Raising Litter Mates



It's been a tough few days here at home again. Taro and Kratos are fine, but our older cat Raffy (Raphael) isn't doing so well. She is our 20 year old kitty (approximately) and she is finally showing her age.

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Thursday, May 5, 2011
Twenty (20) Year Old Cat

Raffy cat is my first cat. I didn't really have a fondness for cats, but that soon changed after adopting Raffy from the clinic I was working at.

She came into the clinic for a euthansia - but she wasn't ill - as per her physical exam and she was about twelve (12) at the time. We don't have an exact birthdate from her previous owners If I remember correctly she just needed a tooth extracted. The owners surrendered her to the clinic, and Dr. Leah fixed her up. She lived at the clinic for awhile, we tried to adopt her out, but it's pretty hard adopting out an older cat. At the time I was still living at home - my parents were also not cat lovers, and we already had three (3) dogs, so I knew convincing them to keep her was going to be difficult. I think I took her home for a weekend - as a trial and I fell in love!

Raffy is such a sweet cat. She is a cuddler, a snuggler and you can usually find her under the blankets on the bed. She spent the entire weekend in my room - our Rottweiler at the time ( Ice-Man) didn't like cats. She stole my heart and I knew I had to make it work. Conveniently enough, I was moving out on my own a couple months later and the deal was that if she wasn't adopted out by the time I move, I would take her with me to my new house in Mission. I don't need to say much more about that!

I took my dogs with me so there was still going to be a challenge with my Rottie. I had much more room to work with - she basically lived in the bedroom and she loved it, she still does.

About a year ago, her bloodwork showed she had some kidney issues. I have a blood panel done yearly on her to hopefully catch anything "bad" before it becomes too late. Kidney issues, nothing serious, it's quite common for cats her age. We put her on daily medication - fortekor - and I kept an eye on her for any behavioral or physical changes and check ups as needed.

Raffy was never a big cat. She has always been an average size, but her appetite has gradually declined, and about two days ago, her appetite was completely off. She was never a big eater - so this is not a good thing at all. Over the last few months she has been losing weight - we are trying her with all sorts of food, but she picks and chooses what she wants to eat, and she is not the kind of cat you can force feed easily without stressing her out.

Taking into consideration her age and issues, we know that we have to let her go soon. We went to the vet's to get some pain medication, to alleviate any pain she may be experiencing in her fragile body so she can be comfortable. She wasn't exhibiting any symptoms of pain - but her legs were looking weak and it isn't uncommon for them to have some arthritic changes at this age either. My hopes are that once we alleviate some old age pain, she might get her appetite back. Unfortunately she has not responded to the medications as hoped as of this moment.

I am having to force feed her - and neither of us like that too much, but I need to give her a chance to respond to treatment before having to make that final horrific decision tomorrow.

It isn't any easier just because she is old, but at least we know she lived the last eight (8) or nine (9) years happy and spoiled. She will get extra cuddles tonight and I pray that there is some noticeable change by the morning.

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