Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The House of Sick Cats

All the cats in my house except Josie are sick with colds. I don’t know why my Chubs is immune - so far. Perhaps the germs cannot penetrate her layers of fat. She may become ill later, but so far, she is doing well. As for the others...

Bear-Bear is the Typhoid Mary of the household. Well, that’s not an accurate metaphor, really. The human carrier did not suffer from the disease she was unfortunate enough to spread. His cold may have metamorphosed into a respiratory infection, for which he will probably receive anti-biotics, starting today. At some point, he managed to spread his cold to all the other beasts, probably when he sneezed repeatedly into the food- and water-bowls. I can’t blame him too much for that, despite the fact that I have told him repeatedly to cover his mouth when he erupts, or at least to aim away from food and water. I suspect that lowering his face to eat or drink causes the various fluids that are running amuck inside his nose to tickle him, thus inducing a sneeze or twenty. He wheezes like an old pump and has to breathe through his mouth at times. His eating remains good, thanks to the prednisone that he is taking for his red blood cells: that medicine, I understand, enhances the appetite.

Tungsten has a cold. Her sneezes are almost inaudible, as befits her tiny size; she sniffs like a little child and her eyes have been watering. On top of this, there is her weight problem and her hyperthyroidism. She will be tested for kidney troubles, but I will discuss this in a separate article. In the meanwhile, she is at least eating something, thanks to the decision to give her - and her alone - California Natural hard-food. The removal of that item from the cats’ diet last year was supposed to streamline the animals and reduce their tonnage. It may have contributed to Tungsten’s loss of weight. She has, consequently, been returned to California Natural in order to fatten her up. Fortunately, she likes the food and eats, in her minuscule way, a good amount of it.

Tucker’s breathing sounds like wrapping paper being crumpled up, and he blows little snot bubbles from his nose. His appetite has suffered, probably because he can’t smell his food. As is the way with cats when something is amiss, he has changed his habits a bit. Instead of coming to lie on the arm of the couch next to me in the sitting room, he has taken to snoozing the on the bed for most of the day. I understand that rest is important to fight illness, but if that is the case, the roly poly one should be infinitely healthy.

Renn is an interesting case. He sneezes like a firecracker going off, but other than that, he seems unaffected. He eats little, but he always did, so it’s hard to say whether his appetite is affected or not. And Josie may yet get a cold but so far has avoided one.

The one I’m most worried about is Cammie. She has been stricken with a cold just as she is coming away from the infection that caused swelling on either side of her head. I was very lucky to get the last of her anti-biotic medicine into her before she decided to go off of food due to her cold, but she is quite withdrawn now, just as she was beginning to open up and spend more time among - if not with - the other cats. She is spending her days - and nights, so far as I can tell - in the basement. There is a cat-tree there with a cylindrical  enclosure which is probably as snug as can be in the lower level, but it is nonetheless colder than the ground floor. She has now stopped eating cat-food. 

I broke out my ‘emergency’ ration of human-food tuna, which I keep for such times. Cammie has eaten an adequate amount of that and though it has not the nutrients that feline bodies need, it puts something into her stomach and gives her kidneys something to chew on so they won’t be damaged by going without for a few days. In fact, because almost no one wanted cat-food last night, I finished off a tin of tuna by distributing it to all of the beasts, and they all seemed to enjoy it.

All my roommates seem out of sorts, except Josie and Renn. I dislike it and hope it won’t last long. I also hope that no one else develops an infection leading from the cold, as the BB seems to have done. But his immunity is suppressed due to his medicine. I want to get back to writing about their foibles not their health but, with colds, hyperthyroidism, low red blood cells and other problems, that may not be entirely possible. If I must detail their health, I want it to be in regard to it increasing.

I’ll see what I can do about that.


  1. Yikes! You have your hands full with almost everyone being sick. We certainly hope Josie doesn't succumb, and are sending everyone else purrs for quick recovery.

    The boys get daily Lysine treats, though I used to give them the Lysine powder (by opening up a capsule and sprinkling it in their food). I don't know if it really helps but knock on wood, so far so good, their colds seem to be mild (last winter and so far this winter). Mind you, the Lysine is only for the Herpes virus, the typical shelter cold that most adopted cats come with. Don't think it helps with other viruses. One thing I'll say about my previous vet is that at least even he recommended Lysine, though at that point I had been giving it for a few years anyway.

    Sending lots of healing energy/Light!

  2. Oh I'm so sorry to hear most every cat is feeling ill. Hopefully they'll get recover quickly. In the meantime, take care of yourself too, the stress of so many sick kitties must be wearing.