Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hester von Prynnenstein, Duchess of Bavaria

This is my cat.

Her name is Hester Prynne (don’t ask). Truth told, her full name is Hester von Prynnenstein, Duchess of Bavaria. We call her Prynnie for short.

I’ve had her for 14 years. Got her as a kitten, and she has been my constant companion over the years.

Those who know me are well aware that the two of us are virtually inseparable. She sleeps on my pillow every night, and is never far from one of our laps.

About 2 weeks ago, she was losing her appetite and, not to put too fine a point on it, piddling where she oughtn’t. A trip to the vet was in order, so on Friday last I got her in the carrier (no easy task), and took her over to the local Cat Clinic for a look-see.

14 year-old cats are approaching old age, and, like us, begin to have health issues. I am a rational adult, and fully aware of the circle of life and all that crap. Still, it’s never easy to confront.

Blood tests were done and results acquired. Although the doc said “we don’t like to use the term ‘kidney failure’”, the term “early stages of kidney non-functionality” sounds suspiciously like kidney failure. To me anyway. What do I know? I didn’t go to vet school, but I did take an English class or two over the years.

“There are options”, says she. There always are. “Hospitalization for fluid treatments, or you can do it at home. It’s easy. We’ll even show you how.” This, dear reader, is when money rears its ugly head. Economics have to be taken into account. There’s also that pesky “quality of life” nut to crack. Another tough one. I can’t really explain to a cat why she has to endure such things, much less endure it somewhere other than home. The Wife and I decided to go with home care. That means, dear friends, that every night, after we have all supped and The Kid safely and snuggly a-bed, we collect the cat, IV bag, and needle. 18g x 1”, for those readers who are medically trained (Hi Caroline and Lili!).

We hang the bag, insert the needle under her skin and spend the next 15 minutes or so waiting for the appropriate dosage of potassium chloride, for to restore some of that “kidney non-functionality”. Does she tolerate it? Surprisingly well, actually. After 4 weeks of this, we’ll re-evaluate. The Wife has been enormously supportive through this, further affirming the validity of the commitment we made to each other on that beautiful March afternoon. A typical conversation goes something like this; “Are you OK?” “Yeah, I’m fine.” “Are you lying?” “A little.” Then a hug, which I graciously accept.

It’s gonna be a long month.


Caroline said...

Awe, that made me cry. Pryn, we hope you feel better. We love you! Bubba, I know this is not easy for you as I have witnessed the bond you have with your loving "spanky, spanky, spanky" :)

On a lighter note... Caffrey has a DNR.

Jeopardy said...

A DNR? As in do not recussitate? How, exactly would you recussitate a cat?

Uncle Barney said...

My evenings in the near future are relatively free.

Let me know if you need help on the catcare.

Suit up,

Lilli said...

I think back on the possibility of floor contact during labor and delivery. What a long way you have come in two years...and what you will do for love.
By the weekend, you two will be old hands at this and be able to do while feeding kid ,loading the dishwasher, and watching How it is Made. Hang in there. Love ya.