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NOOOOOO! Not the Cat!!

DSC05032I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before, so please bear with me while I say again that if you’re a caregiver, other things should go smoothly in life. It’s like there should be a deal with the universe that you’re already dealing with something HUGE so you don’t have to deal with any other problems or potential problems.

We have a kitty, Sagwa, that we love. Our son picked him out at the shelter when our son, who as of today is a high school senior (YIKES!!), was in kindergarten. Sagwa, who was named Mickey when he was first spotted, was ten months old. We had gone to the shelter to get a cat. When our son saw Sagwa from across the room, he pointed to the cat and proclaimed that was the cat he wanted.

The three adults there, us and the shelter worker, all explained that isn’t how you pick a cat. You begin by approaching and petting the cat, and if that goes well, you can take the cat into a separate room to see if you like it and it likes you. We did all that and brought home Mickey, who was immediately renamed Sagwa. (At that time, Sagwa was a show on PBS Kids about a Siamese cat who wrote in Chinese caligraphy about her adventures. And yes, our cat is a boy.)

Sagwa is a wonderful kitty. Steve has even trained him to carry socks to the hamper if you put them on his back! He likes to play hide-and-seek, play with a fishing toy, and enjoys Paint for Cats.

In the last month, we have discovered two places where the cat has pee’d outside his litter box. We don’t know when it happened, but this is very out of character for our sweet Sagwa. When we discovered the second incident, I called the vet and made an appointment.

Our son and I took Sagwa to the vet yesterday and they took a urine sample. Needle into the bladder! Yuck! I received a call this morning that the cat has lots of crystals in his urine. That’s not a good thing. It could lead to a blockage which is a REALLY BAD thing. Tomorrow I have to take the cat to the vet in the morning for x-rays and blood work. We need to change his diet (that will be a challenge!) and try to get him to drink more water. Fortunately he does drink a lot of water now, so that’s good. I also have to watch his urination. I’m not sure what they mean by that, but I guess I’ll be finding out.

Just like when my husband received a diagnosis, I headed over to Google to see what I could learn. It sounds like feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD). Just like with a diagnosis for a person, I shouldn’t have read it.

The hardest part about a pet being sick is that they can’t tell you what’s wrong or what hurts and you can’t explain to them what is happening. I feel badly that tomorrow I have to put Sagwa back in the carrier (which he hates) and drive him (which he hates) to the vet (which he hates) to stay at the vet, which I can’t imagine he’ll love. Sagwa seems as happy and healthy as ever, but obviously he isn’t as healthy as he seems.

I’m trying not to worry about this and think about the “what ifs” and just make sure there’s plenty of fresh water and lots of hands available to provide pets.

About G-J

Profile photo of G-J
I am a caregiver for my 59-year-old husband, Steve, who was diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment in December 2009. His employer put him on disability and he had to retire one year later when he couldn't return to work. I am also the mother to our son who is now a high school senior. We have a cat, Sagwa, who rounds out our family. In addition to blogging here, I volunteer at my son's high school in the scholarship office, teach a class I created called, "Keep Your Brain Buff" at our city's Senior Center, lead a writing group at the Alzheimer's Association, and advocate for people with all types of dementia. In November, I will be participating in my third Walk to End Alzheimer's.

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  1. I feel for you! We had a cat Patches who was 19. About 2 months ago she started to act out of character (not eating, and not drinking.) We took her to the vet and turns out it was no big deal and he gave her some meds, and IV. We took her home and she was fine. We left for our cruise to Hawaii 5 days after all of this and she was fine. Halfway through the cruise we got a e-mail from the vet that she started not to eat, and drink again. He ran some tests and after much thinking, and praying we decided that the humane thing to do was to put her down. It was even harder due to the fact that we live in Kansas but were on a vacation in Hawaii. This was my husband’s and his brother’s cat originally. His brother passed away 2 years ago and we just sold his brother’s house. This was just another loss for my hubby.
    We now have a another kitty-Darla who is 3 years old and a bundle of energy! Praying!

    • Profile photo of G-J

      Thank you for your message, Maria. I’m sorry about Patches. Oh, and what timing for your brother!

      One of my concerns about anything happening to Sagwa is that this is our son’s cat, and in the past six years we’ve lost both of my parents, my mother-in-law and a teenaged neighbor. Oh yes, and right after my Dad passed away, my husband was diagnosed with MCI and had to stop working. I just don’t want something else to happen now.

  2. Profile photo of Richard

    G-J, So sorry to hear about Sagwa I’m hoping that everything goes well tomorrow. We are a big any animal (OK maybe not snakes) family so to hear one is having a problems hurts. When they say watch his urine it is to make sure he is urinating, amount, color, any blood, is he straining, etc., hopefully that help with that. Keep us up to date on Sagwa and remember if you need us we’re here.

    • Profile photo of G-J

      Thank you, Richard. I don’ t do reptiles or birds, so no snakes here, either. I feel like I need to start stalking the cat so I can watch him use the litter box. Good grief! Thank goodness we go to the vet in the morning. I’ll post an update after I hear something.

  3. Profile photo of MissAngie

    I’m sorry G-J,
    Pets play the role of comforters and provide comic relief to our care giving days.I hope Sagwa is well soon.

    • Profile photo of G-J

      Thank you, MissAngie. Sagwa’s always been healthy, and I take it as a good sign that he isn’t acting any different, well, except for the two accidents we found, so I’m keeping good kitty thoughts. :)

  4. Profile photo of

    I’m sorry your cat’s sick. I hope Sagwa feels better soon. Like the name, by the way.

  5. Profile photo of G-J

    Thank you, lisa_renea. It’s also the name of an Amy Tan book for children, on which the PBS show, on 11 years ago, was based. I think my son recently found it on You Tube.

  6. Profile photo of Denise

    I am so sorry about Sagwa. I too hope he feels better.


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