Tufty is Getting Old

Tufty was born April 4, 1999. This makes him almost 12 now.  He’s a purebred Norwegian Forest Cat.  The year I showed him in TICA, he made was the 3rd best altered male in the country.  He was actually a GREAT show cat.  Knew exactly how to show off – would stand up and puff out his ruff as if telling everyone “look at me”.  And he’s gorgeous. And such an amazingly calm kitty cat.  The Tuft is awesome.  He has been with us through so many moves, including over to Australia and back again. He survived a snake-bite in Australia – after 3 days on an anti-venom drip.

But he’s definitely getting older.  I know there are stories of many Norwegian Forest Cats making it to 20 or so.  And I hope his current problems resolve themselves and he will be one of them.

He has, for the past 6-8 months however, been suffering from recurring upper respiratory infections.  They make him snore something dreadful.  I keep wishing he would sleep in a different room so that he doesn’t keep me awake worrying about him all night.  I feel so bad for him.

The vet has been treating him with a big anti-biotic shot every time.  Today, after the nurse gave us the shot as usual and sent us home, the vet called me back to talk to me.  He wants to find out what’s causing the problem.  Yes, that would be nice. 

My vet has two theories, neither of which sounds particularly wonderful to me. Although one has potentially really scary implications.  

Theory 1: Feline Leukemia is compromising his immune system. (Also called feline AIDS).  This is so scary I don’t even know where to start.  Feline leukemia is very very contagious, and it would in all likelihood mean that Toulouse is ill too.  Thinking about this possibility has me all worked up and barely able to breathe.   I’m taking him in for a blood test this afternoon, and we should know if that’s the case by Friday.  It’s really important, for Toulouse’s sake, that we find this out as quickly as possible.

Theory 2: As he has gotten older, his skull has grown and may be clogging one nostril.  Apparently, the vet has seen this before.  This would not necessarily be treatable other than simply treating the infection every time he gets it, like we have been.

The blood work could, of course, reveal something else that we haven’t thought of when compared t his ‘old guy baseline blood work’ that he got two years ago.

Anyway, I am trying to fill my time as much as possible between now and Friday.  But I know I’ll be worried the whole time.

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