Today has been a better day. I am still trying not to be overly optimistic and still prepared for the worst to happen, but today has been better.
The people at the emergency vet where my Snowball cat is being kept have been more than kind. They've welcomed my phone calls with patient details recounting her status and sympatheized with me being so far away in Scotland. They've worked with me on several occasions, getting bills and contact information figured out, and they've even agreed to transport Snowball themselves to the regular vet office tomorrow morning. I couldn't be more grateful.
This morning saw the tiniest bit of improvement when the poor kitty managed to get down only a few bites of food. While her insulin levels, due to the diabetes she's recently developed, have become a bit more stabilized, she has simply been too weak to show any other signs of improvement. Basically, she'd gotten so malnourished that she'd lost the will to eat or live. My cat was literally starving to death.
This is too ridiculous a reason to disregard the opportunity to give her a chance to recooperate and try to gain her strength back. The vet agreed, saying the diabetes can be treated and isn't the true danger as is her level of strength and lack of nutrients. I can only enormously regret that she had wasted away to the point that she was before being taken in.
So earlier this afternoon, they inserted a feeding tube into her little neck and in less than an hour had fed Snowball her first full meal and were keeping an eye on her as she groggily came out of the anesthesia. It was in question that she would have even survived being sedated, but my sweet Snowball is a fighter and has faced a life-threatening incident before and I can only hope she'll make it through this one.
I can hear some people scoff at me for talking about a cat like a human being. For many, a feeding tube sounds like an absurd measure to go to. But to me, it's the least I can do. I won't let my cat die of starvation. She can struggle against a disease or cancer, but this was too simple a step not to take. I have done a lot of research online the past few days about cats with diabetes, which normally develops when they are 10 years and older. Snowball is 12 this year, so it's not surprising that this has happened. She probably wouldn't be struggling nearly as much if she weren't so emaciated. So we continue to hope and pray that this will be a turning point for her and the nutrients will help.
Being thousands of miles away as I am, I still deeply love and care for my pets. There is just something about the bond you can develop between an animal. They just get you. They don't talk or argue or ever cease to love you. And when you've had them for as long as I have, it's something you learn to cherish.
It's still a bit stressful thinking about what's to come and how she'll be doing when I pick up the phone to call the vet each time. She'll be transferred tomorrow so I'll be working with new doctors and hope they can continue to care for her just as well. We leave for Italy in a few days so I'm trying not to worry too much about how we'll get details figured out by then, there's quite a bit to take care of. I sincerely appreciate the support of all my friends and family who have reached out during the past two days, it has made all the difference.