I had to make the decision to send my best friend on her way tonight. For 11 years, Gabby has always been there for me. Plopping down next to me on the bed, wrestling her way into my lap, delivering loving head butts, or waking me up in the morning with sandpaper kisses to the face. She’s lived in NC, OH, IL, and CA with me as I moved around. She’s been there during and after just about every serious relationship in my life. She waited patiently for me to finish 4 years of college so that she could live with me again. She put up with Annabelle and Bunki and a number of dogs to hang around. She was quite possibly one of the sweetest cats in the world. She gave so much unconditional love, treating me as if I were one of her kittens to watch over and take care of.
This evening after a beautiful sunset, we took her down to the emergency vet since she had been having significant trouble both breathing and moving and figured it was time to help her out and prevent any more discomfort. I thoroughly enjoyed the last decade or so with this cat in my life. She was always there on my bed when I came home from college or plopped at my side when I was depressed. And her last day was also nice as I got to spend 24 hours with her right by my side, all the way up until the end. I will miss the hell out of her, and I doubt I’ll ever find another cat like her.
Another good chapter in life closes…
What a day..
Monday evening I got home from work and spent the evening working. I remember noticing Gabby (my 11 year old cat) missing her little window sill ledge in what I thought was just a misstep. You know, the kind that cats do and then quickly look around to make sure nobody was watching. I didn’t think anything of it until it was time to head to bed. I laid down and Gabby jumped off the couch and up into bed and promptly fell over. I got concerned and noticed that not only was she skinnier than usual, but she was having a lot of trouble with her balance. I ended up giving her some wet food, which she ate and actually kept down (normally she just throws it up after enjoying it). After quite a bit of concern I finally caved and called Heather at 2am and we headed in to the Emergency vet in Berkeley.
We ended up at the vet until past 5am, talking to the vet on duty, who basically said it was vertigo. I ended up leaving Gabby there overnight so she could see the neurologist in the morning. The next morning the neurologist didn’t have too much to say about what exactly was going on. The bloodwork all came back normal, and he recommended some more serious tests like an MRI. (Even in the seriousness of the situation I couldn’t help but chuckle when he said “a CAT Scan might help figure out what’s going on”) Apparently there is only one MRI machine in the Bay Area for cats, and it’s in Redwood City. So, tomorrow morning Gabby is going in to her normal vet to see what he has to say.
After quite a bit of digging around on the web I finally stumbled across Feline Vestibular Syndrome. The first result on Google was a blog post that seemed to be right on track. Jacqueline describes her cat’s symptoms as:
* She was listing to the left and was kind of trembly (Gabby seems to list to her right more)
* Her eyes were darting like a metronome from left to right, left to right. (I haven’t noticed this in Gabby, but her eyes do appear dilated. Several people explained that this symptom went away early with their cats, so it’s possible that Gabby may have had this while I was out of town this weekend)
* She would fall over if she tried to walk and generally seemed dizzy and disoriented. (This is exactly how Gabby is acting. She just seems dizzy. She is falling off laps, couches, etc. When she walks, she stumbles and catches herself.)
The good news is that a lot of pages on the web are saying that most cats recover within 72 hours, and almost all are better within a few weeks. Here’s hoping that’s the case with Gabby.