Monday, August 06, 2007

My Kitty Niobe


Robb has had to come to terms with the fact that not ever fiber of my heart is devoted to loving him. The rival for his affections is my sixteen year old kitty, Niobe. Niobe was a sorry bag of bones when she found us, and surprised everyone by giving birth on our couch a week after a vet assured me that she was too scrawny to be pregnant. Niobe may not have a lot going on in the brains department, and her son is a terror, but I love her more than I have loved any four legged creature.

And right now, Niobe is having health problems. Her kidneys are out of whack, and until we get those better under control, we cannot have her dental problems attended to. Dental work for cats involves general anesthesia, which is risky even for young healthy cats. We've got to get things sorted out, because Niobe has at least one rotten stinky tooth in her mouth, and also has an abscessed gum.

We have tried to modify Niobe's diet, but she's such a lunatic that predicting what she will and won't eat from day to day is nearly impossible. (For the record, I don't think she is spoiled, I believe that with the state of her mouth and kidneys, eating is not a very happy experience.)

Tomorrow, Robb is going to our vet's office to learn how to administer subcutaneous fluids for Miss Niobe. Robb is my hero for doing all this. I have an absolute horror of needles. And carrying a cat up and down the stairs certainly isn't easy for Robb.

Last week, we had an appointment for dental work scheduled, and Niobe's kidney health was too poor to proceed, so rather than leaving her in a cage all day, Robb retrieved her from the vet. He lost his grip on her carrier as he was making his way up the stairs, and bounced her down half a flight of stairs.

But luckily, Niobe also has no short term memory, and treats us like the two nicest people in the entire world. Even if we throw her down the stairs and stick flowers on her head.


ericaflory said...

our oldest cat had really stinky breath & would cry when she ate, we took her to the vet & they recommended removing all of her teeth except the front ones. as soon as she recovered from that surgery she has no more stinky breath & no more crying. that's been over 10 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it amazing how a cat can touch your heart and take it over completely? I have 2 myself, but my little one picked me out at the shelter by sticking a paw out of the cage and waving me over.
3 days later she was staying at the vets with a nasty infection b/c our shelter isn't the greatest and she nearly lost an eye and I nearly lost her.
A cat's love is so wonderful, they can forget us stepping on their tails too! And they also forgive us for not wanting their sandpaper kisses at 5 in the morning. They know exactly who they own from day 1! I hope Niobe moves past her illnesses to give you many more years of joy!

Anonymous said...

You and Niobe have all of our best wishes! We know first-hand about subcutaneous injections for felines. We gave injections to our beloved Mr. Pigeon for nearly six weeks. Dan learned how to do it at the vet, and he valiantly accepted the task each and every day. Neither he nor Mr. Pigeon ever complained about it. The whole thing seemed terrifying to me at first, but I truly believe that our boy knew we were trying to help him. If you ever need someone to talk to who's "been there", please email us. Sending good thoughts your way, and maybe a catnip mouse or two,

Craftymouse and Dandelion

Anonymous said...

We had an all-white cat like yours, except shorter hair. She had bad teeth and had to have all of her teeth pulled. She was so much happier and friendlier after that! But she was embarrassed for anyone to look in her mouth. -Rose

Anonymous said...

We have an elderly (18 years old)shelter kitty named Zsazsa who has had kidney failure for the last 4 years-- we've managed her on special food and have been doing the SQ fluids off and on for a couple years-- she just keeps chugging along!!! Yes, there are bad times (poor, poor thing gets horribly backed up when she is running dry...) but there are so many more good times. She can be one spunky old girl.

I especially love it when this formerly indifferent ex-alley cat snuggles in for a petting and purr-- she never used to do that!! She is very forgiving in spite of the not so fun ordeals of medications and fluids.

So... best of luck with all this for you guys and Niobe. Good chance you got a lotta years of love and purrs to come---


Gothknits said...

Poor kitty. Like many who have commented here, I had a cat who had to have teeth pulled and it helped greatly. It stopped a lot of her vomiting as well as the breath. Didn't help her disposition though.

Loki and Isis send Niobe their best kitty wishes for better health.

colormecynical said...

my Tripod had a rotten tooth, but on account of kidney failure couldn't have the work done (this was back when she was a quadruped, mind you--for the leg amputation they figured the problem outweighed the risks. and y'know, if she'd a died from the anesthesia its really not a bad way to go out) eventually the tooth just fell out. she didn't seem to mind. Then again, Boots's attitude toward pain has always been "what? oh this? just a scratch. you should see the other guy."

your "we can throw her down the stairs and put flowers on her head and she still loves us" comment made me laugh for about ten minutes.

Anonymous said...

When my cat was slowly fading, she couldn't eat hard food one morning.

The answer: baby food. Get little jars of the 100% meat (turkey, beef, ham, etc.)

Cats love it. In fact, it's a nice little treat for any cat!

Anonymous said...

Ooops, sorry. That baby food item was by yours truly.

KuKu (forgot to sign my name)

Music Woman said...

My cat has a rotten tooth in her mouth too. I think it's been there since I got her six years ago and just getting worse. We got this stuff with some sort of alchohol in it from the vet which we put on her teeth once a day. It's actually for dogs, and she REALLY doesn't like the minty alcohol taste, but supposedly it helps clean the teeth of tartar to prolong time between cleanings. Supposedly, it's helped dogs so much that they haven't had to have their teeth cleaned. This is still a test in progress..... but we do know that she hates the taste and can't stop licking (which is a good thing, since it moves the stuff around her mouth on her tongue so that she gets all of her teeth).

Now, why can't they have this for humans??????????? I would LOVE a better dental checkup each time!

Kath said...

I give subcu fluids to my old boy every day, so if you need anyone to hold yours or Rob's hand while you're administering them the first couple times, just give me a call and I'll pop over! (BTW, The needles are nothing, it's getting kitty to sit relatively still for a couple minutes that's the challenge for me!)

robb said...

Yeah, Kath, the needle was nothing. I had training in the vet's office yesterday and Niobe had no reaction to the needle prick.

It was when the dogs started barking in the waiting room that she almost got away from us.

Anonymous said...

Sending all my kitty love to your household.

(I too, have done the subcu fluid gig - it's not so bad.)
along with Sid & Lydia (meow)

JBanana said...

It's impossible to not like someone who loves a kitty this much. Animal lovers are just good people in general. Best wishes from our feline menagerie!

Anonymous said...

Three of our seven cats are on sub-cutaneous fluids every other day. My vet jokes that we are running a kitty old folks home - I guess we kind of are. It is a bit daunting at first, but the routine settles in, it becomes just another part of the day. You and Niobe will adjust. Our kitty Rabbit has been on them for almost five years now, still doing well, he even purrs when he is getting fluid. I think he really perks up afterward. My thoughts are with you and yours. -Litter Boxer

Larva Lady of the Zelie Zips said...

I have an 18 yo cat, Breeze. (and other younger ones and dogs and other animals) so far so good. You would think we are abusing her she is so skinny but she was always a skinny cat. I gave her fluid once. She was horrible about it. I keep checking her skin, but putting more water bowls around the house seems to have fixed it. She was just too lazy to walk to the bowl I guess.

I do have a question for you though. Do you post your pictures different ways? Most of the time I don't get the pictures but some times(these cat ones) I can see them. Maybe my filter is doing it, but what it sees is the harm in bird and squirrel pictures I don't know.

Larva Lady of the Zelie Zips


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