Who knows me in real life also knows that, most of the time, I am quite bouncy, cheerful and not easily brought down by events. And basically, this is still true today; I have such a lot to be happy about and plenty to look forward to.
But yesterday, I was rather subdued, and while some of my worries were partly relieved, another one has increased.
If you have been reading my blog for a while, you have come across my cat Pukky several times already. She is rather old and fragile - we don't know how old exactly, because she grew up on the streets, but the vet's estimate is somewhere around 15 years. Two of her fangs have been missing for 1 1/2 years now, and she has a known heart conditon and her thyroid is over-active, but until very recently, she still had a healthy appetite, following me around the house and especially into the kitchen every time I went in that direction.
For the past two to three weeks, she has lost so much weight, she is now at less than 2 kg (used to be 4!). Every little effort makes her lay down and rest instantly afterwards; she has stopped jumping up on the settee, her bed or my lap, which used to be her habit. When I lift her up and place her on my lap or the settee next to me, she just stays there. She purrs when I stroke her, and until yesterday, she purred loudly when I was getting her food ready (almost always with some medication mixed into it) and while she was eating.
Yesterday, we've been to the vet's. Her heart was examined, and things are not looking good. The antechamber is twice the size it should be, and there is danger of water accumulating so that she would literally drown internally. The right heart chamber is as weary as an old rubber band and has lost almost all of its elasticity, making it very difficult for the heart to pump blood at the rate it is needed. The weight loss is most likely due to both her thyroid and her heart problems, but to make sure we give her the right medication at the right dosage, a blood test is being made and I have to phone in today to learn the results.
When we were home, she was exhausted but wanted to eat, and in the evening, I sat on the settee with her for a long time, stroking her and listening to her purring.
This morning, when I came out of my bedroom, she did not get up from her favourite place (a door mat just in front of my bedroom door in the tiny hallway) and follow me into the kitchen; she just stayed there. I lifted her up and she did not purr. Usually, an egg, slightly beaten with a fork, is irresistible to her; I prepared one and set it in front of her on the kitchen floor. She did eat very little, and I had the impression she was doing this more out of politeness, doing me a favour. After only a few sips, she went to "her" room and retreated underneath the bed. She is there now, and I periodically check on her to see whether she is still breathing.
Pukky is not my first cat, and not the first one I lose to old age and illness, and mentally, I am of course always prepared for that - as is everyone who has been a pet owner for a long time. But seeing her so weak makes my heart ache, and I find it rather hard to concentrate on work today.
Also, on Monday night, I had upsetting news from a close friend of mine: he is in hospital after having suffered a particular form of stroke. This came totally out of the blue, and when I researched the medical term, the information I found sounded very scary.
So you can imagine my relief when, last night, I had better news: the prognosis is good, and he is expected to make a full recovery eventually.
My friends and family mean a lot to me (I am no exception there), and I do hope he'll be getting better every day.
As for Pukky, I'll have to wait and see.