As We Age…

It’s been a long time since we posted here. And mainly that’s for a good reason: Scout and Zoey are both grown, and our lives have settled into a wonderful rhythm. There simply wasn’t much eventful to share.

But as they say, Life happens. And now we’re back with an update.

Today I took Zoey to see Dr. C. On Sunday, she came into my studio, hobbling, and wouldn’t put weight on her back right leg. We stood around for five minutes or so, discussing whether a trip to the emergency vet at 8 at night on a Sunday was the thing to do, and in that small amount of time, she started walking normally again, as if a switch had been flipped. B said, “If I hadn’t just seen that for myself, I wouldn’t have believed it.”

I called the vet the next day, and they said to keep an eye on her and see if there was any change and if we saw it again. Instead of disappearing, it grew worse as the week progressed. So today, we made the trip to the vet’s office.


After an exam, a long conversation, and two X-rays, Dr. C determined that Zoey has arthritis in her back right hip joint. The X-ray showed the damage clearly. Tonight, we gave her medication and pain medicine, and tried to let her be. She was a trooper with Dr. C, and I left feeling a mixture of proud mom and sad mom. Zoey is 81/2 years old, and I don’t know much about cats and arthritis, but man, that seems young.

On top of the arthritis, Zoey has feline herpes. Our vet believes it to be linked to the time she had an allergic reaction to her annual vaccinations, and is presenting itself now because of the stress she’s under, age, and a weakened immune system. It’s displaying itself in her eyes. Her right eye (the one with white fur around it) is red and inflamed and watery. So on top of meds for arthritis, she started a round of meds for this too. (Feline herpes is common, and cannot be transmitted to humans or dogs, FYI.) Zoey will have to take meds for this possibly for the rest of her life; there is no cure.

zoey in the kitchen

And so, in a matter of five days, Zoey has gone from being a healthy, happy cat to…well, she’s honestly a little ragged right now. It hurts to watch her hobble around the house, her back leg raised so that it doesn’t touch the floor. We’ll be administering her meds every day (the pain med via a syringe, the rest via edible “treats”), and monitoring her food and water intake (they need to stay balanced or it can negatively affect her arthritis meds).

As for B and me, now we enter into a new side of pet parenthood: caring for an animal that isn’t growing out of puppyhood or kittenhood, but into middle age and beyond. I was happy to see that the minute I walked in the door with Zoey, Scout ran up to check on her. It may have taken close to four years, but I believe the girls are friends now. :)

We’ll keep you updated on Zoey’s progress!


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