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OLD kitty

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
hi
i was so sorry to see that the golden moments section is closed!!

i have a couple of questions about a cat i adopted from the shelter in July

he is blind, deaf, diabetic and OLD- but precisely how old, no one can tell me

the vets who have seen him say he is about 20yrs old, based on the condition of his teeth, apparently


what concerns me is, he walks very very slowly
he is not really able to jump although he can make it up on a mattress that i put on the floor for him and he can get in and out of the litterbox ok, although sometimes he forgets that he is not in it and poops on the floor!LOL

he does not have arthritis or rather, if he does it is not causing him pain, according to the vet

so, i wonder WHY DOES HE MOVE SO SLOWLY???
he has learned his way around my home and never bumps into anything anymore unless it is out of place

i have never had an old cat before, so i didn't even think to ask the vet
but from everything i just read on the golden moment threads, moving slowly is not common even for a very old cat

any ideas???
post #2 of 24
You are truly an angel for adopting this cat! How many people in the world would invest their love like you are? You amaze me!! What is his name?

Wow! My guess (and its only my guess) is that because he is both blind and deaf, he moves slowly so that he can feel things before he walks into them. Who knows what his prior life was - he could have lived with chaos and the previous owners moved things around all the time for him, or perhaps had kids that left things laying around. He might of had a bad lesson in his former life and can't shake that experience. I can't blame him - I would move thru life a little cautiously myself in his situation.
post #3 of 24
I agree with Momofmany , he cant see or hear any thing so all he can do is feel . Did you said something to the vet about him doing that ?
post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by Momofmany
You are truly an angel for adopting this cat! How many people in the world would invest their love like you are? You amaze me!!
I have to second this statement - I'm almost speechless!
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
hi

well i am going to ask the vet when i take him in (he is going to a new vet as he may need to have one of his eyes removed and this is the only vet in the area willing to treat his eye problems- otherwise i would have to go out of state, and since i do not drive, that would be, well, impossible!!)

His name is BJ and i only knew that he was blind, deaf (although i think he can hear some things-either that or he feels the vibrations) and old
i had no idea he was a diabetic. fortunately i had a diabetic cat before so i knew what to do!

see, the thing is, even when he would want to move quickly, like right after i got him and my other cat was hissing at him, except for one quick step back wards, he is simply UNABLE to move any faster!
it is just so odd.

i wonder if it is from having diabetes for so long- for him to have gone blind from the diabetes, the vet said he would have had the diabetes- untreated- for SIX YEARS!! it is a miracl he survived it that long, most cats would not
(my other diabetic would have been dead within a week without treatment!!) but there are degrees of severity of diabetes in cats, so he had a moderate case but for a very long time

i would love to know how old he really is- i actually believe that someone at the shelter KNOWS but they try to get cats adopted out by saying that they are younger than they really are, and they told me that he was 13-
three vets have told me he is definately NOT 13
they say "he is about as old as a cat can get"


i love him to peices, he is so sweet! he has truly given me much much more than i could ever give him
he came into my home, a strange place and put his trust in me, a total stranger, and just makes the most of every day, no complaints
no demands, lets me test his blood sugar and give him yucky medicine and never holds it against me
i take him out on a leash (although he does not move fast enough for me to be concerned about him taking off! it is just easier to keep him from walking into things with the leash) and he smells all the smells - so much like a dog would it is funny to watch.
he will get a little impatient if it has been awhile since the last walk, and he will go to the door and paw at it
he has NEVER put his claws out, even when i had to give him subQ fluids and the needle went right thru and made him bleed, he grabbed my arm with his paws and cried out, but he never put his claws out! what a sweetie!

yeah, so, i will let you know what the vet says
in the meantime i will be on a quest to find another elderly cat who walks very very slowly!
post #6 of 24
Firstly - Congradulations and bless you for opening your heart and house to a senior cat - BJ. You did a wonderful thing.

Secondly - He could be moving slowly due to getting to know his new surroundings (Suggestions - please keep things in the same spot. If you have to move them to clean house put him in another room and close the door while you do it and then put things back exactly where they were.) Also get a litter box with little or no sides onit so he can use it safely and without problems. Put food and water bowls in the same places and either try iton ground level or raised more towards his level - whichever he prefers.

You can try a carpeted ramp or stairs so he can get onto the mattress, couches or wherever you allow him to get onto. Slowly introduce him to them and be there as he adjust to them for a while. It'll help him.

He could still have arthritis, pain or not (Sphinx has some but you wouldn't think so. Sphinx is my 17 year old DSH Russian Blue/Siamese mix I adopted last year along with his friend Kuce - a 10-12 year old DMH calico Van pattern). He could have had a choatic previous household or just trying to feel things out. Please do bring this up to the vet.


Hope things go well with both of you and keep in touch.

Take care.

http://f1.pg.photos.yahoo.com/alongt...@sbcglobal.net
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
hi and thanks

BJ knows his way around my apt completely! he has been here since June 9th and he systematically learned the layout on his own and in his own way and time (litterboxes and food bowls were his primary concern at first)

i went to make a ramp up to the window sill as he likes to lay there and smell the scents coming in, but not only was it too steep, i realized then that ramps are useless for him unless they have very very high sides- he can't see, so he would walk right off of it.He does not test each step- he expects the each step to land on solid ground. he once twisted his back terribly when he stepped off of something that was too high.

i had him on my chest one day while i was laying on the sofa and the silly boy- he IS somewhat senile- got up on my head, then a pillow and then the back of the sofa- and it is a high back pc of furniture, and proceeded to step off! fortunately i grabbed his tail and hind leg because otherwise he could have been seriously hurt!!

because he so loves to get into the window, i used a series of boxes to make steps, and he will use them to get into the window, but then he will step off the windowsill into thin air- and i have nothing that will make stairs that are as wide as the windows i have.
so i put him in the window sill while i am on the computer and keep a close eye on him and when he gets up, i take him down




the shelter claims he was a stray but i have to say, in his condition, he would not last a single day as a stray cat.
he would walk into traffic and be killed- he has no sense of danger from cars whatsoever.he cant tell where the streets are or anything else for that matter.i think if i put him outside alone- something i would NEVER do, he would cower in a corner in terror
he seems to know that he needs to rely on me for his survival


i understand what you are saying about maybe coming from a chaotic household before, but the thing is, when he WANTS to move quickly he is physically unable to do so.he desperately WANTED to play with my 5 yr old the other nite but not only could he not find her, he could not get to her as fast as he wanted to (she was trying to engage him in a game of chase)

it is quite wise really, for a blind cat to walk slowly, so he doesnt'hurt himself when he runs into things (and when he first got here, he bumped into everthing, but ever so gentley cuz he is slow!
i even called him Bumping Joe (his other names are BJ, Brian Joseph and Blind J)

i will ask about the arthritis, and see if there is anything that would help
thanks
post #8 of 24
What an amazing cat!! You two sound absolutely perfect for each other. Man I would be so paranoid, wanting to watch him all the time to make sure he doesnt fall off something I know its not really funny but sometimes you just have to laugh. He sounds like a wonderful companion and I wouldnt be surprised if the spca lied or honestly didnt know so they guessed about his age.. please keep us posted! I would love to hear more stories about BJ and I hope his vet check up goes well!
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
LOL! i admit, i do spend a lot of time watching him but as most cats do and esp older cats! he sleeps a lot.
and as far as us being made for each other, well i am nearly blind as a bat myself! and quite clumsy- even though i do have some vision, i am always walking into things- i have proof-numerous bruises!! LOL and i am getting more and more senile every day! fortunately i have not resorted to pooping on the floor! HA!

i have over a hundred photos of the Beej, 99% taken while he is sleeping
he gets into some of the most adorable poses!!i sent the shelter a photo of him for them to post and it says on it
"Sleep: an art form"

i worry most about his diabetes, if his blood sugar goes too low(say he didn't eat enough or threw up) i would need to know and treat him immediately cuz he could die very quickly from low blood sugar.
so i try to check on him often and when i first got him, i RARELY left the house, and then it was a mad dash to the store and back!!
i have spent literally hours watching him sleep- and checking to be sure he is breathing!
he has improved so much since i brought him home! that IS very satisfying, knowing i had a positive effect on his quality of life


but otherwise,
i honestly don't understand why ppl think i did something special, i couldn't bear to see an elderly cat die in a cage in the shelter
and- truthfully, when you think about it- its not like it is going to be a long term commitment :P
(sadly, but thats the truth- and you know what? i will do it again as soon as i have recovered from losing BJ- i like caring for the old guys- or gals! i don't know why more ppl dont want to do it. maybe they think it will be too sad to fall in love with a kitty knowing you will lose him/her soon, but it is much much sadder to me to know that a kitty will die in a cage with no one special person to love and cherish it. that is the real tragedy.)

if you would like to see photos, email me at arisayma@juno.com
and i will send you some that a friend scanned for me
post #10 of 24
I dont care what you say I still think you're amazing!!

You dont want to post a pic here?
post #11 of 24
I also think it is amazing that you took in this wonderful old fellow. Most people do not realize ths joy that a senior kitty can bring. I have an old fellow myself, and I adore him. It says a lot about you that you could not leave him at the shelter. All good. Welcome to TCS.
post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 
hi again
thanks to all for your compliments and kind words
i'd love to post a picture but i am computer clueless and do not know how!!
sorry!
:P
post #13 of 24
I've sent you an email offering to post your pics for you!

post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
thanks so much Russian Blue
i love that photo of Nikita the goofy!! so funny!
post #15 of 24
Here's also a thread on how to post pictures

http://thecatsite.com/forums/showthr...threadid=14474
post #16 of 24
Catnap , you and BJ really touched me with your true story . You are a very caring person (((( HUGS )))) . Most ppl would not take in a cat like that . They only want the easy part , something cute and no work . That is why so many cats are in shelter or dump out site on the streets . And that is the sad true story of a lot of the pretty cats living like ferals . Thank you again taking that wonderfull cat in your home and in your heart
post #17 of 24
I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes after reading this thread.

Now I'm dying to see pics of BJ!!!!!!
post #18 of 24
Well, since you said he is a diabetic have you had a blood panel done on him? Have you checked his ketones? I'am currently going thru this with my beloved Cloey. She will be 12 on Oct. 3 and she was diagnosed almost two years ago w/diabeties. Last Monday I noticed she was not eating ANYTHING and looking really thin in the back area and kinda moving slow and wobbly, I took her to the vet and after two days and finally getting her to pee so we could check her ketones she had them present (moderate) and then the blood work showed her potasium was really low so both of those no wonder she has been feeling like crap!!! I have been syringe feeding her (Iams kitten food cause it's highest in calories) for almost a week now. The vet put her on potasium pills and she is slowly improving. When cats are not regulated on their insulin that is what causes ketones....I had been so caught up in another cat I had rescued and her kittens she had that I neglected Cloey and checking her BG levels periodically like I was. If you have never checked ketones it is easy if you can catch them peeing and the strips you can buy at a drug store. If I can help you any more on the diabetic stuff you can e-mail me personally.....chelms@aerainc.org

Cathy
post #19 of 24
I think you are wonderful, and love your sense of humor.

Maybe he is slow, just because of age, and Arthritis. I have Arthritis and I move a lot slower now, its a learned habit as you never know when something will give out(lol).

I had a Arthritic dog, and he did get relief on a heated pad, I found it online, it was very soft for his old bones, and had a heating pad inside.

Good luck with your kitty.
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by catnapt
but otherwise,
i honestly don't understand why ppl think i did something special, i couldn't bear to see an elderly cat die in a cage in the shelter
and- truthfully, when you think about it- its not like it is going to be a long term commitment :P
(sadly, but thats the truth- and you know what? i will do it again as soon as i have recovered from losing BJ- i like caring for the old guys- or gals! i don't know why more ppl dont want to do it. maybe they think it will be too sad to fall in love with a kitty knowing you will lose him/her soon, but it is much much sadder to me to know that a kitty will die in a cage with no one special person to love and cherish it. that is the real tragedy.)
Your commitment to the senior cat is truly heartwarming. I was always afraid of the elderly because you know in time they will get sick and die. Nobody wants to lose someone you love. You dont want to see them get ill or suffer. But I see your point. I had never thought of it in those terms.

You are special for loving BJ! He may be old and blind and deaf, but from what you describe, it seems to me he is a kitten at heart!

:flower: :angel4: :angel4: :flower:
post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 
when i was a teenager i worked as a nurses aid in a nursing home and quit after a year because i found it so depressing that these elderly people had no visitors and mostly no family.
it didnt' occur to me til years later that the nurses and aids WERE their family and that is why they got so attached to us and looked forward to seeing us everyday.
i was only thinking of my sadness, and not of the happiness that i might be able to bring to these people.

i don't know what changed my point of view, maybe just getting older

but even now, i think of the workers at the shelters and i wonder, how can they do that job??? so many homeless kitties, so few homes, so many cats spending months in cages- i think i would go nuts, and want to bring them all home
but then i have to realize, that if it were not for the shelter these cats would be on the streets subject to disease, animal attacks, car accidents, etc etc
so, it isnt about what you CAN'T do, its about what you can do

it isnt easy to remember that! i still fear volunteering at the shelter because i know i will start to feel bad for kitties that are there for a long time
but if i can help make their stay a bit better, than i have done what i could
no one person can do it all, right?

i struggle with it all the time. it is hard. with BJ it was easy though, i fell in love with him the moment i saw him
i just like old guys i guess!
they are so needy, and i guess i am a person who needs to be needed
*shrug*
empty nest syndrome, LOL
post #22 of 24
Originally posted by catnapt
Quote:
it is quite wise really, for a blind cat to walk slowly, so he doesnt'hurt himself when he runs into things (and when he first got here, he bumped into everthing, but ever so gentley cuz he is slow
My cat, Midnight, passed away 2 years ago at the age of 14 years. When she was 13, she developed glaucoma in both eyes and went completely blind as a result. Blind cats use their whiskers as feelers to avoid running into objects, they use their other senses more to make up for the lack of vision, and normally, they are also able to reley(sp?) on their memory of the layout of their home and how the furniture is arranged.

When Midnight was moving slowly and calmly she was able to find her way around without having any problems. If something happened to make her nervous or excited, she would start going in circles or running into objects.

IMO, I think your cat is really doing well, and it might be best that he does move slowly. He is very lucky to have you taking care of him in his old age.
post #23 of 24
I posted the pics that catnapt sent me over at the Fur Pictures Only forum!

Here's the direct link, Catnapt Pics

post #24 of 24
Hi - you are truly amazing for BJ. The seniors are terrific and give without taking. I took in a very old stray a couple of years ago. Found him on the doorstep and decided that if he was still there in the morning that would be it, i would keep him and take him to the vet. The vet said that another night and he would be dead. He must of known. The other cats really did not like him at all and it was sheer courage and detrmination that he stuck it out with us. He was about 5 but looked ninety! A tough life by all accounts. He became very loving and special and i was heartbrokwn when after only 2 years he had a heart attack and died in the front room. It was quick and he could have alsorts wrong with him that we just did not know about. I would definately get a senior from a cat rescue as they are wonderful friends and no need to block up all the little holes in the house like with kitties!
well done and good luck
tulip
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