I have written before about our scaredy cat Oliver. Ollie’s mother was a feral kitty, and although we got him when he was just a kitten, he has never been trustful of humans. Not even us.
Over the years, he got a little bit better – willing to sit out in the living room with us, but still running and hiding if you tried to approach him.
His one concession was, when I go to bed at night, Ollie would often (not always) climb up onto me, and get some pets. Some serious pets. He would purr and drool and was one happy kitty. For that little bit of time.
Ollie is now a sick kitty. He has lost 7 pounds over the last 3 years, going from 13 pounds down to 6 pounds. He has lost 1 of those pounds in just the last month. He was throwing up almost daily, and has horrible diarrhea. And he was hungry all the time – I mean really, really hungry.
Obviously, Ollie needed to see the vet, but catching Ollie has always been a near impossibility. However, the symptom of being hungry all the time has finally led to the connection of human equals food; and this made it possible to catch Ollie, and off he went to the vets; and then off he went to the specialist, and then off he went back to the specialist.
We are still waiting for one test results (out of many, many blood tests, and two sets of x-rays, and two ultrasounds), and we still don’t have a definite diagnosis. However, it is pretty likely that Ollie either has cancer or irritable bowel disease. To get a definite diagnosis, Ollie would have to have surgery, and we’re not going to put the little fuzz ball through that, because, since we won’t put Ollie through chemo, either diagnosis will mean the same kind of treatment.
Ollie is now on a selected protein diet (which happily he likes) – the idea is give the cat a type of protein (right now he’s on venison) that the cat would not usually get and the body will do a better job absorbing the protein. (If he stops eating or doing well on venison, we can then switch to either rabbit or duck.) He is also getting prednisone (we started using Pill Pockets, but he got wise to that; switched to crushing and mixing the meds in butter; and now he’ll only eat the butter if I hand feed it to him on my finger), and he will be getting weekly shots of B vitamins (he basically has no B12 in his system right now), which I can give him.
After going through all of this, you would think Ollie would go hide and we’d never see him again. Au contraire. Ollie now actually comes up to me when I’m sitting at my computer.
If Ollie comes to the left side of my chair, he wants food. He’ll stand on his hind legs and bat at me (claws out, thank you) and with his pitiful tiny meow “give me the business” (as my husband calls it). I can pick him up if I can catch him by the scruff and he’ll tolerate some petting, but mostly he’s there for food.
If Ollie comes to the right side of my chair, he wants to be held and petted! Something that has never happened before. He lets me scoop him up, just like a regular cat, and then he cuddles up or stretches out and gets all purry and drooly for awhile. Sometimes he stretches out and kneads my arm while he’s being petted. Ouch, but so worth it.
And when I set Ollie down from getting pets – he does not run away (like he used to). He just turns around and reminds me that more food would be appreciated.
I don’t know his prognosis. Probably not good. The vomiting has gone down to once maybe every 3 days or so, and his diarrhea is a somewhat better (who knew my live would revolve around cat poops). He eats well and drinks plenty of water. And he has turned into a loving cat.
However, long Ollie remains with us, I am so grateful for this special time when he wants to be loved by us and we get the chance to show him how much we love him.