Our wee brown cat has had some troubles, documented here, here and here. While the food issues have resolved, we noticed that he overshot his litter box about three times in the last three months. I happened to be passing by while he was in the litter box one day and noticed that he wasn’t squatting down anymore, which explained occasionally missing the box.
My mother-in-law got me all paranoid that due to his age (nearly 12), he was dying of kidney failure. I lost sleep worrying about him, despite the fact that he doesn’t seem unwell, but two years ago we had no idea he was suffering from teeth troubles because he’s just so good-natured about anything. I called our vet.
Now our vet is awesome. When we moved here last summer, we heard about a local vet whose entire practice is house calls. He is set up in a minivan with everything he needs and travels about with his assistant. They have a laptop with their records, can print up your invoice and swipe your debit card, all in your living room. We love the idea that we don’t have to traumatized the cat by stuffing him into a cat carrier, inflicting a car ride and then an examination on a metal table, smelling of countless cats and dogs. Instead, he comes to the house and exams the cat wherever he may be curled up. And the examination is more of a love-fest, with cuddles, cheek rubs and chin scratches.
He came yesterday and after discussing a few possibilities while he went about his examination (baby jealousy, moving homes stress, smelly litter box disgust, etc.), he found that the cat has arthritis at the base of his spine. Bad enough that the doctor is surprised that the cat still barrels up and down the stairs. And the discomfort and lack of flexibility in his spine explains why he’s not squatting to wee anymore… and why he occasionally misses. The vet gave us some food that should give the cat some relief and was very happy with our old cat overall.
For me, it was a huge relief. One of the first things I did when I left home was adopt that cat from the Humane Society and he’s been with for nearly 12 years. He’s a good friend and we hope to have him around for awhile yet. We are so blessed to have such a loving vet.