Monday, September 27, 2010

Abe in Decline

My beautiful black boy is in decline.  I think the cats are around 13-14 years old.  They came to live with me in April of 1998 as young cats.  Three of them together, lively and fun.  Just a couple of summers ago Bodhi left us.  He lost a good deal of weight and then got very sick.

Over the past six months Abe has lost a good deal of weight.

He's just skin and bones now.  He demands my attention a few times a day, rubbing his head on me, kneading me incessantly.  

Petting him feels like petting a rake.  Every bone sticks out.  His fur still gleens, but something is failing inside him.

It's difficult to see, especially on a black cat.  But he no longer has any padding on him.  The next photos were taken this past spring.  He still had a bit of a hanging belly on him.

Now he has a skinny belly.  I couldn't get a photo of it, because he wanted to sleep.

In contrast, Luke is still hale and hearty.

I caught him with breakfast still in his mouth!

He still looks like the healthy cat on the vet's charts.

He's tough and vigorous. 

I hope that Abe is not uncomfortable as his life fades.  I hope that he stays warm this winter, and that when his time comes it is a quick transition.  He's added much to our lives.


The JR said...

It's sad when they leave us. But, I wouldn't trade not having them because of all the joy they give me.

MaryEllen Schneider said...

So sorry Abe's not doing well, Johanna. Sending lots of good thoughts for a peaceful transition when the time comes.

Foothills Poultry said...

I know how hard it is to watch them fade. I lost Miss Kittie in 2008 over the period of 2-3 weeks. This remaining precious time is your chance to say goodbye and show him all the love he needs to carry him across the rainbow bridge. Sorry, even knowing what is coming does not ease the pain.


Rose H (UK) said...

Sorry to read about Abe, Johanna.
I'm wondering if he has diabeties? It is very treatable in cats. I hope if news is the worst that Abe will be peaceful and comfortable. He knows you love him, and I'm certain you will treasure the time you have left. It's never easy to loose a precious pet - my heart goes out to you.
Rose H

Johanna said...


It's interesting that you mention diabetes. Bodhi's blood tests showed serious diabetes the day he was put to sleep. It had never been diagnosed. So I always ask my vet to test Abe and so far there has been no problem. But it may be time for another test.

Thanks to you and all for your concern.


Nancy K. said...

Abe's a lucky boy to have someone who cares for him so much. It hurts to see them decline and wonder if there is something more that you could do. It sounds like the boys have had a good, long life with you. I wish Abe a gentle journey and you a glad heart for all the love you have shared...

Melissa H. said...

Poor Abe. I've been noticing just recently that Julie's hip area seems to be painful sometimes. I suspect arthritis. She's about 8. I've always known that her time will be limited, so I keep telling her she has to live until she's 20.

Roberta said...

Oh, those old kitties. I love them so. We lost ours a few years ago but my mind still goes back to the peaceful and quiet moments we shared. He was the boss, the others all respected that. You've probably had his T4 level checked? So often they have thyroid issues. And kidney issues.

artgr8 said...

From what you just posted about your frail kitty staying out late/scaring you, it sounds like you've described his return as personally witnessing him 'lap up' gruel, which is a huge relief I'm sure, and at least you can cross out 'calcified tongue'.

I had an old kitty that continued to hover over the bowls alongside the other cats, and because they rotated bowls, it wasn't easy to track his actual consumption or ability to 'lap' - which he had lost. Sadly, the Vet diagnosed his tongue was calcified and guessed he also had kidney issues (in the end) ;(

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