Over the past month, everybody has been sick in this house except for me (*knock on wood*). Perhaps I paid my dues plus interest last January. While the virus ran through the family, attacking Lydia, then Sam, and finally Steven — Renton sniffed. Or wheezed, rather, but kinda through his nose. Cats are built funny. You could always tell where Renton was just by listening out for him — head towards the Darth Vader noises and there he was.
And while we were coaxing Lydia to take medicine and cleaning up Sam’s bedsheets, we couldn’t worry too much about Renton’s cold. It will clear up.
The Saturday after Steven finally got back to work, Darth Renton sat down by me and wheezed. All right, buddy. Time to go see your favorite people!
At the vet’s, Renton was able to get a fair amount of growls out in between the sniffles through his cage. Our vet didn’t even attempt to touch him this round; you could almost diagnose Renton by using your ears. Antibiotics were prescribed and out the door we went, with Renton never even required to come out of his carrier. You win this round, cat.
And so the week went on, full of work and gymnastics and Daylight Savings Time (oy). Day by day, Renton wheezed. By Wednesday, we noticed the tell-tale signs of the dreaded megacolon backup, so bright and early Thursday morning I found myself at the vet’s office with Young Renton, who now seemed to be stopped up on both ends.
Our vet, Dr. Cat Tamer, really wanted to examine Renton this time, but he knows this cat well enough to know any examination requires sedation, and he’s not a fan of that unless it’s necessary. Because Renton was still eating, we decided to wait at least another day before the sedation/x-ray/enema train. The vet did take Renton to the back room for a couple of quick shots (steroid and antibiotic). I sat in the exam room for a few minutes while I heard Renton go completely apeshit on somebody. I assume they were wearing the don’t-eat-me gloves.
Friday afternoon when I got home, Renton’s nose was finally quiet, however I found him laboring a bit to breathe. Well, that can’t be good. He had no desire to move, he was just fine where he was thank you very much, and he couldn’t even really purr. Sad little baby.
Back again to the vet. Hi, Dr. Cat Tamer — here’s your favorite patient! Now that Renton was laboring to breathe, the vet REALLY didn’t want to sedate him, but it was definitely time for x-rays and bloodwork now, and despite his shortness of breath, Renton still put up a hell of a fight. So Renton got a bit of a gassing. That cat is something else, truly.
Then the x-rays came back. Despite being on two antibiotics the past week, Renton’s lungs are full of fluid and his bowels are full of poop. He had also lost about a pound, and that’s counting the extra poop.
The area where his lungs are should be pretty black (clear) except where his heart is. Look — proof Renton has a heart!
The little nuggets on the left are normal cat-sized poop. The big club on the right is probably about human-sized. IN A CAT. It’s one of Renton’s small children that got over-baked.
Renton had the poop cleared out as usual, but the vet is concerned about the pneumonia, especially since that’s what it looked like on x-ray after a week of two different antibiotics. Right now we’ve got Renton on a different antibiotic, a diruetic, and a bronchiodialator. Two of those are pills, so that has been a new experience for us; thankfully it’s going better than expected.
I’m quite worried about this cat. I hope these changes with the medicine zaps whatever is in his lungs. He’s very weak right now. He even laid down in the bath tub when I was bathing him. So bizarre.
This morning, Renton was laying on our bed. We usually don’t allow the cats on our bed but I’m not going to begrudge a sick Renton. I said good morning and gave him a cuddle, and he was able to purr for me. Progress, a purr at a time.