by Chrissy Iley
On February 15th my large black and white cat Mr Love turned 14. Incredibly 14 years since he was born on the bed we still sleep in – large, circular, with padded mirror headboard.
He was one of five kittens born to Slut, a cat who had walked in off the street a couple of weeks earlier.
Mr Love couldn’t open his own birth sac. My friend Alison Hay had to do that for him.
He is a tuxedo cat. His sister, who was the first to open her eyes, the first to feed, and the first to do everything, was chosen by Renée Zellweger to be her cat. The other kittens were all gorgeous but there was something about Mr Love, the most loving, that made me feel he was my cat.
He has been steadfast in his love, a giver, a cuddler. He also loved food and got to be a whopping 23lbs. Over the past year he was prescribed by his vet a special cat food k/d, for cats with chronic kidney trouble.
He’d rather eat cat litter and he did. Still the vet advised me to keep going with it. I’d mix it with Missing Link or Fancy Feast to try to encourage him to eat it. He lost more than half his body weight, his bones were sticking out and ten days ago he refused to eat anything at all. His eyes were sunken and sad and he wouldn’t come upstairs with me or the other cats. He wanted to be downstairs on his own.
I took him to the vet who x-rayed him, put him on a drip, then ultrasounded him. I cancelled my trip because the vet said if you care about this animal you should do so.
He was diagnosed with failing kidneys and failing heart. The medication for the heart knocks out the kidneys. The prognosis was grim, but Mr Love is a fighter cat.
When he was three he was found in the garden unable to move. We don’t know if he had a stroke or was hit by a car. He couldn’t move to feed himself and had to be fed through a tube. Again the prognosis was grim – he regained all feeling except for one leg.
I remembered a friend of mine that I’d not been in touch with for ages had an amazing vet which gave her much appreciated extra time with her beloved boxer dog Smith. She gave me the contact information for Dr Pasternak.
He didn’t look hopeful at all when he saw Mr Love there were so many things wrong with him. He gave him acupuncture and an infra-tonic sound waves. He also him fluids for dehydration. Mr Love’s visit was an hour long. That in itself is remarkable.
The vet provided delicious cat food and treats that were healthy and told me to throw away the k/d and most of the pills prescribed by the other vet.
I’m not sure what made me doubt the other pills. They were given by a veterinarian who I assumed would know more than me, but my instinct was strong to seek a second opinion.
Dr Pasternak is both a conventional and holistic vet because he believes that the traditional and the holistic approach are mutually supportive. He first discovered acupuncture in 1989 and had fantastic results. It’s good for both cats and dogs and he’s had some amazing results with large dog breeds that are prone to arthritis.
He says that through trying acupuncture he was encouraged to find other remedies and he incorporates homeopathy and herbs. Mr Love was prescribed raw butter and given salmon oil and did really well with these. His appetite has now returned and so has his appetite for life.
The fact that he didn’t die is a miracle. Of course his long-term prognosis is not good but animals are gestaltists, they live in the moment, and at the moment he purrs.
Pasternak Veterinary Center, 2038 S Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles. +1 310-268-2275. www.pasternakvetcenter.com