Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Zippy the Cat

A few people have expressed concern about Salma, since I wrote some time ago that she was not feeling well. Not to worry, she's fine.

It's true that for more than two weeks she had a fever, vomiting, diarrhea and sleeplessness, and we couldn't figure out the problem. Well, it turned out that she had four molars coming in at once. That's a painful change and it was wreaking havoc on all her systems, but once the teeth came in she was fine.

Our cat Zippy, on the other hand, is not doing so well. He's the orange on on the right, above.

Zippy is almost 14 years old now. He lived with me for years in my studio apartment on Market Street in San Francisco, then years more in Oakland after Laura and I were married, then in Linda's house in Palo Alto after I moved to Panama, and then finally he made the trip here to El Valle de Anton.

Both Zippy and Li'l Fishy settled in well here and have been quite happy, but I'm aware that they are getting quite high up in years for a cat.

Zippy has always had a healthy appetite, but about two weeks ago he suddenly began refusing to eat. At first we thought maybe he had eaten a toad or a gecko. The thing is he still has the desire for food. He cries for food at his mealtimes, but when we put his bowl down he simply walks away without tasting it. We called the local vet and he thought that maybe Zippy had an infected tooth, so he gave him antiobiotic injections for three days, and gave us a vitamin solution to feed to Zippy with a syringe.

Two weeks later there has been no change. Zippy's weight has dropped from 18 pounds to 13.5. We can get him to eat a spoonful of wet food at a time but it takes five minutes of following him around, enticing him and petting him.

We may take him down to a vet in Coronado who has more diagnostic facilities. But in the end I think we have to accept the fact that our beloved companion is nearing his last days.

I'm happy that Zippy has been able to live out his last years here in this beautiful place. He loves to go out in the yard and watch the birds, chase frogs, eat grass and lay on the car in the sun. There are no cars to worry about, and the few dogs who wander into our yard leave Zippy alone because he's much larger than the local feral cats. The house itself is by far the largest place we have lived in and Zippy has many comfy spots to sleep or relax. So I feel good for him that he has been able to experience this perfect place.

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