I’m sitting here, beside myself with worry, because my 9-year-old cat, Baby, is in the animal hospital.
Baby was literally struggling to breathe as I drove her to the hospital this morning. I’ve never seen her so sick before. She’s had a bothersome cough for a long time now, but I always chalked it up to hairballs. But yet she never spit up hairballs. How could such a hairy cat never have hairballs?
Yesterday Baby started acting listless and wasn’t interested in eating or drinking. I thought she might have an upper respiratory infection (which she’s had before), so I was able to tempt her with some tuna. But this morning she was having such a hard time breathing – just while sitting still – that I was convinced she needed medical help.
The vet immediately put her in an oxygen crate, where she seemed to be doing better. Though the results aren’t conclusive, the vet believes she may have pneumonia. They will be keeping her there on oxygen for the next few days and see how she responds.
Baby and I have been together since early November 2000, when she was maybe 5 weeks old. I remember driving home with her tucked in my coat, her tiny head curiously peeking out, watching the traffic go by. I slept on the living room floor that first night, and she curled up right beside me. And she’s been right beside me ever since – sitting by the front door awaiting my arrival home, meowing a “hello” in welcome, or standing by her bowl, patiently waiting for me to feed her. (Unlike her sister, Ginger, who prefers to meow loudly and pace back and forth in irritation.)
Whenever I’m sad or not feeling well, Baby is always there to put a comforting, reassuring paw on my arm. I only wish I could do the same for her now.
I will miss Baby terribly these next few days, but it will all be worth it as long as she comes home, safe and sound.