Cat Concern

We need to bathe Shel­ley today, and we’re hop­ing it’ll help her skin (it has in the past). 

She has gone beyond mak­ing small sores all over her­self from ner­vous biting/picking—we real­ized this morn­ing that she has removed all the fur from the under­side of most of her tail, and the skin there is raw and nasty. She got into a sim­i­lar cycle right after she moved in with us (after the death of Katie’s father), though it was her flanks then. Appar­ent­ly, cats will scratch and bite when they’re anx­ious, which pro­motes the release of his­t­a­mines, which lead to more itch­ing. The vet treat­ed her with anti­his­t­a­mines which worked nice­ly, so we need to take her back.

I can’t fig­ure out what would have been a trig­ger this time, though. There haven’t been any major changes in her envi­ron­ment since May. 

I am wor­ried about her qual­i­ty of life. She seems stiffer and has more and more episodes of what seems to be senil­i­ty. Fre­quent­ly, she won’t (can’t?) get up on the couch or a bed unless she can use some­thing else as a stair. She’ll stand right next to a dish of fresh food (a vari­ety she likes), and wail as if she’s starv­ing. Some­times Katie just sits down with her, and then she’ll eat. She isn’t eat­ing much no mat­ter what we do, though, and she’s throw­ing up a lot. She gets very upset if she can’t find one of us imme­di­ate­ly when she wakes up, and then she cries like she’s been aban­doned. She absolute­ly freaks out about closed inte­ri­or doors, well beyond the typ­i­cal feline tal­ent for always being on the wrong side of any closed door.

I don’t want to have her put to sleep, but I don’t want to have her suf­fer­ing because I’m self­ish. The only times I’ve had pets euth­a­nized in the past, there’s been a very clear “it’s time” due to acute, obvi­ous suf­fer­ing. I’m just not sure of where that line is with Shelley. 

She’s 14. I’ve nev­er had a cat live any­where near that long before. She’s been with Katie all of her life. Part of my reluc­tance to let go of her is con­cern for Katie, part of it is sim­ply that I’ve raised Shel­ley from a kit­ten and don’t want to lose her for me, either.

Cur­rent Mood: 🙁wor­ried
Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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