While we were distracted by the plight of the poor, old cat we had to euthanize last week, we hadn't noticed that our 15-year-old male cat was having health problems as well. Once we had a chance to focus on the remaining three cats, we realized that The Boy was having some trouble making it to the litter box - to the extent that he even peed on my husband's lap. He was also in the throes of one of his recurring eye infections.
I took him to the vet on Monday morning and spent this month's car payment to find out that he has kidney problems (maybe just an infection, maybe kidney disease), possible feline herpes causing the eye infections, and he's lost a pound and a half since his last vet visit. Now he's on twice-daily antibiotics (luckily I'm really good at giving pills to cats), twice-daily eye drops, L-lysine supplements for the herpes and prescription canned cat food for added hydration. Oh, and if he doesn't stay hydrated enough, I may have to start giving him subcutaneous fluids at home. Joy!
I remember a George Carlin routine where he said something along the lines of, "When you buy a pet, you're purchasing a mini tragedy."
As much as I love cats, I'm starting to wonder if I'll really want more after all of these rapidly-aging cats go.