Yesterday Charlie was particularly snappish to Ivy. Of course she’s a kitten and he’s 12 years old. But he’s not normally this grumpy with her. He puts up with a lot.
He was coughing terribly. For weeks I kept thinking it was allergies, because I was suffering from them too. It was worse when it rained. So I thought of mold.
But then I looked at some of the photos I’d taken of him in the past week. And I realized: something is wrong here.
So I just up and took him to the vet and asked to be worked in.
He had a temperature, the vet told me. Then they took x-rays of his lungs. He showed me the x-ray and said that Charlie’s heart is enlarged and he has a heart murmur. Plus he has fluid on his lungs.
So he gave him a shot and a dose of a heart medication as well as a diuretic. We rushed home because I knew he would have to urinate soon.
I just gave him his second doses this morning.
I feel bad. I feel guilty. That I continued to think it was allergies and was giving him allergy medication. Though much of the time he would keep it in his cheek and spit it out.
I kept calling the vet’s office telling them about his cough and asking how much allergy medication would eventually help him, so I was trying to get it right.
But I feel terrible that I let his cough continue without taking him in. That I got it wrong.
When we have pets, no matter how old they are, they may as well be infants. Because they can’t tell us what is wrong.
We have to watch them closely and hope we’re doing the right thing. That we’re giving them the best care.
No matter how good a pet Mom you are, you feel terrible when your baby is sick and just have to hope you get them the proper care.
I thought back to Abi, who deteriorated so quickly right before my eyes. And I remember wondering: Did I miss something? Is there something else I could have done?
Last night I sat in bed and cried with those thoughts in my head. With the stress of what the vet had told me that I was not at all expecting to hear. I cried because I miss Abi.
Charlie is right beside me as usual. He isn’t as grumpy. I think he may feel a bit better for which I am very grateful.
Ivy seemed so perplexed yesterday morning when Charlie kept snapping at her. She’d jump away from him and go find something to play with. She’s pretty resilient.
But then yesterday when Charlie and I went back to the bedroom for the night, Ivy did not follow as usual and jump up on her stack of quilts.
I got up and looked and she was still on the couch in the dark. I waited for her to join us, but she didn’t. I started calling her and talking to her.
Finally she joined us. I wondered if her feelings were hurt. (Are cats evolved enough to get their feelings hurt?)
I petted her and rubbed her tummy, which she loves, and told her that Charlie was sick and didn’t mean to be grumpy.
You’re probably wondering if I’ve gone a bit dotty living here with my pets talking to them like humans. But they’re my babies.
This morning they’re both here on the couch with me. Ivy has already managed to find the paper towel I bring in here with my cup of coffee that I had stuffed in the cushions.
She has already ripped it to shreds. So she’s ready for her morning nap.
Charlie hasn’t been coughing as much so I hope the medication is already helping him.