When you have taken care of something or someone for a while a certain bond is created. It sometimes can’t be explained but once you have decided to care for a living thing, the responsibility of this being is now on your shoulders.
I’ve had my two cats for 18 years now. 18 years! They are such characters and completely different from one another. ‘Princess’ is the alpha of the two, and she completely lives up to her name. ‘Monaco’ is a month younger than her, and she still is a little skittish around people, but once she warms up to you she is a purr-machine. They’ve lived together since they were kittens. They’ve been in the same environment for years, ate the same food, they received the same vaccines and flea treatments. I brought them in for their regular check-ups and once they got to their mature age I made sure they had blood work done.
It is recommended that we bring senior pets in every 6 months for regular checkups and blood monitoring, as health changes happen so quickly in senior pets. But like most of us, life can get in the way of the regular maintenance of our pets health, and my life happened to have a major change that put Princess and Monaco on the back burner for a bit – I currently have a 2-year-old human in the house.
I’ve noticed for a while that Princess has been slowing down. For an 18-year-old cat (who is the equivalent of an 88-year-old human) slowing down is the norm. She still has a good appetite, has a decent coat, and no major signs telling me that there may have been anything wrong. I brought her in for a check-up and her blood work displayed that she had Stage 3 Renal Disease, as well as some arthritis. Her last bloodwork, taken only 2 years ago, came back perfect.
Monaco’s check-up came back with amazing results for an 18-year-old cat.
So you see, major changes happen in a seemingly short period of time. But remember, 2 years in human years is almost the equivalent of 14 years in a cat’s life. Princess is on a new diet and medication to help her kidneys and joints, and we will be monitoring her a little more regularly now. I am doing the best that I can for her, and I have gone through the many stages of guilt with not getting to this sooner, but I’ve had 18 fun, interesting, nerve-racking but beautiful years with her, and now it’s all about keeping her comfortable for however long I have left with her.
Written by Josie Mediati, RVT