This morning I turned on the lights to find that overnight Tasha had eaten every morsel of food set out for her. She hasn't done so well in about a week. I also found her reclining on the open floor instead of in her recent hiding place. Her sniffles and sneezing have cleared up. These are excellent signs of improvement for our cat. On Saturday, however, Tasha opened a new wound on her shoulder — probably from biting. To help keep kitty from further damaging her coat through excessive licking and scratching, Dr. G. gave She Who Must Be Obeyed an Elizabethan collar for Tasha. The collar is a strange looking little thing fashioned from a blue plastic fabric and tied with a little cloth bow. I hope to get a photo of Tasha with her new garb but hope we can safely remove it soon … it gets in her way a bit when she's eating, walking, jumping, sleeping. Dr. also gave us a packet of DOUXO® Seborrhea Spot-on which may be helpful is relieving the skin irritation.
We are becoming increasingly suspicious that this entire incident may have been an allergic reaction to the wheat-based cat litter we've been using for couple of months; that Tasha's skin problem is atopic dermatitis. Her litter box filler is the only change she has seen in her environment that correlates with the beginnings of her skin problems. So Saturday night I dumped all of the Swheat Scoop litter into a wooded area and replaced it with standard clay-based cat litter. I really miss the wheat stuff because I could safely flush it down the toilet (and it won't hurt the woods where I dumped it). It was also light colored and, I thought, cleaner than clay. If, however, the cat (and possibly the wife) are allergic to the stuff, well, it must go!