Thursday, December 04, 2008

Cat Surprise!

We returned from Wisconsin on Saturday and were tired from traveling, so we crashed pretty early. (Plus we were on Central Time, so it felt like it was two hours later.)

It's a good thing we did, because at 5:45 or so one of our cats started meowing really loudly and woke me up. She's usually a pretty vocal cat, especially when she's hunted something down (like the big spiders in the old house), but this meow sounded different.

When I got up, I could barely make her out in the early morning darkness and she was laying on the floor near the bed, which isn't unusual. After my eyes adjusted a little I could see she was moving her head strangely, wouldn't look at me, and continuing to meow.

Okay, now I'm freaked. I grab a flashlight I keep near the bed to see if she's sitting on a mouse or bat or spider, but it's pretty clear that's not the case. I call to Julia and say she needs to look at the cat since I can't really make anything out (my glasses were still next to the bed, so I couldn't see details). I grabbed my glasses and turned on a light. Here's what she was doing:

What you can't see from this is that her eyes were moving erratically from side to side, which if that doesn't sound entirely creepy, it is. She continued to act like this for a few minutes and wasn't stopping. I thought rabies, but dismissed it because that would make her aggressive, not . . . whatever this was. Head trauma from something she'd done in the night? Maybe. Stroke? Very possible. Regardless, we were worried for her and got dressed, found an emergency vet clinic online (near Seth's place oddly), called them to say we'd be in, found the cat carrier, and took off. Somewhere in there I also called Dr. Chris and he said, "Yep, get to an emergency vet, it sounds like a stroke."

We were off, the cat still behaving the same as when we'd woken up about 15 minutes earlier.

The vet looked Babby over for a while and came back to tell us she had something called feline idiopathic vestibular syndrome. Which basically means her inner ear was telling her she was spinning and spinnning and spinning. (Interestingly, the 'idiopathic' part means they don't know what causes it.) Talk about vertigo. She said it'd take a while to resolve itself and she may have issues eating, drinking, and going to the bathroom because of the vertigo. She gave us some medicine to make her hungry so she'd be easier to feed and we took Babby home.

By the time we were home she was pretty much back to normal, but apparently cats recover faster than dogs (in which this is much more common and can takes days or weeks to resolve).

Anyway, that was a fun Sunday morning. Regardless, I'm glad Julia and I were home to help her out. We'll have to watch Babby to see if she has more episodes in the future, but at least now we know what's going on.

Whew, enough of that. Happier things next time, I hope.


At December 04, 2008 10:15 AM, Blogger Artillery MKV said...

Freaky cat ailments are no fun! I'm glad she's feeling better now. If only they could talk to us and tell us what's wrong!


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