Another thing I had asked Rebecca last Thursday was about Dodo’s health. I said I had concerns because he appeared to have lost weight. I didn’t give Rebecca any more information than that, but what’s been happening was that starting from a year back, he started to sleep all day. I barely saw him. He’d come by on his way to eat or drink or use the litterbox, meow a greeting, ask for ice, and then he’d disappear again. Sometimes he’d sleep on our bed and I’d go up and snuggle with him. I was always welcome; he’d purr, push himself against me as I petted him. I was just happy that the cone’s still off and there hadn’t been a recurrence of the compulsive eye-scratching. Then I started noticing he appeared to be smaller. I wasn’t concerned cuz he was a 10-lb cat. His vet says he’s the perfect weight for his breed (Scottish Fold), altho I remember back when we lived at the other place he was up to 12 lbs. A second vet visit about 8 months later, he’d dropped a little to where he was under 10 lbs. The vet asked if anything had changed with his diet, and I said I’d switched food (which I do periodically) to an indoor cat weight-loss formula. The vet said that’s good, cuz if Dodo just dropped a pound arbitrarily, they’d be looking into what’s wrong, as that’s 10% of his body weight! He then reminded me that Dodo’s not fat. And then in the past couple of months, I switch Dodo to a Purina wellness formula, i.e. Purina One: Vibrant Maturity 7+ Senior Formula. The packaging says this formula is “designed to promote your senior cat’s body condition and healthy energy level while helping maintain lean muscle mass.” The commercials always talk about how it’s like their pets’ biological clocks got turned back and they were youthful, playful, active again. Well, it WORKED. Dodo suddenly started hanging out with us again, he was awake most of the day, he would go outside and explore flowers, sing along when I played piano (he’s a little off-key, tho), visit with friends who came over, climb on the cat tree that he’d never used before, jump on the bathroom counters to sniff the faucet and taste the leftover drops in the sink after we’d run the water.

My parents came over recently and my dad noted, when petting Dodo, how every vertebrae on his back can be felt through his fur. I’d noticed it, too, and felt how prominent his hip bones have become on his lower back, but just figured hey, Dodo’s more active now. But my dad seemed a little concerned. So I thought I’d ask.

Rebecca came back with that Dodo’s kidneys are a little problematic. She said it wasn’t a big deal, it’s not terminal, but to get him to the vet so he could get his kidneys checked out for a possible bladder infection. I suddenly remembered how much water he’d drunk and how much pee clumps I’d found in the litterbox after returning from Napa a couple of weekends ago. “Is that why he’s sucking up all that water and going to the bathroom so much?” I asked. Rebecca affirmed. She again comforted me that it’s not a big thing, it’s an easy fix. Then she asked, “Is Dodo black?” I told her yes, he’s black and white. He’s black if you look from top-down, and he’s white on the underside.

Friday morning (the next day after talking with Rebecca), I looked at the litterbox again. Wow, there were a lot of pee clumps there from overnight. I mentioned to Mr. W that I need to take Dodo to the vet. He asked why. I told him what Rebecca said. He scoffed, “So you’re gonna spend all this money taking him to the doctor because some PSYCHIC told you to?! If you tell someone oh my cat’s been drinking all this water, frequent urination, of COURSE she’s gonna say bladder infection.” I said, “I didn’t TELL her anything before she said that!” I was annoyed that whole drive to work.

I made an appointment for Monday evening and took Dodo in. This is a new vet I hadn’t met before at the same clinic. She asked what my concerns were, as Dodo hid meekly behind my chair under a table. I gave her general info, and she checked his organs with her hands, checked his ears, eyes, joints, and weight. Everything looked all right, except for a little congestion around his sinuses from his allergies (which I knew about cuz he’d been sneezing and rubbing his eyes). And then she said, feeling Dodo’s abdomen as he struggled, “Hmm. He has slightly enlarged kidneys.” Eep! I asked about a possible bladder or kidney infection, and she said it’s possible. It’s also possible, with symptoms of weight loss, increased thirst/urination, more activeness, that it’s hyperthyroidism, diabetes, or kidney disease. WAAAAAAH!! She took Dodo to the back to check his weight. He’d dropped almost 2 pounds since his last visit, coming in at just over 8 lbs. That’s 20% of his bodyweight! Hyperthyroidism was starting to look realistic to her. We decided to get a full blood panel done to check organ functions and other potential problems. She tried to get a urine sample but couldn’t because Dodo had apparently just peed before we got home to pick him up. I comforted myself by thinking that Rebecca had said it wasn’t a big concern, just a kidney thing with bladder infection, she didn’t say it was something serious like kidney disease, diabetes, or hyperthyroidism.

As I was writing this post, I received a phone call from the vet with Dodo’s blood test results. “His bloodwork actually came back really clean! His kidney enzymes are normal, everything looks very good. He’s healthy, but we still don’t know what’s making him lose weight and what’s giving him the increased thirst and urination. I think he may have a bladder infection, so just bring him back in the next few days so we can get a urine test done.” WOW!! Just like Rebecca said! The vet ruled out everything else and it looks like a slight kidney thing with just a bladder infection! We can confirm this later, but meanwhile the vet already had me start Dodo on oral Amoxicillin drops twice a day.

My kid’s gonna be smart!!