Well, you never really know yourself until you're challenged, I guess.
Winnie has been getting alarmingly thin for a while now, and it's been getting harder and harder to get her to eat anything. After New Year's I just couldn't deny it any longer: she's sick, and it's serious. As a 14 year old cat, she's been doing pretty well all this time, and though she's been up and down a bit in the last few months, she's been bouncing back. Trying to coax her to eat anything at all had become impossible. I'd tried mixing her food with all sorts of her regular stuff, and it would work for a while, then she'd turn her nose up at it and refuse to eat. But on Friday I started getting really alarmed. She started vomiting and then just stopped eating all together. Still drinking water, but not a bit of food.
A nice local friend her recommended a good vet, a German who does nearly all the town's pets, farm animals and hunting dogs. She drove us over on Sunday evening, and he did blood work and other tests, including an ultrasound, and she's got a chronic infection in the junction of ducts that connect her kidneys, liver and pancreas. She's also got two really bad teeth that will have to come out once we've got her a little stronger. After two days with no food, she was very weak, so he gave her intravenous glucose, shots of vitamins, digestive enzymes and antibiotics and gave me a tin of special medicated food and told me to come back the next day. We went back last night and got m ore glucose and more antibiotics plus some drops of something for three times a day.
He said that it is pretty serious, but not untreatable. He told me that her recovery is dependent upon her eating the medicated food he gave me for her, but, being a cat and not feeling well, she was absolutely refusing to eat it. She'd taken a few little licks, and then walked away.
Finally, I figured I'd done enough polite coaxing. So I grabbed her, sat her on my lap, forced open her mouth and started just spooning it in. I guess, realising that I was not going to let up, she relented and licked up the rest of it off my finger a little bit at a time, but we got a full dose down her.
We'll try it again this evening before bed time, but I can see it's already making her feel better. On Sunday night she started sleeping better, and last night she slept through the whole night, (under the covers and cuddled up to me, which was lovely). Just now she came up to me demanding a bit of my toast, which is normally one of her favourite things but that she hasn't touched in weeks.