Just a quick thank-you to those who’ve tweeted and emailed over the weekend to ask how Squeaky is.
For the last few months he’d become increasingly subdued and lethargic at home. Initially we put this down to the aftereffects of a bitterly cold and snowy winter, during which he actively refused to go out very much, and to Squeak’s considerable age (he’s somewhere in the neighborhood of eighteen years old). But when he also started losing weight over the last month and getting actively frail, we became a lot more concerned.
On Friday we got him to the best of the local veterinary practices in our area for a checkup and to have bloods drawn. When the results came in on Saturday morning, the vet called us and asked us to bring him in immediately for hospitalization, the diagnosis being chronic renal failure.
Squeaky’s spent the weekend on IVs, essentially having his kidneys flushed clean, being hydrated and stuffed full of steroids and various other medications, and being evaluated to see whether his renal disease can be managed through diet and medication or not. His condition has been improving — the vet told us today that when he was admitted “he’d let us do anything we wanted with him” but that now “his personality was coming out a lot more” — meaning, I strongly suspect, the part of his personality usually expressed with his claws when something happens that Mr. Squeak considers inconsistent with his dignity. Since he has only two teeth left, I suspect they aren’t that much of an issue. But even in his frail state he still has a skogkatt’s big catcher’s-mitt paws, and packs a wallop when he hits someone with them. Squeak’s padawan apprentice Mr. Goodman, having been on the receiving end of smacking from these weapons from a young age, still treats Squeak with great respect even though he outweighs Squeaky by 50%.
Anyway, the hospital is looking at being ready to release him to home care tomorrow sometime. In the short term Squeak will now need the expected special renal diet, and probably diuretics as well, and monthly injections of this and that to help metabolize the built-up toxins that his kidneys and liver are no longer capable of handling unassisted.
Only time will tell at this point how long the treatment will extend his life. Naturally we’re overjoyed that our old friend isn’t going to have to depart the household just yet. What the future will hold remains to be revealed (but then that’s the way things usually go anyway…). The only thing we can be sure about right now is the vet bills. (And for those of you who’ve been idly considering a subscription to The Big Meow, or picking up a copy of the Uptown Local and Other Interventions anthology ebook, or something else from the DianeDuane.com ebook shop, let me suggest that this would absolutely be the perfect moment for it.)
In any case, thanks again to all those who inquired about Squeaky’s health. We can’t wait to get him home.