Sidney’s blue eyes and sweet disposition will melt any animal lover’s heart! Little Sidney is a fourteen year old Siamese we were engaged to pet sit for a month in Cape Cod, diagnosed last year as having congestive heart failure. Because of his advanced condition, our time with him was on a hospice pet care level — it was quite a responsibility knowing his prognosis was such that we might need to make the call to the vet..
The doctors feel he’s on borrowed time, but, with lots of love and attention, and strict adherence to his “pilling” schedule, he’s still experiencing a really high quality of life (as of this writing) — to the astonishment of all, he even made the trip to the owner’s winter home in the Caribbean after their return and is still doing cat things (especially eating!)
We had some tough days with Sid — the doctors adjusted his heart medication downward and he was not wanting to leave the bed or take any food. After consultation with the owner, we asked the local vet to evaluate his condition and let us know what the responsible course of action should be, which was really difficult. However, she elected to re-up his heart medication even though his kidney numbers were poor, and give it overnight to see how he responded.
Fortunately, we were able to get him to eat (even though it was “breakfast in bed” for a while), and in time he became more interested in food and other “cat” activities,including a “mouse in the house” kill! Obviously it was yucky having a mouse in the house (thank goodness for sonic repellents, they work pretty well!), but it was certainly an encouraging sign.
Although his activity level remained low and his breathing was more difficult, Sidney is not giving any real indication he is “on his way out.” The pilling regimen (which required inserting the pill into his mouth directly — too smart a cat to be duped by trying to tuck it into a treat or mushing it up with some tasty food!) and diligence on our part with presenting food often seems to have gotten him to a plateau that is comfortable for now — we’ve heard from the owners in the Caribbean and he made the trip just fine; gets outside in the sunshine periodically, eats just fine and sleeps a lot, but not so bad for a 14 year old with a heart condition!
AND, the very best thing about Sidney — his soulfulness, and interaction with people. Even in the bad times, Sidney always loved cuddling — curling up in your arm, on your lap, between your legs or on your chest at night — he loved contact with people, and we were privileged to be part of the group of people he chose to share that love and connection with.