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Kitties Under the Weather; Adventures at the Vet

Although they were not due for their annual checkup until October, Emma-Stella and Lucy-Lulu needed to see the vet on short notice: Today… in the rain… before I went to work.

Emma-Stella stopped eating, drinking, and reliving herself this past weekend; consequently, she was understandably lethargic and dehydrated. Also, she was doing this weird "butt hovering" thing when sitting down; her hindquarters would go down but then stopped short of actual ground contact. Already my "little" kitty, her weight is down to barely 7-pounds.

As part of the examination and treatment, the doctor… (ahem)… "cleared her anal glands". Emma is much more patient and laid-back than her sister, but this was a cringe-inducing scream-fest. However, the intrusive kitty constipation intervention seems to have worked; and when I arrived home tonight, she was again greeting me at the door, and participating in our routine, evening feeding event. (They also took blood for her now-routine thyroid and hyper-calsiumism checks.)

At 10-years old, she is just beginning to show minor indication of mobility restriction. She still climbs up but coming down, she leads with her front paws rather than jumping to the floor. She's still svelte, silky, and chock full of feline finesse. You know… everything her sister is not.

Lucy-Lulu has a cold… or allergies… or something. She's my "big girl" (over 13-pounds), my "puppy kitty" who follows me around the house, always wants to play, always wants to eat; but also, always neurotic: If something is not quite right by Lucy, then it's the worst thing in the entire world. And her "fight or flight" instinct is pinned on "fight". Let it suffice to say that Lucy has a "reputation" at the vet's office. She's remarkably easy to get into the carrier… (Emma-Stella is much smarter about that)… but it's "all hands on deck" when Lucy gets to the examination table.

She's been rapid-fire sneezing. Not just an occasional kitty **tcheh**, we're talking 8-, 10-, 12 in a row. And then licking her nose (EW!). Plus, her extraordinary appetite has waned, such that she barely finishes her own meals, much less cleaning up her sister's. She's also been chewing her nails, and… ummm… let's say "missing" the litter box. She too has been a bit lethargic, not chasing Emma around the house, and not climbing all over me when I'm at the computer or trampling me in bed, as is her wont. Indeed, at the vet today, we didn't have to wrap her in a towel, although she was still biting hard on the leather gauntlets worn by the assistant. (As I said, she has a "reputation".)

The vet gave Lucy an antibiotic injection, took blood, trimmed her nails (including the one that had grown into a paw-pad), and recommended that I get an additional litter box. Apparently, the rule-of-thumb is one litter box per kitty, plus one more as backup. And if that doesn't resolve the pooping-in-my-bedroom behavior, then a prescription of "kitty Prozac" may be in order.

Kitty anxiety is not necessarily like people anxiety, and it's not always clearly evident to us what may be causing them distress. Also, recall that six months after I adopted these adult kitties (almost 5-years ago), "little" Emma-Stella started viciously attacking "big" Lucy, and it was a course of feline anti-depressant that helped resolve "the war at home". I bought the extra litter box today, and now have a new focus on keeping my girls happy and healthy.

And the staff at the vet's office can add another checkmark to their "I survived a LUCY visit" to their resumés.


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