Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Weddings and anorexia

The good news is that the wedding was wonderful – a beautiful day, they had a cheery little yellow Austin 7 that came and picked them up, and they both looked stunning and so very happy. We were proud and honoured to be there – and I managed to snuffle quietly into my hankie, rather than blubbing embarrassingly. (I noted that neither mother was crying so not sure how that reflects on me.)

We didn’t get to the reception as I wasn’t well on Sunday and was still feeling lousy yesterday, and also because we had to take Bussie to the vet again, but I’m sure they had a wonderful time and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

The bad news, talking of Bussie, is that the vet (not the lovely Helena) thinks he might be anorexic. For someone who squandered years as a teenager and in my twenties in and out of a psychiatric hospital with this chronic problem, this sent shivers down my spine. Ever since I’ve been broody I’ve consoled myself with the fact that I won’t, at least, have an anorexic daughter. How on earth would I cope? (How does anyone cope?)

What do I now have? An anorexic son. But enough of me, I’m still in shock.

Apparently anorexia is quite common in cats that have either got a serious illness or have suffered trauma. Bussie’s actually looking much better in himself so I don’t think he’s got a serious illness, but he’s evidently been traumatised. And being somewhat of an expert on the subject, I don’t know that feline anorexia is quite the same as what we suffer. I hope not, anyway. It’s as if he’d like to eat but he keeps retching at the sight of food – it just won’t go down. Either way, he still can’t eat, but it’s not quite so psychologically sinister. I hope.

Anyway, we didn’t see the lovely Helena which was a pity as this vet was rather more heavy handed and Bussie didn’t care for her at all. She tried to get some stuff down him with a syringe, and he hated that and spat it out all over the table, then she had to give him an injection in his haunch and he yowled and jumped off onto the floor. By this time I was a nervous wreck so god knows what Bussie felt like.

Luckily by the time we got home he seemed a lot better and actually ate a tiny bit of this high calorie food she gave us, but he’s supposed to eat a tin per day to build him up and he had half a teaspoon and that was it. If he doesn’t eat, she said, we must inject him. Oh God. This brings back very unpleasant memories indeed of my colleagues being force fed (I always figured I’d rather feed myself, thank you, but it’s not pleasant to watch).

So last night dear Himself managed to get some food down him with a syringe (I wasn’t in the room at the time) and I stroked and brushed Bussie afterwards while he purred and seemed much better, to our relief. He came back after an hour or so, so he evidently didn’t hold it against us. But we’ve had to do the same thing at breakfast time and it is just horrible. I’m still shaking from the experience and that was two hours ago, so god knows what Bussie thinks. Though I did do the same thing and he went off purring.

If he’s not eating of his own accord by tomorrow we have to take him back to the vet. I feel utterly at a loss here, sinking in a mire of ignorance. What happened to traumatise my cat so much? I’d kill the bastard that did it if I find him.

So watch out. Flowerpot’s on the war path.


Em said...

Sending you all big big virtual hugs. I'm sure Bussie will recover, given a little time. Once his stomach expands he should start to feel hungry more, and hopefully you'll get up one morning to find him demanding food. Just give him lots and lots of cuddles and fuss and don't give up on him. And Sammy suggests pilchards or fresh, smelly fish. Works for him every time...

Flowerpot said...

thanks Em, I do hope you're right. Bussie would always do anything for tuna but now he can't look at it without heaving. But he's gettting lots of cuddles which must help.

Kerrio said...

Oh dear - poor Bussie. I hope he gets back on the eating track soon.

Our cat is a dreadfully fussy eater, but not quite in the same straights as Bussie.

They are a worry aren't they?

Have you tried cat milk?

Virtual hugs

Flowerpot said...

kerrio - thanks, and yes I have tried cat milk. Tried everything I think! Hey ho...

laurie said...

oh, man, i am so sorry. what a worry! and how difficult this must be. when toby was ill he woudln't eat, and we had to figure out things to tempt him. the problem was, something that tempted him one day didn't necessarily tempt him the next.

he's a dog, not a cat, so i don't think any of this will be helpful, but i'll try anyway. here are some things that he would eat:

boiled chicken
his kibble, with Irish stew gravy poured over it.
those tiny little cocktail weiners you get at the grocery store.
little dishes of Gerber's baby food

yes, all human stuff. he'd eat really expensive canned dog food once in a while, so i'd dash out to the store and stock up, and then he'd reject it. i ended up giving it all away to the shelter.

good luck to you. if this is truly a fairly common problem in cats, then the vets must have some good ideas as to what to do about it.

i say, give the lovely Helena a call.

the rotten correspondent said...

Would he eat something off your plate if he thought it was a treat? Maybe you could entice him that way. I agree that if it's that common the vet must have some other ideas.

I think it's time to bring in the wonderful Helena, too.

Daniele said...

Hi flowerpot. I did some research and this site gives lots of info on feline anorexia and why cats don't eat.
Not sure if it's helpful, as there seem to be an endless amount of reasons why they won't eat!

I'm sure they check this at the vet, but does he have a temperature ?

My little man was sick for 5 days a few months ago, didn't eat, didn't drink much, had a temperature, and generally wasn't himself. But he purred happily when groomed. We left him at the vet for antibiotics, blood tests and xrays and observation, and after 4 days temp. came down and he ate again. Nobody ever knew what was actually wrong with him!
Keeping my fingers crossed for Bussie and please let us know if he's better.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry that Bussie's having such a rought time, and consequently that you are. I'm sure with a lot of love, cuddles and tempting food, you'll nurse him back to his old self.

Lesley Rigby said...

I wonder if he was sent to stay with a relative or friend would he be any better being away from the area where he was traumatised. If you could go with him for a few days he might pick up and eat.A lot of trouble I know but I am grasping at straws! Has he been X-rayed? I just wonder if he has a foreign body inside his stomach which he can't digest but is making him feel ill. Surely a Vet would know better than me (and I am grasping at straws again) but I don't always have the faith in professionals I should have. I really feel for you because you love him so much and he is so special.

Flowerpot said...

Laurie - thanks for that, I'll try anything. And if that doesnt work I'll ring the lovely Helena. Good idea.

correspondent - no, I've tried feeding him stuff off our plates but he doesnt share the same taste in food. Usually he will only eat tuna or Iams biscuits, and now he won't eat either. Back to Helena tomorrow if he's still not eating.

Flowerpot said...

dee - thanks so much for that. I'll ahve a look now. No, he hasnt got a temperature they checked yesterday. Despite not eating, he's a lot perkier. Very strange.

Flowerpot said...

Graham - thanks for that. I hope so too!

Lesley - the vets have both given him a good thorough examination. He's amazingly sprightly, he just doesnt want to eat. Apart from that he's purring and seems quite content, so if there was something the matter I think he'd be lethargic and distressed, which he isn't at all.

Dee - that's a very helpful website - thanks so much. Looks like we could be in for 'assisted feeding' for some time. ~What fun!

BreadBox said...

I'm so glad to hear that the wedding went well -- I was hoping that you would have gone and would report on this!

Sorry to hear about Bussie.....

Akelamalu said...

Oh poor Bussie, I hope he bucks up soon - if only to stop you worrying so. x

Flowerpot said...

Breadbox and Ak - thank you. More on teh wedding in today's blog!