Twitchy cat

She stole my heart the moment I first saw her, and even though she’s an adult cat now, she’s still as cute as she was two years ago, when she was a little kitten. My heart remains firmly in her silky paws.

Unfortunately, our little Thalia has been behaving strangely over the weekend, and looking back I think I can see her behaviour has been changing slowly but steadily over the last weeks or maybe even months.

I’d see the rippling of her skin without really noticing. Her running around like crazy and perching on top of the bookcases didn’t raise any questions. She’s always been the clown. Always looking for mischief. There was nothing strange in that.

However, when she was running from the kitchen to the far end of the living room, her belly almost touching the floor last Saturday, I knew that wasn’t right. When she hid under a table, under the chairs, the couch, when I saw that agitated look in her eyes, I thought she was in pain. When she wouldn’t eat, I was worried.

We went to see the vet, who didn’t find anything out of the ordinary during the physical examination. As we thought she might be in pain, she got a painkiller, but that was about all the vet could do at that moment.

We took her back home, and made her comfortable in the bathroom, which she has always seen as her own safe place. This seemed to help a little. Of maybe it was the painkiller. Or both. Anyway, she ate. Not much, but it was enough that I wasn’t too worried anymore.

By Sunday morning she seemed her ordinary self again. Until we went downstairs and she entered the kitchen.

The bizarre behaviour started again, and this time taking her to the bathroom did not help one bit. Again, she refused to eat, and I became more worried by the minute. I know how serious not eating in cats is. I’ve seen the damage to the liver of a cat who stopped eating. It wasn’t pretty.

I finger-fed her yogurt. That’s not proper cat food, but as it was the only thing she would eat – even if only a tiny little bit at a time – that’s what I gave her.

We took her to the vet’s again this afternoon, and as we were there, the vet saw the rippling of her skin. It was then that she first mentioned feline hyperesthesia, but she said she’d expect the skin to ripple when she was being touched. So I touched Thalia’s back with one finger, and another ripple went down her spine.

The vet now wants us to try and catch her on video when she’s doing the running and twitching etc. She also wants us to write a detailed account of what we’ve noticed about her behaviour. For now, we are assuming that the stress of the loft conversion (too many changes for Thalia to deal with) is the cause of her problems, but we can’t be sure yet.

Thalia is on meds now. Medication to stimulate her appetite and Zylkene, to help her cope. The vet also gave us special food for her, which – thank goodness! – she did eat.

Let’s hope no more visits to the vet will be necessary.

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About Liam

Poet, writer, aspiring minimalist
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