Cleo's Progress

One Cat's Struggle with Feline Hepatic Lipidosis



Thursday, December 1, 2005

Bribery

Cleo has always loved foods that cats shouldn't like. When I got her from my neighbors at 5 1/2 months, she had obviously been fed a lot of table food, probably mostly fast food, and she had horrendous table manners that took me a while to retrain: She would try to eat my food right off my fork, as I was lifting it to my mouth. The first few months were a power struggle to keep her out of my food while I ate.

I'll never forget the night that I discovered she liked pineapple: I was in my bedroom in the apartment I shared with my roommate about a year ago, eating a fruit cup from Wendy's, and Cleo started begging. (Even though I retrained her to give me space while I ate, she was still adept at begging when she thought I had something she might want.) I gave her a little piece of pineapple, expecting her to stiff it and walk away, but she licked it and licked it until I put it on a surface where it wouldn’t slide around so much, and then she ate it. I tried other fruits, but she wouldn’t eat anything but pineapple — yet that fruit, she loved with a passion. From then on, any time I had pineapple I had to give her some.

Another of Cleo's favorites is fruit-flavored yogurt. One of our little rituals is that when I sit down to eat a yogurt, the first thing I do is hold the foil lid for her to lick. When she's done, I eat my yogurt, and then give her the container to lick. She manages to lick the entire upper half of one of those Yoplait containers clean, despite the narrow opening.

I was hoping to use Cleo's love of yogurt to get her to eat on her own — something, anything. Yesterday I went into the study with a yogurt; Cleo was sitting beside the rocking chair. When I opened the yogurt container (she knows the sound), sure enough, she stood up so fast that in her weakened state she almost fell over. I held the lid down to her, but although she sniffed it, she wouldn't lick. I guess she’s not even feeling well enough to eat her absolute favorite snack. It was a disappointment, but at least she showed some interest.

Although Cleo had thrown up sometime during the night, leaving a nice surprise for me to clean yesterday morning, she didn't throw up again all day. I was able to get 3/4 of a can of food into her without incident. I'm trying for a can today, since she’ll be into the vet again tomorrow for another checkup, and I may not be able to feed her as many times throughout the day.

I still haven't resumed giving her the anti-vomit pills, and it certainly seems like she throws up less without them. Isn’t that an irony?

I have taken to giving her water injections only every other day. I'll ask the vet about it tomorrow, but I think that since she gets water in her food, she should be okay. She has started getting so upset about the fluid injections that it makes them difficult to do.

Cleo is consistently cleaning herself on a daily basis now, after almost every meal. It’s such a relief to see her doing normal cat stuff now. Hopefully visit to the vet will go well; with any luck, her urinary tract infection will have cleared up, and she’ll have only one more week of antibiotics.

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