Pete was quite unwell last month. He had a few days of throwing up intermittently, so we trotted off to The Veterinary Cat Clinic, where we saw Simon. Simon thought Pete might have a bowel inflammation, and treated him with a steroid injection, which seemed to do the trick and the vomiting stopped.He was a pretty good boy at the vet – Simon has the knack of giving him a good going over without Pete realising he’s being examined, he just thinks he’s getting a lot of fuss. He didn’t like getting his temperature taken though. However, a couple of days later the poor boy started to sneeze, and do a weird huffing like he was trying to blow something out of his nose. So we went back to the vet and saw Simon again. Because Pete was a stray, there’s a reasonable chance he’s a carrier of feline herpes, and Simon reckoned that the steroid injection for the bowel inflammation had suppressed his immune system, allowed the herpes to flourish, and caused a respiratory infection. A few days of antibiotics sorted it out and Pete was in great form for a couple of weeks.
Unfortunately, he then got very sick again, and vomited eight or nine times in one morning.So we went back, and saw Claire, who is new to the Cat Clinic having replaced Martha. Claire thought Pete he had either inflammatory bowel disease or pancreatitis. She gave him an injection of painkiller, which he did not like at all, and she gave me some antacids to give him with his food, plus some pouches of sensitive stomach food to try him with. He was fairly well behaved and she said she wishes all cats were as well behaved as him, which made me laugh.
I took him home but he really wasn’t himself. Didn’t want to eat, only wanted to sleep and had a very unsettled night.He woke me by sitting in his litter tray and howling loudly, so back to the vet we went, and saw Claire again. They kept him in – leaving cats at the vet is what I imagine leaving your child for their first day at school must feel like – and phoned later to say they’d sedated him and X-rayed him and done bloods. Jenny said his colon was very gassy and bloated, and his urine was very alkaline, which is abnormal for cats, so they tested that for infection, and did more bloods. They’d put him on a drip for fluids to stop him getting dehydrated. I’d told them he likes cheek rubs and head tickles, so he was getting plenty of those but he didn’t get better through the day and they kept him overnight, which was awful. I missed him so much, the flat felt so empty.
Next morning he still wasn’t eating, but he’d done a big wee and was getting lots of cheek rubs from the staff who seemed to have fallen in love with him. They kept trying him with food and he would smack his lips and drool but wouldn’t eat. They gave him an anti-emetic with an appetite stimulant in it, and 20 minutes later he was at the front of his cage waiting for food and gobbled everything they gave him. He kept it down and continued to eat through the day, so they let me take him home that night. He was so pleased to see me, nearly as pleased as I was to see him! Claire and the nurse both said he’d been getting lots of cheek rubs and giving out lots of headbumps.
When I got him home, he went straight to his dish, which wasn’t there, then he went to his litter tray and did a huge pee. I put some of the sensitive tummy food down for him that they’d given me, and he sniffed and licked his lips but didn’t eat it, so I put a teaspoon of tuna in with it. He nibbled it a bit, but he lost interest pretty quickly. Then he went to lie on my bed for a bit and then spent several hours sulking somewhere – every time I tried to stroke his head, he walked off so I just left him to it.
He cuddled up next to me on the bed for most of the night, but a couple of times he got quite lively and was trotting round the flat. I got up at 6ish to make sure he was ok, and he’d cleared his dish, so I put some more out for him and he gobbled it. I went back to bed, and was awakened by what sounded like Pete having some sort of seizure under the bed.
As he’d been so uninterested in food I’d let my guard down and left some pouches on the worktop. The naughty cat had snaffled one and was ripping into it under the bed. I took it off him.Later on I realised he’d stashed one in his favourite cardboard box, so I took that one off him too – and then later on he trotted past me with yet another one in his mouth! He has been absolutely great since then, totally back to his old self – charming, cheeky, affectionate, greedy and ridiculous.
And, he’s been picked as the model on the Cat Clinic’s November booster reminder cards!