My radioactive kitty who will live forever.

My pets are a huge part of my life, so it stands to reason they each deserve their own blog post.

Some history on me: I’ve always been a big fan of cats. My first cat, Miss Dee Davern Cloudy, was a dark grey tabby we had when I was 3 or 4. We ended up giving her away because after maybe a year. I remember my mum saying she was going to a farm where she’d be happier.

When I was maybe 6 or 7 I got a white kitten for my birthday. Named her Cloudy. My birthday is in April. The following Thanksgiving she was lost or ran away or some such story.

Next was Explorer, a grey tabby kitten born to the cat of a friend. Got him not long after losing Cloudy. Had him for several years… but the last couple years he never really came in the house. My mum never had him neutered, so he was too busy finding ladies to come home. He was always a nice big cat, so he was getting food elsewhere at least.

We had given up on Explorer really being my cat anymore when our neighbour let us know she had a friend with a cat who had kittens. We went and saw them, and they were some cute! All brown tabbies with some scattered ginger… and all short-haired except one exceptionally fluffy fluff ball. I was in love.

I ended up taking two, the fluff ball and a little girl who was mostly brown tabby with a few wee patches of ginger. I named the girl Ginga and the boy Fluff. I was a super creative 9-year-old, let me tell you….

We lost Ginga when my mum broke a window when she was locked out of the house. . . we think Ginga crawled out and escaped. Sad day, but that was the end of my bad luck with cats…

Fluff has been with me ever since. My first 2 years in university I lived in residence and he stayed back home with mum, but otherwise he’s always been with me. He’s a purr bag if ever there was one, and he can be shy… but when he warms up to a person he warms up good. He’s pretty grumpy towards other animals, and my 90lb dog is afraid of him… but he’s my lil’ love bug!

Making sure I didn’t forget to bring him with me to Newfoundland.. like I’d ever!

When we was about 15 years old he was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. Common enough in older cats, easy to treat, no big deal. Started him on tapazol… and then he went into liver failure. Turns out less than 2% of cats will do this on tapazol. Couple days in ICU and he was right as rain, but clearly not going back on tapazol!!! So I made arrangements to do the only thing I could do: radioactive iodine treatment. This is a completely guaranteed cure for hyperthyroidism in cats (if Fluff is ever hyperthyroid again, he gets the $1000 treatment repeated for free).  Typically, you do 6 months of tapazol therapy first to make sure the hyperthyroidism isn’t hiding any other illness like kidney failure, but that wasn’t an option with Fluff. Average life expectancy post radioactive iodine is about 2 years…

19 years old and he’s still a bit of a goof at times. . . He really wanted to be in that window sill, I guess!

We’re about 4 years out now and Fluff is still alive and kickin’! Last year I did full blood work and radiographs and all was quite normal. He has lost a lot of muscle mass, can’t make jumps the same as he used to (I leave stuff all over the house that he can use as steps to get to his favourite places), and he definitely suffers from dementia at times… but generally, considering he’s going on 20 years old, he’s in ridiculous awesome shape.  Health wise, aside from the hyperthyroidism, he’s had a bad bladder infection, he’s had a root canal done in a broken tooth, and he had a heart murmur for years that ultimately was related to his thyroid (after the iodine treatment, the murmur was gone!). He went through a period where he was on anti-anxiety medication to get him to stop urinating around the house. Once I moved him out of my mum’s house, though, he stopped having any problems like that.

I told him once he had to make it through vet school, I needed my love bug to get through vet school. I think maybe he thought I meant he has to live forever. And I’ll be okay with that.

Often when I sit at the couch, this is where Fluff hans out – on the arm rest behind my head, purring like it’s going out of style. Loves.


About dottiemaggie

A veterinarian living and working in St John's, Newfoundland. I love my job, and I love my home. Professionally I am passionate about critical care and client education. Away from work I am passionate about enjoying life, spending time with friends, enjoying hobbies of all sorts, and exploring this wonderful province I call home.
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5 Responses to My radioactive kitty who will live forever.

  1. JaniceP says:

    He looks like a sweet old man. I haven’t had the pleasure of having a cat grow old with me yet, but I’m hoping my current guy (who just turned 11) will be around as long as your Fluff.

    • dottiemaggie says:

      Fingers crossed for your guy! My other cats are all under 10, Fluff is setting the precedent for them all 😉
      (well, I had another cat after Fluff, Charlie, who was age unknown when he died 😦 I had him for about 10 years, though. Adopted as an adult)

  2. linlah says:

    Lovely Fluff, maybe he will live forever.

  3. Pingback: If I had four dollars for every time someone asked. . .why is my old cat so loud? | Trust me, I'm a doctor.

  4. Pingback: The Saddest Goodbye | Trust me, I'm a doctor.

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