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Cats,  Holistic cat care,  Layla Morgan Wilde,  Mondays With Merlin,  Shelter Cats

Mondays With Merlin: Cat Life #9 Week From Hell

If you love cats, sharing makes us purrrr :-)

Merlin’s vet update:

We were nervous about bringing Merlin to a new vet today but relaxed as soon as we walked into the cozy waiting room full of cats at the Main Street Cat Clinic. This is an old school practice with no website or advertising just happy clients who like a loving, experienced vet and the kindest vet tech I’ve meet in years. As soon as I unzipped the top of Merlin’s round Sleepypod carrier the sitting next to us admired him. He’d been feeling well enough to poke his head out and basked in the admiration. When the others heard he was 20, there were oohs and ahs and the room felt like being at a private party for cat lovers.
Janice, the vet tech examined him and wrote extensive intake notes by hand for Dr. P. Low tech felt oddly reassuring. There was also something comforting about an older vet with extensive experience with cats and only cats. She was surprisingly positive. Good heart. No pneumonia. Continue everything we’ve been doing but added another antibiotic and appetite stimulate since he still needs syringe feeding. His weight is stable from his last vet visit in April. She worried about not getting a vein for a blood sample and shaved him a bit. Not a lot of blood but enough for a complete blood panel. We’ll know the results on Tuesday.
Merlin was alert and his usual regal self. He’s always been a good patient and vets love him. He’s still sniffly but the congestion is better but we’re not out of the woods yet. It feels more of a reprieve than recovery just yet but we’ll take it.
Many thanks for the emails, PMs, DMs etc. I can’t keep up with the volume so please accept my apologies for late replies.

It’s me, Merlin, who just used up life #9 or is it 19? I’ve lost track. Yes, I’m still alive but the nasty URI I picked up from Radish (may he rest in peace) flattened me. Our entire household (feline and human) went topsy turvey over the past month and the only silver lining is it happened during warm, beautiful weather. Layla jokes we’d all be dead had happened in the dead of winter. My week from hell started on the first day of summer when I started feeling crappy. Even my favorite thing, sunbathing with my mom Layla didn’t help. Layla posted a couple photos every day on our Instagram page. She tried returning a few blog comments but exhaustion is a bitch. Instagram is only place we did any social liking or commenting. Follow us or like us or what have you.

Merlin cat and mom

Our shelter rescue Radish arrived on June 4 requiring immediate 24/7 care. Sadly he passed away on June 18. We all felt the ripples of his absence deeply. The cats accepted him and his life and death with reverence. He’s buried in a nice spot shaded by trees 30 pounces away from Layla’s office window.

Radish cat grave memorial

Feline upper respiratory infections are contagious to other cats. The humans got busy with non-stop cleaning, disinfection, hand-washing and laundry to keep contagion at bay. It didn’t stop Domino from catching a mild URI which he’s almost recovered from. Odin, our youngest who spends much of the day outdoors, felt under the weather and projectile vomited prey of unknown origins. And despite using a top rated tick prevention product, Layla has had to remove several ticks from his face (only his face) every day. Nou Nou felt confused and anxious after Radish died and hid as much as possible. She’s coming around but just as well she’s keeping her distance.

Layla worried who would take ill next and her worst fears came true. The URI hit me hard in a life or death struggle to breathe. It’s serious when you’re 20.5, blind and have CKD. Everything in our house stopped except cat care and Layla and Joe worked in shifts so I would not be alone. When I stopped eating and drinking on my own it was shades of Radish all over again. The nebulizer, syringe feeding, antibiotics, sub-q fluids, Reiki, homeopathics, anything and everything. Hot steam showers poured day and night to ease my extreme congestion. Let me tell you it was no spa day for any of us.

Merlin cat steam shower URI

Most worrisome to Layla was being on alert for fever and mouth breathing (secondary symptoms indicating pneumonia) while finding a new vet. Our mobile vet was not available. The weekend loomed Layla and cat dad Joe dreaded going to an emergency clinic. They consulted with a nearby vet but luckily found a vet with a feline only practice about ten minutes drive away. She was kind enough to chat on the phone but was booked until Monday. It’s where I’m going today. Wish me luck and send your continued purrs. This is me, just before it got really bad. I looked like hell but felt worse. Syringe feeding is very messy and Layla rigged up the tub to give me a bath and steam treatment.

merlin cat uri

I felt, smelled and looked so much better after my bath. Sun drying on the hot day on my favorite ASPCA blankie was genius. It wasn’t that long ago that I was the ASPCA spokescat for senior pet month. Layla says I look fabulous for someone almost 21 but let’s get real.

ASPCA blanket-Merlin cat

When things got worse on the weekend there was talk of life and death choices like euthanasia. It was only when Layla surrendered completely to me exiting at any moment and not wanting me to hang on for her, did both our breathing ease. I know I can’t live forever but there is some unfinished business in this life for me. How long do I have left is not for me or any other mortal to reveal. It could be a day, a week or year. It’s all okay when you accept what is is.

Every cat like every human has a life purpose. Every cat lucky enough to have a loving home has a destiny intertwined with their human. Their bond and purpose can get complicated involving life lessons, spiritual growth spinning out beyond their family dynamic to the global cat lover community united in our mutual love of cats.

The greatest gift is love. The greatest gift humans can show cats is to honor our catness. We are not furry, miniature humans. We are cats. The more time you spend observing and communicating with us, the more you’ll be rewarded. We live in your homes but have all four paws deeply rooted in our wild DNA. In the wild, weak, sick or injured cats hide until they recover or die. Pampered house cats are all but removed from anything wild. They have access to same medical services and treatments as humans but unlike humans, cats don’t have the right to refuse or accept treatment. Their owners have the often difficult decision to choose among treatment options, when to see a vet and the biggest decision, euthanasia. Loving cats is not about cute videos (okay maybe 30%). It’s about loving all of us at any age, any condition, in sickness and in health for the life of that cat. It’s not always cute or fun but it’s worth it. That’s what my mom says and that’s good enough for me.

Layla Morgan Wilde and Merlin cat

For now, I’m happy to be clean, breathing better and I drank water on my own yesterday for the first time in days. I even purred. Who knows what tomorrow will bring. Life is pretty darn special but I’m glad my week from hell is over. Thank-you for being here and for loving cats. You’re pretty darn special too.

Love,

Merlin

(and computery thingie assistant, Layla)

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43 Comments

  • Rebecca

    I found your website today for the first time. Every cat like every human has a purpose is such a powerful statement. I will share this with my dear cat friends. I wish you peace in these difficult times.

  • Penelope

    Your new vet sounds like the wonderful vet mes sees in Calgary (mes has not even bited him!) and mes purrs for him. He is old and teaches at the University, he has a couple of other retired profs and vets that come in and help and the lady vet there (who is young) is wonderful too. their practice is only cats (which me appreciates).
    Mes is glad that yous doing better Merlin, purrhaps mes shall slide into the tunnel and comes and snuggles with yous!
    Loving yous lots, sending yous purrayers (and Strength for Layla and Daddy) and lots and lots of Nellie Kisses
    Your nellie Bellie

  • Tamago

    The new vet sounds like a good place. I hope Merlin’s blood work comes back with good result.
    You are right about loving cats is not all about cute or fun. But it’s so worth it.
    Purrs to you all.

  • Carolyn

    It’s not been a great time has it Merlin! I’m so glad you are hanging in there. I don’t think your mom is quite ready for you to go yet! She’s having a rough time of it!

    I’ve been doing less blogging and commenting too. Instagram has been less stressful and more fun just lately. xx

  • Harvey Button

    Merlin you have a great honorary Cat Warrior on you side – your mum. You can be proud you made it through the werk, and, may I also thank your cat Dad as well as your Mum.

    Cat dads are sometimes background folks when don’t appear much in cat stories but your Dad is an hero Front and Centre. Thank you Mr Joe, for being there for Merlin, and for helping and caring,

    Stand tall, be strong and have courage Merlin. You are amazing – and wonderful. I think we all agree on that now eh!?

  • ellen

    Merlin old meezers only get better with age. Glad you are kicking that nasty URI and you and your humans are breathing easier.
    You’re a wise old mancat with lessons still to give.

  • Ellen Pilch

    I waited all day to read this because I was fearing the worst. I have been praying for you and for your Mom not to have to go through more trauma. You are a fighter, keep fighting for more lives. Everyone loves you.

  • Skeeter And Izzy

    Bless you all. We send all the purrs, prayers, energy and love that we have to you all.
    We totally agree that love is unconditional and includes the good and the not so good.We pray that all will be better for the entire family.
    Luvs and gentle kitty kisses to each of you in turn.
    Skeeter and Izzy and the Feral Gang + Twig & Peanut & Romeo >^..^<

  • Cats of Wildcat Woods

    Oh dear – so sorry you went thru all this after losing Radish. Sending Reiki for you and Merlin to recover and get some normalcy back. I know how fragile ancient cats can be – my Chica lived to be 22 and Yoko 20 both with health issues too. Relax and BREATHE!

  • Cherry City Kitties

    Merlin, you know I am hugging you and Mom Layla from here in Michigan… you are such a wise friend, dear meezer man and you pretty much said it all… the greatest gift is love. We all love you guys tons…
    Mom Carolyn, Dad Mark and Harry, Dexter, Tipp and Willow

  • Sammy

    So happy you and the other cats are better now Merlin…….those infections are NEVER fun but when you’re an old guy with other health issues, it’s even scarier – if anyone can pull you through it’s your Mom – she’s a magician. Love is the best medicine of all. Will be anxious to hear what the vet has to say….meanwhile, sending POTP in BIG BUNCHES.

    Love, Sammy (and Mom Pam)

  • Nerissa's Life

    Merlin, I am purring for you. Nissy told me of the wonderful healing powers of the purr and I am purring up a storm, just for you. A purr storm. And Peep #1 is sending lots of love and prayers, too.

    Purrs,
    Seville

  • shelley and ceecee

    Surviving close death from kidney crystals at a young age (todally freaking my mom out) my prayers and purrs go out to you merlin. What a fragle and wonderful gift life is. The journey does not end on this earth, so take comfort.

  • The Swiss Cats

    You deserve you name, Merlin : you have some magic powers. How many times have we feared that you were lost, and how many times did you come back ? It’s amazing, or rather, the power of love and purrs is amazing. Carpe diem. We send you and your mom tons of purrs and gentle headbonks.

  • Kathryn

    Merlin, I am praying, and so are Cheddar and Mao. I know you will get better. I feel your time isn’t now. I think you’re looking real good, man, in the Instagram photos, and that you’re doing a great and incredible job of getting over the URI. Prayers and hugs and kisses and meows from all of us here.

    Lovely photos.

    • Kathryn

      Glad to hear Merlin had a very nice vet and vet tech. Looking forward to the results of more tests, hoping they’re positive. I think Merlin is doing fab for his age. I don’t know how you can keep up at all. The Internet does that to people. It can be just so tiring. Keep well. we are all here and care about you, the boyz Merlin, Domino, Odin, and girl Nou Nou, and cat daddy Joel.

  • easy rider

    Merlin, I cross my paws and I send you Weim-power and potp… I’m glad that you could drink some water and that you had some purrs for your humans…. all my good wishes to you and your furmily…

  • Summer

    I’m sending lots of purrs to you and your human, Merlin. I hope that whatever happens after this rough patch brings ease, and peace, and beauty.

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