Sunday, March 29, 2009

More on Sheldon and His Yarn

This is not a sad story. I have no bad news to report. I thought I'd better preface the following with a bit of a disclaimer.

sheldon in window 28mar09 closeupThe last week has been very rough for John and I. Sheldon has been acting strangely: refusing my leftover cereal milk, not eating much, sleeping a lot more than usual, etc. It's been almost two years since he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and high blood pressure, and at 15½, we thought we were about to lose him. Money is scary-tight right now, and the tests they'd want to do are completely out of our reach, plus with his health the way it is, a trip to a hospital and the battery of tests would put so much stress on his heart (he completely flips out if we go near the car) that we decided to make him comfortable, spoil him a lot, and make the most of our time.

So, we've been running to the pet store and buying up a variety of smelly canned foods to tempt him. The cat-food snob in me did a lot of cringing, but it was more important that he eat (except, still no corn, since he's allergic (read your labels - you'd be surprised to find out how much corn/corn gluten meal/etc. they slip in)). Every time he turned up his nose or threw up anything, I'd hit him with some Nutri-Cal to at least get some calories and nutrients in. Luckily for the food snob in me (not so lucky for our budget (but we continue to economize on things for us)), the kind he likes the most is the best quality we can get around here (Wellness, either beef & salmon or turkey & salmon).

There's been a lot of trial and error while we figured out the food he likes and the way he likes it served, and the other cats have been more than happy to eat the mistakes. Lily, the former basement cat, especially: she's actually been venturing into other parts of the house when canned food is on a plate. The first few days were tough, since he'd eat maybe half a teaspoon at a time.

Sheldon likes his food like so: 1 T or slightly less, smeared on a saucer (not too thin) and warmed in the microwave (Power: 2, for 10-11 seconds, just to take the chill off). I'd carry it to wherever he was in the house and guard the plate so the other cats would let him eat. After a few days of this, he started going to the same spot and just sit, waiting for his food.

A couple of days ago, I mentioned to John that I hoped Sheldon would serenade us at least one more time, so we could get it on camera. I've been meaning to do this forever, and had put it off. It looked like I waited too long; then he proved me wrong:

He's not well, and we don't know how long our reprieve is, but he's better. Which we think is fabulous.


la Fée Verte said...

He's lovely! He looks happy, too. My old cat was almost 20 when she died and for years before that we had times when we thought we were going to lose her, but she surprised us all! Good luck with him.

First-Class passenger said...

glad you can get him to eat!