All that he did on those cold, dreary and misty days last week was to lie around on the bed or atop the floor vent, absorbing the warmth when the heater kicked on. When he walked, it was with difficulty, like a sailor after a two-day shore leave. He was eating and drinking little, if […]

All that he did on those cold, dreary and misty days last week was to lie around on the bed or atop the floor vent, absorbing the warmth when the heater kicked on. When he walked, it was with difficulty, like a sailor after a two-day shore leave. He was eating and drinking little, if anything at all. The litter box remained empty.
Yes, our 17 year old cat, Tigershark, seemed to be near the end when I called our vet, Dr. Clinton Skaggs, last Friday. I explained the above symptoms, and Dr. Skaggs said that it sounded like his kidneys were shutting down. He said he could keep our cat overnight and pump him full of fluids but that it may not do any good. He talked about his own cat, who had succumbed to renal failure awhile back. I called my wife, telling her that it may be getting close to the end of the trail for Tigershark. She wasn't ready to put another beloved pet to sleep. So I called Dr. Skaggs again to discuss our options. He said that we should administer 5-10 ml of Boost alternating with 5-10 ml of Gatorade every two hours. Ideally, the extra fluids, nutrition, and electrolytes would kick start his kidneys. We wouldn't have to do this during the night.
So, I started the regimen at lunch last Friday. Slowly, over the course of the weekend, Tigershark became less lethargic and more engaged. By Sunday afternoon, he even ventured outside to soak up some sun in his favorite spot: the south facing opening of our backyard dog house. By Monday morning, he had more or less returned to his octogenarian feline self. I called Dr. Skaggs and told him as much, also thanking him. 'That's good,' he said, adding that we could now wean our cat off of the Boost and Gatorade over the next few days and 'see how he does.' He said that a cat food for kidney function, which he sells, may also help, and I told him that we had purchased some a few weeks ago.
For now, Tigershark has been granted yet one more life, and, like any pet owner, we're glad to be able to enjoy him awhile longer.