Another month, another – non-skiing – vet, another blood test, another large bill. “We think he’s got a kidney problem (as well?). Please can you provide a urine sample…”
Do they have any idea of the difficulty in getting a urine sample from an outdoor cat?
They make a special kit, it would appear. Just (just!) replace kitty’s normal cat litter with thiss pack of special non-absorbent plastic beads, then afterwards use the supplied pipette and sample jar. And we’d like it as fresh as possible… Yeah. Right.
Locking the cat flap at crack of sparrows and showing Sir the location of his private daytime bathroom facilities elicited a baleful stare. Proper morning dawned bright and grumpy, but no sample. Lunchtime and Sir was pacing up and down cross-legged. Late afternoon he was growling, and hissing if he was picked up and shown his litter tray. As the time came when it would be too late to get anything to the vet’s surgery that day, we relented, and quietly opened the back door. There’s clearly nothing wrong with his hearing, and reaching Mach 2.1 crossing the threshold, he dived for the nearest patch of earth; without further ado he performed with a quantity and duration that would have done a large horse proud. Then nonchalantly strolled back in and stuffed his nose in his food bowl.
Needing the human bathroom at 5am the next morning, a bleary eyed check showed that Sir had decided at long last to cooperate in his own inimitable manner. And so, it transpired he had a kidney infection. Antibiotics for a change. Cheap at twice the price…
And so, as we approach the time for us to depart on Sir’s summer cruise, another shave, another blood test, confirmation that Biggles has lost quite a lot of weight, and as well as pancreatitis has chronic kidney disease. The latter’s absolutely no surprise with a cat of his age, and given the availability of these new tests for the former, that may not be a surprise either. Deciding that the kidney problem is more serious, Sir is now on a different special diet, supplemented by some medicine that costs only marginally less than a month than an MP secretes away in the British Virgin Islands bank account. He’s been told to enjoy himself, and come back for another shave and large bill in three months. He’s still more or less his normal self, just maybe a bit peaky.
“But what about his MoT and Booster jabs”, we asked.
“That’s the least of his problems… at his age I shouldn’t worry about that unless you’re taking him abroad…”
So, second mortgage notwithstanding, a decidedly moth-eaten Biggles is boat-ward bound again, even if the canals do sometimes feel like a different world. With the increasing decrepitude of his crew, we should make a fine team!