you!
  • emma clarkeemma clarke Nottingham Robin Hood CountryMember Posts: 6,819
    edited 24 July, 2006
    What a position to put you in! How heartless are Bernies owners?! So glad Bernie is seeing the vet *phew*! As far as his owners go - "if they haven't got it - you can't put it there" (i.e feelings/ a heart) I hope they feel bad and ashamed when they found out you got Bernie to the vets, but I doubt they will. You did the right thing. "Thankyou!" on behalf of all cats and cat lovers.
  • AshPoGusAshPoGus AlbuquerqueMember Posts: 7,041 ✭✭✭
    edited 24 July, 2006
    Bless you for caring so much about Bernie! I'll be purring for him, hoping it's something they can easily diagnose and treat. It sounds like he's not ready to give up, so I'm thankful that you are willing to help him. Too bad his own people wouldn't do that, after all the years of love he's given them. Well said, Blade.
  • Diana GabaldonDiana Gabaldon PortlandMember Posts: 5,607
    edited 24 July, 2006
    Wow. Sometimes people really make me wonder. They put you in a terrible situation. I think its great that you are taking him to the vet. It is what I would have done as well. Please let us know how it goes. Purrrrs
  • MouseMouse Near Camborne,Member Posts: 43,591 ✭✭✭
    edited 24 July, 2006
    We agree with the others, It's exactly what we would have done. Bless you for caring about him so much. We are all purring that things turn out well for Bernie. The Cornish crew.
  • Yipee LadybugYipee Ladybug Member Posts: 3,805
    edited 24 July, 2006
    Stuie, we think your mommy is so awesome for taking charge to get the care that Bernard needs! Pls keep us posted on how Bernard is doing. We are all purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrring for him! Donny, Marie, Casey, Missy
  • Missy SmithMissy Smith ErieMember Posts: 1,536
    edited 24 July, 2006
    We are back. Bernie is resting comfortably at home. He was such a good boy at the vet. He even got his nails clipped. The vet ran some blood tests. He definitely has hyperthyroidism, and were given meds for that. The vet seemed more concerned about his instability. Hyperthyroidism typically doesnt cause that, but he said in extreme cases it can but he really didnt think that was what was causing the instability. He thinks it\'s a neurological problem, but we are just gonna take one step at a time & treat him for the thyroid issue and see if that helps. He said at Bernies age, it would really be a waste of money to run tests of that capacity for him when it is likely that nothing could be done to fix the neurological problem anyway. The earliest record they have of Bernard being there was 1988 (he hasnt been there at all in the last 3 years, tho\') so that makes him at least 18. So we will see how he does on the meds. He has already gotten his first dose. There is no not telling his family now. They shaved part of his neck to take his blood, and he has meds to take every day. They will have to know. I will wait until they get home to tell them. Anyway, I\'ll go back over later & check in on him & snap those pics that I promised. I think they gave me a break on the price. I spent about 100 bucks on the whole visit, meds & all. As far as I am concerned it was money well spent. I just hope they follow through with giving him his meds when they get back. Thanks for the advice, everyone. I\'ll be sure to keep you all posted. xoxoxo &hearts Missy
  • Michelle BrunnerMichelle Brunner BlairsvilleMember Posts: 11,194
    edited 24 July, 2006
    Stuie, I got in late on this but God Bless you for all the love and care you have shown this poor cat. I can't believe they left you with this situation. I feel they really took advantage of your friendship and I'd be worried that they won't give him the care he needs when they return. We are purring for you and please keep us posted! If you need anything, please ask! Your Friend, Toulouse
  • BruceTheBossBruceTheBoss Winslow, BuckinghamshireMember Posts: 37,079 ✭✭✭
    edited 24 July, 2006
    Aawwww Stuie, you and your Mom are just the best. Your neighbours are very lucky to have you as catsitters. We are so proud of you, and its people like you that make the world a better place *smiles*. We look forward to hearing an update on how Bernie is doing. Me and Mum would have done exactly the same.

    Bruce The Boss

  • Kris PotterKris Potter Dallas SuburbMember Posts: 1,131
    edited 24 July, 2006
    As I read through the thread I was screaming "Hyper T! Hyper T!!!" Right before my humans took me in to be examined I was getting pretty sick. Real thin, super big appetite, and occasionally I'd be unsteady on my feet. Good news though, once I started on the meds I got better fairly quickly. But this kitty's family needs to make sure they stick with the whole pill giving thing...it's not something that goes away just because the cat looks better. Hyper T can be fatal because you have this overactive gland over-revving all the body's systems. My liver and kidneys were messed up and I had a heart murmur. Had I not been treated, eventually I would have died of heart failure or liver disease. But the medication cleared everything up and I plan to be around for quite a bit longer. Bless you for taking kitty to the vet. Shame on those people for letting it get so far out of hand. Any cat reading this that would like more info or Hyper T support can join my Hyper T Space group!
  • emma clarkeemma clarke Nottingham Robin Hood CountryMember Posts: 6,819
    edited 24 July, 2006
    I bet Bernie feels a little better already - Thanks to you, well done!
  • Mary SchmitzMary Schmitz MuskegoMember Posts: 744
    edited 24 July, 2006
    Meow, Way to go! I will be purrring for Bernie. Keep us kitties posted.
  • Niki MattsonNiki Mattson St. PaulMember Posts: 20,360
    edited 24 July, 2006
    You're a great friend for taking him in and caring so much. I agree with you on all your points. I think it sucks (excuse my french, but this really gets me going!) when so-called owners don't get their pets into the vet at least once a year! I had a friend who didn't take her extremely fat cats in to the vet even after one had two seizures.When she finally got the cat to the vet, it was too late to save her, they had to put her down. I think of it as just like having kids. . . you wouldn't go on a vacation, even a business trip if your kid was sick, and leave someone else with the responsibility, and say, "oh, and by the way, I think he's dying of pneumonia, would you please bury him for me?" so why would you do that for your cat? And to say "oh, by the way, I think my cat is dying, if he does, will you bury it for me!" OOH! what gall! When he gets home, make him pay you back for the vet bill! Sorry, but when I hear stuff like this, I go crazy! I better go before I say something I'll regret!
  • Missy SmithMissy Smith ErieMember Posts: 1,536
    edited 25 July, 2006
    Hi everyone. Just a quick update. Sorry I havent checked in but I was hit with a major migraine earlier today, ow ow ow. I took a couple of muscle relaxers & I pretty much just passed out. I got up to go check on Bernie & I will be heading right back to bed very shortly. It just hurts. Bernie is doing ok. No changes yet. He's resting comfortably in his little cat tower. One new thing to report... for the first time since I started watching him on Saturday night I heard him purr. When I let him know I was there (like I said, he's totally deaf) he wobbled out to see me & started purring almost immediately. I think that is a good sign. Another thing to note... Bernies family DID call to check on him today. They left a message on my machine. They also apologized for forgetting to leave me a contact #. They forgot in the rush to catch the plane. They left a number for me & said they would call back tomorrow. I think it is important for you all to know that despite the lack of medical care given to Bernie (and I completely agree with all of you about that) they really are very good people. I have lived next door to them for a very long time (nearly 20 years) and I really do adore them. They might not give their cats the medical care they need & deserve, but they give them a wonderful home & believe it or not... lots of love. I have seen cats much worse off than these fellas. Even my vet said that some people just dont believe in taking their animals to the vet regularly, they just think it's ok to let nature take its course. While we may not agree with that, sadly it is not up to us. All we can do is try. I am trying for Bernie. I know I promised you all pics. I'll have make good on that promise tomorrow. I just need to get back into my bed, turn off all the lights & pray this headache breaks. Migraines are the worst. I do apologize again for not checking in sooner & the delay of the pics. More tomorrow. Keep Bernie in your thoughts. Thanks so much for everything. xoxoxo &hearts Missy
  • BruceTheBossBruceTheBoss Winslow, BuckinghamshireMember Posts: 37,079 ✭✭✭
    edited 25 July, 2006
    Way to go Stuie, you are a star. Cant wait to see the pics.

    Bruce The Boss

  • Missy SmithMissy Smith ErieMember Posts: 1,536
    edited 25 July, 2006
    Just went over to check on the Bernster. He was up on the couch looking out of the window waiting for me when I got there. He's still very unsteady on his feet, but I didnt see him fall over once! Good signs! I didnt have much time to spend with him as I have to go to work... so more later! xoxoxo
  • Diana GabaldonDiana Gabaldon PortlandMember Posts: 5,607
    edited 25 July, 2006
    Stuie, you and your mom are the best. It is such good news to hear that he seems to be feeling better. A purrrrrr sure does go a long way.
  • BruceTheBossBruceTheBoss Winslow, BuckinghamshireMember Posts: 37,079 ✭✭✭
    edited 25 July, 2006
    'Way to go' Stuie & Mom!!!

    Bruce The Boss

  • MouseMouse Near Camborne,Member Posts: 43,591 ✭✭✭
    edited 25 July, 2006
    That is good news, well done Stuie and mom.
  • Denise GraysonDenise Grayson BothellMember Posts: 2,468
    edited 26 July, 2006
    Puuurrrrs for Bernie....Paws for stuie
«1
Sign In or Register to comment.

Welcome to the new Catster Community!

Introduce the community to your pet with our Pet Profiles and discover how to use the new community with our Getting Started pages!


Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!