Let me begin by writing that I’m not one for giving a cat a bath.
Several weeks ago, I came home from work to find Alexander struggling to stand on four feet but his back legs wouldn’t cooperate. One of his front legs had been weak for some time so he was unable to stand up using his one remaining leg. I rushed him to the vet who was surprised that after more than a year after diagnosis of brain tumor and resulting blindness, Alexander is still alive.
My vet asked me if I wanted to “put him down.” (She is usually opposed to euthanasia.) I started crying and told her that I didn’t think I could make that decision yet. She suggested that I consider professional physical therapy to help him or give him physical therapy at home by flexing his legs while giving him a bath. The vet gave him a steroid injection and I took him home to give him his first bath. He didn’t like the bath. But I lost very little blood in the process of giving him a bath. Alexander seemed to forgive me when I fed him just after his bath.
I came home today and saw that he was again trying to drag himself across the room using his front legs. I placed him in the bathtub and flexed his legs while running warm water over him. He fussed just a bit but I can’t blame him as he doesn’t know what’s going on since he is blind. I fed him just after his bath and I know his legs are working well enough for him to walk to his food plate.
People ask me why I don’t “put him down.”
1. His usually ravenous appetite has not decreased since he began his decline.
2. The vet is also not sure that it is time to make this decision. (See reason #1.)
I’m becoming more comfortable with giving Alexander a bath and think he may have many more baths before I have to make a final decision for him.