This is Nimbus. She is four years old. Likes food, treats, and moths. She is a little timid, but loves both Matt and I.
Last Tuesday everything changed. Matt and I were out of town in Duluth Sunday-Tuesday and got home to discover a totally different cat. We knew some work had been done on the house when we weren’t here, but weren’t expecting what we came home to. She was terrified of everything, even her toys. She wasn’t interested in eating or drinking. She had the thousand yard stare and looked depressed and scared. We thought we would take things slow and hopefully she would snap out of it.
She didn’t. We started noticing she was ataxic. Her rear end was unsteady when she walked. She appeared to be experiencing pain. Matt and I thought long and hard and decided to take her to the vet Monday of this week. We didn’t find out a whole lot (of course) other than that she was some arthritis in her hips. Her white blood count and neutrophils were low and had a low-grade fever.
She was unwilling to let the doc manually manipulate her back end so they had to sedate her to get x-rays. We were sent home with pain meds, some advice, heavy hearts, and eyes filled with tears. We got her home and things got worse. She was growling at us, refusing to eat, drink, be herself.
Yesterday we made the decision that isolation was necessary for her to feel safe and be able to eat and drink without Cirrus stealing her food. Last night and today we have seen small improvements. She is still ataxic, but is easier to encourage to come out from hiding, is eating, drinking, and even peed in the litter box last night (after I placed her in the box).
So that is the short and sweet version. The hard truth of it. The facts.
I have broken down over this each and every day since we got back from our trip. I take responsibility for her suffering. I pulled her out of that barn four years ago and made a promise to protect her. I dropped the ball and now she is suffering. Both emotionally and physically. And there is little I can do for her other than provide medical care, nutrition, and any comfort I can provide.
Not knowing if her ataxia is depression, the arthritis, or a more serious issue is killing me. She is suffering. I can’t do anyone/anything else’s suffering.
My friends and loved ones joke about how I am a crazy cat lady. Damn straight I am. My pets provide more comfort than any person, pill, or potion can provide. They never judge me, never talk back, never give empty advice. I love our little boy Cirrus to death, but Nimbus has always been my girl. She is delicate, moody, and loud. I understand her. Her fear. I am fearful often too.
When I go into her room to administer her meds I tell her I will fight for her. I will fight for her to come back. No matter what it takes. Because yes, I am the crazy cat lady. The one willing to drop any amount of money is necessary to bring her back. My tenacity knows no bounds. These little creatures have kept me going for the last four years.
I prayed for the first time in years yesterday. If there is a God he would certainly want to help Nimbus.