Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Dear little kitty, why do you puke? I love you ever so but don’t really want to hear, watch or clean up your vomit. I have a strong gage reflex and sometimes react when I have to deal with your up-chuck. I have learned to chew on Altoid strong peppermints to relieve the pressure in my throat.

Tillie, the fifteen month old cat, has been nauseated every week or two since spring began. I attributed it to the fact that this is her first year to shed and her fur is rather long. I procured some Science Diet Hairball Control food. We were nearly hairball free for several months. The cats have an open bowl and they are both active enough that weight isn’t a problem.

However, for whatever reason she kept getting ill on Wednesday, July 27th and was lethargic by the next day. When she refused to drink water I knew that it was serious. Zozo keep chirping “no” to Tillie. I took her to the veterinarian’s office. Thankfully, my favorite vet Paul was available. He loves golden retriever dogs but cats are a close second. He poked and prodded her. He could not find anything wrong via a visual or physical exterior exam. He had a vet technician hold her while he looked at the back of her tongue to see if she had somehow swallowed a string. Apparently string does not “just pass through” but can get tangled at the end of the tongue or bunch up in the intestines. Dental floss can be deadly to cats because it can stick to the inside of the intestines. Tillie purred the whole time except for the exam of her tongue and insertion of the temperature probe into her tush. I wouldn’t like it either.

I keep the house clean but Tillie has the habit of exploring and finding a variety of items to munch upon. A couple weeks ago she consumed tape. She puked it out and was fine. I wonder what caused this illness. She can’t tell me in human words what is wrong. Her body temperature was slightly elevated but that could be due to the dehydration.

Dr. Paul prescribed subcutaneous fluid so the technician placed it in-between her shoulder blades. The cat’s body will absorb the fluid to rehydrate itself. Paul administered a shot to reduce the urge to throw up for 24 hours. I procured a couple cans of Hill’s I/D canned food for gastrointestinal health. It is supposed to be okay for the sensitive stomach. He urged me to give her small amounts of the food until I knew that she wasn’t going to get sick. This hour long visit cost $160, wowza.

When I brought her home I removed all the dry food. I opened the canned food and she was interested. I fed her about a teaspoon to see how her stomach reacted. Thankfully, all was well so I fed her a tablespoon about an hour later. Success, so two tablespoons another hour later. Good news. Two tablespoons every hour or so. Zozo got the dry food while I fed Tillie her canned food. I went to bed at 11pm but I could not leave out food for either of them. I had to visit the bathroom at 5:30am and was met with the loud protest of hungry felines. I dragged myself to the kitchen to feed Tillie her two tablespoons and Zozo her dry food. Afterwards I managed to sleep another hour on Friday morning.

I was feeling confident so I added five pieces of Hairball Control to the 7am feeding. Foolish me! She threw it all up. Ugh. Switched to regular Science Diet Adult Cat food and added five pieces to the next feeding. Success. All stayed down. The following feeding I added ten pieces to the last of her canned food. No nausea for two hours and she began to run around more. Not quite back to 100% but acting better.

With a heavy heart, I had to leave Tillie and Zozo to attend to some family matters out of town. I didn’t have time to arrange for my friend Sally to check on them while I was absent. I was gone from Friday afternoon until Sunday around 10am. I was profoundly worried about Tillie. I would never forgive myself if she were still ill or dead when I returned home. I’ve grown attached to the trouble-making fur producer. I walked into the door and was greeted by a healthy cat, yeah!! She was feeling so well that during my absence she decided to pull out Kleenexes and shred them. My irritation was overcome by relief.

I still don’t know why she became ill. I’ll keep the cats on the regular adult food for a couple weeks and then experiment with hairball control. If she throws up again the hairball control food will be dumped into the compost bin. I'll have to figure out another method to reduce the puke. Tillie wanted a lot of affection on Sunday so I showered her with several tummy rubs. She purred in return.

Happiness is a contented kitty’s purr.
© 2011

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