Sick kitty on the mend (hopefully)

By Saturday morning it was clear BK was getting worse, not better, so we took her back to the vet. While she wasn’t entirely sure, all signs pointed to her having had an allergic reaction to the two vaccinations she got on Thursday. Her belly was bright red and she cried when the vet touched her abdomen, so her best guess was that she had developed vasculitis in reaction to the shots.

Poor baby kittySo she got a shot of cortisone and antibiotics (in case she had developed a UTI; we hadn’t seen her pee in almost a day and she had laid down in the litter box, which is extremely out of character for her), and then some fluids for support. We brought her home and she immediately ate some wet food I put out for her, so we felt comfortable enough to leave her for the weekend since we were going back to Murfreesboro and Mt. Juliet to celebrate Christmas with Ian’s family (we had missed it originally because he was sick with the flu over Christmas).

The whole weekend I was worried sick. I barely slept Saturday night, afraid we would come home and find her dead. Fortunately, she greeted us at the door Sunday evening when we got home. She ate some more wet food and was more affectionate than usual. She wasn’t able to jump up onto her condo, though, and later that night when we went to bed she couldn’t jump up onto the bed so I had to put her in it.

BK is still sick, but getting betterBut yesterday morning I woke up and she was in the closet, sleeping in the corner where she sometimes likes to sleep, but usually not overnight. She did get in the shower after Ian got out, which is part of her normal routine, but I found her in it a bit later looking like she couldn’t get comfortable. I had to put her up in her condo later in the morning because she fell when she tried to jump into it, which was a really sad thing to watch.

So I called the vet’s office and they told me to make sure she is getting enough food. She ate two cans of wet food and a bit of dry food, and seemed to have perked up by the time Ian got home from work. She hung out with me while I packed up some of our kitchen stuff, and then she slept in the bed almost all night. She still wasn’t able to jump into the bed, but once I put her up there she seemed comfortable. When we woke up this morning she was sleeping in the cat condo in the bedroom, which is usually where we find her in the mornings.

On the mend, hopefullyI canceled the appointment to bring her back to the vet today because she seemed improved enough to not need to go in. Packing her up in the carrier and carting her over there in 10 degree weather would probably just make her feel worse, so I’m going to continue to keep an eye on her today and see if she continues to improve. She’s sleeping in the closet instead of in her cat tree right now, which makes me a little nervous, but when I’ve gone to check on her she’s been more alert than in previous days. The vet’s office told me that if she seems to be regressing again to just call and they’ll get her in to be seen.

You know, there are many times I’m glad to be able to work from home, but this situation is one that makes me especially grateful. Being able to watch her all day and night without missing work is a huge relief, as is knowing I could run her to the vet immediately if I needed to. Hopefully she will continue to get better and will be back to her old self very soon… and then I’ve got to have a conversation with the vet about not having to vaccinate her again. I am not going to put her through this every year, that’s for sure.

Poor Baby Kitty

Saturday morning I got up at the crack of dawn (8 a.m.) and hauled BK to the groomer to get her fur shaved off, King Boo-style. BK is a purebred Maine Coon, so she blows her coat about once a year. Not just her top fur, either. She loses the thick undercoat ALL over the house. And unfortunately, middle Tennessee decided to bring summer to town in late February this year, so she’s been blowing her coat for more than a month now.

BK is a beautiful cat. I mean, she’s basically the most gorgeous cat you will ever see. Look at this and tell me that you’ve seen a better-looking cat:

BK is the best-looking cat in the world

That’s what I thought. You haven’t. And you never will.

Unfortunately, she looks dumb as shit with no fur. The groomer did a great job, but she is a cat meant for long hair. I had them do a modified lion cut—her body is shaved but she still has fur on her head and a full tail, as well as her “boots” (the fluffy part of her feed up to about her knees).

We knew that she was skinny, but with no fur she just looks gaunt. And despite never having been anywhere near overweight, she has belly skin that just hangs off her. Near her back legs she has this paunch that hangs down to about her knees and resembles—as best as I can describe it—scrotum. I got so freaked out about it that I messaged a friend on Facebook who’s a vet to ask if this was normal. I hate being “that guy” who tries to get free advice from friends, but it was late Saturday night and I was afraid it was an indication of a medical condition. My friend assured me that it’s normal and is called an “apron.”

Poor shaved kitty

But worse than how she looks is how she feels. She’s obviously uncomfortable. She spent Saturday and last night stomping around on our pillows in the bed, finally laying down only to immediately get up, frustrated, and try to find a better position. Last year King Boo did the same thing for a few days, and this year it only took him a day to get used to his new fur.

She’s eating, drinking and behaving normally otherwise, though, so I guess it will just take her a few days to acclimate to the change of her coat. She alternates between looking sad and looking like she is going to murder me as soon as I fall asleep, so I hope she finds some relief soon. Poor kitty.

On the bright side, she’s being incredibly nice to King Boo. I guess she figures they’re in this stupid haircut club together.

Bonus picture of BK as a kitten:
Sweetest kitten ever

Happy birthday, BK!

Kitteh blow-out

This is BK. She is a purebred Maine Coon, and yesterday she turned seven years old.

A little less than seven years ago, Ian and I drove to a town outside of Greenville, S.C., to meet her. Her breeder said that she was a “social butterfly,” and was the smartest and most adventuresome kitten in her litter. We immediately fell in love with her, as kitty kissshe did with us. We returned a month later to pick her up and take her home.

The first night we had her, I set her up with some toys and food in the bathroom of my tiny one-bedroom apartment so she wouldn’t get into anything during the night. But when Ian and I went to bed she started to cry, so he suggested that we bring her into the room with us. I went and got her, put her in the bed with us, and she started purring. When we woke up the next morning, she was still purring. She’s slept in the bed with us almost every night since then, although now she generally prefers to take over Ian’s pillow.

She missed himShe is the sweetest, sassiest, smartest, prettiest, most demanding cat I have ever known. She knows how to turn on my closet light, how the faucets work, and can distinguish Ian’s or my car before we pull up to the house. She knows when one of us is feeling down or sick and comforts us. She is rarely in a different room than us, and she loves laying on Ian more than anything. She taught Gordo how to drink water from the sink, King Boo how to meow and Evil Twin how to play. They all want to be like her.

Those of you reading this who don’t have pets probably think I’m crazy. I mean, I am. I’m totally a crazy cat lady. But our cats are our kids, whether or not anyone thinks that’s OK.

So happy birthday, BK! Hope you enjoyed your birthday tuna.