My sister Savannah (the childfree one) has a cat, Misty, that she received on her 10th birthday as a gift. I think we estimated Misty was 6-8 weeks old when we adopted her from the shelter, a little runt who had been abandonded on a corner curb in the middle of the city by her mother. She was almost adopted out to this nasty woman who left the shelter in a whirlwind of mink coat, gawdy gold jewelry, and Chanel #5. When the shelter heard we were looking for a kitten to get Savannah for her birthday, the volunteers brought her right to Misty's cage, and they fell in love immediately. I'm not exactly sure why the shelter didn't want the nasty woman to have her, it was over 18 years ago and I was a sel-absorbed 12-year-old boy, but I recall them telling my mother how arrogant, demanding, and generally rude she was. She barked at the volunteers and commanded the shelter manager to hold the kitten for her while she ran home to get whatever paperwork they required her to provide before she could have Misty. Needless to say, the volunteers were nothing less than ecstatic when my sister declared that this was her "new best friend," and my mother smiled and said "we'll take her." I still remember how we were supposed to fill out an application that was the length of a novel, and how they usually had a volunteer come to visit the house to make sure all was in order when the potential adopting family had children (and there was four of us, heh). Instead, they all but begged us to skip the application, asking our mom for just her name and address and the promise that we would love her unconditionally forever, and said they would bend the rules to have the visit happen sometime in the following weeks so we could take her home then to prevent the nasty woman from getting her.
We took her home, and since Savannah's birthday is just less than a month before Christmas (and we adopted Misty about a week after her birthday), there were Christmas decorations EVERYWHERE. She couldn't have weighed more than 2 pounds, was so small that my sister thought she had lost her numerous times when she was actually hiding in the tip of her (10-year-old feet-sized) shoes, and yet she managed to rip the house apart. We had had a cat prior to Misty named Oreoe, our mom's cat from college, who died just prior to Savannah's birthday at the age of 22 (!!!) from liver failure, so we thought we were totally prepared for Misty. We weren't. The same day we brought her home, she zipped up the fully-decorated, 11 1/2-foot-tall Christmas tree in our family room, chewed my mother's antique heirloom angel, and sent the whole tree toppling over on its side. And thus began the yearly tradition of our parents wiring our Christmas tree to the family room wall.
We received a Nintendo from Santa that year, and our dad set it up in the tv room so the four of us could play it on the 50" "top-of-the-line" rear projection (LOL) television. Misty plopped herself in the middle of us, right up front, and as we took turns playing Mario, she jumped halfway up the screen and batted the shit out of the tv. I'm pretty sure my dad still has the videotape he took of her doing that for two. hours. straight.
She grew up still being kind of small for a cat, and survived Skully (my cat for my birthday two years later), Oreo with no "e" (my older brother's cat, two years after that) and Dweezle (my sister Cheyenne's cat - he died at the age of two after he ingested some of the tainted cat food). She never liked any of them, although she would tolerate Skully, who was the laziest, fattest thing you've ever seen, btw - not so much a cat, more of a huge pillow with four legs that draaaaagged across the floor whenever he "walked"). She went through four moves - to our new house (where she had her own freaking "room," Savannah's sitting room that was attached to her bedroom), to Savannah's first apartment in college, to her condo in her 3rd year of college, to the house Savannah and my brother-in-law bought after they got married, where they live now. Misty has been to Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, California, Florida, South Carolina, Canada, and London, the only cat in our family who traveled on every single family vacation, visited every single one of our vacation homes (we don't have like 50 vacation homes, btw, my parents would buy 2 or 3, sell one, buy another one somewhere else, you know) and went with us on trips to Cheyenne & Savannah's out-of-state cheerleading competitions, my hockey tournaments, and just about everywhere else.
Savannah just turned 28, which makes Misty 18 years old. In the last month, she suddenly started acting strangely - she used to only stay upstairs at my sister's house, since they also have my brother-in-law's dog and two cats Cheyenne rescued from their horse pen (her husband's allergic), and Misty hates and/or is afraid of them all. She had plenty of room upstairs, since Savannah literally has a 7-bedroom house (which cracks me up because they're childree, wtf do they need 7 bedrooms for? I know we have a big family, but we all live within 10 minutes of each other, so it's not like they're for family to stay over) but for some reason, she started venturing downstairs when before, Savannah couldn't force her to stay down there. Then, she lost some weight. Noticably, too, because I'm at Savannah's house at least 1-2 times a week, and I noticed it immediately. Starting about a week or two ago, Misty stopped eating anything except fresh tuna and crab meat and her crab treats. Savannah called me earlier today to tell me she had stopped eating entirely, and was only drinking the smallest amount of water. She told me to come over yesterday, so Cheyenne and I went to go visit Misty. I guess she was afraid she wouldn't make it until today. We took pictures and took turns taking video with Savannah's camcorder. I know it sounds corny, but we've had Misty the longest, she's lived the longest, and we were all attached to her. My brother couldn't make it last night, which sucks, because I know he's just as upset.. hopefully, he made it over tonight.
I took Savannah and Misty to the vet last week, and went back there with her (my brother-in-law and Cheyenne couldn't go, and she didn't want to be there alone) and Savannah begged the vet to do bloodwork to see what was wrong. My mom's been telling her not to go to the vet, apparently, because "it's better if you don't know what's wrong with her and just enjoy the time you have with her instead of worrying about when it's going to end," which I think is bullshit, but whatever. Anyway, the vet pretty much said the same exact thing, and told us Misty was "just getting old" and taking blood and running tests wasn't going to do any good for her. Savannah seriously begged him at least two more times, and he finally chuckled and patted her back and told her if she started displaying other symptoms, bring her back and he would. Condescending, and makes me wonder what he would have said if she didn't have me with her. He weighed her, and did note that she had lost 3 pounds, as she's weighed around 8-9 pounds every 6 months when Savannah brought her in, but again, he said she's "just getting old." I know 18 is old for cats, but come on dude, do something! If I brought my grandmother to the doctor because she suddenly lost over 30% of her body weight in just 2-3 weeks, he wouldn't say she's "just getting old," he drawn some blood, do a workup, and figure out what the fuck is wrong! She didn't have any other symptoms then, though - was still walking fine, eating (even if not as much) and not crying/limping/didn't seem to be in pain. I was pissed off at him, but, he's been our family vet for ... well, at least 30 years now, since I can remember, and he's always been a very good vet, so I trusted him.
Now suddenly, since Monday, Misty can't walk. Like, at all. She stumbles when she tries, can't jump over or onto anything, cries miserably for Savannah to pick her up (when she hated being held unless you were sitting down and petting her her entire life) and carry her everywhere. She called me this morning flipping out because she was checking her over again and said her eyes had this thick, cloudy substance that started at the inner bottom corners of her eyes, and looked like it was "growing." That worried me, because I remember when Dweezle started getting sick, after the cough his first symptom was cloudy eyes/cataracts - and he went totally, completely blind not long after. She's been watching it all day and it seemed to stop "growing" though, so hopefully that's a good thing.
I offered to go back to the vet with her, but our family vet is closed Wednesdays and Thursdays (opened Saturdays and Sundays, so I guess that's the trade-off) so she called the emergency hospital, who offered to check Misty out tomorrow at 11:30 barring an emergency bumping her. I called another vet where my other brother-in-law's sister is a vet tech, but the vet said over the phone that the only thing she could do was "manage her pain" from me describing the symptoms. I'm seriously wondering wtf is wrong with the vets around here, but anyway. Savannah texted me as I started typing this, and said she called the emergency hospital again and described the eye thing, and the receptionist was kind enough to mark it as an emergency by "assuming" her eyes and her inability to walk must be related to a traumatic incident that Savannah didn't witness/doesn't know about, so that makes Misty first priority as soon as she gets there, thank God. Cheyenne is going with her, though, so I'm going to head to Savannah's house and wait until they get back. Hopefully, the hospital vet will be able to do something.. I made a post in childfree, probably not the best place, but when I searched for "cats," it honest-to-God came up as the first, most relevant community, LOL. Everyone was very kind and offered suggestions, which I figured they would since I know most members have cats/dogs/various other pets who are like children to them. Some suggested that Misty may have had a stroke, which sounds very possible considering her symptoms (minus the eyes). Someone else, who I believe is a vet tech, suggested a blood clot, as well.. I'm kind of praying for blood clot because at least it's something that may be treatable, versus a stroke being something that has already caused irreversible damage.. we'll see.
I know I've definitely rambled here and been all over the place, and I'm tearing up as I type this (I'm manly, I swear, even the Notebook didn't make me cry) so I'm just going to shut up now, and get ready to go to my sister's. Jill is upstairs working, so I gotta pry her away from the computer, bribe her with the laptop and get her to come with me. My sisters and Jill are very close - perks of dating your sisters' friends, heh - so I know they'll feel better talking to her. If I can get her to stop working for more than 10 minutes, that is.