well. i heard back from the vet much sooner than i thought i would. and while she said what i was expecting, i had still hoped the outcome would be different.
i had taken stanzi in for some dental work a while back, because the vet suggested it while clipping pretty baby's claws. as part of the dental, they do a routine blood work. the blood work turned up elevated creatinine levels. this is a bad thing. sometimes indicative of a simple urinary infection, it's also a red flag for kidney problems.
initially, the vet put her on a 10 day antibiotic course. wouldn't do any harm, and if it was a UTI, that should take care of it. stanz and i battled back and forth on that one, with her hiding under every piece of furniture she could as soon as she heard the refrigerator open. but most of the antibiotics ended up in her, rather than on her or me.
then i made an appointment to bring her back for some blood work. we sat on the floor of the reception area for a while, since they're repainting it and the chairs were all stacked in the corner. i kept her carrier open, petting her and talking to her to keep her calm. someone told me in Spanish that she was gorgeous, and had eyes like owls.
we finally got in to the examining room, and stanzi just mewled. she knew Bad Things had happened to her last time, and she'd had to stay overnight. i promised her she'd get to go home right afterwards this time.
the painter walked thru the exam room twice while all this was going on, apologizing for interrupting. didn't help my nerves, or hers.
she was such a good kitty - complained, but sat quite still for the vet tech. and they got a good sample on the first try.
i picked her up off the metal table and hugged her for a minute, kissing her head and telling her how good she'd been, and then took her home as promised.
i didn't expect to hear until tomorrow, as they send the comparative work out to a different lab, to double check the first results. so i was quite surprised to hear from the vet about 3:00 today.
i've been trying to prepare myself for this, but it was still disheartening to hear her say that stanz has early stage kidney failure. we've caught it pretty early, and she's hopeful that a dietary change will manage it for now. the perscription diet is low in protein, the idea being that a small amount of high quality protein will provide the right nutrition while still lowering the load on the kidneys. as the kidneys lose their ability to process waste, this becomes important.
she's a good age for a cat, nearly 14. and she's still pretty healthy-seeming, with plenty of energy (well, as much as a cat ever has) and not losing weight yet.
*sigh* it's not as if i didn't know this would eventually happen. it's just that she's been part of my life for so long, i can't really imagine what it would be... will be like without her. and i want her to have a good life right up to the end. i don't want her to be anemic, or lose her sight, or become a shadow of herself. i'm worried that she'll need IV liquids at some point, and i'm scared of learning how to use needles on her. most of all, i want her to be healthy and happy and always be here. but if i can't give her that, i want to take the best care of her that i can.