Underneath my yellow skin

Back to normal?

Shadow is in fine fettle. So fine, indeed, that he hopped on the kitchen counter, which he is not allowed to do. He likes drinking out of sinks, but normally, he ignores that one. I had to give him his last dose of antibiotics, which was a chore. I gave him his breakfast first. 3/4ths a (small) can of his normal wet food. He scarfed it down and then I grabbed him to dose him. Which he was not a fan of.

Side note: It is snowing. Big fat flakes gently wafting to the ground. We only got a few inches yesterday, unlike most of the state that got up to a foot (and maybe more). We got maybe three or four inches, but I’m just happy to have snow at all.

Shadow struggled as I tried to dose him, even though I had him scruffed. (Grabbing him by the back of the neck as a mother cat would, though she would use her mouth, obviously.) He was happy about second breakfast which was the rest of the small can of wet food, a tube of ground up meat, several Temptations/soft treats. I also put some salmon, but he’s no longer interested in it because it’s been a few days and it’s cold. Plus, all the juices are gone. He ate all the treats and the ground-up meat and about half of the wet food. I gave him several of the soft treats. He seems to self-regulate when he’s done eating, but he’s definitely eating much more than he normally would.

I think it’s partly because he’s ravenous from being sick, but I wonder if it’s also just that he’s not been getting enough in general. He does have a bowl of dry food from which he can free feed at any time. I’m committed to giving him more food because why not be spoiled even more in his older years?

He’s back to normal. He’s meowing when he needs something or when he just wants attention. He has a lively step that was absent when he was sick. He snuggles with me when he’s cold and fucks off when he’s had enough. Right now, he’s snuggling in one of the cubbies in the big cat tree, which is one of his favorite resting places.

It actually reminds me of when I came home from the hospital. The first few days, I was just exhausted and didn’t  want to do anything. That’s how Shadow was when I took him home from the vet. He was lethargic and didn’t really want to move. He ate a bit, but he was more interested in sleeping. That was partly because he was pumped full of drugs as I was when I came home from the hospital.

I did not have a leaky bum, thankfully. That was one thing that was under my control. Having to force liquid antibiotics down his throat every 12 hours was not fun. The first few times, he didn’t have much strength to fight it, but as he got better, the anger grew stronger.

I found the best way was to scruff him from the back and jam the syringe between his lips. One quick squirt and we were done. At least that was how it worked in theory. In reality, he would wiggle or turn his head at the last moment. I dribbled the liquid down his cheek more than once. One time, I didn’t manage to fill the syringe properly. Another time, I didn’t depress the syringe the whole way. In general, though, I got the hang of it by the last few days.

I will admit, however, that I was counting the number of times I had left. When I hit five, I was relieved. This morning was the last time, and he was so angry. He protested and wiggled with all his might. I managed to get it down him, and it was with relief that I could put away the syringe and vial. I don’t have to do that again (at least until he gets sick again, if he does)! While I was proficient at it by the end, I never liked doing it. I felt so bad when I forced his mouth open.

He would run away as soon as I was done (once he got his energy back). Most of the time, he would remain in the general area, though, because I had treats on hand. Sometimes, he would eat them and sometimes, he wouldn’t. I couldn’t tell why he did it which way when, but I was always happen when he ate something after I dosed him.

This morning, he ate his second breakfast following the meds. Right now, it is 1:00 p.m. and he is in a deep sleep. My sleep schedule is fucked up because of his illness and because K came. I wanted to be awake when she was so I drastically pushed back (forward?) my sleep schedule. Before she came and before Shadow got sick, I went to bed around 2 a.m. and got up at 10 a.m. Now, however, I’m asleep by midnight and up at eight. During the first few days of Shadow’s illness, I was asleep by 11 p.m. and up by 7 a.m. That was so I could feed him, take a little break, and dose him at eight or half after. Today, however, I got up at eight (didn’t sleep great), fed him, and then dosed him almost immediately after.

My thinking in putting some time between the two was that I did not want him to connect the two. My brother said that he dosed his cat first and then feeds her after. I tried that once, but Shadow refused to eat after I dosed him. This was the second day of giving him meds, so it was probably that he was listless as well. In addition, I’m convinced he could not smell for the first few days. It might still be a bit wonky now. He’d sniff the food, but not necessarily eat. It took him eating whatever treat was on the plate for him to move to the wet food/salmon.

K was telling me that her cats would eat until they threw up. Shadow stops when he’s full. At least with the wet food. With treats, he’ll keep eating those, but he will stop eventually. He’s eating roughly twice as much as he did before he was sick. I don’t know if that’s because he’s recovering, because he’s trying to get as much of the good stuff as possible, or because he’s actually that hungry and could have eaten that much all the time (at least I free-feed him dry food!), but I’m letting him eat as much as he wants for now. I want to slowly get back to just eating three times a day, but I’m torn. I like to nibble throughout the day with one big meal in the middle, so he may be the same.

For now, I’m just trying to go by how he feels. If he wants to eat, then he gets to eat. I’m relieved to see him doing so much better. Big shoutout to the new vet; he really did a great job.

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