Thursday, December 21, 2017

Eli's very bad no good day


Monday night Eli was in bed with my husband and I soliciting belly rubs and he showed no signs of illness or issue.


Tuesday morning I found him on a cat tree being very vocal. While he does like to announce his presence when he is coming for attention or when we walk by and he wants to say hi, this was something completely different. He just squeaked and screeched for no apparent reason. He sat there, in a catloaf, mewing at me and he let me walk right up to him (usually he flinches a little and I have to pause and let him get used to the idea I'm going to reach out and pat him) and he had something to say with every step. By the time I reached out to touch him I knew..

He was not happy. And when Eli is not happy he has physical manifestations of that unhappiness, usually in the form of urinary inflammation. At least I'm assuming it is urinary inflammation because he becomes very tight in the abdomen and in the old house he would start peeing out of the box. I would give him the urinary tablets I have that increase the urine PH and soothe the bladder walls and he would get better.

I started that protocol. I gave him a high dose of acidifier because he was so tight it was like a water balloon about to burst... his abdomen, not his bladder. I gave him something to relax and tried to comfort him.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Eli, he started his life out as one of my fosters and he had several rounds of Calcivirus which made him so ill that for almost all of the first six months of his life he was on one type of medication or another. I hadn't learned that you don't let a cat just run away from you after you medicate them, so every time he saw me he wanted to run, I grabbed him, pilled him, and he ran away. While I tried to get some positive interactions with him, they were overshadowed by the forceful interactions we had... and he spent the next three years running away from me whenever he saw me, then the next five years after that barely able to tolerate being in the same room as me. I eased his fears with an intensive course of Rescue Remedy and by the time he was ten he voluntarily climbed up on my lap for the first time (I still remember that moment so clearly)

So, my 'forcing' comfort on him did not go well, it never does. He only wants attention when you aren't thinking about giving it to him. He was uncomfortable and tense and still vocal. I wanted to watch him, so I brought him upstairs to my office with a litter box and some food. He ate a little of the food and hid from me for the next two hours.

At noon I could no longer stand not knowing how he was doing so I hunted him down and pulled him out from his hiding place. He was still very tense. I tried comforting him again, holding him close, cooing words of comfort at him and kissing his head and he just wanted away. I gave him a lot of Rescue Remedy and let him go, and I was going to give it another hour, but I was so uncomfortable not knowing if his bladder was full or not, I decided I was going to run him to the vet clinic.

He was not happy.


Fortunately, his bladder was not enlarged nor did he exhibit any pain when the vet examined him. She could feel how tense he was, but could not find anything that would set him off. She ruled out most causes of illness and we settled on the idea that he was probably overstressed. We also agreed that he might be starting a blockage so I could either take him home and watch him or they could leave him there to watch him.

At this point, Eli was walking around the exam room - a sign that he is feeling okay - and I knew he would stress over staying, so I decided to take him home. The exam revealed that he has a small heart murmur - which is new - and a diffuse lump on his left side. He has two lipomas on his right side (one on the front leg and one on the back) so the vet was inclined to think that this was one too, but she charged me with watching both of those things as well.


When I got home, I faced the dilemma of should I lock him up near a litter box so I could monitor what he was doing which would increase his stress level or I could just set him free into the house and miss his trip to the litter box if he had one but I knew he would be more comfortable.

I will stand here and look disapprovingly at you
but if you walk one step down this hall I am under that bed in a heartbeat! -Eli

I worked for the next few hours and then checked on him again. He was still very tense in his abdomen, but he seemed calmer and he was less vocal. He ate so I knew things weren't too bad. I decided to change out the Feliway diffusers that we started using when we moved here. One was four weeks old and the other was only three but both were empty. I changed out the bottle and plugged it back in. In the morning, Eli was calmer and not nearly as tense and telling me it was time for breakfast. He then proceeded to sleep on the bed all day.. along with all of my other cats.

I do not know what happened. I've never seen his issue explode that quickly. I want to chalk it up to the Feliway running out because that would be easy, but I don't understand why he would be that upset at this point, a month after the move. Feliway recommends using the diffusers for three months, and I have a feeling I will be doing just that.. just in case.

15 comments:

  1. Poor Eli! I hope he's okay now, and the Feliway helps his stress.

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  2. Eli went all mysterious on you! Poor baby; glad it wasn’t what you thought, but what was it? Hmmm...

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  3. I'm sorry to hear that sweet Eli didn't feel well. Hopefully everything is o.k. now.

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  4. I HATE mystery medical problems, so definitely understand your anxiety. We hope this was just a one off and he is ok for a very long time now.

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  5. purrs for both of you....

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  6. Sending comforting thoughts. I hope Eli feels better quickly.

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  7. Oh no! I hope Eli feels much better soon.

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  8. Oh, poor Eli. I hope he continues to relax and feel better.

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  9. First, and most importantly, I'm glad it seems like Eli is feeling better already. Secondly, sorry for the mystery. I'm with you and the rest of the comment community - mystery cat illnesses suck! And lastly, I appreciate it so much every time you share one of these stories as it adds to my own cat handling knowledge base. Thank you!

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  10. That's so mysterious ! We hope Eli feels better soon. Purrs

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  11. I hope Eli gets better ! It is sad and stressful to know they are hurting and not know why ! Purrayers and POTP.

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  12. It's amazing what stress can do. We hope Eli is feeling better soon.

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  13. We're glad you took him in anyway--you can't always know what's wrong. Take care, Eli. Your mom and dad love you.

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  14. Oh I’m so sorry, Eli. I hope you feels better soon xo

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  15. Poor Eli. I am glad he is feeling better.

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