Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Did you know cats can have strokes? I didn't know that either until I came home one day about two weeks ago and found that Whiskers was holding his head lopsided, staggering around like he was drunk, and had eyes that were twitching back and forth like pinballs. Needless to say, it was disconcerting and somewhat scary. We took him to the ER vet where they couldn't actually confirm anything. There best guess was that he had gotten an infection that went to his brain. After doing some research, though, we found that he had 8 out of 10 of the symptoms of a stroke.
The good thing is, he has gotten much better. He's still not 100%, but he's able to get around pretty well now without falling down constantly. He still has trouble getting up onto the couch without falling over, and he can't shake his head without falling down, but he's mostly back to his old self. That's been a big relief. Although he's older, he's always been our healthiest, best behaved cat and we weren't ready to have to make the decision to put him to sleep.
For people who don't have pets it's probably hard to understand the depth of feeling that we have for them. They are loved members of the family. I must admit though, that although I might qualify as a crazy cat lady (I do have FIVE cats, after all) I am not one of those who thinks they are my children. As much as I love four of the five kitties, I wouldn't go deep in debt in order to prolong their lives. If Whiskers had needed a neurologist (the next step for diagnosis according to the ER vet) he would have been sent on to the great hereafter. That's reality. But I'm so thankful that he has recovered enough to continue to live a full and happy life.
It's not easy being responsible for another creature's life, but for me, it's well worth it.