One of our cats has been having some frustrating health problems in the last year or so. DISCLAIMER: this is a story with an insanely icky middle but a happy ending. By “insanely icky,” I mean that you should not read this while eating or if you have a weak stomach.
Isis is now about 9 years old and has been with us since she was between 6 and 12 months old. She was a gaunt and dirty stray when we took her off the mean apartment complex streets. We soon discovered that she had worms… and was pregnant. But we took good care of her, eventually found good homes for her 5 kittens, and she became our little darling.
Our lives were content as a two-cat family. Isis is a tiny cat who at her fattest weighed 7.5 pounds—a contrast to Loki’s bumbling 20-pound average. Except for an occasional can of cat food or licking leftover milk out of a cereal bowl, both cats have eaten standard dry cat food their whole lives. We tried some “light” food for Loki at one point, but that didn’t seem to do much good for his weight (or mood) and we always ended up back at budget-friendly Purina Cat Chow in the blue bag.
When Phoebe joined the family in the summer 2007, Isis made it known that she was not happy with our little addition. She started shedding more and eating less. We figured she needed more time to adjust. In November that year, we discovered a lump on her belly. I flipped my shit a little worrying that it was cancer, but it turned out to just be a hernia. We opted for surgery, which went fine, and the scar healed nicely.
But she basically stopped eating.
She started hanging around the kitchen—crying every time we opened the fridge and gladly eating a scrap of chicken or licking out a bowl of human food—so we knew she was hungry. She went back to the vet in January 2008 for her annual shots, and he told us that older cats will sometimes start to become picky eaters for no apparent reason.
We tried some different dry food brands and types—sensitive stomach, senior cat, indoor formula, etc.—and she turned her nose up at it all. Though we were reluctant to give her canned food, mostly because of its much higher price point, we eventually gave in because she was just so skinny. Even worse than the gaunt state she had been in as a pregnant stray with worms.
She wolfed down any canned food we gave her. “Great!” we thought, until she started puking it up. This is where the story gets gross. I’ve never smelled anything more disgusting than Read more…