Saturday, September 5, 2009

Little Man and Awesome Doc

Just got back from the vet (aka Awesome Doc) with Joey, also known as Little Man. I've been having the creeping crazies well over six months regarding my guy ... but who wouldn't? He's been by my side over 17 years.

YEARS, people.

Seventeen of them.

In his prime he weighed in at 22 lbs. Mostly muscle. You may recall he was one of two giant polydactyl littermates (we lost his brother to a failed thyroid seven years ago). Joseph William (his official name) has been the pet constant most of my adult life. He's lived with me in RI, then NJ, then back up in RI again, and now out here in MO.

He's been here through Benny (his brother), Tia (our rescued Persian we had for three years 'til she succumbed to a nasty viral infection), Maddie (our rescued 'feral' who's been with us the last 13 years ... and if she was ever feral then I'm a monkey's uncle), Annie (our rescued barn cat we had for five years until a venomous spider did her in ... and if you don't think I kill every spider I've come into contact with since, you didn't pay close enough attention to Annie's COD), Lily (our elderly rescued Lhasa Apso we had for two years), Boogie and Kaia (our two six year old Labs), and Briggs & Stratton (our 'houseguest' littermates we hand-raised three years ago who think they're some form of catdog hybrid, seeing as it was Boogie who adored them and slobbered all over them like they were her puppies).

Joey went and got very thin very quickly, and I got very freaked, thinking he had the same hyperthyroidism-caused-by-cancer as Benny, and remembering how much that sucked. So I've been watching Joey and feeding him and basically making him cuh-razy with the constant eyeballing his every move (not really ... he totally looooves the attention).

Anyway, it got bad ... he's drinking tremendous amounts of water, eating very little (but fairly often), he's mostly skin and bones, his musculature has taken a serious hit, his rear end goes right out from under him sometimes, and he sleeps about 22 out of every 24 hours. I'm now on deathwatch, and am absolutely paranoid I will err on the side of anthropomorphism and force Joey to stick around longer than is fair to him. The absolute last thing I want to do is make him suffer. Or starve. To death.

I've talked with my vet about him. By the way, I have the absolute best vet ever ... if you're in the area I highly recommend Dr. Laura Williams of the Southport Animal Hospital ... she's the most dedicated animal doc I've ever, ever, met ... and with my brood (past and present) that's saying something, seeing as I've experienced a few (those two in RI the first time, the three in NJ, the other one in RI, and the three out here).

Here I was all doom and gloom, and Awesome Doc says, at least on the preliminary results, that other than a ridiculously high heart rate he looks terrific (her word). We discussed all his little habits and whatnot, and she totally put my mind at ease: he’s the equivalent of an 86 year old man; of course he’s not going to eat much!

The heart rate does give her pause, as well as his water consumption, so she’s checking him for diabetes, thyroid, and kidney disease. All three are somewhat treatable for a kitty of his age. Or it could be nothing and he could simply be winding down.

I'll hear from Dr. Laura within an hour or so, and we'll go from there.

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