Ailing Otter

Before I went back to the UK for Christmas, Otter – my eldery diabetic cat – did not have a good day on the Friday before I left. Since I was going to board him at the vet anyway, I took him down earlier to get him checked out. The vet was going to do some blood tests.

I called the next day as soon as I got to the UK for the results, and there wasn’t too much that was pointing towards anything in particular. A slight reduction in the vitamin B12 levels, and dehydration (of which the dehydration we knew Friday).

The plan for Sunday was to do a blood glucose curve – taking readings every 12 hours to see how things looked. He was all over the place, apparently. That tracked with my own observations before, where he really wasn’t very stable in his levels.

Nothing else until Saturday, yesterday, when I got back to Toronto and picked him up. Basically, his diabetes is being hard to manage, and it’s giving him all kinds of problems now. Weight loss is a big part of it. Since May 2017, he’d lost almost 0.8 kg of weight.

He was 3.9kg then, and 3.1kg now. Having picked him up since I got home, I now really notice how much body mass he’s lost. It’s alarming. But now he’s having a much harder time moving. Before, his back legs weren’t being as strong, but now… he can barely walk.

Today, he’s been having an incredibly tougher time just trying to go about his daily needs. He’s pretty much stayed in one spot near the food and water all day. As for the litter box, he’s not had the energy to get into it a few times now.

I just ran out to get a shallow litter pan for him, and when I got back found that he’d emptied his bladder just outside the box, but after that had managed to get in, and was having trouble getting out. When I put down the new pan, he just lay in it until I helped him out.

Otter was born on May 20, 2000. He’s 18 years, 7 months and 10 days old. But it’s now starting to look like he won’t make his 19th birthday – not even close. He’s pretty miserable right now, I can tell. It’s breaking my heart to see him like this.

I always thought that The Decision would be either a few months away, or that one morning I would wake up, or come back to work, and find him gone. Those last two, I think would destroy me, as I was not around when Otter’s brother, Boone, passed. Was on work travel.

I can see his quality of life has deteriorated. He’s a stubborn little fighter – always has been – but I’m doubting that he’s going to be able to come back from this now. He’s existing, but it’s tough to see a ‘spark’ of even contentment in him right now.

I think that even Cylia knows that something is not right. She’s been a little more vocal and fussy around him than usual. He may not care for her in the slightest, but she always has shown signs of doing so for him.
But now I think that The Decision is starting to approach quicker than I imagined. I’ll see how he is throught the night and into the morning.

I’ve seen that a few other people have made such Decisions in the past week. During my time in the UK, in the back of my mind I was dreading having to join them… but it’s possible that soon I may have to. 🙁


Edit: At 1:57pm on December 31, 2018, Otter left this world to go be with his brother, Boone. It was a hard decision, but I think the right one for him,

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