7-5-05 – Mia & babies.

You know, originally we were supposed to go to Florida this weekend, but we canceled the trip because we didn’t want to spend the money, but mostly because I didn’t want to have to find someone to cover for me yesterday morning at the pet store. So I said to myself “Self, I better find something to keep me occupied, or it’s going to be a long, boring summer!”, and that’s when the opportunity to foster Mia and the babies came along and I took it.

All in all, I had a better time this weekend snuggling baby kittens than I would have had spending 10 – 12 hours in the car driving to and from Florida and listening to Fred complain about the traffic.

Except, that is, for the two hours we spent in the Emergency Vet Clinic yesterday, and the fact that Mia doesn’t seem to be doing very well.

She was okay, if a little agitated by the fireworks, Sunday night. Fred spent a little time with her before bed, and she seemed okay, if a little less inclined to purr. When he went in yesterday morning – I think I mentioned this in yesterday’s entry – there were several small puddles of what appeared to be nothing but bile. She was lethargic, and was clearly not feeling well – cats get a certain look around their eyes when they aren’t feeling well – so we gave her a dose of the anti-emetic we have, and Fred coaxed her to drink some water, and she let him pet her for a while, and we decided to check on her every now and then to see how she was doing.

When I went into her room at 12:30ish, she was laying under the spud’s desk and she looked at me, but didn’t come out to be petted, didn’t meow at me, just lay there and looked at me. Finally she came out, and her legs seemed a little shaky. She let me pet her for a few minutes, then moved away from me and settled down to sleep. I called Fred (who was off on a hike) to tell him how she was, and we thought that maybe the anti-emetic was making her sleepy.

I went off and took my shower, checked on the (extremely rambunctious) kittens, then came downstairs to check my email and all that good stuff. Fred got home from his hike a few minutes later and we ate lunch, then he went upstairs to check on Mia and take a nap. He came right back down to tell me that he’d tried to get her to come to him, and she took one very shaky step, but couldn’t go any further.

I sent him back upstairs to box her up, and tried calling the lady who runs the shelter to let her know what was going on. I couldn’t get hold of her, so I left a message letting her know that we were taking Mia to the emergency clinic – thankfully we live near a city where there’s an emergency clinic – and we left the house.

Luckily, due to the holiday, the traffic was pretty light and we got to the emergency clinic quickly. We sat in the waiting room for a little while, and the lady who runs the shelter called to find out what was going on, and then they took us back to the exam room.

To cut a long story short (too late!) they did all sorts of tests on her, and found that she had a great deal of blood in her urine. Her blood tests came back showing that her BUN, Creatine, and Phosphorus levels were very high which, the vet told us, indicated that there was a toxin in her blood, and her kidneys weren’t clearing it out of her system. After a bunch of questions from Fred, he admitted that he didn’t know exactly what was going on, told us that they were going to give her IV fluids and a shot of antibiotics and an anti-emetic, and that she needed to see her regular vet.

We brought her home and for a few minutes she seemed a lot better; she hopped out of the carrier when Fred opened it, and she purred and rubbed on him. Then she flopped down on one of the cat beds, and Fred checked on her every so often through the night, but she apparently didn’t move at all during the night. He checked on her this morning, and she was still in the bed, and when I went into her room she was still there. She had clearly not had anything to eat or drink, and she didn’t use the litter box. I boxed her up and drove her to Ardmore, to the vet that the shelter uses.

She didn’t meow once the entire way.

The vet looked her over – Mia could barely summon up a halfhearted growl as she was being examined – and basically told me that the fact that Mia hadn’t used the litter box overnight after having IV fluids was worrisome, because when a cat’s kidneys start to go into renal failure they urinate a lot, but when they don’t urinate at all, that could indicate end-stage renal failure.

Everyone asked if there was anything she could have gotten into, something toxic that could be making her so sick, and we’ve been wracking our brains, but there’s just nothing. She spent the first several weeks in the guest bedroom with the kittens, and there’s nothing in there except cat toys, cat beds, and towels to sleep on. I went over the study – where we put her after we separated her from the kittens – with a fine-tooth comb, and there’s nothing at all that could be dangerous to her, nothing. I mean, all our cats used to hang out in that room, and of course we’re very careful not to leave anything around that could harm them, so it’s driving us crazy.

It doesn’t seem like it’s looking very good for Mia. They’re keeping her at the vet’s for now, and I’m not sure how they’re going to treat her; Fred’s going to call and check on her this afternoon. If you can spare a prayer or a good thought aimed at a sweet little gray and white spitfire who’s in Ardmore, Alabama right now, I’d appreciate it.

Edited to add: Fred just talked to the vet, who said that there’s nothing they can do for Mia. They’re going to put her down.

The vet believes that Mia may have gotten into antifreeze when she was living at the auto parts store, before she had her babies. Antifreeze can apparently take a while to build up in their system and make them sick. Poor Mia.

I know that we took good care of her and she was happy here for a while and it helps to know that, but this just really, really sucks.

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