The cobbler's cat goes barefoot...
|Somerset is the first cat I ever owned. When I got her, I knew nothing about cats - I remember that when I got her to my apartment, I was that she would poop in my plants. She was wandering around exploring the place, and about every 15 minutes I'd pick her up and put her beside the litterbox, just in case she had forgotten where it was. It was a huge relief when she finally used it|
I can't believe she thought I didn't know how to use a litterbox - do I look like a dog?
Every so often one of the cats will have some weirdness going on, and I dutifully take them to the vet. This spring, I took her in because she kept sneezing, and when they weighed her, she was about 8.5 pounds. I was a bit surprised, because I thought she was closer to 10 pounds. I didn't think much of it until I came across their vaccination pamplet from March 2007, which was just before they made the move to Ontario. According to the pamphlet, she weighed 12.2 pounds.
In a year, she went from this:
She's definitely less torpedo shaped now. I hadn't really noticed. Although in retrospect, she was easier to pick up, and didn't make the same impact if she jumped onto my lap.
Otherwise she seemed to be fine - she didn't seem to sleep more than her usual 12 hours per day, she was eating, and she still liked to cuddle and play. If anything, she seemed a bit more active than before, and more chatty. So I deluded myself into believing that at the age of 11 years, she spontaneously changed her exercise and eating habits enough to lose about 30% of her body weight.
Finally, I got around to taking the cats to the vet for this year's vaccinations, and the vet mentioned that she seemed to be a good weight for her size. I told him that she had actually lost a few pounds over the year. He did some bloodwork looking for diabetes, kidney failure, liver disease, and thyroid function. The initial thyroid hormone level came back right at the upper range of normal, so he asked them to do a second test on the blood that measured the amount of "free" thyroid hormone, meaning the level of hormones that were floating around freely in her bloodstream, as opposed to those that were bound to proteins and thus not doing much.
It took a few days to get it back - they had to send it to a reference lab in Cleveland or some other hotbed of veterinary endocrine activity. Yesterday the vet called and went over the results with The Gambler - normal range is 15-55, and her level was 128.7. She's flagrantly hyperthyroid.
So much for my clinical acumen. "La la la, my cat has shrunk to 2/3 of her former size but I don't really notice it."
Now I just have to figure out how to get the medicine into her...