Helpless

14 November 2005 · 11 comments

Simon is sick or hurt, and his inability to communicate his ailment is tearing me apart.

Parents talk about how frustrating it is, how heartbreaking it is, to not be able to help an ailing infant, and I want to tell them, “It’s the same way with cats,” but I never do. They wouldn’t understand. They’d think I’m trivializing their child’s problems, when actually I’m sympathizing with them.

Simon seemed fine Sunday morning, but by mid-afternoon something was wrong. He was sitting on the porch, on a bench, and I could tell merely from looking that he was unhappy. I went outside to pet him, and he didn’t move. He didn’t say a thing. I picked him up and he whimpered a sad little kitty whimper. (Or, in his case, a sad BIG kitty whimper.)

I carried him inside and put him on his chair. He stayed there all evening, never moving. When we went to console him, he growl/whimpered at us. He wouldn’t take food. He wouldn’t take water. He did get up at one point to use the litter box, which was something of a relief. Several years ago, he had a urinary tract infection, and I was afraid that had returned. I’m pleased to report that he pissed long and strong, just like a horse. But then he went back to his chair without stopping for a snack.

This morning, he was either better or worse, I cannot tell. He didn’t whimper when I stroked him, but just sat there, a dull expression on his face.

Poor Simon.

I don’t know what is the matter. He is not limping, but it almost seems like he’s sore when I touch certain parts of his body. Was he bitten by something? Did he get stung? Did somebody kick him? Is he sick?

If only cats could speak.

1 Tim November 14, 2005 at 11:31

I had a similar problem with my cat a couple months ago. Turned out he had an infection. Antibiotics fixed it and he was feeling much better after just a couple days on it. Best to get him to the vet.

2 Lynn November 14, 2005 at 15:02

My sympathies.

My kitty recently had a lump removed from just below her elbow. It didn’t cause her pain, however, we wanted to be sure it was just fatty tissue and not cancerous. The recovery was not fun. She had to wear an Elizabethan collar to keep her from the sutures, which was torture. She would try to pull it off and it would lodge up around her ears and chin and she couldn’t see a thing. I finally bought a small doggy t-shirt and sewed the top of a baby tube sock to the arm. She hated it, but at least she could eat, sleep, and use the litter. After one day back at work, though, I came home and the little hussy was topless. She ended up not bothering the stitches -after all the fuss- and is doing well now.

3 Michelle November 14, 2005 at 15:23

I’d get Simon to the vet if you can. Cats are usually pretty good at hiding pain or discomfort from us, so if you are noticing something not quite right with him, chances are you’re right. I’ve learned this lesson the hard way.

We have a diabetic cat that has gone through a number of lives now. I try to keep a pretty close eye on her simply to monitor her diabetes, but even so, her blood sugar can be raging high and I wouldn’t know it other than the huge clumps in her litter box.

Good luck with Simon. He looks much like my kitty…tabbies are such beautiful cats. And don’t feel bad comparing your cat to others’ kids. Pets are like kids for so many of us. I always say that Playa is an extension of my heart. She might be a hissy little crank sometimes, but that somehow just makes her all the more endearing. She doesn’t lavish her affection lightly, you have to earn it first.

4 J.D. November 14, 2005 at 15:54

Good news, it seems. Though I had terrible fears that I’d find a dead cat upon returning home, Simon seems to be feeling better. He hopped down to greet me. He followed me upstairs (though slowly) and had a snack. He didn’t whine at all.

My stupid brother, on the other hand, has worse concerns than neglected pneumonia, but I’ll let him tell that story if he has the heart.

5 Matt November 14, 2005 at 17:16

Get well soon, Simon!

6 tammy November 14, 2005 at 19:47

Sorry about simon!

And jeff come on tell us what happened!

7 Lee November 14, 2005 at 21:27

Sorry to hear about Simon. I hope that’s he’s ok.

8 Jeff November 15, 2005 at 07:12

Oh my, what an interesting day I had yesterday… weblog entry about it coming soon at Jethro’s World.

9 Mom November 15, 2005 at 22:33

I hope Simon is doing better.

It took me all day to get your comment about letting Jeff tell us about his more serious concerns if he had the “heart”, J.D. I was very glad to read the outcome as detailed on Jeff’s blog.

10 listless cat November 16, 2005 at 00:37

You want to also make sure that Simon has the other stuff moving through him. If he is obstructed he will act pretty sick until he rolfs behind the couch or tosses cookies outside. He will then feel better for a while, eat some more, and then look really sick again. The cheap way to clear an obstruction is with a petroleum based hair ball treatment. This won’t hurt him if he is not obstructed. He might even like the stuff. If not, just squeeze some out between his eyes and let him wash it off his head.

If you take him to the vet they will be greatly assisted by information about his bowel movement history. This advice works for babies too.

11 J.D. November 16, 2005 at 05:36

I’m pleased to report that Simon is completely back to normal. He spent a large part of yesterday outside, where he feels he properly belongs. He even demanded some affection in the evening. We’re not sure what happened to him at all. As listless cat suggest, he may have been “obstructed”. Or he may have been stung. Or he may have simply eaten something gross. Who knows? We’re happy to have him back to normal.

Now I need to find time to write another weblog entry!

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