The Incredible Shrinking Me

Posted by Max | Posted on 2/27/2018 03:06:00 PM

A couple of years ago, I sat on the scale in the bathroom while the Woman was brushing her teeth. Big mistake. She looked down and saw how much I weighed, turned her buzzing toothbrush off, and said that 18.5 pounds was too much.

Now, she didn't throw the "D" word at me, but said that "we" needed to change how I ate. And you know what? There was no "we" in it at all. SHE changed the way I ate. There were far fewer crunchy treats, though I got dead delicious things more often. She still put dry food out for between-meal nibbling, but it was a low glycemic food, which I only sort-of liked, so of course I didn't eat much of it.

The goal, she said, was for me to lose weight slowly. And about 5-6 months later, when I got weighed at the stabby place during my checkup, I was just under 18 pounds. That seemed to make her very happy, and the stabby guy wasn't unhappy, so she decided to just keep doing hat she was doing.

Now, I have to admit, I never felt really hungry. She changed the brand of food I got most of the time but didn't totally stop with the one I did, because that would be mean and I was doing really well on it. My weight slowly started coming off, and last June I was at 16.5 pounds. Still overweight, but she thought that for a big boy, it was decent, and said we'd try to hold me at that weight.

I started asking for more food; I wasn't eating the dry food at all, and I dipped a little under 16.5, so she started giving me a tablespoon more here and there, and my weight loss was still slow so she thought that maybe I was just reaching an optimum and it would stop with an extra meal or two.

It kinda became an obsession. And I'm loathe to admit it, but now I'm trained to sit on the scale nicely 3-4 times a week. If I don't, she won't open the bathroom door.

Then just before the 3 Day Boobie Walk, she realized I was eating 5 full meals a day, sometimes 6, and my weight dropped a little more.

She kept watching. I wasn't drinking more than usual, I wasn't peeing more than usual, and my litter box didn't smell sweet. In January when they went to Disneyland, I was 14.5 pounds. They were gone for 2 days, and I was under 14 when they got home.  The question then was, did he not eat much because of the stress of us being gone (the answer was yes) or is more going on (the answer is yes.)

She got my weight back up to 14.5 without much effort. Still, she wanted to know what was going on, so she had the Man make my annual appointment a few months early...and we all know what happened there.

I stabbed her right in the neck.

There was a lot of talking at the appointment: he's always hungry, doesn't seem thirstier than usual, the litter box isn't soaked and doesn't smell funny, he's reasonably active for an almost 17 year old cat, he likes attention a lot, hates Buddah, and Buddah seems to be picking on him more... it went on for a while, and I was stuck there just wanting to go home. The Woman's fear was that I was either diabetic or borderline, and knowing how easily I stress out, that could become a Very Bad Thing indeed.

The stabby guy (who is actually a very nice lady) stole a bunch of my blood and other bodily fluids we won't discuss, and had a tech call this weekend to tell the People that I am not diabetic, but I am hyperthyroid. She didn't want them worrying all weekend, just wanted to let them know, and said the vet would call this week with all the details.

In the grand scheme of things, this is good news. I'm pretty old, and this is common in older cats. It hasn't seemed to have totally affected my kidneys--that's in the high range of normal but still normal--and she's pretty sure we can get it under control with medication.

Now, anyone who's been hanging around the blog from the early days might remember when we got Buddah and I got super sick, and the had pancreatitis. That required being in antibiotics for 10 days, then 14 days off, then on for 10...and it went on for for like a year and a half. I hated it, fought the pills like crazy, and spent a lot of my time absolutely terrified of my people. It was so bad for me that as soon as I had good bloodwork, they told the vet that we were done. No more pills. It had changed my personality and I was scared all the time, and we'd hit the line that crossed quality of life and quantity of life.

That whole thing caused some pretty deep discussions about what to do if I ever got super sick again. Like, cancer or something. And the consensus was that they were going to do what they could to keep me comfortable and happy, but they weren't forcing any treatments on me.

What they wanted for me was quality of life.

And now this.

And now that whole let's-not-upset-Max thing is flying out the window, because the first treatment the vet wants to try is pills, and they're gonna do it because the pills are tiny and I might be okay with it. If I'm not, there's a version that can be rubbed on my ear.

And yes, the ultimate treatment is to radiate me, but that requires leaving me at a strange place, isolated, for 5 days. And even the stabby lady agrees, at my age and temperament, it would probably kill me.

Worth noting: this stabby place has been super respectful of how stressed I get when I have to go there. They're taking that into account with everything they're doing.

So. That's where I'm at. The pills should come in tomorrow, which means I'll start taking them then. It's a small dose at first, once a day, and will gradually ramp up to see how I tolerate it. I probably won't have to go to the vet myself for a while; once I've been on what they all think is a good dose for 4 weeks, I have to go back for bloodwork, but they'll make sure I'm pretty freaking high and they use Versed, which means I might not even remember it after.

On my 16th birthday last June, the Woman was pretty sure I wouldn't see 17. Now she's thinking I have a much better shot at it. And ya know what? So do I.

Comments (20)

You gotta convince the Woman to hide the pills in fresh live dead shrimps

oh, Mr Max, you gots to take them pills! we wants to keeps on bein' yer furriends fur a long long time yet!! *headbonks* nitro, igmu, dammit, an' ME, Ole!!!

Max, try Methimazole in lipoderm topical ointment rubbed on the inside of your ear flap. Absorbs just like methimazole pills when swallowed. But not nasty. You can get it from a compounding pharmacy by mail with your vets prescription. My vet (Stabby Lady) gave me the website. Im sixteen and was skinny but this is working. I hate pills. I become a running chain saw when they try to pill me. This works Srsly!!!!!
Love, Pawline

Max, we are on this journey with you dude. We know you from the old days, and you are very special to us. Mom sends love and support. I'm sending my strongest purrs and mojo. -Scout

We just heard on FB you weren't feeling all that well, so we wanted to come visit you. I've got thyroid isssues too, but when they put me on the Methimazole pills, it got a lot better. Mom puts my half pill in a little bit of a Pill Pocket and shoves that down my throat, so the oils will protect my throat, and it's done. Not crazy about it but after two years, I'm pretty used to it. - Toby

Seriouslies, Max, you did a really good job of sticking her neck! Now, that you've had your fun, you take your pills. We are sending hugs and purrs also.

Hey Max, my first attempt at fostering a kitty saw me meet Feargul McCattferty, a wonderful 'mature' cat who also had thyroid issues. The medication he had daily was just a drop of paste inside his ear - not right in deep, just on the skin there - Feargul much preferred this over pills and responded really well to them, getting much better very quickly :-)

..not sure whether it's applicable for you but might be worth asking the stabby-dude.

Cheers

Pete

I hopes that you taking a pill will help you stick around for a while longer.

Hey Max. We’re glad to hear the stabby guy figured out what is going on with you and we sure hope the medication helps you.

We're totally with Random Felines on that one!

P.S. We bet Izzy has your old pounds.

Go Max. I am in awe. I hope you feel better soon

Boots had hyperthyroid and we tried the pills with her first, but they made her throw up, so we switched to the ear ointment and it worked fine. She would even come up to me when she saw me pull it out because she knew after I put it in her ear, I would give her bunches of pets and cuddles.

Frostin's Bob

Hi Max! I am glad it is hyperthyroidism and not diabetes because it is much more easily treated. I can't use Flynn as a true example because he was responded badly to almost all medication, but he did get another three years with Prednisalone. The one thing I did find though was using the hyperthyroidism pills compounded into a paste makes administration so easy. Just rub a small measure onto the inside of the ear. You have to remember to clean the ear regularly though to avoid build up of old paste and to ensure maximum efficiency.
Flynn had it in that way for a short time, not because he was hard to pill but to see if he could tolerate it not going through his digestive system, and no, it didn't make any difference hence the Pred. which he was a sweetheart to take.
I hope you soon feel much better on your meds and get a bit of that weight back (but not too much weight!)

We love you Max. We hope you get better. What would this would be with you?

Dear Max
I hope you can manage your pill
so you can get better.
I once had a kitty who had to take those pills
I have never heard of the ear rub thing.
Signed
Turtle Lover

AYLA here, Max: I was here when Skeeter started doing the pill thingie, so I got a little idea about that. Ans LC esplained ta me about how gettin old can be annoyin (though I dint unnerstand much about that at the time). He was 16 and a whole half, and she was getting the grump 15s, so I unnerstand about that too.

So I remember what they both told me.

Take yer pills, sit the litterbox as long as ya want to, and tell the others ta leave ya alone sometimes. Nap lots (an dreams are good)... Ask fer treats before dinner. Stuff like that. Purrs...

Ya know what? Skeeter would be 28 this year... But he tells me he is staying 6. He says he liked 6. LC chose 3.

Mr. Awesome, my Ocat had the same thing….hyperthyroid. My friend had her cat on the stuff for her kitty's ear and it was way easier on her cat than trying to get pills into Ocat. Ocat also had radiation too. Having had that done was the one thing that I regret looking back. I suggest your using the ear rub medicine. You need more stress like a you need a few holes in your roof when it rains! If the woman wants to help you gain weight, I have Jamie on wet and dry food as well as treats any time. His kidneys are also a above normal and he is doing fine. Of course, he has CRF or CKD. Lots of love and mojo for you. You are still a kitty after my own heart and like one of my furkids. Love ya, Max.

Dude, take the pills and be good about it. Da humans get so weerd about dis stuff, like we don't feel good but dey feel worse! Sadie is going to be 18 next month and our mom is freaking out now acuz she's so skinny, like Zippy was and watching her wif Sadie is hard.

Hey, Max, 1 little pill a day isn't so bad!

My woman gives me sub=cu fluids, 2-3 pills, a K+ gel, hand feeds me pumpkin ('cause I won't eat it by myself), miralax, krill oil, fortiflora on my special food, and brushes my teeth. I usually put up with it all 'cause it makes me feel better.

That little, bitty pill will make you feel a Whole lot better. We'd like you around for a while yet.

PS: We both think getting old is annoying.