Giving a little Cal update, as he’s sleeping beside me right now on the couch.
After two inconclusive aspirations and a visit to the cardiologist, Cal is now on a tiny dose of daily beta-blockers because of a heart defect, and some occasional subcutaneous fluids to help with any dehydration due to his kidney issues. The mass is still unidentified, but he’s got so much going on with him at once, opening him up to find out what it is seems too risky at this point. He’s still playful and silly, but a little slower and sleepy due to his medication.
He keeps to his rituals, and stays close most of the time. He cuddles with any and all housesitters. He will only drink water from his Oprah Winfrey coffee mug. He didn’t gain back the weight he lost, but he hasn’t really lost too much more in the past couple of months. The biggest issue is food, as some days he’s less interested than other days, but he does eventually eat — especially when I bring it to him and let him eat whatever it is straight from my hand. He will sit nearby when I’m eating something, but he doesn’t want any table scraps. (And before you give suggestions, fellow Crazy Cat Ladies, the following make no difference: heating the food, baby food, the smelliest cheap food, people food, catsmilk, putting it on his paw.) He prefers to eat wet food at night when nobody is watching. In the morning his plate is sometimes down to crumbs and food smears, as if Kitty Cat Santa visited while we were asleep. During the day he appears to prefer kibble. On hot days he eats much less.
He has another vet appointment this Friday, to see how his kidney levels are doing and for another x-ray to see if the mass has grown in size. We opted last month not to do exploratory surgery, as there was a chance he’d be opened up only to discover there was nothing they could do and then he’d only be weaker afterwards and have to spend days at the hospital recovering. He does not like leaving the house, and the last aspiration, where they gave him Michael Jackson meds to sedate him, had him frantic and pacing for over 24 hours afterwards. I just don’t want him to have to go through even more and even worse than all of that only to get what could be an unhelpful diagnosis.
He has become a sweet older cat in the past few weeks, one who seems to sometimes get a little lost on his way down the hall, who loves his toys and his treats and any available lap. He’s still sweet Cal, but not the big, crazy cat of his youth. He still twitches when he over-purrs, but he still jumps up onto his favorite places and chases string and attacks tennis balls and urgently needs to know what is going on behind every closed bathroom door.
Being a bit rundown and senior in his demeanor doesn’t stop him from playing fun jokes on me, like pretending he’s dead so that I find him like this when I walk into a room:
(Most of that tummy fur has since grown back, by the way.)
I just wanted to say how much I appreciate everybody checking in on him with all your good thoughts and warm wishes. I’m grateful for every day Cal’s still here and happy, as I love him endlessly.