BJ is definitely a one woman cat. He's shy around strangers, usually hiding whenever anyone comes over. And he hates to be held. He's always hated it. But what he does like to do is snuggle. He often lies next to me when I'm sitting on the couch, pressed up against my leg as close as he possibly can, sometimes resting his chin on my thigh. And he really loves to snuggle in bed, curled up (or stretched out) on his side against my chest with my hand on his chest, slowly running my fingers through his soft fur. I love it too. I love listening to his deep, rumbling purr. It's soothing.
He's not really a little boy either. The length of his body from butt to shoulders is the same as my arm from the elbow to the ends of my fingers! He's weighed as much 18-19 pounds. I put him on a diet a few years ago though to help him slowly lose some weight, and he's maintained at about 15-16 pounds. But even at his heaviest, he was never a Jabba the Hut.
A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that BJ wasn't eating as much as usual. At first I wasn't worried, because he could still stand to lose a little bit of weight and knowing he's done this before, I was confident he'd soon be back to trying to con me into an extra meal now and then. But his appetite didn't improve. I've tried a couple of different things to encourage him to eat more, but nothing worked. I've not seen any other signs of illness in him. His eyes are bright, his skin and coat is healthy, his water intake has been normal, etc. But when I picked him up (something he normally doesn't allow) and realized just how light he was, I knew he needed help.
I spent three and half hours at the vet today where they ran a few tests. First off, there's a problem with his thyroid -- it's enlarged and overactive. So, we have to start him on some medication for it. He'll likely be on this medication for the rest of his life.
But more troubling were the blood tests for the liver. Because BJ has stopped eating altogether for the last 2-3 days, his liver is now being adversely affected. If he doesn't get his appetite back quickly, he's literally going to starve himself to death. While we've caught this fairly early, and I'm giving him 2 different medications (in addition to the hyperthyroid medication) to try to help protect his liver until we can get him back eating, there's no guarantee.
I'm trying not to worry too much. I'm trying to remain optimistic. I'm trying to hold onto all the positives the vet pointed out -- BJ's heart, lungs and kidneys are good... for now. But the fact remains that I'm scared. I know I'll never be ready to lose him, but I really don't want to watch him starve himself to death. I want him to die (plump and happy) peacefully in his sleep... preferably after a few more years with me.
I know there those that don't quite get the heartache and tears shed over sick pet. But for those of you who do, if you could spare a prayer or some good vibes for my little sweetheart, I'd appreciate it.
This entry was originally posted at http://dhamphir.dreamwidth.org/212365.html.