Sunday, November 14, 2010

The beginning of the end. Maybe.

Captain has lost a lot of weight. Like, a ton. Not that long ago, people were remarking on how portly he'd become, and now they are commenting on his scrawniness. The paunch that used to hang between his legs is gone, and every vertebrae of his spine can be felt when you stroke his back. I don't know when exactly this happened except that one day we woke up and noticed it.

I Googled "sudden weight loss in cats" and my self-proclaimed internet-assisted diagnosis is that I think he has kidney failure. He's the right age, the right gender, and exhibiting the right symptoms. Kidney failure is the leading cause of death in elderly cats, so this shouldn't come as a surprise. I am a bit ticked that we have been buying his food from the vet since the day he came home with us, and one of the benefits of the pricey food is that it maintains better kidney health than the cheap Friskies stuff you find on discount store shelves. So they say. So much for that.

To be honest, we have been delinquent in getting Captain to the vet lately - I think it's been about two years since his last checkup. It's probably time to take him again so we can confirm the diagnosis or find out what else is going on with him. Captain turned ten this year, and I think cats are considered to be 'old' by age seven. Of course, Chad's childhood pet cat lived into his twenties, so it's all relative. He still seems happy and active and even though kidney failure is a degenerative, fatal disease, he could still have a lot of life left in him. We'll have to wait and see.

(The photo is from last year... we do not have our Christmas tree up. We did, however, get the stairs finished this weekend... picture to come, once I have a chance to photograph it.)


Brandy said...

I lost my dog to kidney disease four years ago and we fought it for a while. If it is the case for Captain the vet should have a special diet just for animals with kidney issues. Something to try anyway. I very much hope it's not and that you get to have him around for as long as possible.

Carrie said...

He's a big old pain in the butt... but we would definitely miss him if he were gone!