My cat's Story (anyone wanna help me edit?)
- I remember the day well, it was november of 2008, My 6 year old brother, Andew, had lice and so it was crazy. I had been in my room lying on my bed reading, when my other cat Stormy walked in, howling. I shoved her away in annoyance. Later my other brother, Mitchell, who was 12 came in and asked, where's Dusty? I didn't know. Our whole family started to look for him, outside, in every room, we couldn't find him. Mitchell sat on the stairs thinking when suddenly he yelled "I found him! I found him!" We all came and saw Dusty sitting in the linen closet. We tried to coax him out, but he wouldn't leave. Finally my dad grabbed him and pulled him out. We put him on his feet. His head drooped, and he lay down, face on the ground looking at us. At that point we knew something was seriously wrong.
We quickly decided to take him too the vet, Dusty who was normally an energetic can who loved to go out side was so sick that we didnt even have to put him in a cat carrier, I held him in my arms, wrapped in a blanket. We took him to our emergency vetinary hospital. the doctor could quite figure out what was wrong at first we thought he had eaten some of the lice-killer. but that wasn't it. Nothing made it better. When they finally figured it out, they called us and told us. He had HCM, he was still young too, only 2 years old. The vets predicted he would live at most 2-6 months (it's now 2 years later
They put him on some Atenolol, a beta blocker and tiny amount of Aspirin to prevent blood clots. when, my mother went to get him they found out another shocking fact, a bad blood clot had developed in his left rear hind leg. He limped around and could barely walk, from both the pain and exhaustion. When he got home he was let out of the carrier. He slowly limped to him food bowl and ate a little food and water. He curled up on the floor in front of the bowls, too tired to go any farther and slept. When he woke about 30 minutes later, he slowly and painfully dragged himself up the stairs. Imagaine how difficult that must be, he was not able to use one of his legs and and was so tired and in pain. But eventually he got up the stairs and went into the linen closet.
Some of you maybe asking why we didn't put him to sleep right away, well the reason is that the medicine might have helped him, we were going to give it a week and then reexamine his quality of life and make a decision.
Everything was incredibly difficult for him, we even had to buy him a special cat box with a lower lip so he could climb it. I remember everyday I'd get home from school and run up to check on him, I would feel his leg to check if it was warm (which met the blood clot hadn't fully developed) and just see how he was doing. For the first week we kept food and water outside the linen closer for him, but he didn't eat so every morning and night I would slowly feed him canned wet food out of my hands.
Weeks passed and he got a little better, he still had the blood clot but he was getting better at walking the vet said at this point the clot would never go away. Finally the day came when I opened the door to leave for school and he ran outside before I could stop him. Me and my mom were so happy we cried, he used to love escaping and getting out but since he got sick he never had any interest in it. (Note: do not let HCM cats out in winter its bad for them)
How here we are, two years later, and he is alot better he seems like a normal cat, he just maybe sleeps more. His case was severe and our vet is surprised he lived this long, Dusty sets an example to all of her patients. His blood clot is also mostly cleared up. He could die today or he could die 4 years from now the vet says. It's almost a miracle that cat who couldn't even walk up stairs can do almost anything a normal cat can do. What I think really made the difference is he's stubborn, no one told him he was supposed to die, so he never gave up he kept trying. He does have bad days now and then but always come out of it, he still loves to play and goes out in our back yard and runs around.
On a side note, his sister Stormy our other cat has not shown any signs of HCM, but we still get her screened often.