Remember Murphy being “normal“. Unfortunately it’s not rare enough. My funny little dude was sick. Really sick. One of those times I hate being right.
He had seemed low for a few days. Not his usual goofy self. Then on Sunday morning he wouldn’t come for breakfast. That really set the alarm bells clanging!! He seemed to be having trouble moving and when I placed him in front of his breakfast he happily ate it. That was something, at least. But as I observed him, I knew something was wrong. He was walking strangely; like he was trying to limp on every foot. At first I thought maybe he was limping on his front left leg, but my sister was visiting and she was sure it was a back leg. Later I saw him favouring his front right leg. He just slept all day. I tried to find a balance between letting him sleep (best thing for sickness) and checking on him. He was always alert and responsive with me. That night as I prepared dinner, he managed to get off the bed and tried to come but he gave up halfway to the kitchen so I fed him in the hallway. He then lay on my shoes and boots all evening — one of his favourite places.
I will never understand (though I’m grateful for it) how my brain (heart?) knows the difference. Many days he’s spent all or most of the day in one place sleeping but, somehow, this was different.
So off we went to the vet Monday morning with a number of terrible scenarios playing in my head. Unlike Jonesy, Murphy hates it at the vet. So of course he refused to exhibit any of the behaviours I’d observed. His walk was the usual “I do NOT want to be here and I will look for anywhere to hide” slink around the office. But a careful exam gave us some clues. He had no intestinal blockage and he had no pain response to all the poking and prodding and squeezing. The lymph nodes in his hind legs (who knew?) were swollen. He had a pretty bad fever — bad enough by itself to explain his reluctance to move. The urine they drew for testing showed he was dehydrated. So the vet — though puzzled — is pretty sure he’s picked up an infection somewhere. She even wonders if he’s been bitten, though she couldn’t find a wound. They gave him fluids and some meds for the fever. And sent him home with antibiotics. My instructions were to observe him and if there is no improvement in a few days, we’ll do some further diagnostics.
When we got home (after only a 15 minute drive!) he already seemed better. Of course that could be the adrenaline from the visit. I left him there to go back to work. When I got home from work he was a different cat! Not his goofy self, but sooooo much better. Walking around, grooming, looking for dinner. 😉 This morning he’s a little quieter again but did rouse himself for some tuna water (to keep his hydration up).