A Labour of Love

It’s not easy caring for an ill pet. They can’t tell you how they’re feeling, what hurts or if it’s evident they’re in pain…where it hurts and what they want you to do about it.

For over two years, my kitty has been battling renal failure. He’s fighting the good fight and puts up with three different meds, two supplements and an injection of 100 ml of H2O, under his skin, every other day. That’s a lot for a 14-year old cat.

He takes it in stride for the most part. The subcutaneous fluids are the worst for him, initially; he’s NOT fond of the needle, but once I figured out that warming the bag of water made him feel nice, it was much easier. After it gets going and he’s recovered from the initial odd feeling of water under your skin – seriously I can’t imagine how creepy that must feel – he actually sits on my lap and purrs.

He’s always been an easygoing kitty. The most he does is verbally complain or run and hide if something displeases him. He’s never scratched, bitten or hissed at me in his life.

I have to get his blood checked every three months; he really does not like going to the vet but once he’s there, he’s exceptionally well behaved. The girls love him.

It’s costing me a small fortune; about $200/month just for meds/supplements/sub-q kits & needles and the vet visit. He’s worth every penny. Generally he’s feeling quite good. He’s happy, cuddly, plays a little, talks a lot and can still jump up to where he wants to go. He’s losing a lot of muscle mass but pills keep him eating so his weight is steady.

This can’t go on, forever, though. His kidneys are hardly functioning and at some point his other organs will begin to shut down. I watch for signs of this, very closely. I look into his big green eyes, often, and ask him to tell me when he’s had enough.

“You tell me, Zephyr…you let mommy know when it’s time and you’ve had enough, okay?”

I say these words through tears and he looks at me sweetly, blinking slowly, as if to answer:

“Not quite yet…, I’d like to stick around for a while as I’m still enjoying this life. “

So I carry on with the daily routines. The mornings are all about him and making sure he’s been eating, getting his meds into him and hydrating his furry little body.

He gets tons of love from both my man and I. The boyfriend and the cat have formed a little alliance; a male bonding team if you will, and they will often hang out on the bed together (discussing guy stuff, I’m sure) whilst I wander about doing this and that. It’s terribly cute.

Yet still, I check in, every so often, to make sure he’s not in any way, suffering. He seems content and purrs often and loudly. For now I’ll continue to keep watch and make damn sure he’s got everything he needs, is happy and knows he’s loved.

One day he won’t be here and I’m so well aware of that. Even if I believe we carry on in another form after our bodily death, I still exist in the human realm so I will miss him terribly. I know he’ll be okay and may even visit a time or two but still…there will be another large hole in my heart when I say my final good-bye and that isn’t going to be easy.

He’s a lot of work and I know some wouldn’t want to be bothered with the outlay of cash and constant attention I have to give him. I can’t travel or leave him alone for any length of time like I used to.

This is a labour of love. I don’t mind; he pays me back in snuggles, head-butts, purrs, cuddles and all the adorable things that he does.

Like roll over onto his back and expose his belly for a rub.



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