Tuesday, April 10, 2012

My New Science Project

   My life continues to get stranger all the time... and it was pretty odd to begin with. See, I have this cat whom I treasure more than anything in the world:
    And her kidney disease (and probably cancer) is catching up with her. But Gyp isn't showing any signs of giving up (that's my girl!!), so I am holding out hope that she can still have a good, happy life for a while longer. After eight consecutive days of driving back & forth to the vet after work to have them administer sub-cutaneous fluids, they taught me how to do it myself. Here's where the odd science stuff comes in. I have a bag of fluid hanging from the curtain rod (height makes the fluid flow faster):
    And Gyp, amazingly, endures the treatments with no complaint. She really seems to understand that they give her energy and make her feel better! So every evening, I place her in her comfy bed, which fits conveniently in the kitchen sink:
    And I insert a long needle into the scruff of her neck. I stand there and stroke her fur and scratch her cheeks, and she purrs and leans into it. Far from distressed, she is relieved. Perky, content, and happy. In 5-6 minutes, she's had her daily limit of 200cc's and is done!
   I always loved science fair when I was in middle and high school. I'm down with science. And my current experiment is to offer a smorgasbord of different foods, 2-4 at a time, rotated twice per day, in an attempt to find one that pleases her Highness's delicate palate. The canned cat foods (variables group) & tuna fish (control group) weren't working, and she has dropped from 9 lbs. to 8 lbs. in one week!! So now I'm starting on the dry foods. She has eaten virtually nothing for 12 days, but tonight she ate 5 pieces of dry food from the variable group. The control groups (k/d, which she used to love, and Three Dog Bakery freeze-dried salmon treats, which she still will sample) will help me benchmark what's working.
   I emailed a few friends & coworkers tonight to ask them if they'd bring me a sample of their cats' food, so I can test many things in the next couple of days. I'm beginning with Gypsy's pre-k/d food, and a sample of what my veterinarian feeds.
   My hypothesis is that, since Gypsy looks bright and alert, and her coat is healthy and shiny, and because she shows a keen interest in most foods (though she sniffs & walks away, lately)... there must be a solution. Something she can eat that will help stabilize and maintain her weight. At this point I have nothing to lose but my dear kitty, so I'm giving it everything I've got. I will not put her through laborious treatments or allow her to suffer, but as long as she has the will, I will find a way. It's the least I can do to repay her for 15 years of friendship.
   And who says you never use anything you learn in school???