I woke up at 4.30am this morning and Vincent came to greet me at the bedroom door. He was so happy, he trotted down the stairs to me. It’s such a joy watching him active and happy.
I guess he hasn’t felt this well for a long time. Cats perceive time at a rate of 4 times slower than us, so 2 months would feel like 8 months to them. And 2 months is only the time we started treatment. Vincent hadn’t exactly been well even before that; I didn’t know it was his kidneys failing. I thought it was his mouth ulcers again, which he does get off and on and which Plague Off always does the trick.
He’s tough, he’s the soldier, so he was masking the discomfort and pain until it became unbearable.
But that’s all in the past, we are where we are now so let’s rejoice and be happy (and learn from our past mistakes and indiscretions).
So, this morning, I was so, so excited. We are trying out Cubgrub’s Rabbit. It arrived frozen so it took many hours to thaw (I do all the thawing in the fridge). Rabbit is on the top of the list for CKD cats.
Vincent followed me downstairs and went out to the patio, probably to pee. Then, he went back upstairs and after a few minutes, decided to come back down to the kitchen and wait for food. I was going to wait until 6am or 7am before feeding them but since Vincent was already here, waiting, I could not miss the chance.
Probiotics, Cubgrub’s Rabbit, Cubgrub’s Chicken, some remaining bits of Cindy’s (contingency plan), homecooked chicken.
I scooped out a big spoon of rabbit for Vincent, and…
…he eats it, without any hesitation at all!
I tell you, this boy knows what’s good for him! Yay!!!
He had three LARGE scoops and ate so heartily!
Tabs sniffed suspicious at the rabbit and said no.
No, I will not eat rabbit. No. I draw the line somewhere. I do not hunt cute bunnies.
Tabs went for Cubgrub’s Chicken, her usual favourite.
I tried a bit on Heidi too, of course she didn’t eat it (she won’t eat raw nowadays), so Heidi had homecooked. Well, she loves my homecooked so that’s a good thing.
Ginger sniffed at the rabbit and walked off, out of the kitchen (I’d rather starve than eat bunnies).
But no, I’m sure that wasn’t what he said. He’s like that. In a matter of minutes, he came back and I gave him homecooked. He ate.
How did the Cow Clan fare?
Well, I served to the two girls first. After all, they are the raw eaters. Cleo sniffed at it and ran away (this means it’s a no, of course, and all the best in coaxing her to eat afterwards).
Cleo: I’ve been offered poison, I’m running away. Run, run, far, far away from this evil woman.
That’s Cleo for you; she’s super paranoid and trusts no one despite having spent her entire 11 years with us!
Pole sniffed at it and decided, “No, this smells strange” and was just about to run away to join her daughter when I quickly tried to salvage the moment by putting a bowl of Cubgrub’s Chicken in front of her.
Phew…she ate. She ate.
You see, I’m a bit of an OCD when it comes to my cats’ meals. If they don’t eat because I messed up (meaning, if it’s my fault), I must correct it. But if they are just being difficult, fussy (and they are not sick), I might just leave them alone. Missing one meal isn’t such a big deal for healthy cats. But if it’s my doing, I get OCD about it and must make amends.
So, today, it’s my doing – I’m trying out a new protein with them. They did not ask for it.
Bunny, of course, is a eating machine. He went for the rabbit (he probably didn’t even know the difference!). Indy was a bit suspicious but ended eating it too (I’m surprised he took to it very quickly). Cow was very suspicious and didn’t want to eat it.
After some coaxing, Cow decided to try. And yes, he ate it!
Protein rotation is good for the cats’ nutritional needs. All this while, I’ve only been giving them chicken and of course, the fish from the canned foods. Fish isn’t recommended by nutritionists who say that cats in the wild don’t even like water and certainly don’t go fishing. But Asian cats have evolved to eat fish because many communities are fishing ones; they live by the river and their pet cats have fish as their main meal. But biologically, a cat’s digestive system is designed to eat bird and mammal preys, like poultry or rabbit.
So, everybody ate.
But my breakfast job isn’t done yet.
Cleo… (we refer to her as the “tiu man lui”, which she is. Translated, that means “a girl who kicks up a fuss”.)
After half an hour, and enough sulking, she came back to look for me in the room.
I offered Cubgrub Chicken, her favourite, in a freshly rinsed bowl (no trace of Rabbit to my inferior human senses, but hey, a cat’s sense of smell is 40 times more sensitive than a human’s).
She sniffed at the food (hey girl, that’s your fav, remember?), sniffed around the food and decided “No”. And ran away.
She’s still giving me poison….Run, run, run!
Ginger says he’ll eat it. ha ha…
Me – Zen Cat.
After another half an hour…
Cleo came back, obviously wanting breakfast. I decided not to push my luck and traumatise the tiu-man-lui further, so I played it safe and gave her Cindy’s. She ate.
Thank goodness when all else fails, I can depend on Monge and Cindy’s. Our cats grew up on Monge, so they still instinctively trust it. At least the taste is consistent, unlike my homecooked!
I let Cleo eat comfortably, which she did. She and Pole are small eaters, anyway. Low maintenance girls, if you like. Rare, yes?
Pole finished up Cleo’s food.
Look at Pole now. Thank goodness I took her for a second opinion. If not, she would still be on steroids now (probably eroding her stomach lining) and would be scheduled for that compulsory tooth extraction under general anaesthesia (and she is already 12 years old). As it turned out, it was just tartar and gingivitis which the tiny antibiotic took care of. She finished the 16 tiny pieces two days ago, so we are drug-free now. I’m so glad the senior vet told me to stop the steroids immediately.
And we are back to being Poldrey Hepburn again!
Have a great morning, everyone!
And Vincent says hello!!
I checked Vincent’s hydration this morning with the pinch test. Gosh..it was GOOD. Wow! I never knew I’d live to see this day. Initially we were only aiming to keep him comfortable until the inevitable. But now, we are looking forward to maintain his failing kidneys for as long as possible, delay the deterioration and to give him a quality life. And what turned everything around? I think it was the increase of the daily subcuts to 250ml (that changed everything) and perhaps the magical Tramadol cream which numbs pain and enabled him to lick food again, despite those very painful mouth ulcers.
I am ever, ever thankful to the vet!! Now, Vincent can look forward to finishing his antibiotics Metrogyl and be OFF it. Previously, it was going to be long-term Clavomox. And we’ve started on Fortekor, which is good for his heart and kidneys.
Exciting times ahead, folks. It’s a great challenge to maintain a CKD cat, especially someone like Vincent who literally came back from the brink. But credit must also be given to Vincent himself. He was so resilient, he never gave up. He suffered and endure such terrible pain in silence and with patience.
Hats off to you, my dear soldier!!
And of course, thank you, to all of you, for keeping vigil when Vincent was at his lowest point.
If things continue to improve, I might not be writing so many updates in a day (I know, I’ve been spamming you with updates – so sorry!). I’ll keep it to at least once a day, of course.