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Mr Pussy Soldiers On

July 4, 2016
by the gentle author

So many readers have written to enquire whether there is any significance in my long silence upon the subject of my old cat Mr Pussy that I feel compelled to give you a report as reassurance that he remains with us in the land of the living. The truth is that I have chosen not to write about him out of discretion because I did not wish to expose the uncertainty of his affliction, but now that matters are resolved satisfactorily I am at liberty to explain.

I can admit that Mr Pussy, renowned for his modest nature and implacable temperament, underwent a personality change. More than a year ago, he began crying in the night and screetching in the day without apparent reason. Neither dishes of food, nor toys, nor dripping taps offered consolation in his feverish anxiety and only sleep granted exhausted respite from his neurotic existence.

With increasingly regularity, he woke me in night, crying in distress, and I had no choice but to crawl reluctantly from my slumber and share a lonely vigil with him as he paced the kitchen, disinterested in whatever scraps I offered as my patience and ingenuity wore thin. Sometimes, I could cradle him in my arms until he grew peaceful and his passion subsided but, at other times, I tried to ignore his incessant cries which only resulted in long sleepless nights for me.

Friends began to make sympathetic enquiries into my own health, upon noticing the dark rings under my eyes, and I found myself making light of circumstances lest I appear unduly concerned or sentimental over my pet. “It’s just the old cat,” I joked, “he keeps me awake screaming at all hours!” rolling my eyes for comic effect.

One day, Mr Pussy made a noise he had never made before. When I first heard it, I did not realise where it came from. It was a deep, extended howl of distress that sounded human, like a the cry of a child or an old person. With his whole body in spasm and eyes wide, Mr Pussy lowered his torso and bent his legs as if he were about to spring, yet he lurched backwards in convulsion and gasped repeatedly, spewing forth the contents of his stomach. He repeated this weekly for several months.

In denial of the problem, I covered the sofa and the armchair with blankets that could easily be washed. Even half-asleep, I learnt to clean up afterwards when I was awoken by his episodes.

Then Mr Pussy stopped eating, growing weary and lacklustre, and when he sought solitary refuge under the bath in a demoralised condition, I pulled him out by one leg. When he stopped drinking, I realised he might die of dehydration and attempted to squirt water down his throat from a syringe which caused him to vomit yellow bile.

Next morning, the school children on the bus were delighted by the presence of Mr Pussy in his basket and amused by the novelty of his cries that caused me such grief. After explaining the symptoms, I left him at the vet and wondered if, after sixteen years, the end was near for my poor old cat, but they rang later to say he was on a drip and making swift recovery.

‘Pancreatitis’ was the diagnosis, resulting in the over-production of saliva which can ultimately cause the body to consume itself from the inside out. No wonder Mr Pussy had been screaming in pain. No wonder he had undergone a personality change.

These days, Mr Pussy requires a constant diet of anti-acid pills to retain his equanimity and, when he displays tetchiness in the evening, I am reminded it is time for his next dose. A capsule full of tiny slow-release pills is sufficient to grant Mr Pussy twenty-four hours relief yet he does not welcome his medicine. Thankfully, although smacking his lips in disgust after ingesting the swiftly-administered pills, Mr Pussy can be almost instantly distracted by a cube of dried fish.

In spite of his age and his trials, Mr Pussy remains quick with life. When I lift him, he is alive with swift energy and lithe in motion. Every part of him full of vitality, he is conscious and present in the moment, paying absolute attention and wholly alert with all his senses. Mr Pussy soldiers on.

You may also like to read

Mr Pussy, Water Creature

At Odds With Mr Pussy

Mr Pussy Gives his First Interview

The Ploys of Mr Pussy

Mr Pussy in the Dog Days

Mr Pussy is Ten

Mr Pussy in Winter

The Caprice of Mr Pussy

Mr Pussy in Spitalfields

Mr Pussy takes the Sun

Mr Pussy, Natural Born Killer

Mr Pussy takes a Nap

Mr Pussy’s Viewing Habits

The Life of Mr Pussy

Mr Pussy thinks he is a Dog

Mr Pussy in Summer

Mr Pussy in Spring

In the Company of Mr Pussy

44 Responses leave one →
  1. Chris F permalink
    July 4, 2016

    So good to here the old chap is on the mend… I put up with the human form of that illness for over twenty years… I survived on anti-acid tablets and found the only relief from chronic indigestion was to make myself throw up…. Eventually seeking a proper diagnosis and finding a remedy, I now take one tablet a day just like Mr Pussy (but without the dried fish!)… I love the last picture of him… My cat sits like that whilst washing his doodads and occasionally looking up with that stare which if he could speak would probably ask me to stop watching him… Mind you.. He sits outside the shower watching me, so fairs fair…

  2. July 4, 2016

    Love and hugs to Mr. Pussy.

  3. July 4, 2016

    Glad to hear that the vet was able to help him, and wish you both quiet and happy times together. Valerie

  4. Kerry permalink
    July 4, 2016

    I am ashamed to admit that it is with delight – and relief – that I come out of hiding (as a shy reader of your excellent blog posts) in order to send my felicitations to Mr Pussy on his full recovery.

  5. Adrienne Rowe permalink
    July 4, 2016

    This post has made me so sad. Why didn’t you take him to the vet when he first became ill. This would have saved him from such a lot of avoidable suffering.

  6. Gillian Bagwell permalink
    July 4, 2016

    I’m so glad Mr. Pussy is feeling better! Moth, Miranda, Charlotte, and Inky Dinky Doo join me in wishing him and you well.

  7. July 4, 2016

    Lots of tenderness and joy here; Many of us belong to the Mr Pussy fan club you can expect lots of cat friendly bloggers today. GA remember this, you live with him and he is in charge then everything will be fine. I had three cats all buried in the garden, lots of wailing when they went to the cat heaven in the sky. John

  8. Barbara permalink
    July 4, 2016

    Good to hear that Mr Pussy is well; I wonder why the poor old chap wasn’t taken to the vet early on in his distress.

  9. Marina permalink
    July 4, 2016

    Bless Mr Pussy! So pleased he’s turned the corner!

  10. Natalie Morris permalink
    July 4, 2016

    I am so glad he’s better, he’s a very handsome cat!

  11. July 4, 2016

    Yes, I did wonder what Mr Pussy was up to these days and am glad that both of you have found a solution to the problem. Cats, eh? Such incredible characters.

  12. July 4, 2016

    Dear G.R., I am very happy to know that dear Mr. Pussy, whom your words and pictures have made beloved to many people, is doing well. Cats are people and they get to us.

  13. July 4, 2016

    Cleo, my eighteen year old cat gives Mr. Pussy her best regards and hopes for news of his continued good health. I, being a mere human can only offer him a tickle under the chin. Lovely Mr. Pussy.

  14. Dangerous Den permalink
    July 4, 2016

    Good old Mr Pussy. Long may you reign. (As cats do)

    I am glad all is well

  15. david whittaker permalink
    July 4, 2016

    Great news…I wish You long and happy days together…

  16. Gioconda permalink
    July 4, 2016

    You both suffered so much. I’m so glad the vet was able to relieve Mr. Pussy’s pain. Please don’t wait so long if he’s ever in distress again. You have many readers who care for Mr. Pussy as if he were a dear friend.
    Thank goodness he’s feeling better. I hope he will continue to enjoy his later years. Keep us informed, please.

  17. July 4, 2016

    Gentle Author you are a real softy.

  18. Buzz permalink
    July 4, 2016

    Very pleased to hear! Is he still enjoying the expensive cat food foisted upon him by the Australian Women’s Club London??

  19. Patty/NS, Canada permalink
    July 4, 2016

    It is lovely to see his picture gracing the blog once again! So very happy to read that you both pulled through successfully. We love Mr. Pussy (and you too, of course).

  20. July 4, 2016

    Much love to the stoic Mr Pussy X

  21. Pauline Thompson permalink
    July 4, 2016

    I’m with Adrienne – I’m appalled that you allowed that poor cat to suffer so long without consulting a vet. Cats are famously stoic, so he must have been in indescribable agony. What were you thinking? I have been a faithful reader of your blog for years, but I am unsubscribing today.

  22. Caro McAdam permalink
    July 4, 2016

    My heart leaped on seeing a post about Mr Pussy this morning! So glad to hear he’s doing well – but sad and a little angry at the thought of his condition going undiagnosed and untreated for … how long? I say this with love: please don’t wait so long another time xx

  23. the gentle author permalink*
    July 4, 2016

    Although I did not mention it in this story, I took him to the vet for blood tests several times and they could find nothing wrong…

  24. pauline taylor permalink
    July 4, 2016

    Dear GA and Mr Pussy, you both have my sympathy, I know that you are getting a bit of stick GA for your delay in taking Mr P to the vet, but we all know just how much you love him, and that you are being very honest with us as to how things were. It can be a frightening decision to take a beloved pet to the vet when they reach Mr Pussy’s age, and it can sometimes be best just to nurse them as well as you can, I can tell that that is what you did. It is so good to hear now though that a remedy for his illness is available so that you can continue to make sure that his life is as happy and pain free as possible. Give him a big hug from me (if he will let you!).

    Pauline.

  25. Miriam Delorie permalink
    July 4, 2016

    that is the most wonderful explanation/recital of your experience with Mr Pussy. Only those who have such love for their animal friends can understand. I hope he lives on for as long as possible. best regards Miriam

  26. Susan permalink
    July 4, 2016

    So happy to hear that you found a solution, and I will bear it in mind for my own cats in the future as it sounds like it took an astute vet to finally make the right diagnosis.

    Pilling a cat, such a treat, eh?

  27. Nicholas Keeble permalink
    July 4, 2016

    Glad the condition has been diagnosed and that he’s out of pain. But to save new readers distress surely you should alter your piece to make it quite clear that you did not let an elderly cat suffer in agony, and that you had taken him to the vet. I couldn’t believe you had let this go on so long without seeking help, as this is what is implied, and I’m pleased to learn from your later comment that this was indeed not the case.

  28. Shawdian permalink
    July 4, 2016

    How sorry I am for Mr Pussy. What a dreadful time he has has been through and how distressing the on going ivestigation must have been for you too Gentle Author. As a cat loving owner of two Saimese, I understand how this must have been for you to see Mr Pussy ill and not know how to help him. Who would think ‘syliva’ could cause such an horrific illness. Thank you for sharing. I will keep this knowledge in my list of, cats ill health’. He is looking very good now, healthy and doing what Mr Pussy cats do :) Bless him and may his days be filled with all that pussy cats dream of. xx

  29. linda salter permalink
    July 4, 2016

    So pleased that Mr Pussy is on the road to recovery and to have read that you took him for blood tests, several of which revealed nothing wrong. It must have been so very worrying. I wonder only 2 or 3 days ago why we hadn’t heard anything of him. I am currently owned by a tabby of 9 yrs old. My previous tabby got to four days before his 19th birthday so I hope you both have some good times ahead.

  30. Suzy permalink
    July 4, 2016

    Mr Puss!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhh. How I’ve missed you.

    So desperately relieved for you GA that Mr Pussy is all ticketyboo once more.

    I think any of us priveleged enough to have met you TGA read this safe in the knowledge that you’d have done anything and everything for that beloved cat. It’s not hard to see what a sensitive soul you are.

    I’m also ever aware that Mr Pussy is very real and live link to your precious mum and that the loss of your dear kitty would cause a wounds of grief, both old and new, to open up. So hurrah for Mr Pussy. And hurrah for TGA.

    Hearty greetings and love to the both of you.

    Suzy xxxxxxxxxx

  31. Merry Staser permalink
    July 4, 2016

    Oh, my. I am so happy to hear that Mr. Pussy is alive and well. It’s so hard when we speak different languages to be understood. I am glad you got him some professional attention.

  32. ROBERT GREEN permalink
    July 4, 2016

    A good lesson to be learned hear, particularly by those who choose to castigate you for not taking your cat to a vet straight away while being completely unaware of the FULL facts BEFORE passing judgement, I have always lived my life by one simple rule, = NEVER ASSUME ANYTHING.

  33. July 4, 2016

    Long live Mr Pussy so pleased to hear that he is fit and happy again but what a worrying time…

  34. Kate permalink
    July 4, 2016

    So glad to hear Mr Pussy is now well. Thank you for your clarification – it had haunted and perplexed me all day that he might not have been under a vet’s watchful eye. Glad he is feeling better and trust you are too. Long may he thrive and long may you continue to offer up your daily gifts to us.

  35. dwight permalink
    July 5, 2016

    missed mr pussy. always remember him. from his friend across the pond in texas

  36. July 5, 2016

    God save Mr Pussy!

    Love & Peace
    ACHIM

  37. Candice permalink
    July 5, 2016

    Happy to hear that Mr. Pussy is doing pretty well. It’s hard to lose our four-footed, furry friends. May you have many more years together.

    Candy

  38. Richard and Kate Eckhaus permalink
    July 5, 2016

    Having gone through the trials and tribulations of living with an elderly, beloved cat, we were saddened to read about Mr. Pussy’s difficulties, but are happy that he now appears to be on the mend. When out beloved cat, Buford reached the age of 11, went into heart failure. He was diagnosed with an “incurable” heart condition that had done “irreparable” damage to his blood-pump, and was given no more than six-months or, at most, a year to live. After six-months on heart medication, his echo cardiogram showed signs of improvement, and, at the end of the year, we were able to take him off the meds, because the latest tests showed a complete reversal of the condition. Apparently, there is no record of another cat ever having achieved this outcome. He went happily and healthfully on until being brought-down by cancer 3 months short of his 20th birthday. During and after his illness, his aging kidneys showed signs of decreased function, and our vet suggested that we find a way to increase his water intake. What we found worked best was to always leave him two fresh, clean and clear French jelly-jar glasses filled with fresh water at opposite ends of our home. Buford developed such a love for water, that he drank and drank, then urinated and urinated in his litter box throughout each day. Since he left us, we have continued to do this with the cats who have joined our little family, and they too have developed a love for H2O. Considering Mr. Pussy’s condition and necessary medication. we highly recommend the jelly-jar solution to you, his friend and protector. It seems to work so well because cats are always able to see, thought the clear glass, the level of the water, and are tempted by it.

  39. Vivienne permalink
    July 6, 2016

    I am pleased Mr Pussy is feeling better

  40. July 6, 2016

    Mr Pussy is a fine looking fellow. This moved me to tears actually, I’m a mad cat lady who cannot bear to hear of a cat being in pain. Glad it’s all sorted. Oh, and that you can now get a decent nights rest!

  41. Tina West permalink
    July 6, 2016

    I so much hope Mr Pussy is feeling better. I know it can be difficult to know what to do but a trip to the vet as soon as possible is always best. Thank goodness they were able to help him. Bless Mr Pussy, may he go on for many more happy years.

  42. Suzy permalink
    July 6, 2016

    The advice from Richard and Kate Eckhaus is advice most excellent. Not a lot of cat owners seem to realise that cats won’t drink their water if it is placed next to their food dish but that the water bowls need to be found in another couple of areas (just as it would be in the wild) of the house.

    Ahh been thinking of you TGA and Mr Pussy. Sending you both oodles of greetings and goodly vibes.

  43. July 7, 2016

    sending mr pussy love… <3

  44. July 29, 2016

    I hide Miss Frida’s pills in Webox (which can be bought in Tescos) 90% of the time when covered thus she will take the pills…

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