Lessons I've Learned From My Cat
My two cats, Angelito and Cowboy, mean everything to me; they’re family. Angelito is my little angel from Mexico City, where he found me one rainy day in December 1996. Angelito is fiercely independent and loyal. He’s crisscrossed the U.S. and Mexico with me several times, tolerating new homes and other feline siblings. He’s always been adventurous, preferring to spend time outside, but then coming home at night to his comfy warm pillow.
He’s managed to make it home bloodied and battered on a couple of occasions, but thank Goddess, bandages and antibiotics spared him a few of his nine lives. This past December, 14-year-old Angelito was having a couple of bad days: not eating, not really sleeping, and the telltale sign that a cat doesn’t feel well - he started peeing in the house.
Full of fear and dread, I knew I couldn’t tolerate daily urine clean up, nor its effect on Cowboy, who would gladly follow his older brother’s new trick. I took Angelito to the Vet, was given the diagnosis of kidney disease and told to give him intravenous fluids 3 times a week. Working at Pets Lifeline did not prepare me for this. “Oh my god,” I thought, “I can’t do that. He’s not a cat that even likes to be picked up. Needle sticks...oh no!”
For the cat’s sake, I had to buck up and deal. The vet showed me an injection technique, and Monna Throop, our wonderful Vet Tech at the shelter, coached me with tips like distracting him with food or a toy. Although Angelito didn’t like it much, he quickly realized that he felt better and now tolerates the shots.
Angelito has one or two lives left to live because I overcame my fears.
If you have a concern about an Aging Cat, please give us a call at Pets Lifeline and we can share some of our experience and resources with you. It’s usually not as bad as we think.
Nancy King is Pets Lifeline of Sonoma acting executive director. She has been with Pets Lifeline since 2009 and was administrative director before taking on the acting executive director position last November.