Saturday, March 22, 2008

How many lives does one cat get?

Ran across this picture the other day. This is Jake, our boy-named female cat with the sweetest disposition in the world. Unfortunately she has used up a few of those famous 9 lives she's supposed to have on tap, usually by eating something she shouldn't.

This picture was from the last but not the most serious of her illnesses. She is wearing a small baby onsie with the crotch cut out and the leg hole binding fashioned into a tie to hold the thing on. Underneath it is a feeding tube coming out of her side which, without the "shirt" would have been dragging on the ground and getting caught on things.

But no matter what we did, she managed to get out of it. It wasn't unusual to walk into the kitchen, living room or wherever and see a crumpled and empty "shirt" laying on the floor with no cat in sight.

Poor Jakie. She got sick and lost her appetite which caused her to lose a bunch of weight. It was the weight loss that triggered problems with her liver and the only way to get her better at that
point was to force feed her because she wasn't eating on her own. For a while we did try holding her down and forcing food down her throat with a medicine syringe but that was horribly difficult for us - and for Jake. We eventually had to opt for the feeding tube to save her life.

Once she got used to the feeding tube she would settle quietly onto my or my daughter's lap and become quite content while we slowly pushed a measured amount of food into her stomach. We gave her water and medication that way while continuing to tempt her with regular food we thought she might eat. Once we had built her weight up a bit her appetite starting to come back and she started first drinking - and then eating on her own.

I am surprised that I cannot find evidence of the hole in her side where we fed her - the skin has closed up, the fur has grown back and if I don't look at a picture I would not even know what side it was on. She's a wonderful kitty, she's a little simple because of how sick she got with her first trip to the emergency pet hospital, but she loves attention and will let anyone pet her. She is quite plump again which may not be good for her but considering the alternative when we watched her lose a third of her body weight - her being full figured suits us just fine.

She's adorable, not to mention worth a fortune by now - if you judge by all the money the veterinary community has gotten from me. She's got to stay well because she is the cat favored by all and oh my gosh I simply could not afford it if she did it again!!!


  1. What a gorgeous kitty! I've never heard of cats having feeding tubes, that must have been quite an undertaking!

    Good to see her looking a lot better and plumper now :)

  2. oh poor puss ... she looks so cute wearing the babygro that you call some other name , an onsie? so funny I've never heard that before !

    I wonder what was wrong with her anyway she looks good now ...

  3. Oh, poor kitty. She seems to be pleasantly plump these days.

    Happy easter!

  4. Our cat Alley is plump now, too. Very bootiful Jake-girl you have there. I love her coloring. I had a cat that ate an entire bird, beak, feathers, feet and all. Took lots of meds to help him digest that, and a lot of rug cleaning. They are part of the family, tho! Glad she's all buttery now!!! (Co-worker once told me she liked to be called buttery instead of plump. LOL)

  5. Never did know what originally made her sick enough to make her stop eating, but that led to Hepatic Lipidosis which basically means her liver couldn't deal with processing all the fat her body was eating up. Cure was to get her to eat so her body stopped having to use it's reserves.
    She definitely is all plump and buttery now!

  6. She's very cute. The same thing happened to my sister's cat. She took a break from eating, developed problems, ended up with a feeding tube...

    I have also given a LOT of money to vets. My pets should be made of gold by now.

  7. Yeah I guess I am the mama around here.

    Crazy cat lady for sure!

  8. You know I'm more of a dog person, but if my dog's cat needed it, I'd be getting him a feeding tube too. You're not such a crazy cat lady - just being a good, responsible pet caretaker.

    Now if ya start knitting sweaters out of the cat's fur... we'll talk. ;)

  9. Uh oh, I SHOULDN'T be knitting sweaters out of the fur??? I mean, I DO have FOUR!

  10. Ahem... BetteJo... is there somethin' we should know?? Because, first, there was the kitty who insisted on trying to burst himself into flames... now, it's the kitty with the feeding tube?!?!?!?! Sounds like you pick cats like I used to pick men!! LOL

    I jest... she is a true beauty! I can absolutely see why you'd go to the ends of the earth for her, regardless of the cost. I like 'buttery' better, too, DD... That cat is gorgeous!

    Give her a rub from a fellow kitty freak!!!

  11. She was worth it! Beautiful cat but then, I have a soft spot for grey cats.

  12. Don't you love when you can look back and say, that was totally worth it! I'm sure that she thinks so.

    And I am totally using the word "buttery" instead of plump from now on. Love it.