I ran out the door very early one morning. That was when the trouble started. At least that is what my mom thinks…
My name is Skunk. I was orphaned when I was just a few days old. My brother and I were bottle–babies. Unfortunately, he did not live very long, but I thrived with lots of attention and care from people. Being an “indoor” cat was never a problem for me. I only bolt out the door so that my people will chase me and give me food and attention. My mistake was going out early that one morning. No one saw me as I ran out the door and was waiting patiently under the bush to be found. Forty-eight hours later, I came out of hiding when mom called me. You see, she had been away and I would not come for anyone else. She was so thrilled to see me. After a good meal and a little clean up (I was filthy), I settled back into my usual routine. A short time later, mom took me in for some tests at the veterinary hospital since I could not tell her where I’d been or who/what I was exposed to. All the tests came back WNL. That’s “within normal limits”.
A few months later the weight loss started. I was also nauseous and tired. Back I went to the animal hospital for more tests–no more WNL. I was anemic, dehydrated and my kidneys were failing! That was why I was nauseous. It took three months of different medications and daily fluids via a small needle under my skin before I felt better and began to gain the weight back.
What did I do those fateful 48 hours? What caused this illness? It has been years now since I was that sick, but the “adventure” will haunt me forever. Instead of daily fluids, I only receive them once every three days. I still have regular laboratory work done to monitor my condition, but the damage done to my kidneys is permanent.
I found out later that it only takes one tick bite to transmit disease. It can, however, take months to years for the damage to become apparent from that infected tick. I was lucky that my family quickly recognized that something was wrong. I guess I was not as good at hiding my ill health as some other cats. Cats never want to show signs of illness or weakness, otherwise, the other animals will hunt us! I want to be a predator forever! I’ll hunt down that catnip mouse right after my fluids.