Tasha appears to be feeling better. The skin problem that caused her to suffer mightily has abated and she is healing. She visits the vet in another week for a second antibiotic injection to help assure the infection is gone. Her sneezing continues but the nasal congestion and resulting sneezing also seem to be diminishing, albeit not as quickly as we'd prefer. She is still hidden away most of the day, however, telling us something's bothering her. These are likely but the latest results of her living with FIV for many years, an infection she had when we adopted her. With FIV, as with HIV (the Human version), the immune system may slowly weaken making it easier for common ailments to take hold. Many cats live normal lives and pass away of causes unrelated to FIV but if they live long enough, opportunistic infections can become a danger. Tasha's about 11 years old.
We're still worried about Tasha's appetite but Dr. B. suggested and we've observed that the upper respiratory problem is likely the main issue there affecting her senses of taste and smell. The low point seemed to come this week when Tasha essentially stopped eating for about 48 hours. Her usual diet is dry food pellets which she seemed to hardly notice. So Thursday evening I bought some canned food and offered her a small dish of it when I got home. She eagerly attacked it. Overnight she ate some more of the wet food and a bit of the dry. Very encouraging.
This morning I was doing some paperwork at the dining room table when the cat came up to see what I was about. She started eating the centerpiece –a wreath of artificial leaves– so I moved that and put her food dish in its place; that was even tastier. All the while I was working and making a scheduled phone report to Dr. B., Tasha stayed on the tabletop purring, bird and chipmunk watching, eating, and socializing. A good 45 minutes to an hour of activity. Not bad. I'm cautiously optimistic she'll pull out of this one. She's feeling better.
I am so glad that Tasha seems to be improving. It is so hard when our pets are sick and we try to feed them different things. Frustrating. I did not know that she had an immune problem. Poor thing. 11 years old is wonderful. I hope she gets over this bout of sickness and has many more happy years!
Thanks again, FS, for your caring. Tonight Tasha seems to be feeling
even better than she apparently did this morning. It is tough, as you
know, to feel so helpless and not even be able to explain to our poor
animals what's happening. The flip side of that is, they don't worry
about it — they're totally in the moment. We've been lucky. The average life expectancy from the time of diagnosis for FIV is 5
years. Tasha's been
FIV-positive the whole time we've had her since adoption (about 10
years). So while she
seems to currently be recovering from this episode, I know she may not
be so lucky next time. But aren't we all living that way every day? If
only I could make peace with that. I've got work to do! — JG
Your love has probably extended her life far more than you can realize. I can relate because we lost our beloved dog, Starbuck, to lymphoma. I knew something was wrong before the vet said so. Also, I have an immune disease that they say will shorten my lifespan, so I can relate to Tasha in that way too. My disease is called, "Common Variable Immune Deficiency," and like Tasha, this disease makes it easier to catch things. Sounds a bit like what Tasha has. I am so sorry about her illness but happy that she has lived this long and is improving!
Glad to hear she is getting better. She's so pretty! Fred is our "table sitter." It's nearly his favorite place to be.