But nuts to that, at least for awhile, because I am going to backtrack. Keeping past posts short, I've never really told you all about Bella. So now I'm gonna. Right?
(I apologize for being a bad Canadian and repeatedly saying Right instead of Eh. Eh?)
She lived in one room in a seniors residence for I don't know how long. But her human began to experience more and more cognitive difficulties and had to be moved to a part of the residence that couldn't accommodate a wee beastie. Efforts to find her a new home were failing, but to avoid her going to the knackers, with Shauna's urging we agreed to take her in: Shauna being our daughter who works at said home.
The cat was 15 and overweight, but we figured that we could give her a home until the natural end of her days.
Except she had some issues soon after her arrival, and, upon taking her to the vet, we learned that she was 16, arthritic, had a very low white blood cell count, and also very little muscle tone. For two consecutive days Bella was given an enema and rehydration to get her on an even keel. It was tough on her, and we have promised her no more significant interventions.
When our vet contacted Bella's previous vet, we learned that she has basically had issues with constipation for her whole life. We were told that we must, therefore, restrict her to wet, canned food and also give her laxative daily. And because you can't hide medicine in a discriminating cat's food like you can do with dogs, we'd have to give it to her orally.
Well ladies and gents, medicating cats is not for the faint of heart, and after awhile we did resort to mixing it in her food. And it has worked, thanks be to the Cat Goddess. But she still only poops about every third day, and we do get anxious after a few days although we are starting to get more used to to her rhythms.
It seems best to give her small meals, up to six per day, with a bit of laxative mixed in each. After eating, she likes to drink water. Well, she likes to drink at any time. And she drinks a lot.
Her drinking method is unusual as she reclines by the bowl as if she were in Roman times. She kind of cuddles up to her water dish for an extended period and drinks her fill, often with rests in between lappings. You can see this lying by the water dish in this video, and in the first part ho she sometimes uses her paw to scoop up water. So darn cute.
(I apologize for the orientation. I did not take this clip. Never take a video in this orientation. Just think how tvs and movie screens are oriented and go ye and do likewise. 😀)
She often even sleeps next to her water dish, but we don't need a video of her sleeping. Right? Eh?
She has some bad days, but not too many, in which we begin to despair that perhaps the end is nigh. But she always rallies (so far) and has many more good than bad days. In fact, we sometimes wonder if she'll outlast us.
As I have already mentioned, arthritis is a problem. In the past you have seen clips of how difficult for her to jump up on furniture and how it is not easy for her to go downstairs. This is a clip of her going upstairs, and you can see that she really has to work at it. But she does manage and goes up and down regularly. This pleases us that she can do this after being kept in one room for so long.
Sometimes I feel a bit sorry for her in her struggles, but then again, I don't go up and down stairs too nimbly anymore either, and when I am stiff in the morning, she easily beats me downstairs for her first breakfast. Yes, she escorts me down just about first thing after I get up.
Just this morning, I got up at 5:30 to y'know. I had some thoughts about going back to bed (although it probably wouldn't have worked), but she was anxious and meowing, so I thought I'd better give in in the hope that she wouldn't awaken Sue. So, down the stairs I stumbled to get a can out of the fridge, mix in some laxative, and warm it in the microwave. Doesn't everybody do this for their cat? I know, right eh?
There is another habit that may shorten her life or more likely mine or Sue's — stealthing up behind us and lying by our feet in the kitchen.
With her need to eat many small and laxative-added meals, we keep fairly close to home, and when we do go out for a few hours, she generally greets us at the door when we get home. So we likely won't be taking extended jaunts for awhile, especially when you consider that she pretty well needs her bottom wiped after she does poop. I mean assuming that you could get someone in to meet her food and laxative requirements, you can't really expect that someone to wipe her bottom. Right eh?
But she's a sweetie, and it has been very nice to have her. She likes a bit of lap time, and we are glad to provide it.