Thursday, June 05, 2008

All Kitty All the Time: We Are Like a Cable Network

What happens if the cat's current state endures, if we have achieved a kind of equilibrium?

Oliver now has minimal control of his hind legs, and he never moves further than three feet from his cat basket in which we have placed a heating pad set on low. But within those three feet are his two food bowls and his litter pan, and the one improvement in his state that has endured is his ability to control his bladder. As a kind of backup, we palpate his bladder -- I think "palpate" is the word -- and if it's plump enough I give it a nice squeeze. Whatever the cause, O. is using his litter.

His appetite has also returned in a small way. Early in the week we started squirting his potassium gel (for appetite) and his CatLax (for elimination) down his throat, and both seem to be working. So we now have a cat that can barely move, but whose condition may be tolerable -- for us. We keep him in the bedroom once again, and we give him some lap time and some bed time during which he is generously stroked.

He doesn't purr, though. He arranges his body as if he is comfortable and seems to like being petted, assuming we can read cat body language. But how does he feel?

How many cats can dance on the head of a pin? What goes on in a cat's brain, that meat microprocessor? If the pattern over the last three weeks holds, Oliver will be stable for only a short time and will soon lose: appetite and/or bladder control and/or mobility, and then we will "euphemize" him. But for right now it's equilibrium, and he lives on.

No comments: