Thursday, 18 October 2007

My old cat

I'm not one for cutesifying cats, like some, but I have two tabbies to keep the dogs in their place. The eldest is over 16 and not in good health. Eighteen months ago he was diagnosed with a hyperactive thyroid and once he made it clear that his life would be unbearable on a regime of permanent tableting or invasive treatments, was sent for an eyewateringly expensive stay at the Bristol University Veterinary Hospital to be made radioactive. Some huge percentage of cats (and people) are cured with this treatment - not so Smudge.
He is, by now, a pretty ill cat. He is skinny, demands food and is fed constantly, and can wheeze abominably. But he also enjoys most minutes of his day; he still hunts, he sleeps, he seeks out company and warm laps. He is clearly not in distress, and in most ways he is unchanged and relaxed. Best of all, he doesn't engage in avoidance tactics for fear of a pill.
This is the fourth house Smudge has shared with me. He was a brightly blue-eyed terror of a kitten, much taken to sleeping curled up in man-size tissue boxes after exhausting frequent dare-devil antics had him hanging by needle-like claws from the dining room ceiling (ghastly walls covered in hessian eased his vertical travels). He has taken to Devon and its many trees with gusto.
There is a dent in the cushion on the floor of my office where he usually sleeps. I can see him crossing the frosty garden in search of choice vole.

10 comments:

Flowerpot said...

darling Smudge. All my cats have lived to at least 18 and enjoyed life to the end. there's something to be said for a good old moggie!

Winchester whisperer said...

hurrah for the darling Smudge

Rob Clack said...

Wouldn't willingly be without a cat. Hope Smudge continues to enjoy life.

Hannah Velten said...

Smudge sounds indestructible - what with all the radioactive therapy and near-death hanging on by his tippee-toes. Bless him - nice to have a companion like that in the office; one that just sits there quietly, but you can feel their presence.

Did you eat all the raspberries? They looked wonderful...

Eurodog said...

Good old Smudge.

Sally Lomax said...

He look like a cat we had as a child....

mountainear said...

Good cat. I suspect he doesn't know he's ill in the way that we know he's ill. Which is a good thing.

Mopsa said...

Hugs to all you cat lovers!

Yes Hannah, I ate the raspberries - but here are more to pick and I must do it before the frost buggers the lot up.

lady thinker said...

Oh Mopsa - my dearest cat of all time, Cagney, had an overactive thyroid. Was on max dose of pills for over 5 years - only died age 19 nearly 20 - the last year was his least active but he still enjoyed a cuddle and food. When he couldn't swallow I had to do the decent thing .. SOB ..

mutterings and meanderings said...

He sounds a fighter. As long as he has quality of life, he'll be happy. Bless him! (from a major cat lover)