Two of the cats went to the veterinarian this past week. Actually, Tungsten and Tucker went to veterinarians, plural. The latter is still a PAW Society cat whom I am fostering, so he goes to the doctor that PAW uses. Tungsten goes to another clinic which is closer to me. (Don't worry, the other two cats, Josie and Renn, went for their annual check-ups in the summer.)
All went well with the pair, with some cautions. Tucker is too heavy. He’s gained three pounds in eleven months. All the cats have gained weight; I took the opportunity to conduct their quarterly measurements. Tungsten piled on an extra 100 grams, which now means that she is heftier than three and a half feathers. But it’s disappointing that Josie has gained more. I hope that my new tactic of making the hard-food bowl available only at certain times has simply not had the chance to take effect.
But otherwise the roly poly one is doing well. His teeth are in ‘excellent’ shape – probably because all the eating he does keeps them sharp and polished. He was nervously quiet during the trip to the doctor, and anxious once there. But the verterinarian who examined him was ingratiating, and Tucker was actually purring and curling his feet after a while. Nonetheless, I think he was glad to get back home.
This is Tucker resting. He’s lying on a cat-tree platform but with his forepaws on the back of an armchair. His eyes are closed and he seems to be enjoying this position. Perhaps it was a psychological exam that he needed, rather than a physical.
Tungsten also did well at her appointment. She dislikes the vet’s office – not an uncommon characteristic for a cat – and exhibits fear that she otherwise disdains. She spent much of the time on the examining table pressed against me, curving her little body around me to try to get maximum protection.
I have been a little worried about her. She has been visiting the litter-box to leave, shall I say, softer deposits than usual. These have alternated with the usual harder business. She also experiences slight head tremors from time to time, a kind of nervous twitch. The doctor told me that these could be signs of hyperthyroidism, but that there seems to be no other symptoms of the condition, such as an apathy toward grooming, a ravenous appetite and agression. Well, maybe there’s some of the last trait, but she’s always been strict in demanding obedience from the other cats. The doctor stated that the characteristics that she has may simply be those of advancing age, especially the condition of her waste, as suggested to me by a PAW Society member before the vet-visit. No, there isn’t too much to worry about right now, but I will be vigilant with the orange one. Just today, she spent what must have been twenty minutes grooming herself while on my lap; a good sign.
Yes, both Tungsten and Tucker are active animals, the older one being, I think, the most energetic of all four at times. She is, as I wrote in an earlier article, getting into her later years, and she is definitely enjoying the heating-pad that I bought her. It’s good to observe, though, that she still enjoys other comfortable resting spots, so artificial heat is not indispensible to her just yet.
The veterinary visits were expensive, as anyone who owns a cat or dog would have guessed. Ten minutes’ poking and prodding is certainly profitable to the vets' profession. But it brings me peace of mind. And though the day may come when it will bring not peace of mind but disturbing news, regular check-ups may also alert me in a timely manner to conditions that can be arrested or reversed. So I don’t begrudge the cost – not too much, anyway. Watching my furry friends snooze away on a chilly winter afternoon, I know that they’re worth it.