Sure, he still gives clients the Stink Eye if they happen to sit in his chair before he gets there. That is sort of funny, by the way, to see a 17 year old cat sitting in front of a chair, staring at the client, while everything else is going on in the background.
So I sent off a blood sample to the lab, to check for the usual suspects in old cats- diabetes, hyperthyroidism, kidney problems. This is what came back.
Some things were fine. His glucose was good. His thyroid levels were okay. But that BUN and creatinine are too high. I am sort of surprised that his phophorus is still normal. Usually it starts creeping up in kidney failure.
I switched his food to K/D, low protein food for kidney patients, and gave him some fluids subcutaneously. That was Saturday night. He seemed to feel better on Sunday morning. Ate his K/D canned food. Gave him more fluids last night. He had to pee in a cup this morning. (Totally true- he was using his litter box about lunch time, and here comes this little cup from the side. . . ) Specific gravity of urine, which is a measure of how concentrated the urine is, was 1.008. Ideally, with normal functioning kidney you expect to see 1.030- 1.040 or higher. 1.008 means not much happening with those kidneys.
You can lose 2/3 of your kidney function and still concentrate urine normally. You won't see BUN and creatinine start to go up until you've lost about 3/4 of your kidney function. Just so you know in case you ever need those little facts in the Trivia Challenge at Blind Pig Tavern on Baldwin Street. You could win some bucks.
It was a year ago that Leon grew Herman. and had him removed. Y'all remember Herman. He lives in a jar. In case you don't, here's a link to all things Herman. And if Herman had been anywhere else at the time, like in the oral cavity, or under a leg involving blood vessels, or a lymph node, I wouldn't have been able to remove him. And would have had to put Leon to sleep. So in that one respect, Leon has been living this past year on borrowed time.
Leon has been here from almost the beginning. He was brought in to be euthanized back in 1995. We think he's a 1994 Model. We weren't exactly looking for another hospital cat at the time, but no one wanted him. (This was before Petfinder. almost before the internet, actually) . So I kept him. He's like an institution of Granite Hills Animal Care. The Colonel Sanders of GHAC.
I think he's feeling a little better this week than last week, and his kidney values might stabilize on the food and occasional fluids. And they might not. So I'm watching him closely to determine when it's time to send him to Cat Heaven. Not too early and not too late.
I'll have to put a plaque on his chair. "Sit here at your own risk of being haunted by a Grey Tabby Ghost. Giving you the stink eye."