Zipper and Zoom: Life and Death and Ninjas

May 2, 2020 at 10:52 pm (Cat pics)

Zipper’s emotional state has shifted from a more or less constant ORANGE ALERT to semi-normal (that is, wary and paranoid). I took this photo while attempting to make Zoom jealous that I was giving Zipper her rejected food. As you can see, her eyes are not fully black, like they were on other occasions when faced with the horrifying spectre that is Zoom. She’s also back to spending time in her usual box in the living room.

Zoom is quite interested in Zipper, and would rush over if I let her.

The horrifying spectre of Zoom:

Getting Zoom jealous didn’t work. At that stage, Zoom hadn’t eaten since she first threw up and I took the dry food away (since it was the obvious cause). She also had diarrhea last night for the first time, and was less playful today than on Thursday. Vomiting combined with diarrhea is very serious in cats, especially when combined with lethargy (not that “less playful” is technically “lethargy” but it’s on the way). And everything is more serious in a young cat. So I took her to the vet, who recommended trying hand-minced, warm, plain chicken breast (no skin)—a teaspoon’s worth at a time, about six times a day. He also recommended getting her a hot water bottle and/or keeping her in a very warm room as she’s so little and so sick her body probably can’t keep her warm. (She’s the smallest of six, and weighs just 450 grams which is tiny even for a kitten at eight weeks).

He said that if she didn’t get much better in the next 48 hours I should come back to the vet, as she was in real danger. But it was also clear that the vet might not be able to save her if she couldn’t eat plain chicken.

I think I mentioned earlier that I was unable to get the same food that she was used to as a kitten (thanks, COVID-19). At this stage, I knew that my decision to go ahead with dry food rather than send Chris all over town looking for the right stuff (I shouldn’t shop myself due to being immunocompromised) might actually kill her. Or she might be seriously and probably fatally ill.

So. Allow me to continue giving unsolicited (and now hypocritical) advice: be very careful about adjusting a kitten’s food slowly. Make sure you get the closest possible equivalent to their usual food, and feed it to them at the same time/s they’re used to. When switching food from one kind to another, put in just a tiny bit mixed with their usual food and then gradually change the ratio over several days (assuming all goes well). And remember to closely observe the cat’s litter tray activities. Because poo is, throughout a cat’s life, almost always the best indicator that something is wrong. (I know I’ve talked about poo a lot lately—trust me, your vet will ask you about it every visit.)

Allow me to direct you to the seminal medical drama Scrubs and their musical episode, including this insightful medical factoid (expressed in song):

So. Zoom was cold, starving, and in literally mortal danger.

She loved the purple fabric-wrapped hot water bottle…

…and she also loved the chicken (and kept it down). She’s still having diarrhea and sleeping a lot, but she’s already feeling better.

Our dandelion-fluff of a kitten is going to be okay.

And here she is just a few hours ago:


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