New cat Gracie was sick. She went from running 60 miles an hour to “down for the count” in a nano second. It was longer except that I didn’t initially notice it.
Cats are not whiners. When they are sick, they go somewhere private to sleep it off, like a considerate drunk. Some cats go out of sight and you don’t know they are sick unless they leave you “gifts.” (I’m sure you don’t want specifics here.)
One of my cats will retreat to under the bed where she can’t be disturbed. She doesn’t like fussing and she sure doesn’t like a trip to the vet.
My first clue was that Gracie slept all day on a chair upstairs. She never sleeps that long. She is awake all day except for a short nap around noon. When she naps it’s somewhere in the way so she doesn’t miss anything. Often on the chair I want to sit on or in a hallway where people routinely walk.
She also didn’t eat or drink. She is the messiest eater I have. In this case it was good. Without kibble scattered all over the floor it was obvious she hadn’t eaten.
By the time all this sank in, it was too late to do much but hope it was a bellyache and she’d be better by the morning.
She wasn’t. I wasn’t either. Nor was the beloved husband. There wasn’t anyone in the house who slept well that night. Mollie (the elder cat) felt compelled to distract me at 3 a.m. by sleeping on my pillow and purring in my ear. It had a calming effect…until she fell asleep.
Gracie didn’t get sick on a weekend (so unusual for my tribe) but she did it on a day that had wall-to-wall appointments and plans. All scrapped. We got into the vet early and found that she had a temperature which is a sign of infection.
Gracie is not a cat that you can pill or medicate by mouth. Fortunately there is a long-acting antibiotic shot available which is better than losing fingers. Especially my fingers. She has a notorious reputation at the vet clinic after their last attempt to medicate her. Techs mysteriously disappear when she rolls in the door. (Remember that she is 7 lbs.)
Some illnesses have a time line and even with medications take a while to correct themselves.
I forgot about how unsettling it is to have a sick pet. They can’t tell you what hurts. You can’t tell them that you are doing something for their good. They just look at you with sad eyes that break your heart. You pray that they will pull through.
Time is also different. A minute is an hour and an hour is a week. She was very sick for 48 hours. By my calendar that’s close to a year.
When they recover, you forgot everything (mostly) and hug them tight. Then they start sitting in your chair again and you’re good with that.
NOTE: This happened earlier this week. Gracie is back to her normal self. It was a fever of undetermined origin which is common in cats. I hope it doesn’t come back. Cha-ching!