It feels like we’re living at the vet these days.
After Lemon’s first bout with the sick, he responded well to the treatment. He was his old, ornery self for almost two full weeks, but then he relapsed hard last Thursday. Since then, he’s been throwing up foam and saliva non-stop. He’s had blood work, x-rays, an ultrasound, antibiotics, steroids, fluids, pain meds .. nothing is working. He isn’t eating or drinking, grooming himself, meowing, purring, or doing much of anything other than gagging up bile and foam. The vets – multiple, now – don’t know what’s going on. There’s nothing in any of his results that would cause this. They’ve never seen this before.
We spent most of yesterday watching him struggle to stop gagging, and I sobbed as his head drooped into a puddle of foam, as his muzzle became soaked in drool, as his eyes watered up every time he retched. This isn’t life. This isn’t my awesome, stubborn, loud, potato jerk of a cat that I love. This isn’t fair.
And yet every time we make a decision, he changes. Last night was his worst night yet, until around 10pm. At 10, he sat up. He stretched and walked around. He jumped up onto the furniture, climbed my chest to perch on my hip, curled upside down, patted his big brother on the side. We measure his affection (with two f’s) in “boofs” – headbutting into our fists to rub his face on us. We got a few tiny ones last night. He joined us in bed, taking up most of the room.
He’s spent all of today in an upturned Amazon box. Occasionally, he bites off small chunks of the paper used to cushion the teacups I decided we needed last week. He used to do this as a kitten – take bites out of cardboard or tissue paper and spit it out. He threw up once this morning, but nothing since. Still no eating or drinking.
At 2pm, he got out of his box and walked over to me. I got several boofs before he went over to Ed and did the same. He hopped up onto the ottoman and settled in for a sit, and started to purr – the first purrs we’ve heard in over a week.
I’ve spent the last 6 days crying in sadness or hope. I’m tired. Lemon’s tired. Ed is tired. There’s nothing we can do but watch and wait, and it is exhausting.