October 1st, 2012

Munchkin kitten


Munchkin seems to be rapidly sliding down the health slope. She now spends almost all of her time -- all day and all night -- lying on the rug at the foot of the toilet in the upstairs bathroom. I'd never seen her sit in this spot even for a moment until a couple weeks ago, but she's spent rapidly increasing amounts of time there since then. Now she almost never leaves that spot, except when we pick her up and take her somewhere to give her food, or pills, or subcutaneous fluids. That is to say, she pretty much never leaves that spot under her own power. I put a mug of water in there on the floor, because kidney disease makes you very thirsty and I don't want her to get dehydrated just because she doesn't want to leave that spot.

Shannon says this seems like hiding behavior -- which is common in animals nearing death -- even though we do actually use that bathroom quite a bit (and so it's not a very good hiding place). There must be something about that spot in front of the toilet that appeals to her. The behavior is weird enough to make me very sad, because it's just not normal and so it implies that things have gotten drastically worse in some way that we can't see.

She still purrs when we pick her up (even when we're pilling her), she still loves treats, and she still gets excited about mealtime (though she doesn't eat much after all the anticipation), but even when we are hanging out with her she sometimes just sits/stands with her head hanging down, dull and blank, not interacting at all with the world around her. She still almost always puts her head up and says hello to me (with her ever strident, insistent, yowly meow) when I enter the room, but she never gets up to come see me anymore. And she doesn't really react to the subcutaneous fluids now, just lying there and not even twitching when I put in the needle.

So things aren't looking good. Shannon and I are both resigned and sad, because we know what's coming. To be honest, I worry every night that I'm going to walk into the bathroom on one of my midnight pee missions, and she'll be lying on the rug as usual, but she won't be moving at all anymore. I don't want to find my cat dead alone in the dark at the foot of a toilet. She deserves better love than that, but I know she's choosing where she wants to be, inasmuch as she can make "choices" in her diminished state. I don't want her to be alone because I don't want her to be alone, but it's not about what I want. If she's most comfortable on the rug in front of the toilet, then I'm glad there's a rug in front of the toilet for her to be comfortable on.