Anyone who knows me knows that i’m a cat person. Not a person who likes cats – a person who’s DNA is comprised of CAT LOVINGS. Recently, Shiro (my eldest) has been having some health issues. It started off innocently enough: tongue sticking out, light drool, growling noise when he ate. We took him to the vet (found out he had an enlarged heart), they gave no diagnosis and treated him with antibiotics and steroids. Done? No.

About three weeks later the symptoms came back with a vengeance. After taking him to the vet we were given a pretty grim set of options: remove all his teeth with a 60% chance of curing his stomatitis, blast off the skin of his throat and gums with lasers for an unknown chance of a cure and finally, put him on immuno-suppressants for the rest of his life (which, on immuno-suppressants, wouldn’t be much longer.) It was an agonizing choice and regardless of which option we went for, the vet seemed keen on reminding us that one of the other options would “probably, eventually” be necessary. For a while we even thought it could be cancer! Luckily, it wasn’t.

We went for option 1. And so far it looks like it’s worked. We won’t know for sure if he’s getting better until the 23rd but there have been obvious improvements in the meantime. They warned us he’d be lethargic and unwilling to eat. He’s been energized and RAVENOUS. His tongue no longer sticks out, the drool is gone and the awful growling noise is gone. There’s color in his gums, nose and paws. More than that, he’s been an angel (relatively speaking) about taking his four different medications twice a day.

Shiro and I have never been particularly lovey. As much as I love him, I was always too busy taking care of Puss (the special needs kitty) and Merlin (the I’M SPECIAL PAY ATTENTION TO ME) kitty. Shiro’s a grumpy, laid back old man and we never really got too close.  As his primary caretaker he’s had to spend a lot of time with me while I brushed his teeth, gave him his meds and meticulously  chopped up his already bite-sized soft food into minuscule bits. His whole attitude towards me has improved despite the fact that i’m “that lady who squirts yucky stuff into my mouth and smells like the annoying black-cat.”

All of this culminated in him walking into my room and settling next to me for a nap. Shiro has never spent more than a minute in my room without walking out of it, usually preceded by a good spray on some of my laundry. It was really touching. He was relaxed, calm and happy to be around me and I around him.

Now the downside to this is that Puss and Merlin have suffered for it. Both have to be quarantined away from a recovering Shiro, both have had less affection from me. Puss has suffered in other ways: we haven’t been able to get him to the vet for his recurring upper respiratory infection, though he tolerates the sniffles with his usual sweet nature. Merlin hasn’t been too bad about being locked up more than usual as he and Shiro haven’t been allowed to be in the same room for several years now. He still meows like crazy for no reason at all. At one point the stress of Shiro’s situation made me snap at Merlin and I angrilly told him to “Shut it!” At least he did and I apologized afterwards.

They say that parents love all their children equally and while that may be true you can only pay attention to one kid at a time. Shiro’s life has been full of awful events and usually it doesn’t disrupt the natural flow of things, but this time he really has become the center of the family world. Not that i’m complaining, he’s my special little polar bear.

In the meantime Merlin and Puss have shown me what well-behaved boys they can be. They’ve been enjoying each other’s joint-quarantined company. And after all, doesn’t love kitty cuddlings? In fact, I think i’ll go get some right now!

Bye for now,