Dr. Cohn called me from the veterinary clinic Wednesday while I was pole-walking. I have to stop giving Torvald one of his medicines, he said, and the other has got to be cut back. The diuretic that has been saving his life for a year is now, after his siege in the ICU and a raised dose to prevent another one, starting to tank his kidneys.
I had suspected as much. He hasn’t wanted to eat much of anything since the hospital stay, and didn’t even drink on his own, so far as I could tell, for two days after that. (I did something that he considered undignified, several times, with an ear syringe, before he went back to slurping at the fountain. You do what you have to.) Kidney toxicity erases a cat’s appetite, famous for being finicky at its best.
He’s lost a pound, on top of the bad bloodwork, and I no longer feel the coiled springs under my hands when I pick him up, though he grouses and complains sometimes when I do. Possibly if I can keep him eating something, he might perk back up; for several days I thought he was going to stay bouncy again — top of the sofa, favorite window — but just as that seemed a sure thing, he slowed back down. He walks half way across a room, stops, and sits down. This morning he slept in the same position so long that I was afraid to look closely for a moment.
I hope, however, that’s how it ends. He could go for a few days or for weeks, I don’t know, but once the drugs start to break their kidneys, you can’t do a save on the heart failure like we did a couple of weeks ago; you can’t even give them the dose that was helping before. It’s a brutal bargain; it’s just the only one I’ve got. I just watch his breathing — slow and quiet now, the way it should be.
I did find some food that he seems to like — a trendy little organic grain-free blah blah pouch brand called “Soulistic” that offers such delicacies as “duck and chicken in pumpkin soup.” I don’t know what this thing is for feeding pumpkin to quadrupeds, but it seems to be suddenly all the rage. He certainly slurped it up. Not the whole dish, but enough to signify. This afternoon he went for “tuna and duck in gravy”: I don’t know why, but he now wants food that he can lap.
He is a Viking and would pee on me if he knew I were telling anyone about this.
Right now he’s on the porch, though, watching whatever prey there is to watch in the rain. Not going anywhere yet. I have to go out tomorrow and get him more pumpkin soup.