Luisa: My Funny Feline

Dear Reader, you see this lovely specimen of a feline in repose.  Reading is hard work, you know, especially of The New Yorker (such long articles!).


Luisa sleeping on a copy of The New Yorker and my husband’s stargazing log.

The girl does love to sleep.  And she deserves to sleep as much as she wants because she is at least 20 years old.

Luisa asleep on the porch

Luisa asleep on the porch

What Luisa doesn’t like is going to the vet.

Luisa at the vet's

Luisa at the vet’s

Unfortunately, we’ve had to take her in twice in less than a week.  Last week, she started throwing up her food.  Nothing terribly unusual.  She often had these spells of puking up food and then begging for more, and then she would be fine for awhile.  But last week was different.  The frequency of her throwing up increased until the point where all she could throw up was frothy liquid because there was no longer food in her stomach.  And of course this was in the wee hours of the morning.  So I laid in bed and told myself that “if she has one more episode, I’m taking her to the emergency vet.”  And of course all was quiet after I made that decision, as if she had read my mind.

Of course, I was in denial and, to a degree, I still am.  I wanted only for the vet to prescribe over the phone some anti-nausea medicine and an appetite stimulant.  Oh, yes, I forgot to mention:  Luisa had stopped eating.

So the first visit to the vet involved Luisa getting subcutaneous fluids to hydrate her, an anti-nausea shot, and an antibiotics shot (her white blood cell count was elevated).  We took her home and observed her, tried to feed her, watched her every movement.  Oh, did I mention that she was also constipated?

By Monday, she had only eaten a spoonful of food that I held in front of her.  She would have no more.  So back to the vet we went.  I saw a different doctor this time, one that I was more comfortable with since she had treated a few of our other cats as well.  It’s very simple:  we can try a few non-invasive procedures and if they fail, well, there’s euthanasia.  We can try invasive procedures and if they fail, well, there’s euthanasia.  Luisa is at least 20 years old.

We found her in a local park almost 18 years ago.  My husband fell in love with her and as days past and she seemed to always be on the top of the restrooms whenever he came to the park to run, he grew more anxious.  There were student apartments nearby so we suspected the usual.  When the nighttime temperatures started to fall, my husband grew even more anxious.  So one day I drove out to the park, coaxed her off the roof of the restrooms, and cajoled her into a pet taxi,  and off to the vet we went.  I left behind info on the vet … just in case, but of course,  no one ever called.  So.  She was ours.  We named her Luisa because we found her in San Luis Mission Park.

It hasn’t been all roses with Luisa.  She is a “crazy tortie.”  Until recently, she wouldn’t tolerate being petted.  She always wanted to be in the same room with us, but we were to look and not touch.  It was hard not to laugh when I would go to pet her and she would hiss and slap my hand.

But in the last couple of years, perhaps you could say now that’s she is in her dotage, she seems to enjoy being petted.  In fact, she sleeps with me, often curled up on the inside of my left arm.  Or on my pillow where her whiskers tickle my face.  She is still with us, as of this writing.  We are trying the non-invasive treatments:  anti-nausea medicine, appetite stimulant, another round of subcutaneous fluids.  But if this regimen fails, we can do no more.  We will do no “heroics” for our aging queen.  All we want to hear her purr and know that she does not suffer.

So, if I seem to be absent from blogging or distracted when I am here, she is my cause.  I don’t want to let her go.  Of course, it’s inevitable.  She’s not getting any younger, and keeping her beyond her comfort zone would not be fair to her.  But right now, she does not seem to be in distress.  She still seems alert.  But she still won’t eat.

For now, dear Reader, understand that I am rather preoccupied because Luisa is still here and I need every minute with her that I can get.  Even if she spends most of those minutes sleeping.

Luisa participating in her favorite activity.

Luisa participating in her favorite activity.

45 thoughts on “Luisa: My Funny Feline

  1. Pingback: Idling After a Week on the Roller Coaster | 1WriteWay

  2. Marie, so sorry to hear about Luisa. I could feel how much you love and care for her. It’s so hard to let go of our beloved pets, and while reading your post I had to tear up because I went through something similar a while back. Luisa’s lucky to have found a home with you guys. Hope she is comfortable and you get as much time as possible with her.

    • Thank you so much, Dave! I’m sorry that anyone has to go through this, but of course it can’t be helped. It’s a reminder of just how dependent our furry friends are. Luisa started eating a bit and she slept through the night (usually she’s quite restless and vocal). Just taking one day at a time.

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    • Thank you so much, Andra. You have so much going on right now, I really appreciate you taking the time to comment. Our cats are indeed our family. xo

  4. I’m so sorry, Marie. As a cat person, I know how much we all love our furry friends. Hoping for the best – hugs to you and Luisa.

  5. Reading how you’ve invested so much clever care and love in Luisa truly warms my heart. I wish her the best! And also, the New Yorker and cats – Worlds best combo.

  6. Wow, I’m right there with you, Marie. We have a crazy tortie of our own who’s about to turn 21, and she goes through similar troubles about every two months. The antibiotic shots are basically keeping her going. These old farts are amazingly resilient too, so it’s quite possible that Luisa will regroup.

    She’s one lucky fuzzball to have been rescued by you, though!

    • Thanks, Kevin! This last episode took a lot out of Luisa so we’re not hopeful that she’ll rally back to her old self. But it is too soon to tell. Right now, she’s starting eating a bit but not much. The vet agreed that we should know what to do by the end of the month, given how she responds to the non-invasive treatments. It’s going to be a long couple of weeks.
      Funny, isn’t it. The better a home they have (I’m also thinking of Nip here), the more resilient they are, the longer they live.

  7. What a beautiful girl! And what a difficult time for you. My oldest cat Mac is 16, and he is starting to be an old man. He has a bad heart, and he’s outlived his original vet’s prediction by 11+ years already, but he’s lost a lot of muscle mass and is more frail and cranky and had a spell at the ER vet recently. This is a way of telling you I have an inkling of what you are going through because I see our future is approaching. Many many hugs to you and to Luisa (although she wouldn’t want them for real, she might like them virtually), Marie.

    • Luisa (and I) truly appreciate the virtual hugs 🙂 Thank you so much, Luanne, and you definitely have more than an inkling of what we are going through. It’s a testament to the love and care you’ve given Mac that he has exceeded the vet’s predictions. My heart is with you.

    • Thanks, Brad! She is beautiful, but her fate is fixed. She’s an old girl and her ailments are typical of old cats. We’re just trying to make her comfortable so we can buy ourselves more time with her 🙂

  8. A pet, especially one you’ve had for so long, is really like a child. This is such a sad time to watch a member of the family become ill. Yes, your place is with her and we’ll be here when you return. Hugs.

    • Thank you so much, Carol. Our cats are indeed our children. We’re grateful that our kitties have/are living so long. Thank you for the hugs.

    • Thanks, Morgan. Indeed, Luisa had quite the tummy 😉 Not so much now (she’s lost quite a bit of weight), but in her heyday, she was quite impressive 🙂

    • Hugs accepted and very appreciated, Pamela. Indeed, it doesn’t get easier. Over 7 years, we have to put down 4 cats. We never felt ready for it then, and we certainly don’t now. We’re just trying to make sure she is as comfortable as possible.

  9. Marie, I am so sorry your dear friend of 18 years is sick. I can tell how much you love her, and how much it’s going to hurt if she goes. Tortoise shell kitties are so pretty. Penny’s gram had one for a long time — she had wilder hair than your Luisa, but sounds like she was just as neurotic when it came to being touched. When she finally came around to you, she was the sweetest thing.
    Sending you whatever love I can via this post.

    • Dear Helena, thank you deeply. Torties are beautiful cats (our Wendy is also a tortie), but geez, they are temperamental 😉 Still gotta love ’em. We’re trying to make her as comfortable as possible, and wait.

    • Thanks, Jill. I laughed out loud when I read your comment, “She looks so sweet …” She could be a holy terror, back in the day. That’s a story for another day 😉

  10. Marie, I can certainly feel what you are going through. As a cat person, I know it is so hard to come to a choice. Whatever is in the future, you will always have Luisa in your heart and I am so sorry you are facing this path. I will keep you and Luisa in my thoughts.

    • I’m enjoying the hugs, Katie. Thank you so much. Luisa started eating a bit so I think she is also a bit more comfortable. We’re just waiting and watching to see how much she will rally.

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